The universe according to genetic fractals

“Ceci n’est pas une pipe” from Magritte

No, this is not a goodbye post though I’m certain to look back at such a post title with a chuckle. I was going to write about the original conditions of the universe and demonstrate that our laws of physics could have been quite different and still work. The reasoning was that our universe has evolved with the laws that we have and obeying to such laws in its expansion, clustering of matter and energy and even the emergence of life. If we change these laws from the outset, the universe would have evolved differently and physicists would have discovered a different set of laws. Perhaps I will still write that post with examples of fractals that are the same but evolve under different conditions.

distorted trees
How trees grow depends on more than their genetic make up; the laws of their environment matter too.

But as I was pondering these universes, I asked the ‘why’ question. Why did our our universe have the laws of physics that it has that has allowed for an expanding universe where at least on one planet life has emerged? And the related question: why did we emerge at all?

If the laws of physics had been different then the universe might have been a massive fog of random energy. Or it might have imploded after its initial emergence. Or it might have crystallized into a massive steady lattice of matter. But in none of these scenarios, life would have emerged.

But it has.

Of all the possible scenarios, our universe seems to be at least one of the configurations where life has emerged. Why? I don’t believe in intelligent design and as far as I can tell, there is a very good answer that does involve design but it isn’t intelligent.

Laws of design lead to successful systems such as the beautiful Angkor Wat temples. Laws of thermodynamics mess it up over time. The forces of design and thermodynamics fight epic battles.

A mere two centuries ago, Darwin worked out why life has evolved as it has. Each species evolves randomly but only those evolutions that are best adapted to its environment will survive. This tells a convincing story that you can take as far back as you like, from the first complex molecule as far as I’m concerned.

But natural selection doesn’t quite work for the universe because there is only one and it appears to survive quite well without the need to compete with other universes.

Blogging friend John has pointed me to Adrian Bejan with his Constructal Law on several occasions and I have to admit that I didn’t get it at first. The law states that “For a finite-size system to persist in time (to live), it must evolve in such a way that it provides easier access to the imposed currents that flow through it.”

Adrian Bejan is a professor of mechanical engineering and naturally he focuses on thermodynamics. Hence the reference to currents and flows. What this law is saying is that natural systems, whether they are rivers, snowflakes or bridges, there ‘design’ will evolve to maximize their usefulness and optimal use of their resources. In a sense this is also a survival of the fittest law of nature. But it isn’t limited to natural species.

I have watched a few videos by Adrian Bejan and although he is onto something, he is not a great communicator. You need to read between the lines to get it. What I think he is saying is that there is a natural force of design that leads natural systems to evolve to a state where they survive. Intuitively this is obvious. If a system doesn’t evolve towards its own survival than it must evolve to its own demise. If something exists, it clearly has not met its demise, ergo a force a design can be traced back. To use genetic fractals language: “an evolved system has by definition successful design at its roots”.

The design of snowflakes is driven by the Constructal Law, the precise shapes optimizes the flow of heat during the crystallization process

The universe is an evolved system, as is life. Ergo the universe and life have successful design at their core. I hasten to point out that this doesn’t imply intelligent design but design as a natural force

But how is this possible? If the Big Bang model holds – which is not certain – then our universe literally only got one shot at the design of its laws of physics and its initial parameters.

(what is before this line below, is the results of pure reasoning. What follows below is pure speculation. But I like it so I will share it.

It is said that the Big Bang was triggered by a fluctuation in a quantum field. Regardless of your creed, you should raise a big question about this. I mean, how can a quantum field exist before anything else? I won’t go into that now but if following my last post, you want to substitute quantum field for mind or existence or any other term, I’m OK with that. But here I will use quantum field.

Quantum fields are strange concepts. They are fields in a physics sense. They are all pervasive and are fundamentally all that there is. An electron or proton are a quantum field vibration. This field is also a statistical thing, it represents the possibility of something. Whether that something happens, depends on whether it is being observed.

energy lines exploding from a fractal fluctation

Yes, this is bizarre. To quote Niels Bohr: “If you think you understand quantum mechanics, you don’t understand quantum mechanics”. This sounds eerily like “the Tao that can be named is not the Tao”, but I am not the first to notice that. In fact Fritjof Capra wrote a book about this.

In a strange way, quantum fields ‘know’ when it is observed and create that which which is most probably expected. Take a quantum computer for example. If you give a complex question to a quantum computer, it will ‘consider’ all the possible answers but only retain the right answer. It does this all at the same time. It doesn’t try one answer and then the next, instead it checks all potential answers against the question that is asked by the observer and then kindly provides the right answer.

What if that first fluctuation in the quantum field that gave rise to the Big Bang, did the same thing as a quantum computer. ‘It’ ‘considered’ all the possible options for the universe and retained the one that “would evolve into a successful system with the most chance of survival”?

This would explain why one Big Bang was enough to create a successful universe that obeys the Constructal Law among all the other successful laws of physics.

This doesn’t explain why there is a quantum field in the first place nor “what observed the initial quantum field fluctuation with the expectation to create a successful universe”. Since intelligent design can’t be the answer, I favor the idea of the Constructal Law catching its own tail and spinning around until it gets it right.

But to be honest, this is beyond speculation, even for me. I guess I still haven’t figured it out. There will have to be a sequel.


11 thoughts on “The universe according to genetic fractals

  1. Yes! Boolean cubes only cause chaotic complexity. Hyperfractal electron/photon, serial/parallel, fusion/fission interfaces are massless, borderless, timeless force fields when pair-to-pair interfaced naturally they ATTRACT particles of matter by electromagnetic force fields. Boolean cubes only block pair-to-pair direct-connect of any electron/photon interface. Hyperfractal architecture copies naure’s exponential growth patterns as they procreate and mutate. It works for me—can we talk?

  2. Ooooh, I like! Might this account for the multiverse (ie. all possibilities)?

    I do not understand the math, but I was reading last week about how there cannot be “nothing” because nothing is unstable. “Nothing” therefore never existed. It is an imaginary condition, or state. By my understanding, this obviated the BB hypothesis, with there always being the quantum field, in motion. It always was because it cannot not be. In this sense, it is simply a brute fact. Have I got this right?

    1. That’s indeed one theory; each potential solution is a universe, i.e. infinitely many.
      On my other blog I deduced from first principles that something can come from nothing but it turns out that that nothing is infinitely long ago, so long that there never nothing… BB is still possible but as. Blip on the landscape, not the start of it. So yes, I would agree with such an assertion, there was never nothing. Just very little 🙂

    1. I have pondered this for many years and have concluded (and written some maths 🙂 ) that there can never have been nothing, except infinitely long ago. But infinity is as intangible and forever out of reach as “nothing”. Like you, I’m quite content with that conclusion 🙂

      1. Do you understand the significance of the math in that the sum total of matter in the universe cancels the sum total of negative gravitational energy, giving us a universe with zero net matter/energy? I could well be wrong, but if I’m following his argument, then this is what Kraus points to for a “universe from nothing.” From what I think he’s saying, this is why there was never “nothing.”

      2. Actually, what Krauss is saying is what cosmologist already said before him. He just added the bit about there being no evidence of a need for God to create the universe:)

        The current cosmological thinking is that the quantum field is randomly vibrating like a stirred ocean. Most of the time the little waves create particles and anti-particles that disappear before you’ve had a change to see them. This explains dark matter and dark energy: there is a lot of it but too short-lived to notice. Occasionally these quantum fluctuations do survive and due to the mix of mass vs the gravity that mass induces vs the ‘speed’ at which the fluctuation expands, triggers a Big Bang. Krauss’ point is that it starts with nothing and becomes an entire universe. And not just once. If the model is correct, than there should be Big Bangs all over the place. But if you think about it, if a Big Bang followed a minute after ‘ours’, then we’d never notice it since it will always be a minute after our ‘now’.
        Comoslogists suggests that the universe comes from nothing because the amount of mass (‘positive’) is the same as the amount of gravity (‘negative) and the whole thing adds up to zero. Curiously, I have never heard anyone worry about the fact that there is a quantum fluctuation in the first place… It amounts to saying that the ocean is on average exactly at sea level and that all the waves add up to zero. Sure. True. But what about the waves???

        Quantum fluctuations which are responsible for all the Big Bangs and 70% of the our universe’s mass and energy point at a quantum field which is going through the perfect storm. That field isn’t measure in energy and mass and so from an energy and mass perspective it is nothing. Agreed. But that is like saying that ocean waves have no average height beyond sea level. We all know that it’s violence is measure differently.

        Krauss’ conclusion about the absence of a need for God based on the zero-sum mass and energy takes us directly this glaring hole in his thinking: what is causing the commotion in the quantum field? Creationists will argue that is exactly what God is. Certainly non-duals will as anyone that has replaced the angry middle-eastern God by a more benign and ethereal version.

        As you know, I’m putting much stock in the natural emergence of intelligence, order and beauty in pure randomness. I can even see how that might look like a benign force. But randomness is all we need.

        I will go a step further, I increasingly believe that the materialistic approach to dividing matter further and further and looking deeper and deeper will never answer the basic question of ‘where does all this come from’. Instead, we should (I might) develop a Theory of natural emergence of all that matters from infinite randomness”. According to this future theory, life, the universe and everything is a necessary outcome of randomness. This makes intuitive sense, right? In fact, it makes so much sense that I might deal with this today.

        PS: the idea that there was never nothing, in my exchange with Notes was philosophical and mathematical. The only bridge between nothing and something is infinity. I posted about this on my genetic fractals lab .

      3. That clears a few things up, thanks.

        Wouldn’t the “wave” (motion) always be? My reasoning would be that because there can’t be “nothing” then there was always “something” and that “something” must therefore already be in motion caused by simply non-being-nothing. In this sense, it’s a brute (natural) fact. Alternatively, what about retrocausality? At least theoretically, delayed choice experiments (with a huge apparatus) seem to conform this is possible, and at a subatomic level, cause and effect are reversed.

      4. Agree, the random wave motion of the quantum field has always been there. Never a quiet day there.

        Cause and effect are a human interpretation. Cause and effect are one ‘thing’. One doesn’t cause the other or the other way around. Since time (and space) is a feature of the human mind, the order of the inseparable cause and effect is irrelevant. (Time’s error is indeed reversed in antimatter interactions.)

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