Is an Information Universe Scientific?

A discussion on whether or not the idea the information is the real substance of the Universe can be considered Scientific.

This is part four of the Information Universe series. See the link for part one.

Given the fact that the idea stems from scientific experiments it definitely can be considered scientific in that sense. However the big question is can it be considered falsifiable? Now in one sense the answer in no, because the basic principle could produce nearly any conceivable universe, however ideas such as string theory have the same problem. However there are things that we would expect and not expect in an Information Universe as a result it is essentially testable. With in the general category of an Information Universe there is room for specific models that are clearly falsifiable.

The Information Universe is in essence a theory of everything and as often the case with such theories it can produce a wide variety of potential universes and this makes it hard to find unique predictions. However despite this there is one clear prediction that it does make and that is that all phenomenons with the possible exception of consciousness can be described mathematically. The reason for excluding consciousness is that the double slit experiment shows that the availability of information to conscious entities is critical to what is calculated by the universes information system and thus can not be part of those calculations. In any event finding a phenomenon other than consciousness that can not be described mathematically would effectively falsify the Information Universe.

Also there are things that we would expect in an Information Universe. One of these is that there should be phenomenon that can not be reduced to purely physical causes. Mass is a good example of this. While it is true that Higgs field show fundamental particles acquire their rest mass energy and why those with rest mass only move slower than the speed of light, it does not explain why mass behaves the way it does. It does not explain why mass warps space to form a gravitational field. It does not explain why mass resists acceleration. What adds to the problem is the fact that the mass of an object as seen by an observer changes with the relative velocity between the object and the observer based on the objects kinetic energy.  The fact energy is not a material but simple the ability to do work means that there can be no purely physical cause for the behavior of mass, but that it makes more sense if these are all calculated literally from formulae that govern them. We should also expect to find phenomenons that are ultimately based on algorithms rather than formulae several quantum mechanical phenomenon fit this description. For example exactly where a particle is when its wave function collapses probably could be described based on algorithms rather than being truly random.

Finally within the general category of an Information Universe there is room for specific models that are clearly falsifiable. Put simply specific models of one or more phenomenons built on an Information Universe would produce uniquely testable predictions.  So even if you could not falsify the basic Information Universe concept it could still form a bases for specific models that are falsifiable.

Hence the conclusion is that an Information Universe is a scientific concept. It is not only derived from scientific but produces test results and can produce specific falsifiable models of observed phenomenon. As a result it can be considered to be scientific.

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One Response to “Is an Information Universe Scientific?”
  1. lonelyplanet Says...

    On October 18, 2012 at 2:22 am

    The universe is filled with many mysteries.

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