Friday, November 4, 2022

Creating Alien Aliens, Part 21: The REAL Possibility of Intelligent Alien Aliens

Update 11/5/2022: A BRAND NEW article on BBC News: Humans are still searching for signs of intelligent alien life on other planets – but how would we react towards it if we ever did make contact?

I’ve been a fan of SF movies with aliens in them since I watched “Invasion of the Saucer Men” when I was 13 (1970). It was a movie that was, oddly, 13-years-old as well, made in 1957. I was watching a late-night TV show called “Horror, Incorporated” when the movie ran. Unlike my response to Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds” (where I threw the blankets over my head when the camera panned to the eyeless farmer); my reaction to the still-living, alien hand – torn off when the couple who’d been making out at Inspiration Point and heading home, ran over one of the invading aliens – was total absorption.

Since then, and fueled by a BS in biology, and an addition that allowed me to teach Earth Science in MN, I’ve been fascinated by alien biology.

Like anyone else who reads and writes science fiction, I believe with all my heart that there is intelligent life Out There and just because we haven’t definitively “met Them” yet, they HAVE to be out there somewhere.

But, what’s the REAL possibility of finding intelligent life off of Earth, if not in our Solar System or orbiting a nearby star, then SOMEWHERE in the universe? I refuse to accept Ellie Arroway’s lecture to a group of kids at the end of the movie, “I'll tell you one thing about the universe, though. The universe is a pretty big place. It's bigger than anything anyone has ever dreamed of before. So if it's just us... seems like an awful waste of space. Right?”

Carl Sagan’s book of the same name, that has been misattributed to his own invention, which was coined by John Burroughs (American naturalist and nature essayist) in ACCEPTING THE UNIVERSE (“On Other Stars”) (1920). His exact words are, “If they be inhabited, what a scope for misery and folly; if they be na inhabited, what a waste of space.” It has repeatedly been attributed to Carl Sagan because he quoted it at a November 20, 1972 symposium on “Life Beyond Earth and the Mind of Man”, held at Boston University. But the fact is that, it originated half a century before he quoted it.

Like the quote, and despite our firm belief that Modern Civilization “invented” the idea of aliens and alien worlds – because we’re just SO forward thinking – the concept of aliens and alien worlds has been around since Roman Empire actually ruled Western Europe: “The famous Roman poet Cicero was interested in the possibility of living beings on the Moon, and his Somnium Scipionis may have inspired Plutarch (46 A.D. - 120 A.D.) to write his account of a visit to the Moon. In Facies in Orbe Lunare…

Plutarch endorsed the Pythagoreans thus: ‘They affirm that the Moon is terrestrial and inhabited like the Earth, peopled with the greatest living creatures and the fairest plants...’”

Then the author makes an unsubstantiated claim that the Church was responsible for a thousand-year silence regarding the possibility of space travel and alien life writing, though they hedge their bets by what I call weasel words, “…This may probably be attributed to the pervasiveness of the Church philosophy and its rigid opposition to the idea of the plurality of worlds. The pronouncement of…the Bishop of Chiusi, in 1145 A.D. was perhaps typical: The belief in many worlds was to be condemned as heresy.” They provide no references…then runs with their conclusions, making Thomas Aquinas into some kind of simpering idiot: “If God really was all-powerful, why was he only able to create one world? Conversely, if only one world existed how could God possibly be truly infinite and omnipotent? The theologian Thomas Aquinas (1225 - 1274) came up with a ‘solution’ to the problem: God had the power to create infinite worlds, but all the matter in the universe had been used to construct Earth!” Continuing the narrative (and using exclamation points to highlight the author’s disbelief, “…“…the Church subsequently partially reversed its extreme position. In 1277…[the Church] decried as new heresy the belief that a plurality of worlds was impossible!...According to the physics of Aristotle (“from his teachings…the West inherited its intellectual lexicon, as well as problems and methods of inquiry. As a result, his philosophy has exerted a unique influence on almost every form of knowledge in the West and it continues to be a subject of contemporary philosophical discussion.”)…still in vogue (sounds like the author is stating that Aristotle was some sort of fad that soon passed) until the 16th century, if any other worlds did exist they would have to gravitate to the center of the universe (where Earth was). But it became wrong to suggest that God could not create many worlds if He wished.”

“The debate was far from ended. In 1410 the Jewish philosopher Crescas wrote: ‘Everything said in negation of the possibility of many worlds is vanity and a striving after wind." Still, he was unwilling to stick out his neck very far: ‘...yet we are unable by means of mere speculation to ascertain the true nature of what is outside this world; our sages, peace be on them, have seen fit to warn against searching and inquiring into what is above and what is below, what is before and what is behind...’”

“…during the Inquisition in Europe in the mid-fifteenth century. Cardinal Nicolas of Cusa in 1440 in which he stated: Rather than think so many stars and parts of the heavens are uninhabited, and that this Earth or ours alone is peopled.. .we will suppose that in every region there are inhabitants, differing in nature by rank and all owing their origin to God.”

Considering how little we know about other animals here on Earth, he claims, "of the inhabitants....of worlds other than our own we can know still less, having no standards by which to appraise them.”

“As astronomical observations became more accurate, the geocentric Aristotelian/Ptolemaic world view began to generate problems that were difficult to resolve…[and] The roadblocks to the idea of intelligent alien life on other worlds were rapidly disintegrating.”

So, there’s an interesting view of the past. Now that we have the Science of the 21st Century, it should be obvious by now that all discussion of life on other worlds has more-or-less resolved itself into a fairly uniform belief: it’s ABSOLUTELY THERE!!!!

Hold on a moment!

Current speculation – and make no mistake, every thought we have or write (I include myself here and now) is PURE SPECULATION. There is NO EVIDENCE of life existing anywhere else but Earth. NO EVIDENCE (alien abduction victims to the contrary), we have no evidence (which is essential to good police work and science) of life existing anywhere but right here. That’s evident from the range of articles written and referenced below – that in the second and third decades of the 21st Century that there could  STILL logically be between “we’re all alone” to 42,777 intelligent civilizations to “numbers almost too large to imagine”.

It doesn't seem that we've progressed very far from Cisero, Plutarch, and the obstructionist Roman Catholic Church – we have no evidence PLUS theories and mathematical calculations whose solutions vary wildly from We Are Alone to a universe teeming with life eager to contact us if only…the most recent speculation I’ve heard is that communication between the members of the Inter Galactic Union of Intelligences and Humanity waits until a civilization can both detect and effectively control gravity waves the way they control the EM spectrum!

There was serious work done on generating gravity waves in 2012:; though it wasn’t until 2016 that we detected them:,detector%20in%20Italy%20have%20announced; and in April of 2022, astrophysicists discovered another way of detecting those waves:,detector%20in%20Italy%20have%20announced.

Speculation (there’s that word again!) is, now that we can generate and detect g-waves, maybe we can finally hear if there’s anyone chatting Out There! (

There seems to be a monumental gap between amorous teenagers and astrophysicists, but it's where we are right now. Until we get firmer evidence of aliens OUT THERE, (*sigh*), we’ll just have to be satisfied with the probability of intelligent aliens hovering somewhere between “we’re alone” and “too many to imagine”…

Source: (I did NOT watch it all as there were an inordinate number of “Ahsss…” in the first fifteen minutes…);; (Generic article without the math:; SERIOUS article WITH the math: