In the American Scholar article "A New Theory of the Universe", Dr.Robert Lanza tells physicists they've been barking up the wrong tree. Lanza is a leading expert in tissue engineering, cloning and stem cell research. He is not a physicist and so is likely to be ignored by the physics community. Yet, he may be on to something.
"The urgent and primary questions of the universe have been undertaken by those physicists who are trying to explain the origins of everything with grand unified theories. But as exciting and glamorous as these theories are, they are an evasion, if not a reversal, of the central mystery of knowledge: that the laws of the world were somehow created to produce the observer. And more important than this, that the observer in a significant sense creates reality and not the other way around. Recognition of this insight leads to a single theory that unifies our understanding of the world.
...As unimaginable as it may seem to us, the logic of quantum physics is inescapable. Every morning we open our front door to bring in the paper or to go to work. We open the door to rain, snow, or trees swaying in the breeze. We think the world churns along whether we happen to open the door or not. Quantum mechanics tells us it doesn’t.I think this fits well with the notion of a holographic universe. Consider a transmission hologram. At first it appears to be simply an interference pattern, but when illuminated with a laser a fully realized 3D object pops into view. In a similar way, the universe exists as an interference pattern of probability waves. When a portion of the pattern is "lit up" by an observer it generates what we perceive as physical reality. Perhaps each bubble generates an "image" of the whole universe, just as individual pieces of a hologram that has been cut apart retain the entire image, but with some loss of detail.
The trees and snow evaporate when we’re sleeping. The kitchen disappears when we’re in the bathroom. When you turn from one room to the next, when your animal senses no longer perceive the sounds of the dishwasher, the ticking clock, the smell of a chicken roasting—the kitchen and all its seemingly discrete bits dissolve into nothingness—or into waves of probability. The universe bursts into existence from life, not the other way around as we have been taught. For each life there is a universe, its own universe. We generate spheres of reality, individual bubbles of existence."
There is some theoretical support for a holographic universe. Per Wikipedia, "The holographic principle is a speculative conjecture about quantum gravity theories, proposed by Gerard 't Hooft and improved and promoted by Leonard Susskind, claiming that all of the information contained in a volume of space can be represented by a theory that lives in the boundary of that region."
I'm going to try and paraphrase the Wikipedia description of the reasoning so we don't get too bogged down:
The entropy that can be contained in any given volume of space can not be any larger than the entropy of the largest black hole that can fit in that space. The more massive the black hole, the larger the surface area of the event horizon. This means the maximum entropy for any region of space is determined by surface area, not by volume. This is counter-intuitive because entropy is an extensive variable, being directly proportional to mass, which is proportional to volume (all else being equal, including the density of the mass). If entropy of ordinary mass is also proportional to area, this implies that volume itself is somehow illusory: that mass occupies area, not volume, and so the universe is really a hologram which corresponds to the information encoded on its boundaries.
Then there are the philosophies of David Bohm, the quantum physicist who wrote "Wholeness and the Implicit Order"
Bohm suggests that the whole universe can be thought of as a kind of giant, flowing hologram, or holomovement, in which a total order is contained, in some implicit sense, in each region of space and time. The explicate order is a projection from higher dimensional levels of reality, and the apparent stability and solidity of the objects and entities composing it are generated and sustained by a ceaseless process of enfoldment and unfoldment, for subatomic particles are constantly dissolving into the implicate order and then recrystallizing.More on David Bohm later.