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FQXi FORUM
July 23, 2017

CATEGORY: Trick or Truth Essay Contest (2015) [back]
TOPIC: The Hole at the Center of Creation by George Gantz [refresh]
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Author George Gantz wrote on Mar. 5, 2015 @ 01:24 GMT
Essay Abstract

Since the dawn of recorded history, and likely before, humans strived to understand the world into which they are born and from which they ultimately pass. Among the key questions that have pre-occupied the human desire to understand, two stand out. What is the stuff of which the world is made, and how does it work? These questions continue to baffle modern thinkers as much as they did the ancients. We are left with puzzles, including the one Eugene Wigner explored in his 1960 paper “The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences.” This puzzle is at the heart of the current FQXi essay contest “Trick or Truth”. The Truth is that there is a hole at the center of creation, afflicting both mathematics and physics - an infinite void made visible to us in the form of ineluctable paradoxes. The Trick is that in pursuing fundamental questions on the nature of creation, of logical order, and of consciousness, we are led inexorably to an infinite void, a barrier to our ability to know, one that we cannot cross without reaching for a transcendent metaphysical explanation. This essay explores our failure to grasp the hole at the center of creation and explains its metaphysical genesis. I offer a creation myth that respectfully echoes the ancient sacred text of the Book of Genesis, while being grounded in what we now know about mathematics and physics. My goal is to provide a coherent and consistent explanation of the Hole at the Center of Creation, one that also serves as the key to the Whole that Encompasses Creation.

Author Bio

George Gantz is a retired business executive with a life-long passion for mathematics, science, philosophy and theology. He has a Bachelor of Science degree with Honors Humanities from Stanford University and now directs an internet Forum on Integrating Science and Spirituality (http://swedenborgcenterconcord.org) and blogs on related topics.

Download Essay PDF File




Edwin Eugene Klingman wrote on Mar. 5, 2015 @ 02:56 GMT
Dear George Gantz,

You've masterfully treated the hole in the center of creation. You've reviewed many of the standard ways of attempting to fill the hole, and then discuss the standard ways to avoid recognition of the hole – various forms of ignorance. In physics this bears resemblance to the philosophy "shut up and calculate" a non-committal, non-ontological non-interpretive approach [as described by Matt Visser.]

What you refer to of course is the mystery, which is the basis of all religion. It is certainly significant that many physicists, who have "outgrown" religion, and seemingly have no need to recognize mystery, nevertheless fill their quantum mechanics with mystery, from the collapse of the wavefunction to entanglement; things they don't understand – but have faith in.

You courageously state that the Emperor of science is naked, but many have been told that the intelligent can see the clothes, the forms. Yet the essence of the hole is emptiness.

I'm sure somewhere Templeton is smiling.

Edwin Eugene Klingman

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Author George Gantz replied on Mar. 5, 2015 @ 19:30 GMT
Thanks for the kind remarks! While the hole at the center may be empty, clearly the whole is bigger than the some of the parts. Regards - George




John C Hodge wrote on Mar. 5, 2015 @ 20:04 GMT
I note the INTERPRETAION of the double - slit is wave particle duality. There are other interpretations such as Bohm that work as well (better I think).

Secondly, My view of Zeno (as I discussed with Ojo) is that the human definition is not physical and is therefore full of problems (we might add the possibility of division by zero). I suggest that because multiplication may be a repetition of addition, the inverse of multiplication is repetition of subtraction. That is, division is not a physical based math operation.

I think this means there is no hole at the center of creation, but there is a misconception of creation. Or, there may not be a creation (I don’t accept this but it is a religion).

Thanks for your insight and food for thought.

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Author George Gantz replied on Mar. 5, 2015 @ 22:43 GMT
Thank you John. As I indicate in the essay, many of the open paradoxes in physics may be answered - just as Zeno's were. But I don't think it is possible to duck the Hole at the Center as it is a fundamental property of recursion (math) and observation (physics), as well as consciousness. That said, one can choose to define it away as a misconception, or deny it. I cannot prove otherwise. My only riposte is to quote Wittgenstein again: "The world of the happy man is quite different from the world of the unhappy."

Wishing you great happiness - George




KoGuan Leo wrote on Mar. 8, 2015 @ 08:52 GMT
Dear Sir,

Your essay is sublime and I am trilled by it. I read the Bible when I was studying in a Catholic school. I am familiar with the text but your explainaction is clearer and relevant to our discussion. What I enjoyed and what amazed me is that it is also consistent with Xuan Yuan's creation story, the Founder of Chinese culture and civilization 4712 years ago. You wrote: "This narrative outlines a metaphysical framework that presupposes a two-stage process for creation. Of course, the process is entirely outside of time and space, and therefore is not sequential. Yet the two steps are conceptually distinct reflections of the nature of math and physics. The first stage of the process is the separation of One {1} from the Void {0} --- a first metaphysical distinction. This distinction subsequently gives rise through Necessity (set theoretic constructions and logical operations) to the infinite logical space of Form --- mathematics in its purest sense, the potential state-space for the universe-to-be."

Xuan Yuan invented the concept of Dao as the Creator of all things. The different is that this Dao is living in our space and time, not outside of space and time. The Dao embodies all, including us. However, these are minor difference but the story is almost identical except some languages and cultural meme distinctions.

Here I wrote an Essay based on Xuan Yuan thought and I hope you will find agreeable as I am agreeable with your fantastic essay. Science must not ignore its creator, nor need to fear now.

Let me know what you think.

Best wishes and good luck,

Leo KoGuan

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Author George Gantz replied on Mar. 9, 2015 @ 15:03 GMT
Leo - Thank you for your comment! While I am not familiar in great detail with Eastern philosophies, I do know that there are many similarities and points of intersection between East and West. I look forward to reading your essay!

I would not necessarily place the Creator as "living in" our space and time, as there is little empirical evidence. But clearly in my metaphysical model, there is a sense in which the Creator is also a Sustainer. Space and time continue to exist and to exhibit the regularities that they do, and the dialogue between Void and Voice is always there.

Regards - George




James Lee Hoover wrote on Mar. 8, 2015 @ 23:38 GMT
George,

Like your essay. It skillfully helps to advance the discussion.

"In physiology, an action potential is a short-lasting event in which the electrical membrane potential of a cell rapidly rises and falls, following a consistent trajectory. In neurons, they play a central role in cell-to-cell communication." An outside impetus jump starts this action readiness. Your examples of a circuit's voltage potential and the flow of current. The circuit of creation with the potential of form and the flow of cosmos. remind me of the action potential of a brain cell before activated by an outside stimulus.

"Work and the purpose of creation, the emergence of the physical universe... is accomplished" thru these processes.

We provide the flow for good or bad.

Jim

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Author George Gantz replied on Mar. 9, 2015 @ 15:07 GMT
Thank you Jim - I look forward to reading your essay. To borrow from your analogy, I think the concept of jump-starting is far more convincing than that of boot-strapping.

Cheers - George



James Lee Hoover replied on Apr. 13, 2015 @ 17:36 GMT
George,

Time grows short, so I am revisiting essays I’ve read to assure I’ve rated them. I find that I rated yours on 3/8, rating it as one I could immediately relate to. I hope you get a chance to look at mine: http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/2345.

Jim

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Member Tommaso Bolognesi wrote on Mar. 9, 2015 @ 13:02 GMT
Dear George,

I find several interesting ideas and details in your essay. For example, the text is very effective in representing the fading of the optimism that characterised scientific inquiry up to the dawn of the 20th century. I was not aware of the naively optimistic (in retrospect) 1903 quote by Michelson; one lesson we get from from it is that we must always be ready for dramatic...

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Author George Gantz replied on Mar. 9, 2015 @ 15:32 GMT
Thank you Tommaso!

Yes it is quite an interesting problem to "get it all started." We are all doing our best, but I'm afraid it will always fall short. Our finite human minds (even if aided by a very large but still finite set of extremely fast universal computing machines) will never fully grasp the elusive set of all sets, or the ultimate largest infinity, our, indeed, the essence of Void or Voice. The best we can do is tell each other stories!

While there are two "stages" in my mythology it is actually a three-fold process, and in that sense maps to Christian theology or Hegelian idealism --- but I couldn't find a good way to craft if that way. The second and third folds are both part of the second stage - coming-into-being as space and the associated becoming as the arrow of time or intentionality. Another way to think about this is to view Form as Divine Wisdom, Cosmos (space) as Divine Love and Intentionality/Movement (and time) as Divine Action. In that sense the dialogue between Void and Voice (thesis / antithesis) finds its synthesis in the totality of creation (Form, Cosmos, Purpose).

Regards - George




Jose P. Koshy wrote on Mar. 9, 2015 @ 13:44 GMT
Dear George Gantz ,

A business executive with multiple interests! No wonder, your balance sheet perfectly tallies. Spirituality with a central void, the void purposefully filled, would be symmetric to your physical/mathematical view.

It seems you follow the latest developments in physics. I invite your attention to my alternate view: Starting with one type of fundamental particles, the theory explains everything physical. Please visit my site: finitenesstheory.com. I claim that I have reduced the void to the minimum: If space and matter exist, the rest follows.

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Author George Gantz replied on Mar. 9, 2015 @ 15:54 GMT
Jose - Thanks for the comment. I look forward to reading your essay.

Thanks for the reference to symmetry. Symmetry has a particulalry interesting role to play in the story of creation/existence that we are all trying to work out, and many essays are grappling with that.

Interestingly, zero and infinity would both seem to have symmetry with infinite degrees of freedom. That is an interesting starting place, would you not agree? Symmetry breaks with the first metaphysical distinction of one from 0 - and the diversity of all mathematical forms arise. Symmetry breaks again as the Cosmos of physical reality (3 spatial dimensions, 1 of time) emerges.

And yes, one can choose to look at creation as entirely physical by focussing on the 0, or as infinitely purposeful / spiritual by focusing on the infinite. Interestingly, in Reimannian geometry the "0" is point in real space, while infinity corresponds to the ultimate in imaginary space.

Regards - George



Jose P. Koshy replied on Mar. 10, 2015 @ 15:44 GMT
Dear George Gantz ,

"Interestingly, zero and infinity would both seem to have symmetry with infinite degrees of freedom", (or we can say with zero degrees of freedom). Sure, in principle, that is a right starting point. But practically, we can start from zero, but never reach infinity. So zero can be regarded as a real point, and infinity an imaginary point.

As pointed out by you, we can start from zero in both mathematics and physics. In maths, our zeros are the same. But in physics, my zero has a background where zero meets infinity: the three-dimensional space with reversible arrows and and the one-dimensional time with an irreversible arrow - the infinite time and infinite space together represent the zero in physics. I count 'one' only when matter comes. By adding up finite numbers we can never reach infinity; by adding up matter we can never reach infinity; infinity is unreachable. So my universe is finite. Since the staring point is where zero and infinity meets, there is no beginning: the universe never started from zero and never reaches infinity; it is in an infinite loop.

So either there is no creation or the creator introduced an infinite loop. Both ways, it will appear to be the same. We cannot logically arrive at a conclusion regarding this by analyzing the regularities observable in the universe. Creator, if he decides so, can reveal himself by showing that there are arbitrary changes in this world.

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Author George Gantz replied on Mar. 10, 2015 @ 22:03 GMT
Jose - I think there is a fallacy in thinking about 0 as a real point, or as a place to start. The history of zero suggests that it plays a far more challenging role in the context of mathematics, which actually starts with 1. However, I would agree that the physical universe is finite - bounded at the very small by the planck scale - and bounded at the very large by expansion since the Big Bang. There is neither 0 nor infinity in physical reality, so they are both metaphysical concepts - or attributes of a divine creator....

Cheers - George




Author George Gantz wrote on Mar. 11, 2015 @ 17:16 GMT
Joe - I have no idea what you are referring to. If a comment was posted here and reported as inappropriate and deleted, it was not by me.

Yours truly - George Gantz




Joe Fisher wrote on Mar. 11, 2015 @ 19:23 GMT
Dear Mr. Gantz.

You wrote in the abstract of your essay: “What is the stuff of which the world is made, and how does it work?” Here is my definitive answer.

Accurate writing has enabled me to perfect a valid description of untangled unified reality: Proof exists that every real astronomer looking through a real telescope has failed to notice that each of the real galaxies he has...

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Author George Gantz replied on Mar. 11, 2015 @ 23:44 GMT
Joe - Thanks for the reply. While you suggest your answer is definitive, I also find it incomprehensible. Yes, everything is unique, but everything is also intimately connected to everything else - and those connections and commonality and the regularities they reflect are the subject of physics. Math is the necessary form for all of that.

Regards - George



Joe Fisher replied on Mar. 12, 2015 @ 15:35 GMT
Dear George,

As you will find out if you read my essay WHY THE REAL UNIVERSE IS NOT MATHEMATICAL, everything is actually physically connected. Only abstract things are abstractly intimately connected by abstract mathematics.

Joe Fisher

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Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on Mar. 12, 2015 @ 19:20 GMT
Excellent essay George..

This paper leaves me with a lot I want to add or discuss. In this installment; I'll start with the idea that the hole at the center is actually what drives the process of creation, in a manner of speaking. The torus or donut shape is the simplest free-standing form that will propagate in a single medium. Smoke rings are a common example. But did you know you can draw a 7-color map on a torus?

I notice that your creation myth follows the Biblical example of a seven stage evolutionary process, and I've been studying that this has a strong connection with the Octonion number type. This fact could explain the Creation myth basis, and the seven stage phenomena cataloged by Arthur Young in his Reflexive Universe book.

My version of the story goes like this..

One, open, as multiplicity and formless nothingness, finds peace in true relation, and knows all as self.

Have Fun!

Jonathan

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Jonathan J. Dickau replied on Mar. 12, 2015 @ 19:38 GMT
To be clear..

1. Oneness. 2. Openness. 3. As-ifness. 4. Multiplicity...

Oneness is, in this construction, akin to the void as you speak of it. It is the state beyond or before distinctions, as with the concept of Wu-Ji; neither hot nor cold, light nor dark, great nor small. In other words; it is what mathematicians call a non-commutative space.

If you add, having neither inside nor outside, this makes it a non-associative space as well. And since we are talking about the void, a place beyond or before entities and contents, it satisfies this condition as well. This is where I tell you that the octonion algebra is non-associative.

Consider that in an evolving torus or donut shape, the center hole defines how it moves or changes. So on some level; what the hole in creation signifies is that there is always a state of becoming, where something yet to be defined is evolving to be a certain way.

All the Best,

Jonathan

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Author George Gantz replied on Mar. 14, 2015 @ 00:10 GMT
Thanks Jonathan - Yes there are many threads that a much longer exposition could delve into - and collaboration would be a great way to do it.

Thanks for the comment! George




Neil Bates wrote on Mar. 13, 2015 @ 01:27 GMT
George,

Thanks for commenting at my essay. I read your essay at your invitation, and found it a beautiful meditation which fits well into my Unitarian Universalist spiritual journey. Indeed, the world is full of paradox and perhaps we really can't ever resolve all of them. I don't think any kind of math can explain or replicate true indeterminism, of the sort represented by the varying life-times of apparently structureless, identical muons (which is "absurd" as Feynman noted.) So as I also offered, we have to fall on our chosen intuitions without knowing for certain if they are correct, or if indeed there is a clear "truth" for them to be about. Your final statement is moving and persuasive:

"The Whole that Encompasses Creation is that which we believe in yet cannot know - it is what gives each of us purpose."

Yes, it is the way out of the Hole. Although focused on a specific physical problem (the viability of physics in spaces with other number of dimensions), I too offered the broad insight that we can't know what or why is the "more" than the math we analyse with, but didn't recommend a path. And, although many find purpose in specific work in the world, without a grand framework then that too would not be possible or intelligible or meaningful. Good work.

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Author George Gantz wrote on Mar. 14, 2015 @ 00:27 GMT
Neil - I am delighted that you liked my essay. It"s perhaps a difficult message for this audience but I feel it is important and your comment gives me the feeling it is worthwhile.

Regards - George




Vladimir F. Tamari wrote on Mar. 17, 2015 @ 04:07 GMT
Dear George Gantz

Thank you for your comments on my essay I will respond on my page.

Your exceptionally well-written essay is refreshing because it grapples with questions that the sciences have practically banished from educated discourse these days. Yes science and religion do not mesh and I believe should not attempt to try to, but this leaves important questions that remain...

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Author George Gantz replied on Mar. 17, 2015 @ 11:31 GMT
Thank you Vladimir. Yes I am admittedly limited in my knowledge of near and far eastern contributions and had to smash 3000 years into 9 pages so I left out much. A more thorough treatment would acknowledge the universality of the human quest for understanding in all quarters. Among the more interesting questions that could be asked is whether it is western dualism and binary (true / false) logic that dooms reductionism. Eastern nondualistic logic may have much to offer. Also, hindu and buddhist philosophy seems far more comfortable with the Void - a concept most western thought shuns.

Much obliged! George



Vladimir F. Tamari replied on Mar. 20, 2015 @ 04:22 GMT
Dear George you say "much obliged"

I can truly say "for nothing" !

Best,

Vladimir

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Akinbo Ojo wrote on Mar. 18, 2015 @ 10:31 GMT
Hi George,

A wonderful contribution and quite fundamental. I tend to like such essays.

Regarding Zeno supporting a conclusion that movement was an illusion, I fully agree that this would be so without some fundamentally significant change in how we view space and time. I however suggest that while calculus is useful to quantify motion, it does not fully address the fundamental basis for it. For example, calculus admits that space is infinitely divisible and Zeno's Dichotomy Argument was formulated to show that with infinite divisibility, motion would not even start in the first place. To avoid the problem, the "infinitesimal" was created, a quantity that can be zero and not zero at the same time, i.e. neither dx = 0 nor dx ≠ 0. When you therefore say, "The invention of calculus fundamentally reaffirmed the notion of space and time as infinitely divisible continua", I have an alternative view. The idea I propose in my essay is that we exorcise the spell cast on our physics by Parmenides, who was Zeno's teacher.

I argue and try to demonstrate in my essay that what you call, "the process of the separation of One {1} from the Void {0}..." is not just a once and for all event but a continuing event underlying all activity and motion in our universe up till this very moment. Even today, you have yourself caused the process of One from Void several times and vice-versa, the reverse which you did not much discuss, Void from One. Even, if you do not agree with my hypothesis, I believe you will find it interesting.

Best regards and all the best in the competition,

Akinbo

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Author George Gantz replied on Mar. 18, 2015 @ 22:57 GMT
Akinbo - Thanks for reading and commenting on my essay. I'm not sure I agree that infinitesimals were created to answer Zeno's paradox. While the conceptual problems are related, the mathematics are 2,000 years apart. Given the required length of our essays, I had to skip a lot of the historical details.

Your notion that the distinction of {1} from {0} is a continuing unfolding of creation is an interesting one. In my view, this would occur every time a conscious entity has a conscious experience as that involves a distinction. However, I'm not sure I understand how this distinction per se can be the cause of activity and motion, unless you are referring to this distinction as being caused by consciousness (the Voice) which simultaneously gives existence to both form and substance. In my view the mathematical world of form and the physical world of cosmos are different.

Sincerely - George




Member Marc Séguin wrote on Mar. 19, 2015 @ 04:13 GMT
Dear George,

Thank you for your comments on my essay – I left some comments about them on my forum.

Your essay is one of the most interesting I have read so far, and I hope it does well in this contest. I really like your dichotomy “Hole at the Center of Creation” / “Whole that Encompasses Creation”. Your concept of “Hole at the Center of Creation” reminds me of this...

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Author George Gantz replied on Mar. 20, 2015 @ 14:44 GMT
Marc - Thanks for your very detailed review and comments!

Actually, the "Voice" is required for both stage 1 and for stage 2 which, as discussed with T.Bolognesi above has dual features - the physical Cosmos and Intentionality. The Voice and the Void are self-existent, "uncreated" - not dissimilar from AI (Absolute Infinity). They are also self-reflective.

I'm not sure I follow the "informational" part of your thesis. In my view, the Voice and the AI, like the set of all sets, is going to contain all information, including all information about itself. Of course, that is quite a trick to contemplate with our very finite minds --- so it falls into the category of mythology.

Regards - George




Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on Mar. 19, 2015 @ 05:42 GMT
In response to your comment above..

Thanks again George. I think it would make the world a better place, so I look forward to the opportunity to work with you, collaborating to further explicate some of the threads discussed.

All the Best,

Jonathan

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Member Rick Searle wrote on Mar. 20, 2015 @ 01:54 GMT
Dear George,

I greatly enjoyed your essay. I am curious whether or not you think something like the philosopher John Leslie’s “Goodness” or Robert Nozick’s “fecundity” would fill the hole?

http://utopiaordystopia.com/2014/05/04/why-does-the-world-ex
ist-and-other-dangerous-questions-for-insomniacs/

Please take the time to check out and vote on my essay for this contest.

http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/2391

All the best!

Rick Searle

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Author George Gantz replied on Mar. 20, 2015 @ 14:56 GMT
Rick - Thanks for the references, I will have to look them up. I've also left a comment on your essay (which I thought was marvelous, but the way).

Regards - George Gantz




Jonathan Khanlian wrote on Mar. 23, 2015 @ 18:56 GMT
Hi George,

I was wondering if you thought that Zeno’s paradox could be cleared up if the universe were proven to be finite (and discrete) in both time and space? I actually don’t think this finite view of the universe is too far off what is accepted by modern physics due to ideas such as the Planck Scale and Quantization. From this perspective, (continuous) movement may still be considered to be an illusion, much like the images in a movie never “move”, they only discretely change positions (states) in each subsequent frame of the movie. This relates to my Digital Physics movie essay if you’d like to take a look at that.

Thanks,

Jon

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Author George Gantz replied on Mar. 23, 2015 @ 20:53 GMT
Jon - Thanks for the comment! Zeno's paradox was resolved by Aristotle, whose solution works whether space is discrete or continuous. A fully discrete and finite universe solves many issues (within the physical universe the difficulties with infinities disappear) and is a hypothesis I am comfortable with. However, it does not answer a number of questions. For example, if time is finite, there is a beginning point, and an ending point. - What is before and after, and what caused things to start? And, even if the universe is finite, math is not, nor are the implications of recursion or self-reflection and consciousness.

I conclude the Hole at the Center remains even in a finite universe!

Regards - George




Steven P Sax wrote on Mar. 24, 2015 @ 06:06 GMT
George, very creative essay and a nice sentiment about the whole. I liked the history of scientific philosophy and overall found your ideas interesting - I gave you a high rating, and thank you again for your kind comments. Your questions that you posted on my thread inspired me and you can see my answers there.

Thanks again, Steve

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Author George Gantz replied on Mar. 26, 2015 @ 15:04 GMT
Thanks, Steven! Great exchanges on your essay which I will continue to follow.

-George




Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on Mar. 25, 2015 @ 15:14 GMT
Some thoughts George..

The film that first brought public attention to Arnold Schwarzenegger was called 'Stay Hungry' and the movie's theme pertains to the topic of your essay, as per my comments above. The title refers not only to the reduction of body fat, so you can better show off your muscles, as it also spoke to the ideal of remaining competitive, always striving to improve yourself, and so on. This is somewhat the Apollonian ideal or archetype, as well.

But perhaps the same applies in the evolution of consciousness, where one must cultivate a hunger and thirst for knowledge - and stay hungry, maintaining an appetite for learning and knowing - in order to learn and grow in understanding. This would again make a hole at the center of creation an essential feature of reality, serving to bring transcendental qualities like those seen in creatures with self-awareness into being - which would otherwise lay dormant.

More later,

Jonathasn

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Jonathan J. Dickau replied on Mar. 25, 2015 @ 15:17 GMT
oops...

finger slipped.

JJD

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Author George Gantz replied on Mar. 26, 2015 @ 15:43 GMT
Jonathan -

Exactly, thank you! Without "intentionality" (desire --- willing --- thirst for knowledge) there would be no consciousness. Without growth, there is no life. Without direction/purpose, there is no universe. Without self-reflection (and therefore consciousness), there are no distinctions --- and no existence.

The Hole is indeed an essential feature of reality - as is the infinite Voice which is its reflection.

Cheers - George




Luca Valeri wrote on Mar. 26, 2015 @ 23:40 GMT
Dear George,

I like the idea to create your own creation myth without ignoring our knowledge about nature. I would lke to share a myth, that I like sometime to tell to my kids, that are still very young and got a new brother only recently.

"At the beginning they have been in paradise. And they where naked and not ashamed. But then they ate from the tree of knowledge and could distinguish between true and false. Between good and bad."

The myth seems to tell the difference between the simple cognition and the reflective cognition, which creates the separation of subject and object, of perception and acting. It creates the distance needed to comprehend the word objectively. With the loss of the ability to participate with world, with life.

It is beautiful and sad to see my kids slowly leaving paradise.

Best regards and thanks for your nice comment in my forum

Luca

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Author George Gantz replied on Mar. 27, 2015 @ 01:39 GMT
Luca - Thanks for your comment! I have found stories to be the most powerful way of communicating with my own children and grandchildren.

Relative to my creation myth, I'm not sure I would tell the story of the "human fall" in that way, but I agree with your basic points. In my view, the fall is the inevitable result of the duality in human perception that arises from self-consciousness. This duality is obvious in most children by the age of two! When we understand that we are each autonomous from the community of others into which we were born, we become able to act as intentional agents to benefit ourselves or to benefit others. Naturally we tend to elevate our own interests above others and lose touch with "the greater good" - the love of others.

Love your children with all your heart and all your mind and guide them on the path of love and compassion. It is just as inherent in children as self-love, but needs to be nurtured. In time, perhaps, they, and all of us, will find that the greatest joy arises from service to others (not to ourselves).

Regards - George




William T. Parsons wrote on Apr. 2, 2015 @ 18:50 GMT
Hi George--

Your essay was a joy to read. I loved your lyrical touch. I now see why you took the time to read and comment on my essay. We approached infinity in complementary fashion. You chose to use infinity in a metaphysical way, which is perfectly excellent. My approach was simply to kick physical infinity off the physics island. I'd like to think that we are both right. I also loved your use of both "hole" and "whole" at the center of creation. Nicely done!

In the small world category, we are both Stanford grads (me, '77) with Honors in Humanities. Only later did I go on to get degrees in physics (at other institutions).

Best regards,

Bill.

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Author George Gantz replied on Apr. 3, 2015 @ 01:58 GMT
Thanks, Bill--

I share your skepticism about physical infinities. That may keep the physics from getting unglued, but hardly addresses the metaphysical question of how the physical got here (metaphorically speaking). Of course, infinity is big enough to be unruffled by any of our speculations.

I enjoyed the HH program at Stanford (far more than my math major) and nearly headed into philosophy as a result - but the job prospects were slim. After graduation ('73) I did play in a rock band called "Trust" - ever hear us? - we played on campus quite a bit - but music did not offer much in the way of job prospects either.....

Cheers - George




Joe Fisher wrote on Apr. 7, 2015 @ 15:32 GMT
Dear George,

I think Newton was wrong about abstract gravity; Einstein was wrong about abstract space/time, and Hawking was wrong about the explosive capability of NOTHING.

All I ask is that you give my essay WHY THE REAL UNIVERSE IS NOT MATHEMATICAL a fair reading and that you allow me to answer any objections you may leave in my comment box about it.

Joe Fisher

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Author George Gantz replied on Apr. 7, 2015 @ 16:53 GMT
Hi Joe - I did read your essay but did not find it to offer a credible hypothesis. Given the number of very credible and interesting essays in the competition, I did not feel it appropriate to leave a comment, and I did not rate it.

With sincere regards - George




Georgina Woodward wrote on Apr. 13, 2015 @ 08:07 GMT
Hi George,

very enjoyable and creative essay. I think your desire to provide optimism rather than despair is admirable.

I wonder if, while digging ever down, looking for truth, and reaching a void, the meaning within all of the absolute relations of the elements of reality are discarded- and that is perhaps the dwelling of absolute truth and agape love. Not a voice in the void but omnipotent and omnipresent relation. Just food for thought.

Good luck and kind regards, Georgina

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Author George Gantz replied on Apr. 13, 2015 @ 23:23 GMT
Thanks, Georgina -

Yes, of course, the whole is more than the sum of the parts. We discard all that is important when we reduce life, being, consciousness (and relations) to their physical manifestation - my essay is an attempt to bring that to the attention of those who are committed to the material and thereby left in the void.

And yes, I am an optimist, and a theist (albeit a skeptical one...) who believes the source of all creation is the love (intending for good) of omnipotent, omnipresent and infinite God which comes to us in forms (truths) of Divine Wisdom. Love clothed in truths manifest in each and all of our relations.

Regards - George




Alexey/Lev Burov wrote on Apr. 16, 2015 @ 21:17 GMT
Dear George,

Your essay is very special: it combines depths of mystical poetry with a sober diagnosis of the spirit of time. You write:

"In that day, many saw the Void but knew it not. Some cast themselves into despair and were

consumed. Others hid in caves and tunnels, unwilling to look upon the face of the Void"

For two millennia reason lived only in the minds of great, spiritual thinkers. However, when science, which was the fruit of their work, has made reason's power obvious to all, many people became lost in its cult.

I give your essay the highest rating. Most likely, you already rated our essay; otherwise, please take it as a friendly reminder.

Good luck in this contest and all the best!

Alexey Burov

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Author George Gantz replied on Apr. 17, 2015 @ 00:46 GMT
Alexey - Thank you. Yes, I did enjoy the essay you and Lev submitted and rated it highly. We are in agreement on many points - including the fundamentally and necessarily purposeful nature of the universe and the fallacy of the multiverse / MUH hypothesis. I do wish Wittgenstein had written more.

I think it may be simplistic to lay all of the problem at the feet of reason. I would say, rather, that in the last two centuries, reason became more and more narrowly defined. In some quarters today, it is deemed "unreasonable" to inquire about matters beyond the empirical. This is rather a form of ignorance than a form of reason.

Many thank - George



Alexey/Lev Burov replied on Apr. 17, 2015 @ 03:10 GMT
George, I've just signed to the announcements at your web site. We'll keep in touch!

Alexey.

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Tod Richards replied on Nov. 28, 2015 @ 03:41 GMT
George

I enjoyed reading your essay. And while I agree that it is up to each of us to formulate our own stories that serve to fill the gaps in our knowledge, I find myself tending toward the “truth” side of this debate—though I am not 100% convince of that either. I remain unconvinced of your main point: that there exists a “Hole at the Center of Creation,” and thus that the...

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