Wednesday, March 13, 2013

E.T.

You all know I believe in space aliens. I always have...and as an adult, I've applied logic to the matter.

Honestly, it makes no sense to me that only one planet in one solar system in one galaxy would have produced life...and while there's no absolute that life leads to intelligence, it's likely it does in many cases.

The news that broke this morning could be amazing. Or it could be cold fusion - yet another case of scientists jumping the gun.

If it's genuine, though, then they have found fossils. In a comet fragment. There's a chance these fossils, which resemble a very old form of marine algae, are simply from Earth. A huge impact can send material off into space...which could then come back later. (This, by the way, is how we have meteorites that appear to have come from Mars).

But what if they're right. What if these comet fragments have brought us the echo of life from somewhere else? Life so similar to our own that we instantly recognize it as kin?

The weird thing is that for all that I'm a science fiction writer, a futurist, and a lover of first contact stories? The idea of actual, scientific proof of extraterrestrial life still elevates my heart rate a little. It still scares me as well as exciting me. It's not confirmed yet - and truthfully the only way to confirm it is to send a few robots out on sample return missions to other comets and look for the same structures.

Why does it scare me? I'm afraid of how people will react. There are still those on this planet who see humanity as the absolute pinnacle of life, put their by God. Even algae from another world nudges at that worldview. It's not a flying saucer landing on the National Mall, but it's something. Something that makes it all the more likely that somewhere out there are other eyes and minds, possibly pointing telescopes at our little sun and wondering what might be here.

And that's scary, because speculation is just that. Proof changes everything.