Category Archives: Extraterrestrials

Flat Earth Theory

Flat Earth

Flat Earth

Nobody gives ancient religious leaders or philosophers any credit anymore. They had little in the way of scientific education or knowledge of math and lacked advanced tools that might help them to test their hypotheses, so they did the best they could with what they had. This is to say, they sat around and thought about stuff while their slaves, or congregations, did all the real work.

Let’s look at the Flat Earth theory. We all like to deride those people who we now consider to be foolish for ever having assumed the Earth was flat and for suppressing the science that suggested otherwise. Such was the certainty of the Catholic Church, despite the lack of any biblical mention of geometry, math, or anything related to the possible circumnavigation of the Earth, that it took centuries before scientific proof was accepted. The Flat Earth zealots stuck with their theory until they realized that the bible didn’t specifically preclude the Earth from being round and orbiting the sun and until it also became obvious that people were perfectly able to accept that the previous Popes may have been wrong but that the current Pope is still always right.

Philosophers

Philosophers

Frankly, the Popes were just doing their jobs as they were taught. They were just messengers and we all know it isn’t nice to shoot the messenger. How can we expect someone with no scientific training to believe every would-be scientist or soothsayer who has a new theory? Just because the science indicates something, doesn’t mean it is true until god is ready to tell the Pope that it is. Or for the Pope to finally agree that it is true, since I’m not exactly sure how clear the communications path is between god and the Pope. Sure, they could have followed Ronald Reagan’s friendly advice to “trust but verify” any reasonable new scientific theories instead of “burn the lying blasphemer,” but it all worked out in the end. As far as I’m concerned, the Earth was flat until it was round.

Warping of Space-Time

Warping of Space-Time

Or is it? In the early twentieth century, Einstein showed that space and time were linked and that gravity was a manifestation of the curvature of space-time. We finally had reached the point where the science was good enough to refute the earlier science that just said the Earth was simply round rather than flat and that things fell towards other objects with an acceleration corresponding to their mass. Things no longer just fell, they moved along the curved paths of space-time.

Had ancient religious leaders had Einstein’s insight, I’m pretty sure they would have agreed that the world is indeed flat after all, just as they originally thought. You see, the concept of space-time is just so confusing, and makes so little practical sense, that we have to assume that god created an illusion of roundness simply to prevent people from falling off the edge. He simply could not possibly tolerate the existence of a dangerous flaw in his creation. Consider this. The currently-perceived roundness of the Earth might just be another manifestation of curved space-time.

You know that saying that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing? Well, perhaps a little Newtonian classical physics was just enough knowledge to discredit a perfectly reasonable Flat Earth theory, since it didn’t take warped space-time into account. Thanks Newton. You may have thought you stood on the shoulders of giants, but maybe they were really just midgets after all.

My breakthrough theory, that the Earth may still actually be flat after all, came to me while I was thinking about how the universe isn’t just an expanding sphere as many people may think. Stick with me here for a couple of paragraphs while I go through the proof.

Expanding Donut-Shaped Universe

Expanding Donut-Shaped Universe

The fact that stars are all receding from each other means that the universe is expanding in all directions, or at least appears so. If all matter were flying outward in an expanding sphere, then the stars would not all have to be receding from each other unless we were all sitting on the outside edge of that sphere. That would mean we are actually in a two-dimensional universe, which doesn’t seem right. So, that means the universe is somehow warped in a weird way that might resemble an expanding donut or some other shape we cannot easily conceive.

The space between stars is also warped, which means that the light from a star may actually be seen coming from more than one direction as it passes by multiple massive objects (e.g. stars, black holes) and bends around them. Theoretically, the Earth could be surrounded by starlight that is actually coming from the same star along many different paths through warped space-time. Instead of billions and billions of stars, as Carl Sagan used to say, there may just be billions and billions of refracted images of far fewer stars. We might even be looking at refracted light from our own star.

Alien Genocide

Alien Genocide

The obvious and simple conclusion–and I’m pretty sure Aristotle would be happy to back me up on this–is that god probably made the universe flat, for simplicity’s sake, but also made it appear warped to keep people from flying their spaceships off the edge. Maybe he also made it this way to keep us from ever reaching another star and bumping into some of his hideous and dangerous other alien creations. He might not mind it if humans kill off the rest of his terrestrial creations, or the Earth itself, but it is apparent that he has deliberately made it a lot harder for us to start blowing up his more advanced alien worlds. If there are really billions and billions of other planets out there, there have got to be some less aggressive species out there that are a lot more grateful for the opportunity to spend their days worshipping their god rather than indulging themselves.

Isn’t it amazing how profound and simple the universe can really be if we just realize that there is a difference between reality and perception and that perception is all that should matter to us? Surely, there is no more elegant way to build a universe than to make it appear simple while hiding its innate complexity. Why do we have religion? Religion helps to keep us from thinking too hard about the complexity of reality. It’s easier, and more comforting, to say it is whatever we say it is and just leave it at that.

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Alien Rejects

Alien Tourist

Alien Tourist

Let’s say that you are the member of an advanced alien civilization. Does that automatically make you intelligent and responsible and capable of nothing but goodwill? Does it mean you will faithfully uphold the Prime Directive proposed in Star Trek, which requires you to avoid contact with other civilizations until they have progressed enough to be ready for space travel?

Let’s use a rich, young, beer-drinking jackass in a hot sports car as an analogy. He certainly doesn’t know how the car works, since it was built by many other intelligent and industrious engineers, workers, and automotive robots with the benefit of years of scientific and engineering advances and business competition. He probably doesn’t know how to build the kind of business that generated the money that paid for his car, house, slick clothes, or anything else he possesses. He didn’t build or regulate the roads or do anything else but shell out some cash and hop in, with little regard for other people who are on the road busily going to and from work or doing otherwise mundane chores. He just cranks it up to 100 mph when racing his buddies, tosses beer cans out the window, and generally makes a nuisance of himself. So, do I believe that all aliens are necessarily intelligent or good-natured? Not at all.

In fact, I suspect that there are probably some driving social forces that may even make it more likely than not that any aliens we are likely to encounter will not be model citizens of the universe. Consider Einstein’s theory of relativity, which says that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light and that travel close to this speed, or through space, where there is little mass, slows the relative passage of time. This means that anyone on an interstellar journey will experience the passage of time far more slowly than the others he left behind on his home planet. Since the journey to Earth most likely requires one to abandon any friends or family forever, since they will be long dead before the traveler returned, I suspect that space travel isn’t for everyone. On Earth, it would probably be attractive only to die-hard scientists, social rejects or felons who have nothing else to look forward to anyway. Even if they could take their families with them, what kind of family would actually consent to living in space forever just so they could explore the universe?

Alien Surfer Dude

Alien Surfer Dude

Are you starting to get the picture? In other words, it would be perfectly understandable if any groups of aliens who show up at Earth include a large proportion of social rejects that are looking for a little fun and excitement after their long journey. The aliens who arrive might not even be the ones who originally left their home planet, but instead could be descendants who are really pissed off that they got the raw deal of having to live in an interstellar tin can. Since they probably possess technologies indistinguishable from magic to primitive humans, why wouldn’t they take advantage of it and have a little fun? Certainly, acting like gods would be one of the easiest feats to pull off. A little flying around, levitation, and laser light shows ought to have been enough for our primitive human ancestors. If not, a little mind to mind communication would have been enough to turn any doubter into a frightened, pathetic, little worshiper. When necessary, I’m sure it would have been possible to destroy an entire village or vaporize a particularly annoying ape-man.

However, this is mostly speculation based on the theory that, within any group of creatures, there are likely to be a few smart ones, a lot of average ones, and some very, very dumb ones. I think this theory works well on Earth for most species, but it might not apply to alien civilizations that have had the benefit of genetic enhancement. It is always possible that another million years of evolution or genetic manipulation could change things for us as well. We might all get genetically-modified genes that favor intelligence. Yet, if I had to bet on it, I would probably predict that people will choose artificially-enhanced beauty over brains. Furthermore, at some point, we will have stupendous artificial intelligence algorithms and robots capable of doing all the brain-intensive work for us. It will not be necessary to upgrade the intelligence level of people with average IQs. Even if we tried to transform the entire population into braniacs, how long do you think it would take us to devolve back into morons after we stop using them? So, maybe aliens also aren’t necessarily all that smart.

Wormholes

Wormholes

Einstein and I could also be wrong about the actual laws of the universe. Maybe it is possible to travel faster than the speed of light. Maybe there are worm holes that act as short cuts that allow travel between unimaginably distant planets in a relatively short time span. In this case, the quality of alien likely to show up would be different, but not necessarily any better. Consider the possibility that travel to Earth is actually relatively easy and that any alien can simply buy a ticket for a tour of Earth, hop on a wormhole shuttle, spend some time at a mother ship with a great view of our solar system and a selection of local cuisine (do cattle mutilations ring a bell?), and venture down to the planet on a small tour saucer. In this case, many of them wouldn’t be too concerned at all with the Prime Directive. A couple thousand universal credits slipped into his pocket would probably make any saucer driver willing to go in a little closer than normal or even to land, take a look around, scare some locals, and pick up a few souvenirs.

Many UFO critics say that it just doesn’t make sense that aliens would want to avoid contact, yet be so unconcerned with being seen, photographed, or videotaped by tens of thousands of witnesses all over the planet. I say it sounds perfectly reasonable assuming they are just visiting and just want to take a quick look around. Who’s to say that they have the technical capability to produce a device that can cloak themselves in the spectrum of visible light? They might not have much choice about being seen, so while they may prefer to avoid direct contact, it isn’t that big a deal and it certainly isn’t a reason to mess up their vacation!

Phoenix Lights Size Analysis

Phoenix Lights Size Analysis

Even if the big ships only fly around at night to avoid attracting too much attention from the military, I’m sure they have a good enough night vision capability to make the tour worthwhile. Remember the stir over the Phoenix Lights in 1997 when a huge black triangular ship flew low and slow over the city? The same kind of incident occurred over Moscow and Brussels in 1990. They were most likely a large Earth tour liner. The nighttime view of a lit-up Earth city probably makes quite a site, especially a place with a lot of night life. Maybe we should do a study correlating UFO sightings with highly-commercialized urban nightlife spots. I’m sure that scenic landscapes are probably also popular, but chances are there aren’t too many witnesses in those spots and the people who do see them are easily dismissed as drunks or stupid hicks.

How many people visit the zoo only to discover that the lions are sleeping in a cave or in the bushes and can barely be seen? What if you paid a lot of money to travel there to see them and had to put up with some really disappointed, whining kids? If you had the capability to paralyze the lion, pick it up, and look at it up close, wouldn’t you do it? Maybe some aliens just aren’t satisfied with an overhead tour and want to smell and poke something! Given the number of people who say they have been abducted, maybe there is something to it other than just some sinister plot to steal our sperm and eggs in an attempt to create hybrid human-alien creatures. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that some perfectly normal genetic experimentation or breeding isn’t going on. I’m just saying that a lot of it could be nothing more than good fun initiated by visitors who want to see some real, live ape-men (and women) up close.

Crop Circles

Crop Circles

Speaking of good fun, crop circles are most likely no more than that. Why would someone who intended to pass on an important message do so by implanting it in inscrutable geometric shapes carved into fields of grain? I suspect it really was started by some alien tourists who were just looking to create a little excitement by stirring up the locals. Then, a bunch of copycat humans got involved and pushed the fun to a whole new level, with characteristic human innovation and precision. Hard-core crop circle analysts can still usually tell the difference between alien creations and human ones by analyzing the grain for radiation that causes the grain to burst. This characteristic is extremely difficult to reproduce, not to mention unnecessary if all you want to do is get your creation into the newspaper or attract tourists.

I’m just wondering if all that human crop circle activity has amused or annoyed the alien inventors of the sport. After all, some of those allegedly human-created shapes are pretty amazing. I would hate to be the alien who gets teased by his buddies for making a lame, boring crop circle that gets little attention and is bested by a couple of humans with sticks and ropes. It might make them mad enough to sneak up in the middle of the night and scare the hell out of someone!

Alien Tourism

Alien Tourism

Alien Politics

Roswell UFO Crash

Roswell UFO Crash

Many people believe that an alien craft crash-landed at Roswell, NM in 1947. The main problem I have with this has nothing to do with the existence of extraterrestrials, the possibility that they may have been visiting our planet for thousands of years, or the probability that our own government has decided to cover up the evidence for our own peace of mind. Covering stuff up is, after all, something the government is used to doing and does fairly well when it comes to perceived national security issues or illegal activity by government officials.

The main problem I have with the Roswell incident is that I don’t understand why an advanced alien civilization would not have immediately sent out a search and rescue party to recover the bodies and ship debris and, if possible, clear out the memories of anyone involved in the discovery. There could be many explanations for this, so let’s do some postulating.

UFO Observing Earth

UFO Observing Earth

With the rise of smart phones and GPS, we have become pretty good at locating each other. I would expect a super-advanced alien civilization to be even better at locating each other precisely, so there shouldn’t have been any question as to where the ship went down. If we can build an accurate GPS system, they’ve got to have something much, much better.

On the other hand, what if they don’t need all the technological gadgets that we do? We developed GPS mainly so we could do a better job of spying and dropping bombs on each other. Maybe that just isn’t a concern for them. Maybe they really can communicate via telepathy, or via some kind of biological communications technology embedded in their brains, so they don’t need some artificial tracking device to tell them where their buddies are. Besides, would tracking devices even work through wormholes or during time-warping travel? Telepathic aliens  might normally be in contact at all times, so it could be that there just isn’t any market need for tracking devices.

UFO Crash

UFO Crash

What if the ship that crashed at Roswell was disabled before they could send out a telepathic or technical call for help. Maybe the mother ship really didn’t know where they were until the local Air Force base announced the discovery and it was broadcast over the radio.

Roswell Newspaper Story

Roswell Newspaper Story

By then, enough damage had been done and perhaps it would have been too difficult to try and retrieve the bodies that were being examined by military officials. Perhaps aliens have some physical weakness and were afraid to confront too many soldiers with guns. I doubt that extraterrestrial explorers would have much need for specially-trained SWAT/special forces teams to execute covert snatch/grab operations.

Alien Attack

Alien Attack

But somehow, I doubt that our visitors would be totally helpless. Wouldn’t they at least have advanced robotics that could go into harms way for them? How do they explore hostile planetary environments that do not support their form of life? Humans are already sending robots to explore the most distant bodies in our solar system, so why wouldn’t aliens be able to do this too? Besides, there are plenty of reports of alien abductions where people have been paralyzed by an unknown force while they are kidnapped and examined or experimented on, with their memories mostly wiped except for flashbacks and dreams. So, why didn’t this happen … or did it? Maybe there is no evidence because it was later retrieved.

One might envision a scenario would go something like this.

“Captain Kloop reporting from Earth station Alpha. We just had a Grey harvest ship go down on the planet. Two are dead and one is in critical condition. The ship is a total wreck. The ape-men have already spotted the wreckage and several hundred of them are swarming over the area, so we can’t launch a quick recovery mission. We’ll have to wait until they relocate the bodies and plan out a snatch mission after nightfall. We may need a full squad of our best teleparalyzers, some kinetic beamlifters, and a recovery sweeper. Hold on, we’re picking up an ape-man broadcast announcing the crash. We’ll probably have thousands of reporters and other natives swarming over the area in a few hours. We’ll have to get some guidance from the Terrestrial Preservation Committee first.”

Men in Black

Men in Black

“Since it was just a low-tech Mini ship and it’s pretty smashed up, the committee decided to leave it up to the federal ape-man liaison group to cover up the news and retrieve the ship and its crew. We’ll notify the men in black to start working the issue.”

Using humans to work on their behalf would be a natural way to deal with any terrestrial situations that arise. Human empires have always installed colonial authorities mostly run by native peoples as an effective way of governing the locals. Why wouldn’t aliens make at least some use of humans to help them achieve whatever aims they might have? Some believe they even grow their own humans.

On the other hand, perhaps nobody came to recover the craft. What if the ship was exploring on its own and was therefore not in touch with a nearby mother ship? Maybe alien cultures have poachers and smugglers just like us. They could have been on an illicit mission that was not sanctioned by the governing authorities, or maybe there are no governing authorities.

Cowboys and Aliens

Cowboys and Aliens

They could have been looking for gold, or cow blood, or Earth collectibles. Maybe Earth is a wildlife preserve that is supposed to be protected for approved scientific research only and they were breaking the rules. If this were the case, maybe nobody knew that they were even there, never mind that they crashed.

Who knows what kind of alien politics could have been going on behind the scenes after the Roswell crash? Speaking of the Men in Black, could one of these buildings be their present or future headquarters? The Pentagon just doesn’t cut it anymore–it’s just so … 20th century.

GCHQ Headquarters

GCHQ Headquarters

 

Apple's Proposed Spaceship Headquarters

Apple’s Proposed Spaceship Headquarters

Alien Contractors

Aliens Built the Pyramids

Aliens Built the Pyramids

Some people claim that aliens must have helped our ancient ancestors build the great pyramids of Egypt since we can’t figure out how they could possibly have lifted blocks of stone weighing up to 30 tons. If we can’t do it, they reason, aliens must have done it. But why would an advanced alien civilization agree to build gigantic stone monuments for the pharaohs? What was in it for them?

Let’s assume that an alien spacecraft really did visit the ancient Egyptians and its passengers were worshiped as gods. If they were to help build the pyramids, they would have had to meet with the pharaoh and his assistants to discuss the project and coordinate their efforts. Gods don’t usually discuss design plans, as far as I know, but let’s just say they did. The pharaoh would have been a fool if he didn’t make sure he had a design he could be proud of and could complete the project within his lifetime. Presumably, there would have been a lot of groveling and worshiping and Pharaoh would have had to promise something in return for the help. Maybe he would dedicate the structures to them. But this doesn’t appear to be the case. While there are hieroglyphs with stories about the gods, there is nothing specific enough to indicate that they made a major contribution to the project.

What else might some aliens want in return? Sacrifices? I think it is doubtful they would have enjoyed such a brutal, primitive ritual. People to experiment on? Again, I’m sure they could picked up as many human or animal subjects as they would have needed without the assistance of the locals. Food? Again, no need to do that much work for some moldy bread or bacteria-contaminated animal flesh.

Ramps and Pulleys

Ramps and Pulleys

Recent archaeological accounts indicate that a community of thousands of workers, not slaves, lived on the pyramid construction sites and were used to build the pyramids, so if aliens really did help, they obviously didn’t do all the work. Maybe they only did the heavy lifting, while the Egyptians did the design, excavation and polishing of stones, and various other details. If this is the case, then the aliens would have probably been nothing more than a contractor whose duty it was to lift heavy stones and move them into place under the direction of human architects. One would assume they could have used their technology to help with excavating and polishing, but then what would have been left for the thousands of workers to do? No, at the very most, they must have taken a more limited role or there would have been no need for an army of workers laboring for decades.

Ropes and Pulleys

Ropes and Pulleys

But if the alien role was that limited, then why would they even agree to do it in the first place? It’s hard enough to get one human contractor to come to your house to do one small project, never mind getting interstellar travelers to stop by for 10 minutes of work, even if it is fun to see thousands of locals watch in amazement and then fall to their knees in worship.

Crop Circles

Crop Circles

Why not at least ask them to spend a few minutes using their high-powered energy beams to carve exquisite patterns into the stone, like the crop circles of the past few decades? Would that have been too much to ask, or did these aliens take no pride in their work? Were they just lazy? Granted, the pyramids are accurate to within a couple of inches in length per side, but is that really the most impressive thing we could expect from an advanced interstellar civilization? I don’t think so.

Leverage

Leverage

After reviewing the available evidence and assessing the likelihood of alien assistance, I’m left with only one conclusion, even though it may be impossible to believe. Perhaps our ancestors really did figure out how to do some things that we still can’t! I know it sounds even more ludicrous than alien help, but what can I say? The latest evidence suggests that paid workers, not slaves, built the pyramids and that there were only 5,000-10,000 of them. There are plenty of theories about how they were built, but no consensus yet. Current attempts to demonstrate lifting and construction techniques show no completely convincing methods for how 30-ton blocks could have been lifted and placed using standard human or mechanical means. One theory even suggests that they were 90% built from rubble, not from solid blocks, which certainly would have been much easier.

Coral Castle

Coral Castle

If we were to stick enough engineers in the desert with nothing else to do and nothing but sticks, stones, and human labor, I suspect they would eventually figure something out. Could it be that Edward Leedskalnin, the sole builder of the 1100-ton Coral Castle, in Florida, was right about how the ancient Egyptians built the pyramids and managed to move huge stones all by himself? Unfortunately, he took the secret with him to the grave in 1951, before anybody could convince him to give it up. Anybody else want to give it a shot?

Alien Take-Out

When you visit a foreign country, one of the things you probably look forward to is sampling the local cuisine. Those of you who don’t like to try new things probably end up eating at McDonalds or the local Chinese restaurant. Yes, they are everywhere. But one thing that you don’t do is bring all your food with you. Maybe some gum and a couple of treats, but that’s about it.

Alien Cuisine

Alien Cuisine

Now imagine an alien spaceship just arrives at Earth after traveling light-years across space-time. If they are explorers who just happen to bump into us, they probably have a big store of food and drink to keep them going for a while. After all, the spacing between stars in our neighborhood is pretty wide, so they would have to be prepared for a long trip. We may not be in the country, but we’re definitely in the outlying suburbs of the Milky Way galaxy. But if this ship is just one of a constant stream of scientists, tourists, missionaries, or who knows what, they probably wouldn’t carry more food than they are sure to need before they head home. They might bring enough for a round-trip journey and a brief visit, but for how much longer? Unless they have developed the technology to recycle everything back into food and drink (yes, you know what I mean) or turn space dust into food, they would eventually need to forage for sustenance or go home. I’m betting that many an alien has decided to stay longer than originally planned and needed to turn to the locals for food.

How would they manage this? The Earth is certainly abundant in resources, but they would have to either land and steal some fresh food every day or two, or gather seeds to plant in the gardens of their mother ship, or find a way to buy it. My first thought was of the crop circles. What a great way to farm for grain while leaving pretty pictures behind to keep us distracted. The problem is that the grain is never removed; it is just mashed down and left with some electromagnetic residue. Then I thought about the cattle mutilations. But since they don’t actually take the meat with them, it must just be some curious alien hunting activity where they use blood-vaporizing weapons instead of the expected flesh-destroying laser guns. Or maybe they only remove the blood because that is what they like best. Talk about a sci¬fi horror movie.

Human Food Pyramid

Human Food Pyramid

No, I think that aliens must either be stealing from our farms or have set up a front corporation for purchasing their favorite foods. After all, who would want to settle for corn, potatoes, and cow blood when there is so much more interesting stuff available? I still remember some sci-fi book about aliens visiting Earth and falling in love with ketchup. They just couldn’t get enough of it and had no equivalent to the tomato on their planet, so every time they met with humans, they would stock up on ketchup. Sounds plausible to me!

With advanced alien technology, they would certainly be able to either counterfeit our money or set up a technology company to design and sell some new gadgets to earn it legally. Of course, they would probably need to abduct some human babies and raise them with their own so they would have some genetically genuine humans to infiltrate into human society. Ah, yes, are you thinking what I am? The men in black! It just can’t be a movie–it’s just too obviously a perfect plan for infiltrating the Earth. So, if men in black exist, they are probably here, first and foremost, as food purchasing agents. After that, they could be tasked to assist with abductions, conduct close-up anthropological studies on humans, and do whatever missionary work they may be inclined to pursue. If they did want to study people, they would probably want to get into public opinion research or psychology. If they wanted to do missionary work, well let’s just say we need to keep an eye on the Scientologists.

Food Conglomerates

Food Conglomerates

So, basically what I’m saying is, that we need to be on the lookout for a technology company that purchases a variety of food products and does a lot of research on human behavior or opinion. You might think that the research topics would be pretty profound or complicated, but I would bet they are more likely to be stupidly obvious. After all, they are from another planet and might ask some fairly stupid questions at first. Haven’t you ever heard about some research study that was investigating something that everyone already knows the answer to? There could be a good reason for this.

Oh, and they probably would want to get into pharmaceuticals because it would just be so easy and profitable. With no need for research and development into the drugs they probably already have, it would just be pure profit. Plus, they would get to run government-approved human clinical trials, where they could do some really sneaky testing and maybe some genetic manipulation. The best thing would be that only the top leadership of the company would have to be alien-raised. The rest of the company could consist of ordinary human employees. So, if your CEO seems to be a bit whacked out, eccentric, or reclusive and is getting the company into all kinds of unrelated business lines, you may be working for an alien conglomerate.

As for the food, it would probably be delivered to some isolated warehouses where it could be picked up at night and brought back to the mother ship.

Souls on Speed

Navigation by Earth's Magnetic Field

Navigation by Earth’s Magnetic Field

Nobody knows how the brain may (or may not) work to create what we call consciousness. We do, however, know that the brain tissue of many animals and humans have magnetic properties and that anything with magnetic properties can create or interact with electromagnetic fields. These properties enable many creatures to navigate using the Earth’s magnetic field, but are there other ways in which our bodies can interact with energy fields?

If we have a soul, one might hypothesize it must be made of some form of energy or at least appear as energy when it interacts with living beings. If it were made of matter, we might be able to detect and measure it. Some investigators have actually even attempted to measure the weight of the body before and after death to determine if the departure of the soul results in a loss of weight, but the results have been inconclusive not to mention weird to the friends and family of the deceased. Imagine agreeing to put your loved one on a scale and waiting patiently for him to die. No kisses goodbye. That would mess up the results.

Speed of Light

Speed of Light

If souls are made of energy, they should be limited by known physical laws, such as movement at or below the speed of light. Of course, there is evidence that entangled particles may be able to travel faster than light, so this question has not been resolved. If energy-based souls could move instantaneously anywhere, why don’t we have any reports of contact with deceased extraterrestrial souls? After all, considering the size of the universe, most people believe that extraterrestrial intelligence must exist and merely disagree about whether or not they have visited Earth yet. If they do exist, why wouldn’t they also have souls that, after death, could travel and communicate with the living?

Let’s think about the possibilities. Either there are no extraterrestrials anywhere in the universe, or there are extraterrestrials but they don’t have souls, or the souls of extraterrestrials are indistinguishable from those of humans, or extraterrestrial souls are limited to the speed of light (or have some other limit) and just have not made the journey to Earth yet. I realize I’m getting into some very freaky thought experiments that may sound a bit “out of the box.” However, considering that quantum mechanics and string theory are just as weird, but are now considered mainstream physics (i.e., within the box), the box is now much bigger than you think!

If souls are not limited to the speed of light, do they follow some other law that enables them to move instantaneously to any location? Do they move through other dimensions that are inaccessible to us? If souls are made of energy, then there must be forms of energy with properties that enable it to self organize. If so, then is it also possible for energy to self organize in an unintelligent fashion? If humans and amoebas can both exist, then why not both complicated and simple organizations of energy?

Ghost Cat

Ghost Cat

Some people believe that ghosts (spirits) are just the remains of energy linked to a physical location. Could this be some form of self-organizing energy with limited intelligence? Could it be a form of energy that is able to mimic living creatures when they exhibit strong emotional states such as love, hate, fear, or sorrow? Can energy mimic matter like a parrot can mimic human speech? Can organized energy be disorganized or destroyed (and I don’t mean with holy water or a few religious chants)? What is the specific form of energy and does it have a specific frequency range or pattern that can be detected?

Is good or bad luck a property of energy that can be transmitted to humans through contact? Can good or bad luck be stored in amulets or cursed artifacts? Obviously, I think we still have a lot to learn about the nature and composition of life. Will questions such as these ever be explored by scientists?

Prehistoric Webcam

Earth from the Moon

Earth from the Moon

The acknowledgement of extraterrestrial life would might be a shock to religion, but it could be the best thing that ever happened to historians and archeologists. If alien cultures have computing and storage technology that has been following Metcalf’s Law (or whatever they call it) for the past 100 million years, they would have the potential to record and store a complete audio and video record of Earth’s history in their archives. Even if they didn’t bother to record Earth history, they still might have the technology to chase down the light that left Earth a million years ago. Let’s say the aliens traveled across a million light years of space-time to get to Earth. That means that, with advanced optical sensors and recording equipment, they might be able to capture a partial record of Earth’s history as it travels across the universe in the form of light. If they travelled here via some weird bends in space-time, maybe that light is already heading back towards Earth right now!

Light paths through space-time

Light paths through space-time

Einstein proved that space and time are interlinked, so the universe is not uniform in shape. It is not shaped like a sphere or a disk or anything with uniformly-shaped geometry. A beam of light leaving Earth would be lensed by grativational forces that would cause it to travel on a winding journey around other solar systems, black holes, and other clusters of matter or antimatter with sufficient gravitational force to bend space-time. If it were fortunate enough not to hit a dead end in the form of a black hole, it might even loop back upon itself given sufficient pull from a massive object or given enough time and space to gradually move drift one direction rather than another. Who knows where the light from Earth’s history has traveled or how it could still be used?

How Big is Life?

Galaxy in Hands

Galaxy in Hands

Intelligent life should be abundant throughout the universe, according to the Drake Equation. However, for humanity to encounter intelligent extraterrestrials, the Fermi Paradox suggests that several conditions have to be met. We must exist during the same time period, we need to be located close enough within the universe, and we need to be within a reasonable size range in order to be visible to each other. The least comprehensible of these three conditions is that of size. How big or small can life get? Is it possible, as in the movie Men in Black, for an entire galaxy to be as small as a marble to us (microscopic) or for us to be a mere speck within a greater (macroscopic) realm?

Let’s look at it another way. Our bodies are composed of many molecules built from atoms that are mostly empty space. Those atoms have a nucleus with electrons circling at a great relative distance from that nucleus, and are themselves composed of additional sub-atomic particles. So, from the viewpoint of a sufficiently small creature, we would look mostly like open space with many clusters of matter around which other pieces of matter revolve. When I was in high school, scientists were just beginning to discover subatomic particles. Now, such particles continue to be identified or postulated, but nothing that looks like a teeny tiny spaceship. Still, if it were sufficiently small, it would of course go unnoticed.

The point of this discussion, however, is that it is hard to say what life looks like from too small a scale or, for that matter, too large a scale. The collection of atoms that make up the bacteria, skin, flesh, blood and bones within our bodies would not show any apparent relationship to each other. They might not even appear to be static assuming they are continually recycled into new molecules as the body replaces itself. It would, in fact, be impossible to discern the structure of that life form or to interact with it in any meaningful way, especially if the time scales involved were also out of proportion. So, what makes something alive? Could the universe itself be alive? Could the component parts of our bodies be alive at the subatomic level?

Gut-Brain Connection

Gut-Brain Connection

We already know that the bacteria within our bodies constitute a major ecosystem that affects our physical health and most likely even the functioning of our minds, including our thoughts and behavior. In effect, we have an entire small universe of life within our own bodies.

We believe that DNA contains a pattern of instructions for the creation of life, but have no idea how those instructions are implemented. Instructions, after all, have to be followed according to a perfectly timed plan that converts raw material and energy into something new. Instruction books can’t build things by themselves, so when an egg is fertilized, what uses the information within the DNA to create a new life? If there is some vast universe of life within a single strand of DNA that is responsible for the creation of life, then that life form must be abundant and functionally identical within every atom and molecule.

Could human life also be a common and abundant form of life in a universe that itself is growing into a greater life form, much like the bacteria within our own bodies? Do we exist merely to play a role in the development and reshaping of our solar system and galaxy as a step in the creation of a greater form of life? Is it the “manifest destiny” of all intelligent life forms to develop social skills and technologies that enable them to expand throughout the universe? If so, are we here to create, transform, or destroy?

Am I talking crazy now or did I reach that point a long time ago? In any case, do these questions even matter? If we are a part of a greater life form or if we are composed of a nearly infinite number of incredibly tiny intelligent life forms, we’ll never know because it is beyond our scale of time and space to be able to comprehend. We’re back to the question of why life exists at all and how and why it continues to transform.

Invasion of Virus DNA

Invasion of Virus DNA

Back to the size of life. Scientists are now coming to realize (or at least hypothesize) that most of the life on the planet consists of viruses. Yes, those simple, tiny things that have not quite been considered alive, yet can affect us in profound ways. Craig Venter, one of the first inventor entrepreneur to use machines to sequence the human genome, has been traveling the world collecting and documenting new viruses (among other things) and is finding that the number of different types is astounding. A recently discovered virus, the Mimivirus, is so large and complex, that scientists are reexamining all previous assumptions about them. Viruses may actually be responsible for the evolution of humanity.

Viruses may be the original body snatchers. You see, some viruses can actually alter human DNA. That’s right, they are actually altering the DNA in your cells and, as they spread throughout your body and as the altered cells reproduce, a new set of DNA is propagated throughout your body. Remember how a human was transformed into a half¬-human, half-fly creature in the movie The Fly? Thinking about having my DNA altered, whether inadvertently by a virus or through deliberate Gene Therapy gives me the chills!

The Prime Directive

The Prime Directive

The Prime Directive

Most of humanity still believes that it is superior to the other creatures on the planet and that animals are here for our use. Clearly, we are superior in intellect, linguistic skills, and tool-making ability, and the bible implies we are the only creatures with a soul. So, for the most part, we ignore evidence that many animals have intelligence and emotions not necessarily too dissimilar from our own. Elephants, chimpanzees, dogs, cats, and many other animals have shown the ability to feel what appears to be love, anger, fear, happiness, boredom, excitement, depression, compassion, and pain. They have shown the ability to recognize individuals, to sense our various emotional and physical states, and to care for and help us.

Charles Darwin was one of the first scientists to write about the existence and nature of emotions in non-human animals. Yet, scientists do not generally agree on the extent of these emotions because there are no widely accepted, objective scientific tests that can conclusively prove their existence one way or another and we lack the ability to communicate with animals in a sophisticated way. However, anyone who has ever owned a pet, worked with primates, or read compelling anecdotal accounts or anthropological studies on such creatures understands that these emotions are present. Two excellent books addressing the evidence of animal intelligence and emotions are Dogs Never Lie about Love, by Jeffrey Masson and A Reason for Hope by Jane Goodall. Rather than restate their extensive and compelling evidence, let’s just assume that animals, to a varying degree, are intelligent and possess emotions.

The fact that we continue to look for evidence of intelligent life on other planets while we virtually ignore the intelligent life on our own is curious. Sure, we may be the only creatures here who have a sophisticated method of communications and the resultant ability to share knowledge. But what if intelligent life on other planets is so far advanced over our own, that they have absolutely no interest in us? Even if they could find a way to communicate with us, would they even care to do so? What would be the point? The chance that there is something they can learn from us would be negligible and what would be the point of trying to teach us about their way of life? Maybe we are just too violent and limited in intelligence to even benefit from their teachings.

Alien species may be as far advanced above humans as we are over chimpanzees. Do humans try and communicate with chimpanzees in an attempt to establish a code of behavior appropriate for a creature of our higher intelligence? We have taught some how to use sign language, but do we believe they have rights equal to those of humans? Have we tried to develop and teach them a code of chimp behavior? Chimps have been known to initiate brutal attacks upon members of their own group or other groups over territorial disputes or what appear to be simple grudges or jealousy, but do we really care?

Obviously, we don’t care about the lives of most other species. Cats and dogs are partial exceptions, but we still continue to use them by the hundreds of thousands per year to test toxic products and new medicines. Aside from this, we like to take care of our pets, but what about other creatures? If we were ever able to find a way to communicate with insects, would we try and convince worker ants or bees that they don’t have to live as slaves to an all-powerful queen? Have we ever tried to find a way to persuade lion prides to respect clear, negotiated borders rather than fight over land? Do we intercede in the wars between neighboring groups of chimpanzees or gorillas fighting over territory? No. We assume there is no effective way to communicate with them about such things and we are probably right–at least for now. We merely observe, take notes, and remark on how only we humans can resolve our differences through communication, learning, empathy, and caring. Although I can’t really say that has really worked for us so far.

Alien Abduction

Alien Abduction

If we don’t care about the lives of wild animals, what makes us think aliens would care about wild humans? Many people have reported being abducted by aliens and being forced to endure experiments or medical procedures, including impregnation and the birth of hybrid children. Then there is the unexplained yet widespread phenomenon of weird cattle mutilations. If aliens are visiting Earth, it sounds to me like they have a very different concept of human or animal rights.

Remember the “Prime Directive” from Star Trek, which is the rule that humans must not interfere with the internal development of alien civilizations until they are ready for space travel? Maybe the real Prime Directive for alien visitors to Earth is that a species can use and interfere as much as it wants with the development of another species, but should try and keep from getting caught and sparking a global panic.

Alien Visitation Coverup

Alien Visitation Coverup

What would happen if governments of the world confirmed that Earth was being visited by meddling aliens who frequently scoop some of us up to conduct genetic or other medical experiments? Naturally, I think that many would instantly panic. People in isolated rural or suburban communities would feel the most vulnerable even if we were all equally at risk, so there would be a rush to migrate to the cities, leading to overcrowding, violence, food shortages, and unemployment. People would act like cornered animals and attempt to defend themselves by purchasing weapons and setting up 24×7 neighborhood security patrols, even though we know this would be completely ineffective. Criminals would take advantage of a newfound fear of the dark. The transportation system might break down as people started to fear traveling in the dark. We would see a drastic increase in anxiety and tension, which would manifest itself in irrational behavior and create a more dysfunctional society. Is there any wonder why governments have been accused of suppressing and confiscating all evidence of alien visitation?

Eventually, however, society would adapt to the new reality and try to cope. Wasteful spending on homeland security would be replaced by “global security” as the major world powers spend trillions of dollars on useless surveillance and defense technology that the aliens can easily bypass or defeat. The major religions of the Earth will adapt, as usual, to changing circumstances, by clinging to scripture and a belief in god while widening the scope of god’s creation. They may even welcome the aliens as angels sent to test or punish us for our sins, or may consider them demons to be resisted.

In any case, the world will go on and most people will continue to die from disease and car accidents, not from alien activity. Eventually, the nations of Earth will settle down and continue to fight amongst each other over terrestrial resources while a small few plan their migration to the stars.