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Human self-awareness and contemplation of past, present, and future appear to make us unique among life on Earth and within its solar system. But are we unique within the wider galaxy or even the entire universe? The Drake Equation suggests that the cosmos should be teeming with intelligent life, so why have we yet to make contact? While there are plenty of anecdotal accounts of alien encounters, no concrete evidence truly open to public scrutiny has yet emerged.
The Fermi Paradox cites many possible reasons why we have yet to discover extraterrestrial life. Perhaps, like us, intelligent alien species lack the capacity for interstellar travel. Maybe ET has avoided contact so that we evolve without outside interference. It could even be that humans are regarded as pathologically destructive and that contact with Earth could endanger life elsewhere. Perhaps it is in the nature of intelligent life to destroy itself before it can expand to other worlds. This grim scenario sounds a lot like where humanity finds itself in the early 21st century. However, if no intelligent life exists or has ever existed anywhere else in the universe, it is imperative that we halt our apparent death drive and find a way to live in balance with what will almost certainly be the only planet we ever inhabit.
Previous interview with Bernie Taylor: The Hero’s Journey and the Human Race
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