Discovery of Alien Life… What would happen?
Sometimes there are interesting coincidences. I read an article today in the morning on a bigger german technology related online magazine called Heise. They usually write about that computer and mobile phone kind of technology stuff but the article I read in the morning has been about extraterrestrial life (Another word for alien life) this time.
I thought the Heise article was pretty interesting because I like that kind of topic. The article in fact did inspire me so much that I wanted to write about it too but laid the idea back for later because I felt too lazy for a bigger article today. But I follow another blog called “Who taught you science” which is as the name says a lot about science and facts. I do by the way really suggest to visit the blog in case you are interested in science. The author of the blog really explains some cool stuff over there. But let me continue… today in the evening I read one alien life related article there too. The author ponders and asks “How Would We React If We Discovered Alien Life?“. So it was the second time today I got inspired of the same topic. I first wanted to give a comment but decided to start put my thoughts in a blog post since I had this idea already in the morning anyway but haven´t done it because the mentioned laziness. But well, this is over now.
So, let me first give a few words about the Heise article. They wrote that we today know that there are very fast rotating and highly magnetized neutron stars in our universe. Those neutron stars do create a beam of electromagnetic radiation which can be observed if the beam of emission is pointing toward the earth. You can find a further explanation about neutron stars on Wikipedia. The article on Heise explains further that those neutron stars have been discovered by scientists for the first time in 1967. But scientist initially interpreted these by the neutron stars created periodically recurring radio frequency signals so, that they actually could come from a planet with intelligent life. Radio astronomy just has been at the very beginning at that time. But scientist discovered some months later, neutron stars are the natural explanation for these radio frequency signals.
But anyway, how would the humanity deal with the “first contact” (in science-fiction-jargon) with extraterrestrial life? This question became more topical than ever. The Heise article states that this question has been discussed for some time and that the international fold agreed on a protocol in 1990, the so-called “Detection Protocol“.
One thing is sure… if it comes to the “first contact”, then it will be the most eminent event of the human history. It would change the human kind culturally, socially, technologically and that enormous.
But now let me write related to the article from “Who taught you Science”. I want to give my thoughts and answers to some of the questions and opinions of the article because I really do like those topics.
The author asks “If life has the potential to grow here on Earth, doesn’t that mean it can happen somewhere else as well? ” and writes “The fact that you and the 7 billion other fellow human beings are alive proves that life has the potential to pop up in our universe.”. And I do think so. At that question I really would point to astrophysicist Stephen Hawking. He has a nice thinking about that question. And it makes sense to me. Mathematically viewed, it seems unrealistic that there is no other intelligent life in the universe apart from us. Hawking said “In a universe with 100 billion galaxies, each containing hundreds of millions of stars, it is unlikely that earth is the only place where life has evolved.” and “To my mathematical brain, the numbers alone make thinking about aliens perfectly rational..”. I do like his thinking and this is why I do believe that there is more life in the universe. I even do believe that there is more “intelligent life” in the universe.
But, will they find us? Will we find them? It is an interesting question. What if they find us? The event could be just cool and friendly or a worst case like in any science fiction movie which often results in a real disaster for the human race. Stephen Hawking said “If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn’t turn out very well for the American Indians.”. If you ask me, I rather hope for a friendly contact. But on the other side, what if we do find them and if their technology is inferior to ours? Will we colonize them? I hope not. But what ever will happen if we find them, I guess we here won´t witness. Maybe our faraway descendants with much better technology will.
But back to the mentioned blog post. Let´s assume we will meet aliens. I did read a good question over there like “How do you think the religious part of the world would react if they heard other intelligent life exists?”. I am not sure. I am christ at least on the paper but I´m not that religious. Other sciences seem to be more plausible for me. I mean, I am ok with what ever people believe in. But I do believe too that the discovery of alien life would basically prove their religion wrong.
But let´s go away from religion. Like the author of the blog post, I am nosy as well, how we would react if we would have a contact with alien life. Let´s assume the media channels tell us we found extraterrestrial intelligence or they are on the way to find us. How would the mass of humans react? With euphoria? Or do you mean a mass panic would break out? And how would you react? I think I would be more relaxed if I hear we found them first. I would find it scary if I hear they are already on the way to us because this would mean they have better technology and the lack of knowledge about their intention would make me crazy I think. The latter event would definitely lead to a mass panic in my opinion. What do you think would be the atmosphere in those different cases? Would it change everything?