Sunday, July 16, 2017

Humans: The lonely guys of the universe

July 2, 2017

Our ventures into outer space are technically awesome but often conceptually pathetic, with the are-we-all-alone? whine/question. Yes, practically speaking, we are alone, given the distances between planets and galaxies. Unless those UFO sightings reflect something real, in which case aliens are keeping their distance and just find our species of interest the same way we find a Melanesian cargo cult interesting.

The cover story in the July 2 NY Times Magazine (Greetings, E.T. Please Don't Murder Us) about contacting other species in the cosmos got some interesting feedback in today's Times:

We are not convinced of global warming, despite the evidence that it is true. Darwin’s views on evolution are, in the main, fact, regardless of the refinement of the details; and prejudice within our species is nearly genocidal with its impact. We are not eligible as a species or a civilization to make decisions about possible extinction events or issues. 

We need to shut up and get our social, political and scientific houses in order before trying to invite unknown aliens to ‘‘Come on down, y’all.’’ We might end up on the menu or in slave quarters. 

And religious concerns should not even be on the table for any form of consideration because there is not any factual evidence to support any tenet of any religion: They must be taken on faith, and you must believe, despite what the facts may belie concerning those beliefs. 

The whole METI thing needs to be decided based on facts, of which we have damned few, and taking a ‘‘Wouldn’t it be nice if. . .” is hardly a tactic designed to ensure our survival as a species. 

Jay Brown
Seminole, Fla.

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