# Math Help - Who created the thing that created the thing that created the thing....

1. ## Re: Who created the thing that created the thing that created the thing....

Fundamental axiom 1 - equivalent to the Law of Excluded Middles: Either the universe has always existed or the universe came into existence at some point in time.
Fundamental axiom 2 - equivalent to the Law of Excluded Middles: Either god has always existed or god came into existence at some point in time.

Hypothesis of theists: God created the universe (including all of mankind).
Requirement: God has existed at least as long as the universe.
Hypothesis of atheists: The universe (specifically mankind) created god.
Requirement: The universe has existed at least as long as god.

So far, we don't have any contradictions.

Suppose both hypotheses are correct. Then the universe and god must have existed for equal amounts of time. If the Universe has always existed, then god has always existed. If the universe came into existence at some point in time, then god came into existence at the exact same time. There are no temporal contradictions. The only plausible contradiction would be the idea that the universe created god and simultaneously god created the universe.

Hypothesis to rectify contradiction: God = the universe.

2. ## Re: Who created the thing that created the thing that created the thing....

Originally Posted by SlipEternal
Fundamental axiom 1 - equivalent to the Law of Excluded Middles: Either the universe has always existed or the universe came into existence at some point in time.
Fundamental axiom 2 - equivalent to the Law of Excluded Middles: Either god has always existed or god came into existence at some point in time.

Hypothesis of theists: God created the universe (including all of mankind).
Requirement: God has existed at least as long as the universe.
Hypothesis of atheists: The universe (specifically mankind) created god.
Requirement: The universe has existed at least as long as god.

So far, we don't have any contradictions.

Suppose both hypotheses are correct. Then the universe and god must have existed for equal amounts of time. If the Universe has always existed, then god has always existed. If the universe came into existence at some point in time, then god came into existence at the exact same time. There are no temporal contradictions. The only plausible contradiction would be the idea that the universe created god and simultaneously god created the universe.

Hypothesis to rectify contradiction: God = the universe.
But suppose only one of your hypotheses are true.

You may also want to be careful with your usage of the term 'always'. This may be taken to be synonymous with 'at no time was it not the case'. Time came into existence with the universe so your first fundamental axiom is problematic.

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3. ## Re: Who created the thing that created the thing that created the thing....

Originally Posted by zzephod
But suppose only one of your hypotheses are true.

You may also want to be careful with your usage of the term 'always'. This may be taken to be synonymous with 'at no time was it not the case'. Time came into existence with the universe so your first fundamental axiom is problematic.

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My point was, if one assumes one of the hypotheses to be true, it does not expressly deny the truth of the alternate hypothesis. They are not guaranteed to be mutually exclusive hypotheses (on the level of causality).

By time, I mean some causal relationship between points of some greater "Universe" (mathematical term) that contains points where the physical universe (respectively god) does not exist and points where the physical universe does exist. So, if something goes from nonexistence to existence, then I am discussing the causal connection between the points where the object does not exist and the points where it does. So, I suppose I could restate the axioms. Either this Universe contains points where the physical universe does not exist and points where it does, or it only contains points where the physical universe exists. Similarly for god. Since both the physical universe and god can be experienced to exist now (god's existence can be experienced as a conceptual entity, regardless of one's philisophical viewpoint on the existence or nonexistence of an associated physical entity).

4. ## Re: Who created the thing that created the thing that created the thing....

Coming late into the discussion, I noticed that most the posts are around the notion of time, space and energy. What time the arguments are based upon in not convincingly established. It follows naturally to ask, since space is inseparable from time, what space the posts relate to. As to the energy, it is a notion that relates to observable in many different forms and it takes so many different names and meanings. That sets the ground for my thought on these subjects.

I begin by Plato’s (the Greek guy) argument: shape, position and order are not basic but are born in the imagination.

The striking thing about it here is that shape and position is: space. I am trying to extract from my readings here whether the imagination is the same in the minds of all posters for otherwise we are recycling Babylon Tower.

Plato’s order meant to be a sequence of event that stacks things one after another. That’s: time. There are so many different definitions and meanings of times the libraries isles are stacked with huge collections of books and assays on the philosophy of time. A good reference for that is The Natural Philosophy Of Time, second edition, by G. W. Withrow. When you all folks arguing about time before or after big bang, are you sure you are not back in history to Babylonian era?

The best I know, unless there is an update I am not aware of, the big bang theory that led to 10^(-32) (I learned about it first as 10^(-42) in a seminar, was derived in a continuum. But I learned that at that scale of particle physics (I am not one of those folks) continuum is not descriptive of anything. Additionally, anything derived from mathematical equations does not hold truth in it. A mathematical model is a perception that stems from what’s in our imagination by a mental process doesn’t reveal anything about the truth of the thing being modeled. It is just a mental exercise that reveals the power of our mind and the extent of our imagination.

The big bang is the result of a preexisting fact that was the densest energy. That justification for the existence of the universe is based on Laplace’s determinism original formulated as: knowing the current position of a planet at a given time, we can predict is new position at a future time. Kant picked up Laplace’s celestial mechanic theory and formulated the deterministic theory which is condensed in the form: an effect, which is observable, is the result of a cause, which is known. In a continuum at the scale of the densest energy the universe we know cannot be justified by Heisenberg principle. That means the cause of the observed universe did not exist.

I realize that this subject is current discussions at all levels, just as it was, and it will continue. I settle on the creation. It is founded on the notion of eternity which by its definition is beyond the limits of our imagination.

5. ## Re: Who created the thing that created the thing that created the thing....

Originally Posted by SlipEternal
My point was, if one assumes one of the hypotheses to be true, it does not expressly deny the truth of the alternate hypothesis. They are not guaranteed to be mutually exclusive hypotheses (on the level of causality).

Similarly for god. Since both the physical universe and god can be experienced to exist now (god's existence can be experienced as a conceptual entity, regardless of one's philisophical viewpoint on the existence or nonexistence of an associated physical entity).
Kant was the first, as far as I know, to say that God is a postulate (I noticed you used g not G)

6. ## Re: Who created the thing that created the thing that created the thing....

Originally Posted by votan
I noticed you used g not G
I prefer god to G_d and intended no blasphemy.

Originally Posted by votan
Additionally, anything derived from mathematical equations does not hold truth in it. A mathematical model is a perception that stems from what’s in our imagination by a mental process doesn’t reveal anything about the truth of the thing being modeled. It is just a mental exercise that reveals the power of our mind and the extent of our imagination.
That argument is not well-founded. For example, back in 1931, Hopf discovered families of maps from $S^3 \to S^2$, $S^7 \to S^4$, and $S^{15} \to S^8$ such that they preserve data from the higher dimensional spheres. This discovery was nothing more than an interesting note in homotopy theory for many decades. In addition to the fiber bundles sending higher dimensional spheres to points, the maps for these specific spheres are the only higher dimensional spheres where such a mapping produces a 1-to-1 correspondence between points and fibers (maps of the form $S^{4n-1} \to S^{2n}$ can produce double covers by fibers, but for values of $n\neq 1,2,4$, there are no maps producing single covers). Fairly recently (within the past couple of decades), Hopf fibration has become an integral tool in demonstrating the consistency of quantum mechanics. It turns out that these maps are consistent with the theory of quantum entanglement (link). Physicists begin with complex probabilities of particle spin. A complex probability is simply a point on the complex unit sphere. Essentially, this is the probability of the direction of the particle's spin relative to a chosen axis (typically the z-axis). In a system with two particles, these complex probabilities are points in $S^3 \subseteq \mathbb{C}^2$ (here, a single point contains the data for the probable spins for both particles). What is useful is that the map $S^3 \to S^2 \subseteq \mathbb{R}^3$. This map gives the spin for one of the two particles. But, the fibers of this map are the complex probabilities for the other particle's spin. This is how the two spins are "linked". This mathematics was born in the imagination decades earlier, yet it held the key to understanding observations of quantum phenomena. The mathematical equations may stem from our imagination, but they frequently extend beyond what our imagination models and indicate some underlying truth that we may or may not even be aware of.

Edit: I only included the most diluted aspect of this theory as it pertains to quantum entanglement.
Spoiler:
Since $\mathbb{C}^2$ can be used as a Hilbert space, you can actually encode additional information about a single particle's quantum state using $S^3 \subset \mathbb{C}^2$. So, a system of two particles would have their states encoded in $S^7 \subset \mathbb{C}^4$. Then the map $S^7 \to S^4$ encodes a great deal more of the second particle's quantum state, and it is actually recoverable (although I did not spend enough time reading up on this to fully understand how to recover the data). Since the fiber bundles are homeomorphic to $S^3$, they are represented with the quaternions, and that's a bit too much for me to grasp from a casual read. There may be work on systems of three particles where the data is encoded in $S^{15}$ and sent to $S^8$, however those fibers are $S^7$, and the octonians are a bit much to work with, so as far as I know, not much progress has been made thus far. Working without commutativity or associativity does not sound like fun to me.

7. ## Re: Who created the thing that created the thing that created the thing....

We don't actually know if this physical universe we inhabit and can observe is "all that there is". If in fact this is so, its very existence is somewhat of a mystery: we can postulate a "creation inception point" but we are a bit stumped as to what the agency or mechanism that brought this into being might BE.

The main schism between religious folks and non-religious folks seems to be that religious people are happy to believe an "extra-natural" entity (perhaps on some profoundly different plane of existence) was in point of fact, the agency of such creation, while non-religious folks feel this is an "extra" (and therefore unnecessary) hypothesis.

Both viewpoints are (at our current level of understanding) a bit vague on the "how" of this creation. Some are content to say "it just happened, don't worry about it" (there are people in both camps who hold this view).

One trouble is: is it really "turtles all the way down"? There are, at the moment, limits to how far away (and thus how far back) we can SEE (sense/detect/whatever), and also limits to how "tiny" we can probe the "infra-structure". These limits prevent us from answering conclusively questions of determination and cause.

Which leaves us with conjecture, and logical reasoning. Again, even here, we find limitations in what we can know...it turns out that sufficiently powerful logical, consistent systems have "unanswerable questions", which is a bit disappointing.

Insofar as your actual discussion with your friend goes, I urge you to consider the following objections:

1) Does everything arise from a prior cause? Just because most events you commonly encounter follow this rule doesn't logically entail that EVERY event does.

2) Can "infinite chains" of cause and effect exist? If so, these would be substantially different in character than finite chains.

2a) (related to the above) Do we have any evidence for any such infinite chains whatsoever actually existing (conceiving of something is one thing, whether or not we have an instance of it is another)?

3) Does "cause and effect" actually exist? Remember, our view of the universe is profoundly influenced by our brain's temporal interpretation of events. Some people believe that "everything all occurs at once" (at least in some frame of reference), and that what we call time is an illusion which is a by-product of our path through spacetime.

I want to be clear that I am neither siding with you or your friend in your debate, but rather just wish to point out that there are various subtleties which the two of you may find rewarding (and/or confusing) to explore.

8. ## Re: Who created the thing that created the thing that created the thing....

Originally Posted by uperkurk
I'm having a debate with a friend and I'm saying that at some point down the chain of creation, something must have always existed otherwise nothing would exist.

a exists because b created it.
b exists because c created it.
c exists because d created it.
ect ect
It's turtles, all the way down!

but there is a problem with this, if the list goes to infinity, then A would never exist.
Actually, this does not necessarily follow. It's like Zeno's paradox saying that we could never go from "point A" to "point B" because before we got to B we would have to cross the point, C, half way between A and B. And before we got to C, we would have to cross the point, D, half way between A and C, etc., constructing an infinite set of points that we would have to cross before we could go from A to B. The unstated assumption is that we could NOT cross an infinite number of points in a finite time. In saying "if the list goes to infinity, the A would never exist", you are similarly making the unstated, and possibly not valid, assumption that you could not have an infinite number of 'creations' in a finite time.
At some point down the line there needs to be something which has always existed. Whether it's god, energy or a 3 headed dragon riding a pony. Something must have always have existed otherwise A wouldn't have ever been created in the first place.

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