All men by nature desire to know.—Aristotle[i]
I cannot, as Bohr and Feynman did, sit for years with my whole mind concentrated upon one deep question. I am interested in too many different directions.—Freeman Dyson[ii]
I believe that pure thought is competent enough to comprehend the world.—Albert Einstein[iii]
Do answers to some of the questions modern science has yet to explain exist? Will scientists ever acknowledge questions like, “What happened before the big bang?” “What is the basis of consciousness?” or “What is the meaning of life?” Does organized religion also fall short of providing adequate explanations to such queries? Are there any alternative, perhaps universal interpretations for some of life’s greatest mysteries, at the very least rational observations that combine modern scientific theories with intuitive logic and common sense; ones that do not altogether eliminate modern religious or spiritual viewpoints?
Does humanity often examine the origin and true nature of the Universe for the meaning of life and human consciousness? Do people, by and large, consider how and why they came to exist and in what manner life in the Universe relates to each and every potential being?
Perhaps many rely on empirical evidence and scientific methodology to interpret the answers to life’s most compelling questions. Maybe for others, religion holds the key to these impeding dilemmas.
Should humanity rely solely on the advice of scientists or theologians and abandon intuitive common sense or logic? Perhaps some common ground can be found between science and religion if one considers religion at all. After all, science refuses to acknowledge any metaphysical interpretation regarding the makeup of the Universe and religion refuses to recognize science as God’s vehicle of nature. There exists no happy medium considering how much the two ideas clash.
What is the true origin of the Universe, and could some form of reality have existed before or outside of it? Do the phrases outside of or before the big bang have any real meaning? Perhaps the big bang was not the ultimate beginning of existence, only everything of which three-dimensional beings in this reality will ever observe. One could imagine a temporal state, or multidimensional container of universes, parallel to ours and outside of three-dimensional observation. How might this state of preexistence relate to us and our Universe, and would it be at all relative?
What lies at the heart of inherent consciousness, something that should reside in all biological life forms? How does this unique consciousness relate to individuality? In other words, what displacement factor separates one individual from another or from another species entirely? Simply put, what makes me, me and you, you? What prevented my consciousness from, instead, residing within another person?
If science determines there is other life in the Universe, what effect would this revelation have on society? What impact would such a discovery have on the big question, which many refer to as the meaning of life?
What is this purported meaning of life? Should one attempt to answer it from our insignificant perspective or, rather, from an all-encompassing, universal one? The latter approach might help one more understand the Universe and existence from “outside the box.”
Perhaps this book will unlock some of those mysteries and more using a rational-thought approach based on principles of pluralism. It employs simple, deductive logic combined with philosophical insights, scientific theories and hypotheses—sometimes pushing the limits of scientific knowledge—and natural religious and metaphysical interpretations to solve some of the basic principles of how and why the Universe and life exists. All we need is an ability to view existence from a universal perspective as opposed to a mere terrestrial one.
The arguments found throughout are designed to be inclusive rather than exclusive. They provide interpretations for the meaning of life that are responsive to all religious and non-religious beliefs, respectively. This book produces natural explanations for existence that provide validity for most all viewpoints. Many of the postulates within will help religious adherents, agnostics, and atheists all find a natural, scientific interpretation to some of life’s greatest mysteries, by agreement and for the benefit of mankind. Some of the concepts made clear include such unexplained phenomena as consciousness and the mind, ghosts, the sixth sense, time travel, alien visitation, the existence of a soul, and much more. The interpretations put forth are both natural and scientific, based on logical, thought-provoking conclusions. The scientific-based hypotheses, theories, and ideas in this book will encourage many atheists to consider the possibility of a natural interpretation of life after death as a quantum function. In addition, it will encourage many fundamentalists to consider science as God’s natural tool of creation and progression.
1. A Brief Picture of the Universe
The Big Bang
2. Faster Than the Speed of Light
Warp Factor 10
3. The Weight of Things
Gravity—the Weak Link
4. Before the Beginning
The Nothingness of Hyperspace
Need for Existence?
Black Holes, Wormholes, and the Origin of a Universe
Parallel Universes and Other Dimensions
5. The Here and Now
The Collective Present
The Continuous Present
Does Anyone Have the Time?
6. Beam Me Out, Scotty
7. Why Me?
Life after Death
The Origin of Consciousness
8. I Think, Therefore I Am…I Think
Different Levels of Observation
Multiple Spectrums of Reality
What is Reality?
Paranormal Activity and Unexplained Phenomena
9. Relative Intelligence
Biological and Mechanical Integration
Will Humanity Become God?
10. See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil
11. On the Origin of Life
The Origin of Organisms
What is Life?
Evolution and Natural Selection
12. Is There Anybody Out There?
Evolutionary Biologists, Exobiologists, and
The SETI Search
The Drake Equation
A Brief History of UFOs
The Happy Medium
13. To Infinity, and Beyond…
The Big Crunch
A Journey to the Ends of TimeThe Meaning of Life
[We scientists] are very good at the how of technology, but we’re not as good at the why.—Joe Herkert[i]
I do not agree with the view that the Universe is a mystery, something that one can have intuition about but never fully analyze or comprehend.—Stephen Hawking[ii]
The main purpose of this book is to answer the enduring question of the meaning of life and present it in the simplest, most comprehensible format possible. It tackles the whys of existence, which science neglects and religion fails well enough to explain. It attempts to answer such questions as, “Why am I here?” “What is the purpose of life?” and “What happens to my consciousness after I die?” It presents many compelling questions and pushes the limits of scientific knowledge to answer them.
I exercised a valiant attempt to omit as much complex jargon as possible and utilized a straightforward writing style easy to comprehend. Some topics may seem brief, but was necessary to keep them short in order to fit all the topics throughout into a 300-page book. An extensive glossary is located toward the back for additional reference on bold, italicized words. (Some are italicized to add emphasis or because they outline a title or signify a term. In order to avoid confusion, glossary terms appear in bold print, but only the first time they appear within the main body of text.) The first chapter might be common knowledge for some readers, but is a necessary overview of the basic concepts in astronomy and cosmology to set the stage for upcoming chapters.
This book utilizes scientific, philosophical, paranormal, metaphysical, and religious insights to help answer some of life’s most intriguing questions. I feel a combination thereof is the best method for attaining answers to the mysteries of life and the Universe since science, by itself, cannot.
Some mainstream scientists are dismissive of philosophers and other ideas put forth by theoretical physicists, but this has not impeded my personal logical-reasoning approach toward discovering the true nature of the Universe and subsequent meaning of life.
Martin Rees, in his book Before the Beginning, had this to say about theoretical physicists: “The intellectual leap involved in inventing a zip fastener far surpasses what many theoretical physicists ever achieve!”[iii]
In defense of theoretical physicists, it is not always their job to achieve or invent, instead present viable hypotheses and theories for their academic peers to dissect. The job of the engineer is to develop and construct the mechanical workings of the zipper. The job of the philosopher or theorist is to conjecture such a design is theoretically possible in the first place.
I am nothing more than an observer trying to make sense; using logic as opposed to strict belief or scientific theory; of this vast and wonderful Universe of which you and I are a part. While the book is, for the most part, philosophical, I utilize an Occam’s-razor approach to the nature of reality and existence. After all, the simplest explanation for something is often the right one.
The field of science has existed for about 300 years and use of the term scientist since 1825. What we call science today emerged from natural philosophy. Though we remain infants in the realm of science, primitive man would consider our technology nothing short of magic. At the same time, those of the future will look back at current technology and cry primitive.
The main reason some people distrust science is either because they do not understand it or their religious dogma prohibits it. Nevertheless, it is necessary to embrace and analyze scientific concepts with an open mind. Scientific insight is the best observable tool for which the world has access.
As a nonprofessional, I feel it is my obligation to analyze and incorporate different aspects of scientific discovery with my own interpretations on the basis such information is intended for the public. Laypersons do not blind themselves with strict scientific methodology, nor do they wrap themselves up in time-consuming, rigorous research confined to one particular field of study or another. That is the job of the scientist. The job of society is to scrutinize the data and offer alternative rebuttals, thereby forcing scientists to keep an open mind and reorganize their individual ideas and methodologies. The main reason the public should do this more often than not is because the personal biases scientists harbor tend to spill over into their respective research.
Science journalist John Horgan, author of the controversial book, The End of Science, was quoted during an interview in an April 2000 issue of Time Magazine. He said, “Sure, scientists are keeping busy, but what are they actually accomplishing?...Scientists will continue making incremental advances, but they will never achieve their most ambitious goals, such as understanding the origin of the Universe, of life and of human consciousness…Inductive logic suggests that the modern era of explosive scientific progress might be an anomaly, a product of a singular convergence of social, intellectual and political factors…No matter how far science does or doesn’t advance, there’s one wild card in even the most pessimistic scenario. If we encounter extraterrestrial life—and especially life intelligent enough to have developed its own science—then all bets are off.”[iv]
Our early twenty-first-century understanding of science is not the ultimate source of knowledge in the Universe, though it may be the best observable tool we now have at our disposal. Though it is a reliable method of obtaining information, it sometimes evolves and changes with the times. I retain a personal respect for science apart from my apparent criticisms. Every once in a while, a renegade like Albert Einstein comes along to shuffle things up a bit, forcing scientists to discard many of their initial biases. It should be noted many of Einstein’s ideas were contemplated before he became a scientist.
What do I mean by universal logic? The basis for true logic is ambiguous. A hundred years ago, few could “logically” comprehend the theory of relativity without a complete interpretation of its basic principles. It was not until Einstein harbored a unique vision and presented the idea to his peers were members of the general public able to perceive and entertain the concept. Logical concepts do evolve over time, including some that are true but seem to defy logic and common sense. What might appear logical today regarding many ideas might not appear so in the distant future. Universal logic is an approach from not only the perspective of Earth and the present but a timeless one from that of the entire Universe. It is a viewpoint I consider outside the boundaries of space, time, and current earthbound knowledge of science and technology.
We are overdue for a logical-based, happy-medium approach to the mysteries of the cosmos as a supplement to stringent scientific methodology and feel-good organized religion. Modern science and contemporary reasoning will evolve, as it always has. In the meantime, let us not wait for given empirical answers to life’s biggest mysteries, in particular those that may require an overhaul a thousand or more years from now. We are the one species on the planet capable of recognizing our place in the Universe, so it is time we open our hearts and minds to an all-inclusive, universal perspective timeless and enduring.
Universal Logic is a book that tries to bridge the discords that exist between science, religion, and metaphysics and does so by finding common ground between those three predominant areas of study and belief. This is the key to interpreting what it is all about…and getting everyone onboard to listen.
Bill J. Sego
[i] Herkert, Joe, “The Future of Humanoid Robots.” Discover Magazine. (March 2000): p. 87.
[ii] Hawking, Stephen. Black Holes and Baby Universes. New York: Bantam Books, 1993, p. viii.
[iii] Rees, Martin. Before the Beginning. Reading, MA: Helix Books, 1997, p. 80.
[iv] Horgan, John, “The End of Science.” Time Magazine. (April 10, 2000): p. 110.