I.a. What is Life?
[Last Update: June 28th, 2018]
Copyright © 2018 C.E. by Dustin Jon Scott
|Image by brian0918 ™ - Own work, Public Domain, Link|
Understanding life may be important to understanding the true nature of reality.
Reproduction is probably the most definitive feature of life.
Universes that include biological life probably have a reproductive advantage over those that do not.
The Big Bang likely produced an infinite or practically infinite number of bubble universes or pocket universes. Those with smaller cosmological constants, like our universe, would expand more slowly and take longer to burn out, giving rise to far more complex systems of quantum interractions and thus allowing our pocket universe (or perhaps the bubble-multiverse in its entirety) to split into alternate timelines a la the Many Worlds Interpretation of quantum physics, meaning that, over time, “baryoniferous” universes would come to greatly outnumber universes which have cosmological constants too high to allow for the formation of matter or life as we think of it.
Consequently, universes with even more complex systems of quantum interactions, such as those which contain biological life or something equivalent thereto, could spawn even more quantum universes / timelines, and this might be especially true of universes which give rise to intelligent, decision-making lifeforms such as animal life.
Schrödinger’s Cat thought experiment — something special happens during a quantum observation — collapsing wave functions, blah blah blah. Participatory anthropic principle (P.A.P.)
So we bits of electromagnetically interacting baryonic matter are like strings of cosmic RNA, and we biological lifeforms an especially sophisticated form of it, and we animals a more sophisticated form still; we help universes propogate themselves by interacting in complex ways and on many different scales: On subatomic, molecular, cellular, multicellular, social, ecological, global, Solar, interplanetary, and even galactic scales, life provides ample opporunity for the universe to observe and interact with itself. (On the galactic level: Mass extinctions coinciding with the rising and dipping of the Solar system relative to the galactic plane as it travels around the Milkyway, life on Earth can be thought of as a measuring device which detects the wake of cosmic rays kicked up by our galaxy as She moves through the intergalactic medium. The biodiversity of life on Earth is known to decrease in response to these cosmic rays.) We lifeforms read the universe that we're made of in all kinds of different ways, most especially those of us with central nervous systems and multiple varieties of sensory organ, and if indeed something "special" happens during observation that essentially creates the universe you find yourself in, as in the P.A.P., then we more-complex information processing systems (or rather, universes which have given rise to more-complex information processing systems) are spawning new universes/timelines at thousands of times the background rate, or even more.
Note to self: The maximum number of possible alternate universes/timelines borne by a “starting universe” or “bubble universe” should be a finite and calculable number, not an abstract infinity. If the total number of electrons in the universe can be calculated, or the “weight” of the universe, then so too can we theoretically estimate the number of possible quantum interactions within the lifespan of our universe, and possibly even a formula for what a given treeverse's growth rate (the average reproductive rate of universes descending from a common ancestor) will be given its cosmological constant. We could thus estimate the relative reproductive fitness of a given universe and how it performs reproductively against other possible universes with other cosmological constants. Unfortunately, if biological life significantly increases the number of quantum interactions that can occur within a given area in a given timespan, we won't be able to calculate an exact value for how many alternate universe/timelines our universe has actually spawned until a satisfactory solution to the Drake Equation (and possibly also the Fermi Paradox) is forthcoming.
Just as the biological “meaning of life” is to reproduce, so is the cosmic “meaning of life”, however cosmic reproduction hinges not on biological copulation but on quantum interaction, meaning that the cosmic “meaning of life” isn't merely to have lots of sex (as with the biological “meaning of life”), but rather to experience: to learn, to grow, to effect change as much as possible.
Dante S. Lauretta. “Planet Formation and the Origin of Life” The University of Arizona. Youtube. Published on Feb 23, 2015
“There's evidence to think that Mars was habitable with liquid, running water before Earth was.” — Neil Degrasse Tyson (Jan 15, 2013, 1:38:15)
“If Mars was fertile for life before Earth — something we've learned recently in the past 10 years — that asteroid impacts [...] can be violent enough that they can fling surrounding rocks with escape velocity into interplanetary space, where they will drift until they are attracted by the gravity of some other planet and they will then fall and land on its surface. If Mars was fertile, and formed life, microbial thought it may only have been, it's microbial life that can survie dehydration, high radiation, absense of — We've found what we call extremophiles on Earth, like I said a moment ago, that thrive in conditions that would kill us: High pressure, low pressure; high temperature, low temperatue; high radiation — all of these conditions the microbes would've encountered on Mars being thrust into space and making that journey. Well! if that's possible and if that's the case then life on Earth could've been seeded by life on Mars, making every lifeform on Earth a descendant of Martians. More importantly, why do we have bacteria that could survive high radiation in the first place? what business does that have here, beneath Earth's protective atmosphere? thriving in places where there isn't high radiation? We have lifeforms that can survive what that trip through space would have subj- what a trip through space would've sub- what it would've been subjected to by a trip through space.” — Neil Degrasse Tyson (Jan 15, 2013, 1:38:36)
Erwin Shrodinger, "Aperiodic Crystal", https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLeEsYDlXJk
☣ Lander, Eric. “Linkage and Recombination, Genetic maps | MIT 7.01SC Fundamentals of Biology.” Youtube (May 9, 2012)
Available online @ <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_1dTvszV4Y>
☣ Eric Bapteste, Maureen A O'Malley, Robert G Beiko, Marc Ereshefsky, J Peter Gogarten, Laura Franklin-Hall, François-Joseph Lapointe, John Dupré, Tal Dagan, Yan Boucher and William Martin, “Prokaryotic evolution and the tree of life are two different things.” Biology Direct 2009 4:34 (Received: 16 July 2009; Accepted: 29 September 2009; Published: 29 September 2009) DOI: 10.1186/1745-6150-4-34
Available online @ <https://biologydirect.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1745-6150-4-34>
☣ Dawkins, Richard. The Last Paragraph of "On The Origin of Species" - Richard Dawkins Lecture Part 1. Youtube. August 15, 2017
Available online @ <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NW4smfrON-I>
☣ Vinod, Soumya. The Anthropic Trilogy, Book 3: Evolution Involution. Evolution-involution.org. June 28, 2010
Available online @ <http://maya-gaia.angelfire.com/phylogeny_slideshows_refer.html>
☣ ADVEXON TV. From The Big Bang To The Present Day - 1080p Documentary HD . Evolution-involution.org. Jun 23, 2015
Available online @ <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eKIjkk0NVY>