Expanding Universe

18 Sept ’14 ~Question of the Day~ Expanding Universe

We know the universe is expanding, but what is it expanding into?
Is it squeezing into something else and making that contract, or is the universe just venturing into nothingness?

Interesting question.
Unfortunately the rules of this universe seem to be such that they don’t allow us to have any information about that.
So not a lot of point speculating about things we can never test, when there is so much that needs doing here and now.

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I don’t significantly disagree with anything Brian said, and I happily bow to his superior knowledge in this field.

Very well said Brian!

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Thank you for a good LOL.

For me, the major confusion that most people have is around the idea of “facts”.

Facts are not hard things. All facts have at least two major sets of distribution functions associated with them.

Facts have one set of functions that define the environment in which measurements have been taken – that environment will have characteristic ranges or parameters like relative speed, temperature, magnetic flux, electric flux, spatial curvature (gravity), etc; and each of those parameters will have probability as well as distribution functions.
The other set of functions relates to the measurements themselves. These will end up with probability functions that result from all the possible sources of error that can be identified, and another unmeasurable general uncertainty coming from factors that may be present that we are not yet aware of.
Thus we can come to a measure of confidence about measures in particular environments, that we give a shorthand of “facts”.

In some circumstances we can use very simple models with very good accuracy. We can build houses to tolerances of less than 1mm by using a model of the world that assumes the earth is flat. The difference between flat earth and round earth at the scale of a house is a very tiny fraction of a millimetre – too small to be significant for practical purposes.

It isn’t until we start making journey’s for several hundred miles that the difference between flat earth and round earth models start to become significant.

In this sense all “facts” have bounds of utility and probability functions, it’s just that we get lazy and don’t worry about mentioning them every time, particularly when the chances of error are very very small (less than one part in a trillion) in the environment we are referencing.

We all adopt models that are “fit for purpose”, within the requirements of the environment that we happen to find ourselves in, or choose to occupy. In my understanding the concepts of god, and spirit and soul are such things. They are models that work very well within a certain set of environments, but fail in other wider environments, just like we use flat earth when building a house, but not when sending a space craft to the moon (in that case we need to go beyond round earth and into relativistic effects).

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Great example of chicken soup.

That is why I have very great respect for most ancient practices that have survived over time. I can respect the practices, without adopting the explanatory frameworks that the ancients came up with for those practices.

And I am as sceptical of much of science dogma as I am of most ancient explanatory frameworks.
I like to check the data for myself, and then to check all the logic of all the intersecting explanatory frames.

And there are vast domains that I have yet to check, that are in the big pile of “check some day when I have run out of things that interest me more” ;).

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) - see www.tedhowardnz.com/money
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