(Pasadena, California) On what would normally be joyously hailed as “hope that a second Earth lies among the stars,” scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology today unenthusiastically mentioned the discovery of Kepler-1649c, an Earth-like exoplanet orbiting a nearby red dwarf.
In the past, such discoveries – and there have been a few, like TRAPPIST-1F and TOI 700d, both also uncovered by the massive Kepler telescope – have been proclaimed as possible saviors of the human race, habitable planets that not only may harbor intelligent life like our own, but offer a place for mankind to continue its proliferation. The discovery of 1649c, however, left many at NASA reluctant to even announce the finding.
“We talked among ourselves about not even announcing to the public this discovery,” said Neil Cornelius Hofstadter, a top NASA astrophysicist. “With the way our species is going, what with the endless wars, the income divide, the racism and tribalism, and now the politically and greed-centered response to what should be a human survival crisis, we really do not want to contemplate another planet like ours, let alone one that may be inhabited by a species such as ours. It is just too damned depressing.”
Hofstadter continued: “Dr. Zaius had it right: ‘I have always known about man. From the evidence, I believe his wisdom must walk hand-in-hand with his idiocy. His emotions must rule his brain. He must be a warlike creature who gives battle to everything around him, even himself.’”
It is uncertain if future discoveries of other Earth-like planets will be met with the same level of disregard, but, for now, we can all agree that “It is a mad house! A mad house!”