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If there is an ET presence…

When Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks guest-hosted for Dylan Ratigan this past week, one the segments he did was a quick little oddity about UFO lobbyists:

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Apparently the group “Exopolitics” is lobbying the government to release the truth about extra-terrestrials. Stephen Bassett, a lobbyist for the group, claims that the government has known about the “ET presence” since the 40s, that they sequestered the information for justifiable public security reasons, but once the Cold War ended there was no longer a good reason to keep the truth from the people.

First of all, I don’t believe that extra-terrestrials have ever visited earth. As Carl Sagan used to say, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence” and there is no extraordinary evidence of an ET presence on Earth. That said, there is a plethora of unconvincing evidence that when taken as a whole might lead one to believe that it may be true. After all, if ETs were around, wouldn’t they try to be as discreet as possible?

But watching this segment just got me thinking about how monumentally awesome it would be if it were true. If the government just decided one day to let everyone know that humans are not, in fact, alone in the universe, that the galaxy is brimming with life and interstellar empires—I think my biggest sensation would be one of relief.

We live at what must be a relatively unique time-period in the history of an intelligent species, at which we know how vast the universe is and how incredibly small we are in relation to it, but we still know too little about the formation of life and DNA that we must still face the possibility that we could be the only planet with life—or at least the only planet with intelligent life—in the entire cosmos.

And if that’s the case, think of the tremendous responsibility we have. Through us, the universe has become aware of itself. We could be a miracle of existence, the unlikeliest of unlikely phenomena that arose only because given enough time and enough planets on which organic compounds are floating around, there’s bound to be one in which a DNA molecule forms, replicates, and sets the process of biological evolution into motion, and we just happen to be the result of that process.

If that’s the case and we snuff ourselves out, it would be a tragedy of cosmic proportions. To think of our enormous potential—to go out and explore and experience the entire universe—squashed by our own short-sightedness and thus limiting the universe’s self-awareness to a mere blink of an eye on one speck of dust in the void.

But if intelligent species are the norm, if interstellar empires abound throughout the cosmos, then we’re off the hook in a big way. Even if we go extinct, awareness will continue in other forms and life in the universe will go on without us.

If there are ETs around and the government does know about them, I wish they would tell us. Not only do I think it would create a sense of global community in a way never before imaginable, but it would provide us with a cosmic peace of mind that we’ve never before been capable of.

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