The cosmological evolution with baby cosmoses

Dr Irengbam Mohendra Singh *

This piece is a simplified excerpt from Lee Smolin's highly philosophical and scientific book, "The life of the cosmos" published in 1997. I read his book with 346 pages in small prints in 2012 and shelved it as it was hard going, packed with information that needed references.

I've only come to terms with his theory as I've been studying New physics on my background knowledge of Darwinian evolution. In my view, since scientists don't know whether our Universe is finite or infinite, it's desired that it has some sort of family planning, if we human beings wish to continue to live happily ever after.

His Epilogue on cosmological evolution surmises different versions of cosmological natural selection in beautiful English prose, well punctuated and in perfect syntax, unlike in science writings. His view on "fecund baby universes" born of innumerable Black Holes, is simply food for thought. He foresees that cosmological natural selection should predict the density of protons and neutrons as high as possible, and this will give rise to more stars, and hence more black holes. And in the end, the universe will either collapse or become rapidly dilute.

His futuristic albeit pessimistic prediction of the future of our Universe, though rather macabre, is overwhelming. He begins his book in Prologue/Revolutions, drawing on the legend of Copernicus to his theory of cosmological evolution: "Nicolaus Copernicus received the first copy of his first and only book [Revolutions of the Sphere] as he lay dying in the tower of the castle in northern Germany.

In his book, Copernicus expounded the idea that the Sun, and not the Earth, was at the centre of the Universe. The legend of the Copernicus, and the revolution that followed, has served more than any other episode to define and explain science, its power and its role in European, and now world."

In his Epilogue/Evolutions, he speaks of an uncertain new world: "Whatever else we share, we are all children of the twentieth century this most surprising, most violent, and most hopeful times, this time when more humans were killed by violence than in all of previous history, but in which for the first time art, politics, science, popular culture, and commerce became international, and in which, for the first time, it has become possible to meet anywhere, in any city, airport, train compartment, or campground people who view themselves as inhabitants of a planet, and not only a country, region, or city. Surely this uncertain time is a moment of transition, from which humanity, if it emerges, will emerge slowly to a new world; not a utopia, certainly, but perhaps a world infinitely more varied, more interesting, and, Yes more hopeful, than that sterile dream could have ever been."

Professor Smolin was born in 1955 in New York, educated at Hampshire College and Harvard University. He is an American theoretical physicist. His research interest also includes cosmology. Smolin is non-religious, believing that "there never was a God, no pilot who made the world by imposing order on chaos and who remains outside, watching and proscribing."

Smolin is more a philosopher than a physicist. He is like the German Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche of the 19th century, who stunned his students by declaring that "God is Dead," and said "Europe no longer needed God as the source for all morality, value, or order in the universe; philosophy and science were capable of doing that for us." He is currently Professor of physics at the centre for Gravitational physics and Geometry at the Pennsylvania State University and is a leading contributor to the search for unification of quantum theory, cosmology, and relativity.

Professor Smolin gives a traditional view of Darwin's evolution and natural selection, to draw to his hypothesis of a fecund universes for the future of fundamental physics. As I am a Darwinian, I find his logic applied to the life of our universe profoundly invigorating. After all, it is accepted in scientific circles that living things come from inanimate chemicals, and everything in the universe including our universe itself, is made of the same atomic chemicals, moving beyond the notion of a creator God.

His theory is brand-new and quite different from anyone else. He draws reference in his opening, to the Copernicus revolution, and introduces as a tale of a kid who grew up on dreams of revolutionising society, sublimated them into dreams of scientific revolution, but then came to believe that the underlying structure of our world is to be found in the logic of evolution.

He touches on everything, on everybody, such as quantum mechanics, the Big bang, Black Holes, Newton, Einstein, Hawking and Penrose. He explains how complex is the emergence of life on earth. His hypothesis "Fecund universes theory" applies the principle of Darwin's natural selection theory to the birth of universes. Like the biological evolution he believes, rather philosophises that our Universe will give birth to baby universes from our fecund universe as so many Black Holes collapse and other baby universes coming out at the other ends, inheriting fundamental physical laws and constants of the parent universe.

As in Darwin's biological evolution, mutations might occur during the birth process, giving rise to a variety of dissimilar universes due to natural selection, though lacking Darwinian selective pressure. The theory further postulates that an 'unfit' universe with 'unsuccessful' parameters will reach heat-death before being able to reproduce. Although the hypothesis drew many controversies and debates, it still remains a viable hypothesis.

He also opposes the "anthropic principle" [the philosophical argument that observations of the physical universe must be compatible with that conscious life that observes it], which he claims, cannot help us to do science. "The anthropic principle cannot yield any falsifiable predictions, and therefore cannot be a part of science," adding that "It is a vestige of the old metaphysics, whose prominence shows, more than anything else, the power of the nostalgia for the absolute. But, at the same time, the anthropic principle has until now played a useful role in the development of cosmology." He argues that it is time to give it up.

Smolin does not believe that quantum mechanics is a "final theory". He said "I have studied most of them in depth and thought hard about them, and in the end I still can't make real sense of quantum theory." I agree with him that with my basic knowledge of modern physics, Einstein's theory of gravity sticks in my craw. And he does offer a startling new theory of the universe an evolutionary theory.

The underlying idea of Smolin's science cum philosophical theory is like Darwin's, in that he predicts what the future holds for future generation in the Life of the Cosmos. He writes: " The underlying structure of the world is to be found in the logic of evolution." He continued "Today's physicists have overturned Newton's view of the universe, yet they continue to cling to an understanding of reality not unlike Newton's own as a clock, an intricate mechanism, governed by laws which are mathematical and eternally true. He argues that the laws of nature we observe may be in part the result of a process of natural selection which took place before the big bang."

Smolin's ideas are one up on Einstein as Einstein's were over Newton. They are based on recent developments in cosmology, quantum theory, relativity and string theory. Using these theories he developed his theory of cosmology that results into a framework that tries to explain the paradoxes of Einstein's quantum theory and the nature of space and time. In his argument he brings out recent advances in cosmological science, such as string theory, quantum gravity, the nature of space and time to more recent evolutionary theory of the structure of galaxies.

He finishes his book: "very far in the future, after all the stars have burnt out and all matter has been fused to heavy elements, it may not be easy to find ways to keep warm. Perhaps it may not impossible that in this situation the universe will be populated by creatures that have learnt to make black holes. If there are enough of them that, the black holes they make outnumber those made by stars, this could provide the selective advantages needed for life." Further, "There is nothing behind it, no absolute or platonic world to transcend to. All there is of Nature is what is around us. All we have of natural law is a world that has made itself."

Smolin's discussion came to a remarkable conclusion: "Anyone who has ever had a dispute with a friend or lover knows that there must be something about the notion that a single observer can have a complete and objective description of a whole universe. In life, as in quantum cosmology, the reason for this may not be in the difficulty of gaining knowledge of others; the root of the problem may lie in the impossibility of seeing ourselves completely and objectively."

It may be that Professor Lee Smolin will only be judged like Copernicus, in 2 to 3 hundred years' time, especially as astrophysicists at the present moment, know only that the Black Holes exist but they can't see them ie they don't know much about them.

* Dr Irengbam Mohendra Singh wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer is based in the UK. Website:
This article was webcasted on February 05, 2018.

* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.

  • Mukna - Indigenous Games : Gallery
  • Internet shutdown- only solution for govt ?
  • Keisham Priyokumar's short stories? #2
  • Revive Tabanglong Village
  • Without a Womb :: Poem
  • RPL trainees of Ziro, Arunachal Pradesh
  • CAB award goes to CM ?
  • Demand release of Student Leader
  • Veewom's arrest: mockery of rule of law
  • Arduino & Raspberry-Pi workshop at ADBU
  • Lui-ngai-ni @Senapati #1: Gallery
  • Republic Day - Tableaux : Gallery
  • Marriage : Zeliangrongs & Tais #1
  • My Story :: Poem
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • Quest for Federalism in Myanmar : Paper
  • Gatekeeper's management mantra
  • From Democracy to Dictatorial govt
  • Fresh twist to Citizenship Bill
  • Dzukou Valley, Senapati : Gallery
  • Chiraikangja, Apaibi :: eMing
  • Demand for ILP :: Articles/Photos...
  • Rules of the Road at Silicon Valley
  • What is a school meant for ?
  • Why meiteis should not be ST #3
  • Release Thokchom Veewom - II
  • Release Thokchom Veewom - I
  • Face scrubs to avoid dirt & dullness
  • SM4E Awards 2019 : Nomination open
  • After effect of CAB collapse
  • Need to look beyond CAB
  • Panel seeks support to save NH
  • Amuktang-Ga Haikho #2 : eRang
  • Exam Centre allocation for HSLC 2019
  • 3rd World Bamboo Workshop #2 : Gallery
  • Cry of a Dying River - 65 :: Poem
  • DIPR facts on Census confuse Pangals
  • Manipur Tourism: Global Mice Congress
  • Coping up with examination stresses
  • On Govt inability to present CAB
  • Breather for the North East
  • Henjunaha #2 :: Funga Wari
  • Sangai Chef: Season 1 : Gallery
  • CAB: Imphal I/W [12 Feb] #2: Gallery
  • Lui-Ngai-Ni -Naga Seed Sowing Fest
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Different opinions on CAB 2016
  • Change of B Voc Examination Schedule
  • Nagaland MP will vote against CAB
  • Overshadowing issues by CAB
  • RS adjourned till February 13
  • CAB: Imphal I/W [12 Feb] #1: Gallery
  • CAB: Blockade [7 Feb] #2: Gallery
  • Keisham Priyokumar's short stories? #1
  • Just a beautiful lie :: Poem
  • World Wetlands Day 2019
  • Protests against Union HRD Ministry
  • 'PDA trying to confuse Naga people'
  • The 'ban' of Internet
  • Setting date with February 12, 2019
  • NSCN (I-M) elects new leaders
  • Scientific Knowledge in Manuscript
  • Poppy destruction @CCpur : Gallery
  • Kishorechand Wangkhem's case
  • 70th Indian Republic Day #3 : Gallery
  • Hinduism and Indianess
  • CAB: Maharaj & Xenophobia :: WJ
  • Deciphering a laboratory test report
  • Stop discrimination against women
  • The falls of protracted leader
  • More than hinting CAB will be tabled
  • CAB: Khwairamband [10 Feb] #1: Gallery
  • Gaan-Ngai @Majorkhul #2 : Gallery
  • Human trafficking at Moreh
  • Why meiteis should not be ST #2
  • The Dark Light :: Poem
  • Exclusion of Pvt Teachers from HSLC
  • Pan Meetei met Ex Dy CM
  • NSS special camp 2019 concluded
  • NE to Bangkok flight from March
  • CAB: Khwairamband [9 Feb] : Gallery
  • Thamoise Foidattuna :: e-pao Radio
  • CAB Meira Rally #4 [30 Jan] : Gallery
  • Prof T Kameshwar: Reminiscence
  • Bamboo Cooking Competition: Final Day
  • Tips for healthier skin this winter
  • Sincerity matters
  • Awaiting final pact with NSCN (IM)
  • CAB: Blockade [7 Feb] #1: Gallery
  • 3rd World Bamboo Workshop #1 : Gallery
  • The panic radiated at War-Torn PAD
  • NE- Socio-Economic Development: Book
  • CAB- Consequences in Manipur
  • [ST] Demand for Constitutional Safeguard
  • 'ArP to observe Black Day during PM visit'
  • CAB date with RS on Feb 12 ?
  • Check Post (ICP) @ Moreh : Gallery
  • Tribes India [Exhibition] #2 : Gallery
  • Citizenship Bill, 2016: What to do now #4
  • It's a privilege to be a Rongmei
  • A Saviour Of My Own :: Poem
  • North East Startup Summit 2019
  • Budget : Full, half or quarter ?
  • BJP shows no concern for NE states
  • Mission schools under threat again
  • CAB : Blockade @Tiddim [6 Feb] : Gallery
  • Dolaithabi Barrage: Concealing Facts
  • 70th Indian Republic Day #2 : Gallery
  • Marketing Associates @ PiCiDi Systems
  • CAB, Political Parties and Manipur
  • The Novels Of BM Maisnamba #2
  • Employment in non-Govt sectors in Manipur
  • The board exam festival
  • NE voice on CAB: no worry for the BJP
  • Alienating natives & embracing foreigners
  • Henjunaha #1 :: Funga Wari
  • CAB Gen Strike #2 [31 Jan] : Gallery
  • Movement against Citizenship Bill in NE
  • Bamboo Cooking Competition: Day 1 Report
  • A girl with a Bicycle :: Poem
  • Mithun (Sandang) Mela at Machi
  • Disrespect to mother earth
  • Significance of MANPAC
  • Konthoujam Maikel (Painter) :: Profile
  • CAB Meira Rally #3 [30 Jan] : Gallery
  • Business as usual will fail on cancer control
  • Citizenship Bill: Thinking with ethics
  • STDCM reasserts Demand for ST
  • NE Pol parties met Union Home Minister
  • Free Heart Screening at Jiribam & Silchar
  • The ultimate showdown
  • Nepal to SE Asia: Trafficking via Moreh
  • Symbolism in the Tribal Art #2
  • Aribam Syam return Padmashree to Govt
  • Literature review
  • CAB : An Adhesive for Integrity of Manipur
  • Cry of a Dying River - 64 :: Poem
  • Impact of AI and Robotics on Society
  • New MSAD Executive term 2019
  • Rejoinder from Shurhozelie Liezietsu -Feb 3
  • Festival to promote NE trade, tourism
  • Onetwo Okram : Singer- Profile :: eRang
  • CAB : Film Forum Protest : Gallery
  • Cultural: Republic Day #1: Gallery
  • Why Manipuri people oppose CAB? #2
  • Antibiotic Consumption by farm animals
  • The Beauty of the Sunset :: Poem
  • Coordinator of Social Media for Congress
  • Rejoinder to NDPP [Feb 2]
  • Non presentation of CAB at RS is an insult
  • Noting anti-CAB stand of NPP, NPF
  • CAB Gen Strike #1 [31 Jan] : Gallery
  • Match: 4th Women's Polo #3: Gallery
  • Citizenship Bill, 2016: What to do now #3
  • Truth of Manipur is inherent in nature
  • Chola Pass & Chola Range in Sikkim
  • JRF required at IBSD, Imphal
  • NPF disclosure on Citizenship Bill
  • Viral audio which confuse people
  • CAB indication from President
  • Imoinu Erat Thouni #3 : Gallery
  • February Calendar for Year 2019 :: Tools
  • CAB Meira Rally #2 [30 Jan] : Gallery
  • The Novels Of BM Maisnamba #1
  • Screen time, effect on speech & language
  • Trainees Certificate of Lunglei, Mizoram
  • ST: Unfounded fear psychosis being spread
  • Join the people, brother/sisters of state BJP
  • CAB : The rallying point for NE
  • CAB Meira Rally #1 [30 Jan] : Gallery
  • CAB Protest #1 [29 Jan] : Gallery
  • NE Railway's Work & fate of Villages
  • Fellowship Meet of Maring Naga
  • Legal Awareness for Women leaders
  • Flowers for beauty
  • Opposing ST demand of STDCM
  • Gaan-Ngai @Namthanlong : Gallery
  • Why Manipuri people oppose CAB? #1
  • Citizenship Bill, 2016: What to do now #2
  • Oinam Shilla : Society Development Award
  • MIK (Manipuri in Kolkata) : Gallery
  • Match: 4th Women's Polo #2: Gallery
  • Why shouldn't Meitei be included in ST
  • Combing Operation @Hatta : Gallery
  • Laishram Bombayla : Padma Shri Award
  • Maisnam Renuka (Painter) : Profile
  • Thank You Note: Khumukcham Sanjita
  • Gaan-Ngai - festival of Kabui #2
  • Imoinu Erat Thouni #2 : Gallery
  • Rongmei and Kabui are one
  • Rani Khidir : Kalaritu (Laiyekpa) : Profile
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Match: 4th Women's Polo #1: Gallery
  • Ranjit Ningthouja : Profile of a playwright
  • Imoinu Erat Thouni #1 : Gallery
  • Dr Thokchom Asha: Teacher Award
  • Purnima Ngangom (Printmaker) :: Profile
  • The Killing Fields 2013-18 : News Timeline
  • New Year picnic at Sekmai #2: Gallery
  • Manipuri Calendar for 2019 : Download
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2018 #6: Gallery
  • Irengbam Bedamani - Actress :: eRang
  • List of Restricted Holidays for 2019
  • List of Public Holidays for 2019
  • List of General Holidays for 2019
  • Fabrics of Bangladeshi Manipuri: Download
  • Old Manipuri Movie #1 :: eRang Classic