Hardly anything dispels your ego like star gazing. I love to lie on the terrace, gazing at the stars, letting it sink in, that I am a miniscule carbon based lifeform on a miniscule planet revolving around a not-so-significant star in just one of the many galaxies. I yearn to reach out and touch the stars, or at the very least, live long enough to see mankind leap across the inter-galactic distances. However, I remind myself of my mortality, that one day, I will crumble into the dust on the surface of this ‘just another planet’.
Then what is consciousness? Are we really that special? Or was mankind a mistake of science and magic (i.e. advanced science) ? Was evolution a chance, or was it driven by purpose? Were we meant for great things that span that stars? Or will we just die out?
I, for one, believe that live DOES exist beyond earth. I do not subsribe to the school of though that firmly believes that man has originated from a single couple. I firmly believe that we did evolve from primates, who in turn evolved from reptiles (?), who in turn evolved from amphibians and so on to the single-celled being, the actual parent of all living things. How did he/she/it come into being? Maybe evolution was inevitable and absolutely necessary for survival but what about the creation of life from the inorganic substance that thrived on the newly formed planet? From where did the spark of life come from? The hand of God? Was that the first and last time he touched this planet? To seed life and pave way for the inevitable evolution into thinking beings? If so, isn’t it improbable that he seeded life in only one world, when he has created so many - innumerable in fact. Thus we must have brothers/sisters/whatevers on other planets.
Since everything from creation of life in the single-cell was determined by the environment which drove the evolution, then wouldn’t it be feasible that evolution was driven along other paths on planets with different environments? Thus, intelligent forms, must have a variety of shapes across the universe. The earth was formed 5 billion years ago. Other planets may have formed sooner or later. Rates of evolution would differ across planets. Thus its conceivable that levels of intelligence will vary greatly across the races. Thus there is a great chance that there exists an intelligence greater than ours. Is humanity ready to accept this possiblity? Many won’t be. Mankind is bred to see itself as the most superior. Imagine someone treating us like we treat the apes. I find it hard to imagine a being so completely superior to us that we seem to them like the apes appear to us.
I guess I am slowly entering the realms of the Asimovs and Clarkes. Isn’t it a wonder, that a harmless pastime like star-gazing, can make you question so many fundamentally accepted “truths” and challenge so many beliefs?
I wonder if atleast some of my questions will get answered in this lifetime, in this oh-so-short line in the 4-th dimension. I hope so. Someday.