Contact with a nonhuman intelligence is our only chance of proving the universe is real. Let's face it: Until we Earthlings visit another solar system (presumably through wormhole travel to a presumably biodiverse planet with intelligent life), the universe, for all we know, could be merely a 3D hologram, a mural by perhaps thousands, millions or billions of artists... or perhaps (somehow) just one. The hologram could even be 100s of millions of miles deep; or just the appearance. At the nearest point it would be Alpha Centauri, and the farthest would be the (apparent) blast wall of the Big Bang.
Anyone who, or anything that, manifests merely on this planet could be the product of those who reside only in this solar system, unless we (or however many) can see/experience otherwise.
Don't get me wrong. I would wager the universe is real, but we can never know based on what anyone simply tells us, or by what's only seen through telescopes.
I confess my need for proof of the universe is based on my being particularly creeped out by what's happening on Earth now (the economic meltdown-freakout in tandem with the base of robotic ignorance/denial). I'm talking the George Carlin twisted face, heebie-jeebies jerks-and-spasms dance brand of creeped out (though yes, I'm able to balance enough with my meditations-mantras). However, I'm stable enough to handle the holograhic truth if it were to be undeniably revealed as such. It would mean we (at least effectively) are, in fact, alone in the universe, and a too-primitive "civilization" dominates the only biodiverse planet in Creation. Depressing beyond description, but all major truths are necessary ones anyway. Real change begins with real truth, however it happens.
If this rock in the dark galactic hinterlands is forever doomed to domination by dark people (seen and unseen), I hope I've earned enough points to reincarnate on an enlightened enough planet in the galaxy proper. Otherwise I'm sentimentally attached enough to this place to hope I'd want to come back here. love and kisses