What if the Universe was a living organism multiplying through black holes? This provocative theory was put forward by American physicist Lee Smolin. According to him, the Universe is a single organism, of which human beings are only one component. But what if the error lies in the method of approach? What if the mysteries of the Universe are hidden in biology instead of physics? Imagine a cosmos that is a living entity, a complete organism of which we humans are only a part.
In this vision, galaxies, black holes, stars, quasars, nebulae, planets, humans and animals would serve as components of a giant living being. The ideas presented by Smolin are not entirely original: the Greek philosopher Anaxagoras argued for the existence of an ordering intelligence, the Nous, capable of eliminating primordial chaos. After him, other distinguished names endorsed similar views.

This article touches on different topics than usual but we thought it might be of interest to you.

What Smalin Claims

A few weeks ago, the Universe 7p website reported the concept of a Universe spawning a series of child universes, hidden beyond the horizons of black holes. Wikipedia illustrates that Smolin’s main interests include cosmology, elementary particle theory, quantum mechanics and theoretical biology.
Smolin remains puzzled as to why the Universe seems so predisposed to favor biology. Many believe this points to the existence of a creator who designed the cosmos specifically for human life.

However, Smolin attributes this phenomenon to evolutionary theory and biology, rather than physics or religion. “Natural selection illustrates how the complex structures of life develop progressively”, Smalin says. “Could the Universe have had ancestors? Maybe yes”, he continues. In its evolution, there may have been random variations in laws and, subsequently, a selection of those that favored more complex structures, Smalin suggests. “Cosmological natural selection is the best explanation I have found so far”, he adds.

An image showing universe with galaxy and stars. Red color is dominant. Following Smalin theory.

The Explanation in Detail

To support this theory, it is necessary to assume a mechanism by which the Universe reproduces and mutates in a way similar to the transmission of DNA. Black holes, according to the researcher, are the places where this process takes place.

The Universe, then, is like the sprout of a vast, ever-growing cosmic tree. “In the cosmos, as in biology, there is a population of universes that reproduce through black holes”, Smalin hypothesizes. “The formation of a black hole requires a massive star, as well as huge clouds of cold gas and dust that turn into carbon monoxide”, Smalin explains. “It requires the presence of both carbon and oxygen, elements essential for life”, he continues. “These elements are abundant in the Universe; therefore, the ability of the cosmos to support life is simply a side effect of its reproductive fertility”, Smalin points out.


Physical laws are essential to keep the cosmos “fertile”, which could manifest as a living organism even in places undetectable by humans. Smalin expresses skepticism about the idea of a higher entity that, according to religions, is behind the creation of the Universe: “What we observe as natural laws is, in fact, a world that formed itself”, he notes.
“It is a theory, not a certainty; everyone is free to interpret it according to their own beliefs”, the American physicist concludes.

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