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THE ENLIGHTENMENT WAS ANTI-REASON

Dr. Frank J. Tipler*

We had a discussion in Thrausma to open a debate on Enlightenment. Sounds an old Postmodern school thing but we are feeling that Artificial intelligence and the transition to Noosphere from Anthropocene keep always alive the applicability of the Enlightenment theoretical tools , considering it the motherland of the Ecumenical Rationalisation of Self conscious processes of human and nature coexistential system.

We took the decision to start this debate with Dr. Tipler. He is one of the most controversial and contradictory theorists of physics and cosmology the last decades internationally. His thought is what ideally wants a Journal like ours: feeding the polarity of ideas and create new confrontations.

We want to thank Dr. Tipler for his acceptance to publish something on our space and mainly to thank him for his contribution with an article that we got serious objections and disagreement from the first to the last page.

We do not agree with this stressful need to centered everything in intellect development around the dichotomy materialism and idealism or God and No God. We are closer to Quentin Meillassoux and his approach on the Divine Inexistence as the most logical possibility of the existence of God.

Closer to the Ungrund of Boehme and Schelling’s thought where the apophatic oneness has not any interest of anthropic concern about the world’s destination. This unlimited freedom of any moralistic and materialistic progressive trembling to bring proofs of existential value is the reason of Reason.

We can’t understand why is not possible to overcome this Nietzchian cry about the death of God. We can’t go ahead reducing all the philosohical production of Enlightenment as a product of few conspirators that wanted to keep the earth in the prison of atheism .

We are not welcoming the devastation of all the personalities of Enlightenment.The religion is not true that was extincted by the passionate fans of the New Spirit of the Age of Lights. On the contrary.

For sure we will come first to answer this article of Dr. Tipler here on our website. The real challenge for us today is to not spend more time to continue the struggle between the conservatives and progressive defenders of the Deconstruction.

What has point is of course and on this base we can read more practically the article of Dr. Tipler, to identify the reasons of this Babel that erected worldwide through or under the name of Enlightenment.

To follow, in other words what Witgenstain highlights as the reason of Philosphy: to bring solutions about truth there where language create fictitious and false realities.

Will be back on this soon..

Thrausma Journal

*Frank Jennings Tipler is a mathematical physicist and cosmologist, holding a joint appointment in the Departments of Mathematics and Physics at Tulane University. He holds a BS in Physics from MIT and a PhD from the University of Maryland.

Tipler was hired in a series of postdoctoral researcher positions in physics at three universities, with the final one being at the University of Texas, working under John Archibald Wheeler, Abraham Taub, Rainer Sachs, and Dennis Sciama.

He became an Associate Professor in Mathematical Physics in 1981, and a full Professor in 1987 at Tulane University, where he has been a faculty member ever since. He has written five books including The Physics of ChristianityThe Physics of Immortality and The Anthropic Cosmological Principle.

TIpler has also written 58 articles for referred journals including including two papers in Physical Review Letters, eight papers in Nature, and one in Science.

http://www.franktipler.com/

The Enlightenment was anti-reason

The Enlightenment is generally believed to have been an intellectual movement devoted to applying reason in all things and rejecting superstition. Certainly the leaders of the Enlightenment saw themselves in this light. I shall show that, on the contrary, the Enlightenment was at its base an attack on reason, and the baleful effect of this rejection of reason are with us to this very day.

I shall, in particular, point out the central irrational features in the thought of the following Enlightenment leading thinkers: Immanuel Kant, David Hume, Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, John Locke, and Adam Smith. Among other things, their irrationality led to atheism.

Following in the steps of the great mathematician Sir Edmund Whittaker, FRS, Copley Medalist, I shall give a proof for the existence of God that works in Aristotelian physics, Newtonian physics, general relativity, and quantum cosmology.

I shall then show that the great physicist Edward Jaynes’ mathematical solution to the Problem of Induction allows us to deduce the Ten Commandments.

I. Introduction

In his famous 1784 essay “Answering the Question: What is the Enlightenment?” the German Philosopher Immanuel Kant gave as the movement’s slogan “Sapere aude”— “Dare to Know!” On the contrary, I shall demonstrate that a more accurate slogan would have been “Oppose Reason and Truth!” Which is to say, the leaders of the “Enlightenment” could more accurately be called the leaders of the Counter-Enlightenment (Stove 2001, Wolin 2004, Hicks 2011).

I shall focus on David Hume and especially on Immanuel Kant, two philosophers whose attacks on reason have had particularly ill effects on the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Four other men recognized as leaders of the Enlightenment have also had ill effects on subsequent intellectual history, namely Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, John Locke, and Adam Smith, so I shall also point out their major errors.

Scholars have debated what historical period constituted the Age of Enlightenment, but I think it is appropriate to say it began with the death of one of these thinkers, John Locke in 1704, and ended with the death of another of these men, Immanuel Kant in 1804. So the Enlightenment Age lasted an even century.

What are the major errors of these six Enlightenment leaders? In outline, they are:

Hume: the claim that induction cannot tell us anything about reality, and thus empirical science is an impossibility. Second, he introduced the value-fact distinction, and the implication that values are entirely arbitrary. Third, Hume “disproved” natural theology:

he claimed that no proof for the existence of God, using natural science, was possible. Fourth, he claimed that the concept of “cause,” a concept central to science, could not be justified rationally, but depended on an assumption of “regularity,” which is not provable empirically.

Kant: He extended Hume’s arguments, first by claiming that no rational proof of God’s existence is possible. Second, by claiming empirical science is so limited that we can never know what reality is ultimately like: we can say nothing about a thing-in-itself.

This latter claim is a fundamental attack on reason itself, because the whole point of reason is to tell us what physical reality is like (Hicks 2011). Third, Kant claimed we cannot prove we have Free Will.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and John Locke: I shall discuss only one central error of these two men, the idea of the Blank Slate. The notion of the Blank Slate led to a violation of the fundamental principle of scientific ethics, thou shalt not impose your scientific theories on other scientists by force.

Adam Smith: I shall only briefly discuss two central errors of Smith, his erroneous view of the division of labor (probably due to his belief in the Blank Slate) and the Labor Theory of Value.

This latter proposal delayed the Marginal Revolution in economics for a century (Rothbard 1995). The Labor Theory of Value was an essential element in Marxism, and hence Smith must share the blame for the negative effects of Marxism.

Finally, Voltaire: I shall discuss only one central error of Voltaire, namely his attack on Newtonian physics in its most fundamental mathematical expression, the Principle of Least Action.

This Principle, first developed by Hero of Alexandria in the first century AD,

by the great French mathematician Fermat in the seventeenth century (a century before Voltaire),

and by Voltaire’s colleagues Leonhard Euler (the greatest mathematician in history according to the Murray (2003) ranking.) and Maupertius at the Berlin Academy in the eighteenth century, is essential to the development and understanding of quantum mechanics.

I shall give suggestive evidence (not a conclusive proof) that Voltaire’s attack delayed the development of quantum mechanics.

His attack certainly undermined an appreciation of teleology, sometimes called “final causes,” which, under the name “Unitarity,” is a central postulate of quantum mechanics. Since Unitarity follows from the Law of Conservation of Energy, Voltaire was also attacking a central postulate of Newtonian physics.

As implied in my criticism of Voltaire, I am not blaming any of the six men for not anticipating subsequent knowledge. Rather, I am blaming them for rejecting reason. Rational (and essentially correct) arguments had already been given for the claims that all five undermined.

By their irrationalism, they succeeded in placing the advance of human knowledge in reverse. Isaiah Berlin (1973) coined the phrase “Counter-Enlightenment” for thinkers who succeeded the six men I discuss.

Berlin’s scholars knew something was very wrong with the Enlightenment, but so skillfully had these six woven their web of error that until recently, subsequent scholars could not see how to use reason to escape (Pinker 2019).

I shall outline the escape route.

II. Elementary Proof for the Existence of God

The great mathematician Sir Edmund Whittaker, FRS, Winner of the Copley Medal, pointed out in 1946 that the Five Ways, the Five Proofs for the existence of God given by St. Thomas Aquinas at the very beginning of his most important book Summa Theologica, were really just mathematical completion arguments.

Whittaker also noted that Aquinas’ Proofs were based on Aristotelian physics (Kenny 1969 also emphasized this basis), but Whittaker also noted that the proofs were essentially the same, and valid,

if recast in modern physics. Unfortunately, Whittaker’s God Existence Proof was completely forgotten (Kenny was unaware of it).

I rediscovered Whittaker’s Proof when I was working on — surprise, surprise — space-time mathematical completions, specifically Roger Penrose’s c-boundary completion.

Before giving the God Existence Proof, I want to emphasize an important fact: mathematics always wins in the end. If a proof is important, and the first time a proof is given it is ignored and forgotten, a later mathematician will discover the proof, and so on until the proof is generally known and accepted.

The great Polish astronomer Nicolas Copernicus (the fifth greatest astronomer of all time in the Murray (2003) ranking) provides the classic example of this phenomenon. Copernicus discovered that the Earth was not the center of the universe, but rather the Sun was the center of the Solar System, and the Earth was the third planet from the Sun.

Copernicus’ work led to this fact being accepted, but Copernicus was not the first to discover this heliocentric theory. Aristarchus of Samos discovered it in the third century BC, but his work was forgotten. Copernicus had to rediscover the theory.

Had Copernicus’ work also been forgotten, a later mathematician working on the orbits of the planets would have discovered it a third time, and so on until the heliocentric theory was accepted.

The heliocentric theory would keep on being rediscovered because it is there in the mathematics of the orbits of the planets, and it would eventually be accepted because it is true.

So we have learned about one thing-in-itself: the Solar System really is a system built around the Sun. This is a counter-example to Kant, known to Kant.

This important discovery-forgotten-and-then-rediscovered has happened twice in my lifetime. The necessary existence of the Cosmic Background Radiation was proven by Ralph Alpher and Robert Herman in 1948. Their proof was forgotten, but rediscovered by Robert Dicke and James Peebles in the early 1960’s.

That quantum mechanics is necessarily a Many-Worlds theory was first discovered in 1957 by Hugh Everett. His discovery was forgotten but was re-discovered to my knowledge at least three times before 1970, when Bryce DeWitt called the theory to the attention of the physics community via a popular article in Physics Today.

I fear the physics community in general has yet to accept Many-Worlds, but we must recall it took some two centuries for the physics community (natural philosophy community, as it was then called) to accept Copernican Theory.

But the great astronomers — Galileo, Kepler (number 1 and number 2 respectively in the Murray 2003 ranking) — accepted Copernican Theory long before the average natural philosopher did.

On his website, David Deutsch, FRS, the inventor of the quantum computer, writes that Many-Worlds is the only mathematically consistent interpretation of quantum mechanics. Stephan Hawking once told me that Many-Worlds “is trivially true.” Deutsch and Hawking are correct.

Now let me outline a proof of God’s existence, a proof that follows from Aristotelian physics, and from Newtonian physics, both of which were known to Hume and Kant. Then, for completeness,

I shall show how a slight modification will let the proof go through in classical general relativity, and finally, I shall extend the proof to relativistic quantum cosmology, using the DeWitt-Wheeler equation, the central equation of quantum gravity.

I shall define “God” to be a “supernatural being who created the universe out of nothing, and who controls everything that happens in the universe.”

Since the argument is deductive, it must start with a postulate. Since the argument is based on physics, this postulate must be an axiom of physics. I shall assume the truth of an axiom common to both Aristotelian and Newtonian physics: the universe is eternal. That is, the universe has existed for infinite time in the past and will continue to exist for infinite time in the future.

Aristotle was quite clear in his Physics that the universe has existed and will continue to exist forever. Aquinas argued that Aristotle did not prove this from his physics, but only believed that the universe was eternal. Aquinas was wrong. Newtonian “true, absolute, and mathematical time” is just a Euclidean line of infinite extent in the past and in the future. Aristotelian time is essentially the same.

The central point is that the Euclidean line can be completed mathematically: we can add the two points at temporal infinity, and we will then see that these points are “God” as defined above.

Johannes Kepler, around 1600, was perhaps the first to add infinity to the real line. A mathematically rigorous way of doing this would be to define future infinity to be the set of all natural numbers: {1, 2, 3, 4, …}. Similarity, past infinity is the set of all negative natural numbers: {-1, -2, -3, -4, …}.

Two points need to be emphasized. First, these two infinities are not in the line. They are not real numbers. Second, there is nothing outside the line and the two points at infinity, and the basic physics asserts that there is no way to extend the line beyond infinity. The two points at temporal infinity are, according to the physics I have assumed, are the ultimate completion of the temporal line.

Now add space, matter, and the laws of physics, so that each instant of time represents the state of the entire universe at that instant. According to Aristotle (efficient cause) and Newton (deterministic Newtonian physics) the entire state of the universe at that instant was entirely caused by the state a moment earlier, and that state entirely caused by the state a moment earlier, and so on. But only back to past temporal infinity, which is the ultimate past cause of everything, but which does not itself have a cause.

This temporal past infinity is thus the First Cause. For Aristotle (final cause), and for Newton, since the system is deterministic, future temporal infinity can also be regarded as the cause of everything in the universe, sine it generates the same universe as past temporal infinity. Thus, as regards to what happens in the universe, we can identify past and future temporal infinity.

It is usual in physics to consider the laws of physics as more fundamental that the particular initial conditions that we put into the differential equations representing these laws.

But here we are in the cosmological context, where there is only one set of initial conditions on the entire universe, set by the temporal infinities. So the temporal infinities can be regarded as the source, the origin of the laws of physics,

In summary, the temporal infinities control everything that happens inside the universe, and are responsible for its origin. Outside the infinities and the universe there is literally nothing: no time, no space, no matter, no nothing.

So we can say the temporal infinities have created the universe out of nothing. Since the infinities are outside of time and space, they are outside of nature. This is what the word “supernatural” literally means: outside of nature.

In using the expression “created the universe out of nothing,” one must be careful and not think of “nothing” as a type of “something.” In the sentence “John created a boat out of wood” the wood is certainly a type of something. It is the same in the sentence “John created a boat out of iron.” Both wood and iron are types of “something.”

The sentence “God created the universe out of nothing” resembles the two sentences with “John” as the subject, but “nothing” is not a type of something like wood and iron are types of something.

Rather, “created the universe out of nothing” can only mean that (1) the Creator of the universe is distinct from the universe, (2) the Creator controls the universe (this is what is meant by “created”), and (3) outside the universe controlled and its Creator, there is literally nothing: no time, no space, no quantum mechanical vacuum (once again, a type of something existing in space), and no matter.

Thus, we have, using physics, demonstrated the existence of a supernatural Being who created the universe out of nothing, and that controls everything in the created universe.

We have, in other words, proven the existence of God, using Aristotelian and Newtonian physics. (The efficient cause argument is basically Aquinas’ Second Way, and the final cause argument is basically Aquinas’ Fifth Way.)

This God Whose existence we have proven is no mere God of the philosophers. He is a Person, in the sense that He can past the Turing Test: He can talk to you. Since the Infinities control all that happens in the universe,

the initial conditions at the beginning of time can be set up so that the atoms in your sensory system act such that you interpret the action to be a person talking to you. Maimonides, in his twelfth century book Guide for the Perplexed argued (Chapter XXIX; p. 210 in Maimonides 1956) that all interactions with God (miracles) were of this nature.

The specific example Maimonides gave was the Miracle of the Parting of the Red Sea. God arranged the motion of the atoms at the beginning of time in such a way that, at the instant the Israelites arrived at the Red Sea, the atoms composing the air began to move as a mighty wing that blew apart the sea, exposing the land and allowing the Israelites to pass.

Hume and Kant should have known of this passage of Maimonides. If ignorant of the work of Maimonides, they should have at least been aware of the Christian tradition on miracles.

I devoted an entire chapter of my book The Physics of Christianity on miracles, and I showed (Tipler 2007) that the Christian definition of “miracle” was the same as the definition used by Maimonides, namely that a “miracle” never violates physical law.

Hume defined “miracle” as a violation of physical law, thereby showing himself to be a metaphysician who believed he could establish matters of fact by means of a definition of words.

This mechanism that God uses to talk to us, by setting the initial conditions at the beginning of time such that we will hear a voice billions of years later, requires one to fully accept the implications of God’s omniscience.

God knew every word we would utter, and every action we would take, before He began time. He thus set the universe in motion at the beginning of time so that we would hear a certain series of replies to questions we generate in time billions of years after the universe began. A conversation with God is not a conversation like we would have with any other rational being.

Now let us translate the Aristotelian/Newtonian argument for the existence of God into classical general relativity. We apparently have a problem, namely the observed fact that the universe is not infinitely old, but only 13.8 billion years old.

This is indeed the age of the universe in what we physicists call “proper time.” But in the mathematics of cosmology, there are other, equally valid, measures of past duration, and some place the beginning of the universe at temporal infinity.

For example, we cosmologists like to quote past cosmological times in terms of “redshift,” represented by the letter z, which uses the size of the universe as the clock.

The formula is z = [(radius of the universe now)/(size of the universe then)] – 1. So the current redshift time is zero (today is the zero of redshift time), and an early galaxy at redshift 1 means we are seeing that galaxy when the universe was half of its present size.

Now general relativity tells us that the universe began in a Big Bang 13.8 billion years ago, at an “instant” when the universe was literally of zero size. From the redshift equation, a radius of zero corresponds to a redshift of infinity: the beginning began at temporal infinity in redshift time.

I placed “instant” in quotes because the Big Bang beginning was not in time, anymore than Newtonian temporal infinity is in time. In general relativity, a universe of spatial radius zero is called a “singularity,” an entity that is intrinsically infinite.

As in the case of Newtonian physics that will not let us go beyond temporal infinity, so the physics of general relativity says that there is nothing, no time, no space, no matter, no nothing, beyond the singularity. It is generally agreed that black holes have been seen (I certainly think so), and that there is a singularity inside a black hole (once again I agree with the consensus).

My own teacher, the great physicist John A. Wheeler (the man who named the “black hole”), believed that the singularity inside the black hole coincided with a final singularity. I have since proven Wheeler’s conjecture using quantum field theory (Tipler 2005).

Thus we also have a singularity at the end of time as well as at the beginning of time, and once again, there is a natural measure of duration at which the final singularity is at temporal infinity.

As in the Aristotelian and Newtonian cases, the initial and final singularities control everything in the universe, and they can be identified, and since they are outside of nature: they are supernatural.

Classical general relativity thus also gives us a proof for the existence of God.

Finally, let me use the Dewitt-Wheeler equation to show how the proof goes in relativistic quantum cosmology. In DeWitt-Wheeler quantum gravity, the wave function is considered to be a function on a fixed topological space (let’s just say a three-sphere S3 to fix ideas, but it can be any three dimensional topology), a metric hij on this three dimensional topological space, and Standard Model (of particle physics) matter fields (the Standard Model is the modern analogue of Aristotle’s material cause).

In contrast to the three theories we have considered so far, time is not assumed to exist in DeWitt-Wheeler quantum gravity. Instead, time is derived by using the spatial metric and the matter fields to place a series of three-geometries in order. The sequence in this order will be interpreted as “time.”

The DeWitt-Wheeler equation and the initial conditions allow us to do this. If the sequence of three-geometries leads to a four-dimensional “space-time” that is incomplete in a topological sense, then it will have a completion, and the proof of God’s existence proceeds as before.

The key question is, does the physics force the effective four-dimensional space-time to be incomplete, and thus have a completion that, by Aquinas’ definition, is God? The answer is yes.

One fact that must come out of any physically acceptable solution of the DeWitt-Wheeler equation is the observation that, on the largest scales, the universe must be classical: the universe must be seen to obey classical general relativity.

Also, on cosmological scales, the universe must be seen to be very smooth (the technical terms are “homogeneous” and “isotropic,” and the Cosmic Background Radiation shows the universe to be homogeneous and isotropic to one part in a hundred thousand).

The existence of the Cosmic Background Radiation also shows the universe to be dominated by radiation (gauge fields of the Standard Model) in the early universe where the question of incompleteness arises.

I have shown (Tipler, 2005) that if the universe were (1) dominated in the very early universe by the gauge fields of the Standard Model, (2) these fields interacted then with gravity in the manner required by the DeWitt-Wheeler equation,

and (3) the universe is required to be classical on the largest scales, then the DeWitt-Wheeler wave function must be concentrated at the “point” which is a singularity, the same singularity that arises in classical general relativity.

That is, the sequence of three-geometries defining time indeed gives a space-time that is incomplete at the initial singularity. I have also given a technical proof in (Tipler 2005), which I have described in non-technical language in (Tipler 2007), that a final singularity must be the future completion of the DeWitt-Wheeler quantum universe.

Many physicists have attempted to construct cosmologies that are topologically complete (the technical mathematical term is “compact,”). Such cosmologies necessarily violate at least one known law of physics, as I have shown above. Let me describe two examples, invented by two men I know and admire: Stephen Hawking’s cosmology and Roger Penrose’s cosmology.

Both Steve and Roger know perfectly well that their cosmologies violate the known laws of physics. After all, they are both physics geniuses. But the idea of the universe being complete and having nothing outside itself — in particular, having no God — is just too great a temptation. As we will see, their attempts fail even in that, because their cosmologies are still incomplete in a physical (though not in a topological) sense.

Hawking’s proposed cosmology is topologically a four-sphere S4, while Penrose’s cosmology is topologically S1 X S3, a circle (S1) crossed with a three-sphere (S3). Hawking’s cosmology runs into an immediate problem (which he was aware of),

namely that since it is topologically an even dimensional sphere, its Euler characteristic is 2, and thus this topology cannot admit a Lorentz metric, which is required for general relativity to apply.

Furthermore, time cannot be globally defined on a compact topology unless the Euler characteristic is zero, so the Second Law of Thermodynamics cannot hold. So Hawking’s cosmology must violate general relativity and the Second Law.

As I said, Hawking was perfectly aware of this, so he had to argue that both laws of physics were just approximations. This could indeed be true, but my point is, getting rid of God requires us to also get rid of well-tested laws of physics.

The same is true in Penrose’s cosmology. He devotes an entire chapter of his book (Penrose 2010) to a justification of just how the Second Law of Thermodynamics is violated. It has to be, since time in his universe is cyclic (this is the circle S1 in his universe’s topology).

The Second Law states that the entropy of the universe always increases. So the entropy of the universe today is greater than the entropy of the universe yesterday. But if time is cyclic, then sometime in the future the entropy of the universe must return to the value it had yesterday, contradicting the Second Law.

Penrose knows this, so he proposes that Unitarity is violated in black hole evaporation, thereby annihilating entropy in the process. Unitarity violation would indeed have this effect, but note that Penrose is proposing to violate not merely one, but two extensively tested laws of physics.

It gets worse. Unitarity is implied by the Law of Conservation of Energy (also known as the First Law of Thermodynamics), so Penrose’s cosmology requires three fundamental laws of physics to be violated.

By constructing their cosmologies, Hawking and Penrose have really unintentionally proven that physical reality must be incomplete if the known laws of physics are to hold.

Further, their cosmologies, though complete topologically and thus needing no boundary conditions on the equations at the initial (or final) singularity, still have no explanation for why the particular physical laws (those laws remaining) hold on the actual universe.

The laws of physics together with the universal initial conditions on these laws are generated by the initial (equivalently, the final) singularity if the physical universe of space and time is topologically incomplete (non-compact). Both the laws and the initial conditions are created by God, in other words.

In summary, all the physics humans have discovered over the past 2,500 years have consistently shown that the universe is incomplete in a mathematical since, and by Aquinas’ definition, the resulting completion will be God.

We may take it that God exists, and His existence, and a valid proof of His existence, was known to all of the Enlightenment thinkers. That they believed otherwise is evidence of their irrationality.

III. Hume Was Wrong About: (1) Induction, (2) Cause Being Unprovable, and (3) the Fact-Value Distinction

Hume famously argued that it was impossible to demonstrate empirically that cause and effect existed without assuming a principle of uniformity in time, i.e., without assuming that the future will be like the past. There are two counters to this claim by Hume, both which should have been known by him.

The first is that a theory which as been confirmed by past observations contains within it the statement that the theory holds at all times, both in the past, in the present, and in the future. This was the case for Newtonian mechanics and gravity theory, which was confirmed by observations in the decades before Hume.

The second way was raised against Hume in 1763 (during Hume’s lifetime) by Thomas Bayes (1763), using Bayes’ Theorem in probability theory. Bayes’ Theorem states that P[A|B] = PB|A, where P[A|B] is the probability of A assuming B is true, P[B|A] is the probability that B is true assuming A is true, P[A] is the probability that A is true, and P[B] is the probability that B is true.

The point made by Bayes (see Clayton 2021, p. 37 for a modern popular discussion) is that Bayes’ Theorem allows A and B to be interchanged. In particular, if A and B are events with the natural time order Elater and Eearlier we would naturally think of P[Elater|Eearlier], which is to say, we would naturally think in terms of a probability of the later event Elater occurring given that the earlier event Eearlier had previously occurred.

But Bayes’ Theorem allows past and future to be interchanged! (How exactly this is to be done in practice is complicated. See Clayton 2021 for an outline.) Probability theory thus obviates the need to assume a uniformity of past and future in computing the probability that a theory is true.

Developing probability theory in terms of conditional probabilities like P[A|B], has lead to a solution to the problem of induction. The subsequent theory, worked out most importantly by Jeffreys (1939), Cox (1961) and Jaynes (2003), considers probability theory to be a branch of logic.

(See Clayton 2021 for a popular description of this approach.) Jeffreys, Cox, and Jaynes were all physicists who were interesting in using probability theory to solve real-world problems.

Jaynes (2003; see especially p. 135; also relevant are p. 276, p. 310, and p. 326) has emphasized that what probability theory really does is allow us to compare the probabilities comparing a finite number of known theories. The key word is “known.”

Probability theory can tell us nothing useful about the likelihood of unknown theories as compared to known theories. Since probability theory considers only what is known, it might be the case that completely new information would result in a theory, which a previous observation confirmed, now being rejected (Jaynes 2003, p. 135).

This fact shows that the new approach to probability theory (Dupre and Tipler 2009), for historical reasons called “Bayesian probability”, is not a static process, but a dynamic one in which a subject interacts with an object(s) over and over again, continually changing the probability as new information comes in.

The distinction between subject and object is not an absolute as Kant believed, but entwined, and this fact allows us to know a thing in itself. Intuitively, this was always known, so Kant’s argument to the contrary was an irrational step backward. Jaynes showed that two scientists with the same information would calculate the same probability, so probability is objective in this sense.

But of course no two scientists, indeed no two people, have the same prior information, so different people assign an initial probability (called the “prior probability”) different numbers. In this sense, probability theory is subjective.

It is an open question whether repeated observation will cause everyone’s calculated probabilities to converge in the long run. Convergence has been proven in special cases (one such proof was awarded the Nobel Prize in economics), but in practice, convergence is not necessary.

People are mortal, and when they die, they take their priors with them. This is what Max Planck meant when he said that physics advances funeral by funeral. Many-Worlds quantum mechanics has more or less won out because physicists taught earlier (mathematically inconsistent) interpretations of quantum mechanics have died.

Jaynes has pointed out that the modern theory of probability is capable of taking into account different scientist’s views of the abilities and the truthfulness of other scientists. Probability theory, in other words, treats as facts human social interactions, which are governed by human values.

This brings us to Hume’s famous argument for an absolute distinction between fact and values. The former concern declarative sentences, while the latter are expressed in imperative sentences. One cannot, Hume asserted, derive an “ought” from an “is.”

This is indeed the case, but no major philosopher ever claimed otherwise. Instead, Plato and Aristotle argued that the Universal Triad — the Good, the True and the Beautiful — were separate but entwined. So closely were they entwined that one might be tempted to think they were the same, as John Keats did in his famous poem “Ode to a Grecian Urn.”

Physicists tend to agree with Keats in that they feel that a correct theory ought to be a beautiful theory. Einstein famously believed that quantum mechanical indeterminacy was too ugly to be true.

I have shown (Tipler, 2014) that Einstein was correct about the indeterminacy; quantum mechanics is correct, but it is even more deterministic than classical mechanics! In fact, quantum mechanics arises from classical mechanics by mathematically requiring classical mechanics to be completely deterministic.

In my 2014 paper, I explicitly stated that Einstein was correct in believing that God does not play dice with the universe. Quantum mechanics is just fully deterministic classical mechanics, which in its most powerful form (Hamilton-Jacobi theory), is Many-Worlds just like quantum mechanics. Einstein was right that indeterminism is ugly.

Just as Beauty is entwined with Truth, so Good is also entwined with Truth.

The way in which the Good — morality — becomes entwined with Truth is in the process of establishing the Truth. Humans are not born with knowledge of the Theory of Everything. Rather, we have to learn about how Nature is put together by interacting with it, as in Jaynes’ approach to probability described above.

An essential way we learn about physical reality is by interacting with other human scientists who are specialists in other areas of science. This interaction can add to our own knowledge only if all scientists follow certain ethical rules.

First, in their interaction with other scientists, one must tell the truth: “Thou shalt not bear false witness…” (Exodus 20:16) is the Ninth Commandment. Thou shalt not fake experimental results is another way of expressing this ethical rule.

Second is the moral rule that scientists should not plagiarize another’s work. “Thou shalt not steal,” the Eighth Commandment (Exodus 20:15) in other words.

Third, and most important of all, is the moral principle that a scientist must never use the power of the state to force other scientists to accept any scientific theory. Galileo versus the Holy Inquisition shows what happens when this moral principle is violated (Drake 2001).

Galileo was shown the instruments of torture, making it very clear that had he not formally denied the Copernican Theory, he would have been murdered. Lysenko indeed used the power of the state not only to impose his false theories, but also to murder opponents of his theories (Jarovsky 1970).

“Thou shalt not kill” (Exodus 20:13) is the Sixth Commandment. I want to emphasize what Drake and Jarovsky have shown, that it was a group of scientists in both the Galileo Affair and in the Lysenko Affair who used the Inquisition and the Soviet State respectively to suppress scientific theories they opposed. Heliocentric astronomy is not contrary to Christianity, nor is Mendelian genetics opposed to Marxism.

Lysenko was trying to increase grain production. His theories were false, so he failed. He thereupon faked his data, and persuaded the Soviet officials to impose acceptance of his theories.

The American plant scientist Norman Borlaug also wanted to increase grain production. Borlaug’s theories were based on Mendelian genetics, so he succeeded. But it was not obvious that he was correct.

He proceeded according to scientific ethics, and made a major effort, taking over a decade (described in Borlaug (2007) and his semi-autobiography Vietmeyer (2009, 2010)) to persuade, not force, peasants and farmers worldwide to accept his seeds and farming methods.

Although he was opposed by other scientists, who once again tried but fortunately failed to use state power to stop Borlaug, he was in the end successful and is now known as the “man who saved a billion people.”

So scientific ethics repeats three of the Ten Commandments, three of the six Commandments governing human relations. Adultery, forbidden by the Seventh Commandment (Exodus 20:14), though not relevant to science, is a form of stealing (someone’s wife or husband), and thus is already covered by the Eighth Commandment.

I was the post-doctoral student of the great physicist John A, Wheeler who was in turn the post-doctoral student of Niels Bohr. I have always admired and honored Wheeler, and Wheeler in turn always honored Bohr.

A teacher is one’s intellectual parent, and scientists are wisely advised to honor them. This is the scientific ethics form of the Fifth Commandment, honor your father and your mother (Exodus 20:12).

There is even a scientific ethics version of the Tenth Commandment, “thou shalt not covet” (Exodus 20:17). When one is commanded not to covet “your neighbor’s wife,” this does not mean that one cannot aspire to marrying a woman as beautiful as the wife of one’s neighbor.

It instead means one cannot aspire to marrying the same woman as one’s neighbor is already married to. This would mean you aspire to commit adultery. In science is perfectly acceptable to aspire to winning the Nobel Prize. It is unacceptable to plan on winning it by fraud or plagiarism.

So all six of the Ten Commandments that govern human interactions are also included in the ethical principles that must be followed if science is to be successful.

The other four Commandments, which govern the relationship between God and humans, can be summed up as just saying that one should accept the proof of God’s existence that follows from all known physics, and act accordingly.

Thus, we can deduce all of the Ten Commandments using Jaynes’ formulation of probability theory, together with what observations tell us about the nature of the physical world.

These ethical principles may not be followed by all scientists, and in the new approach to probability theory, any given scientist’s view of another scientist’s ability to observe and calculate correctly, and be truthful about these observations and calculations, are factual data points that must be taken into account in calculating probabilities. Jaynes (2003) discusses this in several places in his book.

From the mathematics of probability theory as a branch of logic, it follows that from the viewpoint of each individual scientist, other scientists are just particular types of measuring instruments.

The other scientists’ ethics, in other words, are facts that describe the reliability of these (human) instruments. To claim, as Hume did, that values are merely matters of subjective feeling with no connection with the world of facts, is to claim that the accuracy of scientific instruments is also merely a subjective feeling with no relevance to the knowledge of facts.

Perhaps we should not be surprised that a philosopher who thought that induction, based on repeated observation of the world, could tell us nothing about facts, could believe such nonsense.

To argue against induction and for the value-fact distinction, is anti-reason.

IV. Hume, Kant and Voltaire Against Physics and Free Will

I described earlier the attack by Voltaire on the mathematicians who developed the Principle of Least Action. Voltaire attacked them because they established the importance of Least Action as a foundation of Newtonian physics. It is less well known that Hume was also an opponent of Newtonian physics.

In the early eighteenth century, continental natural philosophers were skeptical of Newtonian physics because of the apparent inability of Newtonian physics to account for several astronomical observations, namely the precession of the Moon’s orbit around the Earth, and the secular acceleration of Saturn.

Euler and Alexis-Claude Clairaut solved the first problem before Hume’s death (but after his books attacking induction and the idea of cause and effect were published), and Pierre Simon de Laplace solved the second problem before Kant’s death.

Hume hoped Newton would be refuted, because he knew Newtonian physics stood as a counter-example to his skeptical theory of knowledge.

The idea of the Principle of Least Action goes back to Hero of Alexandria, who in 60 AD used it to prove that in the reflection of a light ray, the angle of incidence is equal to the angle of reflection (Weinberg 2016, p. 208, and Appendix, Section 8 on pp. 289-291). In 1662, the great mathematician Pierre de Fermat (number 5 in the Murray 2003 ranking of the greatest mathematicians of all time), extended Hero’s proof to the case of refraction (called in the Anglophone world Snell’s Law) (Weinberg 2016, p. 208, and Appendix, Section 28, pp. 348-351).

In a letter to Fermat, dated May 6, 1662 (Tannery and Henry 1894. pp. 464-472), the Cartesian physicist Claude Clerselier criticized Fermat’s proof because it seemed to be assuming that a particle of light would be feeling out the various paths as it moved, and then choosing the path that gave the least time of transit. Surely a light ray does not possess senses and a brain that would allow the light ray to do this.

The Dutch physicist Christiaan Huygens (1629-1695, umber 17 in the Murray 2003 ranking of the greatest physicists of all time, and number 4 in rank among the greatest technologists of all time) in his 1678 book Treatise on Light, proved that feeling out the alternative paths was exactly what the light ray was doing (Weinberg 2016, pp. 220-221 and Appendix, Section 30, pp. 356-358).

In Huygens’ proof, the waves produced by all the particles add up constructively only along the straight-line path that minimizes the time of transit.

In other words, a least action principle works because there are many particles, which you may or may not see, which collectively form a wave that can interfere with itself. Here we have the Many-Worlds making its first appearance in 1678.

I have in fact shown (Tipler 2014) that this process described by Huygens is what is happening in quantum mechanics. Parallel universes are interfering with each other, and the classical path is the one that is constructively generated.

This mathematics was available in 1678, before the Enlightenment Age even began in 1704. Both Euler and Pierre-Louis Moreau de Maupertius in 1744 developed the least action principle further.

Maupertius summarized his theory of least action (he originated the term) in a book Essay on Cosmology, published in 1750. How did Voltaire react? In 1752, Voltaire wrote an entire book, Histoire du Docteur Akakia, in which all of Maupertius’s work is attacked, in particular the principle of least action.

There is evidence that Voltaire’s attack delayed the acceptance and use of the principle of least action (Fee 1942). The great nineteenth century mathematician Felix Klein (1890) thought that the ultimate expression of the least action principle, the Hamilton-Jacobi equation, was unfortunately not taken seriously by the physics community.

I have shown (Tipler 2014) that the central equation of quantum mechanics, the Schrödinger equation, actually is merely the Hamilton-Jacobi equation taken seriously and made mathematically consistent.

I have also shown that the DeWitt-Wheeler equation, if we assume that the very early universe has only gauge fields and is homogeneous and isotropic, is mathematically the Schrödinger equation for the simple harmonic oscillator (Tipler, 2005), so this attack by Voltaire indeed delayed the advance of physics. Also, it delayed the proof, based on the DeWitt-Wheeler equation, of the existence of God.

It also delayed understanding the physical mechanism that generates free will.

One might think that in a completely deterministic universe — which is the universe governed by quantum mechanics — free will would be impossible.

Actually, that free will is not only possible, but necessarily exists only if quantum mechanics holds was realized independently, first by David Deutsch (1997) and later by myself (Tipler 2007). I mention this independent discovery, not to detract from Deutsch — the priority is clearly his — but to establish that this free will theory is in the mathematics: were the work of Deutsch and myself completely forgotten, it would not matter. Some later mathematician would re-discover the theory.

Deutsch (and later, I) start by asking just what it means to say we have free will (Deutsch cites Lewis (1986) as his source). Clearly, we have free will to choose vanilla ice cream rather than chocolate ice cream (to take a trivial exercise of free will as an illustration), only if we really could have chosen the vanilla ice cream rather than the chocolate we actually picked.

Now if there were a single deterministic universe, then it would have been determined in the beginning of time that we would eventually, 13.8 billion years later, pick the chocolate. We could only be deluded that we had the option of picking the vanilla.

The situation is radically changed if there are parallel universes out there, many containing versions of ourselves picking ice cream at the same time. In some of these universes, a version of ourselves does indeed pick the vanilla ice cream, while in other universes, in particular ours, we pick the chocolate.

A fundamental fact of quantum mechanics, indistinguishability, says that it is physically meaningless to say, before the choice is made, which version of ourselves in which universe will pick the chocolate and which the vanilla.

I have shown (Tipler, 2014) that this indistinguishabitlty, the property of quantum mechanics that gives us free will, is also responsible for the illusion that God does play dice with the universe. I have later used this fact to calculate physical and chemical reaction rates, which cannot be calculated without using this free will property.

Parallel universe theory also clarifies the distinction between contingency and necessity, something the treatments by Hume and Kant left in a state of confusion. Return to the discussion of which flavor of ice cream to pick.

Our choice is contingent because in one world (universe) we pick chocolate, and in another, we pick vanilla. That is, a fact is contingent if it is true in one possible world, but not in all possible worlds. Conversely, a fact is necessarily true if it is true in all possible worlds.

Now we come to the crux of the matter: what exactly is a “possible world?” Quantum mechanics tells us the answer. A “possible world” is one of the parallel universes. We might think we can construct a possible world in our imagination, a possible world that has no relation to the actually existing quantum mechanical parallel worlds, but this is an illusion.

Our entire experience with possible worlds, our entire experience with contingent events, is via contingent events that are contingent because they occur in some of the other universes that actually exist and not in others. There is no evidence that a “possible world” we imagine, and which we construct explicitly so that it cannot exist in one of the actually existing worlds of quantum mechanics, can in fact exist.

Our imagined worlds cannot have the richness of the actually existing worlds, so we cannot even demonstrate our imagined worlds are logically consistent.

So any fact that is a fact in all possible worlds, which is to say, a fact in all possible quantum mechanical parallel universes, is a necessary fact, has an interesting implication as regards facts of existence.

The statement 2 + 2 = 4, which Kant regarded as a synthetic a priori necessary truth, is indeed necessarily true because it is true in all quantum parallel universes. An entity will have contingent existence if it exists in some quantum mechanical universe, but not in all. Recall my proof of the existence of God in quantum cosmology using the DeWitt-Wheeler equation. I showed that if classical universes exist — and they do — then the wave function of the universe must have been concentrated at the initial singularity at the beginning of time.

This means that in all universes, the initial singularity — God — exists in all possible universes. That is, we also have a proof that God exists necessarily. Kant, and Hume, considered that such a proof is logically impossible.

I wrote above that Hume and Kant confused the distinction between the necessary and the contingent. This confusion has been cleared up in the past few decades by the philosopher Saul Kripke (1980; a popular description has recently been written by Morris 2018), using arguments that were available to both Hume and Kant.

Kripke introduced the important idea of the necessary a posteriori. Kripke correctly pointed out that there are facts, which, after we learn them, we can see are necessary true.

One example, which was known to both Hume and Kant, is the fact that two stars (actually planets), one called the “morning star” and the other called the “evening star” are actually the same planet Venus.

In all possible worlds in which a planet the sixe of the Earth and with a high albedo existed in the orbit of Venus, humans would see an evening star, and a morning star. Further, in all possible worlds, these two would be one and the same.

But in all these worlds, we humans would have to discover their identity, so their identity would be an a posteriori necessity. Other examples of necessary a posteriori facts are given in Kripke (1980), and Morris (2018).

V. Locke and Rousseau Were Wrong About the Blank Slate, and Smith Was Wrong About Economics

Locke, Rousseau, and Adam Smith were in error on human nature. Locke and Rousseau were wrong about the Blank Slate (Pinker 2002). Smith was wrong about many things in economics (Rothbard 1995; for a defense of Smith see Ahiakpor 1999, who in my opinion is wrong), but I shall mention only two, namely the division of labor and the labor theory of value.

All three men should have known these were errors, since the truth was known before any of them were born. These errors unfortunately replaced the correct ideas, and propagation of the incorrect ideas did enormous damage to human society.

The Blank Slate theory claims that humans have no behavioral traits that are inherited — in modern language, that are coded in the genes (Pinker 2002). It is well known (Pinker 2002) that Locke and Rousseau were the major advocates of this false theory.

Locke and Rousseau used the Blank Slate theory to argue that humans have no inherited tendency to commit evil, no genetic tendency to violate the basic ethical principles that accompany science and rationality, for instance. This is now known to be completely false (Pinker 2002).

But Locke and Rousseau should have known that humans indeed had an inherited tendency to do evil. As Pinker (2002) points out, babies from their earliest years demonstrate such a tendency, indicating that such a tendency must be genetic.

Over the last two decades, the evidence for such an inherited genetic tendency has grown even stronger (Trivers 2011; Chagnon 2013; Shackelford and Todd 2014). What Locke and Rousseau were really opposing was the Christian idea of Original Sin, which is just a formulation of the fact that humans are genetically coded to behave badly. The key question is, why were Locke, Rousseau and their followers so opposed to Original Sin?

I think there were two reasons, which are interconnected. The first reason is the obvious one, namely, if we have no inherited tendency to harm our fellow humans, then all violence must be learned, primarily from a society that is poorly organized.

Thus, if we re-organize society, rip the old order out by its roots, then we can eliminate human misbehavior. Such a belief justifies unlimited revolution, and the French Revolution with its Reign of Terror, followed by the Russian Revolution with its 100 million deaths (Rummel 1994), show where this opinion leads.

The second reason is that the Enlightenment leaders personally detested the idea of Sin of Pride. They themselves proudly believed that their theories were superior to the ones established in the past, and therefore they could ignore evidence to the contrary. Their successors have equally unjustified pride, and therefore feel free to impose their theories by force.

The Catholic tradition claims there are seven deadly sins, and that the most deadly of these seven sins is the Sin of Pride, the Sin whereby Satan fell. The foremost theologian of the Roman Catholic Church, St. Thomas Aquinas, emphasized that the Bible justified the belief that Pride was the source of all the other sins. The passage that states Pride is the source of all sin is Sirach 10:15: “…for pride is the beginning of all sin: he that holdeth it, shall be filled with maledictions, and it shall ruin him in the end.”

The fall of Satan as due to the Sin of Pride is described in Isaiah 14:12-15: “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, who … saidst in thy heart: I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God … I will ascend above the height of the clouds, I will be like the most High.

But yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, into the depth of the pit.” St. Thomas Aquinas argued that not only was the Sin of Pride the cause of Satan’s fall, but it was also the ultimate source of Original Sin: “… man’s first sin is the beginning of all sin, according to Romans 5:12, “By one man, sin entered into this world.” Therefore man’s first sin was pride.”

Pride is the source of the violation of the most fundamental scientific ethical rule, that a scientist must never impose his theories on other scientists by force. A scientist would use force only if he were convinced that opponents of his theories were much less intelligent than he, or completely immoral.

This belief in superiority would be contrary to fact, and such a “scientist” would be delusional. There is evidence that a tendency to such self-delusion is genetically based (Trivers 2011), so the Christian tradition is, and was, correct to regard it as an Original Sin.

I have quoted both St. Thomas Aquinas and the Bible to demonstrate that the Catholic and Protestant traditions spoke as one in claiming Original Sin is real, and that the most deadly of all the sins is pride, which is the foundation of all the other sins.

Locke and Rousseau had no excuse for their ignorance. Rather, in their pride they destroyed the foundation stone of reason.

Adam Smith followed in their footsteps. In his pride, Smith ignored the insights of earlier writers on political economy, who established that the price of a good was due to its scarcity and utility (Rothbard 1995, see especially Chapters 16 and 17).

Instead, Smith introduced the labor theory of value, a false notion that nevertheless won over the economics profession, and thus delayed the Marginal Utility Revolution (based on the idea that the price of a good its determined by its marginal utility) by one hundred years (Rothbard 1995).

Karl Marx later used the labor theory of value as the foundation of his theory of capitalism, the theory that justified various communist revolutions. Rothbard (1995) argues that Smith’s reactionary views on economics (including an odd description of the reason for the division of labor) seem to be based on the strange idea that human beings are interchangeable.

Humans would be interchangeable only if the Blank Slate were true, for then the only difference between people would be what they learned; genetic differences in interests and skills would play no essential role.

So Locke, Rousseau, and Adam Smith were all “Enlightenment” leaders who set back knowledge by their advocacy of the Blank Slate.

VI. Conclusion

I have shown that the main Enlightenment thinkers were unreasonably wrong about their central claims. They were anti-reason because the correct views, which they opposed, were known before their fathers were born. Intellectually, the Age of Enlightenment was a step away from reason into irrationality.
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