Potentialism Theory: metaphysics rescues physics
Quantum physics would haunt Albert Einstein his entire life. The science he helped discover disturbed him intensely. Once quoted as saying “God doesn’t play dice with the universe,” he was forced to look at seemingly strong evidence to the contrary from this field. He actually went to his grave still trying to challenge quantum theory.
It would be over 30 years later, in 1988, when David Birnbaum released the first of his three-part Summa Metaphysica series. What Birnbaum uncovered was a line-of-attack which Einstein would readily embrace – that, indeed, the Quantum is not so random after all. While Einstein thought the cure to universal Randomness lay in disproving Quantum theory, in truth, the answer lay in embracing Quantum theory but better discerning its core thrust; and its core thrust is not random at all.
Essentially Birnbaum’s Potentialism Theory lays the groundwork for a teleological (direction-driven) Quantum physics model; Potentialism thus de facto ‘rescues’ Einsteinian physics from having to co-exist with a randomness Quantum physics model.
Like Einstein before him, Birnbaum refused to accept what Quantum theory seemed to be telling us; which was that the universe was fundamentally a random place, empty of any aspect of direction. Birnbaum distinguishes a clear path and purpose to the seeming chaos of the Quantum physical universe.
Potentialism Theory: unifying physics
Indeed, Birnbaum’s Potentialism Theory, as an aside from cracking the greater cosmic code, also happens – as a by-the-way – to unify (micro-level) Planck’s Quantum physics (Quantum Field Theory) with (macro-level) Einsteinian gravitational physic (General Relativity).
This little by-the-way is what academic physics signifies (somewhat grandiosely) as The Theory of Everything. They have been searching for this ‘unification theory’ for some time. See EinsteinAndSumma.com.
Birnbaum wryly notes that many pinnacle academic physicists swear by Randomness and then beat-their-breasts that they cannot unify the two great theories of physics. Maybe their little assumption – of Randomness – is dead wrong.
Regarding academic physics’ Theory of Everything
As alluded to above, the academic physics ‘Theory of Everything’ quest is really just a quest for a unifying theory of the two salient (micro and macro) physics paradigms noted; the pursuit ultimately has ‘limited’ goals; The Summa Metaphysica Theory of Potential, on the other hand, is indeed a true theory of everything – the scope of the soft and hard sciences – but its author holds-back and steers-clear of labelling it as-such. See TTOE1000.com.
Potentialism Theory: overarching?
To Birnbaum, the cosmos and our universe run on his discerned principle of Quest for Potential. Everything that exists seeks out its own greatest/optimal Potential. A seed strives to be a tree, a couple strives to procreate, and a cloud deep in the void seeks to become a star and planets.
This transcendent and all-encompassing energy across the universe is pervasive; it can often be missed, even though it plays out all around us in an endless, universal and infinite dance. It is literally ‘hiding in plain sight’ – as Birnbaum had speculated from the get-go. See SummaMetaphysica.com.
Nuts & bolts
Birnbaum differentiates several key core cosmic dynamics – all inter-related with Potential; he discerns them, fleshes them out, labels them, and gives each a shorthand notation. By condensing his metaphysics, he enables us to get-our-arms around it – and more readily discuss it.
Q4P (Quest for Potential)
Potentialism describes the eternal and infinite Quest for Potential as the central, cosmic drive of the universe. See TheoryCore.com. This Q4P, as he calls it for short, first ignites the universe, and then gives direction/drive to the entire universe. See also TheQ4P.com.
On the intermediate level Q4P inherently strives towards greater and greater levels of what Birnbaum coins as Complexification (shorthand: C+) the drive for ever-greater complexity, sophistication, richness, integration, diversity, wondrousness. Therefore, C+ is so to speak the handmaiden of Q4P, its ‘enforcer.’
[Note that, incidentally for maverick Birnbaum, American scientists Lloyd and Tegmark, both of MIT, will release books in 2006 (Programming the Universe) and 2014 (Our Mathematical Universe) respectively, which present compatible-with-each-other scientific-mathematical mechanisms for C+. These works are further ‘nails in the coffin for the British-touted Randomness construct – and provide a quite-powerful academic scientific reinforcement for Summa’s metaphysics.]
In turn, this C+ drives the universe towards what Birnbaum coins as Extraordinariation (shorthand: E+). Extraordinariation is a goal-horizon of sublime and utter super-Complexification – both in form and quality.
In turn, Extraordinariation would include, but not be limited to, ultimate –
grandeur, elegance, beauty, symmetry, fulfillment, consciousness, harmony, artistry, symphony, spirituality, perfection, humanitarianism, romancing, love…parenting, meaning, altruism and mercy …
Extraordinariation level is never actually reached, nor is it intended-to; it is rather, a cosmic-goal-horizon to be quested-after. This eternal ‘quest’ is a key dynamic energising the Cosmic Order, in general, and life, in particular. See Extraordinariation.com.
The three key inter-related components Q4P, C+ and E+; in turn combine into Birnbaum’s proposed SuperLaw of Potentialism:
The SuperLaw of Potentialism Theory
Q4P > C+ > E+ or Quest for Potential > Complexification > Extraordinariation
According to Birnbaum, the universe’s world-wide and infinite drive towards its own Potential can be witnessed in the day-to-day increases in Complexification of everything in the universe. We can witness the theory at-work in the (historical) formation of atoms, then molecules, as well as in the birth of the stars and galaxies – and, indeed, in the birth and inevitable development of life forms on our very own planet.
Potentialism Theory: resolving a conundrum
In Quantum mechanics the classic conundrum is the now classic model that the observation of a photon (an electromagnetic particle of energy) affects its possible trajectory; this has stumped modern science; however, in reality what they are witnessing is the potential for the photon to go with either route – being resolved by observation.
To Potentialists, everything in the universe has an infinite amount of outcomes, but they exist within a finite scope of possibilities. Through experience and observation, just like in quantum mechanical models, choices will affect what seemingly random path may be taken. But from a philosophical perspective, while these choices are infinite in possibilities, they are not directionless – they are all ultimately aimed towards one direction – Extraordinariation.
More on Extraordinariation
Extraordinariation is a Potentialist concept. E+ represents a perfect state of super-complexity – a state of countless complexity. It is not so much a destination as a goal-horizon. Indeed, to Potentialists, if E+ were to be achieved, the universe may very well have concluded itself. But this possibly infinitely long destination is what guides the universe to continually seek higher and higher levels of super-complexity.
Birnbaum calls this inherent motivation towards super-complexity the Quest for Infinite Potential, and it is the basis for his iconic cosmological formula: Q4P > C+ > E+. In one simple formula, Birnbaum lays out the first truism of the universe, giving the cypher that unlocks the encrypted truth of both the universe’s origin and destination.
The metaphysicist and the physicist
Yeshiva-educated and Harvard-educated Conceptual Theorist Birnbaum presumably did not envision himself as a to-be saviour of Einstein; Birnbaum would be the first to tell you that such was not on his to-do list; but in fact that is the case which has emerged.
God? Both Einstein and Birnbaum maintain that God is a possibility.
Chance? Both Einstein and Birnbaum believe that obviously ‘chance’ plays a large part in the universe, but is not the core motif. See HuffPost2schemas.com.
Direction to the universe? Both Einstein and Birnbaum believe in the affirmative. See also Dovetailing1000.com.
So, does God play dice with the universe? Both Einstein and Birnbaum say ‘no way.’
Two key cosmic formulas? Birnbaum’s metaphysical-formula Q4P > C+ > E+ wrapping around Einstein’s physical-formula e = mc2
It’s a wrap.