Xishem
  • Xishem
Would you say that this quote is true? "The odds of something theoretical existing is profound in a vast universe; even within our own light sphere."
Physics
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Xishem
  • Xishem
Would you say that this quote is true? "The odds of something theoretical existing is profound in a vast universe; even within our own light sphere."
Physics
jamiebookeater
  • jamiebookeater
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Xishem
  • Xishem
And what is your reasoning?
JamesJ
  • JamesJ
This looks like but is not a very good scientific question. What kind of "something" are we talking about? What kind of the "theoretical existence" can those somethings have? And what does it mean for "the odds" (the probability) to be "profound"? This last question is most problematic in terms of this sentence being meaningful.
Xishem
  • Xishem
Interesting. To me, it seems that the statement is saying that any sort of theoretical idea that one can conjure is fair game for these "profound" "odds." These are all things that you addressed in your reply.

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anonymous
  • anonymous
I don't think the statement is specific enough. I could conjure up something that would be very unlikely to exist in our universe (say, the Flying Spaghetti Monster for instance), but I could also come up with a theoretical (non-proven) construct that would have a relatively high likelihood of existing (dark matter maybe?). So I guess, the answer is yes, the odds of *something* theoretical existing are quite high. The odds of *anything* theoretical existing though, are quite low ;)
anonymous
  • anonymous
However vast the universe is, it is insignificantly small compared to the infinite universe of ideas. Consequently almost everything that can be imagined will not exist, and the thought expressed by the quote completely false. Indeed, this is very fortunate, since we are often able by one simple experiment to rule out great vast areas of speculation. For example, we can measure the behaviour of gravity in a lab on Earth, and assume gravity behaves exactly the same way around the orbit of Jupiter -- and we are right! Even thought it is possible to imagine something completely different, indeed an infinitey of possible differences. Science even has an informal motto for this: Occam's Razor, usually paraphrased as "the simplest answer is most likely the correct one." Embedded in this is the idea that almost all complexity that can be imagined won't actually exist, and that, on the whole, the universe is as simple as can be imagined (but no simpler).

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