Potentialism Theory (aka Quest for Potential? Theory aka Q4P-Theory) was developed by Conceptual Theorist David Birnbaum of Manhattan. The theory proposes no less than a revolution in thought.
In a nutshell, it proposes that there exists – threading through the Cosmic Order – a hitherto undiscerned dynamic; per the proposal, this dynamic is the Common Denominator of the Cosmic Order – past-present-future. See CommonDenominator1000.com.
This discerned dynamic is not quite religious and not quite secular; rather, it is suis generis – meaning, in its own category. The religious may claim it as their own and the secularists may claim it as their own; however, its discoverer is meticulously clear – across his iconic 3-volume treatise - that it defies categorization.
See TheQ4P.com plus see xQ4P.com.
David Birnbaum's groundbreaking three-part treatise, Summa Metaphysica (1988, 2005, 2014),
proposes that one overarching interstellar dynamic drives the Cosmic Order: Quest for Potential?.
More precisely, Infinite Quest for Potential (infinitely iterating) drives the cosmos towards ultimate and extraordinary Potential realization. See UnifyingTheory1000.com.
The author initially embarked on the project in 1982, when he discerned that one concept lanced key issues in a panoply of fields. Thirty-two years later, the observation regarding simultaneously lancing several fields has been vindicated. See SimultaneousSolution.com.
The lancing of several related macro-themes converge in Summa: unification across a range of fields; Common Denominator of the cosmos; simultaneous solution; cracking the cosmic code. How is the lancing of all these historic macro-themes possible? Because, per the Birnbaum proposal, all the seemingly disparate fields converge at their root core – (hypothesized) Infinite Quest for Potential?. If they do, indeed, converge at their root core, all the historic ‘dominos’ just noted, will indeed fall once one has discerned the convergence – which Summa Metaphysica may have just achieved. See Convergence1000.com.
Thus, the stakes are huge: Several so to speak ‘holy grails’ are lanced: unifying Spirituality-Philosophy-Science is, of course, the big trophy, but there are other extraordinary trophies, as well. Thus, when Potentialists talk about unification, they mean it. See Unifying1000.com.
Birnbaum sets out a truly universal (and concise) formula to encompass the scientific, spiritual and religious in one overarching principle. Succinctly put: infinite quest for potential > drives forward towards > extraordinary/ultimate potential realization. Deploying Birnbaum-terminology: Quest for Potential? > Extraordinariation. See also Glossary1000.com.
So, if Q4P? is the shorthand notation for Quest for Potential?, and if E+ is the shorthand notation for Extraordinariation, then the concise formula becomes: Q4P? ? E+. This is Birnbaum’s proposed SuperLaw of the Cosmic Order. See SuperLaw1000.com.
In a nutshell, Birnbaum elucidates that Potential is at both ends of the ‘universe equation’: the universe is both propelled forward by the Infinite Quest for Potential?, and simultaneously drawn
forward/towards by E+. Sort of, the two faces or polarities of Infinite Potential. Not that this (E+) will never necessarily be fully understood. See Janus1000.com.
Extraordinariation (E+) – ultimate realization of Potential – is a goal/horizon; it is never actually realized; its power lies in its ‘magnetic’ draw on the universe. As the saying goes, the ‘journey’ is the thing; not the precise realization. See also Extraordinariation.com.
In between the cosmic ignition via Q4P?, and cosmic goal/denouement E+, is another Birnbaum-hypothesized dynamic, an intermediate dynamic; he labels this intermediate dynamic as Complexification (C+ for short); it is the conceptual mechanism that implements Quest for Potential. Q4P?, innately built into everything in existence, advances the universe forward to seek ever greater and greater levels of Complexification (C+). See Intermediate1000.com.
Complexification is defined by Birnbaum as advancing complexity/sophistication/richness/integration/variety/wondrousness. C+ is further distinct from (plain vanilla) complexity in that it encompasses both the mechanistic and non-material alike, thus embracing the spectrum – matter and thought; art and energy; compassion and thermodynamics; spirituality and science.
In turn, note that one of the components of Complexification just-noted above is ‘integration’; meaning, Complexification does not occur divorced from the greater cosmic landscape; rather, Complexification at-a-minimum integrates into-the-process the harmonization/optimization of the ongoing Complexification with the existing bio-landscape.
In any event, Q4P? > C+ > E+ more fully summarizes the unfolding cosmic drama/dynamic/process: Quest for Potential? (Q4P) via Complexification (C+) drives the universe ever-onwards towards Extraordinariation (E+).
All the three dynamics are discrete-yet-interlocked; all are different faces/facets/thrusts of Infinite Potential at work. See Janus1000.com.
In grasping the full majesty of Potentialism, an in-depth knowledge of the following fields helps greatly, as Potentialism connects across the spectrum.
Physics, Astrophysics, Quantum Physics, Theoretical Physics, Particle Physics et al.
Physics is the broad palate of Potentialism at work in the physical world. Potentialism provides a unifying theory between the micro and macro; Potentialism Theory underpins the rules which both quantum physics and astrophysics follow. Potentialism Theory is also invaluable in theoretical physics, especially knowing that the underlying principles of Potential can aid & abet the evolving cutting-edge theory.
What is more important is the overarching parallel/common denominator which all sciences have under the umbrella of Potentialism Theory. From micro to macro sciences, all of the physical universe follows the same basic rule of Potentialism. Everything – from the lowly quark to grandiose galaxies – is enveloped by the dynamic of complexification and its ongoing development and expansion of ever-greater potential. See TTOE1000.com.
A comparison of Anthropic Theory with Potentialism Theory would show the latter as having the weight of the argument. See Scientific1000.com as well as (anticipated early 2015) Anthropic1000.com.
Philosophy (Western + Eastern), Metaphysics
Obviously, as a cosmology, Potentialism is metaphysics. But the dynamic and original metaphysics is also far more. Embracing aspects of both Western and Eastern philosophy, Potentialism is equally at home in both. See SummaMetaphysica.com.
Indeed, Birnbaum pivots his Summa I: Religious Man (1988) off-of (Jewish) Lurianic Kabbalistic eternal origins (c. 1560), and pivots his Summa II: Spiritual Man (2005) off-of (Jewish) Hassidic Panentheism (c. 1750). While Summa I and II foretold Lloyd’s quantum computer (2006), Summa III: Secular Man (2014) partially pivots off-of Australian-American Cosmologist Paul Davies Goldilock’s Enigma (Google Books, 2007) cosmology survey and definition of the ideal (self-contained) metaphysics. See 7criteria.com.
Mathematics, Calculus, Fractals, Probability, Formal Logic
If physics is the palate of Potentialism, then mathematics is its pigment. Mathematics describes the technical advance of Complexification. Potentialism Theory embraces the underlying language and reason of the universe as it unfolds. Potentialism can be found to permeate higher mathematics in a way that defies coincidence. See article relating the 2014 book Our Mathematical Universe by Tegmark of MIT with Potentialism Theory (aka Quest for Potential? Theory aka Q4P-Theory).
Fractals express the iterative nature predicted by Potentialism. The prescience of IBM’s Benoit Mandelbrot (b. Poland, 1924; d. Cambridge, Mass., 2010) is once-again re-confirmed. His work on fractal geometry, Mandelbrot sets and self-similarity directly dovetails into Potentialism Theory.
Formal logic is the very foundation upon which modern philosophy and cosmology are based; Birnbaum heavily deploys Formal Logic in Summa Metaphysica I on the path towards his resolution of the classic theodicy conundrum. [Definition: Theodicy is the classic problem of evil: If there is an all-powerful and all-merciful God, why is there gross evil?]
Probability Theory, ultimately subverted by the Randomness/Atheist crew for their own academic agenda, plays a key ancillary role across the Cosmic Order; however, contrary to Randomness/Atheism, Probability is most certainly not the de facto Prime Mover. See Dice1000.com.
Calculus? Calculus is perhaps most important to Potentialism as it proves the failings of the Randomness theory of the 20th century. Calculus proves that, while a certain degree of uncertainty is always prevalent in the universe, the universe itself is far from completely random – rather, the universe follows a generally framed-out course of possibilities of ever-increasing complexity with which to optimize/maximize cosmic potential. See (anticipated early 2015)
Biology, Evolutionary Theory, Stem Cells
It is hard to speak of universal evolution without mentioning biological evolution. Potentialism Theory embraces biological evolution. Moreover, it gives reason to why it functions as it does. That is a key piece that has always been missing from Darwinism, neo-Darwinism, and the contemporary Evolutionary Theory Synthesis. See Galapagos1000.com.
It has been argued that evolution is utterly random and happenstance except for a neo-survival component; but such notions disingenuously avoid confronting the beyond-insane (and virtually impossible) amount of chance necessary in this allegedly scientific proposal. See Juxtaposition1000.com.
Could sheer chance – even with ‘survivability’ thrown into-the-mix – give rise to human life, as one example? That is, human life in all its manifold complexity and glory? And would ‘chance’ sustain complex human life in its unending evolvements and challenges over the millennia? See Beethoven1000.com.
Intelligent design tried to fix this issue; but it was hinged on several conceptual flaws and ultimately could not decouple itself from entrenched classic religious concepts. Potentialism does not suffer from these (fatal) issues. Potentialism Theory does not negate religiosity; but Potentialism Theory is simply not hinged/hostage to it either. See Evolution1000.com.
Potentialism Theory shows how Evolution will invariably and inexorably, by its very nature, strive and advance towards higher forms of biological complexity and consciousness. Human life, or a variation thereof, is thus almost inevitable and a logical point on the arc of Infinite Potential.
Are stem cells the embodiment of Quest for Potential?? One can make a strong case in the affirmative.
Computer Science, History of Science
But how does Birnbaum’s Complexification (C+) calculate its next move? A possible answer comes from MIT Prof. of Quantum Mechanics Seth Lloyd is the author of Programming the Universe (Knopf, 2006), and the head of MIT’s XQIT, that is, its Center for Extreme Quantum Computation.
Lloyd is a chief protagonist for the concept that the entire universe is one huge quantum computer, ever-iterating the universe towards greater and greater complexity. Thus, if Complexification (C+) is the handmaiden of Quest for Potential?, then Lloyd’s universe-spanning quantum computer is the handmaiden of C+. See xQuantum1000.com.
A 21st century metaphysics
If all of these disciplines have one thing in common, it is that Potentialism can unite them. Potentialism Theory is the great unifier. It brings together the mystic, the scientific, the biological and the metaphysical.
As a 21st century cosmology, Potentialism re-defines and expands the extraordinary outer limits of the sciences; Potentialism Theory offers a common “sandbox” where all the sciences may coexist. Indeed, as delineated in Summa Metaphysica, at their core, all sciences sprout from the fount of Infinite Potential. As such, Potentialism Theory serves as a common focal point and originating vector point for all disciplines for understanding the universe. See PotentialismTheory.com.
Potentialism Theory:The Summa series
Summa Metaphysica I: Religious Man: God and Evil (Ktav, November 1988);
Summa Metaphysica II: Spiritual Man: God and Good (New Paradigm Matrix, March 2005);
Summa Metaphysica III: Secular Man: The Transcendent Dynamic (New Paradigm Matrix, January 2014).
Context: Potentialism Theory
Since Summa I was released by Ktav Publishing in 1988, no conceptual flaw has been discerned in the Birnbaum construct. Summa Metaphysica has been a Course Text at over a dozen colleges globally Note that there are over 80 focused pieces globally on the theory in the last 18 months alone; to view links to over 150+ feature articles/reviews/testimonials on Potentialism Theory, see SummaCoverage.com.
Summa Metaphysica was the focus of a 3 1/2 day international academic conference at Bard College (Upstate, NY) April 2012 (see Conference1000.com); In turn, the conference ignited global coverage of Potentialism Theory (see Firestorm1000.com).Over 50,000 volumes of the various Summa books are in circulation; the complete 3-volume work is available, as well, gratis on the SummaMetaphysica.com site in flip-book form, aside from availability via traditional modalities, including electronic.
Potentialism Theory: Dovetailing: MIT & NYU
Recent hi-level academic works dovetailing with Birnbaum's Theory of Potential include the following:
Programming the Universe (Knopf, 2006) by Professor of Quantum Mechanics Seth Lloyd of MIT;
Mind & Cosmos (Oxford Press, 2012) by Professor of Philosophy & Law Thomas Nagel of NYU;
Our Mathematical Universe (Knopf, 2014) by Professor of Physics Max Tegmark of MIT.
See xMIT1000.com and Nagel1000.com.
Potentialism Theory: Paradigm Challenge
Via his revolutionary True Theory of Everything, David Birnbaum has instigated a global paradigm challenge. See ParadigmChallenge.com. Birnbaum himself is either the author or the editor-in-chief of several important and noteworthy series (see major1000.com). His New Paradigm Matrix publishing platform (NPM1000.com) has over 180 thought leaders globally under its umbrella.