How do we humans identify life in today’s era? Does life really need oxygen and water? Or is it possible that there are other organisms that need very different elements for life. If this is an acceptable theory, what about the universe? Could it be possible that the Universe is a giant living organism?
It certainly is possible that life could exist on a larger scale, perhaps on a “cosmic level”. What makes us different from stones? Some scientists have thought about what “life really means” and there are some that believe that life is a bigger deal than previously thought. Is it possible that the entire cosmos is a single living organism, in which we live and move?
Today, after about 4000 million years, we find out that we share the planet with other animals such as elephants, whales and another 8 million eukaryotic species. It is clear that all living beings on our planet are interconnected, in one way or another and that suggests that we are all part of a single living organism.
The first person to think of the universe as a great organism was the Greek philosopher Anaxagoras, but the idea of the universe as a living organism was largely formulated by Plato, then by the Stoics, Plotinus and Neoplatonism.
According to the “organismic” view, the structures that make up the universe, galaxies, black holes, quasars, stars, nebulae, planets and us included, should be considered as the tissue of a living giant, something as the parts of the body of the universe.
The characteristics of living organisms is birth, growth, reproduction and death, but according to researchers these aspects are also plausible for the Universe. The fact that the universe is believed to expand just means growth, and in the distant future, the universe, like other living organisms might actually come to an end. But what about reproduction? Does the universe reproduce? Does a multiverse exist? And is there a possibility that the existence of “multiverses” proves that there are giant organisms (universe) that inhabit an unimagined place? If so is it possible that “our” universe has its “family”?
According to physicist Lee Smolin, founder of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, our universe has already created a whole family of children, hidden universes beyond the dark horizons of black holes.
“The laws of nature are perfectly tuned, so that the Universe can harbor life,” says Smolin. “Imagine what would happen if these laws changed slightly. The universe would not be so hospitable and it remains a mystery as to why the universe is so acceptable for biology”.
Cosmologists periodically collide with an enigma called “perfect harmony”. If any of the forces of nature were stronger or weaker in less than 1%, stars and galaxies would never have formed. There wouldn’t even be atoms.
Smolin, was in search of an explanation that is observable and was not able to find one found in physical but in the biological theory of evolution. “Natural selection explains the complex structures of life which slowly develop,” says Smolin. Would it be possible that our complex universe is the result of a cosmic version of biological evolution?
Many believe that this is a sign that our universe has been carefully shaped by the hand of the Creator which designed to accommodate human life.
So what about our universe? Does it have ancestors? What about the notion of time? Is it applicable to the “evolution” of the universe in reality?
According to Smolin, the answer lies in the center of the impenetrable black holes, where known laws of physics cease to exist, with the advantage of the other laws related to quantum gravity hitherto unknown. Theoretical physicist believed that when a star exploded, leaving room for a black hole, it is at that time when the birth of a new universe takes place.
According to Smolin, our universe could belong to a branch of the ever-growing giant cosmic tree. “The cosmos works as biology: There is a population of universes that are able to generate offsprings through black holes.”
Smolin has even discovered a mysterious analogy between the cosmic and biological tree.
Smolin believes that, for a black hole to form, a very big star is needed, also,, huge clouds of cold gas and dust, so that these substances can transform into carbon monoxide, both carbon and oxygen are needed, both are essential for the formation of life. According to Smolin, these two elements are present in the universe on a massive scale, the explanation of why the cosmos is a hospitable place for life is nothing more than a side effect of its own fertility in reproductive terms.
If Smolin is slightly right, the laws of physics that we know and understand today have been carefully adjusted to maintain the fertility of the cosmos.. The same laws make our world a place where life based on carbon, oxygen and chemistry can thrive.