First, an excerpt from Dr. Herrmann’s personal history:
I was associated with the occult from birth, but in 1946 when I was 12 years old, I suddenly became extremely interested in occult manifestations and simultaneously became, what is sometimes called, a “mental giant” – indeed, a child scientist. I delved into any aspect of the occult that had any meaning for a child of my age. For two or three months, I was a superior telepathist. I once telepathically identified more than forty-five cards out of fifty-two cards from an ordinary deck of playing cards. However, suddenly I lost this particular telepathic ability, I lost the “key” so to speak. Obviously, I was brokenhearted over this state of affairs and began a long search for the lost mechanisms so as to renew this telepathic ability. Moreover, I investigated other occult manifestations.
My mother was Dutch and she had been trained in the “arts” of fortune telling and palmistry. At that time in human history, as it is today, occult practices were considered “interesting” parlor games and weren’t assumed to be harmful. My mother worked with a standard deck of playing cards and, of course, she never received monetary rewards for these activities but practiced them “just for the fun of it.” Her predictions about my future activities were almost always correct and this reinforced my belief in these occult practices.
Relative to science, I began at 12 years of age to work at the old Maryland Academy of Sciences in various capacities, from leading tours, to instructing in astronomy and working in the observatory; but, I was a very troubled little boy with great personality problems and often highly erratic behavior. I don’t believe I displayed my erratic nature while working for the Academy of Sciences, but I certainly made up for this “lack” outside of the scientific environment.
After some years of effort, I became a well-known research scientist and educator who had been purposefully placed into situations where I could influence and corrupt the minds of the young. I was a fire-breathing hater of the concept of an active supernatural God and attempted to destroy, and even physically harm, certain individuals who claimed to have a “personal relationship” with such an “absurdity,” as I termed it.
In 1977, my wife brought my budding anti-Christ activities to an end. Without my having any knowledge of her pending actions, during the morning hours of 6 April 1977, my wife correctly removed herself and our children from my immediate influence. At noon, I went to my car in the parking lot of the U. S. Naval Academy and found a short cryptic note on the front seat. It said that in order to protect herself and our children from my depraved behavior, she had moved out of the house and taken the children out of my grasp. I had no idea what this message meant until I reached my house for Evil so clouds your mind that the obvious is often not perceived. Upon entering, I experienced personally one consequence of these vile actions for I found my wife, my children and all of their belongings gone. Then suddenly Evil completely engulfed my being until the afternoon hours of April 7.
I recall finding myself sitting in a rocking chair staring blankly out of the front windows of my nearly empty home. I suddenly felt so completely alone, so lost. I had been correctly forced into a corner with but two possible choices. One was complete debasement, death and everlasting damnation. The second choice presented itself in the following manner. As I sat there, I turned about and discovered that exactly one book had been left behind in the living room area. A book that had been purposely left on the only remaining table in the hopes that I might begin to read it – seriously. It seems that I had destroyed every piece of Scripture that had come into my hands, with but one forgotten exception – a free copy of the Bible sent to me by the American Bible Society. When I picked up this singular volume, it fell open to Matthew 5. While slowly reading the entire chapters 5, 6, 7, it occurred to me that if I had only but attempted to follow the principles outlined by Jesus, then this terrible personal tragedy could not have occurred.
Immediately following this “revelation” something unexpected happened. In a fraction of a second, twenty-five years of the deepest intellectual reflection and personal deception evaporated. All of my scientific knowledge and experience in such areas as logic, word-forms, mathematical modeling and the like, led me instantly to one irrefutable conclusion. No ordinary human being could describe these new concepts as Jesus did. The descriptions must have come from God.
In the fall of 1978, various members of the Mathematics Department at the United States Naval Academy invited me to join a noontime Bible study. They were about to embark upon an in-depth study of C. S. Lewis’ “Mere Christianity” and “Miracles.” Simultaneously, I was studying a Russian paper in mathematical logic and, one sunny September Saturday, God directly implanted a remarkable idea. It might be possible to couple a notion from this Russian paper and my expertise in the new mathematical area of Nonstandard Analysis in order to obtain a non-numerical mathematical model for various aspects of the logic, word-forms and descriptions for certain psychological phenomena. A few days later, another idea miraculously occurred to me. Some basic descriptions used by C. S. Lewis could also be mathematically modeled by this same process. God’s grace allowed me to work diligently upon this new project, to study and personally investigate the applicable descriptive content of the Scriptures. Jesus started to use my knowledge, my experiences, my training and abilities for His purposes.
I am a living example of the ultimate grace of God, of Jesus. Of how Jesus can take the most depraved, evil and hate filled 42 year old intellectual, and miraculously produce a remarkable and everlasting change throughout his entire physical, mental and spiritual being. I continue to mature and more and more apply the wisdom God is according me. Reflecting upon the experiences that have occurred to me since I literally gave myself to our Lord, I am confident that what you have just read is ample evidence of the amazing, amazing grace of Jesus, our Lord, and our one and only Saviour.
As can be seen, some parts of his testimony were chilling, but especially so to me because he described the geographic region where he grew up and studied which was my geographic region.
Dr. Herrmann became a creationist and went on to become complete a career as a full professor of mathematics at the US Naval Academy. So that is a glimpse of the person of Dr. Robert Herrmann. What about his work and his theory of Intelligent Design? That’s a different story and not quite so melodramatic as his personal life (I mentioned it to get your attention) 🙂
To try to describe his ID work, I need to lay out some preliminaries…
Years ago on the first day of class one of my Darwinists physics teachers, James Trefil, used the word “miraculous” to express how incredible it is that we can extrapolate compact mathematical ideas and earth-bound experiments to universal scale. Bill Dembski echoes that point in the forgotten essay The Last Magic.
the claim that human constructions manipulated according to human convenience supply insights into reality belongs to what traditionally has been called magic–the view that what humans do in the purely human world (i.e., the microcosm) mirrors the deep structure of the world at large (i.e., the macrocosm). Naturalism has no place for magic. And yet the applicability of mathematics to physics is magic. According to Steiner, mathematics is the last redoubt of magic, but one that stands secure and is in no danger of naturalistic debunking. This is a user-friendly world where we humans are the users, and where the tool of discovery that renders the natural world friendly is mathematics.
I do disservice to Dembki’s essay by only quoting a small piece, so I encourage readers to read the whole essay if they like the above excerpt. Paul Davies won a $1,000,000 Templeton prize for Religion for elaborating on the idea of the comprehensibility of the universe. Ironically, Guillermo Gonzalez got expelled from Iowa for saying as much. Go figure…
The comprehensibility of the universe via fine tuning is an argument for cosmological Intelligent Design. The root of the argument is that like the structure of 500 fair coins heads where the symbolic organization of the coins is easily comprehended by the human mind, it seems nature is organized in a comparably comprehensible way as well. This “miracle” is actually hard to appreciate unless one appreciates the fact that the universe would have to be exceptionally fine tuned for finite human minds to be able to discern large scale patterns in the physical universe — patterns we call “laws”.
Dr. Herrmann’s version of these ideas I will term “The Last Magic on Steroids”!
His website and writings are tough to navigate and it is hard to get a coherent picture even after hours reading what he is actually claiming. I began to see a little light when I perused a work that he developed under Federal funding that can be used as a basis for understanding his ID writings.
The following book by Dr. Herrmann has no ID content, but if you can’t understand it, you probably have no chance of understanding his ID writings (I confess even after perusing it, I can’t say I understand his ID writings either, but I began to see at least a little light).
I could not comprehend even 1% of his later works on ID, but “Logic for Everyone” (originally titled “Logic for Midshipmen”) was the one thing I could actually read and come away with some measure of understanding and edification. So if you want to get something out of his website that is useful outside of ID, I’d recommend “Logic for Everyone” (that is to say, if you’re into mathematical logic). It is written like a book you’d expect from a college professor. It was very meticulous and articulate.
http://www.raherrmann.com/books.htm. Get your free copy today (It’s worth $60) at the website:
“Logic for Everyone,” (A $60 value) (1994) Math. Dept., U. S. Naval Academy, Annapolis MD 21402-5002 (USA)
As far as I can tell, this is the most elementary book in Mathematical Logic available that also covers all of the basic material in the propositional and predicate calculus. This is the book written especially for the Midshipmen at the United States Naval Academy with the general view that it is a terminal course. Enough material is covered so that certain topics in elementary model theory can be included and all mathematical proofs are of the most elementary nature requiring no specialized mathematical procedures. Applications include a very elementary introduction to nonstandard models as they are obtained by means of the “compactness” theorem, and the generation of weak “ultrawords” and an “ultralogic” operator. A complete set of answers for all exercise problems and 6 figures in the form of gif images are included.
In “Logic for Everyone” he develops the notion of languages and representations.
In other works he shows how the physical universe conforms to comprehensible mathematical languages and how this suggests Intelligent Design. And that’s where I got lost, but in any case, for those wanting something far more challenging and intellectually stimulating than Darwin’s writings, here is Dr. Herrmann’s website:
In 1979, I originated the mathematical analysis that shows that the production of physical-systems and alterations in their behavior are intelligently designed. My analysis (the GID-model, GID) is not related, in method, to the inadequate and highly criticized Johnson-Dembski-Behe theory (RID) as championed by members of the Discovery Institute. The GID-model (General Intelligent Design Model) is NOT the intelligent design notion discussed on Wikipedia under the heading “intelligent design” and, indeed, contradicts much written there about intelligent design. The page Science Declares Our Universe IS Intelligently Designed gives additional and important information about the only book that discusses GID and ordering it directly from Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble. I discuss on website and elsewhere various secular interpretations for the model. It is also shown how the language can be modified so that all conclusions refer to secular notions. For theology, the General Grand Unification Model (GGU-model) and its GID interpretation form an analogue model for processes that, in their combined and most general form, establish that the described Biblical attributes and behavior of God are scientifically rational in content. Further, the modeled creationary processes can be intuitively described as transforming God’s thoughts into physical reality. My professional biography. This is a very short statement as to the basic foundation for my personal theological understandings of Biblical statements.
Dr. Herrmann gives metrics and a mathematical definition for intelligence in the design of the universe.
His works on General Relativity are also interesting (for example see: Hawking says no black holes, comment.
Ph. D., Mathematics, 1973, American University.
M. A., 1968, Mathematics, American University.
B. A., 1963, Mathematics, Johns Hopkins University.
In June 1953, Dr. Herrmann graduated, with honors and first in his class, from the Baltimore Polytechnic Institute (Advanced College Preparatory Course). His “Poly” grade point average is equivalent to 4.0. (This is the “Poly” course content.) He received a scholarship to Johns Hopkins University (JHU). For significant personal reasons, he was accorded a leave-of-absence from JHU in January 1955. He returned to full and part-time study beginning in September 1960 and graduated from Hopkins with general honors. He was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Dr. Herrmann continued in the M.Ed. program at the Johns Hopkins McCoy College and subsequently continued his education towards the M.A. in Mathematics.
He received a special individual three-year fellowship from the National Science Foundation to be used for graduate study at any university of his choice. Dr. Herrmann was elected to Phi Kappa Phi as partial recognition for his graduate school achievements, which include “distinctions” on comprehension examinations. He has a total of 227 university credit hours (GPA 3.8 for 206 graded course hours). He has 141 credit hours in mathematics and 37 credit hours in the physical sciences. Of these 178 course hours, his GPA for 157 graded hours is 4.0. This is Dr. Herrmann’s transcript for his (AU) graduate school education in mathematics. He was elected to Sigma Xi for his research activities. Dr. Herrmann is also a certified physics instructor.
After graduating from Johns Hopkins, many graduate schools offered Dr. Herrmann fellowships and assistantships. Due to family responsibilities, he rejected all of them and continued as a public high school instructor in advanced placement mathematics while continuing his graduate studies on a part-time basis. Various monetary grants were used for his graduate studies.
While in graduate school, besides the course material, Dr. Herrmann passed seven written four-hour comprehensive examinations, and an additional oral defense, and wrote two original research dissertations. For the M.A. degree, his 65-page dissertation is titled “Some Characteristics of Topologies on Subfamilies of a Power Set” (University Microfilms, M-1469); for the Ph.D., his 150-page dissertation is titled, “Non-Standard Characteristics for Topological Structures” (University Microfilms 73-28,762). [In 73-28,762, portions of Theorem 8.38 are not established correctly. A correct proof appears in the Bulletin of the Australian Math. Soc. 13(1975) No. 2, p. 277.]
Dr. Herrmann has a rare controllable eidetic memory. He controls the vividness of recalled visual images. This controlled recall varies from image details that are customary described to details as exact as a colored photograph. He can also control the time period over which the images can easily be recalled. Of additional historical interest is that, at age 21, his IQ was officially recorded as 160 and that Dr. Herrmann served in the Armed Forces of the United States and was honorably discharged.
Note: Dr. Herrmann’s brother, Earnest C. Herrmann, Jr., Ph.D. (Microbiology) M.D., discovered the first commercially viable antiviral drug. He was the pioneer in this research activity at various drug companies, then the Mayo Clinic and, lastly, as the Dean for Research at the University of Illinois Medical College.
2. Professional Experience:
(1) August 1987 – June 2004, Professor, Mathematics, U. S. Naval Academy. (Retired June 30, 2004.)
(2) January 1981 – August 1987, Associate Professor, Mathematics, U. S. Naval Academy.
(3) August 1968 – January 1981, Assistant Professor, Mathematics, U. S. Naval Academy.
(4) August 1962 – August 1968, Instructor Advanced Placement Mathematics, Board of Education of Baltimore County.
b. Professional Societies
(1) American Mathematical Society
(2) Mathematical Association of America
3. General Research Accomplishments:
Dr. Robert A. Herrmann has published (without coauthors) 75 articles in 31 different journals from 14 countries. He has written over 250 published reviews as well as 7 books, 5 of which where funded by the Federal government and, hence, are available free of change from his Internet site or the Mathematics and Physics arXiv.org archives. He has personally presented 31 papers at scientific conferences and over 1,300 scientific disclosures. Of the 300,000 individuals who produced approximately 1.6 million published papers or books in the mathematical sciences and for whom there was sufficient information in the MR archives at the time analyzed, Dr. Herrmann ranked in the top 2% in the production of such material.
Dr. Herrmann has 42 published articles and written 4 monographs in the discipline of nonstandard analysis. He is self-taught in this discipline.
Dr. Herrmann’s original research activity was in nonstandard topology. Portions of his dissertation were published in 1975.
[A brief technical description. He continued his efforts in this general area and established most of the presently known nonstandard properties associated with extensions of maps, monad theory on rings of sets, the relations between nonstandard structures and convergence spaces, perfect maps, closed maps, and showed that almost all of the known standard generalizations for continuous, open, closed and perfect maps are simple corollaries to his established theorems. He also showed that there exists a nonstandard and, hence, standard hull for semi-uniform spaces in general and applied these results to standard topological groups. In standard topology, Dr. Herrmann constructed the widely used near-compactifications, essentially completed the theory of one-point near-compactifications, and showed that the theory of S-closed spaces is purely topological in character while giving a method to translate standard topological results into results relative to S-closed spaces.
He continued his research into general topology and discovered the pre-convergence spaces. Once again he established much of the presently known mapping theory for pre-convergence spaces and showed that many of the convergence structures of interest to the mathematical community are but trivial examples of his pre-convergence spaces.]
Not content with applying nonstandard methods to topological questions, Dr. Herrmann turned his attention to algebraic structures. These structures are a major aspect of pure axiomatic mathematics.
[A brief technical description. He established many of the known properties for nonstandard implication algebras, lattices, Boolean algebras and the like.]
A major aspect of the subject termed standard mathematical logic is the modeling of deductive processes. Many of these mimic the results of human thought processes. The methods and structures employed to study such aspects of human thought can vary. Dr. Herrmann has produced many new results in this area. This is especially so in his application of nonstandard analysis to this subject.
[A brief technical description. Dr. Herrmann’s research activities are on the lattice of finitary (finite) consequence operators. For example, he showed that this class of logical operators is almost atomic and that the set of all finitary consequence operators define on a fixed language is a join-complete lattice. Recently, he has shown that general logic-systems and finitary consequence operators are equivalent notions. He also instituted the new area of nonstandard logic relative to the nonstandard modeling of these classes of consequence operators.]
b. Applied Mathematics and Some Theoretical Physics
In 1981, Dr. Herrmann turned his attention to applied modeling. He rigorously described the methods of infinitesimal reasoning and modeling and then solved the d’Alembert-Euler problem in differential equation derivation. Previously, in about 1979, he had discovered new methods in physical modeling and began in 1982 to apply these methods to various unsolved problems in the philosophy of science, quantum theory, and cosmology as well as other areas. He found a solution to the discreteness problem in quantum theory in 1983.
c. The Theory of Everything and General Information Theory
In 1978, Dr. Herrmann discovered mathematical methods to model discipline language theories that are not necessarily describable by means of numerical quantities. He has applied these methods to various scientific disciplines. In particular, in 1979, he began constructing a mathematical model that generates a cosmogony. A cosmogony is a theory for the origin and construction of universes, not just the one in which we dwell. This cosmology is called the General Grand Unification Model – the GGU-model.
[A brief technical description. Using ultralogical operators this cosmogony generates the descriptive content for various cosmologies while preserving their inner-logical processes. This is the first mathematically generated cosmogony.
Although not originally constructed in this manner, it has recently been noticed that there is a set of concrete observable facts that when mathematical modeled predict the GGU-model process. These facts are verified physical statements that describe aspects of finite human physical behavior that are characterized by mental activity. When used as hypotheses and mathematically modeled, these facts predict that the formation and behavior of each real physical-system is controlled and sustained by a specific set of significant general ultralogical processes. Mathematically, general ultralogical processes are objects that satisfy the standard or nonstandard characteristics for logical deduction and other aspects of rational finite or hyper-finite mental activity, respectively. The theory is testable and (Popper) falsifiable. The GGU-model is verified by a vast amount of direct and indirect evidence.
This cosmogony and associated portions of the NSP-world model are consistent with such theory logic as deductive quantum logic, finitary logic, classical logic and the like. The GGU-model satisfies the Wheeler requirements for a pre-geometry and the very restricted conditions required by many groups of scientists who specialize in cosmogony studies. Moreover, the modeling procedures automatically generate the theory of propertons (subparticles) and properton (subparticle) mechanisms that satisfy the Wheeler requirements for the “substance” of which space itself is composed. It also satisfies the participator requirements in that active life-forms alter physical-system behavior.]
The GGU-model solves the General Grand Unification Problem. This yields the first true Theory of Everything associated with our universe. Dr. Herrmann has shown how to use various processes to unify all physical-system behavior. Of considerable significance is Dr. Herrmann’s explicit method that yields the best possible unification for any collection of physical theories. [This result is an application of Dr. Herrmann’s pure algebraic characteristics for the lattice of finitary consequence operators.]
In information theory, Dr. Herrmann has shown that the empirical theory of Gitt information can be obtained from first principles by application of the theory of general consequence operators. He has shown, using Gitt information, that the complexity of a physical-system can be altered only if the necessary consequence operators satisfy a unique and unusual symmetric property. General information theory has other applications.
d. General Intelligent Design (This is not the Discovery Institute’s restricted ID theory.)
Relative to specific information, in 1979, Dr. Herrmann showed how to interpret scientifically a specific theory in a dual manner and, with this approach, originated the scientific analysis of physical-system intelligent design. That is, that all of the physical processes that have formed our universe and control all aspects of physical-system behavior, as well as the results of such processes, can be interpreted as designed by intelligent agency. In particular, Dr. Herrmann has shown how to interpret the GGU-model in the language of intelligent design using the notion of specific information and operator signatures. This interpretation yields the General Intelligent Design Theory (GID) or simply General Design Theory. This interpretation shows that it is rational to assume that all physical-system behavior as investigated by science-communities is designed or controlled by intelligent agency. Since all physical-system formation and behavior is either direct or indirect evidence for the existence of specific intelligent agents, this is the first general solution to the problem of intelligent design. Since GID is but an interpretation for the signatures presented by the GGU-model operators, it is a matter of choice whether one considers these signatures as significant. Indeed, as with various cosmologies, the additional intelligent agency characteristics can be considered as extraneous in character.
e. The Special and General Theories of Relativity
The Einstein-Hilbert General Theory of relativity and the Einstein Special Theory of relativity have been controversial from the moment that they appeared in published form. In the past, the basic reasons for these controversies have been philosophic in character rather than scientific. However, scientists such as V. Fock pointed out that the General Theory contains an error relative to how physical postulates are associated with the particular mathematical structure employed. This particular error does not detract from most of the results obtained or the verified predictions these theories make. Moreover, many scientists have shown that both of these theories seem to contain various logical inconsistencies and, due to these difficulties, have created alternate theories based upon different foundations – theories that also predict many, but usually not all, of the same results as predicted by the General and Special theories.
Both of these classical theories are based upon the properties of the mathematical object known as the infinitesimal. But no such consistent mathematical theory for infinitesimals that captures all of the necessary intuitive notions existed at the time these theories were created. Such a mathematically consistent theory was discovered in 1961 by Abraham Robinson. One of the basic reasons that mathematics is used within such theories is to maintain rigorous logical argument. This Robinson discovery now allows for a reconsideration of these theories using a rigorous mathematical theory. Due to the existence of this rigorous mathematical theory, its relation to scientific logic, certain properties relative to abstract model theory, and the now obtainable formal rules for physical modeling, this mathematical theory can be applied rigorously to these physical theories. When this is done, it becomes apparent that from a rigorous viewpoint, Einstein, Hilbert and many others have made a basic physical modeling error. This error is called the model theoretic error of generalization. This error was pointed out for another purpose in the philosophy of science of Mill, and can be explicitly demonstrated.
In 1990, Dr. Herrmann pointed out this error to the scientific community and began to re-construct both of these theories using Robinson’s theory of the infinitesimal and infinite numbers in the hopes of avoiding this modeling error. Using his separation of operators approach, Dr. Herrmann has, indeed, created a theory that stays within the required language for the foundations for these two theories and this new approach predicts all of the same results as the General and Special theories and eliminates all of the known logical difficulties and paradoxes.
This new infinitesimal approach shows that, from the viewpoint of indirect evidence, a special type of “ether’ or “substratum” may exist. Further, each of the relativistic alterations in physical behavior associated with these theories is but an interaction with this substratum. This interaction is produced by his basic assumption that within the substratum photons satisfy the ballistic property relative to a moving source. That is, they acquire the speed of the source relative to the substratum, while in the standard physical world they exhibit their wave property. He restricts all fundamental time measurements to light-clocks and then shows that this leads to alterations in other physical behavior, the same alterations predicted by the original theories.
Of course, Dr. Herrmann is aware that his logically rigorous theory might be difficult for members of the physics community to understand since they have put forth considerable effort in the past, and continue do so at this present time, through dedicated research activities using the original classical approach. For this reason alone, many scientists will continue to defend this classical approach. Please note that Dr. Herrmann’s work, in this area, is not intended to denigrate those scientists who have, in the past, contributed to these theories or who continue to do so. Dr. Herrmann’s results are only relative to the foundations for the General and Special theories.
f. Future Efforts
Dr. Herrmann believes that his most important contributions to physical science are the methods and results that he discovered for generating mathematical models for philosophical concepts and cosmologies since these discoveries have helped explain and solve certain perplexing and long standing problems. When these methods become more widely known, they may revolutionize modeling techniques for the physical sciences. Due to the apparent significance of such models as the GGU-model and nonstandard logic he intends to concentrate his efforts in the area of their application to scientific and philosophic problems. In particular, he intends to popularize the GGU-model, its various interpretations and their mathematical foundations.
4. Awards and Biographical Listings:
(1) AMWS Achievement Award in Physical Science.
(2) “American Men & Women of Science,” (Bowker publication.)
(3) “Who’s Who in Theology and Science,” (Center for Theological Inquiry, A Templeton Foundation publication,) and many other such biographical listings.
(4) Templeton Prize Nominee. (Dr. Herrmann rejects the philosophic stances taken by the Templeton Foundation.)
(5) DoN Meritorious Service Award