Birnbaum & Davies

August 26, 2014

Birnbaum & Davies


Juxtaposition: Birnbaum v. Davies

16 Aug, 2014


Birnbaum’s paradigm-shattering cosmology de facto ‘clears-the-chessboard’ of the iconic Greek philosophers – and, indeed, of every other pre-existing metaphysicist.

In 1988, independent scholar David Birnbaum (see began laying out his breakthrough concept and related principles for his cutting-edge Theory of Potentialism. The original paradigm endeavors to totally change the way we think about the universe, our planet, and our lives. Simply put, yeshiva-educated and Harvard-educated Birnbaum hypothesizes the core dynamic of the Cosmic Order: Quest for Potential (infinitely iterated). Per Birnbaum, Infinite Potential drives the cosmic order – from eternal origins through the present day. And per Birnbaum, if there is a Divine, Potential is at the Divine core (see

Birnbaum’s paradigm-shattering cosmology de facto ‘clears-the-chessboard’ of the iconic Greek philosophers – and, indeed, of every other pre-existing metaphysicist. Birnbaum has effectively and compellingly theorized what was hitherto deemed indiscernible: a natural drive – with purpose and direction – to the cosmic order.

Birnbaum crafted a three-part treatise, Summa Metaphysica to make-the-case. Over the course of the set – released over the 1988–2014 period – Birnbaum lays-out his Potentialism theory. According to the Conceptual Theorist, the universe seeks out – on an instinctual- driven level – and ongoing iteratively – its own Potential. More succinctly, the universe is driven to become what it potentially can be. Ongoing and infinitely. From eternal past to eternal future (see

Birnbaum’s postulation seems, perhaps, too concise, too accessible, and indeed, too good – to be true. But upon reflection – and after 25+ years of international scrutiny and global academic vetting – the theory does appear bulletproof. Repeat: Bulletproof (see

Summa Metaphysica was projected globally via a major 4-day international academic conference at Bard College in April 2012. Indeed the conference would in retrospect be the tipping-point in the beginning-of-the-end of ossified 20th century Randomness/Atheistic Theory, and the beginning of the rise of a new paradigm – 21st century Theory of Potential). The old order changeth.

Now, empirically the Theory of Potential meets the criteria of a compelling metaphysics. Wherever we look, the facts of nature fit well with the theory. The question is – Can we provide more direct scientific proof that there is, indeed, ‘design’ to the cosmic order? Enter Davies.

Paul Davies
Paul Davies is an Anglo-American physicist, biologist and cosmologist based in the USA. He is the author of noted books on cosmology, including The Goldilocks Enigma (Mariner Books, 2006) – a ground-breaking work researching and extrapolating on the so-to-speak “Fine-tuned Cosmic Order enigma’.

This enigma, elucidated in a forerunner 2001 book by cosmologist (Sir) Martin Rees runs roughly as follows: There are at least 6 cosmological constants (and actually possibly well over a dozen per Birnbaum) which if adjusted by even 1 decimal point would preclude the cosmos having life, among other things, as we know it.

Davies’ sophisticated and in-depth Goldilocks book explores the nature of the cosmic order from different perspectives. The book explores the enigma of the ‘fine-tuned Cosmic Order’ – and how it seems precisely attuned to form the physical universe as we know it – and then to fortuitously provide a hospitable universe for the birth of life……….and ultimately of that allegedly super-sophisticated species of human beings.

Two extracts from Paul Davies, The Goldilocks Enigma, First Mariner books edition 2008:

“…Somehow the universe has engineered, not just its own awareness, but also its own comprehension. Mindless, blundering atoms have conspired to make not just life, not just mind, but understanding…Could it just be a fluke?….Or is there an ever deeper subplot at work? (p. 5)

“In some manner ….life, mind, and physical law are part of a common scheme, mutually supporting. Somehow, the universe has engineered its own self-awareness.” (p. 231)

The Davies work elucidates the logical and empirical-evidence imperative of design of some sort to our universe. Hence, the work – which dovetails with Birnbaum’s 1988 Summa I work (and subsequent Summa volumes) – is anathema to the British-based Randomness/Atheist academic junta – which invalidates any/all intimations of design/purpose to the cosmic order. [Note that the Davies ‘Goldilocks’ work was also released under the title The Cosmic Jackpot (Orion Publications, 2007).]

Notwithstanding Davies et al., prior to the 2012 Bard College (Upstate, NY) international academic conference on Birnbaum’s 21st century Theory of Potential, the 20th Century British Randomness/Atheistic construct held an iron grip (however manipulated) on global academe; the formidable challenge posed to Randomness/Atheism by the ‘Fine-tuned Cosmic Order’/Goldilocks enigma, had been ‘conveniently’ ignored by the atheist academic junta controlling key academic journals. In 2013 a global storm would erupt over the Summa Conference of thirteen months earlier – and Birnbaum’s theory – which provides an explicit, articulate and pro-scientific alternative to aimless Randomness Theory, would be projected across the world stage.

A Near Perfect Match

Birnbaum (cosmology works 1988 and onward) and Davies (cosmology works 2006 and onward) align wonderfully. Birnbaum’s 3-volume Summa work (1988, 2005 and 20014) on Potentialism nicely brackets Davies’ important 2006 work. Davies’ 2006 Goldilocks makes a powerful case for design/direction as being integral to the universe. Eighteen years earlier in 1988 via Summa I, Birnbam had already actually identified the design/direction as ‘the cosmic drive for its own potential – Birnbaum’s trademark “Quest for Potential” theme.
But can we prove that there is ‘design;’ to the cosmic order? In 2006 Davies articulately lays-out ‘the elephant in the room’ which the entrenched orthodoxy Randomness/Atheist academic group had disingenuously ignored: The universe seems, at each turn, designed specifically to support both the world as we know it and to be hospitable – against all odds – for the rise of intelligent life.

In 1988 Birnbaum had discerned this drive as infinite Quest for Potential (shorthand: Q4P) – a cosmic drive for the universe to grow in complexity/sophistication ongoing (see The direction of this drive is towards what Birnbaum labels as Extraordinariation, (see an end-goal horizon of super complexity/sophistication.

Davies himself provides evidence of the Birnbaum-proposed phenomena in his (Davies’) analysis of the physical laws and nature of existence. He notes, as examples, the perfect balance needed for the Big Bang to have been ignited; for the formation of atoms to have been formed (from energy); for multi-cellular life to have evolve from single-cell life – without which, for example, the universe could not have evolved as we know it today.

The Ideal Cosmology

Davies’ 2006 Goldilocks work articulates in its last two chapters that the ideal cosmological theory would, as a crucial component, be a ‘closed causal loop’; meaning, the cosmology would show how our universe both (a) ignited itself and (b) loops-around itself internally – and almost eternally – toboth emerge in the first place and then to maintain its ‘cosmic energy’. The first two volumes (1988 and 2005) of the 3-volume Birnbaum treatise, had, indeed, already presented a ‘closed causal loop’ universe via Summa Metaphysica’s Potenialism contruct: Quest for Potential < > Extraordinariation. The two inter-related dynamics (a) ignite each other, (b) feed-upon-each other and (c) loop-around each other (see

Laws-of-Physics ‘Build-out’

Davies questions the eternal nature of the complete current set of physical laws themselves.

Birnbaum, indeed, has held that the laws of physics – as we know them today in all their permutations– were not necessarily all in existence near the time of the Big Bang (see Rather, permutations on laws came into existence as an expression of Complexification (Complexification is the Birnbaum-proposed ‘handmaiden’ to over-arching Quest for Potential; it is a sub-dynamic maneuvering for ever-increased complexity/sophistication/variety/wondrousness (see Like amendments to the U.S. Constitution, new sub-laws were organically layered-on by Complexification to govern new forms of matter and energy as they became more complex.

In defense of this concept, Davies (2006) notes the “impossible luck” of laws coming into existence that just happen to be perfect to create and govern what was necessary when new forms of matter coalesced. Birnbaum had already answered this riddle (1988, 2005) by the driven nature of Potential itself (see As Potential marches-on inward in its infinite cosmic quest, it is natural and unavoidable that the increased complexity would be governed by law-permutations that allow further future Complexification.

Eternal Origins

Most interestingly though, Davies holds-to-task both purely religious cosmology and purely 20thcentury scientific cosmology with equal measure – for not providing fuller structure to their constructs. What was at the very ‘beginning? What is the core drive?

Davies contends that such scientific theories as multiversing to explain the perfect nature of our universe are no less intellectually ‘soft’ than other constructs – academic or supernatural. The multiverse proposition merely subtly shifts the fundamental cosmological/metaphysical questions from our one discern-able universe, to a package of myriad universes.

Of course, Birnbaum’s very key point is that, indeed, a metaphysics/cosmology cannot have any key gaps. The parallel would be to a tablecloth. The ‘tablecloth of metaphysics’ must cover all four corners of the metaphysics table, including the corner of ‘eternal origins’. Covering, say, 3 of the 4 corners would simply not be enough.

But, what ignited that which you posit as eternal?

The Superlaw of Physics

Potentialism proposes that the governing force of the Cosmic Order is inherent in the universe itself – a universe superlaw at the core of the cosmic order: Quest for Potential < > Extraordinariation. Infinite Quest for Potential infinitely seeks-out its maximal potential , ultimately Extraordinariation (shorthand notation: E+). In turn, E+ draws-forth Quest for Potential to fulfill its eternal yearning. . Potential permeates everything in the cosmos and, as such, is an intrinsic force of the universe.
Any why does the cosmos drive-forward so perfectly, navigating past pitfalls that would make the universe unlivable, in effect guiding it along Davies’ (2006) Goldilocks path? Because, per Birnbaum (1988, 2005) that path would be the most direct route towards the ultimate realization of Potential of the cosmic order – the optimal path towards Birnbaum’s hypothesized cosmic horizon of Extraordinariation.

As Davies puts it rather poetically, “the laws explain the universe even as the universe explains the laws.” As Birnbaum encapsulates the issue rather directly, “Potential is both the cause and effect of the universe.”

Context: Two 21st Century Iconoclasts

DAVID BIRNBAUM (see elucidates his theory via his iconic 3-part treatise Summa Metaphysica: Volume I: Religious Man (Ktav, 1988), Volume II: Spiritual Man (New Paradigm Matrix, 2005) and Volume III: Secular Man (New Paradigm Matrix, 2014). See also

Over a dozen institutions of higher learning – from UCLA on the West Coast, to Brandeis on the East Coast, thru Hebrew University (Jerusalem) – have assigned the landmark work as a Course Text (see SummaCourseText). Over 33 feature articles in over two dozen journals globally have focused on Birnbaum’s Summa Metaphysica and its Theory of Potential in the 2013-2014 period alone (see

PAUL DAVIES is the recipient of numerous awards and prizes, including the Templeton Prize (1995) and the Farady Prize (2002) . With an academic base at Arizona State University, in 2005 Davies took up the directorship of the SETI Institute [SETI is the formidable multi-organizational and inter-university (national) search/scan for (particularly) sentient life beyond our planet.]

Birnbaum & Davies: Two men, two theories – but fundamentally aligned with one another to explain the mysteries of the cosmos. The cosmos indeed has both an ‘unseen hand’ and an explain-able ‘direction’.

Attempting to invalidate this quite-formidable twin core theme – as 20th century Randomness/Atheism vainly, egregiously and unsuccessfully attempted – was simply to deny what is now incontrovertible. As per Aristotle’s general proposition c. 375 BCE, there is indeed a teleology – purpose – to the universe. It is up to us to prove the same (see Davies 2006) and discern the same (see Birnbaum 1988, 2005, 2014) Both formidable revolutionary 21st century thought leaders, Birnbaum and Davies, are intellectual heirs – and indeed, modern-day torch-bearers- of this ancient general tradition of cosmic purpose.

Indeed, like a phoenix, twenty-three centuries after Aristotle, teleology (the proposition of cosmic design) has arisen with a vengeance in the 21st century; this time, finally, it has been quite concretely laid-out and elucidated (by Birnbaum) – and empirically demonstrated (by Davies et al.).




Cosmology, Metaphysics & Philosophy: See sample testimonial on Summa Metaphysica, David Birnbaum's philosophy treatise:


“All who read this book will find much instruction, insight, and material for reflection…I find the overall thesis of the book touching and inspiring…”

- Rabbi Irving Greenberg, President, The National Jewish Center for Learning and Scholarship (CLAL), New York, NY

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