It took mere nanoseconds to ponder everything necessary to determine if there is other life in the universe. Before my brain couple complete “I wonder…” my brain answered back NO! in a most vehement way. I thought to myself, well, okay. I guess I have some pretty strong feelings about that. I guess by my reaction I don’t believe in other life in the universe. I thought about the billions of billions of galaxies holding millions and millions of stars, and the gazillion planets that no doubt orbited around those glowing centers, I thought, gosh, that’s a lot of stars. Irrelevant, but a lot of stars.
You see, we don’t know if any of those planets really has an atmosphere and water and bipedal mammals with deep seated, self-aggrandizing hubris and the intelligence to inflict it. You see, for it to count for me, the so called other life out there needs to look like me and sound like me, or could after appropriate electroshock Pavlovian conditioning. It’s just not going to count if someone yells “Eureka!” and points to a bit of moss or lichen and start slobbering about having found that we’re not alone. In order to consider it life, it has to be a race with something we want and can talk them out of, hopefully in exchange for our paper dollar bills. Especially if we’re buying gold. How are you going to take a lichen to a three martini lunch and get him to sign on the dotted line, eh? Right, I didn’t think so.
It used to be that cosmologists through around expressions like “if we’re alone it would be a waste of space.” Or, the popular “There are so many possible planets it’s hard to imagine there isn’t other life.” These highly scientific statements, which were scientific statements because they were stated by scientists, were highly compelling for the average citizen with self-esteem issues and a gaping hole where their general science class memories used to be. I remember it as clearly as I do Betty Crocker’s Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe using Nestle’ morsels. They said something about the 9th delta or rotation of a certain protein withing a violent primordial environment which was a random occurrence and the result of unusual prevailing solar system conditions.
It’s true. Carl Sagan wrote a whole book justifying why we should believe in extraterrestrial life because it was the same as believing in God. I think that while it’s an interesting theory, it still strikes me as apples and oranges. As you can see, I have put a lot of thought into this whole no life but ours thing. I have also noticed that our kind of life manifests exactly the descriptive nomenclature as viruses, which occur with great and unrepeated diversity. Humans are just another of the many iterations. But there are other possibilities. Right now, brain scientists are beginning to redefine what reality is, and indicate that our idea of consciousness is actually an hallucination which occurs after the fact. Of course, if everything we know is really an hallucination, then I suppose we can hallucinate little green men.
But not some splotch of chlorophyll staining a rock on some bizarre and unearthly planet across the universe. There’s just no drama in that.