The Most Important Blog Post Ever?
For a long time it has been of great fascination to me as to how the universe works, how we have come to be on Earth and whether there is someone or something overseeing it all. Perhaps this overseer (or overseers), which some might refer to as God, was also responsible for the creation of the universe. The most widely accepted theory regarding the creation of the universe (as we know it) is the Big Bang. What set off the Bang and why, we will probably never know, but who is to say that this is the first time it has happened? Perhaps the universe has expanded and collapsed again many millions of times before. Perhaps there is more than one universe and this is just one of many in a multiverse.
In a discussion on the martin2k Forum recently regarding a subject similar to this, I was described by someone as an 'agnostic'. According to Google, this word is defined as "a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God". Although that is true to an extent, my actual opinion differs slightly. I actually believe that there *must* be a higher power of some sort. Otherwise, what is the explanation for the universe, this planet and life and what is the reason for the existence of it all? The fact that this planet and its place in the universe so perfectly supports life cannot just be coincidental. There is nothing to say that our planet, Earth, is the only one that can support life and that there are not other beings (aliens, in other words) on these planets that are similar to us. In fact, due to the trillions of other planets that are out there, it is an inevitability.
If all planets were formed at around the same time as Earth, at around 4.4 billion years ago, then it is reasonable to assume that civilisations that occupy them would have achieved the same or similar technological advancements as human beings. As a result they would not yet have developed technologies that allow for faster than light (FTL) travel or teleportation to traverse the vast distances required to visit other civilised planets. Hence this is a possible explanation of why we have yet to have any contact with alien life. We have also yet to discover whether FTL travel or the teleportation of living matter is even physically possible.
One possible way of reaching life on other planets is with radio waves. The SETI@home (search for extra terrestrial intelligence) project aims to process the massive amount of collected radio data that arrives from outer space. Although this has so far been inclusive, we should also consider that Earth too contributes to the radio wave traffic that travels through outer space. Star systems that are over one hundred light years away will now be receiving our first ever radio transmissions. However, there is no way of currently knowing whether this has happened or not. As we have yet to receive anything intelligible, this indicates that there is the possibility that nearby civilisations (if there are any nearby) may not yet have developed the technology to transmit radio signals. After all, we only did so relatively recently.
Just because life on other planets may exist, it does not necessarily mean that it possesses greater intelligence than us. Conversely, if intelligence on other planets is vastly greater than our own, then we might be deemed too primitive to deserve their attention. It could also be that they may view our planet as too badly damaged by humans to be worth invading (should that be their motivation). This is a similar concept to the Federation Prime Directive in the fictional Star Trek franchise where contact would only be made with civilisations that had developed warp (FTL) technology.
As far as us developing FTL technology is concerned, there may be some hope. Albert Einstein described the effect of quantum entanglement in German as "spukhafte Fernwirkung", which translates as "spooky action at a distance". Essentially, quantum entanglement describes the fact that a pair of particles will always have an opposite quantum state (the spin of the particle for example) regardless of the physical distance between them. The potential benefits and importance of this physical fact are of great significance. It could one day allow for this futuristic technology that is currently limited (for the most part) to science fiction could become a reality. Other examples of this technology include quantum computing and FTL communication.
This all goes back to what I was saying before. Is it simply a coincidence that this property of physics just happens to exist? I think not. My opinion is that there is the intention for it to eventually be utilised by us (perhaps once nuclear fusion becomes a reality) to better ourselves. The human race still has a long way to go before this can be achieved - although some progress has been made. The first step would be to stop all wars and work together more effectively, which at the moment may seem a long way off.