U. S. Naval Academy Speakers Bureau


How Was Our Universe Created?

Robert A. Herrmann Ph. D.

[[This should be considered as a historical document relative to the development of the GGU-model.]] (Note: This is an outline of my original illustrated talk on a physical-like interpretation for the GGU-model (The General Grand Unification Model). I have added remarks not part of my usual presentation and this is indicated by the [ . . . ] notation. Moreover, this talk is modified depending upon the audience.)

In August 1979, I was to give a talk before a gathering of mathematicians at the Summer Meeting of The American Mathematical Society at the University of Minnesota at Duluth. I boarded an airplane at Chicago for the last leg of my trip, and who should be setting next to me at the window seat but John Wheeler, the Joseph Henry Professor of Physics emeritus at Princeton. Professor Wheeler was to deliver an invited talk at the same meeting on what he believed was one of the great "problems" within science.

We discussed various things as we passed over some magnificent Minnesota thunderheads. Looking out of the window Professor Wheeler made the curious but simple statement, "We can't do that." What does this statement mean and who are the "we"?

After more discussion, the meaning of his comment was clear. First, the "we" are scientists and what they couldn't do was illustrated by the thunderhead. First, we need to learn some terminology. Within science, there are descriptions that can all be reduced to words for the behavior of our universe, the behavior of the stars, the behavior of the galaxies, the behavior of our solar system, the behavior of our sun, the behavior of an atom, the behavior of pieces of the atom, and so forth. Now each of these things, a universe, a galaxy, a star, the sun, and so forth is called a physical-system. So, one can say that we have all of these descriptions for all of these individual physical-systems. The thunderhead is also assumed to be a collection of physical-systems. We have the water droplets, or ice crystals. Then we have their paths of motion caused by internal forces. The various electric potential differences produced by such motion and many other factors that scientists claim contribute to the overall behavior we observed from our window.

What Professor Wheeler meant by the "We can't do that" statement with respect to our universe is the fact that scientists had not found just a few processes that produce all of the combined behavior of all of the different physical-systems that comprise the entire universe in which we live. Science needed a single approach that could replace the piecemeal approach.

The real problem is not to merely unify the so-called four fundamental "forces" but rather to find a "general grand unification" for all describable physical behavior. When I solved this problem, little did I realize, as my research developed, that my solution would also provide an answer to what Wheeler claims are the "greatest questions on the books of physics." These questions are, from a scientific viewpoint, "How did our universe come into being and of what is `empty' space itself composed?"

Let me illustrate what is meant by the phrase "empty space." Take a strong ball, made of steel or something like that, and, for a particular instant of time, remove everything that we can detect from the inside of the ball but, of course, leave enough of the ball so that the ball doesn't collapse. Well, what remains, for a moment, inside of the ball might be called "empty space." But, today, many scientists don't actually believe that it's actually empty. They believe it's composed of a vast array of invisible entities that make up what is termed the "vacuum" of particle physics. Depending upon the circumstances, from this"vacuum," objects might just suddenly appear. One part of the question is to describe some sort of momentarily empty space, in this sense, a "space" that can include these additional features.

I'll start answering these questions after a little more terminology. First, a description for processes that may produce various universes is called a cosmogony. A theory (i.e. description) that describes how a particular universe evolves (i.e. changes its appearance) with respect to time, is called a cosmology. Thus, we need some scientific theory -- a theory stated in acceptable scientific terms -- that gives processes that yield cosmologies and that also answers these questions. In other words, we need to describe processes, and other stuff, that can be used to create universes not just our own.

There are many descriptions for how our universe may have started, not just one. Some scientists even believe that what occurred when "time" begin many years ago came about due to the existence of two or more universes, not just the one in which we live. My solution includes this possibility, but I'll illustrate my solution by using what's called the "Big Bang" or "standard cosmology."

In the Big Bang theory, our universe might have started when a bunch of stuff simply appeared suddenly from the "vacuum" and it can be described as a very, very hot soup of very special physical-systems, very special stuff. Then suddenly this stuff began to get larger in size, so to speak, and cool. Indeed, this "space" in which it's contained begins to expand in all directions and this leads to the material cooling. Additional natural laws that describe behavior of "large" configurations, galaxies, solar systems, planets, land masses, and the like need to exist in some form, where they eventually aid in controlling much physical behavior. After a very long period of time everything we see today, the earth, the stars and even you and I are produced. Now certain questions arise. What started the expansion? How can something expand without there being something to expand into? Where did all the additional natural laws come from? Any cosmogony must answer questions like these.

These questions, and many others, are all answered by means of mathematics. Indeed, it has been shown mathematically that the processes that produce universes behave like an infinitely powerful computer designed by a "mind" or intelligent agent. Such a computer is more complex and more powerful than any such device that can ever be built by any being within any universe.

The important phrase here is behaves like a computer designed by a "mind" or intelligence. But, there are a few other properties that are difficult to illustrate. Theories or models or whatever you wish to call them can be but analogue models. In this case, this means that the described behavior of imaginary objects or processes, that do not exist in the real world, is similar to the behavior of real natural world objects or processes. Also, the model will explain or predict the behavior of real natural world objects. Of course, in this case, it is not really a computer. But, let me partially describe a few of the universe creation processes as if they are related to such an infinitely powerful computer. Suppose that you wish to create a Big Bang type of universe. An intelligent agent has used a designed computer program to construct trillions of compressed "zip-type" files. Each file contains all the information that yields the moment-to-moment development of a specific universe.

Picture yourself as sitting at this powerful computer. For your own personal reasons, you use your mouse and select one of these "ultracompressed" zip files and hit enter. Now an intelligent agent has designed a very special computer program for this type of file. Inside the computer, all sorts of remarkable logical processes occur. First, the monitor screen is blank, but then an extremely bright small white dot appears. This small white dot begins to get larger and larger. Then after what is a short period of your time, the dot slowly changes into stars, galaxies, solar systems, the earth appears; and if you look close enough, you can see on the earth human beings. From where you sit, you can't see what's going on inside the computer; but I'll show you that there are magnificent things I call ultranatural events going on. Also, very special objects called propertons are being logically combined together by a very special type of computer process. All of this is needed to produced the illustrations you see, to produce pictures of how a universe comes into being, and changes, and develops and becomes what we see on a starry night.

It's important to know, however, that if you had selected a different ultracompressed zip file, then an entirely different universe might appear. Indeed, it need not start as a small white dot. It could start partially formed. It could even start with the stars and galaxies already formed. [I give in the end note additional but simply described additional details.] In fact, it could have started in millions of different imaginative forms. The mind is, indeed, a wondrous thing. For is it not true, that we often imagine what we want to build and then go ahead and try to build it? And sometimes we are actually able to build something new that no one has built before. The same process holds true for this infinitely powerful computer and intelligent agent. [The mathematical model predicts that there exist infinitely many possible "beginnings" or alterations to the universe in which we dwell, and these beginnings or alterations cannot be differentiated one from another by any scientific means (i.e. by analyzing any of the data gathered from "far-space" by any scientific device). The model actually gives scientifically rational methods to construct such cosmologies.]

However, I cannot simply use my imagination and write down a description for these universe creating processes. I must use a special process called the scientific method and, from very basic observations of nature, I must predict this universe creating behavior. This has all been done through application of the methods of theoretical science and, in particular, the allowed methods for mathematical modeling. The purest of all sciences, mathematics, is used to predict these conclusions. The mathematics mimics the behavior of the intelligent agent.

Let's see if we can find out exactly what's inside the infinitely powerful computer. What's within one of these ultracompressed zip files; what's the special process that's being used, what are those personal reasons you used prior to selecting a specific zip file; what's going on that allows this "computer" to create a universe?

Let's start our scientific solution by considering a single geometric point a few feet in front of your eyes. A geometric point in this sense is a position in our universe and, for the present, has no other meaning. Now, I'm able to magnify this point for you by using a mathematical microscope with a power that's greater than any power that can ever be achieved by human means.

Suddenly, you see the point open up, like the iris of your eyes. What's mentally revealed to you is a background, a substratum, or whatever you might like to call it. This "thing" that you mentally see in the background is not really a universe itself for it is this background "thing" from which all universes are produced. The Natural-world is the world we can scientifically perceive or, sometimes merely guess at, and this Natural-world point (i.e. position) is still in your field of view with a small portion of the background or substratum surrounding it. You can't make out much detail, but there's definitely something there. The detail you mentally see is sharper and clearer near to the single Natural-world point. Then clarity slowly fads as you proceed further from that one solitary Natural-world position within our universe. You can find no clear outer edge within your field of view. This background or substratum I've termed the nonstandard physical world -- the NSP-world. This is the general stuff that's inside the infinitely powerful computer. The term NSP-world is also used for other applications. However, for our purposes I'll discuss a portion of this NSP-world -- the General Grand Unification (GGU) Model.

The GGU-model is constructed from basic mathematics with no special mathematical axioms included. The GGU-model is constructed from the most empirically consistent axiom system available. To obtain this model, only the standard logical processes, such as those used to argue for any scientific theory, are employed. Only three physical processes are specifically used as axioms and these processes are repeated within our physical environment trillions of times a day. All of the results presented in this talk are predicted.

Our universe is "just as near to" the NSP-world as I have described it for the same background or substratum is near to every single position in our universe, even points inside the furthest star. One might say that this substratum is scientifically omnipresent. This term means that it is present everywhere. Unfortunately, the GGU-model portion of this substratum states specifically that there will never be a human language that can give a detailed and complete description for the mechanisms that may have produced our universe, but they do exist within this substratum. Such mechanisms exist but, no matter how hard we try, the human mind can't comprehend the details. Well then, what can be known about how universes, such as ours, can be created by these mechanisms? We can know general properties. So, maybe we can, after all, answer these questions.

What do we perceive first? Well, within this background NSP-world there is a field of objects, of a single type, called propertons that, from the NSP-world viewpoint, can be "easily" combined together to produce every material object; from collections of galaxies down to all of the subatomic objects like electrons, protons, photons and every assumed basic building block from which our universe is constructed. This field forms the "space" upon which a universe is "painted," so to speak, and is also a part of the glue that actually holds our universe together. propertons, when combined together, can be viewed like the little particles on the computer monitor screen that you might not notice until they glow when a beam of electrons strikes them. However, they are also very different since, unfortunately, this combining process cannot be reproduced within any laboratory within any physical universe, so please don't try. This "combining together process" must be done in this background or substratum.

To construct a universe a set of rules and procedures are needed that will allow the building processes to proceed and that will also force each physical-system to behave in a fixed way once the basic stuff is built. This is something like a needed computer program input. But, how is this done? Well, there also exists within the NSP-world a set of "things" of a very, very special type. These "things" are not within our universe, but we can describe their basic contents and purpose by means of a simple illustration. There once was a toy called a "superball." This is a little ball that, when dropped, bounces much higher than other balls of its size. It seemed to contain a great deal of extra bouncing energy. These "things" that exist in the background behave like superballs, but they're stuffed full with a super amount of information, the "building plans" and all other information and ideas needed for universe creation.

Thus, we have "things" in this substratum, (i.e. the background) that are ready, when the conditions are just right, to aid in the production of universes, ours included. They help produce, by combining propertons together, the fundamental set of stuff that makes up a universe. And each one of these "things" will tell a physical-system how it's suppose to behave under normal circumstances and by doing so each physical-system will display the natural laws that it must follow. Further, different "things" aid in the production of different universes. Actually, these "things" are contained in the ultracompressed zip file you selected. They are called ultrawords and the ultracompressed zip file is called an ultimate ultraword. [In most cases, only one ultrawords needs to be used.] But they don't work alone. Each ultraword is just one piece of an entire process. All pieces of the "puzzle" must be put together before a universe is produced. To do this we need another concept.

Very often before something occurs certain scientific conditions must be met. As an example, consider the heating of a pot of water. Before it boils and partially changes into steam, the temperature and the air pressure must be just right. These are called initial conditions. Thus when the initial conditions are just right, we get steam. If they are not just right, no steam is produced. The same thing needs to happen in the substratum NSP-world.

What are the conditions that must exist in the NSP-world -- conditions needed to trigger the creation of a universe such as ours? It turns out that there may be NO human scientific language that can detail these conditions, no human understanding of what these conditions might be. However, we do know such conditions exist, and that they trigger the processes that will produce a universe. These initial conditions correspond to those "personal reasons" that you considered when you selected a specific ultracompressed zip file and pushed the "Enter" key.

After the initial condition are met, there is one more very remarkable process that must occur and that will put all of the pieces together so that a universe will be forthcoming. This process is like the actual way a computer must be constructed. The computer microprocessors or "chips" are built in such a way that they follow certain patterns of simple human logic -- the logic networks. The same sort of thing occurs within the NSP-world. There's a special process denoted by "C." It's one of the processes called an ultranatural process. When the conditions are just right, this force-like process takes one of these "things" (an ultimate ultraword), produces ultrawords and uses these ultrawords to produce a universe. It combines together, controls and coordinates all of the distinctly different physical-systems that make up a universe. The C-process actually behaves like an intelligent agent. A refined analysis shows there are five (resp. four) ultranatural processes applied "simultaneously" and these yield every entity within a universe. (There are actually six (resp. five) processes but a most trivial one is supressed.) Each of these processes mimic a mental process. Most are ultralogics. [These processes are further detailed in the article processes.htm.] As C is applied to each ultraword it produces each physical-system as well as the moment-to-moment required changes in the behavior of each and every physical-system. But, how does it do this?

What happens is that this force-like process produces a "beginning" for every possible universe and, as mentioned, in a remarkable step-by-step manner, it produces in the proper "time" ordered sequence all the changes, just like you saw on the computer screen, from the very beginning until the universe arrives at a stage such as we see about us right now, today. Here is another new term we need. We say that something is a natural event if a particular physical-system changes its appearance. Thus this force-like process produces all the natural events that constitute -- that make up -- the moment-to-moment changes that alter the appearance of a universe. This remarkable force-like process applied to an ultraword yields a solution to the general grand unification problem and answers the first question.

This C-process behaves just like an intelligently designed infinitely powerful special microprocessor. This means that it has more power than any computer microprocessor that can ever be constructed by any means within any physical universe and has a "signature" stamped on it the states that it's been intelligently designed. These NSP-world processes have truly remarkable properties. One of these is that as our universe develops and changes, from say the moment of the Big Bang, there are millions of other events taking place within the NSP-world that we can't scientifically know about. These events don't appear on the monitor screen. They are the ultranatural events. What do they do? They sustain and hold our universe together. They are the other part of the glue, so to speak, for it's the ultranatural events that are combined together with the natural events we can know about that actually form the changing universe you saw on the computer screen.

I wish there were words in any language that fully describe this wondrous gluing together process. There is a technical term, ultrauniform, that can be used. But this gives no indication of what is actually occurring. The steps in this gluing together process are so minuscule, so small, so refined that the human mind can't fully appreciate nor comprehend the process. It doesn't correspond to anything that can, at present, even be imagined by us. Further, intelligent agents control the refined behavior of all physical-systems as they combine together to make more complex systems. Another startling aspect of the C-process is that every natural event is connected, within the NSP-world, with every other natural event. No changes that take place in our universe are independent from one another. What this means is that a natural event taking place in one galaxy is related by the C-process, to every other event taking place in every other galaxy. This "C-microprocessor" is truly a remarkable and wondrous process.

I certainly hope that my use of this infinitely powerful computer illustration will help you to gain some insight, or, shall be say, "feeling" as to how our universe seems to have been created. But remember, it only gives an indication of how these processes behave. In reality, their behavior is much more complex. Finally, it's important that you know that there are other interpretations for the mathematical operators that represent the processes I have been discussing. These can be found on my web site. Now, as time allows, I can try to answer any questions you might have. (March 1990, Slightly revised 23 May 2010)

Note: These are examples of the actual overhead transparencies used in my original talk. I no longer use them. These transparencies include various images. It is a 5.5 MB file.

For further comprehension, you might wish to consider various geometric representations for some of the possible GGU-model scenarios.

[End Note]

[A great deal more has been discovered since this talk was written and given. Many of the results presented here and newer ones are discussed in my general audience book "Science Declares Our Universe IS Intelligently Designed." Order information is given at the top of my home page. This website contains all of the most recent results.]

Math. Dept., U. S. Naval Academy, 572C Holloway Rd., Annapolis, MD 21402-5002.

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