Re: CHAT: What statement? abyss staring

From: Spike Jones (
Date: Sat Apr 07 2001 - 12:02:29 MDT

> > J. R. Molloy wrote:
> >
> > > Everything that can happen has already happened, not just once, but an
> > > infinite number of times, and will continue to do so forever. (Plus one,
> > > because it's always one more τΏτ )

"Ross A. Finlayson" wrote:

> > If that were so, then eternity would be engulfed in actual chaos. It is not
> > so.

Ross' comment makes the assumption that entropy is not a
conserved quantity over a cycle of big-bang-to-whatever-
-happens-afterwards-to-the-next-big-bang. Would we not
start the entropy clock over each each cycle? As far as I
know, this is an open question.

The notion brings back fond memories of college modern
physics when a number of students debated this until we
were exhausted. All we finally agreed upon is that if the
universe is closed, then *everything* occupies a finite
amount of space-time with a finite number of particles
in a finite number of quantum states. (The term finite
is stretched to the limit of course, since it describes
quantities that are unimaginable large.)

Then the reasoning goes thus: if the universe is closed, then it
is subject to eventual collapse, and since everything that can
happen must happen, then another big bang must eventually
occur, much different the next time of course. By the same
reasoning, it must recur an infinite number of times, so
eventually one of the previous states must recur as well, since
the total number of possibilities is finite.

Followed to its logical extreme, one concludes if the universe
is closed, we have been here before, having this exact
discussion. Furthermore we have been here an *infinite*
number of times before. Still further, we will be here again,
having this exact discussion and an unimaginably large number
of similar but slightly different versions thereof. Thinking about
it causes one to zone out. Amara has so aptly described
the feeling as staring into the abyss until it stares back.

The students did eventually agree on this mind boggling point,
so we then asked ourselves what if the universe is open?
I dropped out at that point, saying that this possibility is too
sad to even consider. {8-] spike

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