ttaczak":1fnx5ydz said:

My point (no pun intended), based on the 'known' laws of relativity, is that the singularity and the event horizon are one and the same. The only reason we 'see' a diameter for a black hole is that space and time are warped, so it's only an apparent size, just an illusion.

That is untrue. Have a look at the Schwarzschild metric (on Wikipedia or something); you don't need to understand all of the math, just a basic knowledge of algebra should explain it - there is one term in the equation that suggests both singularities. It looks like 1 divided by (1-2GM/r), where G is Newton's constant, M is the mass of the black hole, and r is your distance from the black hole. Clearly, when r is equal to 0, that term will get infinitely large, because you can't divide by 0. r=0 means a distance of 0 from the black hole's center - in other words, the bona fide singularity (if the universe doesn't allow a singularity, which is very possible, it would be because of quantum mechanical reasons about which we don't currently know enough).

But the other way to get a divide-by-0 error is to set 2GM/r equal to 1, so that (1-2GM/r), the denominator of the whole thing, is equal to zero. This suggests a singularity at r=2GM, the so-called Schwarzschild radius of the black hole. That's the location of the event horizon. There are ways to tell that that isn't a *real*, physical singularity but rather, as I said above, only a coordinate singularity. But, the math in answering that question is considerably more complex so I think I'll leave it at that

Anyway, the math clearly shows two distinct points for the event horizon and the singularity, so there's nothing suggesting they're the same thing.

joycejohnson":1fnx5ydz said:

The derived math, in my opinion, is only as good as our knowledge base. Since no one has experienced a black hole (no one that I'm aware of anyway), then everything we've observed and translated to math are still just speculation. I think that our understanding of blackholes (and for that matter, the universe) is like a bunch of blind men touching different parts of a big elephant.

That's also untrue - or at least, deeply misleading (misled?). No, we haven't been able to experiment upon a black hole, but they're a uniform prediction of things (like general relativity) that are

*very* well-tested, and it would take a lot of work (nothing we've been able to come up with, incidentally) to make them not be there. In fact, the Schwarzschild metric, which describes black holes, also describes other spherically symmetric systems - so, to good accuracy, it describes the gravitational influence of the Sun, and we've been able to test that very accurately (e.g., the precession of Mercury's perihelion). So we have very good reason to trust the conclusions of GR, including the existence of black holes.

(Incidentally, with a fair number of purported black holes, we've been able to measure, in astrophysical systems, areas so small and containing so much mass, without emitting light, that the laws of physics as we know them wouldn't allow there to be anything but a black hole. No, we haven't experimented on a black hole, and likely never will, but the corroborating evidence is pretty damn impressive

).