Okay, maybe there are extraterrestrials whose technology is exponentially superior to ours. Does that mean that they are superior to us? Not necessarily. Although understandable, the pervasive assumption that intelligent life is measurable by its scientific genius bears scrutiny. Superior modes of travel ─ earthly or otherwise ─ are just one factor in the assessment of intelligent life, terrestrial or extraterrestrial. There are many other factors that define intelligent life.
In addition to universal characteristics like heat/cold, expansion/contraction, matter/energy, and space/time, there is every indication that the universe is physically uniform. Seen from another galaxy, the earth is that distant point in deep space. But, unlike those universal characteristics, intelligent life is known to us only on earth. Still, if the UFO sightings and narratives about alien abductions prove to be true ─ even if only in one instance ─ that would not confirm that the aliens are superior to us ─ only that they are faster.
For decades we’ve heard about extraterrestrials giving a hand to ancient Egyptians building pyramids. I can’t imagine why ETs would care to do that on an interstellar voyage. Surely, encounters of the third kind would merit something more impressive than advice on hauling and assembling stones for literally monumental human egos. I’m not big on hieroglyphics and pictographs and am not about to rely on them as evidence of an ET visitation. They’re fine for narratives about harvests, wars, and Pharos, but something carved on stone that looks like a space craft or helmet falls short of credible evidence of an astral visit. Certainly so momentous an event would be at least as well recorded as Egyptian pottery at the time.
Definitive proof of encounters of the third kind is essential to determine whether an event of that significance has ever occurred. So far, there is no hard evidence that alien life has interacted with us long-term over centuries or intermittently or even only once. Obviously, absolute proof of any one of those possibilities would provide us with answers to many major questions about intelligent life in the universe. But the greater question is not whether or not intelligent life exists elsewhere, but whether it has visited us and, if so, why the Great Silence?
Assuming that the UFOs and abductions of humans are basically as described by ‘witnesses,’ that tells us very little about ET thought other than advanced mechanical and genetic technology. It tells us nothing about what we call the humanities. Whatever similarities might exist between ETs and humans, differences in thought may be well beyond anything we (or ‘they’) are able to imagine.
Unlike the physically uniform universe, intelligent life, although made of the same stardust as all other life forms on earth, is not uniform. The profoundly singular factor that makes intelligent life unique is thought and its corollary, free will. In turn, creativity is a major component of thought, as is evidenced in rock carvings of prehistoric humans. (Neutron stars are the same throughout the universe, the minds of identical twins are unique unto themselves. Of course the same is true of all human minds.)
One of the many factors to which I refer above as integral for any assessment of intelligent life is art. Speculation about the ‘nature’ of alien beings is almost certain to be at least as complex as the perceptions we have of our human nature. Haven’t you ever thought that the man next door is so weird he may just as well be from another planet? And isn’t it also true that the branches of what we call philosophy are totally entangled? Is it reasonable to assess intelligence merely on the basis of advanced technology? That certainly has not been the case here on earth.
Can there really be definitive criteria for an objective measure of intelligent life? Einstein’s discovery of space/time is incomparable but his private life was ordinary and in some ways below average. Also ordinary, was a 19th century individual who knew eighty languages but who (according to George Bernard Shaw) had nothing of importance to say. Apparently he just had a superb memory. But then, so do ‘idiot savants’ (no offence intended). We are in justifiable awe of individuals who instantly know the sum of 174,048,205 multiplied by 850,362,999 (those nines are killers). Yet, whatever it is that enables certain people to instantly juggle mathematical computations ‘in their heads’ is only a fraction of the essence of intelligent life on earth.
Whenever claims and counterclaims are murky, as they severely are with UFO sightings and human abductions, I garner whatever absolute facts are at my disposal in the search for truth. In this instance, the highly touted speed of ET spacecraft strongly implies ET superiority over humans in terms of space highways, but exactly how can we list criteria for intelligence? Here on earth technology does not have a monopoly on the assessment of or comparison to works of art. Why, then, are ETs deemed to be superior to humans? Unless otherwise proved, art is the prime example of intelligent life on earth.
There is no comparison between any pyramid in the world and the exquisite Parthenon. Piling rocks upon rocks is primitive, the Parthenon is world-class architecture. It and superb three- dimensional painting and sculpture introduced by Western Civilization is at least as advanced as ET mobile technology.
Despite my great respect for anthropologists, I can’t resist alluding to the endless correlations attributed to heavenly bodies and ancient structures on earth. The three stars in Orion’s Belt were selected as the heavenly markers for the Great Gaza Pyramids. That alignment was long thought to be precise. The facts emphatically suggest otherwise. I resist the urge to explain those facts but have not done so in an effort to avoid further cluttering the issue of alleged ET superiority, except to state that Adolph Hitler and his gang had generally high IQs but were fundamentally stupid.
Although it is unlikely that I have anything new to add to the glut of extraterrestrial speculation, I’ve submitted this somewhat whimsical tongue in cheek perspective on art and ET folklore with the hope that it has not already been expressed by someone before me.