Post by Michael Cole
Hi all. I thought I would share a cranky observation about the way media likes to dumb down everything. On one of the news shows this morning they interviewed a scientist who argued that the weird space rock Oumuama that recently passed through our solar system was evidence of intelligent alien life. So they made a big deal of having the audience answer a poll question "Is it arrogant for us to assume we are alone in the universe?" I find the stupidity of the question annoying. What the hell does human ego have to do with a factual question about the universe?
I have no interest in being arrogant or humble when considering a question of fact. Putting aside the question of arrogance, I think it is STUPID to assume we are alone in the universe and equally stupid to assume we are not. I could make all kinds of cogent arguments that the sequence of events that led to the evolution of complex life on earth was sufficiently serendipitous, it could be a once-in-a-universe happening. But then we must consider different ways complex life could evolve and on that we can only speculate in the dark. My guess, which is as worthless as anyone else's, is that simple life such as photosynthetic bacteria may be fairly common and more complex life much rarer. How rare? Well, now you've got me guessing.
Me too. But tell me, which of the news shows
has an audience there? And morning news too...
you have to /really/ like news to get up, get
dressed, and go to the TV studio and /watch/ it.
And how many of the audience knows what "arrogant"
means? Especially at that time of day... I think
people would take it just to mean "Are humans the
only intelligent life in the universe?" Probably
leaving out God and angels and such, yes?
Do I know about alien life? No. I have been told
and I accept that for five-sixths of Earth's existence
do far, various types of slime were the only things
alive. So maybe most planets get slime but most of
them don't get past that. Then again, other planets
around the Sun seem to give little hope even of finding
I don't know, and if I thought I did, that would indeed
be stupid, and arrogant to think that my own stupid ideas
were credible, and stupid to be arrogant.
Scientists who investigate such things have a much better
chance of providing a valid answer. That would not
be arrogant, but there doesn't seem to be a conclusion.
But perhaps it is arrogant to believe that scientists
who know the answer will tell the rest of us.