I love science, especially astronomy and astrophysics, and I read and learn about it as much as I have time for. Recently, I was watching a video on Youtube where Neil deGrasse Tyson talks about what he lies awake at night worrying about. He reminds us that the chimpanzee is the closest living genetic relative to humans, but that the difference in DNA is less than 2%. In other words, we are over 98% exactly like chimpanzees; that 2% accounts for our differences in looks, but most importantly, in intelligence.
Think about that.
Now think about the possibility of other life in the universe. There are more stars in the sky than there are grains of sand on every beach in the world. So, yes, there’s probably life out there. But imagine that alien intelligence as being only 2% more “improved” than us, just like we are 2% more “improved” than chimpanzees.
To them, the smartest human being on Earth would be like a chimpanzee is to us.
Now imagine the improvement being 5%. 10%. 50%? Forget about having a conversation with us — they would think less of us than we do of ants. And that is one of the major themes behind H.P. Lovecraft’s fiction — that we are not alone, and that the alien intelligences we share the universe with care nothing at all for us, they can obliterate us without any effort at all — or, best-case scenario, use us for food.
Now that’s a disturbing thought. That’s real horror.
Lovecraft was certainly a writer and thinker who was ahead of his time. 75 years after his death, science is showing us just how right he may have been about the way things really are.