You know, I think if aliens really were visiting our planet, you wouldn’t find out about it by watching the Sci-Fi channel or repeats on Bravo.
I’m going to go ahead and spell this out just as carefully as I can, so I don’t understate the issue. I want to show just how confident I am in this. And I think if anyone looks at the facts, they’ll probably agree: Aliens are NOT visiting earth. Every supposed alien ship or UFO is something else.
People who do believe that UFOs are real and we are being visited by alien life usually say something like “isn’t it a bit arrogant to totally deny that UFOs are real?!” or “you can’t believe that we’re alone in the universe!”
Note: the second statement is totally different to the first.
I think it is extremely probably that other creatures have evolved in the universe somewhere. The laws of natural selection should be universal where all organic life is concerned. Even if the odds of abiogenesis are extremely rare, it also seems extremely likely that the universe in its size would contain many earth-type worlds. The Milky Way alone contains approximately 250 billion stars. Even if only a fraction of these stars had planets, and even if only a fraction of these were earth-type planets, and even if only a fraction still had life-forms evolve on them…that’s still a very large number of aliens that could become intelligent and form civilisations.
Now for the cold water: the universe is over 15 billion years old. Humans have existed for about 200,000 years. That is, to use the scientific term: fuck all, in the scale of things. Now consider that humans have only been generating EM signals for about 150 years, which were scarce and weak at first; nowhere near the radio transmissions of today, especially as humans now actively send signals into space. But let’s be generous and grant 150 years. That means that only aliens within 150 light-years will have received these signals. (For comparison, our galaxy is over 660 times that distance.)
Let’s say humans received just such an alien signal 200 years ago. Ooops! Are you seeing the problem? 200 years ago we didn’t have the technology to receive it. And we probably couldn’t have understood it if we had. Let’s imagine that another alien race within the very small “sphere of detection” around Earth is still in its pre-industrial days. Our signals will mean nothing to them until their technology is at least as good as ours.
So, two forms of life; have to be both sapient; have to be technologically sophisticated (to some extent) and be able to transmit and receive signals across space; and have to co-exist at the same time. Of 200,000 years of human life, we’ve had suitable technology for probably 50 years. 50 years! The odds of another intelligent race also being around, and being near enough to detect us or be detected, within this time-frame, in a universe which is 15 billion years old…are astronomical (no pun intended).
It’s not just about other aliens existing; it’s about them existing at the same time as humans! They might have died out a thousand, a million, a billion, ten billions years ago! They might not evolve for another million years, or they might be living in caves right now. All of a sudden those “Best Evidence for UFOs yet!” documentaries don’t seem as intriguing now do they?
Even if there is a space-faring civilisation within 50 light years of Earth, to come and visit us requires several things: 1. They detected our presence through our transmissions and EM traffic very early on. 2. Blind luck. If number 1 doesn’t hold, to head in our direction and find us is, to say the least, against so many odds even Phil Collins wouldn’t sing a song about it.
And this is assuming that they started out 50 years ago, and can travel at the speed of light. This itself is a huge assumption; a little matter of it being theoretically impossible for anything but light to travel at that speed. But we could grant that a technological superior race, centuries ahead of our own, might have developed the technology to allow near-light speeds, or some equivalent thereof.
And even if we grant all the above, would aliens travel all this way to mutilate cattle, make crop circles, sexually abuse people, or only appear to people of dubious reliability? Isn’t it a little odd that, most of the time, people who don’t believe in aliens never get visited by them? (Very much like people who don’t believe in ghosts and demons are NEVER bothered by them? And people who don’t believe in god(s), NEVER hear them speaking to them??) Bit of coincidence huh?
Shouldn’t there be some verifiable evidence somewhere? Why is the only evidence dodgy camcorder footage or doubtful testimonials? When we look at it, the evidence of aliens isn’t much better than the evidence for the Loch Ness monster, ghosts, and gods.
When we look at the age of the universe compared to the age of man, the infinitesimally small amount of time we’ve been detectable, and/or looking for aliens; the distance of the universe which would separate us from any potential neighbours…and the problems involved in aliens actually travelling to us in the first place!… the notion of UFOs and alien visitors like we saw in The X-Files or reported by isolated hillbillies in the American outback seems pretty silly.
I wouldn’t class belief in aliens as similar to belief in ghosts or god. I believe that the existence of alien life is very likely, somewhere in the universe. I would LOVE to believe that aliens have visited us. I would love to believe that in my lifetime aliens will make contact with us! I would love to believe that this would usher in a whole new era of human unity, peace, and wonderfully-advanced technology (Star Trek style). As with everything else, I can’t allow my hopes and dreams to cloud my reality – I cannot bring myself to accept that aliens are visiting earth because it is so incredibly unlikely. I think belief in alien visitors is a matter of faith, because it cannot be considered rational.
Finally, you can see that I haven’t covered one common counter argument: aliens are visiting earth but governments are keeping it secret. This is the classic conspiracy theory, and as with all conspiracy theories, they are ultimately unfalsifiable, if self-consistent. That is, assuming the theory doesn’t actually contradict itself or is expressly disprovable, it is impossible to disprove it (like intelligent design). But just because I can’t disprove conspiracy theories, doesn’t make them right. The facts are, most conspiracy theories are IMPOSSIBLE to disprove, because, and this is important: any possible evidence or reason AGAINST the theory can be used to SUPPORT it. E.g.:
Rationalist: “But there isn’t even ANY evidence for aliens”
Conspiracy theorist: “Because the government hides it.”
R: “But the government denies that.”
CT: “The government is lying.”
R: “Is there any evidence that the government is lying?”
CT: “No. But that’s just what you’d expect!”
See. You can’t win. There is no point arguing over conspiracy theories; we must just use common sense.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t particularly trust any government when it comes to matters of high-tech or national security, and I don’t think for a second any government would think twice about hiding information from the populace if it thought it was in its best interest.
I don’t believe in alien conspiracies simply because I don’t believe that aliens are visiting earth. It’s that simple.
I’m fairly confident that any enlightened individual, when reviewing the evidence with common sense, would agree with me.