An ancient book is written in the 17th century that predicts extraterrestrial life on Saturn and Jupiter has been unearthed in England, and it might fetch thousands of dollars at auction. Things were much easier in the dark ages. Humanity recognized its position in the cosmos. It was exactly in the middle, surrounded by the revolving Sun, Moon, six other planets, and ultimately, a big star-flecked dome that kept everything together like a giant snow globe.
Then came the scientific revolution, which threw everything into disarray, the Sun had seized the Earth’s role as the center of the Solar System, and worse, some individuals had begun to propose that the cosmos could be more significant than our small collection of planets. Suddenly, the Earth was no longer the focal focus of creation; it was simply one little rock among an endless number. This poses an intriguing quandary. If you believe in God – as you almost indeed do in Europe in the 1600s – you have to wonder: what would be the point?
“The book seeks to explain what extraterrestrial creatures could look like, how they spend their time, and even what their music sounds like,” said books valuer Jim Spencer, who discovered the book at a free antique valuation event in an English garden center. “It is almost funny,” he remarked, “but it’s based on scientific logic, and who knows how our own views on these issues may appear to those looking back in 324 years.”
So, what did one of history’s greatest scientists imagine aliens to look like? “What could we make or envision that could be as precisely tailored to all the designed purpose as the Hands are?” he wrote. “Should we give them Elephant’s Proboscis?]” ‘True, these monsters can grab or toss anything, and they can even pick up the tiniest of objects from the ground… But none of this matters compared to the conveniences the Hand is so adept at,” he wrote. “That they have Feet, almost anybody can deny… [Unless] they have discovered the skill of flying in some of those Worlds,” says the author.
They appear to be quite the intellectuals as well: “Especially given the tremendous advantages Jupiter and Saturn have for sailing,” he wrote, “in having so many Moons to steer their Course,” Huygens envisioned them to be astronomers and adept navigators. They “enjoy not only the Profit, but the Pleasures originating from [living in] a Society.
Such as Conversation, Amours, Jesting, and Sights;” they “enjoy not only the Profit, but the Pleasures arising from [living in] a Society: such as Conversation, Amours, Jesting, and Sights; “It’s the same with Musick as with Geometry,” Huygens wrote, “it’s everywhere immutably the same, and always will be.” “For all Harmony is Concord, and Concord is fixed throughout the World in the same invariable measure and proportion… It’s a twenty-to-one chance that they haven’t developed musical instruments if they enjoy harmony.”