Coming soon, from a planet nowhere near you.

Welcome back to another blog hop, with #OpenBook. Here’s this week’s prompt.

Don’t forget to click the purple button to see what everyone else has to say on this week’s subject. It’s at the end of my post.

Do you want science to find aliens or find that we are alone in the universe? Does it scare you to think there are likely other beings out there?

I’m with Carl Sagan on this one.

I’m excited about the day when we make contact with life from another planet, assuming I live to see it. As far as I’m concerned, it’s inevitable.

I think sci-fi in general has given us more to fear about first contact than it needed to. In many instances, in movies and books, the arrival of aliens is seen as a threat to our very existence.

In some cases, they seem desperate to exterminate us because this planet is the only one that has supplies of something they need, in others just…, well because they can. Or because they’re in a bad mood.

While I could be wrong, I would argue that any race which has developed enough to travel between planets would also possess the maturity not to engage in destruction for the sake of it. Also, I think that it’s unlikely that Earth is the only place in the Galaxy where you can obtain supplies of XXX.

Or that humanity needs to be obliterated to acquire it.

If anything, I’m more drawn towards the idea of an alien race being benevolent or somehow responsible for us, either by design or a sense of duty. While I realise that concept might upset a lot of religious people, it’s not my intention, just an observation.

Personally, I believe in an omnipotent creator but wonder if they might not have stopped, or even started, with us.

Once you start looking deeper into it, and take away any faith-based notions, there’s a lot to be said for the idea that aliens have figured in our story already. It can possibly explain and make sense of things in our history that defy any other explanation.

I’ve explored this concept in a couple of my short stories, like this one

Click to read.

Moving on to the aliens themselves, I don’t have much time for the so-called experts, the ones that say the whole idea of people from other worlds is crazy because we haven’t found another water/oxygen world exactly like Earth. I sometimes wonder if they don’t protest too much or have too narrow a view of what’s possible (see Carl Sagan, above).

Life doesn’t have to be in our image, breathe oxygen (which is only a by-product of photosynthesis), or necessarily need what we have here to thrive.

Not all of Earth is easily habitable by humans, we are not perfectly suited to life here, so why do we consider that any other species in the Universe must look and function like us?

Why not have Silicon based life, breathing Methane? Those two things are just as common and capable of chemical reaction as Carbon and Oxygen. There are enough spare planets lying around where the laws of physics may have made life in our image impossible.

As for having one head, two arms and two legs, it might be very efficient but is it the only configuration that works? Not every creature on Earth follows that pattern, why expect aliens to do the same?

That’s before we even get onto the idea that aliens may send robotic observers first, to see how we respond, before arriving in person.

There’s a lot to consider on this topic. Now I’m started, I could easily go on.

Maybe another post is called for. Or perhaps I will be overtaken by events?

Until next time.

Let me know what you think about this week’s subject.

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10 Responses

  1. Daryl Devore

    I agree – many people will be scared of initial contact as sci-fi has often made aliens out to be such bad guys. I also agree with Carl Sagan – it can’t just be us. That would be so sad.

    • Richard Dee

      It would, I’ve never written about sentient aliens, the foibles of humanity give me more than enough material. Imagine the emotional make-up of a methane breathing silicon based life-form. And how it would view us.

        • Richard Dee

          That’s an interesting point. Maybe that’s why they all stay away, or choose to use Earth as a playground to frighten us and practice drawing crop circles.

  2. Ann

    I agree that aliens don’t has to be similar to us. The platypus is one of the few mammals that lays eggs. The idea of what aliens look like is endless.

    • Richard Dee

      And if there is that much variation on ONE planet, imagine what fun nature could have had elsewhere.

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