The Scientific Need for a Cosmogony

Robert A. Herrmann Ph.D.
29 MAY 2004. Revised 10 JAN 2016.

As indicated in this article, John A. Wheeler, whose scientific credentials are beyond reproach, personally presented to me the scientific need for a cosmogony. After I had constructed the foundations for the GGU-model, I learned of the 1974 Patton and Wheeler paper "Is Physics Legislated by Cosmogony" [1]. This paper gives a convincing argument that it is scientifically necessary to generate a cosmogony.

A search for the foundations for a cosmogony was undertaken by members of the mathematics and physics departments of Princeton University from Feb-Mar-April 1974 [1, p. 589]. The basic idea used at Princeton is also discussed in the text "Gravitation" Misner, Throne, and Wheeler, 1973, W. H. Freeman and Co, San Francisco. This first idea uses the standard mind-set that one would work from a "bottom" more fundamental structure and from this build a cosmogony. "For someday revealing this structure no perspective seems more promising than the view that it must provide the universe with a way to come into being." [1, p. 539].

This Princeton group specifically used notions from mathematical logic in their attempt to first find an underlying foundation. Due to their statistical mind-set, they were unable to do so. However, the way was left open to seek other approaches using notions from mathematical logic. In this Patton and Wheeler paper [1], the notion of self-reference, as analyzed by mathematical means, is discussed as a possible "other way." This was related to the "undecidable" proposition obtained by Gödel. However, in 1977, it was shown that another type of formal expression is "undecidable" using the axioms of formal arithmetic. Further, after 1974, the incompleteness of formal arithmetic was established by other semantical means as well. These new "proofs" use "model theory." I was aware of these new approaches during my discussion with Wheeler.

The reason self-reference was being considered is that it leads to the notion of "participator" alterations. However, the very title of this paper seems to convey the notion that the cosmogony comes first and from this the physics emerges. Further, Wheeler was partially correct in that notions from mathematical logic have now solved this problem. However, they are notions taken from model theory. The complete GGU-model does include "participator" alterations and a basic mathematical structure for participator activity has been achieved [2].

Clearly, from my conversation, I was aware that Wheeler considered the generation of a cosmogony as scientifically necessary. However, I was not aware that, at the least, a Princeton group of scientists also considers that developing a cosmogony is an important area of theoretical research. As far as I am concerned, when accepted scientific tools are employed, these facts totally justify such endeavors as being "scientific".

[1] Patton, C. M and J. A. Wheeler, (1975). Is physics legislated by cosmogony? in Quantum Gravity: an Oxford Symposium, Ishan, C., Penrose, R., and D. Sciama, eds, Clarendon, Oxford.

[2] Herrmann, R. A. The Participator Model

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