Cosmology Intelligent Design Physics

Researcher: We need a new Theory of Everything, one with no “things”

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From a Principal Research Scientist at Georgia Tech:

Could it be that the 21st century might eliminate absolutes? To allow for a reality that can be dynamically shaped in every possible way?

I don’t know what that theory looks like, but I know it will be completely general. It will not posit a thing exists in the world to create reality; rather, it will only posit that a world exists and thereby makes itself real. It will have no absolutes: no strings, no quantum field theory, nothing but, perhaps, shape, infinitely malleable, and underlying that shape, perhaps nothing, i.e. no thing. For to posit a theory of every thing requires that one not start with a thing, or you arrive at infinite recursion.

What is clear to me is that whether string theory pans out or not, we will have no theory of everything until we have a theory that has no things in it, including strings.

Tim Andersen, “We need a new Theory of Everything” at Medium

We’d have to guess that Stephen Wolfram’s attempt at a Theory of Everything didn’t solve all the problems.

At any rate, by the time we get down to “a theory of every thing requires that one not start with a thing,” it’s not easy to distinguish science from Zen. But then maybe that’s the idea.

See also: Stephen Wolfram’s Theory of Everything lacks something?

9 Replies to “Researcher: We need a new Theory of Everything, one with no “things”

  1. 1
    polistra says:

    When thousands of people have been looking for something for several decades, spending billions of dollars, and it still hasn’t showed up, it’s time to stop looking. When you’re constantly adding more epicycles to a theory, it’s a bad theory.

    Best advice: Abandon all theories. Just observe and describe.

  2. 2
    doubter says:

    This looks like another ultimately futile attempt to get around the inevitable basic flaw of the naturalism ideology in all theories of everything – the necessary presumption of some organized something at the beginning. This organized something had to have embodied a complex organization involving a complex set of laws of physics that unfolded from that point. So such theories of everything presume an unexplained something at the beginning – something which was very much more than absolutely nothing. They presume the prior existence of a physical reality of space, time, matter, energy, etc. etc.

    The question of what was the origin of that is always ignored. This had to have had some intelligent origin, unless it is supposed it always existed. But we surely know that nothing ever comes from absolutely nothing – no space, time, matter, energy or organizing principles. So much for such speculations from physicists who have no competency in philosophy and metaphysics. This latest one is no different.

  3. 3
    mike1962 says:

    polistra: Best advice: Abandon all theories. Just observe and describe.

    That would make designing aircraft, skyscrapers and bridges rather difficult. (Among many other things.)

  4. 4
    Pearlman says:

    Pearlman SPIRAL is the reconciliation of the empirical observations w/ basic science. The issue keeping it out of consideration and general acceptance is it’s outside the deep-time dependent box.

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    As to this comment:

    I don’t know what that theory looks like, but I know it will be completely general. It will not posit a thing exists in the world to create reality; rather, it will only posit that a world exists and thereby makes itself real.

    Interesting comment. It is interesting in that it flies directly in the face of the recent empirical falsifications of ‘realism’ in quantum mechanics. (Of note: ‘Realism” is the ‘naturalistic’ belief that a ‘physical’ world exists ‘out there somewhere’ completely independent of our conscious observation of it.

    First, via Leggett’s inequality, we find that “Leggett’s inequality is violated – thus stressing the quantum-mechanical assertion that reality does not exist when we’re not observing it.”

    Quantum physics says goodbye to reality – Apr 20, 2007
    Excerpt: Many realizations of the thought experiment have indeed verified the violation of Bell’s inequality. These have ruled out all hidden-variables theories based on joint assumptions of realism, meaning that reality exists when we are not observing it; and locality, meaning that separated events cannot influence one another instantaneously. But a violation of Bell’s inequality does not tell specifically which assumption – realism, locality or both – is discordant with quantum mechanics.
    Markus Aspelmeyer, Anton Zeilinger and colleagues from the University of Vienna, however, have now shown that realism is more of a problem than locality in the quantum world. They devised an experiment that violates a different inequality proposed by physicist Anthony Leggett in 2003 that relies only on realism, and relaxes the reliance on locality. To do this, rather than taking measurements along just one plane of polarization, the Austrian team took measurements in additional, perpendicular planes to check for elliptical polarization.
    They found that, just as in the realizations of Bell’s thought experiment, Leggett’s inequality is violated – thus stressing the quantum-mechanical assertion that reality does not exist when we’re not observing it. “Our study shows that ‘just’ giving up the concept of locality would not be enough to obtain a more complete description of quantum mechanics,” Aspelmeyer told Physics Web. “You would also have to give up certain intuitive features of realism.”
    http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/27640

    Secondly, via Wheeler’s Delayed Choice experiment, we find that “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,”

    New Mind-blowing Experiment Confirms That Reality Doesn’t Exist If You Are Not Looking at It – June 3, 2015
    Excerpt: Some particles, such as photons or electrons, can behave both as particles and as waves. Here comes a question of what exactly makes a photon or an electron act either as a particle or a wave. This is what Wheeler’s experiment asks: at what point does an object ‘decide’?
    The results of the Australian scientists’ experiment, which were published in the journal Nature Physics, show that this choice is determined by the way the object is measured, which is in accordance with what quantum theory predicts.
    “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,” said lead researcher Dr. Andrew Truscott in a press release.,,,
    “The atoms did not travel from A to B. It was only when they were measured at the end of the journey that their wave-like or particle-like behavior was brought into existence,” he said.
    Thus, this experiment adds to the validity of the quantum theory and provides new evidence to the idea that reality doesn’t exist without an observer.
    http://themindunleashed.org/20.....at-it.html

    That the existence of ‘reality’ itself is found to be a-priorily dependent on our conscious observation of it should not be all that surprising to find out. Consciousness itself is the primary prerequisite of all possible prerequisites for any definition of reality that we may put forth. That is to say, for anything to ‘real’ for us in the first place we must first be conscious of it. As Planck and Schroedinger stated,

    “No, I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.”
    -Max Planck (1858–1947), one of the primary founders of quantum theory, The Observer, London, January 25, 1931“

    “Consciousness cannot be accounted for in physical terms. For consciousness is absolutely fundamental. It cannot be accounted for in terms of anything else.”
    – Schroedinger, Erwin. 1984. “General Scientific and Popular Papers,” in Collected Papers, Vol. 4. Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences. Friedr. Vieweg & Sohn, Braunschweig/Wiesbaden. p. 334.

    And as Eugene Wigner stated,

    “The principal argument against materialism is not that illustrated in the last two sections: that it is incompatible with quantum theory. The principal argument is that thought processes and consciousness are the primary concepts, that our knowledge of the external world is the content of our consciousness and that the consciousness, therefore, cannot be denied. On the contrary, logically, the external world could be denied—though it is not very practical to do so. In the words of Niels Bohr, “The word consciousness, applied to ourselves as well as to others, is indispensable when dealing with the human situation.” In view of all this, one may well wonder how materialism, the doctrine that “life could be explained by sophisticated combinations of physical and chemical laws,” could so long be accepted by the majority of scientists.”
    – Eugene Wigner, Remarks on the Mind-Body Question, pp 167-177.

    Of related interest to the recent experimental falsification of ‘realism’ in quantum mechanics, and also of related interest to the fact that for anything to be ‘real’ for us in the first place we must first be conscious of it, of related interest to that, it is also interesting to point out that materialistic researchers who had a bias against Near Death Experiences being real, set out to prove that they were merely ‘false memories’ by setting up a clever questionnaire that could differentiate which memories a person had were real and which memories a person had were merely imaginary.
    Simply put, they did not expect the results they got: To quote the headline ‘Afterlife’ feels ‘even more real than real”

    ‘Afterlife’ feels ‘even more real than real,’ researcher says – Wed April 10, 2013
    Excerpt: “If you use this questionnaire … if the memory is real, it’s richer, and if the memory is recent, it’s richer,” he said.
    The coma scientists weren’t expecting what the tests revealed.
    “To our surprise, NDEs were much richer than any imagined event or any real event of these coma survivors,” Laureys reported.
    The memories of these experiences beat all other memories, hands down, for their vivid sense of reality. “The difference was so vast,” he said with a sense of astonishment.
    Even if the patient had the experience a long time ago, its memory was as rich “as though it was yesterday,” Laureys said.
    http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/09/.....periences/

    Memories of Near Death Experiences (NDEs): More Real Than Reality? – Mar. 27, 2013
    Excerpt: University of Liège
    ,,,researchers,, have looked into the memories of NDE with the hypothesis that if the memories of NDE were pure products of the imagination, their phenomenological characteristics (e.g., sensorial, self referential, emotional, etc. details) should be closer to those of imagined memories. Conversely, if the NDE are experienced in a way similar to that of reality, their characteristics would be closer to the memories of real events.
    The researchers compared the responses provided by three groups of patients, each of which had survived (in a different manner) a coma, and a group of healthy volunteers. They studied the memories of NDE and the memories of real events and imagined events with the help of a questionnaire which evaluated the phenomenological characteristics of the memories. The results were surprising. From the perspective being studied, not only were the NDEs not similar to the memories of imagined events, but the phenomenological characteristics inherent to the memories of real events (e.g. memories of sensorial details) are even more numerous in the memories of NDE than in the memories of real events.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....190359.htm

    My question(s) to atheistic materialists is this. First, “how is it possible for something to be real for us in then first place unless, as Planck pointed out. ‘consciousness is fundamental’?” Secondly, how is it even remotely possible, on materialistic presuppositions, for something to become ‘even more real than real’ during Near Death Experiences unless the infinite Mind of God truly is the foundation of all reality just as Christians have posited all along?

    Colossians 1:17
    He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

    Of supplemental note: Here are a few,,, ‘more real than real’,,, quotes from Near Death Experiencers.

    A Doctor’s Near Death Experience Inspires a New Life – video
    Quote: “It’s not like a dream. It’s like the world we are living in is a dream and it’s kind of like waking up from that.”
    Dr. Magrisso
    – per nbc chicago

    Medical Miracles – Dr. Mary Neal’s Near Death Experience – video (More real than real quote at 37:49 minute mark)
    https://youtu.be/WCNjmWP2JjU?t=2269

    “More real than anything I’ve experienced since. When I came back of course I had 34 operations, and was in the hospital for 13 months. That was real but heaven is more real than that. The emotions and the feelings. The reality of being with people who had preceded me in death.”
    – Don Piper – “90 Minutes in Heaven,” 10 Years Later – video (2:54 minute mark)
    https://youtu.be/3LyZoNlKnMM?t=173

    “I was in the spiritual dimension. And this spiritual dimension, this spiritual world, that’s the real world. And this spiritual man that I was seeing and perceiving, that was the real me. And I instantly knew it. The colors are brighter. The thoughts are more intense. The feelings have greater depth. They’re more real. In the spirit world instantly I knew that this is the real world.,,,”
    – The Near Death Experience of Mickey Robinson – video (testimony starts at 27:45 minute mark)
    https://youtu.be/voak1RM-pXo?t=1655

    Dr. Eben Alexander Says It’s Time for Brain Science to Graduate From Kindergarten – 10/24/2013
    Excerpt: To take the approach of, “Oh it had to be a hallucination of the brain” is just crazy. The simplistic idea that NDEs (Near Death Experiences) are a trick of a dying brain is similar to taking a piece of cardboard out of a pizza delivery box, rolling it down a hill and then claiming that it’s an identical event as rolling a beautiful Ferrari down a hill. They are not the same at all. The problem is the pure materialist scientists can be so closed-minded about it.
    – per Huffington post

    Verse:

    Matthew 6:19-21
    “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    Also of related interest, former engineer, turned pastor, John Burke has studied Near Death Experiences and has written a book on the subject, ‘Imagine Heaven’.

    Imagine Heaven: Near-Death Experiences, God’s Promises, and the Exhilarating Future That Awaits You
    https://www.amazon.com/Imagine-Heaven-Near-Death-Experiences-Exhilarating/dp/080101526X

    He also did an excellent video series on the subject:

    Interview: Dr. Mary Neal died in a Kayak accident and found evidence for the afterlife.
    Imagine Heaven – Evidence for the Afterlife (with interview of Dr. Mary Neal towards the end of the video)
    https://vimeo.com/140585737

    Interview: Don Piper was crushed by an 18-wheeler, pronounced dead for 90 minutes by EMS, but lived to tell what he saw in the bestselling book (and movie), 90 Minutes in Heaven.
    Imagine Heaven – Relationships in Heaven
    https://vimeo.com/141336262

    Imagine Heaven – The Most Beautiful Place
    https://vimeo.com/142068732

    Imagine Heaven – The Highlight of Heaven
    https://vimeo.com/142922744

    Imagine Heaven – What About Hell?
    https://vimeo.com/143542740

    Imagine Heaven – Rewards That Last
    https://vimeo.com/144330752

    Verse:

    2 Corinthians 12: 2-4
    I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of it I do not know, but God knows. And I know that this man—whether in the body or out of it I do not know, but God knows— was caught up to Paradise. The things he heard were too sacred for words, things that man is not permitted to tell.

  7. 7

    I think this is directionally right. The physical universe doesn’t exist except as a mental experience. There are no “things” in it, at least not in the manner we used to think. The post-materialism scientific revolution has already begun.

  8. 8
    Truthfreedom says:

    5 Bornagain77

    It is interesting in that it flies directly in the face of the recent empirical falsifications of ‘realism’ in quantum mechanics. (Of note: ‘Realism” is the ‘naturalistic’ belief that a ‘physical’ world exists ‘out there somewhere’ completely independent of our conscious observation of it).

    As if materialism had not enough problems, the optics and physiology of sight have dealt it another (or THE) fatal blow.

    Naturalism’s Epistemological Nightmare

    “Empirical verification presupposes epistemological realism—meaning that through sensation we know directly the exterior physical world around us. Natural science proclaims that it discovers the nature of the real physical cosmos, external to our brains or subjective selves. Yet, when we trace the optics and physiology of the sense of sight, we find ourselves entrapped in epistemological idealism — meaning that we do not know external reality, but rather merely some change within our brains that we hope to be an accurate representation of the external world.”
    Dr. Dennis Bonnette.
    https://strangenotions.com/naturalisms-epistemological-nightmare/

    The materialist creature is now limping, and it won’t be long before it hits the ground, to never get up again.
    __________

    7 William J. Murray

    The post-materialism scientific revolution has already begun.

    It’s about time.

    Materalism’s Epistemological Nightmare

    Materialism’s Epistemological Blunder


    Materialism’s Encroachment on Science


    Materialism’s Evident Falsity

    Yet Another Materialist Fiasco: No Substantial Forms

    Materialism’s Unnoticed Achilles’ Heel

  9. 9

    Truthfreedom,

    It seems to me that the biggest problem facing this paradigm change is the deeply programmed insistence that an external material world actually exists. This is almost as much a problem for “non-materialists” as materialists. It’s too much of a part of people’s identity to abandon. It requires a deep overhaul of how one sees existence.

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