I believe that we are not alone in the universe. Let’s face it, the universe is infinitely vast, and humankind still has only the vaguest understanding of what’s out there. It’s pretty close to impossible that we’re alone in the universe.
It’s also super arrogant to believe that, too. Humans aren’t even alone on this planet. As far as we know we’re the only ones capable of thought and reason in the manner we experience it. Yet it’s not an impossibility that in the ocean depths, far, far below where humans can explore, another race not unlike us is there.
That’s this planet. The entire universe? Certainly, humans aren’t alone.
As a sci-fi writer, I have pondered alien races and how they might react to human beings. Many others have done the same. Star Trek, Babylon 5, Farscape, and other TV shows have explored how humans of our time or in our future interact with extraterrestrial species.
Given the current state of the human race and the petty matters over which we argue, make war, and generally disagree, nothing like Star Trek’s Federation or Babylon 5’s Earth Alliance (though closer) is coming soon. Humanity united? Currently, that’s unfortunately far-fetched.
Odds are, an extraterrestrial species will find us before we find them. So if they did encounter human beings now, what would they think of us? What’s more, what lessons can we take from that?
Human divisions are illogical
In the face of reason and logic, the things over which the human race tends to be divided are ludicrous. Invisible border lines, variations in skin color, belief or not in an invisible God or the like, differences in sex organs…all of these are pretty superficial.
Every single one of these are artifices that divide us. Even the differences in sex organs are not really anything more than whether one can carry a child or provide DNA to the carrier, really. Otherwise, we’re all human beings.
It is astounding how the variables that make us up get used to divide us rather than unite us. An alien race would find divided, disconnected beings that are similar but with superficial variations. If they have developed the technologies to cross interstellar space, possibly even travel faster-than-light, we’d probably look really primitive to them.
Let’s face it — humans are incredibly arrogant as a species. Don’t believe me? If that wasn’t the case, would the aspects of climate change or animal extinctions that are our fault be so easily brushed off or ignored? I think not.
Human beings don’t even know themselves
How many people on this planet really know themselves? Do you see more people who appear to live via their subconscious, plodding along, doing little more than surviving? What about how certain individuals and organizations constantly strive to disempower people through fear and artificial lack and scarcity?
When you step back and look at the big picture that is planet Earth and the human race, it really is crazy. We are creatures capable of creating virtually anything we set our minds to…and yet we’re held back by fairly petty and artificial things.
When you look at humans as animals like the rest of the creatures on this planet — and I expect extraterrestrial visitors would — our lack of self-knowledge, overall, is a head-scratcher.
You and I are capable of mindfulness, being aware of what and how we think, feel, and act. Unlike other animals that mostly just work to survive and propagate the species, humans can use tools and build almost anything imaginable.
And yet reason and faith tend to create conflict. Those who try to empower others are often overwhelmed by those working to disempower. If you step back and look at it from a totally outside perspective, it really makes no sense at all.
Would making contact with humans be of value to extraterrestrials?
That would be an interesting question. If they managed to come and visit us from well outside our solar system, then they are far more advanced than we are. The closest humans have come to interstellar travel has been using unmanned probes.
The only other object human beings have visited ourselves is our nearby moon. So as spectacular as much of our technology is, in the face of a race that crossed the stars from outside this solar system, we are, at best, monkeys using tools to get ants out of anthills.
This leads me to consider that humans would be of value to extraterrestrials in only a few ways:
· Scientific study. Maybe they were like us centuries ago and want to see if we progress as they did. Or if we destroy ourselves.
· Slavery. Enslaving us to build things for them and use our planet’s resources isn’t a far-fetched notion in the face of how advanced they are compared to us.
· Guidance. Ideally, they would help guide us away from all our petty differences and help us grow. Teach us to expand our view of not just what’s out there, but what is inside each of us.
Is the sci-fi myself and others conceive of utterly and completely implausible? Of course not. Lots of sci-fi notions of the 1960s are actual now. We have the internet, tablets, smartphones, and tech that just 50 years ago was science fiction. Hence interstellar travel and other still out-there notions are impractical more than implausible, currently.
As human beings, we often don’t explore the full extent of what it can mean to be human. We tend to be unaware, thoughtless, and mired in artifices that are not really important. An extraterrestrial race, upon encountering us, likely would be disinterested in us overall.
Why? Because we are self-destructive. Our arrogance as a race and self-appointed planetary overlords is mostly senseless. Why do I say that? Because everyone and everything is energy.
When you destroy the planet you destroy yourself. The energy transmutes, sure, but it is not dissimilar to your energy. There have been mass extinctions before, and for all we know another race like the human race occupied this planet and was utterly wiped out long ago.
Star Trek and other sci-fi presume extraterrestrials will be similar to us. Two arms, two legs, and one head, for the most part. Chances are that won’t be the case. They may not even be based in carbon as we are, but perhaps silicon or some other element that doesn’t exist on Earth.
Human beings tend not to be as fully aware and mindful as they can be. To be human is not just to exist, but to grow, change, evolve, and thrive. When our species stops dividing ourselves over petty differences and works instead together on that…now we may be ready to encounter extraterrestrial aliens.
What would Extraterrestrials think of us? This could be a deep, philosophical discussion. And maybe this question asks a deeper question in the process. What can we learn from stepping back and looking at ourselves from an outside perspective?
You are worthy and deserving of using your mindfulness to find and/or create the reality in which you desire to live. When all is said and done you and I matter, and we are worth understanding.