Why does anything exist? Why is there something rather than nothing? Wouldn’t nothing have been so much easier?
Every society in every time has wrestled with this dilemma. It’s our most enduring question. For we all seek to know: why we are here?
In today's episode we will review the latest answers and use the best available evidence in an attempt to settle this ageless question. With an answer to this question we can orientate ourselves in reality, and understand the reason behind it all.
An answer to this question would tell us not only why we exist, but also what else exists, both within the universe we see and beyond.
Original article: https://alwaysasking.com/why-does-anything-exist/
Youtube episode part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hGH-roVl3
Youtube episode part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYCul43JSxo
You are listening to the always asking.com podcast. This is episode number nine. Today's question, why does anything exist? Why is there something rather than nothing? This has been called the first question we have any right to ask. In today's episode, we will review the latest theories and evidence which may have finally settled this mystery. Enjoy.Brian:
Why does anything exist? Why is there something rather than nothing? Wouldn't nothing have been so much easier? This question has ordered and mystified people throughout time. Quote, the first question which we have a right to ask will be Why is there something rather than nothing? Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz in the principles of nature and grace based on reason 1714. Quote, not how the world is, is the mystical, but that it is Ludwig vidkun Stein in treatise on logic and philosophy 1921. Quote, no question is more sublime than why there is a universe why there is something rather than nothing. Derek parfit in why anything? Why this 2008 Martin Heidegger call this question the fundamental question of metaphysics, but it might as well be the fundamental question for any being, our existence poses a mystery that demands an answer. Where does it all come from? Why is there anything at all? every society in every time has wrestled with this dilemma. It's our most enduring question. For we all seek to know why we are here. Lacking an answer, we are like a ship adrift. Our ignorance on this question makes us like an amnesiac who awakens in a dark and strange place, knowing neither where we are nor how we got here. Some say without an answer to this question, we can't know anything. Quote, it is possible to think that one cannot answer any question if one cannot answer the question of why there is something rather than nothing. How can we know why something is or should be a certain way? If we don't know why there is anything at all? Surely this is the first philosophical question that has to be answered. And quote, Robert nozick in philosophical explanations 1981. With an answer to this question, we could orientate ourselves, we would know our place in reality, and understand the reason behind it all. An answer to this question would tell us not only why we exist, but also what else exists both within the universe we see and beyond. But can this question even be answered? Some have suggested the answer is unknowable. Quote, who knows truly, who here will declare whence it arose? whence this creation, the gods are subsequent to the creation of this, who then knows whence it has come into being? whence this creation has come into being? Whether it was made or not he in the highest heaven? Is it surveyor? Surely he knows, or perhaps he knows not? The hymn of creation in rigveda, circa 1500 BC. For most of history, the question remains beyond the possibility of being answered. But we live in a most exciting point in time, one where this question has fallen to the progress of human knowledge. In the past decades, results from physics, cosmology, mathematics, and computer science have coordinated at last to solve this timeless question. We can now say, with some confidence, why we exist. The answer we have is more than an idle philosophical speculation. It can be observationally tested and thereby be confirmed or falsified. So far, observations are in agreement with this answer. Let us retrace humanity's steps in finding this answer and see what this answer reveals about the nature of reality and our place in it. two paths to existence. One reason we find Why does anything exist so difficult is that there are only two possible answers. Both are repugnant to our intuition as each contradicts our common sense understanding of the world. given something exists either one, something emerged from nothing or twoUnknown:
There are self existent things. The idea that something came out of nothing is contrary to reason. How can nothingness do nevermind create anything? The idea that there exists self exists and things is contrary to experience. Everything we know appears to have a proceeding cause How could anything create itself or exist without some creative act? And yet that one of these answers must be writes seems inescapable? There's no other way to reach something exists without either starting with something at the beginning, or starting with nothing and having something emerge from nothing? If we seek an answer to this question, we have to be willing to accept an idea contrary to our common sense understanding of the world. But which of these paths leads to the correct answer? something from nothing? The first of the two answers Is that something emerged from nothing. But how is this possible, doesn't even make sense logically. For at least 2500 years, humans have debated whether anything can come from nothing. The Greek philosopher power manatees made the earliest recorded arguments that nothing comes from nothing, quote, I will not permit the to say or to think that being came from not being for it is impossible to think or to say that not being is what would then have stirred it into activity that being should arise from not being later rather than earlier. So it is necessary that being either is absolutely or is not. Permanent, is in the way of the truth, circa 475 BC.Brian:
To decide whether existence emerging from nothingness is even logically possible, we need a precise definition of nothing. For instance, by nothing do we mean no things? Or do we mean absolute nothingness? No laws, structures, properties or principles? defining nothing. Quote, it might have been true that nothing ever existed. No living beings, no stars, no atoms, not even space or time. When we think about this possibility, it can seem astonishing that anything exists. And quote, Derek parfit, in why anything? Why this 2008? What is nothing? It seems like a straightforward question. Just keep removing things until there is nothing left. Start with the universe as it is. wipe away all the matter and energy. take away all the quantum fields of the vacuum, and any virtual particles popping in and out of existence. And voila, nothingness. nothingness is reality after we delete everything out of existence. But wait, there's still space, it still has dimensionality and curvature. There is still time and physical law, even if there are no particles or fields left to be governed by them. Let us delete those two. Let's raise the volume of space you raise time and raise physical law. Quote, when we say out of nothingness, we do not mean out of the vacuum of physics. The vacuum of physics is loaded with geometrical structure and vacuum fluctuations and virtual pairs of particles. The universe is already in existence when we have such a vacuum. Know when we speak of nothingness we mean nothingness, neither structure nor law nor plan. And quote, john Archibald Wheeler in law without law 1983 What are we left with? If we eliminate all the dimensions of space and time we're left with zero dimensional changes point by point is still a thing. Can we delete that two kinds of nothing. So long as we operate from a theory of geometry, we can't define nothingness as anything less than a space of zero dimensionality. This leaves us with a point. If we want to eliminate the point, we need to define nothingness not as a space of zero dimensionality, but as something non geometric. For this, we must define nothingness in terms of some other theory. But any theory we might choose has its own notion of nothing. In other words, nothingness is theory dependent. For physics, it's no energy, the vacuum for geometry, it's no dimensionality, a point For set theory, it's no elements, the empty set. For arithmetic, it's no magnitude zero. For information theory, it's no information, zero bits. There is an unlimited number of possible theoretical systems. Does this mean there are also unlimited conceptions of nothing, quote, nothing is simple, not even nothing. And quote, Bruno Mars shall, might there be a true nothing one with no laws, principles, nor any theory behind it? Or might every conception of nothing require a theory of things in order to declare that there are none of them? rules for nothing. We are called for absolute nothingness, neither structure nor law nor plan, but is this kind of absolute nothing achievable. For instance, the law of identity holds that for any A, A equals a, without such a rule, there would be nothing to ensure that nothing stayed nothing, and didn't later become equal to something. from nothingness to persist, the rules of logic must apply. Further, if nothingness is the state where zero things exist, then the rules of arithmetic must also hold to ensure that zero equals zero rather than zero equals one. For that, to remain no things requires some minimum set of laws, there might be no things as such, but the idea of no laws seems incompatible with their being and remaining no things. Quote, in the beginning, there was only truth, logic and their relation, no possible reality can do without them. CW varieties in four dimensional reality continued 2018. If there were no logic, what logic or reason ensures that nothing comes from nothing. If there were no laws, what law principle would prohibit the spontaneous emergence of a universe? The trouble with nothing? Can we define nothing in a way that suppresses all forms of existence? That is to not only have no things but an absolute nothingness and nothingness of no objects, neither abstract nor concrete, no properties, no laws, no principles, and no information content? Or is this a fool's errand? One that leads to a logical inconsistency and thus an impossibility? Might nothingness be, in some sense unstable? If absolute nothingness can be shown to be an impossible dream, it will advance us on our path to discover the reason for existence. It might even reveal some self existence or necessarily existence thing, properties of nothing. Anytime we delete something from reality, we leave something else in its place. When we deleted matter, we created a vacuum. When we eliminated light, we created darkness. When we removed heat we created cold. When we deleted space, we created a point, quote, the idea of nothingness has not one jot more meaning than a square circle, the absence of one thing always being the presence of another, which we prefer to leave aside because it is not the thing that interests us all the thing we were expecting, suppression is never anything more than substitution, or two sided operation which we agree to look at from one side only. So that the idea of the absolution of everything is self destructive, inconceivable. It is a pseudo idea, a mirage conjured by our own imagination, on rebirths, and in the two sources of morality and religion 1935. If every deletion is a substitution for something else, then appeal nothing devoid of any properties whatever is impossible. So while we might succeed in removing all material things from reality, we could not remove all properties from reality. The existence of properties appears in escapable nothingness of any kind will always have some description and properties, even when it's just a cold, dark, empty vacuum. But how far can we go in eliminating properties. For instance, if we define nothingness as the empty set from set theory, what properties would remain, temperature has no meaning for a set will any properties remain for such a nothing? properties of zero? Every conception and the definition of nothing contains at its heart zero for any conception of thing, nothing will always be zero of them. The vacuum, zero energy, geometry, zero dimensionality, the empty set, zero elements, arithmetic, zero magnitude, information theory, zero bits. If zero is a universal property of nothing, we must ask what are the properties of zero? What does zero bring to the table of reality? Zero has many properties. It's even, it's the additive identity. It's the only number that's neither positive nor negative. It's the number of elements in the empty set and the number of even Prime's greater than two. In fact, zero has more properties than we could list if we recruited all the atoms in the observable universe to serve as paper and ink. This effort is doomed because zeros properties are infinite in number. zeros factors couldn't be listed as zero has infinitely many of them. Every number evenly divides zero and hence is one of zeros factors. Aside from zeros factors, we could list infinite trivial properties of 00 is the difference between one and one and it's the difference between two and two. And it's the difference between three and three and so on. But there are also an infinite number of non trivial properties of zero. Some are even beyond the understanding of today's mathematicians. As an example, mathematicians have for centuries wondered, are there even numbers greater than two that aren't the sum of two primes? This question is known as goldbach conjecture after Christian goldbach, who posed it in 1742. Nearly three centuries later, it remains unsolved. Between 2002 1002 a $1 million prize was offered to anyone who could answer this question. All this money to settle a question about a property of zero. To decide is zero the number of exceptions to go box rule, we now see why nothing is simple, not even nothing. All definitions of nothing include the concept of zero. Far from being simple. Zero is an object of unlimited complexity. An explosion of entities can zero exist in isolation, completely alone from other numbers, or do relationships between numbers make them inseparable. zeros properties reference other numbers. And each of these numbers carries its own set of properties and relations to the other numbers are the properties of one any less real than the properties of zero, perhaps in a reality having no things one is meaningless. In a reality containing nothing, there are no things as such, at least no material things. But in such a nothing, there is an abstract thing. 00 reflects the number of material things to count. But how many abstract things are there to count, there is at least one, the one number that exists to define the number of material things is zero. But if we have one number, and it is one thing to count, now another number exists one, we then have zero and one together as the only numbers. But now we have two numbers. Now to exists. This is how numbers are defined in set theory. Within set theory, each number is formed as the set of all previous sets. The process starts with the empty set, which contains zero things. zero equals the empty set. One equals the set of 02 equals the set of zero and one, three equals the set of 01 and two, four equals the set of 012 and three, it seems once a single abstract number is admitted, each next number comes to life as the count of the abstract numbers that preceded it. Is there any way to stop the proliferation of infinite abstract entities? If zero exists by virtue of there being zero things to count, then on that basis, shouldn't every number have the same rights to exist by virtue of being the number of proceeding numbers there are to count, quote, the existence of any number in virtue of its properties entails the existence of all the others is a system of mathematics couldn't exist bereft only of the number, say 42 and the existence of any number In virtue of the false set of its properties or structural relationships entails the existence of every other number. And quote, David Pearson. Why does anything exist 1995 set theory and building up numbers from the empty set of modern ideas, they appeared around the turn of the 20th century. Yet the idea of numbers giving rise to themselves goes back much farther. Quote, the Tao gives birth to one, one gives birth to two, two gives birth to three, three gives birth to all things, large die in chapter 42 of Tao Te Ching, circa 600 BC, not true nothing. Whenever we specify or define nothing, we invoke theories and concepts, which in turn, lead to properties and abstract entities. But what if we forego even specifying nothing? might this be a path to achieve absolute nothingness? A true nothing having no things, no objects? No definitions, no properties, no abstract entities, no concepts. No sex, no numbers. No set theory, no mathematics, no specifications, no information. avoiding all this we have no theories of any kind. We are left with a plain and simple, pure, unadulterated nothing at all. But again, this leads to trouble. There's a problem with this kind of nothing and nothing of no information is identical to everything. Quote, we note that the collection of all possible descriptions has zero complexity or information content. This is a consequence of algorithmic information theory, the fundamental theory of computer science. There is a mathematical equivalence between the everything as represented by this collection of all possible descriptions and nothing has state have no information. And quote, Russell Standish, in theory have nothing 2006. At first, this sounds counter intuitive, if not outright wrong. Yet this consequences something we intuitively understand in other contexts. Let's review three such cases on sculpted marble and unsent email, and the library of baybel. Each demonstrates an equivalence between the nothing of no specification and the everything of all possibilities and sculpted marble. Before marked by a sculptors chisel, a block of marble contains every figure, or at least every figure fitting the dimensions of the block. Michelangelo's piatto was in the block before he uncovered it. It was there with all the other figures. To bring forth the piatto alone required the addition of information, Michelangelo had to uniquely specify the pietta from among the set of all possibilities. Quote, there is a beautiful angel in that block of marble and I am going to find it all I have to do is to knock off the outside pieces of marble and be very careful not to cut into the angel with my chisel. In a month or so you will see how beautiful it is. George F Pentecost in the angel in the marble 1883. This specification requires adding information to the block by way of chisel marks. It is only in the absence of this information in the absence of any chisel marks that all possible figures remain. In this sense information is subtractive rather than additive. When information specifies it eliminates from the pre existing infinite set of possibilities. Absent such information, all possibilities remain an unsent email you are at your desk awaiting an important email from your boss. Before this message arrives, you know nothing about the contents of this email. You are in a state of having no information. But there is one thing you know before the email arrives. The email will be one message from among the infinite set of possible emails. Only after the email arrives in your inbox do you learn which from among the infinite set of messages the boss chose to send you? But consider the case where instead of sending a single email, the boss sent you every possible email Would you be able to learn anything from these infinite messages about what your boss wants? The lack of specification in the infinite set of messages is equal to the lack of specification that existed prior to receiving anything. Both states are equivalently unspecified. Therefore, both represents states of complete ignorance and a state of having zero information. Having every message is as informative as having no message. The Library of baybel one of the best illustrations of the uselessness of all information comes from Jorge Luis Bohr has his concept of a total library, described in his short story The Library of baybel. This library is described as follows, quote, the universe, which others call the library is composed of an indefinite and perhaps infinite number of hexagonal galleries with vast air shafts between surrounded by very low railings. from any of the hexagons, one can see interminably the upper and lower floors. There are five shelves for each of the hexagons walls. Each shelf contains 35 books of uniform format. Each book is a 410 pages, each page have 40 lines, each line have some 80 letters which are black in color. This thinker observed that all the books, no matter how diverse they might be, are made up of the same elements, the space, the period, the comma, the 22 letters of the alphabet. He also alleged to factor which travelers have confirmed in the vast library there are no two identical books. From these two incontrovertible premises he deduced that the library is total and that it shelves register all the possible combinations of the 20 odd orthographical symbols. Jorge Luis Boer has in the library of baybel 1941. From the provided information, we can calculate the number of books in this library. This total library contains every possible 410 page book representing every possible arrangement of 25 characters. Each page with 40 lines and 80 characters contains 3200 characters. Each book with 410 pages contains 410 times 3200 or 1,312,000 characters. With an alphabet of 25 characters. This gives 25 to the 1,312,000 power possible books. This number is 25 multiplied by itself over a million times. To put its magnitude in context, the number of atoms in the observable universe is only 25 to the power of 57, or 25. multiplied by itself 57 times this library is a great treasure. For in this library we can find every book, article, poem, and novel ever written or that could be written. We will find descriptions of every scientific theory from Newton's Principia to Einstein's relativity to the presently unknown theory of quantum gravity, we will find blueprints to world changing technology is not yet invented based on principles not yet discovered. This library possesses the greatest works of literature, the complete works of Shakespeare, Dickens and Tolstoy. It also has every work yet to be written, the completed Game of Thrones series, as well as the unfinished works of talking Hemingway, and Twain. The library has the untold histories of every civilization, including civilizations now last time, it has the contents of every scroll burned in the fire of Alexandria. The library has biographies of every person who's ever lived, and even biographies of those yet to be born. What could be more valuable than this boundless trove of information with its complete knowledge, its answers to every mystery, and its articulated solutions to every problem. This is where the equivalence between all information and no information rears its ugly head. it renders the library worthless. There are issues with this library to start for every valid theory, technology, history, and autobiography in the library, there are countless others that are subtly wrong, inaccurate, or utterly bogus. Worse, finding any book with more than a few grammatically sensible words is next to impossible. Most books are pure gibberish, or babble indistinguishable from random sequences of characters. A typical page from a book in the library of Babel contains English sounding words, but these are no more frequent than random chance predicts. Perhaps all hope is not lost. Since this library contains every possible book. Surely this library contains books that serve as indexes to find all the other meaningful and sensible books in the library. But this dream is also impossible. Given the number of books, it's impossible to uniquely reference any other book with a descriptor shorter than the length of the book. Thus, it takes all 410 pages to reference a specific book in this library. Due to its completeness, the library itself is the most compact catalog of all the books in the library. In other words, a card catalog of the library would be the library itself. What if we organize the books somehow, such as by sorting them in alphabetical order, then finding any particular book would be easy. This too suffers from a pathological breakdown. While this makes it easy to find any particular book, The difficulty shifts from finding the book to deciding which book we want to find. This is a consequence of the library having every possible book. As one seeks a book of interest. One is faced with 25 choices to choose which of the 25 characters is next in the content of the book we seek. During the search, the seeker must choose each next letter, and must do this for all 1,350,000 characters in the book. Thus, finding a book in this library is as difficult as writing the book in the first place. In a way, we already have access to this library, as we are already free to put down any sequence of characters we want, and thus find a book that is already present somewhere in this total library. Thus, this library provides no new knowledge or information. Its set of all books is as helpful to us as if it had no books. And so a total library offers nothing. It's equivalent to having no information at all. You can explore this frustrating enigma of the library of Babel, Jonathan bazille, created an online version of library of Babel dot info. Everything from nothing. information theory reveals the equivalence between the totality of all information and the nothingness of zero information. Both lack any specification. Both are completely uninformative, both contained within them the complete and infinite set of every possibility. We've seen this equivalence firsthand. We saw it in the ns sculpted block of marble, in the unsent email, and in the library of baybel. So is nothing of no specification, or nothing or an everything. less information more reality. How much information is in the library of baybel. To determine this, we need only consider what is the shortest description that can generate the content of the library. For instance, a library containing one of each possible 410 page book with 3200 characters per page and a fixed alphabet of 25 characters. The proceeding description for the library is 125 characters long, there could be shorter descriptions, but this sets an upper bound for the information content of the library of baybel. It takes next to no information to describe the vast library of baybel. Paradoxically, there's more information in a single page from a single book in the library than in the entire library itself. How could this be? How can there be less information in the library as a whole than there is in a single book or page from the library. This is a consequence of algorithmic information theory, which includes the science of data compression. It reveals that it is simpler in terms of needing a shorter description to generate every book in the library than it is to generate only a single book or a single page of a book in the library. A shorter, less specific and more general description casts a wider net. A single book requires 1,312,000 characters. The Library of Babel requires 125 characters. all possible books requires 18 characters. The description or possible books needs fewer characters than the description of the library of Babel, but it defines a much larger set of books. In fact, it defines an infinite set of books of all possible lengths and character sets. The Library of baybel though vast was still finite, Mike the same apply to our universe and reality. To describe one universe like ours requires a vast amount of information. It requires specifying not only the physical laws, but also the position, direction and speed of every particle in the universe. This is estimated to require on the order of 10 to the power of 90 bits. Yet to specify every possible universe of our kind, a multiverse of every possible arrangement of particles ruled by our laws of physics needs much less information. Such a multiverse requires only the information to define the physical laws, particle types, fundamental forces and constants of nature. This can be done in just a few pages of equations. describing our specific universes like describing a specific book from the library of baybel. It needs more information than the library itself. In theories, such as the string theory landscape, the constants of nature are not specified by the theory leading to an even greater multiverse consisting of every possible universe having every set of possible values for the constants of nature, for example, different values for things like the electron mass and the strength of electromagnetism. There are reasons to suspect this for something like it is true. For one, it explains why laws of physics and constants of nature appear fine tuned for the emergence of life. See, was the universe made for life. This description of a string theory landscape needs less information, it might save a page by not having to include the 30 some odd constants of nature, and yet, it describes a vastly larger multiverse. the observable universe with particle velocities, physical constants and physical equations requires 10 to the 90 bits or about 10 to the 85 pages to specify the quantum multiverse with physical constants and physical equations requires approximately 144,000 bits or about six pages to specify. The string theory landscape with its physical equations requires approximately 120,000 bits or about five pages to specify all physical possibility requires zero bits. What happens when the length of reality's description goes to zero? This would leave the equations themselves unspecified, implying an even greater multiverse. This multiverse includes universes not just of every arrangement of matter, nor universes of every set of constants, but universe is ruled by every kind of physical equations. Quote, if all possible string vacuolar spacetime geometries, masses of elementary particles and interaction strengths and laws and by laws of physics are realized, then all possible descriptions are satisfied. This is equivalent to zero information. And quote, David Pearson, why does anything exist? 1995. Thus, to specify all possible physical laws, all possible physical constants for all possible universes, needs no information at all. Might we inhabit such a nothing. This is the thesis of Russell Standish, his 2006 book theory of nothing. Standish believes our universe with its seemingly vast quantity of information is something like a book in the library of baybel. We will then be denizens of nothing, occupying a place within a total reality which altogether amounts to zero information. Such a reality one of zero information is the simplest state of existence. It's simpler than an empty vacuum or a geometrical point. As these both need a nonzero amount of information to describe necessary existence. We've attempted but frustratingly failed to define a true nothing. When we tried to specify a nothing, whether as a vacuum, a point or an empty set, we inevitably invoke properties, abstract entities, the numbers zero and the infinitude of numbers and their relationships. Furthermore, this specification is not an absolute nothing as it requires reality to have a nonzero amount of information to specify it. Alternatively, if we attempt to nothing of zero information and zero specification, we get a total reality containing all possibility. Neither approach succeeds in bringing about absolute nothingness. Moreover, these approaches rely upon and assume the validity of logical principles and consistency. No reality. Not even and nothing appears possible without laws and principles of logic. And so the goal of the philosophers nothing the neither structure nor law, nor plan kind of true nothing at all seems an impossible dream. The nothings we attempt to break down and lead to some things. With no structure, there are zero structures. This introduces zero, and with it the structure of all numbers and their interrelations. With no law, there are no restrictions on what can or cannot exist nor any law to prevent things spontaneously popping into existence. With no plan, there is no information which is equivalent to a totality. Inspired by his discovery of binary numbers, libraries wrote to the Duke of Brunswick in 1679, suggesting a design for a coin. He titled it imago creation is all the image of creation. Its motto reads, quote, Omnibus x nihill, do send these sufficeth, Unum for producing everything out of nothing, one principle is enough. And quote, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz in letter to Duke 1679. If a true and absolute Nothing is impossible, or unstable, does this mean there must be self creating or self existent things? kind of thing exist out of logical necessity? Because its absence is impossible? What might the nature of such things be a self existence thing? If something did not emerge out of nothing, then there's only one other possibility that there is something that has always existed. In other words, nothingness is not the default state of reality. Quote, it is extraordinary that there should exist anything at all. Surely, the most natural state of affairs is simply nothing, no universe, no God, nothing. But there is something Richard Swinburne in Is there a god 1996. Given that something exists, it either came from nothing or else something has existed from the beginning, the existence of this thing is somehow necessary, it existed without any proceeding cause. This, we also find contrary to intuition. It's strange because everything we are familiar with can trace its existence to some earlier cause. Manufactured things are made by people, or by machines that were made by people. Life comes from other life. Things not created by humans or other life, like rivers and mountains are created by natural forces acting on matter. It seems to defy reason for a thing to exist without a cause. And yet, we know the universe exists. The universe either came from some proceeding cause or else the universe has always existed is self existent or self creating, there is no third option. If the universe is not the end of this causal chain, then something else is therefore we must accept some things are self creating come out of nothing, or are self existent. Let's call such a thing causeless. Existing without cause, take anything that exists the chair, you're sitting in your conscious thoughts, the Eiffel Tower. For the purposes of the reasoning, it doesn't matter what thing we start with. Given that this thing exists, there are two possibilities either that thing was caused or it was not caused. If a thing has no cause, then it is causeless. Otherwise, the thing has a cause and its existence is owed to some other thing. If we follow the chain of causality back towards an ultimate root cause there are three possibilities. One, first cause the chain of causality comes to an end in a first cause. to infinite regression, the chain of causality continues forever. Three, causal loop, the chain of causality forms a closed cycle, or a loop. These represent all possibilities. The trace either ends or first cause or it continues forever. If it continues forever, it forms an infinite chain that's either open an infinite regression, or closed a causal loop. In all three cases, we find something that has always existed, either the first cause the infinite chain itself, or the causal loop itself, this thing which has always exists Did we can describe as causeless first Cause if when tracing back through the series of causes, we happen upon something causeless then our existence results from a first cause. Leading cosmological theories such as the Big Bang and cosmic inflation posits that the universe is not infinitely old, but rather underwent an abrupt event where it came into existence that our universe has appoints that maybe marketers are beginning leaves open the possibility that there is a proceeding cause for our universe. Another possibility is that the universe has its own cause emerging as a random quantum fluctuation allowed by laws of physics. many religions speak of the first cause as a divine act of creation. In such a case, God would be the first cause. Yet some other non theistic objects could as well be responsible for our existence. If the universe is not eternal, we should look for some reason for the sudden appearance of the universe to explain how it could arise by itself be self existent, or be the product of some prior cause. Infinite regression. If our universe has an eternal history, or if it belongs to a reality having an eternal history, then we exist due to an infinite regression. A number of scientific theories propose that our universe is eternal. Prior to wide acceptance of the Big Bang, the steady state model was popular. It proposed that the universe is eternally expanding with new matter perpetually created to fill the void in the newly made space. Since the acceptance of the Big Bang, various new models suppose that the Big Bang is itself part of an eternal succession of big bangs. Roger Penrose is conformal. cyclic cosmology supposes that the heat death of our universe could appear as a new big bang in the next year and Lee Smolin proposed cosmological natural selection where in a new universe spawns every time a black hole forms. Accordingly, if the laws mutate, he suggests that universes might even evolve towards having laws that maximize the production of black holes. Sean Carroll notes that the equations of quantum mechanics unlike those of general relativity, permit physicists to calculate eternally into the past or future. With a theory of quantum gravity, we could in principle predict backwards to times proceeding the Big Bang, quote, the Schrodinger equation has an immediate, profound consequence. Almost all quantum states evolve eternally toward both the past and the future. Unlike classical models, such as spacetime in general relativity, which can hit singularities beyond which evolution cannot be extended, quantum evolution is very simple. If this setup describes the real world, there is no beginning nor end to time. Shown Carolyn, why is there something rather than nothing? 2018. According to ancient legends, the world rests on the back of a cosmic turtle. When asked what the cosmic turtle rests on a common responses, it is turtles all the way down an infinite regression. If an infinite regression is true, there is no ultimate cause. However, we might still look for an ultimate explanation for the chain of causes. causal. It might be that our existence is part of an infinite series, but one that repeats forever. If true, we are stuck in a never ending causal loop. The hypothesized big bounce is an example of a cyclic cosmology. In 1922, Alexander Freedman applied Einstein's equations of general relativity to the universe as a whole. He found that for certain values of the density of the universe and the cosmological constant, the universe will expand for a period of time, slow down, and eventually re collapse. In his 1923 book, the world of space and time, Friedman speculates that the collapse or Big Crunch could rebound in a big bounce, causing a new Big Bang. The process could repeat forever. The idea of cyclic cosmology has appealed to many scientists, including Georges Lemaitre, Richard Tolman, George gameau, William Bonnell, Herman Sangster and Robert Dick, among others. Quote, we can now ask ourselves two important questions. Why was our universe in such a highly compressed state? And why did it start expanding? The simplest and mathematically most a consistent way of answering these questions would be to say that the big squeeze which took place in the early history of our universe was the result of a collapse which took place at a still earlier era. And that the present expansion is simply an elastic rebound which started as soon as the maximum permissible squeezing density was reached. And quote, George gameau in the creation of the universe, 1952 cyclical cosmologies can be found in many religions. For example, there is the concept of the Wheel of Time in the dharmic religions. Quote, the most elegant and sublime of these is a representation of the creation of the universe at the beginning of each cosmic cycle, a motif known as the cosmic dance of Shiva. The God called in this manifestation netta Raja, the dance King has four hands. In the upper right hand is a drum whose sound is the sound of creation. In the upper left hand is a tongue of flame, a reminder that the universe now newly created will billions of years from now be utterly destroyed, and quote, Carl Sagan in Cosmos 1980. But cyclic models lacking observational evidence and theoretical support remained on the periphery of cosmology. In 1998, observations revealed the expansion of the universe was not slowing but accelerating. This seems to rule out a future collapse. The driver of this acceleration, dark energy remains little understood. If it is constant, the expansion will continue forever, but in some theories, it varies with time and so a later collapse may be possible. cyclic models have seen a revival. In 2001, Justin Horry vert offered Paul Steiner the Neil terrick proposed the EAC pi erotic universe. This idea marries string theory and cosmology to give a model where periodic brain collisions trigger cycles of big bangs and big crunches. If our universe is part of a causal loop, no beginning or end is identifiable. But what got it started? Did one of the succession of states spring forth out of nothing? Or might the loop have always existed? The nature of uncaused things given that reality exists, we know there must be an entity that is causeless. What is it about causeless entities that makes them existent? If a first cause, how did it bring itself into existence? If an infinite regression or causal loop? How did it come into being? Might it exist out of logical necessity? Or is it a result of chance? Almighty it exists simply because it can exist, and nothing forbids it. tracing causes backwards can tell us where the previous state came from, but it won't answer where the chain or loop itself came from. Quote, some believe that if all events were caused by earlier events, everything would be explained. That however, is not so even an infinite series of events cannot explain itself. We could ask why this series occurred rather than some other series or no series? Derek parfit in why anything? Why this 2008 what we are looking for is not a cause, but a reason and explanation. For in the cases of the loops or infinite regression, we can always find an earlier cause, but may never reach a satisfactory reason. Quote, for the question to be properly fully answered, we need a sufficient reason that has no need of any further reason. Or because that doesn't throw up a further why and this must lie outside the series of contingent things and must be found in a substance which is the cause of the entire series. It must be something that exists necessarily carrying the reason for its existence within itself. Only that can give us a sufficient reason at which we can stop having no further why. Question taking us from this being to something else. And quote Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz in the principles of nature and grace based on reason 1714. If we seek a final because that puts an end to any further wise, we must find something that we can show must exist. Not only must this thing exist, but we must also show how this thing can account for the reality we experience. Only then will we have succeeded in our quest can It's for self existence. Throughout history, philosophers, scientists and religions have suggested candidates for self existence. These causeless entities generally fall into one of seven categories. One, logic to truth, three, numbers, four, possibility, five, the universe, six, the higher plane, and seven consciousness. Let's review each candidate and its merits for self existence. Afterwards, we will consider whether that entity could further serve as an ultimate explanation or self existence starting point from which the rest of reality emerges as a direct consequence of that thing. Logic. Some suppose rational principles, like the laws of logic, are self existent. Unlike physical laws, logical laws have an air of inevitability to them. These are laws such as the law of identity, things are identical to themselves. For example, a equals A the law of the excluded middle statements are either true or not true. The law of non contradiction, no statement is both true and false. These are laws that seem inevitable and necessary in any reality, as it's hard to imagine any reality where logical laws would not hold. If logical laws apply in all universes and all possible realities, they represent universal laws, applying everywhere and to everything. If we can say laws of physics exist, because all matter a university is to physical laws, then could we say laws of logic exist? Because all things in all possible realities adhere to these logical laws? If so, then laws of logic are self existent. They are necessary even in a reality of no things as logical laws ensure nothing equals nothing. Quote, if I asked myself why bodies or minds exist, rather than nothing, I find no answer. But that a logical principle, such as a equals A should have the power of creating itself triumphing over the Lord throughout eternity seems to be natural, and quote, on rebirths and in creative evolution 1907 this idea that logical law and rational principles have eternally existed predates modern philosophers. It's a cornerstone belief in Taoism. Quote, there was something formless and perfect before the universe was born. It is serene, empty, solitary, unchanging, infinite, eternally present. It is the mother of the universe, for lack of a better name, I call it the Tao Lao Jain, Chapter 25, of Tao teaching, circa 600 BC. Towel translates as the way principles and natural order. A similar sentiment is expressed in Christianity. The Gospel of john begins, quote, In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. gospel of john chapter one verse, one 100 ad, the term word is a translation of verbal in Latin, which is a translation of logos in Greek. Logos has a deep and rich meaning. Aside from word logos also means reason, principles, and rational law. Logos is the root from which we get the word logic. It is also the origin of the suffix ology, as in biology, geology and psychology, where it means the principles explanation and story they're off. quote, If, however, he be admitted to exist apart from matter in virtue of his character as a principle and a rational law, logos, God will be bottleless the creative power bottleless plotinus in the NT ad, six to 70 ad. In Chinese Bibles, logos has been translated as Tao. In this way, both Taoist and Christian ideas. Suppose that the Tao slash logos, order reason, principles, logic, rational law exists prior to the material universe. Truth Some believe that truth is caused Plus, there seems to be some essential difference between zero is even and zero is odd. Only one of them is true. Did anything make it so? When did this statement become true? Did it require a human mind to conceive of it as being true? Or has it always been true? Mike this property of truth have an independent and necessary existence. If logical laws apply universally, then any well formed statement is either true or false. The law of non contradiction says a statement can't be both true and false. The law of excluded middle says a statement must be either true or false, there is no middle ground. Thus, if logical laws apply to everything, they apply to all statements, forcing on them the objective property of being either true or false. As Derek parfit said, some truth is logically necessary when it's denial leads to a contradiction. Accordingly, the truth that zero is even would exist before humans proved it. It would be true before it was first spoken. Presumably, it would be true appcenter universal things, for even in the case zero things exist, it remains true that an even number of things exist. Quote, when we imagine how things would have been if nothing had ever existed, what we should imagine away are such things as living beings, stars and atoms, there would still have been various truths, such as the truth that there were no stars or atoms, or that nine is divisible by three, we can ask why these things would have been true. And such questions may have answers. Thus, we can explain why, even if nothing had ever existed, nine would still have been divisible by three, there is no conceivable alternative. End quote, Derek parfit, in why anything? Why this 2008. Ultimately, nothing is responsible for creating this truth. Truth exists out of its own necessity. It has always existed and could never not exist. The idea of the primacy of truth is very old. It can be found in many religions, some of which draw an equivalence between God and truth. In the 3000 year old religion of Zoroastrianism, it is said that assha, meaning truth and order is the Divine Law behind all things. Quote, Iran, as India presents us with a term which has had to signify, first of all, true statement, that this statement, because it was true, had to correspond to an objective material reality. And that, as the discourse did, this reality must embrace all things. And finally, that one recognized in it a great cosmic principle since all things happen according to it, and quote, jack dushane, demon, inherit cleitus and Iran 1963. In the book of Psalms, Chapter 31, verse five, God is called the God of truth. In the Quran, Allah hoc, meaning the truth is one of the 99 names of God. similar ideas are found in dharmic religions. The moolman ta, or route mantra is the most important verse of the Sikh religion. It begins there is one creator whose name is truth and is described as timeless beyond birth or death, and self existent in the Brahma Samhita, a Hindu prayer book, the primeval Lord give India is described as the indivisible, infinite, limitless truth. Quote, if it is possible for the human tongue to give the fullest description of God by have come to the conclusion that God is truth. End quote. Mahatma Gandhi in all men are brothers 1953 numbers. Some speculate that numbers or their relationships are self existent. If truth has an independent existence, this truth includes the infinite truths describing all true relationships between the numbers. These include arithmetical statements such as two is even. Seven is prime. One is greater than 02 plus two equals four, and times zero equals zero. And that the square root of nine is three truths concerning the numbers are boundless. Might this infinite truth provide a scaffolding and structure to all the numbers and if there is nothing more to numbers than their properties and relations, then Mike numbers in some sense really exist. It's been said, math is the science we could still do if we woke up tomorrow and there was no universe. The idea that math holds some claim to reality is known as mathematical realism, or platonism. It's believed by many, if not most mathematicians. Quote, it is an idea that many mathematicians are comfortable with. In this scheme, the truths that mathematicians seek are in a clear sense already there. And mathematical research can be compared with archaeology. The mathematicians job is to seek out these truths as a task of discovery rather than one of invention. Roger Penrose in the big questions, what is reality? 2006. But can number relations have any reality in the absence of things? If zero things exist, it would have to be true that zero not equal one, and also that zero not equal to and true that zero not equal any other number. So even with no things, an infinite number of arithmetical relations are needed to avoid contradiction and preserve nothing of zero things. Quote, if all things were absent, would too and to make fobian non reality remaining like that until at least four things that come to exist? Presumably, the answer must be no. JOHN a Leslie and Robert Lawrence Kuhn in the mystery of existence 2013. This idea that numbers have an independent existence is ancient. It can be traced to some of the earliest records of human thought. It was taught by ancient philosophers, and is found in the oldest religious texts. Taoism, for instance, sets the existence of numbers as prior to things. Quote, the Tao gives birth to one, one gives birth to two, two gives birth to three, three gives birth to all things, larger and chapter 42 of Tao Te Ching, circa 600 BC, the Greek mathematician Pythagoras taught all things are number. Quote, Pythagoras applied themselves to mathematics, and were the first to develop this science. And through studying it, they came to believe that its principles are the principles of everything. Aristotle in metaphysics circa 350 BC. Pythagoras was the first to propose that the motions of the planets are governed by mathematical equations, which he called the harmony of the spheres. When Newton discovered his law of universal gravitation, some 2000 years later, he credited Pythagoras for the discovery. Across times, mathematicians have described a seemingly divine connection between mathematics and reality, quote, geometry, which before the origin of things was co eternal, with the divine mind and is God himself for what could they be in God which would not be God Himself supplied God with patterns for the creation of the world and passed over to man along with the image of God yohannes Kepler in the harmony of the world 1619 quotes from these considerations it is now wonderfully evident how a certain divine mathematics or metaphysical mechanics is employed in the very origination of things. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz in on the ultimate origination of things 1697. Quote, to all of us who hold the Christian belief that God is truth, anything that is true is a fact about God. And mathematics is a branch of theology. An old Greek, a French child, and a self taught Indian each finds for himself the same theory of geometrical conics. The simplest and therefore, the most scientific way of describing this is that they have discovered not created a geometry that exists by itself eternally the same for all the same for teacher as for taught the same for manners for God. The truth that is the same for manners for God is pure mathematics. Hilda P. Hudson in mathematics and eternity 1925 possibility. Some speculate that simply not being impossible is sufficient for being actual. If true, then every possible object structure and entity exists. What then is impossible. At a minimum, we can say self contradictory things. For example, pole square circles, married bachelors, triangles with five sides and so on. We might also include things proven to not exist. odd numbers easily divisible by two, a largest prime number, a sixth platonic side. If consistency and provability are the requirements for possibility, then possible existence is mathematical existence. As David Hilbert said, mathematical existence is merely freedom from contradiction. The idea that all possible things exist has enjoyed many names. In 1936, Arthur Lovejoy dubbed it the principle of plenitude. In 1981 Robert nozick named it the principle of fecundity, David Lewis, in 1986, developed it as a theory he called modal realism in Max Tegmark 1998 model of multiverses he called it the mathematical universe hypothesis. Most recently, in 2008, Derek parfit, coined the all worlds hypothesis, if all possible objects are actual, then our universe is just one such possible structure and an infinite and total set of all possible structures. Anything that could happen happens somewhere, quote, there are so many other worlds, in fact that absolutely every way that a world could possibly be is a way that some world is. And as with worlds, so it is with parts of worlds, there are ever so many ways that a part of a world could be and so many and so varied are the other worlds that absolutely every way that a part of a world could possibly be as a way that some part of some world is, end quote, David Lewis in on the plurality of worlds 1986. Quote, if the universe is inherently mathematical, then why was only one of the many mathematical structures singled out to describe the universe, a fundamental asymmetry appears to be built into the heart of reality. As a way out of this conundrum, I have suggested that complete mathematical symmetry holds that all mathematical structures exist physically as well. Every mathematical structure corresponds to a parallel universe. And quote, Max Tegmark in parallel universes 2003 the idea that possibility is sufficient for actuality is not new. Arthur Lovejoy, who wrote about the history of this idea, traced it to 360 bc beginning with Plato's theory of forms, Plato hypothesized the realm containing all possible forms eternal, perfect idealizations. We find this idea expressed in a variety of ways throughout history, quote, the one is all things and not a single one of them. It is because there is nothing in it that all things come from it in order that being may exist, the one who is not being but the generator of being plotinus in the ads five, to one to 70 ad, quote, but to explain more distinctly how from eternal or essential metaphysical truths there arise temporal contingent or physical truths, we must first observe that, from the very fact that there exists something rather than nothing, it follows that impossible things or in possibility or essence itself. There is a certain need of existence, or so to speak, a claim to exist in a word that essence of itself tends to existence. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz in on the ultimate origination of things 1697. Others have linked God's infinite nature to an infinite creation. Quote, from God's supreme power, or infinite nature, an infinite number of things, that is, all things have necessarily flowed forth in an infinite number of ways, or always flow from the same necessity. In the same way as from the nature of a triangle, it follows from eternity and for eternity, that it's three interior angles are equal to two right angles, Baruch Spinoza, in ethics, 1677. Quotes now thou have a truth that the worlds of God are countless in their number, and infinite in their range. None can reckon or comprehend them except God, the all knowing the all wise baja Allah in tablet to offer circa 1885 quotes. It makes sense that an infinitely creative deity will create other universes, not just our own. For the theist, the existence of multiple universes would simply support the view that creation reflects the infinite creativity of the Creator. Robin a Collins in spiritual information 2005 the universe. Some say that the universe or the physical law that enabled it to come into existence has always existed and so is self existent. The reasoning is simple. If we know at least one thing is causeless. Why not just presume this causeless thing is the universe itself. Quote, I should say that the universe is just there. And that's all and quote Bertrand Russell in Russell copplestone debate 1948. Perhaps there is no reason it simply is and has no explanation. Given the universe exists, we know the universe is possible. Perhaps it exists because it is possible, and nothing forbade it from existing. But there are other tracks to follow. Perhaps we can demonstrate that the universe is self creating, or that it exists due to some higher law. Modern cosmology made progress along these directions. The theory of cosmic inflation uses general relativity to explain how a tiny quantum fluctuation can inflate into the huge universe we now see, quote, inflation is radically at odds with the old dictum of democritus and lucretius. Nothing can be created from nothing. If inflation is right, everything can be created from nothing, or at least from very little. If inflation is right, the universe can properly be called the ultimate free lunch and quote, by Alan Guth and inflation and the new era of high precision cosmology 2002. According to the laws of quantum mechanics, the quantum fluctuation that seeded our universe appeared because it was possible emerging out of nothing but the physical laws themselves. Quote, is there any bound to how small the initial universe could be? For my surprise, I found that the tunneling probability did not vanish as the initial size approached zero. I also noticed that my calculations were greatly simplified when I allowed the initial radius of the universe to vanish. This was really crazy. What I had was a mathematical description of a universe tunneling from a zero size from nothing. And yet, the state of nothing cannot be identified with absolute nothingness. The tunneling is described by the laws of quantum mechanics, and thus nothing should be subjected to these laws. The laws of physics must have existed even though there was no universe and quote, Alexander the Lincoln in many worlds in one 2006. General relativity and quantum mechanics are the two Cornerstone theories of modern physics. from them alone, we can explain a self emerging universe. Quantum Mechanics shows how possible fluctuations spontaneously pop into existence. General Relativity explains how such a fluctuation could expand exponentially to reach an unfathomable size. See what caused the Big Bang? But we must wonder why these laws? What, if anything, is special about them? Who or what anointed these equations with existence? quote? What is it that breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe? The usual approach of science of constructing a mathematical model cannot answer the questions of why there should be a universe for the model to describe. Why does the universe go to all the bother of existing Stephen Hawking in a brief history of time 1988. The idea that the universe is uncreated or exists due to some laws predates the successes of modern physics and cosmology. The ancient Greeks and Romans believed that the material of the universe has always existed, since nothing comes from nothing. Quote, the first principle is that nothing can be created from the non existent for otherwise anything would be formed from anything without the need of seed. And quote, Epicurus in letter to Herodotus circa 300 bc this matter was originally in a state of disarray. Order or chaos. Quotes before the ocean and the earth appeared before the skies had over spread them all. The face of nature in a vast expanse was not but chaos uniformly waste of it in metamorphosis, ad. It was not until a divine Craftsman imposed mathematical order on this chaos that the ordered universe the cosmos, appeared in religions with past eternal cosmologies. The universe is believed to be causeless. Jainism explicitly says the universe was not created, quote, The doctrine that the world was created is ill advised and should be rejected. If God created the world, where was he before the creation? If you say he was transcendent, then and needed no support? Where is he now? How could God have made this world without any raw material? If you say that he made this first and then the world you are faced with an endless regression, if you declare that this raw material arose, naturally you fall into another fallacy for the whole universe might have been its own creator, and have arisen quite naturally. And quote, Jean rcnn ma piano 898 ad, a higher plane. Some suppose our universe exists on account of a higher plane and that this higher plane rather than the universe is self existent. There are many conceptions of what this higher plane of reality is. Some describe this plane as a cause of being, be it God, a creator, Divine Will, a first cause or an unmoved mover. Others describe it as a source of being the mind of God, the one or the towel. Still others describe it as a ground of being the absolute the all or what Hindus call Brahman. Not all theories of higher planes of existence need the supernatural. There are also naturalistic descriptions of higher realities. In multiverse theories, a higher reality contains our universe among others. In brain cosmology, our universe is caused by collisions in a literal, higher dimension. In the simulation hypothesis, our universe is the result of computations occurring in a more fundamental reality. See, are we living in a computer simulation? Though these theories deal with phenomena that are beyond the nature of our universe, and hence supernatural evidence is accumulating for some of these higher realms. Quote, every experiment that brings better credence to inflationary theory brings us much closer to hints that the multiverse is real. Andrei Linde in interview 2014 quotes quote, various theories imply that various types of parallel universes exist so that by modus ponens if we take any of these theories seriously, we're forced to take seriously also some parallel universes. Parallel Universes aren't a theory, but predictions of certain theories. Max Tegmark in our parallel universes unscientific nonsense 2014. The idea of a pre existent cause, source or ground of being one that's external to end beyond our universe is as old as religion itself. Quote, by means of the higher knowledge the wise behold, everywhere, Brahman, which otherwise cannot be seen, or seized, which has no root or attributes, no eyes or ears, no hands or feet, which is eternal and omnipresent, all pervading and extremely subtle, which is imperishable, and the source of all beings mundaka Upanishad, chapter one, verse six, circa 800 BC, quote, In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis chapter one verse one circuit 600 BC. Consciousness, some posits that consciousness is self existent, if true consciousness could be the cause of a universe that exists only in appearance. The idea seems strange, but we must admit all knowledge of existence comes to us through experiences that exist in our conscious minds. This fact hasn't escaped the attention of scientists. Quote, it is difficult for the matter of fact physicist to accept the view that the substratum of everything is of mental character, but no one can deny that mind is the first and most Direct thing in our experience and all else is remote inference. And quote, Arthur Eddington in the nature of the physical world 1927. Quote, 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. And quote, Max Planck in interviews with great scientists 1931 the relation between Mind and Matter perplexes scientists to this day, it leads to philosophical conundrums like brains in a vat Boltzmann brains and the simulation argument, all of which suppose that perceived reality is an illusion, a byproduct of a deluded mind. It's also led physicists to propose theories where conscious minds play a fundamental role in shaping reality as we see it. Physics, after all, is fundamentally about experiences. Physics is the science of predicting future observations from prior observations. In 1970, Heinz dtsa proposed the many minds interpretation of quantum mechanics, which proposes that differentiation of an infinity of observer mind states explains quantum phenomena. Quote, a many minds theory, like a many worlds theory, suppose is that associated with a sentient being at any given time, there is a multiplicity of distinct conscious points of view. But a many minds theory holds that it is these conscious points of view all minds, rather than worlds that are to be conceived as literally dividing or differentiating over time. Michael Lockwood in many minds, interpretations of quantum mechanics 1995 the mysterious link between consciousness and reality inspired john wheelers idea of a participatory universe, as Martin Redfern described, many don't agree with john Wheeler. But if he's right then we and presumably other conscious observers throughout the universe are the creators, or at least the minds that make the universe manifest. The idea that consciousness proceeds the material world has a rich history. It is found across philosophies and religious traditions, where physical reality is seen as a dream or construct of a mind or soul. Quote, for it is the same thing that can be thought and that can be permanent is in fragment three circa 475 BC. A few millennia later, the philosopher George Berkeley echoed poem and it is concluding that to be is to be perceived. Quote, it is indeed widely believed that all perceptible objects, houses, mountains, rivers, and so on, really exist independently of being perceived by the understanding. But however widely and confidently, this belief may be held, anyone who has the courage to challenge it will, if I'm not mistaken, see that it involves an obvious contradiction for what our houses, mountains, rivers, etc, but things we perceive by sense, and quote, George Berkeley in the principles of human knowledge 1710. Hindus believe the universal mind or world soul Atman became the universe. Accordingly, the universe is not real, but the dream of a god under the spell of Maya, a temporary ignorance of the true reality. Buddhists believe that the mind underlies and forms everything. Quote, all the phenomena of existence of mind as their precursor mind as their Supreme Leader, and of mind are they made, end quote, Gautama Buddha in the dhammapada circa 500 BC, the Taoist philosopher Zhu ang Jo said the world is a dream, quote, while he is dreaming, he does not know it is a dream. And in his dream, he may even try to interpret a dream. Only after he wakes does he know it was a dream. And someday there will be a great awakening when we know that this is all a great dream. And quote, Zhu ng Joe and join z circa 300 BC. Reviewing answers, we've considered seven proposals for self existence things, logic, truth, numbers, possibility The universe, a higher plane, and consciousness. yet so far, none of these is satisfactory as an ultimate explanation. None stands out as a final because that doesn't throw up a further Why? abstract entities, logic, truth numbers. First, we have abstract entities, logic, truth and numbers. But though these things are plausibly causeless, how could they cause anything? These things are eternal and unchanging, not to mention abstract, how can they cause anything like the huge dynamic universe we see, quote, so the cause of the universe must at least causally prior to the universe's existence transcends space and time and therefore cannot be physical or material. But there are only two kinds of things that could fall under such a description, either an abstract object, like a number, or else a mind, a soul, a self. But abstract objects don't stand in causal relations. This is part of what it means to be abstract. The number seven, for example, doesn't cause anything. And quote, William Lane Craig in reasonable faith, 1994. possibility, mathematical consistency. What about all possibility? If all possible things exist, then our universe would be counted among those possible things? But why should possible things be actual, as JJC smart remarked that anything should exist at all does seem to me a matter for the deepest or existence is what we seek to explain. And there is another issue, why is our universe so simple and ordered compared to all else that exists in the space of all possibility? quote, Tegmark proposal, however, faces a formidable problem. The number of mathematical structures increases with increasing complexity, suggesting the typical structures should be horrendously large and cumbersome. This seems to be in conflict with the simplicity and beauty of the theories describing our world. Alexander the Lincoln in many worlds in one 2006, the physical, the universe, physical law, if the universe alone exists, it explains exactly what we see. But there would be lingering questions. Why does consciousness exist? are abstract entities real? And perhaps the biggest mystery of all? Why should this universe or its laws be the only real ones? As Lee Smolin asked, Why do these laws and not others hold in our universe? Does the existence of laws require some higher principle? quote, although science may solve the problem of how the universe began, it cannot answer the question. Why does the universe bother to exist? Maybe only God can answer that. Stephen Hawking in interview 1988 hyperplanes God multiverse simulation, we might appeal to a higher cause to explain the universe we see. But as JJC smart reminds us if we postulate God, in addition to the created universe, we increase the complexity of our hypothesis. We have all the complexity of the universe itself. And we have In addition, the at least equal complexity of God. This seems true for any higher principle. For example, if we presume our universe is the result of a simulation in a higher reality, what's responsible for that higher reality? quote, whatever our final theory of physics, we will be left facing an irreducible mystery. For perhaps there could have been nothing at all. Not even empty space, but just absolutely nothing. If you believe God is the Creator, well, why is God that way? The religious person is left with a mystery which is no less than the mystery with which science leaves us. End quote. Steven Weinberg in closer to truth, cosmos, consciousness, God 2008 and 2009. The mental mind soul consciousness. If consciousness is causeless, it could explain why perceptions exist. But if reality is only a dream or illusion, why do our perceptions appear to follow Long with the universe adhering to physical laws, if it's all an illusion, what's the source of this illusion? quote, even if everything in this universe were an illusion, there would still have to be something outside this universe that generates the illusion. End quote. JOHN a Leslie and Robert Lawrence Kuhn in the mystery of existence 2013 causeless cause what we seek and have so far have failed to identify is a causeless cause. This is something that not only has a plausibly self existence and causeless nature, but also plausibly accounts for the reality we see. We find things that appear to be causeless, logic, truth, and numbers, but these things also appear in capable of being a cause. Conversely, we found things that could be a cause the universe, a higher plane and consciousness, but they don't seem causeless then there is possibility for which we have reason to question whether it is causeless and whether it causes what we see, we find an almost inverse relation, the more plausibly something is causeless, the less plausible it seems to be the cause for what we see. causeless cause would provide us with a complete explanation. It will explain both itself and the properties of observed reality. It will describe the relation between the mental and material. It will tell us why the universe exists and why it has simple ordered laws. to progress we need to find the connecting glue the missing piece of the puzzle that shows either how a causeless thing accounts for the reality we see or alternatively, why the reality we see is causeless three modes of existence. In reviewing the seven categories of possibly costless things, we encountered three modes of existence, loosely speaking they are mathematical existence, material existence, and mental existence. Mathematical existence includes abstract entities, logic, truth, numbers, math, properties, forms, equations, relations, possibility, structures, laws, and principles. This mode might include religious concepts of divine law will order, Tao, or logos, the infinite indivisible truth, Ashoka vendor and divine mathematics. material existence includes matter, energy, the vacuum, spacetime, physical law, the universe, the multiverse particles, forces, fields, and physical systems. This mode might include what religions refer to as creation, cosmos, the material plane, and Maya or illusion. Mental existence includes mind consciousness, observations, perceptions, ideas, and dreams. This mode might include religious concepts of the mind of God, world, soul, art man, and souls or spirits. What is the relation between the three modes of existence, math, matter and mind? quote, my viewpoint allows for three different kinds of reality, the physical, the mental, and the platonic mathematical with something as yet profoundly mysterious in the relations between the three. Roger Penrose in the big questions, what is reality? 2006 math matter, mind, of the three modes of existence does any stand out as being more fundamental than any of the others? What is their relation? If one of these modes of existence can be shown as primary while the others are derivative, then we might close in on a causeless cause. A common view of physicists is that matter produces mind and mind produces math. But even among physicists, this view isn't universal. Quote. The triangle suggests the circularity of the widespread view that math arises from the mind the mind that arises out of matter, and that matter can be explained in terms of math. Non physicists should be wary of any claim that modern physics leads us to any particular resolution of this circularity. Since even the sample of three theoretical physicists writing this paper hold three divergent views. And quote, Pizza Hut, Mark Alford and Max Tegmark in on math matter and mind 2006 what is the reality of These modes of existence are all on equal footing, or is one more fundamental while the others are derivative. materialism matter is primary. materialism is the view that matter is fundamental. It assumes mental states are the byproduct of particular material arrangements, for example, brains, and that mathematical objects, if they exist at all outside of minds have no bearing on the material world. materialism is a popular if not conventional view among physicists. materialism can explain why our perceptions follow the patterns of physical law, but it has difficulty explaining why matter gives rise to mental states. This is the so called hard problem of consciousness. materialism also hits an explanatory dead end trying to answer why matter exists and why it follows simple physical laws. Quote, if he gets to know the worlds structure, asked the scientists, science, however, seems unable to answer some key questions concerning the structure. For start, why is the structure an orderly one? Why do events so often develop in fairly simple and familiar ways leading us to talk of causal laws? Then there is what can seem the biggest question of all, science investigates the world's structure, but why is there anything at all to be structured? Why is there a Cosmos? Not a blank? Why is there something rather than nothing? Science cannot answer this. JOHN Leslie and a Cosmos existing through ethical necessity 2000 that Ben's nine idealism mind his primary idealism is the view that mind is fundamental. It assumes mental states are the basis of reality, and that the matter that seems to exist exists only as thoughts and perceptions in minds, idealism as expressed by Eastern religions, theologians, and mystics, but increasingly, physicists recognize they can't so easily do away with the observer. It seems the observer plays a necessary if not fundamental role in any description of reality, quote, consciousness cannot be accounted for in physical terms for consciousness is absolutely fundamental. It cannot be accounted for in terms of anything else. And quote, Erwin Schrodinger in interview 1931. But idealism doesn't answer everything. He doesn't explain why minds are bound up with the patterns of matter in a material world. Quote, we find that our perceptions obey some laws, which can be most conveniently formulated if we assume that there is some underlying reality beyond our perceptions. This model of a material world obeying laws of physics is so successful that soon we forget about our starting point and say that matter is the only reality and perceptions are nothing but a useful tool for the description of matter. This assumption is almost as natural and maybe as false as our previous assumption that space is only a mathematical tool for the description of matter. We are substituting reality of our feelings by the successfully working theory of an independently existing material world. And the theory is so successful that we almost never think about its possible limitations. And quote, Andrei Linde in inflation, quantum cosmology and the anthropic principle 2002 platonism. Math is primary platonism is the idea that math is fundamental. It assumes abstract objects are the most real, and that everything we see and perceive is somehow derivative from this higher existence. platonism is popular among philosophers and mathematicians whose job is to study the objective properties of abstract things. If mathematical objects form the basis of reality, it might explain why the material world is so mathematical in its form. Quote, in a famous 1959 lecture, physicist Eugene p Wigner, argued that the enormous usefulness of mathematics in the natural sciences is something bordering on the mysterious conversely, mathematical structures have an eerily real feel to them. They satisfy a central criterion of objective existence, they are the same no matter who studies them. A theorem is true regardless of whether it is proved by a human A computer or an intelligent dolphin, contemplative alien civilizations would find the same mathematical structures as we have. Accordingly, mathematicians commonly say that they discover mathematical structures rather than create them. Max Tegmark in parallel universes 2003 where platonism falls short is in explaining how abstract objects lead to material or mental existence. According to lightness, the difficulty is explaining how from eternal or essential metaphysical truths there arise temporal contingent or physical truths. What came first, for each of the three modes of existence, there is an ancient school of thought holding that mode of existence as most fundamental. The mathematical, Plato believed that abstract entities were the most real, and that the material world was derivative. The material Plato's foremost student, Aristotle, disagreed, saying material substances were more real than abstract forms. The mental several centuries later, plotinus argued that mind was more real than the material reality it perceives. Today's scientists, mathematicians, and philosophers seem no closer to an answer on whether math matter or mind came first. Does mind give rise to math? Or does math give rise to mind? does matter give rise to mind? Or does mind give rise to matter? Does math give rise to matter? Or does matter give rise to math? to unravel? The mystery of existence requires that we understand the relationship between these modes of existence. Only then do we have any hope of identifying an ultimate explanation or causeless cause, quote, to address the nature of reality, we need to understand its connection to consciousness and mathematics. And, quote, Roger Penrose in the big questions, what is reality? 2006 are they one, various thinkers have suspected the three modes of existence to be connected and perhaps are all aspects of one ultimate reality, Mind and Matter as one. Modern physical experiments have revealed something inseparable between the mind and the observed physical reality. Quote, as we penetrate into matter, nature does not show as any isolated basic building blocks, but rather appears as a complicated web of relations between the various parts of the hole. These relations always include the observer in an essential way, the human observer constitutes the final link in the chain of observational processes, and the properties of any atomic object can only be understood in terms of interaction with the observer. This means that the classical ideal of an objective description of nature is no longer valid. The Cartesian partition between the eye and the world between the observer and the observed cannot be made when dealing with atomic matter. In atomic physics, we can never speak about nature without at the same time speaking about ourselves fritjof Capra and the Tao of physics 1975. Quote, aren't we mistaken in making this separation between the universe and life and the mind? Sugar we seek ways to think of them as one. JOHN Archibald Wheeler quoted in trespassing on Einsteins lawn 2014. Math and matter as one. Likewise, mathematicians and scientists cannot help but notice a mysterious link connecting mathematics and the physical world. Quote, there exists unless I am mistaken, an entire world consisting of the totality of mathematical truths, which is accessible to us only through our intelligence, just as there exists the world of physical realities. Each one is independent of us, both of them divinely created and appear different only because of the weakness of our mind. But for a more powerful intelligence, they are one and the same thing whose synthesis is partially revealed in that marvelous correspondence between abstract mathematics on the one hand, and astronomy and all branches of physics on the other. End quote, Charles a meeting in loges, academies at the school translation, page 323 1912. quotes, maybe the relationships are all that exist. Maybe the word is made of math. At first that sounded nuts. But when I thought about it, I have to wonder what exactly is the other option that the world is made of things? What the hell is a thing? It was one of those concepts that fold under the slightest interrogation looked closely at any object and you find it's an amalgamation of particles. But look closely at the particles and you find that they are irreducible representations of the Poincare, a symmetry group, whatever that meant. The point is, particles at bottom look a lot like math. And quote, Amanda gifter, in trespassing on Einsteins lawn 2014. Or is one, if matter and mind are two aspects of one reality. And if math and matter are likewise two aspects of one reality, then all three must be connected, all will be reflections of one underlying reality, quote. So how do the elements of the Trinity fit together the phenomenological world, the physical world and the mathematical world? On the unarguable assumption that the principle underlying Ultimate Reality is radically simple? It will here be conjectured that these three realms are one and the same under different descriptions. David psny, does anything exist in 1995? a path to reality. For millennia, philosophers have debated the relation between math matter and mind. For millennia, they've sought a causeless cause. Despite this, philosophy has not yielded any definitive answers. Perhaps science can shed new light on this question. Science allows us to test and decide among competing theories, science provides opportunities to discover the missing piece of the puzzle and explain how and why a causeless thing gives rise to the reality we see. As it happens, discoveries in the field of mathematics in the 20th century found this missing puzzle piece. We now know a viable link between eternal or essential metaphysical truths and temporal contingent or physical truths. We can explain how reality can emerge from self existent causeless truth concerning numbers and their relations. But without hard science and observational evidence to back it up, how can we ever know if this explanation is right? How can we ever escape from the morass of inconclusive philosophy? Fortunately, discoveries in the fields of physics and cosmology, also occurring in the 20th century provide exactly this support. We not only have found a plausible path to reality, we have evidence for it. 20th century mathematics many consider the field of mathematics to be mostly uneventful unchanged, since you could define the laws of geometry 2300 years ago, but at the turn of the 20th century, the field of mathematics was in a state of crisis. The field was shaken to its foundation. Math was broken, and it had to be rebuilt from scratch. During this reformation, monumental discoveries shocked and dismayed mathematicians. In the first half of the 20th century, logicians and mathematicians discovered a provably self existence thing. In the second half of the 20th century, they showed how, under certain assumptions, this self existence thing could account for the reality we see. Mike this thing the causeless cause. Let's see what mathematicians found and how they came to find it. The foundational crisis. At the turn of the 20th century, math was in trouble. It was undergoing what came to be called the foundational crisis of mathematics. At the time, set theory had come to serve as the foundation of mathematics. All mathematical proofs ultimately relied on it. But in 1899, Ernst sumela noticed this set theory had a fatal flaw. The Melo told other math professors at the University of getting in about it, including David Hilbert, but tumelo didn't publish it. In 1901 Bertrand Russell also noticed this flaw, but Russell didn't stay quiet. He wrote a letter in 1902 to gottlob frager just as his second volume on set theory was going off to the publisher frager had spent decades laying the foundation of set theory. It was his life's work, but one letter showing one flaw brought it all down. Russell showed frager Set Theory allows two contradictory statements to both be proved. This flaw is known as Russell's paradox. one flaw might not sound so bad, but in math it is fatal. For if in math, just one false hood can be proved, then any false hood can be proved. This is known as the principle of explosion. For example, assume mathematics had a flaw that allowed you to prove that two plus two equals five. You could use this false proof to prove anything, you could prove that the $1 in your bank account equals $1 million. Starting with two plus two equals five, subtract four from both sides, then you get zero equals one. Now multiply both sides by 999,999. Then you get zero equals 999,999. Now add one to both sides. You have now proven one equals 1 million. If mathematic proofs have false statements, then contracts, commerce, even society as we know it couldn't function. This was the state of mathematics in 1900. It's no wonder it was considered a crisis. Math was broken. It had to be fixed. It needed a rallying cry, a call to action. In 1900, mathematicians from around the world gathered in Paris for the International Congress of Mathematicians, David Hilbert considered the greatest mathematician of his time was invited to speak, he used the opportunity to present what he considered to be the 23 most significant open problems in mathematics. The second of Hilbert problems call for a proof that the foundational rules of mathematics were free of contradictions. This would once and for all, put math on a solid foundation. Never again would mathematicians need worry that a new contradiction might one day surface and torpedo the whole of mathematics, new foundations, the collapse of fraters set theory and Hilbert score for a provably solid foundation for math served as an inspiration. Under Hilbert direction as a mellow began work on fixing set theory. Similarly, Bertrand Russell began work with his supervisor, Alfred North Whitehead on a solution. Their aim was to lay a new foundation for mathematics based on a precise logic and produce a set theory rid of paradoxes and contradictions. It was a massive undertaking that took over a decade. It culminated in the three volume tome Principia Mathematica, published in 1910 1912, and 1913. It was so detailed that it famously required several 100 pages to work up to the point where it proved one plus one equals two. Owing to its complexity and unique notation, Principia Mathematica never gained much popularity with mathematicians. It also had a competitor. By 1908, sumela developed a new set theory consisting of just eight rules, and in 1921, it was further improved by Abraham Frankel. Their combined result is called a mellow Fraenkel set theory. It became the default foundation of mathematics and remains so to this day Hilbert program. Although no one had discovered contradictions in either Russell's also melos new foundational systems, no one had been able to prove they were free of contradictions either. Mathematics still rested on a foundation of uncertain stability. This led Hilbert in 1921, to push for finding a mathematical theory that was provably consistent. And not only did he want this theory to be provably consistent, he wanted it to be provably complete. A complete system of mathematics means any true statement can be proven within that theory. There would never be a need to add to this complete theory, as it would cover everything that mathematicians might think up in the future. It would be a final theory and the last theory any mathematician would ever need. It was the mathematicians equivalent of a theory of everything, where all of mathematics is derived from one rock solid foundation. The effort to find this theory became known as Hilbert program. It was a noble goal. but less than a decade after launching his program, Hilbert stream of a final theory was shattered In 1930, at a conference in Kern expec, Hilbert remained confident in the eventual success of his program proclaiming the moves and vison via Verdun vison, we must know we will know. The phrase would later be Hilbert epitaph girdles incompleteness theorems. Unknown to Hilbert, his dream had already been crushed the day before. At the very same conference, the 24 year old Kurt girdle presented his PhD thesis, it proved Hilbert stream is impossible. at the conference girdle presented his first incompleteness theorem. It showed that in any finite mathematical Foundation, there will be true statements that can't be proved in that theory. Thus Hilbert stream of completeness is impossible. Quote, the most comprehensive current formal systems are the system of Principia Mathematica pm on the one hand, there's a mellow Frank Elian AXIOM system of set theory. On the other hand, these two systems are so far developed that you can formalize in them all proof methods that are currently in use in mathematics, ie you can reduce these proof methods to a few axioms and deduction rules. Therefore, the conclusion seems plausible that these deduction rules are sufficient to decide all mathematical questions expressible in those systems, we will show that this is not true. And quote, Kurt girdle in on formerly undecidable propositions of Principia Mathematica and related systems. 119 31. girdles first incompleteness theorem showed there could never be a final theory that would serve mathematicians for all time, girdle wasn't finished. Shortly thereafter, he published his second incompleteness theorem. This proved that no consistent theory of mathematics can ever prove itself to be consistent. The second of Hilbert 23 problems was impossible. This explained the failure of the Melo improving the consistency of his set theory. It was actually a good sign that he was unable to had he been able to prove it consistent, it would imply that it was not. So now, not only was completeness impossible, but it was also impossible for a theory to prove its own consistency. This was a double whammy to Hilbert. Hilbert lived another 12 years but he never publicly acknowledged girdles result. privately, he was crushed. He didn't want mathematics to be this way. But others greatly admired girdle and his achievement. When Harvard gave girdle an honorary degree, he was introduced as the discoverer of the most significant mathematical truth in the century. Some are called girdle the greatest logician since Aristotle. Edward Nelson called Aristotle the greatest logician before girdle. JOHN von Neumann said girdle is absolutely irreplaceable. He is the only mathematician alive about whom I would dare make this statement. Einstein and girdle both worked at the Institute for Advanced Study. Near the end of his life, Einstein confided to Oskar Morgenstern that his own work no longer meant much that he came to the institute merely to have the privilege of walking home with girdle undecidability. In 1673, libraries invented and later built the first digital calculator, he declared, it is beneath the dignity of excellent men to waste their time in calculation when any peasant could do the work just as accurately with the aid of a machine. After he built the device likeness began to wonder about the limits of what machines can calculate. Was it possible to build a machine that could answer any mathematical question? several centuries later, David Hilbert together with Wilhelm Ackerman, redefined blindnesses question. At a conference in Berlin in 1928, they defined the chairman's problem or decision problem. The decision problem asks, Is it possible to build a machine that can decide whether or not any mathematical question can be proved in some mathematical system? girdle showed that not every true statement was provable. But was there a way to decide whether or not a statement was provable? It was an important question. Such a method would be most useful to mathematicians. It would tell them when they ought to give up and thereby save them from wasting their lives searching for proofs that don't exist. Alonzo church got the first results on the on shadings problem. He defined a programming language and proved so Questions about it are undecidable quote, it follows that the unshaded problem is unsolvable in the case of any system of Symbolic Logic which is consistent in the sense of girdle, Alonzo church in an unsolvable problem of elementary number theory 1935. The next year churches' student Alan Turing published another example of an undecidable problem, the halting problem, quote, girdle has shown that there are propositions you such that neither you nor not you is provable. On the other hand, I shall show that there is no general method which tells whether a given formula U is provable. Alan cheering it on computable numbers with an application to the unshaded problem 1936. It was in this paper that Turing introduced the concept of a general purpose programmable computer birthing the digital age. Hilbert never got the answers he hoped for. We can't prove the consistency of our mathematical foundation. We can't prove everything that is true and given undecidability we can't even be sure whether a statement has approved for not. And yet, despite not getting the answers he hoped for. Hilbert knew the right questions to ask the answers produced great discoveries. Quote, I'd like to make the outrageous claim that has a little bit of truth. That actually all of this that's happening now with the computer taking over the world, the digitalization of our society of information in human society. You could say in a way is the result of a philosophical question that was raised by David Hilbert at the beginning of the century. Gregory chayton. In a century of controversy over the foundations of mathematics 2000 Hilbert 10th problem of Hilbert 23 problems, his 10th problem asked for a general method to solve Daya fantine equations. These are equations that allow only whole numbers, no decimals or fractions, which are named after die or fantas, who studied them in the third century. Quote, given a diaphragm tiny equation with any number of unknown quantities and with rational integral numerical coefficients to devise a process according to which it can be determined in a finite number of operations whether the equation is solvable in Rational integers, and quote, David Hilbert in mathematical problems 1902. deceptively simple Daya. fantine equations were often notoriously difficult. A famous example is the dire fontein equation, a to the power of n equals b to the power of n plus c to the power of n. This equation is easy when n equals one, or when n equals two millennia ago, Pythagoras proved there were infinite solutions when n equals two. And yet, no one had found even one solution for n greater than or equal to three. No one knew of a cube number A to the power of three. That was the sum of two other cube numbers in 1673. Pierre de firma wrote in his notes that he had a proof that there were no solutions when n greater than or equal to three, but no one had ever found it. Nor was anyone able to rediscover a proof. The missing proof became known as firmers Last Theorem. The problem went unsolved for 321 years, until in 1994, after seven years of work, Andrew Wiles completed a 129 page proof that no whole number solutions exist when n is greater than or equal to three. If mathematicians had a procedure to solve diaphram tiny equations, Andrew Wiles wouldn't have had to spend seven years working on this problem. Instead, he could program a computer to follow the procedure and the computer would crank out a solution. In 1970, Hilbert 10th problem was solved. solving it required 21 years of work by four mathematicians Martin Davis, Julia Robinson, Hilary Putnam, and Yuri mais j civic. They're proof called the mrtp theorem, after their initials gave a negative result, they proved there is no general procedure for solving diffontein equations. And they proved it in a shocking way. They showed an equivalence between solutions to Daya fantine equations and what is computable In other words, for any imaginable computer program, there is a dire fantana question. Whose solutions equal all the outputs of that computer program? This was so surprising that many mathematicians had difficulty believing it. It meant there is a dire fantine equation that picks chess moves like deep blue, and there's a dire fantine equation does your taxes like TurboTax, and there's yet another die of fantine equation that does spell checking like Microsoft Word. For anything a computer can compute. There's a dire fontein equation that gives the exact same answers. But despite how surprising their result was, it was true. And this is why there can be no general method for solving dire fontein equations, because the question of whether or not a program finishes Turing's halting problem is equivalent to asking whether or not some diffontein equation has solutions. Since the halting problem is not generally solvable, the equivalence between diffontein equations and computers mentai fantine equations weren't generally solvable either. Yet again, what Hilbert asked for couldn't be provided Hilbert questions probed at the heart of consistency provability, decidability and computability. They didn't leave where he expected, but they did reveal deep truths about the nature of mathematics, universal equations. In 1978, the mathematician James P. Jones went a step further, just as it is possible to make a computer program that runs all other computer programs. It is also possible to make a Daya fantine equation that includes all other Daya fantine equations. Quote, makes j civics theorem implies also the existence of particular undecidable di fantine equations. In fact, there must exist universal diaphragm tiny equations, polynomial analogues of the universal Turing machine, and quote, James P. Jones and undecidable diophantine equations 1980. Such diffontein equations are general purpose computers plug in the programmer has one of the variables to the equation, and the solutions to the equation will be the outputs of that program. Jones provided an example of such an equation. It is complex, but the truths concerning this single equation include all truths concerning the executions and outputs of all computer programs. Quote, as V varies through the positive integers, the equation defines every recursively enumerable set. This is to our mind the attraction of the universal equations at once. This equation defines primes, Fibonacci numbers, Lucas numbers, perfect numbers, theorems of Zed F, or indeed theorems of any other x amortizable theory. James P. Jones in three universal representations of recursively enumerable sets 1978. We might consider such universal equations as got equations, equations whose solutions contain and include all the others. In his 1987 book algorithmic information theory, Gregory chayton describes one such equation, the exponential Daya fantine equation computer. It has 20,000 variables and is 200 pages long. This equation perfectly replicates the behavior of the Lisp programming language, he describes the equation as follows. Quote, if the Lisp expression k has no value, then this equation will have no solution. If the Lisp expression k has a value, then this equation will have exactly one solution. In this unique solution, n equals the value of the expression K. And quote, Gregory chayton in metamath, the quest for omega 2004 chattin showed that even modern day computers and programming languages have counterparts in the form of Daya fantine equations. Universal Daya fantine equations are remarkable. They exist in pure arithmetic. The arithmetical relations they encode represent every program that can be computed along with all of their outputs. Among these solutions, we can find the valid proofs of every theorem in every mathematical system, every way of playing every computer game that has all will ever be invented, and simulations of every galaxy in the observable universe down to the atomic level. Universal die fantine equations contain in their solutions everything computable since known physical laws are computable quantum detailed histories of every particle interaction in the observable universe counted among these solutions. Jones's discovery of universal Daya fantine equations inspired him to quote chapter 11, verse seven of the Bhagavad Gita, whatever you wish can be seen all at once right here. This universal form can show you all that you now desire. Everything is here completely. Given that such equations include everything computable, including all physical laws and systems as well as simulations of any observers, mind and brain. Could these equations be the glue connecting eternal mathematical truth with contingent physical truths? The Universal Deaf Taylor in 1991, Bruno Marshall wrote a program he called the universal Deaf tailor, a program that generates and runs all programs. In order to run every program without getting stuck on a program that never ends. The Universal dovetail into leaves, or dovetails on the processing, doing a little bit of work on each program at a time. The program is simple. The full program is quite short, consisting of about 300 lines of Lisp code. It's pseudocode is even simpler for K from zero to infinity, for j from zero to k, for I from zero to J, compute k steps of program I on input J. This program sequentially generates every program and runs it for every input. The longer the universal dovetail runs, the more programs it generates, and the more steps of each program it performs. If allowed to run forever, it runs every program there is the universal Duff Taylor, like a fractal is itself simple and yet it generates infinite complexity. In the words of plotinus for that which generates is always simpler than that which is generated to 70 ad. This program like universal diaphragm tiny equations contains all. While studying the consequences of the existence of all computations, Marshall made an incredible discovery what he describes as the many histories interpretation of elementary arithmetic. The discovery served as the basis of his 1998 PhD thesis computability physics and cognition. This paper explains how we can explain the appearance of a multiverse given two assumptions. One, all computations exist and two, computation supports cognition. Quote, we will explain that once we adopt the computation list hypothesis, which is a form of mechanistic assumption, we have to derive from it how our belief in the physical laws can emerge from only arithmetic and classical computer science. Bruno Mars shall in the computation list reformulation of the mind body problem 2013 given there exists universal Daya fantine equations, all computations exist as a consequence of arithmetical truth concerning them. While there is no physical realization of the perpetual execution of the universal Duff Taylor, it's complete execution exists in number theory as a consequence of arithmetical truth. There are for instance, diaphragm tiny equations whose solutions exactly equal all the sequentially generated states reached by the universal Duff Taylor. So if we accept the self existence truth of two plus two equals four, we must also accept truths concerning universal Daya fantine equations, truths that concern all computational histories and all simulated realities. Quote, to be sure, the existence of the UD is a logical consequence of elementary arithmetic with Church's thesis or Turing's thesis and quote, Bruno ma shall in discussion list 2019. It therefore becomes a purely mathematical question to prove whether some diaphragm tiny equation contains in its solutions a computational state equivalent to some person's physical brain state. We would then exist for the same reason that two plus two equals four as an inevitable consequence of mathematical truth. The question Why is there anything at all is reduced to why does two plus two equals four, a story of creation We have arrived at a plausible story of creation. We can now connect the causeless abstract entities, logic, truth and numbers with a viable cause for our perceptions of a physical reality. Why does anything exist because necessity requires As logical laws, logical laws imply incontrovertibly truth such truth includes mathematical truth. Mathematical truth defines numbers, numbers possess number relations, number relations imply equations. equations define computable relations computable relations define all computations, all computations including algorithmically generated observers. And these observers experience apparent physical realities ancient anticipations this account of how eternal mathematical truths could give rise to contingent physical truths depended on recent discoveries. If required a deep understanding of modern ideas, universal equations, computers, computation, virtual reality and simulation only a century ago, we didn't even have words for these concepts. Despite this, a few ancient thinkers gave theories for existence that are eerily similar to this modern creation story. They postulated something primal and simple that gave rise to the numbers and from numbers arose beings consciousness and matter. 2600 years ago, Lowry jr wrote that numbers proceed from the tower and that from numbers that all things are born, quote, The Tao gives birth to one, one gives birth to two, two gives birth to three, three gives birth to all things. Large die in chapter 42 of Tao Te Ching circa 600 bC dioxygenase layer to use was a biographer of eminent philosophers, the following is his account of 2500 year old Python agree and beliefs, quote, that the mon ad, one was the beginning of everything, from the monad proceeds an indefinite D word to which is subordinate to the monitors to its cause, that from the monad and the indefinite do of proceed numbers and from numbers signs, and from these last lines of which plane figures consist, and from plane figures are derived solid bodies, and from solid bodies sensible bodies, and, quote, nitrogen is leg air to use in the lives and opinions of eminent philosophers circa 225 ad 1750 years ago, plotinus developed neoplatonism a rich theory concerning the relations between various levels of being Wikipedia describes plotinus, his chain of being as a series of emanations the first emanation his new divine mind, logos order, fought reason, from New proceeds the world soul, from the world soul proceeds individual human souls, and finally, matter, at the lowest level of being and thus the least perfected level of the cosmos. Quote, the one is not a being but the generator of being, the greatest later than the one must be the intellectual principle and it must be the second of all existence, for what emanates from the intellectual principle is a reason principle or logos. And as soon as there is differentiation, number exists. Thus number the primal and true is principle and source of actuality to the beings. The souls substantial existence comes from the intellectual principle, the soul itself a divine thought, and possessing the divine thoughts, or ideas, of all things, contains all things consented within it. This gives the degree in which the cosmos is then sold not by a soul belonging to it, but by one present to it, it is mastered, not Master, not possessive, but possessed. This one universe is all bound together in shared experience. So matter is actually a Phantasm plotinus. In the end, he adds to 70 ad 1570 years ago, propolis wrote that mathematical existence occupies a middle ground. He said, mathematical being sits between the simple reality that's grounded in itself and the things that move about in matter, quote, mathematical being necessarily belongs neither among the first nor among the last and least simple of the kinds of being but occupies the middle ground between the populace realities. Simple in composite and indivisible and divisible characterized by every variety of composition and differentiation, the unchangeable, stable and incontrovertible character of the propositions about it shows that it is superior to the kinds of things that move about in matter, but the discursive pneus of mathematical procedure in dealing with its subjects as extended, and it's setting up of different prior principles for different objects. These gift a mathematical being a rank below that indivisible nature that is completely grounded in itself. propolis in a commentary on the first book of Euclid elements circa 450 ad, the causeless cause found? Could this be the answer? Could things be so simple, in order for this explanation of existence, to be correct, mathematical truth must be causeless mathematical existence must depend on neither human minds nor on physical or material things. In addition, mathematical truth must be something capable of generating observers, observers who consciously perceive their environment, and which they consider as existing physically. Ideally, this causeless cause will illuminate the relation between the mental and material and explain why the universe obeys simple laws. Can the theory achieve this? Is it causeless for mathematical truth to serve as a causeless? Cause it must exist cause lessly math must depend on neither minds no matter independent of minds. Do numbers and their properties exist beyond the minds of mathematicians and their scribblings on blackboards? Had Hilbert program succeeded and given a mathematical theory capable of proving all true statements, then arguably, mathematics might only be that which follows from this theory. Math would then be an invention of the human mind. But the failure of Hilbert program and girdles proof of the impossibility for any finite theory to define all mathematical truth meant that mathematical truth is infinite and beyond description, and therefore cannot be a product of human minds. Quote, the existence of absolutely undecidable mathematical propositions seems to disprove the view that mathematics is only our own creation, for the creator necessarily knows all properties of his creatures because they can't have any others except those he has given to them. So this alternative seems to imply that mathematical objects and facts or at least something in them, exist objectively and independently of our mental acts and decisions. That is to say, it seems to imply some form or other of platonism, or realism as to the mathematical objects. That girdle in some basic theorems on the foundations of mathematics and their implications, page 311 1951. c is math invented or discovered, independent of matter. The infinite nature of mathematical truth also implies an independence from matter are observable universe has an information capacity of 10 to the power of 120 bits. This number is large, but finite. Nowhere in physics is there room to store represent or hold the infinite true statements of mathematics. If there are infinite primes, infinite factors of zero, infinite digits of pi, they don't exist physically. If these infinite properties don't and can't depend on physical processes operating within a material universe, it follows that mathematical properties must exist independently of matter. Quote, it is our firm belief that the Pythagorean Theorem needs not be created, nor the fact that the circumference of a circle is 3.14 and so on, times the diameter. The laws of nature and the collection of truths, values and their interrelations are primordial and have always existed. CW varieties in four dimensional reality continued 2018 Is it the cause? For this story to work, abstract objects, truth, numbers, equations, and so on must play a causal role in generating reality and perceptions. The default position of philosophers has been that abstract objects have no effects they cause and do nothing. But we must admit that this has always been an assumption it's never been proven. Quote, although philosophers deny that abstract objects can have causal effects on concrete objects. abstract objects are often defined as causally inert their potential say as a collective to be an explanatory source of ultimate reality cannot be logically excluded. And quote, john a Leslie and Robert Lawrence Kuhn in the mystery of existence 2013 recently, recent advances in mathematics give us pause. The discovery that all computations exist as a consequence of mathematical truth makes us wonder whether abstract mathematics is really so in effectual, but can mind or matter really be created by math? The cause of minds? consciousness remains one of humanity's last great mysteries. While science has not settled the question of what consciousness is, it has progressed by developing a testable theory of consciousness. In the 1600s thinkers such as Rene Descartes and Thomas Hobbes advanced the idea of mechanism, the theory that our brains and bodies are machines that operate according to mechanical rules. In 1936, the discovery of universal machines or computers led to the church cheering thesis, which says the behavior of any finite machine can be perfectly replicated by an appropriately programmed computer. This is their special power. It is what makes computers so useful. Without changing your computer's hardware, it is able to run any one of the millions of applications available to it, including applications not yet developed or conceived off. Each new application provides the computer with new functionality and behaviors. Some were quick to recognize the implications of the church cheering thesis for theories of minds, brains and consciousness. The two fathers of computing, Alan Turing and john von Neumann noticed parallels between computers and the mind. In 1948, Turing wrote the first chess playing program with an in his 1950 paper Computing Machinery and intelligence cheering asked Can machines think the last work of john von Neumann was a lecture series, the computer and the brain, published posthumously in 1958. In it one normal explains that it is not that the brain acts like a computer, but that computers are so varied in what they can do that they can be set up to imitate any machine, presumably even the human brain. Quote. The important result of Turing's is that in this way, the first universal machine can be caused to imitate the behavior of any other machine, john von Neumann in the computer and the brain 1958. In the 1960s, and 1970s, philosophers of mind, including Hilary Putnam, and his student Jerry Fodor developed what they call functionalism. In its digital form, functionalism is known as the computational theory of mind or computational ism. This is the idea that function or computation is the foundation of consciousness. The computational theory of mind remains as the most popular theory for consciousness among scientists and philosophers, quote, computational ism or digital mechanism or simply mechanism is a hypothesis in the cognitive science according to which we can be emulated by a computer without changing our private subjective feeling. Bruno ma shall in the computational history formulation of the mind body problem 2013. If the computational theory of mind is true, then mathematics can explain where observers come from observers would be found among the infinite computational histories within arithmetical truth. See, what is consciousness? And can a machine Be conscious recent discoveries in physics lend support to computational ism. In 1981, Jacob Beck and Stein discovered a physical limit now known as the back end Stein bound. This bound says that a physical system of finite mass and volume can contain at most a finite amount of information. This applies to any finite physical system or brain, the earth, the solar system, our galaxy, or the observable universe. Given that the observable universe has a finite mass and volume, it follows by the back and Stein bound that it has a finite description. Given that it is a finite description. It follows by the church Turing thesis that the evolution of the observable universe is something that is perfectly replicated by a certain computer program. This program contains a version of You, me, the earth and everyone and everything present in our universe. Our shared histories and memories would be identical. But the question remains are these computational doppelgangers conscious like we are, if we inspected the contents of this computer program, we would find analogs of all the objects of our own universe, we will find the same books, articles, and movies. Among these, we will even find many works on the mysterious nature of consciousness. These same books will also appear in a purely computational version of our universe written by computational authors, who apparently are just as baffled by their conscious experiences as we are, if these purely computational versions of us are not conscious, what drives them to write and read books about consciousness. If on the other hand, they are just as conscious as we are, then the idea of a separately existing physical reality becomes redundant. In that case, for all we know, we are these computational versions, we would then exist as pure computations, we would inhabit the computational histories of simulated realities that exist only as a consequence of mathematical truth concerning universal equations. every imaginable computation is realized in arithmetic has true relations about these universal equations. This includes the computations that describe you, your environment, and even the evolving state of your brain as it processes this very sentence. If computational ism is right, this is who we are, quote, will explore the fascinating relations between computation, mathematics, physics and mind and explore a crazy sounding belief of mine that our physical world not only is described by mathematics, but that it is mathematics, making yourself aware parts of a giant mathematical object. Max Tegmark in our mathematical universe 2014 the cause of matter can mathematical truth with its inherent infinite collection of computational histories, explained matter, physical laws and universes. How can abstract things like truth numbers, computations give rise to concrete things like chairs, bricks, and houses? What's the difference between abstract existence versus concrete existence? Some say the difference is only a matter of perspective. To a being who inhabits an abstract object, be it an abstract mathematical object or abstractly existing computation, it seems concrete to them. Quote, this equivalence between physical and mathematical existence means that if a mathematical structure contains a self aware sub structure, it will perceive itself as existing in a physically real world just as we do. And quote, Max Tegmark in the mathematical universe 2007 the relative aspect of concrete existence is explicit in Marcus molars definition of physical existence. Quote, given two objects A and B, we say that they physically exist for each other if and only if, under certain auxiliary conditions, modifying the state of a will affect the state of B and vice versa. Marcus Miller in could the physical world be emergent instead of fundamental, and why should we ask 2017. Whenever conscious observer experiences or interacts with another object, that object appears concrete to that observer, even if, from another point of view, both that observer and objects seem abstract of the modes of existence, this understanding implies mind over matter. Math produces an infinity of conscious minds. And the perceptions of these minds include experiences of material realities. Computational ism, together with the mathematical existence of all computations, leads to a causal reversal between Mind and Matter. Quote, what results is not a primitive matter with consciousness emerging from its organization, but the reverse consciousness is now the more primitive and matter more rather, the appearance of material organization emerges from all the possible experiences of all the possible consciousnesses end quote. Bruno ma shall in the amoebas secret 2014 matter is then as plotinus supposed a Phantasm is this testable? This is a big pill to swallow, are we to take as serious the idea that we live inside an equation and this equation somehow produces all computations by That you have it solutions, and that the whole physical universe is just some kind of shared hallucination. extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Unless there is a way to test or neither confirm or falsify this theory, we are not operating in the realm of science, but fantasy. Fortunately, there is a way to test this theory. Due to the fact that not all programs appear with equal frequency, a particular bias should appear in the resulting computational histories. We can then check for this bias by comparing our observations of the character of physical law and the properties of our universe against the predictions made by the theory. Not all predictions of a theory are necessarily testable. But the more predictions of a theory we test and confirm, the more our confidence in that theory grows. If our observations match the predictions, we gain evidence in support of the theory. If they don't match, we rule the theory out. This is how all theories are tested. algorithmic information theory, the reason not all programs occur with equal frequency is due to a consequence of algorithmic information theory or a IIT. This field was developed by Ray Solomonoff, Andrei Kolmogorov, and Gregory chayton. Starting in the 1960s. chayton says a IIT is the result of putting Shannon's information theory and Turing's computability theory into a cocktail shaker and shaking vigorously. The basic idea is to measure the complexity of an object by the size in bits of the smallest program for computing it. Across the infinite programs executed by Universal equations, some programs exhibit identical behavior. This is because the program's code may instruct it to read only a fraction of its total available code. Consider all possible bit strings representing programs executed by Universal equations. programs that complete are naturally self delimiting. They define their own length by virtue of reading only a finite number of bits. When the bits that are red are the same, the program behavior is the same even when the rest of the unread part of the bits strings differ. If, for example, a program length is nine bits, we can calculate that this program should appear once every two to the power of nine or 512 bit strings. Self delimited 10 bit programs would be half as common, appearing once every two to the power of 10, or 1024. programs. Conversely, eight PID programs are twice as common as nine bit ones. We can use this consequence of algorithmic information theory to make several predictions about the character of physical law. Quote, the main point is that the derivation is constructive and it provides the technical means to derive physics from arithmetic. And this will make the computation list hypothesis empirically testable and thus scientific in the property analysis of science. Bruno Mars shall in the computation list reformulation of the mind body problem 2013, confirming evidence could such a bowl theory be true? For now, let's neither accepted nor reject this theory to do either before weighing the evidence would be premature. So let us not believe anything and maintain an open mind. For the time we will only play with the idea and see where it leads. As with any theory, the only path forward is to see what this theory predicts and then to compare the predictions with our observations. If we find it leads in a fruitful direction by making predictions we can confirm and by not making predictions we can refute then we will have cause to tentatively accept this theory. predictions of the theory does the reality we see fit predictions of a reality generated by the infinite computations inherent to causeless arithmetical truth for that matter? What are the predictions? at first blush, it seems impossible to get any useful predictions from a theory that includes all computations and all observations for if they all exist, any observation is compatible with the theory as Victor Stanger noted theories that explain everything explained nothing. Fortunately, there is a catch, not all observations are equally likely. If our conscious states result from the existence of all computations, then they are subject to the rules of our algorithmic information theory. This enables us to make testable predictions and thereby tied back to hard science, observation and measurement. Some of the predictions of this theory provide clues to otherwise unsolvable questions in physics and cosmology money. These predictions offer answers to such fundamental mysteries as why the universe obeys simple mathematical, life friendly laws. Why empiricism by experimental reproducibility works. Why auctions razor works? Why the laws appear fine tuned for life. Why the laws are quantum mechanical? Why uncertainty and randomness exist in physics? Why infinite descriptions are needed to explain any occurrence? Why observation and information are fundamental in physics and why the universe has time and the beginning. For example, The Big Bang these results are the work of pioneers in the theory, who include Bruno Mars shell, Max Tegmark, Russell Standish, and Marcus Moeller. using the tools of computer science, math, information theory and algorithmic information theory, they revealed how these traits of the universe result from our mind states being computationally generated, quote, the appearance of a universe or even universes must be explained by the geometry of possible computations. Bruno ma shall in the amoebas secret 2014. Let's review the evidence for this most speculative of theories, which is presently at the forefront of mathematics and physics. Why laws? We take for granted that our universe obeys laws. But why should it? What's the source of these laws? Why are they so simple? Why aren't they ever violated? Why these laws and not others? All these questions are mysteries left unaddressed by science. Quote, in the Orthodox view, the laws of physics are floating in an explanatory void. Ironically, the essence of the scientific method is rationality and logic. We suppose that things are the way they are for a reason. Yet when it comes to the laws of physics themselves, well, we are asked to accept that they exist reason lessly and quote, Paul Davis in the Flexi laws of physics 2007. Quote, with the equations when they are not too complicated, we can predict phenomena. But in truth, the equation doesn't explain anything. it compresses, certainly, in a very ingenious way, the description of the physical world, but it does not explain the nature of bodies nor why these bodies have a laws nor from where these laws come. And, quote, Bruno ma shall in the amoebas, secret 2014 that laws are never violated on its face seems highly improbable. For in the space of possibility for each way there is for the universe to obey the laws, there are infinite ways it might deviate from them. Quote, for each law govern world there are countless variants that would fail in different ways to be wholly law governed. Derek parfit in why anything? Why this 2008 why the laws hold is unknown to science. And yet this feature of reality is the very basis that allows us to do science. A lawful universe is the basis of empiricism. It is why we can repeat experiments and make predictions about the future based on past observations. But why does this work and why should it work? Marshall explains the emergence of laws as a consequence of the computational reality. He says the laws are the consistent extensions of programs that produce the observers mind state, quote, arithmetic contains or executes all computations. Your first person is distributed on all computations going through your current first person state. To make any prediction on the future of your possible inputs, you need to take all the computations into account and the laws of physics is what is invariant in all consistent extensions. Bruno ma shall in discussion list 2019 Muller goes further and gives a mathematical proof that shows why given algorithmic information theory, observers will with high probability, observer persistence of regularities, ie laws, quote, that is computable regularities that were holding in the past tend to persist in the future. Intuitively, highly compressible histories are those that contain regularities, which can be used to generate shorter descriptions. Market smaller in law without law, from observer states to physics via algorithmic information theory 2020. Because most programs are simple, and simple programs tend to keep doing what they have been doing. This gives the appearance of a fixed set of laws that holds into the future as the program unfolds. So in a sense, the laws of physics are the rules of the programs that instantiate us, as seen by those of us inside those programs. Why the laws are mathematical. It has long been recognized that mathematics is unreasonably effective in describing the physical laws. In 1623, Galileo wrote the universe is written in the language of mathematics. This connection between math and physics so puzzles scientists, quote, The miracle of the appropriateness of the language of mathematics for the formulation of the laws of physics is a wonderful gift which we neither understand nor deserve. We should be grateful for it and hope that it will remain valid in future research and that it will extend for better or for worse to our pleasure, even though perhaps also to our bafflement to wide branches of learning. And quote, Eugene Wigner in the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics in the natural sciences 1960 mathematical patterns appear everywhere in nature. But why should physics be so mathematical? Tegmark offers a simple explanation because physical theories result from our perceptions of what are ultimately mathematical structures. Quote, the various approximations that constitute our current physics theories are successful because simple mathematical structures can provide good approximations of how a self aware sub structure will perceive more complex mathematical structures. In other words, our successful theories are not mathematics approximating physics, but mathematics approximating mathematics. And quote, Max Tegmark in his the theory of everything really the ultimate ensemble theory 1998 why the laws are simple. In the second century, Ptolemy wrote, we consider it a good principle to explain the phenomena by the simplest hypothesis possible. This rule of thumb is called the law of parsimony or Occam's razor. It is the idea that in science, the simplest answer that fits the facts is usually right. Occam's razor is no doubt a useful and effective rule. But until recently, no one understood why it works. What is striking about the great questions of physics is their simplicity. Deep truths of nature can be expressed by short formulas, like F equals MA and the equals mc squared. Physical equations rarely involve more than a few terms, rather than dozens or hundreds. physicists are all struck by this simplicity. Einstein remarked, the eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibility. Given, there are far more ways for these formulas to be more complex. It's especially odd that they should be so simple quote. Compared with simple laws, there is a far greater range of complicated laws. We will have some reason to believe that there are at least two partial selectors being law governed and having simple laws. Derek parfit in why anything? Why this 2008. Quote, but the lesson is that, at present, the idea that the ultimate laws are as simple as possible is a hope not something suggested by the evidence. Moreover, the prospect still faces the challenge of explanatory regression, as one would be left to explain why the underlying laws should be so simple. Sean Carroll in Why is there something rather than nothing? 2018 the mystery of simple comprehensible laws can now be answered. We have Found the selector that preferentially selects universes with simple laws. algorithmic information theory tells us that for each bit saved in a program's description, its occurrences double. This adds up fast, a program that's 30 bits shorter, say 120 bits versus 150 bits occurs two to the power of 30, or over 1 billion times more often. Ray Solomonoff, the father of algorithmic information theory was the first to draw a connection between AI tea and Occam's razor quotes. On a direct intuitive level, the higher priority probability assigned to a sequence with a short description corresponds to one possible interpretation of Occam's razor. And quote, Ray Solomonoff in a formal theory of inductive inference 1964 when Muller applied algorithmic information theory to observer states, he found that it led to the prediction of simple physical laws, quote, observers Well, with high probability, see an external world that is governed by simple computable probabilistic laws. And quote, Marcus Miller in law without law, from observer states to physics via algorithmic information theory 2020 why the laws are life friendly. One of the most surprising discoveries in physics of the past 50 years was the discovery that the laws of physics and constants of nature appear specially selected to allow complexity in life to arise. We wrote, a life giving factor lies at the center of the whole machinery and design of the world. That the constants of nature, the strengths of the forces, the particle masses, etc, are just right to permit complex structures to arise is mysterious. Why are the laws this way? Why are they life friendly? physicists ask, why does the universe appear fine tuned. Quote, as we look out into the universe and identify the many accidents of physics and astronomy that have worked together to our benefit, it almost seems as if the universe must in some sense have known we were coming. Freeman Dyson in energy in the universe 1971. Quote, the fine tunings, how fine tuned are they? Most of them are 1% sort of things. In other words, if things are 1%, different, everything gets bad. And the physicist could say maybe those are just luck. On the other hand, this cosmological constant is tuned to one part in 10 to the power of 120 120 decimal places. Nobody thinks that's accidental. That is not a reasonable idea that something is tunes to 120 decimal places just by accident. That's the most extreme example of fine tuning. And quote, Leonard Susskind in what we still don't know, are we real 2004. The first step in explaining fine tuning is to recognize that for any universe, to be perceived, requires that it be populated with conscious observers. This reasoning is known as the anthropic principle. The next step is to explain why any universe exists that supports conscious observers. Typical answers are that the universe was either designed or it is just one among a vast set of mostly dead universes. Quote, we imagined our universe to be unique, but it is one of an immense number, perhaps an infinite number of equally valid, equally independent, equally isolated universes. There will be life in some and not in others. Carl Sagan in pale blue dot 1994 the existence of infinite computational histories guarantees that some will be of a type that can support life. Moreover, algorithmic information theory tells us the resulting physics should be maximally simple while respecting the constraint of being life friendly. Quote, in this paper, I show why, in an ensemble theory of the universe, we should be inhabiting one of the elements of that ensemble with least information content that satisfies the anthropic principle. This explains the effectiveness of aesthetic principles such as outcomes raiza in predicting usefulness of scientific theories, and quote, Russell Standish in why Occam's razor 2004 And indeed, this is what we find when we examine our physics. Quote, a very interesting question to me is, is the universe more complicated than it needs to be to have us here? In other words, is there anything in the universe which is just here to amuse physicists? It's happened again and again that there was something which seemed like it was just a frivolity like that. Were later we've realized that, in fact, no, if it weren't for that little thing, we wouldn't be here. I'm not convinced, actually, that we have anything in this universe, which is completely unnecessary to life. Max Tegmark in what we still don't know, why are we here? 2004. See, is the universe fine tuned? Why quantum mechanics quantum mechanics is a cornerstone theory of modern physics. It's among the most thoroughly tested of all theories in science, and it's given us the most accurate predictions in all of physics. But quantum mechanics is incredibly strange. It suggests the existence of many infinite histories, ie many worlds or many minds, observation or measurement appears to cause the infinite set of possibilities to collapse to just one of the possibilities and the selected result is absolutely unpredictable. According to quantum mechanics, no one can predict whether a photon will be reflected by or transmitted through a piece of glass, not even in principle. It's fundamentally random. Quantum Mechanics includes apparent absurdities, like unobserved cats being simultaneously alive and dead, non local faster than light influences and unlimited computation underlying physical reality. Quote, I have never been able to let go of questions like How come existence? How come the quantum and quote john Archibald Wheeler in John's black holes and quantum foam 1998 of the mysteries in physics, how come the quantum ranks highly? Niels Bohr said those who are not shocked when they first come across quantum theory cannot possibly have understood it. When a Heisenberg admits, I repeated to myself again and again the question Can nature possibly be so absurd as it seemed to us in these atomic experiments, and Richard Fineman said, I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics will have thought if an ultimate theory could explain quantum mechanics, it would be a sure sign the theory was on the right track. Quote, the most important test is whether it gives anything like quantum mechanics. If it does, we have a go ahead sign? If not, we have to revise our thinking. And quote, john Archibald Wheeler quoted in trespassing on Einsteins lawn 2014 Marshalls 1998 thesis computability physics and cognition gave the first hints that features of quantum mechanics such as indeterminism the many parallel histories, the non cleanability of matter, and quantum logic could be explained as a consequence of computational ism. Quote, as in quantum mechanics, computational ism highlights a strong indeterminism as well as a form of nonlocality. Computational ism entails the existence of a phenomenology of many worlds or parallel states. End quote. Bruno Mars shall translated from computability physics and cognition 1998. Marshall writes, the quantum empirical clues happen to be serious hints that the physical emerges from an internally defined statistics on the numbers, dreams or computations seen from inside. Standish went further, in a 2004 paper and in his 2006 book, he showed one could derive the basic rules or postulates of quantum mechanics, including the Schrodinger equation purely from basic assumptions about observation within an infinite set of possibilities. Quote, the explanation of quantum mechanics as describing the process of observation within a plenitude of possibilities is for me the pinnacle of achievement of the paradigm discussed in this book, I can now say that I understand quantum mechanics. So when I say I understand quantum mechanics, I mean that I know that the first three postulates are directly consequences of as being observers. Quantum mechanics is simply a theory of observation and quote, Russell Standish in theory of nothing 2006 irreducible randomness one of the strangest features of quantum mechanics is the presence of irreducible randomness that creates absolute unpredictability. Compounding this strangeness is the fact that the equations of quantum mechanics are entirely deterministic. And yet, when a measurement is made, it seems the universe momentarily stops following these equations to randomly select one possibility to make real from among the many possibilities present in the equations. This was a pill too hard for Einstein to swallow. He declared, God doesn't play dice with the world. And in the end, he never accepted it. The single electron double slit experiment was voted the most beautiful experiment in physics. In this experiment, an electron is put into a superposition where the electron exists in multiple locations at once, then its location is measured. But when we measure the electrons location, it will appear in only one location seemingly at random. Before measurement, it's impossible, even in theory to predict where the electron will be. If we inhabit a computational reality, why do we see any randomness or unpredictability computations are perfectly predictable? Mike, this observation of randomness give us cause to doubt or rule out our being in a computational reality. The opposite is true. The existence of an infinite computational reality explains why we encounter absolute unpredictability. If only one computational history existed, observing randomness would be caused to dismiss the theory. But here there are infinite computational histories. Some of these histories will be similar to each other some so similar as to be almost indistinguishable. Since there are infinite computational histories each observers mind state can be found within infinite parallel computational histories. In a 1988 conference, and in a 1991 paper mechanism and personal identity Marshall explains how the appearance of randomness emerges from multiple instantiations of a single observers mind. He calls the phenomenon first person indeterminacy. Quote, to predict the first person observable outcome of any physical experiment, you have to assume that your current computational state will not be obtained in some other part of the universe or the multiverse with different output for your experience. Bruno ma shall in the computation list reformulation of the mind body problem 2013. In summary, no brain that belongs to multiple distinct universes where computational histories can ever be sure what it will see next. Multiple parallel histories contain identical instances of the same observers mind, state or brain. Fundamental unpredictability and randomness will result from the observers inability to determine which universe she's a part of, as she exists in all of them. Quote, it is impossible for any observer to deduce with certainty on the basis of her observations and memory which world she is a part of. That is, there are always many different worlds for which being contained in them is compatible with everything she knows, but which imply different predictions for future observations. Marcus Miller in could the physical world be emergent instead of fundamental, and why should we ask 2017. So even in a fully deterministic reality, the existence of infinite histories makes the appearance of randomness inevitable. The physicist shining a photon at a piece of glasses in an infinity of histories where the photon will reflect and is in an infinity of histories where the photon will pass through. The physicist can't tell which until after the experiment is performed, and she learns the result. Ultimately, randomness stems from our inability to self locate within the infinite sea of indistinguishable computational histories. Tegmark notes how randomness appears in deterministic processes. Quote, it gradually hits me that this illusion of randomness business really wasn't specific to quantum mechanics at all. Suppose that some future technology allows you to be cloned while you're sleeping, and that your two copies are placed in rooms numbered zero and one. When they wake up, they'll both feel that the room number they read is completely unpredictable and random. End quote. Max Tegmark in our mathematical universe 2014. Einstein is vindicated. God doesn't play dice with the world. But perhaps not even God can predict what universe you will find yourself in once you perform a measurement that splits yourself. See, does everything that can happen actually happen? infinite complexity. In 1948 Richard Fineman developed the path integral formulation, which provided a new way to understand quantum mechanics. Fineman showed that you get the same results quantum mechanics predicts by taking into account and adding up every one of the infinite combinations of possible particle paths and interactions. It was bizarre, but it worked. And this new formulation provided key insights that helped develop quantum electrodynamics or QE D. in 1965. Fineman together with ceniceros tomonaga and Julian shringar shared the 1965 Nobel Prize in Physics for developing QED. But while adding up all of these infinite possibilities gave the right answers presented a great puzzle which bothered Fineman. Quote, it always bothers me that according to the laws as we understand them today, it takes a computing machine an infinite number of logical operations to figure out what goes on in no matter how tiny a region of space and no matter how tiny a region of time, how can all that be going on in that tiny space? Why should it take an infinite amount of logic to figure out what one tiny piece of space slash time is going to do? Richard Fineman in the character of physical law 1965. Under quantum mechanics, an infinite number of things happen behind the scenes, the smaller the scales, you look, the more seems to be happening with no bottom in sight. The appearance of infinite happenings, infinite computations and infinite logical operations underlying physical reality is mysterious. perhaps the simplest answer for why reality appears this way is it appears this way because that is the way reality is infinite computational histories form the foundation of reality, then infinities in physics might just be a reflection of this reality. Quote. In short, within each universe, all observable quantities are discrete, but the multiverse as a whole is a continuum. When the equations of quantum theory describe a continuous, but not directly observable transition between two values of a discrete quantity, what they are telling us is that the transition does not take place entirely within one universe. So perhaps the price of continuous motion is not an infinity of consecutive actions, but an infinity of concurrent actions taking place across the multiverse. And quote, David Deutsch in the discrete and the continuous 2001. Quote, matter is only what seems to emerge at infinity from a first person plural point of view, defined by sharing the computations which are infinitely multiplied in the universal Duff Taylor's work when persons look at themselves and their environment below their substitution level. The non cloning results from the fact that such a matter emerges only from an infinity of distinct computations. And quote, Bruno ma shall in the computation list reformulation of the mind body problem 2013 quantum computers, Richard Fineman and David Deutsch are the two fathers of the quantum computer. Fineman proposed their possibility in 1982, and in 1985, Deutsch described how to build one. These computers exploit the unlimited complexity inherent in quantum mechanics to build computers of incredible power. How quantum computers do what they do is puzzling. Each qubit added to a quantum computer doubles its power. a quantum computer with 300 cubits can simultaneously process two to the power of 300 states. This number of states exceeds the two to the power of 265 atoms in the observable universe. How could a tabletop device process more states than there are atoms? How could it solve problems that no conventional computer could solve in the lifetime of the universe even if all matter and energy in the observable universe were recruited for that purpose? Some found the abilities of these computers so incredible, they concluded quantum computers simply weren't possible. After all, where exactly would all that computation be occurring? Deutschen Tegmark offers some answers. Quote, since the universe as we see it lacks the computational resources to do the calculations. Where are they being done, it can only be in other universes. quantum computers share information with huge numbers of versions of themselves throughout the multiverse. David Deutsch and taming the multiverse 2001. Given engineering challenges for decades, quantum computers remained only theoretical. Today, quantum computers are a reality. In 2019, engineers at Google reported that their 53 qubit quantum computer solved in 200 seconds a problem that would take the world's most powerful supercomputer 10,000 years. Today, anyone can sign up for free to program and use IBM's quantum computers over the internet. What makes quantum computers difficult to build is that to work, they must be completely isolated from the environment such that they are not measured by anyone or anything until it finishes its work. by isolating the quantum computer from the environment, observers temporarily make their existence compatible with all the possible states the quantum computer might simultaneously be in. Parallel computations performed by quantum computers can then be explained by the work of parallel computational histories. Quote, if current efforts to build quantum computers succeed, they will provide further evidence for the quantum multiverse as they would, in essence, be exploiting the parallelism of the quantum multiverse for parallel computation. And quote, Max Tegmark in parallel universes 2003 See, how do quantum computers work? Why time, the universe, our lives, and even our thoughts are inextricably linked with the march of time. Few things are as familiar to us as time and yet time remains little understood. See what is time 2500 years ago, Heraclitus recognized change to be the only constant in life, saying all entities move and nothing remains still. But it doesn't seem logically necessary for a universe to have time. Quote, mathematical structures are eternal and unchanging. They don't exist in space and time. Rather, space and time exist in some of them. If Cosmic History were a movie, then the mathematical structure would be the entire DVD. Max Tegmark in our mathematical universe 2014 Why should our universe have a property like time, all computers process information in an ordered sequence of steps. This ordering defines a notion of time that exists for any computation. Quote, a Turing machine requires time to separate the sequence of states it occupies as it performs the computation. And quote, Russell Standish in why Occam's razor 2004 Muller further showed that with algorithmic information theory, we can predict the appearance of a universe that evolves in time. Quote, our theory predicts that observers should indeed expect to see two facts which are features of our physics as we know it. First, the fact that the observer seems to be part of an external world that evolves in time, a universe. And second, that this external world seems to have had an absolute beginning in the past the Big Bang, Marcus Miller in could the physical world be emergent instead of fundamental, and why should we ask 2017? Assuming we are part of an unfolding computation, then we should expect to find ourselves in a universe with time, beginning in time, current evidence suggests our universe has a beginning. But why should it until the middle of the 20th century, most scientists believe the universe was infinitely old without a beginning. They considered theories of an abrupt creation event to be inelegant. Accordingly, scientists resisted the idea of a beginning until overwhelming evidence came out in its favor. It wasn't until we could actually see the afterglow of the Big Bang in the form of microwaves that scientists were convinced the universe began a finite time ago. We call this point the beginning because in tracing the history of the universe backwards, we hit a point where predicting earliest states breaks down and further backwards tracing becomes impossible. The physics either stops providing sensible answers, or we run into an explosion of possibilities and can't tell which of them is real. The theory of cosmic inflation gives an account of what caused the hot, dense early phase of the universe. See what caused the Big Bang. But inflation makes further backwards prediction or retro diction impossible. it wipes its footprints with a set of infinite pre history's quotes. Since our own pocket universe would be equally likely to lie anywhere on the infinite tree of universes produced by eternal inflation, we would expect to find ourselves arbitrarily far from the beginning. The Infinite inflating network would presumably approach some kind of a steady state, losing all memory of how it started. So the statistical predictions for our universe would be determined by the properties of this steady state configuration, independent of hypotheses about the ultimate beginning. End quote. Alan Guth in eternal inflation implications 2013. Muller shows that algorithmic information theory predicts most observers will find themselves in a universe with simple initial conditions and an absolute beginning in time. He explains this reasoning for a hypothetical observer named Abby, quote, If she continues computing backwards to retract earlier and earlier states of her universe, she will typically find simpler and more compact states with measures of entropy or algorithmic complexity decreasing simply because she is looking at earlier and earliest stages of an unfolding computation. At some point, Abby will necessarily arrive at the state that corresponds to the initial state of the graph machines computation, where simplicity and compactness are maximal. At this point, two cases are possible. Either Abby's method of computing backwards will cease to work, or Avi will retronix a fictitious sequence of states before the initial state, typically with increasing complexity backwards in time. And quote, Marcus Miller in law without law, from observer states to physics via algorithmic information theory 2018. This mirrors what cosmic inflation does for our universe. In an alternate history where humans developed algorithmic information theory before microwave telescopes, we might have predicted the beginning of the universe before telescopic evidence came in information as fundamental. physicists are increasingly recognizing that information plays a fundamental role in physics. Scientists have long understood that matter and energy can be neither created nor destroyed. They are in all interactions conserved, but only recently of physicists realize the same is true for information. Physical information can neither be copied nor deleted. There is an equivalent law for the conservation of information. This discoveries stem from the black hole information paradox. According to general relativity, dropping something into a black hole destroys its information, like an ultimate furnace. But according to quantum mechanics, information can't be destroyed. At best, a black hole can only rearrange information like an ultimate Shredder. In 1981. This paradox sparked the black hole war waged by two camps of physicists. After decades of debates, the black hole was settled in favor of quantum mechanics. Information can't be destroyed, not even by a black hole. Physicists now understand the kind of mass energy information equivalence There is also an equivalence between entropy in thermodynamics and entropy in information theory. And constants of nature are closely linked to the ultimate physical limits of computational speed, efficiency and storage density. See, How good can technology get? Why is the link between physics and information so tight? Wheeler dedicated his life to the pursuit of fundamental questions. Ultimately, he reached the conclusion that everything is information, quotes. It from bit symbolizes the idea that every item of the physical world has a bottom, a very deep bottom, in most instances, an immaterial source and explanation that which We call reality arises in the last analysis from the posing of yes no questions and the registering of equipment evoke responses. In short, that all things physical are information theoretic in origin. JOHN Archibald Wheeler in information physics quantum, the search for links 1989. Quote, now I am in the grip of a new vision that everything is information. The more I have pondered the mystery of the quantum and our strange ability to comprehend this world in which we live, the more I see possible fundamental roles for logic and information as the bedrock of physical theory, john Archibald Wheeler and John's black holes and quantum foam 1998. Why is information fundamental? The answer is easy if reality is computational information lies at the heart of computation. In the end, all that computers do is process information. So to say computation is the foundation of reality is another way of saying information processing is the foundation of reality. Quote, the burgeoning field of computer science has shifted our view of the physical world from that of a collection of interacting material particles to one of receiving network of information. And quote, Paul Davis in the Flexi laws of physics 2007 quote, what we can learn from these reconstructions is that a few simple and intuitive constraints on encoding and processing of information will automatically lead to aspects of the Hilbert space formalism of quantum theory. And quote, Marcus Miller in law without law, from observer states to physics via algorithmic information theory 2019. observation is fundamental. Observation also appears to have a fundamental role in reality, quote, the universe and the observer exists as a pair. The moment you say that the universe exists without any observers, I cannot make any sense out of that. You need an observer who looks at the universe. In the absence of observers, our universe is dead. End quote. Andre Lindh in does the universe exist if we're not looking to 1000, then to quantum mechanics revealed that observation somehow forces reality to choose from among many possibilities. More recently, physicists have speculated that the observers power to false realities hand applies not only to the here and now, but perhaps all the way back to the beginning of the universe. Quote, we are participators in bringing into being not only the near and here but the far away and long ago. We are in this sense participators in bringing about something of the universe in the distant past, and quote, john Archibald Wheeler in the anthropic universe 2006 quotes, the top down approach we have described leads to a profoundly different view of cosmology and the relation between cause and effect. top down cosmology is a framework in which one essentially traces the history is backwards from a space like surface at the present time. The no boundary histories of the universe thus depend on what is being observed, contrary to the usual idea that the universe has a unique observer independent history. In some sense, no boundary initial conditions represent a sum over all possible initial states, and quote, Stephen Hawking and Thomas hartog in populating the landscape, a top down approach 2006 the observer might even, in some sense, choose the laws of physics. Quote, it is an attempt to explain the Goldilocks factor by appealing to cosmic self consistency, the bio friendly universe explains life even as life explains the bio friendly universe. Cosmic bio friendliness is therefore the result of a sort of quantum post selection effect extended to the very laws of physics themselves. And quote, Paul Davis in the Flexi laws of physics 2007 Can there be a universe if there is no one to call it home? Do observations themselves somehow define the histories and laws of the universe is containing them? observation and its relation to observed reality is an enigma We believe the relation between them was our best clue to finding an answer to why there is something rather than nothing. quotes. Omnibus x nihill do you send these suffice it Unum likeness told us for producing everything out of nothing one principle is enough. Of all principals that might meet this requirement of live in is nothing stands out more strikingly in this era of the quantum than the necessity to draw a line between the observer participator and the system under view. The necessity for that line of separation is the most mysterious feature of the quantum we take that demarcation as being, if not the central principle, the clue to the central principle in constructing out of nothing everything. JOHN Archibald Wheeler in quantum theory and measurement 1983 in the view that all computational histories exist, observation does play a role in selecting both histories and physical laws. It is a tautology that observers only find themselves in computational history is capable of producing their observations. Since every imaginable program exists, implementing every imaginable set of laws, then in a very real sense, the observer does force reality to select both the laws and history they observe, quote, to derive the effective laws of physics, one needs to do statistics over the ensemble of identical observers. This involves performing summations over the multiverse, but these summations are with a constraint that says that some given observer is present. And quote, sidebar maitra in discussion list 2018. It's curious that Buddhist thinkers reached similar conclusions about observers well ahead of modern physicists. Quote, the Buddhist does not believe in an independent or separately existing external world into whose dynamic forces he could insert himself. The external world and his inner world are for him only two sides of the same fabric, in which the threads of all forces and of all events of all forms of consciousness and their objects are woven into an inseparable net of endless mutually conditioned relations. And quote, anagarika given the in foundations of Tibetan mysticism 1969. Reviewing the evidence, we have found evidence in support of this theory. The existence of infinite computational histories predicts many features of reality. It predicts a universe of inviolable, but simple, mathematical and life friendly laws. It predicts a multiverse of parallel histories, infinite computational complexity, and a fundamental unpredictability as we find in quantum mechanics. The theory predicts a universe that evolves in time has simple initial conditions, and appoints that we can't retract beyond the beginning. Further, it predicts information and observation are fundamental. So far, all of these predictions are confirmed by current physical and cosmological observations. For the first time in history, humanity has an answer to why we exist that is backed by physical evidence, conclusions. Given the observational evidence, we have reason to suspect that this theory or something close to it is correct. It implies we live within the total set of all computations. Moreover, we have traced the existence of this set to something that's a strong candidate for having necessary existence, self existent truths concerning numbers and their relations. Quote, one option following Leibniz and others is that we reach a level at which further explanation is not required, because something is necessarily true. Shawn Carolyn, why is there something rather than nothing? 2018 this truth not only seems causeless but because from it, we can deduce much of physics it is also a candidate for being the cause. Quote, the Supreme task of the physicist is the discovery of the most general elementary laws from which the world picture can be deduced logically. Max Planck in Where is science going 1932. Under this theory, the most general laws from which we can deduce the world picture become the laws of arithmetic. Thus, arithmetic as a theory of arithmetical truth becomes a theory of everything. This brings a whole new meaning to Leopold Kronecker is edict God made the integers all else's the work of Man, quote. This is why with churches thesis and the quantum confirmation of the mechanism, intuitive arithmetic, aka number theory and its intentional variants may well be the simplest and richest theory of everything that we can have at our disposal. Bruno Mars shell translated from computability physics and cognition 1998. This theory, arithmetic has been under our noses the whole time. Quote, behind it all is surely an idea. So simple, so beautiful, so compelling that when, in a decade, a century or millennium, we grasp it, we will all say to each other. How could it have been otherwise? How could we have been so stupid for so long? JOHN Archibald Wheeler in how come the Quantum 1986 the journey here, it's been a long road to reach the point where humanity can scientifically address the question, why does anything exist? Humans have walked the earth for some 500,000 years, but only in the last 1% of that time, or the past 5000 years have we had writing? Only in the last 0.1% of that time? All the past 500 years? Have we had the scientific method? And only in the past 0.01% of that time, all the past 50 years has humanity known about universal equations? To get an answer to our question require that humans discover numbers, equations, computation, and wrestle with topics of the foundation of mathematics, including consistency, completeness, and decidability. In the end, this led to our discovery of universal equations that define all computation. To find evidence linking this computational reality to physics, humans have to discover the expanding universe and gather evidence of the Big Bang. We also have to prove the smallest scales and through careful study of particles discover the quantum nature of reality. A century ago, we had none of this understanding. A strange answer. We can't help but notice how strange this answer is. Perhaps we should have expected this. Would we expect that the final answer to the greatest mystery of the cosmos would be ordinary quote. Now, my own suspicion is that the universe is not only clearer than we suppose, but clearer than we can suppose. JBS Haldane in possible worlds and other essays 1927. Quote, whatever may be the truth about the universe, it is bound to be astonishing. Bertrand Russell, quote, We will first understand how simple the universe is when we recognize how strange it is. JOHN Archibald Wheeler and John's black holes and quantum foam 1998. Tegmark cautions against rejecting theories just for being weird, and admits he would be disappointed if the answer weren't a bit weird. Quote. It's very important for us physicists to not dismiss ideas just because they are weird, because if we did, we would have already dismissed atoms, black holes, and all sorts of other marvelous things. And actually, you know, when you ask a basic question about the nature of reality, you know, don't you expect an answer which is a bit weird? I think anything but weird would be a big letdown. And quote, Max Tegmark in what we still don't know, are we real 2004 a triumph of human reason. Quote, I believe when the history of science is written, then what's being discovered about our universe in the last decade or two will be one of the most exciting chapters and quote, Martin Reese in what we still don't know, are we real 2004 we now have viable answers to great questions of existence. Liabilities question, why is there something rather than nothing? Einstein's question, why is the universe so comprehensible? weakness question, why is the universe so mathematical Wheeler's question How come the quantum Smolensk question why these laws and not others fireman's question why There's infinite logic underlie physics. Hawking's question what breathes fire into the equations. It required us to assume math rather than matter is fundamental. Given the evidence supporting this view, we might consider the 2400 year old debate between Plato and Aristotle is settled. Quote, if we do discover a complete theory, it should in time the understandable in broad principle by everyone, not just a few scientists, then we show all philosophers, scientists, and just ordinary people be able to take part in the discussion of the question of why it is that we in the universe exist. If we find the answer to that, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason for then we should know the mind of God. Stephen Hawking in a brief history of time 1988. Hawking believed if could discover what breathes fire into the equations, then we should know the mind of God. But do we, by postulating infinite, eternal mathematical truth as the ultimate explanation and the cause and source of reality? Have we succeeded in explaining God? Or have we explained God away? open questions. Wireless theory provides answers to many questions, it does not answer everything, and much additional work is required. Room for God. This theory provides a purely natural and rational account for why anything exists. Is there any room for God in this picture? We now have a view of reality where everything emerges from absolute truth. This infinite truth embodies all knowledge. Being a container of all knowledge, as well as all mines and things can we compare this infinite set of truth to an omniscient mind? This truth is infinite and in comprehensible, eternal and indestructible. Without a beginning or end. It is uncreated and self existent. It is transcendent, immaterial, imminent, and indivisible. It's the reason and cause behind all things. It serves as the creator, source and ground of being supporting us in the material universe. Does this infinite truth or omniscient mind lead to the existence of God? might even be God? It's not a simple question. But knowing why anything exists leaves us in a better position to answer questions about what exists and what doesn't. See, Does God Exist? deriving physical law? How much of physical law can we derive from the assumption of all computations together with the requirement of life friendliness? can we predict things like types of particles and forces or the dimensionality of space time? might we even be able to predict values of constants like particle masses and force strengths? quote, what really interests me is whether God could have created the world any differently. In other words, whether the requirement of logical simplicity admits a margin of freedom, and quote, by Albert Einstein, it remains to be seen how much of physical law is universal applying to all observers in all computational histories, and how much is geographical depending on which histories an observer belongs to, quote, as a theoretical physicist, I would like to see us able to make precise predictions, not vague statements that certain constants have to be in a range that is more or less favorable to life. I hope that string theory really will provide a basis for a final theory and that this theory will turn out to have enough predictive power to be able to prescribe values for all the constants of nature including the cosmological constant, we shall see. End quote, Stephen Weinberg in dreams have a final theory 1992. But this hope of deriving every aspect of physics is waning. Max Tegmark recounts as recently as 1997, the famous string theorist at viton told me that he thought string theory would one day predict how many times lighter an electron is than a proton. Yet when I last saw him at Andrei Lin's 60th birthday party in 2008, he confessed after some wine that he'd given up on ever predicting all the constants of nature implications if all computations exist, and if those computations explain our observed reality, it leads to Many surprising implications. The universe is a dream. The theory lends support to the ancient idea expressed by Taoist Greek and Christian philosophers, and a tentative Hindu and Buddhist belief that the material universe is a kind of dream or illusion. It implies that the material and physical are byproducts of mind. Quote, collective karmic impressions accumulated individually are at the origin of the creation of a world. The outside world appears as a result of the acts of sentient beings who use this world. The creator of the world basically is the mind the 14th Dalai Lama in beyond dogma 1994. quotes for the things which one thinks are most real, are the least real plotinus in the any ads, five 511 to 70 ad. Only recently have modern scientists began to embrace this view, with a few even doubting the realness of physical existence. Niels Bohr said, Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real. In an interview, Marvin Minsky admitted, we don't know that we exist because maybe we adjust what a program will do if the computer were turned on, and it's not even running. We live in a simulation. The simulation hypothesis and simulation argument raise the question of whether or not we inhabit a vast computer simulation. If we exist as a consequence of mathematical truth, the simulation hypothesis is made true by default, for we will then find ourselves living within the infinite set of computationally generated histories. This blurs the distinction between virtual reality and real reality? It remains an open question, is anyone in control of the simulation we happen to be in? See, are we living in a computer simulation? Our Place in reality? With an answer to why anything exists, we can orientate ourselves in reality, we now understand our position and place in it. Mathematical truth implies the existence of all computations. The existence of all computations implies the existence of all observers. The existence of all observers leads to a quantum mechanical reality populated with all possibilities and ruled by simple laws. So what exists, almost everything in reality becomes so big and so comprehensive, that it includes everything and everyone that can be every thought that can be had and every experience, every story and scenario plays out, eventually, in somewhere. Actually, they all recur an infinite number of times. Indeed, in this view, reality is so large that it guarantees the existence of an afterlife. See, is there life after death? quote, confession. If I love this theory, it is because it entails the existence of many things not physically present, notably those incredible deep universal dreamers which keep losing themselves in an incredible labyrinth of partially shareable dreams, meeting ladders and ladders of surprises, self multiplying, and self fusing, and which are partially terrestrial and partially divine creatures. And quote, Bruno Mars shall in discussion list 2011 reasons study of the mysteries of existence has brought us to a coherent theory of why there is something rather than nothing. The best evidence suggests our universe is one malong an infinite number of possible realms with the full extent of reality being unbounded. The source of this reality is logical necessity, via infinite mathematical truths which are independent of any material universe. We can count ourselves among the first generation of humans able to reason logically, with the support of observational evidence to arrive at answers for why our universe has the laws it does, why we are here, and why there is something rather than nothing.Amy:
This has been another episode presented by always asking.com where we ask the big questions. Thanks for listening