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The principle of analogy

Between Zero and Eternity

The notion of analogy has been used since the ancient times in various contexts and different ways. This fact shows the vastness of the notion. After all the principle of analogy is a principle of logic. The word itself reveilles its meaning: logos, percentage, part, fraction, or relation between two or more things. The meaning of logos is not only logic but cause as well (in the beginning there is Logos), in which case the principle underlines the path we have to take: From the Beginning, by using some, lets say, accelerating pace, through analogies and comparisons, till our final result or goal. The principle lies within the foundations of human thought, and outgrows with the process of reasoning, so that by dividing and conquering the subject of our study we can reform it like a garment to fit in perfectly with the shape of our logic. As the one, so the other one

=> <= ?
We will leave aside what made A in the previous figure! But the phrase summarizes the relation of man with the rest of the world, as a basic principle: If the world exists, so do I. Furthermore, if I can think of God, then I can reach Him. This is the same expression as the one we started with. It is a typical relation of induction or symmetry. As is A, so is B. If A=B and B=C, then A=C. Additionally, if A=B, then B=A. In other words, we demand that an equality is commutative because our logic is a symmetrical process: If God created man, then man made a god in his mind, so that if this god is omnipotent so is man. Therefore God must exist. This symmetry is valid regarding all our logical assumptions because on both sides lies

human intelligence. The god we asked ourselves before, is one of human need, compatible with our understanding. The question if there exists a real God outside human intelligence, is in fact out of the question.

Bohrs model for the hydrogen atom 

The previous conclusion shows the importance of the principle. It asserts if something is real and genuine, in comparison with some measure we consider fundamental. For example, the notion of space and time is restored, in accordance with our principle, by a basic corresponding quantity (meter, or second, etc.). So when we say that a distance is 100 meters, we mean that it is 100 times greater than a ruler whose length, as we have arbitrarily defined, is 1 meter. This sort of dividing in order to compare and analyze the parts till a final measurable quantity is reached, is a method consistent with our principle.

In physics, the principle sets the limits between classical physics and quantum physics. (We shall use the terms analogy and correspondence synonymously in our context.) In other words, quantum physics must reduce to classical physics in the so called classical limit. The correspondence principle was founded by Bohr, in 1920, or somewhat earlier. What Bohr made was a simple hypothesis: An atom should be, more or less, like a planetary system, with the electrons representing the planets and the nucleus standing for the sun. Instead of the

gravitational force, which binds the planets together with the sun, it would be the electrical force which holds the electrons together with the nucleus. Nevertheless, the electric force can be positive or negative, while gravity is always negative (attractive). Electrons, having negative charge repel each other, while they are attracted by the positively charged protons in the nucleus. In fact, the resemblance of an atom with a planetary system is a very weak one. The new element that Bohr introduced was the notion of quantization. Electrons must follow quantized orbits of a specific amount of energy. This offers stability to the atom. On the other hand, planets can move closer or get away from each other. (Our moon, for example, is moving away from us, slowly of course.) But electrons are trustworthy because they remain firmly attached to their orbits unless they are forced to absorb or emit a quantum of energy.

The analogy of Bohrs atomic model with Newtons planetary system is so skin- deep that offers the right predictions only for the hydrogen atom, while Newtons law of gravity holds for an infinite number of planets. In addition, Bohrs model cannot explain why, in the classical limit, gravity is not quantized, and why nature is quantized in the microscopic level. We see, nonetheless, that Bohrs model was based on the analogy principle, in the same way that Newton built his planetary model by comparison of a free falling apple with a universal force of nature. As does one, so does everything, we could say in this case.

Still, despite the fact that the laws of classical physics are reproduced by quantum physics in the classical limit, quantum physics seems to violate the analogy principle, since the paradoxical phenomena of the microcosm (non- locality, for example) cannot be transferred analogically to the macrocosm of classical physics. Why the quantum- mechanical wave- function collapses at the moment when a quantum- mechanical, microscopic, system touches the classical, macroscopic world (not to mention the collapse of the wave- function by the conscience of the observer), remains the greatest mystery of modern quantum mechanics. The many- worlds interpretation of Everett resolves the paradox by supposing the existence of other universes, so that if the wave- function collapses in one universe, it evolves undamaged in another. This way, however, we shift ourselves from a many- orbits model of Bohrs atom to a many- worlds model of our minds, according to the principle of analogy, without having answered what justifies our assumptions in the first place.

The principle of analogy and the cycles of truth

For the sake of argument: Comparison of an inverse square function (green) with the Gaussian (red) and the sum of a geometric progression (blue). As we can see, at values higher than 2.5 the first function (blue) and the third one (green) converge. In this way of analogy, someone could say that Newtons force (which is an inverse square function) is an approximation in a range of values greater than 2.5 of a unified force which is expressed in terms of a geometric progression.

There must be more than a few, I believe, who suspect that Newtons law of gravity is an approximation, for a certain range of values of distance, of a more fundamental force of nature which behaves as gravity in the Newtonian limit of the macrocosm, becomes the force that is connected nowadays with dark energy in larger scales, and, why not, transforms itself into another force in the smallest scales. Of course, in order to prove such an assumption, one should be cleverer than Newton, Bohr, Everett, Einstein, and others altogether, before being ridiculed. However, we should keep in mind that, whichever the new theory, in a year or a hundred years from present, it will still be an expression of our basic principle As one, so another, so everything. I would like here to show explicitly how the analogy principle works, with a simple logical diagram, that I call circles of truth.

Circles of truth

We can imagine our search for Truth represented by the previous diagram. Each circle corresponds to a circle of attained knowledge. As we move from the inner center outwards, each next circle expands, so does human perception of the world. The center represents a unitary circle. The circles are homocentric but their radius gets smaller as we move outwards (so that the geometric progression we will draw converges). If, inversely, we imagine an object free falling towards the center, the circles expand, as if the object accelerated in the field of conscience. This parallelism is done on purpose. Newtons law of free fall presupposes an inverse square force that causes the acceleration. The reason, however, why it is an inverse square force and not, for example, of inverse cube or simply of inverse distance, while this fact guarantees closed orbits, is unknown. (Dark energy which is regarded as the cause of universal expansion may be related with a force proportional to the distance, for example.) What is of interest to us here, however, is the analogy: As the circles of truth expand, so do the circles of the force that causes the universal attraction. From this point on, it is purposeful to show that the circles produce a geometric progression if each following radius is by a steady ratio smaller than

the previous one. If is this ratio, r0 the radius of the unitary circle, rn the radius of the n-th circle, Ao and An the corresponding areas, then we have: 1=r12=2r02=2A0 2=r22=2r12=(2)2r02=2A0 and by induction n=rn2=rn-12=(2)nr02=(2)nA0 so the sum of the geometric series is n=(2)nr02=A0(2)n=A0

The solution of a geometric series can be found in any elementary text of calculus. What matters here is the fact that the previous mathematical process is indicative of the comparison between an object falling with rate and our logical perception of the same or a similar event. Now, let me draw another graph:

Comparison of the negative inverse square function with the sum of a corresponding geometric series

The first function (blue) represents the aforementioned geometric progression, while the second one (red) the acceleration of gravity (for simplicity constants are set equal to one). Now, the difference is the negative sign, which in the case of Newtons force implies an attractive force. As far as the geometric series is concerned, the negative sign can be regarded as a simple substitution: -. (If >1, -<1, and if the ratio is smaller than one, the geometric series converges.) We see again the characteristic similarity of the two relations. Their divergence starts at smaller distances, a fact that should be expected since, paradoxically enough, the force of gravity for point- like objects in contact goes to infinity.

The construction of our circles of truth took into account a ratio smaller than one so that the geometric series converge to infinity. Newton took no such care for his formula (not to go to infinity at zero distance, or equivalently not to need an infinite distance to become zero.) However, as a whole, our example stands as one of comparison and analogy, and not as a mathematical proof of a new force in nature. (Such a claim would be far beyond my present expectations or capabilities.) Its purpose was to show how someone, by using an inductive ratio or logos (in the present case that of a geometric progression) can understand the way the most ingenious formulas of mathematics and physics have come about. Whether Newtons force, or the energy of orbits in Bohrs atom, is of one form or another, for the purposes of this discussion, is secondary. The principle of analogy and the anthropic principle

The Ego

The Universe

Up until this point, we have followed an analysis in accordance with the principles of our own logic. Because it is important for someone to realize that the laws of nature are functions of our intelligence. However, we have concealed, consciously or unconsciously, a deeper reality of the relation between us and the world: The universe and what we think of the universe is not

necessarily the same thing. This is the basic assumption of the so called anthropic principle. This principle states that the universe was programmed to produce intelligent life at some stage of its history, since all universal constants seem to be suitable for such a purpose (fine tuning). Still, this sort of intelligent design lies within the sphere of our own intelligence. The fact that we exist and that we are intelligent doesnt mean that the universe had such an intention from the beginning. Even the notion of intention itself is understood by means of our own causality. We can make here the following statement regarding the principle of analogy:

We can understand the world as long as the principle of analogy is valid in nature. But if it is just a principle of human logic, then, by applying it to nature, we will lead ourselves to paradoxes and absurdities.

The reversibility of natural processes, completeness and symmetrical logic

We may have the ability to understand the world because nature works the same way as our mind does. So the phrase God created man in His own image, or as the one so the other, will be valid. If we belong to nature, contained in it, can the process of dividing, comparing, and rebuilding offer as a sufficient or a complete picture of nature and ourselves, within the context of the anthropic principle and the principle of analogy? If we really are part of nature, then it may be a matter of time to earn a bigger share of the world, till we have it perfectly understood.

The degree of this perfection, however, depends on the question if our logic can understand everything for its own sake. The answer to the previous question given by Gdel, with his incompleteness theorem, is negative. Because, according to this theorem, our assumptions about the world (our logical foundation) are arbitrary, so another assumption is needed to justify the first one, then another one, and so on ad infinitum. This infinite induction of our thought, during

the process of logically proving its major, or even minor, problems, would result in losing ourselves and our consciousness on an endless route without return. Luckily enough, our principle presupposes the reversibility of logical processes, by virtue of the symmetry between the parts under comparison. In other words, if the steps we make on the way back are small and steady, then we can preserve the memory of our journey, without losing any information necessary for this trip.

The parallelism with thermodynamics will fit here nicely because this reversibility is what makes the analysis of thermodynamic processes possible in physics. We treat a system in such a way that it preserves its (thermodynamic) equilibrium. If it is not in equilibrium, then we bring it in such a state in order to measure its properties. Imagine that we are heading towards a mirror, looking at ourselves, and we realize that, in each step we make, we remain the same, till we become one with ourselves. (Images, so to speak, are reversed twice, one time on our retina, and another one in our conscience, so that the original image is restored.) This reversibility of both natural and logical processes is possible thanks to a fundamental symmetry: As going so coming back. Or as the beginning so the end. Or even, as the one so the whole. This symmetry is achieved when all intermediate steps are equivalently reversible. This way, we get back to the starting point continuously and smoothly, without any stumbling along.

Symbolic representation of a Universe observed by Itself 

The reversibility of natural processes and the notion of symmetry are the fundamental assumptions guaranteeing that when we get back we will find things, more or less, as we left

them. However, a route, lets say, from a point A to a point B, is never the same with the route from B to A. For example it can be a slope or, in any case, time will have elapsed. In fact, when we return we find a new point C. How can we resolve this paradox? That, while in nature there are few (if any because of the ruthless 2nd law of thermodynamics) reversible phenomena and everything, sooner or later, decays, logical processes, on the contrary, return intact, without having lost any of their rigor or their memory of the journey and for what cause? Have we misunderstood nature (for example, that time may not be a one way process) or is it just our logic failing to conceive its own deeper essence?

The principle of analogy assures that as we so the word, and the opposite. Even if we make up a small fraction of the world, this word lies inside us miniscule, dim, but as a totality, so that we may find a way to express it in all its aspects, with an appropriate scale of magnification. This possibility, even if it doesnt promise full accuracy, nevertheless it reassures us that nature functions the same way as our logic does. Besides, our logic could be nothing else but a part of nature.

Therefore, I would suggest, in the context of our principle, that the personal expansion of human genius corresponds to the evolution of intelligence in the universe. The symmetries we recognize in nature, for example the shape of a flower, reappear in human conscience, which, by obtaining this way the necessary tools for comparison, is able to restore its relation with the world. The reversibility ensures the preservation of information, hence our memories, so that man returning to his roots can ask questions about his future purposes. Besides, our destination is at the same time the fate of the human universe, which, in turn, is a proper subset of the real universe. Thus, the observer realizes that what he observes exists simultaneously outside and within his conscience, while he is a fundamental part of the whole experiment.

This sort of entanglement between us and the cosmos, between an observer and what he observes, has become a common notion in modern physics, which regards itself as part of the phenomena it studies. As a result of this realization the entangled states of systems have been recognized. Quantum entanglement represents a natural phenomenon as well as a state of the human mind, and has also set the limits between the old and the new age of thought. Naive

realism falters, since at the moment of entanglement the whole universe collapses above or inside the head of the observer, causality is abolished, since quantum entanglement takes place instantaneously, and it is replaced by an idea about the world where space and time may have never existed outside our conscience. And if the participation of the observer in the cosmic being and becoming is the missing link between man and the universe, then the principle of analogy turns into an ultimate form of symmetry, into an identity of what we want from the world and what the world really expects.