How Darwinian Evolution Serves to Keep Humans Earthbound
By Joan d'Arc
My book, Space Travelers and the Genesis of the Human Form, illustrates that one of the most persistent arguments against the reality of the Visitor Experience (alien visitation or abduction) is based on the presumption that if the incrementally accidental and unguided evolution of the humanoid form occurred on Earth, it is nearly mathematically impossible that it could have occurred on another planet.
The assumptions of Darwinian evolution presuppose the humanoid form to be entirely Earth-based. Remarkably, the assumption of the accidental evolution of mankind from the great ape lineage is always overlooked as the problematical factor in the analysis, for Darwinian evolution is actually not an empirically predictable or testable scientific paradigm, but is a highly touted philosophy of Western materialism.
In my book, I have shown the Space Travel Argument Against the Existence of ETI (hereafter, Space Travel Argument) to be dependent on three factors: (1) the persistent imposition of Earth-centered technological constraints (specifically, rocket technology and radio signals) implying an anthropocentric 'you can't get here from there' attitude; (2) mathematical logic deduced from the faulty linear notions of Darwinian evolution, which only serve to put the 'cart before the horse'; and (3) a circular and untestable hypothesis which essentially states "they aren't here because they aren't here."
The Science of Exclusionism
The current consensus reality is based on a Science of Exclusionism; the seclusion and isolation of the Earth from its universal extensions and relations. Materialist doctrines describe the world as a closed system: isolated humankind in an isolated consciousness on an isolated oasis. Nothing enters this closed world from the Outside, including a superconscious element known to all religions.
Charles Fort, in his Book of the Damned, wrote: "Having attempted to systematize, by ignoring externality to the greatest degree possible, the notion of things dropping in upon this Earth from externality is as unsettling and as unwelcome to Science as tin horns blowing in upon a musician's relatively symmetric composition, or flies alighting upon a painter's attempted harmony." He wrote: "I think of as many different kinds of visitors to this earth as there are visitors to New York, to a jail, or to a church."
Interestingly, on its "Astrobiology" web site, NASA claims an interest in the search for past or present life on Mars and Europa, two solar system bodies that once supported water. Among the goals of Astrobiology are to determine what makes a planet habitable and how common these worlds are in the Universe, how to recognize the signature of life on other worlds, how life arose on the Earth, how matter organizes into living systems, how the terrestrial biosphere has co-evolved with the Earth, and what are the limits for the future of life on Earth.
Part of understanding how life arose on Earth includes the possibility that "it arrived at Earth from elsewhere." The website states, "terrestrial life is the only form of life that we know, and it appears to have arisen from a common ancestor." The newfound discipline of Astrobiology is apparently open to the concession that this ancestor (i.e. microbe) arrived in a meteor, but within the current Western cosmology, meteors and comets and such are the only celestial flying objects that might harbor signs of life. The Astrobiology website is clear in stating that it has not ascertained whether "life from one world can establish an evolutionary trajectory on another," but one of their goals is to understand such natural migratory processes.
Can the "seed" of life grow into a civilization of intelligent humanoids on its own accord? One of the goals of Astrobiology is " the search for extraterrestrial life and the potential to engineer new life forms adapted to live on other worlds." According to NASA's Astrobiology Roadmap, Objective 16 is to "understand the human-directed processes by which life can migrate from one world to another."
Our Dusty Exile
Indeed, it has been asserted that NASA holds a religious conviction toward space exploration, a conviction based on a centuries-old Christian belief that scientific technology is divinely inspired to take us closer to god. According to David Noble, in The Religion of Technology: The Divinity of Man and the Spirit of Invention, NASA's goals are based on Jules Verne's implication that the nearer we go to the stars the more immortal we become. In fact, Ray Bradbury has stated, "At aerospace or NASA gatherings, Verne is the verb that moves us to Space." Indeed, through Verne we have "romanced ourselves to the Moon" and through science fiction writers like H.G. Wells, we might "finally be freed from our 'dusty exile' on earth." (Noble, 117)
The Space Travel Argument suggests that the ultimate survival of a technological civilization lies in dispersing its genetic material out into the Universe; seeding itself into other unoccupied niches. While NASA is obviously following the dictates of this theoretical stance in its study of "human directed" migration of life from one world to another, it does not recognize (at least openly) that such could have already occurred. Neither does it openly recognize the anthropomorphic evidence that would indicate that such an intelligently orchestrated migratory pattern has been ongoing within our own solar system and on our own planet.
As we can safely deduce from the above discussion, NASA is interested in "life" in the solar system, but it is clearly interested in microbial life, not intelligent life (i.e. humanoid). The Darwinian evolutionary paradigm itself is the controlling factor, and is the reason for major cover-ups of potentially man-made artifacts on the moon and Mars. It is obvious that the discovery of humanoid intelligence would upset Scientism's apple cart: Darwinian Evolution. But have we put the cart before the horse?
Prominent evolutionist Theodosius Dobhzhansky has posed a hypothetical situation wherein by some "utterly unlikely chance" there is another planet on which there arose animals and other living forms similar to those of the Eocene period. He asks, would "manlike creatures" also develop on this planet? He answers that the probability that mutations and genetic alterations in the 50,000 genes required for this development to occur, over a span of 55 million years, would be "virtually zero." Even small deviations in the "sequence of changes," he argues could throw evolution "off the track to humankind." He also points out that deviations in climate from that of the earth's climatic history could also "derail human evolution."
The "Fermi Paradox" states that Earth contains the only advanced civilization in the galaxy, "since if there were others we would know about them." Conversely, other scientists have estimated that there could be billions of advanced technological civilizations in the galaxy. Neither of these speculations, or any in between, have been proven by direct evidence and must remain matters of opinion. Nonetheless, in the 1992 Journal of the British Interplanetary Society, British scientist, E.J. Coffey argued:
"The evolutionary conclusion that humanoid intelligence elsewhere is improbable is not due to any anthropomorphic bias, but because of the deep understanding that evolution has no real goal other than adapting creatures to specific local environments. Neither we, nor our mode of intelligence, are the high point of evolution. The pathways of evolution are too circuitous for that ever to be the case. As you see, the scientific bias precludes space travel, since it sees evolution as adaptation to specific local environments."
Coffey believes that by aiming its "very costly radio telescopes at the stars," NASA and its supporters hold a "religious conviction" for the search for intelligence in the Cosmos. Actually, the SETI project has been careful to make the distinction that it is searching for extraterrestrial "intelligence" which, as ancient historian Zecharia Sitchin has quipped, could just mean "smart rocks." It has never suggested it is searching for, or expects to find evidence for, humanoid intelligence.
The Space Travel Argument
The Space Travel Argument, explained in detail by Barrow & Tipler in The Anthropic Cosmological Principle, begins with the telling statement that those who propose that extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI) probably exists in the Universe tend to be physicists and astronomers, and those who tend to argue against the probability for ETI are more likely to be evolutionary biologists. Thus, this Argument is founded on the theory of Darwinian natural selection, the adaptation of creatures to their local habitats.
The Anthropic Principle is based on a biological argument: the minimum time required for the evolution of "intelligent observers." A billion years is required for the evolution of intelligence; therefore, a star must have been stable for at least that long. The Anthropic Timescale Argument (Barrow, 159) allows that the types of processes allowed in the Universe must be of such an age that "slow evolutionary processes will have had time to produce intelligent beings from non-living matter" – a special case according to the frank admissions of many evolutionists.
The Space Travel Argument is based on the Anthropic Principle: the mathematical assumption that a "communicating species" would evolve in less than 5 billion years and would eventually begin interstellar travel. This argument contends that "since 1 billion years is quite short in comparison with the age of the Galaxy, it follows from the absence of ETI in the solar system that such space-travelling ETI apparently do not exist, and have never existed in our Galaxy." The authors note that this assumption is logically inferred from observed evidence, and from astrophysical observations and theories. It should be stressed that Barrow & Tipler explicitly assert that "absence of evidence is evidence of absence."
The Space Travel Argument states specifically that "the contemporary advocates for the existence of extraterrestrial intelligent life seem to be primarily astronomers and physicists, such as Sagan, Drake, and Morrison, while most leading experts in evolutionary biology, for instance Dobzhansky, Simpson, Francois, Ayala et al. and Mayr, contend that the Earth is probably unique in harboring intelligence." The Space Travel Argument argues that if an advanced interstellar civilization did exist and possessed the technology for interstellar communication, "they would also have developed interstellar travel and thus would already be present in our solar system. Since they are not here, (footnotes 14, 15) this implies that they do not exist." (Barrow, 576)
Whether or not one believes that extraterrestrial visitors have ever traversed the solar system (which oddly doesn't even have a name), the logical continuum of the above argument must be addressed. Incredulously, the footnotes following the statement "they are not here" reference the 1974 book UFO's Explained written by the most popular UFO debunker, Philip Klass. Thus, their proof that interstellar visitors are not here is the obviously highly-regarded opinion of a member of The Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP), who has been labeled the most negative of the UFO debunkers.
In At the Threshold, UFO researcher Dr. David Jacobs has summed up the attitude behind the culture of debunking: "Debunkers are not open minded skeptics. The combination of ignorance of the subject, a messianic sense of defending science from the forces of superstition, an ego-charged idea that they know the answer to whatever UFO problem is being discussed, and a streak of mean-spiritedness are the necessary ingredients for debunking."
Barrow & Tipler fail to further qualify the deduction that they are not here, and only mention in passing that there might be a problem with this assumption. The authors seem to be espousing tautology that essentially states that extraterrestrials are not here and never have been here, because they are not here and never have been here. The Space Travel Argument is a rigidly anthropocentric argument founded on the proposition that human intelligence evolved as a purely local phenomenon on an outback planet and, further, that this accidental (local) event has no Universal (i.e. external) relationship.
The Space Travel Argument contends that a communicating intelligent species would also develop the technology for interstellar travel at least comparable to our present-day technology, and particularly rocketry, leading automatically "to the exploration and/or colonization of our Galaxy in less than 300 million years." This deduction is based on the "Principle of Mediocrity" which states, "our evolution is typical of the evolution of any species on any planet capable of supporting life" – a principle of mediocre explanatory power that may be translated as "shit happens wherever and whenever it will." In addition to the likelihood of possessing rocket technology comparable to our own, the authors posit that it seems probable that such a species would also possess sophisticated computer technology. The Space Travel Argument unequivocally equates the concept of "survival of the fittest" to the technological ability to disperse human DNA into the Galaxy utilizing a theoretical computer called a von Neumann probe.
Von Neumann Probes
The crux of the Space Travel Argument is the self-reproducing universal constructor: a computerized machine "capable of making any device, given the construction materials and a construction program." Such a machine, called a von Neumann probe after its theoretical dad, John von Neumann, is by definition capable of making a copy of itself. A probe sent to another stellar system would include a self-replicating universal constructor, with human-level intelligence, capable of self-repair and self-programming, with an engine for slowing down once the stellar system is reached, and an electric or solar propulsion system for travel within the system.
The universal constructor would be instructed to carry out a search for construction materials and would set out making copies of itself, and the rocket engines and other devices needed, from the interstellar resources. The authors contend that such building materials, for instance, nickel-iron and hydrocarbons, should be in abundance in the vicinity of most stars in the form of meteors, asteroids, comets and such. Copies of the probe would be launched at the nearest stars, and the process would be repeated. The probes would then be programmed to explore the stellar system and relay the information back to the original probe.
Von Neumann became the generally recognized father of Artificial Life simulations, and produced some of the first Artificial Life programs, further developing his earlier theory of "self-reproducing cellular automata." Some of this secretive work involved the transfer of human intelligence to machines. (Von Neumann was also devoted to nuclear weapons development.) After Von Neumann's death, Freeman Dyson went on to develop similar ideas surrounding self-reproducing factories on other planets. In 1980, NASA began to explore these ideas. The aim of NASA's Self-Reproducing Systems Concept Team was to "examine the feasibility of devising machines capable of production, replication, growth, self-repair, and evolution, machines that could be used to colonize the moon and beyond." After writing a couple of "fanciful proposals" for the creation of a new "silicon species," the team fully expected to receive funding, but instead the money went to the Star Wars Strategic Defense Initiative. (Noble, 165-166)
The O'Neill Colony
The authors explain that the von Neumann probe can also be used to colonize the stellar system, even if there are no planets in the system, by programming it to turn some of the available space debris into an O'Neill Colony: a space station which contains a self-sustaining human colony. The authors explain, "all the information needed to manufacture a human being is contained in the genes of a single human cell." It is doubtful that frozen cells would remain viable over the long period of time required to cross vast distances between stars via space probe.
The Space Travel Argument contends, "a human being is a universal constructor specialized to perform on the surface of the Earth." After making this statement, which in effect reduces the human to a biological machine, Barrow & Tipler go on to assert that von Neumann probes should have the same rights as human beings. They launch a peculiar discussion of human rights and how those can be extended to a von Neumann probe, which is after all an "intelligent being in its own right, only made of metal rather than flesh and blood." They contend, the "naturally evolved species and all of its naturally evolved descendants must inevitably become extinct ... but ... a civilization with machine descendants could continue indefinitely." (Barrow, 595)
One possible reason for a decision not to build probes, Barrow & Tipler concede, is the fear of losing control of them. They concede that it is possible that the program that keeps the probe under the control of the intelligence species could be accidentally omitted during the reproduction process, with the result that the copy "goes into business for itself."
Survival of the Fittest
It has been noted that scientists who tend to argue against the probability for ETI are more likely to be evolutionary biologists, therefore, the Space Travel Argument is based on the theory of Darwinian evolution. The problem with this assumption is that Darwinian theory is not a testable scientific hypothesis. It is a tautology: a self-contained system of circular proofs, which are always true in a self-contained system of circular proofs. After all, a circular dilemma confounds the popular use of the evolution argument against the co-existence of the humanoid form in the Cosmos, since we do not actually know that we are the only humanoids in the Universe, nor do we know the genesis of the humanoid form. We are simply extrapolating an earthbound premise from an Earth-centric theory.
The Space Travel Argument essentially deduces that human evolution is typical of the evolution of any species on any planet capable of supporting life. Furthermore, according to this argument, the most coveted "talent" which us Darwinian-evolved humans want to exhibit more than anything else is something called species survival. In the human species, ultimately "survival" means spreading your DNA out into the stars in case of a major planetary catastrophe. NASA's "Astrobiology Roadmap" web site illustrates that its objectives are none other than to seed other planets in our solar system with life forms from Earth, including humans. The future goals of its Objective 16 include, "placing candidate ecosystems on extraterrestrial surfaces and document their evolution, establish permanent colonies of humans and other organisms in space and on another planetary surface, engineer life for survival, adaptation and evolution beyond Earth."
Assuming that a behavior pattern typical of Homo sapiens would be adopted by any intelligent species, Barrow & Tipler maintain that an advanced civilization would launch such probes or colonization ventures. They contend, "all living things have a dispersal phase, in which they tend to expand into new environments," and that these are "generally carried out to the limit allowed by their genetic constitution." In an intelligent species, they write, "this limit would be imposed by the level of technology," and further they propose, using explicit Darwinian lingo, that "those groups which do not exhibit this behavior would be selected against." The launching of such universal constructor probes and space stations revolving around stars would increase the probability that the civilization will survive the death of its star, nuclear war, or other catastrophes: in other words, "indefinite survival."
The Space Travel Argument makes the Earth-centric presumption that "survival" alone, and not any moral ground, is the fundamental impetus for the behavior of any civilization. This survival of the fittest thesis supposes that a civilization that chooses not to engage in colonization behavior would be, naturally, "selected against." The authors present the anthropomorphic premise that they find it "difficult to construct a plausible scenario" which would explain why an ETI civilization would have the technology for interstellar travel and would not engage in it. Thus, this position is based on the presumption that if they can do it, and they are not doing it, then it follows that they do not exist.
The Space Travel Argument is rigidly anthropocentric and circuitous. We cannot extrapolate the behavior of interplanetary citizens from Darwinian-based observations of our own behavior. Darwinian evolution cannot be used as a framework from which to argue against the co-existence of the humanoid form in the Cosmos at large, since this assumption could likely be placing 'the cart before the horse'. If the question we are asking is whether Earth humans are part of an intelligently designed family dispersed in the Cosmos at large, or whether we are alone in an immense deaf and dumb Universe with only "smart rocks" as neighbors, it is illogical to begin with any presumption at all.
From the perspective of Darwinian evolution, if ETI exists at all, it absolutely cannot have the same form that we happen to have, because it will crush the scientific premise of our purely accidental climb out of the ponds of our local habitat Earth. How could creatures on a distant clod of Earth accidentally repeat the same incremental and circuitous climb while being victims of an entirely different "lottery"? They can't. Then perhaps we need to address our a priori premise that the emergence of the humanoid form is a purely local phenomenon. Perhaps the guided creation of all life forms is ongoing in the Universe and the human form, or something akin to the human form, has been created or brought in from elsewhere many times and, as our catastrophic past indicates, destroyed many times. From this point of view, it's fair to say, Darwinian evolution serves to keep us from seeing our true ancestry from the “sky” rather than from the “water.”
It is ludicrous that we should assume any Earth technology to be a cosmic constant. Why does the Space Travel Argument limit the universal possibilities of interstellar travel to rocket technology, and of interstellar communication to radio signals? Why does it limit the universal possibilities of space travel to "intelligence comparable to the human level?" Is it logical to assume that the "evolution" of science and technology necessarily proceeds along the same course on all planetary systems? And, even if it were the case, is the science behind "rocket technology" necessarily the apex of any advanced technological civilization ready for countdown to space exploration?
In its conclusion that a "deficiency in present-day computer technology, not rocket technology" is what prevents Earthlings from space exploration, the Space Travel Argument admits that space probes are superior to rocket technology as a way to move DNA from one place to another. On one hand the authors state that an advanced intelligent species would eventually develop rocket technology at least to the limit regarded as "technically feasible" today, while they conversely argue that the cost of rocket fuels puts deep space exploration and colonization far beyond the means of present day civilization.
You don't have to be a rocket scientist to realize that we don't see the rocket ships of extraterrestrial travelers in our skies because rocket technology is an unfeasible, in fact, impossible, way to explore galaxies. Some other type of system, backed up by an extraordinarily different type of science and technology, is needed. Since we are so incredibly far from achieving the ability to traverse the galaxy with our own technology, we conclude that because we can't get there from here, they can't get here from there. Thus, the term "technically feasible" seems to outline the boundaries of a paradigm to which we are technologically leashed; a technology which serves to limit the collective vision of the society at large.
As Philip Corso writes in The Day After Roswell, the effort to develop true antigravity aircraft "never came to fruition among conventional aircraft manufacturers because gasoline, jet and rocket engines provided a perfectly good weapons technology." Therein may lie the crux of the matter. Barrow & Tipler make the assumption that a "behavior pattern typical of Homo sapiens would be adopted by any intelligent species." What, essentially, is the behavior pattern of Homo sapiens? Who would argue that what we consider "progress" essentially pays for itself first by being based on "a perfectly good weapons technology"?
War behavior is the behavior pattern typical of Earth humans; but we should not assume it is typical of "any intelligent species." On the contrary, nuclear physicist Stanton Friedman suggests in his book Top Secret/Majic, that extraterrestrials are here "to make sure that our brand of 'friendship' is not visited upon other civilizations in the neighborhood."
The Ancestral Earth Boundary
In his book The Sirius Mystery, Robert Temple has also addressed the question of our readiness to join the galactic federation. He speculates that the only societies that might be carrying on an interstellar dialogue of any kind are the "magical societies;" that is, societies so advanced that we are but "emerging primitives" in comparison. Such societies would most certainly have standard procedures for dealing with primitives, and may even have "commenced their operations with the long range intent of bringing us into their club."
It is apparent that a technology based primarily on killing, and secondarily on consumerism, has brought us down the wrong path with regard to "survival." It has and continues to stunt our growth as a truly intelligent species. It has essentially kept us primitive. Yet, the Space Travel Argument propagates the notion that this technology — basically only suitable for bonking each other over the head, or making threats to the same effect — is the apex of scientific prowess. This is an extremely anthropocentric attitude. We're so primitive that we don't know we're primitive.
As Stanton Friedman asserts, space travel first requires that a civilization learn to be at peace with its neighbors. In terms of its own survival then, any advanced civilization that gets a load of us will surely have reason for serious concern. As Friedman speculates in Top Secret/Majic, an advanced society would probably pay attention to the more primitive societies in the neighborhood, and would pay "especially close attention to those showing signs of venturing beyond ancestral boundaries." Friedman surmises that it would be to their advantage to keep us from exploring our solar system or beyond, since they see us as essentially a hostile race in the toddler stage of growth.
Ironically, while we might see space travel as survivalist behavior, an advanced civilization may see their own survival threatened by such behavior and, thereby, would do everything in their employ to keep the Earth children earthbound. Indeed, ancient writings indicate that Earth humans are bound to the planet Earth. Indeed, Robert Temple discusses an ancient Greek reference to the babysitting of the human race, called "The Virgin of the World," which describes the hierarchical principle of lower and higher beings in the Universe.
The Virgin of the World describes a situation wherein Earthly mortals are presided over by higher beings who interfere in Earth's affairs when "things become hopeless." It describes a personage called Hermes (or Anubis) who "seems to represent a race of beings who taught Earthly mankind the arts of civilization. This ancient treatise suggests that "mankind have been a troublesome lot requiring scrutiny and, at rare intervals of crisis, intervention."
James Deardoff of the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University has theorized about the possibility that the Earth is under quarantine. He has written that our "lack of detection" of ETI life forms could just as well be an indication that an "embargo" of sorts is in place. Deardoff has suggested that such an embargo might be aimed at our premature and sudden discovery of them, and our subsequent panic, which might end up in a nuclear exchange. He speculates that any sudden lifting of the embargo in a manner obvious to the public would cause societal chaos. Therefore, according to Jim Marrs in Alien Agenda, the lifting of an embargo must be designed to allow gradual disclosure of the alien message in order to allow dissemination of information over a long period of time.
As Deardoff has also noted, any radio communications received by ETI would likely be heavily censored by government agencies. So, how can we accept "absence" of radio signals as "evidence of absence"? Furthermore, as Stanton Friedman has pointed out in Top Secret/Majic, they would not necessarily be coming from millions of light years away, since "the galactic neighborhood is not as big as some researchers make it out to be." There are about a thousand sun-like stars within 54 light years of Earth. Among those thousand stars, Friedman contends, about 46 of them are very similar to our sun. Most astronomers agree that sun-like stars are likely to have planets. In particular, the stars Zeta 1 and Zeta 2 Reticuli in the constellation Reticulum are only 37 light years away from Earth. These stars are about a billion years older than our Sun, and these civilizations, he writes, have had a billion-year head start on us.
The Zoo Hypothesis
Barrow & Tipler present the scenario that if an ETI civilization was reluctant to contaminate the culture of another species with its own culture, it may decide not to attempt radio contact. The authors suppose that, "with probes it would be possible to study an alien species without it becoming aware of the species which is studying it." Thus, probes could maintain contact and control via secrecy. The Zoo Hypothesis suggests that the messenger probes of an ETI species "have been here for a long time but have decided not to make their presence known."
Barrow & Tipler assert that the Zoo Hypothesis is "unlikely." If it were true, they state, the entire solar system would be analogous to "an African game preserve" with the intelligent probes of an ET race acting as "game wardens." Their argument, however, doesn't make the Zoo Hypothesis unlikely; it simply makes it emotionally disturbing. If the solar system were such a preserve, they surmise, "then all contact must have been rigorously prevented for as long as the robot game wardens were present in the Solar System, since there is not one jot of evidence for any contact in the past" (italics added). Again they circuitously rely on the debunker, Philip Klass. The power to define what constitutes evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence is an important facet of the circuitous argument against the existence of extraterrestrial intelligence.
In this regard, Temple has written that if interstellar travel has become possible for a few or more extraterrestrial societies, they have almost certainly visited Earth in its lengthy history as a planet. There is no doubt, he writes, that "our distant ancestors the cave men would have been observed by extraterrestrial probes, who would have made a note that something was happening on this planet."
The Space Travel Argument states that a human being is essentially "a universal constructor specialized to perform on the surface of the Earth." There is no sound argument that can be asserted against the existence of an ETI probe in the past and it would, theoretically, explain the genesis of life forms on Earth. Explaining that, "all the information needed to manufacture a human being is contained in the genes of a single human cell," Barrow & Tipler assert that an advanced civilization could "easily synthesize members of their species in the other stellar system." They suppose that those species would then be free to develop their own civilization in that star system. They go on to admit that it would be possible to study an alien species using such probes without that society becoming aware they were being studied.
To take this seemingly preposterous scenario another step further, could the entire Earth biosphere also be bio-engineered? Along these lines, H.V. Ditfurth has argued in Origins of Life (p. 51) that "it was not the case that life on Earth was dependent on only twenty quite specific amino acids (and countless other molecular elements) from among hundreds of possible ones." He writes that the limits of the supposed "right conditions" should not be thought of as overly narrow. In fact, the way that the molecular pattern of the cosmos matches the Earth's biological one might suggest something else entirely. Ditfurth explains that when the Earth's history began there was no specific need for organisms to live on it. In other words, he asserts, the reason why these particular 20 amino acids are present in the cells of all Earth organisms is not that there was no other way for life to get started, but, rather, Earth organisms were constructed with these particular building blocks simply because "they were present in great abundance."
Might we state this differently? Earth's habitat and life forms are constructed from a finite collection of material that was just hanging around in the area doing nothing. Recall Barrow & Tipler's "optimal exploration strategy" which must utilize "otherwise useless interstellar resources." Seen from this perspective, could all of Earth's biological forms be the result of a remote engineering job performed by the universal constructors of an extraterrestrial race?
Based on the Space Travel Argument, the speculation that (1) intelligent life has the tendency to expand into and occupy space, and (2) such expansions will utilize raw materials in the vicinity of a planetary system for the building of space colonies, Papagiannis and others have argued that if ETs are in our solar system, there is reason to believe they may be in the asteroid belt where building materials are most abundant. (Carlotto, www.psrw.com) Interestingly, one of the possible ways to detect the presence of an ETI probe, Barrow & Tipler state, is to search for evidence of the waste heat from its construction activities. Such waste heat, it is surmised, would give rise to an infrared excess in the area of the asteroid belt where building materials are most abundant. They seem amused by the fact that much of the observed infrared radiation does, in fact, come from the vicinity of Earth's asteroid belt.
Their interest in this amusing factoid stops far short of labeling it as evidence of ETI, however, even though they affirm that such colonization behavior would be typical of any intelligent species with the means to do so. By admitting that probes could be used to observe a society without its awareness, the Space Travel Argument undermines its own absence of evidence equals evidence of absence premise. After all the headroom they pump into this state of the art scientific theory, it essentially falls apart when they base their premise on a well-known critical and cranky debunker, Philip Klass. After all, what argument can counter the one that asserts Earth's biological forms, as well as its biosphere, could be the result of the engineering genius of advanced spacefaring ETI? Even Barrow & Tipler can't "go there."
The Space Travel Argument suggests that a human being is essentially "a universal constructor specialized to perform on the surface of the Earth." As a matter of fact, all biological life forms on the planet are "universal constructors" from the point of view that they are self-replicating. If the job of a universal constructor is to construct other universal constructors ad infinitum, then the appearance of biological life on Earth could be in itself a potential sign of the existence of an extraterrestrial universal constructor. Thus, the Space Travel Argument's circuitous structure, i.e. they aren't here because they aren't here, can be logically countered with the argument they are here because we are here.
References and Suggested Reading
Barrow, John D. and Frank J. Tipler, The Anthropic Cosmological Principle, Oxford Press, 1988.
Carlotto, Mark, The Martian Enigmas: A Closer Look, North Atlantic, 1997.
Coffey, E.J., "The Anthropomorphic Fallacy," Journal of the British Interplanetary Society 1992.
Corso, Philip, The Day After Roswell, New York, Simon & Schuster, 1997.
Fort, Charles, The Book of the Damned, Prometheus, reprint 1999.
Friedman, Stanton, Top Secret/Majic, Marlowe & Co., New York, 1996.
Hoagland, Richard, The Mars/Moon Connection (Video), Evidence of a Solar System Filled with Ancient Artifacts (Video)
Hoagland, Richard, Monuments of Mars: A City on the Edge of Forever, North Atlantic Books, 1996.
Hoagland & Bara, www.enterprisemission.com. also www.lunaranomalies.com
Johnson, Phillip, Darwin on Trial, InterVarsity Press, Downer's Grove, IL.
McDaniel, Stanley, The Case for the Face: Scientists Examine the Evidence for Alien Artifacts on Mars, Adventures Unlimited, 1998.
Midgely, Mary, Evolution as a Religion, Methuen & Co., London/New York, 1985.
Milton, Richard, Shattering the Myths of Darwinism, Park Street Press, VT, 1997.
Noble, David, The Religion of Technology: The Divinity of Man and the Spirit of Invention, Penguin, 1997, 1999.
Temple, Robert K.G., The Sirius Mystery, Destiny Books, VT, 1987.
©2005 by Joan d'Arc, author of Space Travelers and the Genesis of the Human Form, and Phenomenal World, published by The Book Tree (www.thebooktree.com). She is the former co-editor of PARANOIA: The Conspiracy Reader, founded in 1992 and publisher of the infrequently transmitted HunterGatheress Journal, which is out of print unless you can figure out how to contact me and get my lazy ass to the post office.