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# Math is not absolute

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Mikel G Robertsposted 7 years ago

Just for the sake of debating...

Zeno's paradox shows us an example of something that mathmatically can be proven to be true, that in reality isn't.

The Paradox: One cannot ever reach a destination, because in order to reach the destination one must first cover half the distance to the destination. Since there are infinite halves, one will always have another half to cover and therefore will never reach the destination.

Then why do we go splat if we jump out of a building?

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Shadesbreathposted 7 years ago in reply to this

There is no failure of Zeno's paradox in your example. You are mistaking the "splat" as the end of the fall, and that is giving you trouble.

In fact, a "splat" is a compression of the body as it flattens against the ground.  That compression is a continuation of the fall (assume if you land face first: your face stops at the ground, but your spine will still be traveling towards the ground until it has finished falling the distance that separates the skin on your back from your belly button or nipples, depending on how you are built).

So, at some point the compression will crush your brain, so you are technically dead, but the fall that reduces you to flatness never finishes, because your back bone and back skin are always only half way to the floor.  You are dead, but you are forever falling.  Even if they scrape you up and shovel you into a box.  You're still falling.  Forever.

I hopes this helps clarify things for you.

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Mikel G Robertsposted 7 years ago in reply to this

The fact the 'splat' happened signals the arrival at a destination. Since that is not possible according to Zeno's paradox, and the math involved, either Mathmatics is flawed, and therefore not an absolute, or we cannot go splat. (in order to go 'splat' you have to get there.)

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Shadesbreathposted 7 years ago in reply to this

I disagree. You are implying that to "go splat" is a singular completed action.  I suggest that is not true, using Zeno's Paradox.

The human body exists in space as a three dimensional object.  It has volume.

Think of it like this:  If I place a tomato on a table and begin pressing down on it, very quickly, it will split open and shoot juices out.  It is "dead" and has gone splat.  However, I have not necessarily finished pushing my hand all the way to the table; there is still tomato left to crush.

The "math" that you are talking about is relying entirely on what I believe are called "discrete" numbers.  These are actually an abstraction because they describe absolute values, which do not actually exist.  Zeno's paradox is about "continuous" numbers, which work on the principle that there is no such thing as "AN" inch or "A" pound... because if your measuring device is fine enough, you can never find the "edge" or the last .oooX of measurement.  (At least that's how I remember it from school way back when.)

This latter number is what makes the splat never ending, given the nature of the body having volume.  The body may "go splat" but it never stops going splat because there is always a tiny bit "more tomato to be crushed."  Until the splat is finished, the fall is not finished.

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Mikel G Robertsposted 7 years ago in reply to this

No I am stating that in order to go splat you have to get to a destination. <that place where an object contacts another object> Mathmatics 'proves' that it is not possible to ever arrive anywhere, by demonstrating that there are an infinite number of halves that must first be traversed. <infinite meaning never ending>

...And yet we do it all the time.

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sandra rinckposted 7 years ago in reply to this

Though I am not certain,  I think Shades is in a way describing another process that continues after you had gone splat which would include decay and that defining an absolute in your definition as the final destination seems to be short handed in comparing death to the final destination which I think he is saying that even though your brain is done the body still continues its process and again after decomposition it takes on another process, possibly energy...

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Mikel G Robertsposted 7 years ago in reply to this

naw...shades is in denial and doesn't like the idea of math being a flawed science. So he/she is trying to prove an obvious truth as false. (by guiding us along another path)

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Shadesbreathposted 7 years ago in reply to this

No, mathematics is flawed.  There is no doubt of it.  I think I remember learning that they actually "proved" that you can actually have one set of infinite numbers that is bigger than another set of infinite numbers.  Pretty much from then on out, I began to take math with a grain of salt.

Just because it's salty doesn't mean I'm going to throw it out.  Potato chips and margarita's are salty too, and I'm certainly not going to stop using those either.

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Pandoras Boxposted 7 years ago in reply to this

That's the only thing in this thread that I can really comprehend.

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sandra rinckposted 7 years ago in reply to this

I heard this too and actually was trying to discuss it on a different forum with a bunch of mathematicians just last week.

Turns out that mathematicians aren't very humorous because I suggested that 'infinity and beyond' was an oxymoron because by the definition I understood, you would never be able to define infinity with an actual number.

Anyways...

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Shadesbreathposted 7 years ago in reply to this

That's not actually what I am trying to explain, although that is another excellent way of thinking about the lack of cessation.

I'm trying, and obviously poorly, to describe that the body's two edges, the ventral edge (your belly or your boobs) and your dorsal edge (your shoulder blades or butt) will end up mashed together when you go splat.  You get smashed "flat."  But, your front and your back edges have to move together.  The distance separating them (currently filled with your guts) has to be traveled, or closed, however you want to look at it, for the splat to be complete.

The point of Zeno's Paradox is that no distance is ever completely traveled because you have to get halfway first.  So your back skin has to travel half way through your body before it can come in contact with your belly skin.  Then it has to travel half the distance from that point to your belly, then half of the remaining distance, and half of that, etc.... so the splat is never finished.

As for irrational numbers, in a way it is using some type of reasoning, or at least math that seems to work similarly, but I'm not enough of a mathematician to dare trying to make the comparison.

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Mikel G Robertsposted 7 years ago in reply to this

NO, the splat can never start. Your front skin can't ever get there either, nothing can ever reach any destination at all ever, because the front skin, the back skin, the middle skin... will always have a half distance preventing them/it from arriving.

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Shadesbreathposted 7 years ago in reply to this

According to Zeno's paradox, yes.

According to our experience of life, not so much.

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sandra rinckposted 7 years ago in reply to this

That's a good point.

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china manposted 7 years ago in reply to this

I can't work out if  get an hour more or less sleep when we change from summer to winter time etc, despite all the ryhmes etc to help, so, for anyone else like me who can't begin to understand all this:

Q: When a fly hits your windshield what is the last thing to go through its mind?  A: It's ass.

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Mikel G Robertsposted 7 years ago in reply to this

WRONG!  It cannot hit your windshield, mathmatics proves that.

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sandra rinckposted 7 years ago in reply to this

ROTFLMAO

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Shadesbreathposted 7 years ago in reply to this

Depending on how you define "doing" it.  The Zeno's Paradox is not intended to describe how we experience the universe as humans, it's meant to describe a mathematically defined universe.  I am merely pointing out how, if you allow for Zeno's Paradox, the "splat" factor is still perfectly in keeping with it.

You have to either discuss the universe in "discrete" terms or in "continuous" terms.  There is only conflict when you start an idea using one set of rules and then switch to the other.

I am totally in agreement with you that we do not experience the world in "continuous" reality when it comes to life or death.  Although we might have fun debating even that through the language of "enduring" and "perduring" objects... but I digress.

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Mikel G Robertsposted 7 years ago in reply to this

I dont want to argue about the 'intentions' of anything...stick to the points...

1 either we cannot ever reach a destination.

OR

2 Mathmatics is a flawed science because math proves we cannot ever reach a destination.

since we reach destinations all the time all over the place, Mathmatics is a flawed science.

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Rayalternatelyposted 7 years ago in reply to this

I think the counter is that splat isn't the destination, but simply the continuation.

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Mikel G Robertsposted 7 years ago in reply to this

The splat cannot occur if contact is not made... Maths says contact cannot ever be made by anything at all ever. Not at anytime not in any place, not on a bus, not on a plane... not outside your house, not on a train...They say you cant touch it sam I am, because a half of the distance will always remain.

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(Q)posted 7 years ago in reply to this

In other words, you're sticking to your lack of understanding despite the fact it's been explained to you? Well done, once again, Mikel. Your track record in logic and reason remains intact.

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sandra rinckposted 7 years ago in reply to this

Is that similar to the logic of irrational numbers?

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tantrumposted 7 years ago in reply to this

What suicide has to do with Maths ?

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TheGlassSpiderposted 7 years ago in reply to this

I like this...Did you know that it's possible to "prove" that zero equals all numbers as well?

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Mikel G Robertsposted 7 years ago in reply to this

*perk*

Really?... do tell...

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TheGlassSpiderposted 7 years ago in reply to this

I'll have to find my notes on it, but it hinges on the idea that multiplication and division are related and throws out the arbitrary rule that one cannot divide by zero. When you divide by zero, it equals all numbers, which is confusing...this is WHY the rule about no dividing by zero was developed in the first place.

ETA: I.E., if you can multiply by zero you can divide by zero.

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Mikel G Robertsposted 7 years ago in reply to this

dividing by zero is possible, the result is the number you started with... i.e. 12 divided by 0=12. In other words 12 objects divided by nothing leaves 12 objects. (anything divided by zero is the same as anything multiplied by 1.) <X/0=1X> which means X=1X *0 since anything multiplied by zero equals zero -there in lies the flaw...  and this proves 0=all numbers

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TheGlassSpiderposted 7 years ago in reply to this

Yeah...I was almost lost when this thread began. Math isn't my forte, I've just seen this done, took some notes on it, and it made sense to me when it was shown to me.

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qwarkposted 7 years ago in reply to this

Mikel:
I remember an old scifi pic called "The Day the Earth Stood Still" (the original) where the alien visited the supposed most respected physicist on earth. He walked up to a chalkboard filled with a massive equation studied it and removed a portion of it with a blackboard eraser. When the sage physicist reviewed it, he looked at the alien in awe! He knew immediately that this man was not from earth. That we incipient creatures had much to learn!
Math is but a "tool" which takes us into worlds we can only imagine. When we think we have the answer, uh, uh, the answer will only open up new worlds to be explored and new math tools to conquer and understand.
Correct, math is not an "absolute."

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Mikel G Robertsposted 7 years ago in reply to this

and it is a flawed tool.

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qwarkposted 7 years ago in reply to this

Mikel:
Of course!
Perfection can never (never is an absolute) be attained.

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qwarkposted 7 years ago in reply to this

Mikel:
..obviously! Everything (an absolute)is flawed.

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SimeyCposted 7 years ago in reply to this

Zeno was obviously creating his paradox when travelling on British Rail!!!

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Mikel G Robertsposted 7 years ago in reply to this

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Dog On A Missionposted 7 years ago in reply to this

We get the wrong answer because we start with the false assumption that the world is continuous, when it is actually discrete!

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Mikel G Robertsposted 7 years ago in reply to this

???

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(Q)posted 7 years ago in reply to this

What's the matter, Mikel? The answer provided has much to do with your question. I suspect you didn't research the concept of mathematics before creating this thread, nes't pas? hehe

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nadpposted 7 years ago in reply to this

This is very true - and very insightful.  I still feel like it is consistent with my comments (see above).  The REAL world is discrete - but the MATHEMATICAL (in theory) world is continuous.  Hence, the APPARENT contradiction.

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Shahid Bukhariposted 6 years ago in reply to this

Its a question, posed within Parallel Logics ... popularly called  Zenotic Philosophy ...

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Dame Scribeposted 7 years ago

Uhmm...gravity isn't included in the equation for vertical direction? lol

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Mikel G Robertsposted 7 years ago in reply to this

LOL

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Dame Scribeposted 7 years ago

Oops...or is that the horizontal direction?... I'm getting confused again.

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PrettyPantherposted 7 years ago

If I recall correctly from my college calculus days, a few different mathematical solutions have been proposed for Zeno's paradox.  However, I don't recall them well enough to explain them with any authority whatsoever.

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(Q)posted 7 years ago

What Zeno did not take into account or simply didn't know at the time is that space and time are dependent on each other. Separated, both can have numerous logical inconsistencies despite our physical world.

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Mikel G Robertsposted 7 years ago in reply to this

Which absolutely does not answer the question.

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Richieb799posted 7 years ago

When you go splat and die, the next distance you travel is to the cemetery, then you descend into the grave, and then your body decomposes sinking into the earth below you eventually.. bit morbid but in essence you are still descending..

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Mikel G Robertsposted 7 years ago

This concept is why I do not believe in the infinite realities theory. Because if there are infinite realities then there is a reality where there is only one reality. That would also mean that there is reality where there is no reality...

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Pandoras Boxposted 7 years ago

But I do know that I'm about to prove Zeno's Paradox faulty by traveling to the kitchen, whereat I shall definitely arrive. All of me, with my guts and spine fully intact and back and front skins right where they belong.

And I'm going to make black beans and rice for dinner tonight, and I was thinking the suggestion of margaritas would go very well with that. I was also thinking perhaps some salty tostito chips would be a good addition as well, but regret that I do not have any on hand.

Briefly considered traveling to store to buy some, but considered Zeno's Paradox and realized that I might never arrive, so why bother going?

Sorry. I'm being silly. Dinner time. Must go cook. When I go to eat, I wonder if my fork will ever arrive in my mouth.

Zeno's Paradox makes no sense, but I guess that's why they call it a paradox.

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Mikel G Robertsposted 7 years ago in reply to this

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MikeNVposted 7 years ago

What you mean if I jump out of the airplane before it hits the ground I won't be saved?

You should watch the BBC program "How long is a piece of String".

Our entire reality is based on perceptions. When you start to look at what we are... atoms and matter you can not every come up with anything other than mathematical explanations or faith.

Ultimately it doesn't matter (pun intended).

It's like worrying over the old argument... If God can do anything can he build a rock so big he can't lift it?

Or how many times can you cut a piece of paper in half.

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Mikel G Robertsposted 7 years ago in reply to this

No... an airplane can't hit the ground, mathmatics prove that...Duh...

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Daniel Carterposted 7 years ago

Maybe in reality what we do is Zeno's law in reverse. Sort of. Instead of part of the distance, we bypass all that and just do the whole distance because it's conceivable from being able to just "do it." When you think about it, that *type* of thinking could open more possibilities for travel we now consider light years to accomplish.

Isn't it more about we know how to get there, so we just do it?

I'm probably not making any sense, but in my head it's better than Star Trek.

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Mikel G Robertsposted 7 years ago in reply to this

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Tom Cornettposted 7 years ago

If a squirrel eats 3 nuts he has five nuts.  If a wolf eats the squirrel...he has seven nuts.  If a bear eats the wolf...he has 9 nuts.
Now....the bear takes a huge shit in the woods by a nut tree and is left with two nuts again.
Proving...math is a temporary fixed measurement at a given point in time.  Nuts...huh?

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qwarkposted 7 years ago in reply to this

Tom:
Now that makes sense!  :-)
Standing ovation!!!

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Mikel G Robertsposted 7 years ago

My point to this posting is...

Many people are trying to treat scientific 'laws' and beliefs as absolutes and as infallible proofs. It is the newest Religion, the Atheist Faith, no God just scientific proof.

Scientific empirical evidence is by definition evidence originating in or based on observation or experience. Empirical proof, just like the mathmatical equations of Zeno's Paradox, is not always accurate. Somethings are not true even after being proven 'empirically' to be true.

Ask anyone that has died in a plane crash...

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Daniel Carterposted 7 years ago in reply to this

I'll repeat what I said in another thread:
Amen!!! Can I have a hallelujah in the house!?

Light supposedly always travelled in straight path until scientists found out the universe has a kind of curve in it like a horizon line. Light follows that universal curve.

Freaky sh**.

I'm not exactly an atheist, but I'm certainly not a "believer" that a lot of people define. I feel like a Toyota Prius (I just hope the accelerator doesn't suddenly take off to 90 and I hit the wall.) Some laws of physics are reliable. At least here on earth, whether in other parts of the universe or not.

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china manposted 7 years ago in reply to this

I can agree with this - scientific proof is mostly consensus, ie we consider it a fact because we can convince our peers of it. Some is clearly proven through repeatable experiment.

Theories are just that - they are considered valid or proven by consensus, can everyone be wrong, well yes they can and they often are, flat earthers were the equivalent of todays scientists, we claim Copernicus as one of 'us' with hindsight because he can NOW be proved to be right.

So if science can be completely wrong with all the experimental proof, the carefully thought out ways of thinking etc - what chance is there that some politically motivated book about a largely unknown religion re-written by a government official because he fell of his horse can be right. zero, which is not the sum of all numbers it is nothing.

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Pandoras Boxposted 7 years ago in reply to this

Yeah I knew you were going there sooner or later.

And as I said in the other thread, you're not telling us anything we don't already know. We know science is not a stagnant final declaration.

Atheism is based on a lot more than just evolution, or science in general for that matter. Atheism is due to the evolution of human thought and knowledge in general, it is not a worship of science.

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probafixposted 7 years ago

Who says Math is not absolute...

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Mikel G Robertsposted 7 years ago in reply to this

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sagbeeposted 7 years ago

I am just scared of Maths like hell!! I can't beat the answers no matter I study whole year or 2 years for teh same class... lol.. its like a dragon to me who can swallow a cow without even taking a burp!! hahahah

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thisisoliposted 7 years ago

Zenos paradox is not a true mathmatical paradox, but a philosophical one. In mathmatics the formula speed * Distance = Time just about equals splat.

Zenos paradox is one to do with fractals, and would work if you could slow down time to an infinate level, unfortuantely without an infinate level of adjustable time, an object will cover more than half a distance in a specified time.

There are quite a few paradoxes out there which also uses a basis of infity with malable time.  However they rarely work in our current reality.

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Daniel Carterposted 7 years ago in reply to this

Ah, but philosophy, star gazing, day dreaming and "what ifs" are the source and foundation to discovering math principles, physics, science and more. They answer "why." So while the Zenos Paradox may be philosophically based, it actually is a type of mathematical formula.

Mathematicians may dismiss such musings, but it's really mostly about their inability to describe and solve the whole premise with numbers. Therefore, it's more about the *lack* of perception than it is *actual* perception.

Says I.

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thisisoliposted 7 years ago in reply to this

I would not say that these were thou foundations, but they are often the instigators.

People have created mathematical formulas for zeno's paradox, there are also formulas which disprove Zeno's paradox.  The only thing which makes zeno's Paradox work is if time is stretched in relation to the distance moved.

If the perspective of time is not reduced then halves become irrelevant, since the distance moved is greater.

I cannot explain it particularly well, since I am not a mathematician, it is however well regarded that zeno's paradox is a philosophical questioning of infinity and fractals, rather than a simple mathematical paradox.

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Mikel G Robertsposted 7 years ago in reply to this

What are you talking about, time being stretched or not is irrelevant. I will give you all the time you want to get from point A to point B, but before you get from A to B you will have to pass the half way point between A and B. Since there will always be another halfway point between where you are and where you are going, mathmatically you cant ever not have another half to cover before arriving.

Time machine not included...

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Mikel G Robertsposted 7 years ago in reply to this

So your saying that if one goes really fast we can trick reality and get past the fact that for every whole there are two halves?

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tantrumposted 7 years ago

What's not absolute is Man

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Pani Midnyte Odinposted 7 years ago

The example you used, Mikel, is flawed when trying to argue your point about mathematics being flawed.

If you jump off a building, yes, you will go splat. However, there is a continuation of movement that has not been accounted for. If the body had not been stopped by a force, the body would have kept moving. The ONLY reason Zeno's Paradox is flawed is because of the forces that stop our bodies from continuation of movement (i.e. gravity or a street in your example).

If all forces that were to stop you at your destination were taken out of the equation and we were to study the continuation of movement, Zeno's Paradox would be 100% correct.

However, since we live on earth and have forces that will stop us at our destinations, Zeno's Paradox is flawed.

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Mikel G Robertsposted 7 years ago in reply to this

Zeno's Paradox isn't flawed, Mathematics is.

Zeno's paradox is simply a statement of the Facts.

Fact:
1 for every whole there are two halves.

2 before one can reach the end of a whole, one must traverse the halfway point.

3 Everytime one arrives at the halfway point, the distance remaining can be divided into two halves.

4 since there will always be another half way point, one cannot ever get to a destination. (not even to a halfway point because the Paradox can be used for the Half of the Halfway point as well.)

5 these 4 facts are mathematical, proven and true.

6 we go splat. which means we arrive at a destination, which is mathematically impossible... Therefore...

7 Mathematics is flawed.

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(Q)posted 7 years ago in reply to this

Yet, you can't even spell mathematics let alone know anything about it.

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Mikel G Robertsposted 7 years ago in reply to this

I can now. I am living proof of evolution of the mind.

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Shadesbreathposted 7 years ago

It hurts to watch.  You want to jump in and help somehow, but you can't.  So you stare, helplessly.  A little mini-tragedy.

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Pandoras Boxposted 7 years ago

Eventually the two remaining halves are so small that they're covered simultaneously or in the same milisecond and there's simply nothing left to divide in two.

At any rate, this was like 2600 years ago or so.

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Shadesbreathposted 7 years ago in reply to this

The point of Zeno's Paradox is that there is no end to how small the spatial measurements can get, infinitely halving.  The temporal measurement works the same, it takes a full "unit" of time to fall the full distance, and only half of that unit to travel half the distance.  Furthermore, it can be argued that time is only a measurement of change, and as long as there is motion (the continuing movement towards the unreachable end) then their is time for it as defined by the fact that the object is still moving.

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Pandoras Boxposted 7 years ago in reply to this

Yeah I looked it up in my Essential Philosophy book (which I dug out after our last discussion Shades) and I understand and agree with the point that there can be an infinite number of units in the distance, but the conclusion that therefore the distance can never be successfully traveled is still dumb honestly. LOL. Which reflects back to what we discussed last time regarding my view on certain philosophers.

I think a neater way of looking at it is that you traveled an infinite number of units of distance, not you can't because it's infinite, but you can even though it's infinite.

At any rate, Mikel is trying to disprove science and math as a way to say atheism is as flawed as theism, and that's the only reason I'm here. So that I can make a few smart-ass comments and occassionally point out the crux of the matter which is that it's irrelevant because atheism isn't based solely on science and math, we don't worship science and math, we understand knowledge evolves, just as philosophy does, and he isn't telling us anything we don't know.

But he doesn't get all mad and throw fits so it's fun arguing with him anyway.

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Mikel G Robertsposted 7 years ago in reply to this

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Shadesbreathposted 7 years ago in reply to this

Well, my understanding of it, granted rooted in looking into it long ago, is that the point wasn't to actually suggest that objects never stop falling etc.  It is a thought experiment and an examination of mathematics, in essence illustrating the very weakness Mikel thinks it is perpetrating (Yes, Mikel, Zeno agrees with you). I am certain that at no point did anyone ever actually intend to suggest that the reality we experience in a physical world is reflected in the paradox.  I think that math is just a language that is meant to help us try to describe and predict the universe, and, like any language, sometimes its grammar can be turned on itself to make points, etc. I'm convinced that's all Zeno's Paradox was ever meant to do.

And I'm glad to hear that Mikel doesn't throw fits.  Somehow I thought that might have been him who had the flame out on my HubPages Sucks experiment hub. I'm glad to know it was not.

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Mikel G Robertsposted 7 years ago in reply to this

HubPages sucks experiment?

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Shadesbreathposted 7 years ago in reply to this

It's a hub I wrote during a moment not long ago where there was debate over whether HubPages sucked etc.  There were undertones suggesting that they censor and stuff, so I decided to do an experiment to see if they would censor me for writing a critique of HP.  They did not (have not thus far lol).

You're probably right.
That's the understanding I came away with. Doesn't mean I didn't butcher it trying to learn it, but yeah, it's philosophical, so it's a matter of "here's one way to look at something" sort of thing.

Well, that is the essence of the paradox, the way I see it.  On the surface at least, it feels impossible to extricate the distance traveled from the measurement. But in truth, they are totally separate.  I don't know of any rules/theories in that regard, but I can say that the key to dismembering Zeno's Paradox appears to lie in simply pointing out that the unit of measurement (the mathematical "language" used to convey distance as a numerical value) is not the same as the physical experience of travel or motion.

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Pandoras Boxposted 7 years ago in reply to this

Yes. I agree. There may be an infinite number of units, but each unit is so small, and becomes microscopic the more you keep dividing it so that the whole distance is still quite accomplishable regardless of how many miniscule parts it might have.

So essentially, philosophy is what is flawed, in this example anyway, and not mathematics.

If there is no mathematical rule or equation which proves the distance impossible to travel due to its infinite number of parts then mathematics itself has not failed. In this example anyway.

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Shadesbreathposted 7 years ago in reply to this

I was pretty convinced math had failed when I saw that one infinity could be longer/greater than another one.

Since then, I've come to look at math more like poetry.  Who is to say a particular numeric verse is "wrong" so much as it may shine a light on an idea that, had it not been spoken so, would have remained hidden for eternity.

There is useful, every day math, and there is exploratory math, the line between them shifting back and forth almost every day.  Similarly, there is plain, descriptive, non-nonsense writing (recipes, menus, instructions, résumés...) and there is art in the form of poetry and prose.

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(Q)posted 7 years ago in reply to this

One need not even go to mathematics as one can see from the structure of atoms, where the neutrons are vast distances away from the electrons, relatively speaking. Atoms from two surfaces coming into contact with each other will have measurable effects before one reaches the smaller scales of distance between them.

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Mikel G Robertsposted 7 years ago in reply to this

I disagree with your last statement.

I believe the problem lies in the understanding of the concept 'nothing'. As in down to zero or down to nothing.

The mathmatical scale implies that zero has no value, it is nothing, absolute nothing. I think it is more readily understandable if we look at it like temperature.

0c(zero)or -32f is the temperature when water freezes even though it is numerically named nothing it truly isn't. It has a value in a scale. Absolute Zero is the utter abscense of temperature of any kind.

Mathematically the inability to arrive at a destination is akin to not being able to produce a temperature of absolute zero. Us getting to our destinations is akin to getting to a temperature scale value that is assigned as zero degrees.

The value of the distance '0' is a value. The shrinking by halves that occurs as we fall eventually gets so small that it becomes 0, which is why we go splat. The math tries to make 0 into nothing, a value that does not exist. (just like the absolute zero temperature.)

Which looks good on paper, but is quickly proven wrong by reality and the infinite kisses that it provides.

In other words zero has a value, it starts here and ends there, even though according to the math it doesn't have a starting or an ending point and therefore cannot be reached.

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Shadesbreathposted 7 years ago in reply to this

Actually, the way I understand "absolute zero" it is not the absence of temperature but an absence of motion.  Temperature is a measure of molecular activity.  When there is no motion at all, there is absolute zero.

But I do agree with you that the principle of "zero" as meaning "nothing" - as in, what you get when you subtract 9 from 9 - doesn't work as far as using the word zero to describe theoretical states and conditions described by physics.  There is sort of a conversational concept of zero and then there is a purely scientific concept of zero that, if brought together in the same moment, create serious issues.

The confluence of these is responsible for the problems you have been pointing out.

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Mikel G Robertsposted 7 years ago in reply to this

All I have to say to that IS...

<--- Proof, there is a God.

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nadpposted 7 years ago in reply to this

I'm jumping in in the middle here - I don't know if you are all off this topic yet or not, but reading some of these posts has led me to some thoughts.  With regard to the paradox of never being able to reach a destination if the distance is infinitely divided in half - I've always looked at this as the difference between theoretical math, and reality.  Mathematical facts that are true - cannot be disputed (such as this so-called paradox)are true in theory.  In a world where measures could become infinitely small, this would not be a paradox at all - in such a world it would make perfect sense.  And that is the world of theoretical mathematics - it is separate and apart from the actual physical world.  There is no reason to think that these two worlds - theoretical math and physical reality - need to always confirm one another.  In some cases they do, and in some they don't - that's just the way they are defined.  So what appears to be a paradox really isn't a paradox at all.  For an idea to be a paradox, it has to be completely defined by one set of rules.  This isn't the case here.  Thus, the "trick" is that it is presented as a paradox, but I believe the answer to the puzzle boils down to something like you can't compare apples and oranges.
Now, having said that, I feel that I should add that although I have a considerable education in mathematics and am quite familiar with this puzzle, I have never researched it and I do not know what the mathematics community has to say about it.  But I think about mathematics all of the time, and what I have said about it is just my opinion.

As far as zero goes, mathematically speaking there is a vast difference between the value "0" and the concept of "nothing".
In different mathematical contexts, 0 as a value has different significance.  I don't think that I would even classify "nothing" as a mathematical concept.

I didn't know that this would turn out to be so long winded - but knowing myself as I do I guess I shouldn't be surprised.  Anyway, I hope someone reads this and is interested.  And commments back would be great!

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Pandoras Boxposted 7 years ago in reply to this

Read your hub. You're a good writer. Not that you need me to tell you that.

I don't think Anonymous was Mikel. Only cause I think he would have said anything he wanted to say in his own name.

Oh so his whole point wasn't really that it's mathematically impossible but that math itself can be flawed.. My book didn't bother saying that, just left him hanging there looking like an idiot.

Okay so -not that it matters to my point one bit, but now I'm curious- is there actually a mathematical rule or equation which proves it impossible? Not a rule that proves an infinite number of units within the whole distance, but that proves it impossible to travel the whole distance because of the infinite number of units?

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logic,commonsenseposted 7 years ago

Never heard of his paradox, but Zeno's makes a great pizza!

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zampanoposted 7 years ago

And the amount of half distances to go, is proportional to the quantity of margaritas absorbed.
The more you drink, the more it seems your hand travels before reaching your glass.

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Pandoras Boxposted 7 years ago in reply to this

Ahhh, now I understand!

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Shadesbreathposted 7 years ago in reply to this

And yet, paradoxically, despite the increasingly longer distances required to retrieve and replace the glass, greater volumes are consumed faster.

Witness the birth of: Zampano's Paradox.

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Pandoras Boxposted 7 years ago in reply to this

Exactly! See, it's a positive, not a negative. It's a can-do thing, witness the miracle of human ability. Zeno was a pessimistic fool.

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zampanoposted 7 years ago

And the next subject, largely washed with (whatever you like) is about time and space distortion
hehehe

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Pandoras Boxposted 7 years ago

Mikel you sure know how to twist things up. Using temperature to prove that zero has a value when you know it's just a manmade way of measuring temperature seems like reaching to me.

Okay so I found a use for Zeno's Paradox. Humanity will never get to where it needs to be. World peace will never be thoroughly accomplished.

So philosophically, it works. Mathematically I guess it was never an issue, since you have failed to provide a mathematical equation which demonstrates it.

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Shadesbreathposted 7 years ago in reply to this

Oh, there's a formula that proves it.  I thought you were asking for one that disproves the physical act of falling.  The formula is widely available for the paradox, but here's one that seems to sum it up nicely, including the proofs against it too (via a link):

Website: http://plus.maths.org/issue17/xfile/index.html

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Mikel G Robertsposted 7 years ago in reply to this

You claim to be the smart one, that's your job.

I'm just a dumb 'ole high school grad.(and for the record I made Zeno's Paradox a little bit simpler for those of us that aren't all that smart, by removing the nature of the motion of turtles and all that.)

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Shadesbreathposted 7 years ago in reply to this

Your formal education may have stopped at high school, but the fact that you found Zeno's paradox, spotted it as at least something interesting and then thought about it long enough to take issue with it, suggests that you aren't dumb.

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china manposted 7 years ago in reply to this

Yeah but that is only a suggestion

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Mikel G Robertsposted 7 years ago in reply to this

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Pandoras Boxposted 7 years ago in reply to this

Whereat did I claim to be "the smart one"? I thought I had pretty much made my mathematical ignorance clear.

I'm gonna go look at Shades' link and see if I can figure out what they're talking about. I doubt it, personally, cause I never understand my son's schoolwork anymore, and my 7th grade daughter's math work is getting a little complicated for me as well.

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china manposted 7 years ago in reply to this

I think this is exactly the point - stabbed in the heart again!

All the religious based thinking is convinced there will be an apocalypse, they seem to be actually working toward it. Old thinking is like Zeno's paradox that has no answer for those of us without the higher math, the old thinking cannot get to the higher levels needed to solve todays problems. This is my main objection to religion - never mind the hate of everything not in their books, they are deliberately keeping huge numbers of people stupid with their constant babble. Zeno's simple problem that baffles me ONLY shows a loophole in basic math for dimwits like me - and is the same as how religion cannot think further than its own bloody nose.

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Pandoras Boxposted 7 years ago

What's wrong with the standard solution? Which is kind of hard for me to put into words since I never made it to calculus.

But I think maybe, based on what I have read in the last hour and a halfish, in the case of this particular paradox, speed and time are the missing elements to solving it?

But from what I read there is a standard solution which involves the invention of calculus and has been generally accepted by most all mathematicians in the last 100 years.

I know it indicates that math is not absolute since the knowledge changes, granted, but we already agreed that is a given.

Still doesn't prove your point that atheism requires as much faith as religion.

I gotta go now, stuff to do.

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OpticIllusionsposted 6 years ago

Hey Everyone! I'm a simple college student guys, no mathematician here, but a thought occurred to me while reading Zeno's paradox. On Earth could it be we are possibly limited by our reality? What if Zeno's paradox hold's true in an alternate universe?

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Ben Evansposted 6 years ago

Zeno's paradox has been solved with calculus..........  Slopes with derivatives and areas with integration.

dy/dx=Lim(as x approaches zero) {f(x+h)-f(x)}/h.....That is the definition of a derivative and is basically the rise over the run but both changes are quite small.  In fact they are almost zero but they don't get there yet the derivative defines something exact despite not getting to exactly zero.

Now we never get to zero but we approach it.

While calculus negates zeno's ponderings, it is still philosophically debated.

This can be argued in many ways but reality is that we get to places in time.  We don't need logic or calculus for that matter.

As the great one said......"ohmmm It is what it is."

........and we say, "Did we climb this high mountain to seek wisdom to just hear that?"

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Chris.A.Powellposted 6 years ago

You can solve this with calculus, You can add up the amount of time it takes to traverse each of the halves, and you find that it equals a finite number. This even assumes that our motion is continuous
(that there actually are an infinte number of halves, and that there isn't a limit to the division of space).

working