Does Time Mimic the Double Spiral of DNA?

As science has progressed, numerous mathematical patterns have become apparent in nature. The Fibonacci sequence, for example, governs the formation of a spiral — one of the most basic life structures, yet also the structure of our entire Milky Way Galaxy. The Mandelbrot Set describes a transition from order to chaos, and then back to order in relation to population growth. Gravity itself is also an example of math in nature, as it is the force that governs interaction between all objects and even energies.

Through the study of these patterns, scientists have begun to realize that they can be extrapolated to apply to systems infinitely larger, and infinitely smaller than the system currently being observed. The way the nucleus of an atom is orbited by electrons, for example, shows an extrapolation of gravity from our visible world to the microscopic world.

DNA helix structure

There is one pattern toward which I would like to direct our attention, however, and it is the helical structure of DNA. Scientists have proposed that this structure is formed because of the principle of least exertion. Spiral structures require the least amount of energy to form and add to, yet they still maintain the required structural integrity. According to a research study on the topic, such a double spiral is the most likely geometric system in which time could be graphed and observed. (M.C. Parker, C. Jeynes)

Previous models of time have been sufficient given the context of scientific knowledge at the time. For example, early thinkers such as Aristotle claimed time to be real, and somehow tied to motion. Thinkers after him proposed a linear progression of time, and then a circle, and finally a spiral. Time as a circle accounted for the cyclical realities that are ever present, such as the moon’s orbit and changing seasons. Time as a spiral accounted for these cyclical realities while also acknowledging a continuous forward progression. Time as a double spiral, however, accounts for cyclical realities, forward progression, and the potential of oscillation between two parallel ‘timelines.’ I believe this is the model that science will gravitate toward, for it can begin to explain some of science’s most unexplainable natural phenomena.

The concept of two opposing energy forces governing our lives has been a part of the mainstream worldview for centuries. The yin yang represents this ongoing battle, and it visualizes the presence of good in evil and evil in good. Throughout history, we have turned to religion to answer these questions of human nature. Science could be used to describe how all things came to be, yet it couldn’t be used to describe why.

Instead of attempting to describe the beginning of the spiral — something from which we have become far removed — I believe we should instead use what we know about the progression of time to then extrapolate infinitely backwards. If time indeed follows the geometric pattern of a double helix, we would need to dramatically alter the way in which we observe timelines. Firstly, there would be no ‘Big Bang’ event that started it all, for the spirals would continue down infinitely, or at least to a point of pure entropy. It is common knowledge that events of the past causally impact the present. If we can discover a link between these past events’ position on the spirals to the current events they impact and their position on the spirals, perhaps we can uncover the true mystery of time. Maybe the two spiraling timelines are distant from each other in the present, yet they are attached in the same way as DNA’s helixes.

To look further into this theory, I plan to begin structuring a scientific experiment. With the hypothesis that the progression of time mimics the geometrical structure of DNA, I will establish a set of observational experiments. If you would like to participate, or have some information that could benefit the study, please don’t hesitate to comment!

Journalist, entrepreneur and student - Boston College, University of Otago. Adventurer and consultant for conducting business in Asia. Ethereum tips: muse.eth

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