Thursday, July 26, 2007
Doggerel #113: "Infinite"
Welcome back to "Doggerel," where I ramble on about words and phrases that are misused, abused, or just plain meaningless.
One word many woos are fond of is "infinite" to describe various aspects of their pet woo, even though sometimes it ends up being unnoticeable. It seems a number of people out there really don't "get" infinity. There's a difference between "a really, really big number" and infinity.
One of the commonly touted "infinite" things is God. Many fundies out there will assign their deity with omnipotence one moment, but will sometimes shrink his powers into nonexistence when a demonstration is requested.
Other woos will often try to associate "infinity" with whatever they're touting, often trying to make it sound more important or inaccessible to science, like they often do with "invisible." This is pretty much a baseless assertion, as well as transfer. If they want us to buy into something being infinite, they should be able to squeeze in some non-zero value for us to see first.
"Infinite:" I Do Not Think That Word Means What You Think It Means