To say there is no life in outer space is a little naïve—how can we be the only ones in the universe? With new technology, we can see further into space and are learning more and more each day. For over 50 years, scientists have been listening for signals from outer space.
Now, experts from the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) are saying it’s time for a real effort to send signals out to contact extraterrestrial civilizations. I for one am not too sure if we are ready for this.
SETI’s plan is to significantly increase the frequency of targeted, high-powered transmissions. The debate over the risks with that has been going on for decades, but now they want to bring their debate into the public.
Physicist Stephen Hawking has argued against that strategy, saying that the signals could attract the bad kind of aliens depicted in movies ranging from War of the Worlds to Independence Day. He imagines that our first contact with extraterrestrials could be like the Native Americans’ first contact with Europeans, “which didn’t turn out very well for the Native Americans,” reported NBC News
For more about NASA’s search for extraterrestrial intelligence, watch this Documentary,
“SETI has been conducted sporadically in the past, but recently a surge of individuals and organizations have initiated or suggested new METI programs, both academic and commercial in nature. METI programs carry unknown and potentially enormous implications and consequences. We feel the decision whether or not to transmit must be based upon a worldwide consensus, and not a decision based upon the wishes of a few individuals with access to powerful communications equipment. We strongly encourage vigorous international debate by a broadly representative body prior to engaging further in this activity,” SETI said in a statement on their website.
SpaceX‘s billionaire founder Elon Musk; Berkeley SETI researcher Dan Werthimer; John Rummel, the former head of NASA’s planetary protection office; and planet-hunting astronomer Geoff Marcy are among those who have signed the statement.
As exciting as all this sounds, we have had wars/conflict since records were first kept; we have conflicts over people’s religions and beliefs. We don’t respect countries’ borders, have race riots, and are overpopulated. With all these problems, can we truly say we are ready for aliens? Until we show more compassion and tolerance for others, and our governments can be more truthful, how can we be ready? Do you think the human race is ready for extraterrestrial contact?
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