Tuesday, September 13, 2016

A Theory of Everything

Science is about observation of physical phenomena and provide an logical explanation to it. By Physical phenomena we mean whatever that can be observed. Observation is defined as the ability to sense the presence or absence, and a quantitative measure. These phenomena are entirely available to us through the five senses only. The five senses can be enhanced with apparatus such as microscope, telescope, and more sophisticated devices, but eventually sensed by our five senses.

We observe a multitude of phenomena in the world. from the vastness of outer space and its various objects such as stars and galaxies and black holes etc, which are observed through the eyes, telescopes, radio telescopes and other sensors, to the microscopic and sub atomic realm of particles which are announced by sophisticated devices such as the particle accelerators and particle detectors.

The phenomena that we observe has been steadily increasing over time, and the more we observe the more we discover. The discoveries of new phenomena constantly revises our understanding and results in newer explanations. This has been the history of science. Science has been striving to provide accurate explanation of all such observable phenomenon. There is always enough unexplained phenomena at any given point in time. Such observations results in multiple hypothesis. A hypothesis is an explanation for something but not proved and accepted.

The more sophisticated our ability to observe, the more we observe. This results in newer and newer concepts that needs explanation. science catches up and keeps providing explanations. Science also tries to bring all observable phenomenon into a single unified theory.

The unexplained phenomenon, as well as the elusive unified theory leads to a multitude of hypothesis. 

Can this never ending cycle of discovery and hypothesis and successful explanations ever have an end? Can all phenomenon can be explained and done with once and for all? Science thinks it is possible. Every scientific community thinks it will be eventually possible. It has been the case in all of humanity. When it comes to science, there is no difference in the approaches in the different peoples of the world. East or west, it is always a rational, objective approach. different civilizations have provided different explanations for the as yet unexplained phenomenon, but once it is explained by science the matter is considered settled. some civilizations are poetic and provide very romantic explanations yet scientific, some provide it simply and directly. But the litmus test is that the explanation should be rational, objective and observable.

At any given epoch there will always be phenomenon that is fully explained, some partially explained and some without an explanation. this is not due to any inability or limitation of any kind. It is the design of the universe. If you observe the multitude of phenomenon, it begs a question..'Why?'. Why a million different species ? why so many types of birds, animals, plants? the vastness of things and space exists to provide an almost infinite playground to have a exciting experience that we call life.

Imagine a world where there was only one kind of animal, say the humans, and one kind of plant, say the mango tree. and one kind of matter say iron and so on.. will that be an exciting world to live? It is the variety of things, and variety within things that causes experiences of interest. Similarly a completely known universe will fail to provide any excitement. It is the unknown element in everything that sustains interest in life. The moment we know exactly everything, it will become a dull world. So the Universe keeps generating newer and newer things.

Imagine a Cinema hall. The screen is blank to begin with. We go to a movie. we go there for the experience. and it is exciting based on the surprises and the unknown and the newness of what we see. and as time goes by we see hundreds of movies on the very same screen in the cinema hall. If someone begins to think, that they can figure out all the movies that will ever be screened in the hall, it may be an interesting thought, but if he eventually does, then he would have killed cinema. 

Same is the pursuit of the unified theory in Science. While it results in wonderful knowledge that eventually gets utilized for increasing our comforts, a pursuit towards understanding and explaining all phenomenon will always be eluding. 

When we understand that it is not a limitation but a design for entertainment, we experience a joyful existence.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

The Difficulties of Knowledge

Knowing is a difficult process. 

To know that everything is made of atoms does not happen intuitively. A long painful process of observations, contemplation, looking deep, building sophisticated equipment, and accidental discovery and many more things are involved in arriving at this knowledge.

Understanding life, the world, the Universe is a very unnatural process. No living being spends so much time and energy as the human in the process of accumulating knowledge. Most of our knowledge serves the basic purpose of existence or living such as eating, sleeping, procreating and entertaining. We gather more and more knowledge that will eventually aid us in these basic needs.

As vast amounts of time passes, our knowledge has sophisticated beyond the ordinary. Abstractions such as mathematics and computer instructions dominate a large part of our world. Our probes into every aspect of this physical world, has resulted in vast amount of complex structures of information.

In this day and age defined as the information era, it is obvious we are building a behemoth called knowledge. We want an explanation for everything, want to know the reason behind things, we are relentlessly pursuing the control of everything, an ability to be able to manage life at the most atomic level.

In all of this, we do get disconnected with our primary self, a simple body and a simple mind, that simply craves to exist without sophistication.

Letting go of this necessity to know, the need for explanations, the craving for a 'cause and effect' relationship and an endless pursuit to control our lives is liberation and enables us to get back to our original state of joyful existence.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Authenticity of Information

In the pursuit of knowledge, and deeper understanding of life and the world around us, there comes many a times a situation where we need to stop and think about validity of things.

Whether it is a new scientific knowledge, or a philosophical viewpoint, or an explanation about certain events, the information that we get needs authentication. 

Laws of nature as discovered by scientists from time to time, create a stir in the minds of the curious. They are often validated through experiments and observations, and independently verified by many sources. 

Everything is made of Atoms. Speed of Light is constant. Some of angles within a triangle is 180 degrees. Fermat's Last Theorem. Godel's incompleteness Theorem. Theories, Theorems, Conjectures, proofs and disproofs. Often times we are never a direct participant in any of these. It is mostly hearsay. I have personally never seen an atom, whether through my nakes eye, nor through a cloud chamber, nor observed particles in a collider. 

The validity of most of the information seems to be from its use and application. We are able to do several things as a result of using these theories. Hence we conclude these must be true. As long as we have a framework in which we can test and validate information, we are comfortable, and with our faculty of thinking using Logic as its main tool we are able to navigate true and false in this ever changing world.

Then there are those strange situations, where we do not have the luxury of observation and experimentation. Where was I before I was born, what is death, where will I go after I die? We are stuck here.

Many theories exist, many religions have been created for this purpose, many texts, scriptures, philosophies.. but how do we authenticate such information? How do we travel those mysteries, if we get stuck at the very begin at this apparent inability to accept or reject?

This leads us to a very interesting process of finding out, what is Authentication? Does authenticity really exist? A deep questioning will reveal that we simply 'trust', 'believe' or 'accept' every single piece of information. No single piece of information can ever be authenticated to the absolute extent. All information is built one on top of the other, and as we go deeper and deeper, each begins to fall apart from the real of authenticity and move into assumptions, and belief. Be it the Atomic theory , or Gravitational Waves.

The only self evident truth being that 'I exist', all other information can never ever be verified. This startling revelation will allow us to travel thoughts and ideas which otherwise appear not to have the ability to be authenticated and probe this world deeper and ultimately realize the truth.  This liberates us from the need for authentication and also from the clutches of a single reality.