Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Randomness and the missing 96 per cent

A direct link to this video is at

junk DNA
DNA that does not code for proteins or their regulation but constitutes approximately 95 percent of the human genome.
- from American Heritage Dictionary
dark energy
A form of energy hypothesized to reside in the structure of space itself, responsible for the accelerating expansion of the universe.
- from American Heritage Science Dictionary

In blog entries like Dark Matter, Dark Energy, Dark Information and Dark Energy, Linelanders, and the LHC we've talked about the astonishingly large amount of the universe that appears to be "missing". In entries like Google, Memes, and Randomness and How to Make a Universe, we've talked about the idea that grouping and symmetry order could be what operates upon the information that becomes our reality to create the universe in which we live. And in blog entries like John Wheeler and Digital Physics, Making New Connections, and Changing Your Genes, we've talked about the quantum physics idea that parts of the past can be changed by our current observation, a fact that seems to defy our common-sense ideas of how the world works.

With all that in mind, here are two facts that might be revealing more about the nature of our reality than we realize:

  • 95% of a human being's genome appears to be random repetitions and noise.
  • 96% of the universe is completely undetectable dark matter and dark energy.

Don't both of those numbers seem much higher than we should expect them to be, yet remarkably similar? With only 90% hidden, even an iceberg has more to show than would appear to be indicated by these two basic facts about our universe and us as life within it!

A direct link to the above video "God 2.0" is at

In entries like Time in Either Direction and God 2.0, we've talked about the patterns that create the world around us from out of a background equilibrium state. Are these high percentages an indication of grouping and symmetry order at work (as Gevin Giorbran suggested) on an underlying fabric which is ultimately random? Could we be seeing evidence of this underlying pattern, which exists not just in the present, the past, and the future, but outside of time completely? If you look up "normal distribution" in wikipedia, you are shown the bell curve, which is the natural result of random generation of data.

The graph shown here is from that wikipedia article. If you add up the dark blue and the medium blue data from this bell curve, you are looking at what is known as "two standard deviations" from the mean (the mean being the exact center of the graph). And what do two standard deviations add up to? Why, 95.4%, virtually right in the middle of the 96% of the universe that is missing, and the 95% of the human genome that appears to be noise.

Does it seem backwards to be looking at bell curves when we're talking about unlikely probabilities? It does if you believe our universe was the inevitable and only outcome possible - in other words, if you don't believe there is a multiverse of universes out there, most with different basic physical laws than our own. I believe that dark energy and junk DNA could be showing us that our universe is not in the center of this bell curve, but on the outside edge: in other words, the least likely parts of the bell curve represent both the reality we are observing, and the genetic outcome that creates us as living creatures. The central part of this bell curve, then, is in the patterns and higher-dimensional shapes that occur in the extra dimensions. For our genome and our universe, the missing/unexplainable 95% makes more sense when viewed from those extra dimensions: but ultimately most of the potential shapes that exist within the omniverse are not connected to our universe, they are connected to the other possible expressions of matter and energy that exist out there within timelessness.

Which takes us back to our old friend, the oft-maligned Anthropic Principle: if we are really thinking about all possible universes and all possible expressions of life, then the one unique universe and the one unique expression of life that we are witnessing here in our little corner of the omniverse is only a tiny subset of a much larger expression of other versions of the possibilities that are out there within the information that becomes our reality, or any other reality.

A direct link to this video for "Infinity and the Boltzmann Brains is at

In entries like Infinity and the Boltzmann Brains, we looked at the random, burbling, fields of indeterminacy that might occasionally generate a partial universe or a partial bit of organized information, from a random collection of quantum outcomes that would (with even less likelihood of success) occasionally coalesce into a universe as complex and detailed as the one in which we live. In God 2.0, we looked at the patterns that create our reality, and how what you name those patterns has more to do with your point of view than what is really happening. Now let's think about this: is the fact that our universe is missing 96% of itself really a very strong indication of the fact that it comes from higher dimensional patterns the sum of which have only a third-standard-deviation likelihood of falling outside of the bell curve of random noise? Randomness and patterns, patterns and randomness - it's all in the way you choose to look at the data.

Let's finish this entry with a song about how unlikely our universe really is when you look at the biggest picture of them all: "The Anthropic Viewpoint".

A direct link to this video for "The Anthropic Viewpoint" is at

Enjoy the journey,

Rob Bryanton

Next: Unlikely Events and Timelessness

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