Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Are We Alone? - 2014

Next week (the first full week of March), is Science Channel’s (SCI) Are We Alone Week, featuring new episodes of shows like Close Encounters and NASA’s Unexplained Files (with breaks for some of their other shows late night to early morning).

It’s a good question, isn’t it? A lot of religious people will tell you the universe is nothing more than a glorious backdrop for us, devoid of life. However the sacred texts generally do not seem to indicate one way or another. If you want one that does, there’s always Scientology, but… well, here’s a quote from Wikipedia:
“In the OT levels, Hubbard explains how to reverse the effects of past-life trauma patterns that supposedly extend millions of years into the past.[132] Among these advanced teachings is the story of Xenu (sometimes Xemu), introduced as the tyrant ruler of the "Galactic Confederacy". According to this story, 75 million years ago Xenu brought billions of people to Earth in spacecraft resembling Douglas DC-8 airliners, stacked them around volcanoes and detonated hydrogen bombs in the volcanoes. The thetans then clustered together, stuck to the bodies of the living, and continue to do this today. Scientologists at advanced levels place considerable emphasis on isolating body thetans and neutralizing their ill effects.”
Personally, I find it egotistical to presume that a divine being wouldn’t feel free to create other worlds. Of course, I’ve created a lot of neighborhoods on the SIMs and come to the conclusion that I’d make sucky god. But basing a focused attention theory on that, would be treating god(s) like Schrödinger’s cat.

(If you didn’t get that last reference, the cat goes in a box, look it up.)

For a non-theological look at the question, might I suggest looking at the Drake Equation? Using the equation, you can change different variables to effect the resulting number of interstellar communication ready civilizations. There’s a few calculators for it online, which takes out most of the work, allowing you to focus on your speculative decisions (however it’s not a particularly had equation to solve yourself, there’s just several steps).

Perhaps even the sheer number of UFO reports should be convincing that there’s life somewhere else in the universe? Even if it is unevenly distributed?

(This is a screenshot of MUFON’s UFO Stalker interactive map, taken on 2014 January 17. Note the typical large cluster of UFO sightings over lower Florida. )

Well, what do you think? Is there other life out there, or are we alone?

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