The Enformationism Hypothesis



The Enformationism hypothesis begins with the ancient, but still controversial, theory that the fundamental “substance” of reality is not sensible energy or tangible matter, but abstract spirit, soul, or mind. Yet it concludes that those mysterious, metaphysical, mental building blocks of reality are nothing stranger than the ordinary, mundane objects of thought that we take for granted in our everyday thinking.

Axiom: Consciousness is real and primal. Hence, Mental concepts are categorically and hierarchically prior to material things. Premise 1: At the quantum level of reality matter is essentially reduced to mathematical information. Premise 2: The essence of mind and thought is Information, which consists of patterns and relationships between things. Conclusion: Matter and Energy are condensed forms of abstract, ethereal information. Therefore, the 19th century, reductive, physical, scientific Paradigm of Materialism should be updated to include the knowledge emerging from 21st century, holistic, metaphysical Information Sciences. ●



This is not a formal, academic dissertation, but an informal expression of a personal hypothesis–-an elaborate guess–-by a non-specialist layman. The seminal concepts described herein were derived from a broad, general, non-directed pattern of reading, web browsing, and forum dialogues. References are only loosely documented in the Bibliography and Links. A more formal exposition of the Essential Information Theory will be left to the experts. ●



Raised in a fundamentalist, American, Christian, Protestant sect, I was indoctrinated with a hybrid worldview based primarily on ideological ancient scriptures, but pragmatically adapted to life in a modern, secular, multicultural society. Hence, I arrived at adulthood with a mild case of cognitive dissonance from the conflicting beliefs inherent in a dualistic, Natural/Supernatural conception of the structure and function of the world around me.

As education and experience accumulated, my views gradually swung in the direction of Naturalism, and I put away my childish mystical/mythical conception of reality. Over time, as a nonreligious Agnostic, I built-up a non-ideological, secular, empirical worldview. However, I was never able to completely reject the concept of Creation, because I couldn't imagine how a temporal, physical world could exist without some kind of ex nihilo beginning out of eternity and infinity, and I had no idea how that could happen apart from the fanciful stories and pre-scientific myths of ancient cultural traditions.

So, instead of concerning myself with pointless philosophical and theological speculation, I focused on building a reliable scientific Worldview to replace my inherited, discredited religious beliefs. And yet, as I learned about Quantum Theory, Systems Theory, Information Theory, Multiverse Theory, and  Memetic Evolution, the key to a possible evolutionary creation scenario began to emerge from the scientific stew. [1]

The common link between all of those loosely-related disciplines is Information in the technical sense defined by Claude Shannon. [2] A few years ago, I read an article by a Quantum Theorist, who metaphorically referred to an indeterminate (i.e. a wave/particle) electron, one of the basic elements of matter, as both a dimensionless point and a cloud of mathematical information (probability). The quantum paradoxes of zero-dimensional particles and matterless waves in space had already made reality seem more like metaphysical concepts than physical things. So at that moment there was a loud click in my mind: real matter is ultimately ideal. And the ramifications of that intuitive leap are still unfolding, as I explore the many meanings of Information.

From that point onward, one thing led to another, and the evolving concept of Informationism  began to emerge, and to evolve into Enformationism . This Post-Materialism paradigm began as merely a logical extension of the secular scientific worldview. Yet ironically, along the way, the presumably obsolete philosophy of Deism began to take-on a new and essential significance for me. Although commonly confused with its material vehicle, the essence or meaning of “information” can only exist in a metaphysical mind, as I will attempt to demonstrate.

Philosophers and religious sages for millennia have imagined G*D, Brahma, Tao as a bodyless Universal Mind or pure Creative Consciousness ---which does not compute in materialistic science. Yet again, for me, the concept of a divine act of  In-form-action (creation) clicked into a traditional place in pre-scientific, but non-religious, philosophical speculations, such as those of Plato and Aristotle. And that same piece of shape-shifting Information continues to snap into empty puzzle holes within History, Literature, Philosophy, Religion, and Science. This thesis assumes that an ultimate source of Generic Information must exist in some sense. But beyond the usual First Cause, Prime Mover characterizations, no specific claims are made regarding the Purpose, Intention, or Super-Nature of that eternal fount of Being. ●



Proposal 3: Consciousness is information.

According to this model, consciousness is the primary structural element of the universe.
—-Stephen Goldberg

If consciousness = information = meaning, then, since information is everywhere and not just in the brain, one would have to ascribe some degree of consciousness to all areas of the body, indeed everything in the universe.
—- Steven Goldberg
Continued on . . ..