Fermi’s Paradox and Mythology as Science


Eleanor teaches Social Studies to 6th graders and spends the bits of time left over writing books that bring history -- and magic -- to life. She enjoys rock climbing, bullet journaling, & gardening focused on plants you can actually eat.

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4 Responses

  1. I’ll admit I don’t usually get into a detailed argument about it, but my opinion is simple. Yes, the universe is vast. Yes, there could be life out there. No, Earth isn’t the middle of the great cosmos, Earth is probably not even on the great cosmos’s radar beyond being a blip of life, and even if there were space-capable aliens, the chances they’ve visited Earth are very, very, very slim, so thinking that aliens stopped by at some point to help the human race is very self-centered of us.

    Not that I don’t enjoy a sci-fi with space-capable aliens in them, like Stargate! 🙂

    • Eleanor says:

      I think you make a very good point about the self-centeredness of the “ancient aliens” argument, which hadn’t even occurred to me. It does mirror the whole “the Earth is the center of the solar system / universe” problem we as a species tend to have, though.

      Have you ever read the Ringworld series by Larry Niven? His aliens absolutely fascinate me, and seem totally plausible on the surface of things… but aliens definitely do randomly stop by Earth and take part in early human civilization in totally plausible (and terrifying) ways.

  2. Neight says:

    As Socrates said “…this discovery of yours will create forgetfulness in the learners’ souls”
    If only writing hadn’t ruined our memories perhaps we would know what happened.

    The best part of the original ancient aliens was the message was question authority and question what we are taught … However it has degraded into reality TV bible thumping to the believers.

    As to the gods being “aliens” (they are certainly extra terrestrials by mere definition), maybe we should just ask. Just remember to listen to what they say. the universe isn’t so empty once we open our eyes.

    • Eleanor says:

      I’m not sure it’s writing that ruined our memories; stories grow in the telling, whether we have good memories or not. Besides, we’ve had writing since ancient times; I’m confident that writing did a better job of preserving stories like that of Beowulf and Gilgamesh and Abraham than oral tradition.

      I do think it’s important to question authority and what we’re taught — for instance, I personally believe that Delilah is a fantastic biblical hero and that Samson does not deserve to be considered heroic — but you’re right that that there’s a line between questioning and fanatical devotion to an outlandish conspiracy theory, and I think that claims to critical thinking have been lost.

Let me know what you think!