July 18, 2010

POSSIBLY IRRITATING ESSAY: Road Rage, Fermi’s Paradox, Hard Wiring and God

I have a theory. It’s a little odd, but I think there’s some evidence here that if twisted AGWlly, it might make some sense…
If not, well then, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained”.
Road rage (violence exhibited by drivers in traffic) is on the increase and is recognized as a condition in the UK, the US, and Australia. I have personally experienced and witnessed road rage in Nigeria, Liberia and Cameroon. At the risk of making broad, sweeping assumptions, I would guess that humans experience road rage when there’s a road with multiple drivers on it.
Fermi’s Paradox (the apparent contradiction between high estimates of the probability of the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations and the lack of evidence for, or contact with, such civilizations) might find an answer here. While not original, one explanation is that those “other” civilizations are avoiding us. My theory is that they are working hard at staying away because of road rage.
“The brain is "hard-wired" with connections much like a skyscraper or airplane is hard-wired with electrical wiring. In the case of the brain, the connections are made by neurons that connect the sensory inputs and motor outputs with centers in the various lobes of the cortex.” There are also connections between these cortical centers and other parts of the brain.” In my theory, the amygdala, basal ganglia, limbic system and the pre-central gyrus are hard-wired together to create a basic sense of territoriality in the human animal. It is this that drives us to say “mine!”
Even those who love and follow God discover that theology (the study of God) cannot help us. It’s a matter of faith (like the extraterrestrian belief in aliens despite no verifiable proof). Those who don’t believe in God say that the idea of God is ridiculous because they can’t understand God; or “gods are crutches”; or God is for the intellectually weak; or that we are in charge of our own destiny, there is no God.
(When plotting data points on a graph, the least-squares-fit is the line or curve that comes closest to going through all the points
www.sciencemaster.com/physical/item/earthquake_glossary.php ).
In my mind, the line describes this: No one has contacted us because we are hard-wired to be territorial. This hard-wiring creates road rage because we perceive the 144 square feet around our car as “our territory”. We set our own speed limit. We listen to our own music. When someone invades, we fight back. We typically ignore brief incursions, but lash out when the invasion is intentional. (Extraterrestrians will insist that in order to go into space in the first place, extraterrestrials MUST be territorial because it’s the only thing that could drive space exploration. I will point out the singular genius in Octavia Butler’s XENOGENESIS for an investigation of a different exploration-driving hard-wiring.) I propose that our type of hard-wiring is not the norm among the intelligences in our galactic arm. They prefer we stay here and learn us some genetic engineering to de-hard-wire ourselves.
Humans find it very hard to accept God, in particular the Christian God, because we cannot understand how someone who HAD it all GAVE it all away. That makes no sense to us on a genetic level. The billion of us who believe that way do so by faith alone – which is the ONLY way belief in Christ can happen. It’s NOT an intellectual compulsion nor is it a biological compulsion.

In summary: Humanity is territorial due to cerebral hard-wiring which causes road rage while at the same time making it difficult to believe in a God who gave up all His territory for our sake and has also prevented First Contact between Humans and alien cultures.


Steven Brandt said...

I think a better straight line would be to suggest that Christians are less likely to experience road rage.

Personally, I'm not convinced we'd know if aliens had visited us. Given the time and distance scales of the universe, frequent visiting may mean a visit every few thousand years. Who's to say a ship didn't stop by and land in remote China, 3000 years ago?

Michael said...

Interesting, however I find you logic to be inductive. Further, you miss the biggest reason alien life wouldn't visit Earth: bacteria. Just like how the Indians and Europeans got each other sick, so would Aliens and Terrans. Only it would be more epic: flesh eaters.

Yes, abundant life on other planets is a cause to avoid that planet. Not for resources or territory, but for survival.

Also, I disagree that we are territorial because of our brain's hard wiring. There is much life on Earth that is territorial that lacks any brain tissue. For example, students. Ha ha ha.

Seriously, fungi, bacteria, and plants all compete for resources and space. Although their struggle may not seem as obvious, it is the driving force of their evolution.

Finally, I am unclear about the God of which you speak. Because the Christian God started out very angry and territorial. (e.g. "Don't eat my apple or I'll jack you up." Gen 3:3, and "I don't care who fathered him, kill him or I'll jack you up." Gen 22:2 ... maybe there is a two 3's/ three 2's theme in the books of Moses with God being territorial about things. My favorite: "If someone commits BnE on you, you should go 5150 on 'em. Word*." Ex 22:2)

*of God. Seriously!