James Gardner, the author of Biocosm and Seth Shostak, Senior Astronomer at the SETI Institute, joined together for a discussion about the universe on Wednesday night. The premise behind his book Gardner said is that life and intelligence are the "primary cosmic phenomena" and are "woven into the fabric of the universe in ways that surpass our understanding."
The universe does seem to be "optimized for life," Shostak agreed. And yet he surmised it would also spend "forever" dying, as it slowly cooled off. In regards to our location in the universe, Shostak said at first scientists thought that other galaxies were all moving away from us, but then it was realized that it was simply an effect created by the fact that "space itself was expanding."
Discussing our origins, Gardner mentioned a new theory called the "Big Splat," which proposes that our universe was created in "the collision of parallel universes." It's also possible, Shostak added, that "we might be fabricating new universes within our own." Indeed our universe might be a "tiny speck in a vast multiverse," Gardner intriguingly posited.
Bumper music from Wednesday January 21, 2004