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Friday, August 27, 2010


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You can find him here: http://www.facebook.com/richard.c.potter, and here: http://www.myspace.com/ohgeorge.

On his MySpace page he states, "In my misspent youth, I received a PhD in philosophy from Brown University. Once I finally realized that it's rather important to have a job, I went back to school and earned a MS in computer science from UNC-Chapel Hill. Over the past several years, as time and my schedule have permitted, I've completed 18 hours of graduate level mathematics courses from UNC-Chapel Hill."

Thanks for that info!

Having now clicked on the links, both are bad.

Try this:


"The reason there can be a first interval without a first instant is because the interval is open in the earlier direction."

Time, like space, are of the Universe (and are indeed inseparable according to STR and GTR). I don't understand what "time" could possibly mean without the context of Universe.

Likewise, cause and effect are of the Universe. Without the context of Universe, what does "cause" mean?

On a different note, take a look at this

Physically, we may think that again in the very remote future, the universe “forgets” time in the sense that there is no way to build a clock with just conformally invariant material. This is related to the fact that massless particles, in relativity theory, do not experience any passage of time. We might even say that to a massless particle, “eternity is no big deal”. So the future boundary, to such an entity is just like anywhere else. With conformal invariance both in the remote future and at the Big-Bang origin, we can try to argue that the two situations are physically identical, so the remote future of one phase of the universe becomes the Big Bang of the next. This suggestion is my “outrageous” conformal cyclic cosmology”

"Now if there was a first interval of time, a first year some fifteen billion years ago let us say, but no first instant of time, then God can create the physical universe without violating (PCC)."

How can you date this interval of time if there is no first instant of time? You concede something like "a first year", that is an amount of time defined by 2 end-points. Now since one of the two is earler than the second one (and than any of the other instants of that interval), then this must be the first instant



If the Big Bang theory is true, then the universe is metrically finite in the past direction. If the metric is years, then the age of the universe is 12-15 billions years. But if time is a continuum, and the first interval is open in the earlier direction, then the first interval will have no first instant.

that's exactly what I don't understand. what does "open in the earlier direction" mean ? That it has no end-points? If so, then you can't say how long it lasted. From the notion of "continuum" you can't deduce if an extension is "open" or not; in fact Potter mentioned a "finite interval t1":
"God created contingent objects in such a way that there was a finite interval t1 during which contingent objects came into being [...]"
To me, a "finite interval" means it has 2 end-points, am I wrong?

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