We Are in the Middle of the Universe

When you examine our universe from the smallest scale, which is the Planck length (1.6×10−35 meters) to the largest, which is the observable universe (91 billion light years across), we are in the middle.  And when I saw “we,” I am talking about our cells, or in effect, life as we know it.

It might seem strange, but the living cells inside a human body are smack dab in the middle between the smallest and largest things we know.  Whether that’s luck of the draw or a requirement for life or some other requirement for balancing the universe, we don’t know.  But we do know that generally things are positioned in the universe with design and reason and less by random selection, except for things found in the quantum world.

So, let’s speculate on why life is found in the center of the universe.  It may be the “goldilocks” zone for life to exist.  In other words, it may be the area that is just right for life to survive.  We know that the earth is in a “goldilocks” zone for protecting us from radiation and other hazards within our galaxy.  Our solar system situated about three quarters of the way outside the center of the Milky Way is in a fairly safe and habitable part of the galaxy.  And our earth is in a perfect location within our solar system for life to exist.  Perhaps, the same can be said about the location of our cells within the universe.

The center of the universe might be the safest zone as it is in the middle of two extremes.  Extremes, as a general rule, do not bode well for a fragile life form.  It might be the safest location for life forms.  Life, which would be susceptible to death from extreme environments, must have a safe nest for birth, growth, and development.  Cells and molecules appear to have that nest in a perfect location in the middle of the universe.

Now as the space-time fabric expands, the center of the universe does not change.  Life stays in between Planck length and the observable universe, no matter how much the universe expands.  It would be like placing a line in the middle of a balloon and then blowing up the balloon, watching the line remain in the center as the balloon increased in size.  The same could be said about the universe if it contracted; life would remain in the center if the space-time fabric decreased in size.  If we were on that line, we couldn’t tell if the universe were expanding or contracting.  Only observers from outside our universe could tell which direction it was going.

And whether our universe is contracting or expanding may not matter much for a majority of the time.  However, it may be important if we form a Big Crunch at the end of the contraction period.  That may be a point when life can no longer survive until we go from the Big Crunch to the Big Bang again.  This seems to suggest that the universe is a perpetual motion machine, which makes sense in a closed universe.

Speculation is permitted in a situation when our senses cannot provide us the information we need to answer life’s questions.  Because being in the center of the universe may block us from seeing the whole picture.

Time Reversal

We know very little about deep oceans and the center of our planet.  Clearly, we know even less about our solar system and even far less about our galaxy.  Guess how insignificantly little we know about our universe.  So, how will we ever know what is going on within our universe?  It seems that only our imagination saddled with logic has a chance to succeed in solving this mystery.

For a starter, it is possible that everything in our universe is interconnected.  Einstein’s space-time fabric encases the stars, planets, and other mass, including black matter.  This fabric connects solar systems and galaxies to form our universe.

But the next step requires a giant leap of our imagination.  What could make this space-time universe perpetual?  After the Big Bang, wouldn’t entropy cause the expansion to slow down?  Yet, we know that galaxies are moving away from each other at increasing speeds.  If we do not use our imagination, we can only visualize our universe expanding forever until solar systems end up in a Deep Freeze off somewhere by themselves.  But this would describe an open universe that expands forever with no boundaries, which does not seem likely.

What does appear to be more probable than not is that the galaxies are shrinking away from each other at an increasing rate.  Deflation could also cause a “red-shift” effect as the galaxies were shrinking away from each other.  But how did our space-time fabric go from expanding to contracting?  Well, if there were a significant force, perhaps dark energy, that could cause the space-time fabric to reverse direction, then our universe would be a perpetual motion machine, moving back and forth in time.  Remember, I said this required a giant leap of our imagination.  The space-time fabric would be similar to a balloon that inflated and then deflated.

It all depends on your perspective.  From where we sit, time reversal sounds impossible.  But from outside our closed universe, this movement would appear to be a simple expansion and contraction of the universe just like lungs that first fill up with oxygen and then deflate as the oxygen exits the lungs.  Einstein introduced time as the fourth dimension.  So, the dimension of time could easily move up and down as it expands and contracts.  But like I said, from our perspective, it would appear to be going forward in time and then reverse going back to the past.

Even though this sounds a little bit extraordinary, it may be the best theory we can come up without more evidence.  Here’s the bottom line:  there is no other explanation for being able to see an ancient galaxy, no longer sending out light, that was formed about 670 million years after the Big Bang.  The light from the ancient galaxy would have traveled at the speed of light and thus would have passed us by billions of years ago, never to be seen again.  The light from this ancient galaxy which died billions of years ago would have zipped past our field of vision, since expansion, as a general rule, would have propelled us at less than the speed of light.  In other words, how could we possibly see this light through the Hubble telescope unless we had reversed time and were headed back toward that original light?  When we finally see the Big Bang, it may not be a good thing for us.

Of course this sounds like science fiction, but when you consider time as being part of a fabric, it is logical to conclude that the fabric can expand and contract.  Time reversal may be nothing more than moving from expansion to contraction.  And dark energy, which currently is only a mathematical creation, could be a likely candidate to cause this reversal.

Again this is only speculation, but it is possible that dark energy is intertwined in the space-time fabric, so that it can twist one direction until entropy takes over and then it turns around like a rubber band to unwind in the other direction.  And dark energy could be powerful enough to keep this fabric twisting back and forth forever, first expanding and then contracting.  Even though there is little evidence to support this hypothesis, it is logically creative.

You might wonder why we don’t also reverse our aging or go backwards in time from the 21st century to the 20th century.  The answer is because the time reversal occurred billions of years ago.  We probably have been deflating the space-time fabric in a past-future direction for eons.  Basically, you would detect no difference between aging in the present-future or the past-future.

So, why would we ever be able to see the light from ancient galaxies as we moved back in time?  I don’t have a perfect answer, but I believe that we may be able to see light from ancient galaxies and even the Big Bang itself since that light is encased in the time-fabric.  In other words, as the space-time fabric collapses, our universe will be miniaturized so that we will be able to see the light from current galaxies, ancient galaxies, and even the Big Bang, which then may become the Big Crunch.

This theory of expansion and contraction of the time-space fabric would also comport with this being a closed universe, which is most likely the case.  It is not probable that our universe with its mass interconnected by a space-time fabric has no boundary.  Interestingly enough, quantum theory may assist us at this point.  Even though atoms may not appear to have well defined borders, there is an end point where other atoms come together as building blocks for matter.  As strange as the quantum world is, there still probably are boundaries.  And it may well be that the boundaries between the quantum world and the relativity world explain why we cannot reconcile these two worlds.

Even in living things, cells also have membranes at their outer perimeter that contain everything within.  Separations within our universe and between universes, if others exist, may be quite normal.

Our universe is very likely closed, so why would we limit our imagination to our universe just expanding from a Big Bang?  Contraction also must be considered, which may lead to a perpetual Big Bang-Big Crunch theory.  In effect, we could bang and crunch forever.