Something I was thinking about the other night was mankind’s endless search for alien lifeforms. And it suddenly seemed kind of silly to me. What exactly will other lifeforms in the universe do for us? Save us from ourselves? Teach us how to not devastate our biosphere? Give us cool new weapons?
Chances are that if we ever did encounter new lifeforms, given our track record, we would kill them and take their resources and destroy their history.
I understand the curiosity, of how life might be on another planet. But my generation is that of the Challenger, not of the man on the moon. And it seems a waste of human time, ingenuity, and effort on dead space, when there is so much to explore here, on our earth, in our own homes, in our very hearts and minds. I understand the quest for the Final Frontier. But I think it is misguided. Look at what our government wants to do with the space program now–make lasers, make weapons. Good old boys, always excited to get some new overly expensive useless guns.
Chances are, even if there is life out there somewhere, that it will be completely different than anything we would ever expect. It won’t be ETs with giant heads and eyes and fingers. It will be some tiny amoebas that thrive in adverse conditions.
Isn’t the sun alive? Isn’t the moon and all the planets alive? The comets and the stars? Aren’t these alive? They may not breathe, but they have a beginning, a movement, and an end, a pattern and harmony in the cosmos. We are looking for something to surprise us, something new, to entertain us, to feed us the wisdom that we’ve been ignoring all around us. Like a saviour. If I ever met an alien, I’d tell him to run for it while it has still got a chance.