Thursday, October 8, 2009

Finding and Dealing With Life Not of This Earth

So a debate ensued about Europa, the water there, what if life does exist in that water, and how we should proceed if there is life there. Someone posted this comment:

"If life is to be found anywhere, in our system or beyond, we would probably kill it 1st in the name of science, then well just because....whatever reason. Until we humans get beyond our own need for violence here on mother earth, we should leave alone."

This got me thinking about how ridiculous that sounded, and sadly there were other posts that reflected this Star Trekian notion of the "Prime Directive", where we should not interact with any life we do find. How then, are we supposed to learn about it? We're not to the point technologically where we can "scan the planet" and know everything we need to know. Maybe one day, but not now. For now, we are very much at a hands on, get down there and grab it level. So, this is what I wrote back to him...

You're talking about changing human nature, and the act of survival at its most primal level involves violence. Kill or be killed. Humans are still animals. We may be the most advanced animals with the ability to reason and apply logic to multiple ends, but the core of our being is still primal. Regardless of our egos and hubris, we are nothing more than advanced animals.

This is why we fight for mates, fight for possessions and fight to exist. Yes, there are those who fight to be bastards, but do you think we can breed any of this out of us? I think not, and I wouldn't want too. The ability to defend oneself from a potential foe is paramount to maintaining our existence. There will come a time when we will find other cultures in space that will most likely be hostile, and heaven forbid we pussify ourselves to the point that they just dominate us without an ounce of resistance on our part.

Our goal is not to kill the life we seek, but to learn about it and from it. Will we and the other life have coexisting issues, and possibly cause harm to each other unintentionally? I bet so. Nevertheless, that doesn't mean we have to remain in our cradle, afraid to crawl into the cosmos.


Its_Amazing said...

We are pretty much to the point where we can study a creature without killing it...x-rays, scans, etc. I am sure there is more information that can be obtained once opened, but more could be learned from its habits and behavior until it does die.

Its not like some backwoods hick going after bigfoot with a shotgun here, its more like a bunch of science nerds with robots to do the capturing for us if/when that occurs.

Humans are curious by nature, interaction will eventually occur like it or not.

Norman Copeland said...

Hello douglas, and hello audience...

This is a really interesting subject, I think Douglas's philosophical opinion is valid because it represent's so many people's testiment considering how we treat species on this planet.

I agree with 'its amazing' aswell because what's obvious is that we do not have control of these issue's which should be governed with some sort of protocol.

HEY!!! HEY!!! HEY!!! Douglas...

Thou shalt not contridict star trek.

Thou shalt not question star trek ethics.

Thou shalt not blaspheme star trek.

Thou shalt repent thy opinions and confess all is star trek.

[bejeepers on my planet send me strength]...


What should we all decide is our combined opinion about our approach to off planet species?

Well if we use an example such as let's say;

Telepathic communication capable of traversing universal distances, how many species would we encounter that were actually very close generic examples of species that we're eating on this planet?

I guess the theory of panspermia {how life travels from planet to planet as microbiotic molecule} tells us that sooner or later if we do locate planets very similiar to ours it would not be crazy to suggest that the same organisms have evolved on similiar planet's because of similiar condition's, but, reasonably speaking other specimens of the different species we have may be the dominant species, particularly considering if they were not struck with an asteroid which potentially would of extinguished an entire species chain of command era.

[considering dinosaur evolving domination]


Ants may of continued to grow perhaps to 10 feet tall and it is well noted that ant intelligence and strength superseeds humans pound for pound.

So, whats the consideration and significance of universal telepathy?

Well apart from being very embarrassed about our approach, scientifically, telepathic waves would manifest at some periodic element of the table and they...

Would be us.

Jerry M. Weikle said...

Douglas, I am glad that you brought this topic to our attention. For individuals that have a minor in Biology or Chemistry, I don't think they would be "Shocked" at the potential of life existing on Mars or Europa. I think the 'shock' aspect is going to be upon the diversity of life, if life actually exists within those niches and biomes.

So, with that being said, human biologist are going to want to go and study, analyze, the life form. I think "collectively, humanity realizes that life is unique" in all areas here on the Earth and that humans do try to protect various species. However, the issue comes down to the aspect of human rights over "alien rights" or "animal rights", there isn't really any reason that humans should protect Zebras but Zebras are protected within the reserves to protect the biological and unique flora and fauna of a region or geographic zone.

Douglas, what if life is discovered on or below the surface of Mars or Europa? How is that going to radically change people's lives, if any? What new developments and understanding are we humans going to have? Is this going to challenge or further put a crack in the "God Creation" debates?

It will be interesting to see how this turns out in the next 20-50 years.

Douglas Mallette said...

We never know. Maybe some of that Martian life might cure cancer. :)