A Fold to Extinction: The Uniqueness Hypothesis
Updated: Sep 24
The Uniqueness Hypothesis makes a few assertions. The first, is that life on Earth may be unique and that the emergence of life may never occur on any other planet. Another, more concerning assertion, is that life may not form intelligence, at least not to what humans recognize it as.
Physicists and chemists tend to believe in intelligent life, while biologists and paleontologists such as Brian Harding in this instance, usually do not believe it possible. Since Doctor Brian Harding had arrived, the first assertion was thrown out the window. They were staring at, and now surrounded by, life not of their own origin. A key argument that many biologists argue is that the development of intelligent life on earth required so many peculiar steps that intelligence represents a unique event in the universe that may never occur elsewhere.
Brian Harding had explained to his engineering and physicist counterparts that Natural Selection reinforced this. If what they speculated - that a “fold” had transplanted pieces of otherworldly parts to their world, then nothing should look familiar either to their current experience with life on Earth or anything in the fossil record. Every evolutionary step, that every species had experienced to ensure its survival was unique not just to the environment it was in, but to the ecosystem it belonged. The chances of encountering the same, or even similar, species elsewhere in the universe was so statistically unlikely it might as well just be written off as impossible.
Yet, here they were, their first attempt, and they were all equally baffled. Either their understanding was fundamentally flawed, and life only developed in a specific linear fashion and certain species always evolved, or - Brian swallowed hard - there may very well be intelligent design. He, of course, would not bring that up to his new colleagues, it was too sensitive of a topic.
Instead, Brian touched with his bare fingertips, the coarse leaf edges of a Cycadeoidea or Bennettitaleans. A plant that should have been long gone since the K-T extinction.
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