Monday, December 28, 2015

Barren universe

Not withstanding the efforts of space agencies and academic institutions around the world to find extra-terrestrial life, it appears that disappointment could be in store for humans. Recent excitement about an exoplanet just 14 light years away is symptomatic of scientific quest that is chasing pre-determined answers. Before turning all listening devices to the “target,” one may want to ask a few questions. If we are seeking human like life there, one has to assume that they are enjoying “Friends” and “Seinfeld” now. And, it is difficult to find fault with them not attempting to make contact. If we are seeking something less or more, then it is unlikely they will be spewing garbage into the airways. In other words, the attempts of humans to make contact are unlikely to be rewarded unless an extra-terrestrial civilization of similar incompetence is close at hand.

Humans, locked into a tiny window of space-time, have been chasing an unattainable dream – intelligent life that could teach them better tricks. As they peak through that microscopic window, they are most likely to see a barren universe, devoid of life and intelligence. Expanding the window, either by new Physics or by constructs deemed feasible with the status-quo, such as worm holes, information travelling at speeds many magnitudes higher than light and quantum entanglement, could provide a way out of these hard constraints.

Finding life in the searchable space-time in close proximity is as unlikely as spotting a needle in a haystack as big as the solar system. Good luck getting there by 2020.