Thursday, April 8, 2010

Zeno

Around four hundred B.C. there was a Greek dude who liked to stump people with paradox's, all them trying to prove that motion didn't exist. As absurd as this sounds, some of his arguments are somewhat valid. There are two paradox's out of many that are most stumping.
The first one is the arrow story. The claim is that if you see an arrow at one instant in time it wont be moving. Therefor if in any instant in time the arrow isn't moving the arrow can't move in any instant of time, making motion impossible.
Another argument was the Dichotomy paradox. This says that it is impossible to cross a room, the reason being because; in order to got to the desired location you must move half way there, and once you move half way there, in order to keep progressing towards the desired location, you have to move half of that distance. This is seemingly in endless cycle, first halfway across the room, then 1/4 of the way there, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32, and so on, so that you move across an infinite number of distances, in a finite amount of time, this of course is impossible. But we can cross a room and prove this wrong, right? wrong. It's not proving that we can't walk across a room but that motion is impossible.
The solution to this is simply that Zeno is being illogical. His theory would only work if you stopped at every half way point in the room, and of course, thats not how we walk.