I’ve been giving this some thought (creepy, huh?): Human beings constitute an unweildy population of soft-bodied, hairless delicacies that are basically, easy targets.
Honest to gosh, take away our guns and climate controlled boxes and you have a species akin to large, hairless bunnies. Our teeth aren’t sharp; we can’t see, hear or smell worth a damn; we run really slow; we can’t fly and we can barely swim. We have no defensive armor plating, no spikes, no bristles, no camouflage; and we aren’t poisonous.
Then there’s that little matter of there being over six and a half billion of us.
Nowhere in nature does such a rich resource flourish without an accompanying predator (or twelve) to balance out the equation.
Maybe that’s why the recent ‘War of the Worlds’ movie freaked me out so bad. It makes so much sense! The likelihood of some uber-evolved creatures touching down here in order to have reasoned exchange in the spirit of brotherhood is totally unlikely. (For one, the spirit of brotherhood is a human construct. If aliens have kind and generous impulses, they probably wouldn’t be recognizable to us as such.)
Naw, if something comes to visit they’ll probably view Earth as a mighty drive-thru. They’ll come back with their friends and order earthlings to go. If something touches down here, we’re gonna have us a predator.
The only question is, why hasn’t it happened already? That gets me into some less grisly thoughts about the universe. We know so little about the cosmos and our place in it. If there is life on other planets, maybe we’re off the map… in the boonies… down in hickville. Maybe our solar system looks like a really weird place to be harboring life. Maybe carbon based-life forms are so last millenia.
Scientists who study extinction tend to speculate that a form of microbe will wipe out the human race. The idea that our species will die out pretty rapidly is kind of a foregone conclusion, but I guess there’s an alternate possibility. We might not be wiped out; we might be forced to link back into the food chain by being displaced at the top of the predator hierarchy. We might be forced to sustain and adapt, after the first major unexpected slaughter, because we would suddenly have a purpose in nature: as a source of nutrition.