Thursday, June 7, 2007

Finally, Someone Dares to Say it

From an article highlighted on Digg:

Intelligent extra-terrestrials almost certainly exist on distant planets beyond our solar system, leading British astronomers told the government yesterday.The scientists expect that the first evidence of primitive alien life, such as microbes and vegetation, will emerge within 10 years, with more substantial finds following future space missions.

I can't believe that anyone with a brain larger than the size of a peanut believes that in a universe the size of ours, we're the only planet with life on it. Statistically speaking, the chances are astronomically remote that we're the only planet that harbors life. (Yeah, that's a cruddy choice of words. Sue me later.) It would be the height of human arrogance to think that our world is the pinnacle of evolution throughout the known universe, and to place ourselves at the top of the evolutionary food chain.

But hey, what do you expect from a bunch of talking apes? (Especially a world where the biggest, loudest, most idiotic chimp of all was "elected" the ruler of the most powerful tribe of apes.)

Anyway, when you take into account the size of the universe, and the number of worlds that we're starting to find, the chances of finding one with primitive life begin to rapidly increase. Every time we find a world with primitive life, the chances of finding one with more evolved life forms similarly increases. The further away from our world we move, the greater the chances of finding one with life forms similar to or more advanced than our own.

Does that mean they'll come zipping across the interstellar spaces in vast fleets of gleaming starcrafts to invade or embrace us? Hell no. They'll be just as constrained by the laws of physics as we are. But they're out there. Somewhere.

In my mind, the laws of statistics and probability are every bit as valid as the laws of physics.

read more | digg story