Extra-Solar Religion and Science

 

Recognizing Eternity

Because of its centuries of persecution by religion, science on Earth has worked hard to divest itself of the religious eternity many religions believe precedes creation of the universe. The present scientific cosmology proposes the instantaneous emergence of a speck of continuous spacetime completely curved in on itself so there is no space or time before or after it. An energy within it caused the enclosing curvature of spacetime, which immediately expands exponentially to distribute the primitive contents of the universe in what is known as the Big Bang. An alternative version envisages a sequence of universes budding off from one or more branches of the initial spacetime or times.

Quantized spacetime assumes a domain containing an energy with no spacetime dimensions exists before creation of the universe. Out of this, spacetime quanta precipitate like a dense morning dew. Each quantum captures the volume of energy it displaces, which becomes a particle with mass. As the quanta have arrived together, particle interactions between them occur that evolve into the universe we see today. The initial expansion resembles thunder rather than a single big bang. For an extra-solar religion, this might be referred to as the thunder of a perfect mind.

The prior existence of a domain of domensionless energy allows for the precipitation of other universes with different quantized spacetimes to ours. Different minimum dimensions lead to different maximum speeds and different numbers of quanta, influencing complexity.

The usual reasons for creation of the universe would remain open to an extra-solar civilization. The phase change that saw spacetime emerging from an energy with no spacetime dimensions could be viewed either as a random event or the intentional act of a perfect mind. If it was intentional, the complexity chosen would be seen as making the outcome unpredictable. This and selection of universal constants that allow biological evolution could signal an intent to allow the free evolution of a second perfect mind independent of the first, able to enter into a compassionate relationship in equality with the first.

It is comparable to our situation in creating an artificial intelligence whose solution to a complex problem we cannot predict. Even though we may make the logical elements of the artificial system deterministic, the connections of logical elements are too complex for us to predict the outcome of specific calculations. That is why we turned to artificial intelligence.

So, on detecting a message from an extrasolar intelligence we should seek a diplomatic way of discovering the construction of its originator. Could an extrasolar civilization have constructed an artificial system that would continue the course of evolution by other means? This choice might be made by a civilization forecasting a change in its environment that it could not survive.

But the environmental change may be so severe, as in an impact from a large asteroid, that an artificial intelligence system would also fail to survive. Foreseeing this, a civilization might attempt to continue the process of biological evolution by releasing into the universe environmentally resistant capsules containing selected features of its own genetic material. The capsules would be inter-stellar asteroids, launched out of their own planetary system somewhat more energetic way than we have launched interstellar spacecraft from ours.

Biological evolution on planets suffers widespread extinction of species by random asteroid impacts. But such impacts may be the ultimate means of sustaining evolution throughout the universe. Even though they regularly wipe out many evolutionary pathways they may also seed new evolutionary pathways, either be replacing one dominant species with a different species, or by intervention by genetic material that survives the impact. It is up to the seeders to diligently follow best survival practices in implanting genetic material before launch.

So, evolving minds, aware of their own imperfections, might view themselves as evolutionary stepping stones eventually leading to a second perfect mind, with the possibility of many catastrophic events on the way. An extra-solar civilization much older than ours may have reached a conclusion like this, once it became planet-wide. By that time its religion will have probably developed doctrines strengthening the survivability of its adherents to prevent them from inadvertent falling off evolution's stepping stones by thoughtless destruction of their planetary ecosystem. 7/29/2020 7:29

Back    Contents    Next

. . . having poetry as the universal possession. . .