🕙 2 min read
I recently read this book called ‘Our final century’ by Astrophysicist Martin Rees (review coming soon) and it delivered some fairly poignant mindfuckery moments I have to share.
This book is about all the ways we may accidentally wipe ourselves off the earth in the next 100 years, super cheery. In one section, the author Martin Rees talks about extraterrestrial intelligent life (aliens basically) and the likelihood of us still being here on this spinning rock when/ if they make contact.
But then the mindfuckery began.mindfuckery
So I personally have always been pretty sure there must be other intelligent life. I mean we know the universe is big enough that the last stars we can see with our naked eyes are over 16,000 light years away. That means if the alien took a squad pic, it would take 16,000 years for us to be like ‘oh look a photo flash’ and it would have travelled over trillions of miles to our eyes. That alien would likely be long dead and buried by the time we saw their flash. The sheer enormity of that to me is like ‘ok sure there have to be aliens somewhere’.
But actually, if you took the past as an indicator of the future, perhaps there is no other smart beings out there. We haven’t found any in the 200,000 years we’ve been on earth, so why are we all sure they’re out there?
Then it goes on to really spell out the two options here. Big breath, some ramblings coming here.
We are part of something much bigger than just our planet. Maybe we are surrounded by aliens but we just haven’t found them yet because we’re only 138 years into electricity and our tech skills are shit in the cosmic scheme of things.
Or, the planets we see around us could have once had life, so far back in their history that all remnants are undiscoverable, wiped out by the passing of centuries. Or perhaps they are starting out on their journey, they are in stage 1 of some really really long-ass process for life. A process so long that we will be long gone before even the first microorganisms wiggle into life. Now just think of that for a second. The enormity of if we were part of this giant map of life but it spans trillions of years. MINDFUCK.
There is NO OTHER LIFE ANYWHERE NEVER HAS BEEN AND NEVER WILL BE *Mic drop*.
Imagine if in this whole crazy universe, we, right here right now are the only intelligent life there has ever been or will be. Whether you find this likely or unlikely, just take a second to think this over. This moment you’re reading this on your phone, when you get up each morning, every time you take a shower; all these moments are monumental because we are the only intelligent life. mindfuckery
Well, this blew my fucking mind. What about you? Let me know what you think. mindfuckery