The Containership Property Of Space

Peter Oye Sagay

May 16, 2023

Human creation stories of how humans came to be on earth always begin with an empty space into which matter was placed by a Super Being. For example, The book of Genesis of the Holy Bible (KJV) chapter 1 is a creation story told by Moses (the great prophet and law giver) according to divine inspiration. Fundamentally, Genesis chapter 1 is about how the Super Being (God) placed matter in an empty space. A space into which matter can be placed has the containership property. So our ancient ancestors were aware of the concepts of empty and filling even though they lacked the intellectual sophistication to fully express these concepts linguistically. Centuries later, their descendants discovered language and the linguistic sophistication to assign words to concepts. For example, something that is fillable was assigned the word container.

The word space is etymologically relatively young and was unknown to ancient humans. Space at birth meant a bounded or unbounded region. This fundamental meaning remains its dominant definition. However, over the years, some thinkers have questioned the usefulness of the word space. For example, the great physicist Albert Einstein proposed that the word be discarded because of its irrelevance. In his treatise Relativity: The Special and the General Theory, Einstein wrote:

"It is not clear what is to be understood here by position and space...what is meant here by motion in space...we entirely shun the vague word space of which we must honestly acknowledged, we cannot form the slightest conception, and we replace it by motion relative to a practically rigid body of reference"

Einstein is right when he noted that words are dubious. In fact, words are only contextually meaningful. However, he failed to note in his remark that human observations of concepts predate language. In other words, the existence of or non-existence of the word space is irrelevant to humans' awareness of bounded or unbounded regions with or without something in them. The great Einstein was unable to avoid the awareness of bounded and unbounded regions. Consequently, he used the word space often in both his Special and General Theory Of Relativity. However, he gave it a new definition:space exists only because actual objects of physical reality exists. It is this view that his concept of spatially extended describes. Again Einstein is right. The majority of humans' interactions with space and the mode by which they derive meaning from space is object-oriented. However, it is problematic to dissociate the concepts spatially extended and in space. Spatially extended presupposes a beginning without which spatial extension will be impossible. How should such a beginning be characterized if not in space? Einstein acknowledged such a beginning in his discussion of the behaviour of measuring rods. He wrote:

"I place a metre-rod in the x' axis of K' in such a manner that one end (the beginning) coincides with the point x' = 0, whilst the other end (the end of the rod) coincides with the point x' = 1. What is the length of the metre-rod relatively to the system K? In order to learn this we need only ask where the beginning of the rod and the end of the rod lie with respect to K at a particular time t of the system K'. "

Indeed, where do the beginning and the end of the rod lie? Einstein answered this question unintentionally in one of his illustrations in Appendix Five of his Relativity Theory. He wrote:

"When a small box s is situated, relatively at rest, inside the hollow space of a larger box S, then the hollow space of s is part of the hollow space of S, and the same space which contains both of them, belongs to each of the boxes. When s is in motion with respect to S, however, the concept is less simple. One is then inclined to think that s encloses always the same space, but a variable part of the space S. It then becomes necessary to apportion to each box its particular space, not thought of as bounded, and to assume that these two spaces are in motion with respect to each other."

What a beautiful simple illustration of the Containership Property Of Space. Einstein aforementioned illustration also revealed the second fundamental trait of containership (the first being its availabilty for matters' residency): containership changes when acted upon. We saw an example of containership change in the illustration when motion was assumptively induced on the small box s inside the bigger box S.

The concept in space is so existentially fundamental that even the extremely beautiful mind of the great Einstein was unable to do away with it. In introducing his famous coordinate systems K and K', Einstein wrote:

"An event, wherever it may have taken place, would be fixed in space with respect to K by the three perpendiculars x, y, z on the co-ordinate planes, and with regard to time by a time-value t"

In space, signifies the containership of space. Humans would have long been extinct had they ignored this nature's fundamental concept. They persistently held on to it in their mythologies, theologies, sciences and arts and by so doing became supreme among other earthly creatures. Nothing happens without in space.

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