“Gerardo Ortiz remembers well the time in 2010 when he first heard his Indiana University colleague John Beggs talk about the hotly debated “critical brain” hypothesis, an attempt at a grand unified theory of how the brain works. Ortiz was intrigued by the notion that the brain might stay balanced at the “critical point” between two phases, like the freezing point where water turns into ice.”
On the broader topic of searching for “Grand Unified Theories”, while this article (above) illustrates an interesting and compelling hypothesis that should you invest a few minutes in reading it your own acquired knowledge and conceptual possibility-space quotient will have doubtless expanded, I can’t help but thinking that this constant search for “Grand Unified Theories” is failing to acknowledge that the endlessly open-ended process of theory development and validation is precisely endless and open-ended.
What if the logical and material sub-strata of reality are such as to never allow any Grand Unified Theories ? We possess biologically acquired biases towards narratives, directional explanations and teleological endpoints. Our ego-selves, logic and rationality require such linear consistency and concrete sensibility. I am not certain that there exists any specific reason why the formation of such a superficially consistent cultural narrative-making process or cognitive apparatus and explanatory framework could not develop within a broader context of endlessly extensible and recombinatory theory formulation; that is – within a vaster Universe in which such endpoints and completeness are actually and ultimately invalid, or unprovable.
It might just be that we deeply require such explanatory certainty to be able to make sense of the world, and of ourselves. Grand Theories are impressive, but there seems to me to always be something more.
Also, here is an interesting interactive resource regarding the bleeding edge of material theories of reality, regarding the current state of advanced scientific models in physics: