Is it just me, or is science fiction starting to get more of the attention it deserves? It’s great to see that even MTV are getting in on the action – by filming David Brin at WorldCon 2012.
The topic was: why haven’t more species on Earth naturally self-uplifted to full sentience? With dolphins and apes sharing a similar intelligence level, and with parrots, crows, sea lions . . . and even prairie dogs being not too far behind, is there some kind of sentience “glass ceiling” that prevents bright creatures breaking through? And, if so, how did humanity manage to break through it and progress so far?
Is this an example of a whale trying to reach out to us and meet us halfway? Could this open up possibilities for communication between different species?
And then that raises an even bigger question. Should it now be our duty and obligation to offer other “pre-sapient” species a helping hand? We do, after all, now seem to have the tools of science to be able to do so – as shown by this article on making monkeys smarter using brain implants. Or would that just be the ultimate form of arrogance?
These are among the questions being raised not just in the interview above, but also in David Brin’s classic and award-winning Uplift books, which are soon to be re-released in the omnibus editions UPLIFT (UK | ANZ) and EXILES (UK | ANZ). And he also portrays the beginnings of the uplift process in his latest book: EXISTENCE (UK | ANZ), released as a paperback this November.
It seems to me they’re taking their cue from one of science fiction’s great masters there, as David Brin asks exactly that question his latest novel EXISTENCE (UK | ANZ).
Into his plot, David weaves a number of possible answers to the “Fermi Paradox” – the conundrum of why we haven’t we heard from any alien life forms yet when it’s scientifically probable that they do exist. And the story that results is certainly killer. In fact it’s pretty darn mind-blowing.
But importantly, behind David’s writing is an extremely rich, in-depth scientific understanding of the world and the patterns of our progress within it (he is, after all, a real-life astrophysicist and consultant to NASA).
However, out there on the interwebs, there are also a multitude of fun conspiracy theories about where the aliens are hiding. And some of these are, in my humble opinion, just a tad more unlikely. . . Not that we don’t love hearing about them!
I trawled the internet looking for these theories, and here’s a run-down of my personal top 5 for your reading pleasure . . .
1. WORLD LEADERS = SHAPE-SHIFTING REPTOIDS. . .
There exists a rather widespread theory stating that thousands of years ago, extraterrestrials from the “Draco” constellation came to earth and mated with humans, forming reptilian-human crossbreeds.
These beings are hiding amongst us, and they only serve the agenda of the reptilian race. Famous such reptilian-human hybrids include: George W. Bush, Tony Blair, The Rothschilds, Vladimir Putin, The British Royal Family (I’m assuming including Kate Middleton?) etc.