This post will , at first glance, seem like a bit of a departure from the basis tenet of this blog –which is how the discovery of life elsewhere will impact people of faith. But that is a big subject with many layers and so, periodically, we will take a look at some of the other areas that will be encompassed in the larger discussion. In this case, it’s about that first contact and what it means when we first learn of the presence of ETI . ( Note: as mentioned in one of my opening posts, I will not be using terms like “aliens” and “UFO’s” which I feel are loaded and lead the discussion into the realm of science fiction and little green men, rather than the serious scientific view of the search for life elsewhere. ETI stands for “Extra Terrestrial Intelligence” and is the appropriate and accepted term in scientific fields associated with space exploration and astrobiology ) .
If you have read any of the reams of material out there in the popular media on this and related subjects, you will know that there are many who believe that we should not be attempting to contact ETI . And we shouldn’t be advertising our presence to them either. The esteemed physicist Stephen Hawking is one of them and cites various reasons. See the following article for an overview:
He not only ( rightly ) points out our poor record of “first contact” on our own planet but also that we should consider that ETI might be coming to eat us. OK — that is, admittedly, an exaggeration but not if you have been watching all the apocalyptic science fiction movies that pop culture has been shoving down our throats for years. However, I suppose it is circumspect to consider that ETI could be coming for our resources or even to colonize us. I don’t happen to agree with either of these scenarios but I get why they are out there. But my friend Yoriko has a different take on why we shouldn’t be pursuing first contact and it has more to do with a dark and bleak view of our own species rather than a fear of what any ETI might do to us.
Yoriko and I have been friends for many years, former colleagues in the Corporate world back when we were “workin’ for the Man” as they used to say back in the 60’s. We have a lot of shared interests, one of them being a true and genuine love and appreciation for all things Star Trek and the vision of Star Trek. Yoriko likes to kid me that, if there really were a Federation of Planets like the one Gene Rodenberry envisioned in Star Trek ( an alliance of planets were the only members admitted were those civilizations that had evolved beyond the need for war and where diversity and peace were the order of the day ) –we would not be eligible for membership. And –given the state of the world we live in today–she is right!
But why don’t I let her tell you herself? She was out gardening this past Fall , shortly after that “disruption” (disaster) occurred south of our border and it all hit her at once. I call this “Yoriko’s Rant“ and because I tend to be a relentless optimist, always looking for the positive , I am going to let her darker view of things bring some balance to the subject. That way, she will keep me from becoming too much of a Pollyanna by reminding me that not everything is that simple.
Thanks, Yoriko:) I hope that you stay onboard as an observer on this journey and jump in any time you think I need to take off those rose coloured glasses.
Here is what Yoriko thinks ( taken from an email she sent me shortly after her revelation in the garden and re-produced here with her permission ) :
” And intelligent life is going to want to make contact with us?
The human race is stuck in an infinite loop. We will never learn as a species as a whole. Our ingrained roots are so very deep and strong. Hate knows no borders nor can be weakened by bodies of water, in fact, that may very well strengthen them. Hate would not be stifled in the least from crossing planetary bodies nor galaxies. Hatred may be controlled or masked or masked but only for a time. Those who care will only rise after hate has devastated our landscape to the point where we no longer recognize it. The damage becomes permanent and that in which we say beauty and hope is lost. Attempted extermination only causes such roots to lie dormant. Because we don’t, other than those that are absolute in their vigilance, stomp hatred back down so that it never sees the light of day , hate will rear its ugly head again and again. It only took–what? —two generations? !!
We as a species have not come to the realization or chose to ignore that this invasive construct lies with us and we do not have the luxury of becoming complacent. Weeding must become our daily way of life because the root lies there quietly, all the while rejuvenating, becoming more virulent.
But, because weeding is not intrinsic, all it took was that maladjusted little pile of sh–, that is Trump, whom everyone turned their nose up at , hoped it’d go away and left it for someone else to clean up–to regenerate that malignant growth. That sh–, became the fertilizer , the catalyst that re-energizes the root to strengthen and sprout everywhere without anything to stop it!
We now live in a society where: the good are outnumbered; morality is no longer relevant and common sense and decency are not existent.
I would hope that, if we are part of some type of terrarium or Petri dish ( as some believe ) , we, the humans, could be eradicated, leaving all other life forms to continue to evolve!!!
So, I ask again, what truly “intelligent ” life form would want to make contact with this kind of non-evolving, antagonistic, threatening type of invasive species??”
And. as I would say to Yoriko, tongue firmly planted in cheek: OK, my friend – now tell me how you really feel!!lol 🙂
This is what Yoriko thinks, or at least what she thought while working in her garden one day, pondering the election of a bigoted climate change denier (among other things) in that powerful nation that lies to the south of us. And whether , when ETI cruises by for a look, they should keep right on going.
What do you think?? Would love to hear your thoughts.
M. A. N. January 2017