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Striving Toward the Answer

Are we alone? Why do aliens have to exist?

One way to describe humanity is by their imperfections.

Some believe God to have created all that is in existence, and others believe the universe to have been created by chance. Either way, everyone now knows (through magnificent advances in technology) that humanity is not the centre of the universe.

Countless planets, stars, and galaxies are littered throughout the vast and seemingly endless space, the scale to which, our existence as humans thoroughly pales in comparison.

In 1977, NASA launched a space craft by the name Voyager 1. Its primary objective was to study and send back data on Jupiter and Saturn. This was a glorious example of how far humanity will go to satisfy their curiosity and ambition. In 1980, three whole years after its launch, Voyager 1 had finally completed its primary objective. Once it finished the primary objective, NASA decided to let it continue on to the farthest reaches of our solar system.

On August 2012, NASA confirmed that Voyager 1 has exited the heliosphere and has entered interstellar space, thus showcasing a feat never before achieved by human kind. Voyager 1 has become, and it still is, the farthest man-made object in space.

35 years lapsed from the moment of Voyager 1’s launch until it entered interstellar space. This gives us an idea of the vastness of our own solar system; then when one remembers that the solar system is but a tiny existence within a galaxy that is insignificant to the ever-expanding universe, one realises how little humanity really knows about our own existence.

Humanity has yet to completely understand the true miracles that surround them from every direction. Some realised the impressiveness of life and so they turned to science as a method to explore that beauty. However just as there are the curious, there are the indifferent.

Many people are too consumed with their own problems, or simply do not care about anything outside of their peripheral to actually observe the world around them and realise that the life that they are so consumed in, and the life that is a consistent source for their anxiety, is but an insignificant thing when compared to everything around them.

Despite the curiosity of scientists, and despite the indifference most people have towards things outside of earth, I believe that everyone has the same feeling deep within their hearts; a feeling that stems from the very core of human nature. That feeling is loneliness.

Humans are social creatures by nature, we like being around other humans whether we have introverted or extroverted tendencies.

That loneliness comes from the thought that humanity might really be the only intelligent life form in the entirety of this massive and empty universe. Some became scientists and haven’t given up pursuit of the secrets of life and looking for other intelligent life forms, while others accepted their reality and are content with their life here on earth.

Many scientists theorise that early life on earth was formed as a consequence of a natural process. They believe that the ingredients to this natural process (carbon and water for example) are widespread in the universe therefore it is logically sound that the natural process might’ve occurred elsewhere, thus creating life.

Though I am by no means a scientist, but simply a curious person, I don’t believe that intelligent life exists anywhere in the universe. It is not human ego and arrogance that led me to this conclusion, but I believe humans incapable of imagining anything akin to ourselves. It is not in our capacity to create anything resembling ourselves in biological complexity and cerebral power; therefore we can never truly imagine a different intelligent life form. Even the most popular concepts for aliens, tall green or grey men, are not acceptable portrayals of a different intelligent life form because they are nothing more than modified humans. These aliens in movies, and the fictional world in general, are all based on humanity; they have limbs, organs, heads and eyes and so on, all things that we only know because of our existence and the existence of animals. This shows that we cannot go outside of our own experiences and imagine something completely new and different in terms of organic life.

Because of that, I believe it is a waste of time to think about other life in the universe. If life exists elsewhere, and that is a gargantuan “IF”, then I think the only way we can ever meet is by chance encounter. Thinking that there are aliens out there is the same as when someone says “there are plenty of fish in the sea” to a broken-hearted friend. That person may truly find love somewhere else but there is not guarantee it’ll happen. Though the statement “plenty fish in the sea” is statistically correct, the sea is a very vast place. If a person wants to find their true match, then they will have to go through all 7 billion humans alive (or more accurately whatever percentage their desired gender occupies).

There are many barriers to in front of them, such as language differences, cultural differences, and religious differences that prevent them from accomplishing that goal, not to mention the simple fact of the massive undertaking of looking through so many people. Similarly humanity faces many obstacles in its search for new life in the universe.

Simply speaking, it is possible to find new life out there because the universe is vast and anything can be out there however, it is improbable precisely because of the same reason. It is highly doubtful that we’ll ever explore enough of the universe to find out for sure if we are alone in the universe or not.

In the meantime, even though we might never find intelligent life outside of earth, we can take the “glass half-full” approach and be satisfied with the fact that no one can prove for certain that we in fact are along in this vast and expansive universe.

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