Founder of Potentialism David Birnbaum, independent metaphysicist and Manhattan native, entered the world arena in 1988 when he proposed his ground breaking and audacious new theory of cosmology – Potentialism. In his masterful three-part Summa Metaphysica treatise, Birnbaum describes a universe not random and pointless, but defined by its innate core cosmic drive –infinite Quest for Infinite Potential; this inexorable drive is toward a cosmic end-goal/horizon – the infinitely extraordinary (see www.Sequence1000.com).
For precision, note the subtitles of the treatise: Summa Metaphysica I: Religious Man (Ktav, 1988), Summa Metaphysica II: Spiritual Man (New Paradigm Matrix, 2005) and Summa Metaphysica III: Secular Man (New Paradigm Matrix, 2014). See www.Philosophy1000.com. Birnbaum is extrapolating his key theme through multiple lenses – through a Religious lens, a Spiritual lens, and finally, a Secular lens. See www.SummaMetaphysica.com
Potentialism states as its most basic the concept that (infinite) Quest for Potential (infinitely iterated) seeks-after the (infinitely) Extraordinary. By formula this would be expressed-as: Q4P∞ → E+.
This is an expression of the hypothesized core cosmological drive to the effect that infinite Quest for Potential∞ (shorthand: Q4P) inexorably drives the cosmos towards higher and higher states of Extraordinariation (shorthand: E+). See www.TTOE1000.com for an academic review of the theory.
Birnbaum’s Theory of Potential is a radical departure from anything proposed in the last 7,000 years or so. However, the theory is compelling and elegant; after 25+ years of vetting and after major scrutiny at a major 3 ½ day international academic conference at Bard College in 2012, no flaw has been discerned in it (see www.SummaCoverage.com).
Extraordinariation, or E+, is what Birnbaum identifies as a cosmic end game, a goal/horizon state of the almost unimaginable extraordinary – in all realms – physical and mental. This target horizon denouement is beyond sheer mathematical expression, encompassing aspects of emotional, intuitive, logical and physical complexity beyond current understanding.
Are you overdosing from Summa terms? Not to worry; there are more.
What is the name of the process whereby Q4P advances towards E+? It is Complexification (shorthand: C+). Complexification is the inexorable process of seeking greater complexity/sophistication/richness/integration/variety/wondrousness. Thus, for example, the evolvement of multi-cellular organisms from single-cell organisms was a product of C+; the evolvement of humans from primates was a result of C+.
Thus C+ (Complexification) is a busy camper, hard at work as the ‘handmaiden of overarching Q4P (Quest for Potential∞). Really not so complicate once you get-the-hang-of-it. All three key dynamics, Q4P∞, C+, and E+ are all potential-driven at their core. So the more expanded formula would be: Q4P >>> C+ >>> E+. Note that metaphysicist Birnbaum’s roots are within Modern Orthodox Judaism, and at first his young kids feared that he was inventing a new religion.
Theoretical physicist Michio Kaku has made a name for himself both for his work as a string field theoretician as well as for his work as a futurist. Kaku is a household name for his work on showcasing science and bringing it to the lay person. He is also a very articulate proponent of technology.
To Kaku, the future lies squarely in the realm of technology. His theories revolve around the merging of humankind with future technology – to elevate the capabilities of humans to include such powers as ESP and teleportation. While some of his theories may seem far-fetched, Kaku is prepared to supply real evidence regarding his predictions that force the scientific world to treat him as a force to be reckoned with.
Regarding his cosmological theories, Kaku’s theories are a mesh of technology and consciousness. Kaku regularly delves deep into the realm of quantum physics to explain the importance of sentient beings, their awareness of the universe, and how consciousness is a tool to not only observe reality, but to help shape it.
Agree on Complexification in Evolution
Birnbaum views evolution as driven by Complexification (which incorporates survivability as a sub-component), as opposed-to stand-alone classic survival-oriented theories. Per Birnbaum, evolution clearly follows a design/direction transcending survivability. Thus, per Birnbaum Natural Selection would select the available gene mix which optimally suits the objectives of Complexification.
Kaku does not engage that deeply in Evolution, but his general theories of inexorable human advance are in consonance with Birnbaum’s.
Agree on Advance in Intellectual Complexity
In recent millennia, each change in the minds of sentient beings has led to greater and greater degrees of intellectual complexity. Birnbaum points out that until such changes in Complexity arrive, it is hard to predict what nature they will actually arrive in. Birnbaum and Kaku are of one mind that heading for more advanced Complexification is the natural course of humanity’s future.
Agree on Cosmic Consciousness & Observation
Kaku and Birnbaum are in consonance on Cosmic Consciousness.
Kaku points out that the quantum nature of the universe requires observation. It is commonly noted that photons act as both waves and particles. They act as waves before being observed. But once a photon has been observed, the trajectory of the photon becomes that of a particle. In more simple terms, a photon has a probable trajectory – its path is not precise, thus indeterminate. The act of observing the photon actually forces it to choose a single, concrete path it is to take in reality.
Kaku notes that this power of observation has a physical effect on reality. Thus, it can be deduced that consciousness is a physical force in the universe. This has broad implications on reality as a whole. For one, Kaku points out that this phenomenon is not relegated to photons alone. Logically speaking, it requires an observer for anything to exist in what we consider static reality. Even for a person to exist, it requires someone else to have observed them, thus changing their existence from a potential to a reality.
The biggest conundrum, though, is tracing this theory back to universal origin. Something had to have witnessed the Big Bang for it to have occurred in a meaningful way. To Kaku, this is the big puzzle, the ultimate unknown question. For the cosmos to have formed and solidified in reality, a cosmic consciousness would have had to exist to bear witness to it – be it God or something else.
Birnbaum’s Potentialism fills-in the blanks
Birnbaum’s theory on the other hand, de facto answers the above question: The universe had – and will always have had – an observer, Potential. Whether that entity or power has intelligence as we would understand it, Birnbaum says is unknown. But Potential has always existed and, as it is capable of purposefully shaping the evolution of the cosmos; then it satisfies Kaku’s rule that the universe must have had an observer.
Why is this? Because Potential moves with an inherently intelligent drive. Potential reacts with care and precision when selecting its course of Complexity. This implies that Potential moves with the ability to reason and make informed decision – one of the basic tenants of intelligence. Humankind itself is a product of Potential, as well, and is obviously intelligent.
Birnbaum & the ‘cosmic observer’
It could be argued, of course, that humankind has not always existed. But, Birnbaum notes that Potential rests on a super-position regarding linear time. That is to say, as a closed loop system, Potential effects in the future can have effects in the past as well. As Extraordinariation is a cosmic end and Potential is a cosmic beginning, their interaction necessarily is not subject to classic linear time; thus Potential driven towards Extraordinariation is quite conceivably its own observer (see www.Extraordinariation.com).
Extrapolators of Birnbaum might well surmise that the cosmos is all one infinite and morphing quantum-organic ‘entity.’ Hence, the ‘entity’ would be merely observing itself. Thus, Birnbaum’s metaphysics does not mandate a separate and distinct ‘observer’ per se in order to fulfill the ‘cosmic observer’ imperative.
The CCNY / Harvard Connection
[ note: CCNY is City College New York ]
Kaku is a graduate of Harvard College B.A. ’68 and teaches theoretical physics at CCNY’s Institute for Advanced Study. Birnbaum is a graduate of CCNY Engineering ’72 and of Harvard University Graduate School of Business School ’74. Both currently work in Manhattan.