Different levels of impossible

john | May 23, 2021, 2:07 p.m.

Recently I read that some science website had published that wormholes maybe be possible.  Just as time travel may be possible.   Everything, may be possible.  But is that true?

Of course the usual counter argument to when some one says something is impossible, is that it is, until it's not.  There are reasons for that, as most humans have lived to see impossible things occur during their lifetime.

Which, like infinity, means there are different types of infinity, as well as different types of impossible.  For example, as it currently stands, it's still mathematically impossible for a worm hole to exist.  I believe a bit ago there was something like eighty mathematical reasons why worm holes are impossible.

Now it's down to about forty.  So that must mean we are making we are making progress on the impossible.  Although that may in fact be true, it still does not take away from the insane difficulty to actually prove something to be possible.

For example, if we look at math.  Math has something called axioms.  Axioms are a self-evident or universally recognized truth; a maxim, or in other words, an established rule, principle, or law.

This is the bedrock of mathematics.  There are some books written, that spend hundreds of pages, to simply prove that 1 + 1 = 2.

From there you are able to logically start building things in math, to get to things such as calculus, linear algebra, or anything of that sort.  Except, some of those maths have situations that we know are true, but can not prove.

A good example of this is the statement "this sentence is false".

If "this sentence is false" is true, then it is false, but the sentence states that it is false, and if it is false, then it must be true, and so on.

This of course, has it's similar situations in other sciences, for example in physics there is the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.

The more precisely you know the position of a particle, the less precisely you can simultaneously know the momentum of that same particle.

Or basically for an easier explanation of this, I'll quote Andrew Jones,

"Though the above may seem very strange, there's actually a decent correspondence to the way we can function in the real (that is, classical) world. Let's say that we were watching a race car on a track and we were supposed to record when it crossed a finish line. We are supposed to measure not only the time that it crosses the finish line but also the exact speed at which it does so. We measure the speed by pushing a button on a stopwatch at the moment we see it cross the finish line and we measure the speed by looking at a digital read-out (which is not in line with watching the car, so you have to turn your head once it crosses the finish line). In this classical case, there is clearly some degree of uncertainty about this, because these actions take some physical time. We'll see the car touch the finish line, push the stopwatch button, and look at the digital display. The physical nature of the system imposes a definite limit upon how precise this can all be. If you're focusing on trying to watch the speed, then you may be off a bit when measuring the exact time across the finish line, and vice versa."

Granted this has a few flaws in this example, but it gets the general gist through.

So what does this mean about different levels of impossible?

Basically that even if we presume that in fact everything is possible, it is in fact false, as there are in fact things that can not be proven to be true, but are in fact true.  But it is the human condition to try and advance and prove the impossible true.  Perhaps at the cost of going insane knowing you may never be able to actually prove it.

Or, in other words, such is life.


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