He concluded ""We (the indivisible divinity that works in us) have dreamed the world. We have dreamed it resistant, mysterious, visible, ubiquitous in space and firm in time, but we have allowed slight, and eternal, bits of the irrational to form part of its architecture so as to know that it is false."

I think rather that we have dreamed of infinity which has no necessary role in describing the objective universe which is "resistant, mysterious, visible, ubiquitous in space and firm in time*".

First the currently favored theory is that space is not, at the moment, infinite but rather is a finite hypersphere. There was a possibility that time might end in a singularity as it began, but the current view is that the universe will expand forever. Bummer. I note however that the 2nd law of thermodynamics implies that life will not last forever (asymptotically we will "all" be dead, "we" referring to living things not currently living people). So I claim that there is a T so large that predictions of what happens after T can never be tested (as there will be nothing left that can test predictions.

However it is still arguable (by Blake) that we can find infinity in a grain of sand and eternity in an hour. Indeed when Blake wrote, that was the general view of phyicists (philosophy makes the oddest bedfellows) as time was assumed to be a continuum with infinitely many distinct instants in an hour.

Since then physicists have changed their mind -- the key word above was "distinct" which I will also call "distinguishable" (and I dare the most pedantice pedant (who knows who he is) to challenge my interchanging the two words which consist of different letters).

The current view is that (delta T)(delta E) = h/(4 pi) where delta T is the uncertainty in time of an event, delta E is the uncertainty in energy involved, h is Planck's constant, pi is the ratio of the circumpherance of a circle to it's diameter and damnit you know what 4 means.

delta E must be less that Mc^2 where M is the (believed to be finite) mass of the observable universe. So there is a minimum delta T which I will call littleT. A universe in which time is continuous (and an hour contains an infinity of instants) is observationally equivalent to a universe in which time (from the big bang) is a natural number times littleT. The time from the big bang to T can be modeled as a finite number of discrete steps just as well as it can be modeled as a continuum of real numbers. This means that the question of which if these hypothetical possibilities time really is is a metaphysical question not a scientific question.

Now about that grain of sand. there is another formula

(delta X)(delta P) = h/(4 pi)

X is the location of something, P is its momentum. |P| and therefore delta P is less than or equal to Mc/2 where M is the mass of the observable universe. The 2 appears because total momentum is zero. This means that there is a minimum delta X and a model in which space is a latice consisting of a dimension zero, countable set of separated points is observationally equivalent to the standard model in which space is a 3 dimensional real manifold. Again the question of what space really is is metaphysical not scientific.

Recall that space is generally believed to be finite (currently a finite hypersphere). It is expanding. At T it will be really really big, but still finite. That means the countable subset of the 3 dimensional manifold model implies a finite number of different places. No infinity in the observablee universe let alone in a grain of sand

There are other things than energy, time, space and momentum. I am pretty sure they can be modeled as finite sets too (boy am I leading with my chin there).

I think there is a model with a finite set of times and of places which is observationally equivalent to the standard model and, therefore, just as scientifically valid. except for metaphysics and theology, I think we have no need for infinity. I think it is not avatars of the tortoise all the way down.

*note not ubiquitous in time as there wass a singularity some time ago.

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