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35. Starglider Plus Eighty

Extract from God and Starholme. (Mandala Press, Moscow, 2149)

Exactly eighty years ago, the robot interstellar probe now known as Starglider entered the Solar System, and conducted its brief but historic dialogue with the human race. For the first time, we knew what we had always suspected; that ours was not the only intelligence in the universe, and that out among the stars were far older, and perhaps far wiser, civilisations.

After that encounter, nothing would ever be the same again. And yet, paradoxically, in many ways very little has changed. Mankind still goes about its business, much as it has always done. How often do we stop to think that the Starholmers, back on their own planet, have already known of our existence for twenty-eight years or that, almost certainly, we shall be receiving their first direct messages only twenty-four years from now? And what if, as some have suggested, they themselves are already on the way?

Men have an extraordinary, and perhaps fortunate, ability to tune out of their consciousness the most awesome future possibilities. The Roman farmer, ploughing the slopes of Vesuvius, gave no thought to the mountain smoking overhead. Half the twentieth century lived with the Hydrogen Bomb half the twenty-first with the Golgotha virus. We have learned to live with the threat or the promise of Starholme.

Starglider showed us many strange worlds and races, but it revealed almost no advanced technology, and so had minimal impact upon the technically-orientated aspects of our culture. Was this accidental, or the result of some deliberate policy? There are many questions one would like to ask Starglider, now that it is too late or too early.

On the other hand, it did discuss many matters of philosophy and religion, and in these fields its influence was profound. Although the phrase nowhere occurs in the transcripts, Starglider is generally credited with the famous aphorism Belief in God is apparently a psychological artefact of mammalian reproduction.

But what if this is true? It is totally irrelevant to the question of God's actual existence, as I shall now proceed to demonstrate

Swami Krisnamurthi (Dr. Choam Goldberg)

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