BC - The Great Disciplines
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At the Hayden Center, several college/university level courses have been collectively labeled “The Great Disciplines” because of their importance and frequent reference in discussions of the nature of reality. This particular brief course identifies, defines, and characterizes the specific disciplines comprising the great courses. As a discipline, each course has a component that addresses the nature of reality as developed using the scientific method. Importantly, the assumptions associated with each disciplines are stated.
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Like all brief courses, this free brief course summarizes the associated fee based short course in suficient detail to support the decision to enroll in the short course.
I’m Lee Hayden and I commit to making”The Great Disciplines” brief and short courses of high quality and exceptionally beneficial to you.
Man has made dramatic progress in understanding the reality in which He resides and has enjoyed the quality of life benefits derived from each new understanding. Of course, not surprising, Man has not yet acquired absolute knowledge of the universe, i.e., absolute knowledge of physical reality produced by the universe. Instead, Man has developed knowledge of the universe (physical reality) that may be labeled using terms such as limited, temporary, or practical. Hopefully, the path of developed knowledge leads to absolute knowledge. Philosphy warns of the danger of assuming that the universe is naturally mathematic versus placing mathematics onto the universe. Similarly, use of the scientific method may not guarantee that Man’s knowledge development is on an optimally reliable path.
My starting point is Descarte’s starting point: “I think; therefore, I am.” Thus, I believe and do not doubt my own existence as a fact. And, by extension, I think that my existence is contingent on a supportive environment and a creative source of both myself and the supportive environment. The critical problem is that I do not know the essence of anything, including myelf, my supportive environment, or the creative source
By definition, the great disciplines consists of the following brief/short courses: philosophy, theology, physics, chemistry, biology, psychology,and sociology.
The term, “Great Disciplines” is frequently used by this website’s brief and short courses. However, its definition is becoming increasingly necessary in scientific discourse because of the growing acceptance of the idea of a self-organizing universe. From Man’s perspective, the primary purpose of the universe is the organization of matter to increasing complexity, as will be discussed later. Equivalently, we can say that the universe is organizing reality so that reality is emergent. All the great disciplines make a contribution to our understanding of emergent reality.
The definitions for the great disciplines, identified below, are tailored to be helpful in understanding the essay discussions. These definitions may appear to be somewhat specialized compared to normal dictionary definitions.
All great disciplines rely on the scientific methodology to produce facts, hypothese, theories, models, and paradigms.
An artist depiction of the self-oganizing universe is presented below. The artist has done an excellent job of illustrating the concept of an three dimensional universe on a two dimenstional drawing canvas. The galaxies shown are not known real galaxies.
Of course, the universe does not have the sharp boundaries suggested by the parallel circles and and the curved-arcs perpendicular to the circles. Each circle corresponds to a time-slice of the universe on which all points are the same time from the big bang. Time-slices increase in diameter the further out on a curved-arc, indicating an expanding universe. As shown, the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate. In subsequent discussion, it might be useful to imagine the above drawing without the circles and curved arcs. We shall claim, as a fact, that our universe does not have boundaries.
The artist’s concept presented above has many benefits as an introductory concept, but its limitations as a real world concept are readily apparent. The real world has three spatial dimenstions along with the time dimension. In our mental visualization of the real world, envision the big bang occurring at the center of a sphere with parallel concentric spherical surfaces. A given spherical surface corresponds to a time-surface of the universe on which all points are the same time from the big bang. For an expanding universe, the surface area of a time-surface S expands at a rate greater than S > t2, where k is an appropriate constant and t is the time from the big bang. Additionally, in an expanding universe, all other galaxies will appear to be receding from your galaxy.
In the pocess of developing a theory about the cause of our universe, we begin by making the assumption that the universe was born as some sort of meta-fluctuation, known as the Big Bang, in an underlying meta-physical space. This assumption may be thought of as a fundamental progected requirement upon which our theory is based. We anticipate that we will be making additional assumptions as our knowledge expands. Hopeully, our knowledge base will grow such that the number of assumptions can be reduced.
Imagine any point in meta-physical space-time before the big bang meta-fluctuaon occurred. Our universe has not yet come into existence. Meta-physical space-time extends from negative infinity to posiitive infinity in all three directions. As another pair of assumptions, we assume that metaphysical space contains dark energy and dark matter
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