Scientist Asks “How Would You Respond To Alien Contact?”
The greatest minds on our planet have long pondered about how alien contact would unfold. How would contact be made? How should we respond? And despite decades of second-guessing, no procedures are yet in place for this possibility. These questions are still being asked and now scientists want the input from the general public on this alien contact topic.
On Monday (1st of July), members from the UK SETI Research Network launched the largest ever public survey about contact with an alien life form. The idea of the survey is to help set up international protocols. These protocols will bed the foundations for how alien news is shared as well as how humans may reply to any possible alien messages.
Martin Dominik, an astronomer at the University of St Andrews, said the SETI program wants to hear from the public as alien contact would affect more than just the scientific community. It would shake most of our core beliefs and threaten the foundations of our civilization.
The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) has scoured the skies listening for complex radio signals. On top of this, a number of probes have also been sent to planets within our own solar system. However, we have barely scratched the surface in our search for alien life. As Dominik points out: “If there were tens of quintillions of other civilizations like ours evenly distributed in the Milky Way, the Breakthrough Listen project would not have heard a thing.”
Alien Contact Survey
You can find the link to the survey about alien contact here.
The SETI survey asks much-needed questions such as;
- Do you think that there is life beyond Earth?
- What form do you expect this life to take?
- Simple (like bacteria)
- Intelligent (like humans or dolphins)
- Much more advanced than humans
Furthermore, there are questions that allow you to leave your own opinion. Questions like “How do you feel about it? (contact with aliens), and if contact was made “Why should we reply?”
It is said that SETI would immediately release any details about contact with alien life. However, in the era of social media, there is a fear that this may cause an avalanche of fake alien news stories and open up even more conspiracy theories. This, in turn, would leave many people confused at what to believe.
There are issues with detecting complex signals received from space. Firstly, complexity doesn’t necessarily indicate the presence of alien life. Releasing information that a complex message was received without knowing its cause may cause skepticism and create a lot of fake news.
On top of this, say the signal does come from an intelligent life form, it may take months or years to decipher it – if at all. Therefore, how would the public react to knowing an alien life form contacted us, but we have no way of understanding communication?
This vacuum of uncertainty would surely manifest speculation, conjecture, and rumors. This is why it is important to have a protocol to deal with such a global event.
The survey is aimed at helping SETI scientists better understand how to provide reliable information. And, how to reply to such contact as a global civilization.
However, one issue with contacting aliens was raised by Prof. Stephen Hawking. Who warned that contact with an intelligent alien race would be similar to that of when Columbus landed in America. But, other researchers disagree with this statement.
So, what do you think about all of this? Should we make contact, and what should we say? We’d love to know what you think about this situation. So, please leave your thoughts in a comment below.