Necronomicon 2012
Hilton St. Pete., 333 1st St. South
St. Petersburg, FL
Saturday, October 27, 2012 3 PM
Lecture hall St. Pete 3
M. Linton Herbert
Fitness of the Universe for Life


We all understand Darwin’s theory of natural evolution through natural selection.  A fox that can jump safely a little farther can catch more rabbits. 

Downloaded from Google Images Oct. 7, 2011.
Actually foxes rarely catch rabbits, try though they do.  They will catch things like voles, which are easier, but let us pretend a fox can catch a rabbit and live on nothing else.  At all events the fox has evolved to jump far.  His iconic tail helps him land straight and maybe swing a little this way or that in the last few inches.  Catch more rabbits, raise more little foxes.  End of story.  The long jumping fox with a suitable tail is more “fit” than one less well endowed.  And if in some species the males are fighting for access to females, the better fighting male will have an advantage. 

The logic is inescapable, and in fact has been known since people started herding.  They would deliberately or inadvertently select for things people wanted. 

But when it comes to speciation, how one species evolved into another, Darwin has only one word in his entire book on Origin of Species: happenstance.  Species happen.  Thanks.  That helps a lot.  Nice book.  We will get back to speciation in the second hour.  For now think about evolution.  Suppose in some environment a fox evolves an inheritable trait that makes him a whole lot better at catching rabbits.  In fact it can catch any rabbit at any time.  Now this fox and its decedents will do so well they will replace all the old style foxes, drive them to extinction.  Then they will drive rabbits to extinction, assuming the rabbits do not suddenly evolve a defense.  Then the foxes go extinct.

So you say to your Darwin enthusiast, “Aha, your more fit fox did not, in fact, survive.” 

He will answer, “Ah, but this fox was actually less fit, since it died out.”  So the definition of fitness is whatever survives.  Evolution is not survival of the “fittest” but survival of what survives.  This is a tautology.  You aren’t going to disprove it, but it makes no prediction.  In this sense it is not science.

This is more than an exercise in thinking.  There is a species that is dear to our hearts that is in just this predicament.  There are so many people that without continued improvement in technology we cannot survive indefinitely at such numbers. 

But the popular appeal of Darwinian thought is such that people, although concerned, are less concerned than one would think.  Also rich countries have birth rates below replacement.  Oh well.  That must mean they are not as fit as poorer countries.  Freedom to compete means some people get richer, giving them the power to get richer still with concentration of wealth in ever fewer hands and no happy ending in sight.  Competition is good.  Darwin has spoken.  We seem to start wars quite casually; we win because our country is fitter. 

Words are introduced that stand for new concepts, like “RAM” and “texting.”  Well and good.  But words are also introduced without any new idea, like “sea star” for “starfish.”

Downloaded from Google images Oct. 7, 2011
No, it’s not a fish; neither is it a star.  What’s the harm?  Well by and large the more words you know the more you can earn.  A word is worth about a dollar a year to you, which at current real interest rates of about 2% means it is worth $50.  If 300 million people know the word, pretty close for “starfish,” then the change costs society $15 billion.  That’s steep, but no one much minds.  The word will only slosh around and compete and the fittest word will win. 

Obviously what is needed is a balance between cooperation and competition.

So with the universe.  Life must compete within a species and between the species and the environment.  But life must also cooperate with other species and with the environment.

So what has the universe done that gives us a chance to live?  There is structure at just about every level.  If you take a group of people out of their environment
Kalahari bushmen
Kalahari bushmen Downloaded from Google images Oct. 7, 2011,

and put them somewhere else
Eskimo Downloaded from Google images Oct. 7, 2011,

and didn’t rush things, they might survive all right.  Not many kinds of animals could survive such a change. 

But suppose you took the earth and stirred it, mixing the crust with the magma below.  There would be no survivors.  Conveniently we can live on the surface and do not have to contend very often with the heat of the interior.

Downloaded Google Images Oct. 7, 2011
If we were much closer to the sun or much farther away, water would boil or freeze at the surface and we could not survive.  A very elliptical orbit or any unstable orbit would not shelter us.

On the subject of hot and cold, even though the earth is in a stable circular orbit at a convenient distance from the sun, all is not tranquil.  There have been times when it was so warm that the fossils of dinosaurs have been found close to the South Pole and more recently discovered dinosaurs like the edmontosaurus and gorgosaurus ( for a time roamed the north slope of Alaska in the winter, with huge eyes so they get around by starlight.  And of course there have been ice ages that may have come on abruptly since grasshoppers and mammoths have been found encased in ancient ice. 

However we have for some time been in an unusually temperate time when the extreme changes of earlier eras seem to be on hold.  That could change.  And the end of the summer thaw in the past few years about half as much ice by volume remains in the Arctic Ocean as was present at the same season thirty years ago.  If it continues at the same speed, it will all be gone in another thirty years.  If it accelerates it could be gone in ten.  (That is not the opinion of the site from which this picture comes.)  Actually last summer’s melt was so extreme they are now saying years not decades until it is all gone. 

ice cap
Downloaded from Google images Oct. 7, 2011
The geometry of the earth’s orbit is such that the North Pole during the arctic summer solstice is receiving more sunlight each day than the equator.  Now the light reflects off the ice.  Melt the ice and the light will be absorbed by dark sea water.  The energy entering the earth will be greater at the North Pole than anywhere else.  That energy will want to go to the South Pole.  That is the definition of energy.  What will happen?  Maybe things will change.  But it would hardly threaten the existence of life – just the existence of civilization. 

So the earth seems just right for us just now, geography, orbit, climate and all.  And there is something called the Kuiper cliff.  Out past the Kuiper belt, past Pluto, the amount of space rock drops of very quickly.  Nobody knows why, but it’s a good thing.  Comets are scary enough.  We don’t need more space rock dropping on us.  A rock the size of a house passed within the orbit of the moon this month.  One is due in February that is bigger and will come within something over 20,000 miles of us.  That’s quite enough, thank you.

A few planets by now have been found that seem to be rocky like the earth, and be a good size and temperature for our kind of life.  So nature has been kind. 

Kepler-22b: New Planet With Earth-Like Characteristics Discovered In 'Habitable Zone' (IMAGE)

planet Kepler22b

The Huffington Post   Timothy Stenovec (function($){ huff.js('jquery/jquery.tooltip.hp.js', function(){ $('.fb-tooltip').show(); $('.twitter-tooltip').show(); $('.social-icons-border').hide(); $('.posted-and-updated').css('display', 'block') $('.fb-tooltip').toolTip({ toolTipWidth : 250, html : '

There is a kind of neutron star with a strong magnetic field called a magnetar.  Several years ago one sent a pulse of some sort that lowered the ionosphere to about half its normal level and kept it down for hours.  I don’t know about you, but I doubt I would live very long breathing totally ionized air.

Magnetar impression downloaded from Google images Oct. 7, 2011

The thing piped up from somewhere in the core of the galaxy. 

Down loaded from Google images Oct. 7, 2011

We were lucky.  It was mostly blocked by the sun so we only got a glancing blow.  If the galaxy were rearranged at random, we would probably have been a lot closer.  And there are a lot of other active things close in.  So our position in the galaxy is a good one.

And our galaxy is a lucky one.  Most galaxies seem to harbor a very active core usually explained as a giant black hole.  The black hole gets active when matter gets sucked in.  Our own is unusually small and quiescent for a galaxy this size.  It has been more active in the past.  Enormous bubble like structures are visible on both sides along an axis perpendicular to the galaxy through the core.  They are thought to be remnants of shockwaves from jets the Milky Way once emitted. 

I suppose you could rearrange the galaxies and do us little harm. 

Then there is the universe itself

If it had started out expanding a tiny amount slower it would have collapsed again before life could have evolved.  A tiny bit faster and it would have spread itself out so much that stars could not have formed.  So nature has been obliging again.

Then there is the “fine structure constant.” 

You know how white light broken up with a prism forms a spectrum.

Google images downloaded October 7, 2011

If you look a little closer, the spectrum is a set of very thin lines related to the energies of the various orbital of electrons in the various elements that can give off light when heated. 

The positions of those lines are determined by a fine structure constant, a unitless number that equals the square of the charge of an electron times the speed of light times the magnetic permeability of space divided by twice Planck’s constant(which relates the wavelength of a photon to its energy).  If it were a tiny bit different, chemistry would be so changed that life as we know it could not exist.  All of the factors are supposed to be unvarying laws of nature.  So we got lucky again. 
fine constant diagram
Downloaded from Google images Oct. 7, 2011

But maybe not.  It turns out that when you look at spectra of very distant stars above the North Pole and compare them with very distant stars above the South Pole they are a little different.  We may not live in a favored universe, just a favored part of the universe.  There is a gradient to the fine structure constant.  Of course once the genie was out of the bottle it didn’t want to go back.  There is a recent tendency for astronomers to find something out of kilter and say, “Oh, the laws of nature may be different over yonder.”

So having gone to the largest scale, we are brought around to the smallest scale.  Break up the atoms that form the fine structure and of course we all perish.  Same with our molecules, organelles, cells, tissues, organs and limbs.  So except for moving human communities around, and that must be quite gradual, and maybe shuffling galaxies, there is structure at every level that we depend on.  Of course the structure of our communities, the size of our gene pools, is just like everything else – tamper at your peril.  But that is the second hour.

Of course I’ve left out almost everything.  There appears to be stuff called Dark Matter.  You can’t see it.  It has mass and almost nothing else.  black
Most matter is dark.  It is believed to exist because the way stars move in a galaxy can’t be explained by their mass.  There has to be a halo of Something Else.  And the halo is big.  When I do the arithmetic it seems to extend almost as far as the halo of the next galaxy

This isn’t the first time science has rescued a theory from the facts by inventing something for which there was no evidence.  That’s how they decided that there was the neutrino.  When you split an atom and added up the pieces and the energy that came out something was missing.  This was called the neutrino.  And by golly eventually they managed to observe some.  They have had to do handsprings to explain why the sun – which we are told is a big nuclear furnace – isn’t making enough of them, at least we are not observing as many as we should.  I think they are now saying, “We think the neutrino has mass, so they may change somehow on the way here.”  Oh really?  Amazing.  I thought their mass was the only reason we invented them.

There have been hints of effects of Dark Matter.  The Voyager Mission of two craft seems to be slowing down a tad more than it should.  Some think this could be Dark Matter at work.  NASA has been nice enough to put up an odometer for the crafts.

Actually they then figured out that it was something to do with radiation pressure from the sun or something else kind of ordinary. 

Then there is Dark Energy.  It turns out that the universe is not slowing down as expected as it expands.  So this “Something Else” must be pushing on it, making it accelerate.  So Dark Matter and Dark Energy are more or less opposites. 

diagrams of effect of dark matter and energy
That ought to cover most bets. 

Oh yes, there’s something else.  As you know when a space probe passes a planet it is affected by the gravity of the planet.  By setting up the pass right you can get a “slingshot” effect where some of the earth’s momentum is transferred to the probe.  I guess they aren’t worried about dropping the earth into the sun while playing such games.  Anyway the effect is a lot bigger than it should be from calculations.  Nobody I know of has invoked Dark Matter or Energy. 

By far the majority of everything that exists is thought to be Dark Energy.  Whether these dark things are necessary for life is beyond me.  But I’m pretty sure that we understand only a tiny portion of what exists. 

It seems to me there is an opportunity for a story here.  A parallel universe might not be in a different dimension.  There could be whole civilizations made of Dark Matter folks using Dark Energy.  Maybe magic works there. 

There is another thing to remember about the universe.  It flashed into existence as the Big Bang and a tiny point of everything.  It then expanded, not at the speed of light, but much faster. 
(Sorry about the angle here, but my scanner seems to be having a psychotic event.)
diagram of inflation


Then it sort of settled down to the speed of light except that Dark Energy kept pushing on it.  The reason that inflation has been popular is that the laws of nature are the same everywhere.  But they seem quite arbitrary (and are annoyingly convenient for life) which makes the whole thing look “designed.”  Can’t have that, of course.  Well the universe is not old enough for things to have equilibrated, but it looks mostly homogeneous.  So the thought was that it started out very inhomogeneous, equilibrated for just a little bit and then expanded so that what we see is just a random piece of what there is.  The density of galaxies and the laws of nature are not fundamental; they only apply to our little corner.

Since the fine structure constant seems to change, I suppose one must concede that there is now evidence for inflation. 

Still is seems very clumsy.  The energy is available.  Since the laws of nature could have been anything and then became something specific, energy was released.  If you stand a pencil on its point it could fall any direction; when it falls in a specific direction energy is released.  But how could it expand that fast?  Can’t exceed speed of light and all that sort of thing, you know. 

At this point the experts pull a long face and say, “It did not exceed the speed of light.  Light continued to move through space as usual.  It was space itself that was warped because of the energy released by the fixing of the laws of nature.”  All right.  Fine. And exactly what keeps the energy of my rocket craft from warping space the same way?

Nobody much talks to me any more.

There are a couple of other big problems at the base of all this.  Neutrinos are thought to have been observed exceeding the speed of light by a tiny amount.  Well that’s what they said.  They then announced that it was an error and the error has been found. 

Subatomic particles are thought to be made up of “quarks.”  The quark that gives matter mass and is supposed to make everything else work, the Higgs boson …

Here’s Bozo.

Downloaded from Google images Oct. 8, 2011

Well they looked for it, and it wasn’t there – or rather wasn’t what – they thought it was.  In fact they announced finding it in the last possible place it could have been (at the last possible energy it could have had).  So it was either in the least likely place or the least convenient place.  Bit of a coincidence, but they are telling us to sleep soundly, all is well. 

So far I have been talking pretty much accepted science.  If what I have said is not true I’m just wrong … again ..., live with it.  From here on in it will be the wildest speculation.  I have no evidence.  I tried once, but I couldn’t make it happen.  Maybe some day I’ll say how you might test it, but time does not permit.

There are some problems.  First, life is complex.  It is information dense.  The universe does not like that.  Things tend to disintegrate; galaxy clusters rush apart, energy gets dispersed, information degrades.  And living things die.  This is because of the second law of thermodynamics. 

Here is a formula from thermodynamics:
A change in the entropy (S) of a system is the infinitesimal transfer of heat (Q) to a closed system driving a reversible process, divided by the equilibrium temperature (T) of the system.[1]
dS = \frac{\delta Q}{T} \!

No, I can’t quite fathom it.  But that “T” is crucial.  Without a finite temperature, there can be no information … I think.  Entropy is of course the opposite of energy.  Entropy is disorder. 

There is a concept called Maxwell’s demon.  The way I think of it is as two rooms with a door.  The demon stands at the door.  When it sees a molecule of air moving toward the door from the outside it opens the door, unless there is a molecule trying to get out.  Then it closes the door.  In time you get a room of compressed air that can do some work.
little mad at door watching air molecules

Downloaded from Google images Oct. 8, 2011


Of course it is an engineering impossibility.  And it is also a theoretical impossibility.  To “see” the molecule, the demon must have light bounce off it or interact with it in some way that throws it off course.  But the point is made, knowledge of the location and movement of the molecule can be translated into energy.  And energy can be converted to mass according to good old E = MC2.  Mass affects gravity.  Then so does energy and so does information

So the universe consists of matter, energy and information. 

And information dissipates like energy. 

You can see things doing this of course.  Languages die out and those that survive get simpler.  The diversity of life decreases.  Oh living things get better, that’s true.  But their diversity – the range of possibilities – declines.  There is a nice book Wonderful Life by Stephen Jay Gould that tells the story of the earliest fossils of complex life.  In a fraction of an acre there was more diversity than you would find in a comparable area of the sea floor today.  Actually there was more than you would find on the whole planet today.  Our first Homo sapiens ancestors had bigger brains than we do today.  Nature does not like complexity.  It falls apart. 

So how do things get started?  The energy is there.  The sun pumps out enough energy to account for the organization as well as the construction of life.  But suppose you want to build a life sized stegosaurus

Downloaded from Google images Oct. 8, 2011

out of Leggos. 

Downloaded from Google images Oct. 8, 2011

You get a big pile of Leggos and put a stick of dynamite under it.
No, that won’t work.  The energy is there.  But there has to be an organizing principle.  And nature only offers you a disorganizing principle. 

So we can destroy life.  We can’t make life without having life to work with.  So where is the principle for the start up?

Now it is possible, working from that opaque formula, to work out how much information is stored in the knowledge that my one pound shoe is in my one cubic foot shoebox.  But I have to know the temperature of the shoe.  That is classic.  But I propose that there has to be information about the shoe that is independent of its temperatureI must propose that because otherwise this won’t work. 

So what are the units we will be looking for?  Going from E = MC2
we get energy = mass times distance times distance divided by time divided by time.

So we shall need a time, a duration.  So the shoe is in the box for a year.  Its energy equivalent is mass times distance times distance times distance times time.  The units are wrong.

But suppose we say that we don’t know where the shoe is, we just know how much of the universe has been excluded because the shoe was not there. 

Clear enough?

What you get now is

Energylocation =     Mk(D-h)(D-w)(D-l)        
Elocation is the energy equivalent of what we know.
M is mass
D is the diameter of the universe at the time.
h is the height of the box
w is the width of the box
l is the length of the box
C is the speed of light
th is the time the mass was in the box along the vertical axis
tw is the time the mass was in the box along one horizontal axis
tl is the time the mass was in the box along the other axis. 

Now the units work out right … I think.  It’s been a long time since I checked. 

So as you see the smaller the box, the greater the mass and the shorter the time the more energy the system represents.  (I would have thought longer time would have meant more energy.  Oh well.)  And the bigger the universe, other things being equal, the more energy.

You see as the universe gets bigger it takes more information to locate something in it, just as a big city has a bigger telephone directory than a little town.  But since the universe cools as it expands, the objects are cooler and it takes less energy to say where they are according to standard thermodynamics.  But this putative energy is independent of temperature. 

So my first suggestion is that this is dark matter.  Since things in galaxies have locations, and those locations have energy and a mass equivalent, the effect is as if there were extra unseen mass cloaking the galaxy.

But where does this information come from?  It comes out of nowhere.  The future is indeterminate.  We all know that.  The reason it is that on Monday there is only a finite amount of space.  On Tuesday there is more space, so more information is needed.  Of the possibilities that were present on Monday, some have been realized and the result has been an increase in information.  Physicists will assure you that the laws of nature are reversible, so there really should not be a preferred direction in time.  But when I look at a particle decaying and pieces flying off I think, “That’s not reversible.  I didn’t know when it was going to decay.  But once it did I think I can figure out from where the pieces and how fast they are moving pretty much when and where the particle decayed.  Information has increased.” 

Now think about black holes.  Light can only go so fast.  Increase gravity and things fall into it faster.  Get enough mass into a small enough space and light cannot escape.   Radius to the edge of the hole, the point of no return, is called the Schwarzschild radius.  When I say “size of the black hole” I mean the volume enclosed by the Schwarzschild radius, not the little place where everything gets crushed at the center.  (Meaning of the word.)

So how big a black hole would the universe make?  It would make a pretty big one.  In fact if you took what is in the universe, not even counting Dark Matter and Dark Energy, if the universe was say half its present size it would be a black hole.  There is plenty of room.  Keep the galaxies as they are and just move them closer.  So the Andromeda galaxy is now twice as close, four times as bright.  It’s not going to have much effect on us. 

Well there was a time when the universe contained pretty much all the matter and energy it now contains and it really was half its present size.  It was a black hole.  Actually it was a black hole when it was much smaller.  Well if it was a black hole then, by golly it has to be a black hole still. 

But if the universe is expanding, the day will come when it gets out of the hole.  And that can’t happen.  One way to resolve the paradox is simply to say that time is running in the opposite direction of what we think.  The universe is actually collapsing under its own gravity.

Of course since everything is backwards, everything looks almost exactly as it does to us now.  The universe is collapsing; energy and information are piling up.  Now we have our organizing principle.  Things get more complex, only they get more complex toward the past.  Complex life is no surprise, indeed any number of complex systems are to be expected.  Instead of having information popping out of nowhere, we have information being packed into tighter and tighter spaces.  We have structure on every scale.  In fact they say even the cosmic background radiation, a supposed remnant of the Big Bang, has structure.  It ought to be random. 

As cosmological theories go, this one is quite testable in principle.  Start throwing bricks on a pile and, if current wisdom holds, by the time the pile is the size of something like ten suns the whole thing falls into itself and a Schwarzschild radius, an event horizon, appears.  But if time is running backwards then this cannot happen.  It would mean that actually all those bricks just popped out of a black hole.

Again we are faced with an impossible engineering feat.  But it might not be so hard.  Find a naturally occurring black hole and nudge an object toward the event horizon.  If it falls in, reversed time has been disproved.  You could even wait for something to fall in and watch what happens to the energy coming from it.  Any electromagnetic radiation would be red shifted; its spectrum would move toward the red side of the scale.

Let me digress.  Suppose somebody is down a gravity well, that is to say he is closer to some heavy object than we are.  Maybe it’s a planet.  He holds up a light we can see, maybe a laser that we know the wavelength of its light.  We compare it with an identical laser we have.  Since his light must rise against gravity it will lose energy.  The energy and wavelength of light are related such that the wavelength that reaches us from him is slightly longer than the wavelength of light from our own laser.  Since we know the speed of light, we know how fast the electromagnetic field is wiggling up here.  By the same token we know how fast it is wiggling down there.  Ours is wiggling faster so “ipso facto quid pro quo” things are going slower for him than for us.  Time has slowed down for him as seen by us.

You could see that happening as something fell into a black hole, the frequency of the light approaching zero as the event horizon was approached.

Of course if the universe it running backwards and order is piling up as we approach the Bang moment, the universe must end that is it must have begun as a crystal.  Maybe the same holds for exploding stars.  Here’s a picture of a super nova:
picture of an exploding start that kind of looks like a crystal

But when we look at a black hole we see stuff spewing out of it.  Calculations have been done that suggest a black hole is surrounded by a disk of swirling matter.  As stuff gets sucked in it gets spewed out along the axis of rotation, almost all of it.  And of course those jets have been observed.
galaxy with jets
Down loaded Google images Oct. 9, 2011

If time is running backwards, then it is not just most that is coming out, all of it and then some is coming out.

There may be a black hole closer to home.  If you look at the sun in visible light you will see a fairly tranquil oblate spheroid with maybe a few sunspots and sometimes an arch that is a magnetic field entraining ions.  But if you look at it by x ray, it is burbling away to beat the band.

sun by x-ray
Downloaded Google images Oct. 9, 2011

I once saw a video of this.  I don’t appreciate it on the still picture, but in motion the surface is bulging first here then there.

But even so, if the sun is a nuclear explosion it seems very strange that it is so stable.  The explosions we make are anything but stable.  Even a reactor, which is inherently far less squirrelly than a ball of gas, is so unstable that some countries are phasing them out.  Too dangerous.

But if the sun is actually a black hole in reversed time, then the universe, guided by the principle of increasing order and obliged to stuff things anywhere it can, is forcing matter into the hole.  It’s another way to stockpile matter, energy and information and get them out of the way.  The orderly systems we so enjoy are a minor element in this. 

But when we look at that in ordinary forward time, stuff is coming out of a black hole – or white hole if you prefer.  Much of it is hydrogen, which then fuses according to ordinary physics, giving us some neutrinos as helium is formed, just not enough to account for all the energy we detect.  Given time – and I am still talking about ordinary forward time – the proportion of energy coming from fusion events is going to get greater as larger and larger nuclei fuse.  The fusion energy does not follow the stately pavan choreographed by the universe.  It blows things to smithereens.  In reverse time that makes perfectly good sense

And finally there is that accelerating expansion – Dark Energy  thing.  If we look out across the universe to where there appears to be acceleration we are looking back in time.  diagram of universe showing "then" deeper than "now"
But of course we are looking down a gravity well.  The universe was smaller, and more compact “then” than it is “now.”  Or in reversed time, by the time we reach “then” we shall have fallen farther into the black hole.  Things will be more compact.  And things will be moving slower. So – keep me honest on this – if things seem to be moving slower “then” then we must seem to be moving faster, so the universe is accelerating.

Again, this is subject to test.  One skilled in the art could do the math and see just how much change in the rate of expansion ought to be observed at various distances and then see whether that matches observation.

As far as how the whole thing started, it is impossible to know just now.  I imagine a chaotic universe in which there is matter, anti matter, energy and information sloshing around in a chaotic environment where the curvature of space has been drastically distorted by enormous gravitational effects, where time is moving in one direction at one speed in one location and moving in the other direction at a different speed in another location.  In fact, since time is simply defined as the change in the dimensions of space, there should be three dimensions of time as well as three dimensions of space, much as suggested by Keith Laumer in Dinosaur Beach

You could create such a system starting with just one neutron.  That would represent as much energy as it takes to start a gram of matter moving at a rate of about 1.3 cm per day if my arithmetic is right.  But of course this neutron in such an environment can bounce back and forth in time, interacting with itself any number of times, decaying sometimes, undecaying elsewhere and elsewhen, so that there are plenty of protons and electrons.

wiggley line

So to build a universe all you need is emptiness and the load of one neutron.  You launch it, let it complete its peregrinations and at some point it comes back to exactly the same time and place moving at the same speed and direction as when it started.  You snatch it out and return it.  You didn’t even need it for a finite length of time.

Oh, sorry.  You’ll need one more thing.  You’ll need an observer.  Imagine the universe just after the Big Bang.  Everthing is energy.  The location of nothing is real.  The energy is distributed in a complex of probability functions, like light nowadays.  Now the quantum physics boys tell you that light has no actual location until it is observed; it must interact with ordinary classical matter.  Then it arrives all in one place at one time.  Until then it is only a probability function.  (Think equation.)  Well if there is no matter to observe the energy there never will be.  So you need an observer to observe the universe.  Then it works.  Well your observer, like your original neutron moves about in the chaotic universe; there are multiple copies.  Maybe each of us has a consciousness that is simply another copy of the same observer. 

Well within this chaos some collection of matter achieved a size and density so that it formed its own orderly black hole.  An event horizon formed and things started rushing inward generating the fairly orderly universe we see.  Eventually the laws of nature melt under the heat and the whole thing undergoes deflation, but that time is far away.

Why is there matter and not anti matter in the universe?  Maybe this was just a region where there was more matter at the time.  Or maybe matter is just anti matter moving in reverse time.  We are all going the same direction in time now, so of course it’s all the same kind of matter. 

On the other hand, as we move forward in time as ordinarily sensed, we approach the moment when the event horizon formed.  Now it vanishes, and we are in continuity with the chaos beyond.  That could happen at any time.

I just wanted to cheer you up.  Maybe there’s a story in it. 

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