Star Trek had some pretty cool ideas. Even the spinoffs. Now I’m not a Trekkie. I’ve never worn the ears. I don’t speak Klingon. But one of the things about Trek was even though they traveled far and wide and kept stumbling onto sentient life forms who were often evil, there was often a message that there was a special-ness to man. I mean even more special than Kirk’s dropkicks.
You know what I mean. In about thirty episodes, Kirk was forced shirtless into some gladiator type arena where he had to battle some being with a head clearly made of paper mache to the death. Kirk, after being tossed about for a minute, would cleverly gain the upper hand and then would have the paper mache creature right where he wanted it and then…he would refuse to kill the creature. And everyone would learn something from this and comment on how odd humans were. Hey, I enjoyed it.
This brings me to my point. Fox News had a piece yesterday entitled “Scientists: Earth May Exist in Giant Cosmic Bubble.” The crux of the piece comes down to whether Earth exists in a “special” place in the universe. One scientist thinks so.
If the notion of dark energy sounds improbable, get ready for an even more outlandish suggestion.
Earth may be trapped in an abnormal bubble of space-time that is particularly devoid of matter.
Scientists say this condition could account for the apparent acceleration of the universe’s expansion, for which dark energy currently is the leading explanation.
Now I think I’m attracted to this story because it sounds like a sci-fi/ fantasy story with its mentions of “space-time,” and “dark energy.” I admit it I get a kick out of writing these terms. Mind you, these are all terms science is cool with. You want to know one word science doesn’t want to hear: “Special.”
Dark energy, according to the article, is the name given to the hypothetical force that could be drawing all the stuff in the universe outward at an ever-increasing rate.
They theorize that much of the universe (74 percent) could be made up of dark energy with another 21 percent being dark matter while good old normal matter comprises the remaining 5 percent.
So, essentially, this scientist is positing that we live in “an unusually sparse area of the universe.” This would explain much, he says, and many scientists agree that it would explain some things that people with my lowly IQ aren’t able to understand. BUT…one little problem. It sounds a little too much like God so it therefore it gives scientists pause.
One problem with the void idea, though, is that it negates a principle that has reigned in astronomy for more than 450 years: namely, that our place in the universe isn’t special.
When Nicholas Copernicus argued that it made much more sense for the Earth to be revolving around the sun than vice versa, it revolutionized science.
Since then, most theories have to pass the Copernican test. If they require our planet to be unique, or our position to be exalted, the ideas often seem unlikely.
“This idea that we live in a void would really be a statement that we live in a special place,” Clifton told SPACE.com. “The regular cosmological model is based on the idea that where we live is a typical place in the universe. This would be a contradiction to the Copernican principle.”
So, science showing that the universe exists in an anomalous area in the space-time could lead one to suspect that we were special which could lead us to question why we were set aside in a special place.
It will be interesting to see if this theory gains any foothold in scientific circles or whether other theories which point to the man’s special role or place in the universe are looked into or ignored.