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I'm trying to say that you are all stupid mortals who know naught of can not tell any one any thing that you dont even know about at all and yeah. The universe is there and we cannot see it. Everything is a part of it. Anything can change it. If you want real insight let me know but I will say you are very closed minded to beleive that things we cant see and experience isnt part of the universe. Tell me, how many people have molded it. Can you experience their lives? I rest my case. Btw a great website to discuss that on is www.wiccanet.net. visit it. Get an open mind. peace -M.H


Are you trying to say that things we cannot see and experience are not part of the universe? If so, that is not the definition i know. You specifically say the universe is not "everything that is", yet i would have said that was exactly what the universe *is*. "Uni" means "one", the word universe means one thing, it is one because it includes everything, so there can't be a 2nd one. -- Tango

It's everything humans can comprehend. That's somewhat less than everything that is. That is the only really universal definition. At least until we can ask some orang-utan and humpback whale and Neanderthal and post-human robot cosmologists what they think "the universe" is...
Eugene Wigner said some very profound things about this, especially that you couldn't have any theory of 'THE universe' by consulting only one species - and he's a better cosmologist than me. Also his bio is on the list of Brilliant Prose, so it's worth reading. Lee Smolin is also quite interesting about the notion of multiple fecund universes - plural!
It's not a religious position, it's just a fact - human powers to comprehend such stuff as the start of time, etc., are quite limited - we think we might be able to comprehend it, we have models of it - but it's absurd to say that we *do* really and truly comprehend it, or have that capacity. There is no theory of cosmology which claims to do more than rigorize human sensory perception into a sharable model of the whole species' cognition of what's around it. It would be extreme arrogance to say that this represents "all there is."

I agree that there is a big difference between what we can comprehend, and everything that is, but i would have said the universe was the 2nd one. -- Tango

Cosmology has changed. Up until the 1910s or so it was possible for people to believe that they could have a concept of "the universe" (singular) and tag a word to it, and talk about it as if they were God and able to use it as an object in a sentence. But really no one believes that any more, thanks in part to relativity, in part to quantum mechanics, now in science they talk about observer effects, and how we can never see the whole universe at one time, and how our mathematics is quite limited.
Only if you believe very specific things about mathematics, and equally specific things about physics, can you really say that there is a "universe" that is "all there is" and that you can talk about it as a single concept in a sentence... even though you admit you can't really comprehend it! So what would you be talking about, in that case? Just some delusion that may well be yours personally, and not even shared by other humans.
The fact that Lee Smolin refers to "fecund universeS" <-- plural, in his theory, is a pretty obvious proof of this. A "universe" then is JUST a construct in a theory, and it can't be anything else - to confuse it with "what is" is just an error in logic.
There are also problems with the verb to be - to say "all there is" is really not saying anything specific. E Prime tries to get rid of that verb, and maybe that's what we should use in Simple English?
Now, all of the above could be in the article. It's very interesting. But it is also confusing, and requires explaining the subject-object problem and point of view problems arising in relativity. Bertrand Russell wrote a good introduction to these in ABCs of Relativity.


If you are really uncomfortable, perhaps you can fill in some of the subjects, which are well covered in Full English, along with others like philosophy of perception, philosophy of physics and philosophy of mathematics, cosmology, perspective, philosophy of science, ontology and so on. When all of this is properly put in Simple English it may be much easier to say what "universe" means neutrally.

From dictionary.com, quoting Websters:

"universe

n 1: everything that exists anywhere; "they study the evolution of the universe"; "the biggest tree in existence" [syn: existence, nature, creation, world, cosmos, macrocosm] 2: the whole collection of existing things [syn: cosmos] 3: (statistics) the entire aggregation of items from which samples can be drawn; "it is an estimate of the mean of the population" [syn: population] 4: everything stated or assumed in a given discussion [syn: universe of discourse]"

What the conquences are of that definition are not relevent. It may be completely meaningless to talk about the universe with current scientific theories (the word "multiverse" pops up quite often, which clearly contradicts "universe"), but the defintion of the word is still "everything that exists". -- Tango

That is a popular definition. From the point of view of any current scientific theory, it's wrong. You said it yourself: "the word "multiverse" pops up quite often, which clearly contradicts "universe"".
What we should do, is say that the popular definition is "everything that exists", with the dictionary definition, because the word is used popularly in that sense. But we should immediately add that in science it only means some kind of construct that humans toss around in theories to rigorously combine human perceptions of "Everything that exists" as far as they can perceive it. Trying to nail this to a paragraph:
"Universe means in common language "everything that exists". Until recently it was assumed that human beings could actually know about, or list these things, or talk about them as a unified whole. Today scientists mostly doubt this, and think about a universe only as an abstract idea that fits into a theory. Everything that each human thinks exists is combined in theory with some mathematics into a thing that science calls "a universe" - which scientists do not claim includes everything that actually exists. There are things that humans cannot perceive, or believe in, or share their perceptions of, or put into words or numbers. These are part of the universe in the popular sense but cannot be part of the universe in any given theory."
I'll go with that. -- Tango
It's now the lead. Thanks very much for your detailed nitpicking here. The article is very much better as a result. Probably our Universe is the best way to refer to the scientific concept in any other article, since there's a consensus that "our" (human mathematic models) are what "we" talk about when we use the scientific concept. And, religion is quite comfortable with the idea of a limit on human knowledge, indeed most religion is based on it. That too should be said - the major flaw in the article as it stands is not dealing seriously enough with religious ideas of the universe's origins and endings, but that could go in cosmology.

There is a rule that says Wikipedia is not a soapbox. Many of the things in this article seem like they might break this rule. There are scientists who study the Universe and agree, in general, how we should talk about it. I think the article should emphasize the scientific ideas and not talk so much about philosophical possibilities.

? Actually, you have it in reverse. This article is only about the scientific ideas, and does not talk about religion's idea of cosmology or continuous creation or anything yet.
What you want is at models of our universe.
Also, are you trying to say that the theories mentioned are not scientific somehow? If so that seems like the mechanistic paradigm again: Lee Smolin's theory is just as much part of science as whatever other theory you are thinking of. Please be more specific about the so-called "philosophical possibilities"? Maybe some of it could move to cosmology? But really models of our universe is the right place to talk about more exact mathematical models that make no speculative assumptions.

This is not a simple article. The paragraphs are too long and too rambling.--Eloquence

It needs copyedits. And, it's going to end up as one of the articles where there is a Simplest English intro and then a much longer thing explaining how all the different definitions interact, and etc.
It's also part of the Simple English Reading in Cosmology, being used to work out the limits of Simple English, and will be a quite late reading I'm sure. Maybe there needs to be a Simplest English version that is just a dictionary definition, and this one can be marked for more advanced reader?

The page that was here was really, really complicated and has been replaced (sorry!) with one in very simple terms. 137.222.10.58

Reversion of text[edit]

The text currently on the article states clearly that the accepted scientific theory for the origin of the universe is the Big Bang. It is correct to say this. To claim that "nobody knows for sure" is a violation of WP:NPOV policy because that is an opinion, not a fact. Accordingly, I have changed the prose back. If this becomes more of a problem, I will start a dispute resolution. --71.57.90.3 15:10, 23 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]

"Nobody knows for sure" is not a fact? Your words imply that somebody does know for sure. (Or maybe, that somebody thinks they know for sure?) If it is true that nobody knows for sure, and as far as any evidence has been seen, nobody does know for sure, then it is a definite fact, and not an opinion. Blockinblox 17:41, 23 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Let's put it this way, find me a text on physical cosmology or astronomy that can be used to back-up your "fact". --71.57.90.3 23:29, 26 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]