To my close relative: Why Aliens Probably Didn’t Help Build The Pyramids.

I love you, you know that. I believe in Santa and life on other planets (likely), and that Bucky is the best superhero (they turned the nicest guy in the world into a killing machine who is best friends with the other nicest guy in the world. It writes itself).

I want to believe in fairytale endings and the fable that there really is justice in this life, but I just can’t bring myself to believe that aliens helped people, smart people, build stupid triangles. Sure some people who live in trailer courts where it’s very warm outside have been allegedly violated by curious martians, but that still doesn’t constitute a double-blind study, and these stories are often reported by people who believe the world is flat and vaccines give you autism. Sure the moon landing could have been faked (no it wasn’t). It’s entirely possible that the Illuminati is dictating the global agenda, except that it isn’t. Ok, I got a little distracted there. I know you don’t believe all those things but I was on a run.

There is, to our limited understanding, something profound about sentience. You can see it in your pet dog, in the playfulness of an otter, the intrigue of a dolphin. Life itself struggles to understand,. Thinking beings are curious. The very essence of intelligence is the need to know. I’ve watched Star Trek so I know that travellers among the stars would want to put on local outfits and bring their tricorders down for a good look. Aliens would seek interaction. Why would anything spend all that money, all that time to make first contact, and then be so easily satisfied with rednecks and bad television? I know I read comics so my opinions seem slightly less credible, but there isn’t a ton of rigorous debate among smart people, just those conspiracy freaks on the History Channel. Aliens probably do not walk among us.

And alas, my love, I could mention the sciency stuff. I’m sorry if you call it “geek time” but our lively little ball of blue is in the middle of nowhere, and there are a trillion stars in our galaxy. And there are trillions of galaxies. You are probably right about life on other planets but, and I don’t mean to sound condescending because I barely know what I’m talking about, the universe is ridiculously big; so big that it’s impossible for my little brain to even imagine.

Things are so far away. I hope like heck that there are sentient beings out there somewhere, but the length of time since the beginning of time has been finite, and it took our earth billions of years and a few thousand lucky accidents to produce a Big Mac. The thought that there are other beings looking through telescopes somewhere is a dream that I too want to believe. It seems entirely possible that of the thousands and perhaps millions of planets that could sustain life that there is at least one or two other cosmic accidents like us. Many scientists desperately want Einstein to be wrong about those weird equations like E=MC2, but we still haven’t broken the speed of light and so trips around the universe are nothing like in Firefly. And don’t even talk to me about quantum entanglement if you have a hard time buying the moon landing.

Our planet is 100,000 years away from our closest goldilocks neighbour, and you’re just getting started. It will, unfortunately, take you millions of years to reach anything of note after you pass that solitary planet. They would need faster then light speed travel (maybe that gets easier to imagine the faster science speeds up, you have me there). Yes there are scientists who postulate that Einstein’s theory of wormholes is how aliens travel to other groovy Star Trek galaxies, but their technology would have to be so utterly beyond our understanding and we still can’t even prove wormholes exist in any pragmatic sense.

Sadly there is little evidence that those hillbillies were anally probed by real aliens. But that’s not really what I’m writing about, it’s just fun to argue.

I admire your curiosity. There is something in all of us that wants to believe that there is something out there. When I look at the stars at night, the vastness and wonder of space can give me literal goose bumps. One of my great regrets is that I never bought an expensive telescope. I love the stars. Believe it or not I actually hosted an astronomy show with my good buddy Bill in Fort McMurray. Bill went on to adventure and fortune and I’m sitting on the couch at home wondering what I’ve done with my life.

Curiosity is the point of the story. The same curiosity that drives you to wonder at the pyramids and dream big dreams of ancient worlds is what I believe any sentient being would automatically possess. An evolutionary desire to make sense out of your world has to be a prerequisite for someone who can build a spaceship and drive carefully beyond the speed of light; at the very least know how to fly through a wormhole, which probably exists. Anything that is alive is confronted with a panoply of decisions that literally mean the difference between life and death. The universe is oblivious to the needs of an alien from the planet Zork, and the very act of existence is a struggle to survive. That skillset necessitates decision-making, which depends on the ability to discern choices. Creatures who develop the capacity for intuition are obviously much better suited for survival, and evolution has a way of sorting that out. Intuition is very close to curiosity.

I’m sorry but there is a chance you may be wrong about the pyramid thing. In spite of media culture the evidence really isn’t there, and there is a chance that that short dude with hair that sticks straight up on The History Channel is doing is for the fame because no real scientist in the world believes that crap. The weight of evidence isn’t even a close fight; the Flat Earth people seem to be taking over the world but that is only YouTube and the evidence is overwhelmingly in.

I love how you have such a good mind. There is absolutely nothing wrong with choosing to believe we have been visited. There is nothing wrong with faith in things we can’t prove in a laboratory. Mystery is essential to my life and I don’t believe in a world where all the evidence is really in. You are bright and are right about so many things I barely understand. As cliche as it may sound I want to honour your journey as we try to figure this out together.

But not this. Aliens didn’t build the pyramids. I love you.

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