Our galaxy is destined to live for an additional 2 million years, the scientists predict, before it is scheduled to collide with Andromeda. During this process, billions of stars – and intelligent life forms – may have perished.
Giordano Bruno could have said that, if he had been let to stay alive by the Vatican.
Michio Kaku, the physicist who penned the mind-boggling Physics of the Impossible, fallaciously described the cause of why Bruno, a Naples-born Dominican Friar, was hung upside down, stripped naked, and burnt alive by the Vatican authorities. He thought Giordano’s notion of ‘countless inhabitable worlds in the universe other than Earth’ was the causa prima the officials had decided to humiliate him to death. Instead, his misinterpretation of Jesus Christ as ‘an unusually skillful magician’, rather as a ‘Messiah’, was the main motive. Nevertheless, the former must also have made him labelled by the masses, the mad man of 16th century. While some Europeans were so obdurate, and still struggling with the millennia-old theory that Earth was a ‘perfect cube’, why on earth did a priest like this heave in sight out of the blue? Actually, to be more precise, the exact question had better be in this form: why on earth was a priest like this born in an era where societies had not been fully ‘enlightened’? Hobson’s choice. The destiny had already designated him as the ‘martyr’ behind the modern science, whose revenge got paid only after it got near to the omega of 20th century, when the trend of ‘exoplanets’ gradually kickstarted.
“I’m not as ugly as they pictured me. Or is this my punishment, that they have to describe me as unhandsome as possible?”
Bruno’s far-stretching imagination, nevertheless, prevails the main point of the debate about whether ET is really existent. Countless theories have been formulated, but no one seems able to satisfy the most fundamental basis for our centuries-old curiosity: are we alone in the universe? Are we, within the identifiable radius of 13.5 billion light years, the sole, legitimate heirs of this null, void, stygian, enigmatic cosmos? Are we the only ‘smartest’ species the so-called ‘Great Creator’ has ever designated? Anyway, have we ever asked this question: are we actually the Creator’s ‘industrial by-product’? It sounds too miserable, I think.
Let me reminisce back to an article published in The Telegraph 3 years prior. Alan Boss, professor of astronomy based in Carnegie Institution, Washington D.C., forecast the number of galaxies, scattered within that given set of radius, must be approximately 100 billion. Suppose every galaxy, in average, contains 1 trillion stars. Multiply them, and we’ve got stars 10 times as many as the number of sands available on all the planet’s shores (let’s get stuck again at statistical numbing). Nevertheless, Boss had a sanguine estimation: every star must also have contained, in minimum, one Earth-like planet capable of sustaining life, particularly that for mankind. Does he indicate the universe has been overwhelmed by 100 billion trillion (just summarize, 100 sextillion) intelligent life forms? Were it scientifically proven, get ourselves ready for the roller-coaster wild ride of imagination. Is it possible if there were beings who could construct Death Star like in Star Wars? Who knows? Is it possible that creatures like The Prawns in District 9 exist? Only if they were to come here and applied for political asylum (except in South Africa). Or aliens which have intercourse by their mouths? Or strange monsters eating from their (expletive!) anuses? The definite answer, and the definite aliens we have longed for any encounter, is probably attainable, ironically, only centuries after we kick our own buckets.
Carl Sagan himself has even more intricate numismatics to speak out. As though he did not want to be outdone, he formulated himself his own probability: 1 trillion galaxies 13.5 billion light years after the ‘Big Bang’. Or probably, he magnified the scale, 3 trillion. And multiply that with 1 trillion stars for each galaxy. And we’ve got a massively sesquipedalian statistical range, from 1 to 3 trillion trillion suns, and possibly, equivalent number of Earths within. The numbers seriously make my head do merry-go-round.
“Super Junior would like to honor Mr.Carl Sagan, for all the numismatical confusion he’s created in mentioning ‘million, billion, trillion’, therefore we’ll perform a song, which instead of being titled ‘Mr.Simple’, renamed as simply ‘Mr.Trillion’. We plan to play this commemorative song at Mr.Ben Bernanke as well.”
And again in 2010, bulk of the scientists (and the journalists) informally reached consensus that there might be 200 more sextillion stars than Boss had previously ‘calculated’. Is the ‘300 billion trillion’ numeral satisfying enough? Seems like there’s never an obvious end to the numerical units, and the continuous exponential growth in estimated numbers. This is our pity that we are here, back on Earth, so far only able to poke with and make conjectures about all the mind-boggling, too-far-stretching estimates, as though bringing us beyond the universe to observe the realm itself. Why won’t we simplify the figure, or modestly substitute all these wrecking statistics with ‘countless’, open-and-shut, instead, or whatever terms synonymous with the former?
Stop minding our Ps and Qs around statistics. Think about the slightest eventuality were it mankind’s time to make contact with the extraterrestrial creatures. What would they think about us? What would they opine about our intelligence, physical shapes, sexes, technological progress, and most importantly, our faith? Are they going to partner with us, as pleaded by the Scientologists, who claimed us descendants of whatever intergalactic species billions of years ago? Or are they going to recognize and classify us, instead, as their own ‘animal kingdom’? Let me describe the best – and the worst – contingent outcomes resulted from our future contact.
For sure we aspire for the sober, sagacious, solomonic advanced civilizations to help improving our civilizational progress, but having deliberated it, somehow, I have a jag of skepticism about that expectance. (or I’m reasoning using human logic, that I may be mistaken, perhaps?) Here’s what puts me concerned: can fish communicate with human? We, in this paradox, are ‘the fish’, and the ET, instead, are symbolized as ‘human beings’. Even before we attempt to communicate with them, they may have already treated us as their special delicacies, not because they don’t care what we’re talking about. Perhaps they don’t even have the foggiest ideas that we are talking to them. Is that possible in the very far future? Who knows?
“eiehusseueuoaoaoaoaooeospepai euuuauaheiiaoeja euuhaheu?” (“May I know how to make use of your most sophisticated weapons, Your Majesty?”)
“suehaiepopei sueujaueu papeioaoieoa!” (“You’ve disturbed my f***ing million-year hibernation, d***h***!”)
It’s reasonable enough that the Engineer wants to rip your head off.
Or the ET, thanks to their too-advanced, unexplainable-in-sci-fi technologies, may offer friendly partnerships with us? To provide us tutelage about their culture? About their historical timelines? About how they learn calculation by their own system? About how they expand into galactic scale? Or teach us about their religions? Do they have their own Messiah (like the Christians who pay obeisance to Jesus Christ), or the God they worship, just like we do?
Our knowledge, as can be said, is too infinitesimal, and overtly primitive, to comprehend all such questions above. Our modern civilization has functionated for not even more than 10,000 years. What has happened in the universe before the dawn of our history? For sure, countless numbers of life forms have emerged, perished, or evolved. They may have already developed cultures even the most sophisticated human minds perhaps will never comprehend. Perhaps they have moved into another dimension. Or crumbled. Reality, no matter what theories we have implemented and enforced for ourselves to believe, in accordance of our own logic, may prove us wrong. And the Pandora’s box is waiting to be unleashed. We may be right, co-incidentally, regarding all the predictions, or unfortunately, totally mistaken.
Someday, Bruno’s ultimate revenge will get done by itself.
Seth Shostak, researcher at the alien-searching organization, SETI, wants to share his most ‘realistic’ perspectives with you. I recommend you 2 of his articles that you can read about the probabilities of alien life, some of which may actually harm our existence on this universe:
1. He talks about the 6 signs of alien life here.
2. His worst scenario about aliens winning the war against us.
Having witnessed a successive period of robust economic growth, and strengthening international power, for approximately 3 decades, China has rapidly advanced in most of the science & technology programs, particularly its sci-fi-like space program. The recent launching of Shenzhou-9 has highlighted the steady preparedness of Chinese government towards their most ambitious dreams: establishing their own manned space station, and setting up permanent settlements on what the Ming-era poet, Li Bai, once dubbed it in a poem as ‘my home’: the Moon, as of 2020.
What worries the United States, however, is not about the might of the program, but it’s more about the hidden agenda the government has arranged behind the real scenario: claiming either the territory they land in, or the entire Moon, instead, and mining the rare earths, to boost its economic growth. If China were to do so, this would indicate other nations may elicit rights to explore, exploit, and claim some bits of the Moon as their ‘inseparable entities’. Two other nations, India and Japan, have based the ‘moon-landing’ notion as their long-term priority, with Japan planning to construct solar power stations slated for 2020.
What happens to NASA? Supposedly equipped with a minimum annual budget of 100 billion US$, the Government only provides 4% of the amount, thanks to the recession hitting US in 2008.
Read it at Foreign Policy.
Artists’ conception of our newly-discovered twin-alike, but just it takes a 600-year light-speed spaceship to have encounter with our ‘friends to be’ out there.
Alan Boss has an unusual sense of optimism when it comes to forecasting the number of intelligent life forms other than humankind. The professor based in Carnegie Institution, Washington D.C., has exerted new debates about the possibility of abundant, and endless, otherworldly civilizations, after hypothesizing that every star may have contained, in minimum, one planet, or a twin of Earth, able to sustain biologically diverse life. Overall, within the radius of 13.5 billion light years, the number of stars scattered within approximately 100 billion galaxies may have reached, say the least, 100 billion trillion (100 sextillion).
Carl Sagan, another prominent astronomer and out-spoken physicist, has even predicted the number of stars may have actually been at around 300 sextillion. Excluding the number of possible planets, Earths, and alien life, it can be seemed that our universe is never that empty, and stygian. What if we had discovered them? Will our faith in the millennia-old dictum – claiming human beings as the most superior species ever invented by the Creator – will ever vanish? It remains to be seen for a very long time, the truth as void as the space itself.
(The actual original title is “The 43 Things ‘Prometheus’ Taught Me (About the Future & Science)”. Refer it to this link: http://bigthink.com/against-the-new-taboo/the-43-things-prometheus-taught-me-about-the-future-science)
Tauriq Moosa (like the name of an Egyptian presidential candidate, but he’s, instead, a South African bioethicist) is not trying to be a film critic. But he’s more in his effort on evaluating this sci-fi film – one which Ridley Scott claimed to have waited for over 3 decades on not making sci-fi films (instead on colossal films like Gladiator, or high-testosterone Black Hawk Down) only to arrive at the preconception of Alien’s origin he confessed as ‘fearlessly cool’ – from his bioethical perspective. Nevertheless, to say the least, it’s worth, and I even admit it, as elaborately stick-to-the-point and pretty much equivalent to as an Ebert piece. His inkings sound polite and courteous, but the core points might stab deeply and heart-breakingly, were Scott and Lindelof (the latter penned the script) to have conveyed his main message he would like to transmit from this article: I learn a lot (about hilarious sci-fi thingy only made possible by Hollywood’s big-budgeted happy-talk Fox executives) in Prometheus. That’s it.
Anyway, the parenthesis on the previous sentence is intended to, according to me, express how Moosa has a ‘really deep’ favor in Prometheus. I would just include all the 43 things he ‘learns’ from this film (sorry, Mr.Moosa, forgive me for having copy-catted your captivating piece of work, exactly the list below! Terribly sorry!). Here they are (beware spoilers!):
- English girls grow up to be Swedish women.
- Little hammers can excavate entire caves; it’s possible to date cave-paintings from a casual glance.
- When going on 4-year space missions, it’s silly to ask what the mission is.
- Having exactly the same genetics means we can still look completely different; also, chimpanzees are an anomaly. And who said anything about dinosaurs?
- After billions of years, there’s no point evolving or having an anatomy change. And yes, this is despite the fact that your species is shown creating life, possibly on Earth, which, according to ‘science’ started billions of years ago.
- Speaking of science, we learn biologists, when confronted with the corpse of an alien, run away.
- Aborting aliens is an everyday occurrence that is not worth mentioning to fellow crew members, none of whom have really done anything but follow your commands.
- After having your stomach ripped open and an alien ripped out, you can still walk, scream and run away.
- Black goo can turn you into one of the infected from ’28 Days Later’ or give you eye fish. Whatever.
- It’s possible to leave an alien planet on an alien ship to find the original aliens, with nothing but a vaguely headless android and a sense of revenge. Food and water are not necessary.
- People in impressive recorded videos, from four years before, know the positions, even seating-wise, of the audience members in the present.
- When casting for old men, it’s better to take a good-looking middle-aged actor and let a retarded bonobo loose in the make-up room with the actor tied to a chair.
- Sex between two extremely beautiful specimens of humanity is not worth showing, even vaguely, in a movie focused on beautiful visuals.
- Military trained pilots can immediately detect the entire basis for alien buildings from casual glances.
- Geologists who map complex cave-systems using fancy round robots, who are in constant contact with the ship, who have a live-feed hologram of the entire cave, can still get lost.
- When making the greatest scientific discovery in the history of our species, it’s not important to be in awe, celebrate, or show normal human emotion that would convey how enormous it is.
- Sprouting nonsense statements like “I choose to believe” is something a scientist from the future will say because we all know science is based solely on personal choice.
- After one day of investigating an alien building, because there was no friendly alien there, ready to tell you all its secrets, it is necessary to turn to alcohol.
- Androids will kill humans to test a vague scientific theory.
- It’s not necessary to tell anyone you’re pregnant with an alien baby creature monster. Indeed, it’s necessary to treat everyone as if they’re trying to harm you, despite them having given you no reason to think that and despite the possibility that they would probably want to help you.
- Biologists will stick their hands into cobra-snake-penis monster aliens but run away from long-dead headless alien corpses.
- It’s ok to take your helmet off, despite the fact that oxygen is only one aspect of what makes breathable air and doesn’t mean there aren’t alien bacteria and spores that could probably kill you (since we have no defenses having never been to this place before)
- It is necessary to allow your android to press as many buttons as possible on an alien artifact.
- It is completely fine to walk into a foreign, alien place without armed protection because … science.
- You shouldn’t take it personally or even care when the person funding your missions says he’s dead but then isn’t. And then he really is.
- People have different surnames to their daughters, despite the daughter conveying every reason to think she’s not married (get billions of light-years away from Earth, sleep with good-looking men because they ask if you’re a robot).
- Science has decided there isn’t that much difference between billions and millions of miles because… lightyears.
- Running in a straight line is the only strategy from a donut-shaped ship that is collapsing perfectly on its side.
- It is necessary to assert yourself as “in charge” of this ship and dictate what scientists may and may not do, despite them thinking otherwise, and then never leave the ship.
- You can burn a person’s lover and she won’t yell at you or show that much contempt for you.
- Fire destroys everything, including alien bacteria and diseases.
- Disparate human civilizations all pointing to a cluster of round things in the sky over hundreds of thousands of years means you can plot those objects perfectly on a “star map”: despite not knowing what those objects are (stars? planets? moons?) and knowing that despite these maps are from thousands and thousands of years ago, those objects – like the Engineers’ anatomy over billions of years – won’t be altered because… in the future, space objects don’t move.
- When you see weird hologram recordings of the Engineers, you don’t need to question too deeply what they’re running from (can’t be the black goo, since they run into the room with it).
- You don’t need to wonder why the Engineers were leaving star maps to a weapons testing facility.
- Learning human languages means you can read and speak alien languages perfectly, enough to make a big green-grey guy stroke your hair (before ripping your head off).
- It’s OK to destroy all life as long as you created it. It’s not important to wonder why they want to kill all of us and want to do so, in such an ineffective manner.
- You can persuade a pilot you’ve spoken to a few times to commit suicide because he’s a “soldier”. Also, it’s not necessary to inform him there might be other ships that the Engineer pilot can use anyway (to be fair, I don’t think she knew, but that’s still her ignorance that David quickly overcame).
- If a pathetic, tiny pink creature who is sweaty and yells at you (i.e. a human female) tries to kill you, it’s more important to kill her than simply leave in the hundreds of other ships on the planet. This is despite the fact that you could probably have gotten onto one of these ships and used a big gun on her tiny ship, which you could identify because you have eyes.
- Despite the ‘Alien’ franchise indicating aliens start off as small as puppies, then grow, it’s OK to show the ‘first’ alien as almost adult size despite the Engineer not being that much bigger than us and matching us 100% genetically.
- It’s not necessary to go back to Earth to warn your species about a possible threat and the findings of your mission; instead you should try find that threat yourself with all the power of your… revenge and a half-broken android, to “get answers”, because your previous encounters with this species indicates they’re willingness to do so.
- You can’t immediately go back to Earth, to stock up, supply, get an army, and then find these giant, powerful and smarter beings because… you’ll waste time. They only haven’t bothered humans for billions and billions of years but you never know! No time for restocking.
- How does Weyland know the Engineers would have the secret to immortality? (Real Answer: The fact that they haven’t evolved over billions of years might be an indication. But Weyland doesn’t know that they looked the same billions years ago. Only we do.)
- Why does Weyland think they will tell him the secret, assuming they have it?
Notice one more time: even one of the numbers above was not written by me. I did simply ‘quote’ what Mr.Moosa had previously penned in that Big Think article.