As official Disclosure unfolds in the mainstream media, old habits die hard. Yes, UFOs are real, but they just can’t be ET. So the Times turned to an old school scientist from academia for reassurance. Senior astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for astrophysics Leon Golub said the possibility that UAPs (don’t call them UFOs) are extraterrestrial “is so unlikely that it competes with many other low-probability but more mundane explanations.” He added “there are so many other possibilities — bugs in the code for the imaging and display systems, atmospheric effects and reflections, neurological overload from multiple inputs during high-speed flight.”
Blah blah blah… Put aside for the moment that the Navy already ruled out his mundane alternatives, Golub couldn’t be more wrong. The whole point of Fermi’s paradox is that they should be here. The Universe is so big and so old that some other more advanced civilization should’ve been here by now. Many times. This is what Manhattan Project scientist Enrico Fermi told his colleagues, including Edward Teller, at Los Alamos way back in 1950 when discussing UFOs, then called flying saucers.
Fermi made the simple but profound observation that there were so many stars in the Galaxy that if just 10 percent had planets and 10 percent of those planets were capable of evolving life and 10 percent of those life-bearing planets develop a technological civilization and so on, there would be thousands, maybe millions, of civilizations in our Galaxy. The only real question was whether or not interstellar travel was possible. Teller pooh-poohed it, but Fermi thought it might be doable. If so, then where are they? Well, the short answer is they are here.
The Fermi paradox exists solely because of denial, which is rooted in our assumptions about the Universe. The first Big Assumption was that the Earth was flat. From our tiny perspective it certainly seems that way, but the flat Earth assumption fell away about two thousand years ago after Eratosthenes, curator of the library of Alexandria, proved the Earth was a globe. Eratosthenes did this by measuring shadows on the summer solstice in two cities known to be a certain distance apart. From this simple experiment, Eratostenes was able to show not only that the Earth was a big ball, but also make a fairly accurate calculation of its size. It’s kind of mind-boggling that the flat Earth assumption has made a bit of a comeback here in the age of geosynchronous satellites and space flight.
The second Big Assumption was that Earth was at the center of the Universe. Another seemingly reasonable deduction. The Sun, Moon, planets and stars appear to revolve around the Earth. When Copernicus floated the idea that the Sun not the Earth was at the center and that the Earth revolved around the Sun there was all sorts of objections. It certainly doesn’t feel like the Earth is moving. Some said if it was moving there would be tremendous winds and the Earth would quickly leave the Moon behind. But along came Galileo and the telescope and the second Big Assumption went the way of the first one.
The third Big Assumption is that mankind is the alpha dog of the Universe, the crowning achievement in all creation. This assumption is an offshoot of the Second Big Assumption. After all, if the Earth really was at the center of a Universe created by an almighty deity and we’re Top Dog, then it stands to reason that everything was made for us. It’s basically a Western religious belief that we are the whole point of all creation. This is where the long-held assumption that we are alone in the Universe comes from.
This Third Big Assumption that we are the biological center of the Universe has eroded over time as the science of astronomy has matured. The writing was on the wall well before the Hubble telescope gave us two images that have settled the issue for all intents and purposes. The Hubble Deep Field and Ultra Deep Field images reveal a Universe far beyond our ancestor’s ability to imagine.
Over ten days, Hubble peered into a slice of sky the equivalent of a dime on edge at a distance of 75 feet to produce the Hubble Deep Field.[i] The image showed there were, in fact, 3,000 galaxies in this little strip of empty space.[ii] The Hubble Ultra Deep Field made an even deeper reach out into the void, capturing 10,000 galaxies residing in the thin edge of nothingness.[iii]
The Big Picture looks like this: there are more than 100 billion galaxies in the universe that are filled with stars and planets like beaches with sand.[iv] Typical galaxies hold between 10 million and one trillion stars. Planets are surely even more abundant. The total number of planets in the universe is anyone’s guess but the number might be more properly expressed as somewhere just south of infinity.
Excerpt from The Day After the Singularity
The Milky Way is an average Galaxy with 100-400 billion stars. If we pick a middling number and say the average Galaxy has 200 billion stars, then there may be as many as three trillion stars in the Hubble Deep Field. If our Solar system is average then each star will have 8 or 9 planets. Pluto counted for a while. Now it doesn’t, but there might be a planet X? Don’t know about that. So say each star has 8 planets. That’s 24 trillion planets in the Hubble Deep Field. 24 trillion planets in the width of a dime 75 feet away.
There are 10,000 Galaxies in the Ultra Deep Field. That means there are approximately 20,000,000,000,000 stars and 160 trillion planets in that little speck of sky. There could be more. There could be less. But one thing’s clear: It’s 100 percent statistically certain there’s life elsewhere in the Universe. Applying Fermi’s reasoning it’s 100 percent certain that someone else came long before us. It’s 100 percent certain that someone else developed a technological civilization and 100 percent certain they developed computing and hit the Singularity long ago, which means Golub is 100 percent wrong when he says low probability solutions that the Navy has already ruled out are more likely than an extraterrestrial explanation.
The faulty assumption that has caused Golub and his colleagues to err so greatly is a close cousin to the Third Great Assumption that we are the biological center of the Universe. In the modern-day scientific version of Great Assumption #3, Darwin’s evolution has replaced the deity-driven creation theory, but the belief that we are still “the first to come this far;” as Google’s Director of Engineering Ray Kurzweil put it in The Singularity is Near, has somehow managed to endure. Call it intellectual inertia, or whatever, but the net result is the assumption that if life exists somewhere out there in the Cosmos it will be on planets that are, for all intents and purposes, remote islands adrift in a vast ocean. Isolated. Unrelated. It will have evolved from the ground up one cell at a time like we believe it did here on Earth and it will be completely alien, having come from an environment likely to be very different than ours. For our hypothetical ET counterparts, interstellar space travel will be just as next-to-impossible so those pesky UAPs (UFOs) must be something, anything else.
This is old-world, dead-paradigm-walking talk. It’s classic pre-Singularity thinking. Those planets out there may very well be like islands in some sense, but they’re more like the Galapagos. Isolated yes, but not completely alien, not totally unrelated. Given the statistical certainty that we are not going to be the first to pass through the ultimate evolutionary threshold, those pesky UAPs (UFOs) are just what we would expect to see if someone else has already developed the technology to spread throughout the Cosmos “at the speed of light or greater,” as Kurzweil predicts will happen once a civilization successfully navigates the Singularity.
[i] Villard, Williams, Hubble’s Deepest View of the Universe Unveils Bewildering Galaxies across Billions of Years, Hubblesite.org, Jan. 15, 1996, http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/1996/01/
[ii] see Hubble’s Greatest Discoveries, Hubblesite.org, http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/press_resources/hubbles_greatest_discoveries.php
[iii] Savage, Villard, Christensen, Stiles, Hubble’s Deepest View Ever of the Universe Unveils Earliest Galaxies, Hubblesite.org, March 4, 2004, http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2004/07/text/
[iv] Mackie, To see the Universe in a Grain of Taranaki Sand, North and South Magazine, New Zealand, May 1999, http://astronomy.swin.edu.au/~gmackie/billions.html