The following is from an email to a well-known scholar of Heidegger’s thinking, which I now realize could be a preface for earlier postings here, given that people face blog listings in reverse chronological order.
Astrobiology is realizing more and more (not less and less) that life begins easily, and our solar system is relatively young. Intelligent life becomes recursively evolutionary because that's what Our post-natural "second-nature" (Nobelist Gerald Edelman) intelligence does; and it has been there (somewhere) for thousands of millennia. Humans became minimally technical 50 millennia ago, technological merely one millennium ago, hyper-tech 0.05 millennium ago, i.e., middle of the last century. Earthly capability a millennium forward is inconceivable. A thousand millennia: a planetary Singularity that became post-biological long ago?
Already in our evolving (merely two decades after discovering that there are any exoplanets), scientists can discern prospects of life on other planets just by analysis of chemical spectra of exo-planetary atmospheres. So, what have planets millions of years older known about Earth for how long?
Thus, scientific trends suggest that there are relative gods awaiting further evolving of Our planet.
I wager that We are not "Alone" (a rather trite theme by now); and that intelligence far beyond ours tends to stand back from intervening in habitats owned by other forms of life, which we increasingly prove plausible by our own tendencies toward greater conservationism (wildlife preservation)—even shown by our appreciating of child-
hood as such (a 19th century “discovery”; that is: no longer regarding children as primarily unformed little adults); and appreciating child-centered parenting, which leads to student-centered teaching.
The great challenge, though, will be to preserve the integrity of Our Earthanity—to so love Our humanity that we insist on shallow Contact with more-advanced forms of intelligence, for the sake of the integrity of Our evolving, not supplication to inevitable gods (like religious hope for a centripetal Rapture).
Astrobiologist Avi Loeb at Harvard speculated recently that there may be a "mothership" parked outside our solar system sending robotic probes around Earth, which could explain the large number of UAPs [unidentifiable anomalous phenomena] which NASA and the U.S. Department of Defense can't explain. Why not?