If you examine the interconnected galaxies within our universe, it looks like everything fits together neatly within an oval shell, perhaps held together by dark matter and dark energy. If we attribute any life to this entity, it will have to be living inside a closed universe with borders. Because if we have an open universe, headed toward the Big Freeze when stars run out of hydrogen and the lights go out, then there can be no life.
When everything within our universe is running in cycles and orbits, it would be strange indeed if the universe itself did not also have a cycle. We can only speculate on the edges of this closed universe, but it may be restricted by time itself with our universe expanding and contracting as if moving forward in time and then backwards in time, creating a perpetual time and motion machine.
So, assuming that we live in a closed universe, is it alive? Our universe appears to be a large cell with filaments stretching out and connecting the billions and billions of galaxies into superclusters and then into a universal fabric. And there is a life cycle for stars and galaxies as they are born, grow, and die. The universe could have a similar cycle moving back and forth between the Big Bang (birth) and the Big Crunch (death). Of course this cycle may never stop. And the law of conservation of matter and energy seems to prove this. Even though matter and energy may be transformed to something else, these changes will go on for infinity since the total matter and energy within our universe can neither be created nor destroyed.
So, does the universe fit within any of the seven life processes?
(1) Movement. Our universe may be like an accordion, moving back and forth as it expands and then contracts. Or it may be moving in an orbit that is so huge, we cannot see the curvature. But it certainly is moving as reflected by Hubble’s discovery of the red shift. And it is increasing in speed.
(2) Respiration. The universe may not have lungs like humans, but it does have a great variety of chemical reactions to produce energy, which most scientists would admit goes a long way to proving respiration.
(3) Sensitivity. The universe seems to adapt as it apparently detects changes in the environment. As an example, there is a balancing force so that if matter, like hydrogen, is expended through fusion within the stars; there is counterbalancing activity as energy is converted back to hydrogen, probably though fission of other elements in a supernova.
(4) Growth. The universe has expanded from a tiny particle to the billions and billions of galaxies that we see today.
(5) Reproductive. The universe cannot reproduce through sexual activity, but it may be able to pass along genetic information like DNA to all its plants and animals. The universal DNA may be the reproductive aspect for all life within the universe.
(6) Excretion. Even though matter and energy cannot be destroyed within the confines of the universe, it can be transformed into something else that is not a waste product. As an example, when we die, our bodies decompose and the elements and energy from that body become valuable as they are recycled.
(7) Nutrition. The universe does not eat and drink like we do, but it does convert matter into energy, which is the purpose of nutrition. Fusion is an example of the universe converting matter into energy.
After examining these seven life processes, it seems possible, if not probable, that the universe is indeed alive and well. But don’t ask me if it is an animal or a plant. Quite frankly, it may be unicellular like bacteria. But I’m comfortable right now just saying that our universe is more likely alive than not.