My Current Philosophy on Aliens
Updated: Aug 22
A common question that many people ask themselves at least once in their lives is whether there is any extraterrestrial life beyond planet Earth. And if there is, will they ever be able to develop sentience like us humans, to the point where we will be able to communicate with them like we do with ourselves?
With so many Earth-like planets out there, that is, planets with oceans and other habitable biomes, it is safe to assume that even if there are no sentient species within our technological detection range, there are sure to be some life forms on those planets that we have yet to realize their existence.
Theoretically, it is also possible that there are interplanetary or galactic empires, even if they contain only one or two colonies other than their original planets, that both us and they have yet to interact with each other, or with any other sentient species (Like the Ur-Quan Heirarchy in Star Control). Our interplanetary loneliness might be a common state of being without us or them knowing it.
The existence of aliens, once proved beyond the realm of theory and speculation, could have a negative influence over our position in the universe as a race. Perhaps we are not as special as we think we are, let alone created in the image of a supreme being. Or superior, compared to animals, who are not. If we find races that are superior to us in any way, then we are also not as talented and sapient as we think we are. Imagine a species where every average being is as intelligent as a human genius; this is how harsh the discovery of sentient aliens could be.
And still, due to the immense size of space, extraterrestrial communication can be very difficult. Perhaps a hidden species has received the messages we sent to space, and has already sent a reply of their own, but it could take a few human generations for that reply to finally be received. This is how problematic communication can be in space, leaving us hanging, perhaps, for centuries, for evidence to be revealed.
Another issue on the topic of aliens is about alien invasion. Perhaps there is a grand empire out there, looking to conquer and enslave entire species. However, I think such a scenario is highly unlikely, both because of the size of space and because of our increasing military might.
If we were ever united against a common enemy, we might be the most powerful species in this side of the universe, even if we are not yet capable of interstellar travel. Additionally, there is no threat that would stop our militarization aside from ourselves. Taking the resources to invade a distant, heavily fortified, and small planet sounds very impractical and costly, even for a strong alien nation.
(Assuming, of course, their technology is less to match ours, upon our collective unification for global defense purposes).
Nonetheless, what we can be assured of is that it is reasonable to believe in extraterrestrial existence, even if it is far more primitive than ours. And even if it isn't sentient, necessarily. Let alone, sapient.
Because of that, we should consider the possibility that we as a species are not as special, let alone divine, as some of us think we are. There might even be species that look and function similarly to us, aside from a few visual and cultural differences.
And at the same time, in the moment you are reading this, an alien might be looking up at the night sky and wondering if they are alone in the universe.... just like we do.