The discovery of Proxima B, an earth-like planet which is orbiting Proxima Centauri, could be a huge moment in the history of space exploration, and indeed in the history of everything. The planet was discovered by a group of astronomers at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in Chile and they believe that this may well be the planet on which we discover other living creatures. Proxima Centauri is the star closest to our sun, and although in relative terms this means that Proxima B is quite close to us on Earth, it would take years to find out whether or not there is intelligent life here. Still, the prospect has got a lot of people extremely excited.

The whole thing has got me thinking though, if we did discover extra terrestrial life on this planet, or any other for that matter, and these ET-like beings came to visit us on earth; what would they make of us, as the human race? How would we explain the development of our race over time to these other-worldly creatures? Every culture and community has its own story of where we came from and how we came to be where we are now, so which one would we choose and where would we begin?

But is that not a glorious and fundamental part of what it means to be a human being? The multitude of difference and extensive variety within our race is what makes us who we are: imagine how boring it would be if we were all exactly the same. And yet on all corners of our world there are people making attempts, to varying degrees, to eradicate this difference. So how 'on earth' would we explain to another race why we are not celebrating our differences and sharing in the joy that comes with such a lack of monotony? How would our new interstellar pals perceive the conflict happening all across our world and how would we explain the reasons why we are constantly fighting one another?

The search for intelligent life on other planets is an outstandingly admirable and exciting goal, but whatever these life-forms may be, can we really hope to form any kind of relationship with them if we are unable to sustain good relationships with other members of our own race? 

Published by Natalia Deane