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There are several "religion/ faith-related" boards. I'm wondering which ones you're subscribed to as "faves."

If there are others that fit my description, I am unaware of them. Feel free to add to this list.

COMPLETE THIS SENTENCE: "I am 'subscribed' to..."

AT = Arminian Theology
http://boards.fool.com/messages.asp?mid=16477662
AF = Atheist Fools
http://boards.fool.com/Messages.asp?mid=16664434
BSD = Bible Studies Daily
http://boards.fool.com/Messages.asp?mid=16663929
CF = Christian Fools
http://boards.fool.com/Messages.asp?mid=16665940
CaF = Catholic Fools
http://boards.fool.com/Messages.asp?mid=16637707
CvE = Creation v. Evolution
http://boards.fool.com/Messages.asp?bid=114420
FLDS = Foolish Latter-Day Saints
http://boards.fool.com/Messages.asp?bid=115469
FFC = Fools for Christ
http://boards.fool.com/Messages.asp?bid=113898
ISL = Islam
http://boards.fool.com/Messages.asp?bid=115621
JAF = Jewish and Foolish
http://boards.fool.com/Messages.asp?mid=16656001
RAB = Religion - All About It
http://boards.fool.com/Messages.asp?mid=16631578
RT = Reformed Theology
http://boards.fool.com/Messages.asp?mid=16511719
TBM = Tibetan Buddhist Master Board
http://boards.fool.com/Messages.asp?bid=113382


I, Urban, am subscribed to:
BSD, CF, CaF, JAF, RT
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FYI there's also a Pagan Fools board
http://boards.fool.com/Messages.asp?mid=16655314&bid=115362
Just mentioning it since you listed lots of other faiths.


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I am subscribed to:

Christian Fools
Catholic Fools
Fools for Christ
Jewish & Foolish

I like to read up on various beliefs. I try to understand where they are coming from even if I don't concur.


Robyn
A "now & then" poster
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Fair enough. I just missed it. Not intentionally.
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CF = Christian Fools
http://boards.fool.com/Messages.asp?mid=16665940

FFC = Fools for Christ
http://boards.fool.com/Messages.asp?bid=113898

I have the two "religion/ faith-related" boards listed above on my "Favorites" list.
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Only CF and I love it, usually lurking my way through. Really a newbie to this board, finding it on a prayer thread and just walked in.

God has blessed all the posters and I'm very thankful to those of you that recognize He has.

Thanks for the bookmark Urban.

HaGD,

L2J
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I follow CF of course, and the Religion-All About It board. Some of the others I visit now and then, but some like the Athiest Board seem like a circular battle to me, so why bother.

Charlie
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I follow CF of course, and the Religion-All About It board. Some of the others I visit now and then, but some like the Athiest Board seem like a circular battle to me, so why bother.


I dunno, occasionally I get an urge to straighten them out from being so self satisfied. Unfortunately they don't even recognise scientific facts for what they mean. Their preconceptions are just too strong for reasoning.

Frindon
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JavaTraveler,

< some like the Athiest Board seem like a circular battle to me, so why bother. >

I like my beliefs being challenged. AF stretches what I THINK I know. Also, the humor level on the Atheist Fools board is very high. Regularly irreverent to the point of being cruel but a good laugh, never-the-less. It helps to have a thick skin over there. If you're easily offended, stay away from Atheist Fools.

Rick, the glampig (with CF, AF, and CaF boards subscribed)



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I like my beliefs being challenged. AF stretches what I THINK I know. Also, the humor level on the Atheist Fools board is very high. Regularly irreverent to the point of being cruel but a good laugh, never-the-less. It helps to have a thick skin over there. If you're easily offended, stay away from Atheist Fools.

Rick, the glampig (with CF, AF, and CaF boards subscribed)



And one must not arrive at a point which they cannot escape from.
It is generally agreed that the big bang happened, by scientists at least. This means that creation started at one point (I won't say in space, since space had not been created.) We would say that God said let there be light, and there was an explosion of, for want of a better word, light, high energy high temporature matter. Atheists would say the matter was condensed in a primodial atom, and for the sake of argument I am willing to go along with that. The atom exploded. For it to explode at a given point in time, there must have been a change in state. Rather like when you mix permanganate of potash and glycerine, a change of state takes place and it bursts into flame. So with this primodial atom. Now the atom consists of what is now the universe so it is not infinite. It has been there since infinity which is an infinity of time. The change in state has to be measurable otherwise nothing happens. So to find out how much energy is involved in the change of state you have an equation that has all the mass on one side and on the other side all the time. As you know dividing a number, no matter how big, by infinity results in zero, naught, 0. So the change in state cannot have happened and therefore according to the atheist ideas, the universe does not exist.

Now you can put this logic, to any idea they can come up with for how the universe started. You will then arrive at the time when they call you names. They are not prepared to live by their own logic, so what are they.

Frindon
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You're losing me, and I'm a pretty logical guy (though admittedly dense).

Now the atom consists of what is now the universe so it is not infinite. It has been there since infinity which is an infinity of time.

Is the atom infinite or not? What is the "it" in "It has been there"? Where?

The change in state has to be measurable otherwise nothing happens.

I understand this point.

So to find out how much energy is involved in the change of state you have an equation that has all the mass on one side and on the other side all the time. As you know dividing a number, no matter how big, by infinity results in zero, naught, 0.

So what is the equation? Are you talking about relativity? If so, then the energy released by the change in state is only equal to the total mass of the universe times the speed of light squared. Where does infinite time come into play?

If you're saying that the finite amount of time since the big bang must equal the infinite time prior to the big bang then you're wrong. This point begs the question. Time, if infinite, stretches infinitely into the past, but the present is a moment that will continue for an infinite amount of time. Therefore, any point in history is a finite amount of time prior to the present, yet an infinite amount of time after the past. This is the problem with infinity--it can't really exist. Because no matter how far back you go, you are still a finite distance from the present. "Infinity", in my opinion, is a mind-expanding mathematical concept describing nonsense.

A similar problem exists with the notion of "infinitismal." Theoretically, there are an infinite number of points between any two point, regarless of how close together they are. Therefore, to get from point A to point B we must traverse an infinite number of points. Since it takes some amount of time, however, small, to get from point A to the next point, and so on, along the infinite series of intermediate points, we can never possibly arrive at point B. However, we know this to be false--we CAN get from point A to point B.

So there is no example of "infinity" in nature. It exists only in our minds and in our mathematical equations. God created. And in doing so, there was a beginning--to time, space, and matter. Let the atheist show me a verifiable example of this notion of "infinity."

However...

What do you mean by dividing by infinity? Why is this required to describe a change in state at a moment in time?

TDT
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This quotation of coralville's (#16276, AF) really speaks to me.

< At the risk of being unintentionally insulting, I have to say that I don't think we are all that different. For many, perhaps most, decisions in life I try to be the objective and rational empiricist. Examples include when deciding what car to buy, where to live, what stocks to invest in. However, I find that for the most important choices in life, e.g., who to marry, who to be friends with, which career, what should be the foundation of my moral beliefs, I use a more subjective and intuitive process. I suspect most of you do as well. Which is why I ultimately don't understand why many here seem to believe that while a transcendental feeling of love is reason enough to pick a (hopefully) life-long mate, analogous inspiration is somehow intellectually insufficent for a belief in God. Just personal preference I suppose. >

The next to the last sentence is the heart of the matter in understanding atheists, IMHO. Or rather, why I don't understand them. I still enjoy that board---most of the time :-)

Rick, the glampig (and fan of coralville)
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That's a great quote, Rick. I find apologetics interesting, but ultimately unsatisfying. I've never met an argument on either side of the aisle that doesn't have its equally compelling counterpart.

Apologetics is more like sport than it is like evangelism. We Christians just love to see Ravi Zacharias make some atheist sweat, kind of like we love to see some Christian pop group make the big time. It's the same brand of motivation that has kept that mythological Jimi Hendrix quote alive all these years. "See! Even Hendrix knows that Phil Keaggy's the greatest! I must not be deluded!" It validates us.

I have no problem with a person being an atheist--all the lost are equal in my eyes. Whether you're Marilyn Manson or Oprah, either you're saved or you're not. Maybe that's why I found jail ministry so comfortable. I just saw the inmates like I would anyone else. It used to really shock me that some of my Christian bro's and sis's didn't.

The transcendental reality (versus Coralville's transcendental "feeling") of salvation changes all the rules, however. I do have a problem with a naive apologetics that expects stupidity or hypocrisy of the unsaved (not that I'm throwing rocks at Frindon, necessarily--I just didn't understand what he was trying to say. Nor did I recognize his argument).

TDT
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<<The change in state has to be measurable otherwise nothing happens. >>

Your logic is flawed with this statement.

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Question:
In the big bang theory, is there nay mention of the singularity ceasing to exist? If not then the amount of energy in the singularity could be infinite? Which could explode into an infinite number of universes?

.... ooops that is assuming there can be an infinite amount of anything else just substitute a number too big to calculate or imagine for the ininite amounts.... hmm how can you substitute a number too big to imagine? .... HMMMMM maybe that is why they call it infinite? (too large to define?)

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If you're saying that the finite amount of time since the big bang must equal the infinite time prior to the big bang then you're wrong. This point begs the question. Time, if infinite, stretches infinitely into the past, but the present is a moment that will continue for an infinite amount of time. Therefore, any point in history is a finite amount of time prior to the present, yet an infinite amount of time after the past. This is the problem with infinity--it can't really exist. Because no matter how far back you go, you are still a finite distance from the present. "Infinity", in my opinion, is a mind-expanding mathematical concept describing nonsense.



OK, I see you are confused and it probably is my fault so I'll try to make it clearer.

The equation is easy. Any number divided by infinity is naught.

In this equation it does not matter what the figures are except that on one side (the time part of the equation) it is infinity. That is how long the atom has supposedly existed (Remember for them God did not create it).
On the other side of the equation you have the universe. We are trying to find how much energy is going in to the change of state to make things happen. This energy is changing the state of the atom so that it will become the universe.
If you try to light a piece of coal, it will not light until sufficient heat, or energy has been applied. If you took that heat(calories) and divided by the time before the coal lit, you would find out how many calories per minute was being applied. You could say it takes so many calories per minute, to light the coal.
So what amount of energy was need to change the state of the primodial atom? You take the toal energy "e" which is a finite number since the universe is finite and divide by the time, infinity. Answer equals 0.
So, basically the equation does not work and the reason is because it would take another cause which can only be God.

Frindon
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<<The change in state has to be measurable otherwise nothing happens. >>

Your logic is flawed with this statement.


OK so tell me why?

Frindon

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Question:
In the big bang theory, is there nay mention of the singularity ceasing to exist? If not then the amount of energy in the singularity could be infinite? Which could explode into an infinite number of universes?

.... ooops that is assuming there can be an infinite amount of anything else just substitute a number too big to calculate or imagine for the ininite amounts.... hmm how can you substitute a number too big to imagine? .... HMMMMM maybe that is why they call it infinite? (too large to define?)


Two questions.

1. there big bang theory does not include anything other than a mass expansion of very hot material at enormous velocity.

2. Infinity is not a very large number it is hard to quantify. Infinity plus infinity is infinity. It is endless. That is why anything divided by infinity is nought. If something happens infinitely slowly, it actually does not happen at all.

Frindon
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Hi Frindon

Now you can put this logic, to any idea they can come up with for how the universe started. You will then arrive at the time when they call you names. They are not prepared to live by their own logic, so what are they.

Frindon


I do not believe in a atheist Fool board

cowbuyclown
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The equation is easy. Any number divided by infinity is naught.


but it seems logical that
infinity / infinity = 1
any defined number / infinity = infintesimle number (need a spell chk?)
infinity / any defined number = infinity
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TwinDeltaTandem,

< We Christians just love to see Ravi Zacharias make some atheist sweat >

Zacharias doesn't present a problem for these two atheists.

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/jeff_lowder/zacharias.html
http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/doug_krueger/colossal.html

The above links are from the following attachment. Only Christians possessing thick skin and great courage should scroll down on the following attachment to find their favorite Christian apologists taken apart by atheists.

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/theism/christianity/apologetics.html

Rick, the glampig (who believes personal experience beats reason any day)
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but it seems logical that
infinity / infinity = 1
any defined number / infinity = infintesimle number (need a spell chk?)
infinity / any defined number = infinity


No I'm sorry Lawrence it does become nothing, that is the nature of infinity. The reason is because it becomes infinitely small, and as infinity is unending, infinitely small is unbeginning.

Frindon

infinity / infinity = 1 - I'm not sure, it may be right.
infinity / any defined number = infinity That is definitely correct.
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Good night all, it's 11.43 pm and I have to go to church early. Small c makes church a building. When it's Church, its us.

Frindon
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<<No I'm sorry Lawrence it does become nothing, that is the nature of infinity. The reason is because it becomes infinitely small, and as infinity is unending, infinitely small is unbeginning.
>>

No you are incorrect it simply approximates zero. It is not zero. Zero cannot be calculated as a result of multiplication or division unless zero is already one of the numbers.

if
NUM1 / infinity = NUM2
multiply both sides by infinity
Num1 = NUM2 x infinity
then
NUM2 x infinity = NUM1

if
NUM1 / infinity = 0
multiply both sides by infinity
Num1 = 0

If NUM1 = 0 then my equation is still true, yours is true only if NUM1 is = 0. MINE is still true regardless of the value of NUM1.
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If NUM1 = 0 then my equation is still true, yours is true only if NUM1 is = 0. MINE is still true regardless of the value of NUM1

I find it hard to remember what others post, but I remember who posted that one equals two. It was me and it depended on people not realising that any number times nought is nought.

Frindon

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if
NUM1 / infinity = NUM2
multiply both sides by infinity
Num1 = NUM2 x infinity
then
NUM2 x infinity = NUM1

if
NUM1 / infinity = 0
multiply both sides by infinity
Num1 = 0


Are you guys making this stuff up? I'm no math genius, but I took ALL the math in college. I've never been exposed to anything like "multiply both sides by infinity." "Infinity" is a mathematical concept--it's not a number. This is kind of like saying "multiply both sides by world peace." A correct statement would be, at least as I understand it,...

x/infinity->0 (the quantity "x divided by "infinity" approaches zero.") In other words, if you could divide a number by infinity, the result would be infinitly close to zero. Our ability to understand the result of this equation is limited by our ability to understand the conceptual notion of infinity. However, since infinity is only a conceptual notion, the equation itself is only conceptual and no real result.

This is not to say that the notion of infinity has no value in real mathematics. For example, the fundamental building block of calculus is the notion of a differential equation. A differential equation is used to measure a rate of change at a given point. To do this, it measures the difference between two points that are infinitly close to one another.

For example, if a car's position with respect to its garage is described by the equation

x=5+1.01t(squared)

where "x" is the distance from the garage, and "t" is the amount of time elapsed...

Calculus takes two points along the path of the car, infinitely close to one another, and tells us how fast the car is accelerating (I'm a little foggy on the mechanics of differential equations, but I believe the car is accelerating at a rate of 7.02 meters per second squared) (Gimme a break--I majored in math, science, and engineering 14 years ago!).

Are there really two points along the route of the car that are infinitely close to one another? No, this is merely a mathematical concept that consistently yeilds essentially accurate results in a Newtonian construct of the world. (Relativity brings about a different perspect from which to view the motion of the car).

Likewise, there are times when an equation such as

1/x approaches zero as "x" approaches infinity

is useful. That doesn't mean that it represents physical reality--it merely approximates reality, or communicates a useful concept.

TDT
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Rick,

What is a glampig, anyway? I know it has something to do with Frecs (I miss her)...

I checked out the first site criticizing Zacharias, and found it pretty weak.

Disclosure: I'm not a huge Ravi Zacharias fan. My fav apologist du jour is J. P. Moreland. I find him much more scholarly, and less of a grandstander. My remarks earlier in this thread had more to do with his fans than with him. In fact, I'm critical of the response that he and others like him bring about from the evangelical community. However...

Lowder looks at the three main sections of "Can Man Live without God," and critiques them separately. He starts out by making general remarks about Z's attitude, which I agree is very arrogant.

(By the way, the book's organized like this:

Part I: The Antitheistic Worldview

(i) Morality
(ii) Argument from Evil
(iii) Pascal's Wager

Part II: "What Gives Life Meaning?"

Part III: "Who Is Jesus (And Why Does It Matter?)"

(i) The sinful nature of man
(ii) The nature of reality
(iii) The nature of history)

There's no new ground here. Z says that no objective moral reality can exist unless someone with the authority that only God can have created it. Lowder argues thusly...

"Third, if there is no ultimate purpose to life (as atheism seems to imply), would that rule out the possibility of a coherent theory of ethics? Zacharias asserts that a "reasonable and coherent ethical theory" is impossible if life has no ultimate purpose (p. 39). However, Zacharias never explains why life must have an ultimate purpose in order for ethics to be "reasonable and coherent." For example, why can't an act be right or wrong according to whether it promotes the purposes or goals or preferences of humans and other animals?[10] Larry Arnhart, in his recent book Darwinian Natural Right, defends such a view: he argues that an action is right or wrong according to whether it promotes the biologically-based needs of humans.[11] Whether Arnhart's theory is correct remains to be seen; however, Zacharias needs to consider such ideas before declaring that atheistic ethics are incoherent."

This is circular, and it fails to argue Z's basic point. It's circular in that he is stating "an act can be right or wrong because we say it is right or wrong." In stating this, he is only validating Z's critique of the atheistic construct of morality. Z's point is that morality, for the atheist, is subjective. Lowder also seems to argue that morality might objectively exist, but we don't know what it is yet ("Whether Arnhart's theory is correct remains to be seen"--how does it remaing to be seen? What does he mean by "correct"?)

Lowder's critique of Pascal's wager is dead on, by the way. I cringe when people throw Pascal's wager out there. Z argues that atheism has no recourse if it's wrong. Lowder argues that Christians have no recourse if they're wrong. He is correct. Pascal's wager only makes sense to Christians. It's like saying "homosexuality is wrong because the Bible says so." So what? Unless I accept the Bible, why would I care?

The objectives from the AE are just a bad.

"Zacharias presents two objections to AE. First, he suggests that it is incoherent for atheists to appeal to evil as evidence of the nonexistence of God since objective moral evil could not exist if there is no God (p. 48). Yet, as I argued above, objective moral values are logically possible even if there is no God. And the atheist need not postulate the existence of objective moral values in order to use evil as evidence for atheism. An argument from evil might not contain any normative premises; the atheist could appeal to God's loving nature rather than God's moral nature.[13] For example:


(1) If a perfectly loving God were to exist, then he would not permit the occurrence of any unjustifiable suffering.
(2) But unjustifiable suffering does occur.
(3) Therefore, a perfectly loving God does not exist."

First of all, he did not argue that objective moral values are possible in the absence of God. He merely argued that atheists can perhaps agree on values that help to promote their objectives. Such values will inevitably conflict with others' objectives. Although definable, they are not objective in Z's use of the word.

Then let's look at his non-normative AE, step 2:

"But unjustifiable suffering does occur."

For Lowder's logic to have any bearing on Z's thesis, the meanings of his terms must be consistent with Z's. For example, Frindon might know an internationally ranked powerlifter who lives in a three-story mansion with a broken elevator. Frindon might say "Lars has a faulty lift." (meaning his elevator is broken.) Lowder might respond..

(1)Power lifters don't achieve international ranking with faulty lifts
(2)Lars is an internationally ranked powerlifter
(3)Lars doesn't have a faulty lift

But Lowder is talking about something completely different from Frindon. Therefore, his logic, though internally accurate, fails to have any bearing on Frindon's argument.

The same is true here.

From Z's perspective (and yours and mine)...

(1) If a perfectly loving God were to exist, then he would not permit the occurrence of any unjustifiable suffering.
(2) Suffering does occur, but its existence is explained in the Bible in such a way that reveals a just and loving God of grace.
(3) Therefore, suffering is just, and its existence does nothing to undermine the claims of orthodox Christianity.

(This is where Calvinism completely falls apart, in my mind...but I don't understand Calvinism well enough to get into it with you wacky Calvinists, so just back off!<G>)

Here's what Z is saying, which Lowder either misses or refuses to take head-on...

Atheists look at evil and say "that's evil." In doing so, they reveal the fact that we all know what evil is. Evil is a fundamental truth. From an acceptance of the reality of evil, an argument for objective reality springs. However, this whole process eventually brings us back to a metaphysical problem having to do with the source of the reality of evil. Why is it so that evil is evil? So they get into this circular problem of saying that evil is evil, wrong is wrong, right is right, because it benefits us to say so. Well, ok, but this requires evil to be in the eye of the beholder. Therefore, our "objective" societal morality is the product of some democratic process other than true objective reality. That's fine, but then they use this subjective construct of evil to attack Christianity. But, since the fundamental "authority" of the atheist argument is this societal moral democratic force, the atheistic AE boils down to this...

1) If God were to exist, and if he were to behave in a way that we mostly agree to be perfectly loving, then he would not allow occurances that the majority of us consider to be manifestations of unjustifiable suffering.
(2) But most of us would agree that unjustifiable suffering does occur.
(3) Therefore, a perfectly loving God does not exist."

The problem is obvious. It is true that a perfectly loving God does not exist, as far as the atheist is concerned. After all, the atheist is an atheist!!! The atheistic argument boils down to

God doesn't exists because we all agree he doesn't!

(And so does the Christian argument--but in my opinion, the circumstantial evidence for existence of God far far far FAR out-weighs the circumstantial evidence for his non-existence. "so that we are without excuse"

So...

the fundamental difference between Z's argument and Lowder's is that Z cricizes the metaphysical underpinnings of atheism. He points out the differences between the theistic and atheistic worldviews (to the extent that a worldview deals with the existence of God). The atheistic couter to this, the best they can do, seems to be "well, yeah, but we don't believe in God." Well, yahh!

TDT

So don't be so quick to throw in the towel, Rick!
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x/infinity->0 (the quantity "x divided by "infinity" approaches zero.") In other words, if you could divide a number by infinity, the result would be infinitly close to zero. Our ability to understand the result of this equation is limited by our ability to understand the conceptual notion of infinity. However, since infinity is only a conceptual notion, the equation itself is only conceptual and no real result.


You do not have to understand infinity to be able to use it logically. Infinity is unending like God, no end to His goodness and power. So you are right when you say divide a finite number by infinity and the result tends towards zero in such a way as to become zero. It is like in economics when the state inserts $1million into the economy it goes round and around and multiplies up each time adding a little less but in the end it becomes $2million.

While you say the concept is just that, a concept with no practical application, it does in this case put forward by atheists. I am not saying it is right, but it is their hypothesis to get round God. It is just that it does not work, because of the maths as laid out. The steady state universe did not have this problem, but that was discredited by scientist because it did not fit the pattern they were discovering.

It really upsets atheists. No you cannot prove the existance of God but you can discredit any other alternative.

Frindon
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So you are right when you say divide a finite number by infinity and the result tends towards zero in such a way as to become zero.

I never said "as to become zero." On the contrary, it never becomes zero. That was my whole point, and the reason your logic is wrong.

While you say the concept is just that, a concept with no practical application, it does in this case put forward by atheists.

I didn't say it was a concept with no practical application. On the contrary, I said that infinity was a concept with practical application despite its having no observable existence in nature. I can't decipher what you mean by "in this case put forward by atheists."

I'm still baffled as to what you are trying to say with respect to changes in state and the energy level required to bring about a singularity such as the big bang. Therefore, when you say...

It is just that it does not work, because of the maths as laid out.

...I'm just not following you. The maths laid out are in error (or at least the application of the concept of infinity is in error). But not only that, I can't even determine what the maths are.

You seem to be saying this.

"Atheists would have us believe that there existed prior to the big band a single atom. And at the time of the big bang this single atom exploded into what is now the known universe. For that to have happened, the integral of the energy contained in the primordial atom over an infinite period of time has to equal the total energy contained in the universe since the big bang."

Is that the jist of it?

If so, this is hogwash! Here's your equation (I think):

(Total Energy of the Primordial Atom)*(infinity)=(Total Energy of the Universe after the Big Bang)*(Time since the Big Bang).

Energy just doesn't work that way. Total energy is the sum of kinetic and potential energy. Total energy is measured at a specific point in time. At any other specific point in time, the total energy at that point must equal the total energy for the previous point. Law of conservation of energy.

You are saying that the product of energy over time must equal the product of energy over another (in this case arbitrary)unequal period of time. Then you're dividing the right half of the equation by infinity, which doesn't work mathematically, to show that the meaningless equation is meaningless. Total energy since the big bang might equal total energy for the same period of time prior to the big bang, but you can't extend this to infinity in the past.

Here's the other thing. Do atheists really believe that there was a single atom prior to the big bang? Why? I've never ever heard anyone espouse this theory. Scientists generally shrug their shoulders when asked what existed prior to the big bang. By its very nature, the laws of physics collapse at the singularity. Hawking explicitly deals with this, saying in effect that the regression of cause and effect into the past comes to a screaming halt at the moment of the big bang.

On the road to knowledge of the universe, we travel back to the big bang and are met with a sign placed there by God which reads, "OK, smart guy, now what are you going to believe in?"

Some people say "I don't know." There's nothing wrong with this. If you had asked a 12th century intellectual what makes the sun move through the sky, an astute person would have said "I don't know." Hawking, et al, are going one further by saying "I don't know, nor do I believe we can know." Again, there's nothing wrong with that.

Others say that the earth and all the universe was created about 6,000 years ago by God. This is despite the mountains and mountains of evidence all around us suggesting that the earth is much older.

Others say that God created the heavens and the earth, and that we can actually look back in time with the Hubble telescope and see the residual radiation from the moment in history at which God spoke "let there be light." That there remain mysteries to be answered, but that there are no inconsistencies between the visible universe and the nature of God as revealed by the scriptures.

Of course, there are many other explanations that are incidental to our discussion. I'm sure the Taliban must have their own unique view.

Do I simply miss your point? You missed mine, perhaps I missed yours. I've tried to read your posts as carefully as possible. Have you used the same care in reading mine? In reading the posts on the AF board? You seem to have a clear vision in your mind of an argument that you'd like to make. Can you communicate it clearly enough that I can understand it? Have you questioned it?

TDT
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So you are right when you say divide a finite number by infinity and the result tends towards zero in such a way as to become zero.

I never said "as to become zero." On the contrary, it never becomes zero. That was my whole point, and the reason your logic is wrong.


One point at a time

Take the amount you consider is not zero. Multipy it be infinity and what do you get - infinity. Divide infinity by 2, what do you get infinity. There is no figure greater than zero that multiplied by infinity is not infinity. So when I said it tends towards zero and to all intents and purposes is zero, it is zero.

If you like I will get my brother in law, who is a doctor of maths, to explain it.

Now lets see what other points you made.

Frindon

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"Atheists would have us believe that there existed prior to the big band a single atom. And at the time of the big bang this single atom exploded into what is now the known universe. For that to have happened, the integral of the energy contained in the primordial atom over an infinite period of time has to equal the total energy contained in the universe since the big bang."

Is that the jist of it?


Not quite. This primodial atom cannot just explode, there has to be a change taking place within it. It reaches critical level and explodes. So how long was it building up to critical mass. Since there is no other influence, it has to be infinity, because that is how old the atom is supposely. So the build up to explosion point has to be an infinity of time and that multiplied by any number, even .1 of a calory, would be infinity. Or looking at it from the other viewpoint how much energy was required to change the state of the atom per day. e/infinity. Both ways the maths is illogical and therefore not a possible way of the universe coming into existance. Another way of looking at it is you cannot have an infinity of energy in a finite universe.

Frindon
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Energy just doesn't work that way. Total energy is the sum of kinetic and potential energy. Total energy is measured at a specific point in time. At any other specific point in time, the total energy at that point must equal the total energy for the previous point. Law of conservation of energy.



Exactly, you cannot insert infinite energy into a finite universe.

Frindon

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Take the amount you consider is not zero. Multipy it be infinity and what do you get - infinity. Divide infinity by 2, what do you get infinity. There is no figure greater than zero that multiplied by infinity is not infinity. So when I said it tends towards zero and to all intents and purposes is zero, it is zero.

You are correct in that if I add anything to infinity, I still have infinity. This, however, is an argument against the actual (as opposed to conceptual) reality of infinity. (If I add three to any real number, I get a different number which is three greater. However, if I add three to infinity I don't get anything different--I still get infinity. Therefore, "infinity" is something other than a real number).

With this in mind (the behavior of infinity when it is added to), you then say "when I said it tends towards zero and to all intents and purposes is zero, it is zero." However, adding to infinity has nothing to do with dividing by infinity. In fact, you cannot divide by infinity. You can only divide by a number which conceptually approaches infinity. And the result is a number which approaches zero. Approaching, yet never reaching zero. This may in some cases "for all intents and purposes" be the same as zero, but it is not zero.

You can move on to other points if you like, but I'm absolutely not convinced with your argument on this point. I'd love for your brother in law, the doctor of maths, to explain how a number divided by infinity equals zero. I'll bet you a pound he says, "no, it approaches zero, but most certainly is not zero."

TDT

If you like I will get my brother in law, who is a doctor of maths, to explain it.
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You are saying that the product of energy over time must equal the product of energy over another (in this case arbitrary)unequal period of time. Then you're dividing the right half of the equation by infinity, which doesn't work mathematically, to show that the meaningless equation is meaningless. Total energy since the big bang might equal total energy for the same period of time prior to the big bang, but you can't extend this to infinity in the past.

What I am saying is that any amount of energy expended like latent heat, over an infinity of time is infinite energy. There is no other influence on the atom and the influence not being sentient is at a constant rate.

Frindon

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Since there is no other influence, it has to be infinity, because that is how old the atom is supposely. So the build up to explosion point has to be an infinity of time and that multiplied by any number, even .1 of a calory, would be infinity. Or looking at it from the other viewpoint how much energy was required to change the state of the atom per day. e/infinity. Both ways the maths is illogical and therefore not a possible way of the universe coming into existance. Another way of looking at it is you cannot have an infinity of energy in a finite universe.

You must not have read my post. Or else one of us is using bad science.

There is no theory that I'm aware of that claims to know what the universe looked like prior to the big bang. But even if there is a theory that assumes there was a single atom out there (what kind of atom was it? Carbon? Helium? Hydrogen? Just curious)...

The potential and kinetic energy contained in that single atom just prior to the big bang has to equal the potential and kinetic energy contained in the universe today. That simply doesn't mean that the total energy has to be multiplied by infinity prior to the big bang. There could have been a series of big bangs leading up to our big bang. The succession of big bangs could stretch into infinity (if one accepts infinity as a reality).

I guess you're saying that there had to be a cause. I agree. However, your application of some sort of math equation requiring an infinite post-bang universe doesn't make any mathematical sense at all. I can only guess that you read something like this somewhere that was either terribly wrong or that you've forgotten some critical element.

TDT
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Exactly, you cannot insert infinite energy into a finite universe.

Arrgh.

I just got the least educated guy in the room to read your post then read my post. He understands my post but doesn't understand your post. Where is this infinite energy coming from? Why is it required?

TDT
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Here's the other thing. Do atheists really believe that there was a single atom prior to the big bang? Why? I've never ever heard anyone espouse this theory. Scientists generally shrug their shoulders when asked what existed prior to the big bang. By its very nature, the laws of physics collapse at the singularity. Hawking explicitly deals with this, saying in effect that the regression of cause and effect into the past comes to a screaming halt at the moment of the big bang.
They will tell you all matter came from one point, a point of condenced matter, the primodial atom. To believe anything else is to admit God exists. Nothing comes from nothing.
On the road to knowledge of the universe, we travel back to the big bang and are met with a sign placed there by God which reads, "OK, smart guy, now what are you going to believe in?"

Some people say "I don't know." There's nothing wrong with this. If you had asked a 12th century intellectual what makes the sun move through the sky, an astute person would have said "I don't know." Hawking, et al, are going one further by saying "I don't know, nor do I believe we can know." Again, there's nothing wrong with that.
I listened to three Cambridge astro physicists and they all though there was a primodial atom, although they shied away from discussion the point I am making.
Others say that the earth and all the universe was created about 6,000 years ago by God. This is despite the mountains and mountains of evidence all around us suggesting that the earth is much older.
I'm not a fundy and I don't have much patience with them.
Others say that God created the heavens and the earth, and that we can actually look back in time with the Hubble telescope and see the residual radiation from the moment in history at which God spoke "let there be light." That there remain mysteries to be answered, but that there are no inconsistencies between the visible universe and the nature of God as revealed by the scriptures.

Of course, there are many other explanations that are incidental to our discussion. I'm sure the Taliban must have their own unique view.

Do I simply miss your point? You missed mine, perhaps I missed yours. I've tried to read your posts as carefully as possible. Have you used the same care in reading mine? In reading the posts on the AF board? You seem to have a clear vision in your mind of an argument that you'd like to make. Can you communicate it clearly enough that I can understand it? Have you questioned it?

TDT


No, I didn't miss yours. I do find long posts hard to deal with but then thats me, and this is you. Who can say my preference is right.

Frindon

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What I am saying is that any amount of energy expended like latent heat, over an infinity of time is infinite energy. There is no other influence on the atom and the influence not being sentient is at a constant rate.

Still not making sense to me. I'm missing your assumptions. Are you saying that before the big bang there must have been a single Cesium atom that was under the influence of a cosmic bunson burner that heated the atom at a constant rate over an infinite period of time?

Nope, that's just not true.

If there were an outside influence on your original atom, what was that influence? And if there were an outside influence, then your closed system is not open. There has been no change in total energy, only a transfer of energy from one subsystem to another. And again, you've said nothing to prove that the Argon atom had to be resting in its state since infinity past.

TDT
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With this in mind (the behavior of infinity when it is added to), you then say "when I said it tends towards zero and to all intents and purposes is zero, it is zero." However, adding to infinity has nothing to do with dividing by infinity. In fact, you cannot divide by infinity. You can only divide by a number which conceptually approaches infinity. And the result is a number which approaches zero. Approaching, yet never reaching zero. This may in some cases "for all intents and purposes" be the same as zero, but it is not zero.



You can divide by infinity but I think what you are saying is that in this universe that is not a practical proposition, since infinity does not exist. But, what I am considering is an atom that has existed forever without any influences on it, since any influence would be God. It's age is infinity, practically, since it has been there forever, if you believe what is being put forward.

Frindon
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Sorry I will have to go now, I'll come back later.

Frindon
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They will tell you all matter came from one point, a point of condenced matter, the primodial atom. To believe anything else is to admit God exists. Nothing comes from nothing.

I listened to three Cambridge astro physicists and they all though there was a primodial atom, although they shied away from discussion the point I am making.

OK, I see where you're getting this stuff. Yes, people who are dealing with the history of the universe believe that the universe as it exists today began at a specific moment in time, at the big bang, from a singularity. Your guys might have used the word "atom," but they didn't really mean "atom."

But you're going on to say that this singularity existed prior to the moment of the big bang, and that energy was applied to it over an infinite period of time. This is where I believe you're making a wrong assumption.

When Astrophysicists discuss the singularity from which the big bang proceeded, they aren't really talking about an atom the way you seem to be. The singularity is something that they don't really understand, but which is the ultimate reduction of the big bang to its starting point. It was a transient state. It was a cosmic ghost. There is no agreement as to what rules would have applied during the moment of its existence, or whether it can even be discussed using such terms as "rules" or "moment."

Does this present problems? You betcha. But all I'm trying to say is that your argument doesn't challenge the assertion that the universe began at a singularity. You're offering an explanation of what the universe might have looked like prior to the big bang, then you're explaining that your own explanation doesn't make sense because it would require the universe to be infinite. Although I don't agree that your explanation would require the universe to be infinite, I mostly don't agree that your explanation is consistent with any theory of the universe I've ever heard.


I'm not a fundy and I don't have much patience with them.

I didn't think you were.

TDT
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You can divide by infinity but I think what you are saying is that in this universe that is not a practical proposition, since infinity does not exist. But, what I am considering is an atom that has existed forever without any influences on it, since any influence would be God. It's age is infinity, practically, since it has been there forever, if you believe what is being put forward.

http://www.c3.lanl.gov/mega-math/gloss/infinity/infinity.html

http://mathforum.org/dr.math/problems/divide.zero.html


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Hi everyone.

Frindon was explaining his views on the Atheist Board, but abandoned the fight due to being showered with rotten vegetables.

Unfortunately, this occurred just as he and I were beginning to have an interesting discussion about the implications of his beliefs.

Frindon, I invite you to return to AF and respond to my msg 16857 at http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=16674149.

Unfortunately I can't guarantee your polite treatment, but I think that if we simply ignore posters who react negatively to you we can continue to have a productive discussion.

Also, I am going to respond to frindon's statement:

They will tell you all matter came from one point, a point of condenced matter, the primodial atom. To believe anything else is to admit God exists. Nothing comes from nothing.

I've never told anyone that all matter came from one point :-). The primordial atom theory seems nice but I haven't ever seen this pushed by anyone - in fact, the things I've read about the origins of the universe seem to say that have no knowledge of what happened at 'T-1'. I have no belief as to whether something can come from nothing outside the boundaries of our time and space and I don't this is an admission that God exists.

-mapletree
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Mapletree,

If you're really interested in Christian responses to your questions, there are a number of good books on the subject. There are probably an even greater number of really lousy books on the subject. I don't know what Findon's answers will be, but I do know there are people in the world who can provide rational ones.

Nobody will provide an answer that is entirely compelling or even satisfying.

Something happened to me that I just can't share with anybody else--Christ changed me. Turned me absolutely inside out. It changed my entire perspective on reality. I went from staunch cynic to complete believer in about a blink of an eye. There are many, many others I've met who have had an identical experience--but unfortunately I can't really explain to you what it all means. Suddenly the lights came on, and I looked around and said, "Oh, NOW I get it!"

Christian apologetics--GOOD Christian apologetics--doesn't seek to prove to you or anyone that God exists. It merely shows that God might exist. In my opinion, there are strong apologetic arguments that show God probably exists--even beyond a reasonable doubt (in fact, I think they would be considered "proof" if it weren't for the fact that which they seek to promote is such an outrageous idea!). But nothing will prove God exists to you or anyone.

I'd suggest reading "Scaling the Secular City" by J. P. Moreland...

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0801062225/qid=1013374317/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_3_1/103-4392540-8843000

There are surely better books, but this is the best I've read, and I've read quite a few on the subject. If you do read it, you can expect to be able to counter most if not all his arguments. So can I. But if you read it with the going-in position that God might actually exist, perhaps you will find rational reasons to support this notion. Or maybe not. But you will definitely find a more intellectually satisfying apologetic than Frindon or I are capable of presenting.

Cheers,

John McCurdy
aka TwinDeltaTandem
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If you're really interested in Christian responses to your questions, there are a number of good books on the subject. There are probably an even greater number of really lousy books on the subject. I don't know what Findon's answers will be, but I do know there are people in the world who can provide rational ones.


Well, I'm not really interested in Christian responses to those questions; I'm interested in Frindon's responses, as they are questions that were raised by his arguments. I find his arguments to be inconsistent. I would like to convince him of this; or conversely, to be convinced by him that he is correct.

Christian apologetics--GOOD Christian apologetics--doesn't seek to prove to you or anyone that God exists. It merely shows that God might exist. In my opinion, there are strong apologetic arguments that show God probably exists--even beyond a reasonable doubt (in fact, I think they would be considered "proof" if it weren't for the fact that which they seek to promote is such an outrageous idea!). But nothing will prove God exists to you or anyone.

No objection. God might exist. It would be nice.

-mapletree


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TDT said, "I'm still baffled as to what you are trying to say with respect to changes in state and the energy level required to bring about a singularity such as the big bang. Therefore, when you say...

It is just that it does not work, because of the maths as laid out.

...I'm just not following you. The maths laid out are in error (or at least the application of the concept of infinity is in error). But not only that, I can't even determine what the maths are.

You seem to be saying this.

"Atheists would have us believe that there existed prior to the big band a single atom. And at the time of the big bang this single atom exploded into what is now the known universe. For that to have happened, the integral of the energy contained in the primordial atom over an infinite period of time has to equal the total energy contained in the universe since the big bang."

Is that the jist of it?

If so, this is hogwash! Here's your equation (I think)..."



All I can say in response to this post is:

(1) I must need a taller computer chair (because this is way over my head,) and
(2) I'm glad you're back and posting, TDT. You make my brain strain in a good way! I hope Frindon is as appreciative of your good-natured and well-intentioned challenges to his position. His debating position against the atheists is strengthed by it.

Urban
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"but it seems logical that
infinity / infinity = 1
any defined number / infinity = infintesimle number (need a spell chk?)
infinity / any defined number = infinity "

Logically extending the properties of finite numbers to transfinite numbers has no justification. In math, infinity is never used as a number. At most it is used as a limit that something grows towards but never reaches. But even in that format your first statement, which is perhaps intuitively "logical", is dead wrong.

Here are some expressions and their limits as x is allowed to grow without bound:

x/x limit=1

x/2x limit=1/2

2x/x limit=2

x^2/x no limit; expression grows without bound

x/x^2 limit=0

Note that all of the expressions, with x growing without bound, tend towards infinity over infinity, yet their limits vary quite a bit.

God bless,

Rich
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"If NUM1 = 0 then my equation is still true, yours is true only if NUM1 is = 0. MINE is still true regardless of the value of NUM1."

Stop, stop!! You're both doing violence to mathematics. Infinity is not a number and can not be used in algebraic manipulations as if it were one. Stick to what you know, the scriptures. Stay out of math unless you are willing to learn how to do it right. Otherwise all you do is amuse the athiests and lose your own credibility. Please.

This kind of manipulation is routinely used to show students the folly of blindly manipulating symbols without having understanding.

For example:

a=1
a^2=a
a^2-a=0
a(a-1)=0

divide both sides by a-1

a=0

but we started with a=1 so we have "proved" that 1=0.

Infinity is a slippery subject, and when discussed mathematically must be the subject of careful definitions and a proper understanding of the limitations of notation.


God bless,

Rich (BA, Mathematic, 1976)
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You math guys make my head hurt. No only that, but we're so way off my original topic, it's not even funny!

*ha ha*

Urban
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You math guys make my head hurt. No only that, but we're so way off my original topic, it's not even funny!

*ha ha*


Heck you ought to be cowbuyclown. I'm still tryin to figger where the white goes when snow melts.No one told me I had to be smart to get into Heaven. Shucks I was banking on the "meek theroy"

cowbuyclown


P.S.cowculas? fizixs? really? mercy!

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No one told me I had to be smart to get into Heaven. Shucks I was banking on the "meek theroy"

Believe me, if you started getting into a discussion here about your areas of expertise it would be Greek to me. (Not that math is my area of expertise, but I have been exposed to quite a bit of it.)

TDT

(Who believes the Bible tells us we should make the most of what we're blessed with, and not try to be something we're not)
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All I can say in response to this post is:

(1) I must need a taller computer chair (because this is way over my head,) and
(2) I'm glad you're back and posting, TDT. You make my brain strain in a good way! I hope Frindon is as appreciative of your good-natured and well-intentioned challenges to his position. His debating position against the atheists is strengthed by it.

Urban


Of course, TDT is wellcome to debate, as are you and the AF. Debate I enjoy, being called a doo doo head I don't. There is a good post over on AF right now under the title of Hubble. I can see that the person posting has not seen the impact of what he posted but it is good.

Frindon

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x/x limit=1

x/2x limit=1/2

2x/x limit=2

x^2/x no limit; expression grows without bound

x/x^2 limit=0

Rich,
if x is infinity, then two times infinity is still infinity. So infinity divided by two times infinity is still 1.

Frindon
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Frindon,

You can't use infinity like a number. I'm not going to go into this anymore today (and the crowd goes wild!). But perhaps you'd like to spend a little time learning about the use of transfinites in equations. That way when you post this stuff on the AF board you'll get more than arrogant smiles and rolling eyes.

TDT
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I swear this thread is now more complicated than the GMAT's.


:-)Charlie
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TwinDeltaTandem,

< What is a glampig, anyway? >

A while back, there were so many Ricks and Richs on this board that it caused confusion. Our youngest son had a band called, "Glamour Pig" and I ripped of the name from that band. It figured "glampig" would not be easily confused with ANYTHING. Their band released one CD, "Jehovah's Waitress" and broke up. They are currently attempting another run in Austin but may change the band's name.

< Disclosure: I'm not a huge Ravi Zacharias fan. My fav apologist du jour is J. P. Moreland. I find him much more scholarly, and less of a grandstander. >

Since you like Moreland, try Stanley Jaki and John Polkinghorne. They are a must read for anyone who appreciates science. If the atheists would allow themselves to read these two, they would be well rewarded just for the change of view.

< (This is where Calvinism completely falls apart, in my mind...but I don't understand Calvinism well enough to get into it with you wacky Calvinists, so just back off!<G>) >

LOL! Despite what SOME Calvinists claim, we ALL see through the glass darkly. Reformata sed Semper Reformanda: Reformed and Always Being Reformed. May all Christians grow together in God's amazing grace!

< So don't be so quick to throw in the towel, Rick! >

Not me. I'm just stretching.

Rick, the grateful glampig









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Believe me, if you started getting into a discussion here about your areas of expertise it would be Greek to me.

You mean they don't teach you animal husbandry in the Air Force? Imagine!
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but it seems logical that
infinity / infinity = 1


Believe it or not set theory proves that there are an infinity number of infinite numbers.

The number of integers is the smallest infinity, the number is called Aleph-naught. The number of members of the superset of the set of integers is called Aleph-one and it can be proven that Aleph-one is greater than aleph-naught.

It has also been proven that the number of real numbers between zero and one (called c) is greater than Aleph-naught and it suspected but not proven that c is the same as Aleph-one.

The rules of artihmetic break down when manipulating Aleph numbers.

Infinities of infinities!

I think this path will not prove fruitful in showing evidence of the creation but then I think it is one of those things we are meant to understand through the eye of faith.

Randall
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No you are incorrect it simply approximates zero

Arithmetic manipulation of an infinite quantity is meaningless.
It is meaningful to say that the limit of 1 divided by x is zero as x approaches infinity.

So in a certain way it is correct to say that 1 divided by infinity is zero.

Randall
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"No you are incorrect it simply approximates zero

<<Arithmetic manipulation of an infinite quantity is meaningless.
It is meaningful to say that the limit of 1 divided by x is zero as x approaches infinity.

So in a certain way it is correct to say that 1 divided by infinity is zero.>>"


Wow. And I always thought that little button on the lower left side of my calculator was zero. Now I know that when I push it with my finger, I am dividing one by infinity! Cool! I can hear me now in my next math homework session with my 11 year old: "Just hit the ol' "one-divided-by-infinity button, kid."

{;~ )

Urban, the mathematically-impaired
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Yes TDT

(Who believes the Bible tells us we should make the most of what we're blessed with, and not try to be something we're not)

I often ponder,how it came to pass one person was born to be one thing another person something else in a different place and time.Kind of like your infinity discussion,and the Bible its self I suppose.Seems it has a customized message for all who read God's Word.

Believing all people are created by God in His image... and a infinite number of images.Something my finite mind cannot grasp.Yet though I do not understand,I do accept. Thanks be to God.

Your friend cowbuyclown

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CBC my brother said, "I often ponder,how it came to pass one person was born to be one thing another person something else in a different place and time."

and

"...and the Bible its self I suppose. Seems it has a customized message for all who read God's Word."

Then here's your custom message, brother CBC, saying exactly what you just said, all courtesy of Paul's first letter to the Corinthians:

http://bible.gospelcom.net/cgi-bin/bible?passage=1COR+12:4-12&language=english&version=NKJV&showfn=off&showxref=off


Your brother in Christ,
Urban
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"if x is infinity, then two times infinity is still infinity. So infinity divided by two times infinity is still 1."

There is no such number as infinity.

So your statement that 2 times infinity equal infinity is a statement that has no mathematical meaning and is therefore simply nonsense. What we can ask is what is the limit of x/2x as x grows without bound.

Let's call x/2x y. Consider that if x =1 then y=1/2. If x=1000 then y=1/2. if x=1,000,000 then y=1/2. As x grows without bound, y=1/2.

Try the same exercise with y=2x/x. Fo any non-zero x, y=2 and as x grows without bound y is always 2.

Now look at y=x/x^2. If x=1 then y=1. But if x=1000 the y=.001. If x=1,000,000 then y=.000001. As x grows without bound y goes to 0.

Now try y=x^2/x. At x=1, y=1. At x=1,000, y=1,000. At x=1,000,000, y=1,000,000. As x grows without bound y grows without bound.

Infinity is not a number and cannot be treated as a number. Intuition is a poor guide to understanding infinity, and the behavior of finite mumbers is an even worse guide. If you want to discuss it in an intelligent way you have to learn the math. Check it out with your doctor of math relative. I'm sure he will ratify what I have said above, as the above is all covered in any pre-calculus course.

To show how poor a guide intuition is when it comes to infinity consider the lines made by an underscore and a double underscore ,i.e., "_" and "__". Intuitively one might think that there are twice as many points in the double underscore than in the single underscore. Not so, there are exactly the same number of points in both. In fact I claim, and can prove, that there are exactly the same number of points in that little single underscore as there are in a straight line running between the exact centers of New York and London.

God bless,

Rich
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Rick, the glampig (with CF, AF, and CaF boards subscribed)
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Hi Rick!

What is the CaF board?

Becky
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beckyz51,

< What is the CaF board? >

Catholic Fools.

Rick, the glampig
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