infinity
The word infinite is an adjective. In ordinary speech, an adjective casually morphs
into an adverb and nobody loses any sleep over it. For instance, few would notice
the difference between the expressions ‘infinite series of numbers’ and ‘our infinite
universe’. The usage of the word infinite in these two examples seems to convey
the same notion: that the ‘thing in question is unimaginably large. However, for the
purposes of Physics, there are significant differences. In a logical philosophical or
scientific context, the first scenario implies that infinite is an adverb whereas in the
second one it treats the word universe as a physical object. Let’s analyze these
claims in more detail to see how the mathematicians get utterly confused with
semantics and grammar.
The word number is not a physical object for the purposes of Physics. In fact it is not
even an architectural object: the word number does not have shape. Hence, as far
as Physics is concerned, a number is a concept, a relation between two objects. The
mathematician has now dispensed with the objects and is dealing exclusively with
the relation itself. The number 5 only has meaning if there is a number 4. If there
were a single number in the universe, that number would be 1 and it would
designate the sole object. If there were no objects in the universe, we would have
zero, not really a number but a place holder: space.
The word number is not a static relation comparable to concepts such as direction,
straight, or on. A number is by nature a dynamic relation. The word number
represents the aggregate of the motions of the hand or the mental iterations
necessary to differentiate one set of aggregates or iterations from another.
Borrowing from mathematical jargon, a number is an entire set. The sole number 5
inhabiting a set symbolizes the counting of five things. The reason we talk of infinite
numbers is not that there is an unimaginable quantity of apples in the Universe. The
mathematician is really saying that we can imagine counting many apples and then
one more. The issue is not apples but counting.
But if the noun number or ordinary speech is the verb ‘to count’ of Physics in
disguise, we cannot talk of infinite numbers. For example, if a boy were to jump up
and down, or run around in circles, we could venture to say that his jumping is
incessant or that he is running perpetually. It would be use of incongruous language
to say that his jumping or running is infinite. Likewise, the act of counting as
performed by an immortal mathematician can perhaps be characterized as incessant
or perpetual, but hardly as infinite. For the purposes of Physics, and to use the
words consistently in Science, the terms infinite and finite are true adjectives,
meaning that they do not embody motion. A true adjective is a static concept. Words
such as incessant, perpetual, constant, and rectilinear can only be used in the
context of motion. In Physics, there is no such thing as a constant cube or a dead
cat. As such they are true adverbs for the purposes of Physics. Therefore, a table
may be said to be finite. Indeed, the word object is a synonym of the word finite. It is
also grammatically correct in Physics to characterize a table as being infinite.
However, this fails from a logical standpoint. A table is an object and consequently it
is finite by definition (i.e., it has shape). To hypothesize that there is an infinite table
means that the prosecutor cannot visualize its shape, in which case the table doesn’t
qualify as an object to begin with. At best, the object in our field of view is an
undefined pattern.
If the universe is alleged to be infinite, we are treating the universe as an object, and
are insinuating in the process that this object is structural (i.e., 3D). If the word
universe includes space as well as matter, then this is also erroneous. The universe
is a concept, a relation which tacitly treats space as an object and then differentiates
between the two objects called space and matter. We could use the word infinite to
qualify the universe only if space and matter were both made of particles as
‘physicists’ hold today (i.e., a field). However, this would convert the universe into
an infinite object, a notion which is a logical contradiction. Nevertheless, this notion
fails because in order to differentiate one particle from an adjacent one, there must
be a medium that contours and serves as background to each particle. The attempt
to make our universe into an entity comprised solely of discrete components leads
us to the paradox that it must also have an independent background that is not a
component of the word universe. The only way that the universe can have no
background is if it is a continuous entity (i.e., made of a single piece). We can now
talk consistently about the infinite ‘block’ universe, but it cannot be an object. An
object is that which has shape, and the block universe is infinite only if it does not
have shape. Nevertheless, such an unimaginable ‘entity’ would summarily rule out
motion. There can be no moving parts in an ideally continuous object.
Another claim is that infinite refers to a wall that an experimenter can never reach
because it recedes faster than the experimenter can catch up to it. Unfortunately,
this object the wall forms a part of does not qualify as infinite. The wall is ‘proof’ that
this unimaginable entity is discrete. The fact that the wall moves hopelessly away
from the experimenter has to do with the adverbs of Physics incessant and faster,
not with the adjective infinite.



Much of what is wrong with the notion of infinity has to do with the definition of the
word number.

Physics, an adjective can be used solely in the context of structure. which is used
incongruously in Mathematics as the adverb incessant of Physics. The
mathematicians are not saying that there is an infinite object. They are saying that
the ‘number of objects’ is ‘infinite’, meaning that an immortal physicist can listen to
an immortal mathematician count incessantly and never hear the end of it.
[See infinite]

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