“There’s a possibility that if we actively message, with the intention of getting the attention of an intelligent civilization, that the civilization we contact would not necessarily have our best interests in mind…”
As never before, it seems that astronomers are getting extremely close to finding alien life elsewhere in the universe. However, while millions of people around the globe are eagerly waiting for this moment, experts warn that we should be careful what we wish for.
According to Lucianne Walkowicz, an astrophysicist at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, during an interview with NBC news making contact could be catastrophic for the human race.
“There’s a possibility that if we actively message, with the intention of getting the attention of an intelligent civilization, that the civilization we contact would not necessarily have our best interests in mind,” says Lucianne Walkowicz, an astrophysicist at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago. “On the other hand, there might be great benefits. It could be something that ends life on Earth, and it might be something that accelerates the ability to live quality lives on Earth. We have no way of knowing.”
Stephen Hawking, the world-renowned astrophysicist has also warned that we should be very careful when looking for aliens as there is a great chance that if aliens found out about Earth, they could want to CONQUER our planet.
To put it into perspective, Stephen Hawking compared finding aliens to Native Americans encountering Columbus.
During an interview, Professor Hawking said that:
“If aliens visit us, the outcome could be much like when Columbus landed in America, which didn’t turn out well for the Native Americans.”
According to Stephen Hawking, if an alien civilization exists out there, and that civilization is capable of picking up one of the many signals we are sending into outer space, they most likely are able to find out where the signals are coming from. However, this alien civilization may be BILLIONS of years more advanced than we are, which means that we can become an easy target to overthrow or invade.
However, co-founder and former director of the SETI Institute, Jill Tarter doesn’t seem to agree saying alien civilizations who have managed to travel across the universe effortlessly will be sophisticated enough to be friendly and peaceful.
“The idea of a civilization which has managed to survive far longer than we have…and the fact that that technology remains an aggressive one, to me, doesn’t make sense,” she said.
“Any civilization detecting our presence is likely to be technologically very advanced, and may not be disposed to treat us nicely. At the very least, the idea seems morally questionable,” physicist Mark Buchanan argued in the journal Nature Physics last fall.
Interestingly, Douglas Vakoch, the director of Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence (METI) International said that “If we are in danger of an alien invasion, it’s too late.”
According to Vakoch, if we do not seek intelligent alien civilizations that may inhabit the universe we could miss out on NEW technology that could help humanity in the near future, and even protect us from potentially hostile aliens.
Featured image: What if aliens aren’t that friendly? Image Credit.