Monday, September 12, 2016

Genesis Project Proposes Seeding Earth-Like Planets, Possibly Creating Alien Life

The search for alien life seems to be an impatient one. There have been discussions that perhaps humans are just late to the party, or perhaps much too early. Whether alien life is extinct or yet to appear, humans might not want to wait around for either answer. They might want to go ahead and create alien life by seeding distant planets. It’s either brilliant, or the setup of another Lovecraftian horror movie. Or it’s simply the Genesis Project.

Proposed in an essay in Astrophysics and Space Science by theoretical physicist Claudius Gros of Goethe University Frankfurt in Germany, the Genesis Project would send A.I. probes loaded with microbes to Earth-like planets. There are Earth-like planets out there, why not accept our hubris in wanting to populate them?

The purpose would be simple, albeit based on science fiction theory. The A.I. would deposit the microbes on the planet and hopefully millions of years later they’d evolve into multi-cellular organisms and eventually advanced forms of life. Like semi-intelligent humanoid crime-solving rodents. I’m assuming the microbes got messed up en route.

The microbes would have to be genetically engineered to not only survive unknown variables such as environment and atmosphere, but to be able to creatively thrive. This would, in theory, create new species’ unique to whatever planet(s) that the A.I. probes drop their payloads. Sure, we would have to wait millions of years to see the result of this experiment, but in effect, we’d be creating alien life. These micro-organisms would evolve into species that don’t exist on Earth.

Constructing a smart microbe to survive is one thing, getting it there is another. The A.I. probes would have to be a few bolts better than the ones the Empire uses. The A.I. would traverse space and assess the current condition of the target planet. Perhaps the planet is already thriving with life, then what? Disrupt it or move on? At this point, there are no answers to these questions. There are just more questions.

One question that hangs over the entire theory is our role in the universe. Should we be actively messing with the universe by attempting to intervene in the natural development of Earth-like planets? Are we ready to take that power into our hands, go up against the universe in the creation of life? Or, if you so believe, go up against divine beings?

We’d also have to naturally question our own existence in the universe. If we could seed other plants, we have to consider the inverse (also kind of proposed in the movie Mission to Mars) — was Earth seeded by aliens?

Were the organisms that eventually became humans placed on this planet by an other-worldly race? You could argue for divine intervention on this point, but if we’re theorizing about seeding other planets why not suppose ours was seeded first? That being said, what happens when the Genesis Project organisms evolve then search for alien life and find us? What if they have better weapons? If you’re around tens of millions of years from now, let me know how this whole alien thing shakes out.