How would the world change if we found extraterrestrial life?

January 29, 2015 by Elizabeth Howell, Astrobiology Magazine, Astrobio.net
Elizabeth Howell The ALH84001 meteorite, which in a 1996 Science publication was speculated to be host to what could be ancient Martian fossils. That finding is still under dispute today. Credit: NASA/JSC/Stanford University

In 1938, Orson Welles narrated a radio broadcast of "War of the Worlds" as a series of simulated radio bulletins of what was happening in real time as Martians arrived on our home planet. The broadcast is widely remembered for creating public panic, although to what extent is hotly debated today.

Still, the incident serves as an illustration of what could happen when the first life beyond Earth is discovered. While scientists might be excited by the prospect, introducing the public, politicians and interest groups to the idea could take some time.

How would change our world view is a research interest of Steven Dick, who just completed a term as the Baruch S. Blumberg NASA/Library of Congress Chair of Astrobiology. The chair is jointly sponsored by the NASA Astrobiology Program and the John W. Kluge Center, at the Library of Congress.

Dick is a former astronomer and historian at the United States Naval Observatory, a past chief historian for NASA, and has published several books concerning the discovery of life beyond Earth. To Dick, even the discovery of microbes would be a profound shift for science.

"If we found microbes, it would have an effect on science, especially , by universalizing biology," he said. "We only have one case of biology on Earth. It's all related. It's all DNA-based. If we found an independent example on Mars or Europa, we have a chance of forming a universal biology."

Dick points out that even the possibilities of extraterrestrial fossils could change our viewpoints, such as the ongoing discussion of ALH84001, a Martian meteorite found in Antarctica that erupted into public consciousness in 1996 after a Science article said structures inside of it could be linked to biological activity. The conclusion, which is still debated today, led to congressional hearings.

"I've done a book about discovery in astronomy, and it's an extended process," Dick pointed out. "It's not like you point your telescope and say, 'Oh, I made a discovery.' It's always an extended process: You have to detect something, you have to interpret it, and it takes a long time to understand it. As for extraterrestrial life, the Mars rock showed it could take an extended period of years to understand it."

Mayan decipherments

If contact with extraterrestrial life is made through radio telescopes, a decipherment process may have to take place to understand the message. Credit: NASA

In his year at the Library of Congress, Dick spent time searching for historical examples (as well as historical analogies) of how humanity might deal with first contact with an extraterrestrial civilization. History shows that contact with new cultures can go in vastly different directions.

Hernan Cortes' treatment of the Aztecs is often cited as an example of how wrong first contact can go. But there were other efforts that were a little more mutually beneficial, although the outcomes were never perfect. Fur traders in Canada in the 1800s worked closely with Native Americans, for example, and the Chinese treasure fleet of the 15th Century successfully brought its home culture far beyond its borders, perhaps even to East Africa.

Even when both sides were trying hard to make communication work, there were barriers, noted Dick.

"The Jesuits had contact with Native Americans," he pointed out. "Certain concepts were difficult, like when they tried to get across the ideas of the soul and immortality."

Indirect contact by way of radio communications through the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), also illustrates the challenges of transmitting information across cultures. There is historical precedence for this, such as when Greek knowledge passed west through Arab in the 12th Century. This shows that it is possible for ideas to be revived, even from dead cultures, he said.

It's also quite possible that the language we receive across these indirect communications would be foreign to us. Even though mathematics is often cited as a universal language, Dick said there are actually two schools of thought. One theory is that there is, indeed, one kind of mathematics that is based on a Platonic idea, and the other theory is that mathematics is a construction of the culture that you are in.

"There will be a decipherment process. It might be more like the Mayan decipherments," Dick said.

The ethics of contact

A second look by the Mars Global Surveyor at the so-called Viking “Face on Mars” in Cydonia revealed a more ordinary-looking hill, showing that science is an extended process of discovery. Credit: NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

As Dick came to a greater understanding about the potential cultural impact of , he invited other scholars to present their findings along with him. Dick chaired a two-day NASA/Library of Congress Astrobiology Symposium called "Preparing for Discovery," which was intended to address the impact of finding any kind of life beyond Earth, whether microbial or some kind of intelligent, multicellular life form.

The symposium participants discussed how to move beyond human-centered views of defining life, how to understand the philosophical and theological problems a discovery would bring, and how to help the public understand the implications of a discovery.

Finding microbes on a moon such as Europa could alter the culture on Earth, even though they are not considered intelligent life. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SETI Institute

"There is also the question of what I call astro-ethics," Dick said. "How do you treat alien life? How do you treat it differently, ranging from microbes to intelligence? So we had a philosopher at our symposium talking about the moral status of non-human organisms, talking in relation to animals on Earth and what their status is in relation to us."

Dick plans to collect the lectures in a book for publication next year, but he also spent his time at the library gathering materials for a second book about how discovering life beyond Earth will revolutionize our thinking.

"It's very farsighted for NASA to fund a position like this," Dick added. "They have all their programs in astrobiology, they fund the scientists, but here they fund somebody to think about what the implications might be. It's a good idea to do this, to foresee what might happen before it occurs."

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sirchick
1 / 5 (10) Jan 29, 2015
My biggest concern is - if we found life, they wouldn't tell the public so freely encase of panic, even if all they found was micro-bacteria, you can bet doomsday people will be very busy!

If they conceal the information i would be so annoyed. Then again the act of concealing pretty much proves they are finding it.
Squirrel
4.2 / 5 (5) Jan 29, 2015
Nothing would shock us more than to find that life out there was not alien but rather like our own. Imagine little green men with three eyes compared to imaging people out there just like you and me--it would be easier for us if aliens were really alien rather than just folk like us--except not living here on planet Earth.
Bongstar420
4.2 / 5 (5) Jan 29, 2015
You cannot compare any historical event with "first contact" with ET. Why bother displacing a bunch of apes when you can manufacture your habitats anywhere from asteroids and comets?

shoebox22
1.1 / 5 (15) Jan 29, 2015
I think in the cosmic microwave background radiation there may be proof aliens were here, since aliens would know that we are searching they would leave a marker like the cosmic background radiation, this we would know that they can travel faster than light and may have left 13.8 hours ago instead of 13.8 billion years, since they may have no other way to communicate they would do this, it is more possible to believe faster than light travel than a singularity big bang which we think is the back ground radiation.
big-ben-not-the-bell
4.9 / 5 (10) Jan 29, 2015
"How would the world change if we found extraterrestrial life?"

The world would not change if we found extraterrestrial life, because it is inevitable.
But, if extraterrestrial life found us, that would be a whole different story.
Rotoscience
4.4 / 5 (13) Jan 29, 2015
Yeah, we are going to find that we are not the only ones. And never have been. It will be natural for science to accept and explore that. Religion will be most seriously challenged because it is based on fantasy and not fact. People do not like having their fantasies changed.
turtletwi
1.3 / 5 (9) Jan 29, 2015
Everyone assume intelligent life would be found. Truth is Intelligent life will find us first. Remember we are stuck on this rock. Mankind has only step foot on our on moon and that's it.

In the event intelligent life does find us than you can bet the governments would not notify the people. The very first question in every press conference would be "how does this government plan on protecting us from such an advanced race of beings"? And of course the answer will always be "we can't. They are to advanced for the human race to survive a direct attack". And honestly I don't think a war would last any longer than an hour or two before all of mankind is extinct.

Personally I believe there is already a treaty in place but its to controversial to make public. Hence all the cover up's.
plejarenrrite
1 / 5 (10) Jan 29, 2015
The truth only hurts those with the most to gain from its continual and purposeful obfuscation. The evidence that we are not, and never have been the only planet with human life on it is available, but we must re-learn to see that which is right in front of us, and the evidence has been exactly right in front of us for thousands of years, but never more so than the last 64 years. The story of Eduard Albert Meier IS the most important story of scientific and historical significance to never be told, and until we all are willing to take the time to realize just how important this man's story is, we will continue to fail in our realization of our true potential for understanding.
kamcoautomotive
Jan 29, 2015
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
funnycarfiat
2.3 / 5 (4) Jan 29, 2015
it look like Dick has explored a lot of places but never Uranus
dwade79
4.5 / 5 (12) Jan 29, 2015
The Evangelicals in America would just claim the news of finding a ET life form is a Liberal Hoax and deny it. Just like they deny any other science that pokes holes in their fragile little worlds.
MS Patient
2.3 / 5 (7) Jan 29, 2015
YES, I welcome this and the aliens, Then we can stop all these religious wars especially the Muslims! End all religions and there is our Universe and God! We are all connected via DNA and now go and hug a tree and say I'm sorry I need you here on Earth.
Whydening Gyre
3 / 5 (4) Jan 29, 2015
it look like Dick has explored a lot of places but never Uranus


Credit where credit is due - that was funny...:-)
Whydening Gyre
3.9 / 5 (11) Jan 29, 2015
The Evangelicals in America would just claim the news of finding a ET life form is a Liberal Hoax and deny it. Just like they deny any other science that pokes holes in their fragile little worlds.

Nope. They will just say continue the fantasy by saying "Jesus has returned!"
smark2032
3 / 5 (6) Jan 29, 2015
If it came out that life existed outside Earth, hysteria and dystopia would ensue on a global scale. Religion - especially Abrahamic Religions - have no place for life to exist outside Earth. Life existing outside Earth - not even intelligent life, merely microbes - would prove books like The Bible, The Torah and the Quran are simply works of fiction. Imagine how the billions of devoutly religious people on this planet would handle that. Imagine what people who are willing to kill and die for today would be willing to do against people that directly claim their stories and lessons are outright lies. People who cannot get over millennia old hatreds, and are more concerned with what a woman wears over her face because of some holy book then the death of their brothers and sisters. Yeah, I think it will be a few hundred more years before humanity as a whole would even be remotely ready for this discussion.
turtletwi
4.8 / 5 (14) Jan 29, 2015
The Evangelicals in America would just claim the news of finding a ET life form is a Liberal Hoax and deny it. Just like they deny any other science that pokes holes in their fragile little worlds.

Nope. They will just say continue the fantasy by saying "Jesus has returned!"


They wont be saying Jesus has returned. It will always be Satan. And they'll be doing what they do best. Preaching fear and doom and gloom to try and scare people into the churches.
turtletwi
1 / 5 (1) Jan 29, 2015
I think in the cosmic microwave background radiation there may be proof aliens were here, since aliens would know that we are searching they would leave a marker like the cosmic background radiation, this we would know that they can travel faster than light and may have left 13.8 hours ago instead of 13.8 billion years, since they may have no other way to communicate they would do this, it is more possible to believe faster than light travel than a singularity big bang which we think is the back ground radiation.


Interesting thought process but time is measured at the speed of light. That being said the simple fact of exceed the speed of light isn't possible. Short cutting across space would make more sense and then you wouldn't need to worry about out running the speed of light. But what the hell do we know. we've never even been on other planet let alone travel our own solar system.
warren_
1 / 5 (3) Jan 29, 2015
Question for armchair physicists:
How much pressure is needed to stress an aluminum foil sphere (thickness of .02 mm) to it's bursting limit at sea level and how big would it be?
rickb102
4.7 / 5 (3) Jan 29, 2015
I think the only affect it will have is in the scientific arena. To the general public, it won't receive much fanfare. I'm pretty sure the only extraterrestrial life we will find in our lifetime will be microbial in form. If we hear a radio signal from another world, it will have been from many light years away and from years gone by. We won't be having brunch with any of them.
turtletwi
1 / 5 (4) Jan 29, 2015
I think the only affect it will have is in the scientific arena. To the general public, it won't receive much fanfare. I'm pretty sure the only extraterrestrial life we will find in our lifetime will be microbial in form. If we hear a radio signal from another world, it will have been from many light years away and from years gone by. We won't be having brunch with any of them.


We already got a radio signal but the world hasn't changed a bit from it. It was just simply dismissed.
Whydening Gyre
4.2 / 5 (5) Jan 29, 2015
They wont be saying Jesus has returned. It will always be Satan. And they'll be doing what they do best. Preaching fear and doom and gloom to try and scare people into the churches.

Turtle,
I might have to disagree... By making the prediction of his return (from the heavens), they have boxed themselves into a situation. Can't very well do a complete flip flop on those...

As to the radio signal recently received - they're still working on it...
PhotonX
4.9 / 5 (9) Jan 29, 2015
From the article:
Still, the incident serves as an illustration of what could happen when the first life beyond Earth is discovered.
No, it serves as an illustration of how people react when their home is being invaded. Big difference.
.
Sirchick:
Then again the act of concealing pretty much proves they are finding it.
I hope that didn't come out the way you meant it, because this sounds wacko.
.
Shoebox22:
since aliens would know that we are searching they would leave a marker like the cosmic background radiation
And leave a marker in every single farthest reach of the Universe? Wouldn't it be easier and far less equivocal to, say, leave buoys pinging prime number?
.
turtlewi:
In the event intelligent life does find us than you can bet the governments would not notify the people.
Conspiracy theorist nonsense. What makes you think the aliens would secretly contact them first, so that governments would have any say in the matter?
PhotonX
5 / 5 (9) Jan 29, 2015
Can't leave out plejarenrrite"
The story of Eduard Albert Meier IS the most important story of scientific and historical significance to never be told
What makes you think it's not told, unless it's just because it's hard to quit laughing long enough at the infamous UFO photo faker to tell his story. He's a nut case. You really bought into his nonsense?
.
People's reactions are going to be far different depending on whether the extraterrestrial life discovered is microbial or multicellular, and if multicellular whether or not it is intelligent. There won't be any kind of hysterical reaction about microbes, other than maybe fears of contamination, but sentient creatures will be another story, and I won't presume to know what people's reactions will be. If we're under attack, sure, we'll respond like someone kicked an anthill, not that it would last long.
turtletwi
5 / 5 (1) Jan 29, 2015
They wont be saying Jesus has returned. It will always be Satan. And they'll be doing what they do best. Preaching fear and doom and gloom to try and scare people into the churches.

Turtle,
I might have to disagree... By making the prediction of his return (from the heavens), they have boxed themselves into a situation. Can't very well do a complete flip flop on those...

As to the radio signal recently received - they're still working on it...


Then you know I'm referencing the "wow" signal
Losik
Jan 29, 2015
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
KBK
1 / 5 (3) Jan 29, 2015
I see as much blind dogma in some of the derisive comments here... as a reasonable man imagines that he sees in a baptist church.

the percentage of the population that were clerical middle servants in the christian machine, the core of dogmatic zealots, those rubber stampers of insanity of the dark ages, never went anywhere.

They became the core of the engineering machine in the modern world.

Mistaking physics as being written in stone, with no chance of change or shift.

here they flex their muscles, and show their zealot colors still remain firmly in their psyche, as they attack all of 'religion', with hard labels of scorn and hatred.

Never finding reason, middle, nor sense in themselves, they march on, only looking firm within themselves and others who reflect the same.

Odd that, isn't it? But not really.

The life style of the man has changed... but the design and function of the mind shifts rather slower - the ignorant and viscous monkey clannishness remains.
Carlos_Zuniga
5 / 5 (5) Jan 29, 2015
Don't avoid the real question here." What Would Alien Life Mean for Religion?".
Scotty
3.5 / 5 (4) Jan 29, 2015
Discovery of extraterrestrial life would be a fun speculation, but would have zero impact on earthlings. Why? Because we will never see them, never talk to them, never visit with them. For all practical purposes they would not exist. Some think it would alter faith in religions, but I don't see that as any possibility. No faith that I am aware of preaches exclusivity of mankind.
Discovering ET would be a nonevent.
ayesdi_fdesay
3.7 / 5 (3) Jan 29, 2015
We may find that our intelligence (which includes our mathematics) are entirely incompatible with theirs and that there are no grounds on which we can communicate anything. Thus we would have to accept that there is the potential for intelligences that humans cannot possibly comprehend and that the way we interpret the universe is severely (and inevitably) biased and limited.

When this sort of conversation comes up, there is always the analogy of the seeming impossibility of e.g. ant - human communication, but even then the evidence indicates that insect brains share too many commonalities with human brains to have evolved independently (and thus the analogy is far from adequate).
ashukuku
3 / 5 (2) Jan 30, 2015
Nothing should change......we should know we are also extra terrestrial for someone.....

I don't know why humans are so arrogant...they always think they are unique and on top of the hierarchy......
caman_semitek
5 / 5 (3) Jan 30, 2015
Time to start working on Genesis 2.0
Osiris1
1 / 5 (7) Jan 30, 2015
Take another look at that pic of the face on Mars. Take away the sand that piled up on one side of it and the original face would appear. The erosion is another story but possible has another explanation as well. Point is if it IS a sculpture, it has to be the oldest in the solar system, so naturally it will look a bit rough. It is also reasonable that form follows function, like a toilet, so sentient beings will have similar morphology.
Eikka
5 / 5 (8) Jan 30, 2015
"The Jesuits had contact with Native Americans," he pointed out. "Certain concepts were difficult, like when they tried to get across the ideas of the soul and immortality."


Of course it was, because both concepts are irrational.

You can't explain what you yourself don't actually understand, because what you're saying doesn't mean anything - the concepts of a soul, or God, or immortality are built around semantic and logical confusion.

You say "soul", but you have no idea what you're actually referring to, so how can you explain it to anyone else? That's why the missionaries didn't so much explain as simply indoctrinate the natives, essentially going, "repeat after me, and for the love of God don't try to think about it."

NeutronicallyRepulsive
3.8 / 5 (4) Jan 30, 2015
I don't think people during broadcast of 'War of the Worlds' were scared because it was aliens, but because they were hostile. I bet if there was play 'War' with another country attacking with similar tones of hopelessness the results would be similar. People were not scared of aliens per se, but hostility. I'll grant you that maybe a bit accented by the technological superiority of aliens and a bit o xenophobia thrown in the mix.
ddt6662000
not rated yet Jan 30, 2015
Proposed Studies on the Implications of Peaceful Space Activities for Human Affairs, often referred to as "the Brookings Report," was a 1960 report commissioned by NASA and created by the Brookings Institution in collaboration with NASA's Committee on Long-Range Studies. It was submitted to the House Committee on Science and Astronautics of the United States House of Representatives in the 87th United States Congress on April 18, 1961.[1] It was entered into the Congressional Record and can be found in any library possessing the Congressional Record for that year.
The report has become noted for one short section titled, "The implications of a discovery of extraterrestrial life," which examines the potential implications of such a discovery on public attitudes and values. The section briefly considers possible public reactions to some possible scenarios for the discovery of extraterrestrial life, stressing a need for further research in this area. It recommends continuing studies to d
Nattydread
1 / 5 (4) Jan 30, 2015
what about all the flying saucers in the skies? I've seen a few. I think aliens have already found us, why are we still denying it?
ddt6662000
not rated yet Jan 30, 2015
CONT.....
It recommends continuing studies to determine the likely social impact of such a discovery and its effects on public attitudes, including study of the question of how leadership should handle information about such a discovery and under what circumstances leaders might or might not find it advisable to withhold such information from the public.
While not specifically recommending a cover-up of evidence of extraterrestrial life, Proposed Studies on the Implications of Peaceful Space Activities for Human Affairs does suggest that contact with intelligent extraterrestrial life (or strong evidence of its reality) could have a disruptive effect on human societies. Moreover, it does mention the possibility that leadership might wish to withhold evidence of extraterrestrial life from the public under some conditions.[

ddt6662000
1 / 5 (6) Jan 30, 2015
Take a look at the picture The Opportunity Rover in 2007 0f Cape St. Vincent ,it's the only photo needed to prove the former or present existence of a humanoid presence on Mars. The highlights are a 12 meter Egyptian Style statue, a chain hoist rigging holding some material, and an excavated hole with a pile of dirt next to it, a pretty good trick for the wind. The video is titled "St Vincent 3-26-13 HD The Most Important Photo Ever Taken" , on youtube
http://youtu.be/CkRnMYBJeCc
Rute
1 / 5 (1) Jan 30, 2015
"Hello, I'm Dr. Dick and I'm going to talk to you about panspermia".

That's what I would say if I were him and giving a presentation.
Mimath224
5 / 5 (5) Jan 30, 2015
@ddt6662000 Ha! You've got to be kidding. Take a real good look at 16:15 mins and zoom '....I'm not even going to speculate about what this object is...' he says! That looks like a common auto to me, or a toy,...or do you think that front wheel arch is an 'eye'? If that's the best they can do on 'roads', 'their' highways must be terrible. It's amazing what one can imagine with shadows eh?
what about all the flying saucers in the skies? I've seen a few. I think aliens have already found us, why are we still denying it?

Did you report these 'few' to someone? I studied the UFO phenomena for years and like others I found that most sightings could be explained and it just the odd 2-3% that are really worth effort. To have seen 'a few' would make you very special (or something else?)
Perhaps I'm just nasty but most of those who'd care about alien life would be 'gold diggers'. Others would say 'I told you so' or 'Really,what's their mobile phone number?'
Just cmplaining that's all!
Skepticus
not rated yet Jan 30, 2015
The Evangelicals in America... fragile little worlds.

Yeah, the monotheists of Abrahamic religions will find it most uncomfortable. Buddhists and Hindus will just shrug and carry on. To them mankind has always been just one kind amongst others in the universe, there is nothing special about us, and to the true Buddhists (not the stupid, hyped up with nonsense of the Mahayana sects), the universe is evolving and changing all the time from causes and effects, there is no one single God, or omnipotent, everlasting Buddhas who made everything and reward/punish everyone. People will get to be whatever according to what they did. So , they will just try to live their lives upright and righteous, avoiding foaming at the mouth, subjugating and killing people who do not subscribe to their beliefs, and recognize and registered whatever happens in the universe as they are - because that's what they are.
saberfox
1.8 / 5 (10) Jan 30, 2015
Contrary to many of the comments I have read, the discovery of extraterrestrial life would not impact or influence the Christian beliefs as life existing elsewhere is a faction of such beliefs. Science and Religion are not enemies; Religion explains why God created, Science explains how God created. I have found that the Biblical references are verified by science, not debunked by science. This is true from the material that all life and existence was formed to the placement of the Earth in the Universe (remember; it was science that taught the geocentric model, not religion). Even the early Earth environment and the Hubble Constant is described.
dport60
1.4 / 5 (9) Jan 30, 2015
Many on here say that the worlds religious people would be devastated by the finding of Extraterrestrial Life in the Universe. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Bible and the Quran, which 2/3 of the people on earth use, both state that we were visited by Aliens in the past and list the terrible cost of the havoc that their visit reigned upon the earth. It eventually resulted in the necessity of the cleansing of the Alien DNA from all the animals and humans they infected... otherwise known as Noah's Flood. Also the books say that this Alien Life will return in the future and do the same thing all over again except next time this world will be cleansed with fire instead of water. So no believing religious person will be shocked or surprised, only the skeptics and scoffers that are willingly ignorant and rush into their new Alien "Friends" arms. So it isnt the Religious that will be caught off guard or shocked.
gestright
1 / 5 (2) Jan 30, 2015
I don't think it's all that complicated. Many of the scientist making these prognostications do so from a mind set of Worse-Case-Scenarios; and to make themselves appear more knowledgeable than they really are.

To my way of thinking, only two things could potentially happen. (1) Given that we humans have this propensity for corrupting virtually every good thing that we discover, if extra terrestrial life was discovered, we would most likely corrupt it or it would further corrupt us.

(2) As far as such a discover shaking up the foundations of our human belief systems and religions; I see this only happening to those who were the most insecure to begin with. The rest of humanity would no doubt slowly but surely integrate this new discovery into their particular status-quo perceptions of life.
snerdguy
5 / 5 (5) Jan 30, 2015
The discovery of extraterrestrial life will not cause an earth shaking change in the belief system. Humans have a defense against change called DENIAL. They will only see what they want to and deny the rest. So, scientists could dig up a little green humanoid from the watery depths of Europa and have it speak before a council of world leaders and on every broadcast channel and the vast majority of people will go "eh" and keep believing what they please. The lemmings that follow religious leaders will believe whatever they are told and those who reap the benefits of being at the top are definitely not going to shake the tree. Some will call it a fraud. Some will assemble phrases from their bible and say that their deity of preference created Europeons for a purpose. Some will see it as an opportunity to scam money from the ignorant and others will just panic for the sake of panicking because they live in fear of everything. Intelligent people will just be fascinated.
EnsignFlandry
4.2 / 5 (5) Jan 30, 2015
How different could alien mathematics be? Will 2+2=5? Will prime numbers be different? Will a plane triangle have 190 degree?
Sure, they will have mathematical theories we don't, or will have developed Category Theory to far beyond ours, but the basics will have to be the same.
voice
2 / 5 (2) Jan 30, 2015
In 1997 when my sci-fi novel "Voice in the Mirror" was published, to much controversy, and my lecture at the 1997 UFO congress in Laughlin, NV, I spoke of this very subject. "Life has been discovered on another planet, the other planet is EARTH." They discovered us. I was ridiculed as a hoaxer and it was said that I set the UFO community back 20 years. Well here we are almost 20 years later and although my novel was science fiction, much of what is contained there was and still is the absolute truth. We, on this fragile planet of ours, are poised to destroy it and all of the sentient life living upon it. We have to somehow embrace the pholosphy of Gene Roddenberry, and come to realize that we are tenants here and if we don't watch out, the landlord will come back and evict us.
Our universe is 13.5 billion years old. With the possibility of earth like planets having formed billions of years before us. Yes, they may have a head start and to them we might just seem like a colony of ants.
turtletwi
4 / 5 (2) Jan 30, 2015
Nothing should change......we should know we are also extra terrestrial for someone.....

I don't know why humans are so arrogant...they always think they are unique and on top of the hierarchy......


we arent extra terrestrial for anyone because we can't even get to another planet
kochevnik
5 / 5 (1) Jan 30, 2015
we arent extra terrestrial for anyone because we can't even get to another planet
We can get there, but not get back alive
turtletwi
4 / 5 (1) Jan 30, 2015
we arent extra terrestrial for anyone because we can't even get to another planet
We can get there, but not get back alive


HAHA not to a planet with an intelligent species. We can't even get to Pluto with out spending a life time getting there.
turtletwi
2 / 5 (1) Jan 30, 2015
In 1997 when my sci-fi novel "Voice in the Mirror" was published, to much controversy, and my lecture at the 1997 UFO congress in Laughlin, NV, I spoke of this very subject. "Life has been discovered on another planet, the other planet is EARTH." They discovered us. I was ridiculed as a hoaxer and it was said that I set the UFO community back 20 years.


It'll never change. With all the UFO sightings and reported cases of those things flying around as they please it amazes me of the sheer divide of those who believe its all fake and those believe its all real. I haven't had any experiences myself so I can't comment on if its all just jazz or not but until I speak with an ET myself it'll be pure entertainment for me. Personally I'm torn between both sides.
Nik_2213
not rated yet Jan 30, 2015
I really like topics such as this-- I've been able to add another dozen posters to my 'ignore user' list...
Benni
3.8 / 5 (5) Jan 30, 2015
what about all the flying saucers in the skies? I've seen a few. I think aliens have already found us, why are we still denying it?

.......because we are still waiting for one of them to land on the White House lawn demanding that the secret service to lead him/her to our leader & publicly watching the two of them shake hands, until that happens all you've been seeing is ball lightening phenomena.
Mimath224
4 / 5 (3) Jan 31, 2015
@Benni wrong idea, it just isn't that simple. I once investigated a sighting in the UK reported by pilot flying over the Thames estuary one night. This thing was close enough to cause a displacement of his route. But all he saw were lights revolving slowly as it vanished from view in the distance. People at ground level also reported similar around the same time and was reported by media the following day as mysterious vanishing lights. After several weeks guess what; I and my team established. It was a @#$%&* missile. Routine excercises should have stopped at dusk (a regulation at that time) but didn't. The revolving lights were red hot fin tips which gradually faded. My superiors reported this to the media and...weren't interested. Or 'midnight falling lights' grabbed by others as exotic phenmena were nothing more than car headlights moving down a high hill road with overhanging trees. cont....
Mimath224
2.3 / 5 (3) Jan 31, 2015
cont...But Vehicle Interference reports are different and if you want evidence this is where it is, imo. Radiation that causes skin complaints, garments disintegrate and so on. The list of effects is long. Unfortunately many of these reports become classified. Last century the North Sea was became a dangerous place for fishermen because of strange silent craft at only a few feet above the mast. But because there were miltary jets around at the time it was all classified.
So Benni, don't read the books go out and explore it yourself then decide on whether it's ball lightening or not...come to that have you ever seen so called 'ball lightening'? BL is quite another story Ha!
holdensedan
not rated yet Jan 31, 2015
Great article, I especially liked being introduced to the idea that mathematics may not be a universal language, and may in fact be "a construction of the culture that you are in".
I didn't know anything about that concept before I read this article, and now my neurons are firing in a pleasing manner.

Thinking about astrobiology is like sex for the brain...

freeiam
1 / 5 (2) Jan 31, 2015
Great article, I especially liked being introduced to the idea that mathematics may not be a universal language, and may in fact be "a construction of the culture that you are in".


That's an old idea: cultural relativism (essentially no truth exists), antropologist would like you to believe that. It's bulshit ofcourse.
I once had a discussion with someone with that opinion (or at least he pretended he had) while doing an very extensive training (running). The final part of the training was an extremely intense field track that we had to do three times. Right before the last track I asked him: 'isn't it nice that three isn't 10?
freeiam
4.7 / 5 (3) Jan 31, 2015
"The Jesuits had contact with Native Americans," he pointed out. "Certain concepts were difficult, like when they tried to get across the ideas of the soul and immortality."

No wonder, since they don't exist.
(The best part of humanity got lost with the extermination of the Indians.)
Benni
4 / 5 (5) Jan 31, 2015
So Benni, don't read the books go out and explore it yourself then decide on whether it's ball lightening or not...come to that have you ever seen so called 'ball lightening'? BL is quite another story Ha!


.....and so I have & being an Engineer in the energy producing sector in the US, I can tell you that our atmosphere creates a lot of phenomena that past generations thought were UFOs. We still can't explain all the atmospheric phenomena which can produce high energy many conditions we observe, but don't forget it was only in the last century we figured out what produced the Northern Lights.

For example, it has only been in recent years that we discovered gamma radiation is often present in lightning bolts. I'm sure that as spectroscopy analyses continues to advance, we will see many more explanations for what today passes as UFology, I seriously doubt we're looking at angels dancing on pinheads here.
kochevnik
5 / 5 (1) Jan 31, 2015
Great article, I especially liked being introduced to the idea that mathematics may not be a universal language, and may in fact be "a construction of the culture that you are in".
That hasn't been the case on Earth. In fact it seems to display an ignorance of maths. Particular cultures emphasize particular concepts simply
Whydening Gyre
3 / 5 (2) Jan 31, 2015
Discovery of extraterrestrial life would be a fun speculation, but would have zero impact on earthlings. Why? Because we will never see them, never talk to them, never visit with them. For all practical purposes they would not exist. Some think it would alter faith in religions, but I don't see that as any possibility. No faith that I am aware of preaches exclusivity of mankind.
Discovering ET would be a nonevent.

Except for some guys asking if there were females. And - if so, what did they look like naked...
PhotonX
5 / 5 (4) Jan 31, 2015
Losix/Zephir:
yesterday I found a plant on the 67P comet.
No, you found a linear feature that superficially looks like a plant. Is it impossible for anything else to look like that? Jumping to that conclusion is why you were downvoted.
.
ayesdi_fdesay:
We may find that our intelligence (which includes our mathematics) are entirely incompatible
How could math be incompatible? Sure, they might not use base-10, but surely don't think that 2+2=5 on other worlds, do you? Never mind, I see EnsignFlandry already covered that.
.
Osiris1:
Take another look at that pic of the face on Mars. Take away the sand that piled up on one side of it and the original face would appear.
And I suppose you think the Richat Structure is something they set up on Earth for target practice?
.
Eikka:
Of course it was, because both concepts are irrational.
Amen.
.
.
Mimath224
4 / 5 (4) Feb 01, 2015
@Benni, I think you missed my point. The main problem is the media. For example, Arnold in 1947 did not say he saw a 'flying saucer' he said in an interview that that the object was tadpole shape but moved like a saucer skimming across water. Obviously the media had a problem with a flying tadpole (Ha, who wouldn't) and thought 'saucer' caught the imagination. As I have already mentioned, I am well aware of natural phenomena being the cause of many reports (after all these years the planet Venus STILL gets reported as a UFO Ha!) and even pilots can be mistaken. One must not forget a hoax and I met many during my studies and photos are pretty useless unless they are backed up by other evidence. One book that might be a good read is 'Unconventional Flying Objects' By Paul Hill, retired from NASA. cont...
Mimath224
4 / 5 (4) Feb 01, 2015
cont... Hill's book attempts to explain how 'exotic' effects of UFO's can be explained within the realm of current physiscs (1995). There is maths of, air flow, field potential design, ballistic trajectories and more (travel time etc.). Anyone interested in 'aliens' and the like should read as it has some good pointers in both directions. Have a nice day.
big_hairy_jimbo
5 / 5 (1) Feb 01, 2015
To the person that mentioned that we can't even get to Pluto without it taking a lifetime getting there. Not so!!! We could get to Pluto very quickly if we wanted to. But it comes down to COST!!! Thats all, COST!!!!
Benni
4 / 5 (4) Feb 01, 2015
@Benni, I think you missed my point. The main problem is the media.


@ Mim, I guess I did miss your point, sorry. I'm just so wary of all this UFology stuff & how it has become a fanatical religion with certain groups. For sure the media just relishes sensationalizing stuff like this, and it's easy to do because scientifically investigative techniques could not be applied in proving/disproving UFology claims until advances in spectroscopy were made as now can be done .

When I was in engineering school I was fascinated with reading stories of people claiming to be abducted & taken aboard UFOs by skinny little grey critters with insect like heads who liked to probe around inside a human's sex organs, usually a woman's, and this in itself is a tipoff there is a psycho-babble problem with UFologists. In psychology classes we had discussions about these things & that is when I became real suspicious about abduction stories, Martians, etc.
Whydening Gyre
4 / 5 (4) Feb 01, 2015
To the person that mentioned that we can't even get to Pluto without it taking a lifetime getting there. Not so!!! We could get to Pluto very quickly if we wanted to. But it comes down to COST!!! Thats all, COST!!!!

It took New Horizon only 9 years. Not a lifetime.
Which reminds me...
I wonder how much of a disparity there is between it's onboard clocks and us...
Surely somebody at NASA thought to have this checked...
dbsi
not rated yet Feb 01, 2015
By pure logic:
1. We are not the only intelligence
2. We are not the first
3. It's very unlikely that we are at present capable to discover, recognise and understand an advanced intelligence

The first message we will likely get is: "Dont send any objects farther than one light year until further notice. You are under quarantine by decree of the Universal Council."

The reason: Under developed ethics in respect to our technological capability.
abecedarian
not rated yet Feb 01, 2015
Now wouldn't it be funny if aliens did arrive and announced themselves as the creators of the Earth and the other stuff here?
Humbled1
not rated yet Feb 01, 2015
"The Jesuits had contact with Native Americans," he pointed out. "Certain concepts were difficult, like when they tried to get across the ideas of the soul and immortality."

No wonder, since they don't exist.
(The best part of humanity got lost with the extermination of the Indians.)


Good old Washington and Andrew Jackson eh? still immortalize them on the $1 and $20.

It's a shame.

Could as well replace them with Bill Clinton and Jerry Springer, it would be a moral improvement.

Then again, murdering up to 3 million natives isn't exactly accomplished by a single person.

If a German does it we call them NAZIs, if a Chinese or Russian does it we call them "Communists", if an Arabian does it well call the Terrorists, but if an American does it well call them "The Founding Fathers" and "The Presidents".

Teddy Roosevelt, a few generations after Jackson, felt like he needed some glory so he had to start some more wars and butcher natives in another country.
Benni
1 / 5 (1) Feb 01, 2015
@Humbled1.......if you keep posting, I may need to change my whole perspective on UFology.
Kaktar
not rated yet Feb 01, 2015
They are already here. Where have you people been? Here's the site . Now can we just go back to politics, where the aliens rule our planet.

https
://www.
youtube
.com/
watch?v=JDuqZbjxB_E
someone11235813
not rated yet Feb 01, 2015
It is my considered belief that Earth is the only planet with life as we understand it. Until some credible evidence, any credible evidence indicates the contrary.
Humbled1
3 / 5 (2) Feb 01, 2015
The first message we will likely get is: "Dont send any objects farther than one light year until further notice. You are under quarantine by decree of the Universal Council."

The reason: Under developed ethics in respect to our technological capability.


Tell them we can't be absolutely sure what a light year is, since distance changes in our best theory of space-time...
Mimath224
not rated yet Feb 01, 2015
@Benni you might have also read something along the line of a meeting with aliens who claimed to come from Orion or other named constellation. When I interviewed some witnesses who claimed this type of meeting it was very difficult NOT to ask 'Do they have shopping complexes like Big C, Macro etc.too?' or some other sly 'question'.
I suppose it is possible that aliens might study our culture before contact (this suggests posts on another thread) but generally I thought the hoaxer was a dumb as...you get the idea ha!
Your comment about abductions is valid and such reports need caution. However, on the very, very odd occasion a report can be disturbing in that tissue damage is very neat and an extraordinary short healing time which doctors say is not available yet. But does that mean Aliens? Or does mean some other 'group' have discovered something new and just experimenting. A genuine victim can feel 'violated' and that's a problem in itself when interviewing.
michael_frishberg
not rated yet Feb 02, 2015
If there ever have been "Alien Life Forms" anything like ourselves, they also will have gone extinct well before reaching the stars, for the same reasons as we will do. First, there never have been any alien (*humanoid) visiting Planet Earth. It isn't economic to travel between the stars, things are too far away, and, if you could get here quicker, you'd be able to build anything you'd want wherever you were already.

Second, we are evolved to live right here, between sea level and 20,000 feet or so, and may not even be strong enough to withstand the trip (one way or two) to Mars, let alone Alpha Centuri...why would any "aliens" be any different.
krundoloss
5 / 5 (1) Feb 02, 2015
You can't explain what you yourself don't actually understand, because what you're saying doesn't mean anything - the concepts of a soul, or God, or immortality are built around semantic and logical confusion.

You say "soul", but you have no idea what you're actually referring to, so how can you explain it to anyone else? That's why the missionaries didn't so much explain as simply indoctrinate the natives, essentially going, "repeat after me, and for the love of God don't try to think about it."


Your statements are hilarious! That is exactly how I felt in church growing up. Like they want you to just blindly do what everyone else does, accept nonsense answers to important life questions, and basically cater to your need to 'fit in' and 'be part of a group'.

On topic, however, I think the "closed minded/religious people" (they are the same thing), will deny and reject the info. I must give respect to the Pope for admitting that there may be life on other planets.
dbsi
5 / 5 (1) Feb 02, 2015
Gods, believed to be involved in creation of the world, the universe or more can by definition not be of this world - and if not dead could therefore also be categorized as extra terrestrial life (and intelligent on top) :-)
So, believers don't need to search for it, they know it exists...

...and it proves one of my points above, we seem not to be intelligent enough - for now - to detect it...

sirchick
not rated yet Feb 15, 2015

.
Sirchick:
Then again the act of concealing pretty much proves they are finding it.
I hope that didn't come out the way you meant it, because this sounds wacko.
.


If a mission was they went out to find life, and then refused to release what info they had found... that basically means they found something. Not sure what the wacko element would be.

Although unlikely to happen in reality lets be hypothetical, would they tell us of an incoming spacecraft approach our orbit unless absolutely necessary? Would SETI tell us if they found something or would the government stop them and check first and do a risk assessment of mass panic. They bound to put stops to the information at least at first.

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