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 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

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


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

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

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

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

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

The Nature of Time
August - December 2008

Forum Home
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

George Ellis: on 2/18/17 at 15:38pm UTC, wrote Dear Eckard Blumenschein it is an interesting comprehensive essay, where I...

Steve Dufourny: on 2/18/17 at 14:50pm UTC, wrote :) always surprising and intersting to read you in all case. Friendly

Eckard Blumschein: on 2/17/17 at 17:28pm UTC, wrote Peter, You are unable to get free from your selfish point of view. You...

Peter Jackson: on 2/17/17 at 12:52pm UTC, wrote Eckard, Re; "I consider an emitter E and a receiver/observer R on a...

Eckard Blumschein: on 2/16/17 at 22:00pm UTC, wrote I feel in debt to FQXi for guiding me to develop hopefully useful while...

Anonymous: on 2/16/17 at 21:36pm UTC, wrote Gary, Thank you for agreeing on my definition for the speed of light in...

Steve Dufourny: on 2/16/17 at 18:17pm UTC, wrote Hello Eckard, Congratulations for your essay,objective, rational and...

Gary Simpson: on 2/16/17 at 14:34pm UTC, wrote Eckard, Your essay is a very good recounting of the historical evolution...


Jose Koshy: "Steve Agnew, Quoting you, "The wave-particle duality is simply a..." in The Race to Replace the...

James Putnam: "Jose P. Koshy, Your response made it clear that I didn't have anything..." in Alternative Models of...

Jose Koshy: "James Putnam, As you have stated that you have no other reason for..." in Alternative Models of...

Steve Agnew: "If you don't believe in theoretical physics, then what do you believe in?..." in The Race to Replace the...

Steve Dufourny: "all converges towards the spherisation :) the relevance with these 3D..." in Universe of...

cathy ch: "The book includes interviews with many FQXi members and other eminent..." in Review of “A Big Bang...

jani jee: "very interesting combination physics. These principles helpful. i always..." in Santa Barbara Gravity...

Steve Dufourny: "possible indeed this TOE :) Jonathan and the complementarity appears above..." in Universe of...

click titles to read articles

Painting a QBist Picture of Reality
A radical interpretation of physics makes quantum theory more personal.

The Spacetime Revolutionary
Carlo Rovelli describes how black holes may transition to "white holes," according to loop quantum gravity, a radical rewrite of fundamental physics.

Riding the Rogue Quantum Waves
Could giant sea swells help explain how the macroscopic world emerges from the quantum microworld? (Image credit: MIT News)

Rescuing Reality
A "retrocausal" rewrite of physics, in which influences from the future can affect the past, could solve some quantum quandaries—saving Einstein's view of reality along the way.

Untangling Quantum Causation
Figuring out if A causes B should help to write the rulebook for quantum physics.

February 21, 2017

CATEGORY: Wandering Towards a Goal Essay Contest (2016-2017) [back]
TOPIC: Towards More Reasonable Evolution by Eckard Blumschein [refresh]
Bookmark and Share
Login or create account to post reply or comment.

This essay's rating: Community = 7.0; Public = 6.0

Author Eckard Blumschein wrote on Feb. 7, 2017 @ 21:43 GMT
Essay Abstract

Scientific curiosity as a human strategy for survival includes the intention to cope with discrepancies between mutually excluding views. Common sense distinguishes past cause from future effect and a point in between while dynamic laws of nature are shift-invariant. Why? The laws are formulated in terms of an unlimited to both sides time that lost its reference to reality. Models that are based on that notion require an arbitrarily chosen reference instead. Necessarily they are redundant and suffer from being closed systems. This affects any belonging method, even alternative ones like least action, path integrals, and BEM. In contrast, my essay admits reality to be an open system seamlessly including everything from elementary fields and particles up to memories, aims, intentions, and beyond. Reality is not fully predictable because there are unseen external influences or just too many internal combinations the mix of which is considered responsible for its progressing evolution. My essay suggests taking under scrutiny some gaps in mathematics, physics, and ethics. Non-arbitrary reasoning is my goal as well as my key criterion, a logical underpinning of Ockham’s razor.

Author Bio


Download Essay PDF File

John C Hodge wrote on Feb. 8, 2017 @ 12:12 GMT
Dr. Blumschein:

Your essay has really thought provoking points. I am seeking to learn.

Your discussion on the "arrow of time" seems to only observation rather than a derivation from some universe principle. Is the "arrow of time" a universe Principle (it should be a derivation I think)? Did I miss something?

Concepts of singularities and infinity are unreal physically, yes?...

view entire post

report post as inappropriate

Author Eckard Blumschein replied on Feb. 8, 2017 @ 19:15 GMT
Dear John Hodge,

Thank you for supporting my opinion that ethics needs correction.

I even consider China's one-child politics a sucess from which their economy and the world's ecology benefits a lot.

What about the relation between model and reality, we may be pretty close to each other.

Being an engineer, I too feel as an outsider with respect to the use of Lagrangian and Hamiltonian. I recammend my reference [1]. The more I dealt with mistakes concerning the imaginary unit.



Branko L Zivlak wrote on Feb. 8, 2017 @ 15:51 GMT
Dear Mr. Blumschein

Your essay is a retrospective of all important in science been achieved until nowadays. It is written with the understanding, correctly and clear. So that's my assessment, brilliant. However, I would not support an attempt of the definition of the speed of light.

„c equals to the distance between positions of target at the moment of arrival and of emitter at the moment of emission divided by the time of fligh.“

Imagine aliens more advanced than we are, and that they somehow know our whole numbers.

Then you tell them, we know the importance of the number 6.283821 ...Tthey will say: We know that number.

Then you offer them your light speed obtained in a way that you suggested. They concluded that it would be the first to explain to them the unit of time and that you still have 4 sources of measurement errors, and as they know errors are added. Also, they would probably have said that they need only one measurement of physical constants that equals approximately 137.035999 .... because they can not determine it exactly.

However, there is way to accurately determine the units of measurement, as well as the speed of light with a minimum number of measurements.



report post as inappropriate

Author Eckard Blumschein replied on Feb. 8, 2017 @ 18:51 GMT
My definition describes how to measure c in case of relative motion between emitter and target. Without such movement, Poincaré's two-way measurement is as correct as is one-way measurement.


John C Hodge wrote on Feb. 8, 2017 @ 18:51 GMT
The Shapiro delay can be explained by a varying speed of light.

report post as inappropriate

Author Eckard Blumschein wrote on Feb. 8, 2017 @ 20:34 GMT
Aw far as I know, the Shapiro delay is a delay similar to refraction within a plasma. Except for its prediction by Shaporo from Schwarzschild solution, it has perhaps nothing to do with the much larger Relativistic length contraction according to SR. Nobody questions that the speed of light outside a vacuum can get smaller than c.

My point is, c only depends on the differene between the positions of emitter at the moment of emission and of target at the moment of arrival. It doesn't depend on a speed.

John C Hodge replied on Feb. 9, 2017 @ 00:31 GMT
What do you think of stating the speed of light is the highest that matter can travel in any environment? Shapiro may be because of gravitational field density.

There is always a gravitational field. Therefore, the idea of a vacuum is not measurable.


report post as inappropriate

Author Eckard Blumschein replied on Feb. 9, 2017 @ 02:03 GMT
Indeed, an ideal vacuum is certainly just a reasonable fiction as is the limit value c too.

Incidentally, I don't think that matter can travel as fast as light may do.

When you read my essay you should have noticed I often used the expression "as if" which reminds of Vaihinger and the "Freunde des als ob" in Halle.

My University of Magdeburg is named after Otto de Guericke who in the 17th century didn't just convincingly demonstrate an almost evacuated space but nonetheless also an electrostatic force across vacuum as a model of forces between the sun and planets.

The magnetic field around a conductor is calculated as extending endlessly as does the gravitational field too. Strictly thought, it completely vanishes only at r=0 where naive theory could expect it to approach the singularity infinity.

Mathematicians dislike my clear distinction between Galileo's logical quality of being infinite and Leibniz/Bernoulli's mathematical quantity of (relative) infinity.

Joe Fisher replied on Feb. 9, 2017 @ 16:42 GMT
Dear Dr. Blumschein,

Please excuse me for I do not wish to be too critical of your fine essay and I do hope that it fairs well in the competition.

Only nature could produce a reality so simple, a single cell amoeba could deal with it.

One real visible Universe must have only one reality. Simple natural reality has nothing to do with any abstract complex musings about any...

view entire post

report post as inappropriate

Peter Jackson wrote on Feb. 13, 2017 @ 21:12 GMT

Very nice essay. Nicely written and I also agree with most therein, certainly including Darwin. I've just speed read most for now but I'll read again slower and make notes.

I also agree your response to JOHN ref the SHAPIRO effect. Venus express found more than enough gas atmosphere for the delays found. Shame such clear refutations don't spread.

But I still see flaws in your simple sounding 'c';

1st; Who can properly determine 'Time of Flight'? The answer is nobody! Choose an observer and I'll show you his problem.

2nd; Take a scenario with an emitter near Mars heading for Earth, which is heading towards it, then an intermediate probe in Earth's ionosphere (sending 'check' signals to Earth & back). We know the signal travels at c wrt the sol rest frame. It's recorded by the probe on passing it, then again on Earth. Your description will fail because either it does the last bit from the probe to Earth at a DIFFERENT SPEED to the probes signals, OR it changes speed on passing the probe so falsifying your description.

Of course it does the latter (as at Venus) but also then does c in the LOCAL rest frame. (as ALL physics is local). It therefore does TWO speed changes on interaction with fermions & gas, to the refractive index PLUS to the rest frame of the fermions it's been re-emitted by. You should find that matches all observation flawlessly. Remember fermions live in all space.

Of course SR is wrong, but you really need to impartially review your alternative as we'll need a flawless one if it's to stand any chance of replacing SR!


report post as inappropriate

Author Eckard Blumschein replied on Feb. 14, 2017 @ 22:08 GMT

My one-way definition of the speed of light in empty space is apparently too simple and irrefutable as to be accepted by you. What is the obstacle?

Everybody is used to refer speed to something. You mentioned "the rest frame of the fermions" and "the sol rest frame". Persson's essay (A Tragedy in Physics) mentions "boundary conditions that are relevant in relation to the wave motion".

In contrast, I agree with Einstein on that there is no naturally preferred point of reference, no rest frame in space. Because my definition is restricted to empty space, it does perhaps not collide with your focus on reemission by fermions. I wonder if I am the first one who claims that the far field of light waves in empty space simply propagate with no direct reference to a frame of emitter, reemitter, medium, or receiver. Only the distance matters, not an arbitrarily chosen point of reference. Did nobody else already distinguish between empty space as a medium as Maxwell imagined it and empty space as mere mutual distances?

Incidentally, what is your opinion concerning the conflict between limitless growth of world population and protection of nature, etc.? I guess, I understand the voters for Brexit and Trump to some extent. Germany's future president often says the world is out of joint. I see a necessity for correcting ethics.


Peter Jackson replied on Feb. 15, 2017 @ 12:57 GMT

On humans v nature I broadly agree with you as my essay on that. But I also identify the

report post as inappropriate

Peter Jackson replied on Feb. 15, 2017 @ 13:24 GMT

On your 'c' description. The basic issue I have is that it doesn't meet the essential test of hypotheses; correspondence to findings. As an astronomer I've focussed on that subject for decades and it's indisputable. What will please you is that the current SR interpretation similarly fails. Einstein conveniently 'forgot' the odd issue (actually he didn't as he well recognised even...

view entire post

report post as inappropriate

Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta wrote on Feb. 14, 2017 @ 09:37 GMT
Dear Eckard Blumschein,

It is a nice and thought provoking essay. Thank you for sharing such nice thoughts. I am writing below some points from your essay………..

Real good points from your essay are….

1. Lagrangian [1], Hamiltonian, path integral, and boundary element method don’t make real time useless. The words wandering, towards, and goal in the topic correspond...

view entire post

report post as inappropriate

Author Eckard Blumschein replied on Feb. 14, 2017 @ 15:35 GMT
Dear SNP Gupta,

I guess you are a believer with sound common sense who after employment in a steel company dealt with galaxies. Therefore, I hope you may read my essay entirely as to point out where you don't agree. My goal and criterium is non-arbitrariness.

Having just mentioned Kant's role together with Laplace as founders of cosmogenity, I should add of the scientific one. Their reasoning was devoted to the possible evolution of cosmos, NOT to speculations about something like Adam and Eve or a Big Bang out of nothing. Kant predicted the existence of what we now are calling galaxies. At least the idea of first men does even contradict to the meanwhile good substantiated idea of beginningless gradual evolution.

Gary D. Simpson wrote on Feb. 16, 2017 @ 14:34 GMT

Your essay is a very good recounting of the historical evolution of mathematics and philosophy over the past few thousand years. It could just as easily have been presented as an entry in the last essay contest. The emphasis upon the evolution of natural systems is a key point I think.

When speaking of infinite series, you note that an infinite series cannot be complete. Would you make a similar comparison between evolution and "emergence"?

BTW, although an infinite series can not be computed in finite time, a partial sum and a residual can be added together to give the correct result if the residual coincidentally has the correct value.

I agree with your definition for light speed. My only question is how to measure the transit time ....

Best Regards and Good Luck,

Gary Simpson

report post as inappropriate

Anonymous replied on Feb. 16, 2017 @ 21:36 GMT

Thank you for agreeing on my definition for the speed of light in vacuum. There is nonetheless a paper of NIST in nature 2010 that allegedly proofs time dilution. I see my definition an alternative. While exact one-way measurement of time is indeed a challenging task, I rather trust in logical scrutiny. My essay focuses on checking non-arbitrariness.

As did already Leibniz, I tend to question any perfect symmetries in nature.

To me, frequently occurring striking mirror symmetry rather indicates a mathematical artifact. In general, I see mathematical items like the line, the circle, and infinity merely ideal and therefore strictly speaking unphysical simplifications of reality.

If we are speaking of an infinite series, we have convergent ones in mind. The alternating series 1, -1, 1, -1, 1, ... does not converge.

Entities may suddenly emerge in any part of reality including physics, live, history, politics, science, feelings, ideas, plans, art, etc.; I see them as always just distinguished levels of an evolution that is pretty continuous and traceable back to multiple causes. A foetus evolves and gets a baby with its emergence by birth.

I don't see the primary goal for menkind in equality and freedom but in survival by means of responsible self-control. Leaving a poisoned earth is a dangerous illusion.

With your theory you will need good look, too. I don't expect much recognition of my often unwelcome reasoning in this contest. I merely hope my grandchildren will see me active on the right side from the perspective of responsible human evolution.



report post as inappropriate

Steve Dufourny wrote on Feb. 16, 2017 @ 18:17 GMT
Hello Eckard,

Congratulations for your essay,objective, rational and respecting our postulates.Relevant like always to read your developments.

All the best and good luck.

report post as inappropriate

Author Eckard Blumschein replied on Feb. 16, 2017 @ 22:00 GMT
I feel in debt to FQXi for guiding me to develop hopefully useful while admittedly uncommon conclusions.

Steve Dufourny replied on Feb. 18, 2017 @ 14:50 GMT
:) always surprising and intersting to read you in all case.


report post as inappropriate

Member George F. R. Ellis wrote on Feb. 18, 2017 @ 15:38 GMT
Dear Eckard Blumenschein

it is an interesting comprehensive essay, where I in particular agree about the block universe, the significance of evolution, and the importance of values for the future of humanity. I believe that the key feature you focus on, Non-arbitrary reasoning, is possible because logic choices can emerge from physics via biomolecules at the micro level, as I explain in my essay, which are then incorporated in physiological structures (brains) at the macro level which enable the micro logic to be built up to underpin macro logic, as also occurs in the case of digital computers.

It is good to argue with breadth and historical depth, as you have.

George Ellis

report post as inappropriate

Login or create account to post reply or comment.

Please enter your e-mail address:

And select the letter between 'V' and 'X':

Note: Joining the FQXi mailing list does not give you a login account or constitute membership in the organization.