Douglas Adams was right! (almost)

Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, once jokingly wrote:

There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable.

… it turns out that he may not have been far wrong!

For several years now physicists have been proposing that black holes give birth to new universes. The theory goes like this; when a star collapses, it very quickly squeezes down to almost infinite density, and a black hole is created. Then, at the point just before this star reaches infinite density it bounces back and begins to expand rapidly, forming the Big Bang of a new universe.

But American theoretical physicist Lee Smolin has gone one step further in suggesting that the very laws of nature get rewritten in each new universe, where similar to natural selection, slight changes are passed from parent to child universe. Each new universe is a more evolved version of the previous one. The laws of nature that we observe are not timeless, but are the result of evolution!

Lee Smolin calls this theory “cosmological natural selection”, and it sounds not entirely unlike what Douglas Adams was proposing!

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