Biocosmology: Towards The Birth Of A New Science

Status Report From: e-Print archive
Posted: Thursday, April 28, 2022

Marina Cortês, Stuart A. Kauffman, Andrew R. Liddle, Lee Smolin

Cosmologists wish to explain how our Universe, in all its complexity, could ever have come about. For that, we assess the number of states in our Universe now. 

This plays the role of entropy in thermodynamics of the Universe, and reveals the magnitude of the problem of initial conditions to be solved. The usual budgeting accounts for gravity, thermal motions, and finally the vacuum energy whose entropy, given by the Bekenstein bound, dominates the entropy budget today. There is however one number which we have not accounted for: the number of states in our complex biosphere. What is the entropy of life and is it sizeable enough to need to be accounted for at the Big Bang? Building on emerging ideas within theoretical biology, we show that the configuration space of living systems, unlike that of their fundamental physics counterparts, can grow rapidly in response to emerging biological complexity. 

A model for this expansion is provided through combinatorial innovation by the Theory of the Adjacent Possible (TAP) and its corresponding TAP equation, whose solutions we investigate, confirming the possibility of rapid state-pace growth. While the results of this work remain far from being firmly established, the evidence we provide is many-fold and strong. The implications are far-reaching, and open a variety of lines for future investigation, a new scientific field we term biocosmology. In particular the relationship between the information content in life and the information content in the Universe may need to be rebuilt from scratch.

Comments: 35 pages, 1 figure

Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO); Other Quantitative Biology (q-bio.OT)

Cite as: arXiv:2204.09378 [astro-ph.CO] (or arXiv:2204.09378v1 [astro-ph.CO] for this version)

Submission history

From: Andrew R. Liddle 

[v1] Wed, 20 Apr 2022 10:45:35 UTC (384 KB)


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