Re: Judaism and extra-terrestrial life

Daniel J. Pearson (dpears2@umbc.edu)
Sun, 9 Feb 1997 12:27:33 -0500 (EST)

In Torah-Forum V3 #23, Russell Jay Hendel wrote:
> In a previous posting I argued (quoting a Rand study) that life exists
> on other planets "in the same way" it exists here. The temperature
> ranges must be more or less the same, the atmosphere, seasonality, the
> animal kingdom etc. Similarly the social evolution of the planet would
> be the same: There would be a person who preaches charity and belief in
> a charitable G-d, a person who teaches the value of sacrifice etc.
> Finally, if and when evil develops to the point of a concentrated
> tyranny like Egypt there would naturally arise prophets and other
> leaders who would help the people.

Why should life in other parts of the universe exist "in the same way" it
exists here? If life is veiwed as a certain level of complexity, then
this complexity need not even be expressed chemically. (You could have
life forms that are composed of very simple chemicals, but involve very
complex electromagnetic interactions.) Thus these life forms may be
NOTHING like what we are familiar with, not physically, not mentally, not
socially.

Daniel J. Pearson <dpears2@umbc.edu>
"The goal is not to have what you want,
but to want what you have."