Extreme Star Cluster
A curiosity that I’ve held for a long time concerns outer space and extra-terrestrial life. The universe in all its glorifying grandness seems to be one of the few subjects that scientists and astrobiologists are still uncertain of and still making discoveries about. (Note that by extra-terrestrial life, this could mean merely biological activity on other planets and not necessarily tall, lanky, walking creatures with bug eyes.) This subject is received with scepticism, disbelief and ignorance by many, but, reality is that it is very probable that extra-terrestrial life exists.
My personal belief is that there is, without a doubt in my mind, intelligent life existing on planets that humans have not discovered, and may not ever develop the advanced technology needed to discover it. Is there not the possibility that in the infinite universes enveloping infinite planet systems within which there are clusters of galaxies, black holes and supernova, star nebulae, there is at least one planet other than ours that has developed intelligence and life? What seems completely impossible to me is the idea that this earth is the only planet with life in all space. This ideology seems superficial and obnoxious of the human race, to think their existence is the only advanced life in this or any other universe. I figure human existence on this earth to be a mere speck in the universe, and an infinitely tiny molecule when considering the possibility of plural and infinite universes.
The discovery of extra-terrestrial life would have a profound implication on societies all around the world. It would question religious, cultural and scientific beliefs, and have a social, economical and political impact on each and every society. It would be a stupefying, flabbergasting, stupendously massive discovery for people to learn of proven life on other planets and it is unconcievable to think how the human race would respond to this kind of news. If your next Facebook notification was of discovery by NASA or some other astronomical/govermental institution of confirmed extra-terrestrial life, how would you respond? A bewildering statement by Gen. Douglas MacArthur that,
"...the next war will be an interplanetary war. The nations of the earth must someday make a common front against attack by people from other planets. The politics of the future will be cosmic, or interplanetary."
It would be lovely to imagine that contact with extra-terrestrials would be friendly and non-invasive, but what would result and what severe repercussions would it hold for the human race if this is not the case?
Butterfly emerges from stellar demise
Also, what if extra-terrestrial life has already been discovered and the information has not been released by various astronomical and government societies to the public due to the chaos and sense of panic it would cause? Could you imagine if E.T. was not based on fiction, but based on fact that has been covered up and made into a multi-billion dollar franchise? There have been so many personal accounts of people having witnessed a UFO or some kind of unidentified life form. How much of it is real and how much not? Although, I have to say, I highly doubt that if other life was discovered, it would have two arms, two legs, one head with two eyes, a mouth and a nose and able to walk upright. It’s probable but to me, highly unlikely, that extra-terrestrial life would have any resemblance to humans unless the other planet is somehow very similar to earth in its bacterial and chemical compositions.
Dust clouds in Milky Way
Until humanity can develop the technology to answer these profound questions, (or until a spaceship lands smack bang in the middle of a major city like New York and practically shouts out its foreign existence), our little planet will continue to live in its lonely existence and the people in it continue in their happy, ignorant, peaceful lives. One day, though (perhaps), the innate curiosity of humans will pay off and such discoveries on extra-terrestrial life will be made, to either the demise or advancement of human existence.
Images courtesy of ESA/Hubble