Alfonso wrote: > > [...] The different levels of infinity have not been > recognised outside of the purely mathematical environment so it means > that when physicists use the term "infinity" or "infinite" it is > imprecise use of English if these different levels of infinity actually > mean anything. In practical terms it means that "infinity" has no > specific meaning.
In mathematics it has a number of meanings, all of them very specific. That's just the problem: cranks don't like _specific_, it clashes so with _waffle_.
> Personally I believe it never had. It is used to > describe a process without end not the end result of that process.
It still does. Talking of 'an infinite process' to mean 'a process without end' is quite reasonable. (Example: 'dealing with cranks posting to sci.math is an infinite process.') But so what? That doesn't mean that 'infinite' can't mean other things as well. So far as transfinite numbers are concerned, look at, for example, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Von_Neumann_ordinal#Von_Neumann_definition_of_ordinals; it rests on a little set theory, but not much.
-- When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him. Jonathan Swift: Thoughts on Various Subjects, Moral and Diverting