There was the most amazing article in the staid, God-fearing, right-wing old Daily Telegraph on August 31st. p. 25 . The author, John Gribbin, is a respected scientist with a Cambridge Ph.D. in astronomy and he is an author and editor who has worked for two of the most prestigious scientific journals, Nature and New Scientist.
The startling idea he has promoted is to do with Black Holes, those mysterious things in deep space which suck things in and then possibly transport them to another region of space and time or even to another Universe. There's a big one in the centre of most galaxies and they are constantly sucking in huge objects like stars which are never seen again, at least not by us. Critics of expensive physics research have said that the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva which produces highly energetic particle acceleration could create a man-made Black Hole that could suck in our world, which would thus effectively disappear, but people who understand such things say this could not happen, as such a tiny manufactured Black Hole would be too small to suck in an atom,let alone the Earth.
So far, so well known (especially if you've read my book), but Gribbin now points out that gravity has negative energy and so matter can literally arise from nothing at all, and therefore no energy would be needed to form a Universe. It seems likely that this happened at the Big Bang which formed our own Universe. In other words our Universe popped into being at the other end of a Black Hole which existed in a galaxy in another Universe.
It's been thought for some time, for complex mathematical reasons we won't go into, that there might be multiple Universes which either follow on from each other or are present simultaneously, and that new Universes might be in the process of being created all the time. Nobody knows how many there might be, but there could be an infinite number, in which case all possible events could happen on one or other of them, and the development of many different forms of intelligent life would be inevitable on many planets in many Universes.
Gribbins claims that if a human intelligence can produce a small Black Hole in a laboratory, it is theoretically possible that with a bit more time, a bit more power, and a bit more knowledge and intelligence, humans or their descendants might one day be able to make a Black Hole large enough to spawn a new Universe. Alan Guth of M.I.T. has investigated this possibility and concluded that the laws of physics do, in principle, make it possible.
In my book 'Why Man Made Gods and Dogs' (order from email@example.com) I took Richard Dawkins' atheist views in his book 'The God Delusion' one stage further by explaining how gods are psychologically manufactured by humans as an inevitable product of the evolution of the human intellect, because belief in the supernatural has survival value. Gribbins is now suggesting that our entire Universe could have been kick-started into life by some alien intellect which might have been only slightly in advance of the human.
The theologians will be rubbing their hands in glee. Maybe Dawkins and I will now have to write another book admitting that the Earth could indeed be part of a Universe that was created by a superior intellect to ours, and the laws of physics and chemistry being what they are, we could perhaps even be built along similar biochemical lines, even in the same image! Now where have I heard that before?
Even more worrying is the question of why should those aliens want to do such a thing? Perhaps to try to escape from their own Universe which is becoming uninhabitable? Scary isn't it!!
Unless of course the alien intelligence is God Himself who came through the Black Hole and is now everywhere, as most theologians would aver. And a right mess he's making of it!
Or did Satan come through the Hole with Him? I think I can feel a science fiction book coming on. I must go and lie down.