David Birnbaum Cosmology

David Birnbaum Philosophy

David Birnbaum Metaphysics

POTENTIAL drives the universe Birnbaum


/\  see Scientific American back cover  www.TheoryAd1000.com (SEPT 2017)

Course Text



Q4P: Birnbaum’s hypothesized directional
Prime Mover quest-force-algorithm




On Birnbaum’s Formula


from the desk of

Hugo van den Berg

University of Warwick
Department of Mathematics
Coventry, United Kingdom

Mar 28, 2013


“unparalleled and magisterial”


Physics, unlike metaphysics perhaps, is concerned only with description. However, not all descriptions are created equal; it is sometimes possible to capture large swathes of phenomena with a minimum of formal apparatus. Such superb descriptions are what scientists like to think of as “good theories” (all is, in the final analysis, still mere description, a point that is sometimes lost). The game naturally becomes this: to capture as much as possible with as little as possible.

In Birnbaum’s unparalleled and magisterial Summa Metaphysica, we find a pithy quote attributed to a Nobel prize winner [physicist Lederman] who expresses this dream as capturing the universe in a formula that one could print on a T-shirt. Birnbaum, in a staggering and audacious move, displays a formula below this quote.

The formula just stands there, glorious in its splendid isolation. It reads:




Are we to infer that this is the answer to the dream of the physicist recently quoted? The recondite renaissance man Birnbaum does not tell us, at least not directly, not on this page.

Perusal of Summa Metaphysica, two imposing tomes of recondite philosophical-mathematical-poetic musings, indicates that Birnbaum wants the reader to think of Q4P as a single symbol……


[ balance of essay upon request ]




Q4P ( Q4P ( Q4P (


Quest for Potential ( Quest for Potential ( Quest for Potential
ad infinitum.





Q4P: Birnbaum’s hypothesized directional
Prime Mover quest-force-algorithm




Q4P: Birnbaum’s hypothesized directional
Prime Mover quest-force-algorithm


David Birnbaum Cosmology

David Birnbaum Q4P Theory

main philosophy/metaphysics

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Q4P: Birnbaum’s hypothesized directional
Prime Mover quest-force-algorithm



see Q4Ptheory.com




“ David Birnbaum’s Summa Metaphysica is a major philosophical contribution to the study of Being. According to Summa, Holy Potential is at the very epicenter of the Divine, and the quest for its fulfillment is the underlying core dynamic of the cosmic order.

Birnbaum considers Quest for Potential∞ to be ubiquitous and overarching holy cosmic dynamic. All of the countless components of the Universe, including humans, are striving towards the full realization of their particular potentialities.

Although centered on the problem of evil existing in the world created by benevolent and omnipotent God, Summa reaches far beyond theodicy. Deeply rooted in Biblical tradition, yet providing a modern and original approach to answering millennia-old questions, Summa represents a bold attempt to formulate a unifying concept of the Universe.”



The very basic laws of ecology describing the growth and regulation of populations of living organisms appear to fit the metaphysical model of the cosmic Quest for Potential∞ proposed by David Birnbaum. Obviously, ecology is only one of many sub disciplines within the rather broad science of biology, and biology is only one of many natural sciences (albeit a very important one). Therefore, this observation alone does not serve as an immediate and decisive proof that the Quest is indeed the major driving force behind each and every natural process.

Nevertheless, it is truly fascinating that an established scientific theory based on experimental evidence and mathematic models is in such a strong agreement with a philosophical theory of Conceptual Theorist Birnbaum, and developed independently of any formal natural history research. This is unlikely to happen by chance alone.

Therefore, it is reasonable to propose the Quest for Potential∞ as a working hypothesis for explaining the impetus behind the cosmic dynamic.

Testing this hypothesis would involve a critical review of other scientific theories explaining particular phenomena in chemistry, physics, sociology, etc. for their agreement with Birnbaum’s proposed Overarching Theory.

Ultimately, this may yield a unified view of the Universe, which would be a major leap in fulfilling our potentiality as conscious beings.

– Dr. Andrei Alyokhin
Professor and Graduate Coordinator
School of Biology and Ecology
University of Maine
Orono, ME
November 2, 2012


Q4P: Birnbaum’s hypothesized directional
Prime Mover quest-force-algorithm



see main Potentialism site: SummaMetaphysica.com




The Trajectory of the Big Bang
David Birnbaum, Potentialism Theory and C+

Harvard and yeshiva-educated independent scholar David Birnbaum of Manhattan is the author of a (quite-readable) 3-volume treatise Summa Metaphysica (1988, 2005, 2014). The work presents an original metaphysics – Potentialism Theory. In turn the theory advances the idea that hypothesized Infinite Quest for Potential drives the universe.

The theory elucidates that the potential-driven universe inherently seeks ever-increasing degrees of Complexification, that is ever-greater complexity/sophistication/richness/integration/varirty/wondrousness. Note that Complexification (shorthand: C+) is a 21st century Birnbaumian term.

The Big Bang is commonly used to refer to the beginning of the universe. More properly though, it is a description of the stages of the universe from the beginning to our current age. However, we commonly think of the present as the last stage of universal evolution. There is no reason to suppose this to be the case. To explain this, it is simplest to look at the stages of the universe which came before the present one.

The Singularity

The beginning of the known universe is considered the singularity. We use singularity to describe the universe at the beginning of known time because it was near infinitesimally small. People oftentimes think of this singularity as exploding into empty space. However, this is incorrect. The universe itself was the singularity. There was no outside for it to explode into. It is the universe itself which expanded outwards to create the space it encompasses today.


This expanding outwards of known space was called inflation. Before inflation, the rules of physics as we know it did not necessarily exist. This is a particular point worth noting. People tend to, incorrectly, assume with certainty that the rules of physics are eternal and immutable. The inflation period saw a homogenous spread of superhot quark-gluon plasma.


The cooling period is the stage at which the universe began to look like its current form. The fundamental forces we take for granted today – gravitation, electromagnetism and the strong nuclear and weak nuclear forces – all came to be. The cooling period is when the first atoms began to form due to nucleosynthesis.

Structure Formation

The last major period noted by physicists is structure formation. This is when the matter in the universe began to draw itself together through gravitation and form; on a micro scale, the elements and molecules present today and, on a macro scale, the cosmic bodies we are familiar with such as the planets and stars, solar systems and galaxies. From a physics perspective, this is the last of the periods which the universe has gone through from the Big Bang.

A History of Complexification

The common element of each period mentioned is the universe’s change in its level of Complexification.

Inflation created time and spatial physics. The cooling gave us the fundamental forces now governing the universe. The structural formation period gave us complex molecular structures and galactic formation and all heavenly bodies in the universe.

The commonality in all these periods is each gave birth to not only a more complex universe, but phenomena in the universe which did not exist before. Reasonably speaking, it is impossible to say the Big Bang sequence is done. The only thing that can be extrapolated from the universe’s history is that when the next period arrives, it will usher in a form of complexity which does not exist today.

Two More Periods to Consider

If you step away from pure physics, the universe has already given rise to at least two more periods of fundamentally different and new types of Complexification. The first is life – organic, living organisms which can be seen today in everything from single-celled algae to trees. The second is the rise of the animal kingdom.

While the physics community may consider biology separate from the physics of the Big Bang, biology is actually another – and more advanced – potentialism platform on the same metaphysics trajectory as the initial Big Bang.

Potentialism’s Next Step

Complexification (C+) is expected to be expressed in new ways. For instance, the universe continued to increase in complexity as heavier elements formed to flesh out the current periodic table. At some point though, Complexification shifted and began to form molecules out of those elements – a completely novel, at the time, expression of complexity.

According to Potentialism, there is no end to this cycle of greater and greater complexity. Thus the plant then animal periods were predicted. Not necessarily the form that they would take, but only that something must come next. Now, logic would dictate that something must supersede animals – and 21st century-style humans – as the highest form of Complexification.

Age of Man

For Potentialists, the current era is that of humankind itself. The scientific community, driven largely by atheistic dogma, have classified humankind as simply another animal, albeit a highly intelligent one. Potentialists argue that this is an absurd notion. Classifying a human as just another animal is like classifying a dog as a smart plant. Humankind possesses traits of Complexification non-existent – except in the faintest of hints – in the highest orders of animals.

Humankind possesses an intellectual/emotional/creative range which allows them to uniquely affect their environment. They can change their environments and build tools to solve their quest du jour; they possess full linguistic ability and communication options to easily transmit and replicate knowledge.

As Potentialists often point out, it is the new expressions of complexity which are the hallmark of Potentialism itself. Reason and emotion are just the latest in a long line of complexity events throughout the universe’s history.

Physics may argue the relevance of ideas and emotions, but Potentialism elucidates that it is simply naive to expect every universal event to be simply physics based simply because the first few were.

What is to come next? That is the question. Where and how Potentialism will universally express itself next is unknown. The only thing we can know for sure is it will be in a way not seen before and it will leave us with a fundamentally more complex universe afterwards as the cosmos infinitely seeks its own Potential.

See also SummaCoverage.com.





The Cosmic Matrix Club
& Summa Metaphysica’s Potentialism Theory

Connecting the works of four important cosmologists

Baruch Spinoza, independent scholar, Amsterdam, Ethics, c. 1677
a lattice-work matrix

David Birnbaum, independent scholar, Manhattan, Summa Metaphysica, 1988, 2005, 2014
—- an organic matrix

Seth Lloyd of MIT, Boston, Programming the Universe, 2006
— a quantum computer-generated information matrix

Max Tegmark of MIT, Boston, Our Mathematical Universe, 2014
— a mathematical matrix

Is the universe all connected by some all-encompassing metaphysical web or matrix?

All the four cosmologists above say yes; they all posit a holistic, fully-integrated matrix; note that they represent a quite-miniscule percentage of cosmologists.

Both Birnbaum (1988) and Lloyd (2006) are reinforced by Tegmark’s (2014) holistic, fully-integrated matrix-like universe theory. Lloyd and Tegmark draw heavily on their mathematical backgrounds to sketch their cosmology. To both Lloyd and Tegmark the universe moves like a giant, holistic computer. Rather than previous theories like Randomness, these matrix-like universal theories show a more teleologically based (direction-based), if mechanistic view of the universe. See xMIT1000.com.

Much like Lloyd and Tegmark after him, Birnbaum (1988) elucidated a structured, ordered, purposeful universe. Although Birnbaum (1988, 2005) precedes Lloyd and Tegmark, he takes the matrix concept several quantum steps further. See SummaMetaphysica.com.

Cosmologist Birnbaum, in his three-part Summa Metaphysica series, shows Beginning > Middle > End: Eternal Origins > Cosmic Mechanism > Cosmic Goal.

Birnbaum’s intermediate stage – Cosmic Mechanism (Complexification) – dovetails nicely with Lloyd/Tegmark of MIT. See xQuantumUniverse.com.

In turn, Lloyd/Tegmark discern respective scientific mechanisms (in each case a dynamic matrix of sorts) do not deal substantively with either Eternal Origins (at the beginning, of course) or Cosmic Goal (down-the-road, of course). See xQuantum1000.com.

The Matrix Progenitor (1677)

Readers may be intrigued, however, by the actual progenitor of a theory of a holistic, fully-integrated lattice-work, matrix-like universe: Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677 CE). His work Ethics was published posthumously. It is considered one of the great works of metaphysics of all time, however obscure it may be.

A Dutch philosopher, Spinoza would set out nearly 400 years ago to brazenly challenge humanity’s understanding of both God and the universe. Before Spinoza there were, in effect, two universes – the material and the divine. The church had worked hard to separate the spiritual from the material. In and of itself, its aim was harmless enough – the church thought that the spiritual, divine and holy represented a perfect realm of existence, impossible on earth. This left heaven and the afterlife something wondrous and beautiful to strive for.

Separate realms?

Unfortunately, the church also drove science and cosmology in their image. What they would inadvertently do is isolate the divine from the physical world until spirituality itself would become a stranger in our scientific view of the universe. From a scientific perspective, the church would become its own worst enemy. But Spinoza would deny this artificial dichotomy the church had laid out between nature and spirituality.

While religious minds of his time saw the divine as something separate and removed from physical reality, Spinoza recognized that in a universe where God himself was omnipotent and omnipresent, he must necessarily be part of the universe itself. Thus Spinoza brought forth the idea (heretical as it might have been at the time) that God must be part of nature itself. To Spinoza, God was a force – one in which God was a force of creation but essentially neutral in our human view of good and evil. The universe, as an expression of God, simply was – for better or worse – exactly the only thing it could be and had to be.

Spinoza: All is determined

Moreover, Spinoza believed in determinism. That is to say, the course of nature, and thus God, were set. There was no praying to change the course of how events would unfold. Only a better understanding of the divine could help mankind navigate life. It’s not that mankind could change anything, but the understanding would help mankind live in a state of harmony with God. Again, this was seen as intensely heretical to the church and to the local Jewish religious authority at the time as well.

Interestingly, determinism meant that morality was largely subjective. As all human courses of action were predetermined, considering them as free-willed choices was an illusion – thus no one was actually capable of acting good or evil. For Spinoza, the only positive effect a person could have was to have an understanding of their predetermined path and an active acceptance of it.

Space for Spirituality?

Needless to say, Spinoza’s more severe conclusions part ways with Birnbaum; however both Spinoza and Birnbaum – as opposed-to Lloyd and Tegmark – proactively leave metaphysical ‘space’ for spirituality/religion. David Birnbaum’s Potentialism Theory (aka Quest for Potential∞ Theory aka Q4P-Theory) has come under quite-virulent ad homenim attack by Atheistic proponents – operating through surrogates – for anchoring spirituality/religion as viable metaphysical options.

Spinoza was the first cosmologist in the Renaissance world to actively search for patterns and meaning in the physical world – without the active removal of the spiritual from consideration. Moreover, Spinoza recognized the essentially teleological (direction-based) nature of the universe. As opposed to a universe of random occurrences, Spinoza recognized the underlying and purposeful pattern of the cosmos.

Divergence and Intersection

What might have been a very rough 17th century understanding of the universe would nevertheless be quantum-overhauled in the late 20th/early 21st century by the likes of Birnbaum. David Birnbaum’s universe is alive and organic, whereas Spinoza’s universe is quite sterile and mathematical; however, but both metaphysicists deploy an infinite and dynamic cosmic matrix. See cnn-spinoza-birnbaum.com.

Potentialistic, not Deterministic

Modern cosmologists such as David Birnbaum have corrected and overhauled (re-invented?) the basic principles laid down by Spinoza. The hard, deterministic universe of Spinoza has been corrected, as our greater understanding of Potentiality has been illuminated. What Spinoza saw as an entire predetermined existence is actually an array of possible, potential pathways mankind might take.

Birnbaum notes that all things seek their own potential. But the myriad pathways to that potential are literally infinite. One might raise children, craft a symphony…. the ways to explore potentials are limitless. See PotentialiamTheory.com.

As a species, we follow a choreographed dance into a universe of ever-greater complexity. Moving with a teleological rhythm, we continue our waltz into a future of greater and greater complexity. What is our final goal? According to Birnbaum, an unparalleled and unknowable future of extraordinariation – a universal complexity of perfect beauty, art, truth, morality and existence as a whole.

At the pinnacle

Anchored by Spinoza from the 17th century, and then re-enforced by Lloyd and Tegmark of MIT in the 21st, David Birnbaum’s Summa Metaphysica/Potentialism Theory (aka Quest for Potential∞ Theory aka Q4P-Theory) possibly trumps all comers. It (concisely) solves the most issues by far; it works through multiple lenses – religious, spiritual and secular (see Unifying1000.com); it covers-the-bases: past-present-future; in-the-mix it unifies Science, Philosophy and Spirituality; it ‘works’ on macro thru micro levels (see TTOE1000.com); it seemingly integrates, in particular macro-physics (Relativity/Gravity) with micro-physics (Quantum Mechanics); it appears to be the most fully-integrated metaphysics (known). See SummaCoverage.com.

Other than all of the above, it is no big deal.


Q4P: Birnbaum’s hypothesized directional
Prime Mover quest-force-algorithm



see Chronology1000.com




The Accelerating Universe:
David Birnbaum’s Potentialism at-work?

The ‘accelerating universe’: the universe appears to be expanding at an increasing rate. The universe is not contracting, is not staying stable, and is not even expanding at the same rate as prior; rather, it is expanding at an increasing rate. Saul Perlmutter, Brian P. Schmidt and Adam G. Riess picked up the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics for their work in advancing the proof of this. What does this mean for the universe and what does it mean for cosmology?

Let us see the ramifications of an ‘accelerating universe’ on two major cosmological theories:
(a) 20th Century Randomness/Atheism – courtesy of the British academic ‘elite’
(b) 21st Century Theory of Potential (Potentialism) – courtesy of cosmologist David Birnbaum of Manhattan

For the Randomness Theory crowd, ruled by the British academic atheist elite, an ‘accelerating universe’ is yet another nail in the coffin of their pseudo-theory. Contrary to the Randomness crowd, the universe is not aimless, is not falling apart, and the end is not near; the universe is not dying and is not in its death throes. Quite the contrary; its expansion is actually accelerating.

The arch ideological enemy of the British atheists is Manhattan metaphysicist and the creator of Potentialism itself – David Birnbaum. An ‘accelerating universe’ is just one more buttress of his audacious – and globally-covered – Theory of Potential, first expounded in 1988 (see Summa Metaphysica I, Ktav Publishing). For more in-depth on his 3-part treatise (1988, 2005, 2014) – see www.SummaMetaphysica.com. Over 70 focus journal pieces have looked at his theory in the 2013-2014 period alone (see www.SummaCoverage.com).

Birnbaum posits an organic universe of growth and life, seeking after the extraordinary. For his serious, professional and courageous multi-decade effort, he has been quite-viciously attacked by surrogates of Randomness/Atheism – who view the universe as a cold void doomed to decay and atrophy. Birnbaum’s ideas are never actually attacked; rather innuendo and bizarre false information is planted. Presumably this is the new ‘scientific method’ of his academic adversaries. Yes, back to the Holy Inquisition. Only this time it is small albeit vocal group of Atheism-protagonists who engage in juvenile tactics and gambits; presumably the Atheist group is threatened by the power of the Birnbaum theory – in introducing new and elegant hypotheses for teleology (cosmic purpose/direction/design). Note that any teleology whatsoever is anathema to hard-line Atheism. See www.ParadigmChallenge.com.

Back to scientific reality: The universe is expanding and the rate at which it is doing so is increasing. Does this support the entropy, chaos and doom of the Randomness/Atheist crew? Most certainly not.

Comets were once believed to portend famine, war and death too. We got over that. And Potentialism can spell the end of the British ‘Theory of No Theory’ – and give meaning and understanding to cosmic expansion, just as physics once elucidated the science for comets.

According to the Summa website – Birnbaum proposes an original concept as the missing key to understanding the cosmic drama. He proposes his signature concept that Potential is the eternal cosmic dynamic. More precisely, Birnbaum proposes that Quest for Potential∞ (infinitely iterating) is the eternal cosmic dynamic. This dynamic works its way forward over the billions of eons towards first igniting our universe and eventually – down the road – catalyzing the emergence of higher-level consciousness human beings within it.

The core theme of David Birnbaum’s works is that one elegant dynamic and one elegant dynamic, alone (Quest for Potential∞) both instigates and drives the entire cosmic order. According to the conceptual theorist “Potentialism proposes that there is, indeed, a protagonist to the cosmic order, but that the protagonist is a ‘quest’ and not a ‘classic entity.’ The universe quests for its maximal potential. The core dynamic Quest for Potential∞ strives with purpose and direction towards ever-greater and higher potential. At the ‘beginning of time,’ eternal Quest for Potential∞ harnessed the eternal portion of the eternal equations of Physics-Mathematics to ignite our universe via the Big Bang. Note that the works of MIT quantum physicist Seth Lloyd (2006) dovetail with the Summa Metaphysica series (1988, 2005, 2014). See www.PotentialismTheory.com.

This same symbiotic dynamic – Quest for Potential∞ in league with Physics-Math – then acted as a catalyst for the route tracking-forwards to high level humans in the 21st Century – tracking forward from the Big Bang thru the emergence of the Elements, primordial star systems, myriad galaxies, supernovas, the sun, our solar system, life, photosynthesis, DNA, organisms, sexual reproduction, multi-cellular life, the Cambrian Explosion, amphibians, forests, reptiles, mammals, dinosaurs, birds, flowers, evolution, hominids, homo sapiens, and ever-increasing consciousness/emotion – and, indeed, for all the key dynamics which have evolved in the universe.” . See also www.Conference1000.com.


Potentialism describes the infinite Quest for Potential (shorthand: Q4P) as the central, cosmic drive of the universe. This Q4P, as Birnbaum calls it for short, is both instigator and direction-finder for the entire universe.


On the intermediate level the universe inherently strives towards greater and greater levels of what Birnbaum coins as Complexification (shorthand: C+) the drive for ever-greater complexity, sophistication/richness/integration/diversity/wondrousness.


In turn, this C+ drives the universe towards what Birnbaum coins as Extraordinariation (shorthand: E+). Extraordinariation is a goal/horizon of sublime and utter super-Complexification – both in form and quality (see www.Extraordinariation.com).

The three key components noted just-above, in turn combine into the SuperLaw of Potentialism:

The SuperLaw

Q4P > C+ > E+


Quest for Potential > Complexification > Extraordinariation

According to Birnbaum, the universe’s universal and infinite drive towards its own Potential can be witnessed in the day-to-day increases in Complexification of everything in the universe. We can witness the theory at-work in the (historical) formation of atoms, then molecules, as well as in the birth of the stars and galaxies – and, indeed, in the birth and development of consciousness and of the spectrum of life on very own Earth.

Expansion & Dark Energy

The key to understanding expansion is to understand what is driving it: Q4P. To Potentialism, Q4P represents the fundamental, universal drive of the cosmos. It is the inherent mandate of everything in existence to follow its own Infinite Quest for Potential. Q4P, driving relentlessly towards greater and greater Complexification, reshapes the physical universe repeatedly in its never ending drive. While the Randomness academic faction may foresee decay and implosion for the universe, Potentialists see growth and the limitless possibilities of expansion.

As evidence, here is a key factor – the expansion of the universe, this great “void” is not filled with the nothingness you’d expect. In fact, the void is filled with dark energy – making the name of void itself rather silly. Needless to say, it does still sound bleak. Is dark energy not this blackness and coldness that is the opposite of energy? Well, no actually.

Dark energy is simply a name physicists have given to something they don’t understand. This isn’t a smoke and mirrors trick in-and-of itself. It is common to name things that we don’t fully understand so we can at least quantify them. But “dark” energy is an unfortunate pick. It makes it sound like some negative energy from a sci-fi movie. But, in fact, the only thing we know about dark energy is how little we know about it. Well, that, and how much of a massive piece of the universe it actually fills.

It fills the apparently empty space between what we know of the universe. Meaning that empty space is anything but. And this is where the theory of Randomness and decay fall apart. There is something there. Play all the mnemonic tricks you wish, but at the end of the day empty space isn’t empty by a long shot. We may not know what it is, but we know what it isn’t: open, empty space. Potentialism predicts this. More to the point, Potentialism predicts the universe throwing us such curve balls.

To Potentialists, what we are seeing with expansion is the effects of Q4P, that central drive to the universe which makes everything seek higher levels of complexity. The Potentialist will point out quickly, in the face of expansion, that the void is filled with something. Dark energy. Therefore, it is not falling apart, but completely the opposite, growing. That humankind can’t understand what is growing is irrelevant. In fact, it is expected that the universe grow in new, unprecedented and not understood ways – it is destined to.

That this expansion is accelerating, only lends itself to what Potentialists will point to as an effect of Q4P. If the universe were expanding at a steady rate, it would be lacking the dynamism inherent in Q4P. It only makes sense that once it has a foothold, the speed would increase. That, at the core, is the principle of Q4P. Complexity never backtracks, it marches onward in both scope and speed.

One only has to look at the history of the universe and to trace the epochs that came before to see how things will always get more complex and the universe will grow. While the physicists of a past century might scratch their heads in confusion, Potentialism and Birnbaum himself will continue to show us the creation and growth that is intrinsic to a cosmos predicated on Infinite Quest for Potential, Complexification and Extraordinariation.





Inter-Disciplinary Metaphysical Warriors:

Harvard’s David Birnbaum & Yale’s David Gelernter

David Birbaum (b. 1950]
Computer Science major, CCNY
Harvard Business School
author of the iconic trilogy Summa Metaphysica philosophy series
Founder of Potentialism (the above-noted Summa Metaphysica’s Theory of Potential)
Editor-in-Chief, in-progress 10-volume Mesorah Matrix Jewish philosophy series (180+ essayists)
author, 7-volume Jews, Church & Civilization
day job: international rare gem dealer

David Gelernter [b. 1955]
Hebrew Literature major, Yale
Parallel computing maven
author: Mirror Worlds (on computing)
author: Judaism: A Way of Being
Fellow, Shalem Center (Jerusalem) [a Jewish Thought ‘think tank’]
day job: professor of computer science at Yale

cosmology – a theory of the origins and workings of the cosmic order
metaphysics – a unified construct integrating philosophy, science and cosmology

Birnbaum and Gelernter have never met; however, their gestalts (world views) would intersect on the global stage in January of 2014.

In March 2012, Harvard graduate David Birnbaum (see www.ExaminerPurpose.com) was the central speaker (& feature) at Bard College (motto: ‘a place to think’) Upstate, NY; the 3+ day international academic conference on Religion & Science was to showcase Birnbaum’s Theory of Potential. In the making since 1988, Birnbaum’s three-part series on Potentialism, Summa Metaphysica (1988, 2005, 2014) elucidates the Birnbaum hypothesis via three quite-distinct lenses – Religious, Spiritual and Secular. In-the-mix (aside from its primary thrust to so to speak ‘crack the cosmic code’) the work happens to unify Philosophy, Spirituality and Science, no-small-feat, in and of itself.

Birnbaum’s Theory of Infinite Potential is unique, powerful and original; it has been the focus over fifty focused feature articles in 2013-2014 alone. Taking-off where Spinoza left-off 400 years ago, Birnbaum essentially re-invents metaphysics. The guts of the theory is that an overarching cosmic dynamic which Birnbaum discerns and labels as Infinite Quest for Potential (shorthand notation: Q4P) drives our Cosmic Order.

In its wake, Birnbaum’s fully-integrated holistic and overarching Theory of Potential effectively decimates and overthrows the ‘apex predator’ Randomness/Atheist construct of the universe (championed by English universities) which exercised a stranglehold over academe for the entire 20th century.

Drawing a mix of scientists, philosophers and theologians alike, the Bard conference highlighted Birnbaum’s well-vetted 21st century cosmological model which unified – under the umbrella of one overarching metaphysics the fields of Philosophy, Spirituality and Science – typically self-contained disciplines of thought.

Two things were learned from that conference: 1) If there is one thing academics dislike, it is change; 2) if there is one thing academics hate, it is being wrong. Unfortunately for the Randomness/Atheist academics, Birnbaum’s Potentialism realized both to the halls of academia.

Undermining the long held beliefs of the 20th century’s chosen cosmological theory of England’s Randomness/Atheism, Birnbaum’s Potentialism represented a devastating departure from the entrenched pseudo-theory; Randomness/Atheism had posited for 100+ years in its (bizarre) one-sentence all-encompassing construct that All is random happenstance and chance; there is no direction or pattern to the universe.

Randomness/Atheism had not only de-legitimized the validity of Religion and Spirituality, it had also dismissed the classic fields of Philosophy and Metaphysics. The British Randomness/Atheists pro-actively fostered animosity between scientists on the one hand, and theologians and philosophers on the other; Birnbaum’s central theory of Potentialism proved to be an elegant bridge between all concerned. While globally embraced by a wide swath of philosophers, theologians, and a group of American scientists, orthodox British academics hated him for it.

To be clear, I do not mean they disagreed. That is normal, healthy and to be expected for any new cosmological models. This went far beyond that. Via nameless surrogates, British academia embarked on a concerted character assassination, not only of Birnbaum, but of anyone who attempted to defend him.

Even the president of Bard college, who hosted the event in March 2012, would come under withering attack; under mounting pressure from the Brits, thirteen months-later the Bard president buckled, about-faced and bizarrely claimed there had ever even ‘been’ a conference. After coming under withering attack from a freakish journalist in an Atheism-controlled academic journal, for ’undermining the world academic order’ Bard apparently quickly destroyed its set of official conference tapes; the Bard president was not aware that Birnbaum’s publishing outfit had made its own wall-to-wall video of the entire 4 days spanning the conference. The Birnbaum crew then posted its own set of tapes on its conference site www.Conference1000.com globally humiliating flip-flopping Bard. Conference observers wryly remarked that a new movie was in order: Metaphysics, Lies, and Videotapes

Bard may buckled from the focused vituperation, but Birnbaum and his intellectual allies didn’t.

Enter Gelernter

In January 2014, David Gelernter, of Yale, stepped forward to answer that question with his own counter-challenge. In a major feature article in Commentary Magazine, Closing of the Scientific Mind, Yale professor Gelernter, counter-attacked; he struck back in defense of discovery and the scientific process. He particularly attacks scientific hubris – which has noted had been on a campaign to intimidate and destroy humanism in the scientific community.

Gelernter specifically singles out the importance of values, morality, spirituality – and even beauty and religion – in humankind’s broader understanding of the universe as a whole. In the scientific community’s rapidly increasing need to reduce the entirety of the universe to quantifiable values, they’ve morphed into an academic clique, which attacks any semblance of humanism as invalid in understanding, truth and cosmology as a whole.

Gelernter notes that a British physicist apparently has about as much understanding of humanism as the average man on the street has of quantum physics – and rightly so. Physicists tread into cosmology like it is their native field. Even Stephen Hawking was crass enough to declare philosophy dead and useless compared to physical science.

Yet, in all their hubris, they have forgotten that cosmology does not even belong to the science of physics. Why is that? Because it has always been known that physical science cannot understand the totality of the universe. Physics is not thought. Physics is not art. Physics is not morality. Yet, all these things exist in our universe. Physicists and the scientific community at large, in an attempt to hijack cosmological discourse, have sought to incorrectly banish humanism and spirituality as myth – notwithstanding their significant acceptance by society at-large.

So, how has modern academia gotten away with slipping these blinders over people as a whole? Gelernter says the answer is obvious. Scientists have sought to, “belittle human life and values and virtues and civilization and moral, spiritual, and religious discoveries, which is all we human beings possess or ever will, they have outrun their own empiricism. They are abusing their cultural standing. Science has become an international bully.”

Two minds as one

And Birnbaum is in lockstep on this issue. To Potentialism, the (complete) universe is the universe, not just its tangible aspects. Roll that around on your tongue for a moment if it sounds repetitive. If it does, it’s a symptom of modern science’s influence on our understanding. Too often, academics will speak of void, energy, planets and stars, or trees and living creatures as the totality of existence. They say this as if having these thoughts about such matters are not a part of the universe as well. But the universe, put simply, is everything. Be it matter, energy, consciousness, thought, morality, potential spirituality. If the universe is everything, nothing can be excluded.

Like Gelernter, Birnbaum states this is an inescapable truth. When academia tries to frame this as anything but an undeniable truth, it is to reframe cosmology as something they can competently and completely explain – which they’ve never actually been capable of. One only need reference the now-dated 20th century Randomness construct to see how far off-track exclusive focus on physical science can take one in cosmology.

After pondering the mysteries of the universe for roughly a century, the atheist academics concluded that there is 1) no pattern in the universe, 2) no direction, 3) no purpose, 4) humanity is a freak occurrence, and 5) all is destined for pointless atrophy. The Atheistic ‘theory’ is basically a theory ‘No theory’; we do not have a clue; the ultimate ‘hollow theory’.

Birnbaum himself is quick to point out why they found no answer. Science isn’t cosmology and academia had a loaded deck – they were destined to fail when they began because they never had, and never will have, the tools necessary to crack the Cosmic Code. The reason is simple, and so utterly obvious, it is self-evident. When you remove humanism from the equation, you’re no longer looking at the universe. How are you to make an informed conclusion about something you are incapable of truly seeing? Birnbaum knows this. Gelernter knows this. Cosmology, in the absence of humanism/consciousness/cosmic advance is just a collection of some measurements.


No flaw has been discerned in Birnbaum’s Theory of Potential since first introduced to the world via Summa I (Ktav Publishing, 1988). A Course Text at over a dozen colleges globally, Summa Metaphysica has been the focus of over fifty feature articles in 2013-2014 alone. See www.SummaCoverage.com.

Recent hi-level academic works dovetailing with Birnbaum’s Theory of Potential include the following:
Programming the Universe (Knopf, 2006) by Professor of Quantum Mechanics Seth Lloyd of MIT;
Mind & Cosmos (Oxford Press, 2012) by Professor of Philosophy & Law Thomas Nagel of NYU;
Our Mathematical Universe (Knopf, 2014) by Professor of Physics Max Tegmark of MIT.

For further reference: