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 Partners: The Gruber Foundation, J. Templeton Foundation, and Scientific American

Previous Contests

Undecidability, Uncomputability, and Unpredictability Essay Contest
December 24, 2019 - April 24, 2020
Contest Partners: Fetzer Franklin Fund, and The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation

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

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 Fund.

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

Antony Ryan: on 8/7/13 at 22:14pm UTC, wrote My pleasure Royce!

Paul Borrill: on 8/7/13 at 21:58pm UTC, wrote Dear Royce, I have now finished reviewing all 180 essays for the contest...

eAmazigh HANNOU: on 8/4/13 at 18:55pm UTC, wrote Dear Haynes, We are at the end of this essay contest. In conclusion, at...

Hugh Matlock: on 8/4/13 at 4:10am UTC, wrote This is to correct the link to my Software Cosmos essay.

James Hoover: on 7/25/13 at 17:45pm UTC, wrote Royce, Thanks for the interesting read. I too tend toward the "Bit from...

Sreenath N: on 7/24/13 at 4:20am UTC, wrote Dear Royce, I have down loaded your essay and soon post my comments on it....

Hugh Matlock: on 7/15/13 at 9:33am UTC, wrote Hi Royce, You wrote: "In cosmology, dark matter has not been identified,...

john selye: on 7/14/13 at 16:37pm UTC, wrote Dear Dr. Haynes, It was most interesting to see how you place the...


Stefan Weckbach: "Oops, "survival is logically favoured over distinction" should read ..." in The Present State of...

Stefan Weckbach: "Hi Lorraine, thanks for your reply and your honest answer. I agree with..." in The Present State of...

Georgina Woodward: "Done." in The Nature of Time

Jim Snowdon: "Excuse me, my previous post is in error." in The Quantum Clock-Maker...

Georgina Woodward: "Vesuvius Now, thank you so much for watching and your feedback. I will make..." in The Nature of Time

Jim Snowdon: "Had we evolved on the dark side of the Moon, we would not see the Earth. ..." in The Quantum Clock-Maker...

click titles to read articles

Good Vibrations
Microbead 'motor' exploits natural fluctuations for power.

Reconstructing Physics
New photon experiment gives new meta-framework, 'constructor theory,' a boost.

The Quantum Engineer: Q&A with Alexia Auffèves
Experiments seek to use quantum observations as fuel to power mini motors.

The Quantum Clock-Maker Investigating COVID-19, Causality, and the Trouble with AI
Sally Shrapnel, a quantum physicist and medical practitioner, on her experiments into cause-and-effect that could help us understand time’s arrow—and build better healthcare algorithms.

Connect the Quantum Dots for a New Kind of Fuel
'Artificial atoms' allow physicists to manipulate individual electrons—and could help to reduce energy wastage in electronic devices.

October 17, 2021

CATEGORY: It From Bit or Bit From It? Essay Contest (2013) [back]
TOPIC: An Alternative Paradigm for the Universe by Royce Haynes [refresh]
Bookmark and Share
Login or create account to post reply or comment.

Author Royce Haynes wrote on Jun. 24, 2013 @ 16:42 GMT
Essay Abstract

Information is corruptible and subject to erroneous interpretation, whereas reality is synonymous with “truth”; bit from it. Here we propose an alternative reality, the beginning and evolution of the universe based upon a new paradigm, the Zero Kelvin Big Bang (ZKBB). Grounded in basic demonstrable physics, simple logic, and extrapolation, ZKBB proposes a past-eternal cosmic fabric of mutually repulsive, spin-oriented atomic hydrogen, at zero kelvin. Condensation into a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) results in Georges Lemaitre’s Primeval Atom, the concentrated mass of the entire universe in a single quantum, with zero energy and zero entropy; finally, a concrete universe-quantum connection. A quantum event, a single electron spin-flip, precipitates an implosion-explosion; a thermonuclear Big Bang and a universe, and the ultimate “bit to it” event. Using energy stoichiometry, we discuss how the ZKBB model accurately describes the cosmic microwave background (CMB), both conceptually and quantitatively. This model provides a realistic explanation for dark energy, and obviates the horizon problem and the flatness problem. Perhaps this logical, coherent model for the universe will partially fulfill Wheeler’s dream; “Surely someday, we can believe, we will grasp the central idea of it all as so simple, so beautiful, so compelling that we will all say to each other, ‘Oh, how could it have been otherwise! How could we all have been so blind for so long!’. I don’t know whether it will be one year or a decade, but I think we can and will understand. That’s the central thing I would like to stand for. We can and will understand”.

Author Bio

Received B.S. in Genetics and Ph.D. in Comparative Biochemistry from University of California, Davis. After a laboratory management career in clinical chemistry and environmental chemistry, retired in 2007. Have been working on theoretical cosmology, as an independent researcher, for the last 10 years.

Download Essay PDF File

Bookmark and Share

Hoang cao Hai wrote on Jun. 25, 2013 @ 02:34 GMT
Welcome to the contest Royce

The issue you bring up is interesting.

Do you think that the final theory of everything would be born from absolute measures? it is available at:

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate
Author Royce Haynes replied on Jun. 26, 2013 @ 01:18 GMT
Thank you for the welcome.

I don't think that the Theory of Everything will ever be completely known because of human fallibility. Our evaluation of information (data) is always subjective, subject to our own preconceived ideas of what the answer "should be".

Bookmark and Share

Joe Fisher wrote on Jun. 25, 2013 @ 15:39 GMT
Mr. Haynes,

I thought that your essay was extremely well written and truly informative.

As a somewhat unschooled decrepit old realist, may I please just comment on one telling sentence that you used in the essay?

You wrote, “However, as human beings, we are special: we do have unique capabilities that enable us to reconstruct reality in our minds.”

As I have gone to great pains in my essay BITTERS to point out, it is reality that is unique. All we ever do is construct commonplace abstractions in our brain that have nothing to do with the uniqueness of reality.

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate
Author Royce Haynes replied on Jun. 26, 2013 @ 01:43 GMT
Thank you for your comments on my essay.

From a physics standpoint, I am also an unschooled decrepit old realist, so it's nice to hear from another one.

I was pointing to two things that are unique, reality as you pointed out, which I see as the evolution of our universe (there may be others) and man's ability to make sense of it. As I said in the essay, the universe happened only one way, with a single trajectory from a beginning to now. Hugh Everett's Many Worlds Theory is codswallop. Also most of the evolution happened before man or even biology came on the scene. So Wheeler's "participatory universe" is pretty much a figment of imagination. The other thing which I alluded to was that, in the field of biology, human beings are special and unique in that we can use imagination to extrapolate physical processes forward and backwards in time and picture a "reality" at a different point in time, and be able to rationally explain how it got from here to there.

Bookmark and Share

Manuel S Morales wrote on Jun. 25, 2013 @ 21:46 GMT

I found your essay to be very professional and rational based on the current paradigm that only something can create something which of course is logical to our mainstream thinking. You have taken on many obstacles with your logical approach and I commend you for your extensive efforts of which I will rate accordingly.

I have found that the methodology of something creating something (effectual causality) has a fundamental flaw for it inherently omits causality. I get into this in my essay of which I invite you to review and rate when you get the chance:

Good luck with your entry.



Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate
Author Royce Haynes replied on Jun. 28, 2013 @ 15:09 GMT
Thanks Manuel.

I enjoyed reading your essay, and the illustrations were very well done.

I also have a problem with effectual causality, emerging from the Copenhagen interpretation and Wheeler's "participatory universe". The universe appears to have been around for a whole lot longer than man, or even of biology itself. So the universe must have gotten along quite well without man's presence, observation or intervention. To think that the evolution of the universe would be "on hold" just because some electron could not decide which way to go seems ridiculous.

There is one point in your essay that I would like to comment on, and request your view in return. It is with the issue of gravity. Most amateur cosmologists, like ourselves, and even almost all professional cosmologists talk about the "force of gravity", essentially treating gravity as the defining (if not only) motive force in the evolution of the universe. In trying to clarify it in my own mind, I eventually leaned towards the view of the small minority of physicists, that gravity is really a pseudo-force; there is no attractive "force of gravity". General Relativity appears to show that, what we perceive as gravity, is actually an illusion created by the motion of matter through curved space; a function of an accelerated reference frame which we perceive as static. I was able to put this idea in words as follows: what we calculate as the force of gravity, is actually the hypothetical force which would have to exist, in order to produce the effects we see, if space were NOT curved.

Thanks for your input.


Bookmark and Share

Akinbo Ojo wrote on Jun. 26, 2013 @ 09:49 GMT
Hello Royce and welcome to the essay contest. Your ZKBB theory appeals to me as I have nurtured similar thoughts. But as this may not be within the purview of this year's contest, check me out on arXiv, author: ojo.

The only question I wish to put to you is whether you have come across this equation:

∆S = ∆E/T,

where S is entropy, E is a fluctuation in energy and T is temperature at the time of energy change.

If you have, will you consider it a better source of astronomical-sized explosion, this time thermodynamic rather than thermonuclear?

There is also a 'temperature problem' bedeviling cosmology, when all matter in the universe is claimed to be created at once. Bye for now.

Best regards,


Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate
Author Royce Haynes replied on Jun. 28, 2013 @ 16:09 GMT
Hello Akinbo.

Yes I came across that equation in a 2005 paper on the thermodynamic basis for inflationary cosmology by Akinbo Ojo. I thought I recognized the name when I saw the post here. I read your paper a few years ago and your clear presentation of the problems inherent in Standard Big Bang (SBB) cosmology were a strong catalyst for the ideas which led up to the Zero Kelvin Big Bang...

view entire post

Bookmark and Share

Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta wrote on Jun. 28, 2013 @ 00:43 GMT
Dear Haynes,

Thank you for presenting your nice essay. I saw the abstract and will post my comments soon. Did any body measured Bigbang generated CMB till today?

I am requesting you to go through my essay also. And I take this opportunity to say, to come to reality and base your arguments on experimental results.

I failed mainly because I worked against the main stream. The...

view entire post

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate
Author Royce Haynes replied on Jun. 28, 2013 @ 16:59 GMT
Thank you for checking out the essay.

You asked ; Did any body measured Bigbang generated CMB till today?

Ironically, it was Fred Hoyle who first compared the energy in the CMB with energy released from nuclear fusion; reference Burbidge and Hoyle, Ap.J. 509, L1.

They noted that the energy released by the fusion of hydrogen to helium since the universe began was approximately equal to the energy measured in the CMB. Unfortunately, these authors were already committed to the Steady State Theory of the universe, and so could not accept a thermonuclear Big Bang, although that is obviously the most natural conclusion that one could come to. Instead, they theorized that the universe must be trillions of years old, and that the energy detected in the CMB must have come from the slow accumulation of energy produced by nuclear fusion in countless generations of stars during that time. It is unfortunate that sometimes our preconceived notions on what we know MUST BE true, overcomes our ability to see the "truth" and reality in the data that we look at. Similarly, Einstein could have predicted an expanding universe well before Hubble showed it through observation. Instead, he believed in a static universe, and inserted the cosmological constant to make sure that it was static. Unfortunately, even today, the progress of cosmology is controlled as much by sociology as it is by physics.

Thanks again for your interest.


Bookmark and Share

Hoang cao Hai wrote on Jun. 28, 2013 @ 04:43 GMT
Send to all of you


To change the atmosphere "abstract" of the competition and to demonstrate for the real preeminent possibility of the Absolute theory as well as to clarify the issues I mentioned in the essay and to avoid duplicate questions after receiving the opinion of you , I will add a reply to you :

1 . THE...

view entire post

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Antony Ryan wrote on Jun. 30, 2013 @ 15:55 GMT
Dear Royce,

I agree information is corruptible and that one day we will understand nature much more fully.

Original angle on this!

Best wishes,


Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate
Author Royce Haynes replied on Jul. 4, 2013 @ 15:18 GMT
Thanks for reading the essay Antony.

Bookmark and Share

Antony Ryan replied on Aug. 7, 2013 @ 22:14 GMT
My pleasure Royce!

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on Jul. 2, 2013 @ 23:17 GMT
I enjoyed your essay, Royce.

I think your model has promise. There are some other facts you could link up with to strengthen your case, as well. You missed a big opportunity to characterize the ZKBB theory as the ultimate case of "It from Bit" because a single bit of information, in the form of a spin-flipped electron, sets all of cosmic evolution in motion.

A lot of cosmologists are positing a cold dark end, but few are asking "What then?" and of course the idea a Big Bang could commence from an ultra-cold event is way cool that way. You might want to check out Steven Kauffmann's paper on a self-gravitational upper bound to energy concentrations, referenced on the FQXi community page. You will want to check out what Tom Ray has to say about fermionic condensates, when his essay posts.

I liked this idea when you presented at CCC-2, and still find it appealing today. It could be built upon, to construct a robust theory. I submitted my essay on the last day, but it should eventually appear. FYI - Ram Gopal Vishwakarma, who was also at CCC-2, in in this year's contest as well.

All the Best,


Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate
Author Royce Haynes replied on Jul. 4, 2013 @ 15:58 GMT
Thanks Jonathan. I was puzzled by your comment, "You missed a big opportunity...". On page 6 I wrote, "..imagine that at least once in eternity, one atom in 10^80 atoms underwent a spontaneous electron spin flip. This makes it the ultimate "bit to it", where a single atomic transition precipitated a universe". Perhaps you missed that statement in skimming the essay.

I had already checked...

view entire post

Bookmark and Share

Peter Jackson wrote on Jul. 3, 2013 @ 15:37 GMT

Please explain something for me. I completely fail to see any relevance of your essay, either in it's proposals or writing style, to the current community placing and score it's carrying.

May I suggest it could be something to do with your accusation that researchers rarely question the basic validity of their model. Or perhaps your accusation about the corruptibility of...

view entire post

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate
Author Royce Haynes replied on Jul. 4, 2013 @ 16:47 GMT
Thanks for your review and comments Peter.

First, I would like to correct one misinterpretation; my essay included an "observation", and not an "accusation", regarding physicists not questioning the model when dealing with observational data which does not "fit" the accepted paradigm. I noticed a surprising number of papers on arXiv where the conclusion included a statement like "These...

view entire post

Bookmark and Share

James Lee Hoover wrote on Jul. 3, 2013 @ 19:38 GMT

If given the time and the wits to evaluate over 120 more entries, I have a month to try. My seemingly whimsical title, “It’s good to be the king,” is serious about our subject.


Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on Jul. 11, 2013 @ 18:02 GMT
Howdy Royce,

I just wanted to comment that instead of complaining, Peter is offering sage advice above. It takes an odd blend of tactics to weave oneself through the maze of conflicting ideals in a contest like this, but the main thing is that if you are derogatory or disparaging about the state of the scientific establishment, you best have a better idea to offer and leave a small attack surface for naysayers to pick at.

One can talk about the Einstellung effect within hierarchical systems, and only offend a few scholars, but if you make an accusation that the establishment is being short sighted by not acknowledging a better model; that is not as likely to be well received in this venue, and a seasoned contest veteran like Peter is right to call you on it. Of course; you can see how well it works (or fails to work) for Elliot McGucken, whose Physics might be brilliant - but he comes across as crazed and offish.

So it is tough sometimes to separate the notion of your idea, its presentation, and its relationship to the larger body of work or the mainstream of Physics. I have commented that this idea shows promise. But it is not yet a well-developed physical theory; at this point it is a well-formed toy model, which has the potential to become robust theory.

All the Best,


Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Thomas Howard Ray wrote on Jul. 12, 2013 @ 17:02 GMT
Dear Royce,

I like and agree with your realist philosophy -- " ... the universe has traveled on a single trajectory; events have occurred in a unique sequence, whether someone was there to measure them or not. To believe that the early universe had no reality, just because we were not there to measure it, seems the height of human arrogance" -- and I appreciate the cosmological model you have constructed.

Nevertheless, you confuse me on a couple of key points. You say you reject the idea that the universe came from nothing, and yet your proposition of a frozen hydrogen atom at zeroK is also a representation of "nothing." That is, a singular ground state with no excitation potential (spin oriented relative to what?) is not a quantity measurable in principle and so not consistent with Wheeler's maxim that "a phenomenon is not real until it is observed."

Further, though, by making the Bose-Einstein condensate fundamental, you create in principle a continuum of "nothing." There are no particles in BEC statistics that can be differentiated from the spacetime in which they interact, because an infinity of bosons can simultaneously occupy the same point and eventually will (the singularity problem).

So I'm not so much disagreeing with what you wrote, as suggesting that it doesn't go far enough. That is, if one's aim is to show the least excited state in which reality can continually exist, change and evolve, meaning the world we observe which consists of things that can be differentiated, I think one must advance to a fermionic phase of superfluidity, where the Pauli Exclusion Principle saves us from an eternally static model. That's the subject of my essay, and I hope you get a chance to visit.

Thanks for a good read and best wishes.


Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

john stephan selye wrote on Jul. 14, 2013 @ 16:37 GMT
Dear Dr. Haynes,

It was most interesting to see how you place the evolution of ZKBB in the context of the history of modern physics. A very informative and well written essay.

At the beginning, you mention the nature of mind - how we reconstruct reality in our reflective minds. I write about this in some detail - how every species ultimately perceives the underlying reality in its...

view entire post

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Hugh Matlock wrote on Jul. 15, 2013 @ 09:33 GMT
Hi Royce,

You wrote:

"In cosmology, dark matter has not been identified, dark energy (the accelerated expansion of the universe) and inflation are unexplained, galactic haloes remain unverified, the concept of super-symmetry has been discredited, and the "flatness problem" and why omega is exactly 1 remain unresolved."

I appreciate that you are taking up some of the unsolved problems of observational cosmology, as I have so far found few essayists who have. I very much like your account of how it all could have gotten started.

In my essay I take a different approach to these problems, but with the same end in mind, to explore a new concept for cosmology. Perhaps in Software Cosmos you will find something of a kindred soul who questions today's dominant paradigm, even though I start from a different perspective (the simulation model) and come to the opposite conclusion, It from Bit.

Looking at both I can see how our two accounts might naturally co-exist, as your initial state seems (to me anyway) analogous to a software structure initialized to all zeros.


Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate
Hugh Matlock replied on Aug. 4, 2013 @ 04:10 GMT
This is to correct the link to my Software Cosmos essay.

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Sreenath B N wrote on Jul. 24, 2013 @ 04:20 GMT
Dear Royce,

I have down loaded your essay and soon post my comments on it. Meanwhile, please, go through my essay and post your comments.

Regards and good luck in the contest,

Sreenath BN.

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

James Lee Hoover wrote on Jul. 25, 2013 @ 17:45 GMT

Thanks for the interesting read. I too tend toward the "Bit from It" view and believe your somewhat technical description of ZKBB might involve something like the "virtual particle" (actually disturbance, not a particle) concept I mention. I do not have a definitive concept to explain the BB or specifically debunk Wheeler's Anthropic Principle as you do. I need to reread your essay to understand the foundations of the ZKBB process.

I would be interested in your view of "It's Good to be the King"


Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

eAmazigh M. HANNOU wrote on Aug. 4, 2013 @ 18:55 GMT
Dear Haynes,

We are at the end of this essay contest.

In conclusion, at the question to know if Information is more fundamental than Matter, there is a good reason to answer that Matter is made of an amazing mixture of eInfo and eEnergy, at the same time.

Matter is thus eInfo made with eEnergy rather than answer it is made with eEnergy and eInfo ; because eInfo is eEnergy, and the one does not go without the other one.

eEnergy and eInfo are the two basic Principles of the eUniverse. Nothing can exist if it is not eEnergy, and any object is eInfo, and therefore eEnergy.

And consequently our eReality is eInfo made with eEnergy. And the final verdict is : eReality is virtual, and virtuality is our fundamental eReality.

Good luck to the winners,

And see you soon, with good news on this topic, and the Theory of Everything.

Amazigh H.

I rated your essay.

Please visit My essay.

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Paul Borrill wrote on Aug. 7, 2013 @ 21:58 GMT
Dear Royce,

I have now finished reviewing all 180 essays for the contest and appreciate your contribution to this competition.

I have been thoroughly impressed at the breadth, depth and quality of the ideas represented in this contest. In true academic spirit, if you have not yet reviewed my essay, I invite you to do so and leave your comments.

You can find the latest version of my essay here:

(sorry if the fqxi web site splits this url up, I haven’t figured out a way to not make it do that).

May the best essays win!

Kind regards,

Paul Borrill

paul at borrill dot com

Bookmark and Share
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.