“Every one who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the Universe-a spirit vastly superior to that of man, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble.”—
A prehistoric necropolis yields clues to the ancient use of sound and its effect on human brain activity. Researchers detected the presence of a strong double resonance frequency at 70Hz and 114Hz inside a 5,000-years-old mortuary temple on the Mediterranean island of Malta. The Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum is an underground complex created in the Neolithic (New Stone Age) period as a depository for bones and a shrine for ritual use. A chamber known as “The Oracle Room” has a fabled reputation for exceptional sound behavior.
Most people take it for granted that we have yet to make contact with an extraterrestrial civilization. Trouble is, the numbers don’t add up. Our Galaxy is so old that every corner of it should have been visited many, many times over by now. No theory to date has satisfactorily explained away this Great Silence, so it’s time to think outside the box. Here are eleven of the weirdest solutions to the Fermi Paradox.
Other than Earth, Titan is the only celestial object in the solar system capable of fostering stable liquids on the surface. But now, after years of searching, scientists may have detected waves rippling on its seas — which, if confirmed, would be the first discovery of its kind.
The methane, or hydrocarbon, on Titan is essentially liquified natural gas. Though in fluid state, these massive bodies of liquid were thought to be exceptionally calm, leading to the suggestion that no waves exist on the surface of this Saturnian moon.
“Just as every portion of the hologram contains the image of the whole, every portion of the universe enfolds the whole. This means that if we knew how to access it we could find the Andromeda galaxy in the thumbnail of your left hand. We could also find Cleopatra meeting Caesar for the first time, for in principle the whole past and implications for the whole future are also enfolded in each small region of space and time. Every cell in our body enfolds the entire cosmos. So does every leaf, every raindrop, every dust mote…”—David Bohm
How we drew the one we have from the zillions of possible universes in the cosmic lottery hat. Questions like why our world exists and what nothing is have occupied minds great and ordinary since the dawn of humanity, and yet for all our scientific progress, they continue to do so, yielding only hypotheses rather than concrete answers. But there is something immutably heartening in the difference between the primitive hypotheses of myth, folklore and religion, which handed off such mysteries to various deities and the occasional white-bearded man, and the increasingly educated guesses of modern science.
A review and update of a controversial 20-year-old theory of consciousness published in Elsevier’s Physics of Life Reviews (open access) claims that consciousness derives from deeper-level, finer-scale activities inside brain neurons.
The recent discovery of quantum vibrations in microtubules inside brain neurons corroborates this theory, according to review authors Stuart Hameroff and Sir Roger Penrose. They suggest that EEG rhythms (brain waves) also derive from deeper level microtubule vibrations, and that from a practical standpoint, treating brain microtubule vibrations could benefit a host of mental, neurological, and cognitive conditions.
“Your hearts know in silence the secrets
of the days and nights;
But your ears thirst for the sound of your hearts knowledge.
You would know in words that which
you have always known in thought.
You would touch with your fingers the
naked body of your dreams.”—Khalil Gibran
Might the repeated laboratory demonstration of purportedly non-local macro-level phenomena - including telepathy, remote-viewing, and precognition be understood as enabled by fundamental universal dynamics such as quantum entanglement or dark energy? Recently, six European and North American scholars gathered to investigate these questions. This is a report of their progress, and of future anticipated directions. Central concepts include the nature of space-time (and its possible extensions and hierarchizations), the extreme physics within quasars, the storage and retrieval of information at quantum levels, Cremona and Fourier transformations, the occurrence of holograms in nature and their function in information processing, and the fundamental nature of electromagnetism and gravity.
It’s a question that’s perplexed philosophers for centuries and scientists for decades: Where does consciousness come from? We know it exists, at least in ourselves. But how it arises from chemistry and electricity in our brains is an unsolved mystery.