“Are we alone when you look at the universe?” he asked.
Late when you look at the 1950s, when he had been solidly in the 80s and retired, just as much as was possible for a man like him, from political life, Winston Churchill brought a draft of an essay down to a villa in southern France.
The area belonged to his publisher, Emery Reves, who had bought it from Coco Chanel with the money he produced from selling the foreign rights to Churchill’s books on World War II. In the later years, Churchill preferred the heat and luxury for this place, named La Pausa, towards the colder, grayer atmosphere of England, and then he would stay for very long stretches of the time, being treated royally by his hosts and dealing on his History of the English-Speaking Peoples.
This essay, though, covered a topic that is different one that was less typical for the aging statesman, as a brand new report published in Nature reveals. Originally titled “Are We Alone in Space?” the essay explored the likelihood of extraterrestrial life.
Churchill had first started working on the essay in 1939, prior to the start of World War II, also it ran about 11 pages. At La Pausa Churchill labored on revising it, changing the title to “Are We Alone into the Universe?” The essay was never published, though; Churchill left the draft at La Pausa, plus in the 1980s Wendy Reves, Emery’s wife, gave it to the National Churchill Museum, in Fulton, Missouri.
Just last year, the museum’s director that is new Timothy Riley, rediscovered this essentially unknown piece of writing. As he handed it to Mario Livio, an astrophysicist and author, it was “a great surprise,” Livio writes in Nature. Riley wanted a scientist’s opinion for the essay: Had Churchill gotten it right?
As Livio writes inside the Nature note, Churchill’s curiosity that is great extended to science, and then he was the first British Prime Minister to have a science adviser on his staff. He previously written about evolution, cells, and fusion, plus in this essay he took on the question of alien life with reasoning that “mirrors many arguments that are modern astrobiology,” Livio writes. Continue reading