|A equation letter stylized “theory of everything” design (Ѻ) from the 2014 film Theory of Everything on the early reaction existence of Stephen Hawking.|
In 3100BC, the ancient Egyptians developed the god-based "Heliopolis creation myth" theory of everything; the scent of which still permeates all modern attempts at theories of everything.
In 450BC, Empedocles promulgated his two forces four elements theory of everything.
In 400BC, Democritus, penned his atomic theory of everything, about which Diogenes Laertius (250) summarizes as follows:
“The principles of all things are atoms and the void, and everything else exists only by convention. The worlds are unlimited and subject to generation and corruption. Nothing could come to be from nonbeing, and nothing could return by corruption to nonbeing. Atoms are unlimited in size and number, and are the seat of a vortex motion in the universe, which results in the creation of all compounds: fire, water, air, and earth, which are simply organizations of certain atoms, themselves resistant to change and alteration by virtue of their hardness. The sun and the moon are composed of such particles, smooth and round, as is the soul, which is the same thing as the intellect.”
The key term here is "all things", the postulate of atoms and void explains all things or everything; the soul (appeased by clinamen or hypothetical "swerve atoms") and "being" arising from "nonbeing" (Parmenides being main objector) were the two big objections to this theory
In 330BC, Aristotle can be credited with promulgating the first extensively detailed general theory of everything, covering all areas of knowledge, in a way that hasn’t been surpassed since.
In 1770, Baron d’Holbach, among extreme atheism thinkers, published his The System of Nature: Laws of the Moral and Physical World, which might have been general grasping at a theory of everything.
In 1810s, Goethe was after a metamorphology theory of everything, which was very encompassing; albeit with the exception that he averred from astronomy digression.
In 1833, the Whewell-Coleridge debate resulted in the splitting of theoretical ideologies into the “moral world” and the “physical world” two cultures divide; a divide that has since never been re-bridged.
The mid 19th century to early 20th century saw the matter and motion type theory of everything publications of those including: Ludwig Buchner (1855), Henry Carey (1858), and Henry Bray (1910).
It is said that the species of "universal geniuses" died off with Hermann Helmholtz (1821-1894), the so-called last of the last universal geniuses; only partial imitations, e.g. John Neumann (1903-1957), being produced thereafter, owing to the effect of knowledge hydraism.
In 1992, Steven Weinberg, in his Dreams of a Final Theory, wherein he discussed how he dreams of unifying the four forces of nature into one theory.
Into the 21st century, what is seen, with Richard Feynman subsuming Paul Dirac, who subsumed Albert Einstein, who subsumed James Maxwell, is that new synthesized IQ:225-range cited child prodigies, e.g. William Sidis (1898-1944), Christopher Hirata (1982-), going into adulthood are only passingly able to absorb the deeper social meaning philosophical questions, being preoccupied with more physics-oriented unsolved problems, such as the double slit experiment, accelerating universe problem, force unification, particle physics conundrums, etc., that right brain become atrophied in respect to the more difficult "Shakespeare culture" questions of C.P. Snow's division of the intellectual erudites. In other words, it takes a certain amount of work, found in the mind of a Dirac, to apply relativity to the electron and thereby predict the antiparticle; thus precluding the possibility of becoming a modern Aristotle in the areas of philosophy, sociology, politics, economics, religion [belief system which binds], etc.
The following are related quotes:
“The time may come when human affairs may be described no longer by words and sentences, but by a system of symbols or notation similar to those used in algebra or chemistry … then it may be possible, as Adams suggests, to invent a common formula for thermodynamics and history.”— William Thayer (1918), on Henry Adams' 50-year attempt at a thermodynamic theory of everything
● Theory of heat
● Theory of life
● Theory of everything – Wikipedia.