16 Sep 2021
Adam Jesionowski
Spreading Life throughout the Universe

The current hypothesis on the origin of life is that it randomly assembled itself on Earth, centuries and centuries of highly improbable events adding up to organic matter. Let us begin by assuming otherwise, that life instead arrived on this planet.

Suppose there’s this ancient civilization made up of highly complex organisms. By virtue of being so complex they are tightly bound to the ecosystem that supports them. They cannot raise themselves into space as they can’t put their ecosystem into an interstellar spaceship. Perhaps these creatures depleted most of their naturally occurring energy reserves, so now the mass and energy required to make that happen simply doesn’t exist.

What they do instead is build solar sail probes. They shoot lots of them, as many as they can with the resources at their disposal. On these probes is the simplest ecosystem they can fit in capsules: cyanobacteria and all the nutrients needed for them to endlessly cycle.

3.5 billion years ago one of these probes made its way to Earth. After braking into orbit, it slowly releases thousands of tiny capsules onto the planet, seeding it with the probe’s precious cargo. You see, Earth begins as something much more like Venus than the paradise we know today. It is these microorganisms that terraform the world into an oxygen-rich atmosphere required to support complex life–exactly as they planned.

Maybe this is just how life functions in the Universe. We don’t see advanced aliens as whenever you become complex enough, you realize you yourself can’t go. The best you can do is act like a mushroom and send your spores outward, let the solar winds take them to new fertile grounds. It is our ethical imperative, our birthright, to perform this procedure. We are highly complex creatures with a limited resource base. It would be extremely difficult to lift humans into interstellar space–but we could build probes.

To participate in the act of extraterrestial fertility we must choose to do so. We could just as well burn away the rest of our resource base on .jpgs of apes–in fact, a good number of us will do that. The high of AR metaverse gaming will be too much for most people to keep away from. True glory belongs to those who choose to throw spirit into the stars, to know that they were the ones who kept the cosmic dance of life flowing!

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