Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Where Are You, E.T.?

We do live in the most interesting of times. For one, a celestial event that only occurs once in a lifetime will happen tomorrow when Mars comes closest to the Earth. To think that our eyes will be the first in countless generations to witness this magnificent event it totally mind boggling to me. In all of the ages of humans on Earth, we happened to be at the right place and time to see something that will not be seen again until all who live today are dust and ashes under the ground. Makes one think of the insignificance of our lives compared to the machinations of the universe and yet it also gives us a sense of being singled out for a special event out of all who have come before us. At least that is how I feel as I look forward to watch the skies tomorrow night.

I’ve always been interested in watching the night sky. As a kid, I would spend hours looking up at the sky dreaming of the possibilities that exist in that final frontier. Naturally piqued by the stories that I read from my sci-fi books, I grew up wondering if at any moment I was looking up at someone else out there who just happened to be looking out for us and thinking about the same things I was thinking about. Maybe it was part of my childish feeling of isolation even among my family that led me to want to believe so hard that we cannot be alone in the universe and that some where out there, there was someone or something that I could connect with.

I have to admit that I believe fully that there is extra-terrestrial life out this among the stars. The universe is too big for just humans to inhabit if you consider that we only live on one small world. I believe that the Almighty Creator wouldn’t waste so much space if the universe was meant for humans alone. Somewhere out there, some kind of life must exist and they may even have the same questions as we do about the nature of our isolation. Maybe time will only tell if we would ever make first contact with extra-terrestrial life if we have not already considering the number of close encounter stories that have been one of the staple of the internet culture for as long as it has existed.

If there is life outside of this world that is currently studying us today, how would they perceive us as a race? Maybe to them we humans are a divided immature species quick to anger and irrational action being ruled by petty desires and conflicting emotions. Or maybe, to them we are dynamic species that survived against all odd and our own stupidity by virtue of being able to continue to have faith and hope for a better future. Which ever impression that we leave with them, I have to believe that we have the potential to be even greater as we mature as a species. It might be this potential that will propel us to continue to look forward to the day that we, ourselves, will make ourselves known out there in the stars.

I never discount the possibility of first contact with aliens might happen within my lifetime. I, for one, would like that to happen so I would get the satisfaction of knowing that we are not alone in this expansive universe. If it doesn’t, then the day will come when our isolation as a species will be broken and we become part of something larger than ourselves on this small blue marble in space.

No comments: