This is Part the First of a multipart series.
Take 3 minutes and watch this video by Neil deGrasse Tyson:
Now, to me, that video is horrifying. The religious often say that God works in mysterious ways. As per the video, do we not seem mighty to a dog? Do our ways not seem mysterious? Often when a dog does our will, we are kind, yet when they piss on the carpet we are not. What sense does this make to a dog? They pee everywhere by instinct.
Mr. Tyson is right. There are aliens. Do the math people. One of those may well be our creator. Maybe not. But we are left with a choice. Improve, become as gods, or rely on the mysterious whims of our creator whom we don’t even know well enough to truly know how to placate him. Even denying that little green men exist, could a basic Christian god not be deemed an alien?
But here is the rub: we CAN improve to surpass god. Consider those aliens that dwarf us in intelligence. They, and even the traditional Christian god, inhabit our universe. He/they are subject to the same rules of physics as ourselves. They are made of star stuff, just as ourselves. Therefore, we come back to the choice: become gods or survive on god’s mercy.
We may be that 1.5% off of our creator. He may be 1.5% off his creator. But then again, maybe not. Even with the expanse of new life and variable rates of civilizational and technological growth, there is a finite number of intergalactic species. If there is a finite number, there is a #1, most powerful species. Regardless of how far behind in that race we may be, we have no other choice than to become #1 if we wish to guarantee the survival of our species.
How do we improve? Science. We can improve our biology. We can improve our diets. We can create machines. We can improve our culture. We can also just get plain lucky. This is but the tip of the iceberg. I know only that we mustn’t stagnate. To stagnate is to die.
We absolutely can improve. Today we are smarter and stronger than we were 100 years ago. We are also fatter and in many ways weaker, but that’s a different post. This week I read an article in Gizmodo that we have invented a particle that we can inject to oxygenize our blood, allowing us to live without breathing for 15-30 minutes. Such technology will only improve. Paging Aqua Man!
Let us assume we haven’t been visited. I don’t think we have, but I certainly can’t back that up. If you believe in a Christian god then you cannot claim we haven’t been visited, at least by him. Regardless, even assuming we will be safe on Earth, we cannot stay here. Some day we will have to reach across the stars. All the recycling and renewable energy sources will not keep Earth tenable. The Sun will expand, and eventually swallow us before dying out. We have to leave. Over a long enough time period, unless we truly are the top species in the universe, and the odds of that are laughably small, then we will meet god. We will meet other species far more advanced than us. We damn well better be prepared.
To survive we must surpass god. That probably isn’t going to happen without a fight. How did the Christian god care for our attempts to meet him? He didn’t much like it. He scattered us. Kept us weak. He prevented us from ever being able to challenge him. There is no security in that friends. I for one can find no comfort in the ability of another to destroy me at his whim. Become as gods, or rely on the mercy of my betters. I’ve made my choice.
Stand by for Part the Second: On Culture