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I’d like to talk about the 10 assumptions of science, by Glenn Borchardt. A piece of scientific literature I consider of great significance and importance. The philosophy behind it is spot on, but being the unapologetic thinker that I am, I see some alternate truths to the philosophy. So there needs to be some preface to those assumptions, in my humble opinion.
I have to admit, I have not read it, I perused through it, and use it as a reference guide. It’s well organized as a reference manual. What I did read was the Scientific World View. Essentially the same thing in much greater detail. Excellent read. Went through it at least 4 times on audible while driving back and forth to work.
The first thing I’d like to suggest, is that assumptions themselves are a sort of veiled belief. So I think it’s important to temper any assumption with reason and logic. Let’s just say they are a somewhat uncommitted belief, but worth pursuing in the context of true scientific discovery. As such, assumptions, like beliefs, are meant to fall. So in that context, The 10 Assumptions of Science is more of a dynamic scientific checklist begging answers. Once an assumption is clearly understood, it is no longer an assumption. It’s just fact. The assumptions themselves though, are not the facts. They are an uncommitted potential truth we are seeking to answer definitively.
I’ve spent my entire life following his philosophy for the most part,
instinctively, in parallel. I didn’t read The Scientific Worldview until a couple of
years ago. I was taken back. Yes, exactly! You could say I’ve been a practitioner of Glenn’s philosophical approach to science for decades.Assuming the universe is infinite is the exact right approach for all scientists, in my humble opinion. Or at least it should be. However, infinity cannot exist without finite, because they are opposing states. And our universe, one could not exist without the other. As such, both need equal consideration.
The chapter on infinity is a bit misleading. Not because the idea of infinity is misleading, because there is a lot of additional assumptions being made within the framework of that assumption. The first assumption being, we all know what infinity means in the context of reality. Yes, we have some very loose or shaky concepts in mathematics, like absolute infinity by Georg Cantor, but that too is an assumption, not fact. There is no mathematical or scientific proof to verify there is such a thing. Infinity itself is propped up in the scientific realm with loosely held random beliefs, not even assumptions. Scientists believe the question was answered, and they’re looking at facts about infinity, and that they firmly believe they understand infinity. That is a contradiction to an assumption, which is an uncommitted belief. We are not only assuming infinity, but assuming we understand the true nature of infinity, which is based on completely unsubstantiated claims in mathematics. There is no proof of infinity in extent, quantity, or countable numbers. It is a mathematical assumption that is being applied to our understanding of infinity, and being taken as a fact of nature. Infinity itself is currently held as a belief.
I argue, infinity is only present between integers, 0<∞<1. That is a mathematical fact, and anything more or less than that is an undeniable assumption, or worse, a belief. Especially considering, we made up all the other integers so we could trade seashells for pelts. Where finite begins, infinity must begin, and where infinity ends, so too must finite. It’s a very simple linear problem. So simple in fact, that it has been completely ignored for millennia in preference to unsubstantiated and unverifiable endlessness. Everybody wants infinity to be more than it is. I reject the idea that infinity is limitless based on the facts. I’m not making any assumptions at that point. I am following what the mathematical logic is telling us, and taking it at face value. Anything more or less than that is an assumption on top of an assumption, which is then extended to a belief. People believe infinity is endless, and they are wrong.
I’m right, and everyone else is wrong. Not that I take any pride or accolades in such an apparent egotistical sounding statement. I certainly am not stating that as anything more than a general fact. It is just a bland lifeless mathematical fact. Like 1+1=2. I don’t believe in facts, because they’re just true or false statements. I am following logic, everyone else appears to be following long held ancient cultural beliefs. The universe is not endless. Question answered. Next!
And that brings me to the uncertainty assumption. The 10 assumptions of science essentially claims it is impossible to know everything about something, but always possible to know more about something. In that context, I now know more about infinity, because it is possible to know more about anything, including infinity itself.
I think you also have to temper uncertainty with certainty. Uncertainty is a measure of certainty, so there would have to be some things we could be absolutely certain about or nothing would make sense. I am certain 1+1=2. Uncertainty always relies on certainty. They are codependent terms. You cannot have one without the other. Uncertainty rises the further away from the problem you get. If you’re trying to predict something, uncertainty rises exponentially, because it is nearly impossible to take all variables into account. In the present, we can absolutely be 100% certain. That’s what happened. The past however, suffers the same uncertainties as the future, where answers get a bit murkier and uncertain the further back you look.
I’ve spent a great of my life abandoning belief. I struck it from my vocabulary many years ago, as a matter of fact. I weighed logic and reasoning in degrees of certainty. That’s the way I approached the universe. Things I was less certain about I would take out for a spin in the swamp (forums), and await critical feedback. I would ride that thought to the bitter end. It would either hold up to other peoples sense of reason, or fail. When it failed, I cast it aside and reevaluated my own reasoning. Yeah, that was a dumb idea, next!
I can only look back and laugh at myself for some of the ridiculous things I came up with in the past. Really, some were completely absurd.
I wish scientists would do more of that. Sit down an rewrite it from scratch. They just keep holding to these theories as if they are gospel, inserting more and more nonsense to keep them propped up. And then the media hits it, and it turns into some sort of twisted cultural belief. Meanwhile, science claims a theory is never true or false, while they quietly hold to a belief that it is a fact. Consensus rules science, which isn’t too different from religion on many levels.
There is one undeniable fact. Infinity is an incalculable condition as a whole using traditional mathematics. By it’s very nature, only human logic and reasoning can understand it, and solve it. It requires a new approach in math to verify its state with absolute certainty mathematically. Traditional math cannot touch it. 1/0=∞. 1/∞=0. 0x∞=1.
For me, infinity has been checked off the assumption list in Glenn’s 10 assumptions of science. It is no longer an assumption, it’s a fact. Just wasn’t the same infinity we culturally imagined it to be over the past few millennia. Our universe is limited in extent, not endless in extent, but it could be endless over time, and quite possibly, have had a beginning.
There’s always more to know.
My 2 cents.