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How old do you think the universe is?

Posted Nov 4, '12 at 6:09am

Getoffmydangle

Getoffmydangle

148 posts

I wanted to bring this back to Dr Doughnut's original question.  Here is what I know for sure:  I'm 29, so the universe is at least that old from my understanding (assuming you believe in measuring time linearly).  I would also have to guess that the universe pre-dates my parents, who are in their 60's.  Similarly, I'm willing to bet that the universe was around when my grandmother was born...but she is the oldest person I know.  Now, I can't know for sure if anything existed before I did.  Some people might be skeptical, but I'm willing to take that leap of faith.  So in conclusion, I think the universe is at least 94 years old.

 

Posted Nov 4, '12 at 9:29am

HahiHa

HahiHa

5,033 posts

Knight

So in conclusion, I think the universe is at least 94 years old.

You could then progressively add more to it. First, consider for example old tombstones with a date engraved. There are also even older historic texts that make case of a year date. There are also radiometry and carbon isotopes who can date geologic layers, or alternatively, plate tectonics who will tell you the minimal age of a certain tectonic plate. Etc. etc.

 

Posted Nov 4, '12 at 10:22am

Jeff1999

Jeff1999

648 posts

Lets just say that the universe is just as old as the size of it. Which means the answer is putting 8 to sleep. Which makes: INFINITE

-Jeff

 

Posted Nov 4, '12 at 1:34pm

MageGrayWolf

MageGrayWolf

9,677 posts

Knight

Now, I can't know for sure if anything existed before I did.  Some people might be skeptical, but I'm willing to take that leap of faith.

You could then progressively add more to it. First, consider for example old tombstones with a date engraved. There are also even older historic texts that make case of a year date. There are also radiometry and carbon isotopes who can date geologic layers, or alternatively, plate tectonics who will tell you the minimal age of a certain tectonic plate. Etc. etc.

To ad to this in regard to the point above, since we are using objectively verifiable empirical evidence, it doesn't take faith to determine that something existed before you did.

 

Posted Nov 4, '12 at 3:34pm

pangtongshu

pangtongshu

8,631 posts

Lets just say that the universe is just as old as the size of it.
Which makes: INFINITE

The universe is growing, though, which means that it had to have a starting point for its growth (the beginning of the universe age)

Plus...I don't think infinite works with a starting age. Undefined does, however (I understand the scientific belief of when the Big Bang was and then we know the age from there...I'm thinking in terms of before the Bang, however)

 

Posted Nov 4, '12 at 4:26pm

thepunisher93

thepunisher93

1,859 posts

Let me assure you that the universe is one day older than yesterday.

 

Posted Nov 4, '12 at 7:06pm

Getoffmydangle

Getoffmydangle

148 posts

First, consider for example old tombstones with a date engraved. There are also even older historic texts that make case of a year date.

Ahh, but how can I be sure that those things really are that old?  For all I know, those "old" tombstones, or the pyramids, were created that way 94 years ago when my grandmother was born.  I knew my grandmother, I know she was old, but if I'm just seeing something for the first time, I can't know for sure how old it is. 

since we are using objectively verifiable empirical evidence

Are we though?  The question of the thread is leaves it open for me to opine.   :)   It is not asking how well we are able to read and comprehend the readily available scientific facts.  I interpreted the question as more of a philosophical prompting since by its very nature it assumes that the answer is subjective.  There are different levels of knowledge available then, including first-hand (which I chose).  I am also vaguely familiar with the brand of 'knowledge' that seems to have the most trouble accepting the common scientific answers.  see here

 

Posted Nov 4, '12 at 7:56pm

pangtongshu

pangtongshu

8,631 posts

Ahh, but how can I be sure that those things really are that old?  For all I know, those "old" tombstones, or the pyramids, were created that way 94 years ago when my grandmother was born.  I knew my grandmother, I know she was old, but if I'm just seeing something for the first time, I can't know for sure how old it is. 

Now...what about the memories your grandmother has of her grandmother?

 

Posted Nov 4, '12 at 9:16pm

MageGrayWolf

MageGrayWolf

9,677 posts

Knight

Are we though?

The OP might not be but given your argument of requiring faith, this isn't the case.

I interpreted the question as more of a philosophical prompting since by its very nature it assumes that the answer is subjective.

Though the age of the universe isn't a subjective matter. We have objective evidence to work with.

There are different levels of knowledge available then, including first-hand (which I chose).

Which can be very misleading. Our perception can be very wrong. This is why it's good to rely on objectivity and  repeatability to the best of our ability.

I am also vaguely familiar with the brand of 'knowledge' that seems to have the most trouble accepting the common scientific answers.

Yeah it's called denying facts.

 

Posted Nov 4, '12 at 10:30pm

VonHeisenbourg

VonHeisenbourg

215 posts

Lets just say that the universe is just as old as the size of it. Which means the answer is putting 8 to sleep. Which makes: INFINITE

Nothing is infinite, everything is finite. Can you give me a plausible answer that makes something infinite?

Yeah it's called denying facts.

I don't think so. "Facts" change all the time. Every 100 years or so scientific facts are proven to be false, and another "fact" takes it's place. Do you know what I'm talking about. Soooo... having trouble accepting the common scientific answers is certainly not unreasonable.

 
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