How to Discover Our Universe

Our Undiscovered UniverseApparently, scientific thought needs rekindling, seemingly it has run out of kindle and needs a new flame if it is to burn brighter. In steps Terence Witt with the concept of null physics. Witt has now self-published a hefty tome by the name of Our Undiscovered Universe.

According to the press blurb that came with my review copy of the book, he’s a visiting scientist at Florida Institute of Technology. Now, I can find FIT on the web, but I cannot find Witt at FIT. Anyway, he puts forward a not entirely original, idea that modern physics requires a paradigm shift back to common sense thinking and a logical reconnection between observation and theory.

There is, Witt says, a disconnect between the two in our current Big Bang theory of the origins of the universe. In Our Undiscovered Universe, Witt puts forward the hypothesis that the universe is static and not expanding, and rouses various equations to explain away the red shift of distant cosmic objects and concepts such as dark matter and dark energy.

Perhaps there are almost as many loopholes in modern physics as there are wormholes and maybe it is possible to tangle up any scientific model with enough string to fill a universe. But, Witt’s is too comfortable a conclusion, that the universe does not rely on any unknowable precursors in the untestable past and will not grow old, collapse or die, but is an unimaginably large cosmic engine. Moreover, his null hypothesis suggests that “our universe actually is, the only thing it could possibly be: the internal structure of nothingness.”

So, you might ask, what is Witt’s evidence for this concept? He explains that evidence of the Null Axiom is everywhere:

  • Matter and antimatter are always created in equal, yet opposite amounts whose electrical sum is zero
  • Positive and negative electric fields sum to a neutral universe with zero net electrical charge
  • Energy is conserved in all interactions; the magnitude of the universe’s energy has zero change
  • Space is a collection of points, little bits of nothingness itself, which embodies a geometric zero – Null
  • Charge must be conserved in particle interactions; the sum of the difference between charges is zero
  • Momentum is conserved, so the universe’s net momentum remains constant at zero

I put a few questions to Witt on behalf of Sciencebase readers just on the off-chance that a paradigm shift really is pending. First off, I asked him to describe null physics briefly.

Null physics is a bottom-up theory built upon the solution to the ontological dilemma: why does the universe exist [instead of nothing]? The solution – that our universe is composed of nothing – leads directly to the four-dimensional geometry of which energy and space are composed. Null physics is the study and quantification of this geometry and its larger ramifications. In contrast to modern physics’ top-down, heuristic approach, which uses measurements and mathematical symmetries to build models that conform to empirical reality, null physics derives empirical reality, such as the magnitude of unit elementary charge and the range and strength of the strong force, through calculations applied to the topology of a fully known underlying geometry.

I put it to Witt that because his theory is a blend of philosophy and science, that might be a double-edged sword?

Not at all. What we currently call physics originally began as natural philosophy. Physics replaced natural philosophy because it provided an accurate mathematical description of the macroscopic scale of the physical world. This set the stage for untold advances in engineering and technology, but many of the foundational questions that natural philosophy confronted, such as why the universe exists and why matter is composed of discrete particles, were lost in this transition, leaving us with empty mathematical models. Null physics is the best of both worlds, fusing a deep understanding of physical reality (as geometry) with empirical validation. The geometry used in Null physics is derived using logic and reasoning similar to that employed by natural philosophy, but has no philosophical component in its final geometric formulation.

Of course, there are other theories around that suggest the universe did not begin with the Big Bang, I asked Witt, what makes his stand out among them?

Sweeping unification and empirical validation. Unlike other non-Big Bang theories, null cosmology is falsifiable, provides testable predictions, and gives a full accounting of the many nuanced properties of the intergalactic redshift and CMB. It also, unlike any cosmology before it (including the Big Bang), provides a logical reason for the universe’s existence and a clear framework that unifies a wide variety of known galactic properties with the large-scale universe. And in keeping with true scientific progress, the unification provided by null cosmology illuminates a number of currently unknown galactic properties, such as the vortical motion of a galaxy’s disk material.

Finally, I was still curious about the philosophical implications and asked about what this theory can tell us of our place in the universe.

It tells us everything about our place in the universe. It tells us why and how we exist on a finite scale that, because of space’s intrinsic symmetry, must exist precisely midway between infinite largeness and smallness. It tells us that the universe is, through causality and sheer size, large enough to contain its own history. In fact the universe must contain its own history, because each and every moment of our lives is integral to ultra-large-scale structure. Perhaps most importantly, null physics demonstrates that our existence is neither accident nor design – it is inevitable.

Witt’s theory also closes the door on a designer. If the universe has always existed and always will exist, then how could a creator have any role to play at all? I suspect that an atheist agenda might underlie many of the static universe theories that are springing up at regular intervals, but they could be simply replacing unsubstantiated nonsense with another form of unsubstantiated nonsense. It’s just not good enough to ask, why are we here? And to answer, because we’re here!

25 thoughts on “How to Discover Our Universe

  1. @Reality Check (aka Ian Fisk?) Thanks for the reality check. Among the many thousands of people out there claiming to have overturned modern theories in one fell swoop, it seems Witt is one of the most persistent, we thus need the persistence of people like you to keep chipping away at any errors in his argument.

  2. Hi Sara,
    Dr Morse would be a good reviewer of a book on death-related visions or perhaps even medicine in general. But he is not knowledgeable about mathematics or physics to review Terence Witt’s “Our Undiscovered Universe, Introducing Null Physics, The Science of Uniform and Unconditional Reality” since he did not mention the many obvious mathematical and physical flaws in the book. Here are a few of Terence Witt’s mathematical errors:
    * Treating the concept of infinity as a number.
    * Redefining the concept of infinity which does not have units of measurement to have the units of length. It is just as “valid” to redefine zero as 0.00000001 feet.
    * Stating that infinity has a “magnitude”, i.e. a size. This means infinity is finite according to Terence Witt. But if he is willing to redefine infinity then I am sure that he is willing to redefine magnitude (perhaps as “uncountable”).
    * Defining a line as a series of points written as zeros and separated by plus signs, treating them as numbers so that they add up to zero and then treating the number zero as a point again! I can define a line as a series of points written as zeros and separated by division signs and come up with the amazing conclusion that lines are undefined since anything divided by zero is undefined).
    * His “null geometry” is missing a few things, e.g. a definition of length. But that is alright because he essentially ignores (or even contradicts) it in the rest of the book.
    * Equation L.10 in his appendix has misprints and an obvious missing substitution.

    The only physics flaw I will mention is so basic that writing it is close to lying to the reader: The spectra from stars are not perfect black body spectra and so cannot decay to the CMB (which has a perfect black body spectrum). This is something a first year physics student learns.

    For a fuller list of flaws see: http://homepages.ihug.co.nz/~fiski/ouu_review.html

    “Some readers have even spent their valuable time tracking down Mr. Witt online and posing reviews every time they see his name” may be refering to me. I am intrigued to see that my small efforts are making a certain PR firm nervous!

  3. I wanted to post this current review. Everyone in the scientific community seems very upset over the book. Some readers have even spent their valuable time tracking down Mr. Witt online and posing reviews every time they see his name. I wonder why? Is it because Witt has discovered something important they don’t want the world to read about? In response to the previous post, I do work as Mr. Witt’s publicist. I write his press releases and am featured on his web site but do not write any of Mr. Witt’s articles/blogs. Witt has also recently received favorable reviews by Midwest Book Review and Kirkus Discoveries.

    More info about the reviewer: Dr. Morse’s research has been featured in documentaries in Japan, Australia, France, Canada, England, and the United States. He has appeared on numerous television and radio shows, including 20/20, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Turning Point, The Tom Snyder Show, the Larry King Show, Good Morning America, Dateline, and Unsolved Mysteries, and has been the subject of lengthy profiles in the Seattle Times, Tacoma News Tribune, and the Los Angeles Times. He has numerous scientific publications on death-related visions, including The Lancet and the American Medical Association’s Pediatric Journal

    Sara

  4. Basically, it’s a vanity (self-published) book. It’s fundamentally a cracked conjecture of no real substance based, not on evidence and observation but whimsy. Sarah Lien is the book’s publicist.

  5. I noticed his website in the sponsored portion of my myspace home page and was intriuged. So, i went to his site and read the theories. So I did some research to see how credible he is. The first page of sites that popped up on ask.com made him out to be an accomplished physics genius. I was almost convinced when i suddenly noticed all the articles were written by the same “Ms. S Lien”. Earlier on his site I noticed under the “contact” section an address that caught my eye. slien@briobooks.com. Seems a lil fishy to me. Theres no credible information about this guy anywhere out there. who is he really?

  6. Being popular in science, especially on internet forums is so telling! Great forums are not likely to be scientifc—but they are better than nothing and let you know that Academia is totally lost where science is concerned. Also tiny pieces of unintegrated truth pop up all over the place. Upshot– these pieces help immensely in writing new book manuscripts for long term posting for absolutely free global access! I believe that well integrated truth will internet-out to the tiny few given enough time.

  7. To all:
    Things are getting familiar and my involvement into pseudoscience debate seems to have become bilingual.
    I did learn a lot during this process about what is science and what is not, in Chinese context.

    To Will:
    What’s contrary to invective me which I should apologize for may still be anything possible, but what’s contrary to the essence of science is, simply, not science. The question of what’s the essence of science should be fixed before actually ‘doing’ science. By fixed I mean an agreement among the people you wish your ‘science’ to be accepted and discussed. If such an agreement as to ‘what is the essence of science’ cannot established between you and the rest of whom you talked with about your specific science, you just have to solve with the former and more general question first.

    My advice for Witt, if he wants to be accepted by scientists as science (for example get funded from NSF or NASA or I don’t know how it goes in the US), he may try to write another book describing what he think is the essence of science, and by his definition, why and how his theory of null physics fits his understanding of science. Or, in contrary to invective me again which I apologize in advance, he doesn’t want to be accepted by all scientists or he feels just fine currently and in the future and is not seeking for anything, that’s quite okay in a nation full of free voices. Because, fortunately for all of us, human is not going to die out very recently and we have HISTORY which is amazingly great in testing people over there.

    To Ben:
    I admire you very much because I always dream to pacify all those poor great-theory-not-accepted people by going over their works and telling them what’s the essential error in their work. But I seldom have time and opportunity to do so. Or if I have, I’m not a good physicist. I study chemistry. One curious thing is there is literally NO great-theory-carrier in the field of chemistry which is disappointing. Anyway, you did once Ben! Well done but, according to my experience in coping with these people, I believe the effect of your review is only your feeling better (mine too). They, although ‘not idealistic’, are ‘rather epistemological’.

  8. I fail to see how this “All great truth slogan” is the germ of Sara’s contribution. The quotation is benign, and seems intended merely to remind us of our place in an evolving world. A true scientist would agree we are continuing to evolve along all fronts including scientific thought lines, yes? Deriving any impugnable subtext beyond this is a contrivance.

    Indeed, not all great truths begin as blasphemies. I agree that progress is more typically the result of years of exhaustive observation and formulation. On this point, it should be noted that Terence Witt developed his theory Null Physics over the course of 37 years and first copyrighted the contents of his book in 1980.

    Contrary to the invective of Andrew – and his derision toward GBS’ plain insight – the matter at hand is not idealistic but rather epistemological. Large parts of the scientific community have remanded the epistemic debate back to philosophy while painting philosophic enterprises with the same broad brush used for Creationism, Buddhism, Mysticism and other variegated metaphysical sects. Regardless of how adamantly the scientific community repudiates the debate, the debate continues if for no other reason than to disavow a claim to sovereignty based not on strength but a reputation for strength. To rally around a credo ‘Observation before truth’ is symptomatic of an arrogation, and demonstrates the dismissive tenor commonly used as means for moderating contributions of thinkers outside the ranks. Choosing to excise an inconvenient portion of your discipline does not invalidate the function of that portion anymore so than removing a kidney means that kidney lying on the cutting room floor had no purpose or efficacy prior to its infirmity.

  9. I also got a review copy of this book, and contrary to normal practice I write a review. Conclusion: Witt makes the same list of crackpot mistakes as every Einstein-and-Schrodinger-were-wrong ranter, and his theory alternates between “explicitly wrong” and “so vague, it’s not even wrong”. Here’s the review.

  10. Indeed. A true scientist never speaks of “great truths” except in their dotage (or Nobel speech) but even then science is not about ultimate truth, nor ultimate truth, it is about explaining observations and predicting what might happen next based on those and refining the explanation when something doesn’t mesh with the theory.

  11. By the “all great truth” slogan, David, I can see in common between here and abroad the stupidity of those ‘speakers of science’ who thought it were they that define science and keep uttering things like ‘all great truth’. Why don’t we applause and create more blasphemies so as to fill the world ‘all’ with ‘great truth’ we love?

  12. Sara – Not all great truths begin as blasphemies, at least not in science, despite GBS’s proclamation. Indeed, great truths usually emerge from years of interative observations, only occasionally is there a revolution or a serendipitous finding that causes a paradigm shift. No apple fell on Newton’s head, for instance, he’s spent years working out the mathematics of planetary motions before he came up with this theory of gravity. Likewise, Einstein didn’t simply happen upon his theories of relativity, they were based on decades of anomalous observations by others about the behaviour of the universe.

    Witt’s idea may be very “Zen”, indeed a Buddhist friend of mine thought the idea that the universe added up to a big fat zero and has always existed and always will was about as Zen as you could get cosmologically speaking. But, that still doesn’t mean that decades of observations and theories since Hubble are wrong. It’s all very well coming up with a philosophical theory, but philosophy is all in the mind, science relies on evidence and refutation of theories to bring us closer to the truth.

  13. This is a new theory and I think it deserves to be discussed.

    In my opinion, readers should take a closer look and form informed opinions.

    “All great truths begin as blasphemies.” – George Bernard Shaw

  14. Lots of words that told me nothing. How can you talk about “evidence” statements such as this: “Space is a collection of points, little bits of nothingness itself, which embodies a geometric zero – Null” Are these points something in his imagination?
    Check out his website reviews if you want to see how difficult it is to find anybody who is able to say anything substantive.
    Did his explanation of the 1^M closure constant make any sense to anybody?
    Why am I spending so much time responding to this?

  15. Just to further clarify Mr. Witt’s status as visiting scientist at FIT, his office is room 351 of the Olin Physical Sciences building.

  16. Been a Richard Feynman fan about how we must understand physics before we apply the math. Einstein was very much in this vain and knew before he died that simpler math was needed to complete his theory. After really penetrating “Gravitation” – his great legacy- I visualized in mechanical detail the way he did –to eventually simplify his Space Cruvature equation—which discovery will never be for sale —it is G = R/3(v-squared) = equals the Higgs particle replacement sphere radius where R is the radius of the material point spin surface that G defines. Mass is a surface quality not a volume quality and mass = volume divided density is a myth. See of you can fit your concept. Better still, let me convince you we can and must do much better!

  17. Andrew – there are countless charlatans in the West too, I can assure you. I receive at least one email a day claiming to have burned water, to have refuted Einstein, fixed quantum mechanics, or explained away cosmology etc etc. I even created a Controversial Conjectures section with the cracked pot icon on http://www.sciscoop.com as a repository of some of these. I’ve also mentioned things like Steorn and that “other” system on Sciencebase. There are millions of snake oil vendors too and those have also been given short shrift. I’d love to see some of the claims being made by your compatriots but I’m afraid my Cantonese is a little rusty, despite some exposure during the Olympics :-(

  18. In China there are always some amateur ‘scientists’ who claim to have proved the Goldbach’s conjecture or Poincare Conjecture, or have established a whole new theoretical structure that can explain the whole world by one equation, or less aggressively, have found a significant defeat in the reasoning of the the theory of relativity, or disclosed that the quantum mechanics is actually a huge lie. These people all represent to different extents a sign of ill bigotry. Of course they are all neglected by main-stream academia, although they try their best to earn media coverage. In China we are less tolerant to different voice:)

    The crux of the matter is they don’t know what is science and why and how an assertion is accepted in science. But they listen to no suggestion, because they have been profoundly moved by stories about how a famous scientist struggled against secular bias, stick to what he/she believe in, and finally won applause. Unfortunately there are many stories of this kind where success of those scientists seem irrelevant to reasoning and evidence.

    These people have many supporters among the grass-root class, who have been suffering lack of right to speak for long. They have less opportunity of higher education maybe. So they support heroes who without formal training can hit the authority of any field hard.

    I have been involved in the debate on this issue in Chinese blogosphere. This is why I post on On The Road less frequently lately. I wonder very much are there any counterparts in western countries? One day I encountered a blog introducing a technology called Nano Vent-Skin. Although the technology can only be called a conceptual one, I still don’t believe this technology anyhow works. But the images and videos on the site is beautiful.

    Now Mr. Witt seems to bend physics and philosophy into his work which is very like the Chinese amateur scientists I’ve mentioned above, but in a more professional, sophisticated way. I can imagine a more professional and sophisticated way in developed country where everything legal is allowed to speak and a powerful public media exist. One can suddenly become famous out of nothing by carefully designed PR tricks.

  19. From what I know, Witt holds a BSEE from Oregon State University. He appears to work alone. I think he is a visiting lecturer at FIT, but I can’t verify that either, David.

    In his book one of his peculiar constants is called the “universal closure constant”, which is 1^M, where M=4, or 1^4, or simply the number 1.

    I could say that the “universal closure constant” is 1^M where M = 6, 10, 200 or whatever. It’s still the number 1. Does Witt not know this? Anyway, Witt also displayed formulae where 1^M equals all kinds of things on the other side of the “=” sign. His tome has proved one thing, however, and that is 1=1.

    Nice try, Mr. Witt.

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