Michael Wall, PhD, is a senior writer at Space.com and author of, Out There: A Scientific Guide to Alien Life, Antimatter, and Human Space Travel (For the Cosmically Curious.) And when asked about the possibility of Earth’s inhabitants venturing into infinity and beyond (assuming our Universe is flat and not spherical, that is) he offered the optimistic thought that it would definitely be possible with a single caveat, “I know we may have sublimated ourselves to virtual, or digital, meat sacks by then… forgoing our fleshy, hairy selves.” But we could do it. Which leads one to wonder, what does it means to exist.
Our Sun is halfway through its 10 billion year life cycle..We are becoming more bionic everyday. Will we become fully bionic, or upload our consciousness into digital machines? This is Us, now, but who will we become?
And are we alone? “Out There” takes us on a interstellar ride from our, not so humble, beginning to the potential end of our Universe. We travel from microbes to black holes, through inflation theory, time travel and massless particles to the privatization of the quest to find life in our Galaxy and beyond.
13.8 billion years is a lot of time, and ample opportunity, for life to get going and even spread, Fermi’s paradox questions why we haven’t yet confirmed a visitation form an alien craft, heard any signals or found alien microbes, or have we?!!!
Have we been looking for the wrong type of signal. Maybe laser flashes and radio signals are not ET’s preferred method of communication. Or, maybe they don’t care about us, or don’t want to be found. Or, just maybe, we are in constant communication. Maybe the neutrino ghost particles streaming through us all the time are actually alien communication – a trillion messages streaming through our bodies every second.
And, is it wise to draw attention to ourselves? Stephen Hawking did not think so; he believed it was irresponsible to advertise our existence to those who may be much more advanced than we are. Alien abduction and invasion, has it happened? Would we recognize “intelligent” alien life, and is it possible we are already living with it?Is the bottle neck for survival behind us or ahead? Could there be a possible shadow biosphere, multiple realities? Did we descend from Mars through Panspermia? And is The Hulk tougher than Conan the Bacterium?