Parenthetically, at Least Two Other Things Will Make Today’s Young People Special

(1) You will be the last generation to share the Earth with our closest relatives living in the wild [for those who doubt the importance of this, even from a selfish perspective, geneticists are just beginning to learn from the wild; e.g. plant and animal defensive (immune) systems can teach us much about human disease; we are just beginning to unlock some of the mysteries of biodesign such as the sonar systems at bottoms of elephant feet; and why bonobos, who live on one side of the Congo River are peaceful, resolving conflicts with increased sexual activity, while fellow chimpanzees, living in exactly similar circumstances across the river, resort instead to high levels of violence]; and

(2) You are probably the last generation to live on Earth before we have confirmed the existence of what we consider to be “life” on other planetary bodies; the Vatican and other religious organizations are already hosting meetings to help theologians prepare for this moment.



Mayu says:

Why do you think that we will be the last generation before we confirm the existence of extraterrestrial life?
I can think of at least 5 movies spanning several decades off of the top of my head that have warned us of an alien encounter, mostly negative, deadly, and reminiscent of when the native people of the Americas encountered the Conquistadors.
As the generation that will continue to conquer earth and the various life forms on it, if we do in fact encounter life outside of our planet, will it change the way we perceive ourselves, or will we simply see the new forms of life as another thing to conquer and exploit?


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