Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Alien Life

Alien life forms. It's something we've speculated about from War of the Worlds (the original) to E.T. We've seen everything from green women in the original Star Trek to life forms that are not remotely humanoid in Aliens. It's a favorite subject of sci-fi novels and anyone who has ever grokked Robert A. Heinlein has probably read more than a few books about extra-terrestrial life. This wouldn't be much of a sci-fi blog if we didn't delve into the subject of aliens every now and then. It's as much a part of the genre as magic is to fantasy. The whole point of seeking out new worlds with our scientific technology seems to be almost solely based on finding out if other beings exist in the universe. Not only does science fiction ponder the question, but authors like Erich Von Daniken have devoted whole careers to studying what they believe is evidence of alien life on earth; with varying results. And if that's not enough, our own government sponsors programs such as SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence), famously promoted by Carl Sagan. Why are we so moved to seek out alien intelligence? There are so many possible answers to that question. Could it simply be the next logical step in scientific advancement? I could buy that if it were only the scientist that was interested in the subject. But based on how many sci-fi novels sell each year, and of course the claims of alien abductions we hear about, it doesn't seem to be a subject that is exclusively of scientific interest. It could simply be that we don't want to believe that we're alone in the great big cosmos. I could buy that. I could also believe that maybe we're seeking the answers to the larger questions. Maybe in finding extra-terrestrial life we'll find the answers to our own creation. Or maybe not. Maybe like Mulder in the X-Files, we just want to believe.

15 comments:

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

sqt you are right, you blue people are hard to tell apart! smiles, bee

Irene said...

I believe. =)

Lee said...

I yuv Carl Sagan.

The Curmudgeon said...

Oh, I'm certain we're not alone; the Universe is way too big for that to happen.

(Unless your remember Asimov's Foundation series... the two later books, if I recall rightly... and what the robots did to shape the Universe for human expansion....)

But, while I can't say for certain that we've never been visited, I can say for certain that most people who insist otherwise are probably just a step or two off kilter. On the other hand (remembering the Air Force's Operation Blue Book) not everything can be dismissed as swamp gas or weather balloons... can they?

Wow, and we think there's a lot of controversy about illegal aliens now....

Crunchy Carpets said...

The other day my 2.5 year old stood at the top of the stairs and pronounced 'There are NO aweuns.'

My mom thinks that we are the first and just need to go forth and multiply...that horrifies and depresses me.

Dh read this great story about a teen who caught some aliens messing with his pet pig. He apparently shot one of them, who wasn't impressed and another apologized and said they didn't want any trouble.

For some reason this story cracks me up. Loser aliens caught red handed.

DesLily said...

I have a very old, very yellowing copy of Chariots of the Gods, which I read eons ago..but it has never left my mind. From that book came a movie "In Search of Ancient Astronauts"...

In the book Von Daniken only proposes "possibilities","theories" he does not say "this is true, and what you believe is not"..which is what drew me to him and his book... What the whole book means to me is very simple.. "keep an open mind to possibilities" ..and I will say that if you do have an open mind his comparisons to different pieces of religious art and things like stone henge do make you start to wonder...but no true answers of course.
one day I need to get a new copy of the book before it falls apart totally lol..

SQT said...

My dad has a copy of "Chariot's of the Gods" lying around too. He loved that book. I remember him telling me that he thought you couldn't read that book and dismiss the idea of alien intelligence.

I'm like the Curmudgeon. I think space is too vast to only contain us. I think it would be somewhat arrogant to assume we could be the only life in the universe.

Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator said...

I have to agree, the universe is an awfully big place. I find it hard to believe, however, that some alien with vast technology and incredible abilities just wants to go to some remote rural location and probe Clem.

The Curmudgeon said...

And Mrs. Clem agrees with you, Jon.

SQT said...

Maybe the aliens are hoping Clem can explain "Deliverance" to them.

Avery said...

I think they're up there with their banks of monitors, watching WWE, The Simple Life, and monster truck rallies and saying, "Oh yeah, we can take 'em."

Stewart Sternberg said...

I am torn on this issue. I so do wish for the presence of life. However you know what will happen if there is ever a confirmed alien presence.

Bishop Herlihey: "The existence of another intelligent life form in no way affects the Christian position on the divinity of Jesus. If anything it confirms it. We, as humans, are blessed that God chose us, and not the aliens, to deliver down His Son."

Rev. James Maloney: "Aliens? Hell. Way I see it, that only confirms God's sense of humor."

Rabbi Morty: "I don't know what this means regarding God. We can't change our way of life...we must still keep His commandments holy. If He decides to show us how this all fits together, he'll do so in his own time. Until then, we'll continue with to observe the Sabbath and follow our religion and culture."

Ayatollah Kohmeni: "Mohammed saw angels. Maybe these were the angels revealed to Mohommed. Who can say? We cannot question the way of Allah. Only when the aliens reveal to us what their culture is and what their beliefs are will we be able to see if they understand and accept the one true god."

GW Bush: "Aliens? I've been saying for the last six years that the only way to secure our borders is to make sure that Congress passes my guest worker plan."

SQT said...

Stewart

Lol

It's true, any scientific discoveries outside the scope of what the bible covers would throw the religious community into a tizzy.

I hope we have known alien contact in my lifetime. :)

Neila said...

If I didn't believe before, several seasons of the X-Files MADE me a believer! ;-)

I don't honestly think it's possible for us to be the only ones out there. I mean, come on!

Alex said...

You know, this is actually an interesting question in connection to James Cameron's upcoming 2009 sci fi movie Avatar. I've been wondering what he'll make the aliens look like, especially with what will probably be the most advanced technology and best CGI you'll ever see when it comes out. He's always had an interesting take (look at The Abyss).