A new vision of our Solar System: a living organism

by A. Autino – Moncrivello July 24th 2008

Paper submitted to the Inner Circle of Technologies of the Frontier / Space Future

In the frame of the preparatory works for the Space Renaissance Foundation

What mainly stimulated this reflection to me it was the paper presented by Prof. Vincenzo Zappalà at Belgirate (2nd International Convention of Technologies of the Frontier), about asteroids and Near Earth Asteroids.

Such paper changed my vision of the Solar System, and I take the freedom to think that it could change the mind of many people too! (:-)).

Now, please make this simple thought: do you remember what they thaught you at school, about the Solar System? Something like this:

A well ordered system, where each planet owns its permament, timeless orbit, and is fully separeted from the rest of the cosmos.
Such image is completely false.

The truth is what Vincenzo showed us:

This is anything but a well-ordered place! 

This is like a boling pot or, better yet, a living organism…

In its inner nucles (within the orbit of Mars), life is developing.

Our Earth is the biosphere suitable for development of an intelligent lifeform, with the potential to reproduce the system in the cosmos at large.

The above is evident from a number of facts:

  1. The system features a process of fertilisation, by comets and other objects, as they cross and interact with the internal nucleus

  2. The system supports the development of living organisms

  3. The system also supports the devlopment of intelligent beings

  4. The system shelters the inner nucleus from dangerous big objects

  5. When such beings are developed, the system spurs their vivacity and initiative 

  6. The system eliminates unsuccessful experiments, using the same tools as used in the creative and evolutionary process described above

  7. Somehow, the system “remembers” the mistakes, and “redesigns” the next experiments

Now, let’s see how the system works.

The fertilizing materials are likely stored in the Oort cloud “freezer”, and cautiously assembled and despatched, to order (to begin a new life-experiment). 

A mighty planet is mounting guard on the inner nucleus: this is Jupiter. After Earth begins her pregnancy, Jupiter takes care, by his huge gravity, that no giant comet can enter, disturbing the process. Thus life had time to develop on Earth.

But the role of Jupiter is not only that of Guardian. He is also a strict educator. In ancient Greek mythology, Jupiter sends lightning bolts to Earth. This is quite true! Juppiter keeps on kicking asteroids into the path of the inner nucleus. In this way the system is trying to instruct the intelligent beings living here that:

  1. universe is not (only) an harmonious system, but can also be very dangeorus 

  2. a big amount of material is crossing the interface between Earth and Cosmos 

  3. our time will not be endless.

Jupiter is playing with us like we could do with a kitten, throwing pellets and balls near him, seeing if we try to catch them or we are so obtuse that we keep on looking only at our umbilicus. 

The old saurians correspond to the above type: not a lively kitten, but an heavy and wicked animal (wickedness seems to help intelligence, but only up to a certain limit: real enhancements can be attained only by intelligence+love, this is the potential superiority of humans…). 

When the time of the experiment has expired, the system kicks a killer asteroid into the ecosystem. If the intelligent animal has evolved far enough, he will be able to catch it, if not… goodbye to this experiment! 

For those of us who were not at Belgirate the June 7th, I should recall the Enzo’s explanation (and apologize for possible inaccuracy). 

The asteroid belt is anything but a stable system. Thousands of asteroids are continuously attracted by the Jupiter’s gravity. Many of them grouped together at the Jupiter Lagrange points, while many others take a flyby tour in Jupiter’s gravity field, and are kicked off to cross the internal nucleus. This is how they become Near Earth Asteroids. Some thousands of NEA were catalogued by NASA, and 300 of them by Enzo! 

Such a process looks also a bit like the mixing of mayonnaise; with a giant spool, Jupiter keeps on mixing the internal bowl.
The above vision of the Solar System is something like a new Copernican Revolution. 

We are suddenly transcending the narrow and shortsighted vision of many ecologists, who are only able to think about Earth as a living organism (Gaia), but cannot see beyond its boundaries. 

Thinking about the Solar System as a living organism widens our horizon without further need of complex explanations. Like the Pregnant Earth concept, is a self-explaining metaphor. 

And one consequence follows with blinding clarity: we shall navigate in the system, we shall learn to catch asteroids, or they will catch us! 

We shall settle outside Earth, achieving the best position from which to direct the dynamics of the solar system inner nucleus. Furthermore, we don’t have millennia to reach this position, if we miss the current window, we will not be likely to have another opportunity! 

I wonder how this vision can be further developed, from the philosophical point of view. 

I shall value all comments and suggestions, by those of us who find this vision intriguing and stimulating. 

And, also, do you think that this vision could be part of the founding philosophy of the Space Renaissance school?

[English version revised by Michael Martin-Smith]

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