E.T. Phone Home

Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us. – Bill Watterson

Here’s something a lot of people may never have thought about. Let’s say for the sake of this discussion that the doomsday asteroid that killed the dinosaurs never happened. Dinosaurs would have lived and – over the eons – evolved. What do you think their descendents would look like today? I’m guessing it would be something like this.

Alien <<<<<<< Does this guy remind you of anything you’ve seen before?

I’m going on the record to say that I believe in intelligent life on other planets. Yes, I’m a Christian. Yes, I believe in evolution. And yes, I know that doesn’t necessarily make sense. But I’ll bet there are more than a few of you out there who also believe both.

Of course there has not yet been any certifiable proof that life (intelligent or not) exists on other planets. But I truly believe its only a matter of time. However, for me it’s not really about proof. The concept of life on other planets simply makes the more sense to me than the idea that we are alone in the universe.

Think about it. Science has long since proven that those tiny “stars” in the night sky consist of other planets in our solar system, stars themselves outside of our solar system, even other galaxies made up of millions, billions and even trillions of stars. Here’s a link to give you an idea of just how many stars there actually are.

Now let’s stop and think about that. With more heavenly bodies out there than anyone could possibly count over a multitude of lifetimes, does it make sense to think there are no others with the characteristics of Earth, ripe for life to exist? And even if there are no others like Earth, that doesn’t necessarily mean anything. It’s been proven life does survive without sunlight and in pressure environments much greater than to what we are accustomed.

For the devout Christians, yes I know the Bible doesn’t really address the idea of life on other planets (though that’s open to interpretation.) But the thing about the Bible is that so much depends on which specific passages you choose to cite. As many people know, the Bible contradicts itself in many places. Then there’s the issue of which version/translation you choose to follow, King James, American Standard, English Standard, etc. But that’s a subject for a future post.

Another point to ponder is that perhaps intelligent life is monitoring us and choosing to hide itself from us due to our less than pleasant reputation. Let’s face it, humans have a horrible track record of mistreating other intelligent beings. Take the case of the American Indian, native Africans brought to the U.S. as slaves, the religious-based Jihad of extremist Muslims and countless other examples across the world. Maybe extraterrestrials  are afraid of us. Who wouldn’t be?

All this is why I look up at the stars at the night sky and wonder. I wonder how many of those tiny dots have intelligent life. I also wonder how many beings on those worlds are at the same time looking up at their sky, seeing OUR tiny dot and wondering the exact same thing.

 

Driving Me Crazy

I had to stop driving my car for a while. The tires got dizzy. – Steven Wright

George Carlin once said, “Have you ever noticed that anyone driving slower than you is an idiot and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?” Well, the other day I was driving down State Road 43 into Lafayette when I came to the part of the road where it widens to four lanes. Not on my way to work or limited by any time factor, I was going a crisp 60 mph (in a 55 zone) and kept a steady pace. Four vehicles behind me decided that I was an idiot. So all four maniacs – in a quick parade – shot into the left lane to pass. I watched for a bit as they tried to outmaneuver each other ahead of me to be first in line.  Now by myself on the road, my attention shifted to a wonderful scene at the side of the road of people outside in their yard enjoying the nice spring day. It made me smile. About a minute later I came to the stoplight and quickly noticed – yep – all four NASCAR drivers stuck at the red light in front on me. So long story short, I caught up with them and got a nice little eye feast before I arrived.

I forget who said it, but it was a very apropos comment at the time. “People drive everywhere today like they’re driving to the hospital.” It’s very true. And I used to be one of them. My wife is still somewhat apprehensive about driving with me. I’ve tended to be in a hurry for no apparent reason and taken stupid chances that don’t really make any sense. Sure I arrived at my destination earlier by something like 5 minutes. And I arrived there in a bad mood, hands shaking, cursing all those idiots on the road. But hey, I beat all those idiots and arrived there early dammit!

I guess part of it has to do with people’s innate desire to win. We may be having a bad day, be in debt, or have any of a thousand other issues we’re dealing with. But to get in front of all those other drivers on the road, that makes you a winner. Be proud. Be happy (until you get behind the wheel again). Everyone else out there thinks you’re a maniac.

Now I understand if you are running late for work, an appointment or actually going to the hospital. But what purpose is served by driving like a maniac to the grocery store? Don’t worry, groceries will still be on the shelves waiting for you to arrive.

As I’ve aged, I’ve taken a conscious effort to slow down on the road and enjoy the ride. And that is a lot more possible if you’re not clutching the wheel in a death grip, eyes narrowed on all the idiots in front of you. I’ve noticed a lot more beautiful things at the side of the road. I’ve noticed interesting trees, beautiful flowers, nice scenes of people at play, and hundreds of other wonderful sights. Every one of them, every single one, makes me feel a bit richer for the experience.

I also look at it spiritually. I know everyone out there has different beliefs. I even have a friend who’s a Satanist. But regardless of what you believe, there will come a point when your earthly body will wear out. What happens after that is open to multiple interpretations. Ultimately we ALL have the same destination to eventually leave our bodies. So it makes sense to slow down and enjoy every moment, even on the road.

So the next time you’re on your way to the grocery store, take it easy and notice the sights along the way. You don’t know what you might be missing.

But hey, you don’t have to listen to me. I’m just an idiot with a blog.