You probably have heard that various scientists have been trying to communicate with aliens for over half a century now – it is likely that it first started with a space experiment by the USSR using the Crimea massive radio telescope to send Morse code messages to any intelligent extraterrestrial life that might be there on Venus. Other radio transmitted messages from Earth, in various locations by both official and maverick sources, have followed-on – known to have happened certainly two decades ago, a decade ago, and a few times even in this decade, and which have included encoded examples of human scientific discover here, described our solar system, the compounds important for life, and the structure of DNA (to prove we are a clever lot, eh?).
You probably have not heard though that the spendthrift element of our scientific community is intent of having another go this year at interacting with mythical, intelligent civilisations outside of our own solar system – this time they are going to publish via those deep space radio transmissions the periodic table of elements (as we know it), which no doubt is expected to show the aliens that we are an intellectual, sharing, diligent, friendly, and peaceful species to be trusted. Will that sufficiently pull the wool over their eyes to the extend that they won’t suspect that in reality we are something much less attractive?
Will they establish from remote that we are in fact a species in a state of perpetual war between countries and groups, that our communities are ‘dog eat dog’ orientated, that we have gained supremacy on our Earth over all other species by a maxim of ‘survival of the fittest’ enhanced by significantly lucky breaks, that we have embarked on a course of eliminating all other species on our planet that we can’t usefully subjugate or consume, that we are unbelievably cruel even to our own kind as well as other species which we also kill as a pleasure pastime, that we kill or enslave others for personal gain or desire, that we eliminate those that get in our way, that we have used our great knowledge and scientific discovery to manufacture massive quantities of firearms and produce explosives of dreadful destruction like gunpowder, TNT, dynamite, Nitroglycerin, ammonium nitrate, and the ultimate global destructor of nuclear explosive. The well off irresponsibly have both squandered the Earth’s natural resources and have practically destroyed our habitat and climate, not least by polluting the land and oceans with poisonous rubbish and plastic. Moreover, as a species we are utterly untrustworthy, wouldn’t you say?
However, as yet as far as the stupid, still alien searching astronomists are concerned, we have heard nothing back from space – what a stroke of luck, don’t you think?
You see, a decade ago renowned visionary theoretical physicist and space cosmologist Stephen Hawking (sadly deceased last year) had cautioned against trying to actively hail any alien civilisations that might be out there. The clear warned is that inviting alien civilisations that may be more advanced than ours, to be in contact with Earth is clearly a risk – and an unquantifiable one at that, isn’t it?
It seems that some village idiots amongst us seem to think that any other intelligent life would be so wise and so knowledgeable and so sophisticated that also they would be ‘peaceful’. Well, you certainly cannot and should not assume that, should you?
No, and we have plenty of examples from our past history to know that the arrival even of a more developed group of the same species can spell disaster for the existing population, eh?
Take the arrival of us armed Europeans on the continent of America – how did that turn out for the Indian native population, would you say? Or say the colonisation of Australia back in the 1700s – the indigenous Australians, Aboriginal or those of Torres Strait Islander origin, have had their culture destroyed, and the Aboriginal has been ‘written out’ of Australian history – they now number a mere three percent of the population. Even before that of course there was the arrival of the Europeans in Africa resulting the disgusting slave trade that commenced in the 15th century and peaked in the late 18th century, when the largest number of slaves were captured on raiding expeditions into the interior of West Africa – subsequent colonization befell Africa in the1800s with European imperialist aggression, military invasions, and ultimately conquest.
If ‘super-advanced’ aliens ever did visit our little ‘comparatively backward’ planet, what would you expect the outcome to be? Would they really come here to help us, to freely share their superior knowledge with us, or might they instead simply raid Earth for any useful resources (if we actually have any left) and then move on, or perhaps just eliminate us [in the way that we would crush with our shoe an insignificant beetle scurrying across the floor, even though it is of no danger to us]?
Oh yes, science fiction has for a long time held a compelling fascination for the public and has been so since the start of technology – possibly because of its implausibility? It allows us to compare humanity against other potential species and intelligences, knowing that we seem to have gained supremacy on Earth over other impressive species by seemingly significantly luck breaks – or by divine design? That is why we simply love the American epic space saga Star Wars, that started some 40 years ago no less, and the battles of us humans against its iconic characters such as Darth Vader, Greedo, Boba Fett, Supreme Leader Snoke, Jabba the Hutt, etc. [but in fiction we always win, don’t we?].
In the UK for over 50 years we have had our own bespoke science fiction television series (and film) namely Doctor Who, which portrays an eccentric, compassionate, extraterrestrial Time Lord who can crisscross the universe through time and space to do battle against injustice and evil forces, and he/she regenerates (twelve times so far), and travels using a TARDIS spaceship in the form of a magical blue police phone box of 1920s ilk. The fiction has its extraterrestrial villains of Daleks, Yartek and Voord Warriors, Cybermen, Davros, Zygons, Weeping Angels, The Beast, and The Silence.
Undoubtably because of science fiction, many in the World still understandably believe in UFOs (like flying saucers) carrying aliens visiting our planet to suss out our species. That is not just down to farfetched human imagination and hallucination, or interpretations of events that can be the trick of light or mirages, or puzzling natural phenomenon with flashes high in the atmosphere triggered by thunderstorms, but sightings are more likely to have been mind-boggling technologies involved in top secret activities, since much of the alleged alien activity of the past 80 years has ultimately been revealed as top-secret government projects like testing spy planes and the like (indeed back in the 1950s the U.S. Air Force really was working on building a supersonic saucer, but the prototypes flopped).
Anyway, even if it was actually true, do you think that aliens would have found the human race to be a good bedfellow? Do you think aliens would think of the human race as being benevolent or malevolent? If we humans ever encounter real aliens, things might turn out very different to our winning science fiction accounts, surely?
Well, there’s also the matter that if we don’t blow-up this planet with our nuclear arsenal (which seems the increasingly most likely outcome for our species), there is a near certainty chance of a life wipe out disaster occurring to planet Earth from outer space within the next ten thousand years [like a large Asteroid impact against which we are quite helpless and could wipe out humanity by causing enormous tsunamis, fires and other natural disasters, or a high energy solar flare from the Sun that would leave us with no electricity, heating, air conditioning, GPS or internet and with food and medicines going bad, or three or four other things also feared]
The very fact that humanity has never been better equipped to find life beyond Earth and despite the sterling efforts of gaggles of professional and amateur scientists and renowned research institutes have grinding away over countless years all looking for life beyond Earth in a massive Universe, but without success, the probability has to be that we are alone in the universe in terms of intelligent life (though there may well be microbial life around but yet to be discovered)
Many astronomers think that we need to be more careful about radio use in our attempts to encounter aliens. Others say that any super-advanced aliens out there will know about us already, so it’s too late to try to conceal ourselves in the universe. Well, if the latter is true, we might well really have something to worry about that should keep us awake at night, eh? We cannot of course know what kind of culture aliens might have, nor comprehend the technology they may use, but if these far-off (say 50 light-years) scientifically enhanced creatures have assessed us as a bad egg, they may well have already decided to evaporate our planet.
It could well be that they have developed a super-devastating directed-energy weapon ray that like electromagnetic radio waves can travel freely through space towards Earth at the speed of light – if its on its way already we simply won’t wake up one morning as our planet will have been completely pulverised
[Our experience of all types of life on Earth is that the survival instinct is paramount and stress response falls into three main categories – Hide, Flight, and Fight. That is what we might reasonably expect to show towards aliens and indeed them towards us, so caution needs to be our byword]