Careers Beckon for Aspiring Planetary Protectors
Fans of Guardians-of-the-Galaxy movies, and other such entertainment fare, may wonder why Earth offers so few career opportunities with anything like the excitement they demand. But, we can report, a new day may be dawning for ambitious would-be protectors of Earth and its denizens.
In an August jobs posting, NASA announced its genuine intention to hire a Planetary Protection Officer. It is part of a serious plan, approved by Congress, to create, within the U.S. Air Force, a Space Corps. One fourth-grader from New Jersey says he is “an alien” (presumably a friendly one), and to count him in. Indeed, in August nine-year-old Jack Davis mailed a hand-written note of inquiry, and within days received an official reply from Dr. James Green, Director of NASA’s Planetary Science Division, who hinted that the agency will keep him in mind, though the kind of protection they have in mind is more about microbes than unfriendly aliens.
Though the job of Planetary Protection Officer may not be exactly what young Jack imagines, it seems not unlikely that, in the years ahead, the planet will indeed need protecting.
Iapetus Fingered as ‘Death Star’?
Anyone viewing the Cassini spacecraft flyby image of Saturn’s moon, Iapetus, may find it difficult not to notice its resemblance to the notorious “Death Star” of Star Wars. According to space researcher Richard Hoagland (author of The Monuments of Mars), there may be even more reason to see a connection.
A mysterious ring clearly visible around the Iapetus equator suggests to Hoagland, and others, that the moon really consists of two metallic halves that may have been artificially joined. The third largest of Saturn’s moons (eleventh in the Solar system), Iapetus is the largest body in the solar system known not to be in hydrostatic equilibrium—in other words, it is not truly round like most planetoids of its size, or larger. The suspicion of some is that Hollywood has long been privy to significant secret scientific knowledge about interplanetary space, which has been withheld and slowly doled out to an unsuspecting public in preparation for greater revelations yet to come. Star Wars, the movie, they point out, was filmed in the 1970s, whereas the Cassini mission was not launched until 2010.
NASA, says Hoagland, has, since its beginnings, been following a policy based on a 1959 Brookings Institute report warning about the dangers of prematurely releasing evidence of ET civilization to the public.
Is the Universe Conscious?
For modern materialist scientists, the world must seem a scary place. While many dispute the very existence of consciousness, they now find themselves facing growing opposition from within their own ranks.
A few years ago, Dimitri Krioukov, a professor at the University of California, San Diego published a study in Nature’s Scientific Reports that suggested that different kinds of networks evolve in similar ways. In an interview with the website Space.com, Krioukov said the universe really grows like a brain, building its networks as it grows, with the electrical firing between brain cells ‘mirrored’ by the shape of expanding galaxies. Krioukov is quick to point out, though, that it doesn’t mean the universe is thinking. He did concede, however, “for a physicist it is an immediate signal that there is something missing in our understanding of how the universe works.” That is, of course, what some might call a no-brainer.
And while that may sound like heresy enough for the church of science, the situation is getting worse. Gregory Matloff, a veteran physicist at New York City College of Technology, has now published a paper arguing that humans may be like the rest of the universe in substance and in spirit. A “proto-consciousness field” could extend through all of space, he argues. Stars may be thinking entities that deliberately control their paths. Put more bluntly, the entire cosmos may be self-aware. That view is all part of a growing movement called ‘pan-psychism’ and it’s the ‘in’ thing in some very exclusive scientific circles. It’s kind of like the Gaia hypothesis that says the Earth is a living, breathing conscious being, but here a similar concept would apply to entire galaxies, and even the whole universe. Or, as, the ancients might say, ‘as above, so below.’