First of all. As a member of the human race, I cannot think of a greater scientific discovery than discovering the existence of intelligent life in the solar system. However, when you really start to think about the implications the discovery would provide, it starts to sound like a not-so-fun discovery.
Just think about it. The intelligent life that is discovered outside the earth would be enormous. The greatest discovery of the century, possibly in all of human history. World religions and belief systems that say humans are the only intelligent life in existence would be shattered, there would be many skeptics and conspiracy theorists who would question it just like they do the moon landing. Every last detail released to the public about our visitors from the stars would be criticized and scrutinized.
Now there is already a lot of information and theories about what it would be like, but I want to find the realistic data and the real facts about what it would be like. It was a bit difficult, but I think I found it and you probably won’t like it.
Let’s look at the main form of communication that we believe would be effective in communicating with these other worlds. Radio waves. Also, for some reason many people think that our super powerful telescopes are capable of looking at the surface of a planet, what people don’t realize is that astrophysicists use these telescopes to look at a planet’s atmosphere. They do this to search for atmospheric signs of life. Like when you look at our planet, we have an atmosphere rich in oxygen and nitrogen because we have plant life and animal life that breathes it. There would never be a nitrogen and oxygen rich atmosphere for no reason, this blows a huge hole in the original Star Trek, because nature only does things for a reason. So let’s say we believe there is life on Mars, we put our giant Earth satellites in position with Mars and send a signal there. We received no response, which is not very surprising, but why? Well, you have to look at it from the point of view that we expect extraterrestrial life to have intelligence, technology, innovation and advancement of that technology all at the same time and we hope they can decode a message and send one back to Earth. That is a great hope that aliens are as advanced as we are. Now let’s go back 200 years in human history and say that aliens find a way to send a radio wave to earth in Earth year 1800. Now, according to our intelligence terms, we were still considered an intelligent species. in 1800 but didn’t have the technology and innovation at the time. So what makes us think that aliens do too? Earth has been around for 12.4 billion years (approximately), and intelligent life has only dominated this planet for the last two thousand years, and technology and innovation have been around for maybe a couple hundred years. So you see the small slice of time when intelligence and innovation and technology are all prominent in our world or any world for that matter.
Another point is that if you ask any UFO scientist or theorist, they will tell you that the salient characteristics that we are looking for in extraterrestrial life is intelligence. Let’s take a quick look at the definition of intelligence. Intelligence: the ability to apply knowledge and skills.
Now, the word intelligence was created to communicate the concept of applying knowledge and skills, and until we find a better way to communicate these concepts, we will have to deal with primitive verbal language. The ONLY reason humans are considered intelligent is because we invented the word. On our own terms, yes, we are smart. But we don’t really have a way to measure intelligence because it’s this weird ambiguous concept. But what makes us think that we are intelligent for a being from another world? I’d like to add this little quote from my personal hero and rock star astrophysicist Neil Degrasse Tyson which I think sums it up pretty well: “our best scientists work with chimpanzees for years and years, and after all this work chimpanzees can stack blocks and make very primitive tools, which is what our toddlers and babies can do very easily Now what makes you think alien scientists wouldn’t push Stephen Hawking and say “this human can do quantum mechanical equations in his head” , just like our little toddlers and alien babies.” Now what I take from this quote is that perspective is everything and that as a species we need to think more about that.
Now another really interesting little fact about civilizations is that when you look at a civilization that wants to expand into an interplanetary species, you run into a lot of problems. Any civilization that wishes to expand in this way is self-destructive and self-limiting. The question then arises as to whether an advanced alien civilization would even want to explore and become an interplanetary species. Let’s look at an example using the human race, we want to colonize Mars. Now if we look at the physical and financial effort required to fully colonize an entire planet, we have to see why we want to colonize another planet. We want to get away from earth because, say, if earth is destroyed, we still have another planet with the species thriving for the species to continue on. So let’s say to do this we send a billion people to Mars, but before that, we must become the dominant life form on Mars, we must stabilize the atmosphere to support that enormous amount of human life, and we must perfect space. travel enough that we can move large numbers of the human population to another planet. Which by the way the trip to March is approximately 9 months. So we need to perfect the air supplies, artificial gravity for these spaceships that carry the population. In addition, the human condition must be taken into account. Now seeing all those factors that have to be taken into account, the idea of traveling and living on another planet becomes very cloudy. Now onto the self-destructing section of things. When you look at the approach we would take to being an interplanetary species, you can look at our countries on earth as an example. Every country wants to be powerful, have influence and acquire territory. It’s kind of a flaw in our thinking, we’re greedy and have a pretty bad track record when it comes to staying in power because at any moment someone stronger can defeat you and then disappear from existence. And when you get into the same species on different planets, you will run into the problem of competition. We humans have this strange desire to seek competition and we tend to be destructive in our desire to seek it. A lot of people argue that competition fuels innovation and new discoveries and yes that may be true but from a sociological standpoint it can also lead to territorial disputes and if they work together and as a species towards a common goal I think that will progress. faster. than competition between the same species. Now any species that understands that competition leads to destruction, and destruction leads to war, this species will be at the forefront and may not even feel the need to explore.
Now taking all this is. It makes me think of the Elon Musk quote “We want to go to Mars because a future without Mars is boring.” I agree with him on that, a future as an interplanetary species is really exciting. Thinking about it fills my imagination with spaceships and a sense of adventure like we, as a human race, more and more. Although it seems like a childish dream. Now another big question is whether aliens visited our planet and determined that there were no signs of intelligent life. Much like the point I made above, we are an intelligent species by our definition of the word intelligence. What gives us the right to even speculate that we are a relentless force of intelligence seeking to discover other forms of life like ourselves? We can’t even overcome our own man-made dilemmas here on earth, but we think we’re ready to expand our horizons and explore the galaxy. It seems ignorant and naive.
You also look at Stephen Hawking who is one of the smartest humans alive today, he has even speculated that if an alien life form were to discover our planet. Either they would enslave the human race, or they would just kill us all like a child with a magnifying glass for ants. Now what makes you think this? The reason he thinks this way is that he watches human hostility throughout our thousands of years on this earth and it is plagued by war after war after war. He’s not wrong in the sense he gets from looking at human history, he sees war and it’s not wrong of him to expect that same hostility from other life, but there’s literally no evidence that aliens are hostile like we are. Also if we find another form of intelligent life then there are strong predictions that they are not like war, the reason for this hypothesis is that if a species is really intelligent and really advanced then it would not see war as a primary form. to gain territory or influence. They are most likely very content, as they would not view the scientific gains from the things humans do as quests out of sheer curiosity.
This brings me to my final point. What if we are simply not worthy in terms of intelligence or innovation as a species, that these aliens consider us worthy of contact? I mean, think about it, what is the main drive behind wanting to find alien life? It is curiosity and a feeling of being afraid of being alone in the universe. I’m about to ask some big questions, but the only way to find the big answers is to ask the right big questions. Should we strive to be an interplanetary species? Would it benefit our world as a whole? Shouldn’t we focus on trying to protect our species’ only home, or should we keep window shopping for a new one? I think it would make our species self-destructive in the sense of how many things can go wrong. I mean, let’s say we successfully colonized Mars, which by the way, if we have the capabilities to terraform Mars, then we have the technology to make Earth healthy again. My big concern is that people will start arguing and before we all know it. We humans are waging an interplanetary war with ourselves and in that sense we would be counterproductive. I feel like we’re entering the space age hoping to benefit our species and I think we might succeed in that dream in some way, but in the long run I don’t see it being beneficial to the continuation of our species.
As humans, we are the most successful and destructive species on the planet that has ever existed. We have to realize as a species that the only way we can all have a home is to take proper care of the only home we have.
PS Actually, astrophysicists believe that in about 5 billion years our sun will completely implode and vaporize the earth and the rest of our solar system will be left as a black nothing, a graveyard for the 8 godlike planets. So it doesn’t really matter if humans die tomorrow or 1000 years from now. Just say.