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Could the Universe be alive?


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Life is technically defined as anything that both metabolizes and reproduces. But the more science advances, the more those distinctions diminish. Because everything in Nature is every bit a cyclical as life itself, there is actually little that separates us from our cosmos. Read Lee Smolin's book The Life of the Cosmos. Smolin is a well-known physicist who argues that our entire universe is very much alive. They even turned Smolin's idea into a one-hour show on Morgan Freeman's: Through the Wormhole. Or for an even better answer visit www.universalselection.com, where it's proven that every system in Nature that is of any real complexity is comparable to both an organism and an ecology.

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I think the Italian Physicist Paola Zizzi posits that the universe accrued consciousness during the expansion of the universe in the very early big bang. She has a few papers about this sort of thing. You must have heard of the 'Big WOW' theory?

Edited by Alrah
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I love your interpretation of black holes as "umbilican cords" linking one universe to its "offspring". I'd see dark energy's current effects more like the process of aging, but I suppose that could also be interpreted as growth. As for the universe being a "living" entity, that would be entirely determined by your definition of "alive". In any case, this is more a philosophical than a scientific (or even psuedoscientific) question, I think.

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There are estimated to be over 280 scientific definitions of life on record!



List them, lets hash them out...


Astrobiology is the study of the origins, evolution, distribution and future of life in the universe, and the SETI Institute ( Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) has details of the 2008 Astrobiology Conference at http://abscicon.seti.org/

The conference itself was held in April 2008 in Santa Clara, California, and the above link contains links to the full pdf text of all the various 39 session papers of the conference. The figure of 280 definitions of life came out of that conference.
I'm afraid I haven't got the time (nor the inclination) to try and explain all those 280 different definitions of life to you. There is just too much information and even to sumarise it would take too long (sorry I've got a life!) I suggest that anyone interested, and who does have the time, could follow the above link and read all the academic papers.
If you do want a shortened version, and if you have access to a decent academic library, there is a shorter article about the Astrobiology Conference in the 'New Scientist' Magazine dated 18 april 2008
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