One of the more popular ‘paradox’ scenarios is the apparent contradiction between the high mathematical probability of there being life in not just one, but hundreds or thousands or millions of different star systems, across our universe – contrasted with the lack of evidence of any of their existences.
I’m not writing this post because I have super-strong feelings, one way or another, on this topic. In a similar vein as my ghostly posts, I have witnessed phenomena unexplainable by my own personal knowledge (so, technically UFOs) but that doesn’t mean I feel comfortable making the assumption that I have seen evidence of extraterrestrial life.
From my own perspective, I tend to lean towards the probability…near certainty…that there is life that exists outside the confines of our planet…and if I’m going that far, I have no problem stating that I also believe it would make sense that there would be intelligent life as well.
I feel there are more than enough plausible reasons to balance both sides of this paradox – but of the dozens that are well known, allow me to share my favorite(s)
“They are too alien” and/or ‘We aren’t listening properly’ – science fiction has led us to believe there is a strong possibility that life from other planets/galaxies, no matter how advanced/ancient, would be vaguely humanoid in shape…carbon-based lifeforms…with skeletons and brains and blood… because that’s what we know – so why WOULDN’T we imagine otherwise?
We also think that ‘life’ experiences time in the same way that we do…but what if alien life developed in a corner of the universe where gravity was strangely intense and it caused life to be more rugged and insanely long-lived…and SLOOOOW.
We think our SETI system is most often picking up ‘background noise’ – but what if we have already received super-slow transmissions – perhaps the radio-type waves are hitting us, so the equivalent idea would be one short sentence being communicated…over 4 years of time – it wouldn’t sound like anything.
There may be sentient life out there, trying to communicate with us – but we don’t have the ability to hear and understand. Perhaps to them, we look like a planet covered with waves of scurrying ants – impossibly fast, devouring the planet… Perhaps we don’t merit the effort of communication… Perhaps alien life recognizes us for the planet destroying virus that we are, and we’ve been universally marked as a planet that should be allowed to just die off.
Our collective ego makes us think ‘I’ve been around for YEARS, and I’VE never seen aliens – so they probably aren’t there.’ Of course, we would think that way. We can’t even conceive of the amount of time humans have existed on this planet. Forget 200,000+ years… we can’t even conceive of most things that have happened more than 70 years ago. However, we think we should merit the investigation and introduction of other species that may have been around for MILLIONS of year – because we are just so special. After all, we MUST be the grand conclusion of what it means to be the most wonderful radical group of sentient beings in the history of everything.
I’m the sensical turtle – don’t blame me, I voted for Kodos…