Life at UCB through the eyes of our international student bloggers

Are we alone in the universe?

Are we alone in the universe?

What is the meaning of our lives? What comes after death? Why are we here? These are some of the philosophical questions that have always plagued humanity, but also among these questions is: Are we alone in space?

The universe is huge, unimaginably huge, and the human brain is simply not capable of perceiving that size because our brain has trouble perceiving huge numbers. Our galaxy is called the Milky Way, literally the dumbest name for a galaxy ever – for example, our neighboring galaxy is called Andromeda, a very cool name, and ours is called Milky Way. I really don’t understand why anyone would call a galaxy the same as a chocolate bar you can buy at Tesco for less than a pound. Okay, I understand that the galaxy was named first and then the chocolate bar, but still, a very ugly name.

It triggers me a lot, and speaking of things that make me lose my temper more than I should, it’s the name of our planet.

Why? Primarily because our planet is called Earth, even though 71% of the planet is covered in water.
Another reason is that the name of the planet is translated into other languages. In English we call this blue paradise Earth, and in Croatian it is called “Zemlja”. Very very stupid idea, our planet should be called “Tera”. It is not open for discussion.

Let’s get back to the topic. So in the galaxy with the dumbest name in the universe, the Milky Way has over 100 billion stars like our Sun, and several planets orbit each of those stars. And that’s a lot of planets.

Wasn’t this enough for you? Let’s move on. There are more galaxies in the known universe than there are grains of sand on Earth. I don’t know about you, but when I first heard this information, my brain fell apart. I’m kidding, but these are unimaginable numbers we can’t perceive.

So let’s try to answer the question. Are we alone in space and what do I think about it? My opinion is that we are definitely not and cannot be alone in space.

Why do I think that? Let’s use our imagination a little.

Imagine that you want to build a house for yourself, you live alone, you have no partner, so you build a house exclusively for yourself. So most people would build a house with a kitchen, one bedroom, living room and toilet. Definitely no one would build a house with 5 bedrooms because they don’t need those rooms.

For the same reason, the one who created the universe – God, the creator, whatever you want to call the person or entity that created what we call the universe today – would certainly not build an unimaginably large space with hundreds of billions of galaxies and planets if life evolved on just one of those planets.

Life on Earth evolved billions of years ago. In the beginning, these were simple bacteria in water, but over time, complex organisms were created, and eventually we, homo sapiens or modern man, were born.

That is what science says. Religions tell a different story, but we’ll talk about that another time. And just one thing before we continue: science and religion are not at loggerheads over the origin of life, science and religion complement each other. Science can answer the question of how the universe came into being, and that answer is a big bang that happened 13.7 billion years ago. What science can’t say is why it happened and who started it. This is where the religion that explains that part comes into play. Now that we have resolved that, we can continue.

So we explained that life on Earth was formed over billions of years by various chemical reactions. Maybe somewhere in the wastelands of space on some planet, the same reaction happened that would give the same results: life. Realistically, none of us would care to announce now that bacterial life has been discovered on some planet, but it would still be by far the greatest discovery in human history. But people would generally readily receive the news and it would not be a sensation.

What interests us is whether there is intelligent life out there and whether the human species has ever come into contact with them. Here we come to the interesting part.

Personally, I think that there is very intelligent life and that members of other species have been visiting us for a long time. Many of us have seen bright lights in the sky, objects moving at incredible speeds and doing manoeuvres that break the laws of physics, and manoeuvres that no human spacecraft can do.

Then the famous UFO crash in the New Mexico desert in 1947 in the USA. Also in World War II, many military pilots reported encounters with unusual aircraft called foo fighters. Perhaps the aliens studied the greatest catastrophe in human history, World War II, and thought about how smart we are at the same time, but also so stupid.

The question is, if they have always been there, if they are watching us, why don’t they contact us?

Well for starters, who says they aren’t? Hundreds of thousands of people reporting abductions, various lights in the sky, encounters with unusual big-eyed humanoids, but these are isolated cases.

Personally, I believe that many alien species have contact with the governments of the most powerful countries in the world, specifically the USA and Russia. You may think I’m crazy, but that would explain a lot of things, like our amazing technological development over the last 70 years. We have made more progress in the last 70 years than in the last 200,000.

But why don’t they call the whole planet, why don’t they park their spaceship in front of University College Birmingham and say “Hey, we are here, we exist”?

There is a very, very good reason for this: humanity is not ready for it. Maybe I’m ready, maybe you’re ready, dear reader, maybe your best friend is ready. But billions of people around the world are just not ready. Why is this the case?

Humanity has trouble accepting new ideas. Remember how Galileo ended up saying that the Earth is actually round and not a flat plate as previously thought. People need time to accept new ideas.

Imagine this. The doctor works at the hospital and must inform the patient that he is dying. Of course she won’t come to him and say “Hey, you will die soon”. The doctor will gradually tell his patient the sad news through conversation to reduce the shock. The same thing is with this – humanity needs to be somewhat prepared for such news in order to reduce the shock.

Personally, I think it will look like this. They will first tell us that they found bacteria on one of Saturn’s or Jupiter’s natural satellites, then we will find out about slightly more complex organisms, and maybe some animals like the ones we have here. And then finally, in my opinion, by 2050 they will inform us that we have come into contact with one type of alien race. In this way, it will prepare us for the great news, the greatest in the history of mankind. All that I have said is fantastically shown in the film ‘Contact’. Watch that movie.

But what if some species plans to attack us as we see in Hollywood movies? Well, the USA recently got a new branch of the military, the US Space Force, so they will defend us all, just like in the movies. Have you heard of the theory of the famous Solar Warden project? I believe you have not.

Maybe we’ll talk about it in the next blog, next Thursday. Cheers!

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