It’s a compelling (and scary) theory.

Advanced Civilizations

A Harvard scientist has an interesting theory as to how our universe was formed: in a laboratory by higher "class" of lifeform.

Avi Loeb, bestselling author and the former chair of Harvard’s astronomy department, penned an op-ed in Scientific American this week positing that the universe could have been formed in a lab by an "advanced technological civilization." If true, he said the origin story would unify the religious idea of a creator with the secular idea of quantum gravity. 

"Since our universe has a flat geometry with a zero net energy, an advanced civilization could have developed a technology that created a baby universe out of nothing through quantum tunneling," Loeb wrote. 

Class A Civilization

One of the more interesting ideas posited in an article chock full of them is the civilization classification system. Loeb said that as a low-level technological civilization, humans are class C (or a civilization dependent on its host star). 

If and when our technology progresses to the point where we can become independent of the Sun, we’d be class B. If we can create our own baby universes in a laboratory (like our theoretical creators) we’d be class A.  

Of course, there’s a wide number of things in our way — the biggest hurdle being our inability to create a "large enough density of dark energy within a small region," said Loeb. However, if and when we do ever get there, we’d be able to join our theoretical creators in class A!

In any case, the theory is compelling, humbling, and a little bit frightening as well. If Loeb’s past theories are also to be believed, we’re likely not the only ones out there gunning for class A status either. 

READ MORE: Was Our Universe Created in a Laboratory? [Scientific American]

More on the universe: Scientists Create 3,000 TB Simulation of the Universe You Can Download

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