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What makes us think we're so special or unique in the scheme of things? How can we be so conceited or vain as to think we are the only life form populating one of the billions of planets in the universe, or that their aren't different levels, forms, or degrees of life... or after life for that matter?

What do you see or imagine when you look into the night sky. Do you see a bunch of pretty, sparkling little stars, or do you see distant suns separated from us by the vastness of space? Suns that might support life to the planets that might be revolving around them. Can you even conceive the possibility of that, or are you one of the many who choose to believe we are so special, that our sun and the earth is so unique as to be the only place life as we know it could possibly exist? And there lies the key, life as we know it...

Certainly, there can be no denying the uniqueness of the evolution of the human race. It is highly unlikely I would think, that another planet evolved exactly the same as ours. It is highly unlikely that another race of humans exists that is exactly like Earth's human population. Having said that, I believe it is equally hard to believe that no other form of life exists, other than what we have here on earth.

Why would life on another planet have to take the same form as ours? Think of it this way. What if Earth was twice the size it is now? Would humans be half as tall because gravity would exert twice the pull on our bodies? Or would we be the same height, but our legs would be twice as big with a larger muscle structure to support the extra weight that double gravity would create? What about all the life forms inhabiting the depths of the oceans? Would they have been unable to evolve in the already crushing depths of the three and four mile deep waters?

Given the above questions, is it so hard to believe that life forms, other than what we have seen on our own planet, have evolved on other planets? Discard the word, 'exactly', and think about it. Think about putting an unprotected human body three miles under the crushing depths of the ocean, on our own planet! Or taking a life form from those same depths and bringing it to the surface. Could either survive? Of course not.

Our thoughts and beliefs about life are based on our environment and how humans and all the different species on Earth evolved. Our own planet hosts many different environments that only certain species can survive in. If our own planet contains so many different species of plants, animals, mammals and the environments that support them, why couldn't other planets exist that also host unique environments for their own life forms?

Even with all that we know about our planet, new species are still being discovered. Think about some of the 'monster' movies produced over the years. Think about some of the floating uglies in the depths of the oceans and the microscopic horrors that crawl on our skin and inhabit our beds. These, in a different context, are monsters. They are ugly, foreign looking, flesh eating horrors, but they exist! Right here and now on our planet!

Just because we don't see them, or hear about them on a daily basis doesn't mean something doesn't exist. Just because we don't see aliens from outer space, that doesn't mean that other life forms on other planets don't exist. Just because humans haven't figured out how to travel between galaxies in the universe, that doesn't mean that other more advanced life forms can't.

Would they have to fit our preconceived idea of life? No, why would they. There are life forms on our own planet we haven't discovered yet. There are mini horrors crawling all over our bodies we never see or feel. And you can certainly bet that there are other life forms in the universe we will never know about. Earth is less than a fly spec on a dinosaur dung heap in the scheme of things.

I have never seen a flying saucer. Neither have I ever seen a dust mite. I have never seen a jelly fish, or a space shuttle in person. Do these things not exist just because I haven't seen them? There is compelling proof for all these things, but I have seen none of them. Is a flying saucer less apt to exist because there is less compelling proof?

Does a flying saucer have to physically travel across space between galaxies? Does an alien craft from another planet, solar system or galaxy have to abide by the same laws of physics we limit ourselves by? Because the human race can't seem to grasp the possibility of anything exceeding the speed of light, does that mean other life forms are limited by that? Just because humans haven't figured out how to travel from point A to point B by bending or folding space upon itself, or some other unique form we are unable to comprehend, does that mean other life forms haven't learned those secrets?

If you are open minded enough, and I make no claims to being such, anything you can think up or imagine is possible. Personally, I would rather not imagine some things. It is a protective human trait I believe. It protects our well being and makes us comfortable in our meager existence. Let's face it, monsters, aliens and undiscovered horrors make for good reading, but do you really want a oval eyed, four foot tall, six fingered gray alien landing in your backyard at midnight?

I don't. I would be scared. I would be petrified. Why? Because it would be such a foreign, unique experience. You would come face to face with something that is so totally foreign in nature, that your mind might only be able to comprehend it as a threat. I wouldn't react any differently if a giant squid suddenly appeared in my back yard, or a mutant dust mite.

I feel that I am not narrow minded. I accept the possibility of many things I have never seen or experienced. I can imagine many things. It is a simple task to deny what you refuse to accept. To deny what you refuse to believe. Until there is compelling proof of certain imagined events or discoveries, generally speaking, these things will be disbelieved or discounted to the extent that they become fairy tales or pure imaginative fiction.

To coin a phrase from the popular TV show, The X Files, "The truth is out there." The longer humans search for truths, the more truths that will be discovered. Questions will be answered and discoveries will be made. We are not alone. If you think you are sitting alone at your computer right now, reading this editorial, just take a scraping from your skin and put it under a microscope. Then look to the stars... What do you see now?



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Comments

The following comments are for "Isn't That Special?"
by The Hal

Welcome Back
Hey Hal,

Seems like you took a little hiatus, but it's good to have you back. Your piece was well written as usual but I agree with Jess--It may have been more effective if it were a little shorter.

Still too much Hal is way better than none at all.;)

Richard

( Posted by: Richard Dani [Member] On: July 22, 2002 )

This is true
Yes, I have a bad habit of when trying to get a point across, I sometimes think if I say the same thing four or five different ways, it can't help but be clear.

Thanks for the comments, and I'll try not to be such a stranger!

( Posted by: The Hal [Member] On: July 22, 2002 )





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