Welat Khalil – Yalla

With countless galaxies in the universe and almost as many stars in each galaxy, not even a billion Curiosity Rovers could alleviate our curiosity about the outer space. One day, curiosity for the first time may not kill the cat, but actually bring it to the life on another planet. How exciting does that sound? Recent discovery of the seven earth-like planets by NASA has certainly made the topic far more stimulating than ever. We’re now one step, you can read one light year, closer to ease our curiosity. Does life exist somewhere else in the universe? Don’t ask this question from a scientist.

NASA has announced discovery of several earth-like planets to date, but none has spread such great wave of excitement among the earthlings as the recent group of seven planets orbiting TRAPPIST-1 star in a distance nearly 40 light years away from us have. Three of these planets are said to be in the habitable zone of the ultra-cool, red dwarf star. As great a step as it is for the science world, it is still a small step towards answering the actual question. We are still extremely curious.

We, the earthmen, are both emotionally and logically very complicated beings. Therefore, thinking about the possibility of existence of extraterrestrial life both excites and scares us. In a survey conducted in 2015 by YouGov, a UK-based company, more than half of the surveyed people believed that not having the technology to reach out to them does not mean that extraterrestrials do not exist. According to scientists, not only there is life out there, but also it is very possible that it exists in the form of advanced civilizations even though there is yet no conclusive evidence found about it.

One of the most mind-blowing approaches to the notion comes from Erich von Däniken, author of the best-selling Chariots of the Gods? (1968). The 81-years-old Swiss devoted his life to prove that ancient history was a witness of an abundance of visits by the extraterrestrial civilizations. He is confident that evidence for the existence of intelligence in the outer space is hidden here on earth and that it could be found through archeological explorations. It is difficult to disagree with a man with books of evidence collected in a lifetime from all over the world, especially if you tend to believe what he says is true. Therefore, a portion of NASA’s $19.5 billion dollars yearly budget could be spent on this aspect of archeology. Although the investments in NASA result in many technological developments, the main purpose still remains as discovering the outer space. Not much attention is paid by the states to the history in this sense while it is a common belief that history always repeats itself in one way or another. Who knows, had the states looked into the past to see the future, maybe we would be watching the news on how our astronauts do experiments on other species in other planets by now. Just as Mr. von Däniken suggests it happened in our ancient history.

On the other hand, the famous physicist Stephen Hawking does not seem to be the most excited person about the subject. He has a rather more skeptical approach than the rest of us. In such a confrontation, he predicts, we would be the American Indians facing the post Cristopher Columbus era. But that seems to be more of a science-fictional approach inspired by Star Trek series. If a civilization could achieve the technology to travel here, they would most probably have the discipline and peace among themselves, and they would respect the nature and what it provides. It doesn’t seem to be logical to compare it to the dark ages of our own civilization. Being able to travel here would be a proof of being at least one step ahead of our current advancements already. Therefore, we should be more eager than scared to find life outside our planet.

Whether in form of intelligent beings, or some other kind of advanced organisms, or primitive microbes, the possibility of existence of life somewhere out there gives many of us goose bumps. After all, none of us can claim to own the absolute knowledge and that is what keeps us curious. The more we learn about the outer space, the more we feel like it is more likely for anyone to win lottery many times than earth be the only planet with life in the universe. If next time someone asks you the question, remember your curiosity before you give them an answer. 

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