Debunking dimensions

Dimensional theory is clearly a huge bundel of pap. I’ll accept that space or space-time can be represented on a 3 or 4 dimensional co-ordinate system (thank you Descartes!) but to say that reality is divided into 3 or four dimensions is nonsense! It is a continuum - a continuously unfolding unity.

A “dimension” is an abstract concept (like a straight line) which is a function of dividing a thing. In the real world, the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th dimensions do exist separately.

Therefore any theory which postulates the existence of other dimensions is a huge lot of crap.

0 = Point, 1 = Line, 2= Square, 3= Cube:
A line is a point extruded in a single direction
A square is a line extruded in a direction perpendicular to it’s length
A cube is a square extruded in a direction perpendicular to it’s plane

Where is the problem with that?

(x,y,z,yaw,pitch,roll,point in time).

There - I’ve just established a seven-dimensional system.

What was your point again?


In terms of geometery, yes, but a straight line is only present at a certain level of abstraction (requiring mind) and does not actually exist in the physical world. Hence all dimensional representations, although useful diagrammatic representations of reality, have no real correspondance to reality other than through mind.


should have read:

In the real world, the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th dimensions do NOT exist separately.

Silly me!

Yes, you’re right. Dimension is a concept we’ve created to help us describe the universe. Reality is a continuum, whatever. You still need a certain number of coordinates to communicate location, and that’s dimensionality in reality.

How can a straight line not exist in the real world? I don’t get that idea.

Sorry, my last post was a little unclear. It is true that dimensions are a concept that humans created to help us understand the universe. One wonders why this should be shocking or damning, but I digress. Nevertheless, now that we have a concept of dimension, we note that it is consistent: measure the dimensionality of a given object more than once, and you’ll get the same answer every time.

There’s also the issue of what exactly it means to “divide reality into n dimensions”. No one is claiming that we’ve partitioned reality, not at all. According to different definitions of dimension, either we need n coordinates to specify a point in spacetime, or when you take a “cube” in spacetime, and cut the sides in half, you get 2[sup]n[/sup] smaller cubes. Both of these are entirely reasonable properties for the universe to have, don’t you think?

Sure if you are talking about properties then a thing may have n dimension properties so you know what size it is and where it is.

But don’t people like Stephen Hawking say that there are like 13 dimensions or something? This seems to me to be interpreting a “dimension” as an absolute “thing in itself” and not a scale on which to measure an objects size/position.

There is also this thing called fractals.

When Stephen Hawking talks of 13-dimensional space, he means that there are certain features of reality that only make sense if you use at least 13 independent parameters to model them. Simple as that.


Let me try. In a geometric sense, a straight line doesn’t really exist in the real world as an independent entity. From my memory - a line is something than can be measured in lenght, but it’s height and width are infinitely small. Anything with those proportions would not exist.

We can say that a line exists as an abstract concept - immagine two points in space and you can immagine a line joining those two points. But you can’t grab the line and measure it.

A line is simply a tool - an idea we use in geometry. Cubes, for instance, exist in the real world. To discuss the cube in terms of math/geometry, we need other ideas like sguares, lines and points.

I’ve probably made a million mistakes, but that is how I understand it.

Trion’s answer is pretty much right on. No mistakes I can see.

I’ll try to expand on Trion’s answer to this.

A truly straight line does not exit in the real world and I’ll try to illustrate this.

Forgetting for a moment issues with width or depth imagine you draw a perfectly straight line 1,000 miles long on the surface of the earth (say by dragging your heel through the dirt). From your perspective on earth it looks straight. What you can’t perceive standing on the ground is that the earth is curved. Go up in the Space Shuttle and now look at your line. If you look straight down on it it appears straight. However, if you fly off to the side a ways you can see that your line is actually curved. So, from a 2 dimensional perspective (which is largely what you get when standing on the earth) your line is straight. From a 3 dimensional perspective (from the Space Shuttle) your line is, in fact, curved.

Now go up another level. Say you draw a straight line in space 1 light year long. It looks straight and since it isn’t on the surface of the earth it doesn’t have to follow any curvature. The trick here is that space itself is curved (as has been scientifically proven by watching light from distant stars bend around the sun). If you could somehow raise yourself into the 4[sup]th[/sup] dimension you’d see that your straight line in 3-D is, in fact, bent. So, in short, no truly straight lines.

You could actually figure out the curvature to the universe with a simple experiment. The inside angles of a triangle always add up to 180 degrees. If you made a big enough triangle in space and measured the inside angles you would find that they would not quite equal 180 degrees. Unfortunately to do this you’d need one helluva big triangle. Such a thing would have to be many light years long on a side for the effect to become apparent (just as drawing a triangle an inch on a side on the surface fo the earth would not be sufficient to detect the earth’s curvature…you simply could not measure that precisely). Since we currently have no reasonable way to send spaceships with laser beams to make our triangle out many light years this experiment will have to wait awhile.

“Dimensions” are abstract concepts.

A 1D object does not in actuality exist. Any object actually has some length and height and width.

A 3D object also does not exist, as The Time Traveller in HG Wells book accurately stated, it also exists in some distance along the time dimension as well. An object with no distance along time does not exist.

Modern physics hypothesizes that additional spatial dimensions also exist, even if they are “curled up” very discretely, and that the most elemental units of the universe have extension in these dimensions as well. Our neuroperceptive structures are not designed to image such spaces, but they can be mathematically visualized and are consistent with the data. If this thinking is correct then they are no more or less real than is “height”.

For a fun take on it read “Flatland” and its modern inspired sequal giving a great tour through modern mathematical concepts, “Flatterland.”

Well, I have it on good authority that the actual multiverse has six dimensions. Dr. Burroughs was good enough to summarize his seminal papers for me before he left. :wink:

A what? You’re not going to start talking about Phi, are you?

No, dimensions are not an “abstract” concept; they’re a fundamental property of space. For example, gravity obeys an inverse square law because there are three – and only three – large-scale spatial dimensions. There may be other “short” spatial dimensions, which would have profound, and very measurable, physical effects.

While it is quite difficult to imagine more than 3 orthogonal spatial dimensions, that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. I’m sure Chronos or ring could explain this better than I.

Did you have a particular theory in mind? I assume you’re talking about string theory. In any case, this statement is patently ridiculous.

I find myself in complete agreement with Truth Seeker.

I also notice two things:

1-The OP expects the rest of us to accept as facts that which the OP has posted as facts. Other posters, including TS, have ably demonstrated the falsity of some of those “facts.”

2-There is a decided difference between a religious study and a scientific inquiry.[list=a][li]The religious study is an attempt to explain the why of what is already believed. It is a search for evidence to support the (only) desired conclusion.[/li][li]A scientific inquiry, on the other hand, is an examination of the evidence and then a portrayal of the conclusion to which the evidence points.[/list=a][/li]
Not only in this thread, but in the OP’s creationism thread, the OP has demonstrated that (s)he is not examining evidence in a scientific manner.

Not to poo-poo on what other posters have said, but what makes you say that they don’t exist seperately? the postulation of independent dimensions in no way states that these dimensions can exist seperately, only that they may be treated seperately by making certain assumptions. We can ignore time when discussing general triangles; we can ignore a fourth spatial dimension when operating on plane figures and solids. That is not, ever, to say that other dimensions don’t exist, and it certainly doesn’t say that they exist independently.

Some here like to harp on the “higher dimensions don’t exist” and I will be happy to challenge anyone who says so, and have in the past (to little avail, of course, but whatever). If we can accurately describe the behavior of kabbes with 13 different parameters which are in no way dependent on each other, then in what other manner would you like to use the word “dimension”? Certainly I cannot think of one.

Furthermore, consider a “practical” problem. I have several M6 screws in my tool box. However, the hole I have which requires an M6 screw is only 4mm deep. Clearly I don’t need to consider the diameter “dimension” and can completely ignore it. that isn’t to say it doesn’t exist.

That we may explain many, many things with, say, four dimensions isn’t to say that that fourth dimension, or any of the four dimensions, exist or not. That is to say that we may describe such behavior by using four parameters. In the screw example, I can describe my needs in one dimension: length. That isn’t to say the screw doesn’t have a diameter, of course. Only a fool would say such a thing. Screws obviously have a diameter. Why people are so very resistent to the idea of higher dimensions existing I will never understand.

If “length” exists, then so does any other parameter which we can say varies along a set of values.

I can establish a seven-dimensional system, too: (x,y,z,beef,google,sock,janglemuffin). That doesn’t mean that I know what the hell I’m talking about, however.

What was your point again?

aging hipsters’ retirement home

The difference is that kabbes has given a coordinate system suitable for specifying the position and angular velocity of a particle. You put seven words in parentheses, and claimed not to know what you were talking about. There is a difference.