Astrobiology and Discovery



John Jaksich

Oldupai Monolith-AfricaCredit: Wikipedia

Olduvai Monolith-Africa
Credit: Wikipedia

By finding life outside Earth, the discoverers may need to assure the majority on Earth that they meant no harm. If wise, the celebrations will follow reflection, otherwise prior assumptions may lead us away like gazelle. This type of response is part of our genetics; a reptilian, knee-jerk emotion requiring attention. The questions of attention bemoan passive acquiescence, higher motives constitute the journey in front of us. When to leave the solar system dictates how humanity does so. Evolution’s clock, although imperceptible, may not wait for us to act, and imagining a voyage beyond the solar system fraught with danger does not rectify the innate tendency for irrational behavior. By understanding our innate tendency for compassionate intelligence we forge the initial step towards the recovery of our better selves. A path which allows safe voyage into the Universe, allows a rational, compassionate humanity to take the reins of the voyage—and its further evolution.

Moon Footprint: Edwin "Buzz" AldrinCredit: NASA

Moon Footprint: Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin
Credit: NASA

As it may currently stand, a lot of us won’t really know how to respond if a “new biology” is discovered outside Earth. While rovers, probes, astrobiologists, and astronomers hunker down in their work; they are a harbinger of humanity. Like those whose curiosity has not been compromised by the jaded hand of magic, could our harbingers help humanity respond as if it were a “new Lucy of the Olduvai gorge.” Just maybe, at that precise juncture, we will understand we are not looking at our own “fossils,” but a justification to take one more step. It is a ladder—as if we were learning to walk for the first time.

Credit: John Reader/Photo Researchers, Inc.MSN-Encarta WebCite

Credit: John Reader/Photo Researchers, Inc.
MSN-Encarta WebCite


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