# Life might have been possible just seconds after the Big Bang

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#### Questioner

On a sort of related idea,
I was thinking about the standard rubber sheet model of space-time stretched by gravity,
Stretching curves and makes the space longer,
but if inertia seeks the shortest path the space affected by gravity would need to be shrunken.

The shortest distance between two points is a straight line and only way to shorten it is to bring the points closer together to shrink space.

I think i can see if one slows time it could be analogous to shrinking space because if less time passes then it is as if a moving body 'speeds up' or is going a shorter distance.

The correspondence between time and distance, time and space...
Hard to get one's head wrapped around that.

#### Questioner

My analogy on time dilation,

if an object is moving at 1 foot per second and then it hits a place where time is only 1/3rd as fast then there are kind of two ways of seeing it.
1) Either in what is now one second it travels 3 feet & has therefore sped up,
or
2) it is still traveling at one foot per second and what from some other perspective lokks like 3 feet has now shrunk down to one foot.

#### Unclear Engineer

The common media depictions of "space/time" distortions is really more misleading than useful for conveying some real understanding of the physics involved.

The picture of a heavy ball sitting in a fishnet, deflecting it downward, so that a ball rolls around it instead of going straight by is actually using our understanding of gravity to try to explain that we think about gravity wrong.

And, the video of light trying to escape a black hole as a photon particle travelling at the speed of light fighting an inrushing current at the speed of light invokes a concept of space flowing - which drives theorists nuts. (They don't want to think of it that way, but there really isn't any theory that says space can't flow - the theory just says that space can expand or contract or warp, but does not involve space flowing like a fluid.)

The best explanation I have seen about how mass "curves time" to create gravity uses some intuitive graphics in 2 dimensions that show how slowing the speed of time in one dimension affects the path in the other physical dimension, creating a curve. I can't find that right now. When (if?) I do, I will post it here. If you find it first, please post it here.

#### Chris Crawford

First, I'd like to respond to Damon A, who wrote:

"Non-chemical life? LOL!"

There's a layer in every star associated with the shift from radiative heat transfer to convective heat transfer. It's analogous to the surface layer of the earth, where radiative heat transfer from the sun (that is, light) shifts to conductive heat transfer by absorption of the photons. The surface of the earth is, guess what, where most of the negentropy that feeds life on earth is captured. Now, the sun is a body of plasma, so there is no chemistry there, but there are a lot of very convoluted magnetic fields constantly moving around, and magnetic fields have a powerful effect on plasmas, as shown by the immense complexity of the field of magnetohydrodynamics.

This region of transition from one form of energy transfer to another has stupendous amounts of negentropy pouring through it. If you know anything about the thermodynamics of life, you'll instantly know that this region MIGHT well be a prime site for living systems.

Lastly, I am surprised that so few people are aware of Schrodinger's "What Is Life?" lectures and book. Life is best described as a system that captures negentropy and uses that negentropy to further its existence. I haven't seen any other definition as clear, simple, and all-encompassing as this one.

#### Unclear Engineer

The basic concept of this article strikes me as non-scientific speculation achieved by combining two things we still don't understand, so as to support an "OH -WOW" story that has no constraints as well as no basis in observations.

Sure, you can speculate that "dark matter" and "dark energy" are some sort of unobservable replication of the baryons and photons in the universe that we can observe, so that there could be unobservable life. How is that different from the ghost stories that people have been making up before? Well, at least some people claim to see ghosts. Let me know if somebody claims to see some dark matter - maybe in the form of a dark unicorn.

Or, lets' go full-Hollywood and speculate that life has been around and evolving since 300,000,000 years after the Big Bang, so it is everywhere and advanced far beyond our 4 billion year young form. It must be cloaking itself from us because we are so despicable as a species. That is why we can't see it. So most of the mass of the universe is being cloaked from our observation because the more advanced life has that much mass and uses that much energy. When/if ever we evolve into an acceptable society, then they will reveal all of their massive infrastructure and invite us over for a visit. (Remember this plot -if it appears in a commercial film, I'm gonna want royalties.)

#### Questioner

Presumably everything is a result of physical processes so the question is where as well as why do we draw a binary line that has 'life' on one side and 'nonlife' on the other?

That smacks a bit of magic pixie dust.
Abiogenesis is arguably a pseudo-concept.
We need a (some) pretty precise definition(s) to avoid mysticism & magic.

I am open to the idea of some 'otherness' (ambiguity? higher dimensional inroads? quantum randomness?) that may find purchase at incredibly fine balances between structure and energy.
I'm also open to defining life broadly as kinetic actions (& forms?) in the Universe and Earth based biological forms as a (very special?) category of that.

'Life as we generally define it does entail the storage of potential energy which seems to have almost arbitrary utilization points/times.
Self replication of systems/forms is but doesn't have to be included.
We identify life by the usually animated forms we associate it with and the 'willful' exercise of action (or inaction) they exercise that runs seemingly counter to primary physics.

'Life' as we distinguish it may be a system that macroscopically amplifies random quantum outcomes,
keeping in mind 'random' may be purely a limited perspective descriptor.

#### wentworthchristopher

haven't we heard? there was no big bang,
that was based on misinterpreted data.

#### Unclear Engineer

So, if we build robots that can build other robots like themselves, using energy from solar cells, are they "alive" by this proposed definition? Would we have "created life"? Does that life now have legal rights? If we stop them from multiplying themselves, is that then "genocide"?

At this point in our understanding, I think it is far more productive to consider whether we can find other life forms similar to those on Earth, That will help us understand ourselves and our relationship to the universe. Trying to speculate about whether life could have formed in the earliest conditions of the Big Bang if we broaden the definition of life enough is both useless and confusing to the issue. Heck, we don't even all agree that there was a Big Bang.

If at some point in the future, we discover something that seems to have the attributes of biological life, but isn't biological, then we need to decide if we want to just confuse things by broadening the definition of "life", or if we want to support substantive discussions by giving it a unique name that has a unique definition describing its actual attributes, whatever they may be.

#### billslugg

Here in Georgia, USA, "life" has no rights at the evolutionary level of fish and below. Here, artificial life would have to rise above that level to be protected.

#### Unclear Engineer

Here in Georgia, USA, "life" has no rights at the evolutionary level of fish and below. Here, artificial life would have to rise above that level to be protected.
Bill,

Just add Chat GPT to the self-reproducing robots I mentioned, and it is then (artificially) "intelligent life", right? )Some people seem to want to use changes in language to be disruptive.)

And, I think Georgia is being unfair to fish! From what I am reading in newspapers, I suspect there are some fish in Georgia that are more intelligent than some of the homo sapiens there (and elsewhere).

#### billslugg

Yes, Chat GPT muight be considered "life". In that case, we would collectively be responsible for providing electricity to the device if a storm knocked it out, just as federal law requires hospitals to provide emergency caare to humans.

And, yes, GA has its share of idiots, as does every other square inch on the planet.

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