Rich Reynolds' latest blog, UFOs: The Cosmology Flaw at http://tinyurl.com/2ufynm
is, I believe, fundamentally flawed. In it, he lists at least one of the standard sceptical arguments about why intelligently controlled UFOs wouldn’t visit Earth; the planet is irrelevant and not worth the trouble. He even goes as far as to say that Saturn or Venus would be more interesting.
This kind of statement, which Rich is a long way from being alone in making, is of a course a personal abstract. What the individual is really saying is, I’m not worth the trouble of travelling 20 million light years through space to come and observe.
I have no idea what UFOs are, or at least no definite theories other than the probability that their solution lies in more than one direction. But what they are or are not isn’t the issue here. For me, it is the claim that we would be of no interest to a sentient species more advanced than ourselves.
To put it bluntly, this is absolute rubbish. Why? Well, it’s true that in order to answer the question, I have to fall into one of my own traps which is to anthropomorphise and make a judgement based on what Humans would do, which admittedly is not necessarily what an alien would do. But to put it simply, we are intrigued by primates, fascinated by insects, and generally enthralled by other intelligence, regardless of how developed or basic it may be. And we are prepared to travel what for us would be vast distances to look for it. When we do discover microbial life on Mars, we will lavish scientific attention on it to a depth probably not experienced before.
Why wouldn’t another sentient species take the same attitude toward us? If they’ve got themselves into space and developed the ability to travel cosmic distances, they have done that in part to investigate. They may have done it for other reasons as well, such as the need to get off their own planet, but unquestionably, curiosity will be part of their motive. It may be base, it may be malignant, but regardless, they would be driven by a desire to explore.
Even if intelligent life is “everywhere” in the cosmos and civilisations like ours are ten a penny, it doesn’t detract from the potential desire to observe and learn. If we are part of a universal evolutionary chain, then we know from our own experience that evolution adapts according to environment and circumstances. Perhaps there are conditions on Earth that have caused us to go in a particular direction, one which may be a little different, a little more unique. And perhaps not. Either way, I have no doubt we are significant enough to be worthy of further examination.
Another irrelevant argument offered against UFOs being intelligently controlled is that interstellar travel would take too long and that the distances are too great. Nothing can contravene the laws of physics which is that faster than light travel is impossible. This argument is flawed in so many different directions it’s difficult to know where to begin. Firstly, there is an assumption that there is no intelligent life nearby, and before you say, “Okay Stuart, where is it?”, my response would be; absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. This is not an idea I particularly adhere to – that we have intelligent, relatively near neighbours, but by the same token, it cannot be ruled out as an absolute. It may be unlikely and there is no proof, but it is not impossible.
And the claim that FTL travel is impossible is pathetic. It may be impossible in terms of our understanding of physics now, but let’s look a little further ahead and imagine that in 50 or 100 years, our science may just have moved on from where it is now. To rule something out as impossible because currently its fantasy is pointless.
When it comes to ET, we have absolutely no idea; just the cultural imprint that we all carry. We need to free ourselves of these shackles and be prepared for anything, and avoid ridiculous blanket statements such as “Why bother with us?”