Can belief in aliens replace religion?

First, sorry for the clickbaity title, but earlier this morning I noticed this article from Futurism on my Twitter timeline so I thought it was time for a little analysis again.

The article mentions that now a growing number of Americans believe in aliens, and that they might hope that the aliens could turn out to be our saviours, rather than a religious character.

Someone out there? – Photo by Casey Horner on Unsplash

In the article, a professor describes how the belief in aliens works like a growing new religion, and that the threats that our planet and our civilization currently face (such as pollution, climate change, inequality) could add to the belief – and maybe even demand – that an external being could actually save us.

First, I have to admit that although at this time there still is no hard proof that aliens have visited or are currently visiting the Earth, there are many reasons to believe that they exist. While we have not managed to actually make contact with aliens yet, it is likely that they are out there, and that they might be more advanced than we are.

There are shows like Ancient Aliens that investigate the possibility that aliens have visited the Earth in the remote past and actually helped our civilization evolve, or even helped creating us. The problem that occurs is, why would aliens have visited us? And for those that believe they have helped create us, why would they do this? Would they do this to help another species because they’re nice fellows, or maybe for another reason? Could it be possible that they maybe do not want to visit because they think we’re jerks?

We will have to wait for the aliens to tell us, should they visit soon, because everything else is guesswork.

But for the time being, at least the growing belief in aliens might stand for something good: the growing acceptance of new concepts.

Do you believe in aliens? Let me know in the comments.

Visit the full article on Futurism here

Analysis: Sunburns, evolution, and aliens

Last week I was sitting there, covered in cooling ointment, my arms (and my face) completely red. How come? I caught a bad sunburn after spending the day outside with my bro, doing research for my novel.

How is that possible? How do you get a sunburn when you actually are climbing about rocks and boulders, and you’re surrounded by fog?

It seems as though our bodies are just not capable of dealing with so much sun. But, wait- we are a species that evolved on a planet with a sun, right? Have you ever seen a giraffe complaining about sunburn? An ape? A jellyfish? So, how come animals can deal with the sun, but we can’t?

Aren’t our bodies used to the sun anymore? Were our ancestors not always outside? OK, troglodytes were supposedly dwelling in caves, but they did come out of them from time to time, didn’t they? So, what’s the deal?

Apparently, we lose abilities if we don’t train them. I for example was thrown out of ballet classes in drama school because I didn’t train enough. So, could this apply in evolution? If we only use dictation and autocorrect to write, could we actually lose our ability to write? Could our hands shrink? If we look up everything in the internet instead of learning it from books, could we damage our ability to actually learn things?

And if we were to invent devices which would allow us to communicate telepathically, would that mean that our ability to hear, and to talk would suffer?

I could very much imagine an alien species that has become so intelligent that they literally only need their brains to steer computers, which steer AIs, which steer, I don’t know, anything from administrating the society to provide food (but then, would such a species need food? Or would brain food be sufficient?), to choosing your outfit (maybe caps would be a trend).

If we had AIs doing everything for us from tidying up our kitchens to working for us, could that mean that we might lose the ability to…you know, everything? We would be nothing but brains, but unable to do anything without the help of our AIs, because we would have no limbs, no abilities left, and we would have forgotten everything about how we built all of this because our AIs are storing the information, not we. We couldn’t even talk, because we would use the AIs to speak.

So should we stop using sun lotion, to prevent evolution from taking away our ability to speak? Literature (and every physician) advises us not to. It might not be such a good idea.

And maybe, if we were composed only of brains, we would at least have become intelligent enough to invent a treatment against sunburn, because that really hurts.

Conclusion: You should really use sun lotion.

Could Fast Radio Bursts really be leakage of an advanced alien spacecraft?

Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) have led to many discussions about whether or not we might be on the verge of finding evidence for an advanced civilisation in a far away galaxy—as scientists still couldn’t discover where exactly the FRBs came from, the theory was risen that the bursts might have been emitted by a neutron star; or, that they actually could have been caused by some sort of humongous radio transmitter that was artificially created to power an alien spacecraft (https://www.cfa.harvard.edu/news/2017-09?utm_content=bufferc5af4&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer). Which is, I’ll admit, quite the cooler theory. But let’s look at what scientists say.
As we discover more and more exoplanets, some of them even in Goldilocks’ zone—meaning that their distance to their home star is such that they could bear liquid water and even support life, you know, like, not too warm but not too cold, either—, more people start to think that we should als discover alien civilisations on some of those exoplanets. OK, it might seem more realistic that we’d find bacteria on an exoplanet instead of an ancient, advanced civilisation building humongous sailing spaceships, but let’s say it could be aliens; we’d have to examine a few things.

Where is the source of the FRBs?

That’s the problem; scientists were not able to find the source of the weird signal yet, even though we know that the bursts came from a far away dwarf galaxy. Which leads us to the next problem: What or who ever might have caused the signal; scientists stated that the signal could have travelled for about 3 billion years (https://www.cnet.com/news/frb-121102-fast-radio-bursts-aliens-seti-meti-galaxy/). That means, if it were aliens, then we would see them flying through their galaxy 3 billion years ago. In the meantime—unless their spacecraft is really, really slow—they would have likely moved on to a different part of the universe.

Why would aliens use that sort of power?

The idea of powering your spacecraft with radio emission isn’t so bad, but it might not be as easy as it sounds. First, you’d need a transmitter big enough to power your probably huge (and heavy) spacecraft even if you’re far away from the transmitter. That would suggest that you’d have to build a gigantic transmitter; some scientists even suggest it would have to be about the size of the earth. I mean, this might be less harmful to your planet’s environment than using fossil fuel, but then you would need just a lot of energy. I’d suggest that such a device might be built by a civilisation that doesn’t have a home planet any longer, so they have to build a transmitter in space. Maybe they built a transmitter to find a new home planet. To build such a device would mean that the aliens that built it are very, very advanced, way more advanced than our civilisation.

But what if the aliens actually tried to contact us?

Could the signal have been sent by an alien civilisation to contact us? OK, it could be really the attempt of an advanced alien civilisation to contact our planet. But why should they contact us using FRBs? Wouldn’t there be a way that wouldn’t need that much energy and would be easier to be decrypted? It is more likely that the signal actually was caused by a gigantic alien spaceship, or that the aliens didn’t mean to contact us; however, we will have to find out where the signal came from before we can determine whether or not it was aliens. But we should mind that it might also be a neutron star—or, who knows, maybe an astronomic object we still have to find out about.

Sources:
https://www.cfa.harvard.edu/news/2017-09?utm_content=bufferc5af4&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer


https://www.cnet.com/news/frb-121102-fast-radio-bursts-aliens-seti-meti-galaxy/