Think about it. There are billions of stars in our galaxy, the Milky Way. Our sun is just one of those stars, and since most suns have at least a few planets orbiting them, there are trillions of planets in our galaxy alone. Multiply that by billions of galaxies, and we can safely assume there are a trillion, trillion planets in the universe. Even if just a tiny percentage of them have life, and just a tiny percentage of those with life have intelligent life, then there are still billions of planets with intelligent life forms in the universe.
Okay, so we have a likelihood of billions of planets with life in the universe. Of those, probably the majority of them are more advanced than we are. Why shouldn't they be, since our known history only goes back a few thousand years?
Remember that the electric light bulb was invented in 1879, about 230 years ago. The steam engine in 1775, a bit over 300 years ago. The first satellite was put into orbit in 1957, and the first man to venture into outer space was in 1961, less than a mere 50 years ago. Now we send up satellites all the time. It's estimate that over 26,000 satellites are in Earth's orbit, while several satellites had ventured to the far reaches of our solar system and some are heading beyond.
How did we go from inventing the light bulb to 26,000 satellites in orbit in 230 years? If we had another 230 years of evolution, or perhaps 1,000 or more, might we be able to visit other galaxies? Seems likely.
Did you also know that the broadcasts we make with radio and television signals go out into the far reaches of space? For over 80 years humans have been beaming signals around this planet, signals that also happen to go out in space and then on forever. We've been broadcasting our presence for 80 years, and at the speed of light those signals have traveled for 80 light years to thousands of nearby galaxies. Anyone with the intelligence to receive our signals can certainly find us.
We also know there have been thousands of UFO sightings, history of primitive tribes strangely knowing all about the universe and the procession of the equinoxes, ancient mysteries such as the buildings of the pyramids and Puma Punku and Stonehendge, claims of alien abductions, Roswell, etc.
So, it's extremely likely there are aliens nearby who know about us. Why wouldn't they make themselves known? Y'know, like come out and introduce themselves and have coffee or smoke the peace pipe or something. I'd like to offer a few scenarios that seem to make the most logical sense, because if there's one thing we assume about aliens, it's that they're logical. (thank you, Mr. Spock)
Option #1 - They don't know we're here. For the reasons above, I'd give this less than one out of a million chance, so let's just get real and forget this option right now and move on.
Option #2 - They prefer to observe and report. This code is similar to how many of our biologists handle wildlife observations in the field. For the most part the rule seems to be, "Take nothing but photos and leave nothing but footprints." Maybe alien observers have this code of conduct as well, like biologists in the field just observing and reporting. I could get behind this theory, at least for some of the aliens.
Option # 3 - There may be a universal policy that states "non-interference with teenage societies." To me, we might be considered "teenagers" as far as societies go. We're smart enough to make rapid changes and add our input into the world (i.e. the light-bulb to the satellites thing), yet we're stupid enough that we just might destroy ourselves and the majority of life on our planet with us (the nuclear holocaust, biological mass extinction, global warming cataclysm things). We're in a major balancing act right now, and the scales could be tipped either way - will we destroy everything we love (including us), or will we act responsibly and save our futures (and the Spotted Owl)? Perhaps alien code dictates that "teenage societies" need to be left alone to either mature and be a welcomed race to the intelligent universe or to destroy themselves and thus save the universe from their sub-par genetics. I think this option has some merit, that aliens don't going around saving everybody just cause they need saving from themselves. Maybe they're in a watch-and-see mode for a few decades.
Option #4 - It's not in the alien's interest to inform us of their presence. Maybe the aliens are having a grand ole time here, because we don't know they're here and they're aliens! Maybe they're making a killing in the stock markets and buying up ocean-front property around the world and getting laid every night by major hotties. Maybe all that might come to a crashing halt if we knew who they were and where they'd live, because maybe… we'd freak out and want to kill them. Hmm, that option kinda makes sense the more I think about it. They're living pretty high on the hog and don't want to jeopardize that sweet lifestyle. Sounds good.
Option #5 - They've been there and done that and then the shit really hit the fan. Maybe they know that if they tell us about themselves, all hell will break loose. People will panic and die right on the spot from fright. Nukes will be deployed in countries believed to be popular alien neighborhoods. NASA and FDA will work frantically to develop a virus that will eradicate them or irradiate them or something really bad (sort of like Kryptonite but this is serious, folks). This option sounds a little less believable but still a possibility.
Other than that, I can't think of anything right now. Maybe they're just waiting for Dec. 21st, 2012 when everybody is expecting something big to happen. Maybe they think that'll be a really funny joke, or maybe we'll be more prepared for something by then.
I guess until they come out of the "proverbial closet," I guess we'll just have to go on living life as usual. By the way, in case you're wondering… I'm not an alien. I'm just a guy like any other guy trying to make sense of a situation that doesn't make a whole lotta sense. Think I'll go back to the drawing board and see if any other options come to mind.
Home Page of author Jason Matthews.
Home Page of author Jason Matthews.
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