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A Report to Planet Q

By Carl S. ~

Let us begin the adventure of Lucia, the brown, golden-eyed girl from planet Q. But first, a little background: Let us describe her character, for it is typical of the other inhabitants of her planet. All of them are what are called “innocents” here on Earth. Their sense of wander and curiosity might be compared to that of a human five year old.

On planet Q, there are no concepts such as faith, belief, and dogma, because the beings there are only interested in finding out what is true, what is real. Inventing truths is a concept foreign to them, to their very natures.

Our girl with the golden eyes has been sent to Earth because she won her school prize for being the most curious in her community. Before entering our planet, she pays attention to our space station, and notices that humans are living on board, and notes that they are starting to enter into space. It's a beginning, she thinks, so they must be intelligent.

On Earth, she visits natural and historical museums, and is consoled to know that they know how life on Earth, including humans, originated, and what their past was. More note taking. It seems that wherever she goes, she finds buildings alien to her experience. These entertainment places are used for “worship” - whatever that means. What it came to mean, as she understood it, was that truth wasn't important to those who built and maintained them.

When she stopped at each house of worship, she got a different explanation of what “truth” meant and nobody was interested in finding out what is really true. On her planet, truth was found through very, very, careful trials. This was all very confusing and silly, and gave a new meaning to the word “alien,” as applied to her planet's inhabitants. She could think of no way to report this phenomenon without being laughed at on her return.

One day she witnessed a courtroom trial on an Earth picture screen, and then went to an actual courtroom. She finally started to feel “at home.” Here, at last, humans were presenting arguments and evidence for the innocence or guilt of an accused person. The trial continued for weeks. The little brown girl was impressed to find that there was one important thing humans have in common with her own people. She was happy that they had learned how to find out what was true or untrue. But she was also very confused as to why they thought that made-up religious “truth” was more important. Yet, nobody she met wanted to talk about that.

Still curious after the trial, she spoke with a juror and told him that her “culture” (he wouldn't understand “other planet”) used much the same methods for finding out truth. He explained, “That’s similar to the way we do it in labs everywhere. How do you think we got that damned space station working up there?“

She asked, “But what makes this case so important? Why did you all go to so much trouble to find the truth?” “That's obvious,” the juror answered. “If found guilty, that man would have spent the rest of his life in prison.”

And then the little golden-eyed, brown skin girl said something quite curious. She said, “That is very, very confusing. So many of your people claim that their religious “truths” determine a man‘s eternal future, and yet they don‘t use the methods the jurors just used to find out if their “truths” are true at all!“

The little girl's time was up so she returned to Planet Q with her report. And yes, as she expected, the hearers there did think it silly that anyone could find “truth” just by inventing, and not discovering it. (They found the human “explanation” as to why there is pain and suffering in the universe –that they are responsible for it all - hilarious.)

And another curious thing she reported: “When I asked them to explain how some of the really, really, silly things they told me about could possibly be true, they said, ‘Someday we’ll know.’“ The room erupted in laughter. “Because, after all, they had just told me that they're too lazy to investigate those claims - so they can’t be important. So why make such a big deal of them, then? Very curious.”

Then the ambassador spoke up, saying to their new celebrity girl reporter, “Glad to have you home, where we do not create confused minds like theirs. It was entertaining. They have a long way to go on Earth. Maybe give them a few thousand years? I hope not.”