Klee Irwin is the director of Quantum Gravity Research (QGR), a Los Angeles-based group of theoretical physicists working to discover a new quantum gravity theory, or a first principle theory of everything.
The following is a transcript of Klee Irwin’s presentation from The Science of Consciousness conference in April, 2016, on The Quasicrystalline Nature of Consiousness in the Universe,1 where he presents seven clues for what a first-principles theory of everything should look like:
1. Information. Information is meaning in the form of symbolism. Both classic and quantum theory indicate reality is made of information. In fact, there is no evidence it is anything other than information. Quantum mechanics states clearly that the class of information is binary (any language with two symbols or states). It is illogical to assume mathematical symbolism or any other language can exist without consciousness to assign meaning to it.
2. Causality loops. Einstein showed how the future and past exist simultaneously in one geometric object. In 2014, scientists in Israel demonstrated that particles can be entangled over time and not just space. Daryl Bem of Cornell published rigorous evidence that retro-causality exists, where future events loop back in time to co-create past events. Obviously, the past co-creates the future. But what happens when the future also co-creates the past? An evolving feedback loop results. If every moment is co-creating every other moment both forward and backward in time… …reality is technically a neural network of information spanning space and time. This type of network would possess a strange quality… …it would be self-actualized — its own creator.
3. Non-determinism. Prior to the 1920s it was popular to believe in the clock-work universe idea of reality being a deterministic program playing itself out. … It was just following a deterministic algorithm. The famous double-slit experiment ruled out determinism, ushering in the new paradigm of quantum indeterminism. But even without the double slit experiment, the existence of freewill rules out the clock-work universe theory.
4. Consciousness. John Wheeler, who coined the term black hole, said reality is made of information created by observation — by consciousness. It certainly exists in the universe — at least in us. And relates deeply to quantum mechanics in ways not yet fully understood. The definition of information involves the perception of meaning, and meaning is a subjective, freewill choice — an act of consciousness. So when one realizes that energy is pure information, it becomes clear that reality itself deeply ties into consciousness in some way… …as though the fundamental stuff of reality is somehow consciousness. Did consciousness and information emerge in a causality feedback loop?
5. Pixelation. Werner Heisenberg developed the first equations of quantum mechanics using matrix math. He deduced that space and time were pixelated into indivisible Planck units, like a mosaic. The mathematics indicated this… …and there was no solid experimental evidence for smooth space or time. This new idea was too radical for most scientists of the day except for Niels Bohr, who agreed with Heisenberg. However, most scientists today still believe spacetime is smooth and without substructure — so not pixelated. On the other hand, most agree that a length can be no shorter than the Planck length — which suggests reality is pixelated. So there is a good deal of confusion. Until a powerful quantum gravity theory of pixelated spacetime is discovered, the issue will [probably] remain confusing.
6. E8 Crystal. The largest and most expensive object humans have ever built is the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland. It peers down into the subatomic realm by colliding particles together and giving us data on how they break apart. … We [have] learned that all fundamental particles and forces, including gravity, convert into one another according to the geometry of a shape related to an 8-dimensional Platonic solid. It forms a crystal structure in eight dimensions called the E8 lattice. It’s the maximum packing density of 8D spheres and can be built entirely of regular tetrahedra… …rotated from one another into higher dimensions by a golden ration based angle.
7. Golden Ratio. The golden ration may be the fundamental constant of nature. Along with its rational form, called the Fibonacci sequence, it is ubiquitous in the universe, from quantum to celestial scales. … A theory of everything must unite general relativity (the theory of space and time) with quantum mechanics. And a black hole is where these two theories converge at their limits. In the case of general relativity, black holes are the maximum possible density of mass/energy. … Reality appears to be made of binary information. The idea is known as the holographic principle… …and it comes from a mathematical proof called the Maldacena conjecture. It states that the total amount of binary information from all the mass and energy pulled into a black hole is proportional to its surface area… …where every four Planck areas of its surface encode the state of a fundamental particle that fell into it. … Black holes and quantum mechanics deeply relate to the golden ratio, binary information and the number 4… Perhaps it’s a clue about the missing quantum gravity theory of everything. …
Nature has given us seven clues about a theory of everything. So what is the key to this puzzle? QGR’s research program is focused on projecting the E8 crystal to 3D and 4D, which creates a golden ration based binary code of pixelated space and causality loops requiring emergent consciousness. …
When you think of a crystal, such as a checkerboard, you can imagine its fundamental cell, the square. So to understand the E8 crystal, you can understand its fundamental 8D shapes. The cell shape of E8 that best represents it is the Gosset polytope with 240 vertices. When we project this to 4D, it becomes two identical shapes of different sizes … The ration of their sizes is the golden ratio. They are called 4D icosahedra och 600-cells. And each is made of 600 regular 3D tetrahedra rotated from one another by a golden ratio based angle. The 600-cells intersect in seven golden ration based ways and kiss in one particular way to form a 4D aperiodic mosaic tiling called a quasicrystal. A quasicrystal is a code or language. This is because the ways you can arrange the building block geometric symbols or shapes are governed by rules (like a language). But within the rules, you must make choices that are not forced by those rules. So because it is not a deterministic or forces set of building instructions, there is freedom to create many patterns while still obeying the rules of the code. It is a language in every sense of the word… …specifically it is a language of waves or vibrations. The 4D quasicrystal is represented in 3D with regular tetrahedra related by golden ration based rotations … The language is binary, where tetrahedra form an invisible possibility space and are chose to be “on” or “off” in each frame, according to the language rules. Over many frozen quasicrystal frames, dynamic wave and particle-like patterns emerge…
Remember, evidence prevents us from believing in the deterministic Newtonian clock-work universe. And code cannot be operated by randomness or they breakdown and cease to generate meaning. So if reality is based on something like our E8 physics, WHO or WHAT is choosing the steps in the code that require freewill? It is certainly not us because this is a code that operates down at the Planck scale. And again, randomness does not generate meaning in languages. Plus, there is no first principles explanation for randomness or even experimental evidence for it. Can a consciousness that emerges from the code be the origin of the code in the first place — making it a logically consistent causality loop? A universal collective consciousness could be the answer. But how could such a thing emerge from a universe made of information? And where would the information have emerged from in the first place? Clearly, evolutionary emergence by self-organization is how the universe works… …where small and simple things self-organize into larger emergent things. Our minds are an example of this.
The power of the neural-network like universe is in its massive connectivity — both forward and backward in time. Networks harness the mathematical power of exponential growth. … There are no laws in physics that place an upper limit on what percentage of the universe can exponentially self-organize into freewill systems like us humans. All the energy in the universe can be converted into a single conscious system that is itself a network of conscious systems. Given enough time, what can happen will eventually happen. By this axiom, universal emergent consciousness has happened somewhere ahead of us in space-time. Because it is possible, it is inevitable. In fact, according to the evidence of retro-causality time loops, that inevitable future is co-creating us right now just as we are co-creating it.
1 Klee Irwin, The Quasicrystalline Nature of Consciousness in the Universe (May 13, 2016), Retrieved Feb 24, 2018, from https://youtu.be/ILUlqd6O0MQ.