Earth at the center of the Universe?

How does science work? And what's all this about quantum mechanics?

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Hobbes' Choice
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Re: Earth at the center of the Universe?

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Obvious Leo wrote:. The universe is NOT a place but an EVENT.

As "a place" is a bounded entity so too is an event a bounded entity.


The universe is not a place: it is place.
The universe is not an event: the universe is process.
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Re: Earth at the center of the Universe?

Post by Obvious Leo »

Hobbes' Choice wrote: The universe is not a place: it is place.
This statement strikes me as ambiguous so please elaborate what you mean by it.
Hobbes' Choice wrote:The universe is not an event: the universe is process.
I find semantic arguments tedious but why aren't these terms synonymous? I completely agree that the universe is process but in the ordinary scientific discourse a process is defined as a sequence of cause/effect events proceeding over time.
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Re: Earth at the center of the Universe?

Post by skakos »

Obvious Leo wrote:
skakos wrote:Nothing is "proven" concerning the true nature of the cosmos. If this had happened, then we would surely know. The fact is that we are much based on our senses and our senses are subjective. The only thing which seems to transcend the cosmos is consciousness. And as quantum mechanics has showed, the conscious observer actually formulates the "reality" around him. In this was we are all the center - the TRUE center - of everything and Parmenides with his One is more timely than ever...
If we go all the way with the rest of the pre-Socratics then modern physics is very easily put into its correct context. We can see ourselves as being at the centre of the universe but we needn't stop there because we are just made of matter and energy just like any other physical entity. Every atom within ourselves is likewise at the centre, as is every subatomic particle within the atom, as is every energy quantum which encodes for the subatomic particles. This procedure of thought not only brings Leibniz back from the conceptual wilderness but it also gives focus to John Archibald Wheeler's conviction that our cosmos must be thought of as an "it from bit" informational entity. The universe is NOT a place but an EVENT.
An event experienced by the only common denominator existing in this phenomenal world: Consciousness.
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Re: Earth at the center of the Universe?

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Obvious Leo wrote:
Hobbes' Choice wrote: The universe is not a place: it is place.
This statement strikes me as ambiguous so please elaborate what you mean by it.
Hobbes' Choice wrote:The universe is not an event: the universe is process.
I find semantic arguments tedious but why aren't these terms synonymous? I completely agree that the universe is process but in the ordinary scientific discourse a process is defined as a sequence of cause/effect events proceeding over time.
When you say "an event" you are making a particular case. Since you have nowhere outside the universe from which to understand it as an individual discrete event you can't assert a particular. An event, is as faulty as "a place". A place exists in relation to other places; the Universe involves and enables the reality of place to appear real. It is the ground of possibility for the concept of place to form in our discourse.
This is not semantics in any sense.

A event is a bounded thing. What don't you understand about this?
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Re: Earth at the center of the Universe?

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Hobbes' Choice wrote:A event is a bounded thing. What don't you understand about this?
Do you mean bounded in the sense that an event has a beginning and an end? If so then I would agree with you that events which occur within the universe are no more than relational constructs defined by the consciousness of the observer of them. However this same logic cannot be applied to the universe as a whole if we apply the usual definition that the universe is everything that exists. As you correctly pointed out the notion of an observer of everything that exists then becomes invalid because the universe has no outside from which to observe it. However this applies only to the spatial extension of our consciousness and not to its temporal extension because the entire universe is observable from the future. The most striking example of this is the beautiful image of the CMB as it was 380,000 years after the big bang, an image sometimes referred to as the "cosmic egg". Because of the immensely long wavelength of the red-shifted electro-magnetic radiation in this image it has been rendered visible to us by sophisticated software, but there can be no doubt that this is an image of the ENTIRE universe as it WAS 13.8 billion years ago. This is therefore an example of an instance where it is possible to observe the entire universe from within it.

Even in principle it will never be possible to see anything further back in time than this but even the impossible is permissible in a thought experiment so try this on for size. Lets imagine that we can in fact focus our telescope 380,000 years beyond the CMB and take a peek at the big bang itself. Would we see our universe suddenly exploding into existence from a zero-volume point? Indeed we would not. Because we are always looking backwards down the arrow of time what we would actually see is the universe vanishing back into a zero-volume point.
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Re: Earth at the center of the Universe?

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Obvious Leo wrote:
Hobbes' Choice wrote:A event is a bounded thing. What don't you understand about this?
Do you mean bounded in the sense that an event has a beginning and an end? If so then I would agree with you that events which occur within the universe are no more than relational constructs defined by the consciousness of the observer of them. However this same logic cannot be applied to the universe as a whole if we apply the usual definition that the universe is everything that exists.
Yes, exactly - that is why the universe is not "AN" event. We do not know, cannot know if it ever ends, and the idea that it began is contentious.
But the universe seem to be ever in process; it is all events, the possibility of events.
As you correctly pointed out the notion of an observer of everything that exists then becomes invalid because the universe has no outside from which to observe it. However this applies only to the spatial extension of our consciousness and not to its temporal extension because the entire universe is observable from the future. The most striking example of this is the beautiful image of the CMB as it was 380,000 years after the big bang, an image sometimes referred to as the "cosmic egg". Because of the immensely long wavelength of the red-shifted electro-magnetic radiation in this image it has been rendered visible to us by sophisticated software, but there can be no doubt that this is an image of the ENTIRE universe as it WAS 13.8 billion years ago. This is therefore an example of an instance where it is possible to observe the entire universe from within it.
Possibly, possibly not. As we have discussed before we can never tell if the BB exploded into an existing universe, and we cannot see the other end of the event if the universe is "AN" event.

Even in principle it will never be possible to see anything further back in time than this but even the impossible is permissible in a thought experiment so try this on for size. Lets imagine that we can in fact focus our telescope 380,000 years beyond the CMB and take a peek at the big bang itself. Would we see our universe suddenly exploding into existence from a zero-volume point? Indeed we would not. Because we are always looking backwards down the arrow of time what we would actually see is the universe vanishing back into a zero-volume point.
You've decided that the BB is an event, and this is a common enough way to divide up reality, as you put it; "relational constructs defined by the consciousness of the observer of them.", (ah the anthropic principle is strong in this one Obi), but has is ended?
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Re: Earth at the center of the Universe?

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Hobbes' Choice wrote: Possibly, possibly not. As we have discussed before we can never tell if the BB exploded into an existing universe, and we cannot see the other end of the event if the universe is "AN" event.
I see little point in pursuing a semantic argument when we are essentially saying the same thing in different forms of language. The way I see it is that if we define the universe as everything that exists we can then also define it as a single continuous process and such a process can have neither beginning nor end and still satisfy its own definition.

I often run into spurious arguments about whether the passage of time is a real or illusory phenomenon and this argument also always strikes me as banal navel-gazing over semantics. I rather like Einstein's simple definition of time

"Time is what clocks measure"....Albert Einstein

Many physicists manage to get their balls in a knot over what time actually is but to a man they will agree that clocks measure the rate of change in a physical system, so why not just say that the rate of change in a physical system is synonymous with the speed at which time passes. The notion of passing time is something which is hard-wired into the consciousness of all of us so I see no logical reason to not simply accept this notion on these intuitive terms. The truly interesting thing which modern physics has been able to show us is that the rate of change in a physical system is gravity-dependent which means time does not pass at a constant speed. This is why the universe appears to the observer to be spatially expanding.
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Re: Earth at the center of the Universe?

Post by SpheresOfBalance »

Obvious Leo wrote:
Hobbes' Choice wrote: Possibly, possibly not. As we have discussed before we can never tell if the BB exploded into an existing universe, and we cannot see the other end of the event if the universe is "AN" event.
I see little point in pursuing a semantic argument when we are essentially saying the same thing in different forms of language. The way I see it is that if we define the universe as everything that exists we can then also define it as a single continuous process and such a process can have neither beginning nor end and still satisfy its own definition.

I often run into spurious arguments about whether the passage of time is a real or illusory phenomenon and this argument also always strikes me as banal navel-gazing over semantics. I rather like Einstein's simple definition of time

"Time is what clocks measure"....Albert Einstein

Many physicists manage to get their balls in a knot over what time actually is


but to a man they will agree that clocks measure the rate of change in a physical system,
You are out of your mind! Clocks do not measure anything! Their increments are arbitrary! Time is just a way for mans feeble mind to make sense of the sequence of things, relative movement, change. Time isn't anything, but in mankind's head!


so why not just say that the rate of change in a physical system is synonymous with the speed at which time passes. The notion of passing time is something which is hard-wired into the consciousness of all of us so I see no logical reason to not simply accept this notion on these intuitive terms. The truly interesting thing which modern physics has been able to show us is that the rate of change in a physical system is gravity-dependent which means time does not pass at a constant speed. This is why the universe appears to the observer to be spatially expanding.
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Re: Earth at the center of the Universe?

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Referring to a "start" and an "end" implies that time as a notion exists.
If you asked many philosophers, they would disagree with that...
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Re: Earth at the center of the Universe?

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skakos wrote:If you asked many philosophers, they would disagree with that...
That's because philosophers spend too much time arguing over the meanings of words instead of understanding the concepts which the words refer to. Time is simply a convenient metric for measuring the rate of change in physical systems so if you deny that the notion of time is a valid construct then you would also need to accept the fact that change in physical systems is illusory. Gravity would also need to be accepted as illusory. Time and gravity are inextricably interwoven because the rate of change in physical systems is entirely determined by gravity.
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Re: Earth at the center of the Universe?

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skakos wrote:Referring to a "start" and an "end" implies that time as a notion exists.
If you asked many philosophers, they would disagree with that...

Name one!

You are actually referring to a game played by poor philosophers, or people wanting to criticise philosophy as a idiot's sport, like Hex does.

Philosophers to not deny that the 'notion exists', that would be idiotic to say.
Philosophers are interested in what the notion does, what are the implications for its use, and to what tasks the notion can be put.
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Re: Earth at the center of the Universe?

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Yo, I heard if there is no edge of the universe every place is equally the center, and therefore the earth is the center.
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Re: Earth at the center of the Universe?

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Jaded Sage wrote:Yo, I heard if there is no edge of the universe every place is equally the center, and therefore the earth is the center.
Actually it means that everywhere is the centre, but not a single place. This is about expansion, not about reference.
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Re: Earth at the center of the Universe?

Post by skakos »

Hobbes' Choice wrote:
skakos wrote:Referring to a "start" and an "end" implies that time as a notion exists.
If you asked many philosophers, they would disagree with that...

Name one!

You are actually referring to a game played by poor philosophers, or people wanting to criticise philosophy as a idiot's sport, like Hex does.

Philosophers to not deny that the 'notion exists', that would be idiotic to say.
Philosophers are interested in what the notion does, what are the implications for its use, and to what tasks the notion can be put.
Parmenides for example.

Claiming that "time" exists is just based on almost nothing. Time is a human construct.
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Re: Earth at the center of the Universe?

Post by Hobbes' Choice »

skakos wrote:
Hobbes' Choice wrote:
skakos wrote:Referring to a "start" and an "end" implies that time as a notion exists.
If you asked many philosophers, they would disagree with that...

Name one!

You are actually referring to a game played by poor philosophers, or people wanting to criticise philosophy as a idiot's sport, like Hex does.

Philosophers to not deny that the 'notion exists', that would be idiotic to say.
Philosophers are interested in what the notion does, what are the implications for its use, and to what tasks the notion can be put.
Parmenides for example.

Claiming that "time" exists is just based on almost nothing. Time is a human construct.
Tell that to the projectionist when you show up late to the cinema and the film has been running for 15 minutes.
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