For millennia, mankind has stared to the heavens and wondered. It has thought about what it all means, how it works, what forces control it and our place within it. More recently we have asked the most profound question, are we alone? Is the Earth the only planet that sustains life or are we a freak of circumstances or, if you are that way inclined, a gift of God.
We have built machines to look and listen to the firmament. We have built spaceships that have gone far beyond the confines of our own planets, visiting every other celestial body in the solar system we call home. Voyager 2 left the heliosphere on November 5, 2018 and is still transmitting data back to Earth.
We are scouring the galaxies for signs of planets in the Goldilock zones around other stars, those most likely to support life as we know it yet so far we have found nothing. Zip, zilch, nada!
While on Earth, physics begat chemistry and chemistry begat biology, as far as we are aware we are alone. This seems unlikely. If it can happen once, in a seemingly natural process, then surely it can happen again.
Perhaps it has, many times but we are looking in the wrong places or for the wrong things. In looking for extraterrestrial life we look for signs of advanced technologies, radio transmissions, energy consumption, gaseous emissions, all of the things that we produce. Yet this is what we think of as advanced. A culture that consumes and emits.
Perhaps the universe is teeming with life, much more advanced than humanity in that it has come to terms with the planet in which it lives. It does not seek to conquer its environment but rather to be part of it. Its emissions are too low to be detectable as it lives in harmony with its world and it does not advertise its presence as it knows that this would lead inevitably to visitation from other globes and subsequent war and collapse. It understands that never ending expansion is futile.
We seek extraterrestrial life in our own image. It could be that others have seen us and want no part.