ARE WE LIVING IN A DESIGNER UNIVERSE ? Article by Astronomer John Gribbin


A Designer Universe is described by a Greek word called ‘COSMOS’ which means Beauty and Order.

If an object comes into existence as a new object, and if it is unique, distinctive, and one of its kind, I would describe that object as a created object and it cannot be described as a manufactured object. The distinction between creating an object and manufacturing an object is that of inspiration; the action must be characterized by creative thought or influence. Astronomer John Gribbin in his article about the origin of Universe makes an attempt to discuss “Unknown” “Unknowns”. He considers that God is unknown and incomprehensible. Instead of discussing “Unknown” ‘Unknowns”, we may rather try to understand known “Unknowns”. If the Universe is a “Multiverse” with unknown physical laws operating equally unknown universes, the discussion would be futile. We are not present at the time of the birth of this Universe in which we exist today. The birth and the origin of this Universe is unknown. However, we know the Universe as it exists today and it is partly known and comprehensible. It is reasonable to reflect upon the known aspects of this known Universe. 


Different planets have different rates of Rotation. Earth’s Rotational Spin makes it a unique Celestial Body. This Rotational Spin is a characteristic of its Design with purpose, and imagination.
This is the photo image of a new Exoplanet. It is not an Earth like object. This new planet has a different rate of rotation.

There are good and valid reasons to believe that planet Earth is unique, distinctive, and one of its own kind. Man has not discovered any object in this Universe which could be comparable to planet Earth. Man is endowed with Sensory Perception, Mind, Intellect, and Consciousness. The sky that man visualizes while existing on Earth is BLUE in color and the color of the sky beyond planet Earth is BLACK. This Visual Sense Perception demands existence of special organs for Color perception and an appropriate physical medium that can scatter Light rays. Man has organs for Hearing, his environment has the natural ability to propagate Sound Waves, and several of the living entities have special organs to generate Sound. This ability to produce Sound, Propagate Sound Energy, and Perception of Sound is unique to our planet Earth. Unless demonstrated by evidence of Sound Recordings, this Auditory Sense Perception prevails only on planet Earth. Apart from the Soil of this Earth which has a unique fragrance of its own called ‘GEOSMIN’, Man exists in a fragrant world. This Olfactory Sense Perception is a unique experience and could exist only on planet Earth. For this Olfactory Sense function we need the simultaneous operation of physical, chemical, and biotic factors. The Fresh Water that supports Man’s Life has an original, and distinctive pure taste of its own. Man lives tasting unique organic molecules which produce the Gustatory experience. As the saying goes, ‘The Proof of the Pudding is in the Eating’; we need acceptable proof about the existence of such unique organic molecules in the rest of the Universe. Today, planet Earth is the only place where Man can Dine and Wine. Man has the ability to actually experience the Power of Creation. The Tactile Sense Perception gives Man the ability to hold his own Baby in his arms and directly experience the New Product as a Created Object. Man always comes into existence as a new, distinctive, unique, and one of his own kind Object. The unique GENOME with which Man takes his birth and comes to Life has not existed before and would not exist again after his Death. 

Astronaut Edwin Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11 Mission on Lunar Soil. Man has not yet discovered “BLUE SKY” in the rest of the Universe away from his Planetary Home.


Intelligence is the ability to acquire and to retain Knowledge. Hence, it may be stated that Intelligence is characterized by the presence of Knowledge. The Laws that operate in the material universe have no intelligence. Nonliving matter has no intelligence. Intelligence can only exist in living entities that have the abilities of Perception, Cognition, Awareness, and Consciousness. Knowledge means the Act of Knowing, the State of Knowing, and the Fact of Knowing a range of information. Man, and other living entities which are endowed with Intelligence can use and exploit the Natural Laws that operate in the material Universe to sustain their own existence. Physical Systems do not need Intelligence in their mechanical operations. I must also add that “Unintelligent Laws” that operate material Nature and Universe cannot give birth to “Intelligent” minds. Intelligence and Knowledge are Biological Functions and they characterize only Living Systems. Both Intelligence and Knowledge are revealed in application of information in a function/action/activity of a living organism. This ability which gives a sense of ‘Awareness’ of the environment in which a living organism exists is called ‘Consciousness’. The Living Organism is a Conscious entity, and it demonstrates its intelligence and knowledge in its living functions. Man uses his intelligence to exploit the Laws of Nature to his advantage. Man harnesses energy from wind, sun, flowing water, and surf. He generates a new form of energy using these resources of energy. He uses intelligence to transform coal energy into fossil fuel, or to generate electrical power. If water flows only in the direction of a natural gradient, man installs a pump and makes the water flow in the opposite direction. Similarly, plants trap light energy and transform radiation energy into chemical energy and create organic molecules. Man oxidizes these organic molecules and converts oxidative energy into chemical energy which he further uses for all of his living functions. A stone could also get heated by Sun and trap some light energy. Stone has no Intelligence or Knowledge and it cannot convert the energy it gained into a different form of energy and use it to build molecules of its own kind. Metals, liquids, and gases do physically expand upon heating and such expansion is not associated with addition of new molecules of their own kind. Only living entities have the “ability” to exploit energy from material nature. The “DESIGNER” who has Mind and Intelligence could be defined as a Living System as Life could be defined as “Knowledge in Action.” 

The Mind and Intellect of the Designer is always imprinted on His Design. Man experiences his Life on planet Earth with the help of a ‘Biological Clock’ which acts as an internal timing mechanism.

Indian Tradition offers a very simple and reasonable explanation to all this. Bhagavad Gita, Chapter VII( Knowledge of the Absolute ), verses 4 and 5 states that “Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence, and false ego – altogether these eight comprise My separated material energies. ( Material Nature is known as ‘Prakriti’ ). There is a superior energy of Mine; which are all living entities who are struggling with material nature and who sustain the universe.” Further, verse 9 states that, “I am the life of all that lives.” Verse 10 states that, “I am the original seed of all existences.” Verse 8 affirms that, “I am …… ability in man.” If Mind, and Intelligence are viewed as forms of material energy, the embodied Soul has the “ABILITY” to exploit that energy apart from energies of material nature or Prakriti. The Knowledge of the Absolute describes Living entities as manifestations of Lord Krishna’s Superior Energy. Man is related to the Superior Energy and hence the Living Systems and the Absolute share the same characteristics like Knowledge, Intelligence, and Consciousness. The Bhagavad Gita in Chapter X ( The Opulence of the Absolute), verse 22 states that “……… in living beings I am Consciousness.” The Status of Man in Nature and his conditioned Existence on planet Earth describes the Design and testifies about the Mind and Intellect of the Designer, a Creator God. 

The Bhagavad Gita reveals the Mind and Intellect of the Designer. The Design for this Universe and the Plan of Creation are Revealed in Chapter X ( The Opulence of the Absolute ), verse 8 states:”I am the source of everything; from Me the entire Creation flows.”

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter XVIII ( The Perfection of Renunciation ) in verses 13 and 14 explains that there are five “causes” in the accomplishment of any action, or any kind of work including that of creation and designing the Universe and the living entities that struggle and sustain this Universe. If there are no living entities, there would be no struggle with material nature, and there would be no purpose for the Universe to exist. The five factors of action are 1. the Place of Action, 2. The Doer, 3. the Senses, 4. the Endeavor, 5. and ultimately the Super Soul (which is often stated as the PRIME CAUSE). The Absolute, or the Super Soul has functioning Sense Organs or a Sensory System, and has Intelligence, Mind, Knowledge, Ability, and Consciousness. Lord Krishna has described Himself as the “Consciousness in all the living entities.” 

There are five factors of action; the place of action, the doer, the senses, the endeavor, and the Supersoul or Prime Cause. This Designer Universe in which Man exists reveals all the five causes that accomplished the Act of Creation.

Please review my blog post titled “I am Consciousness, therefore I am” for further discussion about ‘SOUL AND CONSCIOUSNESS’. 

Rudra N. Rebbapragada/ R. Rudra Narasimham, B.Sc., M.B.B.S., 

Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S.A., 


The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science 

Are we living in a designer universe?

Added: Tuesday, 31 August 2010 at 4:41 PM 

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 skeptics  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 suggest 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 civilization 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 civilization  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 civilization  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 recognizably 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 civilization 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), available from Telegraph Books for £9.99 plus 99p p&p. Call 0844 8711515 or go to 



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