Before my sons went to bed tonight, we briefly talked about the existence of other life in the universe. It forced me to really think about it and try to have an intelligent answer. Here’s what I came up with:
The laws of physics suggest the perception of time is relative to your mass. This means compared to other cognitive objects, time is experienced slower if you’re smaller in size. We are extremely small compared to the planet we inhabit. That planet is smaller than the star it orbits, which is smaller than the suspected black hole it orbits, and so on to the potentially infinite series of exponentially larger objects.
It’s said that the earth has existed for over 4 billion years. If it was (or is) conscious, how much time would that feel like in its experience? I think it would be perceived a lot faster at its size. Same for the sun, meaning to the galaxy the total length of our small existence is a mere flicker in what we call time.
Now consider there are zillions of other flickers of life happening throughout the known universe. In the short perceived time they exist, how common would it be for them to happen at the same time, and to explore close enough to actually encounter one another? I personally think that it’s entirely possible, but the likelihood would be unfathomably rare. The conditions that support life are the result of an extremely delicate series of factors like the object strike that caused our moon to form, the rotational wobble resulting in seasons, our rotation speed resulting in the speed of our days used for photosynthesis, and volcanic activity providing an atmosphere. There’s way more involved, but even those parts alone make up enough of recipe to demonstrate how unique our home situation is.
Picture a glass of soda on the kitchen table. Now picture the tiny bubbles appearing at the bottom, and quickly rising to their imminent doom at the liquid surface. Imagine the possibility that those bubbles have the rare ability to somehow support life. If they can, how frequently would that life find other instances similar to theirs? How often would they find evidence of past instances? I don’t think it’d be common.
To sum it all up, I 100% believe there is/was/will be other intelligent life in the known and unknown universe(s). However, I’m willing to bet it all that we have not and will not encounter any in the entire life cycle of our species.
This is where I’ve arrived after REALLY thinking about this concept for once. I hope my guys went to bed with their brains stimulated, as I made it clear this is just what I was thinking at the moment and it could all be totally wrong. I also hope this was worth the time it just took to share.
If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading, and please feel free to add on or challenge these ideas if you’re however compelled.