Ussher deduced the age of the Earth from the Bible. His Earth, a young Earth, begins 1300 years after urban societies appeared in Mesopotamia; 1500 years after the waters of the Mediterranean finally breached the Bosphorus to flood the coastal communities of the Black Sea; 70,000 years after the Toba event.
Ussher’s conclusions weren’t supported by advances in geology. The uniformitarians, an inspiration for Darwin, hypothesized a longer chronology. But as gradualists, they rejected continental drift and the later plate tectonics. Until the 1960’s some answers couldn’t be right, despite the evidence. But opinions change.
Assume an Old Earth. Old Sun. Old Universe. What are the chances that evolution and circumstance produce life? And if life, intelligence. And if here, elsewhere. And if elsewhere what? More advanced? A neat, civilised, benign arrangement? More belligerent? Can it be that we are alone?
Are we alone?
If there are intelligences out there, can they be as advanced as us? Surely human history is the measure of all things? Making us far in advance of any star creatures. Alien beings who, compared to us are less than ants – perhaps they might look on us as Gods. And our society, our religions and grand economic structures – doubtless robust enough to fare well. So no perils to contact – we are still the centre of the universe.
Consider a bubble of radio and TV transmissions 200 light years in diameter. Our broadcasts. Hear the racket as we wreck our nest. Shout it out:
“We’re here! Come and see us soil this small planet.”
100,000 stars have heard us and know our location.
Are we monitored?
Humanity’s position in the scheme of things must surely be assured. Creatures from the stars must be fascinated in us and our planet – a race of beings. Us. Ready to climb from our planetary cradle. And the consequences of contact with such beings would be… good?
We are the pinnacle of evolution and civilisation, aren’t we?
Coming soon Now here: A Guide to First Contact
First contact with aliens leads to the appointment of the French as cultural custodians of the Earth – much to the annoyance of the Americans.
Archie’s Guide to First Contact in ten easy steps:
- Dead City Culture
- Gun Law
- The Observer Effect
- Near Earth Object
- A DNA Diary
- Star Beings
- Shadows and Light