Grand Unification .It Could even Overcome Separation On occasion I have speculated that the increasing fragmentation of scientific knowledge could hasten the advent of another more coherent paradigm. On the other hand, the progress toward the unification of physics can be taken as evidence that the world is a mental construct in the sense that mathematics is unreasonably effective. Recent developments seem to be favoring the latter alternative, which I will now examine.

Over the last few years theoretical physics has been making some spectacular advances toward the ultimate unification of the fundamental forces of nature. The progress is such that it is even providing further impetus to the unification of various branches of mathematics. All of this should be grist for the philosophical questions concerning the nature of physical and mathematical reality.

Pythagoras is credited as the first to suggest that reality has an underlying mathematical structure. When this fact is not simply being taken for granted, it is often given a mystical significance as I have indicated on several occasions.

Further advances in mathematics and physics might push us right into immaterialism. The physics would show that the world is a mental construct and the math would show us how to manipulate that construct more directly. It would be an indisputable case of mind over matter. Coming about in this fashion, the new paradigm would also help to maintain the technological and economic continuity that is suggested by the teleological orientation of our world.

An outcome of this nature, by further underpinning the continuity, would help to alleviate if not obviate the problem of separation. The greater emphasis on the purely mathematical could lessen and eventually eliminate the disparity between high and low tech.

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rev. 10/1/98