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The school of CAMIDRCS

(coalition against mysticism in defence of reason commonsense and science)

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The emergence of the machine state: The coming of Skynet

When you diligently observe the status quo on the ground on earth; that is —the event of evolution and the route it is taking you will observe clearly that biological intelligence (BI) is being replaced bit by bit by inorganic intelligence (AI) this event of course kick started with the industrial revolution in the 17thcentury as simple machines which can aid in agricultural industrialization eventually got more intricate and most importantly autonomous through time.

When we observe this evolutionary phenomenon on the ground it seems like Nature is creating creatures that are fit for space exploration and which are not restrained by their biological luggage and weak rational minds like Homo sapiens for example. Thus, I think the rise of inorganic intelligence may be a sign of the desinence of the evolutionary process on earth and tree of life; because logically we could not expect to observe anything higher than machines to evolve; what could be best suited for harsh cosmos other than machines?

Homo sapiens which have dominated earth for a couple of hundred thousand years will eventually give way to the next dominant species on the solar system.  Their jealous territorial conflicts and selfishness, competition of states, their irrational and mystical societies will eventually give way to organisms which have higher logical and analytical abilities; this is natural selection: the survival of the fittest this natural law is what enabled Sapiens to outlive their cousins like H.neanderthal, H.habilis, H. erectus and H.naledi and so forth.  The nomenclature ‘Sapiens’ which I sometimes think is a misnomer for humans―because humans are not really fully sapient or rational they are most crazy animals that ever evolved on earth: some scientists have attributed the erratic human behavior to the design and structure of the human brain ―which is designed as a pattern recognizing apparatus rather than a reasoning apparatus; this fact explains precisely the nature of our world on the ground where  animalistic irrational, pugnacious and salacious instincts overwhelm the human experience. The competition of states, violence, territorialism, selfishness and carnivorism saturate our observation on earth if we have the time and wit to observe it; but notwithstanding this fact ‘Sapiens’ thin intellectual and reasoning abilities  gave them an edge than  their other animal cousins which enabled them to dominate earth. But, this domination can never be guaranteed unless their intelligence is potent enough to with stand any challenge from the forces of nature and evolution.

Today’s 21 century technology seems to be advancing unhindered in a rapid pace into the future. The tree of life stated by evolutionists seems to be producing a branch of fully inorganic species in over 3.8 billion of evolutionary history. No machine had ever been produced by Nature in earth’s long and violent history until our era and current time and this process is not a slow and retarded rise like the rise of primates but a rapid one. Irrational primates like humans took thousands of years to evolve; but, the rise of the machines is not identical or even similar in the manner of time it is consuming; it is fast and explosive; just observe a picture from the brutish life style and manner of existence in the 19th century and compare that picture and the way of lives of those people with today’s humans and you will get the idea of the pace of accelerating technological explosion.

Now, imagine and set a realistic prediction of say 300 years from now i.e. 2317 and imagine what it will be like? What will possibly be the society of this era? Wouldn’t it be wise to assume that these societies will a society of machines? Wouldn’t it be sage for us to assume the coming of the machine state?

 

It would have helped us in our accuracy of prediction if there were creatures in our neighboring stars like Alpha Centauri which is 4.37 light years from the sun or even far away that have evolved in the same manner as earth; so that we can see what Nature produces at the final moments of stellar life. But, unfortunately, there seems to be no sign of life except our own in the Universe and SETI is not detecting anything. And by the way as a parenthesis this is why life is priceless and needs to be preserved and not cajoled into extinction.  When you analyze the fact that the cousins of humans which existed before them: Australopithecus (4-2 million years ago), H. naledi (2.8 to 2.5 million years ago),  etc. couldn’t even talk or use intricate language let alone reason and build technologies as well as concoct a masterpiece symphony or a philosophical essay; then, you will clearly understand that life is the augmentation of intelligence and some scientists have predicted that after observing this life tree that something powerful  must be on the horizon; some have called it the Singularity and I believe that they have a 100 percent chance that their prediction will be true if the  current pattern of  evolution proceeds unperturbed.

 

Let us for a moment even neglect solid scientific researches and data for a moment and just observe this website/blog for a second; it stands as an advocate of skepticism and logic which is considered exotic, maybe even disturbing as well as a digression from the current human society’s mainstream belief in mysticism and mythical chimeras. Now, isn’t the advocacy and manifestations of logical discourses in a society which could have been meaningless in the era of Lucy and at the time she lived a sign of social ascent into a higher existence. Isn’t it a sign of a revolution and a social transformation within the dominant species on earth? Isn’t life heading towards something higher?  If this blog existed as a daily script promulgated on goat skin to the hunters and gatherers like naledi’s species—if we of course assumed they were literate; which would be weird because they didn’t even have the brains for it (the naledi species had significantly lower brain mass than current humans); what meaning would it really have to these organisms that cannot even talk ―let alone read and write? But, the current humans can read as well as write as opposed to their ancestors; now, why did that happen? Is it some sort of accident that intelligence as well as knowledge seems to be augmenting as time moves on?  I do not think so; it must part of Nature’s plan to rise or create a super being. Therefore, intellectual senility that have persisted on earth seems to be withering away and being reinforced by voluminous data  or the ‘information overload’ that we talk about in reference to  the internet  i.e. the knowledge about the natural world as well as  analytical power is being amplified as time moves ahead.

 

If so ; if what we have said until now is  a fact of observation then wouldn’t it be wise for us to consider ourselves as transition apes within the long and complicated tree of life which for most part has been organic and bestial in nature until now? When we start to embrace this fact then life starts to make a perfect sense; and everything falls into place; it explains the irrationality and half-baked nature of human behavior as well as how human societies are structured. We will understand our true place in life and the reason for why the world appears to be as it is. Thus, how could I be in error if I looked into the horizon and said that Skynet is coming ―considering all the premises given in the arguments above that we can analyze and the solid evidence of machines scattered on earth that we can behold?

 

Some people might think if humans are not the center of creation; but, just transitional apes and the law of the survival of the fittest in nature apply to them just like any other animal that Nature created; then what should be their right course of action? What should they do in order to survive? Which are really critical and excellent questions that any human could ever ask and the answer is first people need to get their metaphysics and epistemological theories right and then transcend. Self-preserve and self-enhance; alter the human design and maybe even be one with the machines and that will ensure the survival of the human race beyond the solar system making whatever world we occupy in the future in whatever form outer than biology cleaner, less violent, advanced and a rational place; because nobody has the potency to stop natural evolution dictated by laws of nature that govern existence; the acceleration of technology and the rise of the machines is inevitable!

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A better vision for humanity: Mysticism or Futurism

Honestly speaking reason, naturalism, hedonism, transcendence, philanthropy and conventional secular ethics present a better vision for humanity than their opposite values. A vision promoting supernaturalism , mythological poetry, and death cannot stand even as an option to man; who needs a long term wise vision of self-preservation, natural understanding, natural manipulation and space exploration. Mankind does not gain anything from ignoring and abandoning nature but has much to lose from it.

In a society where Freethought and inquiry into nature are seen as a taboo; derision and suffocation of the individual are encouraged; in a state where schizophrenia is a national disease to be proud of; in a society of mysticism, irrationality, tyranny, anti-nature propaganda; as well as the fictitious tale of life beyond the grave and advocacy of death are propagated; how can we possibly expect that humanity will have a better future other than extinction? A society which does not understand its origin or has been purposely banned from getting ideas of his true origin; instead  is being bombarded by mythology will never reach the normal life span of his species  let alone the stars of the Cosmos.

The mind is our greatest weapon and tool we possess for our survival. It needs to be free, healthy, preserved, and even enhanced to aid us in our survival in the Universe which does not really care about our existence. You might have heard that more than 99% of all species that appeared on earth went extinct due to some calamity and humans are not an exception they will vanish if they do not have the right orientation about the nature of reality; if they do not accept the facts of their origin and what they need to do in order to survive in nature.

Many crooked charlatans who do not see the interest of humanity; but their own glorification and who call they selves prophets and what not— may have told you that this world is an illusion, temporary, there exists life beyond the grave; if you believe in this discourse I am afraid to say that you must not be smarter than my cat.  These empty speculations do not stand even a chance against solid evidence of bones and fossils that state our origin and future is purely natural. There cannot be even a debate between ‘supernaturalism’ and naturalism; because a debate could only be established between two parties who possess evidence. We are the product of billions of years of evolution; you might not want to hear that you are an animal; but, the truth is not always glamorous. It is better to accept ugly facts than to delude oneself with glamorous mythology and apparitions that are not real.

Pastors,  Rabbis and other discombobulated mythologists and pseudoscientists are not making our world  ‘morally just’  and leading it towards ‘eternity’; but, accelerating the extinction of mankind by bombarding them with erroneous  doctrines; which give people erroneous  orientations about their origin and  their future. We need to be wiser; we need to formulate a better vision at least for our descendants―create a better vision for them by advocating the solutions for ageing, and mortality. Death is not a mystical event but a natural event that can be managed with appropriate understanding of physiology;  I believe that it is a blip in biology which can be fixed; this might sound insane; but there is no evidence to show that the human mind is ‘immaterial’ but  fully natural which can be detected on an  EEG (electroencephalogram) monitor and  the latest research seems to show that the loop between man  and machine has been closed with a research at DARPA (See video below); if this is so then that will be the final nail on the coffin of the so called spiritualism.

 

Thus, I think for better or for worse a brighter future is in logic, nature, research and science—not in their opposite doctrines; so next time you go out in the night on your porch to look into the dark sky of the night―remind yourself that space is your future —there is no other alternative; it is either futurism and longevity or mysticism and death. Only skeptical futurism could provide high tech better health care, transportation, communication and defense―making human existence more mirthful.

We need to fund researchers to solve the mysteries of several natural challenges like environmental pollution, ageing and  even death; we need to motivate teenagers to be interested in skepticism and futurism;  the solutions presented from their skeptical inquiry in to nature  will keep our  environment clean; our loved ones as well as the most talented people on earth right here with us by solving their issues of ageing and morbidity; they need not have to die because we have no clue how to solve environmental issues,  ageing and  the pathology of death; we need not invent a myth to console their demise and fool ourselves with fables because we do not know how to cure the cause of death; they can be right here with us in our exploration of space  providing their affection and talent to nourish  our experience― if we have the fortitude to take on intricate nature. If we are willing to force ourselves in understanding nature despite the challenge of math on our primate brains.

In short, a better vision for mankind cannot come from hating logic, nature, freethought, the material world and advocating pseudosciences that are founded by people who are either crazy or stupid or may be even both. Theories which are sustained by irrationality, force and totalitarianism; because they are too frail to stand by their own. Politicians say man is a dangerous animal who needs to be tamed; but, can supernaturalism tame the passion of man? If so why do we have Priest rapists and pedophiles?  Isn’t man’s driving essence natural requiring natural intervention in case of ethics? A natural intervention via science to design people who are ethical in the first place.  All pseudosciences are useless in terms of ethics and metaphysics as well. They cannot provide humanity with eternity and bliss but with calamity. How could one promote a discipline which is going to damage mankind with a clean conscience; the mental state of the founders of pseudosciences should come into inquiry. How could one be insouciant for the transcendence of humanity; unless there is something wrong with either his intelligence or with his wellness?  What type of man would be satisfied from the bamboozlement of a fellow human being by a medicine which does not work or with a discipline which is bunkum? Like astrology, homeopathy, supernaturalism and what not.  If mystics were really sincere about the wellbeing of humanity and if they were normal —they would have advocated for the just values that will definitely create a better future. They should have stood for the values which work! When tested on the ground. It would have been humane and best fitting on their part if they advocated reality, sensibility, immortality, evidence based life, and futurism; so that skeptics like us would spend less time, energy and ink invalidating their topsy-turvy discourses; we  could have redirected our energy to deal with nature.

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The Secular Character

 

A secular man is emotionally intelligent; he does not impose his will on others. He recognizes not just the physical sovereignty of people but their emotional freedom and their freedom of thought and inquiry. He loves life as opposed to the psychotic mystic who is obsessed with self-mortification and death.

Even though ethics and morality are not the business of CAMIDRCS because the organization is established to defend metaphysical and epistemological facts; but, still it recognizes the importance of discipline in a society andthe reason that I decided to be silent about ethical and political systems is that it is man-made and subject to mutation by caprice and caprice brings about division and conflict.

But even a secular man has a character; in general according to my analysisI think the secular man is a man;who respects the freedom and will of other people; he is not a schizophrenic control freak who is obsessed with the subjugation of others under his boot.He is allergic to all types of cults whether natural or supernatural. He is a prudentman not a believer or gullible. Subjugation, vagary and beliefare the specific traitsof mystics, idealists and theirpartners―politicians.

A secular and rational man loves wisdom and the pursuit of knowledge to discover the unknown; he is a savant an intellectual and a book obsessed philosopher.He is a man who swallows every good book available to him. He loves his family, he respects his society and most importantly he abidesby the rule of law that he voted for to respect.

He respects the intellectual development of himself and others he is not an obscurant and a retardant force like mystics. He protects others and himself like a fragile sprouting plant which needs protection and nourishment; he empowers himself with wisdom and knowledge on every subject! He is extremely hungry for knowledge and facilitates the nourishment of others with wisdom. He understands that it is the ignorance and naivety of people which allows the spread of pseudosciences; thus, he combats that with empowerment and information―teaching people the right teachings― the teachings of logic,skepticism and critical thinking.

He is a staunch apostle of reality and realism; he defends facts and opposes the sacrifice of facts in the name of ‘morality’ for fiction.He respects the facts whether they are in his interest or whether they make him lugubrious.For example, evolution is an established fact but honestly speaking if you ask me whether I rather have evolved from some lower animal or something better and higher—I will choose something better and higher; but whatcan I do—that is not my choice;  I do not make the rules—Nature makes the rules; that is the choice of nature; the true divinity.

He is not a man inebriated with mythology to the stage of delusion and schizophrenia. He is a prudent man; askeptic and an inquirer of reality.He is a philanthropistwho loves sentient beings he wants to save others from extinction brought upon by pseudosciences and charlatans of every kind. He has an open mind and he is always ready to submit to new evidence; if presented without error and bonafide. He is not tenacious, dogmatic or fanatic. He aspires to reach for the stars and the era of the space age as opposed to fundamental fanatics who want to drag us back to the Iron Age.

 

He is self-regulated in his social union and engagement with other people in the society.As he believes in nature he understands that his nature is the source of his behavior. Hence, has no issue in his conduct. If he is apolitician he is the vanguard of intellectuals; of inquiry; of wisdom; of futurism andthe enemy of pseudosciences which exist to exterminate humanity.He is a hedonist who self-preserves; who takes care of his health as in for longevity and even a transcendentalist who improves the organs he acquired in evolutionto be something better.He is a Sci-fi fan who loves nature and the scientific method. He raises his kids to be skeptics and naturalists like himself with discipline as to their duty to their self, society and their country. He exhibits a clement and conducive character in his society. He loves his society that he makes up as a part and as an individual; he aligns and labors with his fellow beings for the benefit of individual interests.

 

He promotes epistemological realism, rationalism, objectivity; metaphysical naturalism and ethical hedonism as well as ethical transcendence. He is a visionary who sees into the stars and the future not in to the grave.He aspires for the establishment of a futuristic and rational society rather than a mystical and primitive society.Inshort, he is a futurist and the apostle of the great vision of futurism. He hates any type of ignorance which fosters superstition and dogma. He teaches his society skeptical thinking to liberate them from the stupor of ignorance that detains them is hogwash beliefs, ideologies, and mythologies; which are snares for their demise―he  makes them critical like Socrates  attempted to do;who was charged with corrupting the youth of Athens; because  he attempted to make those young men think critical. He had a choice to flee like Anaxagoras but he did not― he took on his fate with honorand valiance. He even stated bravely “unexamined life is not worth living.” Thus, the school of skepticism and the ‘impious’philosopher Socrates became the victim of the lowly self. Of the lowly self—which hates reason, individual liberty,intellectuals,hedonism, and transcendence―but which loves indolence,subjugation, mythology, the suffering of the individual and death.

 

Making people critical, rational and informed will help them in making better life choices;but charlatans and tyrannical government all over the worldlove nothing but a collection of gullible, malleable, mystical and naïve people to help them intheir subjugation of the society and they do not like the ramification of knowledge, logic and information in the society because an informed educated and health man is a free man impossible to convince with claptrap and enslave.In short, secularism and the secular character as beautiful as they are—protect the individual and the society from schizophrenia and irrational madness; it bestows secular morality; it drives humanity into the stars and the multiverse rather than the grave; it promotes life rather than death; freethought rather than obscurancy; facts rather than fiction; full mental, emotional, physical, economic and social health rather than morbidity and the dejection of hedonism mentally, emotionally, physically, socially, and economically.It promotes reason rather than vagary; it is founded on eternal nature, on logic and the emotional well being of the individual, and his happiness.

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A Search Strategy for Detecting Extraterrestrial Intelligence

by Prof. Carl Sagan

 

Suppose we have arranged a meeting at an unspecified place in New York City with a stranger we have never met and about whom we know nothing – a rather foolish arrangement, but one that is useful for our purposes. We are looking for him, and he is looking for us. What is our search strategy? We probably would not stand for a week on the corner of Seventy-eighth Street and Madison Avenue.

Instead, we would recall that there are a number of widely known landmarks in New York City – as well known to the stranger as to us. He knows we know them, we know he knows we know them, and so on. We then shuttle among these landmarks: The Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Grand Central Station, Radio City Music Hall, Lincoln Center, the United Nations, Times Square, and just conceivably, City Hall. We might even indulge ourselves in a few less likely possibilities, such as Yankee Stadium or the Manhattan entrance to the Staten Island Ferry. But there are not an infinite number of possibilities. There are not millions of possibilities; there are only a few dozen possibilities, and in time we can cover them all.

The situation is just the same in the frequency-search strategy for interstellar radio communication. In the absence of any prior contact, how do we know precisely where to search? How do we know which frequency or “station” to tune in on? There are at least millions of possible frequencies with reasonable radio bandpasses. But a civilization interested in communicating with us shares with us a common knowledge about radio astronomy and about our Galaxy. They know, for example, that the most abundant atom in the universe, hydrogen, characteristically emits at a frequency of 1,420 Megahertz. They know we know it. They know we know they know it. And so on. There are a few other abundant interstellar molecules, such as water or ammonia, which have their own characteristic frequencies of emission and absorption. Some of these lie in a region of the galactic radio spectrum where there is less background noise than others. This is also shared information. Students of this problem have come up with a short list of possibly a dozen frequencies that seem to be the obvious ones to examine. It is even conceivable that water-based life will communicate at water frequencies, ammonia-based life at ammonia frequencies, etc.

There appears to be a fair chance that advanced extraterrestrial civilizations are sending radio signals our way, and that we have the technology to receive such signals. How should a search for these signals be organized? Existing radio telescopes, even very small ones, would be adequate for a preliminary search. Indeed, the ongoing search at the Gorky Radiophysical Institute, in the Soviet Union, involves telescopes and instrumentation that are quite modest by contemporary standards.

The amiable and capable president of the Soviet Academy of Sciences, M. V. Keldysh, once told me, with a twinkle in his eye, that “when extraterrestrial intelligence is discovered, then it will become an important scientific problem.” A leading American physicist has argued forcefully with me that the best method to search for extraterrestrial intelligence is simply to do ordinary astronomy; if the discovery is to be made, it will be made serendipitously. But it seems to me that we can do something to enhance the likelihood of success in such a search, and that the ordinary pursuit of radio astronomy is not quite the same as an explicit search of certain stars, frequencies, bandpasses, and time constants for extraterrestrial intelligence.

But there are enormous numbers of stars to investigate, and many possible frequencies. A reasonable search program will almost certainly be a very long one. Such a search, using a large telescope full time, should take at least decades, by conservative estimates. The radio observers in such an enterprise, no matter how enthusiastic they may be about the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, would very likely become bored after many years of unsuccessful searching. A radio astronomer, like any other scientist, is interested in working on problems that have a high probability of more immediate results.

The ideal strategy would involve a large telescope that could devote something like half time to the search for extraterrestrial intelligent radio signals and about half time to the study of more conventional radioastronomical objectives, such as planets, radio stars, pulsars, interstellar molecules, and quasars. The difficulty in using several existing radio observatories, each for, say, 1 percent of their time, is that these activities would have to be pursued for many centuries to have a reasonable probability of success. Since the time on existing radio telescopes is mainly spoken for, larger allocations of time seem unlikely.

A wide variety of objects obviously should be examined: G-type stars, like our own; M-type stars, which are older; and exotic objects, which may be black holes or possible manifestations of astroengineering activities. The number of stars and other objects in our own Milky Way Galaxy is about two hundred billion, and the number that we must examine to have a fair chance of detecting such signals seems to be at least millions.

There is an alternative strategy to searching painfully each of millions of stars for the signals from a civilization not much more advanced than our own. We might examine an entire galaxy all at once for signals from civilizations much more advanced than ours . A small radio telescope can point at the nearest spiral galaxy to our own, the great galaxy M31 in the constellation Andromeda, and simultaneously observe some two hundred billion stars. Even if many of these stars were broadcasting with a technology only slightly in advance of our own, we would not pick them up. But if only a few are broadcasting with the power of a much more advanced civilization, we would detect them easily. In addition to examining nearby stars only slightly in advance of us, it therefore makes sense to examine, simultaneously, many stars in neighboring galaxies, only a few of which may have civilizations greatly in advance of our technology.

 

We have been describing a search for signals beamed in our general direction by civilizations interested in communicating with us. We ourselves are not beaming signals in the direction of some specific other star or stars. If all civilizations listened and none transmitted, we would each reach the erroneous conclusion that the Galaxy was unpopulated, except by ourselves. Accordingly, it has been proposed – as an alternative and much more expensive enterprise – that we also “eavesdrop”; that is, tune in on the signals that a civilization uses for its own purposes, such as domestic radio and television transmission, radar surveillance systems, and the like. A large radio telescope devoting half time to a rigorous search for intelligent extraterrestrial signals beamed our way would cost tens of millions of dollars (or rubles) to construct and operate. An array of large radio telescopes, designed to eavesdrop to a distance of some hundreds of lightyears, would cost many billions of dollars.

 

In addition, the chance of success in eavesdropping may be slight. One hundred years ago we had no domestic radio and television signals leaking out into space. One hundred years from now the development of tight beam transmission by satellites and cable television and new technologies may mean that again no radio and television signals would be leaking into space. It may be that such signals are detectable only for a few hundred years in the multibillion-year history of a planet. The eavesdropping enterprise, in addition to being expensive, may also have a very small probability of success.

 

The situation we find ourselves in is rather curious. There is at least a fair probability that there are many civilizations beaming signals our way. We have the technology to detect these signals out to immense distances – to the other side of the Galaxy. Except for a few back-burner efforts in the United States and the Soviet Union, we – that is, mankind – are not carrying out the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. Such an enterprise is sufficiently exciting and, at last, sufficiently respectable that there would be little difficulty in staffing a radio observatory designed for this purpose with devoted, capable, and innovative scientists. The only obstacle appears to be money.

 

While not small change, some tens of millions of dollars (or rubles) is, nevertheless, an amount of money well within the reach of wealthy individuals and foundations. In fact, there is in astronomy a long and proud history of observatories funded by private individuals and foundations: The Lick Observatory, on Mount Hamilton, California, by Mr. Lick (who wanted to build a pyramid, but settled for an observatory – in the base of which he is buried); the Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay, Wisconsin, by Mr. Yerkes; the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, by Mr. Lowell; and the Mount Wilson and Mount Palomar Observatories in Southern California, by a foundation established by Mr. Carnegie. Government money will probably be forthcoming for such an enterprise eventually. After all, it costs about the same as the replacement costs of  U.S. aircraft shot down over Vietnam in Christmas week, 1972. But a radio telescope designed for communication with extraterrestrial intelligence and an attached institute of exobiology would make a very fitting personal memorial for someone.

—The cosmic connection; 163: 1973

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What Happened Before the Big Bang?

by Michio Kaku

Not only would a quantum theory of gravity resolve what happens at the center of a black hole; it would also resolve what happened before the Big Bang.

At present, there is conclusive evidence that a cataclysmic explosion occurred roughly 15 billion years ago which sent the galaxies in the universe hurtling in all directions. Decades ago, physicist George Gamow and his colleagues predicted that the “echo” or afterglow of the Big Bang should be filling up the universe even today, radiating at a temperature just above absolute zero. It wasn’t until 1992, however, that the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) satellite finally picked up this “echo” ofthe Big Bang. Physicists were elated to find that hundreds of data points perfectly matched the prediction of the theory. The COBE satellite detected the presence of a background microwave radiation, with a temperature of 3 degrees above absolute zero, which fills up the entire universe.

Although the Big Bang theory is on solid experimental grounds, the frustrating feature of Einstein’s theory is that it says nothing about what happened before the Big Bang or why there was this cosmic explosion. In fact, Einstein’s theory says that the universe was originally a pinpoint that had infinite density, which is physically impossible.

Infinite singularities are not allowed in nature, so ultimately a quantum theory of gravity should give us a clue as to where the Big Bang came from.

The superstring theory, being a completely finite theory, gives us deeper insight into the era before the Big Bang. The theory states that at the instant of creation, the universe was actually an infinitesimal tendimensional bubble. But this bubble (somewhat like a soap bubble) split into six-and four-dimensional bubbles. The six-dimensional universe suddenly collapsed, thereby expanding the four-dimensional universe into the standard Big Bang.

Furthermore, this excitement about quantizing gravity is fueling a new branch of physics called “quantum cosmology,” which tries to apply the quantum theory to the universe at large. At first, quantum cosmology sounds like a contradiction in terms. The “quantum” deals with the very small, while “cosmology” deals with the very large, the universe itself. However, at the instant of creation, the universe was very small, so quantum effects dominated that early moment in time.

Quantum cosmology is based on the simple idea that we should treat the universe as a quantum object, in the same way that we treat the electron as a quantum object. In the quantum theory, we treat the electron as existing in several energy states at the same time. The electron is free to move between different orbits or energy states. This, in turn, gives us modern chemistry. Thus, according to Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, you never know precisely where the electron is. The electron thus exists in several “parallel states” simultaneously.

Now consider the universe to be similar to an electron. If we quantize the universe, the universe must now exist simultaneously in several “parallel universes.” Once we quantize the universe, we are necessarily led to believe that the universe can exist in parallel quantum states. When applied to a universe, it gives us the “multiverse.”

Visions; Michio Kaku: 1998:350

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Beyond 2100: Our Place Among the Stars

by Prof. Michio Kaku

The fate of humanity ultimately must lie in the stars. This is not wishful thinking on the part of hopeless visionaries; it is mandated by the laws of quantum physics. Eventually, physics tell us, the earth must die.

Since it is inevitable that the earth will be destroyed sometime in the future, the space program may ultimately be our only salvation as a species. At some point in the distant future, either we stay on the planet and die with it or we leave and migrate to the stars.

Carl Sagan has written that human life is too precious to be restricted to one planet. Just as animal species increase their survivability by dispersing and migrating to different regions, humanity must eventually explore other worlds, if only out of self-interest. It is our fate to reach for the stars.

The upper limit for the existence of the earth is about 5 billion years, when the sun exhausts its hydrogen fuel and mutates into a red giant star. At that time, the atmosphere of the sun will expand enormously until it reaches the orbit of Mars. On earth, the oceans will gradually boil, the mountains will melt, the sky will be on fire, and the earth will be burnt into a cinder.

The poets have long asked whether the earth will die in fire or ice. The laws of quantum physics dictate the answer: the earth will die in fire. But even before that ultimate time 5 billion years from now when the sun exhausts its fuel, humanity will face a series of environmental disasters which could threaten its existence, such as cosmic collisions, new ice ages, and supernova explosions.

 

Cosmic Collisions

 

The earth lies within a cosmic shooting gallery filled with thousands of NEOs (Near Earth Objects) that could wipe out life on earth. Some   lurking in space undetected. In 1991, NASA estimated that there are 1,000 to 4,000 asteroids that cross the earth’s orbit which are greater than half a mile across and which could inflict enormous destruction on human civilization. The astronomers at the University of Arizona estimate that there are 500,000 near earth asteroids greater than a hundred meters across, and 100 million earth-crossing asteroids about ten meters across.

Surprisingly enough, every year, on average, there is an asteroid impact creating about 100 kilotons of explosive force. (Fortunately, these asteroids usually break up high in the atmosphere and rarely hit the earth’s surface.)

In June 1996, a close call with an NEO took place. This time asteroid 1996JA1, about one-third of a mile across, came within 280,000 miles of the earth, or a bit farther than the moon. It would have hit the earth with the force of about 10,000 megatons of explosive power (greater than the combined U.S./Russian nuclear weapons stockpile).

There were several deeply unsettling facts concerning both the 1993 asteroid and 1996JA1. First, they were undetected, suddenly appearing almost out of nowhere. Second, they were discovered not by any government-sponsored monitoring organization (there is none) but by mere accident. (Two students at the University of Arizona stumbled across 1996JA1.)

An asteroid only a kilometer across would create cosmic havoc by impacting on the earth. Astronomer Tom Gehrels of the University of Arizona estimates it would have the energy of a million Hiroshima bombs. If it “hit on the West Coast,” he adds, “the East Coast would go down in an earthquake; all your buildings in New York would collapse.” The shock wave would flatten much of the United States. If it hit the oceans, the tidal wave it created could be a mile high, enough to flood most coastal cities on earth. On land, the dust and dirt of an asteroid impact sent into the atmosphere would cut off the sun and cause temperatures to plunge on earth.

The most recent giant impact took place in Siberia, on June 30, 1908, near the Tunguska River, when a meteor or comet about fifty yards across exploded in midair, flattening up to 1,000 square miles of forest, as if a giant hand came down from the sky. The tremors were recorded as far as London.

About 15,000 years ago, a meteor hit Arizona, carving out the famous Barringer Crater, creating a hole almost three-quarters of a mile across. It was caused by an iron meteor about the size of a ten-story building.

And 64.9 million years ago (according to radioactive dating) the dinosaurs may have been killed off by the comet or meteor that hit the Yucatán in Mexico, gouging out an enormous crater about 180 miles across, making it the largest object to hit the earth in the last billion years.

One conclusion from all this is that a future meteor or comet impact which could threaten human civilization is inevitable. Furthermore, on the basis of previous incidences, we can even give a rough estimate of the time scale on which to expect another collision. Extrapolating from Newton’s laws of motion, there are 400 earth-crossing asteroids greater than one kilometer which definitely will hit the earth at some time in the future.

Within the next 300 years, we therefore expect to see another Tunguska-sized impact, which could wipe out an entire city. On the scale of thousands of years, we expect to see another Barringer type of impact, which can destroy a region. And on the scale of millions of years, we expect to see another impact that may threaten human existence.

Unfortunately, NEOs have a high “giggle factor.” As a result, NASA has allocated only $1 million per year to identify these planet-killing objects. Most of the work locating these NEOs is performed by a handful of amateurs.

Visions; MichioKaku: 1998:316

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