Do the inhabitants wage global wars on other Earth-like planets?

A hundred years ago this week saw the start of the first great war of the 20th Century – within 25 years another even more globalised war would be sparked, a festering legacy of the previous one. This happens on some Earth-like planets.

NASA/Ames/SETI Institute/JPL-Caltech

An Earth-like planet. NASA/Ames/SETI Institute/JPL-Caltech

Since the end of WW2 we have had almost 70 years of relative global peace by comparison – but it’s not been a comfortable time at all if you can remember anything about the Cold War and the extreme doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) – it is perhaps the most appropriate acronym of the modern era.

Where are we on Earth headed currently in the 21st Century? Could we possibly make this a hundred years of relative peace, give or take the odd outbreak of extreme violence that humans seem so wedded to?

Disturbing as this all is, what troubles me even more is the fact that we are completely side-tracking the major issues happening to our planet currently. Yes, millions died in the two World Wars and we can try to remember them all, but we have learned little about the fragility of life within the bounds of our ecosphere – and we are just starting to explore the concept of other similar worlds.

I believe we should focus on education as a path out of the vicious cycle of human warfare. An education given to our next generations by those who feel privileged to teach and who pass on to their students a sense of humility and wonder about the world around them.