Philosophy Wednesday #1: the universe, part 1: extraterrestrial life

I think I might start simple. The universe is something that not only scientists, but also philosophers have been wondering about for decades. And because the universe is so amazingly enormous I want to talk about it in several parts, probably talking about different themes within this subject for every “edition”.

You’ll have to excuse me if it gets a bit difficult and hard to follow. Keep in mind that I’m still new.

I chose this theme mostly because it makes it simpler for me, considering I’ve given it a lot of thought before. For this part I really wanted to talk about life in outer space, or aliens, if you will. I’d like to start with the simple question: is there life on other planets? To me that’s obvious: why shouldn’t there be? I mean, what are the chances that this planet out of billions upon billions of other planets in billions upon billions of different galaxies is the only one with life on it? And I understand that when people talk about “life” they mean complicated or intelligent life, like humans or other animals. First of: I sure wish there was, but second: obviously we have to settle for what we can get. Not that it’s our mission, but if we can’t find anything more than bacteria, then so what? It’s still a basis for life and we can almost be sure that someday that planet will inhabit intelligent life like our planet. But to the most important part: so do I. I honestly do believe there is intelligent life like our planet has on other planets. Like I said, what are the chances of there not being intelligent life on other planets somewhere in this “endless” universe.
The point being: how can you not believe in aliens? I mean, I understand people who believe in God and that he created man in his own image and so on, probably don’t believe in life on other planets. Or they might.

Now to a thing that really has been bugging me: scientists choice of planets. I read somewhere that the scientists were looking for life on planets that were similar to ours. At first that makes sense; animals can’t live without oxygen, there has to be a certain type of atmosphere and so on for life to grow there, but riddle me this scientists: what makes you think that alien lifeforms are depending on the thing we need to survive? Take the universe for example: does the laws of general physics count there? Something simple, like gravity? No. There is no gravity. My point being that why should we assume that alien lifeforms needs e.g. oxygen to survive? Can’t we assume that since the laws of physics doesn’t count in space, then maybe the, or our laws of physics doesn’t count on other planets?
And I’m not trying to put anybody on the spot here, I’m not calling anyone out, I’m just thinking out loud. I understand that we can’t examine all the planets and I understand that we have to take a starting point from something we already know, but I would like the researchers to search some other planets for a change. And also, I’m not saying I’m any smarter than any of these scientists. I obviously don’t know more than they do, but from what I’ve read and what I’ve thought this makes some sense.

There’s been a lot of talk about what these aliens would look like, if they existed. The “classical” look being green or grey with a big head, huge black eyes and small slim bodies. They often, for some reason, also have the ability to communicate telepathicly. Many consider these as the civilised aliens, often doing scientific experiments with species from other planets. There are also the more kind of monstrous aliens, often featured in horror sci-fi movies.
I haven’t done too much research on this, but I’ve always wondered why this became the more popular look. It may have something to do with the alien autopsy hoax (warning: may contain disturbing images) some years back, but if I’m not mistaken this look surfaced before that video. Some believe that it became popular after the Betty and Barney Hill abduction case from the 60’s. However, I’ve also read that this look is sort of “from our brain”, quite literally. We created this look simply by our imagination and it’s in all of us. Scientists discovered this by putting this so-called “God spot” (the part of our brain used to recognise people) into an anrtificial intelligence and the pattern of the general image looked like these classical aliens. Weird.
Not really on topic, but isn’t that amazing? How Betty and Barney Hill’s description of the aliens match our general recognition of people? Probably put on the edge, but I find that incredibly fascinating.

To me, there’s no doubt that at least the monstrous aliens we see in horror films are taken straight out of our imagination, and to be honest what I’m about to say sounds crazy, even to me, but what if there’s a connection? It even hard for me to write this, but could there be a connection between the pattern of how we recognise people and the actual appearance of these aliens? I don’t even know what my point is, but somehow I keep coming back to this.
There’s been tons of cases on so-called alien abductions and they generally describe the aliens the same: these creatures commonly known as “grey’s”. To me the logical thing would be to assume it was all a dream, considering the “God spot”. It’s kind of hard to put my thoughts into words at this point… but it’s something about the aliens being inside us: in our brains.

Without getting too involved with black holes (I believe I’ll get back to that) I’d have to say these kind of aliens definitely isn’t from our solar system, our galaxy. However, if I want to sound like a complete lunatic, they’d have to still have some kind of connection with us. But this isn’t really my point. The point was the search of extraterrestrial life, being that in our solar system or somewhere else in the universe. I believe it exists, and to be honest it really depends on you beliefs. It impossible to conclude such a subject without groundbreaking proof, and I don’t think we’ll get there in a near future and honestly I hope we never will.

This entry might have been too central in my thoughts about this subject and probably served more as a way of getting it out there than actual philosophy. I haven’t yet decided what next subject should be, but I think it’ll probably be something in the lines of this one. Hope that’s alright. I’ll try to focus more on philosophy next time. Like always: bear with me.

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