There are those who claim the Star Child Skull(SCS) is real. You can hear their side of the story here >>> It’s Real! and here, It’s Really Real. There are others who say it’s wishful thinking, at best. You can Google them. Here’s what Wikipedia says >>> It’s really a human! My heart says it would be nice if SCS were part alien, good for science, better for sci-fi.
It seems that if an alien could breed with a human or even have an embryo transplanted to a human, then aliens and humans would have to be genetically related. This would support panspermia, the idea that seeds were scattered throughout space, and all life, at least in our galaxy, is genetically related. It suggests that the first cell on Earth was one of those seeds. We do know that every living thing on Earth came from a single cell, but we aren’t sure how that first cell came to be.
Very smart scientists have been busy for almost a century, schizophrenically behaving like alchemists, pouring chemicals together and shocking the mix with electricity, heat and other forms of energy while chanting medieval incantations, hoping to poof out the first Frankenstein cell. When they finally do create baby Frank, they are going to clank bells, toot horns, and despite decades of effort using highly evolved technical knowledge and sophisticated equipment in closely controlled environments, they’ll claim that Mother Nature did the same thing by accident 5 billion years ago with a stroke of lightening to a marsh. The truth is, their success will only show that another group of scientists, in another lab, might have done the same thing 5 billion years ago. At this level of sophistication and technology, spontaneous generation has been painted out of the picture.
Some of their fellow scientists agree, hence the theory of panspermia.
Back to Star Child Skull (SCS), and why I won’t hang my hat on it. It’s story falls into patterns characteristic of many mystery objects, and you don’t need a degree in higher science to develop an informed opinion about them. Here are some concerns I have. You might have a few of your own:
The object’s discovery story pushes believability: In this one, the skulls, two, were found in the 1930’s in a tunnel in Mexico by a teenage girl who dragged the whole skeletons of the individuals to a ravine and hid them. Later, she came back and everything but the skulls had been washed away by floods.
I like to put my own probability on each fact and then multiple them all together to see what the probability of the whole story is. Like this:
1. 1930’s teenage American girl wanders off alone in Mexico, and enters a tunnel on her own. I think a 10% chance is generous.
2. Teenage girl finds two skeletons, digs them up, on her own. With her fingers? Planning to add them to her collection of vertebra and skulls, I suppose. I have dug up a skeleton; it’s hours of dirty work, even with help, and 900 year old bones crumble unless handled carefully. I think this piece is less than .1% probable, and only if she is Indiana Jane, understudy of her famous father (played by Sean Connery in the movie).
3. After a dirty day of digging, teenage girl hauls several boxes of bones, still no help, down to the arroyo, neatly buries them, remembers exactly where, comes back later to find that flashfloods, capable of tossing VW’s downstream, have washed everything BUT the skulls away. I lived in the desert; I’ve dug stuff up; I’ve marked where I’ve buried stuff. I can assure you, everything moves in the desert, sand dunes, arroyo bottoms, even your car when you’re looking for it after hiking all day.
I’ve made my point: This story hovers at the edge of credibility. Multiple you factors and see what you come up with; mine is 1 in 10,000,000.
I need to find an expert who understands the value of my object: Another mystery object trait is that expert after expert analyzes the evidence and says it’s nothing. Owner begins to search for an expert that will support his story. This is like a scientist who cherry picks data, throwing away all the information that doesn’t fit into his plan. In the end, the only thing it proves is that he really, really, really wants his theory to be true.
Highly technical gobble gook arguments: Granted issues of DNA are complex, and most of us aren’t going to understand the details, or whether they are being presented correctly. So why would anyone use complex diagrams and statements to present their case to laymen? Whether or not it is intended, it feels like obfuscation to me.
Ancestry.com tells me what I need to know about DNA. There is paternal DNA that is passed father to son, and cannot be tracked in a female. There is maternal DNA that can be tested for in both sons and daughters, and now there is an autosomal testing that yields information about mother and father in both sons and daughters. Tests cost between $100 and $300 and are taken from swabs of the inside of your cheek. I wonder if Ancestry would test the SCS for free?
Mutating hypotheses: It bothers me when a theory mutates to a new form each time it is repudiated or gets close to being repudiated. The proponents of such theories can’t give them up, and modify their claims each time holes are found in their stories.
Theory self consistency: You should analyze the story to see if the elements are compatible with each other. In this case, the star child is said to have died in the fist decade of life [Note: This aspect of the story may be mutating]. Is an early death consistent with an alien parent who had the knowledge and facilities to do an embryo transplant?
The skeletons were rather sloppily buried in a tunnel. If the alien had sufficient influence over the locals to co-opt a human into carrying his child, wouldn’t he be able to get a better burial for his child?
Lastly, has anyone searched for and found other signs of extraterrestrial activity in the region where the bodies were discovered?
You can probably come up with even better questions.
I’m not saying that SCS won’t eventually prove true and therefore lend support to panspermia; low probability events do happen; however, until then, I’m looking for another expert.
Probable, Possible, and Ugh
- Alternative History
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2013 Global Ebook Silver Medal for A Far Traveler
2015 Global Ebook Award Nominee for The Robot’s Daughter
So I Wrote:
- Ask Mother (+flipping villains into heroes)
- Excerpt from “A Far Traveler”
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- Excerpt: “From the Agenda”
- Home at Last (+ saving a one off piece)
- The Reserve (Short Story)
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- Weissenbach Bridge (+ commentary: what makes a good short story)