Archives for posts with tag: big bang

 

The route to complexity has been relentless since the Big Bang. As soon as the clock started ticking (literally) the four fundamental forces; gravitationalelectromagneticstrong nuclear, and weak nuclear have been enabling matter to form evermore complex entities. It seems that the direction of the formation of complexity is aligned with that of the arrow of time and that as matter is slower than light’s velocity (which internal clock stands still), those fundamental interactions start pulling matter together enabling interactions that eventually enable the formation of complexity.

This is our path, but perhaps there is another. Matter could have been accelerating from light’s velocity since the Big Bang instead of the deceleration that lead to complexity. Perhaps for every impulse that decelerated matter there is an equal and opposite impulse that accelerated other matter beyond the velocity of light. Moving faster than light, the arrow of time is now in reverse and the fundamental forces now react in a complete opposite fashion; mass now repels instead of attracts, as does the strong nuclear force and the other forces now operate backwards as well. With the arrow of time pointing in the other direction, these fundamental forces now interact to pull matter apart, the result is now not a continuous increase in complexity, but a simplification of this faster-than-light matter, I’ll call this matter enucleatus matter (from Greek, meaning simple) and I postulate that equal to the increase in complexity there is an equal and opposite tendency of enucleatus matter to simplify relentlessly.

From the Big Bang an equivalent amount of matter went beyond light's velocity as below.

From the Big Bang an equivalent amount of matter went beyond light’s velocity as below.

This matter would be extremely hard to detect; faster than light, even simpler than the simplest known particle and behaving oppositely to ordinary matter, although cumulatively, it would have a great influence in the universe. If there would indeed be the same amount of matter faster than light, as there is slower than light, which seems logical, vacuum across galaxies would be abundant with it. It would have mainly a gravitational push effect, since it would remain far away from conventional matter for any of the other forces to have effect.

This means it could be a candidate to explain the observations that lead to the prediction of dark matter and dark energy. Those observations include the rotational behavior of galaxies, where its galactic arms move around as fast as its inner core and much faster than theory would expect. Instead of envisioning extra gravitational forces from within the galaxy originating from dark matter, equally the enucleatus matter could work from outside the galaxy where this matter would reside in a halo around the galaxy, expulsed by its gravity, pushing the stars within the galactic arms to higher velocities.

Rotation curve of a spiral galaxy, where A would be the predicted and B the Observed rotational velocity away from the center. Dark matter has been used to explain this discrepancy.

Rotation curve of a spiral galaxy, where A would be the predicted and B the Observed rotational velocity away from the center. Dark matter has been used to explain this discrepancy.


 

Gravitational lensing, the deformation of light around galaxies, another observation attributed to dark matter, could similarly be explained by the halo of enucleatus matter. Finally, the observation that the universe is actually accelerating, and is not in fact decelerating as one would expect considering our current understanding of gravity, which is attributed to dark energy, could be because the enucleatus matter between galaxies is pushing them apart.

Hence, rather puzzling observations that have been attributed to dark matter and dark energy, could simply be attributed to negative time solutions of known fundamental forces propagating matter equivalent to the amount of known matter to faster than light velocities. Here it accelerates and simplifies continuously whilst pushing the universe apart, whilst its gravitational repulsion interacts with normal matter producing anomalous observations, such as the rotational velocities of galaxies and the halo below.

A galaxy and gravitational lensing, negative gravity effects (gravitational push) might just as well explain it as gravitational pull effects.

A galaxy and gravitational lensing, negative gravity effects (gravitational push) might just as well explain it as gravitational pull effects.

Thanks to spectacular advances in astronomy it has become more and more clear how ubiquitous planets and how abundant habitable (Goldilocks) planets are. With many planets now determined, extrapolations can be made to estimate the total amount of planets in our galaxy and these estimates range anywhere from ~100 million to 50 billion of total number of planets and from several million to 1 billion Earth-like planets.. basically, a lot.

This ubiquity lends fresh weight to the question first raised by Enrico Fermi and Micheal Hart: if life is so common and the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations so likely, where is everybody? Many hypothetical solutions to this paradox have been proposed, from a tendency of complex life to self-destruct to simply an extreme rarity of planet Earth (a full list is found here). I would like to propose a new explanation, namely, if life is found elsewhere, it will be maximally exactly as complex as we are and thus has only just recently began looking beyond their home planet. This seems an unlikely solution, but if the constrains specified below hold true, this is a genuine possibility.

First, I want to look at man’s position among other life here on Earth.

Before Darwin and the scientific method, man was seen as the center of creation; God’s chosen one, created in his image, other plants and animals were mere props in mankind’s play. Nowadays, mankind is viewed as merely one integral piece of the ecological machinery, slightly brighter perhaps, severely influential probably, but well within the Gaussian distribution of faunal attributes, in other words, nothing special.

I would like to rehabilitate our role as center of creation of sorts, since in a very fundamental way we really are the pinnacle of the animal kingdom and so does our evolution differ fundamentally from that of other beings. Namely, in terms of complexity, it is quite possible that the human brain is the most complex object in the known universe. Although complexity is a mere conceptual concept and not quantifiable, the following facts lend credit to why this claim has so often been made: The human brain has around 100 billion nerve cells or neurons, more than the number of stars in the Milky Way. Between them they have about a 100 trillion nerve connections. If each neuron of a single human brain were laid end to end they could be wrapped around the Earth twice over.

It is this brain that has enabled us to dominate as a species, rising above nature’s inter- and intraspecies continuous squabble over limited resources onto a new playing field where we stand uncontested by other species. It is our complexity itself which enables us to evolve differently from other species, quite possibly our technology will continue man’s lead into ever more complex ‘beings’. Quite unlikely that we will ever be surpassed in complexity by any other being (no Planet of the Apes seems likely).

Don’t worry, it’s not going to happen.

Don’t worry, it’s not going to happen.

Richard Dawkins wrote an interesting book on our ancestors, in as many chapters he traces 40 steps of evolutionary ancestors branching off. All steps seem to be an increase in complexity. (Look at the splendid http://www.onezoom.org/ for an extensive depiction of the tree of life.) In many steps these newly complex beings seem to have evolved into new playing fields, fresh niches, which were previously unexploited, e.g. when the first land animal evolved, or the first animal came to be that used oxygen, or the first mammal arose, whose warm-bloodedness and hair enabled it to live on a wider range of latitudes and its milk production enabled their offspring to develop more sophisticated brains.

The number of different cell types seem to be rising with time, suggesting an increase in complexity

The number of different cell types seem to be rising with time, suggesting an increase in complexity

Evolution is viewed as the natural selection of favorable traits, which depending on evolutionary pressure, might be to become larger or smaller, darker or lighter, faster or slower or more complex or simpler. But, what if for the most complex being, this leads to novel evolutionary possibilities, expanding there enables the most complex being to advance its lead, to build upon its winning complexity and accelerate it. Such a being would adhere to the Law of Accelerating returns (as per Ray Kurzweil).

Ray Kurzweil's milestones

Ray Kurzweil’s milestones

What’s more, such a being and all his ancestors would in any time in history have been the most complex being. This being is us.

After each breakthrough to a new playing field, a fan of newly evolved beings compete, interact and interbreed, before establishing one or more optima, e.g. with all species of Homo with which Homo Sapiens competed, or the Cambrian explosion, when first multi-cellular enabled much more complexity, or perhaps the existence of viruses, which according to one theory co-evolved with RNA.

The following schematic overview I have created illustrating this concept. Mankind’s path towards higher complexity is straight (on a log scale), others more random, like that of the horse with which we share a common ancestor a little over a hundred million years ago, or like that of Neanderthal man which branched of about 400,000 years ago and went extinct roughly 30,000 years ago at which time they displayed some cultural traits.

Schematic depiction of complexity growth of man's evolution and that of some additional entities conceptually.

Schematic depiction of complexity growth of man’s evolution and that of some additional entities conceptually.

I have contemplated if there might be a rate with which this exponential rise in complexity might occur, something I describe in this blog post. I do think this progress is robust, as robust as Moore’s law and events considered catastrophic such as the meteor that ‘wiped out’ the dinosaurs, other mass extinctions, the two World Wars and perhaps even the forming of planet Earth (meaning the exact time of it) were from the perspective of the evolution of complexity, in effect non-events.

Many facts of contemporary civilization point to such robustness, e.g. the fact that many technological advances were developed separately and independently such as in agriculture, in pyramid building (for an elaborate examination of this look at Kevin Kelly’s What Technology Wants), but also in the domestication of dogs and horses. These facts have been so wondrous to many, that they have been incorporated in elaborate conspiracy theories e.g. of alien ancestry, whilst this is solely an expression of the robustness with which mankind has been progressing.

In the universe the arrow of complexity is aligned with the arrow of time.

If complexity growth is both unperturbed by random events and governed by some universal constant, as I believe it is, we can then take this to its ultimate conclusion and provide for an alternative for Fermi’s paradox.

We can use the concept of Uniformitarianism which is the scientific observation that the same natural laws and processes that operate now have always been operational in the past and apply everywhere in the universe. So if the evolution of complexity was robust and continuously towards ever more complexity and is governed even by a certain constant, here, on planet Earth, it is logical to assume that this applies elsewhere in our galaxy as well. And that if our personal history started with the Big Bang followed by the creation of protons and neutrons and the creation of heavy elements, this would be a shared history in other places of the galaxy, and that if the formation of life followed logically from this, it would’ve followed logically from this elsewhere where a Goldilocks planet was available as well. Similarly, if life became more complex here continuously, uninfluenced by random events, like mass extinctions, it would do so elsewhere in the galaxy as well.

Computer vs Nature

Computer vs Nature

Into the future our path would be as follows, just like in the past more complex parts interlink to form ever more complexity, now, we are at the onset of the interlinking of the human brain with technology, the rising computing power and the internet are the first glimpse of this. Elsewhere in our Galaxy, other civilizations are doing the same. Ultimately, man will link with other civilizations in order to create even more complex entities, these complexities might even rival the Universe’s natural tendency to increase its entropy indefinitely.