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?

10 thoughts on “Discovery of Alien Life… What would happen?

  1. Hey, mate! Thanks for the pingback. I really enjoyed reading your article. Alien life is such a vast and big topic that it really can’t be covered in just one article. By that I mean I hope to see more articles from you about the possibility of alien life.

    1. Thank you too, because both your and the heise technology article did inspire me pretty much to write down my thoughts about the topic as well. Agree… they can fill long tv documentations with that topic. Indeed… That all can´t be covered with just some articles. Hope to see more about it on your blog too. Greetings.

      1. Thank you both, I’ve just read both your articles and find them fascinating. i, just like Stephen Hawking believe that it is just a matter of numbers, out of the countless numbers of stars in the universe, we can’t have been the only planet to slip into The Goldilocks Zone. But when we add mars to the equitation, life does not need The Goldilocks Zone. We can see evidence that there has been surface water on The Red Planet, and it is most likely that there is water underneath the surface, if that is the case then the chances of life on mars is almost guaranteed. Then we will all be able to say ‘yes’ to David Bowie.

        A question that comes to mind is where does first contact take place, let assume that the aliens are friendly and we as humans are free from the shackles of war and dare I say, religion. Do we invite them to land? that’s if they can, or do arrange A meeting place? A neutral location? What if they (theoretically) found there way to Earth by pure accident? Do we help guide them home? or do we ignore the call?

        You two have inspired my next post, I think my finger slipped and I wrote some of it in the paragraph above, thanks for that.

        1. Mars can indeed contain evidence of life. I guess we’ll probably know within 10 years, maybe even less. If that is the case is there a possibility life on Earth can be related to Mars? That it has travelled somehow from Mars to Earth? That is a thought that has crossed my mind several times. We can’t rule it out for sure.

          I’m very confident the governments around the world has discussed and planned a extraterrestrial contact to some degree, so they have some idea on how to react to such an event. I think we would be naive enough to invite them to land and try to talk to them. If that is a good or a bad thing I’m not so sure about.

        2. I do think we living in one of the most exciting period of scientific discovery. Curiosity has begun digging samples of the surface, personally, I think the next step for exporting Mars is to go underground, we know that caves on mars are at a much more constant temperature as they get deeper, just like the caves on earth, and we know that our caves are teeming with life. We also know that there is ice down there from satellite data, and if the caves are deep enough, the temperature will be warm enough for liquid water. These are not perfect conditions for life, but not every animal is as fussy as us.

          Life coming from Mars is perfectly legitimate, there have been at least 60 meteorites that have been traced back to mars, and we know that some bacteria can survive on asteroids. Of course that’s at least 60, who knows how many have come from mars, for all we know, some of our DNA could have been affected or influenced by asteroids from mars.

          Who knows what the governments talk about behind closed doors; as individuals, we are pretty good, in groups, we are fantastic, in communities, we are beyond awesome. As a race, we are pretty stupid, and that’s being kind.

        3. One thing is sure. If water is underneath the mars surface and if we would find microorganism there, then it is already the proof that our life wasn´t just a happenstance on our planet. I think I heard a theory already anywhere in a tv documentary that life might have been transported to earth, if this is what you mean? They were talking about microorganism which might have been transported via comets to the earth. They said it could also have been transported to earth with catapulted out splinters of anothers planets surface due to a comet impact with very much energy. And that this might be the way life gets spread in the universe. They said, we maybe can´t be sure where we are from. While watching the tv documentary, I asked myself how microorganism can survive on a catapulted out splinter if there was so much energy set free while the impact. But I maybe do understand their theory. A fully functional part of a car could be found too after a car explosion, produced by a explosive. I think not only directly damaged parts will fly in the air. That´s maybe what they mean. So do you mean something like splinter from the mars in case there is/was life on the mars?

          I by the way really love some movie science fiction theorys as well! Even if these storys sound overdone sometimes. But I sometimes think… “Who knows”? I have seen prometheus some months ago and it was related to similar stuff… but I am afraid to spoiler here anything in case some of you dont know the movie. That´s why I dont write more about it here now. There are so cool movies too and we all know some science fiction from the past, is today not science fiction anymore. Smartphones are one example *laugh*.

          I agree to your last paragraph. Good that they already started to think about a possible contact. Always better to be at least a little bit prepared. About the invite and talking with “them”… this makes popup already more questions… how would communication work with because we dont have the same language? We dont even know if they communicate by mouth like we do. Maybe we can´t even image today how many ways there are, life could communicate. We have some great examples in animal life.. but maybe this is just a small piece of possible communication between creatures or life. Some scientist said, it might be possible to communicate on mathematical level. Because an advanced civilization should “speak math”. This all is so interesting…But as you mentioned…. it brings up questions over questions and theorys over theorys. 🙂 I love it.

        4. Oh and I did forget to mention that it would be great if you Thomas would inform us about your future inspired blog post 😉 Love to read more about that kind of topic. 🙂
          – I will subcripe to your blog, so that I will see 🙂
          – Also funny that we were thinking about the same theory and published our comment at the same time

        5. I’m working on the post now, it’s going to take a few days, but i’ll make it worth the wait. If you want, I can post it privately and let you two read it first, after all it was you two who inspired the post.

          Its curious how that happens. I’ve just found quite an interesting question asked in ‘The Sky at Night: Answers to Questions form Across the Universe’ By Patrick Moore and Chris North about life first evolving on comets, because we detected the presence of amino acids, and it is also believed that a majority of earths water (possibly all) came from comets. I would highly recommend this book.

        6. Hi Thomas. Pretty great. I am already nosy what you will come up with. I am not sure if it is necessary to show it privately first. I subsribed so that I will see. But if you like, it is ok to show privately first. How you like it.

          I had to google “‘The Sky at Night” and found out it is a BBC show. Looks interesting. I am from germany. I know I can receive “CNN” in germany and I think I received BBC in the past as well (I am not so sure) but dont have it in my program list in tv yet. I will see if I can program it to my list if possible. The mentioned book sounds interesting too. It is often possible to get all books in our bookstores. I will see if they can order it for me, even if in english. Other way would be internet. I will google for the book anyway next days to look into your recommendation.

          Enjoy the weekend. Greetings.

        7. I’m looking forward to reading your article, Thomas! I’ve also heard or read somewhere that water can exist on comets and that is how Earth got its water from. I does seem a little far fetched, but could very well be the reality.

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