Space aliens are real and they created us!
“Man in his arrogance thinks himself a great work, worthy of the interposition of a deity. More humble, and I believe truer, to consider him created from animals.” ― Charles Darwin.
“If we long to believe that the stars rise and set for us, that we are the reason there is a Universe, does science do us a disservice in deflating our conceits?” — Carl Sagan.
The story of life on Earth is usually presented as a straightforward evolutionary journey from single-cell organisms all the way to the most complex life forms today.
But what if we’ve gotten the story all wrong? What if, instead, life on Earth was seeded (or at least aided along the way) by aliens from a far away galaxy who come back periodically to check up on us? And, if so, what if we’re not the only such planet in the universe?
The theory of panspermia, despite its adolescent-chuckle-inducing name, has gained some support from the scientific community in recent years. Initially proposed by a Greek philosopher in the 5th century BCE, it states that life originated elsewhere in the universe and first came to Earth as space dust. Directed panspermia, a theory propounded by Francis Crick, the co-discoverer of DNA, takes that theory one step further and posits that life on Earth was the result of a “deliberate infection”, designed by space aliens.
What if Neo was right after all and we’re all just part of the Matrix? Not at the individual level as portrayed in the movie but at the galactic level, with each planet simulating an evolutionary trajectory in real time, all planned and monitored by a super-intelligent race of aliens. What if the Earth is nothing but a spherical radio hurtling through space with eight billion antennas pointing in every direction?
Given that there are two trillion galaxies out there, each with a hundred billion stars, for a grand total of some 200 sextillion (200,000,000,000,000,000,000,000!) stars, you’d be hard pressed to argue that we’re the only intelligent life forms in the universe nor would such a conjecture be statistically wise.
Much more reasonable to assume that there are other intelligent life forms out there and that, given a ten billion year head start, some of them may be technologically far ahead of us. Just look at what we’ve collectively accomplished scientifically in the past few hundred years and project that forward for a few thousand or a few million more years and you’ll get an inkling of what is possible. When you do so, keep in mind that scientific progress is not linear but rather exponential in its trajectory.
Crucially, once you assume the existence of a civilization advanced enough to be capable of interplanetary travel, it’s hard to also believe that they’d use such skills to seed life on only a single planet. In such a scenario, it would be far more likely that we are a laboratory experiment four billion years in the making and that we are only one of millions, if not billions, of such projects currently in progress.
It doesn’t matter whether they’re the desperate survivors of a destroyed civilization on a distant planet who left in search of a new home millions of years ago or benevolent beings still thriving on their home planet and trying to extend life to as many other planets as possible. If and when they have the skills to start life on multiple planets, they will attempt to do so. We would, so there’s no reason to assume they wouldn’t. Further, despite what Hollywood would have you believe, chances are much higher that any such efforts are not dystopian in nature but rather benevolent.
Elon Musk’s efforts to terraform Mars seem laughable in comparison to such a grand scheme but imagine the fruits of his endeavor not a hundred or even a thousand years from now but, instead, a million years after its inception. Who knows, maybe it’s even just us coming back from the future after we discover time travel. Naaah, never mind. This is Homo Sapiens we’re talking about. We’ll be extinct in a few centuries.
Note that I’m not arguing about the existence of God. For the purposes of our discussion, it doesn’t matter how the universe came into being nor does it matter how life first started. All I’m arguing is that there is a non-zero chance that other intelligent life forms exist in the universe and that, if and when they become capable of seeding life on other planets, and given enough time, they will attempt to do so on a grand scale.
The cheapest way to do so, assuming you want a natural outcome and not a world inhabited by robots, would be to find planets capable of supporting life in all its various forms and to kickstart the process by introducing a few molecules, a few bacteria, maybe even a few plants and animals. Then come back every thousand years and check on the status of the local inhabitants, making course corrections as necessary, adding ingredients if needed, and maybe even hitting the “factory reset” button once in a while.
Noone really knows how life started on Earth. Somehow, somewhere, inanimate molecules started fusing together, building symbiotic relationships, hunting and eating other organisms, and creating ever more complex life forms in the process. Exactly how, we have no idea.
One day, God said “Let there be life” or, if you prefer, an accidental bolt of lightning hit a primordial puddle of ooze and… presto chango, out popped life! That’s our best guess to date. And we’ve had our best people working on it for centuries… both scientists and theologians.
What if “God” in the above story was a super intelligent species of aliens seeding planets in a desperate (or perhaps benevolent and ingenious) attempt to make the entire universe habitable, not creating life for the first time exactly but instead just extending it and helping it prosper? Isn’t that exactly what we humans would do if we could, as penance for our misdeeds of the past, as the ultimate altruistic payback for climate change, as a desperate bid to find other home planets?
What if the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs was not a freak accident but rather a meteor pushed out of its trajectory by a spaceship when they didn’t like the direction in which we were headed? What if the Cambrian explosion and its rapid infusion of new complex life forms was kickstarted by astronauts who brought along a few specimens on their mission?
Case in point: Ever heard of a tardigrade? These microscopic creatures, colloquially known as water bears, are such evolutionary oddballs that scientists aren’t sure what to make of them.
“Tardigrades are among the most resilient animals known, with individual species able to survive even complete global mass extinction events caused by astrophysical events, such as gamma-ray bursts, or large meteorite impacts. Some of them can withstand extremely cold temperatures down to 0.01 K (−460 °F; −273 °C) (close to absolute zero), while others can withstand extremely hot temperatures up to 420 K (300 °F; 150 °C) for several minutes, pressures about six times greater than those found in the deepest ocean trenches, ionizing radiation at doses hundreds of times higher than the lethal dose for a human, and the vacuum of outer space.”
Did you read that last part? They survive the vacuum of outer space! How, and more importantly, why would an earthling evolve with such characteristics? What environmental conditions led to these adaptive behaviors? Clearly nothing resembling Planet Earth.
Lacking sufficient archaeological evidence in the fossil record, scientists are unable to place tardigrades accurately in the tree of life. One theory is that they arrived here hitching a ride on a meteor. It turns out that they could survive such a “ride from one world to another, but only under exactly the right circumstances.”
Let’s do a little math: The closest star, Proxima Centauri, is 4.24 light years (5.88 trillion miles) away. The fastest meteors travel at 44 miles per second. Such a trip would require almost 4600 years, not to mention the fact that temperatures can reach 5000 degrees Fahrenheit upon entering the Earth’s atmosphere.
It’s hard to believe that any living creature could survive such a journey. What if, instead, we look at tardigrades as what they really are, cockroaches from another planet that stowed away on a spaceship and stayed when they found the local conditions to their liking, much like rats arriving on boats as humans conquered each successive continent on Earth?
This scenario may seem far-fetched but it has already happened! The Israeli-funded private lunar lander, Beresheet, crash landed on the moon in April 2019 due to a software error. Onboard was a small laboratory containing, guess what, a few tardigrades. The landing was soft enough that scientists believe the critters may have survived.
If we humans have already (accidentally) seeded life on other planets within fifty years of the advent of space travel, what are the odds that the same has not happened elsewhere in the universe, over billions of years and by more advanced beings? How could we tell the earthlings from the space aliens amongst, and within, us?
I’m not saying that these speculations are valid, just that there are enough unexplained anomalies in the evolutionary record to make one wonder “what if”. By this definition, our history on the planet and our resultant biology is much more complex than the few percentage points of Neanderthal DNA that we all carry. Darwin wasn’t wrong; his theory was just incomplete.
And maybe every once in a while, during a crucial period in the later stages of an experiment, a scientist sitting in the bowels of a spaceship hovering near the moon uses his advanced communication technology to impart words of wisdom to an illiterate nomad. The man behind the curtain, writ large. God by any other name.
It’s only now, in the 21st century, that we finally have the technologies at our disposal to detect and uncover such attempts at communication. Not surprisingly, no such attempts have been forthcoming in recent years.
But what if our galactic buddies decide we’re advanced enough the next time they come back and actually try to make contact? Close encounters of the third kind, if you will. Our technology has finally advanced far enough, and our superstitions have subsided enough, that we can actually hold a rational conversation with these intelligent beings the next time they come to visit. And this time, it won’t be just one of us in a cave; it’ll be all of us, everywhere, all at once.
Now, wouldn’t that be the coolest?
I’d love to be a fly on the wall when our leaders show up for the first meeting: “So… let’s see. In the past few hundred years, you’ve managed to use up 47% of the planet’s natural resources; made 72 million species extinct; killed, maimed, tortured, hated, and otherwise abused and hurt each other for no good reason whatsoever; and you want me to clap for you because you can go from 0 to 60 in under three seconds flat? A bit narcissistic, don’t you think?”
You may point out that I have no proof for any of this, just like religious people don’t have any proof of God. It’s impossible to “prove” the existence of a creator outside our universe but that’s not what I’m proposing. I’m not smart enough to know what happened before the Big Bang nor am I proposing to solve the riddle of life itself. You can have God and you can have smart space aliens helping as his elves.
I used to scoff at stories of extraterrestrials and UFOs. No more. I don’t need video evidence; any being intelligent enough to come here will have, long ago, devised methods to cloak itself. The reason I believe in them is that it makes more sense than all the other explanations: it’s statistically plausible (nay, inevitable) and it doesn’t negate any of our spiritual beliefs in God or our scientific beliefs in the big bang as it only concerns itself with the proliferation of life across the universe and not its origins. It answers so many questions that it has to be considered as a legitimate theory.
If we believe in this story, we should immediately stop everything we’re doing, fundamentally reconsider our motivations as a society, abandon our selfish and destructive habits, and dedicate our time and efforts to healing ourselves and the planet.
It’s only then that we’ll be worthy of communication with a much more intelligent species. Isn’t that a beautiful goal to work towards? Not because we worship our creators or are afraid of their retribution but because we trust them to be benevolent, full of love and compassion, and wishing the best for us. Let’s get started; we don’t have much time left.
Author’s note: I’ve deleted all my social media accounts (except for Medium) and now depend exclusively on the kindness of strangers to pass the word around about my blog posts. Please share this post with others if you liked it. Thank you.