Saturday, August 8, 2009

Lords of the Universe...

Its a funny pair: Philosophy and Science. The original odd couple. I had an audience that I'm not accustomed to the other day. I sat on a couch facing two cousins, my brother, a good friend, and I began to express an idea so deep routed in science that it philosophically blew my mind. I have decided to allow you this nugget of (could be) truth.

To begin, I want to make it clear that I believe in intelligent life elsewhere in the universe. That's all, I'm no Area 51, UFO chasing crackpot, I just want to clarify.

Right, so I make no excuse that I am a fan of Beer, but I'm not alone. Every culture that has ever existed has fermented alcohol. Usually by accident (breath in that wild yeast,) this act has become sort of mundane. We take for granted what yeast actually do.

Yeast are a fungi. They are a single cell organism used commonly in baking and fermenting. Yeast metabolize carbohydrates(fermentable sugars) and produce ethanol (C2H5OH). That's right, yeast eat sugar and release alcohol. Perfect little helpers.

Alcohol is by no means unique to earth. Astronomers have seen entire clouds of alcohol in the Universe. But think about our little yeast creatures. Millions of years of evolution have produced this creature and anyone who can grasp the idea of evolution knows that it is chaotic at best.

Lets just imagine that yeast are an anomaly, not shared in the universe. Could it be that the aliens that everyone fears for their destructive powers and vast intelligence are not able to make alcohol whenever they want? Natural alcohol would be a scarce resource. That would meant that when it comes to willful fermentation, we are kings.

Its possible. Maybe there is nothing out there which acts the same way. Maybe our schnapps, wine, liquor, liqueurs, beer and of course, Mead are creations that will one day make us the envy of space itself. Its a lot to think about, but I like to think that we could be the downfall of an entire civilization as we have seen throughout history when alcohol is introduced (poor Mexican Indians.)

Think about it.

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