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BC - The Self-Organizing Universe

Hi, I’m Lee Hayden, physicist, website owner, manager, and author .  I am pleased to welcome you to the Hayden Center For Educational Excellence.  The Hayden Center  offers students a variety of educational programs of study, each  program leading to an opportunity to  experience a unique  form of  lifestyle  enrichment.  Click here to review the available programs of study, courses, durations, and costs.  Contact Lee Hayden at 707-945-1294 for additional information.

At the Hayden Center, the student selects a personal lifestyle enrichment program from the following:  self-actualization, personal true-self, or community true-self.  (Alternatively, the student may select an individual course such as this course.)  Programs are implemented as free brief courses and associated fee-based short courses.  The Hayden Center provides the educational environment that supports the student’s attainment of the selected lifestyle enrichment program or coursework.

This is a free brief course.  Similar  to all  brief courses,  it only introduces and   summarizes the key ideas  contained in the associated fee based short course.  Short courses are uniquely beneficial because they are conducted in a  face-to-face in person or on-line learning environment which assures the studied material becomes working knowledge.  As brief/short course author ,  I sincerely strive to produce courses whose content meets or exceeds common standards of excellence, objectivity, reliability, and life enrichment.  To enroll in the short course, phone Lee at 702-945-1294.

Learning Objective:  The self-organizing universe produces the reality in which we conduct our lives.  You will learn about reality and be able to converse more confidently and intelligently. Your thinking will become more reality-based thinking.  This course represents a foundation for learning to experience an enriched lifestyle.

The brief course is presented below.  The fee schedule for the short course is presented in the table below.

The picture below represents a small region of the universe taken with the Hubble telescope.  This region contains manybillions of galaxies with each each with billions of stars. Please examine this picture for a minute or two.  Don’t you want to know more about the self-organizing universe?

As stated above, the purpose of the Hayden Center  is to provide an educational environment that helps the student achieved  an enriched lifestyle.  To accomplish this purpose,, the Hayden Center provides three programs with each program consisting of  a set of  supporting courses.  Most courses address various aspects of our human needs and include human needs identified and published by Abraham Maslow.  According to Maslow’s hierarchical chart  of human needs, the top human need is for self-actualization.  However, we have extended the top portion of Maslow’s chart to include a personal true-self need and a community true-self need.  Thus, at the highest level, a courses exist that have the same title as their  programs.  These courses   are self-actualization, personal true-self, and community true-self.  There are also courses between the lowest and highest level.  

The bottom portion of Maslow’s chart has also been modified as shown by the chart below.  The modifed chart shows a human foundation need to self-organize for the purpose of satisfying all higher needs. As part of a self-organizing reality produced by a self-organizing universe, each human being  self-organizes consistent with external environmental factors.  

According to the self-organizing universe paradigm, the universe has produced Man as part of the self-organizing process.  Man is not thrown into the universe but is part of the fabric of the universe, i.e., part of reality produced by the universe.  Starting with foundational needs seeking expression, all Men transition hierarchically through the needs shown in the chart. The transitioning process is greatly influenced positively or negatively  by that part of reality external to the Man involved.  For example, a young child may develop poor self-esteem in response to non-nourishing treatment by irresponsible parents.  

BC - Self-Organizing Universe

The concept of a self-organizing universe is based on the research of Nobel Laureate Ilya Prigogine.  Prigogine’s  pioneering research addressing  chaos, thermodynamics, and time has caused self-organization theory to be as revolutionary as Darwin’s evolutionary theory.  Scientist following Prigogine have continued to discover instabilities and fluctuations in reality that lead to evolutionary patterns at all levels of existence, from the cosmology of the universe to the biology of molecules.

Prigogine was awarded a Nobel prize because of his contribution to understanding of the 2nd law of thermodynamics.  He demonstrated under laboratory situations  that if a  system is continuously open to external energy sources,  far from equilibrium but tending to return to equilibrium, and non-linear so that positive feeback can reinforce the system structure then the system  can self-organize to form a dissipative structure.

It is important to recognize that self-organization theory has been sucessfully validated for varius well-controlled laboratory situations using the scientific method.  Present knowledge about the universe has been acquired using an reductionist methodology, i.e. from a high level to a lower level.  To explain the universe starting with a big bang and producing the objects observed today, our knowledge must explain how lower organizations organize into the next higher level.   When more fully developed, the theory is anticipated to possess extraordinary explanatory power and be worthy of elevation to  a paradigm stature.  Of course,  this is a theory representing our best guess about the nature or real reality and does not describe reality itself.  

It is also important to recognize that, similar to all theories about the universe, self-organization theory only provides “descriptions” of actual or predicted observable  occurences  in reality.  The theory does not provide reasons “why”  or a local “cause”  of  observable occurrences.

Ideas about physical phenomena occuring in the universe can be most effectively communicated by constructing a relevant theory using the scientific method.  A theory has  assumptions that must be identified since they are integral parts of the theory. In physics, theories are formulated as  mathematical expressions with independent variables for  input parameters and representing physical ideas.    For example, Isaac Newton and many others had observed the motion of objects falling to the earth and desired a theory that encouraged a common understanding and provided calculational tools.

According a legendary story, Newton observed an apple falling from a tree to the ground and, in a moment of inspiration,  had the idea that an attractive force existed between  two masses M1 and M2.  He first made the assumption that, for an unknown reason or even an unknowable reason,  the two masses  do indeed attract in reality. Then, based on the attraction assumption, he constructed a mathematical theory in which the attractive force was directly proportional to the  product of the two masses  and inversely proportional to the square of the distance separating them.

Newton’s theory has been immensly successful and is even used today.  Unfortunately, on one hand, the theory only “describes” phenomena occuring in nature and provides no new information about the cause of the attraction.  On the other hand, except for philosophers, knowledge of the cause is not needed in practice.

We human beings build theories for the observations and experiences in our lives with the expectation that  understanding and making predictions based on   these observations and experiences will benefit our lives in some way. The benefit could be in the form of  satisfying our  personal  needs which have been identified  by Abraham Maslow’s chart of  hierarchal needs. Our hierarchical needs range from physiological needs to higher needs such as belonging, love , self-esteem, and  self-actualization.

**************************Self-Organization of the Universe***************

Many people develop a strong sense of spirituality as their knowledge of reality deepens and as their knowledge of the universe’s self-organization deepens.

An artist concept of the self-organizing universe theory, also known as the big bang theory,  is shown below and a timeline of major events is shown in the second graphic.

The Universe is all of time and space and its contents. The Universe includes planets, stars, galaxies, the contents of intergalactic space, the smallest subatomic particles, and all matter and energy. The observable universe is about 28 billion parsecs (91 billion light-years) in diameter at the present time. The size of the whole Universe is not known and may be either finite or infinite.

The universe appears to  be self-organizing after the big bang occurred. Many usages of the term “self-organizing”are erroneous and misleading.   The following statements are presented to clarify  the term:



As human beings, we ask  very fundamental questions because it’s our human nature, we are curious, and  we know that the quality of our life depends on the quality of questions we ask. .  What started the big bang? How did space, time, matter and energy take the forms that we see today? Can we work backward to unravel the history of the universe?   We ask these quality questions primarily through our great disciplines of philosophy, theology, science, and psychology.  

After the big bang exploded with enormous energy, the universe began the cool-down that has lasted until our own time. During this cool-down period,  the universe experienced an extra-ordinary sequence of events. The early events occurred at unimaginably high  temperatures and densities. As we look back at this sequence of events,we are amazed at how finely tuned these events were to lead to we human beings.  The theory that describe the sequence of events is called the theory of the self-organizing universe.  As has been pointed out by many scientist, however,  this theory  of the universe only “describes” but does not explain “why” each individual event in the  the sequence of events occurs. Explaining “why” each individual event occurs requires another theory, with its own unique set of assumptions, that link “discriptive” and “why “  theories.  

Our scientific theories provide a human interpretation  of physical reality based on our database of facts.  Historically, our theories about reality have reflected  a level of knowledge and understanding of reality corresponding  to the level of database facts.  The rapid growth of technology has resulted in a deepening of the level of database facts. Correspondingly, we have a deepening of our knowledge and understanding  of physical reality. Today, scientists assume there are yet still deeper levels of reality for which  associated theories can benefit Man.   Scientists use telescopes and space probes  to  detect  relics from the early universe and build our database of facts. Scientists also  use particle accelerators to recreate events  occuring at extremely high temperatures thereby  also contribute to our database of facts.  .  As we begin to understand the universe’s  past, we can look to the future of the universe and predict its ultimate fate.

Our universe was born about 13.7 billion years ago in a massive expansion that blew space up like a gigantic balloon. That, in a nutshell, is the Big Bang theory, which virtually all cosmologists and theoretical physicists endorse. The evidence supporting the idea is extensive and convincing. We know, for example, that the universe is still expanding even now, at an ever-accelerating rate.

****************************Definitions Of Great Disciplines*************************

 Human knowledge and understanding of the universe is acquired from the four great disciplines of philosophy, theology, science, and psychology. As our depth of knowledge and understanding expands, our vision of reality   changes  correspondingly . Our vision of reality defines our personal belief system, which is the basis for our attitude toward life and everything we say and do. As is generally the case,  the deeper we understand the the depths of reality, the more spiritual we become.   

The great disciplines  are defined as follows:

Every existant ,i.e., thing or object , in the universe transitions thourgh the same life cycle. Thus, every existant  is born, matures, scenesces, and dies.   You and I die.  Plants, animals, rocks, trees, and iPads live and die    everything does. .The solar system, the stars, the galaxies, and even the universe itself go  through the same life-die cyle. The existant time duration for the life-die cyles vary dramatically. Ironically, it’s not birth and death, but the  scenescing phase that is fascinating. The scenescing phase provides something special for the future.

The universe is only self-organizing in regions of the universe that are far from equilibrium and are non-linear as will be discussed later

 First, assuming a very simple model,  the universe is producing increasing organizational complexity of matter. For example, , under the right local  conditions, quarks organize to produce  new organizations of  quarks called protons and neutrons.The protons and neutrons are not solid particles but are instead the new organization of quarks.  Under a new set of local conditions, neutrons and protons  organize to produce atoms. The atoms are organizations of neutrons and protons  wich are organizations of quarks. This is the sense in which we say the universe is producing increasingly complex ofganizations of matter.  Second, there are always new local conditions associated with the oganizations of matter.  These local conditions are the cause of the transtion from a given level to the next level of organizational complexity.  Thus, science  provides a “discription”  of  the processes in the universe but does  not state  the “why”.  Note: this simple model will be upgraded later in this essay..


People wanting to live their life abundantly should know where they are in the universe.  It is inaccurate to say that we live our lives in the universe. It is factual  to say that we live our lives as part of  the universe’s physical reality.

*********************************The Higgs Scalar Boson************************************

After the big bang, there was a period of time in which there was no mass in the universe.  The Higgs scalar boson gave mass to the universe and, as a result, was called the “god particle”.  Without the Higgs, there would have been no mass in the universe.

As discussed previously, the main function of the universe as understood by science is to produce increasingly complex organization of matter in the universe.

About 13.75 billion years ago, the big bang occurred. It was a momentous event. Yes, 13.75 billion years ago - that is a very long time ago. As a thought experiment, visualize a very small sphere existing in Thwhat we shall call metaphysical space. The sphere contains all the mass of what will become the universe. This nearly incomprehensible state is theorized to have existed for just a fraction of the first second of time.  The sphere appears to explode into metaphysical space creating the universe depicted in te artist concept of the “Self-Organizing Universe” shown in the picture above. The theory maintains that, in the instant—a trillion-trillionth of a second—after the big bang, the universe expanded with incomprehensible speed from its pebble-size origin to astronomical scope. Expansion has apparently continued, but much more slowly, over the ensuing billions of years.

There are many billions of galaxies.

The picture below, taken with the Hubble telescope, shows the center of the Milky Way Galaxy.  The galaxy is believed to be held-together by the gravitational attraction of a black hole.


Before Galeleo, Man could see only a few hundred stars at night  With invention of the telescope Man could see millions of stars..

The universe self-organizes. Man, being an integral part of the universe, also self-organizes. Man’s consciousness also self-organizes. The self-organization of the universe includes biological evolution.

The universe became conscious when Ape-Man became conscious. The self-organization of the universe theory does not state why the universe has become conscious.

The highest known  level of organizational achievement in the universe is Man.

Man does not always self-organize in a positive way.

Man is beginning to explore the solar system.  For many Men, new knowledge gained will increase their level of consciousness.

*********************Self -Organization In Early Universe**********************

Science  has performed an excellent  job of describing nature and the self-organizing universe. Starting in actuality, science has focused deeper and deeper into reality in search of an ultimate reality.  At the first level of reality after actuality, it  discovered the atom,then the  neutrons and protons at the next level, , followed by the quark, and quantum fields as the lowest level.  Science has benefited Man in countless ways, such as communication sattellites, all sorts of electronic devices, and medical equipment to name a few.  Science has profoundly changes our lives and continues to change lives. And for that reason, Man has placed  science on a pedestal and diminished the relavancy  of theology.

Man, using the discipline of science,  has made great progress in describing the self-organizing universe. Science  provides an excellent theory  describing the increasing levels of complexity of matter as a function of time. Matter transitions from a lower level of complexity to a higher level of complexity.  At this point in time, the purpose of the universe seems to be the production of increasingly complex  levels of  matter. For example, neutrons and protons represent  an organizational level  matter. The thing being organized is quarks.  Atoms represent the next  higher organizational level of matter. Thus, an atom  is also an organization of quarks but  a more complex organization  built from neutrons and protons.

Unfortunately, science only describes the different organizational levels of matter. Science  does not make  statements  regarding why  a given organizational level exists or why the transistion  from  a given organizational  level to the next occurs.  This fact is a major limitation of Man’s search for truth employing the discipline of  science.  Science  will continue to make progress toward  describing ultimate reality of the universe.


The purpose of the universe seems to be to produce increasing complexity. At a given organizational level a matter object self-organizes to produce a higher level matter object. For example, starting with quarks. An organization of matter called a quark self-organizes  with other quarks to produce two oganizations of matter called a neutron and proton. It should be noted that neutrons and protons are organizations of quarks. They are not little balls of matter without structure. The organizations of neutrons and protons self-organize to produce an organization of matter called an atom. Again, it should be noted that atoms are a more complex organization of quarks than protons and neutrons are organizations of quarks.   Atoms self-organize to produce a more complex organization of matter call a molecule.  Molecules are a more complex organization matter than atoms, but both are organizations of quarks. A block of steel is a complex organization of quarks.  So are skunks. So too is a man. As far as we know, Man is the most complex organization of matter produced by the universe.

 In high school physics and chemistry were are correctly told that a crystal molecule is composed of atoms, that atoms are composed of neutrons, protons, and electorns and that neutrons and protons are composed of quarks. But, we should understand that all matter is composed of quarks. Each organization has its own mass identity and electrical charge identity. Except for the proton, all organizations of matter are unstable and have their unique half-life. Atoms in all matter objects observed at the macroscopic level are continually disassembling (because of their instability) and reassembling themselve but it’s not noticed because of the large number of atoms in the given matter object. With proper instrumentaion, this effect could be verified.

ome key ideas related to the self-organizing universe are summarized in Table 1.


Man’s home is in the Milky Way Galaxy. Our solar system is located about 2/3 the distance out one of the arms of the Milky Way.  The photo below shows the Milky Way Galaxy as Galileo, with his newly invented telescope, might have seen it. We can imagine how surprised Galileo must have been to realized the universe contained millions of stars - not the several hundred previsously observed with the naked eye.

Imagine you are the  man or woman in the picture above.  While viewing this fragment of the universe, you, your partner, and almost everyone else  would agree with the idea that “something” exists ourside themselves.  Ancient Man interpreted  that sometrhing as a direct experience of the existence of God.  Contemporary Man either interprets that something as an indirect experience of the existence of God (has faith in the existence of God) or the result of a natually ocurring evolutionary process in nature not directly attributable to God (doubts the existence of God).

In self-organization theory, stars are viewed as having relatively low organizational complexity.


The self-organization theory of the universe includes the evolution of Man. The death of many millions of stars if required to have a sufficient number of heavy elements necessary for Man to exist.



As the universe undergoes  self-organization, so does everything in it, including plants and animals. The leaves of the plant are the body, the roots are an evolving  root-brain, and everything else is the environment. Is this plant searching for existence or is it being pulled into existence?


Man is beginning to explore the Solar System. Next will be exploration of our Milky Way Galaxy.  The picture below shows our view of texeware.


Some men have hearts of darkness.


The ultimate achievement of the self-organizing universe is Man. Nicole Kidman, shown below,  is an example of the ultimate achievement of the universe.

Rework] Assume the universe births a human being.  As a  new born, this  person has feelings but usually very little  useful knowledge. For practical purposes, baby’s mind is basically a clean slate.  New knowledge  is acquired using bodily sensors, including sight, touch, hearing,taste, or xxxxx. Using these sensors, the baby experiences the world about him. Prior to Emanual Kant, philosophers taught that new knowledge is first in the senses as experience and then in the mind as knowledge.  While ageing, the  baby continues to experience the world  and develops his personal belief system about the world. The personal belief system may also be viewed as a theory about the world.  Theories ae dynamic and change as body experiences of the world change. People experience life and their environment differently and develop very different personal belief system and personal theories about life and the universe. To a large extent, individual personal belief systems/theories are the summation of their cognitive, emotional, and spiritual intelligences. According to Kant, sometimes ideas and knowledge are first in our mind and then becomes experience.]

Our daily talk and actions reflect our personal belief sytstem. We seldomly knowingly violate our feelings.


Recall that the theory of the self-organizing universe only provides a “description” of the many steps in the self-organizing process. It does not provided any ”why” information regarding the steps in that process. Science has assumed the  task of providing  descriptive information. Neither theology or science has assumed  the  task of providing the why information. Developing why information includes specifying values for the numerous physical constants of the universe, such as the various electrical charges, masses of the fundamental particles, strength of the forces, and also the gravitational constant, speed of light, etc.  

Calculations have shown that, if any of these physical constants were slightly different, the universe would not have self-organized as it has. Many scientists believe the existance of the physical constants is evidence for God the Creator.

 For example, science has identified the nucleus of an atom as consisting of protons, neutrons, and electrons.  The protons all have positive charges and would cause the protons to repell each other and fly apart. However, the presence of neutrons in the nucleus provides the necessary stability of the nucleus.  Thus, the stability of the nucleus is provided by a force called the strong force and is one of the four forces of nture. We can measure the strong force but have no theory which specifies the ce.

Community True-Self

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 Title: Self-Organizing Universe

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BC - Self-Organizing Universe




BC - Self-Organizing Universe