The dumbest ideas about extraterrestrials are so baldly stupid, they generally pass by without notice. Press and television reports always miss them, but as you’ll see, they’re really obvious.
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
By David Stone
Dumbest Ideas About Extraterrestrials and UFOs: Item #1
Here’s what got me started.
A snarky columnist in the New York Times, tossing cold water on UFO claims after the recent release of a Pentagon report, said something sounding sensible but really stupid.
“If we are being frequently visited by aliens, why don’t they just land on the White House lawn and announce themselves?” he wondered, as if it it was a reasonable idea outside a movies set..
You know, like, if there are any aliens out there, why are they so sneaky, hiding like that?
The answer is transparently simple.
As Jared Diamond explained in his book, Collapse, a little research answers the question.
Homo sapiens, that is, you and me, own one damn frightening record when it comes to encountering other cultures or species. From forests to aborigines.
Very often, we kill them because they’re in our way.
That was true all over the developing world in all of recorded history, and the chronicles are unambiguous. Whether Roman Legions, Catholic Crusaders or Nazi eugenicists, we killed a lot people challenging our beliefs or power. There are volumes of other examples, and its not confined to our own species.
And just making it clear, women, children, the sick, elderly and lame are not spared. Hiroshima and Nagasaki, anyone?
Neither are animals. Ever heard of woolly mammoths, giant anteaters and sabretooth tigers? What do you think happened to them? They didn’t starve in an ice age nor were they wiped out by meteors.
People killed them, and then, they ate them. Until there weren’t any more.
If you were Captain Kirk from some other galaxy, brother, you’d think twice about landing here. And then, you wouldn’t.
The headquarters of the most militaristic nation on earth is unsafe. Things are better now, but Trump hated a large number of human categories.
How might he have dealt with visitors from another world who thought conspiracy theories were a sign of collective mental illness… as any advanced civilization would?
Which takes us to Item #2…
Maybe the most overlooked as well as one of dumbest ideas about extraterrestials and UFOs is this: everyone one just takes it for granted that they’re coming to study humans.
What the heck’s so special about us among the myriad species on our little home planet?
Talk about hubris.
With magnificent giants roaming our oceans and fascinating fungi vitally engaged with every plant, why learn about the most destructive of all species? Yes, explorers may want to consider the psychology of an animal that knowingly does so much harm that the entire planet is threatened.
But more likely, they’re looking at how to save the fabric of life woven into all things by less sluggish or sullen species.
Bacteria, viruses, fungi, alga, etc… Fascinating, diverse, flexible, and all thriving in greater numbers than homo sapiens.
And yet, everyone immediately assumes, like a pampered teen queen, that it’s all about us.
#3 among the dumbest ideas about extraterrestrials and UFOs…
Maybe the above gave you a hint about this one, but why are we so sure that the extraterrestrials buzzing about in UFOs are animals? Like us, or so many others in our family tree.
The incredible hijinks carried out by viruses and bacteria ought to give us pause.
After all, along with fungi, these super small creatures do the bulk of the work that keeps our bodies going. Our digestive systems are crucially dependent on microbes without a single human gene.
In fact, our bodies and their systems contain fewer human genes that nonhuman genes. Few know that.
Scientists scramble after explanations like they’re wading knee-deep in some whodunit.
So, if these trillions of microbes manage to assemble, group and regroup, working hard at making sure your broccoli gets effectively digested, why can’t they mobilize for a jaunt in space?
Viruses, for one thing, go dormant for long periods of time, then spring to life when it’s beneficial for them. Unlike humans, so far, they can snooze through all the centuries needed to cross galaxies.
And maybe they already have.
These are only the three dumbest ideas about extraterrestrials and UFOs we find most obvious. You can probably come up with three or thirty more, but the results are the same.
As we’ve always done with other animals and plants, we think of them in terms of ourselves as if humans are the gold standard for all life.
But if we are, we do we cling to belief systems based on preposterous myths and ignore proven facts if they don’t suit us?
We might as well ask, why are there macaroons? Or why are there more abundant species in the deepest oceans than on land? Or why were those ugly boots so popular, a decade ago?
Mysteries abound. Sadly, so do bad solutions to big problems that don’t work. So, let’s ask again:
Why in the world would extraterrestrials fly here in UFOs just to find out about us?
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