Cervantes: Beyond Earth


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When I was a child, people called me a “believer.” I had a tendency to focus my thoughts on things that may be and the fantastical opportunities that could be waiting just outside my view. Every day held the possibility of adventure and exciting tales just waiting to be told. I believed that anything was possible, that every cryptic animal and supernatural being was, in fact, a reality.

People also called me “gullible.”

Now that I’ve grown up a little bit, I see that my fanatical excitement at the chance of seeing the Loch Ness Monster and her many friends has gone down immensely. Currently, the oldest of my little brothers seems to be following in my train of thought.  I realize that there will always be a new generation of “believers.”

Recent news events seeming to confirm this outlook have flooded the science media outlets. In January, Professor Milton Wainwright and his colleagues at the University of Buckingham’s Center for Astrobiology and the University of Sheffield said they had found evidence of extraterrestrial life. Both professionals stated that they found microscopic particles in the stratosphere, believed to be the cell wall of a form of algae. While they are certain that the “titanium sphere” (as they described it) is from space, they can’t pinpoint where.

Obviously two sides have been formed: those who believe and those who are skeptics. The skepticism is warranted. If we look back on the history of such “incredible” finds, such the great crop circle craze and the large amount of grainy UFO footage that pops up every now and then, that there is a rather probable chance of a hoax. On the other hand, there is deep, psychological and anthropological reasoning behind the reasoning for those who choose to believe in such happenings.

Since the beginning of our specie’s history, mankind has always had a deep and meaningful desire to discover the world around us. As our technology has progressed throughout the many millennia, we have learned more with it. Our world has become drastically smaller, yet the human race still yearns to comprehend more. By believing in the likes of extraterrestrial life, we open up the door for further knowledge. With this understanding of the human psyche, it makes sense now why we, as a group of people, want to believe so badly in existences that are simply outstanding.

There is another reason that people look toward the stars for new experiences and encounters. We want to believe that there are people and places much greater than what they have come to know.

Now that the entirety of the planet Earth has been mapped (at least in a geographical sense), the vastness of space has now become the limit. I believe we now search to find others and prove to ourselves that we, the human race, are part of the “big picture.”

To summarize, the overall reasoning behind the sensational promotion of the crypto zoological beings and happenings are just subconscious actions that result from the desire to both learn and belong. This will not be the final time science claims to find alien life. Maybe one these days, our quest to find life of the bizarre nature will come to fruition.

And then we’ll look for something else, as we always have.

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