I had a fascinating conversation about the universe with my 11-year old daughter Grace the other day. We were talking about the enormity of it all. I could see her eyes widen when I explained how we can’t really see how it is now, only how it was long ago, since the light only can travel so fast.
Then it hit me. What if the whole universe is gone? What if we are truly alone? We would never know.
In all discussions about the universe, whether about exoplanets, aliens, size, nature or age, we are always talking about it in the present tense. The only problem with this vantage point is that it is fundamentally incorrect. We have no idea how big it is in this instant.
The fact is, when we watch the universe, we can only see ancient history. Sure the stars closest to us are only 4-11 light years away, so they are probably still there, but the rest…
When we try to ascertain the true nature of the universe, we are always playing catch up and we will always be a couple of billion years behind the actual facts – the truth of the matter is, we will never know. To try to learn the nature of the universe is like trying to catch your own shadow.
It could all be gone for all we know. We wouldn’t find out for another couple of billion years. It is conceivable, that we actually are the only planet in the universe where there is anything going on worth mentioning. Its all due to the theory of relativity.
Bottom line is this: There exists no scientific evidence that the universe exists today! All we have is the dream about the universe. Maybe Einstein is laughing at us in his heaven?