We’ve never really seen aliens or have we? We are not talking about conspiracy theories but bearing in mind multitudes of higher complexity. Consider the idea that maybe aliens are the smart puppet masters behind all known laws of physics. Or an even more bizarre idea that maybe aliens themselves are physics. Just when we believed we had an understanding of the fundamental constants of the universe, a new discovery completely changes the game. In this case, the enigmatic ‘Dark matter’ rips off the mask from science as we know it.
Arthur C. Clarke, the famous British science fiction writer, and futurist formulated three adages called Clarke’s three laws.
Out of these, the third law steals most of the spotlight: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
Let’s go back to Cavemen in the Rock ages for a moment. If you gave an iPhone to an ancient cave-dweller, he’d be dumbfounded at the seemingly “magical” device. But given some time an enterprising Fred Flintstone would perhaps start tweeting and Snapchatting. Now let’s make it a little more complex. Imagine a technology so advanced and comprehensive that it’s not even detectable as technology, or even considered magical.
In 2016, Caleb Scharf, the director of astrobiology at Columbia University director described a breakthrough concept in an article for Nautilus: “Just maybe, aliens are so advanced that we can’t tell them apart from the laws of physics”.
As far as exciting possibilities go, it doesn’t get more extreme than hypothesizing that, maybe everything that ever existed anywhere as a whole is itself alien intelligence. It’s possible, right?! According to Scharf, “Presumably life doesn’t have to be made of atoms and molecules but could be assembled from any set of building blocks with the requisite complexity. If so, a civilization could then transcribe itself and its entire physical realm into new forms. Indeed, perhaps our universe is one of the new forms into which some other civilization transcribed its world.”
Scharf explains “After all, if the cosmos holds other life, and if some of that life has evolved beyond our own waypoints of complexity and technology, we should be considering some very extreme possibilities”.
As far as exciting possibilities go, it doesn’t get more extreme than hypothesizing that, maybe everything Is this the remotest possible explanation to the Fermi paradox? Maybe. But this may not be just far-out outlandish rambling. As bonkers as it may sound, Scharf contends that his thought experiment could explain the most mysterious cosmic phenomena. Consider the unseen Dark matter. It supposedly makes up at least 27 percent of the apparent universe, but virtually nothing about it is known to us. Based on the predictions and assumptions of astronomers and cosmologists, dark matter could possibly be much more complex than our comprehension ability. Discrepancies between predicted dark matter models and experimental observations only back this perplexity. With all this apparent complexity, Scharf opines it wouldn’t be outlandish to think that technologically advanced life is stored there: “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? Upload your world to the huge amount of real estate on the dark side and be done with it.”
The discrepancies and inconsistencies might just arise due to artificial tampering. One can run a similar exercise on the indefinable Dark energy, which makes up almost 68 percent of the universe. Our universe didn’t start expanding outwards at an accelerated rate until nearly 5 billion years ago, and scientists just don’t know why. We just don’t have an answer.
According to Scharf, “An advanced alien civilization could have bumped the speed up so they wouldn’t have to live in such a crowded, hot mess of a universe. Any very early life in the universe would have already experienced 8 billion years of evolutionary time by the time expansion began to accelerate. It’s a stretch, but maybe there’s something about life itself that affects the cosmos, or maybe those well-evolved denizens decided to tinker with the expansion.”
It’s important to note that the ideas proposed by Scharf are just that: ideas. No part of this theory is peer-reviewed or even testable yet. This is just one bold astrobiologist on a brainstorming mission to explore the boundaries of theoretical possibility and make your head spin with possibilities of extraterrestrial intelligence beyond all reason.
Scharf concludes with this mind-bender, “Perhaps hyper-advanced life isn’t just external. Perhaps it’s already all around. It is embedded in what we perceive to be physics itself, from the root behavior of particles and fields to the phenomena of complexity and emergence. In other words, life might not just be in the equations. It might be the equations.”