Does space exist? Part 1

What we think we see may be different than it seems.

I attended an archery contest once, even fired a few arrows, and I swear I could see all these arrows fly through space and miss their target.  I was a lousy archer.

Zeno the famed Greek philosopher of the Eleatic school related a story of an archery contest, to raise a paradox that has given philosophers sleepless nights ever since.  An arrow is in flight towards its target, at a given moment the arrow in order to fill the space must be stationary, therefore motion and change is an illusion.

I disagree with Zeno.  If change and motion was false then I would not exist, or move or be able to think.  I think therefore I am.  I move.  I know I exist.  I am firmly with Heraclitus that change and motion exists.  The alternative answer to Zeno’s paradox is to question if space exists, which raised the first suspicion in me that what I am seeing as space may not be as it seems.

Time is easy for me to prove as an invention, but space is a tricky one.  This puzzle I will address in a few blogs.

I would like to make three initial observations:

1. Matter

We and our instruments can only observe 4.6% of the total content of the universe, the rest is invisible dark matter and dark energy.

2. Limits of our senses

Our senses have evolved to sense a limited range of the 4.6% of what could be seen.  For example we cannot see infrared or ultra violet radiation, though some animals can.

3. Limits of our brain processors

Often our senses sends to the brain an incomplete picture, the brain then fills in the gaps, thus what we “see” may not be what is in reality.

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2 responses to “Does space exist? Part 1

  1. One more thing if I may. Are we seeing the present?! When we look at the sky and see the stars, are all of them there? They might have been exploded a 100 light years ago and just know we are seeing their emmitance.

    • Good point.

      In a number of experiments, including “double-slit experiments”, scientists observed individual particles like photons apparently teleport, in two states at once, and in two locations at once. If particles on the quantum level can teleport and be in two locations at once, we may indeed be observing an event in the present.

      I will address the issues raised by your point and others in my future “part 2” blog.

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