May 21, 2011

Imagine an Alien Earth

I think of a future ... may be a few decades from now ... when we'll discover somewhere in the vastness of our own galaxy a planet eerily like our own.

A planet in the Goldilocks zone with the same kind of temperatures as the Earth and with oceans and land.

I think that would be the most tantalizing prospect of all ... what would happen on such a planet given billions of years? Will life spontaneously evolve inevitably? Or, can a planet remain barren of life for billions of years altogether?

Imagine that life does evolve. Simple unicellular organisms. Then, tiny multicellular organisms. Then, it will be fascinating.

What routes does life take? Will amphibians evolve? Birds? Fish? Trees? Reptiles? Dinosaurs? Mammals?

Just think of the diversity of the history of life on Earth and ponder how much is going to remain the same and how much is going to be different on such a planet.

How fascinating would it be when we detect such an inviting world and send across our robotic explorers for a closer look. How exciting would it be to see from Earth when these robotic explorers send in their videos.

Would we see a planet where animals roam the land? Strange animals and yet animals that we can relate to ... may be 10-legged creatures or something.

Will such a planet have animals of two different sexes for procreation?

I want to live to see the answer to this question.

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