A Book of ScandalsThe Information Philosopher has for years claimed to have plausible solutions for many great problems in philosophy and physics. We have called it a scandal that the world's educators have been teaching seriously outmoded ideas to young minds around the world. The main scandal is academic philosophers and scientists teaching that the world is nothing but material and that physical events are completely determined by "laws" of nature, that our bodies are machines and our brains are computers that deny our free will and our creativity. Information philosophy and science explains how information structures are created in the universe despite the second law of thermodynamics, which says that disorder or entropy can only increase in a closed thermodynamic system. But the universe is not closed, it is an open thermodynamic system, in which the total positive entropy or disorder is increasing, but regions of "negative entropy" are also increasing, so information structures like our Sun and life on Earth are increasing the information content of the universe (the Ergo), especially that part of information that is all of human knowledge (the Sum). Why do academic philosophers and scientists cling to failed ideas? Philosophers prefer problems they have been taught to teach. Scientists seek solutions that discover all-powerful new "laws of Nature." Leading scientists have interpreted quantum physics and statistical thermodynamics, expressing their own doubts, so it is understandable that those less familiar with these complex subjects have fallen back on their traditional beliefs. Philosophers of science have been quick to exploit those doubts and to promote alternative theories that are not supported by evidence, but that appeal to our conventional beliefs. Science journalists also find that speculative articles and books promoting these alternatives are far more popular than serious attempts to teach these difficult subjects to the public.
The Two Things You Need to Know to End the Scandals1. The standard theory of quantum mechanics is correct. The many attempts to alter it or reinterpret it to restore determinism have failed.
The ontological chance discovered by Albert Einstein in 1916, long before the epistemological "uncertainty" principle of Werner Heisenberg, is real. Chance drives the variation in living things that natural and intelligent selection choose between to give us life, human beings, and our knowledge of the universe. Chance gives us the alternative possibilities for acting that make us free and creative.
2. The universe is open and expanding and new information is emerging at every moment.
Our futures are also open. If we have the will, we can create new information structures that make life more productive as well as more sustainable to protect our planet. The origin of the universe was not "fine-tuned" to produce human life. Life (biology) cannot be reduced to chemistry, which cannot be reduced to a deterministic physics.The mistaken idea in statistical physics that any particular distribution or arrangement of material particles has exactly the same information content as any other distribution is an anachronism from nineteenth-century statistical physics.
S = k ln WWhen gas particles can go anywhere in a container, the number of possible distributions is enormous and entropy is maximal. When atoms are bound to others in the hemoglobin structure, the number of possible distributions is essentially 1, and the logarithm of 1 is 0! Even more important, the parts of every living thing are communicating information - signaling - to other parts, near and far, as well as to other living things. Information communication allows each living thing to maintain itself in a state of homeostasis, balancing all matter and energy entering and leaving, maintaining all vital functions. Statistical physics and chemical thermodynamics know nothing of this biological information.
One Book and ManyIn our initial "book of scandals" we present brief summaries of the major scandals/problems and their solutions in terms of the creation of information structures, their processes, functions, and, most important, their communications with one another. Each scandal will become its own book, if the author lives long enough in the current age of the coronavirus (he will be 84 in June 2020). Many are already sections, or at least pages, in this I-Phi website, which has been a work in progress for over two decades. Deep insight into the informational nature of reality will can show thinkers young and old why they are creators of our open future as human beings. Normal | Teacher | Scholar