"We cannot afford to be ill-prepared, scientifically, socially, and politically rudderless, for an event that could happen at any time and which we cannot afford to mismanage..."
We have seen numerous science fiction movies about alien contact. And while some of these movies show a benevolent side of aliens, other films like, for example, Independence Day 1 and 2 show a different, more threatening side. What if aliens do contact, and what if they want to conquer? Although some scientists, like Harvard astronomer Professor Avi Loeb, believe this will unlikely be the case, other experts warn that humans cannot be ill-prepared for alien contact.
Humans Cannot be Ill-Prepared for Alien Contact
Undoubtedly, the moment we find conclusive evidence we are not alone in the universe will forever change the history of humankind. Religion, evolution, science, and everything we’ve known to be true for so many years would need re-evaluating. As scientists at the University of St. Andrews revealed, it would be a transformative event. But will the world’s nations be prepared for such an event? According to Dr. John Elliott, a computer linguist at St. Andrews, “We cannot afford to be ill-prepared, scientifically, socially, and politically rudderless, for an event that could happen at any time and which we cannot afford to mismanage.”
Detection of alien signals and next moves
Say we find an alien signal sent out to Earth by advanced alien civilizations. What do we do with such information? How do we proceed? In the next few months, the Guardian reports that Elliott will bring together a team of international researchers and task them with getting ready for such an event. Scientists need to be ready, whether this is for analyzing a mysterious signal or even an artifact. Dr. Eliott stresses that we need strategies and scenarios in place to know what to do with such a discovery when we come across it.
A matter of time?
Many experts believe that it is only a matter of time before we do make contact. In fact, some even claim that we may have been close to actually finding evidence of alien life back in 2017. Professor Avi Loeb argues that it is very likely that the interstellar object ‘Oumuamua was either a defunct or operational piece of alien technology, and we missed out on studying it. Nevertheless, the more we explore the cosmos, the more worlds we uncover. Many of them are believed to be similar to Earth, raising the hopes that life as we know it may have sprung into existence on some of them.
But time matters
However, while it may only be a matter of time before we do find evidence of alien life, it is very likely that establishing communication won’t be so easy. In fact, it is likely that if there are advanced aliens in the galaxy, they will lily be located hundreds if not thousands of light years away. Given our technological limitations, it means that communicating with an alien species would be done over the scale of several centuries.