Search FQXi


If you are aware of an interesting new academic paper (that has been published in a peer-reviewed journal or has appeared on the arXiv), a conference talk (at an official professional scientific meeting), an external blog post (by a professional scientist) or a news item (in the mainstream news media), which you think might make an interesting topic for an FQXi blog post, then please contact us at forums@fqxi.org with a link to the original source and a sentence about why you think that the work is worthy of discussion. Please note that we receive many such suggestions and while we endeavour to respond to them, we may not be able to reply to all suggestions.

Please also note that we do not accept unsolicited posts and we cannot review, or open new threads for, unsolicited articles or papers. Requests to review or post such materials will not be answered. If you have your own novel physics theory or model, which you would like to post for further discussion among then FQXi community, then please add them directly to the "Alternative Models of Reality" thread, or to the "Alternative Models of Cosmology" thread. Thank you.

Contests Home

Current Essay Contest


Contest Partner: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Fnd.

Previous Contests

What Is “Fundamental”
October 28, 2017 to January 22, 2018
Sponsored by the Fetzer Franklin Fund and The Peter & Patricia Gruber Foundation
read/discuss

Wandering Towards a Goal
How can mindless mathematical laws give rise to aims and intention?
December 2, 2016 to March 3, 2017
Contest Partner: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Fnd.
read/discusswinners

Trick or Truth: The Mysterious Connection Between Physics and Mathematics
Contest Partners: Nanotronics Imaging, The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, and The John Templeton Foundation
Media Partner: Scientific American

read/discusswinners

How Should Humanity Steer the Future?
January 9, 2014 - August 31, 2014
Contest Partners: Jaan Tallinn, The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, The John Templeton Foundation, and Scientific American
read/discusswinners

It From Bit or Bit From It
March 25 - June 28, 2013
Contest Partners: The Gruber Foundation, J. Templeton Foundation, and Scientific American
read/discusswinners

Questioning the Foundations
Which of Our Basic Physical Assumptions Are Wrong?
May 24 - August 31, 2012
Contest Partners: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, SubMeta, and Scientific American
read/discusswinners

Is Reality Digital or Analog?
November 2010 - February 2011
Contest Partners: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation and Scientific American
read/discusswinners

What's Ultimately Possible in Physics?
May - October 2009
Contest Partners: Astrid and Bruce McWilliams
read/discusswinners

The Nature of Time
August - December 2008
read/discusswinners

Forum Home
Introduction
Terms of Use

Order posts by:
 chronological order
 most recent first

Posts by the author are highlighted in orange; posts by FQXi Members are highlighted in blue.

By using the FQXi Forum, you acknowledge reading and agree to abide by the Terms of Use

 RSS feed | RSS help
RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

Lorraine Ford: on 4/5/17 at 5:04am UTC, wrote H Chris, I’m sorry for insulting you. I absolutely abhor the views about...

Satyavarapu Gupta: on 3/18/17 at 10:04am UTC, wrote Hi CR I want you to ask you to please have a look at my essay, where...

Dizhechko Semyonovich: on 3/13/17 at 15:36pm UTC, wrote Dear H Chris Ransford! I appreciate your essay. You spent a lot of effort...

Héctor Gianni: on 3/12/17 at 22:19pm UTC, wrote Dear Chris Ransford I invite you and every physicist to read my work...

George Kirakosyan: on 2/21/17 at 10:14am UTC, wrote Thank you that you have shared with me by your right remarks and judgments,...

H Chris Ransford: on 2/21/17 at 9:29am UTC, wrote Dear Clair, Thank you for your kind comments All the best H Chris

H Chris Ransford: on 2/21/17 at 9:28am UTC, wrote Thanks for the kind words George, Some people have commended this essay...

George Kirakosyan: on 2/21/17 at 5:58am UTC, wrote Dear Chris, I have read your essay and I have seen there things very...


RECENT FORUM POSTS

Georgina Woodward: "John, I reported your post as inappropriate as it is mostly irrelevant to..." in What Is...

Scott Gordon: "This article states,"Carroll believes the misfit between the two theories..." in In Search of a Quantum...

thuy lien: "Your article completely convinced me. Thank you for sharing. vampyrgame ..." in Agency in the Physical...

thuy lien: "Thanks for sharing, very useful information. You can visit my site for more..." in What Is...

thuy lien: "VAMPYR: You can feed on literally anyone in the game VAMPYR was revealed..." in Collapsing Physics: Q&A...

Nishant Gaurav: "Want to get free playstation plus codes, Yes now these psn plus codes are..." in Jacob Bekenstein...

Nishant Gaurav: "The best to win among hustle for online live gaming platform, is online..." in Quantum Replicants:...

Nishant Gaurav: "When it come to paypal user look for various information and also look for..." in Retrocausality,...


RECENT ARTICLES
click titles to read articles

The Complexity Conundrum
Resolving the black hole firewall paradox—by calculating what a real astronaut would compute at the black hole's edge.

Quantum Dream Time
Defining a ‘quantum clock’ and a 'quantum ruler' could help those attempting to unify physics—and solve the mystery of vanishing time.

Our Place in the Multiverse
Calculating the odds that intelligent observers arise in parallel universes—and working out what they might see.

Sounding the Drums to Listen for Gravity’s Effect on Quantum Phenomena
A bench-top experiment could test the notion that gravity breaks delicate quantum superpositions.

Watching the Observers
Accounting for quantum fuzziness could help us measure space and time—and the cosmos—more accurately.


FQXi FORUM
December 14, 2017

CATEGORY: Wandering Towards a Goal Essay Contest (2016-2017) [back]
TOPIC: Where the Question Leads by H Chris Ransford [refresh]
Bookmark and Share
Login or create account to post reply or comment.

Author H Chris Ransford wrote on Jan. 18, 2017 @ 22:04 GMT
Essay Abstract

This paper examines whether and how sentience and intentions can emerge from pure mathematical laws. It reaches the conclusion that the answer quite surprisingly depends on a particular metric of the universe or multiverse.

Author Bio

H Chris Ransford is the author of 'The Far Horizons of time' (de Gruyter), and most recently of 'God and the Mathematics of Infinity' (Ibidem Verlag)

Download Essay PDF File




John C Hodge wrote on Jan. 19, 2017 @ 05:44 GMT
Ransford

Thanks for commenting on my paper.

Look around. You are in a single universe. If you mean 1 and only 1 universe , then you have misinterpreted the phrase. If you mean to postulate multiverse, then you have it backward -there is no unique evidence that more than our universe exists. That would require evidence. (The multiverse is an interpretation of QM. Many...

view entire post


report post as inappropriate

Steve Dufourny replied on Jan. 19, 2017 @ 11:39 GMT
Hello Mr Hodge and Mr Ransford,

Thanks for sharing your works to both of you.It is relevant because indeed we search the laws of this universe.The philosophical point of vue is important.About multiverses and the causes of laws.It becomes complex when we insert indeed the maths.This to explain that the domains chosen so become philosophical.We arrive so at how must we interpret the...

view entire post


report post as inappropriate


John C Hodge wrote on Jan. 19, 2017 @ 06:10 GMT
Ransford

Another possibilty to your 2 is that "mind" is isufficienctly defined. Therefore, the phrasing of the question is meaningless.

Infinities and singularities are unreal. If a math answer is infinitiey or singularity then the physics incorrectly models the universe.

You postulate the other universes are dlike ours. So light from another universe should behave in ours. The spaces should meld. As you maynote above, the other universes could be very different (ie 2 D).

Hodge

report post as inappropriate


Francis Duane Moore wrote on Jan. 19, 2017 @ 19:05 GMT
The author analyzed the question about mindless math and aims and intentions, which was nice but I thought the questions intention was to stimulate creativity concerning representation theory of some aim or intention of the science of Physics

report post as inappropriate

Author H Chris Ransford replied on Feb. 10, 2017 @ 13:12 GMT
Please do read to the end? Thanks




Branko L Zivlak wrote on Jan. 19, 2017 @ 20:26 GMT
Mr Ransford

You say:

„There is, as of yet, no consensus on whether our universe or multiverse is finite or infinite.“

About infinity?“ (word universe is enough).

We should be precise on what is meant.

I cited Ruđer Bošković “Now, although I do not hold with infinite divisibility, yet I do admit infinite componibility“.

Therefore I say: mass and space of the universe and any other phenomenon is finite but the number of their combination is infinite and Universe is eternal.

Generally speaking your statement about role of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences is quite acceptable.

Zivlak

report post as inappropriate

Author H Chris Ransford replied on Feb. 10, 2017 @ 09:54 GMT
Just a mention maybe, you state that Quote mass and space of the universe and any other phenomenon is finite but the number of their combination is infinite Unquote

I take it you use the word 'infinite' here as meaning 'extremely large' rather than mathematically infinite (elementary combinatory analytics says that you cannot reach infinity from a combination of any finite number of elements, however large)I tend to prefer to stick to the mathematical definitions rather than using words in their more 'popular' definitions.

There are many different views and possible scenarios as to the ultimate fate of the universe, maybe the statement 'the uiverse is eternal' needs to be further examined.

Regards

Chris




Stefan Weckbach wrote on Jan. 20, 2017 @ 10:46 GMT
Dear Chris Ransford,

you made some good points in your essay by asking what ingedients of nature could be more fundamental than others, some Ur-mind ‘stuff’ or explicitly material stuff. I like that you try to argue with already established scientific/mathematical results to find out what these results can say about the limits of their own field of investigation.

I think it is...

view entire post


report post as inappropriate

Author H Chris Ransford replied on Jan. 20, 2017 @ 11:09 GMT
Great post Stefan,

Thank you ...

This post format is probably not the best vehicle to respond with any degree of cogency (or for that matter exhaustiveness) but suffice to say I agree with most of what you say here.

Kind regards

Chris



Author H Chris Ransford replied on Jan. 20, 2017 @ 11:27 GMT
To complete my foregoing answer

1- There is an element of 'semantics' involved, terms must be defined with a high degree of accuracy, and 'mathematics' does not mean the same thing to all people (cf. Tegmark et al.)

2- A lot of your answer seems to assume that perhaps the universe is indeed finite? I tend to think that the balance of likelihoods points the other way (but of course, as I stress in the essay, there is no proof either way.)

Now you know :-) why this post format is not necessarily the best - dealing exhaustively with point 2 above would be book-length ....

Kind regards

Chris



Joe Fisher replied on Jan. 20, 2017 @ 16:50 GMT
Dear Author Ransford,

Thank you for warning me that you have no idea what reality am.

One real visible Universe must have only one reality. Simple natural reality has nothing to do with any abstract complex musings such as the ones you effortlessly indulge in. As I have thoughtfully pointed out in my brilliant essay, SCORE ONE FOR SIMPLICITY, the real Universe consists only of one unified visible infinite surface occurring in one infinite dimension, that am always illuminated by infinite non-surface light. Reality am not as complicated as theories of reality are.

Joe Fisher, Realist

report post as inappropriate


Don C Foster wrote on Jan. 21, 2017 @ 03:41 GMT
Rodney,

I read your essay with interest, but must disagree with your statement that “our universe is purely mathematical,” suggesting that mathematics is somehow more real than the universe it describes. I may be admitting to feet of clay here, but from my perspective, the weakness in this argument is that, unless mathematics is to be entirely self-referential, there must be something on the other side of the equal sign. Those two little parallel lines mean a great deal. Mathematics is always in an adaptive-loop relationship, edging toward the equilibrium moment that signals conformity with some actual dynamic. The universe is its own best equation. Mathematics is at best a refined “stone rubbing” of that underlying reality.

Regards,

Don

report post as inappropriate

Joe Fisher replied on Jan. 21, 2017 @ 15:26 GMT
Dear Mr. Foster,

The real visible Universe am not mathematical. As I have thoughtfully pointed out in my brilliant essay, SCORE ONE FOR SIMPLICITY, the real Universe consists only of one unified visible infinite surface occurring in one infinite dimension, that am always illuminated by infinite non-surface light. Reality am not as complicated as finite mathematical constructs are.

Joe Fisher, Realist

report post as inappropriate


Lee Bloomquist wrote on Jan. 23, 2017 @ 08:38 GMT
The author writes:

"…the question ' How can mindless mathematical laws give rise to aims and intention?' contains two markers of possible illegitimacy. The word 'mindless' is stated but not proven, and the phrase 'give rise' posits a stated but as yet unproven time sequence. There would be, for example, no a priori grounds to dismiss the remote possibility that, like humans and apes, both...

view entire post


report post as inappropriate


Georgina Woodward wrote on Jan. 25, 2017 @ 09:11 GMT
Lee,

the light carries the information, as frequency and intensity.

report post as inappropriate


Georgina Woodward wrote on Jan. 25, 2017 @ 09:16 GMT
Chris, I liked the way you clearly set out your arguments throughout. Your questioning of the question at the start was a nice introduction.

report post as inappropriate


Harry Hamlin Ricker III wrote on Jan. 31, 2017 @ 15:19 GMT
Hi, This essay is commended for trying to address the essay contest topic. However, I was not convinced by the arguments presented. In addition I thought that the essay presented a fallacy in the idea that mathematics exists independent of human beings who invented it. That is a Platonic concept and it has some severe problems in convincing people it is true. I wasn't convinced.

report post as inappropriate

Author H Chris Ransford replied on Jan. 31, 2017 @ 16:07 GMT
Greetings Harry,

Thanks for the thoughtful post. The dichotomy between the Platonic and the Aristotelian views of reality is still hotly debated, with little consensus in sight. My years in physics and physical chemistry make me rather strongly lean towards the Platonic view, but I recognize that it's not everyone's view.

A full argument would of course be book-length, and still I fully respect that some might still not be convinced: that's how science works, with consensus only established after considerable work on the part of all.

Some of the opposition to the Platonic view has sometimes come from its purported "insane consequences" - witness for instance Dieter Zeh's comments, etc. One of the most utterly strange books I have ever read has to be Colin Bruce's, who espouses the view of multiple copies/near copies etc. across the metaverse . I believe that whatever we do, and whatever our take is on the nature of reality, we must remain very, very careful with our mathematics.




Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta wrote on Feb. 8, 2017 @ 02:28 GMT
Hi Chris Ransford,

An excellent analysis on the FQXi question for the contest itself...

Can you please through some light on your words...."the evidence that the universe is indeed purely mathematical is overwhelming."

Have a look at my essay also...

Best

report post as inappropriate

Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta replied on Mar. 18, 2017 @ 10:04 GMT
Hi CR

I want you to ask you to please have a look at my essay, where ……………reproduction of Galaxies in the Universe is described. Dynamic Universe Model is another mathematical model for Universe. Its mathematics show that the movement of masses will be having a purpose or goal, Different Galaxies will be born and die (quench) etc…just have a look at the essay… “Distances,...

view entire post


report post as inappropriate


Branko L Zivlak wrote on Feb. 11, 2017 @ 17:39 GMT
Dear Mr. Ransford

Yes you are right. Bošković use the word 'infinite' here as meaning 'extremely large'.

Also, maybe the statement 'the uiverse is eternal' needs to be further examined.

So I confirm. We should be precise on what is meant.

I think the solution lies in the irrationality of mathematical and physical constants.

Regards,

Branko

report post as inappropriate


Clair Wilson wrote on Feb. 14, 2017 @ 12:36 GMT
an interesting read..some of your ideas are pretty novel..and yeah probably not all will agree with your statements still your ideas should exist and you should work on developing them..looking forward to reading more from you..and will tell this jet writers about you so that they pay attention to your work and promote them a little..best

report post as inappropriate

Author H Chris Ransford replied on Feb. 21, 2017 @ 09:29 GMT
Dear Clair,

Thank you for your kind comments

All the best

H Chris




George Kirakosyan wrote on Feb. 21, 2017 @ 05:58 GMT
Dear Chris,

I have read your essay and I have seen there things very close to me, as examples:

//When attempting to answer any question, we must remember that not all questions are legitimate // - in my view, this can be accepted as a main criterion to distinguish intelligent man from not so smart!

// … the question ' How can mindless mathematical laws give rise to aims and intention?' contains two markers of possible illegitimacy // - you just have touched on the target on a 100%!

I am highly welcome your essay, with clear soul!

Good wishes

report post as inappropriate

Author H Chris Ransford replied on Feb. 21, 2017 @ 09:28 GMT
Thanks for the kind words George,

Some people have commended this essay and given it high marks (see some of the comments on RG for instance), and some have attacked it with a measure of furor, including one person who insulted me and the FQXi for good measure.

It reminds one of the ratings on, say, Amazon, where a same piece of creative work is routinely given a high 5 stars by some and 1 star by others.

It seems to me that some works resonate with some people, and simply don't with others. Part of this likely has to do with everyone's individual backgrounds. Beyond that, an observation is that with non-fiction rather than with art, some low graders just do not or did not get it - perhaps because, in some cases, their background has not prepared them for the concepts discussed.

That happens, of course, with all of us, but most of us will just refrain from commenting on items we are not equipped to appreciate or judge. As a case in point, I submitted my latest book(God and the Mathematics of Infinity) to a few theologians, and some absolutely loved it and some others loathed it with a passion. Perhaps a handful of those who loathe non-fiction works are those whose worldviews are challenged by the work? I understand fully how painful it can be to see long-held views, views around which one has built a life structure, come under questioning - no matter how logically so. But then again, life is about growing, isn't it? Aren't our cherished life structures at their most useful when they provide the buttress and backstop to prepare us for the next step up? If we do not accept that, it means that we assume that we can reach wisdom here on Earth - whereas, just perhaps, all we can ever achieve is growth...

Thank you again,

H Chris



George Kirakosyan replied on Feb. 21, 2017 @ 10:14 GMT
Thank you that you have shared with me by your right remarks and judgments, and what we can do with this, my dear? It is the life (,,Se la vi!,,) say Frenches. We must always be ready to meet this!

Be well!

report post as inappropriate


Héctor Daniel Gianni wrote on Mar. 12, 2017 @ 22:19 GMT
Dear Chris Ransford

I invite you and every physicist to read my work “TIME ORIGIN,DEFINITION AND EMPIRICAL MEANING FOR PHYSICISTS, Héctor Daniel Gianni ,I’m not a physicist.

How people interested in “Time” could feel about related things to the subject.

1) Intellectuals interested in Time issues usually have a nice and creative wander for the unknown.

2) They usually enjoy this wander of their searches around it.

3) For millenniums this wander has been shared by a lot of creative people around the world.

4) What if suddenly, something considered quasi impossible to be found or discovered such as “Time” definition and experimental meaning confronts them?

5) Their reaction would be like, something unbelievable,… a kind of disappointment, probably interpreted as a loss of wander…..

6) ….worst than that, if we say that what was found or discovered wasn’t a viable theory, but a proved fact.

7) Then it would become offensive to be part of the millenary problem solution, instead of being a reason for happiness and satisfaction.

8) The reader approach to the news would be paradoxically adverse.

9) Instead, I think it should be a nice welcome to discovery, to be received with opened arms and considered to be read with full attention.

11)Time “existence” is exclusive as a “measuring system”, its physical existence can’t be proved by science, as the “time system” is. Experimentally “time” is “movement”, we can prove that, showing that with clocks we measure “constant and uniform” movement and not “the so called Time”.

12)The original “time manuscript” has 23 pages, my manuscript in this contest has only 9 pages.

I share this brief with people interested in “time” and with physicists who have been in sore need of this issue for the last 50 or 60 years.

Héctor

report post as inappropriate


Dizhechko Boris Semyonovich wrote on Mar. 13, 2017 @ 15:36 GMT
Dear H Chris Ransford!

I appreciate your essay. You spent a lot of effort to write it.

If you believed in the principle of identity of space and matter of Descartes, then your essay would be even better. There is not movable a geometric space, and is movable physical space. These are different concepts.

I invite you to familiarize yourself with New Cartesian Physic

I wish to see your criticism on the New Cartesian Physic, the founder of which I call myself.

The concept of moving space-matter helped me: The uncertainty principle Heisenberg to make the principle of definiteness of points of space-matter; Open the law of the constancy of the flow of forces through a closed surface is the sphere of space-matter; Open the law of universal attraction of Lorentz; Give the formula for the pressure of the Universe; To give a definition of gravitational mass as the flow vector of the centrifugal acceleration across the surface of the corpuscles, etc.

New Cartesian Physic has great potential in understanding the world. To show this potential in essay I risked give «The way of The materialist explanation of the paranormal and the supernatural” - Is the name of my essay.

Visit my essay and you will find something in it about New Cartesian Physic. Note my statement that our brain creates an image of the outside world no inside, and in external space.

Do not let New Cartesian Physic get away into obscurity! I am waiting your post.

Sincerely,

Dizhechko Boris

report post as inappropriate


Lorraine Ford wrote on Apr. 5, 2017 @ 05:04 GMT
H Chris,

I’m sorry for insulting you. I absolutely abhor the views about of the nature of reality expressed in your essay, and I feel that these views are wrong.

Lorraine

report post as inappropriate


Login or create account to post reply or comment.

Please enter your e-mail address:
Note: Joining the FQXi mailing list does not give you a login account or constitute membership in the organization.