Instigator / Pro

Resolution: There is no end to the body of knowledge


The debate is finished. The distribution of the voting points and the winner are presented below.

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Contender / Con

We consider God, at least as understood by theists, to be omniscient; i.e., all-knowing, but I wonder if that is just to offer us a hook on which we can hang a conceivable body of knowledge on God for our benefit, considering we know so little compared to God. This is not a religious, God-based debate; I merely reference God as an idea of an all-knowing being while we are not all-knowing. Is the body of knowledge an expansive field with borders or boundaries, or is the body of knowledge limitless; eternal in nature?

My BoP is to demonstrate that the body of knowledge available to be ultimately known is, in fact, without end; we will never reach any perimeter defining the finite end of knowledge to be had.

My opponent will argue for a finite end to the body of knowledge.


End: a border, or wall, beyond which there is no further knowledge to be had. That is, the body of knowledge is finite.

Body: The sum total of a thing. In this debate, body refers to the sum total of knowledge.

Knowledge: The fact or condition of knowing. The body of the known, factual reality.

Debate protocol

Three-round debate.

R1, R2: Argument, rebuttal, defense

R3: No new argument; only rebuttal, defense, conclusion

All argument, defense, rebuttal, and sourcing will be listed within the context of the debate argument rounds, or sourcing may also be listed within comments within the debate file to conserve maximum space for argumentation, but only during the argumentation’s three rounds. Neither participant may consult with any person associated with DART to serve as a sourced citation as a feature of participant’s argument.

No waived rounds. No more than one round may be forfeited, or forfeiture of entire debate will result. Concession in any round is a debate loss.

No declaration of victory will be made but in the 3rd round. No declaration of assumption of the opponent’s concession or forfeit in any round. These conditions will be obvious to voters only by either participant’s own declaration.

Arguments, rebuttals, defenses, or conclusions may not address voters directly for voting suggestions beyond statement of validity for arguments, et al, made in all rounds. Participants may encourage voters/readers to read/examine any portion of, or entire rounds.

Once the debate is accepted by an opponent, Pro [me] may or may not respond to any post in the Comments section of this debate. The preference is a non-response in favor of concentrating on the debate, itself, and for fear of having influence on anyone during the debate’s argument phase, particularly on potential voters.

Round 1
Resolution:  There is no end to the body of knowledge
I Introduction
I.a Imagine a plane as defined by geometry: a flat, two-dimensional surface that extends to infinity in all its directions.[1]   That infinite plane, by my BoP, is descriptive of the Resolution’s subject: our available body of knowledge. I say “available” because of that infinite plane. We each have a portion of that plane as a personal body of knowledge. What remains unknown to us is available by our choice to acquire it, or not. Our individual portions vary from one another. Much is shared, and some is had only on a limited basis depending on our individual education, formal and informal.
I.a.1 There is a separate diversion from the flat-plane representation that will be more fully representative of the eternal nature of the body of knowledge presented in my R2. My opponent will have ample time to rebut it. On that matter, I will remind, however, that by rule, no new argument may be presented in R3, because of the lack of ability by either opponent to properly rebut. Rebuttal, however, is not an argument for either side’s case, but a response to the opponent of why the opponent’s argument is thought to be wrong. Therefore, rebuttals, and defenses of personal argument, are allowed in R3.
I.b However, back on subject, of the total, infinite expanse, no mortal person on Earth is knowledgeable. There is, for all of us, a formidable unknown, and only a small portion is acquired over a mortal lifetime.
I.c I mentioned in Description that although theists among us generally claim omniscience as an attribute of God, I question the reality of the attribute, but this attribute is not a feature of this debate. I declare the God factor immaterial as this debate is strictly restricted to man’s individual, or collective body of knowledge, variant as it is as described above. I will explain my reasoning of the God factor, however, just to satisfy curiosity on the matter, but I absolve my opponent from needing to rebut it, or anything of the kind. I declare it a non-voting item.
I.c.1 I consider that our attribute of life is eternal in nature; ours and God’s. With eternal life ahead of, and behind us, if the body of knowledge is infinite, as my BoP declares, and God has truly acquired all of it, how boring must life be for him? What then, becomes of curiosity? And yet, we say God is omniscient? There is an answer, and I will entertain it now or later; not related to God, for he needs no further mention, but it is still related to us.
I.c.2 The finite mind has difficulty conceiving infinity. Part of the problem is on most of our wrists, but one of my responses to that accessory is to consider that time does not exist but for the necessity of man to have a uniform schedule for stuff. I am retired, but still self-employed with tasks that are only very loosely driven by a schedule. I no longer wear a watch; I have an adequate clock, though rarely needed, by several devices always close at hand. Timelessness has become a way of life.
II Argument: The body of knowledge is endless
II.a My first argument is my last of this round; mostly based upon how my opponent will respond by his BoP; that the body of knowledge is not endless; that the plane mentioned in the Introduction, above, has limits.
II.b I believe in patterns. One day, marked by the rising and setting of the Sun, regardless of the measure of time involved in its transit across our sky, and the transit it makes on the other side of Earth by our individual perspectives, from setting to rising, during our night. The pattern repeats. 
II.b.1 Just so, we observe a pattern to the body of knowledge, like taking bites out of an infinite cookie, with chocolate chips, of course, each bite slowly, measuredly, assuredly, acquiring more and more knowledge, perhaps even on a daily basis, observing our portion increase as the body of our personal knowledge grows. We are even rewarded by our effort to increase our personal body of knowledge, slowly chipping away at the unknown. What reward? The chocolate chips, of course! The sweet flavor of successful discovery.
II.b.2 How many days of knowledge acquired have transpired since the dawn of our personal existence, or, better still, since the dawn of our collective existence? We do learn from one another as much as from life, itself, and our growing experience with the world, and universe around us. Even if every moment of every day were devoted to learning, would we ever reach a point in our mortality when we could say we have learned all there is to know, individually? 
II.c I say: “no.” 
II.d How do I know, and why can I claim it? Well, one unsatisfactory answer is that we have, after all, an eternity to find out. My opponent may declare that a circular reference, and it probably is. I did warn of unsatisfaction.
II.e My better answer: probability. My argument takes the form of the Bayesian statistical method,[2]  which, in one analysis, discusses statistical probability.  “…probability… is fundamentally important: Probability attaches to possible results...”[3]
II.e.1  Probability:  Suppose you predict the result of tossing a coin 10 times to obtain the result of heads, or tails, or even the rare potential of it landing on its edge. What matters in this experiment is not, however, the types of results, but that results are correctly predicted, or not. Eleven possible results exist: 0 correct predictions through 10 correct predictions. These are the mutually exclusive and exhaustive results. There can be nothing additional.
II.e.2 In the case of our debate, there are but two probable results: either our body of knowledge is endless, or it is not.  So, we select from a larger population a group of test subjects at random; the first of whom predicts there will be 7 correct predictions, regardless of what the prediction is: endless knowledge, or finite knowledge.
II.e.2.A  So, in our example of a test subject, after their predictions are made, we have the coin tossed 10 times, and observe the results. Let’s say the toss results in the 7 correct predictions our first subject made.
II.e.2.B  I say: “The subject just guessed.”
You say: “The subject is likely clairvoyant,” by which you mean that the subject is able to predict at a greater rate than normal predictions over the long run of the experiment with all of the subjects, who, in a normal bell curve of probabilities, will mostly predict just under to just over half; about 4 to 6 correct predictions.
II.e.3  Thus is demonstrated the nature of probability: it attaches to actual results. 
II.f So far in this debate, we do not have the results of that inquiry, and will not until test subjects are “selected” and make their predictions. I put that in quotes because we call the test subjects something else; voters. And, my opponent and I will not be making selections; voters will read and vote of their own volition. Voters will determine, in a rather unscientific experiment, whether my BoP, or my opponent’s, prevails. It will not be statistical, either, because the number of test subjects [or voters] will not be sufficiently numbered, nor randomly selected to cover all walks of life and experience, but, it will be a result, nevertheless. So be it.
II.g As a certified statistical expert, I must add that while I entertain probability as one vehicle of my BoP, I recognize that the Resolution is an absolute, not a matter of probability, and this recognition acknowledges that probability is not sufficient to carry the day for my BoP. Consider it as a booster stage of a rocket, intended to get us just shy of escape velocity from our grounded condition of the unknown. It does, however, contribute, and my R2 “stage” will put us into orbit, fulfilling the remaining lack from probability to an absolute.
That is the scope of my R1 argument. I pass the bottom frame of R1 to my opponent.

I accept PRO's definition of KNOWLEDGE as "the fact or condition of knowing.". However, I literally have no idea on how PRO's arguments have anything to do with the resolution. By the way, God cannot be bored, as boredoom is caused by a failure of the brain's attention networks [1], and God suposedly neither has a brain nor flaws. Moving on, PRO's argument regarding statistics simply fails to take into considderation the definition of KNOW which KNOWLEDGE is based upon.

  • to have information in your mind
  • to be certain
  • true, justified belief; certain understanding, as opposed to opinion.
Guesswork, religious faith, political theory, pseudoscientifical beliefs and philosophical conclusions are not actually knowledge, but simply falls into a category of subjective opinion. This would invalidate any argument from PRO rellying on such things being knowledge. Only what you and others can agree upon based by actuall and experimental experience can be called knowledge.

My BoP is to demonstrate that the body of knowledge available to be ultimately known is, in fact, without end; we will never reach any perimeter defining the finite end of knowledge to be had.

My opponent will argue for a finite end to the body of knowledge.

You are a great writer my friend, and your philosophical mind seems to live on a higher plane of existence. Since I can't really out-write you, imma gonna go ahead and slap you with some cold hard science facts. These examples showcases how there are actually limitations to our knowledge, limitations that are impossible to overcome. Because of this, there are not only one, but multiple ends to the body of knowledge.

1. Heizenbergs Uncertainty principle is a definitive end of knowledge that cannot be overcome. The principle is that one cannot both know the position and velocity of  a particle, not even in theory [2].  The more you know the position, the less you know the velocity, and vice versa. The total amount of certainty (read: knowledge) one can have about a particle is limited by the amount of uncertainty, which cannot be less than h/(4π) [ibid]. There are a lot of other such pairs of properties that cannot both be known at the same time. As a result, the rules of the universe serves as a definitive barrier of how much knowledge there can be. This fact alone serves to disprove PRO's case, because there is in fact a barrier directly preventing us from knowing what we want to know.

2. Spacetime cones represent a finite limit of interactions between objects in space [3]. No information (read: knowledge) can travel faster than light, and as such, what happens millions of lightyears away will not be visible to us before millions of years have passed. Because of this, there is information out there which you could never access even if you tried to. Moreover,  94% of the visible universe is travelling away from us faster than the speed of light due to the expansion of the universe [4]. This means that 94% of the universe is literally never going to be known even if we live forever. This limits the knowledge we might gather to a mere 6% of the observable universe, and shrinking quickly [ibid].

3. Black holes trap information almost forever. They are so massive that they generate a gravitational pull so strong a singularity is created, meaning not even light can escape its pull [5]. There is literally no way for you to escape once you're inside the event horison. Therefore, you cannot know what happens inside, or get experience of living in a black hole (you would die instantly if you tried). Only hawking radiation evaporates a black hole, but that happens by random quantum fluctuations around the black hole --- so there is no true information to be gathered from a black hole except maybe its mass and size.

4. Human limitations prevent us from knowing everything. The brain stores knowledge in neurological connections [6], this means that knowledge is stored in the positions of atoms in your brain. However, the universe contains far more information than can be stored in the brain, meaning even if you had infinite time to learn you still would meet an end to knowledge --- its called memory shortage. However, you won't live long enough to fill up your brain with knowledge, as your body starts to deteriorate as you gets older and you eventually die. Thusly, your lifespan and brain capacity both serve as barriers preventing you from gaining more knowledge.

5. Pseudoscientific questions are imposible to answer with certainty. Some things simply can't be known, only theorized about. Does God exist? Are there paraless worlds? Do we live in a simulation? Does time also run backwards? These questions are impossible to answer, its impossible to gain knowledge about these subjects, one can only make guesswork and have personal opinions. As such, the knowledge to be had is limited by the amount of stuff that can be known, as opposed to the infinite amount of things that can't be known (like an infinite amount of spirits and parralell worlds we can't know if exist). 

The definition of "know" tells us that only what we can be certain about because of actually experience can be called knowledge. This means that the infinite amount of potential pseudoscience cannot be considdered knowledge. It is only what can be stated with certainty can be called knowledge. The amount of things we can know with certainty is limited by not only one, but multiple ends. From Heizenbergs Uncertainty principle to the finite size of the universe, these facts are barriers that limit our potential knowledge. These facts cannot be overcome, and they cannot be ignored. 

The body of knowledge is, in fact, not without end. The resolution fails by a landslide. 

Round 2
Resolution:  There is no end to the body of knowledge
I Rebuttal: Con R1: Science and Pseudoscience? 
I.a Con offers a few suggestions that need response, although having little to do with the Resolution, which demands discussion on the body of knowledge. Knots of what we know, and our capacity to know them is something else altogether.
I.a.1  God is alleged to not have a brain?   “…and God supposedly neither has a brain nor flaws.”   No flaws, I agree, but no brain?  “Let us make man in our own image, after our likeness”[1]   flies in the face of the former claim, and it is not a stretch to consider our internal structure to be included in “image” and “likeness,” such as a brain. A perfect brain, of course, as ours will be, ultimately, because, well, we are in God’s likeness, which allows for our becoming entirely like him. Now, may we please release God from our discussion?
I.b Con claims,  Guesswork, religious faith, political theory, pseudoscientifical beliefs and philosophical conclusions are not actually knowledge…”  Guesswork is the nature of scientific theory as we begin such enterprises. Religious faith is not restricted to religion, and faith, itself, is an additional sense available to humans every bit as much as echo location, and sense of the magnetic field of Earth, is available to some of our animal associates on Earth. Political theory [there’s that word, again, which science depends on for discovery of truth] is merely the attempt to find ways to make society a cohesive, cooperative whole, and Con adds pseudoscience, which does have some validity even before some pseudosciences, at one time, became science, such as the transition from geocentrism into heliocentrism, which itself became galactic centrism… etc. If philosophy cannot depend on known truths for its existence, simply because it cannot be demonstrated in a test tube, neither can climate science. This is why the potential for the body of knowledge is so vast. Infinite, in fact.
I.c Con alleges five reasons why the body of knowledge in finite:
I.c.1 Heizenberg’s uncertainty principle:   Con argues the impossibility of knowing the position and velocity of a particle, and folds in uncertainty of less than h/[4𝝿].I reply: this argument presents an uncertainly of knowing things, which is not the topic of the Resolution. Con defined KNOW, as in “having information in your mind,” but that is not the subject; knowledge, as a set, and the nature of it, is our subject, not what we may or may not know, uncertainty, or not. Heizenberg has been awakened to no purpose, 45 years since his death. Back to sleep, sir, and sweet dreams.
I.c.2 Spacetime cones:  Objects in space; their interaction, information limited by the speed of light, happenstances millions of lightyears away… etc. More things to know, whether they align with Heizenberg’s uncertainty, or not. But, again, we do not debate things to know, we debate knowledge as a concept of it being endless, or not. Let’s let Heizenberg sleep, already, and stay on point.
I.c.3 Black holes:  information traps. Still more things to know, and how to lose them. More Heizenberg, and I trust he’s taken some melatonin-product.
I.c.4 Human limitations:  Back to the brain, and its relative capacity to contain things to know, and Con’s obsession with these things to know, as if the brain will ultimately overflow, like filling a glass with water beyond its capacity. Do we also have a limitation called forgetfulness? Con referred to it as  “memory shortage.”  Do I deny this? No, but, yet again, this deals with information not retained, and not what knowledge is available. Con is offering you a bank account, but the Resolution is about the bank. I fear all the melatonin there is will not put Heizenberg back to sleep, now.
I.c.5 Pseudoscientific questions:  Con tells you that only what we experience can be called knowledge. The rest is pseudoscience and dismissible. No. That totally discounts what is currently unknown. There was a time, prior to 1928, when we did not know that a mold,  Penicillium rubens,could be developed into penicillin, a landmark antibiotic treatment.[2]   Do we dismiss that knowledge because prior to 1928, it was unknown?  Eight short years before Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the Moon at Tranquility Base in July, 1969, President Kennedy offered a challenge to the unknown,  “We choose to go to the Moon…”[3]   that we develop technology we did not have in 1961, to accomplish the task before the decade was complete. Was that simply pseudoscience, or was it a challenge to acquire knowledge we did not have in 1961, but had it in 1969?  Heizenberg can safely sleep, again, mainly because in the time passed between his death in 1976 and ten years ago, we discovered that the Uncertainty Principle has some uncertainty itself.
II Rebuttal: Pro’s R1: The Uncertainty Principle is certainly old news
II.a There is an old proposition that attacks theoretical experimentation due to the potential that measurement, itself, can cause variation in results. It’s an old issue, and seems to still plague us today. Well, it turns out that measurement of a particle is not limited to its position and velocity. We’ve discovered a particle’s properties include its polarization states; two of them, in opposing planes.[4]   This gets into more than I need to know to demonstrate my BoP, but the argument is indicative that science has little time to rest on its accomplishments. Just as obviously, our body of knowledge, as limited as it may seem to us, now, is continuously increasing.
II.b Con concludes that what we “know” tells us only of our certainties. If I hand you a box of various items, a comb, a pencil, a toothpick, a football, a whistle, a matchbook, a ruler, a salt shaker, a smartphone, and a small, glowing, blue sphere whose color pulses, and it hums and vibrates slightly. You are very familiar with the first nine items, but the tenth is a mystery. You see, feel, and hear the object, it smells a little bit like chocolate, and, when licked, it tastes like a strawberry, but its purpose is completely unknown, in spite of influencing all your senses. Do you chalk it up to pseudoscience and ignore it as something not known? 
II.b.1 You do know about five of its properties, already. Does Con’s argument satisfy? So, it suddenly changes its position, and its velocity is approaching the speed of light, so, add motion and variable visibility to its properties. Ignorable, still? Admit it; you’re intrigued. Curiosity raises its brilliant head. Something more to know.
III Argument:  Joe Biden is not the only hairy guy
III.a In R1, I advised that R2 would introduce a concept that would figuratively reach orbit. I know, today, that’s a low-ball goal, considering we’re 52 years downrange of landing on the Moon and returning to Earth. A big bite taken out of that cosmic chocolate chip cookie that is the body of knowledge.
III.b So, let’s review our flat, two-dimensional plane of infinite dimension in all directions. In this model construction, we will actually take pieces of Con’s argument: things to know. We descend from the proverbial 30,000-foot perspective to within three or four feet. We see an infinite grid of dots on the plane. These are singular knowledge bits, such as seeing a strawberry. We easily recognize the fruit by its appearance. It isn’t a grape, and it isn’t an orange, and it certainly is not a banana. So, that one little bit of knowledge, the visual recognition of a strawberry registers in our mind; “strawberry,” the mind says.
III.b.1 Suddenly, a filament thrusts out of the strawberry and wanders up and away from the bit, like feeding out a fishing line from a pole. It rises high, and away, and suddenly comes down again, and plants in another bit not to far away; close enough to walk there. When we approach the bit, it is obviously a tongue. The filament pierced the tongue, and continues through the plane to its opposing side, repeats the feeding out from the tongue’s position, and ultimately plants itself into a larger bit not too far away. A brain, we see, when we approach it. Suddenly, before our eyes, many filaments are entering and leaving the brain. When the filament we’ve been following from the strawberry enters the brain, we sense the flavor of the strawberry, and it matches our recollection of tasting other strawberries. The memory is re-affirmed: we know we just ate a strawberry.
II.b.1.A  The above is a bit simplistic, but it does demonstrate adequately enough one way we can conceive of an infinite plane, or body of knowledge. Not only are there quantum quantities of individual bits, i.e., bits of singular information, nay, not even a quantum but actually endless, but those bits link together by these filaments, thus linking bits together to create new and different information, such as the pulsing blue sphere that tastes like a strawberry. In fact, by tracing another filament through the tongue, we find, ultimately, that blue sphere, with a filament to the strawberry. 
II.b.1.B Returning to our 30,000-foot perspective, we now see the plane is more like a sphere with billions of filaments, probably more, above and below the plane, all entering and exiting the plane to link bits of knowledge together, increasing an infinite linkage of seemingly different bits of knowledge to know. Many of these linkages have not yet been explored. It will not suffice to look at this with a finite mind and expect to understand the potential of this sphere to be an endless body of knowledge.
II.b.2  Maybe the pulsing blue sphere that tastes like a strawberry is a model of itself on a much grander scale; an infinite scale.
III Argument: Why the plane and the filaments are endless [but Joe will lose his hair]
III.a Leaving the model behind, let’s explore just what is meant by the model and its physical features, and why the container that is the repository of the body of knowledge is endless. The simple answer is: because we are endless, as well.
I offer fair warning now: this is a bit of a leap of faith; a thing not many people seem willing to exercise, thinking it nonsense. Nothing of the sort, but each person must prove that for themselves; this is not demonstrable test tube sense; its internal. And this is why I maintain that faith is not bound by religion; I can employ, and have, faith to solve every day problems in a variety of disciplines.
III.b I have observed a thin, green plastic rectangle, a plane, if you will, proceeding through a machine. I’ve watched that machine drill holes in it, another to lay down a conductible circuit grid, fuse it to the plastic, then another installed hundred of small chips and diodes and resisters and capacitors, and another to solder these components into place, and eject the finished circuit board to be installed in some device for which this board will function as an electro-mechanical brain. MNot a single human hand touched the board throughout this process, yet human hands made the machines that did all the work.
III.b.1 Did one man conceive all of this. Perhaps a designer, but I’ll wager that designer had others involved in the design process, and certainly in its testing, modifying, testing again, before issue to production to manufacture in quantities. Lots of separate people working in unison to achieve an objective. Many separate brains dedicated to differing functions in the process. Did one person need to conceive all of it? Maybe, but in my design and manufacturing experience, no.
III.c Therefore, even though I believe we, individually, can acquire vast pieces of data [information], we are not compelled to know all. Yet. That may be a future requirement, but for now the individual brain capacity is not strained. As a retired engineer, and statistician, and manager of same, and writer, and illustrator, I have worn several hats. Do I need a plumbing hat? Well, I have learned a few basics. I injured my leg, recently. Do I need to know its proper treatment? Rudimentarily, I do understand it, but I soon discovered my wound care need was outside my knowledge. A wound care physician was available to step in. Wound healed. So, that I could not heal my wound myself is of no consequence to me. I knew there was someone who had that knowledge, and I consulted him. Our body of knowledge, that doctor and me, share some knowledge, but some of his, and some of mine, differ greatly. I learned from him, for example, that what I called tools in his employ, he corrected my ignorance with another term: instruments. “What’s the difference,” I asked. “Instruments are twice as expensive,” he replied. Okay, I get it. That’s one reason why medical care is so expensive: nomenclature.
III.d Collectively, the doctor and I widen our bodies of knowledge. Add to us all the people I know, and all the people he knows, and the combined body of knowledge increases further. We can take advantage of those bodies of knowledge to improve our own. Or choose not to and remain dumb as a post. A worthless existence, I say. Prove me wrong. Add all the people that crowd knows… you get it. Now, some of those people, like me, write books. That spreads bodies of knowledge to an individual body of knowledge, one at a time times the books in circulation. I own and have read many books on a variety of subjects; some as old as Plato. That’s an expansion of a body of knowledge, isn’t it? I’ve heard estimate that there have been 70 billion of us on Earth. I think that’s a low-ball estimate. The network of expansion increases exponentially, uh, like an infinite plane. With hairy, connecting filaments.
III.e Endlessly, I contend, is the body of knowledge.
I close R2 and pass to Con.


I would want to simply wait for PRO to actually fullfill his BoP beyond rhetorical speculation. But seeing as no arguments can be presented in R3, PRO won't do this regardless. I am simply left wondering: where is his argument. After carefully reading through PRO'S rounds, I can find no facts or logical evidence suppporting the resolution. In fact, PRO only seems to describe visions in his mind, without bothering to explain what they mean or how they affect the debate.

An infinite plane which turns into a sphere once you orbit it? You're got to be kidding me. Infinite planes are, well, infinite --- but circles have a well defined edge, they have an end --- there are inherent contradictions in PRO'S story. So am I to belive that my finite brain can accumulate knowledge endlessly, simply because a self-contradictory vision of PRO was presented in R2? I don't think so. Give me the evidence that knowledge has no limits. Untill then, default to the accepted scientific fact that the body of knowledge is limited by a multitude of factors.

PRO argues that human knowledge is growing constantly, to which I would agree. Yet it still has an end. The body of knowledge is limited by the total amount of humans, this has been and will forever be the case. Is PRO arguing that there will be an infinite amount of humans with a collective knowledge that is without end? If so, he better bring some evidence. If not, then he is contradicting himself. 70 billion humans is a huge amount of brainpower, but not without end. Similarly, not even the combined knowledge of humanity is without end. Moreover, humanity itself will meet its end, either by self-destruction or external threat. Nothing lasts forever (unless PRO has evidence to the contrary).

I read the article on scientificamerican regarding Heizenbergs Uncertainty principle. The actual result was not that the principle was wrong, there is still a barrier preventing us from knowing everything about a particle, it is just that the Uncertainty Might have other causes than previously hypothesised. 

Don't get too excited: the uncertainty principle still stands, says Steinberg (ibid)
Most likely, the uncertainty is actually inherent with physics. This means that some things in the universe, some information we might want to know, is physically impossible for us to acces. This limits the amount of knowledge we humans can know. In other words, the body of knowledge is incomplete, and the laws of physics prevent us from making it complete. The laws of quantum physics is a definitive end to knowledge, preventing us from knowing everything.

I mentioned multiple concepts which can't be called knowledge: opinion, religion, guesswork etc. PRO only denied that pseudoscience cannot be called knowledge. I think PRO misunderstood the meaning of the word. Pseudoscience is theories that cannot be falsified. Scientific progress has surely shown us that what was previously considdered "knowledge" were in fact wrong theories. The theory of a geocentric universe was wrong, of course, but it was still falsifiable by empirical evidence. However, take the theory of deism, and you find that since it does not make claims about the physical world, no empirical evidence could falsify it. We cannot KNOW whether or not deism is correct, but we can KNOW whether or not Earth is the centre of the universe --- we just need to do some actual research before we rush to conclusions. There are things which we can know, and things which we can't. Considering the limited size of the observable universe, and the finite amount of things in it to study, there is in fact, only a finite amount things we can have knowledge about. That is because what lies outside of our reach cannot be studied, and theories about such things cannot be called knowledge.

PRO's arguments is pseudoscience 
I will now provide a quote from PRO which I believes showcases his case's weakness.
This is a bit of a leap of faith; a thing not many people seem willing to exercise, thinking it nonsense.
This is not demonstrable test tube sense; its internal. And this is why I maintain that  is not bound by religion; I can employ, and have, faith 
There is no way to empirically prove or disprove the validity of PRO's argument. No logical analysis can do this either, which means my opponent's case rellies on pseudoscience and FAITH. You cannot prove a thing true to the voters using faith, yet that is what my opponent is attempting to do. Meanwhile, I have Brough up evidence that there are scientific limitations to knowledge. PRO is denying science while relying on faith.

Con referred to it as  “memory shortage.”  Do I deny this? No, but, yet again, this deals with information not retained, and not what knowledge is available. 
My opponent has conceeded that the body of knowledge you can have is finite, meaning he admits there is an end to knowledge, a limit to the amount of knowledge one can gain. PRO seems to claim that the available knowledge, that is, the maximum amount of things we can have  knowledge about, is the true meaning of the vague term "body of knowledge". Therefore, his BoP is only fulfilled if the amount of things we could potentially know is without end. 

Unfortunately for him, it is impossible to prove that there is infinite information to know. The universe is not evidently infinite, and a lot of information is simply inaccessible due to the laws of physics, quantum uncertainty, black holes and expansion of the universe. Therefore, the body of knowledge is not as large as the body of information, and neither can be proven to be infinite. PRO's BoP is thus impossible to fullfil.

The body of knowledge is not endless. The resolution still fails by a landslide.
Round 3
Resolution:  There is no end to the body of knowledge
I Rebuttal: Con R2: Rhetorical speculation? 
I.a Con began R2 with a charge of rhetorical speculation on my part; that I have not presented evidence that the body of knowledge is endless. Have I not, really? Con actually introduced the principle that defeats his rebuttal, and his original argument of R1 re: Heizenberg’s Uncertainty Principle:  that factor that sees its way into so many mathematic formulae, it boggles the mind, because that factor is, itself, the irony of Heizenberg’s failed principle of uncertainty. Such an innocent little thing, a concept represented by a Greek letter; the sixteenth of twenty-four.  Not that it could not have been some other in sequence; doesn’t really matter. Yet, the factor itself is the ultimate defining principle operating in every circle in existence, being the ratio of its diameter,  which could be considered the thinnest slice of a plane, to its circumference:  𝝿.  
I.a.1 Both features, diameter and circumference, are finite features, but, combined, those features, in ratio, a divisible comparison of one characteristic with another, result in an unresolved number. Spin that shape on its axis, the diameter, and, with the spinning motion, it c an appear as a concept Con could not fathom its relation to my argument: a sphere. It even allows for the sphere Con argues cannot be infinite, along with the infinite plane I argue is the visible manifestation of the endless body of knowledge. But circles, and spheres, can be infinite because this factor is, by its very nature, infinite. Is Con going to spend R3 telling us  pi  is not an infinite number? Science, not pseudoscience, tells us that. Let Con refute it, with evidence. My evidence:  pi.
I.b Con argues that I cannot demonstrate anything that is infinite.  “Nothing lasts forever,”  Con claims. Popular idiom, but it clearly is not true, since  pi  is forever. What else is forever? Mathematics claims a line is infinite, forever, and endless. Even in both directions. The line, duplicated and arranged side-by-side, forms a plane, which is also endless. So, what is rhetorical about that?
I.c “Humanity, itself, will reach an end,”  Con claims, and he insists I make rhetoric? What is Con’s evidence for that little gem? He cited none immediately associated with that charge. Is it because Heizenberg is uncertain? Uncertain, using  pi as a factor in a formula that has limits??  This is why pi  is called an irrational number  in mathematics; because it can never be resolved.[1]   Endless decimal places. And an endless population of humans. And an endless expanse of the body of knowledge. I like  pi.
II Rebuttal: Con R2: Heizenberg’s Uncertainty Principle and Quantizing
II.a Con shakes Heizenberg awake once again to demonstrate the limits of quantum physics, and, therefore, The laws of quantum physics is a definitive end to knowledge, preventing us from knowing everything.”   Would someone mind telling me what physics was before it was quantized? One might have thought that physics, such as observed by the likes of Archimedes [pre-quantum] would not have preferred to consider the infinite in their calculations, yet, we find that, in fact, many classic physics formulae employ  pi.  And considerations of circles and spheres must include it. As  pi  goes, so goes the measure of the body of knowledge: endless.
II.b  As for quantized physics?  “A quantum system is defined by a Hilbert space, which is an infinite mathematical object.”[2]
II.c Therefore, the one sure property of the body of knowledge is that it, too, is endless, even if just that one bit of knowledge,  pi,  is endless.  Again, will Con argue that it is limited?
III Rebuttal: Con R2: Pseudoscience
III.a Con stated:  Pseudoscience is theories that cannot be falsified.”   That appears to be a better definition for science, but, I’ll take Con’s word for it and rebut it. If Con’s statement were true, geocentrism would still be the unfalsified  explanation of the universe. Well, from our Earthbound observation, it appears to be true. Galileo, however, demonstrated its false view. Afterward, though established science, geocentrism was relegated to a falsified theory.  
III.b On this question of geocentrism, Con further said, “…we just need to do some actual research before we rush to conclusions.”  Does he mean like rushing to declare geocentrism as a valid theory, again? Nor, Con backtracks, saying, even in bolded text,  There are things which we can know, and things which we can't.” Who says we can’t? Are we back to pre-quantizing, again? Worse, are we back to pseudoscience, such as witchcraft [I don’t mean to criticize Wiccans, but spells do not exactly follow empiric search for evidence]?  Do we have an altar in New York City where virginal blood sacrifice to some idol we worship is offered; to a mystic stone that is dumb as a post, yet may wonder what the hell we’re doing?
III.b.1 I demonstrated in my R2, I.c.5 that prior to 1928, we did not know the Penicillium mold would open the door to antibiotics treatment. What if we just threw out Con’s bolded statement, then? In that same section of R2, I outlined President Kennedy’s challenge to go to the moon, by our choice,  “…not because it is easy, but because it is hard.”  Was Kennedy, or a fledgling NASA deterred by Con’s flippancy that we ought to just throw our hands up, and say, “Well, it’s too hard. We can’t know that, and can’t do that.” Con’s argument is pure pessimism.
IV Rebuttal: Con R2: Available knowledge is not endless
IV.a Con speaks of human limitations:  “memory shortages.”   But this is an individual’s issue, not a collective issue. The fact that I may forget the significance of 1928 for antibiotic treatment in no way shortens the memory of all mankind, unless it is cancel-cultured, which is about as idiotic a process as I can imagine. Sure; delete history so that we don’t repeat it? Philosopher George Santayana had a word about that. The word deleted by George was “delete.”
IV.a.1  Yes, I acknowledge Con’s observation that I have a limited scope on the body of knowledge available. But I said that is restricted to a mortal, flawed condition, and that is not our ultimate outcome. Our ability to learn more, experience more, is eternal in nature. After all, will Con acknowledge,  pi is infinite, and yet claim I am not, nor the rest of us? Absurd. Not only that, a single person need not obtain the entire set of the body of knowledge as long as we can share what we know with others, where those others have lesser and greater sets of knowledge, we can both teach others and learn from others. Endlessly.
IV.b Con speaks of the universe,  “The universe is not evidently infinite, and a lot of information is simply inaccessible due to the laws of physics, quantum uncertainty, black holes and expansion of the universe.”   Con speaks of an “evidently” visible universe. Tell me, was Galileo’s view of the universe through his self-constructed telescope limited compared to Hubble, today? Of course it was. Has Hubble seen an outer barrier out there, beyond which there is nothing? Nope. Does Hubble have the capacity to see as far as can be seen? So far, yes. Will our ability to see further improve? The probability is yes. Our science is restricted, to date, and always has had restrictions. Do we let that stop us? No. We keep probing, searching. Note Con ends on the note where I begin:  “…expansion of the universe.”  Yes, it is, and with its expansion, so grows the body of knowledge available to obtain. Endlessly.
IV.c Con maintains,  “…it is impossible to prove that there is infinite information to know.”   To date, a super-computer has managed to extend the irrational  pi to a quadrillion of decimals.[3]  Being irrational, a larger super-computer with greater calculating function will extend those decimals. That is more information to know. Endlessly.
IV.c.1 Do you really think that growth of information, the growth of the body of knowledge, is restricted to ten digits; 0 through 9? What of just our 26 alpha characters, and the words they can construct? New words are being added to the lexicon, just in English, every year. Is that going to stop, one day? Why? Because we will stop adding to the lexicon, endlessly?
IV.c.2 Con argued for science. Have we stopped searching for new truths, new discoveries? No. And we will not, just as long as  pi keeps expanding, along with the entire data set that is the universal, expanding body of knowledge. Endlessly. 
IV.d After all, with every landslide covering what we already know, and will remember, something else, something new, and unseen, and not yet experienced, is uncovered to our view and tantalizing investigation. How many worlds out there have landslides, too? How many other life forms out there, with whom we can share our knowledge with one another? Or, are you going to hide in a cave, too afraid of what might happen out there, too stuck in the mud of  “Well, it’s too hard. We can’t know that, and can’t do that.”  Landslides cover caves, too. Endlessly.
I conclude my R3 on that note, asking for your well considered vote. Merci; infiniment

Thank you, PRO

In R1 and R2, I have argued that since the body of knowledge is limited by the inherent limitations of the laws of physics and the universe, there is an end to it. My opponent then brough up pi as an argument for why the body of knowledge is endless. He attempts to use mathematical infinities as an argument for why knowledge is endless. I will now crush this switch of strategy by defeating PRO's argument on multiple levels.

PRO's argument is 

1. A conduct violation
By description, R3 was only for rebuttal and defence. Had PRO brought up pi in former rounds, he would have been in the clear, but since he did it in R3, he has broken his own debating protokol. He made this argument in the final round. That should be a conduct loss for PRO, or at least reason to disregard the argument since it was forbidden by description rules.

2. A moving the goalpost fallacy 
Mathematical infinities sure do exist, nobody denies that. Nobody smart enough to understand and vote on this debate are unfamiliar with the concept of pi's infinite digits. The question of the resolution is whether or not the body of knowledge is endless. What PRO is attempting to do, with his turn to pi as a source of infinite information, is to shift the goalpost. Instead of arguing that humans can have endless knowledge learnt from experience, he argues that humans could theoretically learn an infinite amount of pi's digits. Thats like arguing that ape's could be intelligent, and then use as an argument that ape's could click on keyboards their hole life and by mere chance write Shakespeare's Camlet. Sure, it is true, but the argument is not proving the initial claim of yours to be true. For PRO to win by arguing that pi is infinite, one must re-define the purpose of the debate and the BoP of PRO. Voters, please don't allow this fallacy of PRO to win him the debate.

3. Simply wrong
Mathematical entities and numbers like pi have no actual existence, they don't truly exist. In reality, there are no perfect circles with perfect circumference and diameter. Spheres in the real world always have imperfections, meaning the infinite digits of pi cannot be extracted from any real-world ratio. Moreover, its a fact that reality consists of particles (probability waves) and not continuous geometries [3]. What this means is that mathematical entities like pi are only usefull on large scales where said imperfections seem irrelevant and quantum physics is replaced by classical physics.

Pi can tell us something about stars and pingpong balls because they have roughly "perfect" geometries. However, to calculate some quadrillion digits of pi is simply a waste of time and computational power [nasa]. Very few digits of pi is needed to perform even the most accurate calculations [ibid]. More importantly though, since no real sphere has truly perfect geometry, a very accurate calculation using quadrillions of digits of pi would actually yield wrong results anyways, negating the benefits of getting a precise calculation. Furthermore, The Planck lenght is the smalles possible lenght the universe allows, and nothing smaller than it can possibly exist, and dividing this lenght is impossible [2]. Calculating the circumference of a sphere to the precise fractal of a Plankt Lenght is futile, as said fractal cannot have physical existence.

To summarize this third point, Calculating infinite digits of pi does not collect information about the know, factual reality. 

Knowledge: The fact or condition of knowing. The body of the known, factual reality.
This definition from the description clearly excludes information about some imaginary world from being called knowledge. The mathematical world we create in our minds in order to understand the universe is actually imaginary. Mathematical entities can only be called knowledge as far as they represent something in the real world, like distance. As you can recall, there is a certain point at which quantum fuzziness and the imperfections of real spheres make it futilie and nonhelpfull to add more digits of pi to the calculation. As a result, the infinite number of pi's digits PRO talks about do not represent anything in the real world. They only represent the ratio of perfect circles, which do not exist in the real world, only in the mathematical. By implication of the definition of "knowledge", said digits of pi cannot be called knowledge. 

To conclude: one does not gain valid knowledge by simply calculating the infinite digits of pi --- so the body of knowledge is not proven endless by PRO's R3 argument

Here I will summarize the facts and arguments I have brought up to prove that some things simply cannot be known. 

Theories which are unfalsifiable and unverifiable

Con stated:  “Pseudoscience is theories that cannot be falsified.”   That appears to be a better definition for science
Science works by making theories about the universe, and then using experimental data to falsify or confirm the predictions of said theories. The theory of relativity predicts that time slows down when an object moves fast, and experimental evidence has confirmed this. Pseudoscience makes claims about reality that cannot be tested, and for that reason, these theories require faith to be accepted. Sure, one can believe in God, but one cannot have knowledge about his existence, because one cannot falsify it or confirm it with certainty. We can never KNOW whether or not God (or any other non-provable concept) exists, and therefore, there are things which we cannot know, EVER. We can believe in God, or the multiverse, but we can never KNOW these things. In fact,  only a tiny fraction of potential questions can be answered by studying our universe; thusly, only a tiny fraction of questions can be answered with certainty; we can know only a tiny fraction of what we want to know --- the boundaries of what we can study is a hard limit on the body of potential knowledge.

Things which lie beyond our reach
An extension of the previous point, this argument shows us that even inside our universe there are things which we cannot study, and thus cannot have knowledge about.

1. The cosmic horison(s)

With its expansion, so grows the body of knowledge available to obtain. Endlessly.
Wrong --- PRO completely misinterprets science. The expansion of the universe does not increase the body of knowledge avaialable to obtain. Quite the contrary, it diminishes it. "This expansion means that there is a cosmological horison around us. Everything beyond it, is travelling faster, relative to us, than the speed of light. So everything that passes the horizon is irretrievably out of reach forever and we will never be able to interact with it again. In a sense, its like a black hole'
s even horizon, but all around us" [1]. PRO's argument that science gets better equipment all the time does not matter, as not even a perfect telescope can study objects when the light emited by them never reach it. The percentage of the universe that is outside of this shrinking barrier is 94% and increasing [ibid]. Moreover, every black hole's event horizon is another cosmic horizon. To summarize, the majority of the universe lies on the other side of one cosmic horizon or another. What this tells us is that most of the universe is completely outside of our reach, and we cannot ever study it all. We cannot KNOW everything about our universe.

2. Quantum uncertainty

PRO never rebuts the fact that we cannot know everything about a particle. Heizenbergs Uncertainty principle stands unrebuked and unchallenged in physics. "Simply put, the principle states that there is a fundamental limit to what one can know about a quantum system" [PRO's own R2 source]. No matter how PRO tries to twist and turn it, the truth is that the Heizenbergs Uncertainty principle alone negates the resolution, by imposing an absolute limit on the body of knowledge. The Heizenberg Uncertainty Principle is THE END of knowledge. Once we reach the lower limit of uncertainty, we cannot force it lower, we cannot know more.

3. Information we cannot store

Con speaks of human limitations:  “memory shortages.”   But this is an individual’s issue, not a collective issue  ...  Our ability to learn more, experience more, is eternal in nature.
No evidence was provided by PRO to support these ideas. I say it is imply not the case that humanity has an infinite capacity to learn. Our finite brains can't contain infinite knowledge. So even if one tried to remember an infinite amount of "pi's" digits, one would not succeed. The observable universe is not infinite, and we can only interact with 6% of it, and counting down. Thus, even if every atom in the universe was used to build human brains, the total amount of human memory would still be finite. We would still not be able to know an infinite amount of things. The body of knowledge would still not be endless.


I will now explain who won, and why. Let me first quote the description.

[PRO's] BoP is to demonstrate that the body of knowledge available to be ultimately known is, in fact, without end; we will never reach any perimeter defining the finite end of knowledge to be had. 
 [CON] will argue for a finite end to the body of knowledge.

PRO was supposed to demonstrate the resolutions truth. But he provided no actual evidence or facts. His argument rellies on rhetorical speculation, visualizations and other non-factual types of demonstration. On the other hand, I negated the resolution by refering to multiple scientifically proven limitations on the body of knowledge. My argument was directly backed up by scientific articles. PRO's argument rellied solely on mathematical and philosophical speculation, with sources not actually supporting PRO's resolution. Since the major BoP ultimately falls on PRO, and I were the only participant to use adequate evidence, my victory is undisputable.

More importantly though, PRO was intentionally hiding his stance on the topic; even keeping the debate topic very confusing. He did not show how his philosophical blabbering had any impact on the resolution before in R3, when he said that we could calculate infinite digits of pi and thusly create infinite knowledge. Despite having to fight these cheesy and arguably unfair tactics, I managed to negate the resolution. 


PRO's only logical argument was presented in R3, meaning it is both a moving-the-goalpost fallacy and conduct violation because it breaks description rules
  • The argument still fails, because information about a mathematical world is not truly "knowledge" (as knowledge is defined in the description).

The body of knowledge is not endless, because knowledge requires study, and not every question we ask can be answered with certainty. Furthermore:
  1. Most things we want to learn about are simply inaccessible to us
  2. Of the things we have access to, the laws of physics prevent us from learning everything about
  3. Human memory is not endless, so neither is the body of knowledge
    1. The limited size of the universe means endless memory is impossible even in the future

The body of knowledge is not endless. The resolution still fails by a landslide.