When we don’t know the whole story about a state of affairs, we can use our imagination and make a conjecture. Let me share one now regarding how we humans got here.
We see “solid” objects all around, but these are made of atoms which are mostly empty space. (1) 65 billion neutrinos (particles) pass through every square cm of the earth every second then continue through space! That’s a trillion+2 neutrinos through each of us in a lifetime! (2)
Traditional ideas of cause and effect are also challenged by modern physics. “Entangled electrons” reflect each other’s changing states instantly even if they are oceans apart! (3)
Once a maker of computer games, I know that I can make one event in my virtual world “react” in zero time to a remote other event – because I have the co-ordinates of every pixel (minimum location) at my command. No need for the causal (not casual) connection that we assume for events in the world around us.
Some theoretical physicists have proposed that we live in a virtual reality (or matrix) made by an unknown Designer. Some are saying there may be many universes. Some have even added that, for all we know, our Designer may be the creation of an even smarter Designer! (4)
I would like to add some reasons for believing that we inhabit a virtual reality or simulation. I am influenced by two striking observations. One, in our efforts to understand our cosmos, we encounter so many doors that are slammed firmly shut. The other striking phenomenon is just how strongly the human race in particular is supported by natural and cultural forces.
First, the closed doors. There was great excitement in 1967 when SETI (5) scientists got a strong regular beep. The radio-astronomer labelled the recording LGM1, but it wasn’t little green men after all. The signal turned out to emanate from a pulsar – a collapsed star that spins every second or faster. The signal is not intelligent. 50 years later, still nothing.
The moon is just dust and rock. Mars too – plus ice. For all we know, the entire heavens are just orbs of dust, rock, ice, water or methane, gas or (super hot) plasma. Are they just there to decorate our unreachable vista of outer space?
The endless succession of galaxies, retreating in all directions (6), might as well have been designed to ensure that we never discover the dimensions of the universe we inhabit!
Similarly with time. The Big Bang Theory, which starts with a singularity (a tiny dot), has expanded to make the whole universe! And nothing credible is said about what preceded it. Finite time? Infinite time? Finite space? Infinite space? None of these options are digestible to the human mind.
In spite of our mental limitations, we can still ask the question how did we get here? – without expecting to be able to answer the mega-question how did everything get there?
An awful lot is said to have occurred in the first 10^-36 of a second of the Big Bang. A total blank before that! This reminds me of the start-up of a virtual world that appears instantly when a computer program is switched on.
Humans today can make fantasy worlds – primitive compared with the “real” world of course – but engrossing enough for some to spend an awful lot of time and devotion wearing their picture-and-sound headsets in an imaginary, man-made, sub-world of our world.
Perhaps we too are the project of a Creator or Designer. He or she or it or them may be highly engrossed in the project of life on Earth, and watch with great interest as human history unfolds. Perhaps they even give us prophets from time to time to guide us towards what they want of us! I could be wrong, but maybe…
I am well aware of the counter-argument to God as an explanation of existence: if God made the world, then who made God? But I am strengthening my case by arguing that humanity is the work of a Maker who appears to take a special interest in us.
All I need for my conjecture is that it is possible that a creator could create a world (ours).
I also suggest that our Maker tweaks the matrix he made (our world), that every so often he tweaks his brilliant evolutionary process, so as to generate an intelligent and creative species (us) who reflect something of the “divine” (the creator’s) character. So God created mankind in his own image… (Genesis 1:27. How did they get such ideas so long ago?)
My old friend Father Stanley (RIP), who enjoyed both theology and science fiction, once shared with me his fascinating solution to the problem of how we wouldn’t get bored if we did in fact, after this life, go to an afterlife for eternity. He suggested that the one activity that we’d never tire of is creation itself! Interesting!
In fact I have sometimes, when watching videos of various wild animals, birds, and flowers, noticed how incredibly “creative” some of their decorations are. Some streaks of artistic whimsy seem to go far beyond what’s needed for survival. Some of the “wild” designs seem to say, “Hi guys, I made this one just to suggest to you, the faithful militant7, that there is heart and soul in the designing of life on Earth.” (Or should I say in the matrix?)
I wrote above that the Maker perhaps tweaks the Earth environment to steer evolution towards the creatures they, our avatars, are especially interested in – the creatures being us, their carefully designed sentient characters, made by and for the pleasure of the Maker(s). Perhaps they can even “tune in” to our experiences, sensation and all.
Reflect on Earth’s natural history. Zoologists speak of the Paleozoic era (the old zoo), the Mesozoic (middle zoo), and the Cenozoic (new zoo). Life began in water. The first major animals to adapt to life on the land were the amphibians – rough creatures by modern standards. There was a major extinction event which brought an end to the Paleozoic era about 252m years ago. (A huge tear in the ground destroyed most life on the land.) This paved the way for a middle era of beasts, namely reptiles. That was the time of the dinosaurs. Then, very conveniently, a meteor struck Earth about 65m years ago and eliminated most large reptiles, paving the way for mammals – resulting recently (perhaps 200,000 years ago) in modern humanity.
Earth is habitable, unlike any other heavenly body we know of, and Earth nature is extraordinarily abundant with golden opportunities for homo sapiens in particular.
Is Earth a bio lab? Perhaps we humans are being farmed to enable the Makers to identify suitable souls to transfer to their realm! POC
(1) A hydrogen atom consists of a positive particle and a negative particle and is over 99.9% empty space!
(5) Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence
(6) Check out Hubble and the ever-expanding universe.
(7) The term the faithful militant refers, in traditional Catholic theology, to we who grapple with the mysteries and the ups and downs of our finite lives on Earth.