I read a really amazing book recently called The Eerie Silence – Are We Alone in the Universe.
If you are interested in the search for extra terrestrial life then this book draws some very interesting conclusions and is well worth reading. The book starts off by looking at our own world to see if we can draw any evidence about whether the human race might be a one-off species or whether we might be just one of millions of life forms that throng the universe.
The conclusions of the book are a little depressing because of the authors opinions about whether there might be life on other planets. He also gives a fascinating insight into the future of the human race.
I say depressing because the author is the head of SETI, which stands for “search for extra terrestrial intelligence” so this guy should know a thing or two about the chances of finding alien life. His conclusion is that he thinks the human race could be alone in the universe. After reading his book he certainly offers compelling evidence that we might well be alone.
Firstly, we have been looking for evidence of alien life for about 50 years. Our technology over the last 10 years has improved greatly to the extent that we can see much further into space that we have even been able to see. So far, all this searching has found not one once piece of evidence that there may be life elesewhere.
Secondly, if you look back at the history of the human race it is a series of accidents that quite possibly could never happen again. The author of the book describes the chances of life emerging as being like a “whirlwind going through a scrap yard and putting together the best aeroplane that ever existed”. I think that is a very good analygy.
If we were to discover radio signals coming from another planet the distances involved are likely to be so great that it would take hundreds of light years to them to reach us and for us to reach them. As we can’t travel at the speed of light yet and probably never will be able to this means it would take thousands of years to travel the distances involved. This poses several problems, of course. By the time we have travelled the distance the life we are trying to reach may well have died but more importantly, we can’t live for that long either !
This is where things start to get interesting because in our quest to seek out new life forms us humans will have to change and this also ties in with the way us humans are evolving. I think that it is clear that humans will evolve artificially. What I mean is that medical science will prolong our lives by genetic engineering and by giving us man made bits of body that don’t wear out. Effectively, this means we will eventually change into machines !
Scientists think that they will be able to download the contents of a human brain onto a computer by about 2030. Already, we have man made limbs. All the body does is do what the brain wants so if you can have a computer as a brain and a man made body then you have a robot. This will lead to humans living longer and more importantly, it will mean that we can travel longer distances in space. This will happen because it is the only way that we will be able to travel the incredible distances involved in deep space travel.
By the year 2100 us humans will be completly different !
Buy the book. It’s excellent !
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