What is “Intelligent” Life?

The Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence continues always on earth. New Planets and even New Galaxies are being discovered by scientists rapidly. Astro-Biologists are basically in agreement that microbial life is common place Galaxy-wide. The question seems to boil down to whether there is other “Intelligent” life in the Universe.
This has always seemed an arrogant approach to such a profound question. We must presume that “Intelligent” life would resemble us at least on a Bio-Chemical level- Carbon Based – but that is such an earthbound view-point. Who can put limits to what form life may take after witnessing the myriad ways it has evolved into every available niche on our planet.
Given time, it would seem that Intelligent life would be likely, even inevitable. The Drake Equation states that there may be as many as 1,000,000,000 “Intelligent” societies in the Milky Way Galaxy alone. But where are they? If they are so much like us why don’t we pick up their sitcoms and commercials on our Satellites. It may be shear distance. Or it could be that we don’t currently possess technology that allows us to detect and decipher whatever “They” are sending. Also there is the possibility that an alien race could possess technology far superior to ours and they can easily mask any signals.
I think that this demeans “microbial” life. Though not able to build societies and technologies, these life forms were around at the beginning of creation, we-evolved from them, and they will be around in the far distant future, supping on our trash heaps. In our arrogance, we assume that we fully understand “Communication” and “Intelligence”. But what is truly more intelligent, destroying an entire Bio-Sphere in 2 generations, or holding fast to your niche for millenia? Becoming so pampered that you loose touch with nature and destroy yourself, or persisting as long as the earth? Perhaps Microbial Life can teach us something about “Intelligent” Life.

©2007 Carlos Cardona


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