Maybe the Universe Thinks
There are around 200 billion galaxies in our universe. These galaxies are not evenly dispersed; gravitational force causes them to group together into clusters, and the clusters then combine to form superclusters. Galaxies align along slender “galactic filaments,” which may be hundreds of millions of light-years long, between these clusters. Vast spaces with extremely little matter surround galactic clusters and filaments. The cosmic network resembles a human brain in general.
More specifically, the way matter is distributed across the cosmos is somewhat similar to the way the human brain’s “connectome,” or network of nerve connections, is organised. The human brain has clusters of neurons that are connected by axons, which are long nerve fibres that transmit electrical signals from one neuron to another.
The Italian astronomer Franco Vazza and the neurologist Alberto Feletti conducted a systematic analysis of the similarities and differences between the human brain and the cosmos in a paper published in 2020. They counted the number of structures of various sizes present in both the connectome of the human brain and the cosmic web, finding “a surprising resemblance.”
They discovered structural similarities between brain samples with sizes below one millimetre and the distribution of matter in the cosmos up to 300 million light years. Then, is it possible that our galaxy is just one neuron in the universe’s vast brain? Maybe as we think about our own things, it is reflecting on itself.
Yes, we are unaware of what awareness is. However, we are aware that the only objects in which we have a reasonable degree of confidence can think—brains—have numerous connections and transmit a great deal of data through those connections. High connectedness and quick signalling appear to be conducive to thinking, even putting aside the fact that we don’t fully comprehend consciousness. The idea that the world and the brain have structural similarities
But the universe differs from the human brain in a number of ways, not the least of which is that it grows and that expansion is accelerating. Galaxy clusters would be separating from one another at an ever-increasing rate if they were the universe’s brains, and they have already been doing so for a few billion years.
Signals take a very long time to travel throughout the cosmos, which is another significant distinction. In the human brain, 5–50 messages are sent per second by neurons. About 20% of these signals are long-distance, linking various areas of the brain, while the majority (80%) are short-distance, travelling barely a millimetre or so. Both of us must ponder. Our brain’s messages move at a million times slower speed, or roughly 100 metres per second.
Contrarily, the cosmos is currently 90 billion light years across, and as Albert Einstein once said, nothing moves faster than light. This means that even at the speed of light, it would take 90 billion years for one side of the hypothetical universe-brain to even notice its opposite side. Additionally, it would take at least 11 million years to transmit a single signal to the galaxy cluster M81, our nearest neighbour.
This indicates that, in the best case scenario, since the Big Bang, the cosmos has successfully handled around 1000 connections between its closest neurons. That’s roughly how much our brain performs in 3 minutes, excluding the long-distance connections. Additionally, the universe’s ability to