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Another Fragment Of My Fickle Mind

Posted Thursday, July 8, 2010, at 6:55 PM

Another Fragment Of My Fickle Mind

By Paul Corbin

Just recently, as I was gazing out into the nighttime sky my fickle mind started wondering; just how many stars and undiscovered planets are out there in this vast universe that surrounds us. Then it occurred to me that it would be somewhat egotistically thinking for our world society to believe that our planet earth is the only planet in the vast universe that supports intelligent life.

I have learned that there is an ongoing effort to make contact with inhabitants of other worlds, and there is also the thought that there may be aliens out there trying to contact us. Then I ask myself, "Is this a situation that we should continue to peruse," because our world society has enough problems to deal with, without getting involved in the affairs of some alien society. After all, there is the possibility that we may make contact with some other form of life that is so far advanced that; based on the many problems we have here on earth, and the many laws, rules, and regulations that governs our daily life, they may view our earth as an insane asylum, or a prison pen.

At this point and time my fickle mind carried me back to 7-PM of October 31, 1938, where I could hear the echo of Orson Wells as he gave us a taste of what it might be like if our world should be invaded by aliens from another planet. When he presented, on radio, his rendition of, "War Of The Worlds." Mr. Wells deliberately presented this episode in such way that millions of Americans believed that aliens from outer space were invading our land. With well-chosen, and emotional words he painted a vivid picture of a spacecraft in the form of a flying saucer that had just landed at Grovers Mill in New Jersey. He described the occupants of this craft as, "Serpent, like creatures, as big as bears, with skin that looked like wet leather, and eyes that extruded rays of light." This simulated news broadcast, with sound effects was so realistic that a large segment of the listening audience began to make preparations for dealing with these inhabitants from outer space.

The inhabitants of our earth, as it stands today is so varied in form and customs that some of them burrow in the ground and move about by crawling, some can fly, some can live in and under water, while others have four sturdy legs that carry them about as they forage for food. Some of these creatures are mute, while others have vocal cords that permit them to make a variety of sounds. But we humans, who are considered the dominate creature on earth cannot truly converse with any of them. True enough, many of our domesticated animals can understand and carry out our verbal commands, but they are not able reply to these commands. We are not even able to carry on a conversation with the chimpanzee, which has 98% of the DNA of modern man.

If this difference of just 2% of DNA is the ingredient that makes us more intelligent than the chimp, then we probably should discontinue our search for intelligent life on other planets, because we may discover and be invaded by aliens with just a 2% difference in DNA that would make our world society appear to them as, "a bunch of blundering morons."


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Mr. Paul, Thank you for an insight that most of our fellow humans have never examined with any intensity or directness! Wisdom of this nature is a refreshing addition to the frequently inane discourse which pervades our media in this age. Thank you, sir, once again. Regards, kkr

-- Posted by kkcaver47 on Fri, Jul 9, 2010, at 3:13 PM

Interesting thought Paul. It is similar to an observation that Carl Sagan made during a talk of his I attended. He mentioned that since the first Earth transmissions an alien civilization will receive are late 1940s TV shows of Lucie, Milton Berle and Red Skelton, they may decide that humans aren't intelligent enough to bother with contacting!

-- Posted by FJGuy on Fri, Jul 9, 2010, at 6:07 PM

Or maybe they'll decide that we're not capable of launching an invasion on THEM - so they'll leave us alone - to destroy ourselves on our own isolated planet!

-- Posted by goat lady on Wed, Aug 4, 2010, at 7:53 AM


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Paul Corbin is a 98-year-old historian, humorist, and amateur archeologist from Advance, Mo. He grew up in the Greenbrier area west of Advance, where he attended Stepp School on the banks of Cato Slough and the Castor River, important waterways throughout his life. In an age when many area residents did not go to high school, the young Corbin made the decision to walk the five miles to Zalma, graduating in 1933. Throughout his life, he was an enterprising businessman, selling Watkins products from house to house throughout a large area - and later opening a variety store in Advance. He and his wife Geneva traveled throughout the United States, even following the route that the Lewis and Clark expedition traveled. His knowledge of Native American culture is extensive, and he has donated a sizeable collection of his artifacts to the Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center and the Bollinger County Museum of Natural History in Marble Hill. Throughout the years, he has submitted articles to TBY, the North Stoddard Countian, the Ozark Mountaineer, and several other Missouri publications. He has also written two books - "Reflections in Missouri Mud," and "Fragments of my Feeble Mind." The first one is out of print.
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