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Questions | Why There Is No Answer To Some Questions

On a typical day at school, endless hours are spent learning the answers to questions. But right now let's do the opposite, let's focus on questions where you can't learn the answers because they are unknown. I used to puzzle about a lot of things as a boy, for example, What would it feel like to be a snake? Do fish talk? Was the Big Bang just an accident? Is there a God? If so then how are we so sure that it's a He and not a She? Why do so many innocent people and animal suffer terrible things? Is there really a plan for my life? Is the future yet to be written or is it already written and we just can't see it? But then, do I have free will? I mean, who am I anyway? Am I just a biological machine? But then, why am I conscious? What is consciousness? Will robots become conscious one day?

I mean, I kind of assumed that someday I would be told the answers to all these questions. Someone must know, right? Guess what? No one knows. Most of those questions puzzle me more now than ever. But diving into them is exciting because it takes you to the edge of knowledge and you will never know what you will find there.

So, two question that no one on Earth knows the answer to.

1. HOW MANY UNIVERSES ARE THERE?

Sometimes when I am on roof-top just to look at stars and I start thinking How vast our universe is? Our own planet is also very big, The Sun that would literally fit one million Earth inside it seems impossibly big. In the great scheme of things, it's a pinprick, right? One of about 400 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy, which you can see on a clear night as a pale white mist stretched across the sky and it gets worse there are maybe 100 billion galaxies detectable by our telescopes. So if each star was the size of a single grain of sand, just the Milky Way has enough stars to fil a 30-foot by 30-foot stretch of beach three feet deep with sand. The entire Earth does not have enough beaches to represent the stars in the overall universe.

Stephen Hawking and some other physicists believe in a reality that is unimaginably still. I mean, first of all, the 100 billion galaxies within range of our telescopes are probably a minuscule fraction of the total. Space itself is expanding at an accelerating pace. The vast majority of the galaxies are separating from us so fast that light from them may never reach us. Still, our physical reality here on Earth is intimately connected to those distant, invisible galaxies. We can think of them as part of our universe. They make up a single, giant edifice obeying the same physical laws and all made from the same physical laws and all made from the same types of atoms, electrons, protons, quarks, neutrinos that makeup you and me.

However, recent theories in physics, including one called string theory, are now telling us there could be countless other universes built on different types of particles, with different properties, obeying different laws. Most of these universes could never support life and might flash in and out of existence in a nanosecond. But they all combined make up a vast multiverse of possible universes in up to 11 dimensions featuring wonders beyond our wildest imagination. 

The leading version of string theory predicts a multiverse made up of 10 to the 500( 10500 ) universes. That many universes are far beyond your imagination right? But what about infinite? There are some physicists think the space-time continuum is literally infinite and that it contains an infinite number of pocket universes with varying properties.

Quantum theory adds a whole new wrinkle. I mean, the theory's been proven true beyond all doubt, but interpreting it is baffling and some physicists think you can only un-baffle it if you imagine that huge numbers of parallel universes are being spawned every moment and many of these universes would actually be very like the world we are in, would include multiple copies of you. In one such universe, you do graduate with honours and solve the theory of everything and in another not so much. Well, we may argue that there is only one universe and that is ours or these all are illusion including ours, As you can see there is no sold answer not even close to one. All we know is somewhere between Zero and infinity. One thing for sure this is to understand all this you need to get high on physics.

2. WHY CAN'T WE SEE EVIDENCE EVIDENCE OF ALIEN LIFE?

Somewhere out there in that vast universe, there must surely be countless other planets teeming with life. But why don't we see any evidence of it? Well, this is the famous question asked by Enrico Fermi in 1950. Conspiracy theorists claim that UFOs are visiting all the time and the report are just being covered up, but honestly, they are not very convincing. But that leaves a real riddle.

In past year the Kepler Space Observatory has found hundreds of planets just around nearby stars and if you extrapolate that data, it looks like there could be half a trillion planets just in our own galaxy. If anyone in 10,000 has conditions that might support a form of life, that's still 50 million possible life-harbouring planets right here in the Milky Way. 

Here's the riddle: Our Earth didn't form until about nine billion years after the Big Bang. Countless other planets in our galaxy should have formed earlier and given life a chance to get underway billions or certainly many millions of year earlier than happened on Earth. If just a few of them had spawned intelligent life and started creating technologies those technologies would have had millions of years to grow in complexity and power. 

On Earth, we have seen how dramatically technology can accelerate in just 100 years. In millions of years, an intelligent alien civilization could easily have spread out across the galaxy, perhaps creating giant energy-harvesting artefacts or fleets of colonizing spaceships or glorious work of art that fill the night sky. At the very least, you may think may be revealing their presence deliberately or otherwise through electromagnetic signals of one kind or another and yet we see no convincing evidence of any of it. Why?

Well, there are numerous possible answers some of them quite dark. Maybe a single superintelligent civilization has indeed taken over the galaxy and has imposed strict radio silence because it is paranoid of any potential competitors. It's just sitting there ready to obliterate anything that becomes a threat or maybe they are not that intelligent or perhaps the evolution of an intelligence capable of creating sophisticated technology is far rare than we have assumed. After all, it's only happened once on Earth in four billion years.

Maybe we are first civilization in our galaxy. But for a start, we are not looking that hard and we are spending a pitiful amount of money on it. Only a tiny fraction of the stars in our galaxy have really been looked at closely for signs of interesting signals or perhaps we are not looking the right way. Maybe as civilization develop, they quickly discover communication technologies far more sophisticated and useful than electromagnetic waves or maybe we are looking at the wrong scale. Perhaps intelligent civilization comes to realize that life is ultimately just complex patterns of information interacting with each other in a beautiful way and that can happen more efficiently on a small scale. Solar system might be timing with alien and we are just not noticing them.

Well, within next 15 years, We could start seeing real spectroscopic information from promising nearby planets that will reveal just how life-friendly they might be. The Search For Extraterrestrial Intelligence is now releasing it's data to the public so that millions of citizen scientists maybe including you can bring the power of the crowd to join the search. Here on Earth, amazing experiments are being done to create life from scratch, the life that might be very different from DNA forms we know. ALL OF THIS WILL HELP US UNDERSTAND WHETHER THE UNIVERSE IS TEEMING WITH LIFE OR WHETHER IT'S JUST US.
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