What is the Anthropic Principle

We are the aliens

Scientists from around the world have gathered at London’s Royal Society to debate the merits of contacting alien civilisations, but they should also discuss another pertinent problem: that humankind may be living anomalies in an anomalous universe, whether there is extraterrestrial life out there or not.

We humans are very arrogant about our place in the universe; and quite naturally so, as we are the only known beings in the universe. We assume we are living at a special time in the universe as only we alone can witness its grandness and presume a special relationship with the cosmos. This is known as the Anthropic Principle. Well, we should rethink our Anthropic view of the universe and see ourselves in a very different light.

For years, we have known that the universe is made up of only five percent of ordinary matter; that is the visible universe: galaxies, stars, planets, you and me. The rest of the universe is dark matter (some twenty-three percent) and the even more of it is mysterious dark energy (around seventy-two percent). The question is: is our five-percent of matter the norm or is it to be considered an anomalous and random inclusion within a naturally dark universe? We see our five-percent bit of the universe as the normal condition of the universe, because we live in it. But it is not.

There could be dark-matter beings out there in the universe viewing us with disdain and wondering why our five percent speck of matter survives. The majority of the universe could have a Xenocentric view on our existence. All the supposed alien abductions, invasive surgeries, and attempted/alleged hybrid creations could all be in order to determine what we are; to make us better, to cure our baryonic nature. We humans are the aliens, the anomalies of the universe, the dregs of creation in our little bubble of visible matter.

This begs the further question of our existence: Is this a natural state of events where we inhabit an oasis of ordinary space or were we created and live in what is in effect a safari of ‘normal’ matter designed by the bored indigenous dark matter inhabitants? The Xenocentric universe may be multidimensional, supernatural, or so dark we will never penetrate it with our toy-like instruments. We humans are a minority in a universe of dark matter and energy. The state of the universe is not going to change any time soon so the proportions of matter/energy will stay the same. No matter how far we explored in the universe, we could only ever experience five-percent of it.

So, we are not special; just left-over bits from the big bang, whose natural inclination was to create a dark universe. Our small visible-light universe makes us an endangered species. How are we to cope with that? Are we making the most of our lives? Are we lucky? Yes, we are lucky to be here, but at the same time we have to accept that we might not have the right to exist and can be culled by the universe at anytime. In fact, we exist to help the universe return to a state of chaos. All our building, wars, exploration, even breathing creates more and more chaos or thermodynamic entropy, so we are doing our bit to destroy ourselves naturally. Maybe that’s our five-percent universe’s function: to create chaos and return the universe to its natural state before the next big bang.

So scientists at the Royal Society needn’t worry about aliens invading or watching us whether there is finally first contact or not, for our existence may be totally random, innocuous, short-lived, and less than a blip on the Xenocentric radar. Like a certain thought-experiment with a cat, we won’t know whether the validity of Anthropic Principle is dead or alive until the box is opened, in this case by extraterrestrial communication. However, the best bet is the universe has chosen the majority dark side as its primary breeding ground and that our Anthropic view of the universe is a presumptuous belief.