Over the years, I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with those in unique positions within our global society. Of said context, I would offer this: If you have an intelligent question worthy of asking such people, then do so without reservation — with clarity. However, only do so if the answer is not already available elsewhere — else that one question might be the last opportunity you have in receiving an answer worthy of their time.
Our world is filled with complex issues and challenges out of reach by many, and it’s our questions that drives the ideas in solving these issues. To that, what would be some of the more provocative questions worthy of consideration by minds far more experienced than ours?
As an exercise, consider the following possibility. As of recent, NASA has found evidence of liquid water on Mars. Given what we know of extremophiles, the probability of finding microbes on Mars is likely — considering methane currently exists in the atmosphere.
Hold that thought, and pull in the current findings from the Planetary Habitability Laboratory — then multiply that by the galaxies visible to us. Basic math points to a colossal array of possible life-supporting celestial bodies in the universe. Aside from the incredible distance between stars, the universe is potentially filled with life.
But what if there were something more than microbes out there? On that premise, and if we had the chance to encounter a possible advanced species, what questions might we ask such a civilization worthy of a revealing response?
I realize that while all my previously written material was intentionally constructed without a personal reference — generic in perspective — I find this particular aspect of this study in reasoning a personal highlight. For me, such questions are easy. I would be very interested in learning just how an advanced species survived their early social development, and how they might have overcome the barrier between fear driven ignorance and the pursuit of unbiased reasoning.
In the cosmic nature of things, such questions would equate to a galactic cheat-code, sparing our civilization the pain and costly period in learning our way out of our problems. However, there’s also the possibility our civilization is headed for another great extinction — with all hopes resting on our ability to reach out to our galactic neighbourhood as a right of passage in earning our own survival — daring us to advance enough in asking for help by the very act of being able to ask.
There’s a reason why Universal Rights was written without sighting gender, race, man or animal — only pointing to an individual. The reason for this is simple. No bias can be had in favour of man as a superior species or as a sole creature deserving of universal rights alone. This isn’t a noble gesture indicative of some mortal conscience by the author — no, this stands unbiased as a requirement in supporting the many levels of life defined by a species of sociality.
This level of life is of course the galactic level. For as much as the neighbours on your street will instinctively come to your aid in a time of need, so would one nation to another, and by extension our galactic neighbourhood. Yes, it’s quite possible our galactic neighbours are little more than microbes on a planet 130 light-years away, however we could no more dismiss the possibility of something more complex.
Yes, I would love to learn the struggles of a civilization far different than our own, for in doing so I might learn more about myself.
Ultimately, the real question would rest on whether an advanced civilization would reveal themselves to us. No more would it make sense to hand car keys to a ten year old than it would for an advanced civilization to aid humanity with technological advancement. That said, one constant demonstrated by many species here on earth has been: instruction. This one trait of sociality is a safe form of aid — for in this way an advanced species could answer our universal right for aid — just as a child looks up to community elders for help crossing the road. To me, this is far more valuable than any technological advancement they may have, for such things are out of our reach only while we are unable to function as an advanced species.