OOO O if you've been following closely, you'll noticed
O OO OOO that a "theory of everything" falls neatly from
O O this package.
O but let's approach from a different direction,
OOO OOOO shall we?
OO OO OO
O a "theory of everything" is the holy grail of
OOOO OOO physics these days. back in Einstein's day,
OO it was called a "grand unified field theory",
OOOOOOOOO and it's what he worked toward most of his
O basically, it's the set of rules that describes
OOOOOOOOO why the universe is the way it is. it should
explain EVERYTHING - once you have the theory
OOOOOOOOOO of everything (t.o.e.) you don't need any other
O OO theory. nowadays we have several competing
OOOO OOOOO theories (relativity, quantum electrodynamics,
gravity, string theory, etc.) not all of which
OOOOO OOOO play nicely together. the t.o.e. will fix that.
OOOOO OO O physicists and philosophers agree that the
O OOO t.o.e. - whatever it turns out to be - ought to
OOOO O be "elegant". it should be simple, self evident,
OOO easy to state. it should offer insight into why
OOOOOOOOOO things are they way they are.
OOO OOO most physical theories these days are *not*
OOOOO OO elegant (no offense.) the theory of gravity, for
O instance, says that masses attract one another
OOO OO OO - but offers no explanation why they attract at
OOOOO the rate they do - nor why they attract at all -
OOOO why not repel?
OO OO and what about the big questions: why do we see
OOOOOOO three dimensions? why only one dimension of
OOO time? what the hell is time? why is the universe
O OOOO non-deterministic? is it infinite? if not, why
OO OOO O is it so enormously outrageously big?
OOOOOOOO and perhaps the most important question of all:
OOOOOO OO why does the universe follow this particular set
O OO of rules, and not some other set of rules?
OOO O OO
O O there is, i think, only one possible t.o.e.
OO OOOOO which satisfies the requirement of elegance:
OOOO they all exist. for each and every different
OO OOOOOO possible t.o.e., there is a real live universe
that follows its rules. the whole universe is,
OOOO OO in fact, this collection of universes. some call
O O OO it the multiverse.
OOOO OOO ...
OOO OO O but this is exactly what we learned from our
O OOO discussion of mathematical existence. in it, we
OOOOOOOOOO said that anything which exists in the world of
O mathematics exists physically, too.
O OO OOOOO what are these mathematical things? they are
OOOOOOO anything which has a consistent ruleset to
OO define it. a t.o.e., if you will. and so they
OOOOOOO O all physically exist. and the entire collection
O OO of them is the multiverse.