Panspermia is the theory that all life originated elsewhere, in the same place, and that it was carried from world to world in the tails of comets and on meteors as the universe expanded. This theory is gaining acceptance in the scientific community due to the discoveries made over the years by the probes sent out to explore the universe where scientists have discovered, consistently, that the same building blocks of life found here on Earth have been found everywhere that they’ve looked.
At the same time, few scientists accept the possibility that life evolved on different worlds similarly to life on Earth. They imagine fantastic variations that have developed from the same seeds that everything on Earth evolved from and support that belief with the discoveries over the years of the many species that developed on Earth and eventually went extinct.
My personal belief is that a seed will evolve similarly whenever it is planted within a similar environment since it is widely accepted that environment plays a very strong role in the evolution of any given species. For that reason, and others, I don’t see that the worlds I’ve built and the species I’ve imagined are the least bit farfetched but rather a strong probability, or at least that there is a strong probability of beings similar to them having evolved. I feel that this belief is strongly supported by the work of the first scientist to break the human genome who said that it was impossible for humans to have evolved as rapidly as they did from nothing more than a collection of amino acids into the complex animals that we are in the time span that we see here. That suggests, to me at least, that the seeds from which we sprang were a bit more complex that the simple, basic building blocks of life first proposed, that they already carried a ‘map’. If this is a possibility, then it becomes more than possible that life very similar to that on Earth exists on other Earth-like worlds throughout the universe. It seems to suggest a high probability of it.
It’s for this reason that, when I begin to build a ‘new’ world for the stories I write, I refer to the life on Earth as my basis and the evolution of various species here.
One of the more accepted theories is that all life on Earth came from the sea. For some reason as yet unknown, some climbed from the sea and evolved as land animals while others remained in the sea, becoming the animals we now have and it’s been proven that intelligence isn’t confined to humans. The studies of other animals have produced the ‘surprise’ information that many different animals are far more intelligent than was first supposed. I don’t know if there simply haven’t been as many studies on the intelligence of reptiles, amphibians, etc., or if intelligence seems to be a particular trait of mammals, but the fact that so many other mammals have measurable intelligence seems to suggest that they might have evolved into the dominant species given the right circumstances so I feel free to ‘borrow’ such traits as appeal to me to add to my characters and have even ‘evolved’ species from mammals other than primates.
Another factor that strongly influences many of my stories is my belief, from childhood, not only that life exists on other worlds but that there are intelligent species in every stage of development—similar to the steps our own species has taken over the centuries—and since parts of the universe are far older than our own, parts of a similar age, and some parts even younger, it seems to follow that there would be many species more advanced than we are, many on a similar plane, and many that are ‘behind’ us. I was young when I first read Eric Von Daniken’s book Chariots of the Gods, but it wasn’t difficult to convince someone who already ‘believed’. I was just pleased to discover that evidence did exist that aliens had visited Earth many times in the past and that they had done more than simply ‘study’ us. It seemed likely that they had influenced the development of civilization here on Earth and also likely that they had experimented with the development of our species.
The skeptics, of course, are like the pessimist. They consider that they are the only ‘enlightened ones’ and their refusal to accept any evidence presented to them is more ‘realistic’ than the belief that new evidence has been uncovered. They continue to demand ‘proof’. Proof exists in almost every religion developed, either written or passed down, in the ‘stories’. Physical proof exists in everything from cave drawings to the amazing ‘out of time’ mechanical developments and the understanding of the universe that primitives had. They, the primitives, didn’t believe in UFO’s or aliens. They perceived them as gods, but their very detailed descriptions of the phenomena associated with the arrival of their gods still exists today as proof that more advanced civilizations have visited ours many times in the distant past.
The Mayans, for instance, had developed an agrarian society that was fairly advanced for their time and still primitive enough as to be little more advanced than the other peoples that existed during that time, and yet they had an understanding of astronomy that few people today have. They knew of the existence of a distant sun in a distant constellation that we have only just discovered with our latest advances with space based telescopes. How could they possibly know about something no one else in the world knew about that certainly couldn’t be seen with the naked eye? And this is only one of many such ‘unexplained’ wonders of the ancient world.
To my mind, there are only two possibilities and neither of those are supported by the modern scientific community—either man has advanced to the point where we are today before and, through some calamity, been thrown back to begin all over again—or ancient man was given information by a race/species that had that knowledge that wasn’t indigenous to Earth.
One of the earliest known, ‘advanced’ civilizations on Earth, the Samarians, left records on clay tablets about the ‘gods’, the Anunnaki, who had servants they referred to as Androids. The Anunnaki, according to their writings, helped them to develop their civilization, gave them ‘guidance’. These beings were depicted as giants who were physically very similar to the Samarians otherwise, who told the Samarians that they had created them in their image.
An interesting side note here is that many of the Anunnaki were depicted as winged. It’s possible that this was an artist’s conception to explain their ability to fly since everything on Earth that flies has wings, but it seems to me that it’s also possible that it was literal and that some of the races of the Anunnaki actually had wings and could fly.
Skeptics will argue against this until the day the aliens land on our doorstep and one of the arguments they feel most supports their belief is ‘why?’ Why would they come? Why would they have any interest in us? And if they exist, why not simply show themselves?
How absolutely absurd and deliberately obtuse! Human nature should explain all! What are we currently doing? Racing toward the stars just as fast as we can and prepared to take apart anything we discover to see what makes it ‘tick’! If we had developed long range space travel—something we’re on the verge of right now—and had stumbled upon a world with an intelligent species and a civilization primitive to ours, we would feel like we’d won the lottery! Our scientists would be all over the discovery, champing at the bit to learn everything that could be learned. Our greed would have everyone who thought there was a possibility of wealth champing at the bit to race there and take anything that was of any value on our world. Our politicians would be in a dead heat to get there and expand their power to another world and, at the same time, rid themselves of excess population and employment woes.
Would we welcome aliens more technologically advanced than us? No. It would scare the absolute piss out of everybody and we’d throw everything we had at them! Even if we (our governments) tentatively offered an olive branch of peace and our scientists demanded the chance to learn from them, one sign that they even might be a threat to us and we’d do whatever it took to destroy them—up to and including destroying ourselves with our nuclear arsenal if that was what it took.
I think that explains it in a nutshell. An advanced civilization or more than one discovered us and came out of pure scientific curiosity to study this world—and have returned many times—enough to see us advance, possibly with tools they gave us—into a species that kills anything that seems like a threat to them. We have gone out of our way to develop weapons to kill far in advance of any other technological developments. This is why every other area of science lags behind the development of weaponry. If not for our natural aggression and instinct for self-defense, maybe we wouldn’t have survived as a species, but those traits are as strong today as they were when we were probably on a par, intellectually, with dolphins, whales, and the like of today and they’ve prevented advancement in many ways.
I think this more than adequately explains why an alien race might have come and also why they would be anxious to keep their distance. If we were still of scientific interest to them, and they’d studied us very long, they’d know that they ran the risk of destroying the lab if they let the lab rats know they were there.
As a long time historical buff, I suppose I shouldn’t have been horrified when the realization hit me that the ‘savage’ practices of the American Indians of scalping very likely was taught to them by Europeans, and yet I was. Historically, the Europeans didn’t seem to think it was too horrific to demand the head of their adversaries as proof of their death. It was just too inconvenient, and probably smelly, to haul the entire carcass back. During the French and Indian wars here in America, the French demanded that their Indian allies bring back the scalps of their foes as proof of their kills—I could be wrong, of course, but that seems to me to be what ‘taught’ the America Indians to take scalps. And how ironic that that particular practice was what made us, the whites, view them as horrible savages when it may well have been taught to them by whites!
By the same token, I’ve begun to wonder about the ancient practice of human sacrifices. If the ‘gods’ were aliens who’d come to Earth to study, wouldn’t they want to dissect? Wouldn’t they be tickled pink when the natives brought them specimens to study? And might the ancient mind have been influenced to believe the one way they were sure to please their ‘gods’ was to bring them bodies to examine? It seems plausible to me.
Another ‘practice’ that seems to appear in pretty much every ancient religion is that the ‘gods’ found human women sexually appealing. In some stories, these were ‘gifts’ of the gods to humankind, the bestowal of god-seed to the human gene pool by sexual intercourse with humans. In many others, it was simply a matter of the god being smitten with some particular human female they found irresistible and taking her as a lover.
Today, we think we’re so civilized that we simply can’t conceive of a superior race having any interest, sexually, in a backwards race—this is another area I find completely absurd and if people weren’t willfully blind they’d know it was. Historically, we’ve proven it ourselves many times over. The advanced Europeans had no trouble at all taking the backwards primitive females they discovered as lovers. They littered the continent, and many islands, with their half breeds. Awkward as it might be to mention, it also isn’t purely a myth than the males of our species have been known to copulate with anything they could get to hold still long enough.
It’s clear from the drawings and writings of the ancients that the ‘gods’ that visited were ‘in their own image’, which I take to mean were not just humanoid, but very physically similar. And we all know how men feel after a long stretch of abstinence. Even the cows look good! As an Irish comedian once said, it’s better to shag a sheep on the edge of a cliff because they push back! LOL!
So—while I’ll admit to flights of fantasy when I write a book, it is also true that I do a great deal of research—primarily because I’ve always found the subject fascinating—and I use what I learn in the stories I write. Where ever possible, I use known and proven, or at least generally accepted theory—unless I completely disagree with it, and sometimes I feel that scientists lack imagination.
For instance—I watched a program about the Neanderthal and modern man, the Cro-Magnon. Originally, they believed the Neanderthal simply died out and then the Cro-Magnon appeared and yet recent discoveries suggest they were around at the same time. They speculated that they might have ‘made friends’ because they found the remains of a child that was clearly both.
PUH-lease! When mankind has conquered the world by raping and pillaging? I would think it would instantly leap to mind that the Cro-Magnon were the first invaders/conquerors! The poor, dumb Neanderthals didn’t have a chance because they relied on brute strength and hand to hand fighting. The Cro-Magnon developed spears and picked them off from a distance! And then they raped and pillaged the women! Ta-da! Mystery solved. The Neanderthals didn’t really disappear. They were absorbed—probably mostly via females.