18 November 2014

The possibility of other life "out there"

Have you, like me, ever wondered about the possibility of life on other planets, around other stars, even close to home in our own solar system? And this can be further broken down into either primitive life forms (bacteria, plants or even animals) or intelligent life forms. I long for the discovery of either, preferably with the latter.

I have a firm belief in a Creator, I find that there's too much wild speculation in the theory of evolution helped along by random chance, and requires from me a higher level of faith than does the belief in a superior Creator being. There is plenty of scope within my belief to encompass other life. I wonder if my fellow humans share my enthusiasm or optimism? Or do they react with fear and distaste, startled by the concept? It could be, whether it's that they simply don't think about such things, don't care, or maybe are afraid of finding out that we share space with beings that might even be far more advanced than ourselves. I will admit that prospect does sound a tiny bit scary.

The reason I ask this? I got thinking about the idea after reading the words of a passage in the book that I am currently enjoying. The book is The Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu and the passage is where two characters are discussing SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence). The point made here, albeit in a fictional context, is interesting:

"Wang knew that it was only within the last couple of years that serious and systematic consideration had been given to the question of how and to what degree human societies would be influenced by establishing contact with extraterrestrial intelligence, but the research had rapidly gained interest, and the conclusions were shocking.
Naïve, idealistic hopes had been shattered. Scholars found that, contrary to the happy wishes of most people, it was not a good idea for the human race as a whole to make contact with extraterrestrials. The impact of such contact on human society would be divisive rather than uniting, and would exacerbate rather than mitigate the conflicts between different cultures. In summary, if contact were to occur, the internal divisions within Earth civilization would be magnified and likely lead to disaster. The most shocking conclusion of all was that the impact would have nothing at all to do with the degree and type of contact (unidirectional or bidirectional), or the form and degree of advancement of the alien civilization."

I don't know if the author has used factual study findings here, but it certainly is thought-provoking. Do many of Earth's citizens fear the idea so?

I for one, live with the hope that one day we will meet some amazing new beings and become firm friends, sharing who we are and what we know. We will hopefully learn from each other, both the good and the not so good, and be able to enrich each others' existence and help make our giant community a better place, full of wonder and enlightenment.

A dreamer? Yes. An idealist? In some ways. I just want us as a species to fulfill a positive destiny and maybe even enjoy the company of some other folks along the way.

Not so crazy is it?

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