Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Is the Truth Out There?


This is a fun video about ETs from Al Jazeera http://www.aljazeera.com/video/americas/2013/04/20134302349604843.html

I'm an agnostic on ETs myself.

I think that in some respects the ET debate is a distraction.

Too often ETs are depicted as race-destroying villains or saviors.

In truth, we are the ones that inhabit those roles.

Humanity needs to look to itself for salvation from the problems it has engineered.

Consider our circumstances from the ETs perspective:

Would you want to save an alien race that is aggressively plundering and destroying its own home ecosystem?

Would you want to save a race that is content to allow half of its own members to suffer gross malnutrition and starvation?

Would you want to save a race with such corrupted leadership?

Would you want to save a race so content to be led to its own extinction?

I think that if aliens do exist, they are not likely to regard homo sapiens as a race worth saving.

The truth that matters is right here on planet earth.


3 comments:

  1. Sometimes reality is not as exciting as the movies..

    There are likely many, many other life forms out there - but we will never see them, and they won't come to visit.

    It's a problem of space and time. People have no idea how vast either of them are.

    First space: Our solar system revolves around the sun, which exists on the arm of a normal galaxy, the Milky Way. It is 4 light years to the closest star. It is 25,000 light years to the center of our galaxy.

    There are about a Billion stars in our Galaxy, which is less than 100,000 light years across. Beyond that there are other galaxies of all shapes and sizes - estimated 70 trillion of them, however they are much further away, millions and billions of light years away.

    Chances are that many of them have had, or have intelligent life.

    Now let's talk about time. The earth is about 3 Billion years old. Man has now existed for 3 million years. Man has had speech for an estimated 25,000 years. We have had writing for 5 thousand years. We have had radio communication for 150 years.

    Mankind's oldest electronic signals have only reached a handful of stars at this point. It is unlikely that they have reached one with intelligent life - that will most likely take thousands, perhaps millions of years. Only then would they know to send someone to us.

    We will likely have come and gone, before anyone else is able to detect us, let alone visit us. And they too will likely have come and gone before they are able to probe space. If you could travel at the speed of light, you could only realistically make a trip to the nearest star and back in our lifetimes.

    It would be like living on a grain of sand on the beach, and even if you were very advanced, you could only ever reach the nearest couple grains of sand - not any beyond that - however there are billions of other grains of sand on your beach and many many beaches on earth. Chances are some grain of sand somewhere has the exact right conditions you are looking for, but since you communication sphere is the closest couple of grains, you are unlikely to ever know it.

    And so, we are not the masters of the universe. We are merely happenstance visitors for an instant in time. Whether we have a good life or a bad life does not matter in the larger scheme of things. Indeed whether mankind lives or dies doesn't really matter in the larger scheme of things, as many, many mankinds have surely come and gone before.

    It's easy to fall into an intellectual trap of indignation about the situations we have in our lives, but in reality, it doesn't matter. We can foul the earth with radiation, and kill ourselves off, and it's no more than some ants poisoning their nest and killing off the colony. The earth will survive fine when we are gone, and the universe will survive whatever we throw at it.

    We live in the here and the now - today is real - all else is fantasy.

    James.

    ReplyDelete
  2. We are consciousness. That is part of the evolution of life, is it not?

    Unfortunately, our consciousness is tainted, bad faith as described by Sartre
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bad_faith_%28existentialism%29

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ahh I don't claim to be a student of deep thinkers, but I have read Jaynes:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julian_Jaynes

    His theory is that the development of writing enabled reflective consciousness which occurred over many generations and caused great upheaval.

    Perhaps this internet thing will cause a new level of consciousness - in which we are better understanding the intentions of others and how those intentions are affecting society as a whole.
    J.

    ReplyDelete