pretty_panther asked: Do you believe there is life out there somewhere right now? As in, we think there WAS some form of life on Mars but do you think there is life somewhere NOW?
Yes. I do. Probably not humanoid life, though. We have only recently begun to be able to detect planets in orbit around stars in our galaxy. We’re not even very good at it and the count is already in the hundreds. I imagine that that number will increase by a couple of orders of magnitude before we get much better at it. And that’s just our galaxy. I find it hard to believe that there aren’t thousands more planets in thousands more galaxies. Given the amount of time that the universe has existed and the billions of galaxies in it, there must at least be a planet or two that is somewhere along life’s evolutionary tree simultaneously with us, although it may still be at the microbial/bacterial stage (which lasted an awfully long time on Earth). We may never come into close physical contact with it, since we are nowhere close to being capable of traveling near the speed of light, and even that might not be fast enough to reach it within a time span that makes sense to the continuity of human perception.
That’s not great news for sci-fi and its fondness for contact with alien beings, although that’s not by far the biggest problem with sci-fi anyway. A good deal of supposedly “hard” sci-fi suffers, in my view, from a spectacular lack of imagination. Why should a sentient alien race behave anything like humans? For that matter, why should future humans behave like modern humans? Can’t we imagine that we might actually one day be better to each other than we presently are? Far too much of sci-fi (and frankly, a lot of what gets classed as “literature”) seems to be based on the premise that humans are and always will be inherently awful to one another. Alien beings become analogues for other races, and then we get stuck in the imperial/colonial/xenophobia/dominance/o
Major tangent there, sorry pretty_panther - I hope the first paragraph at least was coherent.**
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