What does the discovery of an Earth-like planet really mean to us?
When I think of re-colonisation, which I suppose is the opposite of a mundane thought; I naturally picture the film Total Recall. (I know they didn’t exactly re-colonise Arnie, but he did go to Mars.) Although I highly doubt re-colonisation will happen in any of our lifetimes, it is still something that flickers in my mind from time-to-time.
According to research, in around a billion years time and as a by-product of our Sun’s inevitable demise, the Earth will become inhospitable. But, fear not earthlings, for there may be a solution to our future earthly problems in the form of a new home.
Last year NASA announced the discovery of an Earth-like planet orbiting a distant star. Planet Kepler-452b, a bigger version of Earth, can be located a mere 1,400 light years away. It is the first terrestrial planet to be found in a habitable zone, and is 60 per cent larger than earth. Now, reading this, sparked many questions in my mind. Some I feel have practical undertones, and others I suppose are rather far-fetched. Nonetheless, it is always fun to conjecture about the future.
Unification and re-colonisation…
A particular thought that crossed my mind was that of global unification. Would the countries of the Earth remain distinct from one another or would the word ‘foreign’ become abolished. Then, if ‘foreignness’ concerning countries, were to be abolished, would it just be for the ride, or would it remain that way even once we had arrived on our new home. Would war be forgotten, just for a little while, or would panic and anxiety and all the unavoidable human emotions create bedlam in our midst.
“So long as there are men, there will be wars”
Whilst Einstein’s words may have been proven right so far, I hold out hope for our future as a species. Perhaps re-colonisation, and a chance for a fresh start, will allow us to evolve into a more humble, compassionate version of the good thing that we already are.
Who’s to say we are even from Earth? We could be planning for a long awaited return to Kepler-4526. After all, the possibilities are as endless as the imagination.
Now, regardless of the fact that Dr Silver appears to have a blatant disregard for millions of years of evolutionary evidence, his book does make for an interesting read.
Dr. Sliver notes in his book entitled ‘Humans Are Not From Earth’, a number of psychological and physiological factors to back up his argument.
For instance, humans could suffer from chronic back pain as a result of us evolving in a world with lower gravity. He also notes that it makes no sense that we are so ill-equipped for sunlight and posses so many aversions to naturally occurring foods.
Now I personally am a ‘have to see it to believe it’ sort of person. I don’t believe in ruling anything out completely, but I ‘ll always need evidence to be entirely convinced. I do, however, think that all of our ‘short comings’ as humans are extremely justifiable. I myself am intolerant to gluten… but I do not believe I am an alien.
Who knows, maybe in a billion years or so we’ll get to find out if Kepler-452b is a better fit. But, until then, we can just keep on guessing, because the outcome may be far too brilliant for any of us to comprehend.
Image Source: Earth Sky