Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Aliens among us

One popular storyline in SF involves an advanced alien civilization that makes first contact with primitive humanoids. By definition, it has to be technologically advanced to be capable of deep space travel.

In one variation on this theme, first contact is the origin of humanoid religion. To primitive humanoids, the alien technology is magical. Godlike.

Continuing with our storyline, suppose humanoids passed down a traditional record of first contact in folklore. They recorded the appearance of the spacecraft. The appearance of the aliens. What they aliens did. 

The folklore might reflect a degree of legendary embellishment. Because the primitive humanoids lacked the scientific categories to describe first contact, they'd resort to mythopoetic categories. But it would still bear witness to a real event. 

Suppose ufologists appeal to this ancient folklore as evidence of first contact. Along come the debunkers. The counterparts to Carl Sagan, Martin Gardner, Richard Dawkins, Jerry Coyne, Michael Shermer, and PZ Myers in our SF scenario.

Now even though, in our scenario, aliens really did make first contact, the debunkers would dismiss that out-of-hand. 

Another variant on this theme involves alien/humanoid hybrids. Say they use molecular cloning to create hybrids. Then the aliens leave the hybrids behind.

Some humanoids never interbreed with hybrids. Other humanoids interbreed with hybrids, but because the humanoids outnumber the hybrids, the alien DNA is steadily diluted until only trace elements remain.

Suppose geneticists discover some humanoid specimens with residual alien DNA. The ufologists cite that as scientific confirmation that the folklore about first contact was authentic.

But the debunkers dismiss that as genetic anomalies, the same way they explain away evidence inconsistent with Darwinism–even though, in our scenario, this really is evidence of first contact. 

The same mindset which causes atheists to discount miracles, irrespective of the evidence, would cause them to discount first contact, irrespective of the evidence.

1 comment:

  1. When faced with evidence for the resurrection, skeptics will often counter by saying that maybe who we knew as Jesus was really from an advanced civilization from beyond the stars. But of course, the moment someone claims to have seen a UFO or alien, the first thing the skeptic will do is mock and berate them. So it's at best a diversionary tactic.