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Posts Tagged ‘theories of everything’

Knowing the mind of God: Seven theories of everything

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 25, 2012

This story has been edited to clarify that it discusses different approaches being taken to develop a theory of everything.

The “theory of everything” is one of the most cherished dreams of science. If it is ever discovered, it will describe the workings of the universe at the most fundamental level and thus encompass our entire understanding of nature. It would also answer such enduring puzzles as what dark matter is, the reason time flows in only one direction and how gravity works. Small wonder that Stephen Hawking famously said that such a theory would be “the ultimate triumph of human reason – for then we should know the mind of God”.

But theologians needn’t lose too much sleep just yet. Despite decades of effort, progress has been slow. Many physicists have confined themselves to developing “quantum gravity” theories that attempt to reconcile quantum mechanics with general relativity – a prerequisite for a theory of everything. But rather than coming up with one or two rival theories whose merits can be judged against the evidence, there is a profusion of candidates that address different parts of the problem and precious few clues as to which (if any) might turn out to be correct. Read the rest of this entry »

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