August 20, 2011

"Notable Quotes"

"It was ever thus . . . it's really remarkable, in fact, how often the aliens in science fiction just happen to be preoccupied with the exact same political issues that obsessed intellectuals of the era when the fiction was written. And yet it's still somehow breathtaking. They don't even notice that they're not noticing all their embedded assumptions. For example, the scientists do not even consider the possibility that the recent decline in church attendance among the citizens of the world's most powerful nations could be a signal to advanced, god-fearing aliens that we are a decadent and irreligious species who should be wiped out.

Of all the possibilities, the one that seems least likely to me is that advanced aliens capable of traveling between the stars will turn out to view global warming in very much the way that a handful of Western scientists do.

Megan McArdle

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