Monday, August 13, 2007

Math Question

This is the question that kept me awake last night.

Some people claim the universe has an infinite number of stars.

If we take it as a given that the universe has infinite space,

but that stars do not consitute the entirety of space,

then that allows a possibility but not an assurity of infinite stars.

If we ever determined that space was, in fact, not infinite, which some suggest, then we would be able to automatically assume that stars are not infinite either (or they would fill up and spill out of the universe).

But, if we were to somehow find out that stars were finite (I'm not sure how we would find this out), would that give us reasonable doubt about the infinity of the universe as well?

I'm not sure that it is actually a math question, but there might be a mathematical answer.


Dan said...

While space is infinite, I think the number of stars is not infinite. Whoever claims that the universe has an infinite number of stars is, I believe, mistaken. And I don't believe that finite stars means a finite universe - I think of the universe as space, not determined by the number of stars in it. Your living room could double in size, but you wouldn't necessarily have more chairs in it.

Jim said...

Agreed. But, I think the argument for infinite stars is that the space we can see has a given number of stars, so there is no reason to think that the space that stretches out beyond what we can see wouldn't have stars as well. And if that space stretches infinitely, then the quantity of stars might well be infinite too.


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