Friday, October 24, 2008

Dinosaurs and UFOs

Life has existed on Earth for well over 500 million years. For roughly 450 million of those years, that life was dominated by fish, reptiles, amphibians, and for 160 million of those years: dinosaurs.

Think about that for a moment. 450 million years of evolution (or adaptation, or un-intelligent design, whatever) resulted in advanced versions of reptilian hunters and gatherers. And while we can't be sure, it's safe to say that had the dinosaurs continued their reign on Earth, what we would have today is not a world inherited by man, but a world inherited by further-advanced versions of those same reptilian hunters and gatherers.

Which means what? Well, in all likelihood, little or no "intelligent" life as we know it. In other words: no us.

What does this have to do with UFOs?


I've stated this before. While I completely believe in the existence of alien life (seriously, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that complex organisms are alive and well on countless other planets in the galaxy, never mind the universe), I'm not entirely convinced the Earth has been visited by aliens flying UFOs from across the galaxy.

And why not?

The dinosaurs.

To me, dinosaurs are the natural evolution of things. Advanced reptiles evolved first because, among other things, they are the "easiest" large life forms to evolve. Mammals were evolving concurrently, sure, but didn't dominate our planet's landscape until something "a little extra" lent a hand along the way. That "a little extra" something was a meteor impact that effectively wiped out the reptilian-based world that the Earth once was. Somehow mammals endured and, when all was said and done, took their turn as king of the Earth's mountain.

Primates came along with their prehensile thumbs and their developing problem-solving abilities and, bingo, here I am typing away on a virtual document in a virtual world so you can read a virtual rant on a screen projecting a virtual page.

What does this have to do with dinosaurs?


While I believe that life is out there and is quite abundant, I also believe that life is relatively rare (when discussing the sheer size of the universe). The cosmic variables required for a planet to successfully develop life are far too complicated and far too finicky for life to simply be (as Star Trek would have you believe) in nearly every solar system. In my opinion, this probably means that there are many, many places currently in the universe with what are essentially advanced dinosaurs. Alien civilizations, again in my opinion, are probably extremely few and equally far between.

Now, why would I believe in lots of alien dinosaurs and few alien civilizations?

Because, combined with the small mathematical chance of developing life in the first place, what it took for humanity to develop was another small mathematical chance: the meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs. Make no mistake, we (humanity) are only here because of that meteor. To put it simply, intelligent life as we know it only exists because an external force wiped out the stupid life, giving us a chance. To put it in another way: our civilization only exists because of two mathematical improbabilities.

So, one in a billion for life to show up in the first place, plus one in a billion for civilized life to show up in the second place. That doesn't equal a whole lot of civilized life in the galaxy.

Do I think there are civilizations among the stars? Oh, certainly, but I think only a handful, if any, are significantly more technologically advanced then we are, and I think that most life on other worlds is comprised basically of alien dinosaurs.

One thing's for certain: no one ethereal entity designed all this stuff.


Anonymous said...

Hmmm... I'm sure JAP will really appreciate that last line - especially since she completely understands terms like "ethereal" and "entity."

Other than that, I'm not completely convinced. Interesting theory though. I'll think on it.

Posted by Jessica Lynn on October 23, 2008 - Thursday - 8:09 PM

Anonymous said...

I didn't need all that to know there must be more life out there and some of it more advanced that we are. I just looked at Earth and said to myself, "if we are the best, or God forbid, the only thing the universe has for inteligent life...the universe is severely FUBAR!"

Posted by Cowan on October 23, 2008 - Thursday - 9:34 PM

Anonymous said...

I've actually read one of the studies pertaining to that theory (a British study, naturally... you and your anglo-centrism), and while I certainly grant its legitimacy, it leaves out two very important details that are important to my argument:

1) That dinosaurs have, on several occasions, experienced large extinctions. The results of which were more advanced, more survivable dinosaurs. Which also supports my point.
2) Even if not, most "geologic" ages under the dinosaurs lasted roughly 60 million years (some more, some less), which would put us now at the very end of the post-Cretaceous period. In all probability, even if dinosaurs were on their way to true extinction (which I doubt, given their descendants still around today), they would've remained around until at least 5 million years ago. And that's just not enough time for humans to take over where the dinosaurs left off.

Posted by JeffScape on October 24, 2008 - Friday - 12:31 AM

Anonymous said...

Which makes me wonder... If everytime the dinosaurs faced massive extinction, life on Earth evolved and became more intelligent, and considering our timeline on Earth at the present, aren't we due for a massive human extinction to either further evolve our species or make way for a more intelligent species to inhabit our planet?

Global Warming be damned. It's 'bout time for a cataclysmic species evolution!

Posted by Jessica Lynn on October 26, 2008 - Sunday - 8:10 AM

Anonymous said...

Um, no.

Posted by JeffScape on October 27, 2008 - Monday - 12:41 PM

Anonymous said...

@Cowan: There's also a theory gaining traction that a major volcanic eruption taking place at about the same time as the impact may have contributed or been the primary cause of the mass extinctions. Regardless, I think the biggest flaw in his argument is that if dinosaurs hadn't been wiped out by some event, no life similar to ours (capable of introspection and civilization) would have evolved. It took many millions of years after the dinosaurs extinction to get to us, there's no guarantee that if they hadn't gone extinct one of them might not have made it to this stage of evolution.

Imagine a universe full of dinosaur sized intelligent life...

The other flaw in the argument is that if there were an intelligent life, it wouldn't be much more advanced than us. Human beings 1000 years from now will be a shit load more advanced than us most likely--probably capable of interstellar travel. Even 10,000 years is drop in the bucket when we're talking about the lifetime of the universe. Its easily feasible that many species evolved even 100,000 years faster than we did. Furthermore, they may have a desire to seek out other intelligent life and may have advanced methods of scowering the universe for said life. We would try to do it if we could.

Now that I've picked apart your argument, I'll agree with you. Given that I have received no good evidence that aliens have ever been here, I'll have to conclude that its likely they haven't. And yes, Star Trek's constant plot convenience where they always crash landed on an M class planet wore thin after about the 100th time. Good god, HOW MANY M CLASS PLANETS ARE THERE???

Still a great show.

Posted by Introspective Prophesier on November 27, 2008 - Thursday - 11:51 PM

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