Intellectual Pursuit

January 16, 2014

focus: Potentialism Theory by David Birnbaum

Intellectual Pursuit


Intellectual Pursuit versus Collegiate Orthodoxy

In April of 2012, Bard College hosted an academic conference focusing on a philosophical treatise by private scholar David Birnbaum. Twelve months later, that same conference would set off a firestorm of academic censure, personal attacks and outrage from the collegiate establishment. In what can only be described as an attack upon intellectual freedom and critical thinking, Mr. Birnbaum and anyone brave enough to stand for the intellectual and academic legitimacy of the conference would become the target of libel and character defamation.

Aggressively protected by establishment academic circles, the Theory of Randomness postulates that everything in the universe is simply a random occurrence. Vociferously championed by entrenched academics and atheists alike, Randomness seeks to remove the possibility of the spiritual or metaphysical from any universal theory of creation.

Detractors of this theory are quick to point out, however, the inherent intellectual laziness of Randomness. Ensconced within a scientific lexicon, Randomness does little in the way of actual universal explanation - using the blanket theory of "it is simply random" in lieu of logical or material evidence to support and explain. In short, the Theory of Randomness fallaciously uses its own entrenched academic position to self-prove itself.

Understanding Summa Metaphysica

By contrast, Mr. Birnbaum has introduced a unifying theory in his work, Summa Metaphysica. Far from excluding the concept or rightful place of chaos theory, Mr. Birnbaum's work presents it in its proportionate place alongside philosophical and metaphysical theory. Meaning, that while randomness plays-a-part, it is not the over-riding governing cosmic dynamic, which, in turn obviously yields apparent pattern and design in the cosmic order. Such is the common-sense, self-evident nature of Summa Metaphysic's Theory of Potential (Frontiers, "Potentialism or String Theory?").

While any new, divergent theory is, rightfully, subject to intense scrutiny - it is the nature of the attacks upon Summa Metaphysica which are suspect. Indeed, the intellectual core of the Theory of Potential (Theory of Potential, Logical Science, December 2013) seems not to have been criticized at all. Ever. What has transpired, however, has been a relentless string of ad hominem attacks upon any academic brave enough to express confidence in Potential Theory.

Following the conference in 2012, the panelists, the chairman of the conference and even Bard's President, Leon Botstein, began being pressured by the entrenched academic establishment to distance themselves from the conference and its validity. Mr. Birnbaum himself would be contacted in April of 2013 by a co-chair of the conference, professor Garry Hagberg, and be advised that Professor Hagberg had been in contact with the 'British academic hierarchy' (The UK Academic System, PDF) advising him he would need to distance himself from the conference or face academic ruin and isolation. Within the next month, Professor Hagberg, several conference panelists, Dr. Bruce Chilton (chairman of the conference) and the President of Bard itself would all distance themselves from any public support of their very own conference.

However, one panelist stood fast against the intimidation of the academic establishment - Bard Professor of History Gennady Shkliarevsky. Professor Shkliarevsky publicly criticized President Botstein for both abandoning support of the conference and for orchestrating participants to do likewise. Professor Shkliarevsky's defense notwithstanding, President Botstein's capitulation to what amounts to external academic coercion has done lasting damage to Bard's intellectual reputation and integrity.

For his part, Mr. Birnbaum retained high-level legal representation and brought threat of libel and defamation suits against Bard to force it to halt its campaign of discrediting its own conference at the behest of the orthodox academic establishment. Birnbaum also posted online his own set of the conference videotapes, much to the chagrin of Bard which vainly sought to both block the tapes and close down Birnbaum's very own conference site.

Intellectual Challenges?

While intellectual challenge to any new theory is expected, even encouraged, it begs the question: Why has the academic establishment chosen ad hominem (A Concise Introduction to Logic7th ed., Wadsworth. pp. 125-128, 182) attacks against proponents of Infinite Potential Theory instead of challenging the theory itself directly? Is it perhaps because the theory is too strong? Too elegant? A lethal threat to Randomness Theory? All of the above? Is the Randomness Theory just a 'house of cards'? Is the Randomness Theory just a 21st century version of 'the Emperor's Clothes'?

Infinite Potential is, indeed, a quite-powerful threat to the establishment's Randomness theory. Ad hominem is a fallacious attack against the messenger when it is intellectually inadvisable to attack the message directly. Where Randomness offers lexical gymnastics, obscure mathematics and circular arguments; Infinite Potential offers self-evident, common sense answers and a unifying theory where religion, science and the metaphysical can coexist cooperatively. Where Randomness postulates that neither religion nor spirituality have any place in reality, Infinite Potential offers a 'space' and architecture where all may coexist peacefully and logically. Infinite Potential offers a bridge between the religious, the unknown and the scientific just as a Unifying Theory of Physics offers scientists a bridge between the macroscopic and sub-atomic (International Journal of Modern Physics A15.supp01b, 2000: 840-852).

Despite the virulent personal attacks and threats from the orthodox academic establishment, Birnbaum and his supporters have not only refused to retreat, but have, indeed, doubled down. With his own global set of steadfast academic backers, his philosophy works used at over a dozen colleges, international media focus on him, an international academic email list boasting some two million members, and a theory which has proved unassailable for over twenty-five years, Mr. Birnbaum commands a strong position on the global academic chessboard. He is quietly confident that he will prevail. Reviews by the British press, unlike the British academic establishment, have characterized his work thus far as "remarkable" and "profound". Birnbaum supporters points out that the opposition - Randomness - is more the absence of a theory, than a bona fide theory.

In Conclusion

Whether Bard will stand on the right side of scientific history might still remain to be seen; however, their pretentious standing on the wrong side of intellectualism has already been established and if the fallacious attacks of Summa Metaphysica's proponents are any indicator, history will not be kind to Bard.

Albert Einstein made the iconic observation that "God does not play dice with the universe." (Einstein and the Poet: In Search of the Cosmic Man, p. 58). Summa Metaphysica is in accord. Indeed, it plays-out Einstein's maxim. Via its Theory of Potential Birnbaum, is tenaciously and steadfastly executing a dramatic global paradigm challenge. ‎

focus: David Birnbaum's Potentialism Theory


21st Century Cosmology, Metaphysics, Philosophy:
Summa Metaphysica elucidates the David Birnbaum philosophy of Cosmic Womb of Potential.

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