Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Another Earth, but Quite Different

Among all the exotic or extreme exoplanets in the universe, or even in this galaxy, there must exist some which are so similar to our Earth as to be duplicates. Current technology can't detect them yet, but they are sure to be there. Blue, fresh, distant havens with air we could breathe, oceans we could swim in. This one in the picture is just like Earth except for two moons, and the bright blue nebula which makes the night glow softly. Would there be life on this planet, and what kind of life? Would it evolve into an intelligent civilization? They might live quite differently from us, programmed to co-operate under all circumstances and having no aggressive tendencies at all. Could life arise and evolve under a "nicer," non-violent paradigm? Perhaps the nebula emits radiation which nourishes the life forms without the need for "conventional" food, thus eliminating conflict over resources. The radiation might be deadly for us, though, should we ever visit that world.

I called this picture "Planet of Peace." Don't let them know about us here on Earth.

"Planet of Peace," acrylic on illustration board, 10" x 7", January 1987.


Tristan Alexander said...

I like the picture and the concept. I think as long as they have no "religion" telling them who to hate or who they are better than, they will be peacful!

Pyracantha said...

Tristan, I consider myself a religious person. I am not a hater or a bigot, and no priest has ever told me to be one. Unfortunately, the good that religion does is by its nature hidden and secret, while the evil that religion does is open and obvious.

Also, the nature of evolution on this planet is driven by competition for resources, and if it were not religion giving people an excuse for savaging each other, it would (and has been) be some other ideology, such as atheistic Communism.

I am interested in a philosophical thought experiment...is there a way to conceive of evolution without competition for scarce resources? Is it possible to have life that develops in a conflict-free world? What kind of creatures would evolve then? Would intelligence evolve? I don't get to talk about things like this very often.

Tristan Alexander said...

Pyra, you are a rare and lucky person if you have never had a religious leader guide you towards hate and prejudice. Your question about evolution is interesting, I have no idea of an answer though.