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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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Patricio Valdes-Marin: on 2/15/11 at 22:03pm UTC, wrote Dear Eugene, Thanks for your support and kind words. We can agree with...

Alan Lowey: on 2/10/11 at 10:10am UTC, wrote Patricio: I'm glad someone else has started from the outlook of...

Edwin Klingman: on 2/9/11 at 19:55pm UTC, wrote Dear Patricio Valdes-Marin You have written a very nice essay. In fact,...

Patricio Valdes-Marin: on 1/28/11 at 12:52pm UTC, wrote Essay Abstract When we speak about structures and forces, we...


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September 18, 2021

CATEGORY: Is Reality Digital or Analog? Essay Contest (2010-2011) [back]
TOPIC: Structure and Force by Patricio Valdes-Marin [refresh]
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Author Patricio Valdes-Marin wrote on Jan. 28, 2011 @ 12:52 GMT
Essay Abstract

When we speak about structures and forces, we discover functions and scales. Things are causally related between them in two ways: among structures within the same scale, and hierarchically when they are referred to a structure belonging to a higher scale that contains them or when structures belonging to a lower scale are referred to them. The complementarity structure-force is underlining that all things are structures, that they contain structures of a lower scales as its substructures or discreet digital units, coming down to the fundamental particles themselves, that they are discreet digital units of structures of a higher scale, and that they generate forces. What makes it universal is that the complementary force comes from the four fundamental forces known which act in the subatomic fundamental structure. The complementarity is valid from the microscopic world of the subatomic fundamental particles up to the macroscopic world that is identified with the universe itself.

Author Bio

As an independent philosopher, I have expressed my thought in a ten book collection titled “The Universe, Its Things, and the Human Being.” (See This work is an original outlook that covers topics ranging from cosmology to philosophy of nature, metaphysics, epistemology, philosophical psychology, theology, political philosophy and economics.

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Edwin Eugene Klingman wrote on Feb. 9, 2011 @ 19:55 GMT
Dear Patricio Valdes-Marin

You have written a very nice essay. In fact, your biggest mistake was to leave your name off of the paper. I had to go back to fqxi to find your name!

Most of your statements I believe to be true, and I think that you have partitioned reality in a very useful way.

You reasonably consider 'corpuscles' as 'mass points' (without internal structure) and therefore require two or more corpuscles to generate a structure. I believe that the fundamental particles have toroidal structure, and this would imply that even one particle generates structure. I have a strong preference for starting the universe with 'one' thing, not 'two' things, if at all possible.

Also you state that 'all of the forces in the universe come from fundamental particles." I believe that the primordial field of gravity initially acted only upon itself before condensing into the fundamental particles, neutrino, electron, and quarks. You seem to agree somewhat in your statement that the big bang began with 'energy' before condensing into particles.

These are small points, and generally support your arguments.

I find your partitioning very effective in terms of hierarchical scales of complexity, of cause and effect, and of indeterminism at any scale resolved by statistical determinism at a higher scale, among other things.

The concepts of force and structure make necessary the recognition of complexity, and you rightly develop the obvious conclusion that man is the most complex structure in the universe. Galaxies pale in comparison to a man. This focus on complexity exhibits the moral and spiritual bankruptcy of those who agree with Stephen Hawking that "The human race is just chemical scum on a moderate sized planet."

One wonders how 'big numbers' of corpuscles came in some people's minds to outweigh structural complexity.

So congratulations on a well thought out, well written analysis of a 'scale-independent' approach to the universe.

Good luck in the contest.

Edwin Eugene Klingman

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Author Patricio Valdes-Marin replied on Feb. 15, 2011 @ 22:03 GMT
Dear Eugene,

Thanks for your support and kind words.

We can agree with Aristotle when he affirmed that our knowledge comes from experience. In our age we should add that knowledge grows and becomes truer through the scientific method. But experimentation and observation of the causal relationship, which explains ‘how’ things are, are not enough to understand ‘what’ things are, in spite of the use of math and its inherent logic. The ultimate understanding of concepts such as matter, energy, time, space, and so forth, resists the efforts of the scientific method. To be true our conceptual world must start from our experience of the real world plus the scientific method, but we must also rely on our own intellectual effort of abstraction of the phenomena to produce universal ontological relations, and not just inductive conclusions. The answer to the dilemma “is nature digital or analog” is rather a philosophical question pertaining to the ‘what of things’, where a multiplicity of ontological relations must be critically, logically and clearly related and understood, without prejudge and authoritative knowledge.

Good luck and thanks again.

Best wishes,


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Alan Lowey wrote on Feb. 10, 2011 @ 10:10 GMT
Patricio: I'm glad someone else has started from the outlook of understanding structure and force. It's often overlooked, yet structure is what defines something from nothing imo. Your philosphical approach is most appreciated.

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