An introduction to a possibility: Cosmological Natural Selection
The purpose of science is to get people to examine what is real and abandon false ideas which are misleading. Our understanding of the Universe is vitally important for our species’ long term survival. The sun is going through a life cycle which will effect the earth’s climate. Dangerous meteor impacts are rare but a realistic threat. Also, it’s just plain fun to think about how mysterious, wonderful, and amazing space is.
Nobody really understands how the Universe came to be. The weird condition of the Universe being curved like a saddle is very strange. Astronomers and cosmologists everywhere insist that the Universe is flat and it is expanding from some super bizarre Big Bang event.
Alternative ideas about how the Big Bang happened and ever improving measurements of expansion suggest saddle shaped space and how we may be living inside of a black hole. This surprising idea that we are inside a black hole is not entirely accepted science. However, if found to be true, the Universe did not come from nothing and is definitely not flat.
Cosmological Natural Selection is the idea pioneered by the cosmologist, Lee Smolin. He argues that black holes are baby universes and that universes reproduce by creating lots of black holes within themselves. This is of wide interest because the laws of nature which make our kind of life likely, also make black holes likely. These two aspects of nature may be intimately related.
Standard Model Cosmology
Hubble’s law tells us the size, age, and expansion rate of the Universe. Hubble’s constant (H) is very close to 21.7. A galaxy one million light years away is moving away from us at about 21.7 kilometers or 14 miles per second. A galaxy 100 million light years away is flying away at 2170 km/s.
A million light years is a great distance, light speed (C) rounds up to 300,000 km/s. So one light year is found to be 9.5 trillion kilometers as follows:
Light year = speed of light x days per year x hours per day x seconds per hour.
The farthest galaxies we can observe at the edge of the visible Universe are the same distance no matter what direction. I’ll call the distance (R). Observing as if from the center is the only view we have. We can imagine things from different views and compare what we see with our telescopes, with what we expect. The Universe looks the same in every direction and astronomers conclude the distribution of galaxies is about the same everywhere.
The rule followed by nature shows that the constant (H) mentioned above does indeed account for the motion of the galaxies we see. The velocity (V) of galaxies flying away from us follow Hubble’s Law.
Velocity (V) = Hubble’s constant (H) x Distance (R).
If we use the speed of light as our velocity we find the edge of the visible Universe by dividing the speed of light by Hubble’s constant.
Distance (R) =
Speed of light (C) x million light years
Hubble’s Constant (H)
R = 300,000 x 1,000,000 LY 21.7
R=13.8 billion light years.
Anything beyond is traveling away from us faster than light and it will never be observable.
The age of the Universe is described the same way. Age (A) is the speed of light (C) divided by (H) given in millions of years.
Age (A) =
Speed of light (C) x million years
Hubble’s Constant (H)
A = 300,000 x 1,000,000 Y 21.7
A=13.8 billion years.
The visible Universe is a sphere which is 13.8 billion light years in radius. The cosmic microwave background from a sphere that size is the oldest artifact from the big bang we can detect. The age of the Universe is the same as the time light has taken to arrive here from the big bang.
If the expanding Universe were much smaller in the past, everything must once have been within the radius for a black hole of the same mass as the universe has. How could the entire Universe have escaped from this condition? It is well known of black holes that nothing escapes their gravitational pull, not even light. Everything must still be inside!
The only way for the Universe to have escaped is if it were always infinite and gravity pulled the same in every direction. Or as the inflationary model suggests, some inflation field did it?
What would being inside a black hole really look like? Possibly, a saddle shaped universe.
Saddle Shaped Universe
Not only is space expanding but the expansion is accelerating over time. This is what is meant by a saddle shaped space. Two parallel light beams traveling into the future must separate and travel away from one another due to the expansion.
Astronomers looking into deep space notice galaxies much closer together in the distant past. This vista is described by Roger Penrose as hyperbolic geometry, the Universe is very much like an M. C. Escher world. Space has expanded more over time than flat space predictions can account for.
Black holes are characterized by their singularity in the center and horizon at their boundary. Suppose the acceleration is the result of free fall toward a black hole singularity. The event horizon of the black hole may be what is observed as a cosmic microwave background seen from the inside. All other observations from this freely falling view would match the standard model of cosmology.
Frame dragging from General Relativity confirms that space is stretched out by any massive object in motion. Frame dragging can then be how space-time is created in an accelerating way. Centripetal acceleration may perfectly balance the acceleration of gravity. Angular momentum may be the only thing which could limit compression of the black hole singularity due to gravity.
Conservation of gravitational mass and conservation of angular momentum must work together in some way. The modern hypothesis called loop quantum gravity may one day describe the singularity but this science is not fully developed as yet.
Space is stretched by tidal effects along the direction of the inward spiral and not along the direction of the black hole’s radius. Freely falling matter will orbit increasingly faster as it spirals closer to the singularity. Frame dragging occurs faster than matter can fall through it, space is created.
The black hole we reside in is probably still growing by absorbing matter and energy from its surroundings. Our Universe may be embedded in a nutrient rich area of a larger universe, perhaps a supermassive black hole in a large galaxy.
Compare the standard model of Big Bang cosmology with a model of a black hole. It can be calculated the size of a black hole of the same mass as our entire Universe. The radius of a black hole, if it is the same mass as our sun, is three kilometers. So we only need to multiply 3 km times the number of solar masses in the Universe. Estimating 300 billion galaxies and 150 billion times the mass (Ms) of our sun for each galaxy, the radius (Rs) of the black hole in multiples of (Ms) is:
Rs = 3 km per sun x Suns per galaxy x Number of galaxies
Rs=3 x 150,000,000,000 x 300,000,000,000
To change this large number of kilometers into a more manageable number of light years we divide this by 9.5 trillion kilometers per light year:
R = (135,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 km)(9,500,000,000,000 km/LY)
R=14 billion LY.
14 billion light years, just larger than what we found earlier for the Hubble radius of the Universe. The mass of our Universe is equal the mass of a black hole of the same known radius. Let that sink in a while (pun intended).
If angular momentum continues to be conserved and if the speed of light continues to be the speed limit of the Universe, the singularity should form a ring. Centripetal acceleration will limit mass from falling all the way to the center point. The rotation of this ring drags space out, effectively expanding it.
By crossing the event horizon (the boundary of the black hole, where nothing can leave), space and time are distorted so much that matter may adhere to new physical laws and fresh parameters. Time, space, and velocity might gain new meaning when crossing the horizon. The horizon is a place where entropy itself could be inverted. From the inside it would look just like a big bang event.
This strongly supports the hypotheses of cosmological natural selection as described by Lee Smolin. Universes may reproduce this way. Smolin feels the parameters are adjusted by the singularity. People existing within it will naturally conclude the parameters of physics are unaccountably well fine tuned for their existence.
Better research is surely needed to confirm or falsify the saddle shaped universe hypothesis. Observations of the Cosmos are becoming more accurate with modern telescopes and space science is improving all the time. Because ultimate causes for the big bang are still open to debate, every possible cause should be carefully considered.
Cosmological Natural Selection is not entirely understood within modern cosmology and the saddle shaped universe hypothesis might be easily disproved. By necessity so many estimates, simplifications and approximations abound in cosmology that much interesting physics is yet to be uncovered. It is hoped the saddle shaped universe hypothesis will stimulate debate and generate research that will compliment Cosmological Natural Selection or refute it.
Russ Frizzell is an activist living in Olympia since 2010 and a graduate of The Evergreen State College where he studied Physics and Cosmology.