posted on Dec, 24 2004 @ 02:29 AM
Well, you'll have to forgive me in advance. I'm a bit rambly after suddenly realising how much sense this makes. If you'll bear with me and stand
the read, I'd like to propose an answer to why we're here.
First, some background:
The Von Neumann Probe is a self-replicating self expanding robot. Jon Von Neumann (pronounced Noy-man, let's get that out of the way now) put forth
the idea a long time ago. The idea is that millions of Von Neumann probes would be launched, and they would land on any planets in their paths, and
start reproducing, then construct a means for more to be sent off, then continue the expansion, and millions more would be put forth from each
colonised planet, who would then continue the trend. It would be the fastest and most efficient way to colonise and map out the known universe, taking
as little as a half a million years to colonize the galaxy.
Now, some foreground:
We constantly speak about nanotechnology, self replicating robots, etc... - and we're currently working a lot in biotechnology, and we've even
realised that DNA might be a great method of programming DNA-Bots.
We've also known for a while that bacteria is able to exist in space-type environments - It existed for a few years on the moon (69-73 or so).
We also know that we just somehow managed to start existing, and it is possible we've evolved from Bacteria.
Now the theory:
A long, long time ago, some species far more advanced than us came up with the same idea, and they knew the best way to go about it was
Cells were engineered that would last indefinitely in a stasis-like state as they drifted through space, propelled initially and then lightly carried
by cosmic winds.
They would be pulled out of their stasis by the heat caused by entry into an atmosphere, and would lose some excess bulk to remain there - and begin
As they divided and expanded continuously in the atmosphere, if the conditions were right, they could become heavier, falling to the earth - or, to
On a place like earth, they would have the warm seas to evolve in, heated by the still cooling crust. They would continue onward in the seas, creating
cultures and separations, evolving separately, and uniquely, finally competing and spurring evolution on themselves.
Eventually they would take to land from the seas - and you know the rest of the story until now. They would be driven to procreate through whatever
means necessary, to expand, to explore, to chart, to map and to conquer.
We are they. We are the Von Neumann probe of some previous race.
By the Anthropological Principle, it's seen that we exist simply because the conditions were right. A 'Why' is unnecessary - if it was going to
happen anywhere, why here? Well, because this is just a place it happened to work.
That's likely how the Von Neumann probes worked. There were quintillions, maybe decillions of initial bacteria launched - throw enough stones and
you'll hit a bird. several thousand could have hit earth, and luckily enough evolved.
But what about other planets? Mars is known to have a few areas with naturally replenishing Nitrogen.. a sign of likely bacteria, though no actual
bacteria has been directly seen.
Perhaps some bacteria hit Mars long ago, too, and all that's left is the little bit that is still alive in the atmosphere, creating Nitrogen.
If we managed to find some support of Bacteria on Venus, on Io, on Titan - it would seem likely that our solar system was sprinkled with it.
My final, essential point, is that it really would make sense that we are, as the philosophers and the 'great thinkers' sometimes joke, a giant
We are all just a mechanism made by something greater, made to make ourselves and explore.
-- But what use is exploration, if no one knows about it? If we are a Von Neumann probe, then, what has to be asked, is whether our creators will come
for their information one day, or whether they have long gone extinct, and we, our tool, are their remains.
This also raises some other questions - if we could find other solar systems with bacteria nearby, then it could be supposed we are relatively close
to the point of origin. If none nearby have any life, then we could just be the lucky lost brothers - stranded in the middle of nowhere.
Thoughts? Opinions? Criticisms? Acclaims?