Science Ray

focus: Potentialism Theory by David Birnbaum

Science Ray


Does the Universe Self-Iterate?
focus: Summa Metaphysica's Potentialism Theory


Published by guestposting

February 18, 2014, Category: Physics

MIT Quantum Physicist Seth Lloyd proposes in his book Programming the Universe (First Vintage Books, 2006) that the entire universe is like one all-encompassing quantum computer. According to Lloyd this evolving and computing quantum enterprise continuously self-iterates (builds upon itself) as it advances forever forward unto greater and greater complexity:
“All interactions between particles in the universe….convey not only energy but also information; in other words, particles not only collide, they compute. What is the entire universe computing ultimately? Its own dynamic evolution…As the computation proceeds [and iterates], reality unfolds.”

According to Lloyd the history of the universe is the history of one ongoing quantum computation and iteration: “At first, the patterns it [the universe as quantum computer] produced were simple, comprising elementary particles and establishing the fundamental laws of physics. In time, as it processed more and more information, the universe spun out ever more intricate and complex patterns, including galaxies, stars, and planets. Life, language, human beings, society, culture—all owe their existence to the intrinsic ability of matter and energy to process information… (p. 3)… “Each revolution has laid the ground-work for the next….” (p. 5)

But what dynamic is driving this quantum computation enterprise forward? And is complexification, as per Lloyd and several other contemporary scientists, truly its key goal? Or is Lloyd perhaps correct vis à vis his daring proposal concerning the mechanism (quantum programming), but not quite on-the-mark with his hypothesis (complexification) as to the key cosmic goal?

Interestingly enough, Lloyd’s (2006) concept of a self-iterating universe dovetails with the original metaphysics proposed by conceptual theorist David Birnbaum in his 1988 (Summa Metaphysica I). According to Birnbaum’s theory, an eternal cosmic dynamic exists – Infinite Quest for Potential – and this dynamic marshals the equations of Physics-Math (parallel to subsequent Lloyd) to ignite and then drive the universe forward. This (Infinite Quest for Potential) dynamic is the catalyst for the Big Bang, life, evolution, language and consciousness.  According to Birnbaum, his Infinite Quest for Potential is continuously self-iterating. It continuously builds-upon its ever more extraordinary ‘platform’ as it seeks to leap-onto a still more exceptional ‘platform’ and onward and onward.   

If we wrap Birnbaum’s conceptual Infinite Quest for Potential theory around Lloyd’s ‘mechanism’, the universal quantum computer, we end up with a seamless and fully-integrated schema. (Birnbaum’s) Quest for Potential drives (Lloyd’s) the universal quantum enterprise, and the direction/purpose of the self-iterating quantum computations is (Birnbaum’s) penultimate potential.

Birnbaum  identifies/defines this penultimate potential as extraordinariation  - the cosmic teleology (the cosmic purpose): Quest for Potential is probing and searching for (elusive) ultimate - grandeur…elegance…beauty…symmetry…fulfillment....harmony…artistry…symphony…
spirituality...perfection…humanitarianism…altruism…mercy…romancing… love….parenting...meaning
.....and ever-higher and higher  consciousness…the elusive  extraordinariation.

Andrei Alyokhin,  Professor of Biology and Ecology at University of Maine wrote November 2012, “…Summa represents a bold attempt to formulate a unifying concept of the Universe…it is reasonable to propose the Quest for Potential∞ as a working hypothesis for explaining the impetus behind the cosmic dynamic….” Echoing the iconic Claude Levi-Strauss (2006), British journalist Oliver Burkeman called Summa “remarkable and profound.”

Wrapping Birnbaum’s (self-iterating) Infinite Quest for Potential around and through Seth Lloyd’s (self-iterating) quantum programming enterprise strengthens both theories and provides both the conceptual and the mechanical for understanding the cosmic order. The integrated (self-iterating) Birnbaum-Lloyd metaphysics emerges as a uniquely elegant and powerful schema.  Indeed, on the global intellectual chessboard, there is no paradigm to seriously challenge it.


focus: David Birnbaum's Potentialism Theory

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