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What ‘breathes fire into the equations’ and ‘promotes the merely possible to the actually existing’?

 

With respect to what is Newton’s bucket spinning?

 

If the world is rational, what is the origin of that rationality? If the world is not rational, why does it appear rational to us?

 

Where do the laws of nature come from?

 

Why do science and mathematics work?

 

Why are the forces of nature exquisitely fine-tuned for life to evolve?

 

What role (if any) does intelligent life play in the laws of nature? Are physical theories incomplete absent a variable accounting for intelligent life?

 

What is the evolutionary origin for the IQ gap? Why are there so few Einsteins and so many burger-flippers?

 

How can we know something without knowing everything? For example; if you had never seen a bicycle, and someone gave you a bicycle chain, you would have no idea of its function. Science uncovers small truths about the universe, pieces of a much bigger puzzle, yet we can use those small pieces to infer big-picture concepts. Why?

 

What is the origin of mathematical aestheticism? Should we use beauty as a measure of truth in mathematics and physics?

 

Where did the organized complexity of the universe come from?

 

Does mathematics break down at a theoretical space-time singularity (e.g. inside a black hole, at the Big Bang)

 

Why does the universe exist as opposed to nothing at all?

 

Are black holes gateways to other universes or wormholes within our own universe?

 

What happens within the singularity of a black hole?

 

Why did the Big Bang go bang? What caused cosmic inflation to occur at the Big Bang?

 

What happened before the Big Bang, if anything? Can we ever know, even in principle, what came before the Big Bang?

 

What is time?

 

Is time discrete or continuous?

 

Is space (or spacetime) discrete or continuous?

 

What is the most fundamental building block of matter?

 

If strings are real, are they fundamental or composed of yet smaller entities?

 

What is the origin of mass?

 

Where does the energy of the universe come from?

 

What is dark energy?

 

Why is the net energy of the universe precisely zero?

 

Why did humans alone among mammals develop free will and consciousness?

 

Why do humans pursue science and knowledge?

 

What is the origin of knowledge? Where does knowledge come from?

 

How and why were the initial conditions of the universe just right for a classical world to emerge from quantum uncertainty?

 

How seriously can we take God as an explanation of the world?

 

Is there any difference between reality and perfectly simulated reality, ie virtual reality? If you were living in a simulation, would you know it?

 

If there was a designer, why did He create this world as opposed to some other, or none at all? If there was a designer, why did he create the world at that point in time? (and more importantly, how do we reconcile the temporal with the atemporal …)

 

If there was a designer, what was He doing before He created the world?

 

If there was a designer, who designed the designer?

 

What is the likelihood that our universe is simulated by a higher intelligence or advanced civilization? And how could we know, even in principle?

 

Could a truly absurd universe convincingly mimic a meaningful one?

 

What is the connection between intelligence, life and cosmology?

 

Does the multiverse ‘exist’ or is it merely a mathematical construct?

 

How can we explain Shor’s algorithm?

 

How do we resolve problems of infinite regress and final causation (e.g. the infamous tower of turtles)?

 

Does the combination of physical, genetic, and chemical determinism snuff out Free Will?

 

Is life meaningful or absurd? Is the universe (or multiverse…) meaningful or absurd?

 

What is consciousness? Is it simply a manifestation of the organized complexity of the brain, or is it something special?

 

Is the human mind capable of understanding the universe?

 

Are reason and logic fallible?

 

Are not reason and logic built on a tower of turtles? If all arguments can be reduced to axioms, ad infinitum, then eventually one axiom must be accepted as truth.

 

How do we determine what is real? How can we refute solipsism and simulation theory?

 

What are the theoretical limitations of logic (if any)? Is there an ‘event horizon’ to human knowledge beyond which explanations simply go dark?

 

Are ideas real?

 

If mankind has a cosmic purpose (teleology), then what is it? If not, then what should it be – if anything?

 

What role will homo sapiens play (if any) in a world of super-intelligent machines?

 

What is information?

 

What is knowledge?

 

How does information theory precipitate a paradigm-shift by illuminating an information-theoretic reality?

 

How exactly does the mechanism of self-synthesizing reality (and backward-in-time-causation) work in Wheeler’s Participatory Universe?

 

Are mathematical ‘truths’ discovered or invented? (ie Hilbert’s formalism vs. Platonism)

 

What are the implications for Free Will and Identity in an infinite multiverse? (ie an infinite number of Earths, infinite copies of you …)

 

Is there no such thing as Free Will in a fully deterministic universe?

 

Can we resolve Godellian paradoxes using an integrated holistic explanatory paradigm?

 

Does the past and future exist?

 

Does time really flow from the past to future?

 

Why did the universe begin with such low entropy?

 

Is the universe actually a quantum computer computing itself?

 

What does quantum entanglement reveal about the true nature of spacetime?

 

How can we reconcile quantum mechanics with general relativity?

 

What is gravity?

 

Do the fundamental forces of nature actually constitute a unified single force at higher temperatures and perfect symmetry?

 

How do we explain the primacy of consciousness in ‘collapsing the wave function’ and promoting potentiality to actuality?

 

What exactly is wave function collapse?

 

What caused the initial symmetry-breaking of the universe?

 

How should we interpret the results of the double-slit experiment and delayed-choice experiment? Does the particle really take all possible paths through all possible universes?

 

What role do conscious observers play in the laws of physics, if any? What defines a ‘conscious’ observer? What defines ‘observation’?

 

Does the universe exist when we’re not looking? If a tree falls in the forest, and no one and nothing observes it, does it really fall?

 

Assuming infinite powers of computation, can we use hierarchical reductionism to explain emergent phenomena, such as love, happiness, marriage and war? At what point should we then terminate the causative regress – at the level of cells (biology)? Molecules (chemistry)? Atoms (physics)? Subatomic particles (quantum physics)? Strings (M-theory, mathematics)? Ultimately, then, can mathematics explain human behavior? [Admittedly, this final question seems absurd, but an argument from personal incredulity is a weak argument indeed … ]

 

Are there limitations to reductionism? Is emergence a fundamental nature of reality or merely a human construct masking our lack of understanding or the intractability of a problem?

 

What would be the implications of saturating all matter in the universe with maximal computational capacity?

 

Is knowledge invented or discovered?

 

Is mathematics invented or discovered?

 

What is the Omega Point?

 

What are the limitations of the dualistic nature of logic in attempting to understand the universe?

 

What are the limitations of human intuition? Should we use intuition to probe truth? Should intuition guide mathematical and scientific discovery?

 

How does information theory explain the timeline of cosmic evolution from inflation to homo sapiens?

 

What does information theory suggest about the fundamental nature of reality?

 

Assuming the complete absence of teleology, what should we define as our ultimate goal, if anything? And why?

 

Why bother? How do we counter the absurdist objection that nothing matters?

 

How do complex entities such as human beings arise from fundamentally simple physical laws?

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