I was watching a thing on the search for extraterrestrials, which is one of my favorite things to do, and the old Fermi Paradox, which states that if there’s so much intelligent extra-terrestrial space faring life, like in Star Trek, out there in the rest of the Galaxy and beyond, why haven’t we been visited yet?
Of course, there’s something to it. Even though maybe it just comes down to the vastness of the universe, and maybe we’re not in a particularly populated region, or maybe we’re just not up to the technological level that they consider worth contacting, and, after all, we’ve only existed as a distinct species for a hundred thousand years or so, and only a tool wielding, settlement building species for maybe 50,000 years, absolute tops, so in that scenario we are the primitive Pacific Islanders of the universe, and they’ll get around to us eventually. Or maybe we are for some reason excluded, like not that we’re not technically advanced enough, but maybe they find us morally repugnant or likely to damage the fabric of galactic civilization, and we couldn’t really be surprised. Or, maybe, they are just not out there.
The way I see it, there are two possibilities. Either we discover aliens, and it makes a huge impact on our civilization and nothing will ever be the same again, or we keep on looking.
By the end of this century we will have a permanent colony on Mars, and I think that’s a conservative estimate. Also, we’ll have a colony on the moon and we’ll be able to use the dark side of it as a dump for all of the toxic substances of Earth, which may sound a bit fucked up but it will mean a cleaner Earth.
By the end of the next century, the Martian colony will be well on the way to terraforming and scientists will have discovered a catalyst that changes the atmosphere of Venus, so that humans will colonize our own entire Goldilocks zone.there will be mining operations on several of Jupiter’s moons, there will be a space elevator, and Earth will be receiving all of the energy it could possibly need from a solar array floating in space. The environment will be stabilized, and the future of mankind assured.
By the end of the century after that, we will have developed multi-generational ark ships capable of reaching distant star systems.
If we still haven’t made contact by then, everything we find out there will be ours. But, we’ll still keep looking.
There will never come a time in the history of mankind when we stop searching for aliens. Unless, of course, we find them. Or become them. Maybe not even then.