Our Mathematical Universe


Max Tegmark in Our Mathematical Universe argues basically that math completely explains our reality in a multiverse. It is interesting but suffers from a relatively narrow view of the world, in my mind. A college class called “Thinking About Thinking,” taught by Harvey Cox, Stephen Jay Gould, and Alan Dershowitz, taught me the bias in the questions asked affects the ultimate answers offered. Dr. Tegmark is no doubt a brilliant mathematician, and seeing the world through his eyes is quite intriguing, but I found his arguments narrow and bias in their application.

The light bulb that did go off in my mind was his point that from your perspective entropy decreases when an object interacts with you because you gain information, as opposed to entropy increasing when an object interacts with its environment because information is lost to you. Entropy in this sense can be thought of the amount of information required to explain a system, the flip side of a measure of its disorder. This beautifully set-up Kairos in Evolved and literally breathed life into it. It also began an on-going debate about the definition of life in my mind. One that I continue to work through, as you will see in Evolved between silicon life and organic life.

Our Mathematical Universe Book Cover Our Mathematical Universe
Max Tegmark
February 3, 2015

Max Tegmark leads us on an astonishing journey through past, present and future, and through the physics, astronomy and mathematics that are the foundation of his work, most particularly his hypothesis that our physical reality is a mathematical structure and his theory of the ultimate multiverse. In a dazzling combination of both popular and groundbreaking science, he not only helps us grasp his often mind-boggling theories, but he also shares with us some of the often surprising triumphs and disappointments that have shaped his life as a scientist. Fascinating from first to last—this is a book that has already prompted the attention and admiration of some of the most prominent scientists and mathematicians.