Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach

A Man Full Of Corn

The universe is far more amazing than anything we can imagine, simply because we’re not very imaginative.

Christiaan Huygens, a scientist with many groundbreaking discoveries to his name, was good at solving problems, but bad at being original.

Huygens once wrote a speculative book, called Cosmotheoros, about life on other planets; believing there was enough info for probable guesswork.

And as Christiaan explains how aliens might live, look and think, he reveals how cliché he is.

His thinking looks like this: since Earth is hard, it’s likely other planets are hard; since we have an atmosphere, we can assume other worlds have atmospheres; since there’s life on our planet, there must be life on other globes; and so on.

The whole book basically describes humans, not aliens.

It goes without saying that alien life doesn’t need to be anything like us. The trouble is envisioning how other intelligent life could be different.

Because how do you imagine something that isn’t based on what you already know?

P.S. In Chris’s defence, Cosmotheoros was written in the 17th century. The notion that Earth wasn’t the only inhabited planet was revolutionary enough. Had he published Cosmotheoros a century earlier, he would have been burned at the stakes.



By Jeroen Elsing
Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach