Value of Fundamental Science

by alexeyburov

Dear colleagues, many thanks to all of you who came to this talk for your attention and questions. The talk was too long to leave any time for discussion, but I am reserving a special day for that, April 23.

I’d like to repeat here two questions I was asked with my brief answers to them.

Yulia: Could you give a definition of “fundamental science”? 

Instead of repeating my short answer I gave Julia at the moment, I’d rather suggest here something more extended:

Fundamental science can be defined in various ways. For instance, we can introduce it as a search of an ultimate logical structure behind the observable world, as the Theory of Everything, gradually emerging from a fog of unknown.  It can also be introduced as the most universal knowledge, independent of all the specific details of our physical and biological environment, including our own biology. In other words, fundamental science is a best language to start communication with thinking beings from another side of the universe. Alternatively to these definitions, fundamental science can be described as a sort of knowledge where statements about tangible world can be proved as theorems.

Mike Albrow, on my characteristic of pure nothingness of the Chaosogenesis as ‘ultimate evil’: Why are you talking about physical reality in terms of good and evil?  

Alexey Burov: The primordial chaos, introduced as a possible ultimate source of the laws of nature, is not a scientific concept, but a metaphysical one. For metaphysics, scientific criterium of truth is not applicable. For it, we do not have anything better than to judge the tree by its fruits. In other words, ethics and metaphysics are inseparable, they constitute the philosophical unity. Metaphysics already implies certain ethics, which reveals itself as a fruit of the metaphysical tree, by which the metaphysics is judged. In fact this is the logic of Kant in his argument from ‘practical reason’ for God existence.

Mike Albrow, on my theistic citations of Max Planck: Did Planck define what does he mean by ‘God’?

Alexey Burov: Not in theological details, but we can understand his main ideas from the suggested citations. First, God of Planck is “conscious and intelligent mind behind natural forces, the matrix of all matter which we must assume“. In this aspect, God is a source of perfect rationality of the world, the Great Mathematician and Architect. That is why “the laws of nature are described by beautiful equations” as Dirac put it. Secondly, God is a source of meaning and inspiration both for religion and science which are “fighting a joint battle in an incessant, never relaxing crusade against skepticism and against dogmatism, against disbelief and against superstition, and the rallying cry in this crusade has always been, and always will be: On to God! ” In this aspect, God is a source of attraction and love, the Heavenly Father, similarity to whom gives both a hope on discoverability of the fundamental laws of nature, and a highest value to that.

There were many other interesting questions, and I would encourage everyone to post them here as comments.

Presentation slides of the talk are here.

Video of the talk is on youtube.