There is a general belief that the universe is totally ordered. What does it mean for things in the universe to no longer be totally ordered?

  • Maybe add some context or relevant (to your question) references, it helps posters compose better answers. - Welcome to Philosophy! – christo183 Nov 19 '18 at 8:45
  • @christo183 thanks. I tried to make my question short enough to make it easy to understand – user35902 Nov 19 '18 at 10:31
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    "totally ordered" ? It is a mathematical concept : how it applies to the "universe" ? – Mauro ALLEGRANZA Nov 19 '18 at 10:36
  • There is a belief today...If you have a book or article in mind, please give a citation. I thought that the universe was relatively more ordered in the past, now it is relatively less ordered. 2nd Law. I think there is some new hypothesis? that at the point of most disorder (I guess absolute zero?) the the universe would contract back to what? Another Big Bang ? Anyway, it is hard for me to envision where the energy would come from to contract back to order. Physics SE? – Gordon Nov 19 '18 at 13:38
  • It takes work to contract and at absolute zero then how could there be a cold sink? – Gordon Nov 19 '18 at 13:41

Well, it is possible to assign a total ordering to "things" in the universe, provided we can unambiguously distinguish these things. All one needs to do is satisfy the total ordering conditions: antisymmetry, transitivity, and the connex property.

I think the core of your question instead is whether there are total orderings of the universe that are useful to us, possibly to explain physical phenomena, and the answer to that is that physicists tend to view the universe more in terms of symmetries rather than orderings, and so research into orderings of the universe is not as advanced as other areas of physics. (In particular, I can't seem to find any peer-reviewed articles on the topic.)

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