I’m inspired by last week’s news of the “Goldilock Planet” to write about extraterrestrial life and my absolute certainty that we are not alone in this universe. If you haven’t read about it you can find it here: http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2010/09/29/5202633-alien-planet-looks-just-right-for-life
In another news story out this week, more than 120 ex-Air Force personnel claim to have seen UFO’s around their base in Montana. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/09/28/national/main6907702.shtml
During these sightings their nuclear weapons would become deactivated. A co-worker of mine who lived in the same area has testified to the existence of these mysterious lights and objects and claims to have seen them on multiple occasions. Now, I don’t know if you know many people in the military. My family happens to be full of them. The ones I know are very by the book and honest to a fault. They would never dream of saying something like this unless they believed it to be true. Shit, they won’t even tell me most of what they did while in the service period. The point being that these are most likely trustworthy fellows. We’ll just ignore that whole Roswell debacle, shall we?
My argument has been echoed by many over the years and is not nearly as original or revolutionary as I would like it to be, but here it is anyways:
With a universe so vast, so filled with countless stars and planets, how is it possible that we would be all alone in it?
What a terrible and lonely idea.
There are many who believe that life on other planets is possible but is most likely microscopic. If a planet can sustain water (even if frozen), it can sustain life, even if that life is smaller than the eye can see.
There are others, like Stephen Hawking, who believe that other sentient beings are out there and will most likely destroy us when we come in contact with them. Much as the settlers of the new world destroyed the indigenous peoples already living there. As he so pointedly puts it, that “didn’t turn out very well” for them. I think HG Wells and President Whitmore would agree.
If we get lucky our first visitors will be like the Vulcans in Star Trek: First Contact. Indifferently interested and willing to hook a brutha up with a tidbit of technology or two. Some cosmic rims, if you will. They will hold their superiority over us but that’s ok, we’ll form the United Federation of Planets and show them who’s boss.
Of course, there’s always the option that we’ll destroy them. Or at least persecute them a la The 9th District. Or to a lesser degree, Alien Nation (hey, we let him become a cop, didn’t we?)
So what are we humans to do when and if alien visitors arrive? Hide, welcome, or destroy?
I’m in the “let’s hope they’re friendly and welcome them but kick their asses if they’re mean” camp. But mostly, I’m in the “of course they’re out there” camp, whether we ever come in contact with them or not. I just can’t bring myself to believe that we’re alone and if you do, that’s your egotistical and close-minded opinion and you have every right to believe it.
Just don’t look at me when Mars Attacks! And you weren’t prepared bee-yatch.