The secret life of the Cosmos

A high-level summary of Cosmological Natural Selection as developed by Lee Smolin and Jeff Shainline which provides a naturalistic account for the Simulation Hypothesis.

Aidan Rocke

The evolution of the world can be compared to a display of fireworks that has just ended: some few red wisps, ashes and smoke. Standing on a well-chilled cinder, we see the slow fading of the suns, and we try to recall the vanished brilliance of the origin of worlds.-Georges LeMaître

In the summary that follows, we demonstrate that Cosmic Natural Selection emerges as a corollary of Darwin’s theory of Biological Evolution which maximizes ecological diversity.

  1. In a Universe where there is natural selection for biological diversity we should observe strong selection pressures for intelligence. As a corollary, there ought to be natural selection for technology as well.

  2. In Universes where there is natural selection for technology, a sufficiently advanced civilization should be able to engineer a large number of Black Holes. The implicit motivation being that from the perspective of modern Cosmology, Black Holes may be used to simulate any physical system.

  3. On the boundary of Black Holes, string theorists have found we can simulate practically anything including the Observable Universe. This principle, known as the Holographic Principle, implies that the Observable Universe might as well be simulated on the boundary of a Black Hole by a Kardashev-III civilization.

This high-level analysis motivates the search for mathematical signatures of the Simulation Hypothesis [3].


  1. Smolin, Lee. The Life of the Cosmos. New York :Oxford University Press, 1997.
  2. Shainline, Jeff. Does Cosmological Evolution Select for Technology? Arxiv. 2019.
  3. Tegmark, Max. The Mathematical Universe. Foundations for Physics. 2007.


For attribution, please cite this work as

Rocke (2022, Aug. 22). Kepler Lounge: The secret life of the Cosmos. Retrieved from

BibTeX citation

  author = {Rocke, Aidan},
  title = {Kepler Lounge: The secret life of the Cosmos},
  url = {},
  year = {2022}