Intelligent Design

Question of the hour: Are space aliens hoarding stars in an expanding universe?

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War-of-the-worlds-tripod.jpg
Alien tripod by Alvim Corréa, 1906 French edition of H.G. Wells’ “War of the Worlds”

Start your day off right with the really gripping questions. From Emily Conover at Science News:

To offset a future cosmic energy shortage caused by the accelerating expansion of the universe, a super-advanced civilization could pluck stars from other galaxies and bring them home, theoretical astrophysicist Dan Hooper proposes June 13 at arXiv.org.

Paper.

Advanced societies might be able to harness the energy of stars by surrounding them with giant, hypothetical structures called Dyson spheres (SN: 4/24/10, p. 22). But the expansion will eventually make it impossible to reach stars outside the civilization’s home turf. Aliens that possess such technology might want to maximize energy reserves by sending spaceships to retrieve stars before the cosmic isolation sets in. Each star’s energy could be captured with a Dyson sphere, and that energy would then be used to propel the star homeward. More.

If the aliens are really advanced, they can shop for stars in the past and the future and have them delivered. There’s nothing wrong with this stuff at all except that it isn’t science. It uses the trappings of science, in the same way perhaps as Hollywood Bible movies use the trappings of religion. The more “daring” the stuff is, the more likely it is to be off the track.

See the difference, for example, between:

Crackpot cosmology offers us a future worse than extinction

and the reasonable questions and suggestions about whether simple life could have got started elsewhere:

Will a new type of photosynthesis, just discovered, change the hunt for alien life?

From Universe Today: Do icy worlds have enough chemicals to support life?

The far-fetched stuff answers an essentially religious need to feel that we are not alone. Because most of the speculators do not think much of religion, they do not exercise discipline in their thinking. It’s great as summer fun but a bit problematic when treated as if it were a science subject, just like the newly identified method of photosynthesis.

Background: But surely we can’t conjure an entire advanced civilization?

How do we grapple with the idea that ET might not be out there?

One Reply to “Question of the hour: Are space aliens hoarding stars in an expanding universe?

  1. 1
    ScuzzaMan says:

    If you have sufficient mastery of energy to encircle and move stars, then energy reserves are not going to ever be your primary concern.

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