Philosophy Science

How free would we all be if there was no ultimate truth?

I just read an interesting (partial) article/concept/book on life, the universe and everything from biologist Robert Lanza: “Biocentrism: A New Theory of the Universe“.

I am not entirely convinced that the author is not just substituting one mystery and suite of questions with another. For instance – the role of the conscious observer in “creating” reality at the collapse of the wave function in quantum mechanics is complicated by the fact that “observation-like” events occur everywhere, incessantly; the underlying activity is the entanglement and interdependence of information-bearing systems that “share” information in some deep, and for human observers – mysteriously participatory, way.

The author is quite correct where he asserts that “(…)cracks in the system are just the points that let the light shine more directly on the mystery of life.” The assertion of one bundle of frameworks and interpretations or projections (i.e. biology) upon – and as – reality does not provide irreducible truths from which to begin, it merely changes the perspectival angle from which this wicked problem is viewed and this “crack” is precisely the resonant discontinuity of a subtle and recursive enigma of holistic system self-containment.

The lack of comprehensively final and complete unified theories of reality, or of pretty much anything at all, is an inevitability of the indefinitely-extensible nature of logic, mathematics and physics. This is the same extensibility which inflates the possibility of life, thought and science. The enduring lack of unified theories – or indeed, of comprehensive and lasting social, organisational, ideological and geopolitical unity – is not a bug, it is a feature of nature, of biology, of logic, thought and reality. Recombinatory growth, evolution, adaptive metamorphosis, variation and (yes) error is fundamentally, foundationally open-ended.

Assertions of Grand Unified Theories mirror more our own (collective) psychological needs and culturally-entrained cognitive reflexes as much as logical or linguistic predisposition to believe in teleological endpoints. If there were no need to endlessly assert even the possibility of such terminal destinations, I think we should all find ourselves dramatically set free from that value-system and worldview which suffocates creativity and generates useless inertia.

What destination(s) might we seek if we whole-heartedly acknowledged that no destination, no truth, no theory, no organisational framework and no definition of reality is, or ever can be, anything more than a contingent and transient waypoint in a vast and indeterminate possibility-space…


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