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Current Essay Contest


Contest Partners: Astrid and Bruce McWilliams

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

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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
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It From Bit or Bit From It
March 25 - June 28, 2013
Contest Partners: The Gruber Foundation, J. Templeton Foundation, and Scientific American
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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
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Is Reality Digital or Analog?
November 2010 - February 2011
Contest Partners: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation and Scientific American
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What's Ultimately Possible in Physics?
May - October 2009
Contest Partners: Astrid and Bruce McWilliams
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The Nature of Time
August - December 2008
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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

Eckard Blumschein: on 10/29/09 at 15:07pm UTC, wrote Dear Darryl Jay Leiter, I took the chance reading your essay. Now I would...

J.C.N. Smith: on 10/16/09 at 20:48pm UTC, wrote Mr. Hobill, Thanks for a nice essay. Worthy of note along the lines of...

Darryl Leiter: on 10/15/09 at 17:14pm UTC, wrote I enjoyed reading your essay and I would like to direct your attention to...

amrit: on 10/15/09 at 12:30pm UTC, wrote Hi David According to my research evolution of life is a consistent part...

Terry Padden: on 10/11/09 at 8:11am UTC, wrote David A good essay, but perhaps too pessimistic about the scope of...

Andreas Martin Lisewski: on 10/9/09 at 16:23pm UTC, wrote I like and share the idea that our current physics knowledge a prelude on a...

Don Limuti (www.zenophysics.com): on 10/8/09 at 6:39am UTC, wrote David, I like your essay and the possibility of understanding biology and...

David Hobill: on 10/5/09 at 16:22pm UTC, wrote Essay Abstract Understanding life from an information theoretic...


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FQXi FORUM
September 18, 2021

CATEGORY: What's Ultimately Possible in Physics? Essay Contest (2009) [back]
TOPIC: Physics, Information and Life, Towards a Universal Theory by David W. Hobill [refresh]
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Author David W. Hobill wrote on Oct. 5, 2009 @ 16:22 GMT
Essay Abstract

Understanding life from an information theoretic basis presents great challenges to the future of physics. Although it has been argued that biology cannot be reduced to physics, undertanding life and biological evolution is utlimately possible.

Author Bio

The authors is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Calgary. He has worked on problems in general relativity and is now developing a theory of biological growth using dynamical Riemannian geometry.

Download Essay PDF File

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Don Limuti (www.zenophysics.com) wrote on Oct. 8, 2009 @ 06:39 GMT
David,

I like your essay and the possibility of understanding biology and life.

It strikes me that physics uses the building blocks of quantum mechanical particles to build ordinary stuff and living stuff. The living stuff all starts from DNA type molecules. The DNA molecule is peculiar in that it spans the quantum mechanical world and the classical world. Its bases are simple low mass molecules that behave quantum mechanically. However, the collection of thousands of bases enter the classical world.

I would be interested in any thoughts you have on this.

Thanks, Don L.

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Andreas Martin Lisewski wrote on Oct. 9, 2009 @ 16:23 GMT
I like and share the idea that our current physics knowledge a prelude on a long way toward the scientific understanding of life.

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Terry Padden wrote on Oct. 11, 2009 @ 08:11 GMT
David

A good essay, but perhaps too pessimistic about the scope of physics. Some of the limits of physics are self imposed. You emphasise Ackoff's process ending in Wisdom. Implicitly that process recognises the existence of "Minds" Currently, as i emphasise in my essay, physics is a product of minds, but being materialistic it has no room for minds.

Since the mid-90's, the philosophy of mind through the works of David Chalmers and others has been revived. What is required is a transition of such theory from contemplative philosophy to mathematical physics. That needs new mathematics.

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amrit wrote on Oct. 15, 2009 @ 12:30 GMT
Hi David

According to my research evolution of life is a consistent part of cosmic dynamics. Quantum space plays an active role in evolution of life and human being.

I publish recently on that subject in vixra:

http://vixra.org/pdf/0910.0018v1.pdf

yours amrit

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Darryl Jay Leiter wrote on Oct. 15, 2009 @ 17:14 GMT
I enjoyed reading your essay and I would like to direct your attention to my essay

contribution to the FXQi contest listed below. You will find that it has a connection

to your area of interest.

Your further comments would be appreciated.

Darryl Leiter Ph.D

--------------------------------------------------------
---------------------------

What Is Ultimately Possible in Physics Will Be Found Within An Observer-Participant Universe Where The Photon Carries The

Arrow of Time

by Darryl Jay Leiter, Ph.D

ABSTRACT

In confronting the challenge about what is ultimately possible in physics one must resolve three fundamental issues which occur at the interface between the microscopic and macroscopic levels of the universe: (1) the origin of the arrow of time in the universe; (2) the nature of macroscopic objective reality in the context quantum theory, and (3) an explanation for the emergence of macroscopic conscious minds in the universe. In response to this challenge we argue that the resolution of these three fundamental issues may be found within the paradigm of an observer-participant universe where the photon carries the arrow of time

attachments: 4_LeiterFQXi_ESSAY.pdf

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J.C.N. Smith wrote on Oct. 16, 2009 @ 20:48 GMT
Mr. Hobill,

Thanks for a nice essay. Worthy of note along the lines of your message are ideas proposed by Lee Smolin in 'The Life of the Cosmos' postulating an extension of the principles of evolution to a cosmic level. Boundaries between biotics and physics are fraying, and probably for the better.

Cheers

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Eckard Blumschein wrote on Oct. 29, 2009 @ 15:07 GMT
Dear Darryl Jay Leiter,

I took the chance reading your essay. Now I would like to ask you only one question: Why did you quote Zeh, D. Z. and "Direction In Time"? You did not mention 5th edition, and I only have the 4th edition 2001 at hands. I guess you meant Zeh, H. D. and "Direction of Time". Presumably it does not matter if Zeh changed his first names. However, "In" instead of "of" did change the point of view considerably.

Incidentally, I would like to mention that I am absolutely sure: Putative mirror symmetry of wave function in quantum mechanics, so called T-symmetry and PCT-symmetry can and must be attributed to improper interpretation of complex wave function. I just quoted Weyl's respectable doubt and Schulman's absurd suggestion, because common sense cannot evade the due while hurting conclusion. I am sorry.

Regards,

Eckard

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