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Essay on Time; A Contrarian Viewpoint

June 12th, 2019 by Robert DePaolo | Posted in Psychology | No Comments » | 10 views | Print this Article

by Robert DePaolo

Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, despite depicting an orderly, quantifiable and predictable universe actually led to some rather odd predictions regarding the relationships among matter,space and time.

The inter-dependency between space and time is particularly fascinating, not just because it leads to a topsy-turvy alteration of human experience but because some of its premises must be considered impossible if one accepts that there is such a thing as existence.

Basics…

Relativity Theory is considered fact in the field of modern physics and experimentation has consistently supported its premises. In some instances however, misinterpretations of what Einstein said have become just as entrenched in the field as the valid components of the theory. One of these is the oft-repeated theme that matter and energy are interchangeable; that each derives from the other. Certainly matter at rest contains latent energy which can be converted to kinetic energy. But energy does not equate with matter so the relationship is not reciprocal or isomorphic.

For example, Einstein said that the mass of an object increases as it approaches light speed, that its mass is enhanced but not created. An example that brings home this distinction is the Higgs field, which is made up of force conveying particles (bosons). These particles are not material, rather interact with (in a sense “bathe”) other particles that then attain mass to create matter (fermions). Still another example can be found in the photon, which has no mass, does have energy but never converts to matter unless it interacts with electrons or other particles. In that sense, the relationship between mass and energy actually plays out as a material/ergonomic duality rather than as two sides of a singe coin.

Einstein’s concept of time is even more mysterious and to an extent has also been embellished over the years. He viewed light speed as an anchor point in the universe – a governing entity that regulated space, time and existence. To understand why Einstein brought space and time together into a single dimension, consider the following example.

Say you are about to toss a baseball against a wall as a kind of experiment. The wall is exactly 60 feet across. You make sure the force of your toss is exactly the same each time (the ball travels to the wall at the same speed with each toss). The ball reaches the wall in half a second. Now, say the wall is moved forward to 50 feet across. Once again, you toss the ball with the same force and speed. Of course the ball takes less time to reach the wall. Nothing unusual about that. Now, say the wall is pushed back to 60 feet but as you begin to toss the ball the entire room starts moving forward. The ball will arrive at the wall in less than half a second, even though you tossed it at the same exact force and speed and even though the wall was still 60 feet away.

That illustrates how acceleration can alter time. The logical endpoint of this process is that if something travels fast enough the amount of time from one site to another would be so compressed that no time will lapse at all. That time-dilation barrier is the speed of light or ”c”.

Einstein refused to take this to the levels espoused by some modern physicists, who presume it is possible to travel back in time by exceeding light speed. That makes perfect sense if time and space are so intertwined. On the other hand such extrapolations haunted Einstein. He had no taste for the insertion of quasi-mystical ideas into what he considered the forward moving, measurable hardware of the universe.

In the Beginning…?
One of the most far reaching extrapolations from the time dilation idea has to do with the time line for the origin of the universe. Stephen Hawking, Roger Penrose and others have addressed this question, which is a profoundly difficult one. In doing so they have refuted the need not only for a creative deity but for the necessity of a beginning at all. Theirs is a non-temporal theory, holding that there was no chronological beginning. At face value this might seem absurd – doesn’t everything have a beginning? Yet the way in which Hawking and others conceptualize the problem is roughly as follows.

1. After billions of years the force from the big bang will undergo entropy and its expansion will slow down.
2. When this occurs gravity will take over and compress all cosmic matter into a tiny spec of unimaginable mass and energy.
3. At this point there will be nothing outside the “cosmic egg” – no space or surround phenomena at all. Because there is no space there can be no time or movement, only intense heat and energy. The entire proto-cosmos would be analogous to the ultimate singularity.
4. Therefore, since time could not exist without space, there can be no temporal “before.” or beginning.
Hawking’s brilliant career and courage are well documented but one wonders if this model holds true because while it agrees with relativity it stands in stark contrast with core elements of information theory. Essentially, Hawking and others have described the proto-universe as existing in what could be called a simultaneous epoch. Simultaneity means everything happens at once,which precludes any sort of sequential/cause-effect process. Most theoretical physicists believe the universe had to cool (i.e. its symmetry broken) before matter, forces, space and time evolved into their present forms. Yet for cooling to occur particles had to separate to reduce friction-induced heat. To go from compression to separation required a force, which involved inexorably a sequence of events. That is because one element had to interact with another to enact or produce the force (even quantum theory would require that). That entails an exchange of information, which by definition and orchestration requires a sender and receiver. That is an unavoidable mandate of Information theory. Simultaneity precludes that possibility and while it is interesting to consider that time did not exist prior to the Big Bang, such a scenario would also remove both information content and transmission from the process. In that case no event could have occurred because there cannot be information without time.

Beyond that, in the pre-expansion cosmic egg heat could only be generated via the rapid bombardment of particles; ostensibly in a plasma containing mostly hydrogen and helium. Heat is a form of information requiring senders and receivers since it is created by, for instance, particle A crashing into particle B. If all matter in the cosmic egg was a singularity, with no distinctions, just an entity of infinite noise (the opposite of information) no event could have led to cooling, expansion or any other event. In other words a simultaneous epoch could have prevented any universe, multi-verse, “brane” or string from coming into existence.
Other features of a non-temporal cosmic egg also run contrary to information dynamics. Perhaps the most obvious is seen in the law of conservation, which holds that energy will always be conserved – never run out, though it can change form. Burn a log of wood and ash will replace the solidity of the log. Yet the chemicals and energy of either form will always remain the same. That poses a problem for the idea of simultaneity. The universe of now must have exactly the same amount of energy it had in the beginning. Without time it could have had no energy then, consequently no energy now. By the same token, energy and the components and forces that drive and reshape it are a form of information. That means if there was no information in the cosmic egg there cannot be any information in our present day universe. That would preclude any semblance of cause-effect, time, force, matter, distinctions or symmetry breaking. To put it crudely, there would be nothing – we would have ourselves a negative universe.
Without invoking a deity the idea of an non-temporal cosmic egg seems unlikely. While modern theoretical physics has drifted into at times Byzantine descriptions of mass, time, space, energy and causation it could be that there was a beginning – that time never originated but was (necessarily) there from the outset. Perhaps there were infinitely narrow time passages at work, for example an unsurpassed Planck time that would not be measurable or even comprehensible to us now. That aside, it seems the notion of a pre-expansion, simultaneous epoch can be called into question.

REFERENCES

Hawking, S. Mlodinow, L. (2012) The Grand Design Bantam Books,

Hawking, S. Penrose (2015) The Nature of Space and Time, Princeton University Press
Hawking, S. Penrose, (2005) A Brief History of Time. Bantam Books.

On Information Theory and Cosmology: Kamani, M. Paakkonen, K. Annila, A. (2009) The Physical Character of Information, Proc. R. Soc. A 465 (2107) pp. 2155-75

Reference to bosons (force particles) and fermions (mass particles) Lederman, L. Hill, C. (2013) Beyond the God Particle, Prometheus Books, Amherst, NY.

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Essay on Time: A Contrarian Viewpoint

June 12th, 2019 by Robert DePaolo | Posted in Psychology | No Comments » | 8 views | Print this Article

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The Bimodal Personality: A Socio-sexual Model of Human Motivates and Behavior

December 13th, 2018 by Robert DePaolo | Posted in Psychology | No Comments » | 27 views | Print this Article

by Robert DePaolo

Abstract

This article discusses two core aspects of personality that have broad impact on multiple behavior patterns; including creativity, politics, sexuality and antisocial behavior. The model is derived from human/primate evolutionary origins which include the quest for social hierarchical status and the drive to reproduce. The two factors are presented as inextricably linked as an integrated, bimodal motive to a wide range of emotions and behaviors.

The Master…

Freud’s tripartite theory of the psyche emphasized the relationship between reason, impulse, the conscience and their interactive relevance to normalcy and pathology. If one were to include all the other components of his theory, for example the unconscious, dreams, complexes and stages of development, gaining a concise understanding of what makes Homo sapiens tick would be very difficult indeed.

Over time the sheer complexity of psychoanalytic theory put it somewhat on the sidelines as a conceptual and therapeutic methodology. In addition its long term parameters created a bottleneck for insurance carriers who began to gravitate toward more economical methods such as cognitive-behavior therapy and behavior modification. Whether the newer, briefer methods are more effective than psychoanalysis is open to question, particularly since the ways in which therapeutic improvement is determined can be subjective and ultimately existential. Still the elegance of Freud’s theory remain appealing, in part because it dovetails with some irrefutable facts about human nature. For example his unification of the libido and the principle of energy conservation (borrowed from Maxwell and Einstein) was elegant. Much of what we do has some sort of relationship to the drive to seek pleasure (sexual and otherwise); particularly in an evolutionary context. Archaic Homo was only modestly encephalized, could neither run very fast nor climb as well as his quadrupedal cousins. Over time our forebears were evolving into a more slender, gracile creature. Despite potential advantages emanating from that, including enhanced fine motor dexterity and greater heat tolerance for long distance traveling, having less muscle mass was also a physical liability. In addition, archaic females, in typical primate fashion gave birth to one child at a time in most instances and the infant’s development extended beyond the usual primate norms. Faced with such long odds and predatory vulnerability nature had to bestow on the creature a fervent, compensatory sex drive.

Ladies to the Rescue…

Fortunately, females in at least one of the Archaic Homo groups changed in their morphology (by a quirk of nature or something more neo-Lemarckian?) Protruding breasts and pelvises, which in other primates only emerge during estrus, became more permanent. It looked to males as though these females were in permanent estrus. Good fortune prompted a physically weak, not yet brainy species to develop an intense interest in mating, which helped to ensure species continuity.

Primate courtships…

The final result was a complex human psycho-sexual dialectic. On one hand having such a lustful orientation favored much-needed propagation. On the other hand, since the infants’ development began to take longer, females had to balance their sexual interest with their maternal/protective instincts. They did so by selecting males with a helping, cooperative orientation, that is, males whose behavioral traits signaled commitment and stability. To the prospective mothers, it was clear that while having males around to help in child rearing was beneficial, it also meant males would have more contact with the infants. Males are not as typically gentle with infants so the females offered themselves up as a laboratory. An empathic strategy evolved in which females used the males’ behavior toward them as an indication of how the males would react to off spring in what amounted to a fusion between courtship and paternal fitness. As a result of this complex process a distinctly new primate mating pattern emerged which was both revolutionary and evolutionary.

One might ask; why use the term “revolutionary”? For example, don’t most animals treat each other gently during mating season? For example, even the lion in the throes of sexual fervor makes sure none of his sexual reactions will hurt or frighten off the lioness – pleasure, not pain being the whole point of the interaction.

The problem is that this is not necessarily true of primates. Chimps (our closest evolutionary relatives) have a fairly random mating process, whereby deception, opportunism and aggression are a bit more common (Crystal, 2018). Because they tend to live in large social groups sexual competition is more intense. Indeed alpha males attempt to hog all the action and lesser ranked members have to persuade or cajole females into clandestine rendezvous. If caught by alpha males the consequences can be dire – which makes one wonder if this is the original/primal source of sexual guilt (fear of getting caught in a non-approved sexual encounter by an authority figure).

That, of course, is mere conjecture. Less speculative is that sexual opportunity in primates has a direct correlation with social status. Thus a more comprehensive view of the human psyche would suggest one fundamental catalyst of human behavior, the libido, must be integrated with another, the drive for social status. In that context “rank and arousal” would be coupled in the same way that Einstein coupled mass and energy.
While this proposal is theoretical there is ample research lending support. For example Muehlenbein, Watts, et. al. showed that as social status was enhanced not only did chimp males experience an increase in testosterone levels but also became more attractive to females-who apparently sensed both the status and fertility of the higher ranking male. (2003 ).

Such a neo-Freudian modification might entail not just a unification of two prominent (previously separate) personality factors; social need and sexual need but would also include the inferiority/superiority complex and derivative compensatory mechanisms discussed by Alfred Adler, (Orgler 1976).

A (Psychic) Theory of Everything?

Ever since Einstein put forth his special and general theories of relativity, theoretical physicists have argued about what a unified field theory would look like, i.e. one describing a common source for the electromagnetic, weak, strong and gravitational forces and whether such a mechanism exists. Whether it be Neils Bohr challenging Einstein on the orderliness vs. uncertain nature of the cosmos, Richard Feynman depicting the universe as having no more of a cause-effect history than a fluctuating random particle, the central question has been the same: Which model/argument has enough teeth to resolve all issues related to the functions of the large and subatomic aspects of the universe?

A similar question could be asked regarding this bimodal socio-sexual theory, to wit: does it explain a significantly wide range of human behaviors and motives?

In addressing that question, obviously one must wax subjective, since there seems to be a dearth of research on this topic. Yet one can begin on fairly solid anecdotal ground by pointing out that almost every human motive has either a sexual or social source. From the moment of early human art, depictions of large breasted females and otherwise voluptuous characterizations were prevalent. The influence of sexual themes on language, morality, literature, art, filmmaking and music remains pre-eminent in human affairs.

So does social concern. Modern technology has shown us that our need to know about what every person does, what they achieve, what they say, how they act, how they sin and how sincerely they apologize has turned social media into a trillion dollar enterprise. Clearly Homo sapiens is by nature a bit snoopy, gossipy and competitive – traits that are thankfully (occasionally) balanced by altruistic concerns.

If sex and social interest are in themselves powerful drives, one could argue that the unification of those drives into a psychological mosaic would be powerful enough to be at the root of other motives. That is precisely the argument here.

The Particulars…

Freud’s theory of the personality was by far the broadest and possibly the most ingenious ever devised; not just because of its clinical, physical and biological breadth but also because Freud was bold enough to apply his theory to a wide variety of behavior patterns – even some of the most mundane. He discussed history, dreams, humor, smoking (his own personal vice), art, politics, child development, as well as psychopathology through the prism of psychoanalysis. While it is difficult to aspire to that level of intellectual prowess, it might be worthwhile to apply this socio-sexual model to various aspects of human behavior to see if a theoretical unification is possible.

Art…

The drive to create has many possible antecedents. For example, the curiosity drive forces us to seek new stimuli. Humans not only have a tendency to invent new and useful or entertaining concepts and tools but often invent new fears and worries because we need to not only adapt to our environment but also to anticipate its perks and dangers. (One cannot come up with solutions unless there are problems to solve in the first place and creativity initially requires an irritating vacuum). Yet art is also a social phenomenon. Painting, music, sculpting, literature, architectural design – all pass through the filter of social approval. While not experimentally validated, but demonstrable, artists usually have no dearth of mating opportunities. That does not mean artists employ their skills merely to attract sexual partners but the effect is the same. The fact that their social rank (through reputation, notoriety and financial success) is enhanced by artistic endeavors offers further support of the inextricable link between status and the libido. As an interesting side note, paleo-anthropologists have long wondered what motivated early man to paint in the caves at Lascaux and Altamira. Some believe the paintings were spiritual (Greene 2007). Others believe the drawings were the inevitable byproduct of a cognitive leap in brain evolution (Waldman, 2012). These theories, and others, are interesting and possibly valid. One question seldom asked is whether the ancient artists drew these pictures to among other things, obtain higher rank and sexual access.

Athletics:

One way to address this aspect of human endeavor is to conjure up a kind of thought experiment, whereby one group of well-trained athletes are asked to run as fast or jump as high as they can with no one watching, the second group to do so with people observing. This is not the same as asking whether some athletes perform better or worse under pressure of scrutiny – clearly that varies with the individual. Rather it is to ask whether non-social performance would differ significantly from social performance. The same question could be asked of musicians, lecturers and actors. Research on this is sparse but one suspects the presence of observers would more often than not enhance performance; for various reasons having to do with social status, heightened adrenal output and the performance enhancing reinforcement (or fear of rejection) from the crowd.

Politics…

The role of socio-sexual elements in politics is obvious; not only in light of the sexual exploits of various leaders over time (and not just in the USA – which begs the question of why we are so surprised by revelations about the sex lives of powerful politicians) but also because politics is not only about policy but also about appeal, attractiveness, and abstractions such as…”connecting with the people” “being charismatic” and “having a following.” Under the most horrendous circumstances we have seen this tendency utilized by figures like Caligula, Jim Jones and Charles Manson to manipulate the social and sexual/political instincts of their followers. Yet even benevolent figures have fished in those waters. Henry Kissinger’s famous quote about power being an aphrodisiac comes to mind.

Humor…

Humor can also be said to derive from socio-sexual roots. It is of course social, since much of it pertains to one person’s observations of others; for example George Carlin’s comments on the flat rear ends of white folks and Richard Prior’s epiphany at seeing predominantly black folks in his travels to Africa. Yet while it is social it is also, interestingly, devoted to social rank. In fact when this writer was a young man a joke-fest among peers was often called a “ranking party.” Freud maintained that inherent in humor is an aggressive or taboo component, that allows us to say or imply things that have hurtful, demeaning tones but are masked as sarcasm and irony. Hennie Youngman’s “take my wife… please”, Jeff Foxworthy’s…”You could be a redneck if” are just two of many examples of the hierarchical underpinnings of humor. Since social rank has bearing on sexual access it can be said to fit into the bimodal personality paradigm as well.

Crime…

In recent times there has been an emphasis on analyzing the psychological motives of criminals – particularly terrorists and serial killers through the prisms of religious fervor, symbolism, maternal relationships, child abuse etc. While each of these elements no doubt plays a role one has to wonder if the hyper-analysis of criminal behavior misses the point and if the roots of such behavior also derive primarily from a socio-sexual dynamic. For purposes of discussion let us review some crimes of note.

Ted Bundy’s horrific dynamics…

For all the analysis in books, commentary and documentaries on the motives of serial killer Ted Bundy the dynamics of his horrendous acts might have been fairly uncomplicated. He was spoiled as a child – perhaps due to guilt over the deception that his mother was really his mother. His eventual discovery that he was illegitimate and that his sister was really his mother created a dissonance-fomenting demotion from status of favorite son to gullible, unwanted bastard. He was later rejected by his fiance’, a slender woman with long dark hair who broke their engagement abruptly. This was no doubt interpreted by Bundy as a further demotion in status. He then found another girlfriend whom he tied up regularly as part of a sexual control ritual (possibly in a feverishly compulsive act of self restoration: “If I prevent you from moving and exert maximal physical control you can’t leave or demote me”) and subsequently went about murdering numerous look-a-likes to his fiance’. Did his need to kill, then rape his victims posthumously occur because he was never able to reestablish his hopeful, self perceived social rank as “bright, charming law student”; his female-directed nihilism a bizarre way of re-promoting himself and during the process, raising his testosterone levels through the safety valve of ultra control ?

Similar dynamics seem to be involved with many mass murderers and Islamic terrorists – the latter of whom had been promised not only legendary heroic status in death but also access to 72 virgins in paradise.
Meanwhile, Charles Manson was a rejected musician who neatly divided up the world into “injured have-nots” (his narcissistically inspired group) and the “haves.” For all his rants about “helter skelter” his actions might have been designed for rank restoration and to establish sexual and physical dominance.

Psychopathology…

Freud’s main emphasis was of course on psychopathology. In recent times many syndromes have been found to derive from biochemical processes in the brain. At face value this would seem to mitigate against a bimodal, evolutionary model of causation; that is, unless correlations can be found between the neurochemical and socio-sexual systems.
Perhaps there are. For example a causative feature of many depressive disorders is a depletion of pleasure-enhancing neurotransmitters such as the catecholamine group. This and other transmitters are also related to social-hierarchical experiences, including an uptake following successful experiences and increased social status (Cheng, Kormenko, et al. 2015). Thus many of the same chemical agents involved in psychopathologies are functional in the socio-sexual dynamic. In addition, the cognitive themes of psychotics, dissociative as they might be, often pertain to social themes. For example a sense of being programmed or spied on by the paranoid schizophrenic, social anxiety at being in a room full of people, compensatory (status enhancing) rage at authority figures by an individual with an anti-social personality, status enhancing acts of sexual dominance by a low ranking individual who engages in rape or child molestation and the status seeking hysteria of the spotlight-seeking borderline personality.
Whether one can, as per this model, simplify the psyche via the integration of two indistinguishable drives is, of course, speculative. To do so would probably require proof that on a basic neurobehavioral level the human brain is co-wired in this way. It might also mean conjuring up an evolutionary link between social and sexual need (perhaps even extending to the origin and primal functions of human language).

It is clear that studies of the comparative cognitive abilities of young children and chimps showed that (brain mass notwithstanding) the advantage human infants had was a greater capacity to learn by observing and copying others (Hirschon, 2017). It suggests enhanced social perception might have been the evolutionary ratchet leading to our higher intelligence and unique capacity to pass information down through generations in building a cumulative culture. If the sex drive fuels us and social concern drives us, perhaps it can be assumed that in some way there would be a level of cooperation and mutual influence between the two in virtually all aspects of the personality.

REFERENCES

Cheng, T. Kormenko, O. Granger, D.A. (2015) Prestige in a large scale group predicts longitudinal changes in testosterone. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology

Cherry,K. Freud, Ego and Superego. Article on Internet on Very/Well/Mind.com 11/6/2018

Crystal, M. (2018) Chimpanzee mating habits; Home, Science, Nature, Animals. Science Web site

Greene. F.J. (2007) Lecture at N.Y. Museum of Biblical Art. Religious Awareness in Art from prehistoric to today; A Course in Art Appreciation.

Hirschon, B. Apes vs. Toddlers: Although equivalent in many intellectual tasks human toddlers are much better than apes in social thinking. Science Net Links. Science Update Nov. 2017

Muehlenbein, M. Watts, D. Whitten, P. (Dec, 2003) Dominance, Rank and Fecal Testosterone Levels in Adult Male Chimpanzees at Ngogo,Kibale National Park,Uganda. American Journal of Primatology

Orgler, H. (1976) Alfred Adler; International Journal of Social Psychiatry 22 (1) 67-68

Waldman. K. Lascaux’s Picassos; What prehistoric art tells us about the evolution of the human brain. Health & Science Oct. 18, 2012

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The Bimodal Personality; A Socio-sexual Model of Human Motive and Behavior

December 13th, 2018 by Robert DePaolo | Posted in Psychology | No Comments » | 28 views | Print this Article

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Cosmic Phenomena

May 21st, 2018 by Robert DePaolo | Posted in Psychology | No Comments » | 12 views | Print this Article

by Robert DePaolo Abstract

This article raises several questions regarding current ideas on non-locality, isomorphism, quantum mechanics, gravity and the acceleration of the universe, including the possibility that para-classical explanations might not be necessary in describing the laws of nature.

With admittedly little insight into the mathematical operations that underscore current interpretations of classical and quantum physical laws, this writer (having read numerous books on the subject) has yet ended up confused more than informed. Part of the reason has to do with the writing style of author-physicists who, admirably, seek to popularize complex topics. While some stick to concrete ideas and definitions others lapse into abstractions with no spatial, geometric or experiential foundation, i.e. concepts that don’t seem to coincide with the world we live in; for example multi-verses, time travel and the existence of extra dimensions. Often unable to bring their explanation down to earth, they rely on cart-before-the horse mathematical models to create reverse resolution.

While this method is reasonable the speculation typically goes well beyond that into areas that might never be confirmed or refuted. At times it seems in their zeal to uncover a theory of everything, these thinkers come up with so many “every-things” as to be left with nothing. In this opinion, science should dovetail at least loosely with common sense. In that context, a series of items is discussed in concrete terms about current theory and the nature of our world.

Item # 1: On Gravity…

The confusion-driven search for a theory of quantum gravity is feverish in scientific circles. Confusion results from the fact that on a large scale gravity is lawful with regard to the influence of one body on another (whereby the more massive body will draw the less massive one in via an inverse square law based on the respective mass and distance between the two). However this only applies to objects with mass equal to or beyond that of an atom. The subatomic (quantum) world acts differently, particularly regarding massless particles which move around seemingly on their own, independent of surrounding matter and in a way that makes it impossible to track their position and momentum sequentially. At face value this conflict begs for resolution which is why physicists have sought a theory of gravity that encompasses both General Relativity and particle (quantum) physics. But is this confusion justified?

Item # 2. Do we need a theory of quantum gravity?

One could ask: if gravity is a function of mass and particles such as photons and electrons have no mass, why they should behave as if in a gravitational relationship? How can something that “weighs” nothing attract something else? In addition, “mass” reflects the congestion of particles or atoms within a body; for example uranium, with an high density of atoms has greater mass than a more sparsely congested liquid such as water. As the density of a body decreases (at some point down to a single particle such as a quark) it would have less mass. With only one particle there can be no congestion unless the particle itself has internal components that congeal. Even then, (assuming there exists a root form of matter which cannot be further broken down) there would have to be a point where gravity could not pertain due to zero mass. In other words, gravity is ultimately a spatial, mathematical composite that cannot exist without at least two components pressing on one another. As an aside, this is something to consider when discussing the mass of any singularity. More specifically, once anything is whittled down to a single body can its information/communicative content reach a point where its implicit redundancy adds up to zero congestion and zero mass, despite the antecedent “crunching” of diverse elements that ended up in a singularity? In that context one could argue that Einstein’s model of gravity is sufficient; the search for a quantum/classical combine unnecessary.

Beyond that, since both gravity and massless particles travel at light speed wouldn’t gravitational influence on the particle be canceled out as a result of relativity? For example if you travel at 100 mph on a highway and a wind of 100 mph is facing you, your car would come to a stop – all things being equal, and exhibit neither momentum or regression. Along the same lines; gravity would require differentials in mass, acceleration etc. (something that is discussed below in term of Information Theory).

Furthermore, celestial bodies do not simply adhere to gravitational relationships. All are hurtling through space at enormous speeds. As a result it isn’t just gravity that is influencing their movements, but also momentum, centripetal and centrifugal force, inertia or “drafting” (as when a cyclist cuts down on friction by undercutting wind factors when riding directly behind a competitor) and the action/reaction principle as depicted in Newton’s third law of motion – the latter holds that as a body thrusts forward it does so into an atmosphere containing some matter (not all of space is a vacuum), which leads to a counter-reaction in the opposite direction. Conceivably any and all of these forces are influencing planetary and galactic movement. Is it possible that the acceleration of the universe, as well as dark matter could be explained as some juxtaposition of all these influences rather than through a single explanation such as superstring theory, brane theory or hologram theory?

Eine Gedanke…

One interesting thought experiment would be to imagine gravity’s influence if all bodies, notwithstanding mass and distance, were completely inert: that is, had no momentum, rotation, or any susceptibility to centripetal, centrifugal forces, drafting, or action-reaction mechanics. Presumably gravity could not exist in such a state because in an inert universe any sort of gravity-induced attraction/collapse would entail a change in momentum, i.e. movement. Thus, if lack of motion cancels out gravitation then one might assume motion is the most essential correlate, or even cause of gravity.

Item # 3. Non-locality…

At face value the notion that particles have no lawfully discernible locations or momenta and can act lawfully only when observed seems either weird or tautological, depending on one’s perspective. One explanation for this phenomenon (the anthropic principle) holds that the observer is implicitly connected to the physical world, thus can never truly be an observer. In other words he is as dependent a variable as the particle being observed; it is as if only God can truly be an observer. Other explanations refer to the particle being virtual, darting in and out of reality or parallel universes, thus being beyond the circumscribed physical laws peculiar to our universe. Both explanations raise the question of why, even if the observer changes the particle’s behavior, both wouldn’t be subject to physical laws.

This point has been made far more eloquently. For example Witten believed the act of observing stimulated particles because the observer’s vision could only occur by firing photons at the particles (Zimmerman-Jones, Robbins 2014) – leaving the observer in roughly the same position as someone bobbing for apples. Others, for example Bohr, argued against this idea, stating that the uncertain nature of particle behavior is built into the particle and nature itself; seemingly mysterious, then again, perhaps not.

Mind and Matter…

One way to address this issue is by discussing the layout of the human brain. Early Russian research, beginning with Pavlov, demonstrated the existence of a brain mechanism known as the second signal system. He demonstrated that the dual hemispheric makeup of the cerebral cortex leads us to categorize experience in two ways: one spatial/material and one associative i.e symbolic/linguistic (Windholz 1990). The encoding of the former onto the latter – much like a card catalogue – enhances not only our communicative capacities but also our memory storage. For instance we don’t have to commit to visual memory all items in the sequence….’apple’, ‘orange’, ‘pear’, etc. because we can assign the label “fruit” to each and access all of them by cross reference. As a trite, but perhaps amusing aside it appears that by conceptual symbolic thought our brains are able to override the quantum (individual, piece by piece) model of nature favored by quantum physicists through nifty, integrative mental mechanisms.

Yet while this neural mechanism provides a mnemonic and communicative advantage it can also lead to a hyper-categorization of experience. That is why Eskimos label a dozen types of snow when in fact the composition of snow is always the same.

If, due to that neuropsychological mandate, we cannot break free of a dual signal system then we cannot conceive of an un-categorical phenomenon like quantum mechanics. Due to the human penchant for categorical drift we are forced to attribute the uncertainty of particle behavior to something. That “something” might have less to do with reality than with the evolution of the human brain (which, after all is designed to survive, not just discover).

In that context one could ask whether we even need labels to describe non-locality. Perhaps there is no such (material) “thing” as a photon. Its apparent capacity to operate as a wave or a particle might really pertain more to our cognitive dispositions than to the photon’s nature. Our brains are finite and until we can soundly, experimentally verify a theory (bearing in mind that neither an atom, electron or a photon has ever been observed) we might be looking at nature through a neuropsychological prism.

The Particle/Wave Duality…

Another issue in physics is the apparent dual nature of reality – more precisely of matter. In various contexts a particle can behave like a discrete entity with circumscribed location and motion, yet at other times exhibit a wave property (which ameliorates its positional features as it appears to draw out and scatter probabilistically). It is an interesting quality that adds to the confusion in scientific circles. Once again, however this might be explained with Occamesque simplicity.

Consider the following hypothesis. A particle such as a photon or electron does not decay. Yet it has been established that all systems undergo entropy (decay) unless they are replenished periodically by outside energy sources. Even with that, entropy usually wins out due to the passage of time. That is because, among other things, those outside sources are finite and will themselves wind down. Thus, perhaps something inherent in the particle’s non-entropic quality can address the duality problem.

One can begin by asking why a photon does not decay. One possibility is that the underlying source of entropy is time itself.

An example comes to mind. If a person could remain at a certain age – say 15, in year 1967, and that year extended into perpetuity he would never age. In that case an outside energy source would be unnecessary; first because he wouldn’t need it, second because with no time lapse it would be impossible for “new” energy sources to be absorbed because a time lapse would be required even if just for one to open his mouth, bite down and ingest the new source of energy. Renewal, or counter-entropy implies a temporal sequence from depletion to energy restoration, which involves an event transition and a time lapse. Without a time lapse, there can be no entropy and no need or possibility to re-energize. In that context it might be time that ultimately determines entropy.

If a particle is traveling at light speed, it is moving neither forward nor backward in time. It becomes “constant” not only in terms of its unsurpassable speed but also as a chronological anchor point in the universe. Since it does not experience time lapses it cannot by definition be at one location at one point in time, then in another later on. While the “where” and “when” of human measurement depends on time passage massless particle do not recognize time passages. In the particle’s range of experience there is no such thing as time.

Similarly, with no time elapse, there can be no spatial transition. That means the particle is what it is and everything that it is, i.e. temporo/spatially neither here nor there. It’s dual nature is a simple manifestation of its para-chronological and para-spatial make-up. Theories superimposed on its behavior create closure, which satisfies the dual signaling system of the human brain, but might not reflect the non-spatial, non temporal realities of the subatomic world.

The Classical/Quantum Dichotomy…

It is understandable that physicists venture beyond parsimony at times in the attempt to unify classical and quantum physics. Perhaps because simple answers have been ruled more complex solutions are the only recourse. Yet our universe is undeniably systemic and as such it must be integrated on some level. The elegant stability of its various characteristics make that obvious. For example, just the right amount of matter overrides anti-matter to make existence (symmetry-breaking) possible. Another example is seen in the even distribution of matter and energy spread throughout the universe. Others can be seen in the spatial regulatory limits of the Planck length, Newton’s inverse square law and the regulatory trick played on us by light speed which is so functionally stubborn that any possible differences in speed that might occur as a result of two people viewing an object in motion from different perspectives must lead to a corrective change in time lapse (time dilation) in order to hold “c” constant. All such mechanisms offer clear indications of a universe with a disposition toward stability.

The pervasive existence of cosmic order suggests there might be a congruent and/or co-functional relationship between quantum and classical physics (an idea implied by David Bohm via the hidden variables theory of quantum mechanics (Riley, 2010). Ultimately both the classical (order-based) and quantum theories must agree, and perhaps even be dependent on one another. Still physicists continue to grapple with the apparent discrepancies so it is worthwhile to discuss this issue further.

Information and the Pre-material Universe…

One way to connect classical and quantum physics is through a concept that simultaneously refutes and confirms both theories. It is found in an essential component of Information Theory. This bears some preliminary discussion.

Many theoretical physicists have referenced “information” in their writing, particularly regarding the behavior of black holes (Barbon 2009). Information in that context typically refers to matter and energy. For example, if an object is sucked into a black hole, the object will break up, as seen in various Star Trek movies. Yet since the law of energy conservation holds that the energy of the object cannot be anihilated, can only change its form the info-energetic components of the object cannot disappear. In effect, all of the information content must continue to exist in some form. One reason why Stephen Hawking believed that radiation would materialize and radiate beyond the black hole (and not be completely absorbed) was that the law of energy conservation, combined with beneath-the-surface energy fluctuations that characterize a quantum state means that some of the information content – the stuff that popped in and out of existence (virtual particles) had to continue to exist, and to retain the information content of the mass that was absorbed into the black hole. More simply put; you cannot get something from nothing, or nothing from something. That use of the term information as applied to matter and energy is useful but possibly incomplete.

An Abstract Universe…

This writer has discussed this topic in previous articles but the idea is worth repeating. Information equates not just with mass and energy but with existence in every sense of the word. While theoretical physics assumes matter and energy are essentially all there is – thus the word “physics”, there is a universal “something” that is not completely physical.

Information theory holds that “something” can only come into existence by being extracted from a prior state of monotony or uncertainty. The latter refers to a super blend without any internal distinctions, whether in the form of mass or force. The amount of information corresponds to the amount of uncertainty that is reduced. For example, if we type out the letters “tele”…and ask which word it refers to, answers would vary (uncertainty would be high). But if we add one letter at a time, each new letter (say initially the letter “p” it would reduce uncertainty by one bit. Now we have the letter sequence “telep.” Still this can entail several possibilities so uncertainty still prevails, as does redundancy. If, however we add the letter “h”, followed by the letters o…n…e. the word “telephone” emerges ( a kind of grammatical “creation)”. At that point maximal information has been attained, while uncertainty is reduced to zero. In an analogous process this gives the idea of nothing a slightly different meaning.

Within that model each reduction in uncertainty..(i.e. each distinction extracted from redundancy item) creates a viable message….a “something” that can apply not just to language but conceivably to any aspect of nature.

In a cosmic context, “nothing” would equate with complete/infinite redundancy. For example, with no distinctions between a photon and an electron, between, plasma and matter, between a fermion (matter-carrying particle) and a boson (a force-mediating particle) there could be no existence; neither perceptible to the human eye nor with any functional or communicative properties. By that process, perhaps the entire universe – its essence, its functions, its communicative features originated, not quintessentially in a big bang but more functionally through information expansion in process that could be called cosmic resolution.
In some ways this is coincides with the anthropic principle but goes beyond that to a broader world mechanism which can be discussed through another experiment (sorry about the redundancy).

Universal Noise…

Imagine a universe with no distinctions among particles, forces, stars, planets, flora and fauna; only an infinite blend. In that state nothing could communicate with anything else. Changes, adaptations, messages, force and mass variations, as well as symmetry-breaking would all be impossible. This redundant world would not just be in a permanent state of entropy. It would not be a “world” at all because only with a transition from a state of uncertainty to information can existence originate.

A Proto-physical Explanation…

In that sense, a bridge between classical and quantum physics might lie in information dynamics. Without the uncertainty of the quantum world there could be no classical, lawful world. In that sense classical and quantum physics might be complementary rather than contradictory. In other words, just as one cannot get information without a prior state of uncertainty, one cannot get the lawful classical world without it being extracted from the uncertain quantum world.

Room for Dissent…

There are several problems with this argument (I told you I was fairly ignorant on this subject matter). One is that it explains the universe in abstract, rather than material terms. In this model Information theory replaces physics as a prime frame of reference. Second, it transcends both the quantum and classical models by postulating a ‘derivation’ theory of the cosmos whereby one cannot have order without an initial state of disorder. That would seem to refute the the typical order to chaos sequence implicit in thermodynamics. Another problem lies in the implication that something can arise from nothing, which runs contrary to the principle of energy conservation.

How to address such conundrums? It is not an easy task. Quantum mechanics has been not only verified by research but employed very effectively technologically. So have classical concepts – or else we couldn’t not travel into outer space or use GPS systems in our cars. On the other hand so has Information Theory, both technically and mathematically. The notion that information is measured by a reduction in uncertainty is almost well established (Stover 2014).

Another potential problem is that this idea raises interesting questions about reality; converting it to something more metaphysical because origin and causation are considered pre-material. It is scientific in that information lends itself to measurement through the uncertainty reduction postulate but the ultimate unified theory is not a field or theory of quantum gravity but a non-material info-resolution process.

What About the Beginning?

How might one conceptualize the pre-informed universe? One way is by drawing a parallel between two forms of energy – potential and kinetic. Potential energy corresponds to mass but has no impact or communicative possibilities or any effect at all, without movement (which converts it to kinetic energy). Potential energy is a state of pre-existence with no cause-effect manifestations. Like potential energy the proto-universe might have been implicit, at least until one bit (the first distinction) of information was extracted from its absolute state of redundancy.

Once a distinction occurred and separated from the pack (electron, photon, helium gas etc) something interesting would have happened. Not only would the information content of the cosmos have increased at that point, but through separation by distinction it became possible for the first foray into communication to begin. That is because only with a capacity for signal differentiation can there be a message. Thus the newly distinct particle/gas entities were at some point able to exert influence on each other where none existed before in the potential universe. That in itself would have led to more rapid signal distinctions. An information explosion would have unfolded into a plethora of celestial bodies (which could be categorized as cosmic bits). Eventually, the four main forces would have separated functionally.

From information to systemization and complexity…

As more distinctions occurred, more bits of information would have obtained. Atoms developed distinctions in the form of electrons, a nucleus, protons etc. as part of information proliferation. Massive clouds of gas swirled until gravity pulled some together into distinct galaxies, which entailed still more information (uncertainty reduction) in the universe.

The question is whether existence, as applied to the origin and evolution of the universe can be seen as an evolving information system. If so, the quasi-entity prior to creation would have to be described as somewhere between a physical and a pre-material world. Not “nothing” as with a vacuum, but “nothing” in a functional/communicative sense; governed most basically by a process encompassed in information dynamics, and ultimately manifest through a resolution process, not unlike the cognitive quest for discovery by those who study the universe.

REFERENCES

Barbon JLF (2009) Black holes, information and holography, Journal of Physics, Con. Ser.. 171 01

Burridge, L. Pavlov and his Disciples. The Pavlovian Journal of Biological Science. Vol. 25 (4) 163-173

Bohr, N. Discussion with Einstein on Epistemological Problems in Atomic Physics; The Value of Knowledge; A Miniature Library of Philosophy. Marxist Internet Archive (Retrieved 2010-8-30. From: Albert Einstein, Philosopher-Scientist (1949) Cambridge University Press.

Cover, J.M. Thomas, JA (2006) Elements of Information Theory (2nd Edition) Wiley-Inter-science

Riley, B.J. (January 2010) Some Remarks on the Evolution of Bohm’s Proposals for an Alternative to Standard Quantum Mechanics TPRU, Birbeck,University of London.

Stover, J.V. (2014) Chapter 1; Information Theory; A Tutorial Introduction. University of Sheffield, England

Zimmerman-Jones, A, Robbins, D (2014) Physics: String Theory disagreement about the Anthropic Principle. Internet Article in Education-Science- Physics.

Zimmerman- Jones, A. Robbins, D. (2009). String Theory for Dummies, Wiley Publishing Co.

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The Universal Membrane

February 16th, 2018 by Robert DePaolo | Posted in Psychology | No Comments » | 31 views | Print this Article

by Robert DePaolo

Abstract

This article discusses a possible connection between the origin of life and the origin of the universe. The point is made that in both instances regulatory processes might have resulted from the advent of membranes (not “branes” in the context of string theory) that by their constraining nature forced interactions within the atom and, in biological terms, within the cell until such time as a level of cooperation occurred, thereby creating the organizational structure and functions of both the atom and the cell. Speculation is provided regarding the disagreement between classical physics and quantum physics with regard to phenomena such as quantum fluctuations, isomorphism and non-locality.

Origins and Boundaries…

It might be interesting to discuss the structural and functional connections between the origins of life and of the universe; not in a metaphorical sense but in terms of how all systems in nature seem to operate. The assumption of a common template between life and the cosmos is not an original idea. Pribram (1969), Bohm (1986) and Talbot (1991) proposed possible connections between how organic life (particularly brains) operate and the essential nature of the cosmos. The holographic theory they espoused presumed that everything within the biotic and cosmic domains is part of a gross singularity – not in the sense of a black hole but as fractional components of a whole to which everything responds and in which everything is structurally and functionally entangled.

That idea has met with both excitement and criticism – the latter because it is a model that is difficult not only to prove empirically but to conceptualize. For example, one could ask what “connective tissue” is involved and what exactly are the wave functions that turn parts into wholes via interference patterns. Although some research and theory have raised optimism that such wave patterns exist (Pietsch 1981) the idea lacks proof.

Despite such criticism an argument can be made in its favor. For one thing, almost all of theoretical physics is based on speculation. While Newton, Einstein, Planck and Heisenberg provided insights and proofs regarding the “what” of physics they have not been able to provide a “why,” that is, a concrete explanation of why gravity operates differently from the other forces, why the universe became so thermally and materially isomorphic and why subatomic particles are able to sidestep the classical laws of physics requiring that all things must align in a specific location in order to move from point A to point B, i.e. have both position and momentum.* Even quantum mechanics, which has as its central principle that all phenomena consist of discrete packets of energy and matter (separate items rather than continuous, all-inclusive waves) entails a paradox, because it appears some types of matter act like particles in some instances, waves in others. Strangely the form it takes depends on whether an observer is measuring these qualities.
Although quantum theorists (actually, adherents, since its operations seem pretty solid) believe wave functions and particles are both quantum phenomena, this seems to beg the question with regard to waves, which have a continuous nature and can veer off in various directions. Without a boundary how can anything truly be defined as a discrete packet?

“Quantizing” nature would seem to mandate that location and momentum are a given, rather than a vaguely dualistic, probabilistic process. In a sense a quantum interpretation arguably appears more consistent with a local, rather than a non-local universe – even at the subatomic level. Yet it has been shown not only that particle interactions are not local but also that they can interact in concert with other particles with which they had initial contact across distances even beyond light speed…what Einstein referred to as at a “spooky distance.”

Einstein was one of the more vocal critics of quantum non locality, which he felt virtually obviated the need to study physics. * While his criticism was itself criticized by Neils Bohr, he was certainly justified in complaining about things operating beyond physical causation. Had he been around a bit longer he might have taken his criticism even further, not just because of the myriad, as yet un-proved (and possibly untestable) theories out there such as superstring theory, loop gravity theory, Hologram theory, Brane theory (which derives from string theory) and numerous others, but also because no one has yet observed an atom, nor have they observed an electron or photon. Indeed the terms “particle” and “atom” are defined variously as energy packets or circumscribed, material phenomena. No one knows what they are.

What this tells us is that when one takes away all the byzantine equations written on blackboards to prove that some theory “coincides with the math,”….shouldn’t it be the other way around?… physicists are still like blind men trying to determine the shape of the elephant.

Anthro-cosmology…

One of the more interesting questions arising in theoretical physics is based on the anthropic principle. This is an intriguing if somewhat metaphysical attempt to explain why observations change the outcome of an experiment. More specifically it appears that by measuring/observing the path and location of particles we change one or the other. It suggests we are in effect barred from discovery; almost as if God, consistent with his admonition to Adam and Eve, did not want mankind to examine to eat from the tree of knowledge, and in an ironic twist gave the most elementary components of nature the capacity to outwit the most complex of his creations.

That, of course, is a metaphor – pardon the distraction. On the other hand the question implied in anthropic theory is quite relevant. To wit; are living organisms so linked to the cosmic fabric that rather than being outside, empirical observers, we are simply another causative agent, no different than gravity, the strong, weak or electro-magnetic forces – ourselves enclosed in a relativity of the sensorium?

The daunting, yet obvious implication of that point is that if we are part of a cosmic holograph we cannot, by definition, be empirical, scientific or even in a sense extant. Instead we would have to consider ourselves mere threads in a very large fabric, stretching, curling up, heading toward entropy in the same way as trees, rocks and atoms.

At the risk of appearing anthropocentric this writer would prefer to assign mankind and life in general a more distinct role in the natural world. After all, we not only created automobiles, airplanes, rockets, x ray machines and computers, but, in concert with flora, created the earth’s atmosphere – a distinct accomplishment if ever there was one.

Yet if we are detached from nature why the non-local phenomena? Why, in accord with Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle are a particle’s (photon’s) properties altered just by observing it? Here one can provide a possible explanation, not only of uncertainty but of the reason why there are distinct parallels to be drawn between life and the cosmos. It is an explanation that derives from principles of Information Theory.

The Organic Borderline…

Scientists have argued over time about the initial biological entity, the primordial seed, that set in motion the origin of life. One school of thought proposes that the first macromolecules had to be either RNA or DNA since only those molecules can replicate and, absent that capacity, evolution, organic complexity and adaptations could not have occurred (Marshall 2012). The other school of thought holds that proteins came first, via the gradual accumulation of amino acids (the string of building blocks that comprise proteins) because while DNA can replicate it cannot construct tissues needed to build organ structures. This debate has a chicken-egg feel to it, which can lead to endless questions. For instance one might ask what good a copying machine is with no body to copy? Conversely, what good a body is without a capacity to create a line of descent? Even though some research has shown that proteins, under certain controlled conditions show replicating tendencies, (Ikehara 2014) the evidence that this could have occurred on a grand enough scale to foment life is inconclusive. In some ways this argument is reminiscent of the universal origins conundrum and it is equally hard to resolve.

Distant Illusions…

In the domain of theoretical physics the aforementioned David Bohm tried to resolve the non local vs. classical physics argument by proposing that if one eliminated distance as a variable, it would be possible for two disparate particles to interact even beyond the constraints of light speed and gravitational pull. In other words he was saying one doesn’t need to explain spooky distance or non locality if distance itself (which implies a spatial separation between objects) is a misconception. Bohm clearly thought out of the box in a way that could be applied in a biological context. While Bohm eliminates distance, let us de-prioritize DNA, RNA and proteins with respect to life’s origin.

The Origin of Identity…

Although DNA, RNA and proteins are necessary in creating, sustaining and refining life forms, they might not have been the engine of life’s origin. Macromolecules like DNA, RNA and protein probably arose frequently in the primordial soup. Yet in the early stages of the earth’s formation, climatic conditions were extreme – as was true of most of the solar system before pan-gravitational influence led to systemic smoothing and more permanent planetary interactions. Day times were extremely hot, night times extremely cold. As a result of exposure to extreme conditions macromolecules would have cropped up and in most instances dissolved. Life was only a potential, mere raw material without an organizing machine to turn it into a distinct, “quantized” homeostatic entity. At one point a new substance came on the scene; a kind of shield providing shelter and insulation against the climatic vicissitudes. The substance was a lipid.

Lipids are essentially fats and they have three unique bio-insular and systemic properties. First, they can protect against environmental intrusion due to their thickness – like water off a duck’s back. Second, they are semi-permeable, which means that they allow some flow of energy to break through to prevent molecules from becoming so closed off as to undergo rapid entropy. The third component has to do with the fact that they provide partial enclosure of molecules within the lipid membrane. As a result of enclosure molecular “drift” is precluded. That forces interactions within the bio-packet and creates the potential for reciprocal feedback within that enclosure… sort of like having a talkative house guest who won’t leave and with whom you are obliged to interact.
Eventually one of two things can occur within a semi-enclosed system; either internal chaotic bombardment/noise will lead to disassembly of the parts or interactive agreement will evolve, leading to the creation of a homeostatic, regulated system. Once that system is created the gauge is set.

In the primordial soup there still would have been free, non-systemic molecules outside the lipid boundary. Absent a membrane they would have cropped up and been destroyed at some level of probability. Since they were not semi-enclosed and systematized they would tend to float freely and exhibit disorganized, possibly random (non-grammatical) interactive behavior patterns. Such states would have precluded the possibility of evolution. In effect the laws inherent in the biological world would not pertain, despite the fact that in their essence they possessed the basic components of life forms. This argument can now be extended to the realm of the universe.

First, an explanatory digression. Since the above concepts as pertaining to biology and cosmology are derived from Information dynamics some discussion of Information Theory would seem appropriate.

Certain Systems…

A basic component of Information Theory is “noise,” which refers to un-systematized elements without a regulatory code or repeatable, predictable interactive capacity. Information is always defined as a reduction in noise – which is often expressed as “uncertainty.” (Ash, 1990). Once noise is reduced and the structure develops a systematic capacity it will begin to operate by rules, redundancy and predictability, i.e. exhibit poly-stability (which means that some aspects of the system can change without undoing the overall balance in the system. This is tantamount to what physicists call “symmetry).” In order for any system to become internally regulated, it must first be separated from the tumult of the outside world – without so completely losing touch that it forfeits any chance at absorbing new, entropy- preventing energy sources.

The information model appears to affect every aspect of nature. A simple example can be seen in language. Without formal, systemic grammar, idioms, punctuation and other elements enabling people to understand each other’s statements there would be no language per se – and certainly not the kind that could reach a wide variety of people. Yet while language is a kind of enclosed system it needs to be able to absorb new idioms and accents to evolve – such as the French influence on English in the aftermath of the Norman Conquest in 1066, which led to its modern form.

The Universal Membrane…

It seems the classical cosmos might also operate as an information system with two components corresponding to the duality seen in classical and quantum physics. The quantum world, with its mysterious qualities of uncertainty and non locality can be said to be “un-membraned” consisting of particles that have not been encapsulated by borders, therefore not homeostatic, i.e. bound by lawful, systemic interaction patterns and integrative functions seen in atoms.

If such speculation notion has merit, then a question not often asked becomes; what comprises the semi-permeable membrane that insulates the classical from the quantum world and divides the cosmos into two parts?
Since no one has observed an atom or particle it would seem quite difficult to describe a protective, interaction-forcing membrane that systematizes some but not all components of the universe. Since electrons, neutrons, and a nucleus are trapped within the atom’s membrane – their interactions are in part reciprocal and dynamic. One could assume that without a membrane the universe would contain no systemic structure or information and that nothing would exist. By the same token the atomic membrane would have to be semi-permeable – otherwise energy renewal and the emission of radiation would be blocked and it would decay rapidly. In such conditions matter would at best feature a virtual in and out existence.

The membrane argument (not to be confused with the “brane” theory as derived from string theory) brings up the age-old question of what the prototype universe was comprised of, and how it originated. This writer cannot provide a ready answer but one can speculate.

Musings…

If a “cosmic lipid” made possible the classical world, it would have required an initial component or starting point, simply because in order for any system to develop requires a prior availability of raw materials. Thus one might assume the universe was never “nothing” but rather an initially (eternal?) quantum state featuring constant perturbations typified by non locality. In that state virtual exit/enter particle reactions would have comprised a pre-informed cosmos. Without a membrane there would have been no systems, no redundancy and thus no laws of nature. Consequently there would have been no time, space, locality or redundant interactions. The primordial universe (if indeed one can call it that) would have been nothing more than a probabilistic state of non-systemic noise.

Whatever this pre-temporal, pre-massive, pre-spatial thing was, it was not responsive to laws, even gravity. The essentially para-physical nature of that proto-universe implied here can perhaps explain its isomorphic distribution regarding temperature and matter. If a-systemic particles can be everywhere, why not isomorphism? After all, skewing of matter is at the root a function of distance and time – here there is no time or distance. (Perhaps part of the confusion is based on our assumption that there is a finite quality to the speed of light). To a particle moving at that speed it would seem time would not lapse, thus neither would there be any spatial extension). It might also explain the mysterious things known as dark energy and dark matter, e.g. the reason we cannot see either is because they are non-systemic remnants from a quantum state that cannot be localized with regard to time and place and thus can be anywhere, at any time.

Why would that be true? Possibly because the presence of space and time- which are inherently redundant via lawful movement and topographic sequences – only came to exist with the advent of systemic atomic structures. In other words, no system, no space, no mass, no gravity and no time.

That lends itself to further speculation. For example, when we look out at the cosmos is it possible we are looking at two worlds; not in the form of extra dimensions or multiverses but instead at a dualistic world, one aspect of which has time, space and order, the other having none of those qualities which we can only perceive and measure by chance.

The Odd One Out…

If some series of events did lead to creation of a systematizing cosmic membrane that could explain some aspects of the cosmos including how the central forces originated. But those were mostly close-up forces that had to interact materially to exert mutual influence. Gravity is a different animal. The question is …why?

Use of the principle of parsimony might be helpful here. A simple explanation might be found in its range. Newton demonstrated that gravitational pull is determined by mass, and distance. Einstein demonstrated that the curvature/ indentation of space created by objects depends on their mass and can extend over long distances. (A shot put tossed into a pool of water will create a larger ripple than a golf ball – assuming both are tossed with the same or similar force). Thus by it very nature gravity has extraordinary spatial influence and despite its ostensible mystery it might be exactly what Einstein said it was- a spatial/temporal phenomenon. As such it has great potential contact with a larger swath of the universe as it transfers from one attractive body to the next. That in turn would expose it to more cosmic fields, including both the systemic and quantum (non-systemic) fields. In simpler terms gravity could be considered a hybrid force, influenced by both the systemic and quantum “landscapes” within the cosmos. It might create attractions within the systemic (classical) world but also interact with non-systemic, timeless, not-spatial fields where it would be at least partially, timeless, non-local and so perturbed and non-systemic that it could both push and pull – thus the rapid expansion of the universe. In that context one might assume that in areas of space with the least systemic topography, gravity would have a tendency to behave in quantum, uncertain ways.

Back to the cosmic membrane. What could it have been? A form of matter – perhaps a hydrogen membrane arising from cooling of the particles and energy sources? Or perhaps an energy-capturing mechanism like the Higgs field; creating a wave-like vibratory or magnetic shield around particles by which to house the atom’s components without prohibiting the absorption of renewed energy sources?

Since physicists still have difficulty differentiating between matter and energy, particles and waves the answer to that question seems at least as hard to resolve as the search for the origin of life. In that case this is just another attempt (by an amateur theoretician) to provide conceptual unity between two of the greatest forces and creations in nature; the biosphere and the universe.

REFERENCES

Ash, R. (1990) Information Theory. Dover Publications Inc. New York

Bohm, D. (1986) A New Theory of the Relationship of Mind and Matter. Journal of The American Society for Psychical Research. 80 (2) April 1986 p. 128

Ikehara, K. GADV Protein World Hypothesis on the Origin of Life. Origins of Life Evolution of Biospheres. Dec. 2014 Vol. 44 Issue 4 pp. 299-302

Marshall, M. DNA Could have existed long before Life itself. Aug. 2012 New Scientist

Pietsch. P. (1981) The Quest for the Hologramic Mind. Boston: Houghton-Mifflin. p.78

Pribram, K. The Neurophysiology of Remembering, Scientific American, 220 January 1969. pp. 76-78

Talbot, M. (1991) The Holographic Universe. Harper Perennial

*Notes on Einstein and “spooky distance.” Einstein felt the cosmos was lawful, mainly because all his and Newton’s work on gravity, mass, the speed of light and other physical laws (those typically included in the classical physics model demonstrated that this was true. After reviewing the results of quantum mechanics research- which suggested localizing and tracking particles could not be done other than by calculating probabilities he became skeptical; in one instance stating that physics could not operate that way, that distant particles beyond light speed attraction could not communicate across such distances simultaneously. His use of the phrase “spooky distance” reflects that skepticism. He carried on a theoretical rivalry with renowned physicist Neils Bohr over this issue, who took se4veral opportunities to criticize Einstein for his skepticism over what Bohr considered to an experimentally verified model of the particle world.

*Notes; Newton used (actually developed) calculus to determine what he called the law of universal gravitation. He proved that that gravity is a function of mass and distance, i.e. drops off as distance increases (squared) and increases corresponding to the mas and closeness of objects. However he could not determine why – loosely assumed it was due to some sort of constant material (ether) that mediated the force. Einstein discovered that there was no medium per se doing the carrying, but that the mass of objects “caves in” space (creates a curvature) into which smaller objects fall in relation to massive objects. He was able to include the passage of time within his theory or relativity but he could not determine why gravity acted this way, particularly as pertains to the actions of other forces. He was unsuccessful at producing a theory that could umbrella all four of the forces, i.e. electromagnetic, strong, weak force and gravity. Planck and Heisenberg were able to determine that since subatomic particles do not obey the same laws discovered by Newton and Einstein with regard to motion, location and momentum and tend to act in unpredictable ways, but despite the statistical accuracy of quantum mechanics neither of them was able to explain what is often referred to as “quantum weirdness.”

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