Alien life, we are told, would be unlike human life, and that may be true enough as regards such trivia as species and body form. Indeed, an alien may possess senses, organs, and appetites unknown to us. What lusts do bats endure that compel their squeaks? Does it pleasure them to receive the echo? How can human minds encompass the hankerings of bats – let alone those of a headwalker?
(This particular species of headwalker, for example, does not feel pleasure in the reproductive act. Rather, it feels a growing pain the longer it abstains, so the pleasure is more like the pleasure of ceasing to hit yourself on the head with a hammer. Mother Nature has more than one way of butt-kicking her children into reproduction.)
And yet, all things pursue the good insofar as they know the good, and the good is whatever preserves and completes its nature. In inanimate bodies, this preservation is called “inertia.” For animate bodies, it is called “life.” The struggle to maintain existence that Darwin saw in living kinds is only a higher form of the struggle of a boulder to remain stubbornly in place.
(cont. at the Preview)