The following describes and justifies the minimal set of tenets of the cosmological theory of stuff.
Tenet 1: The stuff is that from whose nature and complex behaviour the perceived universe has arisen.
Our perceived universe and the non-perceived quantum universe is made up of, or generated by, the stuff. This means that everything we perceive is the result of vast and complex chains of interactions of patterns within the stuff. Everything that we measure and quantify is an interaction of stuff and not of the stuff itself. We can never understand the true nature of the stuff.
We can however assert that the stuff is a complex system because if it wasn’t then perceived or non-perceived complex beings and structures could not exist.
The stuff is the ultimate cause from which all effects originate. Cause and effect are an infinite loop that causes us to continually search for more structure. The concept of the stuff releases us from this.
Tenet 2: The stuff exists independently of consciousness.
This is true unless the only property of the stuff is consciousness. If true properties of the stuff have led to the emergence of consciousness, then stuff must exist independently of consciousness.
Although stuff exists independently of consciousness, its localised behaviour is influenced by conscious patterns. In other words if all emergent consciousness ceased to exist within the stuff there would still be complex behaviour, although this would not be consciously manifest.
It is also likely that large scale behaviour of the stuff would be unchanged and only highly localised behaviour would be different.
Tenet 3: Consciousness is an emergent property of the stuff.
This is true unless the stuff IS consciousness in which case we need to consider a completely different theory. It may be that consciousness requires behaviour within stuff with which we cannot interact.
Tenet 4: The complex behaviour of the stuff accords with our understanding of the general characteristics and behaviours of complex systems.
Fortunately we have a burgeoning complexity science that is beginning to identify the characteristics of complex systems and some phenomena that are common across all types of system. So CTS is all about applying complexity science to the system of stuff to see what it can tell us about our universe.
If the stuff exists outside of consciousness then for the purposes of analysis we can associate with the stuff an abstract set of constructs, including those of components, sub-systems, pattern, interaction and instability.
Tenet 5: No assumptions are made concerning the objective nature of the stuff.
No current aspect of physics is used to describe the nature of the stuff. In fact assumptions about the nature of the stuff are seen as a limiting factor in the theory and are avoided at all costs.
Being a trained physicist there are some immediate advantages to this paradigm:
- The psychology of just accepting that there is ‘stuff’ removes both a need and the arrogance to infer a view as to the physical or mathematical nature of the stuff. Even a cursory analysis of the stuff as a system cements the idea that it is IMPOSSIBLE to know the objective and true nature of it. This is something that the institution of physics is extremely poor at articulating or even accepting.
- Viewing the stuff as a complex system removes the ability to apply a reductionist approach. I have to treat whatever the stuff is as a whole.
- The paradigm also cements the view that as we are made of stuff then we have to be aware at all times that normal physics is an internal view that is perceived from within.
What follows is a description of an inconsistent set of possible behavioural characteristics of the stuff that could lead to a conscious pattern from within the stuff (the Simulant viewpoint) observing the universe as we do and hence developing physics as we have. The ideas are based upon the application of complexity science to suggested behavioural characteristics of the stuff. Some of the ideas are supported or developed from experiments carried out on the behaviours of interacting 1 and 2 dimensional cellular automata. The view taken here is that if such a system can exhibit behaviour that explains physical phenomena then there is no reason why the stuff could not have similar behaviour. These experiments in no way support the proposition that the true nature of the stuff may be discrete and computational.