Transcript of EP 240 – Stuart Kauffman on a New Approach to Cosmology

The following is a rough transcript which has not been revised by The Jim Rutt Show or Stuart Kauffman. Please check with us before using any quotations from this transcript. Thank you.

Jim: Today’s guest is Stuart Kauffman. Stuart was trained as a medical doctor but is best known for his work in developmental genetics, evolutionary theory, theoretical biology, and especially the emergence of order and far from equilibrium complex systems. He is one of the first generation of resident faculty at the Santa Fe Institute and he’s won a number of awards, including a MacArthur fellow, and is the author of several interesting and important books. Welcome back, Stuart.

Stuart: Well, hi Jim. Thank you for having me join you in the Western margin of Virginia up in Appalachian.

Jim: Indeed, it’s really always a pleasure to have Stuart on the podcast. This is Stuart’s third appearance on the Jim Rutt Show. He was on way back in EP 18 when I barely knew what I was doing, not that I really know what I’m doing these days. We talked about Stuart’s new book then, A World Beyond Physics: the Emergence and Evolution of Life. A book’s well worth reading. I should also note that Stuart was one of the two gateway drugs for me. It pulled me into thinking about complex systems. I went back and looked at my Amazon records and I see that in 1998 I read Stuart’s book, Origins of Order, a very interesting book, which I can still recommend to this day. I will warn you it’s not easy going, but if you really want to get a load of thought about how order could emerge from non order, this is a wonderful place to start.

Back in EP 228, not that long ago, continuing our ongoing series of podcast episodes on the origins of life, I talked with Stu about his recent paper co-authored with Andrea Rowley, which is, Is the Emergence of Life an Expected Phase Transition from the Evolving Universe? Don’t have time to read the paper? The answer is yes. So today I’m looking forward to having a very interesting conversation and I will say that the topic is really an eye-opener and quite a surprise for me. I’d love to know how Stuart got off in this direction. This is an area I used to follow but really haven’t followed too closely, which is cosmology and the very fundamental physics. Stuart, from being a medical doctor a long time ago and a biologist and a biochemist and a systems thinker and all that, how in the world did you find yourself at the age of N, where N equals?

Stuart: Well, N is now 84, but I started around seven or eight years ago, Jim. I was in my mid-seventies. You get older, Jim. You just keep waiting and if you stay alive, you get older. It’s this thing.

Jim: I hate when that happens, but it beats the alternative most days. Anyway, maybe you could tell a little bit how you happened to move into these other fields into cosmology and fundamental physics.

Stuart: The actual answer is that a long time ago I met a wonderful guy named Lee Smolin and Carlo Rovelli at the time, and they were somewhere in the middle of Luke quantum gravity, which is one attempt at quantum gravity. And I learned a little bit about loop quantum gravity and I just found it fascinating. And when I was 16, I read Einstein and Enfield, A Revolution in Physics, and I remember crying at age 16 when Einstein died. So somewhere I got interested in cosmology and quantum gravity. I’ve been thinking about it quite seriously, Jim, since 2016, and it’s now led to actually four papers, of which one is published. It’s entitled Quantum Gravity of Non-Locality is Fundamental. A second is just in press entitled Did The Universe Construct Itself? And more recently I have, by myself and with an astrophysicist in Botswana, which is right next to South Africa, a paper entitled Dark Matter as a Ricci Soliton. So I’ve learned what a Ricci Soliton is.

I am hoping that this is a new approach to cosmology. And the first thing to say to you and to your listeners is I’m not a physicist. So you want more than special caution. And listening to an outsider, it could be very dangerous. On the upside, there’s reasonable data that outsiders who care and are reasonably careful, sometimes make useful contributions. So listen to me in that spirit with more than usual cautions.

Jim: That’s a good warning. Now, we did have Lee Smolin on the show way back in the beginning, episode number five, an episode titled Quantum Foundation and Einstein’s Unfinished Revolution. I actually have in my tentative schedule to invite him back to talk about his theory that time is fundamental and that space and matter are emergent from time, which is yet another very far out there conjecture. So today we’re going to jump into some of a couple of papers that Stuart alluded to. And actually, I’m used as the kind of the organizing principle paper. It doesn’t look like it was published, but it’s titled Our Dark Matter and Dark Energy and Inflation: A Construction of Space-Time By Matter. It seemed to lay out the whole story more completely than any of the other piece parts did.

And also I’ll at least allude to the paper, Did the Universe Construct Itself? Which Stuart co-authored with Stephen Garen, who I know from back in Santa Fe back in the days. In the introduction of the paper I referenced, Our Dark Matter, et cetera, I thought very apropos you referenced the very famous Michelson-Morley experiment, which is frankly what led to all of modern physics, and it was a classic example of a Kuhnian anomaly. And we have been accumulating anomalies at a fairly distressing rate in physics over the last 30 years or so. So let’s start just to put a little bit of historical context here. If you could tell our audience about Michelson-Morley, very briefly what it led to, and then the current standard theory and then the anomalies that are being built up.

Stuart: Michelson-Morley experiments the following. Maxwell’s equations, which were published around whenever it was, the 1870s or 1880s, suggested that electromagnetic waves propagated at a velocity which was the speed of light. And people thought waves need a medium in which that propagation can happen. So on a pond or in a steel plate, there are vibrations of the water or there are vibrations of the steel plate. So people thought there must be some medium in space that is carrying oscillations. The other part of the framework was Newton. Newton imagines a fixed space and a moving time, and we move through space over temporal durations. And Michelson-Morley reasoned as follows. We’re busy on our planet going around the sun, so the planet must be moving with respect to this fixed material called the ether. And if the planet is moving with respect to the ether, like a boat moving through water, you can calculate that the time that it takes for a wave to go perpendicular to the flow of water and back is less than the time it takes to go forward and back with respect to the flow.

And that’s an easy calculation. That meant that if the planet were rotating through this ether, you should be able to pick up this difference in time by picking up a phase lag of light rays going perpendicular to our orbit and in the direction of our orbit. And they set up the experiment in 1878 or 1884, and they couldn’t see any difference whatsoever with respect to the direction of motion of the earth. So that was a crisis. If you imagine fixed space, time of space and moving time, you couldn’t get the results that Michelson and Morley got. And Einstein may or may not have known those results. In any case, special relativity entirely overcame it and it required giving up Newton’s notion of a fixed space and a flowing time and it became Einstein’s special relativity space-time. So that was a major anomaly and nobody knew how to solve it and Einstein solved it.

Essentially he solved it by saying, “All right, light travels at a constant velocity no matter what your moving frame is relative to any other moving frame.” So it took a radical step. Actually, it’s a nice entree because I’m certainly not Einstein. I’ve actually delivered babies, but I hope I’m going to be about as bold and I hope not with the competence that Einstein has. So let’s look at standard cosmology. It’s the Big Bang Theory. There’s two lines of evidence for the Big Bang. We know from Hubble in around 1927 that galaxies are receding from one another and the further away a galaxy is, the faster it’s receding from us. The standard images picture a balloon with a bunch of dots randomly placed on it, is you blow up the balloon, the dots move away from one another. And the further the dots are apart, the faster they’re moving away from one another.

And so Hubble established that somehow space is expanding. Einstein was kind of shocked and he invented his cosmological constant. That’s one line of evidence for the Big Bang. If the galaxies are moving apart in the past, they must have been close together. That theory was put forth a long time ago. Then in the seventies, rather accidentally, the cosmic background radiation was discovered. This arrives around 480,000 years after the Big Bang, when the universe cools enough that electrons can break free of protons and the other way around. The universe became transparent and we see light from that time coming from all directions and it’s essentially uniform across the sky, but it has little wiggles at around one 10000th of a degree. And the patterns of those wiggles are the cosmic microwave background. And that too says the universe started sometime in the past as something like an initial state that was small.

Those are the two main lines of evidence for the Big Bang Theory. We are in a period now called precision cosmology and it’s simultaneously wonderful and wonderfully mysterious, and the reason it’s wonderful is it is now six variables in terms of which you can plug them into your standard model. That standard model is now called Lambda CDM. Lambda is Einstein’s cosmological constant, where space-time just likes to expand itself in an anti-gravity and cold dark matter is a proposed substance that’s never been found. I’ll explain why in a moment. And given those equations, you can predict all kinds of things about the evolution of the universe. However, there are now emerging very serious tensions in the standard model, Lambda CDM. It’s been around for about 50 years.

First of all, there are what’s called the dark sector. There’s dark matter, there’s dark energy and inflation. So why was dark matter invented? Here’s the answer. It’s been known since the 1930s, galaxies rotate, like spiral galaxies like our Milky Way. But the outer margin of the galaxy is rotating much too fast for the amount of matter in it. We can’t account for it with Kepler’s Law. Kepler’s Law would be suggesting that the stars far from the center of the galaxy should be rotating much more slowly than they do. So for 50 years now or even longer, we have been thinking if there were more matter in the outskirts of galaxies, that would account for the rotation velocity, but we don’t see any of that matter. So it’s called dark matter for the missing matter, and it needs to be cold. Dark matter, meaning it’s dark, we can’t see it. It interacts with nothing except gravity. And cold just means that if it’s particles, they’re not moving very fast.

So the summary of 50 years efforts for the listeners is, people have looked for dark matter as all kinds of things. Neutrinos, special particles coming from supersymmetric theories. In 50 years we have found no actual evidence for dark matter particles. Here’s the trouble. The hypothesis of dark matter explains a lot, but you can maintain the hypothesis that there’s cold dark matter by imagining all kinds of particles, and it’s not clear what would disprove the theory. I’m going to give you something that might disprove the theory in a little bit, and it’s radical if it’s true, be careful. Meanwhile, there’s this dark energy. So Einstein has general relativity. You know if you throw a ball up in the air, it comes back down. If you throw it fast enough beyond the escape velocity of Earth’s gravity, it’ll go on forever. If it’s right on the balance between going out and coming back, it’ll coast ever more slowly to infinity.

General relativity is the same. There’s the Big Bang. And the universe, depending upon the amount of matter, will either expand slowly, slowing as it does, and then contract, or it’ll coast out to infinity slowing all the time, or it’ll keep going out to infinity. But it should always be slowing up on general relativity. The rate of expansion of the should never get faster. So in the 1990s, Adam Riess and Perlmutter discovered that the universe is in fact expanding faster now than it was 8 billion years ago. You can’t explain that with normal general relativity. You can if Einstein’s right, there’s this cosmological constant in which spacetime, due to this Lambda property, can make more spacetime. So people reinvented Lambda and that’s called dark energy, but we have no idea what it is.

It’s this constant in Einstein’s equation, and when the physicists calculate it, they get a number that’s too high by 10 to the 28th, which is considered the worst prediction in particle physics. So we don’t know what that is. Meanwhile, in the 1980s or late seventies, Alan Guth invented inflation. And the issue is why is the universe flat and why is it homogeneous? And the fundamental problems the following. The universe has regions now that have never been in causal contact or they look like they’ve never been in causal contact and once relying on causal contact and smoothing, like milk in a cup of tea, for uniformity. So inflation was invented. So a very small patch in the early universe that was in causal contact kind of inflated and be big enough to account for the homogeneity of the current universe.

So that lies behind this theory of inflation in which the universe expands an enormous amount in a tiny fraction of a second from 10 to the minus 30 to 10 to the minus 32 seconds, and that’s great. It’s been around since 1984. Nobody has any idea what inflation is. It’s called the inflaton and people make up potentials for it and slow roll and they can predict the statistics of the cosmic background radiation. But 45 years later, we have no idea what inflation is. So we’re in an era of precision cosmology. We don’t know why the universe came into existence in the first place. We don’t know what dark matter is. We don’t know what dark energy is. We don’t know what inflation is. Yet we have all these wonderful tools. Meanwhile, there are crises that are growing. So I’ll briefly explain three.

The first is Hubble says the universe is expanding, and the rate of expansion is called the Hubble’s Constant and you can measure it. And it’s in the order of 70 kilometers per second per megaparsec, where a megaparsec is about 3 million light years. The trouble is the following. If you base that measurement on the early universe at the time of this cosmic microwave background, you get a number that’s about 67.3 kilometers per second per megaparsec. But if you look at the late universe now, you get a larger number. About 73.3 kilometers per second per megaparsec. And people have done these experiments many, many, many times on these calculations and they’re statistically clearly different from one another. It’s approaching the magical level of five sigma, which means that it would arrive by chance about one in 2 million times. That’s the magical number and physicists say there’s something seriously wrong.

It’s called the Hubble Tension and people think it’s almost real. And if so, it’s a crisis. And nobody notes what might answer it. The second crisis is very recent. Two years ago or a year ago, the James Webb Space Telescope found, to the astonishment of everybody, galaxies that formed very, very early, they’re called impossible galaxies, and they formed with around 400 million years of the Big Bang. They formed much too fast. They shouldn’t be there, but they’re already large. They have a number of stars in a galaxy that ours does, to the order of a hundred billion stars in a galaxy.

So they formed too fast. And also they’re tiny. At least this was true about six months ago. I believe it’s still true. They’re about one-tenth the normal size. So why did they form so fast? That doesn’t fit any of our theories. And why are they one-tenth the normal size? So that’s hanging out as a crisis. So people think there’s something serious going on. Another crisis that’s coming up is that if you look at the cosmic microwave background, there’s a suggestion of what’s called a dipole. The one hemisphere of the sky has more matter in it than the other hemisphere, call it the north and the south, by about 0.05%. It was thought that’s due to the motion of the solar system with respect to the distant galaxies called the kinematic dipole. That’s now being ruled out. There’s actual evidence through this dipole, where the hell does this dipole come from?

So people are getting seriously worried about the dipole. And there’s another one that I have found fascinating. So I have to tell you about the Baryonic Tully-Fisher relationship. So this is really neat. Galaxies rotate. You know the mass of a galaxy and you know how fast it’s rotating. So Tully and Fisher discovered this around 15, 20 years ago, plot on the horizontal X-axis the logarithm of the rotation velocity, and on the vertical Y-axis the mass of the galaxy. So it’s a log-log plot. To remind listeners, remember 10 raised to the zero power is one, 10 raised to the one power is 10, 10 raised to the two power is 10, times 10 it’s 100, 10 raised to the third power is 10, times 10 it’s 1,000. So logarithms are just that. So in a log-log plot, and what Tully and Fisher found is all the galaxies line up along a line which has got slope four.

Namely, to go up one order of magnitude and rotation velocity, you have to go four orders of magnitude in the mass of the galaxy. From say 100 million stars, that’s 10 to the eighth, you have to go up to 10 to the 12th star solar masses. And the data is on a line that’s sort of scattered this line. It’s beautiful data. So the problem is the Lambda CDM theory predicts a slope of three, not four. So that’s kind of another crisis. So those are some of the crises that are around now, and it’s just at the point that people are saying something serious is going on. So that’s the background. The next thing I’m going to tell you about, so here’s my pathway. I have stumbled into a set of ideas, which if it works, may be a different cosmology, Jim. There’s grounds to take it seriously, and there’s a grounds to have every eyebrow you have arched. Though I’m now taking it seriously, I’ve been thinking about it for eight years. That doesn’t make it any good. Remember, I’m not a physicist. But again, sometimes outsiders have useful ideas.

Jim: Absolutely. As I mentioned, I used to follow this kind of stuff pretty closely, at least read a couple of books every year, but I haven’t for a few years, and I even missed that in 2022, the Nobel Prize was awarded for finally closing the loophole on non-locality. And you’re going to appeal to that a couple of times. So why don’t we tell people about that?

Stuart: On the way to non-locality, I’m going to come back and tell you about Heisenberg’s interpretation of quantum mechanics, which is about potential being ontologically real. But this non-locality is fundamental. Einstein, Podolsky and Rosen in 1933 or 35, Einstein wanted to try to show that quantum mechanics, there’s something crazy about it. There’s something called entanglement. So you can have a photon that gives rise to two photons. The two photons are entangled mathematically. That means you cannot treat them as two separate photons. They’re really one thing still joined at the hip mathematically, and this is true of electrons or any other particle. What Einstein, Podolsky and Rosen said is this is very strange. If you have an entangled pair of electrons and now they’ve traveled apart, so they’re millions of miles apart, quantum mechanics says that if you measure one of the electrons and its spin become… It was not.

It becomes up upon measurement. It wasn’t up all the time. There’s a becoming in quantum, it becomes up. Quantum mechanics says that instantaneously if one becomes up, its partner 3 million miles away becomes down. That’s because they’re anti-correlated. But Einstein says, “I’ve proven that in special relativity, nothing travels faster than the speed of light. So there’s no way for a light signal to get from these one electron to the other in zero time.” Therefore, this is what he called spooky action at a distance. And he said there’s something incomplete about quantum mechanics. So let’s define locality. Locality means I can affect you. I can affect Jim, only if I send a signal that passes through a two-dimensional sphere surrounding me and the signal propagates for me to Jim through that. That’s called-

Stuart: … Me, and the signal propagates for me to Jim through that. That’s called continuity of action and it’s captured by a finite speed of light. So what Einstein was saying, this is spooky action at a distance. This violates locality in the sense that something has to propagate continuously. In the ’70s, a physicist named John Bell thought of a way of testing this by testing correlations that could be beyond what one could explain in classical physics. And 30 years later Alan Aspect and others have done the experiments, and the Nobel Prize was handed out in 2022 for non-locality. So what’s stunning is, take this in, it’s fundamental. The universe is not local. It’s really not local at the level of quantum variables. It really means that if you do this experiment and you take the entangled particles, when you measure one and it becomes up in Chicago, on Jupiter it’ll become up simultaneously, but no light can get between them in that time.

The experiments are nailed, all the loopholes are gone. What the world does that mean? I’m going to build on that. And in fact, Jim, I had published my first paper, Quantum Gravity of Non-Locality is Fundamental, about five months before the Nobel Prize. And the way I got into this is I started thinking about three years ago, what are we going to do with non-locality? So I’m now going to build on it. So my first step now, Heisenberg has an interpretation of quantum mechanics where the quantum states are not actuals, they’re possibles, they’re potentia. So you all know about Schrodinger’s cat, it’s simultaneously dead and alive. Well, that contradicts ordinary logic. To say the cup is on the table and it’s not on the table, it’s a contradiction. The cat is simultaneously alive and dead is a contradiction.

But in quantum mechanics there are superpositions in which there’s a sense in which the cat is simultaneously alive and dead. What is a sense that makes sense? So see what you think, Jim, try possible. And I got to this before I knew about Heisenberg. See, C.S. Peirce says actuals obey Aristotle’s law of excluded middle and non-contradiction, possibles don’t. So the cat is simultaneously alive and dead is a contradiction. The cat is possibly alive and simultaneously possibly dead is not a contradiction. Agreed?

Jim: Yes, absolutely.

Stuart: So I jumped to this about 12 years ago and said, “Okay, potentia are real.” Well, Aristotle thought that. So did Heisenberg. The big first step is to think potentia are ontologically real. And I learned about two years ago that in Vedic philosophy in India 3,000 years ago, Indian philosophy has the notion of unmanifest. It’s really interesting, Jim. There’s true, unmanifest, and false. Unmanifest is possible. So it’s an old thing in Indian philosophy, but not in the West. So we’re catching up to people 3,000 years ago. The reason to hold that in mind is the following next step. I take this very seriously, Jim, and it’s a challenge to my physicist friends. So let me say it slowly. Non-locality is now loophole-free. All cosmology, almost, builds on Einstein’s notion of locality, namely spacetime. We take spacetime as fundamental. But at this point, so let me say it slowly, non-locality is established loophole-free. Therefore, if we have to choose between locality as fundamental and non-locality as fundamental, Jim, there’s no a priori reason at all to choose locality.

Jim: Absolutely. At this point, I am convinced, I did just enough research to be reasonably convinced the loophole was closed. Well, we’ll also make a note. I noticed that some of the commentators made the mistake of thinking that determinism had also been wiped out. And the answer is, no, it hasn’t. There’s still some standing quantum foundations theories that are deterministic that have not been deproven.

Stuart: Bohm, for example.

Jim: Yeah, Bohm and many worlds are basically the two biggest ones.

Stuart: Now, the choice they made about four years ago, just say, suppose non-locality is fundamental. Let’s just try it. The only person who’s tried it sort of is Sean Carroll. But the person who’s tried it hardest in a way seems to be me, which is really strange because I’m not a physicist. So let’s just try it. Let’s just take the step. All right, non-locality is fundamental, which means non-locality is fundamental and spacetime is not.

Jim: Yeah, I’ve got to get from here to there, okay.

Stuart: Well, this is a kind of minor problem. Just take the claim that spacetime is not fundamental. Locality is not fundamental. Watch what happens if you make that move, Jim. No theory that requires spacetime as fundamental can itself be fundamental. Well, the most obvious theory that requires spacetime to be fundamental is general relativity itself. It’s a definition of locality. So if non-locality is fundamental, general relativity can’t be fundamental.

Jim: We’ve long known that there’s a very serious tension between quantum mechanics and general relativity. They can’t both be true as currently stated.

Stuart: Right. But there’s also famous string theory with hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of string theorists. But string theory is also local. It’s an eleven-dimensional spacetime, but it’s local on that spacetime. So string theory cannot be fundamental. But loop quantum gravity that Lee and Carlo have worked on for all of these years also cannot be fundamental, because loop quantum gravity quantizes general relativity without any matter. General relativity can be formulated without any matter in it. And therefore loop quantum gravity is fundamentally local. The atoms of spacetime that Lee talks about are fundamentally next to one another. So loop quantum gravity can’t be fundamental.

Another huge thing is what’s called the anti-de Sitter space, conformal field theory duality, where there’s a quantum theory on a D-1 dimensional space on a surface, and it’s dual to a gravity in the bulk, the anti-de Sitter space. But that’s local too, because if you move on the D-1 dimensional surface, it corresponds to movings in the bulk. So conformal field theory, anti-de Sitter space is local, and therefore so also is the holographic principle. None of them can be fundamental if you start with non-locality. What’s astonishing about it, Jim, is if you just say, “Screw it, let’s give up locality as fundamental,” you’ve thrown out almost every approach we have to quantum gravity by your starting assumption.

Jim: The interesting one that was new to me was that yes, indeed, you have to throw out the holographic principle too, right?

Stuart: You do. They all depend on locality. This is really strange. And my argument for my own enthusiasm, Sean Carroll has some similar enthusiasms, is you threw out almost everything by your starting assumption. So it’s really powerful. Why not just try it? There are approaches to quantum gravity that don’t do that. It’s called causal set theory, but I won’t go into it. But what I’ve done turns out to be like it. So here’s the move that I’ve made. I’ll do it fast. What’s non-locality? It’s two or more entangled coherent particles. So if we start with non-locality, Jim, we don’t have to explain non-locality. We have to explain, how do we ever get locality? How do we get spacetime? But if non-locality is two or more entangled particles, somehow you can’t get spacetime without the particles by your starting assumption. That means somehow matter has to play a role in something like constructing spacetime. You’re forced to it.

So what I’ve done is that. So my first paper, which is, Quantum Gravity of Non-Locality is Fundamental, is a theory. I think it’s a theory of quantum gravity, and without going into details, I’m going to say that non-locality is not nothing. It’s potentia. The world is actuals and possibles. Possibles are real, but they’re not in spacetime. So where’s the possibility you might fall on your head? It’s not under the refrigerator. I looked. It’s not. So possibles are a natural thing that they could be real, but are not in spacetime. And I think that the ontological interpretation from Heisenberg is consistent with saying there’s something that’s perfectly real that’s not in spacetime. It’s possibles. Okay. So what I do in the Quantum Gravity of Non-Locality is Fundamental paper is, you have these potentia and you can construct a distance between possibilities.

Not going into the details, it’s Von Neumann’s entropy, measures the distance between two entangled variables, Jim, and it fits the triangle inequality. So using that, you can get a notion of how far apart these potentia are in Hilbert space. Then I use the metric in Hilbert space. I want to get an actual spacetime. The next step is the following. All the variables of classical physics or true or false. Potentia are superpositions, they’re not true or false. The only way to get rid of potentia is by quantum actualization. It’s the spot on the screen. Decoherence doesn’t do it. So I said, “Okay, I’d better have some actualization steps,” and without going into the details, I have four entangled variables. They sequentially actualize and become actual events, and I magically say distances in Hilbert space map into spacetime distances on some scale like microns or the Planck scale or something. And I sequentially construct spacetime by constructing tetrahedra.

It looks like it works and it might be a theory of quantum gravity. The big thing to say about this, a pause, as far as I can tell, virtually everybody who’s trying to do quantum gravity is trying to get quantum gravity to equate to general relativity. I’m not doing that, Jim. My move is to say quantum gravity constructs a spacetime in which general relativity then operates. So on this theory, quantum gravity constructs spacetime and general relativity is operant in it. So it’s not the standard move, and you can’t make the standard move if you start with non-locality. At least I don’t think you can. So the next thing is following, and this is a discovery of mine with Steve Garron. So let me tell you this. So this is the paper, Did the Universe Construct Itself? We don’t know how the universe came to be. We don’t have a theory for it.

This paper, which took forever to get published, it’s now in press. So I discovered the following thing with Steve Garron. So pause. There’s the fundamental particle physics. It’s three groups, SU3, SU2, U1. Jim, it’s a bunch of particles. And the particles, pause, all the particles transform directly or indirectly into one another. There’s a set of 25 particles, and the particles transform into one another. Like a quark and an anti-quark can become a couple photons, or a couple of photons could become a quark and an anti-quark. A neutrino and a positron can change a quark to another kind of quark, or the other kind of quark can change and give rise to a neutrino and whatever I just said, a positron. So what I discovered, Jim, and this is big, what Stephen and I did, is that the particle physics is collectively autocatalytic. This is kind of stunning. The physicists don’t even want to hear this. It’s really strange.

So there’s two notions of autocatalysis, Jim. One in which there are catalysts, like my own theory of autocatalytic sets and the origin of life, and the other, you don’t need any catalysts. So let me say this slowly. Just plain old chemistry, so this is classical chemistry. Suppose I’ve got a molecule A and B, and A and B react and they make two Cs. C and D react, and they make two Es, E and F react, and they make two As. There’s a cycle, A, C, E, A, C, E. There’s no catalysts. The structure of the transformations is the catalyst. Now imagine that you’ve already got A, C, and E in a pot and you add B, D, and F from the outside. You’ll make a lot of A, C, and E. That autocatalytic system will wind up making a lot of A, C, E, and that’s an autocatalytic system where the structure of the transformations is the autocatalytic motif.

It turns out, and I’m confident this is right, we have looked at the first 13 particles in particle physics, up quarks, up anti-quarks, down quarks, down anti-quarks, photons, positrons, electrons, muons, neutrinos, anti-neutrinos, and muon neutrinos and muon anti-neutrinos. And there’s about 24 transformations among them and they’re full of autocatalytic sets. And the work was done analyzing this by a guy named Philip Ning who invented this around six years ago. In just the particles I’ve told you, Jim, there’s already 486 autocatalytic motifs of the kind I just sketched. So hold this, it’ll be even more such motifs if we do all of particle physics. So pause. It’s really true that formally the standard model of particle physics is capable of autocatalysis. Does that invite the question, does the capacity for autocatalysis possibly have anything to do with cosmogenesis? I hope you agree that the answer, why not ask that question? Fair enough?

Jim: Yep, fair enough. I do want to stop here and ask a question. As in biochemistry, theoretical or very low yield, I guess let’s call them low yield autocatalytic networks, are not impactful without catalysis. And with respect to transformations in particle physics, we know something even stronger, which is they have quite specific energy, time, density equations. So most of these transformations occur at a vanishingly small rate unless you can provide lots of energy over a very short period of time. They won’t form up in the way that, say a biochemical autocatalytic network that autocatalyzes will, because the reaction rates will be vanishingly slow, particularly in a low density time and space like ours.

Stuart: Yes, that’s right. So I’m now going to tell you the steps I’ve made. I want to start with non-locality, Jim, and I want to start with no spacetime and I want to start with the laws of particle physics and roughly the quantum vacuum. And they’re all potentia. So we can start the universe with no matter in it and no spacetime. So the move I’m going to make is I’m going to find a way for the particles, you know in particle physics it’s standard for a quark and an anti-quark pair to do just what you said. They borrow energy from the vacuum, they pop into existence briefly, then they vanish.

Jim: And of course it’s thought that the universe itself, one hypothesis is that it could be some vast quantum fluctuation of the vacuum.

Stuart: And that’s exactly what I’ve done, Jim. So I have a working hypothesis, let me say it. If a quark and an anti-quark pop out of the vacuum, they pop back in. But suppose that two quark, anti-quark pairs pop out of the vacuum, and if nothing happens, they pop back in. Here’s my postulate. It’s a working hypothesis. If the two quarks interact or if the two anti-quarks interact, that delays their return of the borrowed energy. Call that delay. That postulate does it. Because with that, what happens is if you start the universe with nothing, quarks and anti-quarks pop out of the vacuum and you get a second order phase transition, the more quarks and anti-quarks there are, the more quarks could delay one another, the more anti-quarks could delay one another. When there’s enough and they finally just steal the energy from the vacuum, and you get the formation, you break matter-antimatter symmetry, which is bariogenesis that nobody knows how to do, and then you’ve got particles and they construct spacetime.

Jim: This is cool, I like this. So actually this is not related, but at least analogous to Hawking radiation.

Stuart: Yeah, a little bit, yeah.

Jim: Where the reason black holes are hot is you get these paired generations of particles right at the boundary, one’s inside the black hole and one’s outside. That’s why it immediately struck me as that. And then here’s the other point, and maybe you’ll get to this, which is, to steal the energy from the vacuum, two quarks can do it to a degree, but what would really do it rapidly would be three quarks producing baryons.

Stuart: The temperature has to lower to make the baryons. So I’m imagining a quark gluon soup where I’ve got three quarks, then later the universe. Anyway, our paper shows clearly by very detailed numerical simulations, given this delay postulate, you could tell me it’s just wrong, but give it to me, and you start the universe with nothing. The universe with nothing winds up stealing energy from the vacuum and making particles, then the particles construct spacetime. And it works.

Jim: Let’s see about the next step. Let’s start with a vacuum with no space, just pure vacuum, no space, no particles, nothing. You get this cascade of sometimes multiple particles, which is interesting. Most people don’t talk about that. And then you get interaction amongst the particles during their very brief borrowed time in existence, and they actually then form a more stable particle, a little bit more, quite a bit more stable particle. And then if you’ve got, let’s say two of those, then you could say that from a relational process philosophy perspective, you then may have the ability to bootstrap spacetime from that. Is that close?

Stuart: No, the basic idea is you start with nothing. There’s a huge advantage of starting with nothing. I’ll get to it in a minute. But if you start with nothing, give me my working hypothesis of delay. We demonstrate in this paper numerically that there’s two parameter spaces. How much do you get delayed and how often do we interact? Well, a particle will interact with some other particles, there’s more particles to interact with, a given particle will interact more often. And every time it does, it delays more. So there’s a two-dimensional parameter space of concentrations, if you will, in delay. And in that space, there’s a hyperbolic curve. When you cross it, particles just get stolen out of the vacuum and they make more particles, and it works numerically. So it works. And it works then that they construct spacetime, because that’s in the first paper.

Jim: Okay, now let’s think about this a little bit. You’ve got these virtual quark pairs coming around, and importantly, more than one at a time. That’s critical for the theory. So two quarks, up and down produces what, a meson. So you get mesons first, presumably. Mesons certainly have much longer time to live than virtual pairs of quarks.

Stuart: You know, Jim, I didn’t think about that, but yes. So there may be lots of ways of instantiating what I’m calling the delay hypothesis, okay?

Jim: But I think this is going to be interesting from a model perspective. If you assume, so let’s just start a very simple universe, and no doubt there’ll be a statistical distribution about how many virtual pairs are in existence during let’s say a Planck time interval.

Stuart: Yeah.

Jim: And maybe it’s not Planck time, maybe there is no Planck time, we don’t know. But during some period in which they can interact, you have to have two of these emergent sets. And they then, at a very low probability, but we have infinity to work with, or at least a very long time, a quark and an anti-quark from two separate emergent virtual particle pairs interact and produce, if they’re quarks, a meson. That’s going to be your first particle.

Stuart: Yeah, I never thought about the meson part, but good, I like it. I’ll come back and think about that again, Jim. I hadn’t thought of that. So if that’s right, I don’t need a delay hypothesis if I talk about mesons.

Jim: Yeah, a meson will definitely delay. It’ll last a lot longer than a virtual pair of quarks will.

Stuart: That’s neat. Where were you when I was writing this damn paper? So let’s build on it. But now here are some of the advantages of starting with no spacetime. A first advantage is the following. In the standard model, the universe starts very near the singularity or at the singularity. Then the problem is, so why didn’t the singularity, there’s a singularity with this infinite density, but why didn’t it form a black hole? And you’ve got to make a really smooth-sided singularity so it escapes forming the black hole. If you start with no spacetime and no matter, there’s no singularity. So that’s neat.

The second is a major problem. It’s called the past hypothesis. So here’s the problem. We all know the second law of thermodynamics, disorder increases. So there’s a measure of how complex the universe is now, it’s a really big number. I’ll tell it to you in a minute. Therefore, if disorder has always increased, it must have been reciprocally reordered a long time ago. So how big is this number? The number that’s the estimated entropy of the current universe is e, base of natural logarithms, 2.7 or whatever it is, raised to the 10, itself raised to the 124th. It’s a huge number. Therefore, very early on the universe had to be in an incredibly ordered state, which is the reciprocal of that. It’s one divided by that number, which is called Boltzmann suppressed, and nobody knows how that could have happened.

And Penrose says, “How did God throw such an accurate dart?” How did you get to one over e to the 10th to the 124th? How did you get this nearly zero but not zero entropy? Pause. If you start the universe with no matter and no spacetime, its entropy is zero. You automatically answer the problem about the past hypothesis. That’s huge. No one knows how to answer the past hypothesis problem. A third problem is the low gravitation.

Stuart: Hypothesis problem. A third problem is the low gravitational entropy of the initial universe. High entropy for gravity is everything’s clumped. Why is it not clumped? Well, there’s no matter on this account. So you answer major problems about standard cosmology. And a huge thing you answered, Jim, is where did the universe come from?

Jim: I just had a thought, I don’t know if you’ve stumbled across this one or not. The black hole problem is what it is. When you assume the singularity has the full mass of the current universe, you have the black hole problem. Under your model, the universe is built a particle at a time, and so that the density need not be super critical. And so there’s no reason you’d expect it to form a black hole. You have to assume that there’s some form of radial net velocity.

Stuart: Well, there is because at the same time that that’s happening, the matter that’s being made is constructing spacetime, which is in fact a model for inflation. So it never is really dense.

Jim: So essentially you start off with the two particles, ah, oh, this is really crazy. Let’s stipulate a constant rate of virtual quark pair production from the vacuum. Initially with no spacetime, that number is very low. Once you’ve created two particles, you could then say, we have space-time, and this is to your argument about the particles creating space-time, that now you have more space and so therefore you’ll have more vertical particles and therefore you’ll get a very rapid high-power growth rate.

Stuart: If you make that move, the more spacetime, the more easy it is to steal from the vacuum. It really just explodes like mad.

Jim: Exactly. That’s inflation.

Stuart: Yeah, it is, and it’s one of the versions of the theory that I’ve looked at, and you’re exactly right. Otherwise it stays at a constant rate.

Jim: I’m going to put a flag in the ground that it doesn’t. The rate of particle genesis is a function of the volume of spacetime.

Stuart: And that could be right. Meanwhile, the other thing is you start with nothing. The laws are symmetric with respect to matter and antimatter. And the remarkable property is you get this stochastic branching process and you break symmetry between matter and antimatter by chance one way or the other. It’s symmetric. Sometimes you get particles and sometimes you get antiparticles.

Jim: Yeah, so this is something in the social sciences we call founder effect, right?

Stuart: It sure is. So nobody knows how to get baryogenesis. The theory gives baryogenesis. So we get a lot out of this theory. I have used two steps. The first paper I used in the mapping from Hilbert space to spacetime. I’ve invented something called remember to map from von Neumann entropies in Hilbert space to real spacetime. And now I’ve invented delay and maybe we could do without it. Given those two things, I’ve got maybe a theory of quantum gravity that maybe works and I got a way to start the universe with nothing and it constructs itself.

Jim: Not bad for a day’s work.

Stuart: I want to tell you that this theory, the one I just told, is testable.

Jim: Yes.

Stuart: So pause. How do we try to explain our laws? Our laws are SU(3), SU(2), U(1). And how do we try to explain the 25 constants in particle physics? You see the constants have to be what they are, otherwise you wouldn’t get life. They have to be fairly finely tuned. So the current explanation for why the 25 values are what they are is you were supposed to conceive of all possible values of the constants and the associated universes. A tiny subset of those are consistent with life. Call that the life ensemble. And since we’re alive, we’ve got to be in the life ensemble and that’s why we’re in the life ensemble. It’s called the anthropic principle, and it fundamentally explains nothing.

Jim: That’s the weak anthropic principle which explains nothing. You then combine it with something like Lee Smolin’s evolutionary universes, which says, “Oh, there’s zillions of universes out there.”

Stuart: Yeah, Lee’s going to move us towards a form of cosmic natural selection, but that doesn’t explain the anthropic principle. Okay? And the anthropic principle’s not testable. Now, how do we explain our laws? Well, the current way of trying to explain our laws is the physicists assume that there’s a multiverse of zillions and zillions of pocket universes and it comes out of string theory. And instead of there being one string theory, there’s on the order of 10 to the 500th possible string theories. And so Leonard Susskind has come up with the idea, a lot of the idea of a metaverse of all of these universes. And each of these universes has a different law and a subset of them are life-friendly.

So we’re in one of those universes, and that’s roughly the idea of a metaverse and Leonard Susskind’s cosmic landscape, which really comes from evolutionary [inaudible 00:53:25]. But it’s completely untestable. We can’t even write down string theory. So hold that. Now here we have a theory that says particle physics is collectively autocatalytic. Jim, see if you agree. It suggests that our values of the constants are somehow really good at constructing universes.

Jim: That’s Lee’s hypothesis, that we are near the optimum for generating black holes.

Stuart: Yeah, Lee’s is about black holes. So Lee wants fecundity on evolving the number of black holes and I’m stealing from Lee. I want it, instead of the fecundity for having lots of black holes, I want it’s a generative capacity. The values of the constants that are best at cosmogenesis itself, just faster at reproducing bacteria.

Jim: And of course in his case, the black hole is the intermediary.

Stuart: Yeah.

Jim: Do you have some other intermediary for cosmogenesis?

Stuart: Yeah, however the cosmogenesis happens, the answer is I don’t know. But there’s another part too. Our laws are capable of autocatalysis. Cohl Furey has shown that our laws come from a mathematical set of things called octonions. So a national thing to predict is that our laws are better at autocatalysis than other laws than the octonions. Well, that’s perfectly checkable. We could see if our laws are better than subadjacent groups in the octonions. So we could test that.

Jim, the biggest thing that we could test, this ass actually suggested to me by a woman named Andrea Morris, who’s a science writer. So it’s Andrea’s responsibility. She said, “Why don’t you just do the damn experiment?” So the theory says particle physics is collectively autocatalytic, could you go to CERN and actually try to say, is it possible conceivably to take all the particles and break them into two subsets, A and B. Squirt A in CERN in and see if you make the set B, then take the set B and see if you make the set A? If we convinced ourselves that the particles really were autocatalytic, it’d be stupid not to think that has something to do with the universe.

Jim: Yeah. I’ll point out again that the autocatalysis to degree that exists is extremely dependent on very high time-energy densities. And whether just throwing it into CERN would do the job or not, I don’t know.

Stuart: I don’t know either, but it’s a really fun question. Okay, I’ve given us a hoped-for theory of quantum gravity maybe in the first paper. In the second paper, the universe constructs itself and it’s testable. It’s also testable that quantum actualization creates spacetime. You might be able to test that using something called the Casimir effect. So you have two parallel plates and they attract one another. The attraction falls off as the fourth order and the distance between the plates. Conceivably you could measure that by creating spacetime entangled particles between the plates. That might be a doable experiment. So this is a theory of quantum gravity and stuff that’s actually testable. Okay, so that’s that.

Now the story’s going to get romantic. It was about a year and a quarter, it was April 20th and I was flying to Sweden. We started a company in Sweden making random peptides for drug discovery in cancer. And I started thinking, I’ve got this theory that four entangled particles make spacetime, I wonder if I can explain something about dark matter. So I found out about this baryonic Tully-Fisher relationship. I’ve told you again, galaxies rotate, and if you plot on the horizontal axis, how fast do you rotate, and on the vertical axis, the mass of the galaxy log, you get a slope of four, Jim. It’s just astonishing. And Tully and Fischer discovered it. Lambda CDM predicts a slope of three. Okay?

And I looked at the data and it took me about a year and I got to the following. I jumped and I made an empirical postulate. Matter either constructs or expands spacetime in any locale proportional to its fourth root, the square root of the square root. And it’s pretty easy to show from that you can explain the slope for baryonic Tully-Fisher relationship. So the paper is dark matter, [inaudible 00:58:02], blah, blah, blah, does that. So this is really kind of fun. I had that up on online in earlier versions, Jim, if you look on OSF, up until January.

Somewhere late January, I found this amazing paper by Stuart Morongwe, this astrophysicist, now colleague, in Botswana. And in 2017 he’d done exactly the analysis that I asked for. Here’s what I have to predict, so just hear it. The basic idea is galaxies can construct spacetime and when they do, they just rotate faster because they blow themselves up? You got the idea?

Jim: Yeah. Oh, yeah. Does the math work is the question, right?

Stuart: Yeah, well it does, but I’ve had to postulate it. Anyway, I have to predict the following. If you have a bunch of galaxies of the same mass, galaxies that have existed longer, have to rotate faster than galaxies that have existed less long, I have to say that.

Jim: Ah, isn’t there another thing you have to say that they should be less dense because they’ve added space to the same amount of matter?

Stuart: Neat. Yes. Hold that. Okay. Anyway, so I’ve been predicting, I made a bunch of predictions in January and in December. And in late January, I found Stuart Morongwe’s analysis of the baryonic Tully-Fisher. If you open my paper, our dark matter, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Jim, if you will look at figure 8A, you will see his analysis and he confirms exactly what I had predicted. Spot on. For the same galactic mass, the older they are, the faster they rotate. You want to take a second and look at it?

Jim: Yeah, let me.

Stuart: That’s Stuart’s graph from 2017. So pause. Look at the X-axis. It’s the log rotation velocity. Look at the Y-axis, it’s log galactic mass. Now all of those lines that you see are of slope four. What Stuart has done is he is plotted those lines that are angling down from the oldest galaxies on your right to the youngest galaxies on your left. See?

Jim: Yep.

Stuart: So pick any galactic mass on the vertical axis, the Y-axis. Just pick a galactic mass and go from left to right. And as you go from left to right, the galaxies are rotating faster because they’re further to the right on the X-axis, right? Just look.

Jim: Yep, yep. I see exactly how it works. Now how tight are those results? Those time bands? Because it looks like an awful lot of scatter on the scatter chart.

Stuart: The scatter plot are the galaxies. Each dot is a galaxy. It’s got a mass and it’s got a rotation velocity. And now we have its age as given by Stuart. So take any horizontal line, there’s five to 10 galaxies on that line for that mass. But if you go on the vertical axis, pick a galactic mass, 10 to the 10 solar masses, and go from left to right and they’re rotating faster. They really are.

So the question is, is this really statistically significant? By I that already looks pretty impressive, Jim. I mean we’re both fakes, but I mean that’s a lot of data already for a 100, 150 galaxies. So what we’re doing now is a statistical analysis of this and more data and asking two questions. Is it true that going from left to right, there’s a monotonic increase in rotation velocity and is it linear? So if this gets to five sigma, it’s data. The whole thing may vanish when we look at a bunch more data. So science right now, suppose that it holds when we get to five sigma.

This is an enormous additional crisis for Lambda-CDM. Lambda-CDM predicts a slope of three, not four. And furthermore, to come back to it, just look at the figure in front of you, Jim. As you come from right to left, the distance between those parallel diagonal lines, Stuart assures me are constant in time, but it’s plotted logarithmically and therefore rotation velocity is slowing exponentially as the universe expands. Right? The universe is getting bigger when there’s younger galaxies. So the radius of the universe is going up as you go from the right margin to the left margin, the universe is getting bigger. So I’m quite sure that it’s slowing exponentially.

I don’t see how particles explains it. If these are dark matter particles, their density should fall off as one over the volume of the universe, which is one over R cubed. That’s a power law. And there’s papers that say that the ratio of dark matter in a galaxy to baryonic matter is also a power law. You can’t combine power laws that get an exponential, I don’t think.

Jim: Nope, can’t.

Stuart: So if it’s really exponential and it’s at five sigma, I don’t see how Lambda- CDM accounts for it. So it’s really a big crisis.

Jim: A new anomaly if it holds up as the data increases. And fortunately this is a thing that you can get a lot of data on. You can get a lot more than 150 data points.

Stuart: Yeah, there’s thousands of galaxies, so this can really be tested in detail. So my paper is online on OSF. It was turned down by PNAS without review and it was turned down by Archive instantaneously. They won’t put it up, but here it is. So meanwhile, Stuart and I joined forces. Look at figure 8B. That’s Stuart’s equation and he’s got matter to the one fourth power. So I postulate it empirically, but Stuart derives it. Go to the next slide 9, that Kate made and you see there’s a dot in the center and a blue zone around it. Then you come further out and it goes yellow, then orange, then yellow.

Jim: Let me just remind the audience that the link to this paper will be on the episode page at So you can do the same exercise while Stuart’s talking us through it.

Stuart: So look at figure 8A, 8B and figure 9. Figure 9 is I think I invented Ricci soliton, which is pretty good for a medical doctor. There’s now another paper. So Stuart and I joined forces and we submitted a paper whose title Is Dark Matter a Ricci soliton? A Ricci soliton is a region of spacetime where spacetime is expanding or contracting. So this is a region of spacetime that’s expanding. The yellow-orange-yellow ring is where spacetime is expanding, orange is expanding faster than yellow. And I think I’ve invented a Ricci soliton, but I didn’t know.

So this is really interesting. So I have to tell you, there’s another theory that replaces dark matter. It’s called Mond, M-O-N-D. It’s very famous. It has this weird postulate that there’s a radius out from the center of the galaxy, call it little ro, where the acceleration towards the center of the galaxy, call it little ao, is the further out you go, the less the acceleration is towards the center of the galaxy and Mond postulates that there’s a critical threshold, little ao, at which the behavior of gravity changes, Jim. Instead of falling off at one over R squared, it transitions and only falls off at one over R.

Jim: Which is quite radical. A lot of people just call that a fudge, right? Okay, yeah, you could get it to fit the data with Mond, but there’s no mechanism even hypothesized for it as far as I know.

Stuart: Correct. So what I propose in my paper is I bet that what’s happening in that figure is that close to the galaxy center spacetime’s contracting. Further out when it turns yellow, it’s starting to expand; therefore there’s a critical radius that I’ll call capital RO, where spacetime is neither expanding nor contracting, and that is a sphere around a galaxy inside of which spacetime’s contracting and outside of it spacetime’s expanding. So that’s what I think’s going on. I’m quite sure Stuart agrees with me. We haven’t talked about it in detail. So that’s a radically a different picture. And Stuart in the paper that I’m a coauthor on has derived matter to the one-fourth rather than postulating it. And we calculate a critical radius called capital RO is identical to Mond’s little ro, and we calculate and derive little ao. So we’ve derived Mond from a theory in which dark matter is a Ricci soliton.

Jim: It’s actually cleaner than Mond in that it’s not just hand wavy, you have a basis for it.

Stuart: Well, we have a basis because Stuart has derived matter to the fourth. So we’ve actually got dark matter. So that’s the status of that. Now I want to go off from dark matter. The very notion that matter, in Stuart’s term, it expands existing spacetime. In my more radical hope, it constructs spacetime. But in either case, we’ve got something that constructs or expands spacetime. That’s obviously a beginning candidate for dark energy.

So let’s take dark energy and Einstein’s lambda. Einstein postulated lambda and Einstein’s lambda, the cosmological constant, claims the following. Spacetime itself with no matter in it at all expands itself. Okay? So just a property of empty spacetime, then it expands itself and that would explain the expanding universe. So people like Lambda. Hold that. Now let’s suppose that Stuart and I persuade everybody that our theory that matter to the one-fourth power, namely the square root of the square root of density, expands or constructs spacetime. Somehow matter is doing it.

Do we want two completely different mechanisms where spacetime expands itself because Einstein said so? Or do we want to just stick with matter expands spacetime? Or do we want both? Well, [inaudible 01:09:04] would’ve said, why have two things to expand spacetime? We’ve already proved one. This matters somehow does it? So just hold that maybe we don’t need lambda. Maybe we do, but maybe we don’t need it at all because, just hold that.

Now let’s come to the Hubble tension. The Hubble tension is that if you look at the early universe and the CMB, you get the expansion rate is 67.3 kilometers per second per megaparsec. If you look at the late universe, it’s 73.4 kilometers per second per megaparsec, and they’re statistically maybe five sigma different. And nobody knows why that could be true. So I’m going to tell you why. See what you think. Our theory says the rate of constructing spacetime is the fourth root of the local density of matter. Right?

At the time of the CMB, there were no galaxies at all. Matter wasn’t dense, but now there’s galaxies all over the place. So just qualitatively the rate of construction of spacetime once galaxies are formed should be greater than at the time of the CMB. But there’s one other thing that’s interesting evidence further, and that’s that there are these enormous voids. Most of the [inaudible 01:10:31] are these voids where the density of matter is about 10 to 15% the average density. People have now looked at the Hubble constant inside the voids, Jim. The data is coming in and it looks like it’s about the cosmic microwave background, about 67 kilometers per second per megaparsec. There’s not that much data, but it looks like its average is somewhere around the CMB. Accept it for the moment, we can get more data. That supports the claim that when matter is not dense, the Hubble constant is like at the time of the CMB. And when matter is clumped, it could be higher. So I think that this is a candidate to explain the Hubble tension or at least help it.

Jim: That’s curious and interesting. Now, why wouldn’t the Hubble constant be much lower in a low-density space if the expansion of space-time is a function of matter density?

Stuart: Well, that records a quantitative calculation, right? So I don’t know, it looks like it’s 67.3 in voids and at the time of the CMB. And I think that Stuart and I need to predict that it’s more now. How much depends upon quantitative details. So this can either help or maybe just solve the Hubble tension. Well, that’s right, we got dark energy, but there’s more. The impossible galaxies formed too fast and apparently they’re one-tenth the normal….

Stuart: … too fast, and apparently they’re one-tenth the normal size. That was true half a year ago. I’m going to assume that it’s still true, they’re one-tenth the normal size.

Let’s take one-tenth the normal size, Jim. Why are they one-tenth the normal size? Because they are, but why are they one-tenth? Well, on the Stuart Stuart theory, matter constructs space-time, but it takes time. They just haven’t had time to grow bigger.

Jim: Yeah, that was my point earlier about density and time, right?

Stuart: Exactly, it was. Therefore, Stuart and I should get a rate of expansion of the Hubble tension to fit the Baryonic Tully-Fisher data with respect to the older and the younger galaxies. And if it works, that same figure should say if you start with the Galaxy 13.5 billion years ago and let it get older by 13.5 billion years, it’ll be normal size. So we should be able to predict the observations. I have a crude try at it in my paper. We can try to do it quantitatively. So if the answer is yes, that’s really good.

Jim: We could have a lot of data. As we know, we’re observing far away galaxies when they’re quite young, 1 billion years or less. So I don’t know if we can calculate either the volume or I don’t know if we can calculate the mass or the volume.

Stuart: If it’s really true that they got the same number of stars and they’re one-tenth of the size.

Jim: Right, the density-

Stuart: It’s got to be denser. Exactly what you said at the beginning, Jim, which I hadn’t thought of. Good. So we’ve got to write a paper now before they get the data because then we’ll be wrong. But meanwhile, MOUND, this MOUND theory, just think of it for a moment. It says out in the yellow zone in figure nine, we think we derive MOUND, and because space-time is expanding in the yellow region, it’s not surprising that gravity transitions from falling off at one over R squared to falling off more slowly. Now if gravity falls off more slowly, its reach out into space is increased. So MOUND predicts external field effects, namely galaxies further away. On Newton, nothing happens, you can’t feel anything outside because all of the attraction comes from the center of the mass. That means that MOUND, and we can say early galaxies formed, not because gravity falls off as one over R squared, but it can fall off more slowly as you go out there. So it can attract more stuff in from further away. So that may help explain why you get galaxies earlier than we thought.

Jim: Oh, and I like that. That should be simple to simulate. Let’s see what happens with different mod models of gravity.

Stuart: Yeah. Well, and we know what it is, and we’re going to be able to calculate the rate of expansion of the Ricci Soliton to fit the data so we’ll know. So it’ll be an actual calculation with actual data, which is pretty good for one good astrophysicist and a medical doctor at age 84 and three quarters. So it might work, Jim.

Now that would unite dark matter and dark energy. Let me turn to inflation. We’ve already got the start. Let’s just take the standard model of cosmogenesis, Jim. We start with incredibly dense universe and matter is isotropically and homogeneously distributed. That’s a standard theory, right? Well, let’s just say, okay, in matter expands space-time at its fourth route. That’s going to drive inflation with no further hypotheses and it should slow as the radius of the universe cubed. So inflation should slow as one over R cubed and inflation stops on this theory, unlike most models of inflation, and it’s all the same thing. It’s matter constructing space-time. So then becomes dark energy and dark matter. If this works, I’ve got more to say, but we’ve entirely eliminated the dark sector. We’ve eliminated dark matter, dark energy and inflation. They’re all one thing. An expansion of construction of space-time as locally matter to the fourth root.

Jim: Have you guys looked at what the seeming requirements for the rate at which inflation would’ve had to happen to give us our isotropic universe, which had to happen very, very rapidly. Does that work out with the math of how you are creating space-time?

Stuart: The answer is, I thought of this about six months ago and Stuart and I have just started collaborating. So no, but there’s something very special happening that we have to predict. Remember that inflation was invented because you needed causal contact for things to be homogeneous. So inflation takes a causal contact region, tiny region of the early universe and inflates it. So the universe is so ingenious, right?

Jim: Yep.

Stuart: So I’ve got to tell you something we have to predict. I have in the early universe, three domains of space-time, A, B, and C. Jim, they’re out of causal contact. They’re never going to be in causal contact. Matter is denser in regions A and C and less dense in region B between them and they’re not in causal contact. Stuart and I have to say, where matter is denser in A and C, it constructs space-time faster than in region B. Therefore, they will homogenize just by diluting without ever being in causal contact. Okay, we’ve got region, let’s just have two regions. A and B. A is denser than B. So in region A, it constructs some more space-time. So the density of matter goes down, B constructs space-time less fast.

Jim: So they’ll converge over time.

Stuart: Well, at least they’ll get more similar.

Jim: Right.

Stuart: So without being in causal contact at all, the system becomes more homogeneous. This is radically different.

Jim: So you don’t even need inflation. If you take that as a given, you don’t even need inflation really, right? You’d killed it.

Stuart: Well, at least maybe. Yeah, we don’t need as much or something. So look, I’m now going to tell you that I think qualitatively it may explain the anomalies in the CMB. So that’s a cosmic background radiation. So I’m going to tell you a bunch of anomalies that nobody knows how to explain.

If you bang on a drumhead, it vibrates in all these complicated ways. So as the universe expands, just think of a drum getting bigger and bigger and bigger. It can fit more modes on it as it gets bigger, more of these patterns of oscillations. So on an expanding sphere, when it’s tiny, you can get a first pattern. Then when it’s bigger, you can get first two patterns. A pattern on a drumhead might be kind of high on one side and low on the other side or high in the middle and low in the surrounding.

Then another pattern is you go around the circle. Well, the first pattern is going around, it’s high on one end and low on the other end. A second pattern, it’s high, low, high, low, high, low. So there’s a cross patterns of high, there’s four maxima coming around, and another pattern, there’s eight maxima. And in three dimensions is kind of the same thing, except there’s a third dimension.

The first thing that has been discovered… Jim, if you look at the two point correlation function, there’s no correlations between points on the sky that are 60 degrees or more apart. Why?

I’m going to tell you several anomalies in the CMB. The first one is what are called the low L modes, which are long wavelength modes, don’t have a lot of amplitude, but if the homogenization that I’m talking about is happening, it has more time to act on the first modes that arise in the expanding universe and not the later modes, because they arise successively.

So it expected that would flatten the first modes. Well, that explains the fact that there’s no power in the first modes or not much, and that the cosmic micros background turns out not to be scale invariant, because this thing’s going to happen… And it turns out the scale invariance sets in after around L-60, the 60th mode. So this explains the failure of scale invariance. It explains an underpowering of the low L modes, namely, there’s not a lot of oomph, not a lot amplitude in the long wavelength modes. So, things that are 60 degrees apart on the sky look homogeneous. Well, maybe they’re homogeneous because of this dilutional smoothing. Another weird thing is there’s a quadrupole then an octapole. One has four maxima coming around its circle. The other has in effect eight. And what’s odd is they’re lined up with one another, Jim. So picture a drumhead with four maxima coming around an eight, the thing with eight and the thing with four can line up with four maxima of one lined up with four of the maxima of the eight, right?

Jim: And when you say lined up, explain that a little better for me.

Stuart: Just imagine you got two drumheads and one’s got four maxima coming around, and the other’s got eight. Imagine you can rotate one drumhead on top of the other. You can clearly line up the four maxima of one with four of the eight of the other. Now try it if one’s got three coming around and one’s got five, you can’t line them up. They’re relatively prime. So this is a very interesting location and it’s known that the octapole and the quadrupole, they’re both planar and they’ve oriented their axes pretty much in line. Nobody knows why. Well, this may be why. So then you can explain that feature.

A third feature is, each mode has a coupling to the one that’s just after it that you can’t explain. It’s called LL plus one coupling, but mathematically, you treat the modes as independent modes and you’ve ignored dilutional homogenization. Can we explain the LL plus one coupling because of this dilutional homogenization? The dipole is really there, so the dipole is anti-symmetric, right? It’s high at one end and low at the other end. Well try averaging that with something that’s symmetric like the quadrupole or the octapole. You can’t get rid of the dipole by averaging it with something that’s symmetric.

Can you sort of see that intuitively?

Jim: Maybe.

Stuart: That may explain why we still have a dipole, maybe. And the final thing is the odd modes have more power than the even modes. And that may be because you can line up the even mode peaks better than you can the odd modes.

Jim: How about this? See if not only odd and even, but see if the prime and not prime odd modes have a difference under your hypothesis, there ought to be a difference.

Stuart: The prime mode should really not do much of anything.

Jim: And then the ones that are odd, but non-prime should have a different statistic.

Stuart: Like 15, right?

Jim: Or nine. Good old nine, right?

Stuart: Yeah, right, exactly so. Can we actually see that? So the big idea is this weird dilutional smoothing. So do we need as many amplifications of the universe as in standard inflation? Meanwhile, the standard models of inflation never end. And you get infinite inflations and infinite pocket universes and those infinite pocket universes that Verlinde and others predict you have no matter in them. But, if this is right you can’t get a universe without matter. So those are ruled out, and here inflation ends. So those are the main things to be said. I’m going to summarize in a minute. There’s two other big topics. Is it possible if matter creates space-time to get rid of singularities? So matter is getting infinitely dense, but it’s also creating space-time. Could that obviate singularities? I don’t know, but it’d be neat to see if that’s to get rid of singularities also.

Jim: Now, which singularity do we want to get rid of? Do we want to get rid of the origins-

Stuart: Black hole singularities. Well, general relativity fails because it predicts singularities.

Jim: And, they don’t obviously go to singularities. They get very, very small. They have a diameter. Black holes have a diameter, right?

Stuart: There’s a predicted singularity inside of black holes where general relativity fails. Is it the case that if matter constructs space-times it obviates the formation of the singularity? Because as you get closer to the singularity space-time is somehow expanding faster than it’s contracting conceivably or conceivably not. But at least it’s interesting.

Jim: Well, if space-time creation is a function of density of matter, then it should go up very rapidly as you approach the otherwise singularity.

Stuart: No, it should. It should go to infinity fast. The question is mathematically, can you show that when that happens and time slows down somehow, but quantum processes slow down, could you show you don’t get a singularity? And I’m going to tell you the final thing to think about. Cold dark matter explains the cosmic web. So if we are explaining galactic rotation curves and we explain clusters of galaxies as well, this is becoming cosmology. We’re getting dark matter, dark energy, inflation. How do we get the cosmic web? We might. So one more not detailed, Jim, just remember picture slide nine. Remember that? It was yellow, then orange, then yellow.

Jim: Yes?

Stuart: Well, orange is if you’ve got a Ricci Soliton, it starts at some radius and it stops at some radius larger. Somewhere in the middle, the rate of expansion of the Ricci Soliton has to be a maximum. Call that radius R star. Well, that’s where space-time is expanding the fastest. There’s something magical about that.

So here’s the dream. Ignore lambda. Just skip Einstein’s cosmological constants. The loci in the universe of our star is where the universe is expanding the fastest in this theory. Well, we know from MOUND that you could line up adjacent galaxies weekly, therefore you can hope to get, remember we have the capital R inside of which space-time is contracting.

Can we get blue tubes around a set of galaxies? And outside of them we’ll have an R star tube where space-time is expanding the fastest kind of in a tube around a line of galaxies. Well, now imagine we’ve got more than one tube and they intersect one another. Jim, I’m wondering if this is like the fault lines on the earth where what you get fault lines form along geodesics and they meet in three joins. The cosmic web, the lines of galaxies are really straight for a long megaparsecs, and the dark matter lines meet at three joins. Are we looking instead maybe at these tubes, the R star tubes where the universe is expanding the fastest? And is that the architecture of the universe? Maybe. That might be provable too.

Jim: Well, that would be, at least you could simulate it and see if that emerges from some reasonable initial conditions. I don’t know if you could prove it, but you could at least simulate.

Stuart: And the other thing is the following. This R star says you’d expect velocities to be a lot faster than you thought because matter is expanding space-time. They’re called peculiar velocities. And one of the crises that apparently is confronting lambda CDM is there’s some peculiar velocities that are really large and people don’t know what to do with them. That might fall into place too.

So I’m now going to summarize. Remember that I trained as a doctor and I’m really a biologist and I’m really not a physicist, but it’s also really true that outsiders can sometimes make useful contributions, put lots of grains of salt, of doubt about this. But the summary is start with potentia as real from Heisenberg and from Alfred North Whitehead and from Aristotle then potentia are real. Now, start with non-locality is real. Then non-locality is not space-time. Let it be ontologically real possible that are not in space-time.

There’s at least one theory that maps that with a metric among possibles in Hilbert space by von Neumann entropies into a possible way of constructing space-time that maps things from Hilbert space into space-time because they’re entangled with one another. So that’s maybe a theory of quantum gravity that might work, we don’t have one. Given a way in which matter constructs space-time is really true, particle physics are autocatalytic. I trust Philip Ning. We can test it. We can test if our laws are better at autocatalysis than other groups in the octonions. We can test if our values of the constants are better at constructing a universe than other values and rely on some form of cosmic natural selection. And maybe we can even prove that the particles are autocatalytic experimentally given that somehow matter constructs space-time jump to matter to the one-fourth gives us dark matter.

You’ve seen figure 8a. Both of us look at it and say, “Looks kind of encouraging,” right, Jim? It’s hard not to look at that and say you kind of believe the data. Hang off, this is science. If this gets to five sigma and doesn’t disappear, it poses a major crisis for Lambda CDM. It’s a totally new theory of how space-time expands. And it looks like it could be a theory for dark energy, could explain or help the Hubble tension in impossible galaxies. And this weird thing about this dilutional homogenization without causal contact is forced on us if we say matter expands space-time. So a lot of things fall into place and people have ignored MOUND, Jim, because it’s super for galaxies. It doesn’t even quite work for galactic clusters. Ours does for galactic clusters and Stuart’s shown it. This is a pathway to a cosmology that we don’t have.

Jim: I got to say, I’ve had a lot of interesting conversations on the show here, but I don’t think I’ve ever had as an astoundingly large new theory laid out as this. This is a hypothesis.

Stuart: You’re almost driven to it. If you start with non-locality, you got non-locality. You really have autocatalysis informally, in string, in our standard model.

A missing link, Jim, is the following. I have four entangled particles. In the first two theories, quantum gravity did the universe construct itself. Can I derive matter to the one fourth that would link the whole thing? I think maybe I can. I’m going to tell you how I’m trying to do it. I think it might be right. I’m not sure. I want to see what Stuart Moranguay thinks, but it may be very simple. I need four entangled particles to mutually entangle and actualize and keep doing it. So I keep having four entangled particles. That sounds like you need something to the fourth power, right? Well, I got a certain amount of mass density. What to the fourth power is that mass? It’s the fourth root of that density. The fourth route times. The fourth route times the fourth route times. The fourth route is the mass.

Jim, it maybe as simple as that. Or maybe I’m just being stupid. It would help to have somebody say, “Boy, that’s really dumb.” But if it’s not dumb, then the whole thing can link together. And the reason you need four, by the way, to explain it, as soon as you’ve got four dots and joined to the other three, that’s a tetrahedron. And it can be embedded in three-space. Three dots is a triangle on its two-dimensional space. Four dots all connected to one another is a tetrahedron. And what my theory does is it constructs a tetrahedron, then it makes a new vertex that’s connected to three of the old ones. So it builds a new tetrahedron adjacent to an old one.

And I think it makes a Minkowski space-time, which in fact, that growing is, it already is a Ricci Soliton and Stuart Morangue would want me to say something else. He wants to make use of Mach’s principle, which is that you cannot have spacetime without matter. Stuart is doing it from classical physics from the start. Jim, it seems to me that if you base a hope from Mach’s principle on nonlocality, you’re forced to it. You can’t get spacetime without matter. So you get Mach’s principle why starting from Nonlocality. So it’s kind of hopeful. I mean, if it works, it’s wonderful, but it may be a complete crock.

Jim: I’d love to get an update on it in about a year.

Stuart: Yeah, me too.

Jim: All righty. So assuming both of us make it a year, we’ll have you back on the show to give us an update on how this amazing, it’s amazing how they all interlink in a way that’s not absurd.

Stuart: They kind of interlink in a way that’s not so stupid, but it may all be wrong.

Jim: Yeah, exactly. Could easily be wrong. The basic assumption could be wrong, but they interlink in a very interesting fashion. Well, with that note, I want to thank Stuart Kauffman for one of the most interesting episodes we have ever done here on the Jim Rudd Show.

Stuart: Thank you so much, Jim. I’m delighted to have had the chance.