Cognito Incognitus Paranormal Magazine Volume 1, Issue 2 - Page 6

Odds that Demand a Verdict | Jack Davis T he long bony finger stretched across the twenty-foot screen. Eyes were glued as if it would grab them, finger-tips properly greased in butter and salt, minds transformed. People gathered, hundreds at a time to watch the spectacle. They scrunched together in tight rooms lined with thick red curtains, the lights dim, the air damp. Then, that iconic voice, the line that would “E.T.” humble filmmakers for years to come... We, as a species were memorized. And we, likewise, we continue to be. Hollywood, however, changed much more than the rat-race film-making industry in its release of E.T in the 1980's. It wasn't the music, the lines, the acting, or even E.T himself that keep us in awe. For me, and I presume for many, it is the very thought, the notion, that we are not alone. Are we? If you are like me, as a child we sat agaze at the indefinite blank sky. We were vulnerable to the question. As we grew older, we either pretended know the answers, afraid of the unknown, or we ignored the subject completely. So we, as a species, confined ourselves in a position to keep away from uncertainty, to no longer stand in sheer amazement. It is with sheer astonishment at the wonders of our universe, coupled with mathematical probability, and perhaps an inkling of faith that I firmly endorse the presence of extraterrestrials in our universe. If you happen to flip through a 1969 World Encyclopedia, alike the set my greatgrandfather gave to our bookshelf years ago, you will find something extraordinary. If you flip through the dusty pages to the section on plants, you will find a section on mushrooms. All kinds. There is, of course, a caveat. A mushroom, to the knowledge I acquired from a grueling semester of freshman biology, is not a plant. So where did 1960's science go wrong? The answer is nothing. Science broadcasts its own definition of life (based on 10 specific factors), hones then on three categories of that life, then further magnifies in additional taxonomy. Over time, advanced understanding of the mushroom deemed it well category; fit the plant understanding of the mushroom deemed it did not very did wellnot fit very the plant andcategory; wa-lah! and the theobjective—our mushroom was annexedof into mushroom was annexed into fungi. This brings me to mywa-lah! first main definition life bringsclaim. me It to ismy first maina is exactly that; our definition. It is not set in stone, it fungi. is not This a definite only (only) objective—our definition of life is did exactly category, a means of putting one word on a commonality amongst nature. The mushroom not that; our definition. It is not set in stone, it change; we did. When one peers into the nature of life, and how it progresses, we find that every notlearn a definite It is only (only) trait of an organism is at the expense of its environment.isWe this in claim. basic biology; polar bearsa category, a means of putting one word are white to be camouflage with the snow, ducks have webbed feet to help them swim, and so on.onToa commonality amongst nature. The take this a step further, not only is the nature of life dependent on the environment, but our very did Therefore, not change;when we did. When definition of life thrives on the foundation of unmovedmushroom consequence. looking at one peers into the nature of life, and how it what “life” is in a completely different environment, it will not only look, feel, and be different; it progresses, weoffind that first everyobjectives trait of an will yield a different definition of life. As a society, I think that is one the very to organism is at the expense of its consider: what do we consider life (?), and are we willing to change that? Are we willing to consider environment. We learn life? this in basic that skeleton creature Hollywood conveyed “life.” Are we ready for extra-terrestrial biology; polar bears are white to be