We Live On A TARDIS (Seriously)

I was watching some Doctor Who before and I came to a surprising conclusion. We actually live on a TARDIS. TARDIS, of course, stands for Time and Relative Dimension in Space and it’s (if you’re one of the three people that doesn’t know anything about Doctor Who) the ‘ship’ that the good Doctor uses to traverse the universe.

The Tardis. By aussiegall from sydney, Australia (Dr Who Uploaded by russavia) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

It has a few odd qualities about it. For one, it’s ‘dimensionally transcendant’, which means, as the Doctor’s companions almost always point out, it’s bigger on the inside than it looks on the outside. It can travel through time and space and it possesses sentience, of a sort.

So how does the Earth measure up as a TARDIS?

1. Dimensional Transcendance

The Earth when viewed from space:

By Reto Stöckli (land surface, shallow water, clouds) Robert Simmon (enhancements: ocean color, compositing, 3D globes, animation) Data and technical support: MODIS Land Group; MODIS Science Data Support Team; MODIS Atmosphere Group; MODIS Ocean Group Additional data: USGS EROS Data Center (topography); USGS Terrestrial Remote Sensing Flagstaff Field Center (Antarctica); Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (city lights). (http://visibleearth.nasa.gov/view.php?id=57723) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The Earth when viewed from Earth:

As you can see, when you view Earth from outside of the Earth, you can see fully half of the globe as a circle hanging in emptiness. It looks much smaller than when you view it from ON the Earth, where it’s almost impossible to tell that the Earth isn’t flat and you haven’t got a hope of seeing an entire ocean at once. Bigger on the inside than when viewed from the outside…Dimensional transcendance, proven!

2. Time And Space Travel

We should all know that the Earth travels through space, orbiting the Sun, accompanying the Sun along its orbit around the Milky Way and following the trajectory of the Milky Way as it hurtles through space. It also happens to be traveling through time at a rate of one minute per minute.

However, the 1:1 ratio of time travel into the future is only true if you’re actually standing on Earth. If you leave Earth, let’s say on a GPS satellite, then time will actually do a very peculiar thing. It will physically slow down. The seconds you’re experiencing ACTUALLY run slower than the seconds someone would experience on Earth.

This is known as Time Dilation and we have to correct for this in order to even be able to use GPS satellites. Without correcting for the fact that time will run slower for a satellite that is relatively far away from the Earth’s surface, GPS would VERY quickly become completely inaccurate.

Einstein discovered this bizarre quirk of the universe when he came up with the Theory of Special Relativity. So, in actual reality, the Earth and everyone on it is a time traveler, in one form or another, and anytime you increase your speed or increase your distance from Earth, you are experiencing the time travel given to us by the mass of the planet.

Earth lets us travel through both time and space, proven!

3. Sentience (At Least Some Form Of It)

How could the Earth possibly be sentient? It can’t speak to us; there is no ‘power’ that it has; it has no motives or desires or even fears. It’s just a lump of rock.

That is, of course, until we remember that we evolved from this planet. In the early years of Earths history, life came into being. We actually have a pretty good understanding of how this happened, although we can’t (yet) prove exactly which way it went down.

But we do know that the oceans were seething with amino acids and organic chemistry, being broiled and frothed by super-heated undersea vents; by volcanic eruptions; by lightning striking; by comets and asteroids colliding with the planet; by the very Sun itself beaming down energy…In this tempestuous storm of ingredients, trillions and trillions of atoms and molecules continually collided, reshaping and reforming over millions of years.

Eventually, a replicator emerged. It would’ve been incredibly simple to begin with. One of the interesting things about atoms is that they are attracted to each other in quite specific ways. This first replicator may have had a structure that, through only the shape and bonds of the atoms it was composed of, collected the raw ingredients around it, bonding stronger with some atoms and weakly with others, and eventually spat out a copy of itself. The copying system wouldn’t have had to be perfect, but once that point is achieved, evolution can take hold. Statistical variations in the replicators would’ve led to a replicating race that has culminated (so far) in the world we see around us now.

So what does all this have to do with the Earth being sentient? Well, we are made from the goddamn Earth. We are a way for the universe to know itself, as Carl Sagan so famously put. We sprung forth from the ingredients of the early Earth and we are now examining some of the smallest particles and largest structures the universe can produce.

The Earth is sentient, because we are all a part of the Earth, proven!

And so there you have it, the Earth has pretty much the same qualities as the TARDIS, however ridiculous it might seem. Now all we need to do is find out where the helm is and take control of this crazy, science-fiction-turned-reality, big ball of blue and green that we call a planet.

The universe rocks.


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