Gordon Tubbs

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In Search of a Sufficient Ontology for T0 to T1
« on: May 10, 2020, 04:00:43 pm »
I will take a Kantian perspective for granted that there are some aspects of reality that are epistemically unsearchable. I think when it comes to something like cosmology and the origins of the Universe as we know it, especially when we juxtapose it against possibilities of the way the Universe could have been known, these sorts of things are in the category of being epistemically unsearchable. But while the necessary ontology of the Universe is unsearchable, we can at least theorize what a sufficient ontology might be. That is to say (in Kantian terms) a noumenon that would sufficiently bring about the phenomenon. We can do this by working backwards from effect to cause. To begin, I will propose an a priori ontology that is not controversial. It is inspired by the metaphysics of David M. Armstrong (an atheist), in which he began with the assumption that space-time is fundamental.

If the "initial state" of our Universe is bound to space-time, then I propose that at T0 (before any time has passed), the Universe was confined to a single 3D cube of space. I will also propose that this state is immaterial because no matter can be said to exist at T0. All that exists at T0 is potential energy, which is being expressed as field, which is distributed globally across the single 3D cube of space. For semantic purposes, I will refer to this energized 3D-cube as the Singularity. The Universe we experience has multitudes of material forms, and so the next step in this inquiry will be guided by the following question: how do we get from an immaterial Singularity to a material Universe?

I think the beginnings of an answer to this question can be explored by trying to understand how the Singularity can sufficiently bring about a material state at T1. I think this could be accomplished in a couple different ways. The first way supposes that the Singularity does not expand, and particles simply emerge out of the field. The second way supposes that the Singularity does expand, and this expansion creates a disturbance in the field which in turn results in the emergence of particles. On the first way, I suppose it is possible that an infinite number of particles could emerge until the Singularity reaches a critical mass level until it "explodes" thus causing the expansion of space. However, I wanted to pause for a moment and appreciate how both of these ways seem to entail each other. If particles emerge first and then space expands, so be it. If space expands first and then particles emerge, so be it. It is not important to me at this juncture to determine if the chicken or egg came first. What is important to me is to determine what ontological conditions the Singularity has that sufficiently bring about T1 (however T1 is brought about), so I will assume BOTH ways happen simultaneously, which is to say: particles emerge AND space expands at T1.

By way of analogy, the mechanics of T0 to T1 can be thought of in the same way as cellular mitosis. And so a Universe emerges (begins to exist) because the Singularity is replicating itself. The rate of this replication (logarithmic, linear, or exponential) is unimportant to me; what is important is that it is happening. If the mitosis analogy is apt, then it seems to me that at the bare minimum the Singularity will need to have a self-replication property, a self-organizing (quantizing) property, and a particle-producing property. But what exactly are these properties? If they exist at T0 and T1 and all subsequent intervals of time, then they are eternal (or timeless). If they are not local to any singular cube of space-time, but in fact apply to all cubes, then they are universal (or omnipresent).

But I ask again: WHAT are these properties? Abstract or concrete objects? I do not think the properties are concrete first because they are immaterial, and second because they are mind-independent. In other words, they cannot be manipulated as though they are particles or quantities of energy, nor does someone need to be thinking of them in order for them to exist. This is why I am led to think of them as being abstract, even though they participate with concrete objects (energized 3D cubes of space-time). The next question is whether or not these properties are first-order abstracts or second-order. By this I mean, do the properties instantiate space-time cubes, or do the cubes instantiate the properties? I should think that if the properties did not exist at all, then T1 would not come about; so it is for this reason that I think they are first-order intrinsic properties of the Singularity at T0, which also means they are uncaused.

So to review, the space-time Singularity has the following properties: Self-Replication, Self-Organization, and Particle-Producing. And these properties exist in the following way: Eternal, Universal, Abstract, and Uncaused.

At T1 when the Universe emerges, the game changes somewhat because now we might say the Universe would instantiate second-order properties such as thermodynamics and other physical laws that regulate how space-time cubes will continue to replicate and organize/quantize, and also how new elementary particles emerge from these space-time cubes and begin to organize themselves into various material forms. If these laws are second-order properties instatiated at T1, then they exist contingently, or rather they are contingent upon the Singularity's self-replication before they come into being. But in treating them as contingents, these leads me to consider whether or not they are uniform across all space-time cube. In other words, could space-time cube "Alpha" at T1 have different thermodynamic and physical laws than space-time cube "Bravo" also at T1?

If the answer is YES, then I think we might have a good conceptual model for the many-worlds hypothesis, which says that many different kinds of universes perpetually emerge from an original Singularity. On this model, "Alpha" and "Bravo" become their own Singularities, which then go on to self-replicate and produce "Alpha Universe" and "Bravo Universe" which are separated by a barrier that prevents "Alpha Space" from merging or mixing with "Bravo Space." I am not opposed to this model, but it multiplies entities needlessly to explain the Universe as we know it.

If the answer is NO, then the uniformity of thermodynamics and physical laws become another eternal, universal, abstract, and uncaused property of the Universe as a whole. If not, then uniformity could fail and the Universe would break down into many-worlds. It does not matter to me if many-worlds emerge at T1 or if, say at T2 or any subseqeunt interval, the Universe breaks down and many-worlds emerge. I have nothing against many-worlds other than it being anti-parsimonious. But for argument's sake, at some interval there would have to be uniformity in order for a Universe to have stability, otherwise an infinite number of Singularities would keep forming and breaking down into many-worlds ad infinitum. I doubt such a process would sufficiently yield the Universe as we know it, so at this stage I am comfortable going with the NO answer seeing as how uniformity is a sufficient condition for our Universe.

The diagram below pictures the Singularity at T0, and the Universe at T1 in which the Singularity has replicated, and within the new space-time cubes are new particles.



Theistic Reflection --

1. The simplest elementary particles that I think the Singularity could produce are photons because they have zero rest-mass. The metaphor/poetry of "let there be light" is quite remarkable given this.

2. I believe when one views the properties as a "system" or a "structure" rather than arbitrary components that happen to fit together 'just so' for our Universe to emerge, then the paradigm of digital physics begins to look like a clear winner in terms of which metaphysical vocabulary we should adopt. The reason is because the properties constitute logic, and this logic determines the manner in which our Universe emerged.  If so, we can think of God as the source code of the Universe, or the Logos.

3. If the Source Code determines why and how everything within a space-time cube self-organizes or quantizes, and this in principle can be applied to larger scales that go far beyond a single space-time cube (such as galaxies), then the Source Code is a part of everything that exists because it is IN everything that exists.
 
« Last Edit: May 10, 2020, 04:12:11 pm by Gordon Tubbs »
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Fred

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Re: In Search of a Sufficient Ontology for T0 to T1
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2020, 07:42:07 pm »
Gordon - Portions of y0ur analysis make sense, but I disagree with the way you're treating the material vs immaterial. 

The cosmological hypotheses I've read about assume a quantum field basis for the universe. There is no "material" at t0, if we define material as the objects in  our universe composed of particles. Particles don't exist, but the quantum fields do exist.  Particles are quanta of the fields.  Particles emerge only after a "big bang". A Big Bang is a high energy quantum fluctuation of the the particle-less ground state at t0.  For discussion purposes, I'm going to refer to Sean Carroll's hypothesis, which is depicted in this picture:


The "initial time surface" is t0. Carroll proposes that an arrow of time is due to thermodynamics: time goes in the direction of entropy.  In his proposal, it can go in either direction - so that there's a net of zero.  Particle formation is associated with cooling. of the fields. 

His baby universes are a bit like your mitosis.  Your "singularity" is the initial time surface.  And we get from an "immaterial" state  (of sorts) to particles (the building blocks of matter).  The properties aren't abstract - they are the ontic properties of quantum fields.  By Carrolls reckoning, a baby universe arises from a quantum fluctuation of empty space (de Sitter space). As our universe expands, it cools - and it will eventually burn itself out.  That is a state at which a new universe can be born.  This corresponds somewhat to your self-replication.  Self-organization is a consequence of the the existence of particles, which have properties that result in their combining with other particles.

There may be different "laws" manifested in a universe, but they would all just be a special case of the actual fundamental laws. 

I thought you might find this interesting because your scenario has some similarities.
Fred

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Gordon Tubbs

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Re: In Search of a Sufficient Ontology for T0 to T1
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2020, 08:56:49 pm »
I bought and read Carroll’s book Big Picture, so I’m familiar.

On the point of immateriality, I do not see quantum fields as concrete objects. I see them as abstract objects that express what is concrete: energy. I see them no differently than Bohr’s model of atoms (which is conceptually accurate but ontologically false).

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Fred

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Re: In Search of a Sufficient Ontology for T0 to T1
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2020, 10:45:49 pm »
I bought and read Carroll’s book Big Picture, so I’m familiar.

On the point of immateriality, I do not see quantum fields as concrete objects. I see them as abstract objects that express what is concrete: energy. I see them no differently than Bohr’s model of atoms (which is conceptually accurate but ontologically false).
What makes you think quantum fields are abstract? They explain more than particles.  This article describes another way they manifest besides particles.
Fred

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Gordon Tubbs

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Re: In Search of a Sufficient Ontology for T0 to T1
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2020, 12:18:31 am »
Fields are just ways in which energy is carried and propagated, as are waves and particles.

In this older post Quantum Implications of Random Walk Simulations, I explored the possibility that fields could over sufficient time scales behave as though they are waves given the assumption that the energy density within a field fluctuates randomly. Particle-Wave duality is a thing. Field-Particle duality is a thing. So why not Field-Wave-Particle Triality?

Again, this just underscores what I'm claiming on my ontology, which is that energy has ontic primacy.... and the way in which that energy is distributed or expressed within a given space-time cube could be as a field, wave, or particle.

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lucious

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Re: In Search of a Sufficient Ontology for T0 to T1
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2020, 08:42:34 am »
OP, there is no T0 I believe; t0 is an ideal limit that doesn't actually exist because this would entail an ontological commitment to the reality of points and instants.


We can say the universe has a beginning, but not that it has an explicit beginning point.

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Mammal

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Re: In Search of a Sufficient Ontology for T0 to T1
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2020, 09:53:13 am »
Theistic Reflection --

1. The simplest elementary particles that I think the Singularity could produce are photons because they have zero rest-mass. The metaphor/poetry of "let there be light" is quite remarkable given this.

2. I believe when one views the properties as a "system" or a "structure" rather than arbitrary components that happen to fit together 'just so' for our Universe to emerge, then the paradigm of digital physics begins to look like a clear winner in terms of which metaphysical vocabulary we should adopt. The reason is because the properties constitute logic, and this logic determines the manner in which our Universe emerged.  If so, we can think of God as the source code of the Universe, or the Logos.

3. If the Source Code determines why and how everything within a space-time cube self-organizes or quantizes, and this in principle can be applied to larger scales that go far beyond a single space-time cube (such as galaxies), then the Source Code is a part of everything that exists because it is IN everything that exists.
Hi Gordon, sorry to have read that you will be leaving RFF some time soon. You will be missed.

In regard to the OP, whether we assume space-time to be fundamental or not is probably less relevant to the point that you are trying to make, no? I mean whether our universe emerged as space-time from a pure quantum state of affairs, or whether it was something like an initial "singularity" state (akin to the Hartle-Hawking state) is probably not that important..?

In any case, the naturalist will argue that all we require for this same scenario to work is something like a teleological force of nature, something like an optimizing function towards complexity, or an information/entropy optimization of sorts. We could for example imagine nature utilizing natural selection among all probable path projections, converging and entangling along universal wave functions according to such teleological force whereby encoded/decoded information is its dynamic interactive tool. Nature seemingly has "smart" quantum mechanisms aplenty to pull this off; we observe such interactions and optimization in (quantum) nature.
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Gordon Tubbs

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Re: In Search of a Sufficient Ontology for T0 to T1
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2020, 10:42:32 am »
In regard to the OP, whether we assume space-time to be fundamental or not is probably less relevant to the point that you are trying to make, no? I mean whether our universe emerged as space-time from a pure quantum state of affairs, or whether it was something like an initial "singularity" state (akin to the Hartle-Hawking state) is probably not that important..?

Nope. How the Singularity initially begins its existence or emerges from a more-fundamental state was not the scope of the OP. As I said, I am basically conceding Kantian Skepticism at the outset -- that the bedrock of reality is epistemically unsearchable. From this I start with the Singularity, given that space-time is something we know of, and posit a 3D Planck cube as the smallest possible space that can exist.


Quote
In any case, the naturalist will argue that all we require for this same scenario to work is something like a teleological force of nature, something like an optimizing function towards complexity, or an information/entropy optimization of sorts. We could for example imagine nature utilizing natural selection among all probable path projections, converging and entangling along universal wave functions according to such teleological force whereby encoded/decoded information is its dynamic interactive tool. Nature seemingly has "smart" quantum mechanisms aplenty to pull this off; we observe such interactions and optimization in (quantum) nature.

Right, I think proposing a "Fifth Force" or some kind of "Superforce" is a sufficient solution to Harvey's "dilemma." Although I think an "optimization principle" is really just shorthand for self-replication, self-organization, self-quantization, self-coherence, etc. As I asked in Tom's newest thread, the most relevant question we can ask in these discussions is what instantiates what? If this so-called Superforce or Optimization Principle is the invisible hand that shapes and directs energy where to go and how it is to evolve, then we're getting into Platonist/Idealist territory if this Superforce is eternal, universal, immaterial, abstract, and uncaused.
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Gordon Tubbs

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Re: In Search of a Sufficient Ontology for T0 to T1
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2020, 10:47:42 am »
OP, there is no T0 I believe; t0 is an ideal limit that doesn't actually exist because this would entail an ontological commitment to the reality of points and instants.

We can say the universe has a beginning, but not that it has an explicit beginning point.

That's fine. I am biting the bullet with respect to such commitments. I think space-time is completely quantized.
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Mammal

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Re: In Search of a Sufficient Ontology for T0 to T1
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2020, 11:30:51 am »
Right, I think proposing a "Fifth Force" or some kind of "Superforce" is a sufficient solution to Harvey's "dilemma." Although I think an "optimization principle" is really just shorthand for self-replication, self-organization, self-quantization, self-coherence, etc. As I asked in Tom's newest thread, the most relevant question we can ask in these discussions is what instantiates what? If this so-called Superforce or Optimization Principle is the invisible hand that shapes and directs energy where to go and how it is to evolve, then we're getting into Platonist/Idealist territory if this Superforce is eternal, universal, immaterial, abstract, and uncaused.
I don't quite see why we need to appeal to a super(natural)force though. This seems to be inherent to nature. Quantum systems appear to optimize, like Alpha decay, there is information-like feedback like entanglement and Maxwell's demon, there is the convergence of probable quantum trajectories. In our space-time reality we seemingly have a progression from fundamental quantum field forces and particles to more complex molecular and chemical bindings, we have biological evolution that follows the same pattern i.t.o. information, structure and function. Change is fundamentally inevitable along a selection of multiple probabilities.
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kravarnik

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Re: In Search of a Sufficient Ontology for T0 to T1
« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2020, 11:45:15 am »
OP, there is no T0 I believe; t0 is an ideal limit that doesn't actually exist because this would entail an ontological commitment to the reality of points and instants.

We can say the universe has a beginning, but not that it has an explicit beginning point.

That's fine. I am biting the bullet with respect to such commitments. I think space-time is completely quantized.

Theists usually make distinction between real division and logical division. The one is ontological the other is epistemological. In strict logic a few moments ago you were a distinct thing, from now. But realistically speaking, you're still Gordon: your identity IS REALLY the same, for only essential and accidental changes count as actual change, but not logical divisions. Pin-pointing numerous logical points on a straight line doesn't make the line any shorter, or different than it is.


So, I am really not sure why you'd concede that there's T0. There's no T0. We only know there's a beginning.
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Gordon Tubbs

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Re: In Search of a Sufficient Ontology for T0 to T1
« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2020, 11:52:56 am »
@Mammal
What is "inherent to nature" is really just a description of how the system grows/evolves from one time interval to the next. If the system has a deep structure to it, as a computer has a motherboard so to speak, then it's not energy (expressed as fields, waves, and particles) that instantiate the Universe but rather the deep structure that permits and determines how that energy is expressed, as well as whether or not it is expressed probabilistically or deterministically. What is this deep structure, but something eternal, universal, immaterial, abstract, and uncaused?

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Mammal

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Re: In Search of a Sufficient Ontology for T0 to T1
« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2020, 12:53:55 pm »
Gordon, sure I agree. What I am cautious about is an appeal to something super, extra-natural. An unnaturally intelligent code..that requires an unnatural intelligent designer.. We should rather admit that we are still discovering all of nature and its capacity. Here is a simple example to illustrate: when Einstein came up with e=mc2, it was not his super, extra-natural mind that programmed nature with said formula. It was a naturally evolved intelligent brain that accurately detected an intelligent natural relationship.
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Mammal

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Re: In Search of a Sufficient Ontology for T0 to T1
« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2020, 01:48:55 pm »
What is this deep structure, but something eternal, universal, immaterial, abstract, and uncaused?
Just to add and in reference to your & Tom's exchange in the other thread, I do think Carroll has point when he argues that we should think about nature as fundamentally quantum. We tend to think in classical terms and then convert to QM and QFT by means of all sorts of complicated maths and stuff. In stead think native quantumness, not about the laws that govern them. For example, Feynman's QFT path diagrams are seriously complicated, but recently a natural geometric relation (that I have reported on here some time ago) has been discovered that simplify (to an extent encode) our understanding thereof..suggesting such a deeper fundamental relationship.
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Gordon Tubbs

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Re: In Search of a Sufficient Ontology for T0 to T1
« Reply #14 on: May 11, 2020, 02:03:05 pm »
For me what puts the cherry on top is the nearly identical function (and layout) of both Feynman diagrams and digital logic gates. This is where I think Carroll doesn't appreciate the extent to which this coincidence all but confirms a digital physics paradigm.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2020, 02:04:44 pm by Gordon Tubbs »
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