IF WE ARE ALONE …

X-FILES-i-want-to

We are either alone in the Universe, or we’re not alone. Until formal contact with an extra-terrestrial life-form is established we can only affirm that: Intelligent life exists beyond the planet Earth or it doesn’t.

Nevertheless, we can statistically try and calculate what the possibilities of life existing beyond Earth are, and yet … does it matter? Well, if a positive, progressive energy can be generated by the conclusion, then yes, it does matter.

*

This week, the media have been latching on to a recently published article from Oxford University’s Future of Humanity Institute that argues the case that statistically we are most probably alone in the Universe.[1]

The article in question, by Sandberg, Drexler and Ord, called “Dissolving the Fermi Paradox” adds very little to arguments already put forward by Ward and Brownlee in their Rare Earth Hypothesis formulated nearly twenty years ago. Despite this fact, the media have picked up on the FHI paper as if it were a totally new discovery, proving that we must be very much alone.

New or not, the Rare Earth Hypotheses argues that the astrophysical, geological, chemical and biological combinations needed to create the cocktail for the evolution of intelligent life is so complex and needs to be so precise that our own existence is a freak stroke of luck, and that the accident we are is so special and fluky that it is very doubtful that is has been repeated anywhere in our Universe.

Yet, should we now assume this hypothesis as definitive? And if we do accept it, can this ‘we are alone’ perspective be beneficial for humanity in any way?

*

There is an X-Files episode (Redux, the first episode of season 5) in which the hero, Fox Mulder, is in a motel room watching a video of symposium featuring astrophysicist Carl Sagan amongst other, in which the question of the existence of life beyond Earth is being discussed. The actual symposium was held in 1975 and was joint sponsored by NASA and the Boston University.

In this conference, it was argued, in a proclamation by Richard Berendzen, that “the amount of stars in our galaxy alone is so staggeringly large, to the order of 1011 or more; the probability of stars having planetary systems is so high, perhaps half; the probability of those planetary systems might be comparable with our own and that the stars have some kind of ecosphere … suitable for life and it’s not too hot, not too cold … it begins to lead to the sorts of conclusions … that life must exist in the Universe and it must exist quite abundantly.”

Carl Sagan then affirmed that the most optimistic estimates about the number of civilisations there would be in the galaxy is in the order of a million.

Once it had been established unanimously that civilisations had to exist in the Universe, all of the speakers at the symposium expressed the view that contact with an advanced civilisation would have to be positive and enlightening for humanity. With the exception of the scientist and Nobel Prize Winner, George Wald. Wald began his speech with a positive affirmation of life in the Universe, like the others, but ended with a very sobering reflection. The tone of his voice suddenly drops into a melancholy register and he confesses that: “I can conceive of no nightmare as terrifying as establishing such communication with a so-called superior … advanced technology in outer space.” For Wald, such an encounter would be: “The degradation of the human enterprise.” He then went on to describe this enterprise: “One of the greatest of human enterprises is our understanding; something that men have sweated out to the greater dignity and worth of man, and to see the thought that we might attach us by some umbilical cord to some more advanced civilisation, science and technology in outer space, doesn’t thrill me, but just the opposite.”

What Wald is warning us of here, is that an encounter with a superior civilisation would rob ourselves of our purposiveness. And what is implicit in this argument is that humanity could have no meaningful place in any world populated by superior beings, because all our understanding would suddenly be rendered obsolete; and, as such, the human race would itself suddenly become obsolete.

What Wald is describing here, is our reason for being, which is encapsulated in our understanding.  

 

Reflecting on this point, and on our own civilisation at this point in time, we have to conclude that our own lives are very much alienated from this meaningfulness which is our understanding of things, and this displays the tremendous decadence of our system.

But what Wald’s observation also tells us is this: That if we are not alone, it is best to believe that we are alone.

*

If we are alone it imbues humanity with a tremendous responsibility – the obligation to be sapiens; to understand; to develop the human enterprise toward the fulfilment of knowing; to enjoy the meaningful pursuit of becoming knowledgeable; and, through this understanding, participate in the very Being of the Universe.

The Universe can only really exist in a qualitative way, if there is a conscious entity within that Universe that understands that It does exist. The homo sapiens is the species that knows and reflects on that knowledge. Whether or not we are the only species that knows in this Universe, believing that we are fills us with a powerful, driving purposiveness.

Embedded in this purposiveness is a duty to prolong existence in time and increase the quality of that existence, through progress.

And, in order to do that, we have to overcome the deep, nihilistic decadence that infects our civilisation today.

But again, we run into another paradox, because the human enterprise of understanding necessitates the exploration of the possibility of discovering other intelligent life-forms, even though there is a possibility that we may encounter civilisations so superior to ours that our meaningfulness in the Universe will be totally diminished.

However, perhaps this paradox is false. When we do have the technological capabilities to encounter other civilisations the dilemma would no longer have relevance for we ourselves would be advanced enough to communicate on a partnership level with the other civilisation. Likewise, if Ufologists are right, and we are being visited by extra-terrestrial civilisations already, these civilisations are wise enough to disguise their presence from us, precisely in order not to destroy our purposiveness.

[1] SEE: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jun/27/aliens-exist-survival-universe-jim-alkhalili

https://metro.co.uk/2018/06/25/probably-intelligent-life-universe-depressing-study-finds-7657344/

 

 

 

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6 thoughts on “IF WE ARE ALONE …

  1. .
    paul …

    your ability to write is just staggering !
    I am really impressed by …. there is just one thing wrong with it
    your inability to going any further !
    going beyond writing ….

    because ….
    this planet earth having been discovered 26 millennia ago
    by a billion year old …. trillion citizen civilization and we are convinced >
    that to save this planets population is diminshing every day >
    because of this inability of all those billions
    to even having any real dialog

    we have not found … one homo sapiens
    being able to communicate > to see reality >
    to confront what is happening
    on this planet earth

    and with this as a basis
    save this planet earth
    .

      • paul …

        you have to be messiah !
        there is no way around it …

        every one has to be messiah !
        what other would I be asking for ?

        only if they are all messiah
        like the trillion of the galactic nation
        can a jesus christ be competing with all these
        and not to be put on the cross !

        and only if all are galileo … all are giordano bruno

        does this planet earth have a chance
        can all those be guarding creation for all eternity

        or do you have some other idea ?

  2. ” Wald began his speech with a positive affirmation of life in the Universe,
    like the others, but ended with a very sobering reflection.

    The tone of his voice suddenly drops into a melancholy register
    and he confesses that:

    “I can conceive of no nightmare as terrifying as establishing such communication
    with a so-called superior … advanced technology in outer space.”

    For Wald, such an encounter would be: “The degradation of the human enterprise.”
    He then went on to describe this enterprise:

    “One of the greatest of human enterprises is our understanding;
    something that men have sweated out to the greater dignity and worth of man,
    and to see the thought that we might attach us by some umbilical cord

    to some more advanced civilisation, science and technology in outer space,
    doesn’t thrill me, but just the opposite.”

    we know the problem is
    not this not so advanced technology !

    but this state of this unethical > anti sapiens social political system
    being the nightmare to any advanced civilization
    because of the danger to our universe !
    to any sapient civilization …

    so …
    the people from planet earth should not be trying to stay ” alone ”
    but one way or the other becoming >>> homo sapiens

    before the universe has to do away
    with this nightmare

    here are some hints …

    since we are homo sapiens …
    we have of course no democracy >
    certainly no secret and free voting

    but of course an argumentocracy
    meaning … where is the best solution is used by all

    because only the best solution
    can be shaping our future for all eternity
    where our universe and all worlds are preserved to eternity

    and should someone
    bring forward a scientifically provable better solution >
    then this will be used

    of course we have no theocracy
    even though

    it is our entire existence to conserve this universe
    and all its people … so … we live according to a religion
    a believe to guarding all creation

    there is no humanity with power positions
    but an alienating hierarchy

    and alienation creates automatically
    and principally criminal energy

    which will lead to a secession
    as soon as no power can prevent it
    because power exertion makes it natural
    to creating this cleavage

    of course
    there is no money here and consequently no capitalism
    since this only can be the end of every thing

    we create everything that we need
    so …. that we have everything and of course
    we can keep it for millions of years …

    when will you start ?

    .

  3. .
    what does all this silence tell us ?
    why does paul hope he will stay alone ?

    with no help from any eti ?

    does no one have any other aspiration ?
    then doing every thing themselves

    is not this ego competition > the problem to begin with ?

    all we want
    is this world and all homo sapiens here
    and any other in all this universe to be save
    from all this competition !

    .

  4. .

    ” I want to believe ”

    here we have the same paradox
    as with happiness

    you can not choose > in what you believe
    but to be seaching for the truth
    and then believe in this truth

    this is why all those believers
    all those religions native to planet earth
    have no answer for todays problems

    this will never work
    every one has to believe
    in not believing any thing

    but to believe
    to be working out a public reality >
    every day with all concerned …

    and according to this reality as your basis
    you will have to create the new reality
    there is no way around going through
    this search for what is first
    all have to go through this

    a fata morgana will never bring any one
    the water they need so desperatly

    and to be loosing their delusions
    will be imposible … because then
    their will fall into this black hole
    of unconsciousness

    where they will be until
    they are becoming conscious again
    but will they make it out of this ?
    while having to keep their biology
    working ….

    I have no idea …
    do you ?

    .

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