On Nov. 9, 2017, NASA space engineer B. Gentry Lee visited our campus. A luncheon was served of McAlister’s tea, sandwiches, and soup. Mr. Lee ate and spoke with students. Towards the end of the luncheon, he spoke briefly and answered questions.
Later that night during his PLACE lecture, Mr. Lee spoke about the development of the universe and extinctions throughout history. He also mentioned Carl Sagan (which ironically would have been his birthday that day), calling him one of the great science writers of the 20th century.
The next topic he discussed was life on other planets and how some people believe they were abducted by aliens. He noted how there is not one piece of evidence that aliens visit us regularly. He stated “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence” which is what he believes we should be taught. “Anytime someone makes an outrageous claim, you should ask them, “What is your evidence?” Ironically, he was invited to an alien abduction convention and he was unsurprisingly met with boos. After hearing stories of people who had been abducted, he responded by asking why that, of all the people who have been abducted over and over, none of them brought back a single piece of evidence.
Despite his disbelief in aliens visiting Earth, he does believe that there is a possibility there is life on another planet. He visited our school because he liked our theme this year and encourages people to question what they know.