Are we living in a designer universe?

The creators of the world were closer to men than to gods, argues John Gribbin.

By John Gribbin – The Telegraph

The argument over whether the universe has a creator, and who that might be, is among the oldest in human history.


The argument over whether the universe has a creator, and who that might be, is among the oldest in human history. But amid the raging arguments between believers and sceptics, one possibility has been almost ignored – the idea that the universe around us was created by people very much like ourselves, using devices not too dissimilar to those available to scientists today.

As with much else in modern physics, the idea involves particle acceleration, the kind of thing that goes on in the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland. Before the LHC began operating, a few alarmists worried that it might create a black hole which would destroy the world. That was never on the cards: although it is just possible that the device could generate an artificial black hole, it would be too small to swallow an atom, let alone the Earth.

However, to create a new universe would require a machine only slightly more powerful than the LHC – and there is every chance that our own universe may have been manufactured in this way.
This is possible for two reasons. First, black holes may – as science fiction aficionados will be well aware – act as gateways to other regions of space and time. Second, because of the curious fact that gravity has negative energy, it takes no energy to make a universe. Despite the colossal amount of energy contained in every atom of matter, it is precisely balanced by the negativity of gravity.

Black holes, moreover, are relatively easy to make. For any object, there is a critical radius, called the Schwarzschild radius, at which its mass will form a black hole. The Schwarzschild radius for the Sun is about two miles, 1/200,000th of its current width; for the Earth to become a black hole, it would have to be squeezed into a ball with a radius of one centimetre.

The black holes that could be created in a particle accelerator would be far smaller: tiny masses squeezed into incredibly tiny volumes. But because of gravity’s negative energy, it doesn’t matter how small such holes are: they still have the potential to inflate and expand in their own dimensions (rather than gobbling up our own). Such expansion was precisely what our universe did in the Big Bang, when it suddenly exploded from a tiny clump of matter into a fully-fledged cosmos.

Alan Guth of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology first proposed the now widely accepted idea of cosmic inflation – that the starting point of the Big Bang was far smaller, and its expansion far more rapid, than had been assumed. He has investigated the technicalities of “the creation of universes in the laboratory”, and concluded that the laws of physics do, in principle, make it possible.

The big question is whether that has already happened – is our universe a designer universe? By this, I do not mean a God figure, an “intelligent designer” monitoring and shaping all aspects of life. Evolution by natural selection, and all the other processes that produced our planet and the life on it, are sufficient to explain how we got to be the way we are, given the laws of physics that operate in our universe.

However, there is still scope for an intelligent designer of universes as a whole. Modern physics suggests that our universe is one of many, part of a “multiverse” where different regions of space and time may have different properties (the strength of gravity may be stronger in some and weaker in others). If our universe was made by a technologically advanced civilisation in another part of the multiverse, the designer may have been responsible for the Big Bang, but nothing more.

If such designers make universes by manufacturing black holes – the only way to do it that we are aware of – there are three levels at which they might operate. The first is just to manufacture black holes, without influencing the laws of physics in the new universe. Humanity is nearly at this level, which Gregory Benford’s novel Cosm puts in an entertaining context: an American researcher finds herself, after an explosion in a particle accelerator, with a new universe on her hands, the size of a baseball.

The second level, for a slightly more advanced civilisation, would involve nudging the properties of the baby universes in a certain direction. It might be possible to tweak the black holes in such a way that the force of gravity was a little stronger than in the parent universe, without the designers being able to say exactly how much stronger.

The third level, for a very advanced civilisation, would involve the ability to set precise parameters, thereby designing it in detail. An analogy would be with designer babies – instead of tinkering with DNA to get a perfect child, a scientists might tinker with the laws of physics to get a perfect universe. Crucially, though, it would not be possible in any of these cases – even at the most advanced level – for the designers to interfere with the baby universes once they had formed. From the moment of its own Big Bang, each universe would be on its own.

This might sound far-fetched, but the startling thing about this theory is how likely it is to happen – and to have happened already. All that is required is that evolution occurs naturally in the multiverse until, in at least one universe, intelligence reaches roughly our level. From that seed point, intelligent designers create enough universes suitable for evolution, which bud off their own universes, that universes like our own (in other words, suitable for intelligent life) proliferate rapidly, with “unintelligent” universes coming to represent a tiny fraction of the whole multiverse. It therefore becomes overwhelmingly likely that any given universe, our own included, would be designed rather than “natural”.

While the intelligence required to do the job may be (slightly) superior to ours, it is of a kind that is recognisably similar to our own, rather than that of an infinite and incomprehensible God. And the most likely reason for such an intelligence to make universes is the same for doing things like climbing mountains, or studying the nature of subatomic particles – because we can. A civilisation that has the technology to make baby universes would surely find the temptation irresistible. And if the intelligences are anything like our own, there would be an overwhelming temptation at the higher levels of universe design to improve upon the results.

This idea provides the best resolution yet to the puzzle Albert Einstein used to raise, that “the most incomprehensible thing about the Universe is that it is comprehensible”. The universe is comprehensible to the human mind because it was designed, at least to some extent, by intelligent beings with minds similar to our own.

The great British astronomer Fred Hoyle suggested that the laws of physics were so uniquely conducive to human existence that the universe must be “a put-up job”. I believe he was right: the universe was indeed set up to provide a home for life, even if it evolved through a process of natural selection, with no need for outside interference. It isn’t that man was created in God’s image – rather that our universe was created, more or less, in the image of its designers.

Dr John Gribbin is a visiting fellow in Astronomy at the University of Sussex and author of ‘In Search of the Multiverse’ (Penguin)

Americas Mental Illness Epidemic

By Gary G. Kohls, MD

Tens of millions of innocent, unsuspecting Americans, who are mired deeply in the mental “health” system, have actually been made crazy by the use of or the withdrawal from commonly-prescribed, brain-altering, brain-disabling, indeed brain-damaging psychiatric drugs that have been, for many decades, cavalierly handed out like candy  often in untested and therefore unapproved combinations of drugs – to trusting and unaware patients by equally unaware but well-intentioned physicians who have been under the mesmerizing influence of slick and obscenely profitable psychopharmaceutical drug companies aka, BigPharma.

That is the conclusion of two books by investigative journalist and health science writer Robert Whitaker. His first book, entitled Mad in America: Bad Science, Bad Medicine and the Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill noted that there has been a 600% increase (since Thorazine was introduced in the US in the mid-1950s) in the total and permanent disabilities of millions of psychiatric drug-takers. This uniquely First World mental ill health epidemic has resulted in the life-long taxpayer-supported disabilities of rapidly increasing numbers of psychiatric patients who are now unable to be happy, productive, taxpaying members of society. Whitaker has done a powerful, albeit unwelcome job of presenting previously hidden, but very convincing evidence to support his thesis, that it is the drugs and not the diagnosis that is causing the epidemic of mental illness disability. Many open-minded physicians and many aware psychiatric patients are now motivated to be wary of any and all synthetic chemicals that can cross the blood/brain barrier because all of them are capable of altering the brain in ways totally unknown to medical science, especially when the patients are taking the drugs long-term..

In Whitaker’s second book Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America, he goes much further in advancing this sobering reality. He documents the history of the powerful forces behind the relatively new field of psychopharmacology and its major shaper and beneficiary, BigPharma. Psychiatric drugs, whose developers, marketers and salespersons are all in the employ of the giant drug companies, are far more dangerous than the drug and psychiatric industries are willing to admit: These drugs, it turns our, are fully capable of disabling  often permanently – body, brain and spirit.

More evidence to support Whitaker’s well-documented claims are laid out in two important new books written by psychiatrist and scholar Grace Jackson. Jackson did a beautiful job of researching and documenting, from the voluminous basic neuroscience research (which is uniformly ignored by the clinical sciences) the unintended and often disastrous consequences of the chronic ingestion of any of the five major classes of psychiatric drugs. Her second and most powerful book: Drug-Induced Dementia: A Perfect Crime, proves beyond a shadow of a doubt, that any of the five classes of drugs that are commonly used in psychiatric patients (antidepressants, antipsychotics, psychostimulants, tranquilizers and anti-seizure/”mood-stabilizer” drugs) have shown microscopic, macroscopic, biochemical, clinical and/or radiological evidence of brain shrinkage and other signs of brain damage, which can result in clinically-diagnosable, permanent dementia, premature death and a variety of other related brain disorders that can mimic mental illnesses. Jackson’s first book, Rethinking Psychiatric Drugs: A Guide for Informed Consent was an equally sobering book warning about the many hidden dangers of psychiatric drugs.

This sad truth is that the seemingly knee-jerk prescribing (without very much information being given to patients about the long list of serious long-term adverse effects) of potent and often addicting/dependency-inducing psychiatric drugs has become the standard of care in American psychiatry since the introduction of the so-called anti-schizophrenic “miracle” drug Thorazine in the mid-1950s. (Thorazine was the offending drug that all of Jack Nicholson’s fellow patients were coerced into taking at “medication time” in the Academy Award-winning movie “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”.) Thorazine and all the other “me-too” early antipsychotic drugs are now universally known to have been an iatrogenic (= doctor or other treatment-caused) disaster because of their serious long-term, initially unsuspected, brain-damaging effects that resulted in a number of incurable neurological disorders such as tardive dyskinesia and Parkinson’s disease.

Thorazine and all the other knock-off drugs like Prolixin, Mellaril, Navane. etc, are synthetic “tricyclic” chemical compounds similar in molecular structure to the tricyclic “antidepressants” like imipramine and the similarly toxic, obesity-inducing, diabetogenic, “atypical” anti-schizophrenic drugs like Clozaril, Zyprexa and Seroquel.

Thorazine, incidentally, was originally developed in Europe as an industrial dye. That doesn’t sound so good although it may not be so unusual in the closely related fields of psychopharmcology and the chemical industry, especially when one considers that Depakote, a popular drug marketed initially as an anti-epilepsy drug but now is being heavily used as a so-called “mood stabilizer”. Depakote, known to be a hepatotoxin and renal toxin, was originally developed as an industrial solvent capable of dissolving fat – including, presumably, the fatty tissue in human livers and brains.

Some sympathy and understanding needs to be generated for the various victims of BigPharma’s compulsive drive to expand market share and “shareholder value” (share price, dividends and the next quarter’s financial report) by whatever means necessary. Both the prescribers and the swallowers of BigPharma’s drugs have succumbed to BigPharma’s cunning marketing campaigns, the prescribers having been seduced by attractive drug company representatives and their “pens, pizzas and post-it note” freebies in the office, and the patients being brain-washed by the inane and unbelievable (if one has intact critical thinking skills) commercials on TV that quickly gloss over the lethal adverse effects in the fine print while urging the watcher to “ask your doctor” about the latest unaffordable wannabe blockbuster drug..

For a quick overview of these issues, I recommend that everybody with an open mind read a long essay written by Whitaker that persuasively identifies the source of America’s epidemic of mental illness disability (a phenomenon that doesn’t exist in Third World nations because costly psych drugs are not prescribed so cavalierly as in the US).

Whitaker and Jackson (among a number of other ground-breaking and whistle-blowing authors who have been essentially black-listed by the mainstream media and mainstream medical journals) have proven to most critically-thinking scientists, alternative practitioners and assorted “psychiatric survivors” that it is the drugs – and not the so-called “disorders” – that are causing our nation’s epidemic of mental illness disability. The Whitaker essay, plus other pertinent information about his books can be accessed at A recent interview on Wisconsin Public Radio can be accessed at (at their radio archives link) and a long interview with Dr.Joseph Mercola can be heard at:

After reading and studying all these inconvenient truths, mental health practitioners must consider the medicolegal implications for them, especially if the information is ignored or if the information is dismissed out of hand by practitioners who might be tempted to not take the time to study this new information. Those people who are hearing about this for the first time need to pass the word on to others, especially their prescribing healthcare practitioners who should be equally concerned. This is important because the opinion leaders in the highly influential (for good or ill) psychiatric and medical industries have been marketed into submission without hearing the all the facts (which may have been intentionally hidden from them. If that is the case, they cannot be automatically blamed for. proceeding in a practice that some day might represent malpractice. It shouldn’t have to be pointed out that is the solemn duty of ethical practitioners who are in positions of authority to fully examine potential malpractice issues and then warn others, especially their patients, of the dangers.

Sadly, it must be admitted that most of the over-worked, double-booked care-givers in medical clinics have not yet heard the news that most if not all of the brain-altering synthetic chemicals known as psychotropic drugs (which are treated as hazardous waste unless they are packaged in a swallowable capsule!) have been marketed as safe and effective – but only for short-term use. The captains of the drug industry know that the psychotropic drugs that they present for the FDA-approval have only been tested in animal trials for days and in clinical trials for 6 weeks. They also know  indeed they hope – that patients will be taking their drugs for years (despite no long-term trials proving safety and efficacy) as the only “treatment” for mental ill health. They know that their brain-altering drugs are also dependency-inducing (aka addicting, causing withdrawal symptoms when stopped), neurotoxic and increasingly ineffective (a la “Prozac Poop-out”) as time goes by.

The truth is that the people diagnosed as “mentally ill” for life are often simply those unfortunates who find themselves in acute or chronic states of crisis or “overwhelm” due to any number of preventable, curable and treatable (without the use of drugs) bad luck accidents such as poverty, abuse, violence, torture, homelessness, discrimination, underemployment, brain malnutrition, addictions/withdrawal, brain damage from electroshock “therapy” and/or exposure to neurotoxic chemicals in their food, air, water or prescription bottles.

Those labeled as the “mentally ill” are just like us “normals” who have not yet decompensated because of some yet-to-happen, crisis-inducing, overwhelming (however temporary) life situation. And thus we have not yet been given a billable code number (accompanied by the seemingly obligatory – and unaffordable – drug prescription or two signifying we are now chronically mentally ill. Unlabeled, we are likely to remain off prescription drugs but with a label and in “the system”, it is hard to “just say no to drugs.”

The victims of hopelessness-generating situations like simple bad luck, bad circumstances, bad company, bad choices, bad government, big business, and a competitive society that generates a few winners but mostly losers. America tolerates, indeed celebrates, punitive and thus fear-inducing social systems resembling in many ways the infamous police state realities of 20th century European totalitarianism, where people who were different or just dissidents were thought to be abnormal and therefore “disappeared” into insane asylums, jails or concentration camps without just cause or competent legal defense. And many of them were and are drugged with disabling psychoactive chemicals against their will.

The truth is that most, if not all, of BigPharma’s psychotropic drugs are lethal at some dosage level (the LD50, the lethal dose that kills 50% of lab animals, is calculated before efficacy testing is done), and therefore the drugs must be regarded as dangerous. The chronic use of these drugs is a major cause of cognitive disorders, brain damage, loss of creativity, loss of spirituality, loss of empathy, loss of energy, loss of strength, fatigue and tiredness, permanent disability and a multitude of metabolic adverse effects that can readily sicken the body, brain and soul by causing insomnia or somnolence, increased depression or anxiety, delusions, psychoses, paranoia, mania, etc. So before filling the prescription, it is advisable to read the product insert labeling under WARNINGS, PRECAUTIONS, ADVERSE EFFECTS, CONTRAINDICATIONS, TOXICOLOGY, OVERDOSAGE and the ever-present BLACK BOX WARNINGS ABOUT SUICIDALITY.

Long-term, high dosage or combination psychotropic drug usage could be regarded as a chemically traumatic brain injury (TBI) or, as drugs like Thorazine were known in the 1950s and 60s, a “chemical lobotomy”. That is a useful way to conceptualize this serious issue, because such chemically brain-altered patients are often indistinguishable from those who have suffered a physically traumatic brain injuries or been subjected to ice-pick lobotomies which were popular in the 1940s and 50s – before the drugs came on the market.

America has a mental ill health epidemic on its hands that is grossly misunderstood because it is worsening, not by the supposed disease progression, but because of the neurotoxic, non-curative drugs that are somehow regarded as first-line “treatment.”

For more information of these extremely serious topics check out these websites:,,,,,,, www.quitpaxil, org,,, and and follow the links.


Dr. Kohls is a family physician who, until his retirement in 2008, practiced holistic mental health care. His patients came to see him asking for help in getting off the psychotropic drugs that they knew were sickening and disabling them. He was successful in helping significant majorities of his patients get off their drugs using a thorough and therefore time-consuming program that was based on psychoeducational psychotherapy, brain nutrient therapy, a drastic change away from the malnourishing and often toxic Standard American Diet (SAD) plus a program of gradual, closely monitored drug withdrawal. Dr. Kohls warns against the abrupt discontinuation of any psychiatric drug because of the common, often serious withdrawal symptoms that can occur with the chronic use of any dependency-inducing psychoactive drug, whether illicit or legal. Close consultation with an aware, informed physician who is hopefully familiar with dealing with drug withdrawal syndromes (starting with the original prescribing physician), who will read and study the above books and become aware of the previously unknown dangers of these drugs and the nutritional needs of the drug-toxified and nutritionally-depleted brain.

Dr. Kohls is a member of MindFreedom International and the International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology. He is the editor of the occasional Preventive Psychiatry E-Newsletter.

Scientists Map North Atlantic Garbage Patch

A huge garbage patch of floating plastic in the North Atlantic Ocean has been documented by scientists for the first time.

Plastic accumulated in regions called gyres, where currents circle and push water toward the centre, trapping the floating bits. There are five major gyres in the world, one in each major ocean.

Scientists have gathered data from 22 years of surface net tows to map the North Atlantic garbage patch, which lies to the east of Bermuda, and its change over time, creating the most accurate picture yet of any pelagic plastic patch on earth. The data were gathered by thousands of undergraduates aboard the Sea Education Association (SEA) sailing semester, who hand-picked, counted and measured more than 64,000 pieces of plastic from 6,000 net tows between 1986 to 2008.

“The highest concentrations that we observe in the North Atlantic garbage patch are comparable to that of the North Pacific, but we don’t have enough data about the size of the North Pacific one to say whether they are comparable in size,” said oceanographer Kara Law of SEA, lead author of the study published August 19 in Science. “As far as I’m aware this is the most complete and long term data set for little bits of trash floating in the ocean,” said oceanographer Miriam Goldstein of Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

The highest concentrations of plastic were found roughly from the latitude of Virginia to the latitude of Cuba. They estimate the average concentration of plastic in this area is about 4,000 pieces per square mile, though it is as high as 250,000 pieces per square mile in some places.

To determine where the plastic is coming from, researchers used data from more than 1,600 satellite-tracked drifting buoys deployed between 1989 and 2009 to map surface currents in the region. More than 100 buoys passed through the Atlantic plastic region, most originating from the eastern seaboard. In most cases, the buoys reached the plastic patch in less than 60 days.

Plastic accumulated in regions called gyres, where currents circle and push water toward the centre, trapping the floating bits. There are five major gyres in the world, one in each major ocean.

One surprising conclusion of the study found the concentration of plastic in the North Atlantic has remained fairly steady during the past 22 years despite a five-fold increase in global plastic production and a four-fold increase in the amount of plastic the United States discards.

No one knows how long plastic stays in the ocean or where most of it ultimately will end up. Sea animals such as birds and turtles often consume plastic, sometimes carrying it to land. Some likely will sink over time or wash up on shore.