The scientific question addressed in this series of essays is an old one. It goes
back to the original scientists, previously known as “natural philosophers”, or just
as “lovers of wisdom”. Over 2500 years ago Greek thinkers asked themselves a few
seemingly simple childish questions : “what is the world made of, and how does it
work?” Since then, philosophers and scientists, theorists and empiricists have pursued
the elusive answers to those simple queries. Yet they also thought long and hard
about a more difficult question implicit in the basic quest : “why does it work the
way it does?”
The Enformationism hypothesis is proposed as a possible scientific replacement for
the fruitful, but aging, paradigm of Materialism. This new way of thinking about
Reality suggests some counter-intuitive responses to those old puzzlers :
1. What is the world made of?
Old – Solid Matter and zippy Energy; atoms & space.
New – Immaterial Information patterns and relationships, including wave/particles
2. How does it work?
Old – By transformation of Energy into Matter, and vice-versa.
New – By transformation of raw information/data/ideas into powerful Energy and
malleable Matter and curving Space and cycling Time.
3. Why does it work like that?
Old – Science doesn’t answer “Why” questions.
New – Because the physical universe is essentially an idea in a metaphysical, universal
Like Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and the theory of Quantum Mechanics, Enformationism
is a simple, but counter-intuitive, concept that requires motivation and hard thinking
to reach a general understanding . Those scientific breakthroughs, and each subsequent
advance, have probed further beyond the familiar, human-scale world we understand
instinctively. Even though scientists still don’t fully grasp all of the ramifications
and inter-relationships within those theoretical realms, they know enough to make
practical use of them. For example, a significant portion of the world’s economy
is based on electronics and computer industries that would not exist apart from the
pragmatic applications of those abstruse theories. Cell phones, MP3 players, Flash
Drives, and many other 21st century technologies would not be possible without a
practical understanding of Quantum Mechanics.
WORLD STUFF Perhaps there are not two radically different kinds of stuff, mind and matter, but just one great world-stuff which has both mental and physical attributes . . . —-Mary Midgely
MYSTERY MATTER Recent measurements reveal a universe consisting mostly of the unknown . . . . Of the other 96 percent . . . we know absolutely nothing. —Lee Smolin The Trouble With Physics
Democritus : Thales kept asking himself a primary question : “What is the world made of, and how does it work?” . . . Is there something permanent, an underlying identity, that persists through this constant change? —-Leon Lederman The God Particle
DISCLAIMER #1 The information presented in this thesis is only a preliminary and superficial treatise of a debatable topic that may never be satisfactorily resolved for everyone. It is intended only to offer for consideration a novel tool to break the either/or logjam of Idealism versus Realism, Spiritualism versus Materialism, with a both/and wedge.
Some of us are generally familiar with the technical concept of Information Theory.
But few of us, including the majority of scientists, have grasped the broad philosophical
implications of the discovery that information is the substance of reality. In widely
dispersed pockets, a few researchers are pursuing their individual interests in a
field-with-no-name, that I call Information Science. I have mentioned a few of those
pockets in these articles: Shannon Information Theory, Artificial Intelligence &
Life research, Chaos & Complexity Theory, Cosmology, Quantum Programming, Memetics,
Systems Theory, Cybernetics, Mob-Swarm-Crowd theory, Neuroscience, Brain/Mind research,
Most of those areas of study are still in the theoretical and hypothetical -– hence,
philosophical -– stage of science. But I predict that, by the end of the 21st century,
they will be considered established fields with practical applications. Science evolves,
new paradigms emerge, and old fields of study fragment into sub-fields. But I believe
that Information Science (the arithmetic of reality) promises to re-unite all fields
of human understanding: Philosophy, Religion, and Science.