Why haven't the Borg invaded the Earth yet? I have watched every episode of Star Trek, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise, and myriad movies where the Earth is invaded by aliens. I love science fiction. But it is only fiction and will remain so.
Many people, including renowned scientist Stephen Hawking, are also concerned about extraterrestrials invading the Earth. "To my mathematical brain, the numbers alone make thinking about aliens perfectly rational," said Hawking "I imagine they might exist in massive ships... looking to conquer and colonize whatever planets they can reach."
Last week, late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel asked President Obama about Area 51 and UFOs; and just last May, two top astronomers told Congress that it would be "bizarre if we are alone" and asked for continued funding to detect extraterrestrial life. If you extrapolate "there are a trillion planets in the galaxy," said Seth Shostak, an astronomer at the SETI Institute "That's a lot of places for life." Dan Werthimer, director of the SETI Research Center added "It would be a cramped mind that didn't wonder what other life is out there."
So where is ET? Since the 1960s, Soviet scientists, NASA and others have been searching the cosmos for signs of intelligent life. Scientists estimate the universe contains more than 100 billion galaxies (our own Milky Way alone is home to around 300 billion stars). According to the late Carl Sagan, there should be about a septillion -- 1 followed by 24 zeros -- planets capable of supporting life. Surely, in this lapse of suns, advanced life would have evolved somewhere if life and consciousness were just random accidents. Yet despite half-a-century of scanning the sky, astronomers have failed to find any evidence of life, which our radio telescopes should be able to easily detect.
Scientists note that extraterrestrials should have had enough time to have colonized the entire galaxy. Did they blow themselves up or is the problem more fundamental? In a recent Wall Street Journal editorial, Eric Metaxas wrote, "What happened? As our knowledge of the universe increased, it became clear that there were far more factors necessary for life than Sagan supposed. His two parameters grew to 10 and then 20 and then 50, and so the number of potentially life-supporting planets decreased accordingly. The number dropped to a few thousand planets and kept on plummeting... As factors continued to be discovered, the number of possible planets hit zero, and kept going. In other words, the odds turned against any planet in the universe supporting life, including this one. Probability said that even we shouldn't be here."
Yet, here we are on this warm little planet at just the right time in the history of the universe: The molten earth has cooled, but it's not too cold. And it's not too hot; the sun hasn't expanded enough to melt the Earth's surface with its searing gas yet. Even setting aside the issue of being here and now, the chance of random physical laws and events leading to this point borders on a statistical impossibility.
A scientific theory, biocentrism, provides the explanation -- and predicts we're alone. Although evolution does a terrific job of helping us understand the past, it fails to capture the driving force. It needs to add the observer to the equation. Indeed, "When we measure something we are forcing an undetermined, undefined world to assume an experimental value," said Nobel physicist Niels Bohr "We are not 'measuring' the world, we are creating it."
Cosmologists propose that the universe was until recently a lifeless collection of particles bouncing against each other. It's presented as a watch that somehow wound itself up, and that will unwind in a semi-predictable way. But they have ignored a critical component of the cosmos because they don't know what to do with it. This component, consciousness, is an utter mystery. How did inert, random bits of matter ever morph into Obama or Lady Gaga?
To understand what's going on requires an understanding of how the observer, our presence, plays a role. According to the current paradigm, the universe and the laws of nature just popped into existence out of nothingness. From the Big Bang until the present time, we've been incredibly lucky. This good fortune started from the moment of creation; if the Big Bang had been one-part-in-a-million more powerful, the universe would have rushed out too fast for galaxies to have developed. There are over 200 physical parameters like this that could have any value but happen to be exactly right for us to be here. Change any of them and life never existed.
But our luck didn't stop there. Without a massive planet like Jupiter nearby (to draw away asteroids), a thousand times more asteroids would strike Earth, potentially producing a blast of heat, followed by years of dust that would freeze or starve us to death. Nearby stars could go supernova, their energy sterilizing the Earth with radiation. These are just a couple of things (out of millions) that could go wrong.
The odds of us existing, concluded Metaxas, "are so heart-stoppingly astronomical that the notion that it all "just happened" defies common sense. It would be like tossing a coin and having it come up heads 10 quintillion times in a row."
Loaded dice? It all makes sense if you assume it's us, the observer, who create space and time. Consider everything you see around you. You can't see through the cranium. In fact, everything you experience is a whirl of information occurring in your head. Space and time are the mind's tools for putting it all together.
In their book, The Grand Design, theoretical physicists Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow stated: "There is no way to remove the observer -- us -- from our perceptions of the world ... In classical physics, the past is assumed to exist as a definite series of events, but according to quantum physics, the past, like the future, is indefinite and exists only as a spectrum of possibilities."
We -- the observer -- are the first cause, the vital force that collapses the cascade of past spatio-temporal events we call evolution.
I recently bought a 3D television to watch Avatar and have watched it three times. There may well be a universe where a habitable moon like Pandora really exists, and where extraterrestrial beings like the Na'vi live in harmony with nature. The good news is that -- in such a biocentric universe -- there wouldn't be any humans to invade their world.
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