NASA’s backward view of aliens

Any of you that perform Google News searches as much as I do with the keyword “aliens” will know of NASA’s latest rant that reflects their A or B type logic, the same logic that has plagued the human race since the beginning of our short time on Earth.   What NASA presents us with are either of two choices: A) aliens will wipe us out or B) save us from ourselves, i.e., alleviate global warming.

Firstly, both choices reflect the egocentric condition of humanity in that we think we are somehow the center of this known universe and that we are, by default, owed a visit by aliens even if they are just passing through.  Isaac Asimov, one of my favorite sci-fi writers, once stated the following regarding aliens, “We can’t try to guess what the motives of these explorers [aliens] might be.  What might seem logical to us might not seem so logical to them.  They may not care if we see them, and they also may not care to say hello.”  A good example of this logic is shown in the novel ‘Rendezvous with Ramma’ by Arthur C. Clarke in which a gargantuan alien vessel passes through our solar system only to draw energy from our sun, not to say hello to us (and talk about global warming).

What NASA has not taken into account is that if aliens have the technology to travel across vast light years of space, isn’t that alone a reason why we remain so infinitesimal in the grand scheme of Type I civilizations such as aliens?  For those that may be unaware of the difference between galactic types of civilizations, physicist and futurist Dr. Michio Kaku explains it best:

  • “Type I: this civilization harnesses the energy output of an entire planet.
  • Type II: this civilization harnesses the energy output of a star, and generates about 10 billion times the energy output of a Type I civilization.
  • Type III: this civilization harnesses the energy output of a galaxy, or about 10 billion time the energy output of a Type II civilization.”

According to Dr. Kaku, humans rank as a Type 0 on the class scale since we continue to rely on fossil fuels instead of shifting primary resources to renewable energy sources.  So, if we were to liken ourselves with any kind of species, in comparison, we should view ourselves as ants while aliens are compared to humans.  Here we [humans] are building, destroying, and rebuilding like ants in a windstorm while aliens would have the ability to control entire solar systems by stripping minerals or drawing direct fusion power from stars’ rays.  What role do we play in their grand scheme of life?

In reference to choice B, if that were the only other choice, why would aliens save us from ourselves?  What do we have to offer them beside our religions that would try to proxy them to being made by our gods, and our mediocre minerals?  What good would diamonds do for aliens that have explored more types of bling across the galaxy than Jay-Z on Earth?  More importantly, why would you provide a catalyst to a fast-growing organism without administering thorough, meticulous observation?  Even humans have the ability to view microbes and parasites under microscopes without being detected with our technology which dates back less than a few thousand years; so why couldn’t they view us in the same manner considering they have the technology to travel throughout outer space?

Yes, I am talking about unknowingly being observed by aliens for those of you die hard conspiracy theorists out there.  Human scientists have the ability to look at other stars even outside our own Milky Way galaxy (which is probably known by a million other names across the universe) – so why wouldn’t aliens be able to view us without ever leaving where they call home?  NASA claims to have some of the smartest brains on this planet; so why don’t they consider taking that factor into consideration? Or have they taken it into consideration and have chosen to leave that ‘small’ detail out of the press releases?

I could go on and on regarding both NASA’s growing need to think more outside the box but I will stop (for now).  Ultimately, I suspect these latest theories from NASA touch on an underlying theme that perhaps we fear ourselves so much that we would assume, by default, aliens would act in our own manner.  Why should we wait for aliens to save us from ourselves when we should be responsible for our own affairs?

In order to bring this rant to a close, as a futurist (and transhumanist) I will propose one of my many theories on how we will eventually meet aliens, that is, if we survive ourselves long enough to explore the greater galaxy with more than just visual observation.

  • Humans will send numerous probes in multiple directions in order to increase our chances of finding someone or something worthwhile in outer space.
  • Scientists will eventually find a Type I or higher civilization and attempt to contact it.
  • Scientists will be ignored by the aliens like humans ignore ants.
  • Scientists will try even harder to get aliens’ attention by performing a hostile act which would equate to more of an annoyance to aliens than a real threat.
  • We will keep annoying them until they eventually retaliate.
  • Humanity will do what we think we do best and amass forces to try to deal with the threat. (By the way, NASA and SETI will be happy because they would start to get heavy funding again)
  • We will be stamped out by the aliens because we should have remained on our anthill instead of trying to pursue our manifest destiny on a galactic scale.
  • Oh yes, should a small portion of humanity choose not to participate in the global war against aliens, they may colonize a small slice of our solar system.  Ironically, that colony may be the only hope for mankind. =-)

 

 

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About Manny Garza

After serving 8 years in the U.S. Army as an Intelligence Analyst, Manny departed the military in order to pursue his B.A. in Philosophy from American Military University. Aside from college, he writes short stories and essays in the realm of philosophy and science fiction. Manny's short stories are heavily influenced by who he refers to as The Trinity: Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, and Jack Williamson. He is married to his lovely wife, Melissa, and has two dogs named Koopa and Goomba. Aside from being an editor and contributor of Nerd Trek articles, his hobbies include playing guitar, singing, and both tabletop and video game RPGs. Manny currently lives in Charlottesville, VA.