Sara Walker : Life : Lex Fridman

Life energy comes from electrinos and positrinos.

J Mark Morris

Sara Walker is an astrobiologist and theoretical physicist at Arizona State University who is researching the origins of life. This is a great conversation between Sara Walker and Lex Fridman. I have written some commentary after the video.

Sara describes the RNA hypothesis for the origin of life. Let’s take a look at RNA. Wow, Guanine is made with 6,372 point charges.

Here are my unchecked calculations of the point charges comprising key constituents of RNA. I don’t know the veracity of this post, but the author claims around 200 billion atoms to encode the genome. Assuming the average is approximately 350 point charges per atom in each DNA component then that is rougly 70 trillion point charges in the genome. Fascinating.

Here is a hilarious YouTube clip from this episode : Life.

Most of the places in science where we get really stuck is because we don’t know what questions to ask. You can’t answer a question if you are asking the wrong questions.

Sara Walker

Sara is absolutely correct. A major factor is that the shade of the tree of false priors makes it very difficult to find the right questions to ask.

Life has something to do with how information interacts with the physical world. There is some missing explanatory framework for how our universe works and if we understood that physics it would explain what we are.

Sara Walker

In the first assembly steps of structure, shielding of energy is essential for survival. Energy is a critically important resource and it is also highly reactive. The swirling structures which are selected and emerge have a number of properties that may be essential to their survival. Let’s list some of those properties and the dualities of these structures to life-forms.

  • When dipoles capture each other, the lower energy dipole with a larger radius provides shielding of the energy of the inner dipole.
  • Shielding here means standard mundane electromagnetic field cancellation by superposition.
  • Left unshielded, the higher energy dipole would be highly reactive, and hence less likely to survive in its extant structural form.
  • Dipole capture is a form of nesting, with the obvious dualities to life.
  • The Noether core is formed with three nested dipoles.
  • Shielding has dualities to defensive (reaction avoiding) behaviours.
  • The precessing of the lower energy dipoles causes alternating fields that cause the Noether core to fade into the background at certain distances.
  • Dipoles and Noether cores also implement time. Life senses time.
  • Noether cores redshift which has a duality with aging.
  • Noether cores get larger as they redshift to a peak at frequencies lower than microwave and then they get smaller as they continue to redshift. Dualities : maturation and aging.
  • Low energy Noether cores develop wobbly shielding of energy revealing an oscillating mass (as seen in neutrinos). Duality : aging, infirmity, imbalance.
  • Noether cores can receive, store, and transmit energy. Duality : critical life sustaining resources
  • The Noether core point charges are interacting with one another and in some cases themselves. Viewed individually or as an assembly the Noether core embodies self action. As Sara says, “the update rule depends on the state of the machine.”
  • At symmetry breaking points where a point charge velocity change crosses the field speed, @, the update rule for the system changes because above v=@ point charge self action is possible, whereas below v=@, it is not. This point is a bit esoteric, but see Wien’s peak.
  • Bottom line, Noether cores are the number one survivors from any high energy maelstrom (reaction vessel) and standard matter leverages Noether substructres.

I could go on and on imagining dualities. I conclude that these are strong dualities between life and the emergent behaviour at assembly steps 1, 2, and 3 of nature. Nature loves to repeat its patterns at various scales.

@~1:00:00 : Sara discusses the work of her team with Lee Cronin’s team on assembly theory. I recently wrote about how point charge structure emergence maps directly : Lee Cronin : Assembly Theory

@~1:25:00 : The concept of cellular automata has come up several times in the episode. Let’s review the definition.

A cellular automaton is a discrete model of computation.

A cellular automaton consists of a regular grid of cells, each in one of a finite number of states, such as on and off. The grid can be in any finite number of dimensions. For each cell, a set of cells called its neighborhood is defined relative to the specified cell. An initial state (time t = 0) is selected by assigning a state for each cell. A new generation is created (advancing t by 1), according to some fixed rule (generally, a mathematical function) that determines the new state of each cell in terms of the current state of the cell and the states of the cells in its neighborhood. Typically, the rule for updating the state of cells is the same for each cell and does not change over time, and is applied to the whole grid simultaneously.

The concept was originally discovered in the 1940s by Stanislaw Ulam and John von Neumann while they were contemporaries at Los Alamos National Laboratory. It was not until the 1970s and Conway’s Game of Life, a two-dimensional cellular automaton, that interest in the subject expanded beyond academia. In the 1980s, Stephen Wolfram engaged in a systematic study of one-dimensional cellular automata, or what he calls elementary cellular automata.


Gerard ’t Hooft also writes of the cellular automaton interpretation of quantum mechanics. Perhaps I’ll review his ideas in a post one day.

No doubt we will analytically model and simulate aspects of the point charge universe using cellular automaton. However, note that nature has important differences.

  • In nature we need to track two types of things : the point charges which move continuously through Euclidean time and space and the field objects which expand spherically from every location in the path history of each point charge. Nature is not implemented by cells in a grid.
  • Euclidean time is continuous in nature and for every point charge. Orbiting dipoles also implement time in terms of their frequency which can take on discrete quantum values, but also more generally and continuously in terms of the phase shift or velocity of the orbiting point charges. Also, dipoles can decay in a reaction rendering time meaningless for that former structure, but not for the point charges which are off on a new adventure.
  • One can imagine a very effective simulation of point charges that is implemented with discrete fine grained time steps and by keeping track of the locations and velocities of emitted fields of point charges in a grid overlaying Euclidean time and space.

The map is not the territory. The territory is actually continuous at the base level of nature. Cellular automata are useful, but they should not distract us from the fundamentals of nature based upon first principles.

This is the Russian hat I wear — I think there is an ocean of loneliness in the world. I think we are deeply lonely and we are not even allowing ourself to acknowledge that. I think that romantic love and friendship is two people alleviating that loneliness for a brief moment, but its not the full aspect of that loneliness. We are desperately afraid of not existing.

Lex Fridman

I’ve written more regarding the relation of assembly theory to NPQG.

J Mark Morris : Boston : Massachusetts


A brainstorm :

electro : magnetic
electric field : magnetic field
electric field : gradient of electric field
gradient of potential : gradient of gradient of potential
scalar potential : vector potential

Huh. Who knew there was such math built into the term itself? Isn’t it easier to simplify and simply talk about potential and its gradients? Why has science introduced all this complexity?