The 21st Century Theory of Potentialism
God and science do not ‘easy bedfellows make.’ It is rare to hear both – God and Science – in the same room unless there is an argument ensuing. Twentieth century science had fought a long, hard battle to remove the spiritual from cosmology. Academic science assiduously endeavored to explain the cosmos as a whole, totally devoid of the possibility of even the possibility of the spiritual; the concerted attempt was to explain the universe in purely physical, scientific terms to the 100% exclusion of any overarching force whatsoever to the Cosmic Order. However, academic science has failed.
Entering the 21st century, someone has stepped up to challenge the failing theories of the last century. David Birnbaum, an independent metaphysicist, philosopher and writer, began a journey in the 1980s to fix our broken understanding of cosmology. Tossing out the failed theory of the last century – Randomness/Atheism – Birnbaum has offered a powerful and elegant fully-integrated new construct (see ParadigmChallenge.com).
Instead of delegitimizing spirituality, Birnbaum sought to find and embrace the very link between science, faith, spirituality and religion, a link which had dissolved over the last century. Birnbaum crafted his opus magnum trilogy, Summa Metaphysica (see SummaMetaphysica.com). What would broaden into a three part work, Summa Metaphysica I (1988, Ktav Publishing) would redraw the lines of cosmology; the volume would teach a new generation of metaphysicists the science-friendly interrelationship between physical science, spirituality, philosophy and religion. The holy grail of metaphysics – a fully integrated and unified theory – was finally in-hand about 7,000 years into its quest.
Potentialism teaches that the universe is driven by one central prerogative – infinite divine potential – inexorably seeking- after its own inherent potential. Every thing in the universe has a built-in drive to excel – to grow in complexity and become something more than its current state – enroute to the extraordinary. The universe itself follows its own infinite Quest for Potential. Thus, Potentiality is pervasive, eternal and infinite.
Why have we not noticed it? You might in parallel ask – Why do you not notice the air you breathe? Ironically, Potential is so pervasive, it can be invisible even when it is in plain sight. Like the invisible air all around us, it is easy to take it for granted; we give it no notice. Ubiquitous. But its footprint is everywhere.
Once can witness Potential in the way particles wish to become atoms, in the way atoms wish to become molecules, and in the way molecules wish to form larger structures until DNA itself comes together. Likewise, cosmic dust becomes galaxies, galaxies form stars and planets. Potential is everywhere for anyone who wishes to see. Hiding in plain sight.
The Randomness/Atheist construct of the last century thought to deny any overarching drive to the Cosmic Order; scientists of the last century would have us believe the universe – as its major defining feature – is atrophying, decaying and dying. But Birnbaum called out this ‘Emperor's Clothes’ construct for what it was. The discerned decay is just collateral to the extraordinary and profound growth; ongoing growth and advance is the central dynamic and drive of the Cosmic Order.
In the face of brutal resistance from the hallowed halls of academia, someone finally had the nerve to point out the simple truth: Wherever one looks – the universe is growing, becoming more alive, and filling with diversity and complexity – and richness.
The Need to Destroy God
Potentialism not only shows a universe of life, future, creation and complexity – it shows a universe of intention. This has been one of the reasons atheist academia have attacked Potentialism so vehemently. To be clear, Potentialism is ultimate scientific cosmology. It does not guarantee God Itself exists – at least not in any way a particular religion expresses and defines him. What Potentialism does do, is open the metaphysical possibility for God.
Randomness/Atheism: An Extreme Position
Ironically, even the possibility of the divine, unhinges Randomness/Atheism – for possible God's existence would destroy the foundation of Randomness/Atheism - which had staked out a simplistic, hard-line position: There is no design/direction/purpose – whatsoever – to our totally aimless universe. While Potentialism is religion-neutral, Randomness is actively, almost virulently, anti-religion and indeed, fanatically anti-purpose.
Why did Randomness academics stake out such an extreme position? Perhaps to align politically with global Atheism and thus build-out a large, natural global constituency. But this extreme position would come back to haunt the Randomness academics with a vengeance when Birnbaum’s Summa – with its formidable and elegant teleology (cosmic purpose) of cosmic quest for potential as central motif – hit the world in 1988
To put it simply, Randomness/Atheism - as its current adherents currently self-define their ideology – can only exist in a universe that has no intention, no drive, no direction, no purpose -whatsoever. Their Randomness universe has to be thoroughly random, meaningless and aimless.
The 20th century Randomness/Atheist crew (with center-of-gravity in England) – aided by political support from the global Atheist community – indeed achieved a political hammer-lock on formal academic discussion; formal global academic metaphysics discussion had to be within the parameters of Randomness/Atheism – or face the wrath of Oxford-Cambridge, as bizarre as this sounds.
Locking-in academe irrevocably – which in retrospect was suicidal – gave the very people who have been traditionally tasked with exploring the secrets of the cosmos for us – high-level academe – a vested interest in the skewed results. The very gatekeepers of cosmology have been tainted by a need for (cherry-picked) facts to fit their (fossilized) beliefs.
Galileo would be stunned by the irony that the halls of academia would one day become the mirror-image of the medieval Catholic Church itself which imprisoned him; the Church would militantly attack and debase any independent belief and thought; upholders of cherished medieval Church dogma implacably moved to destroy any beliefs which the Church might not ideologically be able to coexist with; in parallel, the Randomness/Atheism academic junta stifled debate for decades.
The Nature of God
But Potentialism recaptures the place of dynamism in academic discourse. It allows possible ‘space’ in cosmology even for spirituality. To Potentialists, the possible place of potential spirituality is self-evident. In a universe of ‘direction’ and ‘purpose’ which includes thought and morality as well as energy and matter – and, most importantly, an overarching drive of infinite potential – the possible option of spirituality has a natural place.
Potentialism describes a universe of intention. That Intention is the Quest for Infinite Potential. But here is where it gets interesting. If the universe is moving with intention, which it clearly and observably is – does that intention have an intelligence behind it? Or is it a suis generis cosmic intuitiveness? See www.TheoryOutline1000.com.
From the inception of his 3-part masterwork, Birnbaum is quite wary of classic God. To put it mildly, he is wary of the supernatural; but Birnbaum’s Infinite Quest for Potential – is an eternal natural dynamic; and therein lies the extraordinary finesse. The dynamic was ‘hiding in plain sight’, but simply not discerned prior; thus, in one masterstroke, Birnbaum is able to finesse – and unify – philosophy- science-spirituality-religion-metaphysics – with one single hypothesized natural dynamic. See SummaCoverage.com.