Science works, folks.
This is not merely sarcasm, though I can see how it can be taken as such. The universe is vast and uncharted. Unlikely it is that we’ll ever traverse it with regularity anytime soon. Yet, the exploration is justified. Human curiosity dictates that we will never be satisfied until we find out if we are alone within the cold emptiness of space. The Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies are nice; fertile ground for the imaginations of many a scientist. While a scientist I may not be, I am in awe of the cosmos and it’s many delights. However, there is some concern that comes from there being galactic neighbors (it’s not all hot apple pie and nosiness). So for today, let’s ponder the possibility of life outside of Earth (which there obviously must be)…
What Am I Seeing?
There happens to be a planet with a radius similar to Earth’s, that exists within the habitable zone of another star. This exoplanet is called ‘Kepler-186F’, and it resides within the Cygnus constellation. Now it’s 582 light years away from Earth, so they maybe very distant cousins, but the fact remains that as of April 2014 we became as sure as we could be that there are other ‘Earth-like planets’ in the universe. That thoroughly narrows things down, as far as interstellar travel and contemplation goes. If life can exist ‘here’ why can’t it exist ‘there’? Since then space study and the desire to traverse the starry expanse has skyrocketed (pun intended). One thing that I haven’t gotten an answer on, however, is what would we do if we actually established contact with beings from another planet?
We Come In Peace?
Let’s hope they don’t meet this guy up here first. In reality, we seem to want to get to other habitable planets because we are bad at taking care of them as a whole. We could definitely learn how to treat other human beings better. Do we really want to introduce ourselves to the Cosmos as we are? In the 2016 movie The Arrival humanity had to deal with a perceived invasion on multiple fronts, but it was all a harrowing tale of miscommunication and knee-jerk reactions to extraterrestrial contact. If there’s one thing I learned from the film, it’s that bombs and bullets only go so far. If you haven’t seen it, I emplore you, watch it. Deeper than the trailers suggest.
For as much as we want to explore the vast beyond, I think we should be looking inward. There’s still so much we don’t know about the Oceans, let alone space, and the oceans are more easily accessible. Do I want to encounter other life forms? More yes than no, but I also use manners and practice critical thinking. Not your average traits, unfortunately. When we do stumble across beings from the great beyond I hope our representatives were raised right.