According to physicists, the Universe resembles a giant brain. This idea has been already proposed by scientists – and science fiction writers – for decades, but now evidence has thrown some light on the subject thanks to computer simulation.
The results of a study published November 16 in the journal Nature’s Scientific Reports, which suggest that some undiscovered, fundamental laws may govern the growth of systems large and small, from the electrical firing between brain cells and growth of social networks to the expansion of galaxies. This means that the Universe may be growing in the same way as a giant brain.
“Natural growth dynamics are the same for different real networks, like the Internet or the brain or social networks” said study co-author Dmitri Krioukov, a physicist at the University of California San Diego.
The new study suggests a single fundamental law of nature may govern these networks, including the Universe as a whole. said that while such systems appear very different, they have evolved in very similar ways.
The study raises profound questions about how the universe works, Krioukov said. For a physicist it’s an immediate signal that there is some missing understanding of how nature works, he told Space.com.
Past studies showed brain circuits and the Internet look a lot alike. But despite finding this functional similarity, nobody had developed equations to perfectly predict how computer networks, brain circuits or social networks grow over time, Krioukov said. Using Einstein’s equations of relativity, which explain how matter warps the fabric of space-time, physicists can retrace the universe’s explosive birth in the Big Bang roughly 14 billion years ago and how it has expanded outward in the eons since. So Krioukov’s team wondered whether the universe’s accelerating growth could provide insight into the ways social networks, cities or brain circuits expand.
The team created a computer simulation that broke the early universe into the tiniest possible units — quanta of space-time more miniscule than subatomic particles. The simulation linked any quanta, or nodes in a massive celestial network, that were causally related. As the simulation progressed, it added more and more space-time to the history of the universe, and so its “network” connections between matter in galaxies, grew as well, Krioukov said.
When the team compared the universe’s history with growth of social networks and brain circuits, they found all the networks expanded in similar ways: They balanced links between similar nodes with ones that already had many connections. For instance, some connections are limited and similar – like a person who likes sports visiting many other sports websites – and some are major and connect to many other parts of the network, like Google and Yahoo!.
This doesn’t mean that the Universe is ‘thinking’, this might just mean that there’s more similarity between the very small and the very large than first appearances suggest.
It’s more likely that some unknown law governs the way networks grow and change, from the smallest brain cells to the growth of mega-galaxies, Krioukov said.
We suggest you watch this great video by Performance Philosopher Jason Silva about the understanding of patterns in the Universe and the connections between the atomic, biological, and cosmic scales.
To understand is to perceive patterns.
“Paul Stamets talks about the mycelial archetype and how the information sharing systems that comprise the Internet look exactly like computer models of dark matter in the universe, look exactly like the neurons in a brain. They all share the same intertwingled filamental structure. It’s the rise of networkism as big data advocates talk about how man-made systems are looking exactly like natural systems.”
City lights photographed from the International Space Station next to neurons imaged with fluorescence microscopy.
This ideas become even more interesting when we take into account the concepts of Oneness and Unification. We will take this subject further on next articles. Stay tuned!