Alien Life? Who Needs Lizard Men There Is A Universe Of Ideas Out There..
Ian R Thorpe
08 January, 2011
Since before civilization began there have been prophets, visionaries, dreamers (or dickheads according to one’s point of view) who have had a very different perspective on life, the universe and everything.* to that held by the mainstream of society. In the Book of Revelation, Saint John the Divine claimed to have seen ‘a new heaven and a new earth’. Chaucer, in the Dream Vision The House of Fame, travels into the heavens on the back of an eagle, which tells him that ‘in this region, certeyn, dwelleth many a citezeyn’. Giordano Bruno in the sixteenth century argued for an infinite number of inhabited worlds, with intelligent beings existing on other planets throughout the universe.
Until two hundred years ago, the visionaries and the dreamers controlled the game. The belief that the universe was only a few thousand years old was so well embedded in the human psyche that Shakespeare’s Rosalind could mention it in passing: ‘The poor world is almost 6,000 years old.’ In such a young universe only intelligent design could be a satisfactory explanation for complexity and diversity of life, and a God-created universe could contain all kinds of wonders. It is no surprise that William Blake saw angels in the trees of Peckham Rye, (anyone following his footsteps today would see plastic carrier bags and condoms) and that Emanuel Swedenborg claimed he had conversed with spirits from Mars, Venus, Mercury, Saturn, Jupiter and the moon.
In the centuries following the renaissance of the sciences our understanding of the universe has been completely transformed and with it our knowledge of life on Earth. Geology provides the timeline for evolution; Darwin and his followers described the processes involved. Our more recent understanding of DNA and the workings of genetics provide the tool kit for evolutionary processes. On Earth, instead of regarding ourselves as a unique species, created in the image of our creator we now realise that homo sapiens is the survivor of a large genus of hominids. It is only the recent extinction of our most persistent competitors, the Neanderthals, that has led to illusion of uniqueness.
The change was initially from speculation to investigation, from vision to observation. Every decade has brought new discoveries that broadened our knowledge and understanding of the world to the point we have at last reached: now on the threshold of truly wondrous advances in understanding our scientists seem hellbent on abandoning scientific study in favour of speculation and theory once more.
Astronomers and physicists claim we are on the threshold of discovering planets that could support lifeforms similar to ours, lifeforms that we could recognise and investigate on a scientific basis. The pace of discovery is rapid and accelerating, because we recognise the significance of the search and are devoting enormous resources to it. This only proves what a bunch of dickheads, fuckwits and tunnel visioned idiots physicists really are. They cannot see beyond their own narrow interests. There may be planets out there on which Homo Heidelbergensis - or Homo Neranderthalis, like species are surviving as primitive humans did. There might just as well be highly developed species who regard our civilizations as no more significant than ant's nests and who would suck us up in a tractor beam into the belly of their mothership to reduce us to basic nutrients.
The scientists who talk about making contact with aliens (based on the flimsiest of evidence that there might, just might, by some one in a billion chance there could be a planet orbiting some distant star that might, just might, by some one in a billion chance support a life form like ours that really wants to be best mates with humanity and go for picnics, attend the First Church of Christ Astronaut services and support "liberal" causes with us are crazy. These are the people who want to spend whatever it takes on discovering the fundamental particle that holds everything together (the God particle) and yet vehemently deny the existence of God. These are the nut jobs who are turning science into a religion. Their kind of science has replaced observation, experiment, investigation and critical analysis with dogma, made icons of mathematical models and the statistics they produce, turned untestable theories into a creed and scriptures, and insisted things that may or may not have happend unimaginable distances away and incredibly long ago have been proved by speculative mathematics and statistics derived by subjectively interpreting data. Hand having deluded themselves into believing their fantasies are true they stand on a bogus scientific authority to insist these truths are unchallengeable.
The only reason people would try to convince the world that such infantile fantasies are in fact true is they have such limited intelligence they cannot deal with abstract ideas.
Twenty years ago it was agreed that while in a universe estimated to contain hundreds of billions of galaxies each comprised of hundreds of billions of stars anything might be possible and it was very likely there were other intelligent life forms out there, we had no positive evidence of the existence of extra solar planets. Now scientists claim we know of 700, and the Kepler mission indicates that there may be 50 billion in our galaxy alone. Already the astrophysicist Steven Vogt has claimed that the likelihood of life existing on the unromantically named planet Gliese 581g is ‘100%’. But what real evidence is there of this. A bunch of people whose living comes from taxpayers funded sinecures, they are paid by us to spend their lives sitting around stargazing in other words, have looked at electro magnetic radiation coming from space in the region where these stars and their planets are though to be and interpreted it; "Oh look at that frequency pattern, from my equations using data extrapolated from that we see clear evidence this energy has passed close by a body with an Oxygen / Nitrogen atmosphere on which carbon based life forms might be able to flourish." Evidence? It wouldn't stand up in a court of law. Scientists, in spite of their delusions, are just human beings and like the rest of us are inclined to see what they expect to see.
Obviously claims such as Vogt's are complete bollocks. One only has to note the ways in which words like might, maybe, possibly and chance are used to see the authors of such guff are just phishing for research grants. In fact even a lay person reading this account will ascertain that Vogt's childish enthusiasm for
playing with Star Wars toys finding evidence of alien life has got the better of his common sense. The joint discoverer of Gliese 581g is a little more objective however, as the link shows.
Alpha Centauri, the nearest star cluster is over 4 years away at the speed of light (186,000 or about 300,000 km per second). The fastest spacecraft we have ever launched however would take 70,000 years to reach the closest star in Alpha Centauri. We should not forget that the universe, defined as that which is with the shock wave that has emanated out from Big Bang at the speed of light for 13 billion years (estimated) is ... chuffing big. Now a light year is the distance travelled by light at the afore mentioned speed and our fastest spacecraft as at March 2011 when I looked it up is 17 km per second (around 11 miles) although that is in a heliocentic orbit, the fastest we have on a trajectory that will take it out of our solar system is going at a mere 15.75 km per second because of the effect of solar gravity. I carried out that little exercise in response to a bunch of "scientists" who were yelling about how important it was for governments and international agencies to start throwing money into a fiscal black hole named "Let's build spaceship to take us half witted wankers to the stars." To put this into perspective our current fastest spacecraft would reach the nearest star, the Alpha Centauri constellation, in 70,000 years. And to get to Gliese 581g, the nearest planet yet discovered that might just might, possibly support some form of life, would take 20 times as long. Ad think how disappointed those scientists would be if they found life on that planet had not evolved beyond the amoeba stage or worse still had become extinct during humanity's journey to greet them.
If we were to commission an exploratory expedition lasting say 40 years to Proxima Centauri, the closest star in the Alpha Centauri group at a distance of approx 4.2 light years from earth we would need to build a spacecraft capable of a tenth the speed of light, 18,600 miles or 30,000 kilometers per second. Now remember that what we have now, even with the pedal to the metal will only do 16 km per second. It is not science these imbeciles are talking about, it's science fiction.
Not only do we have not have any new technology on the horizon capable of achieving such speeds but new materials would be needed to resist the stresses on the spacecraft and very possibly a completely new type of human being to cope with conditions on board the craft and devote forty years of their life to something that pointless.
What would be the consequences of the discovery of alien life, even if it were of the merest microbial life form on a planet orbiting a distant star? Well apart from "scientists" all round the world having a spontaneous orgasm and running off to change their underwear, none at all. If such a planet were to be discovered in our solar system it would be a different matter but no such planet exists in our solar system. Our species has developed its beliefs, its cultures, its religions on the basis of our uniqueness, on the idea that we are alone, the only truly intelligent life form in the universe. Some believe this universe was specifically designed for us - and I am not just talking of religious creationists here. Physicist Dr. John Gribben (In Search Of The Multiverse) proposes the universe may have been designed by an intelligent life for much like ourselves - I do not agree but it is an idea and this article is about ideas not mathematics. Incontrovertible proof that we are not alone would force us to reexamine all our knowledge, to build new theories of life, its origins, its diversity, perhaps its purpose. If we discover one life form we will discover many, for the universe is vast and the number of stars almost uncountable. Somewhere out there, almost certainly, would be life forms that possess intelligence recognisably like our own, for they will have developed by the same laws of evolution, bound by the same physics and chemistry that we know on Earth. Should we prioritize seeking contact with these hypothetical life forms, ahead of matters like feeding our growing population of meeting increasing demand for food, water and raw materials. What if they turn out to be bigger, harder and more technically advance than us ... and complete bastards to boot.
Though the level of our current knowledge suggests humans will be earth bound for the foreseeable future there is a universe of ideas out there in the deep space of our minds waiting to be explored. In addition to Gribben's Designer Universe we have the possibilities of Quantum Entanglements which I have written about in a deliberately provocative way, the Morphic Resonance theory proposed by biologist Dr. Rupert Sheldrake and the ideas of many other pioneers in various branches of the sciences. And then there are the ideas of philosophers, both humanist and religious, the philosophies of established religions and the speculations of modern visionaries, artists, poets and writers. I find it particularly sad that among people who claim to be "scientists" (though in reality they are science fans, a dogmatic approach has taken hold. These people will try to suppress or shout down discussion of interesting, off - message ideas because they are convinced there is only one idea and one way of thinking that can possibly be right.
* Life, the universe and everything: a line from Douglas Adams' Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy. I mention it because in an article some time ago when I used this very well known phrase one of those cupid stunts mentioned above whose only contribution to the exchange of ideas on the internet is to attack original thought and try to suppress free discussion accused me of plagiarism in a pathetic attempt to discredit my article.
A HREF="http://www.battleofideas.org.uk/">The Battle Of Ideas festival
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• We should aspire to abundant and cheap energy for all
• The Simpsons versus Shakespeare
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Yesterday we saw on television news bulletins pictures of scientists jumping up and down, screaming and shouting and generally behaving they way we would expect from Liverpool football supporters if they heard Mario Balotelli had been transferred to another club. What was the cause of this celebrationete? You might well ask ...
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Science, Certanties and StereotypesThe left are always quick to accuse their opponents of stereotyping but when it comes to embracing certainties and applying stereotypes there is no political group worse than the left, which includes the supporters of politicised science and the miolitant atheists for stereotyping their opponents as a way to suppress views opposed to their own. ...
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Before Big Bang part 2
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Life on Mars - a crazy look at how the 'canals' on the red planet might have been made
Who wants to live forever? In an overpopulated world what is the point of science trying to extend our lifespan
Clear Night - across the universe in a thought
Atomic Verse - a poem on quantum physics
CREATIVE COMMONS: Attribute, non commercial, no derivs.
KEYWORDS: universe, science, alien, life, physics, planets, space, craft, speed. light, aliens, solar system, ideas, philosophy, gliese, scientists, astronomy, physics, ian thorpe, ianrthorpe
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