Theory for Virtual Causality


A Theory That Explains Existence from Pure Nothingness

By Anthony Snyder <->

September 19, 2007

Also see: Toggleverse Theory



Virtual Causality is a theory that explains how existence formed from pure nothingness. And, this is my first major attempt to word the theory so that people with different world views can understand it. For the most part, plain English is used throughout. The algorithm for prime numbers is provided as evidence only, and is to the credit of the professors cited.

My one assumption is that the rules of logic cannot be broken. I'll expand on this as I show my arguments for Virtual Causality.

The name, "Virtual Causality" represents a cause-and-effect system without a real flow of time.  It is based on the idea that an interactive real existence can operate along the flow of a fake time (to be explained in the following pages).

I'll start by asking basic questions about the nature of:  logic, causality, inevitability, tangibility, change, and time.  And then I'll piece together arguments for the theory.

The challenge is to get from pure nothingness to existence (possibly a pre Big Bang existence) using logic.


Why Start With Pure Nothingness?

If an explanation starts with “something” then it is not complete because it would also need to include an explanation for that something.  The very popular Big Bang theory and its offshoots all start with a tangible existence.  This is “something”.  The theory of creation is also incomplete without first explaining how a creator got there.

If a theory is to claim that existence “was always there”, then there must be some plausible explanation as to how that can be.  Such an explanation must show how pure nothingness forced an existence at all times.  In order to be logical, this explanation must be complete. If it either fully or partially depends on an unexplained mystery, then it is not complete.

More simply, the explanation must start with a state of pure nothingness, otherwise the explanation is incomplete.


Our Words Limit Us

Now we have defined the challenge:  to get from pure nothingness to existence, using logic. However, each of these words bring in subtle assumptions that need not be a part of this challenge.  It is important to carefully analyze each one to come up with their true scope in light of the context.  Otherwise, our choice of words may prevent us from finding the answer.

We'll start by examining the starting condition of “pure nothingness” and the current condition of “existence”.  And then we'll delve into the realm of logic, to more fully understand the implications it has on this challenge. I have arranged a series of concepts on the following pages to help arrive at a more accurate definition for the scope of the challenge. For some people this process will seem a bit slow, however, I've found that each of these initial concepts are stumbling blocks for different groups of people, so I will carefully explain each one in my attempt to get through to more people.


What is Pure Nothingness?

Matter, energy and dimensions (including time), are all quantifiable and tangible.  All of these are "something".  An explanation for existence must start without them.  Our starting point must be a dimensionless void.  If we were to say that the starting point was something more than a dimensionless void, then we would be starting with “something”, which is not going to lead to a complete explanation.


How Do we Clarify the Word Existence In the Context of This Challenge?

Let's ask ourselves what it is exactly that we want to explain. The answer to this question, minus all unnecessary assumptions, will then become the finish line for the challenge.

Naturally, it is our observation of existence that has resulted in our having such a challenge in the first place. So what then is it, about our observation, that necessitated the question?

Or, in other words...


What Exactly Do Our Observations Dictate to Us About Existence?

A relatively common view of reality is that it is tangible, interactive and includes matter, energy, time and space. This explanation seems safe to many who spend the time to think about it. And it is backed by years of scientific research that shows mathematical consistency in the observable interactions involving these concepts. However, what if there is another way to interpret these facts? Stop and think for a moment... What do we know for sure from our observations?

If we observe something that contradicts a theory, it is easy to then jump to the conclusion that the theory was wrong. However, the more accurate way to look at this is that the observation, the theory, and/or the reasoning to connect the two could be wrong.  If we don’t look carefully at all three areas, it would be very easy to then misread the mandates produced by the observation.

Conversely, if we observe something that is consistent with a theory, it is easy to then jump to the conclusion that the theory is correct. Consistent results do not necessarily mean a theory is right.

For example, let’s look at a table…

You observe the table by looking at it.  You feel the table with your hands.  You interact with the table by putting dishes upon it and eating at it.  These experiences convince you that it is tangible and real.  However, if logic is applied then there is no proof (from the observation alone) that the table is a tangible thing.  These experiences only prove an apparent “functional tangibility” relative to your hands and eyes and mind.  Your proof of the specific nature of the table is relative to your proof of the specific nature of your hands and eyes, and your mind’s interpretation of this.  The “proof” is relative to these other things.

If your hands were not physical, but rather thought-based apparitions, then it is also likely that the table was a thought-based apparition.  Or, if they were both projections from a more complex physical realm that we cannot directly see, then they were mere projections reflecting this other realm, not the realm itself.  Or, if they were indeed composed of molecules, and we were to discover someday that molecules have no tangible existence, then the table, your hands, your eyes, and your mind, will also have no tangible existence.  And, if we dreamt that these things were there, then it was merely of the mind.  These are just some of the possible explanations for the experiences with the table that do not require a tangible table to exist.


So How Then Do We Gain Anything From Observation?

Let’s try handling this problem by dividing the “reality” of the table into two separate concepts:  tangibility and effects.  Through observation you have no proof that the table is tangible.  However, you do have proof of the effects of your interaction with it.

The effects that you experienced as you interacted with the table must have happened (in some capacity).  Regardless of the medium from which these effects took place, your observations and interactions with the table happened.  Even if it was all thought-based, the effects still happened.  The evidence of observation and interaction proves that the effects of interacting with the table were real, and do nothing to prove that a tangible finite table was real.

When you ride a bicycle down the street, the street the bicycle and you are all experiencing effects as you interact with each other.  However, the tangibility of each is a complete unknown.  Observation only tells us that they interact with each other, and that they experience the effects of such interaction.  What we call “tangibility” cannot be proven one way or another by mere observation.

Observation mandates one thing:  that effects happen.  Therefore our explanation for existence must at a minimum explain how effects can be produced.

We have defined both the starting point and the finish line for the challenge. Now we will delve into logic, to better understand its role in meeting this challenge...


Properties from Logic

It is easy for people to think that logic is only a notion.  They think that logic is a human invention, and they think that illogical things really happen.  These opinions are likely to come from the limited views of reality that we mere humans tend to have.  We don’t have enough facts, nor do we have enough “marbles” to always see the correct explanation for things.  So it is easy to instead believe the wrong explanation (one that seems to fit based on our limited understanding), or to believe that there was no logical explanation.

The vastness of pure logic goes way beyond our limited views of reality.  Our over generalized concepts and perceptions handicap our understanding of it.  However, we do know enough about logic to utilize it at a very basic level:

1.     We know that contradictions aren’t logical

2.     We know that where there’s more than one plausible explanation we can’t conclude for or against any one of them

3.     We know that logic cannot change

Pure logic includes all the numeric constants, rules, algorithms and formulas for pure mathematics.  To map pure logic would require an infinite amount of space.  For example there are an infinite number of digits to pi, and there are an infinite number of prime numbers.  Yet all of these digits and numbers are a part of the structure of pure logic.

Some of us know a lot more about logic than others.  However, none of us know all of logic.  Logic is so vast, that a computer with enough memory chips to hold all of logic would be larger than our universe.  It is this logic, the full complete and perfect logic that we must look at and ask ourselves some basic questions.

1.     Does it have properties?

2.     And do these properties apply to the challenge of finding a mechanism that produced existence?

It is a basic assumption to this theory that everything must have a logical explanation.  And that all the unexplained mysteries and unknowns could be explained if we had all the facts, and if we had the brain power to process them all correctly. If this assumption is incorrect, then we will at some point be witness to a demonstration of something that is illogical. Until then, I consider it safe to assume that existence is logical.

It is important to understand the distinction between logic and science.  Logic goes beyond what we currently know and understand.  It is perfect and unchanging.  However, science is in a state of development.  It is imperfect.  It is based on what we currently know and understand, and it includes many errors and omissions.

And another distinction is between the laws of physics and logic.  While the rules and constants of logic impose themselves on all of existence, the laws of physics impose themselves on a universe.  For example, if we were to someday communicate with an alien race from another star system, we would find out that they have the same laws of physics that we do.  Though we come from different star systems the laws of physics would be identical because we both live within the same universe.  However, if we were to communicate with an alien race from another universe, their laws of physics could be different.  The laws of physics may be different from universe to universe.  However, logic will be identical, regardless. (Mainstream physicists may say otherwise on this point, but I'm convinced they are wrong).

There is more to logic than there is to our universe. It contains more diversity, and more scope. And, it has specific properties that any intelligent life form in any universe may discover independently of the others.


The Property of Existing

The fact that logic forces itself on everything is evidence that it exists.  This is a non-tangible yet real existence.

We did not invent logic, we discovered it.  We discovered the prime numbers, the rules for geometry, and so on.  Logic controls all effects, regardless of whether or not they were observed.  Therefore even though logic is not tangible, it does have its own existence, one that affects all other existence.


The Property of Being Unchangeable

If logic were changeable it would have contradictions, and contradictions aren’t logical.  Therefore, we can deduce that logic is unchangeable.

Logic could not have been created, because then it would have been changeable.  There was no choice about it, logic had to be, and it had to be in exactly the same form that it is in now, always.  If it had a beginning, then it would be changeable, and then it would not be logic.


The Property of Inevitability

Since logic currently exists and is unchangeable, then it must also be inevitable at all times.  If it were not inevitable at all times, then at least one of those statements would be false.  Therefore logic must reside within pure nothingness at the beginning of existence.  To say that logic didn't exist at that point would be a contradiction.

Therefore through deduction we can conclude that the starting point to explain existence, though devoid of tangibility, was not devoid of properties.

Now, let’s try to connect the dots…


Effects Are Produced Through The Execution of Algorithms

Let’s start by considering the function of algorithms.  Algorithms follow a set of steps and conditions to produce one or more effects.  It could be said that all effects within a logical existence are produced through the execution of algorithms.  This is not the same as saying that all effects are predictable. It is possible for algorithms to include quantum mathematics.  And in these cases effects, though logical, would not necessarily be predictable, even though algorithms produced them.


Every Iterative Algorithm Spawns a Virtual Causality

An iterative algorithm is simply an algorithm that repeats, using the output of the previous run as the input for the next run. Imagine a computer program running as a loop, always processing the data left behind by the previous run.

Now, imagine the output of an iterative algorithm. Although we don't have to, lets visualize this output as a list of numbers. Each iteration produced one group of these numbers, all arranged in sequence, starting at a beginning, and either ending at some final group of numbers (at which point it repeats), or going on forever.

First, ask yourself how you visualize this list of numbers. Is it a simple list of unchanging numbers with no further meaning? Or is it a dynamic progression, producing effects with each iteration that conform to a set of rules and properties?

Imagine if you will, an "outside perspective", that consists of a normal view of such a list of numbers, sitting there motionless and lifeless. And then, imagine if you will, an "inside perspective", that consists of a view from a single point along this "flow" of iterations. This single point may be any point, however, this perspective is quite different because from this point there may be rules, actions and properties that flow along a trick time, caused by the iterative algorithm.

Let's start with a simple example:  Even though prime numbers are not aware, we can imagine that they are, and by doing so we will gain an “inside perspective” on how a "prime number universe" exists and functions from this perspective.

Imagine that you at this moment in time are one of these prime numbers, specifically the prime number "23".  Then, from that vantage point imagine the previous prime number ("19") as yourself a moment earlier in time.  And then contemplate how you've grown since then.  You've grown up from a "19" to a "23".  You are proud of this achievement.  Now think ahead to what you may grow to next, some larger number that you can only imagine.  You, the "prime number entity" are the only being in your very simple universe.  You notice yourself growing older and more sophisticated as you move along a “time line”.  You feel this flow of time.  Your growth is dictated by rules and properties from some sort of cause-and-effect system by which your universe must abide, and which flows along this same “time line”.  And although there is only one object in your universe (you), you live forever in the one infinite dimension of your universe: time.

Now let's talk about this example a bit:  It can be shown that all prime numbers can be produced by an iterative algorithm.  Though the number of variables required by this algorithm grows to infinity it is nonetheless an iterative algorithm for producing all prime numbers.


Provided for reference only, this is the only known iterative algorithm to accurately produce prime numbers (algorithm provided by Manindra Agrawal, Neeraj Kayal, and Nitin Saxena, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur):


Input:  integer n > 1.

1.     If (n = ab for a N and b > 1), output COMPOSITE

2.     Find the smallest r such that or (n) > log2 n.

3.     If 1 < (a,n) < n for some a r, output COMPOSITE

4.     If n r, output PRIME.

5.     For a = 1 to [√ř (r) log n] do

If ((X + a)n Xn + a (mod Xr – 1, n)), output COMPOSITE;

6.     Output PRIME;


This formula is evidence that Virtual Causality is possible. Now I will do my best to explain why.

Since prime numbers are a permanent fixture within the structure of pure logic they gain each of the properties listed above, including the “inevitability property”.  This positions the prime numbers at the beginning of existence.  It can therefore be argued that an iterative algorithm for producing those numbers also gains this “inevitability property”.

An iterative algorithm takes data output from one iteration as input for the next iteration. Then the next iteration uses the previously output data as its input, and so on, through to infinity, or to some point of repetition, depending on the algorithm.

From here we can visualize a virtual time line along the endless iterations produced by the algorithm, and a cause-and-effect system along the same virtual time line.  This is a Virtual Causality.  Though static from an “outside perspective”, a virtual change, a virtual time, and a virtual cause-and-effect system all function in zero time along the iterations of this “prime number universe”.

All iterative algorithms produce their own independent universes in the same way.  The “realities” produced by these algorithms are not tangible, however, they do execute algorithms (in zero time), and therefore they produce effects.

Most (and likely all) effects that occur within this virtual cause-and-effect existence will occur in the same direction as the flow of the iterations.  This is because the algorithms hosted by the iterative algorithm are most likely going to involve the flow of iterations (produced by the iterative algorithm) in their function.  So any virtual causality supporting a self awareness algorithm will produce self awareness at a level that experiences one step at a time, rather than all at once.  In other words, effects (even including the effect of self awareness) may be produced one moment at a “time”, in a “time” that doesn’t even exist.

If this is too hard to imagine, then think back to the iterative algorithm that produced prime numbers. These (the algorithm and the numbers) must exist as a real inevitable yet intangible structure (as they glean the properties of logic), and the algorithm executes, from one iteration to the next, yet the execution is instant, timeless, and always present, because all prime numbers already exist.

In my opinion it is very likely that this instant-endless-always-present "time" is the ONLY TIME that there is. And that there is no such thing as the normal time that we imagine that there is.

From the “outside perspective” all we see is an infinite list of numbers, motionless and lifeless, and with no apparent time line.  However, from the “inside perspective” (relative to the various processes occurring along the path of the iterations at one point) there is a virtual time line along which a causality operates.  This is a fully functional causality with its own rules.  Let’s call these rules “laws of physics”.  And, let’s call this causality, "a universe”.

A functional causality with virtual change is born.  The virtual timeline defined by the flow of iterations is real relative to all entities experiencing these effects (from the “inside perspective” only). If we were to view a universe (any universe) from the "outside perspective", all we would see is a list of numbers, motionless and lifeless.

Real change does not occur because the data from all iterations always exists to infinity.  Instead, virtual change occurs relative to vantage points along the flow of the iterations that are output in zero-time.

Within our universe we sense a flow of time; we reflect on our past moments in time and we imagine our future moments in time.  However, we really simultaneously exist and imagine at many points along virtual time.  And, there is no such thing as "real" or "normal" time.  The difference is that we are experiencing our universe from a limited “inside perspective”, not from the “outside perspective”.  The self awareness algorithm tricked us into the more limited perspective of a point along a virtual time line that flows forward in sequence.  All (or nearly all) rules and processes affecting things in our universe follow along with this same "trick time".

For this reason you will see that all universes are actually static and deterministic in nature (aside from the ones produced by a quantum iterative algorithm, to be discussed later).


More Properties to Pure Nothingness

As previously explained, pure nothingness includes infinite abstract structure, the inevitable structure of pure logic.  Now, as we ponder the iterative algorithm aspect of this structure and look at the magnitude of numbers produced, we have to wonder, isn't this a large computational task?  The prime numbers go on forever, and many other iterative algorithms will also have infinite outputs.  By what mechanism were all those numbers produced?  Some super powerful computers running in zero time?

How can an infinite number of variables be processed through an infinite number of iterations?  And, how can the answer, be produced without time?  This seems to be quite a feat, and yet it must be, otherwise we could not say that the prime numbers exist, nor the output to any other iterative algorithm within the structure of pure logic.  However, we know that the prime numbers do exist because they affect existence on their own, with or without our notion of them.  The prime numbers (and all other rules and constants within pure mathematics) force themselves on existence, thus establishing an “inevitability property” that we cannot dispute.

Therefore the functional equivalent to an infinitely powerful zero time computer capable of handling an infinite number of variables to an infinite number of iterations to an infinite number of algorithms, is also an inevitable property of pure nothingness.

The prime numbers exist on their own accord, and yet they are infinite.  There was no real computer doing this task, the results were inevitable and as such simply exist.  Therefore there was no limitation imposed by the processing of the iterations.  The algorithms, the processor, and the results, are all non-tangible static structures.  They exist as rules, constants, and properties only.  They function, and they execute algorithms, but only in zero-time. And, only from the "inside perspective".

The seemingly meaningless prospect of living in a static zero-time universe is irrelevant when considering the effects to the algorithms, and the expansiveness of the output.  From there, true interaction, conscious thought, and diverse worlds may exist with limitless and beautiful detail.

Ok, so how do we get from a virtual causality to endless diverse objects and life?



Algorithmic Evolution

One way to produce algorithmic evolution is from an iterative algorithm that processes specific identical rules within the cells inside a multidimensional matrix.

As an over simplified example lets take a look at Conway's Life, a cool little life simulation program from the monochrome era.  This example is not sophisticated enough to produce the host causality that we are looking for.  However, it may be similar in format, and it’s quite simple.  Therefore it makes sense to start here.

Let’s start with a search on “Conway’s Life”, and download someone’s shareware program for this.

In Conway's Life you'll see that the screen is divided up into a 2D grid of very small cells, each cell may be off or on.  We will imagine that a cell that is on is alive, while a cell that is off is dead.  This 2D grid is a matrix of cells that all apply the same algorithm, once per iteration (called “generation” in the case of Conway’s Life).  This algorithm counts the number of dead and live neighbor cells, and uses the results to determine whether or not the target cell will be born, survive, or die during the next iteration.  The algorithm is extremely simple, the matrix is 2D, and yet these simulated life forms will crawl around on the screen, eat each other, and do all sorts of marvelous things.  This illustrates how it is possible for a simple algorithm to host a matrix (realm) of values, and to process these values in a manner that can harbor a universe of potentially unlimited size, and of potentially unlimited change and diversity.  However, more importantly, it illustrates how an algorithm may host evolution.

The algorithm coordinates a 2d matrix of cells, and activates Conway's Life within this realm.  Of course this example is limited to the constraints of the program and to the computer running the program.  The cells had to fit on the screen and the iterative algorithm had to function within the processing constraints of the computer.

If Conway's Life had been activated by the inevitable structure of logic then it would not have had these constraints.

The matrix would have been infinite in size, not limited to the size of the screen, and the iterations would have occurred in zero time, not at the speed of the CPU inside a computer.  However, most likely the life forms would have died out immediately and therefore produced a meaningless universe.  This is the fate of a Conway's Life universe that does not have a well conceived starting scenario.

Additionally, the iterative algorithm to activate Conway's Life Forms was too simple for actual evolution; it only vaguely looked like evolution for a short while.  What we need now is an iterative algorithm for a fully functional algorithmic evolution, one that supports an infinite multidimensional matrix.

Endlessly increased diversity is also an issue.  If the iterative algorithm ever receives a repeat data-set then time would appear to loop.  And then the universe would process the same series of events over and over.

However, if the iterative algorithm of the universe were continually forming new data combinations then this looping would never happen.  In such a universe evolution and other developmental processes would continue to develop through infinity.


The Host Causality (AKA Our Parent Universe)

This algorithmic evolution is similar to Darwinian evolution, yet much simpler.  It runs its course inside an infinite matrix rather than on a world.  And it does not require complex protein molecules.  It only requires a relatively simple algorithm doing its thing within the inevitable structure of logic.  And, with algorithmic evolution all objects are produced, not just the living objects.

The self awareness algorithm compares past iteration data-states of "objects" to current iteration data-states of those same "objects" (algorithmic objects).  At a micro level this comparison was performed by the same algorithm that produced the flow of time for those intelligent beings (the iterative algorithm that spawned the virtual causality).  At a macro level the comparison is produced by algorithms supported by algorithmic evolution (secondary algorithms), such as the self awareness algorithm.  All secondary algorithms are “built” by combinations of cell-states and their properties, as managed by the iterative algorithm (primary algorithm).

The primary algorithm defines time and space for the universe, while the secondary algorithms produce all the additional effects within the universe. The secondary algorithms naturally behave according to the rules for evolution, and along the lines of the shared time and space that hosts them. And these secondary algorithms produce the effects that we experience and call our reality.

Time seems real and sequential.  Intelligent life evolves.  Many species of life and varieties of non-life "exist" through their algorithmic interactions with each other.The complexity of the host algorithm does not matter.  All that matters is that it adopts the property of inevitability (which it gleans from pure logic).  If the algorithm “happens”, then so does the universe.

In my opinion it is more likely that this algorithmic universe is not our universe, but rather, our parent universe.  And that we instead live within a child universe.  One that has laws of physics that reconcile to the parent universe.  This is because all child universes exist entirely inside their parents.  They have to due to the fact they are operating within the constraints of the output of the same host algorithm (above). I also have a theory to explain the formation our universe.  Many years ago I posted it at several sites under the name "Imagination Entity Theory", but it was so poorly written that my only feedback was from what seemed to be stoned individuals, so I took it down. Once I have time I'll put it back up here, better worded. This is a theory that though appears unrealistic as a whole, each step can be shown mathematically to be probable. Plus it explains all my observations, including psychic abilities, and accelerated evolution.


Implications for Quantum Iterative Algorithms

It would seem likely that an iterative host algorithm will produce a universe that must be deterministic, while a quantum iterative host algorithm would produce one that is not deterministic.

However, at this point in time I lean away from the validity of quantum physics (despite the math adding up), it looks to me like a cover for an error, just like dark matter and dark energy, these look more like covers for errors to me. Though I'm really in no position to talk since this is not my field.



Your donation helps me develop my existence and universe theories further.