Published in Tangerine Writeups
at Woodland High School, California
Spring, 1952

Out in the limitless stretches of our universe lie thousands of other suns, billions of miles apart. The existence of other planetary systems like our own around them is entirely admissible. It might even be that other civilizations, some further developed than our world's, some behind ours, though at present doubted, or some other form of life exists upon others or all of our planetary brethren. And, using the greed and avarice paramount in our own culture as a criterion, it must be admitted that empire-seeking invasions by other worlds could be a horror of the future.

However, a little careful thought reveals the improbability of the existence of these other clvilizations. The earth is unique in that its orbit is at just the right distance from the sun to permit life as we know it to exist. At a certain distance from every star the heat has decreased to provide an orbit similar to the earth's but it is scarcely probable that these paths all contain planets which support life comparable to that on our earth.

Assuming that other civilizations do exist whether in our system or not, the probability that any life they support is similar to ours is very low. Principally, different atmospheric conditions, providing varying amounts of heat would cause other existences to differ to such an extent that earth would be totally unsuitable to them. Different substances making different types of life on these planets would make basic dissimilarities.

The fact that other civilizations may be behind ours is another sign of hope. They may, like us, still be faced with the problems of beating gravity, defending themselves against meteors and cosmic rays, and maintaining energy for the tremendous distances from one planet to another which reduces to zero the possibilities of attack. Simply because another civilization exists does not mean that it is in advance of ours. Again, their civilization may be so far ahead of ours as to make useless our resistance. Their possible higher weapons and advanced scientific knowledge would overwhelm our puny explorations in science and physics.

The danger from outer space attacks arouses a person's nationalistic spirit to the thought "How can we protect our country against interspatial invasions?" But an attack anywhere on the earth would affect our country because of the inter-dependence of the world. Therefore, a sound world peace is necessary to the defense of our nation and all nations from outer space.

The earlier slur at science should not be taken too seriously. It is certain that man does possess some potency with which to wage battle and proper and intelligent usage could well defend us from such interspatial invasions. Gigantic radar antennae with special development and ability could locate the smallest interruption in the ionosphere or outer shell of the atmosphere. Electronics has produced and will produce many devices not dependent on human manipulation. The photo-electric cell, or "electric eye", is also capable of locating the entry of foreign bodies into our atmosphere; and the thyraton an electronic device able to perform many acts upon receiving impulses from the "electric eye", could if built on a vast enough scale, be responsible for rendering these bodies harmless, whether they were meteorites, ships bent on destruction and conquering or ships of friendly intentions.

Therein lies the greatest reason for eliminating ideas of ferocious resistance from our minds. Assuming these other worlds and civilizations do exist, granting that these cultures far outstrip ours, acknowledging that they are able to penetrate the vast reaches of space, if they have advanced thus far scientifically they will not come winging down on journeys of annihilation but will come with open scientific minds ready to observe, classify, and generalize about the earth and the human race to advance their knowledge of the universe, just as we would do if the opportunity were made ours.

(originally published under the name of John Fitz)