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Current Essay Contest

Contest Partners: Jaan Tallinn, The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, The John 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

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Jonathan Dickau: on 6/7/14 at 3:46am UTC, wrote Something to think about.. Your central thesis stands well on its own, and...

Peter Jackson: on 6/2/14 at 16:30pm UTC, wrote Rodney, And there was me thinking it was just ME that crammed too many...

James Hoover: on 5/27/14 at 17:59pm UTC, wrote Rodney, I was told, I think last year, by a fellow participant in this...

Michael muteru: on 5/16/14 at 11:45am UTC, wrote hi rodney Very prophetic essay that me i give you 6/10.In my essay...

Aaron Feeney: on 5/11/14 at 2:14am UTC, wrote Hi Rodney, Wow, thank you for your kind words. I'm glad you liked my essay...

Rodney Bartlett: on 5/10/14 at 8:32am UTC, wrote Your essay is a breakthrough, Aaron. I love it! Everyone is preoccupied...

Aaron Feeney: on 5/10/14 at 3:40am UTC, wrote P.S., I will use the following rating scale to rate the essays of authors...

Rodney Bartlett: on 4/24/14 at 6:43am UTC, wrote My essay is questioning one aspect of biology (by stating that complete...


Georgina Woodward: "Still about the anatomy of spacetime. Max Tegmark/ 10mths ago/ Closer to..." in Anatomy of spacetime and...

Stefan Weckbach: "Hi Lorraine, in the case of the crashing twin-towers, the term “top-down..." in The Present State of...

Stefan Weckbach: "Hi Steve, take also care Steve, and may the force of the three spheres be..." in The Present State of...

Jim Snowdon: "Since evolving on our rapidly rotating planet, we have used it`s rotational..." in The Quantum Clock-Maker...

Steve Dufourny: "a general universal clock of evolution irreversible correlated for me with..." in The Quantum Clock-Maker...

Georgina Woodward: "If considering existence rather than appearances, the time dimension..." in Anatomy of spacetime and...

Georgina Woodward: "Thank you. Good luck." in The Nature of Time

Lorraine Ford: "Rob, As you have not replied, I take it that you now concede that the..." in 16th Marcel Grossmann...

click titles to read articles

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.

Can Choices Curve Spacetime?
Two teams are developing ways to detect quantum-gravitational effects in the lab.

The Quantum Engine That Simultaneously Heats and Cools
Tiny device could help boost quantum electronics.

The Quantum Refrigerator
A tiny cooling device could help rewrite the thermodynamic rule book for quantum machines.

September 18, 2021

CATEGORY: How Should Humanity Steer the Future? Essay Contest (2014) [back]
TOPIC: New Physics Suggests Darwin's Origin of Species Is Incomplete, and That Godlike Humanity Will Emerge by Rodney Bartlett [refresh]
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Author Rodney Bartlett wrote on Feb. 11, 2014 @ 15:35 GMT
Essay Abstract

The world is at a crossroad today. There is so much we have no understanding of – dark energy, the hypothetical form of energy that permeates all of space and tends to accelerate the expansion of the universe, is perhaps the best known example. If humanity is going to steer the future, we need to remove ourselves from the darkness we’re immersed in and discover the light. I believe this light will reveal what dark energy is, where it comes from, and how it originated. Further, the light could give us a new perspective on where WE came from, how the human race was born, and the role of present humankind in the grand scheme of not only our own, but the universe’s, origin and destiny. The basic outline for a different perspective on the Theory of Evolution has been described in this article. When contemplating the theory of evolution, people assume evolution belongs exclusively to the biological sciences. I maintain complete comprehension also requires physics. Without a conviction that time travel is possible, I’d have to totally agree with the evolutionary concepts Darwin proposed. But since I have no doubt that time doesn’t exclusively operate in a straight line (my reasons are explained below), I can propose a different origin of species – though all the species subsequently undergo adaptations throughout the centuries. In 1870, Wallace (one of Darwin’s major “disciples” and the man who is often reported to have independently reached the same conclusions about evolution that Darwin did) suddenly converted to spiritualism. “Darwin’s Armada” (26) states – “Wallace surmised … that man must have been programmed for civilisation by some higher intelligence.” (27) Assume Wallace’s “higher intelligence” happens because, as this article puts it near the end, “eternal God and humanity of the far future are not separate...

Author Bio

I'm not a professional of any kind - just your average citizen, with a burning desire to understand how everything works (my main interest is the universe). I feel that I've been hard at work on this essay for the past 30 or 40 years. To tell the truth, I don't how I wrote it. Maybe all information already exists - and if you've got enough curiosity about something (like the future of science), all your reading and thinking assembles itself like a jigsaw puzzle. I only hope my jigsaw of the future has been put together correctly.

Download Essay PDF File

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Author Rodney Bartlett wrote on Feb. 13, 2014 @ 13:16 GMT
I've used elements from my entry to write the following article for Enjoy!

Title –


Author – Rodney Bartlett

Abstract –

Mathematics books say division by zero is undefined and you should never divide by zero (the special case of 0/0 is termed...

view entire post

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Joe Fisher wrote on Feb. 13, 2014 @ 16:15 GMT
I found your essay quite engrossing Mr. Bartlett.

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Joe Fisher wrote on Feb. 14, 2014 @ 13:58 GMT
Unfortunately, man is the only animal that has ignored natural evolution. Instead of survival of the fittest, man has introduced the concept of domination by the weakest. What Darwin described as adaptive process, man calls disease. Instead of allowing cancer to be bred out naturally, certain select men profit immensely by pretending to be able to cure it. Modern man is now so contemptuous of himself, he cannot wait to build a robot that will be able to pilot a spaceship capable of traveling faster than the speed of light that will zoom far away where imbecilic man cannot go.

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Kimmo Rouvari replied on Feb. 15, 2014 @ 07:51 GMT
Hmm... maybe the next step in evolution is the rise of machines. They are more potent than human beings, at least in couple of centuries.

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Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on Feb. 19, 2014 @ 02:10 GMT
Hello Rodney,

It's good to see you have an entry here. Since I agree with your premise that humanity's destiny is to evolve toward a more godlike state, I am eager to read what you have to say.

All the Best,


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Author Rodney Bartlett replied on Feb. 19, 2014 @ 13:21 GMT
Hello Jonathan,

It's good to be here. I somehow got into deep discussion at "Quark Stars - A New Form of Matter" ( and I'm having fun! The fun is going to end very soon because I've enrolled in some university courses that will take up all my time (but they'll be a different kind of fun). I remember your kindness from last year, and am glad you agree with my premise. I hope you had a good time reading my thoughts.

All the best,


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Jonathan J. Dickau replied on Feb. 19, 2014 @ 18:17 GMT

I expect to finish reading today.

More later,


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Jayakar Johnson Joseph wrote on Feb. 19, 2014 @ 05:29 GMT
Dear Rodney,

Evolution is based on Beneficial mutation and Natural Selection, whereas the manifestation of Harmful mutation is prevalence in the higher order of species in the taxonomic hierarchy on biological classification. Margin of Beneficial mutation for ‘Survival of the Fittest’ that drives Evolution, is more with the lower order of species and thus Virus have maximum range of Beneficial mutation for them to fight against immunity. Another factor that is observational with Humanity is that, though the quantum of ‘Survival of the Fittest’ is prevalence with the socio-economically backward Humanity that is due to immunity development, there is emerging limitation due to incomparable benchmark of Virus and other lower order organisms in mutation.

Thus physically, Godlike Humanity Will Not Emerge and moreover if we do not Steer the Future in an environment friendly pathway, only Evil like Humanity Will Emerge from the present Humanity. As the implications of all scientific developments converges to healthcare, précised scientific principles to be determined, in that investigating the nature of time is profoundly imperative.

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sridattadev kancharla wrote on Feb. 28, 2014 @ 19:52 GMT
Dear Rodney,

You are absolutely right about describing "GOD" as a fully quantum entangled being. If we realize our self we are that being. A simple question

"who am I?" will reveal the universal truth.

Please see the blog and videos about this universal truth at

Conscience is the cosmological constant.



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James Dunn wrote on Apr. 18, 2014 @ 15:51 GMT
In a million years, we will have god-like abilities. Civilizations likely pre-existed us by billions of year.

God-like versus God

We cannot know the difference between advanced species and what we consider God. Every atom of our body may be influenced by untold numbers of advanced intelligence. Us in a million years.

James Dunn

FQXi Submission:

Graduated Certification for Certification of Common Sense

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Georgina Woodward wrote on Apr. 21, 2014 @ 01:47 GMT
Hi Rodney,

I have read your essay. personally I found it rather too theoretical for ease of reading and comprehension. The abstract helped. You have,it sounds, got a lot of ideas that you have wanted to share and, at least for me, too many to take in all at once.Though others may find the dense 'matter of fact' style to their liking. I find the time travel ideas too far fetched but appreciate that according to certain interpretation of relativity theory alone, time travel to the past is theoretically feasible. I appreciate the desire to find a place for God in all of that theory. Thank you for sharing your many ideas. Georgina

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Author Rodney Bartlett replied on Apr. 21, 2014 @ 03:30 GMT
Thanks a lot for reading my essay, Georgina. I couldn't understand why my essay was rating so poorly. Now I see it's because most people would also feel that there's too much to take in all at once. You're right - I do have a lot of ideas I want to share. And the contest limited the amount of space I had to explain those ideas (hence the dense "matter of fact" style.

I've been developing the ideas for years and years, which is probably why the dense style doesn't bother me. I appreciate that it might be a bit overwhelming for anyone reading it for the first time. Perhaps reading the steps taken to arrive at these conclusions would be easier reading. The 51 short articles I've writeen during the past two years and posted at my page might make my essay's development clearer.

If it doesn't help, the essay should be here for a very long time. In that time, time travel should become reality, and there will be many other advances. The advances and reality of time travel, plus the long availability of the essay, will contribute to making it readable.

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Hoang cao Hai wrote on Apr. 22, 2014 @ 03:22 GMT
Dear Bartlett

I also affirm that : evolutionary theory must be consistent with the theory of physics or theology, and vice versa - it would really be the truth.

Therefore, Physics and Theology at present there are many problems also inappropriate.

Assessment by the highest score for the passion and enthusiasm of you.

Along with best wishes - Hải.CaoHoàng

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Author Rodney Bartlett wrote on Apr. 24, 2014 @ 06:43 GMT
My essay is questioning one aspect of biology (by stating that complete understanding of biological evolution requires what we could call "new physics"). So I'll be self-consistent, and question another aspect of biology -

Does cholesterol actually help prevent vascular disease?

In "Essentials of Human Anatomy and Physiology" (Tenth Edition) by Elaine N. Marieb - Pearson Education Limited 2014, it's stated on p. 80 that "The cholesterol helps keep the (cell, or plasma) membrane fluid." Could this mean cholesterol is innocent in causing cardiovascular disease? Heart problems might actually be caused by decades of activity of that organ's moving parts gradually causing the heart to wear out, while deterioration of blood vessels would be the result of decades of friction with the blood. This deterioration can cause arteriosclerosis and the rough patches resulting from constant friction could cause blood clots. With increasing age, the liver produces more and more cholesterol in an effort to keep the cells lining the blood vessels in an elastic state. If this is what really happens, the increased cholesterol accompanying the increased cardiovascular disease would lead to the understandable, but incorrect, assumption that the former causes the latter.

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Michael muteru wrote on May. 16, 2014 @ 11:45 GMT
hi rodney

Very prophetic essay that me i give you 6/10.In my essay i have written about the great transition and addressed challenges and solutions during this transitory periiod.take your time to read/rate my essay - LIVING IN THE SHADOWS OF THE SUN: REALITIES, PERILS ESCAPADES MAN, PLANET AND KARDASHEV SCALE.MAKING THE GREAT TRANSITION by Michael muteru -here you all the best

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James Lee Hoover wrote on May. 27, 2014 @ 17:59 GMT

I was told, I think last year, by a fellow participant in this contest that I shouldn't reference Kaku because his ideas are too unorthodox. Like you, I don't believe that any idea is out of consideration, and my essay speaks that when I say "Look beyond" the accepted and to the unorthodox. We are not close to understanding the brain's capacity, which many have called the neural universe.

We are a type 0 civilization, in Kaku's eyes, and as such we cannot begin to know the affect of type 2 discoveries on our doctrines.

Sometimes the unschooled in physics like us consider the unorthodox like surpassing the speed of light, which I speak about in my essay.


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Peter Jackson wrote on Jun. 2, 2014 @ 16:30 GMT

And there was me thinking it was just ME that crammed too many things in too little space. Well done, you beat me hands down. That was an interesting and vibrant trip round the universe. You finished with;

"Einstein's Unified Field is, for now, a vastly unappreciated success!" True except for it's present complete discordance with QM. But that's resolved by my own essay. Do read my own allegorical trip across the universe to make QM fit (an only very slightly re-interpreted) relativity with a unified field. Much misunderstood it seems, but hey that's the universe for you! (do check out my cyclic model in the Academia preprint link(s) in my blog)

Best wishes


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Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on Jun. 7, 2014 @ 03:46 GMT
Something to think about..

Your central thesis stands well on its own, and the modern Science you cite does support your conclusions, but you seem to make the story overmuch about how your interpretations or proposals for new science would lead to a godlike future. We might get that anyway, even if your theories are not true. But it was good to read your effort to express these ideas.

All the Best,


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