Is the Universe a Hologram? Well…

In a criticism of creation and intelligent design, Carl Sagan famously quipped, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” What bypassed the critical filters of the late science popularizer is that the extraordinary theories concocted by materialistic scientists not only lack extraordinary evidence, they lack any evidence, and in some cases, any possibility for evidence. Panspermia, parallel worlds, and the multiverse come immediately to mind.

Nevertheless, it seems, some researchers are stumbling upon more truth than they know.

Upturns and Crazy Notions
When astronomer Edwin Hubble detected the expansion of the universe from the light of distant stars in 1929, it upturned the reigning “steady-state” model of the day, by indicating the universe had a beginning, starting with a bang. Ever since, scientists have been banging their heads over what caused it.

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Today, a trio of Canadian scientists is upturning that notion with a pinch of theoretical physics and a heap of mathematical prestidigitation. Instead of a “big,” physics-defying “bang” in the quantum vacuum, our universe was created, they say, when a dying star in a four-dimensional universe collapsed into a four-dimensional black hole, generating a three-dimensional event horizon. In other words, our universe came from a higher dimensional reality.

An added implication of their math magic is that the event horizon—our cosmic home—is a hologram of its higher dimensional “parent.”

Now, I have to confess when I first read about this my “baloney detector” went off scale, and I lumped it together with the sci-fi fantasies of wormholes, time-tunneling, and such, not giving it a second thought. Then, a few days later, my wife, peering over her iPad, asked, “Hon, did you see the piece about the universe coming from a four-dimensional black hole?”


“How about that, huh?”

“Huh, what?”

“That our universe was produced by higher dimensional one.”

“Uh, uh … Oh, yeahhh! Heck, I missed that altogether! Thanks, dear.”

Where Miracles Happen
The biblical narrative tells of creation by an ultra-dimensional Being (God) in a hyper-spatial realm (heaven). It also tells of him operating within creation to sustain it and, on occasion, “interfere” with the “natural” course of events to do the “miraculous.” A hyper-spatial region woven into the “fabric” of a three-dimensional cosmos might account for how he could do so, effortlessly and omnipresently. Let me explain.

Imagine yourself as a two-dimensional person in a flat world without height or depth, only length and width. Every obstacle you encounter, no matter how skinny or long, you must go around to get beyond. However, if you were to suddenly gain another dimension in stature (height), you could effortlessly step over (or under!) the obstacle, privileging your 2-D neighbors to witness a “miracle.”

One of the teasing things about hyperspace is that what is difficult-to-impossible in lower dimensions is easy in higher ones; another, is that things become more simple and unified.

In his theories of relativity, Albert Einstein demonstrated that matter, energy, space, and time are interconnected and interdependent. If we follow Einstein’s insights a step farther and imagine hyperspace filling the interstitial regions of spacetime, we can understand how God can be “with us” at all times and all places, how with him all things are possible, and how what seem to be inviolable laws of nature can be violated by him.

We can also see how the material (3-D) body and the immaterial (ultra-dimensional) spirit co-exist and cooperate to form the “self,” or as the Bible puts it, a “living soul.” And how human consciousness, thought, creativity, moral agency, will, shame, guilt, and the like are immaterial functions of the self that enable it to interact with the world, seen and unseen, rather than bio-chemical phenomena produced by neural impulses, as the philosophical materialist would have us believe.

Now, to the notion that our world is a hologram of a hyper-dimensionality. Maybe that’s not as crazy as it sounds.

The World as Hologram
A hologram is a two-dimensional medium, created by laser light, which carries a three-dimensional image. As scripture tells us, our visible 3-D world was also created by Light and carries an ultra-dimensional image of an invisible, hyperspatial Reality (“God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made”). But that’s not all.

One of the head-spinning features of a hologram is that, unlike a conventional photograph, every part of a hologram contains the whole image. For example, if you tear off the corner of a photograph and throw the rest away, you lose most of the image. If you do the same thing to a hologram, you lose nothing, as the corner retains the entire image.

One hyper-dimensional reality contained in every part of our 3-D universe is the Trinitarian relationship.

At the cosmic level, the universe consists of three things: space, time, and matter—each, having three integral components.

Space exists in three dimensions: length, width and height. Time consists of the past, present, and future. Matter is made up of three sub-nuclear ingredients: quarks, leptons, and bosons, each uniquely defined by three parameters: electronic charge, mass, and magnetic spin. What’s more, atoms contain three things: protons, neutrons, and electrons. And, if that’s not enough, all protons and neutrons are made up of three quarks.

At the molecular level, water—the major molecule of biological life—is an example of matter with distinctive triune qualities. Consisting of three atoms (two hydrogen and one oxygen), water can exist in solid, liquid, or gas forms. Three forms, the same essence.

What’s more, as explained by Einstein—in his E=mc2 relation—matter is energy which comes in three varieties: the strong-nuclear, the electro-weak, and gravitational.

Finally, each of these grand components—space, time, and matter—are intricately woven and interconnected in the unified fabric of spacetime. A single, integrated essence. Just like the Trinity.

And let’s not forget, the tripartite composition of mind, body, and spirit at the human level, and of family, state, and church at the social level.

Yet, there’s nothing new in all of this. The knowledge that our universe came from a higher dimensional realm is recorded in the opening verse of scripture, “In the beginning God”; the knowledge that it reflects that higher dimensional reality is recorded a couple of dozen verses later: “Let us make mankind in our image.”

As scientists catch up with that eternal truth, it could prompt those in the mold of Carl Sagan to wonder whether the “extraordinary” explanation they’ve been avoiding for so long, might actually be true. We can pray so.


  • Regis Nicoll

    Regis Nicoll is a retired nuclear engineer and a fellow of the Colson Center who writes commentary on faith and culture. He is the author of Why There Is a God: And Why It Matters.

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