Science Heresy


From: Trailwriter []
Sent: Friday, 25 November 2011 11:31 AM
To: ''
Subject: Infinity

Dear John Reid,

I had the pleasure of being at the meeting of Geeveston U3A last Wednesday where you gave us an interesting talk, mainly about your Online Magazine "Science Heresy".

If you will recall I spoke briefly to you concerning The Big Bang, and email correspondence I had with FW of the Anglo/Australian Telescope near Coonabarabran. He was a guest speaker with Margaret Throsby a year or two ago.

For me, Infinity is a fact - it never began for it is eternal. My question of FW was, what was/is beyond the Big Bang ? There now seems to be some doubt (as I understand it) there ever was a Big Bang. That however, is beside the point. It interested me considerably that FW  was unable to give me an answer. I was left with the feeling he thought anything beyond would be spiritual and there was no factual answer possible. Our correspondence stopped at this point.

My theory is - until further knowledge is learned - it was simply Infinity which lay beyond the Big Bang. Simply, our galaxy, our universe sits within Infinity and beyond is an infinite area requiring further exploration. Full knowledge of Infinity will never be known because it, in itself, will be infinite. For humanity, if it exists long enough, that will always be the case.

Thank you for your interesting talk and a great deal of pleasure I had in meeting you.

Best wishes,

Tony Trumble.


Subject: Infinity
From: "John Reid" <>
Date: Sat, November 26, 2011 08:01
Priority: Normal
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A couple of ideas:

When I did maths at Uni I learned that mathematicians have no problem with the infinite and the infinitesimal, viz.: a sequence (of numbers, say) is described as infinite if for any number, N, another number can be found which is bigger than N, say N+1 or 2 X N. So the natural numbers (1,2,3,...) are infinite. They have no boundary; there is no last number.

These are very useful ideas, particularly in calculus.

By saying "Infinity is a fact" what you are really saying, in another way, is that the Universe has no beginning, no end and no spatial boundaries. I believe this is a better description than the Big Bang idea which conflicts with General Relativity by proposing a special place in space-time. General Relativity and the Cosmological Principle imply that there can be no special places in space-time, no boundaries. If there was no Big Bang we don’t need to try to conceive “before the Big Bang”.

Isn’t that a relief?

Unfortunately the mathematicians then stuffed it up by saying there were different sorts of infinities - countable infinities and non-countable infinities and so on. This was done by a guy named Cantor at the beginning of the 20th century. As a physicist I find this aspect of infinity a bit meaningless.