The Rise of Complexity
The biological system is, for good reason, considered the tantamount example of complexity in the present Universe. Yet one of the most prominent shortcomings of biology as a science is the inability to explain the rise of the biological system (the transition from putative non-living systems to living systems); or within science (particularly the domain of physics) to explain the rise of complexity in general. The conceptual failings become evident in sentiments such as “life is just chemistry”. As if to suggest that explaining the presence and behaviors of living systems is just a matter of delineating the complex network of chemical reactions engendering biological phenomena (ignoring the fact that even the simplest life form, a mycoplasma for instance, is immeasurably more complex than any chemical reaction network devised in the laboratory, so much so that the comparison is tenuous at best).One of the primary reasons why this reductionist-based approach will not work is because life is characterized by highly emergent phenomena (a characteristic of complex systems), whereby reductionists approaches are inadequate to capture the highly interactive, and interdependent nature of the system (it can not be reduced to single isolated elements that directly give rise to properties of the larger system).
For example, following this same reasoning one might assert that superconductivity is “just chemistry”. Since naively one might presume that superconductivity is just a state related to the behavior of electrons in a material, and as such an examination of the valence electron configurations of compounds known to enter the superconductive state should ultimately explain the phenomenon. But this is not the case, as superconductivity is a result of deeper physical laws that are much more universal than any particular chemical nature of the compounds involved. Weaving biology into the unified narrative of physics and cosmology is essential for a comprehensive and inclusive understanding of our existence and the nature of the Universe. What mechanisms underlie the genesis of complexity?
Largely, the properties of the Universe that produce the specific structures that are present and which mediate their interaction, and therefore how the system evolves, are taken as givens (free parameters). Properties such as why particles have the specific masses that are observed, the particular strength of interaction, such as binding forces (what are known as the constants of nature), and even the nature of space and time itself. Although there is much work to be done to figure out how, given all of the specifics of these confining parameters, the structures and systems that are observed presently evolved -- even larger questions loom as to how the parameters got the necessary values for the system to evolve in the first place (for there to be a system at all). A popular philosophical hypothesis known as the anthropic principle states: the Universe has the correct parameters to develop life and intelligent beings because if it were any different intelligent beings would not be around to ask “why does the Universe have the properties it does to develop life?” Obviously, the anthropic principle is no answer at all, it’s primary purpose is to suggest that it is unremarkable that the Universe has the exact right conditions to produce life.
In the research paper Implications of an Anthropic Model of Evolution for Emergence of Complex Life and Intelligence, by Andrew J. Watson, published in the journal of Astrobiology, we find an assessment of the likelihood for life to develop (biogenesis) by considering the evolutionary phases of biological development on Earth (as interpreted from the fossil record). In the analysis 7 critical steps, or transitions are identified that are presumed to be instrumental for the development of sentient life (of human-level intelligence). In The Living Universe we are introduced to the biomolecule at the heart of molecular synthesis within the living system, and see how this is an example of the complexity involved in developing even the most basic of biological structures (the ribosome, while being an extremely complex molecule, is fundamental to the cell as we know it, as it decodes the genetic information of DNA to produce proteins), and the unlikelihood that this would occur by purely chance events -- suggesting that there must be some natural process or mechanism driving meaningful innovations during evolution and development. Indeed, in the Watson’s analysis we find that this particular phase transition is given the likelihood of 2.6% to occur as quickly as it did on Earth, the lowest probability of the 7 critical steps.
Technical Terms: (1) Prokaryote - unicellular organisms that lack major internal compartmentalization, known as organelles, such as the nuclear compartment that houses genetic material. The prokaryote definition applies to two primary domains of life: Eubacteria and Archea. (2) Eukaryote - Organisms whose cells contain major cytoplasmic structural compartmentalization, known as organelles, and which may be unicellular or multicellular. Translation of genetic material is segregated from transcription by the cell nucleus.
This low probability highlights a significant issue regarding the putative origination of life on Earth, in that the sequence of transitions (from pre-biological molecules to unicellular prokaryotic organisms) is suppose to take place in less than 350 million years -- immediately proceeding the late bombardment at 3.85 billion years ago (Ga) up to the first fossil evidence of prokaryotes at 3.5 Ga (and earlier). This is extremely rapid, considering that it took around two billion years to transition from a prokaryotic cellular organization to eukaryotic (a comparatively simple transition in comparison to developing the astonishingly complex nanomachinery utilized by even the simplest prokaryote). This rapid appearance of life in the fossil record is taken as evidence that life (or biogenesis) is relatively common in the Universe. While the evidence is in strong favor of widespread biogenesis in the Universe, it is not supportive of stochastic biogenesis occurring on the early Earth.
For example, in many of analysis a major misconception is perpetuated by considering prokaryotes as simple organisms. Nothing could be further from the truth. The molecular and metabolic sophistication of prokaryotes rivals that of multicellular organisms by leaps-and-bounds, even in extant organisms of the modern era. As such, many of the results of these analyses do not accurately reflect the complexity involved in transitioning from prebiotic processes to identifiable cellular organisms (a transition so complicated that it is unlikely to have occurred de novo on early Earth, a point we will return to). Considering that the results that are thus obtained may be highly inaccurate given a purely stochastic model of evolutionary development (the predominant model), a value of 0.01% is given for prokaryotic life to emerge within 0.1 Ga (+ or - 0.05 Ga, so at the shortest interval within 50 million years and at the latest 150 million years). With a conservative estimate of approximately 10 billion potentially habitable worlds in the Milky Way galaxy, there would be at least one million worlds potentially inhabited by prokaryotic forms of life. If we applied the same probability for those one million inhabited worlds to develop sentient life (of at least human-level intelligence), then there would be at least 100 planets with sentient life forms in the Milky Way galaxy at the present moment.
Considering that the sentient life forms are of at least human-level intelligence, then a large proportion of these worlds should have the capacity to form civilizations with space-traveling capabilities. Remember however that this is considering results only within the parameters of the predominant consensus paradigm of random evolution (through accidental mutagenesis), and does not consider other likely habitable bodies such as moons (which would grately increase the number of likely habitable worlds). Consider for instance the Galilean satellite Europa, which is confirmed to have liquid water, and a potentially ample energy source from the Jovian parent planet. Wherever there is liquid water, there is a chance that life as we know it may be present. If there is a mechanism driving the natural innovative evolution to higher orders of complexity, synergistic organization, and sentient behavior then we can anticipate even greater numbers of inhabited worlds within our galaxy and others, another point we will return to.
We may ask “why the reluctance to posit a causal, or ordering mechanism?” This is afterall, normally how science is done. The reluctance, and even direct opposition to positing such a theory is sourced largely in the erroneous perception that a causal, ordering mechanism would suggest a preconceived purpose, or design to the Universe -- and therefore lend support to the idea of a supernatural creator being, such as what is asserted by theological arguments and religion. The fear is so great that completely naturalistic explanations (i.e. not involving or suggesting supernatural influences), such as what has been presented in The Unified Spacememory Network: From Cosmogenesis to Consciousness, find little traction in the general scientific discourse because the biophilic nature of the Universe must be a serendipitous accident or chance event of a cosmic lottery, lest a scientific theory be compatible with purpose (a forbidden perspective within the prevailing philosophy of science, all events must be devoid of purpose).
Note from Nassim: “The resistance of the scientific community to address this issue comes from the cultural tendency to associate the remarkable self-organizing and self-ordering dynamics of our environment to religious and theistic beliefs, resulting in the hold-fast in academia to the concept that all physical processes must occur from random functions. However, the probability that even some of the most simple and fundamental mechanisms of biological evolution to follow from random behavior in the relatively short span of time of the formation of the Earth (cosmologically speaking) is extremely unlikely even if it were to only produce a monocellular structure. The statistics just don’t add up. Yet, there are other options beyond “the universe is random” or “the universe is organized and ruled by some deity or supernatural principles that cannot be understood.” There are simple and elegant feedback mechanisms that can dramatically elucidate not only the coherent and self-organizing behavior of our biosphere but as well of the scale relationships that define structures in our universe and the physical laws that unifies them from the cosmological to the quantum scale.”
Yet mechanism does not directly suggest or deny purpose… it is simply mechanism. Particular interpretations may use the theory to support or deny purpose, but that is generally a philosophical consideration and not directly testable or falsifiable by the scientific method. There are however, serious complications and problems with considering purely stochastic (random or probabilistic) models. Such that the accumulation of observations and simple logic begin to support the notion of a causal explanation -- a mechanism.
Cosmogenesis, the rise of structure
The question is why should structure and order be observed at all? Given all of the possibilities for potential states of matter and energy to exist in, the highly ordered and complex arrangements observed within our Universe seems highly improbable among the landscape of all potential outcomes. Certainly given such notions as the inevitable engine of entropy, the fundamental underlying stochasticity (randomness) and chaos of particle-to-particle interactions and systems in general, and the apparent non-restriction under conventional theories for the constants and strength of forces and physical parameters to have any values from a veritably limitless sub-landscape of potentials. For instance, a parameter known as the fine-structure constant, or alpha, is the constant for the strength of interaction of the electromagnetic force between particles (with a value of 1/137.0359). If alpha were just 4% bigger or smaller then nucleons would not be able to form stable carbon atoms (or anything heavier), and life as we know it would certainly not be possible. Why at its inception did the Universe happen upon values and physical constants and parameters of interaction that seem to be so remarkably favorable for complexity, biogenesis, and the rise of sentient* systems?
*Technical definition: Sentience - Intelligence directed by an aware system (a conscious system). The intelligent and intentional use of information. Considering the cosmogenic evolution of matter, there are several possible evolutionary paths that we can imagine occurring (Figure 1). In potential path 1, initial conditions (such as a high or low value of the fine-structure constant) prevents nuclear binding, which ultimately results in a diffuse homogenous proton-electron plasma. Complexity is not achieved. In potential path 3, conditions are favorable to nuclear binding and polyatomic molecules form. However, conditions promoting biogenesis are not present and only lifeless molecular aggregations form. Minimal complexity is achieved. Now consider potential path 2, not only do polyatomic molecules form, but conditions (as observed in our present universe) are such that they are ordered into complex higher molecular conformations, perhaps producing a rudimentary metabolism and structures that are able to self-catalyze and therefore replicate). Through deviations/variations of the replication process and natural selection of functionality, these differentiate into diverse forms, which is to say evolve. Complexity is achieved. Taking this hypothetical example of 3 potential scenarios, or outcomes, for cosmological evolution, which is most probable under a stochastic (random) model dictated by the law of increasing entropy (disorder)? Initially (and perhaps naively), it would seem that the most probable outcome would be potential path 1, in which a homogeneous plasma of chaotically interacting electrons and protons dominate. Because under such a model (the conventional paradigm of modern scientific theory), the likelihood of potential paths 2 or 3 is about as likely as an egg spontaneously reassembling after it has fallen off a counter and broken; an event that while being extremely… astronomically unlikely, is nevertheless statistically possible (like flipping a coin and getting 50 heads in a row). How then are we to account for the fact that pontential path 2, the most unlikely of the outcomes, is indeed the one we observe? This particular inquiry is highly contentious to both scientist and the public in general as it is seemingly inevitably framed within the highly narrow and myopic presumption that it is either random and accidental or was the result of supernatural forces. However, these two extremes are not the only options available, there are other naturalistic explanations that do not require supernatural design, yet still explain mechanistically why the Universe is driven to increasing order, self-emergent synergetic organization, and systems of such complexity that sentience and self-awareness are clearly operational. Put simply, ordering mechanisms driven by information exchange can produce non-random directionality of increasing complexity and intelligence of interaction and form.
Ordering dynamics of the universal spacememory field
As Haramein has shown, protons emerge from a coherent structural-geometry of planckian fluctuations of the spacetime metric, and the mass-energy gradients and holographic relationships (information structure) of which produce the specific and typical characteristics of atomic matter such as the mass, frequency, and strong binding interaction. The quantum geometry of spacetime at the Planck-scale (because of the extremely high energy of the vacuum fluctuations) result in microscopic wormholes. These microscopic wormholes results in an ever present multiply connected spacetime, with real potential effects (such as possibly mediating particle-to-particle interactions, especially through nonlocal phenomena like quantum entanglement). Let us extend this model to the cosmogenic evolution of matter. From baryogenesis of subatomic particles to the solid state properties of large complex molecular assemblies, this planckian wormhole spacetime architecture may be a system that through the information exchange of multiple reference frames, and the capacity to record information, engenders an ordering dynamic and directionality to cosmological evolution. Moreover, quasi-instantaneous temporal and spatial interactions through the wormhole network interior results in strong correlation and intercommunicativity of all subsystems across not only space, but time as well (as time becomes space-like within the wormhole interior, moving backwards or forwards in time is similar to moving along a spatial dimension). A fractal iteration function operating during cosmological evolution, characterizes self-organizing dynamical systems with:
- Information feedback and feed-forward operations – where, by analogy, Planck voxels serve as the physical processing bits for pattern forming and evolutionary algorithms such as the Mandelbrot set, and compositional pattern producing networks (recall that the planckian, and even cosmological structure of spacetime recapitulates a neural network morphology, figure 2), to name a few.
- Combined with a possible hysteresis of spacememory – Spacememory being a moniker of spacetime referring to the possible information encoding mechanism of polarizable Planck oscillators, bestowing a memory function, and hysteresis being a phenomenon that, in terms of the memory function of spacetime, produces responses of physical systems that depend not only on present, but past inputs as well.
- And nonlocal intercommunication –where the nonlocal interactions of a system results in characteristics that would not be predicted by the sum of its parts (synergetic emergence), a possible mechanism for the emergence of systems intelligence, which can be considered a type of proto-consciousness, or even apparent non-cognitive awareness (meaning it is not necessarily an anthropomorphized conceptual-like awareness, but a form of consciousness that serves as the physical substratum from which higher sentient capabilities can emerge, such as the conceptual awareness known to be characterized by the human species).
“…spacetime in small enough regions should not be merely “bumpy,” not merely erratic in its curvature; it should fractionate into ever-changing, multiply-connected geometries. For the very small and the very quick, wormholes should be as much a part of the landscape as those dancing virtual particles that give to the electron its slightly altered energy and magnetism [lamb shift].” - John Archibald Wheeler. Geons, Black Holes, and Quantum Foam: A Life in Physics. pg.
*Technical Definition: Multiply-connected spacetime - Spacetime that is so highly geometrically curved that it forms multiple connections across spatial and temporal coordinates, also known as wormholes. Events and locations that may seem separated by vast distances or periods of time may be interacting through multiply-connected spacetime geometries. Returning to Figure 1, all of the hypothetical evolutionary paths are potentially possible, which of them are probable? From a statistical standpoint, presumably not the development of high orders of molecular complexity leading to the intelligent interactivity of living systems. As has been noted, with even a minor deviation in the value of the fine structure constant, electrons do not form stable orbitals around protons and a contingency like pathway 1 results. Compare Figure 2 with Figure 1 and note that the vectors indicating the relative degree of probability (signified by the magnitude of the arrows) among the potential pathways are altered from the interaction of the planckian wormhole network such that highest probable potential path in Figure 1 becomes the lowest in Figure 2, and likewise the lowest in Figure 1 becomes the highest in Figure 2. It is the potential temporal and spatial nonlocal interaction of physical systems, through the planckian wormhole spacetime network that may produce an impetus, or veritable “force”, that drives systems into increasingly higher orders of structural complexity and organizational synergy -- not just merely more complex, but more functional as well. The mechanism is driven by temporal nonlocal interaction. Systems with high orders of complexity contain many more potential states than lower orders of complexity. Moreover, the synergistic organizational arrangements of such systems may produce or involve greater degrees of strong correlation among the subunits of the system, so as to engender unity of the system. Another area in which the planckian spacetime information network serves to describe the underlying causal mechanism of structural complexity and organizational conformation and synergy is in Rupert Sheldrake’s theory of formative causation, or morphic fields. Although Sheldrake describes comprehensibly the effects of morphic resonance, he does not attempt an explanation of the source of the morphic field or the exact physical mechanism by which morphic resonance is mediated, other than to equate it by analogy with the force effect of magnetism. Following the model proposed here, the morphic field is not a separate virtual realm, like Plato’s realm of perfect forms, influencing the development and conformational complexity of structures from afar, but instead is the temporal domain itself (spacememory), in which all forms already physically exist and are mutually influencing like-structures transtemporally and quasi-nonlocally through the planckian wormhole network at the proton scale interacting across temporal and spatial domains. The role of morphic resonance and Pilot wave hydrodynamics in quantum mechanics, specifically reduction of the Schrodinger wavefunction, has been described by Ben Goertzel in Morphic Pilot Theory, in which he demonstrates how the classical dynamics of the Bohm- de Broglie Pilot wave theorem link with the morphic resonance of Sheldrake’s model to explain nonlocal behavior by the biological system
We have described a universal, unified connectivity and information system formed by the quantum wormhole network at the Planck scale of spacetime. The information encoding and processing functions of this basal and ubiquitous network merits the appellation spacememory (the unified spacememory network - the USN model). Evolution and developmental processes of physical systems, from non-organic to biological matter, are shaped by the integrative and ordering influences of this planckian wormhole network, from cosmogenesis to the universe being aware of itself, i.e. consciousness. To briefly reiterate and summarize the primary postulates of the USN model: I: The constants of nature are not arbitrarily or randomly generated at the onset of the Big Bang. They are defined by specific relationships and ratios of the holographic and quantum information structure of the Universe.
- There is a certain conceptual framework within which this postulate is formulated, which has a couple of notable assumptions. The Universe did not emerge from nothing, nor from an indescribable point of singularity. It may have been generated as one of a multitude within a continuous multiverse landscape. As such, there may have been a pre-existing information structure, which is the product of holographic information relationships and ratios.
II: Following that the Planck-scale architecture of spacetime is comprised of polarizable electromagnetic quanta, which may have the capacity to encode information as Planck bits, or Planck voxels as we have defined them (equation 1), and the information encoding capacity of spacetime has non-zero hysteresis.
- With the specific values of the strength of forces and interactions emerging from the fundamental spacetime architecture at the onset of the Big Bang, and the memory encoding function of spacetime quanta, there is a self-ordering and self-organizational characteristic to physical systems, engendering an “initial” capacity for the formation of higher orders of complexity and organizational synergy.
III: Planck voxels are micro-wormholes, forming a filamentous planckian network connecting all spacetime coordinates and quanta - mediating quasi-instantaneous (EPR, or nonlocal) correlations.
- The planck-length-sized wormholes provide communication paths between spacetime coordinates, and quanta (such as baryons) in a quasi-instantaneous manner.
- This is a ‘binding’ principle, correlating subsystems across the Universe such that the informational content of events are intercommunicated nonlocally. Consider for instance the Pauli Exclusion Principle, in which no two fermions occupy the same quantum state. This implies that if an electron changes state in location A, an electron in location B must instantaneously change its state; as well as all other electrons to insure that none are in the same quantum state, even if location B is on the other side of the Universe from location A.
The living organism is comprised of a complex system of biomolecules intercommunicating in an intricate network of information and energy exchange. These highly complex biomolecules are in turn comprised of components that have evolved and developed under the influence of a larger, more fundamental intercommunication system, the Unified Spacememory Network (USN). At each scale there are sentient dynamics creating order and directionality of interaction towards higher levels of synergetic organization, and as a result, greater levels of consciousness. From the basal level of consciousness of the unified spacememory network, emerges higher orders of consciousness of the living organism. Until at the level of complexity exhibited by many animals, and undoubtedly human beings, there emerges self-awareness. The planckian wormhole network connects spatial, temporal, and parallel domains, and mediates intercommunication, integration, and responsiveness of seemingly disparate systems across scales, engendering systems intelligence, and the biophilic and purposeful directionality of cosmological evolution and development from natural principles alone.  Note that the current Standard Model utilizes 20 free parameters (depending whether neutrino parameters are considered), which are not explained by causal mechanisms but instead are derived experimentally .