Where Are the Aliens?
Are we alone in the Universe? At this very moment someone, somewhere around the world is bombarding the galactic airwaves with our radio, TV, microwave, infrared and other communicative signals. We are peering into the distant cosmos with huge telescopic eyes, from within and beyond our atmosphere, and listening with straining radio-telescopic ears for that historic First Contact with beings from another world. So far we have found no other life. But why would aliens want to advertise their presence, contact us, visit us to spy or invade or integrate or probe us, or even acknowledge us? There are several reasons why we are alone and why aliens would not reveal themselves to us.
First, let's imagine that Drake's equation has been right all along and that there are thousands of other technological space-faring civilisations out there. Let's also assume that the Fermi Paradox has been invalidated by aliens that can travel around the universe in other-Einsteinian ways, whether through space, time or other dimensions. These aliens then intercept our space-bound signals or secretly orbit our world. What would they see?
The aliens would surely be distressed at our hostility towards aliens; human or otherwise. We are a destructive and hateful species when we want to be. This would be borne out in almost every single science fiction film, where even good aliens are wiped out either by mistake or because some megalomaniac distrusted those who came in peace. No alien in his/her/it right mind/minds would want to be taken to our leader. Our entertainment would seem like anti-alien propaganda to any alien. It would be a bleak warning to stay away from our world.
Some people suggest that aliens watch us to assess our potential to see whether or not we would be mature enough to join the interstellar community one day. They are waiting to see if we will use our technology to destroy ourselves or propel ourselves to the stars. But they know full well that we would use it to destroy other aliens. Our solar system is quite full of moons. It would not surprise me if some were alien beacons warning the whole inter-galactic village to stay clear of the innocent-looking blue planet that packs a mean punch.
Next, apart from violence, the next big threat would be disease. H.G. Wells started the whole human/alien germ warfare industry and even if an alien doctor told the away team' that it was safe, who knows what type of genocide a ten-year old human child with the sniffles would unleash. This world has recently suffered from SARS, Bird Flu, Anthrax scares, Mad Cow Disease, Ebola, HIV/AIDS, and other contagious/spreadable diseases. Having watched humanity spread these malicious bacteria, why would any alien risk its own neck for a quickie visit? We are alone because Aliens don't want to be around us. We scare them.
But here comes the mental bit. What if there really are no aliens? There are two ways to look at this. What if there really is a God? And that God created us and only us. Is that really an Intelligent Design? The universe would be ours to spread out in and inhabit, with no other God-created alien play/pray mates. In that case, God has a lot to answer for. In the other view; what if we evolved alone? What if man is the first of the greatest of the universal civilisations: Homo Universalis? Is that an arrogant assumption? Is Anthropocentricism really that wrong? The universe might only support one life-form at a time? So why not think of ourselves as the first inhabitants? In this case, we humans have a lot to answer for. We are the sole care-takers of the Universe.
So in the end, we are the aliens. We may spread out so far and wide in the future that our descendants are visiting us through space, time and other dimensions. This would be a good thing. Think about it, if you came back from the future, why screw up the past by revealing yourself if your past worked out well? We should be worried if the aliens had come to warn us that we did something wrong that would screw up the future. As the saying goes If it ain't broke, don't fix it'. We are both alone and surrounded by the aliens that are us.
So I reckon that the human race is doing okay whether we are alone or not. If there are aliens, then they are not revealing themselves to us or coming to observe, invade, sterilise, test, prod, or anything else for fear of our xenophobic nature. Or we are alone, because it is our destiny to be the only universal civilisation. But just in case: Aliens beware leave us alone or we'll whack you!