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Theory of Everything

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/2/2015 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 745 times Debate No: 70922
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (9)
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This is a theory vs. theory debate, in which each debater will propose their own Theory of Everything. There will not be a Pro vs. Con position in this debate. Each debater is to define and promote their own theory, and the voters will decide which theory more objectively and holistically describes everything in the Universe. Debaters can dispute and rebut opposing theories, but I prefer that the majority of the debate is focused on articulating and promoting your own theory. I'm not big on debate rules, so use the rounds how ever you please.

My Theory of Everything is as follows:

Universe = Space + Matter + Fundamental Force of Balance

Space - Space is the boundless three-dimensional extent in which objects and events have relative position and direction (Wikipedia). In other words, space is the three dimensional canvas on which the Universe is painted.

Matter - An entity that takes up space and usually consists of matter. All particles, objects, and substances in the Universe are made of matter.

Fundamental Force of Balance - Forces that cause and govern the movement and interaction of matter. These forces do not consist of matter and are the most difficult to define and understand. Some may refer to this force as energy. A physicist may call it the four fundamental forces of nature. However we chose to define it specifically, there is no question that there are forces of motion at work in the Universe.

I believe that these three categories are the primary ingredients of our Universe. This means that everything in the Universe can be classified into one of these categories, and that these categories cannot be condensed or simplified any further.

Good luck!


Since Pro doesn’t want this debate to be entirely combative, which I’m fine with, I’ll only make my case this round and not address his untill latter.

Modern Physics
What we know as “modern physics” is comprised of quantum mechanics and general relativity. “These two theories are undoubtedly the twin pillars of modern physics, the foundations upon which our contemporary understanding of the Universe is built” [1]. Though we call them “modern”, both have had an illustrious history, and both have received consistent experimental validation.

Quantum Physics
Quantum physics is ”the most precisely tested and most successful theory in the history of science” [2]. I don’t need to get into Schroedinger’s equation or probability waves; just know that quantum mechanics is fundamental to modern physics. Think of quantum physics as the physics of nanoscopic scales at the order of a Planck constant, viz. the physics of the very very small. You should also know that classical mechanics isn’t compatible with QM. Try to apply classical laws to quantum particles, and you will become exceedingly frustrated, as were physicists in the early 20th century.

General Relativity
General relativity is a gravitational theory formulated by Einstein. Newton had given us the law of universal gravitation, but the mechanism behind the force of gravity remained a puzzle until Einstein’s geometric theory of gravitation. GR stands as the modern description of gravitation. Under GR, gravity is a property of space and time, or spacetime. Like all sound theories, general relativity makes predictions. These predictions have been confirmed in all experiments and observations to date [3].

Unification of GR and QR, and the Four Fundamental Forces of Physics
Despite their success, a rather important issue remains: how can the two theories be reconciled? Unfortunately, a conclusive unified theory has escaped physicists’ grasp. This brings us to this debate. One of the central requirements of a theory of everything would be to unify quantum physics and general relativity--to unravel the gordian knot of modern physics. A further requirement is to unify the four fundamental forces of nature: the strong and weak forces, the electromagnetic force, and gravity [4].

String Theory, or M-Theory
String theory provides the most promising theory of everything. String theory abandons the point-like conception of particles in favor of one-dimensional loops. So, according to string theory, if you were to peer into the fundamental structure of particles you would find vibrating filaments--or strings--not point-like particles as commonly envisioned. Believe it or not, this simple trick is all it takes to provide a framework for the unification of general relativity and quantum physics. Under string theory, the properties of particles and the force particles of the aforementioned four forces of nature, are a manifestation of the different patterns of string vibration. According to Brian Greene, “from one principle—that everything at its most microscopic level consists of combinations of vibrating strands—string theory provides a single explanatory framework capable of encompassing all forces and all matter” [7]. It’s thus clear that string theory is a candidate for a theory of everything.

The only reason why string theory would not be all-encompassing, would be because reductionism is false. But this debate presumes a theory of everything is feasible, and thus that reductionism is correct. Thus, under this debate’s assumptions of reductionism, string theory would lead directly to a theory of everything.

John Shwarz and Michael Green ignited the first string revolution by showing in a “once-in-a-generation paper” [8] that string theory unified quantum physics and general relativity. String theory furthermore incorporates the four forces, which the standard model does not. “That string theory unites general relativity and quantum mechanics is a profound success. That it does so in a framework with the capacity to embrace the known particles and forces makes the success more than theoretically relevant” [8]. In the end, we'll only know if string theory is correct when experiments confirm it, "but a theory’s value is also assessed by the depth of influence it has on allied fields. By this measure, string theory is off the charts. Decades of analysis filling thousands of articles have had a dramatic impact on a broad swath of research cutting across physics and mathematics” [8]. For example, string theory provided an explanation for black hole entropy [9], which is a rather significant feat and attests to the fact that string theory does have practical power, not just theoretical. Though we have not experimentally proven string theory, its theoretical capabilities, ellegance, and explanatory power are enough to convince us that it is the best candidate for a theory of everything.

Debate Round No. 1


String Theory is a solid contender for best ToE. It is widely regarded by the scientific community as the most holistic attempt to define our Universe, uniting the four fundamental forces, while accounting for both classical and quantum physics. I will first provide a few comments regarding String Theory before delving into the specifics of my proposed theory.

String Theory states that all matter, at the most basic level, consists of one dimensional strings. What gives this matter different characteristics and behaviors is related to the different frequencies at which these strings vibrate and oscillate. The only question I have regarding the strings themselves is their lack of dimension. How can you have a one dimensional object in three dimensional space? My mind is having a difficult time grasping what a one dimensional object is. Two dimensions I can visualize, but any less than that seems nonsensical. How can such an object be observed? How can it have an affect on anything? Perhaps there is a reasonable explanation for this I am unaware of. Aside from the dimensions, I'm ok with matter being made of strings. Matter is matter, and regardless of it's physical characteristics, it still falls within the "matter" categorization in my theory.

The only other major issue I have with String Theory is that it doesn't seem to address the cause or reason for movement. I understand that String Theory mathematically abides by all four fundamental forces (the only theory to do so), but it doesn't explain why the forces do what they do. It doesn't prove to be the cause or genesis of the forces, nor does it convincingly explain why the strings vibrate the way they do. In other words, it doesn't explain the reason for motion; but instead tries to illustrate a type of physical structure that abides by the forces of motion.

I admit that I am by no means an expert in String Theory. I've read up on it but don't fully understand it. I could be wrong in my above criticisms, and if I am, please explain in the following rounds. I will now focus on my proposed ToE. I claimed that the Universe can be summarized with a simple equation:

Universe = Space + Matter + Fundamental Force of Balance

In this round I will discuss Space and Matter, giving me more room to discus the more complicated Force of Balance in the next round.

Space is the three dimensional landscape on which the Universe is constructed. By itself, it is void of matter and force, making up an infinite vacuum. No comprehensive definition of the Universe can exist without including space. Without it there would be nothing. There would be nowhere for anything to be. I'm not really sure on how to elaborate on space any further. Many physicists will argue that there is a fourth dimension, time. My excluding of time could be a strong point of contention regarding my theory, but I believe that time is somewhat of an illusion. Time is merely a measure of motion, which can be calculated as a ratio of distance/distance. For example, the earth travels roughly 67,000 miles in one hour. Which means if you are traveling at 50 mph, you are really traveling at 50 miles per 67,000 miles. In other words, time is just a measure of one distance as compared to another. That being said, I don't believe that time is a dimension of space, but instead a measure of movement within that space.

Matter is the stuff of the Universe. It takes up space, has observable characteristics, and usually has mass. Every object in the Universe consists of particles of matter. According to physics, the most fundamental particles of matter are the Elementary Particles, consisting of Bosons, Leptons, and Quarks. These quantum building blocks make up the atoms, which make up the Periodic Table of Elements, which makes up every material on Earth, and the observable Universe. There is no question that matter is one of the most fundamental players in the Universe, and therefore, a ToE that does not include matter would be incomplete.

As a transition into the next round, where I will outline the Fundamental Force of Balance, I would also like to point out an important characteristic of matter. It would seem that all matter is divided into opposites. There is matter, and anti-matter. There is energy and dark energy (which can be converted to matter according to Einstein's theory). There are protons and electrons. Even the Elementary Particles are paired into opposites ( up quark - down quark, top quark - bottom quark, muon - muon neutrino, etc.). The presence of equal yet opposite particles is paramount in understanding the Fundamental Force of Balance.

In the next round I will spend a considerable amount of effort attempting to articulate the third pillar of the Universe. The pillar that governs the movement and interactions between those opposing particles of matter. I refer to it as the Fundamental Force of Balance.


I'm not sure why Pro is confused by the one-dimensionality of strings. Under the particle-point conception of physics (which I assume my opponent adheres to), particles have neither length width or height. Point particles are thus dimensionless: you can't be at different points on a point-particle. Strings go one dimension higher; they have length but nothing else. So if Pro finds one-dimensional strings perplexing, he must take great issue with dimensionless points. However, string theory is the only alternative to point-particles, so Pro has to accept one or the other. For what it"s worth, I don"t think Pro should have issue with either solely on the basis of their number of dimensions.

The answer to why strings vibrate is simple: energy. The energy storage of the string is related to the string oscillation pattern. The string has kinetic and potential energy. It's analogous to a swinging pendulum, only a string has essentially an infinite range of possible configurations. The harmonic motion of the string is caused by the inability of these two energy states to balance each other. Kinetic energy is translated into potential energy and potential energy back into kinetic energy. They never really reach equilibrium. It's a never ending circular motion. Remember, energy is a conserved quantity. It does not diminish or increase. It only changes form.

I"m not sure Pro understood me correctly since string theory does indeed provide an explanation for why forces are as they are. Put another way, it explains why forces have the properties that they do. Physicists conceive the four forces--the strong force, electromagnetism, the weak force, and gravity--as all acting through force carriers. These are: photons (electromagnetic", W and Z bosons (weak force), gluons (strong force), and gravitons (gravity). String theory does embrace these forces, as I pointed out last round [1][2].

Please note, however, that saying the properties of particles are determined by the different vibrations of strings is simply an analogous way of saying that the quantum states of strings determine the properties of particles.

Furthermore, the fundamental constituents of reality are not made of any more basic composite components. So strings, as understood, are the most basic you can get. Trying to peer further is impossible. A theory of everything necessarily presumes that our field of inquiry must reach an impenetrable foundational level; otherwise we"d have infinite regress, which is not compatible with a theory that aims to explain everything. We can say that atoms are made of protons, electrons, and neutrons, which are made of quarks. But once you have a component that makes up all of matter, you"ve reached something fundamental.

Pro"s initial statement immediately brings up a red flag. He talks of space as if it"s some cosmic container within which rest the ingredients of the universe. This is false. Space is a property of the gravitational field, so space cannot exist apart from it, and therefore, not apart from matter and energy [4]. Pro furthermore talks of time as an independent dimension. However, we know from Einstein that space and time are not independent; hence spacetime. I would also like to note that string theory does incorporate space. That"s because it incorporates Einstein"s relativity. Pro opposes Einstein apparently, so string theory actually does a better job in this regard.

Pro accounts for particles as the fundamental building blocks up the universe. I'm mostly not at odds with Pro on what he says of matter. However, it's all very simple to say the physics of the very large conforms to the physics of the very small. But it's not so easy to reconcile them mathematically and theoretically. Specifically, Pro's given us no means for reconciling quantum physics with general relativity. I clearly outlined the importance of such a feat for any possible theory of everything, but Pro doesn't make an effort. String theory, as explained, passes with flying colors, which on it"s own elevates it above other theories that fail to do so.

"The fundamental force of balance" seems to be the most dubious part of Pro"s theory, but he has yet to elaborate on it.

The problem with Pro"s theory of everything is that it"s not a theory of everything. It"s not really even much of a physical theory ("theory" in the loose sense of the term). A scientific theory must make a generalized explanation of how nature works. It must make predictions capable--in principle--of direct or inferred verification. It must encompass observations and explain a diverse set of phenomena; not just saying "this is what the universe is made of" but making predictions and providing mathematical analysis to mimic what happens in reality. It has to be accurate and specific, not sweepingly broad. A grand unified theory must incorporate all the essential pillars of modern physics. Pro's theory lacks a quantum model of the universe. It doesn't provide a framework of the quantum realm which allows it to relate directly to classical physics.


Debate Round No. 2


Con spent a considerable amount of time rebutting my theory, while hardly expanding and elaborating on his proposed String Theory. Con states that energy is the cause of the vibrating strings, but doesn't go on to explain why strings have different amounts of energy, or how this energy transfers from one string to another. In other words, Con does't provide an explanation for the overall flow of energy from string to string, nor what governs that flow. Con also fails do define energy, or explain how exactly energy causes motion.

I don't believe that any system, string or particle-point, is a capable of having less than three dimensions. Perhaps in theory they can, but not in reality. I don't see how anything can take up three dimensional space without having three dimensions. If you can, please try to explain how this is possible.

Yes, String Theory does embrace the four forces, in the sense that the strings abide by the forces, but does not explain why or how the forces influence the Universe. Con claims that it does, but never goes on to explain how. He just describes the four forces, and their carrier particles, without linking them to String Theory.

Con states that there is no separation between space, matter, and force. I disagree. Just because these entities coexist, does not mean that there is no distinction between them. Our Universe is filled with matter and force, and therefore they coexist. My point is that space is its own entity, and deserves specific classification as such. That space is not the same as matter and force, but the realm in which they exist. I don't believe that gravitational fields create space, but exist within all of space. Perhaps gravitational force and space are codependent and created each other. Either way, that doesn't change the fact that space is its own definable entity, and a primary ingredient of the Universe.

Con also claims that I failed to connect quantum and classical physics. I believe they are one in the same. The only reason physicists think they are different is that we don't yet have the tools to properly observe or predict the quantum scale. There are too many variables in play that we have not yet accounted for. But they all play by the same rules. They are all governed by the same force. It is our lack of prediction that has drawn the distinction between quantum and classical; and our lack of prediction is directly related to our inability to identify all of the variables. These variables are easy to account for in the macro, making the observable Universe much more predictable.

I will now explain the Fundamental Force of Balance.

I briefly explained earlier that all entities in the Universe are comprised of opposites. This is also known as duality. To learn more about the most commonly accepted scientific theories of duality, go to Wikipedia and search "duality". Below you will see a list of duality theories pertaining to Mathematics, Philosophy, Psychology, Physics, Electrical, and Mechanical.

I believe that the most fundamental force in the Universe is balance. Balance is the inherent desire for all elements in the Universe to achieve an equilibrium. This is achieved by pairing opposites of equal force or magnitude. This inherent desire is the reason for all movement. The more movement we see, the more unbalanced the entity. A free electron exemplifies this phenomenon, violently bouncing from one atom to the next until it finds an atom with positive charge. An atom that is missing one electron. This is how we conduct electrical current and energy; sending a group of unbalanced electrons through a wire until they connect with a positive charge. This electrical current is nothing more than an unbalanced entity seeking balance.

The entire Universe is made up of building blocks that scientists refer to as the periodic table of elements. The only difference between each object (e.g. plastic vs rubber) is the arrangement, or combination, of those various elements. The next obvious question would be, why do these elements arrange themselves in different ways to create different things? What causes different elements to be drawn to one another? The answer is balance. The elements are made of atoms. Atoms cling together because of a process called, ionic bonding. Essentially, this is the process of atoms balancing their electrons and protons. Example: If atom A has 3 protons and 1 electron, and atom B has 4 protons and 6 elections, they will cling together if they become close to one another. The reason they cling together is because as a whole (if you add the protons and electrons between A and B) you get atom "AB" with 7 protons and 7 elections. As a pair, they have achieved an atomic balance that was missing before they connected. They were driven by their desire to seek balance. This is a very simplified explanation of ionic bonding, but it suggests that the primary motivator between molecular arrangements is the desire for atoms to balance their protons and electrons. These atoms are dancing all around us at this very moment. They are searching for the dance partner that balances them. The partner that gives the couple an equal amount of electrons and protons (two opposite, yet equal forces).

Even your explanation for the vibration of strings was a display of balance.
"The harmonic motion of the string is caused by the inability of these two energy states to balance each other. Kinetic energy is translated into potential energy and potential energy back into kinetic energy. They never really reach equilibrium."
So in other words, the strings have two states of energy (opposing states I will assume). And the strings are vibrating violently because these opposites are out of balance. In other words, assuming strings make up all things, everything is in motion because of an imbalance within them. I would agree with that.

Unfortunately, I've ran out of words. I will continue with examples of balance in the next round.


If Pro is just going to point out all the details I’ve failed to define and explain, he’s done nothing to bring question to my case, seeing as his theory is far less detailed and specific. Why should I define energy? We know what kinetic and potential energy are. I don’t have the character space to explain high school physics. Energy is not a new idea. It’s a well established quantity. Moreover, Pro should have made this debate 10,000 characters if he expected all of the details to be fleshed out. There doesn’t have to be a specific reason why strings have the energies that they do have. String theory can simulate the universe’s origins, and the big bang is responsible for the energy distributions of the universe. Energy is dispersed and could, in principle, be referenced all back to the big bang. As I stated last round, one essential premise of this debate is that our field of scientific inquiry must reach an end at some fundamental point. Once you have a ToE, there's no sense in asking why it is the way it is since it’s inherently fundamental.

I’d also like to note that it’s unfair for Pro not to back up anything with sources, as he should be doing, resulting in him having a significantly larger amount of characters.

I’ve already explained how a point particle is conceived of as having 0 dimensions and a loop, 1 dimension. Shall I copy and paste, or can Pro just refer back to my original explanation? Pro’s rejection of point-particles is a self-inflicted blow to his case since he must come up with some alternative. There are countless well-established facts in physics that will raise a few eyebrows. Perhaps if Pro referenced actual science that went against physical models, he’d be able to make an argument.

We already understand how the four forces affect the universe. Gravity, the strong and weak forces, and electromagnetism are all largely understood in how they operate. A ToE merely needs to provide a unification of them. The main problem was the graviton, but it was discovered that string theory’s mathematics incorporate such a particle.

Pro says, "Con states that there is no separation between space, matter, and force." Not exactly. Space and gravity are not independent of the latter two. Space and time are, furthermore, not independent of each other; hence spacetime. Furthermore, I never said there was no distinction between them. If Pro wants to reject general relativity, then he needs to bring up a better argument than whatever it is he’s trying to say here. Space is not it’s own entity. We know this for a fact. If it were otherwise, I’d go along with Pro. This debate should not be questioning the very foundations of modern physics.

Pro's notions of space as a container, and material objects as the contents of this container is severely outdated. It goes along with common-sense prejudices, but if we've learned anything from 20th century physics, it's that common sense is not a very competent guide when examining reality beyond an everyday classical level. General relativity has been confirmed time and again. One example is verification of GR's position that objects orbit in a straight path through curved space rather than a curved path through flat space (as Newton and Pro would predict). In situations involving extremely strong gravitational effects, the phenomena can be observed. One example is gravitational lensing. As seen in the image below, the galaxies appear stretched and twisted. This phenomenon confirms the predictions of general relativity since the intense combined gravitational force of the galaxies heavily distort spacetime around them. Light passes through the warped space, thus resulted in the distorted image [1].

I guarantee that Pro will be entirely at a loss to explain this phenomenon in any other way (to pre-empt: photons are massless and would not produce the same effect in classical physics even if they had mass). Pro’s notions of space, time, mass, and energy, are therefore, wrong. However, the mere fact that he opposes general relativity is enough to undermine his whole case.

Pro says that quantum physics is the same as classical physics and the only reason we think different is because we don’t have powerful enough tools. Taking it on faith that quantum physics could explain classical observations is absurd because its self-defeating. It’s imperative for any theory of everything to incorporate large scales with nanoscopic scales. Otherwise, there’s a bridge between them. Saying that the bridge would be closed if we had better tools is simply saying, a theory of everything is possible in principle, but we don’t have the resources to devise one yet. In other words, Pro’s position is basically that a theory of everything is not possible for us given our experimental deficiencies. Even worse, it’s all based on faith that they can reconcile.

Pro’s theory flies in the face of thermodynamics. It assumes everything in nature “desires” (whatever that means) equilibrium. From actual science, we know that energy is always increasing in disorder. Energy is conserved, so there’s never different amounts of it, but it changes form. It’s pretty much impossible for thermal energy (disordered energy) to become more ordered. Any time there’s sliding friction, or things breaking, or exploding, thermal energy is created. Thus, the total amount of disordered energy is always increasing [Source: any college physics book]. An electrical current might display some notion of equilibrium-seeking behavior, but in the vast scale of things, nothing is headed towards equilibrium. Moreover, we know that the universe is expanding rapidly, meaning all of matter and energy grow more distant over time

It also seems to contradict the weak force, which is responsible for the radioactive decay. Why would particles undergo radioactive if the fundamental force in nature seeks equilibrium and balance?

[1 ]

Debate Round No. 3


It seems that Con was a bit frustrated with my questions regarding the specifics of String Theory. Especially the questions that asked "why?". Apparently, Con thinks that the "why's" are not important.
"Once you have a ToE, there's no sense in asking why it is the way it is..."
I believe that understanding why things are the way they are, and why they do what they do, is of the utmost importance.
Con states that strings are filled with energy that causes them to move, but didn't explain what governs the distribution of that energy from string to string. He said the Big Bang distributed that energy long ago, and leaves it at that. Apparently the distribution of the fuel that gives these strings life doesn't really need to be understood. Just that it happened. He doesn't feel that energy needs to be defined because it's such a mainstream concept, but fails to point out that it's also one of the most misunderstood concepts in physics. Einstein states that energy can be converted to mass, and vise versa. Aside from that, we don't really understand how it's different from matter, or how it actually works, or causes things to work.

Up to this point, I haven't used any sources. The building blocks of my theory are fairly straight forward. I probably could have thrown in a source to back my explanation of ionic bonding or electrical current, but these were things I learned years ago.

You have not yet explained how a particle can have less than three dimensions, despite claiming that you have. As for my alternative, I believe that all matter consists of three dimensional particles.
"Perhaps if Pro referenced actual science that went against physical models, he"d be able to make an argument."
My theory doesn't go against physical models. Are you suggesting that objects in our universe are not three dimensional?

Regarding space, you keep implying that I don't believe gravity has an effect on objects in space. I fully understand that gravity permeates all through-out space, affecting everything in it. But that doesn't mean that gravity is the same thing as space. I don't believe that if gravity disappeared, so would Euclidean space. For this reason, I believe that space is an ingredient of it's own. Nothing can exist without something to exist in. Perhaps you should elaborate on the specific aspects of GR that refute that notion. So far you have only pointed out that the gravity within space has an effect on things like stars, planets, and light, which I agree with.

"This debate should not be questioning the very foundations of modern physics."
As the creator of this debate, I disagree. This debate can question anything. Furthermore, this is not a physics debate; it's a philosophical debate as its categorization implies. You've also mentioned the foundations of physics quite a bit, as if it's settled science, and arguments must adhere to them in order to be valid. Quantum physics (the bulk of your arguments) is probably the most theoretical of all sciences. String Theory hasn't even been validated or observed. It's the math behind String Theory that makes it appealing.

"Saying that the bridge [between quantum and classical physics] would be closed if we had better tools is simply saying, a theory of everything is possible in principle, but we don"t have the resources to devise one yet."
No, it's saying that we don't have the resources to observe or make accurate predictions yet. Just because we can't observe the connections between quantum and classical, doesn't mean they don't exist, or that a theory can't be devised.
"In other words, Pro"s position is basically that a theory of everything is not possible for us given our experimental deficiencies."
No. What I'm saying is that up to this point, a ToE is impossible to prove. And regarding faith, the very nature of a ToE is an exercise in faith. Again, String Theory has never been observed or confirmed.

I'm glad you brought up thermodynamics, and essentially, unbalance. In previous rounds I mentioned the existence of opposites. That for every entity, there is another equal yet opposite entity. This applies to force as well. The opposite of balance is unbalance. Meaning that for my theory of balance to hold true, there would also have to be unbalance in the Universe. It unbalances the balanced, and is therefore part of the balancing process. Many times these unbalances are simply stepping stones within a balancing process. Think about splashing your hand in a calm pool. The waves permeate outwards, growing in quantity and size. A snap shot of this process would imply that things tend towards disorder and chaos; however, given time, you can see that these waves eventually cancel themselves out and return to equilibrium. I see the Universe in a similar way. Once serine and motionless. Then the Big Bang, God, etc. splashed its hand in the pool, setting off a chain of unbalanced waves crashing throughout space. A diverse soup of positively and negatively charged particles dancing with one another. I believe the purpose of the Universe, of all motion and the forces that govern it, is to return to a state of equilibrium, so it can be unbalanced once again. The great eternal pendulum.

I hoped to spend more time discussing specific illustrations of balance but I've ran out of words again (which by the way was done intentionally to challenge each debater). Some of these examples would have included weather patterns, osmosis, human behavior, the economy, biology, and geology. I believe that space and matter are a given. No definition of the Universe could be complete without them. What's difficult to define are the agents of motion that govern the way these particles interact with one another. The Fundamental Force of Balance is my best attempt at a unifying force that dictates all movement.

I would like to thank Con for taking this debate, and the viewers and voters who participated.


I’d like to thank Pro for the debate.

To re-cap, I've explained that string theory unravels the central problem of modern physics, which is hot to reconcile quantum physics and general relativity. It can furthermore explain the properties of particles and the properties of the forces. It unites all of the four fundamental forces. It’s mathematically very elegant. And it has confirmed predictions such as black hole entropy. I will repost my Brian Green quote from R1: “from one principle—that everything at its most microscopic level consists of combinations of vibrating strands—string theory provides a single explanatory framework capable of encompassing all forces and all matter”.

Since Pro’s not understanding 1-dimensionality, I will illuminate it. Pro states that the universe is made up of 3-dimensional particles. So hey have width, height, and length. We could therefore, in principle, examine this particle and dissect its parts. Anything that has 3-dimensions can be segmented--not necessarily physically but conceptually--into its spatially differentiated parts. This means the particle is not entirely fundamental because it has parts. Matter thus must reach some fundamental point, which the standard model calls a dimensionless point-particle. However, connect two points, and you have one-dimension. Connect a number of them and you have more dimensions. So dimensionless particles can easily make up three-dimensional space. A loop has 1 dimension because it has length. In principle, you could segment the loop into its parts as differentiated by its length, but conceiving of the fundamental constituents of matter as loops is what makes string theory so powerful. When the strings move, they trace a three-dimensional pattern.

I obviously don’t think the “whys” are unimportant. I merely think Pro’s applying them promiscuously. Asking for a definition of energy is unimportant since it’s a well-defined physical quantity. Asking why the fundamental constituents of matter are the way they are is futile since the very premise of this debate assumes that we must reach a point where science cannot go any further.

If Pro’s case does not need sources, that just reveals how weak it is. It doesn't even call for evidence. Pro thinks this is a philosophy debate. It is not. Perhaps if this was 384 BC, Pro’s theory would count as a ToE. Since it does not even pretend to be science, it cannot possibly fit the modern standard of a ToE.

“String Theory hasn't even been validated or observed. It's the math behind String Theory that makes it appealing.” This is, at least, better than not being even capable of empirical confirmation. Pro’s theory is so poorly defined that scientists wouldn't even know how to test it. It doesn't even make predictions or care for what science has to say. Let’s be clear, no possible ToE has been validated as of yet, including string theory. That’s why my only claim is that string theory is the best candidate.

Pro seems to think quantum physics is not settled science. In the very 1st round I quoted that QP is "the most precisely tested and most successful theory in the history of science" and stressed how fundamental it is to modern physics. Pro could bring up his own evidence rather than groundless assertions. The various interpretations of QP and some of the gaps in our understanding of it are not settled, but QP as a fundamental branch of science is very well-established and underlies almost all of what modern physics has achieved.

As stated, Pro’s notions of space as a cosmic container within which the contents of the universe rest is heavily outdated. Einstein uprooted this notion. As Einstein predicted, objects do not orbit in a curved path through flat space; they orbit in a straight path through curved space. The galaxies’ huge masses distort space. Light travels through this space and results in this phenomenon.

If Pro followed my source he would have found a very clear explanation as well. Quote: “'Can space exist by itself without matter or energy around?' No. Experiments continue to show that there is no 'space' that stands apart from space-time arena in which matter, energy and gravity operate which is not affected by matter, energy and gravity. General relativity tells us that what we call space is just another feature of the gravitational field of the universe, so space and space-time can and do not exist apart from the matter and energy that creates the gravitational field. This is not speculation, but sound observation.” This is what I summarized briefly. Pro’s failure to understand why his notions are outdated and contradict GR is entirely his own fault.

Pro still hasn’t shown why his theory escapes the need to meld the bridge between QP and the classical world. I think Pro misunderstands me. I don’t deny that they underlie each other. How could I if I’m arguing for a ToE? I’m saying any ToE needs to provide a framework to unite them. String theory does do this by uniting QP and GR. Pro’s theory does not even make an effort to do so. I don’t believe Pro understands the gravity of this central problem. Uniting QP and GR is pretty much the gordian knot of modern physics.

Pro has not adequately eliminated thermodynamics’ conflict with his theory. He simply states that the last 13.8 billion years is just one snapshot of the universe unfolding and that it will eventually arise at equilibrium. The problem is, there is literally no empirical evidence to support this. If all we've observed is ordered energy converting to disordered energy and never back again, why would we have any reason to believe the fundamental force of the universe is equilibrium-achieving? Entropy will increase until the entire universe is one great inferno of thermal energy. All evidence supports that this is the state the universe is heading towards rather than equilibrium.
Debate Round No. 4
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by phantom 1 year ago
No problem Ragnar. Good luck on your test.
Posted by Ragnar 1 year ago
I wish I had time to vote, but I have a test this morning.
Posted by phantom 1 year ago
That's plenty of time :)

Sorry, I tend to procrastinate, but I'll definitely have it all finished by then.
Posted by captmurk 1 year ago
What's going on phantom? You've got 10 hrs to post your argument.
Posted by phantom 1 year ago
I'll do my best.
Posted by captmurk 1 year ago
You can use an existing theory if you understand it and believe it to be the most convincing. You should be able to articulate the theory under the assumption that your audience has no understanding of it.
Posted by phantom 1 year ago
Do I have to make up my own theory, or can I use existing ToE's.
Posted by captmurk 1 year ago
I personally agree that the four fundamental forces proposed by physicists do in fact exist in the realm of matter (material). That is why I believe the fundamental force of motion is something different.
Posted by Philocat 1 year ago
According to the standard model, the forces are material. Each force has its own boson; electromagnetic attraction has the photon, the strong nuclear force has the gluon, the weak nuclear force has the W/Z boson and gravity has the graviton :)
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