CMB: message from a Creator?
Does the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) contain a message from a creator? That was the question posed by S. Hsu and A. Zee on the astro-ph cross-listings yesterday.
Suggestions made in the past include messages imprinted in human DNA or the Grand Canyon, although both of these require intervention at some point by the being leaving the message, and neither are universal (why leave a message just on one planet?). The authors of this paper suggest that, if they had created the universe and wanted to leave a message for any life that developed, they would leave something universal that could be found by any technically developed species, hence the suggestion of looking for messages in the CMB.
The CMB is often described as the echo of the Big Bang. It is the signal which was emitted from the plasma which filled the universe about three hundred thousand years after the Big Bang. At this time, the plasma had a temperature of around 3000 degrees Kelvin. This signal has been redshifted on the way to us and now appears at a temperature of 2.73 K, in the microwave part of the electromagnetic spectrum. It is universal as the signal comes from all parts of the sky: any observer, looking from any part of the universe, would observe the same patterns in the CMB.
The authors suggest that data from future experiments measuring the CMB (such as Planck) should be analysed to look for patterns which may represent a message from a creator (assuming that there was one of course). Nothing may ever be found but, as they point out in their conclusion, "this may be even more fun than SETI".