The Stars above Mines: Life looks for Life

Humans look at the skies for many reasons. The skies are eternally beautiful no matter where on Earth they are viewed from and regardless of the season. There may be economic reasons as well; Earth is bound to run out of resources eventually and within reason, space can provide what is needed. There is a question that remains unanswerable that seems to have been implanted within the depths of society – “Does life exist beyond Earth?”

From all evidence, humanity is stark and alone in the universe, but then again, the sample pool is about as limited as they come. If humanity is to be alone, then the forces directing life must be exceedingly uncommon and worth looking deeper into here on Earth. Given that laboratory scientists come closer every year to actually developing life and the basic building blocks have been easily synthesized, it is much more likely that life does exist out among the stars.

There are many factors that could contribute to why no life has been seen. For one, the universe is vastly big. If every single star had a single planet that had developed life, the chance of interaction is still near to zero. Even from several million kilometers away, the signs of life on Earth are reduced to electromagnetic pulses that rapidly disperse as distance increases. It is irrational to presume that every star system has life bearing planets, unless the factors leading to life are extremely common. Therefore, the distance between possible life bearing planets is an extreme beyond extremes. Even more limiting is the variable of time. Humanity has been producing radio waves for a minor fraction of our existence and there is a chance that the massive differences that tear apart society may yet end life before ample time has been provided to get an accurate glance across the cosmos.

It is clear that despite the odds against us, humanity wants there to be something beyond our own reality. False as they probably are, there is a reason that UFO and alien sightings are bizarrely common. There is a possible need in the human psyche for there to be a force beyond our own. Now in a world of science rather than demons, life beyond Earth fits the bill. Any life that humanity may encounter has equal chance to be significantly more primitive than us, provided humanity is doing the exploring, or is significantly more advanced if the life comes to us. To any society behind us, humanity may yet be the advanced gods that their culture has fables of, and to us, anything beyond our technology could certainly take on the role of miracles.

Mostly though, humanity continues to look because being alone in a vast universe is a cursed and lonely fate, while not being alone is rather comforting.
May the stars shine brilliantly in your skies.

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