Are we alone?

Every so often, after too many cocktails, someone asks the question – “Do you think there are aliens out there in the cosmos?” My answer is always the same… “Probably not. At least not the kind of lifeform we could ever fathom in our wildest dreams.” The standard reply is, “But the universe is so big! You don’t think there’s a planet out there like Earth?” So then I clarify… to me it’s not about whether there’s a planet out there like Earth; I presume there are many planets in the universe capable of supporting life. The issue is, the random events required to turn ‘non-life’ into ‘life’ seem incredibly improbable. However, if a planet does somehow beat those odds and a tiny microbe springs forth from its muddy waters, evolution appears to proceed steadily towards entities with greater and greater complexity and intelligence. Eventually the planet will produce a being with human-like cognitive faculties, and once it does, it won’t take them very long to become extremely advanced. On a cosmological time-scale, it was merely a blink of an eye between the time humans crawled out of caves and into spaceships. There’s no telling what earth will be like when the eye finally opens in the next blink, but humans will be long-gone. Not because they went extinct per se, but because they transformed themselves into something we couldn’t comprehend… not in our wildest dreams.

I made a short animation to give you a better idea of what I mean when I say…

“a blink of an eye”