It So Happens

A new description of reality that fits the deepest findings of science

7th Edition. Copyright © 2018 by David Stringer.

(1st Edition published 2010)


Ontology is a branch of philosophy that attempts to explain what the universe is made of. Any one such explanation is known as "an ontology." This book offers a new ontology, one based on science.

Science studies nature by methodical measurement and observation of its details. It is incredibly good at this, so good that one might think that there is nothing more that anyone could add. Yet when we ask big questions like: what is the universe made of and how does it all work, we find that there is something to be added.

What's missing is a top-down description of the universe, an ontology, that actually fits neatly with all the bottom-up empirically derived details that science provides. This is not a failing of science. It is simply not their role to seek ontologies and it is not a role they want to take on. It is the role of philosophers.

Of course, scientists have some views about the general workings of the universe but they have a multitude of such views that cannot be fitted together without raising paradoxes. When scientists explain big science to the public, on TV say, they talk of these paradoxes and refer to the "weird" behaviour of nature.

I have studied science all my adult life, professionally and as a hobby. I have worked through the difficult mathematics of quantum theory and relativity to be sure that I grasped the fine details that science has so successfully discovered. I came to the conclusion that the paradoxes and weirdness that scientists speak of are not due to any flaws in the theories of science. They are due to the absence of a top-level ontology that fits all the details of all the branches of science, from fundamental physics to cosmology and even psychology.

What follows is an ontology that I have developed over about fifteen years and will continue to develop. I am confident that it fits well with science. It also goes beyond science, as any ontology must, to cover aspects of the universe that we know exist yet have proved beyond science so far. I refer particularly to subjective experience, thought and consciousness.

This book presents a new ontology that fits science in a way that avoids the usual paradoxes and weirdness that arise when classical, relativistic and quantum science are brought together. No ontology can do this without a radical rethinking of what reality is.