|observable universe||8.8 ×1026||since big bang||4.4 ×1017|
|neuron body||1.0 ×10−5||chemical synapse delay||2.0 ×10−3|
|2011 chip feature||2.2 ×10−8||2011 chip clock cycle||3.3 ×10 −10|
|silicon atomic diameter||2.2 ×10−10||1/max Si spectral frequency||1.7×10−18|
|Planck distance||1.6 ×10−35||Planck time||5.4 ×10−44|
I consider it quite possible that physics cannot be based on the field concept, i. e. on continuous structures. In that case nothing remains of my entire castle in the air gravitation theory included, [and of] the rest of modern physics[14,p 467].Other physicists have speculated about this. For related examples see Appendix A. I have long been intrigued by this idea and the observation that the wave equation occurs throughout physics. In addition to the electromagnetic spectrum (visible light, x-rays, radio waves, etc.) all matter forms waves that define the probability of observing a particle at a particular point in space and time. The classical wave equation is used to model this probability density for a single particle with no rest mass such as the photon.
As regards the world in general, both physical and mental, everything that we know of its intrinsic character is derived from the mental side, and almost everything that we know of its causal laws is derived from the physical side. But from the standpoint of philosophy the distinction between physical and mental is superficial and unreal[16,p. 402].If "intrinsic character", as far as we know, exists only in conscious mental experience, what is the intrinsic nature of inanimate matter? It cannot be the ancient earth, air, fire and water nor the billiard ball like particles of classical physics. Today physics is entirely mathematical and abstract. I have proposed an answer that I call the Totality Axiom. Immediate experience in some form is the essence and totality of the existence of physical structure and structure is the only aspect of existence that can be communicated.. This is a modern version of the ancient idea of panpsychism. The Totality Axiom is not meant to imply that inanimate objects or the world as a whole has a mind, conscious intention or purpose. Those require the evolution of a complex brain. The idea that only structure can be communicated requires clarification. We often assume that describing an experience can evoke a similar experience in others. If so, that is their conscious experience and not a direct communication of our consciousness. If we say the cloud is orange the communication works if orange refers to similar experiences between two people. It cannot evoke the correct image in someone who was color blind at birth. The Totality Axiom stems in part from a recognition that there is nothing special about the matter that makes up the human body including the brain. Matter, that is the source of human conscious experience, is special only because of its direct connection to memory and language. We can report aspects of what that matter experiences. The body is more complex than the fragment we are conscious of. All of it may be aware in some sense. Some of the unconscious parts of the brain have their own memory. For example there are people with brain injuries that prevent them from committing conscious experience to long term memory. They forget all experience (after the injury) in about half and hour. Yet they can still learn and retain new skills, but without the least memory of where those skills came from. Our conscious experience embeds some of the structure of our brain and nervous system. For example, optical illusions can usually be explained by the physiology of the eye and its neural connections to and in the brain. It is possible that immediate experience in some form may embed all the structure of our brain and of our universe. Human conscious experience extends from enormously complex states to a single point in the visual field. Similar levels of consciousness may exist throughout the brain and body. We are never consciously aware of some of this experience and others we are sometimes aware of. For example the awareness in our left big toe comes into consciousness, but not into existence, when we start paying attention to it. Our big left toe felt like something 10 minutes ago whether or not we were consciously aware of it. The Totality Axiom makes the simplest possible assumption: matter is immediate experience that fully reflects its physical structure. Structured immediate experience exists at every level of structural complexity and there is no need to assume the existence of anything else. We use internal conscious experience, such as a visual image, to represent the structure of what occurs externally. The Totality Axiom, combined with physical and biological evolution, suggest that the universe is the creative evolution of consciousness and nothing but the creative evolution of consciousness. A recent New York Times article, "The Mind of a Rock", gives a brief overview of related contemporary ideas on the universality of consciousness. There is an extensive discussion of this idea in my book. Reproducing molecules have evolved into the depth and richness of human consciousness. There is no reason to think that this is a limit of what is possible or that there is a limit. The evolution of complex physical structures leads to enormously deep and rich conscious experience that can be pleasurable or painful and sometimes both. This evolution has been accomplished in part through ever expanding diversity. For example sexual reproduction evolved, despite the complexities it adds to reproduction, because of the diversity it leads to. Yet most spiritual traditions strive for the ultimate rather than the fruits of expanding diversity. They seek union with God, Buddhist enlightenment or some other ultimate state of being. Mathematics, the Totality Axiom, and conscious experience, suggest that any single path approach to the evolution of consciousness leads to a form of stagnation described below as a Gödel limit. However, if we evolve with ever expanding diversity, then whatever ecstatic wondrous experience any being ever has is the merest hint of a shadow of what can be and this will always be the case. There is no final destination. There is only a never ending journey of divergent discovery of ever expanding possibilities and new and richer experience.
Quantum mechanics could well relate to micro-physics the same way thermodynamics relates to molecular physics: it is formally correct, but it may well be possible to devise deterministic laws at the micro scale. Why not? The mathematical nature of quantum mechanics does not forbid this, provided that one carefully eliminates the apparent no-go theorems associated to the Bell inequalities. There are ways to re-define particles and fields such that no blatant contradiction arises. One must assume that all macroscopic phenomena, such as particle positions, momenta, spins, and energies, relate to microscopic variables in the same way thermodynamic concepts such as entropy and temperature relate to local, mechanical variables. The outcome of these considerations is that particles and their properties are not, or not entirely, real in the ontological sense. The only realities in this theory are the things that happen at the Planck scale. The things we call particles are chaotic oscillations of these Planking quantities.
It always bothers me that, according to the laws as we understand them today, it takes a computing machine an infinite number of logical operations to figure out what goes on in no matter how tiny a region of space, and no matter how tiny a region of time. How can all that be going on in that tiny space? Why should it take an infinite amount of logic to figure out what one tiny piece of space/time is going to do? So I have often made the hypotheses that ultimately physics will not require a mathematical statement, that in the end the machinery will be revealed, and the laws will turn out to be simple, like the checker board with all its apparent complexities[10,p 57].