A scientist has put forward the extraordinary idea that one of the reasons we haven’t found alien life yet is because the universe is, in fact, an alien.
Caleb Scharf, Director of Astrobiology at Columbia University has postured the theory that perhaps the universe is in fact the ‘brain’ of a hyper-advanced alien race.
Writing in Nautilus, Scharf puts forward the astonishing idea that an alien species could become so advanced that it would be indistinguishable from physics itself.
Now if, like us, this is making your brain hurt just trying to work it out then don’t panic.
Scharf admits that this idea is probably best consumed through the “warped bottom of a beer glass”, and frankly we’re inclined to agree.
Aliens: Hidden in plain sight
In his article Scharf points out that just five per cent of the universe is actually made out of the matter that we know and understand.
A much larger 27 per cent is made from just mysterious completely unseen ‘stuff’.
While the generally agreed idea is that this ‘dark matter’ is made of nothing but weak subatomic particles we still have no conclusive way of describing what it actually is.
Scharf has a different view however:
“Dark matter could contain real complexity, and perhaps it is where all technologically advanced life ends up or where most life has always been. What better way to escape the nasty vagaries of supernova and gamma-ray bursts than to adopt a form that is immune to electromagnetic radiation?” he writes.
How would aliens do this? Oh it’s quite simple really they’d just build themselves a “a dark-matter 3D printer.”
He explains his theory further saying: “The universe does other funky and unexpected stuff. Notably, it began to expand at an accelerated rate about 5 billion years ago. This acceleration is conventionally chalked up to dark energy. But cosmologists don’t know why the cosmic acceleration began when it did.”
Scharf admits that in its current form his theory, and indeed many others surrounding the origins of dark matter are completely unprovable.
Of course humanity being humanity that certainly hasn’t stopped us trying to come up with new ideas no matter how crazy they might seem.