Philosophymagazine

Philosophy and Science for the Third Millennium


The Theory of One

Art by Christopher Bek


Philosophymagazine

 

Abstract

Introduction

 

Endeavor to think well, for it is the only morality.

—Saint Augustine

 

The universe was created with time and not in time.

—Saint Augustine

 

The first step forward is to see that attention is fastened on the truth.

—Saint Augustine

 

Miracles happen, not in opposition to nature, but in opposition to what we know of nature.

—Saint Augustine

 

The functional harmony of nature Berkeley, Descartes, Spinoza and Einstein attributed to God.

—Lincoln Barnett

 

Right now it is a question whether scientific man is in touch with reality at all—or can ever hope to be.

—Lincoln Barnett

 

The mathematical orthodoxy of the universe enables theorists like Einstein to predict and discover natural laws simply by the solution of equations.

—Lincoln Barnett

 

The human eye suppresses most of the light in the world and what man perceives of the reality around him is distorted and enfeebled by the limitations of his organ of vision.

—Lincoln Barnett

 

Quantum theory deals with fundamental units of matter and energy. Relativity deals with space, time and the structure of the universe as a whole. Both are accepted pillars of modern physical thought.

—Lincoln Barnett

 

The fundamental question of whether light is waves or particles has never been answered. The dual character of light is, however, only one aspect of a deeper and more remarkable duality which pervades all nature.

—Lincoln Barnett

 

It is perhaps significant that in terms of simple magnitude man is the mean between macrocosm and microcosm. Stated crudely this means that a supergiant red star is just as much bigger than man as an electron is smaller.

—Lincoln Barnett

 

Gradually philosophers and scientists have arrived at the startling conclusion that since every object is simply the sum of its qualities, and since qualities exist only in the mind, the whole objective universe of matter and energy, atoms and stars, does not exist except as a construction of the consciousness—an edifice of conventional symbols shaped by the senses of man.

—Lincoln Barnett

 

The element of caprice in atomic behavior cannot be blamed on man's coarse-grained implements. It stems from the very nature of things, as shown by Heisenberg in 1927 in his famous statement of physical law known as the Uncertainty Principle.

—Lincoln Barnett

 

In this vast cosmic picture the abyss between macrocosmos and microcosmos—the very big and the very little—will be bridged, and the whole complex of the universe will resolve into a homogeneous fabric in which matter and energy are indistinguishable and all forms of motion from the slow wheeling of the galaxies to the wild flight of electrons become simply changes in the structure and concentration of the primordial field.

—Lincoln Barnett

 

Today most newspaper readers know vaguely that Einstein had something to do with the atomic bomb—beyond that his name is simply a synonym for the abstruse. While his theories form part of the body of modern science, they are not yet part of the modern curriculum. It is not surprising therefore that many a college graduate still thinks of Einstein as a kind of mathematical surrealist rather than as the discoverer of certain cosmic laws of immense importance in man's slow struggle to understand physical reality.

—Lincoln Barnett

 

In man’s brief tenancy on earth he egocentrically orders events in his mind according to his own feelings past, present, and future. But except on the reels of one’s own consciousness, the universe, the objective world of reality, does not happen—it simply exists. It can be encompassed in its entire majesty only by a cosmic intellect. But it can also be represented symbolically, by a mathematician, as a four-dimensional spacetime continuum. An understanding of the spacetime continuum is requisite to a comprehension of the general theory of relativity and of what it says about gravitation, the unseen force that holds the universe together and determines its shape and size.

—Lincoln Barnett

 

Relativity, like the quantum theory, draws man's intellect still farther away from the Newtonian universe, firmly rooted in space and time and functioning like some great, unerring, and manageable machine. Einstein's laws of motion, his basic principles of the relativity of distance, time, and mass, and his deductions from these principles comprise what is known as the special theory of relativity. In the decade following the publication of this original work, he expanded his scientific and philosophical system into the general theory of relativity, through which he examined the mysterious force that guides the whirling of the stars, comets, meteors, and galaxies, and all the moving systems of iron, stone, vapor, and flame in the immense inscrutable void. Newton called this force universal gravitation. From his own concept of gravitation Einstein attained a view of the vast architecture and anatomy of the universe as a whole.

—Lincoln Barnett

 

The other gateway to this knowledge may be opened by the Unified Field Theory upon which Einstein has been at work for a quarter century. Today the outer limits of man’s knowledge are defined by Relativity, the inner limits by the Quantum Theory. Relativity has shaped all our concepts of space, time, gravitation, and the realities that are too remote and too vast to be perceived. Quantum Theory has shaped all our concepts of the atom, the basic units of matter and energy, and the realities that are too elusive and too small to be perceived. Yet these two great scientific systems rest on entirely different and unrelated theoretical foundations. The purpose of Einstein’s Unified Field Theory is to construct a bridge between them. Believing in the harmony and uniformity of nature, Einstein hopes to evolve a single edifice of physical laws that will encompass both the phenomena of the atom and the phenomena of outer space. Just as Relativity reduced gravitational force to a geometrical peculiarity of the spacetime continuum, the Unified Field Theory will reduce electromagnetic force—the other great universal force—to equivalent status.

—Lincoln Barnett

 

A few years ago Einstein observed that the idea there are two structures of space independent of each other, the metric—gravitational and the electromagnetic is intolerable to the theoretical spirit. Moreover, as Relativity showed that energy has mass and mass is congealed energy, the Unified Field Theory will regard matter simply as a concentration of field. From its perspective the entire universe will be revealed as an elemental field in which each star, each atom, each wandering comet and slow-wheeling galaxy and flying electron is seen to be but a ripple or tumescence in the underlying spacetime unity. And so a profound simplicity will supplant the surface complexity of nature; the distinction between gravitational and electromagnetic force, between matter and field, between electric charge and field will be forever lost; and matter, gravitation, and electromagnetic force will all thus resolve into configurations of the four-dimensional continuum which is the universe.

—Lincoln Barnett

 

Completion of the Unified Field Theory will climax the long march of science towards unification of concepts. For within its framework all man’s perceptions of the world and all his abstract intuitions of reality—matter, energy, force, space, time merge finally into one. It touches the grand aim of all science, which, as Einstein defines it, is to cover the greatest number of empirical facts by logical deduction from the smallest possible number of hypotheses or axioms. The urge to consolidate premises, to unify concepts, to penetrate the variety and particularity of the manifest world to the undifferentiated unity that lies beyond is not only the leaven of science; it is the loftiest passion of the human intellect. The philosopher and mystic, as well as the scientist, have always sought through their various disciplines of introspection to arrive at a knowledge of the ultimate immutable essence that undergirds the mutable illusory world. More than twenty-three hundred years ago Plato declared—The true lover of knowledge is always striving after being. He will not rest at those multitudinous phenomena whose existence is appearance only.

—Lincoln Barnett

 

Since time is an impalpable quantity it is not possible to draw a picture or construct a model of a four-dimensional spacetime continuum. But it can be imagined and it can be represented mathematically. And in order to describe the stupendous reaches of the universe beyond our solar system, beyond the clusters and star clouds of the Milky Way, beyond the lonely outer galaxies burning in the void, the scientist must visualize it all as a continuum in three dimensions of space and one of time. In our minds we tend to separate these dimensions; we have an awareness of space and an awareness of time. But the separation is purely subjective; and as special relativity showed, space and time separately are relative quantities which vary with individual observers. In any objective description of the universe, such as science demands, the time dimension can no more be detached from the space dimension than length can be detached from breadth and thickness in an accurate representation of a house, a tree, or Betty Grable. According to the great German mathematician, Herman Minkowski, who developed the mathematics of the spacetime continuum as a convenient medium for expressing the principles of relativity—Space and time separately have vanished into mere shadows—and only a combined notion of the two preserves any reality.

—Lincoln Barnett

 

In its popular sense, mass is just another word for weight. But as used by the physicist, it denotes a rather different and more fundamental property of matter—namely, resistance to a change of motion. A greater force is necessary to move a freight car than a velocipede; the freight car resists motion more stubbornly than the velocipede because it has greater mass. In classical physics the mass of any body is a fixed and unchanging property. Thus the mass of a freight car should remain the same whether it is at rest on a siding, rolling across country at 60 miles an hour, or hurtling through outer space at 60,000 miles a second. But relativity asserts that the mass of a moving body is by no means constant, but increases with its velocity. The old physics failed to discover this fact simply because man's senses and instruments are too crude to note the infinitesimal increases of mass produced by the feeble accelerations of ordinary experience. They become perceptible only when bodies attain velocities close to that of light. And this phenomenon does not conflict with the relativistic contraction of length. One is tempted to ask how can an object become smaller and at the same time get heavier? The contraction, it should be noted, is only in the direction of motion; width and breadth are unaffected. Moreover mass is not heaviness but simply the resistance to motion.

—Lincoln Barnett

 

In the evolution of scientific thought, one fact has become impressively clear—that there is no mystery of the physical world which does not point to a mystery beyond itself.  All highroads of the intellect, all byways of theory and conjecture lead ultimately to an abyss that human ingenuity can never span.  For man is enchained by the very condition of his Being, his finiteness and his involvement in nature.  The further he extends his horizons, the more vividly he recognizes the fact that, as the physicist Niels Bohr put it, we are both spectators and actors in the great drama of existence.  Man is thus his own greatest mystery.  He does not understand the vast veiled universe into which he has been cast for the reason that he does not understand himself.  He comprehends little of his organic process and even less of his unique capacity to perceive the world about him in his rationality and his dreams.  Least of all does he understand his noblest and most mysterious faculty—the ability to transcend himself by perceiving himself in the act of perception.  Man’s inescapable impasse is that he himself is part of the world that he seeks to explore—his body and proud brain are but mosaics of the same elemental particles that compose the dark, drifting clouds of interstellar space.  Man is, in the final analysis, merely an ephemeral confirmation of the primordial spacetime field.  Standing midway between macrocosm and microcosm, he finds barriers on every side and can perhaps but marvel, as Saint Paul did nineteen hundred years ago in saying that the world was created by the word of God so that what is seen is composed of things which do not appear.

—Lincoln Barnett

 

 

 

Newtonian Physics. In 1543 Nicolaus Copernicus published On the Revolution of Celestial Orbs proving mathematically the theory of heliocentricity that the Earth revolves around the Sun. In 1609 Johannes Kepler fortified heliocentricity by publishing the first two laws of planetary motion. The Italian physicist and astronomer Galileo then laid down the fundamentals of the modern scientific method by developing a comprehensive, empirical approach to solving problems. Sir Isaac Newton brought the scientific revolution of the seventeenth century Renaissance to a head by establishing the principals of science that have since dominated Western thought.  He invented calculus, established the heterogeneity of light and the laws of gravity and motion—as set against a background of absolute space and time. Out of the philosophy and science of Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo and Newton there arose a mechanical universe of forces, pressures, tensions, oscillations and waves for which there seemed to be no nature process that could not be described in terms of ordinary experience and concrete models. This so-called Newtonian physics rest on the detached study of objective reality based on the clear distinction between mind and matter. Whereas relativistic physics is based on the four-dimensional spacetime continuum, both Galileo and Newton asserted, as far as relativity was concerned, that three-dimensional space was the universal frame of reference within which the freewheeling of stars and galaxies could occur. The normal scientist of today must cope with tremendous velocities present themselves in the ultrafast universe of the atom or within the immensities of sidereal spacetime and often finds Newtonian physics to be insufficient.

 

Relativistic Physics. All indications suggested that the world of physics was on the verge of completion a hundred years ago. There were comprehensive theories in place for describing the two known universal forces—gravity and electromagnetism. Newtonian physics effectively characterized gravity and the mechanics of all physical bodies in the universe. The differential equations of Maxwell served to portray the waves mechanics of visible light and other electromagnetic forces. At the time scientists believed the universe was a deterministic, clock-like machine. Linear or special relativity in 1905 revealed that space and time are in fact the new concept of spacetime, and that spacetime dilates as a function of velocity relative to lightspeed—ie. c=186,284 miles per second. Essentially what Einstein did with relativity was to encapsulate Newtonian physics into Maxwellian waves mechanics such that we could then understand how dimensions compressed and mass increased as physical bodies were accelerated towards lightspeed. By following this line thought of through to its logical conclusion Einstein realized that energy and matter were simply different forms of the same substance—ie. E=mc^2—which was then the starting point for the development of the atomic bomb. We can also see that by taking the dilation of spacetime to the limit that bodies traveling at light­speed exist at the very boundary of spacetime—something that neither Einstein nor any physicist since Einstein has been able to figure out—for which further evidence can be seen with the claim of both Einstein and Stephen Hawking that the universe is unbounded. Nonlinear or general relativity in 1915 then revealed that gravity and inertia are the very same thing. In summary, when we study the whirling of the stars, comets, meteors, galaxies and other celestial bodies, the basis of our calculations are Newtonian but with relativistic adjustments for the dilation and warping of spacetime.

 

Quantum Physics. While relativity speaks to the macrocosmos, quantum physics concerns itself with the nature of matter at the microcosmic level. And while the practical application of relativity is limited to the study of the universe at large, quantum theory is the basis for all electronic equipment like televisions, computers, laser disk players and all the electronics used by hospitals and the police. Quantum theory explains the periodic table and why chemical reactions take place. It is therefore the basis of chemistry, which is the basis of biology, which is the basis of all medical science. Quantum theory is therefore the basis for both the theory and practice of medicine. Quantum mechanics is essentially the modeling of the atom which began with the 1911 revelation of Rutherford, who did some of his quantum development at McGill University in Montreal, that both the solar system and the atom have nuclei containing about 99.9 percent of the mass and occupying about one-billionth of the spherical space. In 1925 Schrödinger proposed an atomic model based on a very simple wave equation. If one imagines dropping a pebble in the ocean, then the ripples that form become the valance rings of the orbiting electrons. But the unexpected surprise was that the waves are representative of the probability of finding an electron at any given point—with the wave crests representing the highest probabilities. So disgusted was Schrödinger with this probabilistic interpretation of his wave equation that he formulated his classic cat-in-a-box thought problem in 1935 with the intention of demonstrating the absurdity of the probabilistic interpretation once and for all—A quantum-cat is placed in a box such that no one can know what is happening inside. A device releases either food or poison with equal probability, and the cat meets its fate—or does it? Schrödinger argued that for the probabilistic interpretation to be true that the cat must be both alive and dead until the observer opens the box. Another unexpected surprise came with the realization that the cat is in fact both alive and dead until the consciousness of the observer determines its fate. This was just too much for Schrödinger to bare and he walked away from quantum physics forever saying that he wish he never had anything to do with it. And even today physicists focus exclusively on practical applications and avoid the topic of consciousness altogether. Stephen Hawking said that every time someone mentions Schrödinger’s Cat, I go for my gun. The Cambridge physicist John Polkhorne once said that your average quantum mechanic is about a philosophically minded as your average garage mechanic.

 

Singularistic Metaphysics. In normal physics a singularity is a breakdown in spacetime such that the laws of physics no longer apply. Typical examples of singularities include the big bang, black holes and one divided by zero. Unfortunately what physicists like Stephen Hawking who developed the concept of singularities failed to realize is that a breakdown in spacetime is just another way of saying a boundary between spacetime and nothingness. Special relativity in 1905 revealed that spacetime dilates as a function of velocity relative to lightspeed in accordance with the Pythagorean theorem. By taking the dilation of spacetime to the limit we see that bodies traveling at light­speed exist at the boundary of spacetime—thus revealing lightspeed to be a singularity. Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle in 1927 characterized the inherent uncertainty in quantum physics by stating that causality breaks down at Planck’s constant. An examination of causality reveals it to be nothing more than a temporal ordering of things. An absence of temporal ordering, by definition, implies an absence of spacetime—therefore revealing Planck’s constant to be a boundary of spacetime and thusly a singularity. My theory of one recognizes lightspeed and Planck’s constant are the same boundary of the spacetime continuum. And by recognizing the boundedness of the universe, we can see that metaphysics and physics (ie. philosophy and science) separately have vanished into mere shadows—and only a combined notion of the two preserves any reality. We must also recognize that the only reason philosophy and science ever drifted apart from the time of Newton, Leibniz, Descartes, Berkley and Pascal during the seventeenth century Renaissance is that people like Stephen Hawking, RB Hicks of the University of Calgary, Helmy Sherif of the University of Alberta and Ivan L’Heureux of the University of Ottawa arbitrarily chose to specialize in physics only rather than follow the more comprehensive approach taken by the heros of the Renaissance.

 

Unified Field Theory. In 1909 Hermann Minkowski wrote that space and time separately have vanished into mere shadows—and only a combined notion of the two preserves any reality. Ironically, Minkowski was also Einstein’s university professor and had described Einstein as a lazy dog who never bothered with mathematics at all—which makes sense given that Einstein sought elemental conceptual pictures first before considering mathematical complexities. In addition to failing to recognize that lightspeed and Planck’s constant are the same boundary of the spacetime continuum, Einstein also failed to recognize the fact that consciousness is the apparatus of perception by which we comprehend reality. Philosophers and scientists have never been truly able to rationalize the equivalence of space and time for the simple reason that they failed to recognize that the true essence of spacetime is different than our conscious perception of space and time. Einstein’s contemporary Sir James Jeans once described the relativistic four-dimensional spacetime continuum as the surface of four-dimensionally corrugated soap bubbles. And we can see quite obviously that Jeans’ characterization of the spacetime continuum bares no resemblance to our perception of space and time for the simple reason that he was describing its essence. My unified field theory solves the problem Einstein spent the last thirty years of his life working on by recognizing conscious as electrons or monads—ie. metaphysical gonads—which is a concept formulated by Gottfried Leibniz, who also co-formulated calculus with Newton. Leibniz’s theory of monads are the metaphysical counterpoint to Newton’s theory of gravity—which we know from Einstein’s general relativity is exactly the same as inertia. Thus we can see that Leibniz’s monads are ultimately equivalent to Newton’s gravity. Specifically, the unified field theory recognizes what we call consciousness as the accumulation of inertial effects experienced by the monads in their travels through relativistic bubbles. Without a doubt the unified field theory radically changes our conception of reality and in fact marks the turningpoint in the history of mankind.


 

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