A Theory of Theories

The other day, I was having a conversation with a friend of mine, and I got thinking about scientific theories. I was maily considering the purported “theories of everything” (string theory, loop quantum gravity, twistor theory, etc.), and I began to wonder: has anyone developed or attempted to develop a “theory of theories of everything”? Would such an enterprise be fruitful or a waste of time?

Well, from this station, my train of thought kind of lost its brakes and went speeding down the hill…and I got wondering yet again: is it possible that no such theory of everything exists? Is it possible that humans will get caught in an unending series of revisions, each theory matching nature more and more closely, but each theory still having its own flaws and inaccuracies. But what about the multiverse? Even if there is no “theory of everything” in our universe, might there not be one in a different universe? What this question boils down to is this: Is it possible that the underlying mathematical and theoretical structure of a particular bit of the multiverse universal, or is it local? Might mathematics be more or less consistent (removing or worsening things like Russell’s paradox and Gödel’s incompleteness problem) in other universes?

Just some more food for thought…

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One Response to “A Theory of Theories”

  1. moody Says:

    You may find Ken Wilber’s ideas of interest. He has a book by the title of “A Theory of Everything”. However, I would start with “A Brief History of Everything”. He is attempting to create a model that includes “everything”, including the observer doing the everything thing. Which of course creates a bit of a paradox with a recursive loop as to the observer who is observing the observer, etc. Infinite recursion tends to do funny things to the brain.

    I came upon your blog doing a search for netlogo models of Wilber’s integral theory.


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