Friday, July 1, 2011

So Aliens Could Look Like Movie Stars?

I was more amused than bemused by an article in The Guardian (UK) of June 27, quoting a "top" Russian astronomer who claims alien civilizations will be discovered within 20 years. These scientific predictions always hold about as much substance for me as visions announced by street-side psychics and, besides, it kinda seems like intelligent somethings from somewhere else are already here, and both intellectually and scientifically they appear to place our best modern science in the realm of insect obedience school.

Nevertheless, the biggest eye-opener in the Guardian article was astronomer Andrei Finkelstein's insistence that "aliens would most likely resemble humans with two arms, two legs and a head." Yikes! After decades watching members of various scientific communities who assure us that no creature encountered in outer space could ever possibly look anything like us, that's quite the denouement for me. I mean, there's no way that premise would have worked in the original movie, "Alien," if, instead of a hideous creature biting and clawing its way out of somebody's chest cavity, it was just a human-looking fetus popping out and dropping onto the floor with a splat. In space, no one can hear you scream. Or laugh.

But, sounding rather like a S.E.T.I. fan, Finkelstein is convinced that his version of an alien hello-there moment is but a few years away because the "genesis of life is as inevitable as the formation of atoms." Will his aliens look like celebrities, perhaps resembling Brad Pitt, Roseanne Barr, James Earl Jones or Peter Facinelli?

Do we really need scientific consultation to believe we aren't alone in the universe? Good grief, if it's not the scientific community telling us what we already know through common sense, it's The Church putting in its own two cents Just In Case. Just. . .in. . .case.

Several years ago, I wrote letters to the editors of some newspapers, sometimes printed, informing them of my opinion that water exists on the moon, Mars and throughout the cosmos. My opinion cost the government nothing, NASA didn't pay me a cent and at no time did I attend a huffy international conference of bearded male or female scientists to set forth an elaborate theory. Shockingly, nor did I possess an advanced degree in celestial mechanics, unhelpfully saddled as I was with only a bachelor's degree in the non-sciences. Heck, no. I simply figured, well, water here, then water there. What's the mystery? If water exists here, it came from somewhere, some process. And I realized, too, that the stuff must be everywhere. How was I certain? I theorized that when my dog drinks water and then urinates, water still shows up in addition to urea and other substances of excretion. Obviously, you can't get rid of the stuff. Hey, superbly educated folks in our society make tons of money for far less basic reasoning, you know. And dogs are always willing to make themselves available to demonstrate C.E.S. (canine excretory science).

So water seems ubiquitous, and aliens with heads, arms and legs equal in number to ours are Out There, waiting to make contact. Ironic, wouldn't it be, if the first thing Finkelstein's version of aliens do after stopping by the moon to snack on a little Helium 3 is to land here and ask for a drink of water?