Persuasive Essay

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: July 08, 2017

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Submitted: July 08, 2017

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Argumentative Essay

Tess S. Knobeloch

How many times has the possibility of an alien encounter headlined the news?  How many times has there been a new chart-topping book, hit blockbuster movie, or highly publicized “sighting” blasted all over our emails trending articles?  There are far too many to count, starting way back with the first ever rendering of a bulb-headed, wide-eyed creature crudely painted on the walls of a cave in Italy in 10,000 B.C., up until the ever-lucrative Alien film franchise, the second prequel of which coming to theaters in 2017. The prospect of extraterrestrial life has long fascinated, excited and terrified generations of people throughout the world.  There are some who couldn’t be bothered in the least whether or not Earth has received visitors from outer space; but for every one of those who don’t have an opinion, there are two who have—whether resilient or malleable—on if we have, or ever will, encounter aliens on our planet. 

The existence of life besides ours has been proven due to our ambitious explorations through science and space.  Evidence of microbial life has been discovered on Mars by the Curiosity and Opportunity rovers, and, using the Drake Equation (which is a way to estimate how many E.T. civilizations might inhabit the universe), it is believed there is a possibility of around 125 billion star systems that scientists think could host life.  There is even speculation that one of the planets within our intimate galaxy, Kepler-186f, is close enough to the conditions of Earth to sustain life.

Despite this proof of life, there is still the question of what KIND of life.  Is it the kind of coherent, advanced, intelligent life that would be necessary to achieve space travel, so much more advanced than ours, that could successfully reach us?  Not only once, but multiple times?  The award-winning theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author Stephen Hawking said in his lecture Life in the Universe that “there ought to be many other stars, whose planets have life on them.  Some of these stellar systems could have formed 5 billion years before Earth.  So why is the galaxy not crawling with self-designed mechanical or biological life forms?”  Though Dr. Hawking agrees there is intelligent life, he questions that, if it is out there, somewhere, in our, or any other, galaxy, why have we not been formerly contacted (Kazan, 2011)? 

This question is quintessential, and necessary to address before continuing any discussion about alien life on Earth.  There are two possible explanations to this conundrum.  The first is simple, and proposed by Hawking himself; that “we have been overlooked.”  His opinion is that a superior alien race, although they have discovered our planet, do not wish to contact us.  That, given their advanced technology, nature, and intellect, they have elected to ignore what they feel is a boring and inferior civilization (Kazan, 2011).

If this theory were true, and aliens were far more advanced than our current condition, there is still the allure of study.  We, as humans, study each other and people among us that we deem to be “uncivilized” or “undeveloped.”  So it stands to reason that extraterrestrials may do the same.  The concept of “alien experiment” is infamous among tabloids, but it’s possible that there is an origin of truth responsible for it.  Despite us being “inferior,” we could still be useful to them as a sort of research, where they stay in the shadows and observe us from afar, only emerging into our world to pick up the odd guinea pig here and there.  Our scientists have a similar approach to more indigenous groups of people, ones who live simpler lives, isolated from the technology, science, and politics of our modern world.  There are not many of these people left, but those who have been preserved usually are not interfered with.  Just observed and studied, in the most inconspicuous way possible. 

The second explanation is a little more notoriously publicized by UFO enthusiasts and people who spread the existence of government conspiracies; that there has, in fact, been alien encounters and contact from other intelligent life.  We don’t openly know of it because it has been covered up by authorities.  These such incidents include Roswell in 1947, where it was reported that there had been a spaceship crash, as well as recovered remains, and the Battle of Los Angeles, 1942, where, in the midst of World War II, there was a foreign craft spotted above L.A.  Originally believed to be a Japanese aircraft, it was fired upon by the military, then promptly disappeared.  In these “UFOlogists” opinion, despite widespread, and multiple sightings, testimony, and photographs, the government labeled this incident as a “false alarm” (Stephens, 2010). 

When it comes to space travel, there is also the problem with how aliens would reach us.  Even considering our most successful solar system exploration, those to Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, are close to Earth compared to the scale of the universe.  American editor, writer, and popularizer of astronomy and space, David Eicher, says that “the point is that the distance between objects in space are incredibly vast, even in our solar system—let alone between stars in our galaxies.”  He acknowledges the possibility of someday technology making it possible for us to travel faster than we can now believe, but he counters this with “physics is physics, regardless of how technology changes.”  Because light has no mass, it travels faster, and any measure of mass in space will eat up a great amount of energy, reducing speed.  He explains that even “with an ion propulsion engine, the best technologically feasible idea we now have, we could travel to the nearest star in something like 75,000 years” (Eicher, 2013). 

This is quite true.  Where we are now in technology, and where we estimate we will be in the foreseeable future, makes the prospect of reaching the whole of the Milky Way, not to mention intergalactic exploration, a seemingly impossible and daunting task.  But, as it has been pointed out previously, these alien civilizations could be far, far more advanced then we can possibly understand.  An E.T. race could be so far beyond us that they have developed a different interpretation of physics and space travel, either through technology or evolution.  This possibility is acknowledged by renowned astrophysicist Kip Thorne, who, although skeptical, does entertain the slim possibility of the magnitude of uses possible through wormholes as infinite resources, as well as advances like antimatter reactors and space-bending mechanisms, though they are “beyond our comprehension” (Wall, 2014).

The acceptance that we may not be able to fully understand all the possibilities and miracles within the universe is not a concept that is insulting, nor far-fetched.  If we think of the fact that space is 13.82 BILLION years old, and Earth 4.543 BILLION years old, we can begin to see the possibilities of life, somewhere in this great, big universe, being older, and more evolved, than us.  The first appearance of hominids has been dated back to 2 million years ago, and look at all we have accomplished in that comparatively narrow time frame.  Now imagine what a species is capable of that has been around since a million, even two million years before that!  The possibilities are immense, and nearly limitless.  Imagine what WE could do, given another 2 million years (Plait, 2013)! 

Throughout recorded time, there have been many UFO “sightings,” and along with them, many debunked stories.  This is a widely recognized occurrence given the fabrication of evidence, doctored photos, and even completely outrageous testimonies.  Although this is true, it is also true that indigenous cultures, people, and evidence throughout history cannot have been influenced nor created from the invention of fast and reliable travel, internet, phones, letters, nor communication of any sort. 

Long before it was a cliché to have an “alien encounter,” there was evidence popping up all around the globe, from vastly different sources, showing signs of alien interference; some very old, like the Vimanas, a type of ancient flying craft said to possess lights and powerful weapons that appear in Hindu texts and Sanskrit epics.  These crafts were described as flying chariots used by gods and demons for transportation around the skies.  Believers in ancient aliens argue that these accounts are actually descriptions of spacecraft that visited Earth, and the gods and demons are advanced E.T. races. 

There are also the Peruvian Nazca Lines, which are a series of giant line drawings that are located in the Nazca Desert and believed to date back as far as 500 B.C.  The large size of the agriglyphs mean that they appear to be a series of random lines when viewed from ground level, which has led to a great deal of speculation as to how and why an ancient civilization, which was incapable of flight, would create intricate works of art that can only be viewed clearly from the sky.  Some believe it served as an ancient landing site for extraterrestrials, and the more pictorial designs were some form of aviation signals.  These interpretations and stories couldn’t have been influenced by one another, given the isolation of these different regions.  It is very safe to assume that this evidence originated from un-spoilt, honest testimony, since people of this period could not have thought of such extraordinary concepts without inspiration (Mankin, 2012).

There is also records from sources a little more advanced than these ancient accounts.  One of these such examples is the 16th century painting “Madonna and Child with the Infant St. John.”  In this picture, behind and to the right of the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus, you can see a shepherd looking towards the sky and pointing up at a hovering disk with a dome-like shape on top.  The disk is painted as having light shining from within it, and closely matches the flying saucer image that has become so widely recognized today.  Although some art historians have stated that the object is merely the depiction of an angel watching the scene, if you look at the painting yourself, especially with close attention to the disk, it is much more difficult to describe it as an “angel” (Mankin, 2012). 

There has been footage of alien encounters surfacing for years- long before undetectable fakeability.  Now widely considered a hoax, the UFO incident that occurred in Gulf Breeze, Florida during the late 1980s, had one man videotape the incident in stereo film, which is impossible to fake.  Besides this, people all over town took pictures of the same object.  There was also a mass sighting that took place on July 11th, 1991 in Mexico City, where eclipse films from over a dozen people in different parts of the city all witness the same thing from different perspectives (Matera, 1997).  There is footage, accounts, photos, and evidence from different people, at different times, and in different countries, of identical objects.  This makes the possibility of all these accounts being phony not a strongly scientific hypothesis.

Although the idea of aliens amongst us is alarming, it is often these such discoveries are the ones to lead us into the next revelation, either in the field of science, art, or medicine.  In the 16th century, Copernicus presented his idea that our planet was not the center of the universe, and it rocked the very foundation of what was believed to be our universe (Cessna, 2009).  The same such reaction occurred when, in the 1920s, a teacher was charged with the crime of explaining evolution to his high school students in the Scopes “monkey trial” (Matera, 1997).  Today, heliocentrism and evolution is a part of our orthodoxy, and the modern equivalent of the “monkey trial” is alien life and interference.  Despite the initial shock and fear that comes with such enlightenment, given time, and information, the public gradually becomes accustomed to these foreign concepts.  With this acceptance comes incredible advances like biological and medical breakthroughs, the spread of education, global travel, and trade, as well as the creation of the world’s great space exploration and study programs like NASA and the Russian Federal Space Agency.  The acknowledgement of the existence of extraterrestrial visitors could ultimately become the dawning of our next Renaissance.  The facts are all there, all that is necessary is the innovation of enough open minds to embrace such a discovery, and ask for the release of this knowledge


© Copyright 2017 Tess Sullivan-Knobeloch. All rights reserved.

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