“There are two possibilities, we are either alone in the universe or we are not. Both of these are equally terrifying.” Arthur C Clarke.
These words have resonated with me for some time and it’s hard to find any human being that could to relate to this feeling. It’s a quote that gives me the sense of the isolation of the human race and gives me the inescapable feeling that we are all space travellers on a lonely rock in space. It’s also got me thinking – the search for life outside of our own world is focussed purely on one thing – space or location. Where are they?
But let’s look at this another way – is there extraterrestrial life around now, was there life before? Is there extraterrestrial life to come?
If other beings live out there, if we’re to find them, we must do so before one or either of us is expired by the universe. ~ Simon Farnell
Now you might be reading this and thinking that I’ve lost it this time. Surely the aliens are here, right here and right now. But bear with me on this. Planet Earth and the solar system have been around for a very short time in terms of the age of the universe and the human race has existed for a mere blink of an eye in that time… if that. So maybe in the time that we currently exist in the universe is a time where there’s nothing else.
Civilisations have come, grown, developed and been wiped out millions of years ago and any trace of them turned to dust by the natural erosion of their planets.
Or maybe we exist in a time before other civilisations have even started, maybe we’re the first to crawl out of the oceans and develop and grow into sentient beings.
Other possibilities may be that one human life is far shorter than the lives of other beings that live on other worlds.
Time as I have said before is such a relative thing, based on what we can perceive and measure with our minds. If we imagine the universe as a giant entity existing in its place we can maybe imagine that our existence is a fleeting and insignificant thing, a moment of time too short to measure and other races that may or may not exist will also be a similar fleeting moment.
So if other beings live out there, if we’re to find them, we must do so before one or either of us is expired by the universe. Our fleeting moment expired before we could reach out and connect.
Kinda scary eh?
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