Hello there and welcome!

I’m Andrew and I’ve been exploring emergence across a range of fields for more than a decade now.

It’s my intention that this site will become a repository for my random thoughts about emergence, in fields ranging from theoretical physics, through such topics as storytelling, all the way into hypnosis and the behaviour of the human mind.

If you’re wondering what qualifies me to write about such things… Well… I’m a physicist and a hypnotist. And I’ve been both for decades. I’ve also studied in depth, designed and built information and business systems of all kinds.

As I’m writing this particular post, there is nothing else posted on the site at all. And I know from experience that it will probably be a while before I post anything of substance!

Really the purpose of this post is to introduce the topic, so here is my definition of emergence:

Emergence is what has happened when a system has properties that are not easily derived from its component parts

I appreciate that this may be different from some of the other definitions floating around out there in the ether. I’m sure I have seen this particular one before, although it’s been a long time so I cannot recall where. Either way, it doesn’t matter much since it’s just a word. I do like to give credit where it’s due, so if you happen to know whence it came, by all means drop me a line so I can cite appropriately.

To make it clear, with this definition, the following are true:

The laws of chemistry are an emergent property of quantum physics

Or put in simpler words:

Chemistry emerges from quantum physics

Or even

Chemistry emerges from physics

And you can follow the chain through quite a few layers:

Biology emerges from chemistry

Neuroscience emerges from biology

Psychology emerges from neuroscience

Sociology emerges from psychology

And so on. This is just one example out of countless sequences that can be identified out in the universe. I won’t go into them all here, because there’s not really any reason to do so. Hopefully the examples above are clear.

The big question that I aim to ultimately answer is are there concrete steps that we can take to reverse engineer any instance of emergence, and if so, what are those steps. So for example, if we start with the laws of chemistry, can we work with them in such a way that we can automatically discover the underlying quantum physics?

The answer to this is clearly yes. It’s just a matter of how.

What is the underlying process we can follow that applies to all instances of emergence and allows us to discover whatever is underneath?

I don’t yet know. But I am very sure that such a process exists, and that it can be discovered. And I am equally sure that when this process is discovered, we’ll be able to use it to finally unify physics.