Planet B—A Place Like Earth—But Not Too Much Like Earth

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A large branch of Mahayana Buddhism is concerned with a mythical pure land and the Amida Buddha.  I’m not going there both because I have doubts about reincarnation and because, I do admit, I’m not so pure at heart to qualify.  I also despair of migrating to some “planet B” some exoplanet where mankind can set up shop and do what we have done here.

The TV special about the Hunt for Planet B? Well you know there’s no chance I would not tune in.  Of course, I know it’s a CNN production and designed for the general public, but it’s better than listening to hours of Kyle Rittenhouse and the Georgia “citizens arrest” trial on that network. I love science and even science fiction and science documentaries even though it’s inevitable that the human mind is nearly incapable of imagining something that isn’t a variation of something we already know. That’s the downfall of so much science fiction as well as science speculation. Little green men and bug-eyed monsters are human inventions.  An alien creature has no obligation to have evolved along our lines even to the point of any distinction between plants and animals or something we can’t imagine or even recognize.

Even so, the technology behind the James Webb Space Telescope, soon to head out for the L2 libration point, is fascinating enough for me to look forward to putting my feet up with a cup of coffee and a muffin and enjoying two hours of space exploration free of worldly concerns. It’s real science and really should expand our knowledge a great deal

You’d think!  I still had half a muffin when the presentation turned to the various races and ethnicities of space scientists and the difficulties encountered in their careers.  I turned off the TV. From the space race, we set off on the Race race very quickly.  I recall the 1970 song titled Whitey’s on the Moon and the attitudes that made people listen to it.  It’s not that I’m not sympathetic at all, but the protest against naming that stupendous telescope for James Webb, who took the helm of NASA 60 years ago – because he said something we’d be offended by today?  I’m guessing Galileo might not have liked Gay people either, or Jews for that matter.  Curing cancer doesn’t make you pure enough to gain entry to the pure land of politics.

I am absolutely certain that no empty planet with a salubrious climate will be identified in my lifetime. I am even more certain that no one will visit it much less take up residence. If it were technically possible, passing the purity test wouldn’t be easy.  The same goes for a planet with intelligent life. That’s a feature that nature seems to be weeding out on her own, at least here on Earth. But one can dream. Some miracle of much faster than light travel and I’d be willing (If I could bring my dogs) to pack my bags and go. I’ll take my chances that the one-eyed, one-horned, flyin’ purple people eaters on Trappist-1 D are easier to deal with than self-righteous humans.

About Post Author

Glenn Geist

Glenn Geist lives in South Florida and wastes most of his time boating, writing, complaining and talking on the radio
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Bill Formby
6 months ago

Mike, I am not so sure they haven’t found one but you know the Republicans. They are keeping it secret lest an undesirable z(I.e., a poor or middle class person) find out about it.

6 months ago

[…] Glenn Geist enjoys speculation about Buddhist belief on the ultimate destination of reincarnation, but only to a point. He doesn’t enjoy the rite of passage most folks require before honoring those who have gone […]

6 months ago

Thoughtful.
Thank you, Glenn.

It occurs to me the insights go beyond race and racism.

In philosophies that embrace reincarnation, we sometimes are presented with a process of gradual growth toward some ultimate self-realization.

I am a Christian, and it has become a cliché for us to hate the sin, not the sinner.

Your point is taken that it is unreasonable to require of those who came before us, those whom we might honor, that they first pass a purity test that does not consider time, place, or circumstance.

Thank you again for decrying self-righteousness.
It is a lesson I am trying to learn.

Rockync
6 months ago

Whenever they throw an unrelated topic into an intelligent conversation, you can bet it is done as a distraction so that the dumbing down of Amerika can continue. So much hogwash coming out of tiny pointed heads.

Admin
6 months ago

It seems everything is about race these days and even science. Who would have thought it would be an issue but it is and always is because that’s society today, particularly in America, a country I no longer recognize. I do believe there is life ‘out there’ and I do believe it may not resemble anything real or imagined. The religious are terrified a Planet B may be discovered because Jesus didn’t mention it and if there is actually life on other worlds, who is going to rewrite the Bybull? Oh, the horror!!

Bill Formby
Reply to  Michael John Scott
5 months ago

That is assuming that this Jesus told people everything he knows. If God really exists perhaps he has created a planet for every type person. A sort of “Tower of Babble” effect. Of course, He has already gotten that but lost control of it.

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