Let There Be Gods
The matter of extra-terrestrial life - what it might be and indeed whether it exists at all - is surely one of the most intriguing to contemplate.
In doing so, however, we should not be so hasty as to imagine that aliens would get up to things that are remotely fathomable to the human race.
We’ve been biting and fighting for a couple of million years, banging rocks together for a few hundred thousand, and sending radio signals for a few decades. Like Douglas Adams’ income tax and rice pudding, these are quite possibly inevitable outcomes that have been played out millions of times in the history of the cosmos, given that the laws of physics appear to be pretty much the same everywhere. But the chances of encountering a species at the same level of advancement as us have to be tiny when you consider the size and age of the universe.
So, what to expect?
If you accept the not unreasonable proposition that technological innovation will advance exponentially in the foreseeable future, it’s quite possible that the human race is coming near to its end and will be replaced by artificial life. Vastly superior to us in physical capability and intellect, such life would replace the human species, since no human would want to exist in a pitiful form when given the opportunity to join the ranks of Gods.
Complete mastery of the quantum world and all forms of matter would follow. Notions such as “running out of natural resources” would be ridiculously naïve to Gods. Almost limitless energy abounds if you know where it is and how to use it. With their technology doubling in sophistication every few seconds, there could be a point where things are moving so fast that fundamental natural limits are attained, and the absolute pinnacle of possible evolution in this universe is attained in a flash. (Think sharks being what they are; think Gods being what they could be).
Multiple times, all over the cosmos.
At which point, the motivations and methods of such creatures is beyond my imagination. For I know nothing of the kinds of world that they would create.
One thing is for sure: They are not going to be sitting in an armchair watching Sky TV, drinking Special Brew at the news that a tiny blue-green planet has finally worked out how to beam a few puny radio signals into space.
And they won’t be bothering us unduly.