Infinity is a tricky concept to handle. We can visualize infinity mathematically, but there is no infinite quantity of anything or else it would be everywhere.
Infinity can be approximated by it's place in this equation:
The term "lim" means the limit approximation, "oo" is the infinity symbol.
Here is a reference to the CRC Concise Encyclopedia of Mathematics about infinity:
http://www.astro.virginia.edu/~eww6n/math/Infinity.html
This referenced page is talking about scalar infinity, that is, infinity in terms of the rest of the numbers, and in one dimension. There are multiple dimensions, so considering infinity in terms of multiple dimensions is exponentially more confusing. I don't fully understand infinity in multiple or an infinite number of dimensions.
> Can there be an infinite space? Can there be an infinite time? Can there *be*
> an infinite anything? I lean toward no. (Despite my utter lack of scientific
> credentials)
>
> To exist is to have a particular identity (This has been put as "Existence is
> Identity"). So, to have identity is to be a *particular* thing. And to be a
> *particular* thing is also to not be anything else. So, to be is to be
> something and not anything else.
>
I would disagree to some extent. Things change, people change. At a given time, we might consider a thing to be a particular thing, but at a different time, it is different.
>
> The trouble comes in when we discuss all things (the universe). The question
> is "What isn't it?". Its fairly easy (in my view) to say that it *is*
> everything. But to be is to be something and also to not be anything else. So,
> what isn't it?
>
I would say that, among other things, it isn't the emotions and spiritual content of humanity, but a hard-core atheist might counter that those are simply complex biochemical reactions.
It is pretty much everything that would ever be considered, and those things which are not wholly of our universe take place in our universe, unless they don't, in which case they don't. I realize this is a circular argument, but don't see a simpler way to explain my understanding of said situation. Things beyond our "universe", in terms of energy or matter, are the subject of this thread.
>
> A conceptual distinction would be "It isn't what isn't", but that is just a
> boring tautology and doesn't help too much. But, if we try a little
> rephrasing, you could say "It is everything" and switch it to "It isn't
> nothing." So, as I posted before, as nothing doesn't actually exist (nothing
> isn't a type of thing, it is "no-thing"), we can say that nothing exists
> outside the universe.
>
> So, does this create an infinite universe? Again, I'm gonna go with no.
> Identity is finity. That is to say, to be is to be limited. There are borders
> and ends and beginnings. And, as the universe is, it is limited.
>
That is limiting. We can empirically prove certain things, and, for example, reproduce most chemical reactions with accuracy. That is on the real scale.
>
> Now, as a final bit of ignorance confession, I have about no mathematical
> knowledge and virtually no scientific learning (apart from books I read). So,
> just as Aristotle made sense to himself, but looks pretty silly next to
> empirical proof, I'm willing to accept a cunning and empirical refutation. Or
> any refutation, really, that works out.
>
> Thanks for reading,
>
> William
I don't really offer a refutation because it's based upon point of view. My point of view is that mathematical infinity exists and the Infinity reference page listed above has been updated since I posted the Identity Expression Statement, lim 1/oo=0, to sci.math.moderated on March 11, 1999.
http://www.dejanews.com/[ST_rn=qs]/qs.xp?QRY=%7Eg+sci.math.moderated&OP=dnquery.xp&ST=QS&DBS=2
The Identity Expression Statement is about mathematical identities and numerology, not personal identity, which makes us each individuals.
-- Ross Andrew Finlayson 202/387-8208 http://www.tomco.net/~raf/ "C is the speed of light."