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Posted by Luis Hamburgh on August 9, 2002 18:59:23 UTC

Hello,

>>>"infinity is a very simple concept which any child can understand."

I agree with this. The concept of infinity is very straightforward.

My point was that, since math's consideration of infinity turns into a paradox, we might be glimpsing a bit of what Goedel was saying in his Incompleteness Theorem.

>>>"infinity in physics means they lost the grip on the problem"

It seems you and I agree, after clarifying that little miscommunication.

Some of the infinities you mentioned (points, zero-d, etc.) are what I think could more accurately be described as 'boundaries.' Maybe, since we have no way to see beyond these boundaries, the scientific folks consider them empirically untouchable (much like the p.i.t. in the infinity vs. boundlessness discussion), hence science calls these boundaries 'infinities.'

I'm not nearly as mathematics-versed as you are, so you probably know better than I do why these things are called 'infinities' in a field where infinities are a no-no (as in the Feynman example Richard cited earlier).

-LH

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