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Particles Are Temporally Infinite - by John Prytz

Here's afundamental question about a fundamental particle existing within the fundamentalsconcerning all things temporal: How old is an up-quark? If particles can becreated out of nothing, then an up-quark, an example of a fundamental particle,has a finite age. However, if matter cannot be created out of nothing, as theFirst Law of Thermodynamics states, then matter like the up-quark (and alsoenergy), has always existed and thus even if our Universe had a beginning, itwas in the context of a beginning from pre-existing stuff.   


My debating theist, MG, insists that the Universe had abeginning and that was due to their being a First Cause, and the 'cause' of theFirst Cause was, of course God. There could have been no actual existence ofmatter / energy as well as of time and space before that First Cause.Therefore, MG will have hell freeze over before he concedes that there was abefore-the-beginning-of-our-Universe, a before-the-beginning that involvedmatter, energy, time and space. Alas, hell has just frozen over since there wasa before the Big Bang as we shall shortly see. A frozen hell is even more thecase if there never was a beginning to matter / energy as well as no beginningto time and space. That totally does away with the need for a creator, in otherwords MG's God. Of course I argue exactly that point - that hell has frozenover - and use as a primary argument that particles are temporally infinite.


MG - "I'm referring to the life of a singleparticle, which you claim has existed for an infinite amount of time."


JP - If a particle, like an up-quark, can neither becreated nor destroyed, then by pure logic it has to have an infinitelifespan. 


MG "Even if the life of a particle isinfinite..."


JP - The moment you acknowledge that a particle can havean infinite lifespan you totally demolish your own First Cause, cause. Itbecomes a lost cause! You are a finite event. The stuff that makes you up isNOT a finite event but an ever ongoing process. The stuff that makes you upexisted before you were an event and will exist after you cease to be an event,that is after you turn to dust or ashes. Now until such time as you can actuallydemonstrate for me - in practice, but I'll settle for any theoretical meansthat scientists would endorse - that something like a particle can be createdfrom nothing (and thus have a finite lifespan), and I don't care what kind ofuniverse you postulate - open or closed - I'll just go along with the mostobvious of obvious conclusions, that being that the Cosmos is temporallyinfinite. End of story.


MG - "... it [a particle] persists across a seriesof events throughout its life."


JP - Which is a 'life' that is infinite so the series ofevents it crosses is infinite too.


MG - "The problem is that there is no way it couldhave completed an infinite number of events PRIOR to the current event that it’sin the midst of right now."


JP - If at everymoment of existence, everything in existence has experienced their existence‘now’, then it’s not surprising that everything in existence has made it tothis point in time – which is ‘now’. That applies no matter how far back yourexistence goes, even if it goes infinitely far back. 


MG - "The particular up-quark that you claim hasalways existed (because you think it could not have been created) must haveactually gone through an infinite number of events prior to the one that iscurrently going on in its frame of reference. ...  So, you are faced with simultaneously sayingthat something has completed an actually infinite number of steps AND thatinfinities cannot be completed since they go on and on."


JP - Up-quarks cannot be created or destroyed accordingto theory, to experiment, to observation. You can negate that statement byactually creating or destroying one. Negating that possibility, thereforeup-quarks have always existed. They are and always will be of infinite age. Butthey have clearly made the infinite journey to the here-and-now. That is notunder dispute. So, in the battle between theoretical metaphysics and actualobservation, back actual observation. 


MG -You claim that there are particles with infinitelives, so do it from their perspective ... If a particle has had an infinitelife prior to this point, then it has traversed an infinite number of eventsand has reached the end of that infinite set of PAST events (given that allsuch events already happened prior to the current event that the particle iscurrently going through; aka, prior to the "dividing line" for thatparticular particle).


JP - Nothing succeeds like success and you can't deny thesuccess of the temporally infinite stuff of the temporally infinite Cosmos beingpresent and accounted for in the relative here and now. You also can't denythat there is no actual experimental or theoretical means by which that stuffcan be created from no-stuff so therefore my claim that the stuff of the Cosmosis temporally infinite has to be true and therefore the Cosmos containing thatstuff (as a closed system) is also temporally infinite. Therefore there is atleast one flaw in your argument.


MG – “We agree onpoint one, infinite series do not reach endpoints (they don't even have anyendpoints), but somehow you disagree that, by definition, the term "pastevents" refers to the series of events which occurred prior to now... whatexactly does "past event" mean to you, then, if not what the standarddefinition is?”


JP – A “pastevent” is a happening that involved some motion, some change and had someduration, a duration that was measured by some units we invented which wehappen to call units of time. That “past event” however when it actuallyhappened was a current event or a now event (current or now being that everongoing division between what happened and what will happen). You’ll note thatfor a current event to become a past event that there was no termination pointor endpoint involved with respect to that current, now past event, otherwiseyou wouldn’t be having this current event, soon to be a past event. Since eachevent is usually considered to be an event of finite duration, well that’s whywe can label it an event instead of something eternally ongoing, like an up-quark.You are a finite event; an up-quark is an ongoing ‘event’ of infinite duration.That you are a finite event doesn’t mean there isn’t an infinite number offinite events, past and future (since you can’t pin down “The Present Moment”or “current” or “now”). 

Science librarian; retired.

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