Thursday, February 3, 2011

From Shitmydadsays - Real Wisdom about Space Travel

"Aliens exist, I just don't think they came millions of light years just to see earth. Be like driving 1000 miles to go to an Arby's."

I love it!

This is a quote from Justin's twitter account, "shitmydadsays." The account has about 2 million followers. Justin says: "I'm 29. I live with my 74-year-old dad. He is awesome. I just write down shit that he says." Kind of crotchety humorous old-guy wisdom, in the genre of Yogi Berra.

And the thing is, Justin's dad is right about the aliens. Come all that way through space just to visit Earth? If you think aliens would do that, you've been watching too many sci-fi movies!

Even if an advanced species wanted to come all that way to check out a less advanced species, and even if an alien craft could haul ass at nearly the speed of light, which is 186,000 miles per second (670 million miles per hour), it would take them hundreds or even thousands of years to reach us.

By the time they got here, took care of business and returned home, a lot of water would have flowed under their alien bridges. Their entire civilization might well be extinct. In the last couple thousand years here on Earth, the ancient Greek civilization has come and gone, the Roman civilization has come and gone, the Dark Ages have come and gone, the British Empire has come and gone, and the current residents of Earth are hell-bent on creating their own global mass extinction.

So why would aliens come here? It's like Justin's dad says, it's just too far to go. Not worth the trip. Not worth it to the aliens, if they exist. Not worth it to humans, either, to travel through space to visit them.

Still, inquiring minds would like to know: Are we alone?

That questions bugs the hell out of people so much that they can't stop themselves from dreaming about space colonies and star travel.

Since we will never know for sure, and cannot know, I put forth this modest proposal: instead of trying to prove there is intelligent life out there that's too far to travel to, let us make a kind of international legal deposition, to this effect:

As a species, we hereby acknowledge that intelligent life DOES exist somewhere in our galaxy. But we will never encounter them face to face, because it is, quite simply, too far to go.

I'd be the first to put my name on that one.

There are other reasons why it's foolhardy to dream of encountering intelligent alien life, but I won't go into that. At least not on this post.

Suffice it to say that if we could could knock off all this romantic crap about it being our destiny to explore the stars, we might be able to commit more time and resources to saving ourselves from extinction. We have some hard work ahead of us if we are going to stop spoiling our Earth-home and keep from rendering it uninhabitable.

If you read my blog regularly, you know this is one of my favorite rants. If it's getting tedious, I apologize. Justin's dad made me do it.

Post by Dennis E. Coates, Ph.D., Copyright 2010. Building Personal Strength . (NASA image of Andromeda galaxy 2.5 million light years away, Hubble telescope.)


Sarcastic Bastard said...

Intelligent life DOES exist somewhere in the galaxy, but we are NOT it.

--Shit SB Says

Anonymous said...

In the Pine Barrens, there is a type of frog that is found only in that wooded area. At Stockton College, there is a course to study aforementioned rare frog.
There are students that fly from the other side of the world (no exaggeration used) to participate in a class offered at Stockton to study these frogs.
All the way from the other side of the world. Just to study some stupid, little, long-legged, big-eyed insect eater. I bet these frogs don't think very highly of themselves, either. And yet, it all happens.