I recently read an article about the possibility of intelligent life existing elsewhere in the universe. It broke things down on a statistical level and made it seem nearly impossible that humans could be the only intelligent life around.
As far as who or what is out there, they may be way more advanced than we could even comprehend. The article likened our attempts to reach out to them as potentially being as irritating and unwelcome as an ant biting you on the foot. So if Stephen Hawking goes through with his recently announced initiative to launch the most powerful search for intelligent life yet, he might be setting us up for some cosmic bug spray on our earthly anthill. Anybody else want to abort that mission?
This search for intelligent life talk makes me think of the little guy I'm carrying around in my tummy. We're about two months from his due date and, with all the squirming and kicking in there, I'm pretty sure I'm having an alien encounter on a daily basis. And on some level, I am.
To the moms out there -- have you ever just had a feeling in your gut that something wasn't right with your child? So you check on them, and sure enough they've just taken a tumble or they're distraught over some fight with a friend. They call this a mother's intuition. We assume dads don't really have it in the same way moms do. Have you ever wondered why?
Many years ago, studies showed that some mothers carried cells containing the male Y-chromosome in their blood. Obviously, these wouldn't have been the mother's own cells, as they are genetically male. They most likely came from their sons during gestation, meaning all moms walk around with little cellular remnants from their kids. A little alien-ish, no?
In 2012, a study observed that these cells were not only found in the mother's blood, but also were embedded in her brain. So maybe it's more than just an "instinct" when you find yourself mentally connecting with your child's emotions even when separated. That's my very un-scientific theory, but it's no stranger to me than the idea of intelligent life in the universe.
When I carried my daughter, I felt uncharacteristically emboldened. I'm normally one to avoid confrontation; I don't prefer to take big risks or put myself out there. But as my little girl grew inside me, I felt more and more empowered. Turns out, she's a completely fearless, adventurous and fierce little person! I would argue she passed some of that on to me, even before I met her.
As for this pregnancy, I've been even-keel. No crazy episodes or blow-ups. No cravings or aversions. As far as mood, I've generally felt quieter. Pensive. Agreeable, even. (Don't ask my husband to endorse that last part.) I say if this is any indicator of the intelligent life our family is soon to encounter, I'm not worried in the least.
Bring on the tiny alien!
Natalia Naman Temesgen is an independent contractor. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org