Guest Author - Linda Joan Paul
This tiny planet that we dwell upon is one of billions in a vast universe. We can only speculate on how the universe came into being, why it did, and where it is going. It has only been during the last 50 years that we have even begun to explore our nearest neighboring planets. And, we still don’t know a whole lot about them. What we are pretty certain about is that life “as we know it” doesn’t exist on any of them. But, what about the other millions of solar systems that we haven’t got the technology to investigate? Wouldn’t it be pretty presumptuous to assume that we are the only life that exists in the universe?
I guess in order to continue the thought process we would have to stop and define “life”. What criteria defines life? We dwell upon a living planet that is self sustaining and supports millions of different life forms. Is the earth, therefore, any less alive than we are? If we are made up of the same exact elements as the earth, wouldn’t we be extensions of the earth itself? Does being conscious that one is alive define life? Does being embodied define life?
What if life exists independently and without the necessity of a body in order to be viable? What if there are life forms that consist solely of energy that is not embodied? Would communication, as we understand it, be possible with such beings? Could it be that there are beings much like us on some distant planet wondering why no other life force from the stars has attempted to make contact?
And, if there is a Creator, by whatever name we choose to call it, why would it create a vast universe and then allow life to emerge on just one tiny little planet? Why not just create the planet and forget the rest? By the same token, if all this came about by the big bang--what was the cause of the big bang in the first place? Wouldn’t life be just as likely to emerge on millions of other planets if this was the case?
Supposing that there are more advanced civilizations out there that are studying life on this tiny planet. Would they choose to interfere in our development? Have they in the past? There are paintings on cave walls made by primitive people that indicate human like forms wearing what could be perceived as space suits. Could these beings be the Gods of the past? Are they still among us guiding us in an attempt to stop us from destroying our world and all the beings upon it by irrational acts of selfishness? Or, are they like Captain Kirk and his crew on the Starship Enterprise who cannot violate the first directive of non-interference?
Did all life in the universe start out the same way at the same time? Was the type of life relative to the conditions of the planet that it happened to emerge from? Life is certainly adaptable. We can mutate in order to survive. Maybe we would seem to be pretty hideous or unintelligent to a life form that was conceived upon a planet that was virtually airless and arid. What type of life might emerge in those type of conditions?
Just like many other theories, concepts and ideas, the existence of life on other planets has yet to be proven. Or, if it has, the information has not become public knowledge. Perhaps as our technology advances we will be able to form a universal net much like the internet of today. E.T. calling home may not be as far fetched as one would imagine.