week 8 - space - Abraham Harn

                Human beings have long wondered what lies beyond planet earth. It was conflict between intellectuals that led to the discovery that earth is not the center of the universe, and years of arms race that led to technologies advance enough to finally take a look of what is beyond this planet. Even though we have yet to discover living organisms outside of earth, we have not stopped looking, and we certainly have not stopped fantasizing what could be out there.  

                What do people expect the aliens to be like? Physically, we seem to have come to a consensus that they’re these green creatures with huge heads and big eyes and long arms who travel in these flying saucers. Such description have been, allegedly, seen around the world and captured in camera or video recorder and have been the basic models for aliens for many movies, books, and games, just to mention a few.

                I am a big fan of movies that tries to depict alien forms. There was a 10-episode TV series back in 2002 produced by Steven Spielberg, featuring Dakota Fanning. The series was about people being abducted throughout the world (clichdfanningtakené I know), before tracking devices were placed deep in their brains. Long story short, we see government officials that try to find and conduct research on the people who were adducted while others stand up to the government.  Dakota Fanning played a little girl that had “special” genes from an abducted mother and an abducted father, who was born with special powers such as slowing down time and creating illusions; she was a project that the aliens were studying carefully, observing how people would react in different situations relating to the special girl.

                This TV series, like many other movies, tries to depict aliens in the form of a normal human being. The movie MIB for example, showed that aliens are disguised like humans and living among us, teach our young, make our coffees, and deliver our mails. As fictional as it might seem, this might be indeed the best approach when one intergalactic species decide to make contact with another, regardless of their intention being hostile or friendly. Just imagine the day that we discover living beings on another planet thmibalienat have lower intellect than us. As scientists, the best way to studies these species would be to cause as little disturbance to the species and the environment as possible. Assuming aliens that have successfully discovered our planet, it is safe to assume that their intellectual level is beyond our understanding, and that they would want to approach us with little disturbance, for the purpose of understanding our planet. The best way to do this would be to “blend in”, and live among us.

                While I don’t think that among the thousands of billions of planets and galaxies that are out there that we’re the only one with life, I do believe that we will not find such a planet, at least not in the near future. I cannot begin to imagine the fear and the insecurity that would arise if we also discover that these beings are way more advanced than we are.

by Abraham Harn

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