What If

In honour of today being ‘Science Fiction Day’, (although for some of you it’s already the 3rd – my, how the year has flown! – someone, somewhere, decided that Isaac Asimov’s Birth Day, 2nd January, ought to be the date for it) I offer up the following thoughts …

… there are a gazillion Science Fiction stories (and a not inconsiderable number of Fantasy stories too) out there, and a good many of them have at their core the premise that there is, or was, an alien species that seeded ‘life’ throughout the universe.

The science of the day tells us that there probably isn’t any ‘life as we know it’ anywhere else, only us. I don’t know if that’s true or not … but what if … it was?

What if we, homo-sapiens were to be the seed species of the universe.

What if we didn’t extinguish our Selves over the next couple of centuries.

What if we managed to get through our adolescents-picking-at-pimples-and-poking-each-other-with-sharp-sticks stage, and actually grew up?

Look at what we’ve achieved, in spite of the ridiculous amount of stick-poking that has gone on for an embarrassingly high tally of millennia. (excluding the on-going invention of more and more sophisticated ways of poking sticks at each other … I know that a lot of life-affirming/saving tech came out of that ‘stick-poking’ research, but who’s to say we wouldn’t’ve got there anyway?)

What if we outgrew our self-obsessed selfishness, our soul-sucking greed, our terrors that sink so easily into genocide, until the urge to create finally subsumes the urge to destroy. Not for just a few ‘enlightened’ beings here and there, but for the entire species.

What wonders would we see?

I think it’s in our nature to quest. To find what’s over the next hill, the next mountain, the next solar system, the next galaxy.

And what if we didn’t find anyone else?

What would that grown-up version of our species, our Selves, do?

Lagoon nebula

Lagoon nebula

Check out the Hubble telescope website for more glorious images.


The thing with calculating odds, (which is basically what the article on ‘is there life elsewhere’, is doing) is that it’s a bit like playing the pokies or selecting lottery numbers. A certain kind of ‘logic’ tells us that if the odds are 10,000 to 1, then if we play 10,001 times then we’ll win, but the reality is that the odds are re-set at 50/50 every time. You will either win, or you will lose. There either is, or there isn’t, other sophont life in the universe

This leads me to two conclusions  … 1 – if you don’t play (participate) you most certainly won’t ‘win’ … and 2 – humans will always try and ‘game’ the system so the odds ‘will ever be in their favour’, and that other humans will always try to take advantage of them.