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  • Jack McDevitt

Blog #13

It’s been an interesting week for aliens. First we have Oxford University citing research that suggests we are probably alone in the universe. We don’t like that idea. Usually when I’m doing a presentation, I invite questions. One that always shows up is whether I believe in UFO’s? My usual response is no. Bring one down onto my driveway, let me kick the tires, and I’ll let you know.

The disappointment in the audience is clear. But I suspect FTL travel is not possible. If that’s true, visitors would have need years, or maybe centuries, to get here from nearby stars. If they invested that much time, why would they simply ride around near Phoenix and scare the devil out of a couple of pilots?

Now it’s gone a step further. Oxford has released some research that suggests the appearance of life requires a series of incredibly unlikely accidents to put together the right chemicals under the correct circumstances. Odds against are billions to one, so long that despite the vast numbers of stars and planets in the known universe, the chances of life developing on another world are virtually nil. That indicated we’ve been incredibly fortunate. Or there is indeed a Creator at work.

The notion that no one else is out there is particularly upsetting for most of us. I guess we like company, even if that company could be dangerous.


In various papers around the world there are reports of UFO sightings. This includes the recent footage of a couple United States fighter pilots chasing some unknown object.

I grew up believing that I’d live long enough to find out if there was life elsewhere. I didn’t expect to see anything definite about intelligent beings, but I was reasonably sure we’d find something on Mars. That however brings up another issue. There was a time when I expected we’d be walking around on Mars long before the end of the twentieth century. It turns out we’re a bit behind schedule.

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