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'Theory of everything' tying researchers up in knots
SFGate.com ^ | March 14, 2005 | Keay Davidson

Posted on 03/15/2005 10:58:30 PM PST by snarks_when_bored

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To: AntiGuv
Would the following not qualify as a "prediction" or "experiment" of string theory? It could be an "ordinary" gravitational lens http://www.jb.man.ac.uk/booklet/GravitationalLenses.html
51 posted on 03/16/2005 2:21:03 PM PST by AdmSmith
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To: AdmSmith

http://www.jb.man.ac.uk/booklet/GravitationalLenses.html


52 posted on 03/16/2005 2:21:56 PM PST by AdmSmith
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To: snarks_when_bored

stringping for later in another dimension


53 posted on 03/16/2005 3:14:06 PM PST by beebuster2000
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To: AdmSmith; Alamo-Girl
I've been otherwise occupied today, so am just doing a little catch-up. As for Sirag, a pretty much random selection of a passage from his website yields this:

As readers of my (1993) appendix paper in Roots of Consciousness know, I have been partial to E7 as the basic descriptor of the hyperworld. In this theory, I identify the E7 reflection space (a 7-d complex space) with universal consciousness. The E7 Lie algebra (whose largest commutative subalgebra can be identified with the reflection space) corresponds to a mind at large (both conscious and subconscious). In turn, this E7 Lie algebra is a 133-dimensional subalgebra of an infinite dimensional algebra, which is a kind of supermind to the E7 mind-at-large.

Such mixtures of legitimate mathematical terminology with undisciplined talk of 'universal consciousness' and 'a kind of supermind' are a sure-fire clue that the author has lost his way. For example, what could it possibly mean to "identify the E7 reflection space (a 7-d complex space) with universal consciousness"? What sort of identity might that be?

Sorry, Alamo-Girl, but AdmSmith is correct: Sirag is full of it.

54 posted on 03/16/2005 4:11:45 PM PST by snarks_when_bored
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To: timer
Ledbetter and Bezant actually saw what they called the Ultimate Physical Atom(UPA)in the 1920's using micro-psi(seeing with matter waves). If you are interested, the article is in a past issue of Infinite Energy Magazine. See . They verified the string construction of sub-quarks.

You'll have to get me a reference for that. (smile)

55 posted on 03/16/2005 4:17:19 PM PST by snarks_when_bored
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To: nmh
Yes, yes, yes, they know it all better ... so there is a theory for that and a theory for this. Reality is they know squat.

Well, we know more than any earlier generations of humans have ever known, that's for sure. But we're far from done (barring some unforeseen catastrophic event, of course).

56 posted on 03/16/2005 4:20:17 PM PST by snarks_when_bored
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To: snarks_when_bored

The ugly truth is that TRUTH doesn't evolve. Something is true, today, tomorrow and thousands of years from now IF it was truth to begin with.


57 posted on 03/16/2005 4:21:45 PM PST by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God).)
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To: finnigan2
My own belief is that as you bore down to an essential underlying theory of everything, explanations should become simpler and the math more elegant, not more complex.

I'm not sure about that. It could be that as we drill down into smaller and smaller volumes, the mathematical complexity required to describe what we find does in fact increase. For example, the configuration space of a classical (i.e., 'large') system is usually finite-dimensional (although of high dimension if the system contains many particles), and the description of the behavior of the system requires (essentially) partial differential equations, the principles of which have been understood for over 200 years. On the other hand, the configuration space of a quantum (i.e., 'small') system is usually infinite-dimensional (an infinite-dimensional Hilbert space), and the description of the behavior of the system requires (at least) partial differential operators (a step up in abstraction from partial differential equations), the principles of which have been understood for only about 100 years.

Of course, maybe a new layer of simplicity will emerge beneath the complexity of current quantum descriptions. We just don't know yet.

58 posted on 03/16/2005 4:31:28 PM PST by snarks_when_bored
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To: nmh
Yes, I agree with that, but I see us as always on the way towards truth, rather than ever being in possession of it. It's the Peircian fallibilistic approach to science.

Back in a while if you want to continue the discussion!

59 posted on 03/16/2005 4:32:59 PM PST by snarks_when_bored
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To: nmh

Truth may not evolve but human statements about it do.


60 posted on 03/16/2005 4:34:23 PM PST by js1138
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To: snarks_when_bored

string-like placemarker


61 posted on 03/16/2005 5:07:01 PM PST by longshadow
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To: js1138

"Truth may not evolve but human statements about it do."

Now THAT is a timeless truism!

:)


62 posted on 03/16/2005 5:50:43 PM PST by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God).)
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To: Physicist
It's happened before. In the 1960's, all the theorists were into dispersion relations, S-matrices, Pomerons, and Regge poles. A few mavericks worked with quantum field theory, but most people regarded it as a dead end. Nowadays everyone works in quantum field theory, and those other formalisms aren't used.

Pretty much the case, although I seem to recall that Hawking recently used some S-matrix ideas in arguing that black holes don't violate 'conservation of information' (as he thought they did for many years). Am I remembering that correctly?

63 posted on 03/16/2005 6:22:05 PM PST by snarks_when_bored
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To: Constantine XIII
We have a handful of these guys in our physics dept.

They're a little bit out there, even by our standards. :P

Niels Bohr is reputed to have said to a young physicist who had just presented a paper:

Your theory is crazy, but it's not crazy enough to be true.

We need those 'really out there' folks.

64 posted on 03/16/2005 6:31:51 PM PST by snarks_when_bored
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To: finnigan2
My instinct tells me that String Theory is just a rickety scaffold for mathematicians to play on before the next genius comes along to show us how everything really works.

ah..... an open mind. And very perceptive.

65 posted on 03/16/2005 6:34:12 PM PST by UCANSEE2
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To: UCANSEE2

BTTT

Fascinating....


66 posted on 03/16/2005 6:50:22 PM PST by Knitting A Conundrum (Act Justly, Love Mercy, and Walk Humbly With God Micah 6:8)
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To: snarks_when_bored; AdmSmith; betty boop
Thank you both so much for your concerns!

AdmSmith The mere fact that Sirag is mentioning something does not mean that it is right or wrong, it is the way he connect it to other things. The totality of what he writes is still crap. Sorry for that.

You are certainly welcome to your opinion, but it would be much more helpful if you would be specific with your criticisms. I can do nothing with a unspecific criticism.

snarks_when_bored Such mixtures of legitimate mathematical terminology with undisciplined talk of 'universal consciousness' and 'a kind of supermind' are a sure-fire clue that the author has lost his way. For example, what could it possibly mean to "identify the E7 reflection space (a 7-d complex space) with universal consciousness"? What sort of identity might that be?

Thank you for your concerns!

It appears that you are chagrined by the concept of a “universal consciousness”.

If you are of the Pinker worldview, that the mind/consciousness/soul is merely an epiphenomenon of the physical brain – then your denial is part of that worldview. And we are in hopeless disagreement and there is nothing further to discuss. We’ve covered Pinker exhaustively on a number of threads already – the latest being on the Meyer thread starting at 513.

The reason I found the Sirag article interesting is two-fold. First, betty boop and I are pursuing the pivotal question of ”what is life v non-life/death in nature” (The latest discussion is on the Monist thread) Secondly, I share in Einstein’s dream to transmute the base wood of matter to the pure marble of geometry – at bottom, the physical realm is all geometry. Thus, when we speak to a field-like will to live common to all of life we are suggesting that it exists in all points of space/time. This could also be seen as dimensional, hence my interest in Tegmark’s Level IV universe and also in the ADEX theory proposed by Sirag.

I can’t find much more on Sirag’s speculations on consciousness except for these Notes on Hyperspace and an email dialogue he had with Sarfatti here: Science Archive Institute The following excerpt might be interesting to Lurkers:

"My approach to a theory of reality, which includes consciousness, is to postulate that reality is the vast entity (cf. Phillip K. Dick's VALIS) that underlies the entire set of A-D-E Coxeter graphs (and even goes beyond these graphs as V.I. Arnold has led the way)."

I think this is close to the Level IV Super Platonism in Max Tegmark's "Parallel Universes" in May 2003 Scientific American? All mathematics is implemented physically is his idea. You agree? You further think that V.I. Arnold's math may be the Mother of All Math - The Mathematical Theory of Everything. Then we have Wigner's "The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in Physics."

On the VALIS theme, its historical roots are well-presented in Erik Davis's "Tech Gnosis."

"This means that each of the many types of mathematical object that is A-D-E classified is a separate window into this vast reality. [Note: Mathematicians are wondering what mathematical entity underlies the A-D-E graphs. I say it is not a mathematical entity, but reality itself--physical, mental, and perhaps more than these (much debated) categories entail. The mathematics is the set of mathematical categories classified by the A-D-E graphs, each providing a different "map" of the territory of reality. The overall name for my approach is ADEX-theory -- the study and application of all the A-D-E graphs, with the X indicating the (mostly unknown) reality underlying the set of A-D-E classifications; and X also indicates the aspect of going beyond the A-D-E graphs via the three E type graphs as doorways into the enormous extension of the graphs (which has been only partly explored by V.I. Arnold and his students)."

OK. Good. This is the clearest you have been on this. I would like you to include this in the third book of the Space-Time and Beyond Series

Since AdmSmith reacted with such disdain to Sirag, I went searching further into his past. He is a published theoretical physicist, though clearly not a mainstreamer. Sarfatti is also a physicist and mathematician – though he amusingly calls himself a “theatrical physicist” - he appears to be connected in the Hollywood circles. By appearance and approach, they strike me on first blush, as being into Eastern mysticism – their group is called the “Physics Consciousness Research Group”. That network reaches to the likes of David Finkelstein, Russell Targ, Karl Pribram, Henry Stapp, Phillipe Eberhard and Ralph Abraham. Sadly, it also reaches to the likes of Uri Geller – sigh….

Saul-Paul Sirag himself was also associated with the International Space Science Organization which was evidently run by a Creon Levit who was a NASA Ames nano-technology scientist. The outfit was formed by Joe Firmage a Silicon Valley entrepreneur who evidently had a huge interest in space and related mysteries, enough so to fund physics projects outside the mainstream. His ISSO venture was consolidated with others and is now called Motion Sciences Organization. He is also associated with Cosmos Studios (a Carl Sagan related venture), Institute for Noetic Sciences (again, that Eastern mysticism touch), and Integral Institute.

Evidently these scientists are quite respectable but at the same time, not in the “mainstream”. That never bothers me because even the lowly turtle cannot make progress without sticking his neck out.

67 posted on 03/16/2005 11:48:27 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: snarks_when_bored

Yes, new ideas are sometimes WILD when you first hear them, and for good reason : most new, right-brain ideas ARE crazy and if everyone went running after every new idea there would be utter CHAOS in society(which needs ORDER to survive). Anyway, get over your smirk, see infinite-energy.com and look at the past issue that has the article on Ledbetter and Bezant. It sure makes sense to me, and verifies what string theorists have been coming up with too.


68 posted on 03/17/2005 2:13:02 AM PST by timer
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To: timer

I rarely smirk. But I see no reference on the site you mention to the men you mention. How about a precise link?


69 posted on 03/17/2005 8:16:19 AM PST by snarks_when_bored
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To: Alamo-Girl
Thank you for sharing your views!

You're welcome.

In other words, the two paradigms disagree on which is more basic, the frog perspective of the observer or the bird perspective of the physical laws. The Aristotelian paradigm prefers the frog perspective, whereas the Platonic paradigm prefers the bird perspective....

Lousy analogy.

A mathematical structure is an abstract, immutable entity existing outside of space and time.

Unproven, unprovable, therefore, irrelevant theory. There is no evidence that anything "exists" outside space/time.

If history were a movie, the structure would correspond not to a single frame of it but to the entire videotape.

It isn't a movie, therefore, irrelevant.

Consider, for example, a world made up of pointlike particles moving around in three-dimensional space. There is no such thing. In four-dimensional spacetime--the bird perspective--these particle trajectories resemble a tangle of spaghetti. If the frog sees a particle moving with constant velocity, the bird sees a straight strand of uncooked spaghetti. If the frog sees a pair of orbiting particles, the bird sees two spaghetti strands intertwined like a double helix. To the frog, the world is described by Newton's laws of motion and gravitation. To the bird, it is described by the geometry of the pasta--a mathematical structure. The frog itself is merely a thick bundle of pasta, whose highly complex intertwining corresponds to a cluster of particles that store and process information.

This is just a pile of hypotheticals that mean absolutely nothing. No one knows what a frog sees, or a bird, or a horse or whatever. It is all fantasy projection to prove a point that cannot be proven.

Fact is Platonism has no, can have no, verifiable evidence for its existence. Therefore, it is irrelevant.

70 posted on 03/17/2005 11:33:08 AM PST by LogicWings
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To: Alamo-Girl
I’d love to hear any arguments for why mathematics should not be given a higher seat in our body of knowledge than science!

I guess the real question still centers about the nature of the "unreasonable effectiveness of math." Yes, math does seem to describe things unusually well.

But is that because math is in some sense intrinsically descriptive of the universe? Or is it the more like "Junkyard Wars" teams hunting around in a junk-pile for likely-looking parts? (I.e., I have an idea, and here's somebody's esoteric math thing that looks handy in describing it?)

I guess another way of putting it is: is math invented, or is it discovered?

71 posted on 03/17/2005 11:43:42 AM PST by r9etb
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To: Alamo-Girl
I’d love to hear any arguments for why mathematics should not be given a higher seat in our body of knowledge than science!

I'm preparing the following label to be placed on all high school math textbooks. Kids need to be taught the controversy.

New sticker for math textbooks:

Warning: this axiomatic system includes propositions whose truth is undecidable within that system and its consistency is, hence, not provable within that system


72 posted on 03/17/2005 11:46:20 AM PST by js1138
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To: nmh
The ugly truth is that TRUTH doesn't evolve.

Are you sure? Are there perhaps "classes" of truth for which that's not true?

For example, "he was not born yet," "he is alive," and "he's long-dead" are all "true" statements that apply to, say, Beethoven. They're all true, and they're all mutually exclusive, and they all apply to the same object.

Why is that not an example of an "evolving truth?"

73 posted on 03/17/2005 11:48:33 AM PST by r9etb
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To: r9etb
I guess another way of putting it is: is math invented, or is it discovered?

I used to ask my math professors that exact same question. The answers were quite interesting.

74 posted on 03/17/2005 11:52:41 AM PST by general_re ("Frantic orthodoxy is never rooted in faith, but in doubt." - Reinhold Niebuhr)
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To: Alamo-Girl
Not to ignore the other points you raise in your post, Alamo-Girl, but I'm responding just to this point:
If you are of the Pinker worldview, that the mind/consciousness/soul is merely an epiphenomenon of the physical brain...

I wouldn't put it quite that way. Above the level of, say, viruses, the properties of living cells and their organized assemblages are fairly easily distinguished from the properties of non-living matter. But in every case, cells and their assemblages utilize environmentally available energy resources to maintain and reproduce themselves. These processes (living and reproducing, or, as C.S. Peirce put it, "feeding and breeding") are what living things do. In more complex organisms, consciousness (and, in our special case, self-consciousness) appears as a feature of the operations of living and reproducing. I incline to the view that consciousness 'emerges' as cellular assemblages reach a certain (as yet not easily specifiable) level of complexity (although I wouldn't be prepared to claim that that view has been shown to be true). Rather than a 'mere epiphenomenon', consciousness appears to be a rather interesting mode of operation of highly complex cellular assemblages.

And I would add: without a ramified physical substrate of some sort (a substrate capable of stably supporting the variety of structures and functions which underlie conscious behavior), it's most unlikely that consciousness can exist. There is a heavy burden of proof on those who would posit the possibility of disembodied consciousness (or 'universal consciousness' or 'supermind').

Finally, I would still like to know what it means to "identify the E7 reflection space (a 7-d complex space) with universal consciousness." I'm unable to attach significance to the identification of a mathematical object with a (presumably) physical process the existence of which is entirely unsupported by evidence.

75 posted on 03/17/2005 1:41:23 PM PST by snarks_when_bored
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To: snarks_when_bored
I incline to the view that consciousness 'emerges' as cellular assemblages reach a certain (as yet not easily specifiable) level of complexity (although I wouldn't be prepared to claim that that view has been shown to be true). Rather than a 'mere epiphenomenon', consciousness appears to be a rather interesting mode of operation of highly complex cellular assemblages

If we employ a crude analogy, though.... isn't this like saying there can't be radio waves until you build a radio? If I'm reading it properly, the alternate view (all that E7 whatsis) would posit that the brain is something like a radio receiver -- receiving and operating on consciousness in the form of a physical "field" of some sort.

I'm not taking any stand on the matter -- but wouldn't it have an interesting effect on a lot of aspects of science if the fella was correct?

76 posted on 03/17/2005 2:46:53 PM PST by r9etb
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To: snarks_when_bored

What more can I tell you? Contact infinite-energy.com and ask for their back issues-list. Things there have been in dis-array since the assassination of Editor Eugene Mallove last may 14th, but they keep sending me my monthly issues, so there must be warm bodies there somewhere. KNOCK and the door will be OPENED.


77 posted on 03/17/2005 5:10:09 PM PST by timer
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To: r9etb
I incline to the view that consciousness 'emerges' as cellular assemblages reach a certain (as yet not easily specifiable) level of complexity (although I wouldn't be prepared to claim that that view has been shown to be true). Rather than a 'mere epiphenomenon', consciousness appears to be a rather interesting mode of operation of highly complex cellular assemblages

If we employ a crude analogy, though.... isn't this like saying there can't be radio waves until you build a radio? If I'm reading it properly, the alternate view (all that E7 whatsis) would posit that the brain is something like a radio receiver -- receiving and operating on consciousness in the form of a physical "field" of some sort.

I'm not taking any stand on the matter -- but wouldn't it have an interesting effect on a lot of aspects of science if the fella was correct?

The analogy has been suggested before (as you probably know)...the brain as a 'receiver' and (perhaps) a 'transmitter' of consciousness. But, so far, to my knowledge, not a single piece of evidence for this analogy has been adduced, whereas radio waves are quite easily received and produced. I was careful to say in my post that I thought it likely (but not proven) that consciousness is an emergent operational property of complex cellular assemblages, but I also pointed out that those who would claim the existence of much more remarkable properties of consciousness carry a heavy burden of proof.

I'm not denying outright that there's a 'field of consciousness', but I am denying that such a view has any evidentiary support.

78 posted on 03/17/2005 8:05:10 PM PST by snarks_when_bored
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To: snarks_when_bored

It sounds like they need a new Infinite Improbability Drive.


79 posted on 03/17/2005 8:08:23 PM PST by Samwise (Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away.)
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To: LogicWings
Thank you for sharing your views of Max Tegmark's article!

By your comments, I conclude that you must be a Nominalist. Since I am a philosophical Realist we have precious little common ground to share views.

80 posted on 03/17/2005 9:24:38 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: r9etb
Thank you so very much for your excellent post, r9etb!

I guess another way of putting it is: is math invented, or is it discovered?

So very true.

The "unreasonable effectiveness of math" is most evident in physics - dualities, mirror symmetries - and my personal favorite, Einstein's being able to pull Reimannian geometry "off the shelf" to describe relativity. For me, it is breath-taking.

81 posted on 03/17/2005 9:31:19 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: js1138
LOLOLOL! That would make a precious sticker! Of course, it would be nice to attribute it to Godel. Who knows, maybe some of the students would want to know more.
82 posted on 03/17/2005 9:32:46 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: snarks_when_bored; betty boop
Thank you so very much for your thoughtful reply!

I wouldn't put it quite that way. Above the level of, say, viruses, the properties of living cells and their organized assemblages are fairly easily distinguished from the properties of non-living matter. But in every case, cells and their assemblages utilize environmentally available energy resources to maintain and reproduce themselves. These processes (living and reproducing, or, as C.S. Peirce put it, "feeding and breeding") are what living things do.

IMHO, the direction one takes in answering the question ”what is life v non-life/death in nature” is pivotal to any subsequent investigation into such issues as consciousness, abiogenesis, etc.

The approach you have taken is one of describing the properties of living organisms. On the Plato thread we investigated two similar description-based models, one by Irvin Bauer and another by Javor. The Bauer model was also mathematics.

The descriptive approach runs into difficulty with the classification of the enigmas: bacteria, bacterial spores, mycoplasmas, mimivirus, viroids, viruses and prions. It also does not help the investigation into abiogenesis because it does not speak directly to the emergence of information, autonomy, semiosis and complexity. Nor does it speak to consciousness.

The alternative approach is mathematics, or more appropriately “information theory and molecular biology”. It is the application of Shannon’s mathematical theory of communications to biological life. Shannon is the father of information theory. The model which is described briefly on this post is quite elegant and accommodates all of the enigmas. It also speaks directly to the investigation of abiogenesis by laying the structure for information, autonomy, semiosis and complexity. It also speaks to consciousness as follows.

Information (successful communication) is the reduction of uncertainty (Shannon entropy) in a receiver or molecular machine in going from a before state to an after state. It is the action, not the message. The DNA is as good dead as alive.

This formulation of information theory is actively used in cancer and pharmaceutical research. It is not some “pi in the ski” mathematical musing. The presence of information distinguishes between life and non-life/death in nature. Moreover, it gives us important to clues to further investigation.

There are three possible ways a successful communication can be instigated – (a) interrupt such as the presence of food, change in temperature, radiation, (b) cycle or timing, and (c) will. Moreover, there are two types of will – (1) involuntary (2) voluntary.

We have coined the term “will to live” for the involuntary type – others have called it the “life principle” or “fecundity principle”. It has also been called the “want to” live.

The “will to live” permeates the entire biosphere and perhaps the entire universe. For that reason, we assert that it is field-like (existing in all points of space/time). It is observed in plants and animals, in creatures which go into dormant phases of their life cycle. It is observed in the simplest of life forms (cell intelligence, amoeba).

It is also observed in collectives of organisms which act as if one mind (ants, bees, etc.). The “will to live” also permeates throughout the molecular machinery of higher organisms. For instance, if a part of the heart dies (myocardial infarction) - the molecular machinery will continue to struggle to survive, routing blood flow around the dead tissue. A person can be “brain dead” and yet the rest of the body will struggle to survive and will succeed if a machine (respirator) is used to simulate the cyclic instruction of the brain.

The voluntary side of will is another matter. An example would be to drop a live bird, a dead bird and a 12 lb cannonball off a roof top. The live bird will choose to fly away. Another example is to decide to move your finger to press a key on your keyboard. This kind of will includes abstraction, anticipation, meditation, intention, etc.

This kind of willfulness has a hierarchical structure which is difficult to discuss because it gets into metaphysics (Eastern mysticism to Sirag’s cohorts) and everyone seems to have a bias going in.

Naturally, so do I – I am Christian. So I’ll layout the hierarchy of wills according to Scripture:

1. nephesh the will to live, the animal soul, or the soul of all living things (Genesis 1:20) which by Jewish tradition returns to the “earth” after death. In Romans 8, this is seen as a whole, the creation longing for the children of God to be revealed. This is what we described as being field-like, existing in all points of space/time.

2. ruach - the self-will or free will peculiar to man (abstraction, anticipation, intention, etc.) - by Jewish tradition, the pivot wherein a man decides to be Godly minded or earthy minded (also related to Romans 8, choosing)

3. neshama - the breath of God given to Adam (Genesis 2:7) which may also be seen as the “ears to hear” (John 10) - a sense of belonging beyond space/time, a predisposition to seek God and seek answers to the deep questions such as “what is the meaning of life?”

4. ruach Elohim - the Holy Spirit (Genesis 1:2) which indwells Christians (I Cor 2, John 3) - the presently existing in the “beyond” while still in the flesh. (Col 3:3) This is the life in the passage: In him was life, and the life was the light of men... (John 1)

I suspect that only the first two on these four would be manifest in such a way that science might be able to detect them - the last two are gifts of God.

If a universal vacuum field is the host or medium for the lowest but universal will, the “will to live” - then it may be measurable indirectly by its effects on other fields, such as the electromagnetic field in living organisms. Alternatively or additionally, it may be geometrically related to the semiosis (the language, encoding and decoding) in living creatures, the DNA, e.g. post 881 on the Behe thread. Such possibilities are being investigated.

The “self-will” is in the domain of the ongoing inter-disciplinary studies of consciousness and the mind. The monist view would be that consciousness (as well as the soul) are merely an epiphenomenon of the physical brain. Qualia speaks against such a conclusion. Qualia are the properties of sensory experiences which are epistemically unknowable in the absence of direct experience of them and therefore, are also incommunicable. Examples include likes and dislikes, pain and pleasure, love and hate, good and evil.

Which brings me to your last point:

Finally, I would still like to know what it means to "identify the E7 reflection space (a 7-d complex space) with universal consciousness." I'm unable to attach significance to the identification of a mathematical object with a (presumably) physical process the existence of which is entirely unsupported by evidence.

At the risk of oversimplifying this, here goes.

Space/time is created as the universe expands. The inflation causes the fields to exist, i.e. fields exist in all points of space/time. The phenomenon we observe as energy and which transforms to matter is the consequence of the geometry. Being able to express that was Einstein's dream.

Our vision and our minds are limited to perception in four dimensions – three of space (x,y,z) and one of time (t). Every corporeal existent is characterized by its space/time coordinates relative to other corporeal existents (simultaneity in special relativity).

We strongly believe that space/time consists of more dimensions, the number is uncertain because of the duality between several of the theories. However, we are much more confident of the multi-dimensional structure because Strominger and Vafa were able to recreate the Hawking and Beckenstein blackhole entropy using string theory.

Exactly what additional dimensions can tell us about other subjects is under investigation. One theory suggests that the reason gravity is so small relative to electromagnetism, strong and weak atomic forces is that it is interdimensional. As positive gravity is a space/time indent, negative gravity would be a space/time outdent and thus shed light on the acceleration of the universe.

Another string theory, the f-theory (father theory) suggests that there is also an extra time dimension in which case our perceived timeline is actually a plane. This would help explain non-locality and superposition but it also would damage our notion of physical causality.

Extra dimensions may also present the Shannon spheres more like multi-dimensional hypercubes – helping us to understand how semiosis (language, encoding/decoding) arose in biological life.

And likewise, the extra dimensions may help us to understand the “will to live” and “self-will”. It is possible that the field-like will is a universal vacuum field of a different choice of coordinates.

IOW, our four dimensional worldview is a seemingly arbitrary choice of coordinates out of set of 10, 11 or 12 (for instance). Sirag is proposing that most of these additional dimensions are used in the phenomenon of consciousness (and presumably, life or a higher reality).

Sirag however puts all of consciousness into a single entity, a “universal consciousness” even though he suggests seven dimensions as host. Personally, I dismiss this part of his speculation as a personal bias towards Eastern mysticism.

83 posted on 03/17/2005 10:59:50 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Alamo-Girl
my personal favorite, Einstein's being able to pull Reimannian geometry "off the shelf" to describe relativity.

My favorite is Maxwell's equations ... he added in the "displacement current" (which correlates changes in the electric and magnetic fields), allegedly for reasons of symmetry, not because he'd actually seen something that needed describing.

84 posted on 03/18/2005 6:15:11 AM PST by r9etb
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To: r9etb
Thank you so much for your reply! Indeed, Maxwell's "replacement current" is another great example.
85 posted on 03/18/2005 6:48:07 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Physicist

Nice post. :-)

Thanks!


86 posted on 03/19/2005 9:53:48 AM PST by RadioAstronomer
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To: Alamo-Girl
Sorry to be a bit late responding to your long and carefully constructed post #83, Alamo-Girl. Here are a few thoughts on some of what you wrote:
  1. You wrote: "The 'will to live' permeates the entire biosphere and perhaps the entire universe. For that reason, we assert that it is field-like (existing in all points of space/time). It is observed in plants and animals, in creatures which go into dormant phases of their life cycle. It is observed in the simplest of life forms (cell intelligence, amoeba)."

    My response: this is entirely hypothetical. There's no evidence of which I'm aware that what you call the 'will to live' exists. I fear that you're hypostasizing here.

  2. You wrote: "If a universal vacuum field is the host or medium for the lowest but universal will, the “will to live” - then it may be measurable indirectly by its effects on other fields, such as the electromagnetic field in living organisms. Alternatively or additionally, it may be geometrically related to the semiosis (the language, encoding and decoding) in living creatures, the DNA, e.g. post 881 on the Behe thread. Such possibilities are being investigated."

    My response: again, no evidence of such a field. And I don't know what you might mean by "geometrically related" in your second sentence.

  3. You wrote: "We strongly believe that space/time consists of more [than four] dimensions, the number is uncertain because of the duality between several of the theories. However, we are much more confident of the multi-dimensional structure because Strominger and Vafa were able to recreate the Hawking and Beckenstein blackhole entropy using string theory."

    My response: Maybe physical reality includes more than four dimensions, maybe not. We just don't know yet. I prefer to withhold belief while keeping the possibility open.

  4. You wrote: "Exactly what additional dimensions can tell us about other subjects is under investigation. One theory suggests that the reason gravity is so small relative to electromagnetism, strong and weak atomic forces is that it is interdimensional. As positive gravity is a space/time indent, negative gravity would be a space/time outdent and thus shed light on the acceleration of the universe.

    "Another string theory, the f-theory (father theory) suggests that there is also an extra time dimension in which case our perceived timeline is actually a plane. This would help explain non-locality and superposition but it also would damage our notion of physical causality.

    "Extra dimensions may also present the Shannon spheres more like multi-dimensional hypercubes – helping us to understand how semiosis (language, encoding/decoding) arose in biological life.

    "And likewise, the extra dimensions may help us to understand the “will to live” and “self-will”. It is possible that the field-like will is a universal vacuum field of a different choice of coordinates."

    My response: I guess we'll have to disagree on the usefulness of using exceedingly hypothetical constructs of fundamental physics to support philosophical theses (and vice versa). The physics can all too easily degenerate into buzzwords and the philosophical theses can get tied to the physics constructs du jour.

  5. You wrote: "IOW, our four dimensional worldview is a seemingly arbitrary choice of coordinates out of set of 10, 11 or 12 (for instance). Sirag is proposing that most of these additional dimensions are used in the phenomenon of consciousness (and presumably, life or a higher reality).

    "Sirag however puts all of consciousness into a single entity, a “universal consciousness” even though he suggests seven dimensions as host. Personally, I dismiss this part of his speculation as a personal bias towards Eastern mysticism."

    My response: Here you begin to address the main question I earlier posed about Sirag's views. But I must disagree with your assertion that "our four dimensional worldview is a seemingly arbitrary choice of coordinates out of [a] set of 10, 11 or 12 (for instance)". Length, width, height and duration can hardly be called arbitrary measures of the physical reality we find ourselves inhabiting. Furthermore, I can make no sense of the notions that extra (physical) dimensions "are used in the phenomenon of consciousness (and presumably, life or a higher reality)". Sirag would here be bordering on babble, it seems to me. And, finally, I hope you'll forgive me for quoting myself:

    I would still like to know what it means to "identify the E7 reflection space (a 7-d complex space) with universal consciousness." I'm unable to attach significance to the identification of a mathematical object with a (presumably) physical process the existence of which is entirely unsupported by evidence.

    I don't see that your defense of Sirag addresses the heart of what I'm asking here.

Well, that's it for now. Time for some sleep.

Best regards...

87 posted on 03/20/2005 1:25:37 AM PST by snarks_when_bored
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To: Alamo-Girl
By your comments, I conclude that you must be a Nominalist. Since I am a philosophical Realist we have precious little common ground to share views.

I am a logician prior to any other designation and, frankly, see no validity in any further denomination. All that does is attempt to constrain and/or ignore logic by embracing terms and labels that seek to circumvent logic, something that cannot be done.

Interestingly it was a statement about your Realist position as stated on the Nominalist link the points up the error of Realism:
The realist answer is that all the green things are green in virtue of the existence of a universal; a single abstract thing

A single abstract thing is a contradiction in terms. If it is an abstract it is not a thing.

This commits the fallacy of Reification. In the hierarchy of conceptual development an abstract subsumes a number of concrete classes in a term that represents the classes of those objects but has no actual existence. The easiest example of this is if I say to you: "Hand me a furniture." The statement is logically absurd because furniture is an abstract representing several classes of concretes: lamps, chairs, coffee tables, sofas, desks in near endless profusion. Not only is there no abstract thing that represents furniture , there cannot be since the concept represents no thing. There can be no universal abstract outside of space time representing furniture because there is no such thing.

One has only to ask where the abstract concept for "starship" was before science fiction, (another abstract.)

The point here is philosophical Realism is logically fallacious. Which is why Aristotle came after Plato, not the other way around. Aristotle was smarter than Plato and had a clearer picture to the truth of things.

88 posted on 03/20/2005 11:00:48 AM PST by LogicWings
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To: snarks_when_bored; betty boop
Thank you oh so very much for your thoughtful – and very well formatted – reply! I won’t repeat the dialogue here, just my response:

1. I provided evidence of the will to live on the links which were part of the paragraph you excerpted. These refer to research on cells and amoeba indicating a will to live, struggle to survive which are often associated only with organisms who possess physical brains. The other evidence – which I really didn’t feel warranted a link – is that the molecular machinery in the organism (cardiovascular, neural, alimentary, etc.) are functionally oriented and yet work together for the survival of the organism. When any of these suffer a fatal insult (brain death, heart attack) – the remaining portions of the machinery proper plus all other functions nevertheless struggle to survive. In the case of the heart attack, new vessels are routed around dead tissue. In the case of brain death, a respirator allows life to continue nevertheless.

2. WRT “geometrically related” – a field is defined as existing in all points of space/time. Some fields, such as gravity, are thought to be inter-dimensional (open-string). If a universal vacuum field is the host to the will to live, then there is nothing to preclude an inter-dimensional field.

3. Actually the Strominger-Vafa computation was very strong evidence for multiple dimensions. But of course, you are free to dismiss any evidence you wish in formulating your views.

4. Indeed. We must agree to disagree on the import of theoretical physics.

5. Since you dismiss extra-dimensionality per se, there is no point in attempting to evaluate Sirag’s speculations because he surmises a “universal consciousness” from the excess dimensions in string theory.

For any Lurkers interested in what extra dimensions “mean” to us: The Curse of Dimensionality

89 posted on 03/20/2005 1:29:40 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: LogicWings; betty boop; cornelis; marron; beckett
I strongly disagree with your conclusion that Aristotle was smarter than Plato. I can't imagine him saying that either.

The subject of universals - Plato's forms - is well underway on another thread and I cannot see arguing the same points here. But I welcome you to the ongoing discussion, starting somewhere in the mid 200's on The Future of Biology thread. It is now in the mid 600's.

90 posted on 03/20/2005 1:38:22 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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Peter Woit
http://www.math.columbia.edu/~woit/

Not Even Wrong (blog)
http://www.math.columbia.edu/~woit/blog/

String Theory: An Evaluation
http://www.math.columbia.edu/%7Ewoit/strings.pdf

Is string theory even wrong?
http://www.americanscientist.org/template/AssetDetail/assetid/18638


91 posted on 01/31/2006 10:03:39 AM PST by SunkenCiv (In the long run, there is only the short run.)
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