Imagine what it would be like to meet sensible aliens who found us and flew to Earth. Immediately remember the film "Independence Day" and other cheap but cheerful fighters with big-headed aliens, like people. Regardless of whether they enslave us, destroy or devour, we have always considered and will consider them hostile, selfish and indifferent to the destinies and sufferings of mankind. Many people are afraid of exactly this outcome of the meeting, and among them are Ilon Mask, David Brin and Stephen Hawking. But so far there are no signs that aliens can be hostile to us. In general, if they exist, concealing our presence from them may be the worst decision on the part of humanity.
If aliens do exist, hiding our reason and curiosity from them will only harm us and in no way interfere with detection
There are three possible scenarios concerning intelligent, space-exploration aliens, if, of course, they exist:
- Either it will not be interesting for them to come into contact with other intelligent species
- Either their interest and intentions will be affable or benevolent
- Either their interest and intentions will be openly hostile
The first scenario seems the least likely. What could be the reason for the exploration of space if you are not interested in coming into contact with other species? However, if they are not interested, they will not come here.
The second possibility is a little more intriguing. Imagine a kind look of traveling aliens, like the Vulcans from Star Trek. If they found out how to successfully overcome the distances between the stars, then they have technology that for hundreds of years ahead of our own, and maybe thousands or tens of thousands. In our world, enough problems – we are trying to master our own planet, and we have the resources of the whole world, the solar system and the big, energy-giving Sun. If the species that visits Earth is reasonable and benevolent, it can find solutions to problems that people are just beginning to struggle with. A meeting with such a civilization will only benefit us.
Our fear of extraterrestrials and their possible hostility toward us forms a misconception about them
And the third scenario is the source of all our fears. He combines the statements of Brin, Peter Watts and Hawking:
"The worst mistake of the first contact, which was done throughout history by different personalities on both sides of each new confrontation, was the unfortunate habit of making assumptions. Often it turned out to be fatal. " – David Brin
"… if the best toys suddenly fall into the hands of those who always remembered that life is a war against a reasonable opponent, what to speak of a race, the cars of which travel between the stars?" – Peter Watts
"If aliens visit us, the outcome may be the same as when Columbus landed in America, which did not turn out well for Native Americans. It's enough to look at ourselves to see how an intelligent life can become something that we would not like to face. " – Stephen Hawking
Of course, if we look at our own behavior, we will have every reason to fear extraterrestrials. If they are like us, with a history of disregard for life, societies and civilizations that are different from our own, our fears will be legitimate. Regardless of what they want from us – our planet, our natural resources, our oxygen, our minds – it is very likely that we will not be able to protect ourselves from what might be their best, superior technologies. If they are hostile to people or are indifferent to our lives, but are interested in something that is in our world, there may not be a way to be saved from them at all. It will be the death of humanity.
This scenario frightens many of us. But is it based on reality, is there at least one justified reason not to send our messages, space vehicles and information to other stars? Of course not. Just imagine the possibilities. If the aliens needed natural resources, rare elements, they would have been better off visiting the planet from these elements; there is no reason to fly for this to the Earth. If they needed molecular oxygen, they probably would have had astronomical technology to search for molecular signatures in the atmospheres of exoplanets. On Earth, it was already in the 21st century. In fact, if they were interested in inhabited worlds at all and if their goal was to destroy them, they could use the methods and technologies that we have already foreseen and can reveal in advance.
Both reflected sunlight on the planet and absorbed sunlight passing through the atmosphere provide two methods for measuring the atmospheric content and surface properties of distant worlds
If someone were really interested in finding the Earth because of its physical or biological properties, he could do it remotely. Moreover, it is much easier to observe remotely than to send a spacecraft through the whole space; if they can do the latter, then surely the first. We are already looking for planets, learning to measure their properties, trying to understand how to look for life on them, the necessary elements, atmospheric content and so on. If intelligent aliens exist, their skills and knowledge in astronomy should far exceed our own.
In other words, if you are looking for a world to gather resources, and the Earth is what you need, you will find us even if we hide. Any message that says "we are here" will serve as an old news for anyone looking for us for any reason other than wanting to come into contact with another sensible, conscious, technologically advanced species. If another species is not interested in intelligent life in the universe, it will not respond. And why?
The southern part of the Milky Way, as seen by ALMA, illustrates one of the ways to find signals of intelligent aliens: in radio air. If we found a signal or passed it on, and then received an answer to it, it would be one of the greatest achievements in the history of our planet
There are many questions that we are looking for answers to; we are just beginning to ask some questions. And yet, to survive in a long-term space journey, any alien race should have responded to these and many others. Therefore, Ethan Siegel with Medium.com asks them the two biggest, in his opinion, issues related to our problems:
- We evolved to be selfish custodians, always hungry for more and expand the horizons and limits of resources. How did you overcome the limitations of your evolution?
- The resources available on our planet are limited, and it is almost impossible to imagine survival without an energy source for long periods of time. But you could. How did you satisfy your own energy needs?
The possible benefits for humanity when establishing contact are immeasurable. It's like getting a great galactic teacher, developed thousands of years ahead. This would be the most incredible cultural exchange in the history of the Earth. But our fears that we are consumed lead to the fact that we avoid the greatest cosmic achievements that humanity has ever dreamed of. They are not backed by logic, science or causality. Fortunately, our fears should not control our destinies. Minds must.