The Universal Model by Russ Barlow
The Compass, August 2022
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The clear azure sky of the cool early morning held the promise of a warm spring day at Red Rock State Park west of Las Vegas. It was early in the year in 2004 and I had been pursuing a degree in business while running my window and door company, but had become enthralled with the sciences and couldn’t get enough of this newfound passion. Besides astronomy, biology, and chemistry, I had convinced an archeology professor to allow me to enroll in a 400-level course concurrently with a geology class despite not having met the requisite preparatory conditions. These two courses would prove extraordinarily fortuitous in the coming months, but today I would enjoy a field trip to an old sandstone quarry that had been weathering away amid great red monoliths with curious white banding interbedding the red sandstone, not in linear laminations that followed the apparent layering of the sand, but in wavy, randomness, like splashing waves. We investigated many aspects of the surrounding rocks, then gathered to hear the professor expound further. Instead, she asked our group a question, “How did this red and white sandstone form?” We had all been wondering this, but no one spoke in anticipation of her answer. “No one knows!”
It wasn’t a surprising answer. I had learned there are many unanswered mysteries, but her response triggered an extraordinary cascade of thought as I leaned with my bare hands on this sandstone phenomenon. In a moment of serendipity, I somehow knew I would know how this formed, and with that thought, I suddenly had a new hobby—collecting and studying sand!
In the late fall of that year, an old friend called to catch up and get an address to send a Christmas card and we talked about where life had taken us. He experienced a significant career adjustment in 2000 and had begun groundbreaking research in Earth sciences at the exact same time I had begun the path to my own degree in business. I was astonished and my world was flipped on its head as I listened to my friend talk about the experiments and research he and his boss had been working on—they had created sandstone! They had grown quartz crystals and had reproduced the natural environment required for sandstone formation—including an answer for how the banding formed. Our conversation didn’t end until the wee hours of the next day, and I insisted on an opportunity to meet the scientist who had made sandstone in a garage lab!
In Tucson, Arizona, in February of the following year, I met up with my old friend Rod Meldrum and got to meet research scientist Dean Sessions. Dean had experienced his own remarkable journey when, some years prior, he had stopped at a rock shop and acquired some ancient stone arrowhead points that seemed to resonate with him as he thought of the ancient people who once used these tools. In time, he sold his successful real estate appraisal business and all his rental homes to fund a massive research project and to write his findings in a manuscript that would eventually become the Universal Model.
Dean, Rod, and I hit the road on a momentous expedition to Mt St Helens in Washington State. I devoured this new scientific model, and within a couple of years, I had become the full-time developmental editor for the Universal Model project. With Dean’s extraordinary discoveries and with my tens of thousands of hours of editing, we printed and released the long-awaited 1st volume of the Universal Model on April 6th, 2017, to an eager audience. Volume 2 was released a little over two years later along with companion workbooks and novels produced by Russ & Heidi Barlow’s TruthSeekers Foundation organization.
The Universal Model (UM) is about Questions
Conceived as a work designed to answer questions, the Universal Model begins by focusing the reader on the importance of framing good questions and the proper attitude one needs to have when seeking true answers. Learning some of the principles and keys outlined in the first few pages of the UM is helpful. One good example is the Question Principle. This principle states, “Answers come from questions.” That seems easy enough, but many people don’t ask questions—and it’s in asking questions and seeking truth that we can find the greatest secrets of the Universe!
The UM divides questions into two basic groups—one group of questions provides knowledge, and the other provides wisdom, (pp. 11–12, UM Vol. 1). This is important because the questions themselves have very different purposes, and they must be pursued in the right order if we want to be efficient in learning. We also need to identify the correct questioning “attitude” we want to adopt on our journey. The UM identifies four generalized questioning attitudes:
1- Skeptical: The skeptic approaches with doubt, expecting erroneous answers.
2- Partial or asking with bias: This person assumes they already have the answer and they need to prove it to themselves or the group.
3- Critical: This person has the automatic attitude of “you’re wrong,” and they are only interested in criticizing the work put forth by others.
4- Objective: The person who approaches study and research objectively is willing to concede if wrong and can adapt and adjust when new things are learned. Most importantly, an objective approach will literally improve the question-answer-question-answer period all of us should experience during our lifetimes.
Asking the right questions in the right order and with the right attitude sets the stage for understanding and comprehension.
In addition to the types of questions, there are three unique “Laws of Learning” introduced in the UM:
- “The Law of Knowledge- Knowledge and therefore understanding increase when we correctly answer the questions what, where, when, and who.”
- “The Law of Wisdom- Wisdom and therefore comprehension increase when we correctly answer the questions how and why.”
- “The Law of Intelligence- When descriptions and explanations are correct, true understanding of knowledge and comprehension of wisdom increase intelligence.”
Defining and Testing Truth in the UM
Having established our foundation of asking what we deem are the “right” questions, the next significant point covered in the UM is that we need to pay special attention to the words we use, and we need to be sure that we “mean what we say!” Such is the case with Truth. In many dictionaries today, the definition of Truth is merely a thesaurus of similar concepts, but that’s not always been the case. The first dictionary published by Noah Webster in 1828 sites Truth as, “Conformity to fact or reality; exact accordance with that which is, or has been, or shall be.” Facts, reality, and things unchangeable, that’s what Truth is, and Truth stands the “test of time” Put another way, “Time is the test of Truth.” Although our understanding of the world may change through the discovery of Truth, Truth itself does not change. If we place a lot of emphasis on definitions, separation of questions, knowledge, wisdom, and so forth, it is because these are the most important parts of a solid foundation. The first 20 pages of the UM give an in-depth discussion about Truth and the Learning Process.
Magma—The Foundation of Modern Science
In the next installment of this series, we’ll talk about Chapter 3 in the UM, The Dark Age of modern science. However, I promised that we would get into the science, so for the rest of this article, we will discuss the modern scientific theory of a magma Earth. In nearly every introductory course in geology or earth science, and in every classroom and setting across the world, the cutaway image of the Earth with a bright red/yellow, molten magma interior represents what the inside of our Earth looks like. Nobody questions that because the magma Earth theory has been around so long and because we all “know” that’s what it is, right?
Magma is defined in Chapter 5 of the Universal Model as “only a theoretical molten rock material generated deep within the Earth and the outer core or mantle” (UM p. 70). Of course, there is melted rock that comes out of volcanos, and before it comes out, that melted rock is ‘inside’ the Earth. What do we call that? Lava! If it is outside, flowing on the surface, or blasting into the air, it is “Extrusive Lava.” If it is the melted rock inside the volcano or just under the surface, that’s “Intrusive Lava.” No one has ever seen magma, yet it is taught as though it was an absolute solid fact. Scientists did not always think the Earth was hot and molten in its center. That is a relatively new idea—a theory with an age of only a couple hundred years.
During the late 18th century, James Hutton lived in Scotland and had taken up an interest in the rocks and landforms around his home. Hutton disliked experimentation and was skeptical of any experimental methods. He also rejected the Bible and its story about Creation and the Flood. He saw the world through a different lens—one that did not allow for the catastrophism described in the Bible, and one that saw the present frequency of wind and water erosion as the same far into the past. Hutton’s “Uniformity” principle postulated that “The present is the key to the past” and that everything we see in the natural world today, from mountains to sand dunes, can be explained in these simple terms. He also imagined that the “granite rocks had formed from a hot molten material that solidified deep in the Earth” (UM pp. 71–72). Although Hutton published his theories in 1778, he didn’t get much traction and his ideas languished.
Almost 50 years later, the debate over the origin of the heat driving the volcanoes was still raging when British geologist, Charles Lyell would pick up Hutton’s ideas which, in his opinion, were the best descriptions of the Earth’s origin he had read. He was articulate and well-read, so when he published his book, Principles of Geology in 1830, it was an immediate success and the idea of a hot, molten interior Earth of incalculable age became the sum and substance of the modern scientific establishment. On this newfound theory came a host of ancillary ideas and assumptions, such as the idea of slow continental uplift and subduction. That theory describes the rising and sinking of whole continents so that oceans can temporarily cover large swaths of land to allow for the marine fossils we find there. It also gave rise to the theory that all rocks are igneous rocks and have an origin in a molten mass. With the notion of magma came the theories about how the Hawaiian Islands formed, the theory that Yellowstone will one day blow, releasing billions of tons of ‘magma’ and that melting glaciers will inundate low-lying islands.
One of the most important theories of modern science that depends on the magma pseudotheory (a pseudotheory is described in the UM as a false theory taught as fact) is evolution. One year after the publication of Lyell’s Principles of Geology, Captain Fitzroy of the HMS Beagle purchased a copy of the book as a gift for the young naturalist who would join him on a voyage to the Galapagos Islands. Charles Darwin was that young man, and he would record that the great age of the Earth described in Lyell’s book provided the time he needed to build his case for evolution.
The Universal Model responds to the question about the origin of the heat driving volcanoes with the Lava Friction Model. The Earth experiences thousands of earthquakes every day. These are the result of the constant motion of the Earth and Moon as they orbit the Sun. The Gravitational-Friction law, (p. 86, UM), describes how the gravitational pull of celestial bodies, such as the Moon on the Earth, creates friction as the Earth’s crust is deformed. Many of us have seen the ocean’s tides, but the land has tides too—about six to eight inches twice daily. Like the ocean’s tides, Earthtide is caused by the Moon. The movement of the Earth’s surface creates enormous frictional heat. In some areas, like the plate boundaries along the Pacific Ring of Fire, enough heat builds up to melt rock. A review of worldwide earthquakes and volcanoes reveals an interesting pattern—both have concentrated occurrences in the same place. In fact, earthquakes almost always precede or accompany volcanic eruptions, and in some cases occur as earthquake “swarms.” When that happens, thousands of earthquakes occur over a very short time, generating tremendous heat.
Another important aspect of volcanoes seldom addressed in the modern science molten Earth model is the amount of water involved in volcanic activity. Most volcanoes would be more correctly termed hydrovolcanoes. We’ll talk more about hydrovolcanoes in the next article. Until then, consider this possibility: that water is the most important substance related to rock formation, mountain building, and almost every other aspect of the Earth’s existence, including its Creation!
If you want to learn more about this subject, you can get a copy of the UM here: truthseekersfoundation.com/um and be sure to use the discount code “Compass” for special pricing. Subscribe to our newsletter for updates and articles about everything we are doing!
Director, TruthSeekers Foundation