What Would Happen if We Were Visited by Aliens from Another World?
Whether this question should be ”if” we will be visited as opposed to “when” we will be visited by aliens depends on your point of view. I know there are many of you that are convinced that we have already been visited. I leave that for another discussion.
Personally, I have little doubt that our universe is teeming with life in all stages of evolutionary development.
Planets are very common and exist around almost every star. Planets within “Goldilocks Zones” – just right for life – are plentiful enough, and I suspect, so is life. Pretty much most everything living on earth – fish – mammals, insects, reptiles – amphibians have symmetry. That is to say, each has a left and right side that looks similar and faces the other. I suspect life from somewhere else will likely have similar symmetry. Will that be where similarity ends? How about all of those science fiction creatures designed to give us nightmares? Do they really exist somewhere?
Actually, the answer is more a question as to whether the physics and biology of a planet permit them to exist, so in some cases, yes – rather than what seems comfortable for us to believe. We have had some very strange creatures on this planet in its history. We live in a very large but finite universe, with a finite number of sub-atomic particles than can be put together a finite number of ways – albeit a very large number of ways. Something that resembles a creature from science fiction might certainly exist with such a large number of possible planets and life forms, though hopefully it might not want to eat us – but who knows? Plenty of things on earth would.
You may know that we have been sending signals into space for years from broadcasting our television and radio programs, and also from deliberate attempts to contact some other civilization. Stephan Hawking has expressed his viewpoint as to us trying to announce our presence to alien civilizations so they take notice and come visit us; he doesn’t think it is such a great idea. I think Stephan Hawking is right on this point. Even if the new arrivals are altruistic, life as we know it would change so dramatically, many of us would not be able to survive.
Hawking’s basis for that belief is to look at our own planet. Every dominant species tends to wipe out weaker competitors. Think of us – western civilization landing in the “New World” – on the North and South American continents. Descendants of native peoples still exist today, but their great civilizations that once existed are long gone. Only their ruins remain. How would we fare against an advanced civilization that desired to live here? What about potential new diseases they could bring along with them? They might have developed immunity, but we wouldn’t have. Something similar happened before with smallpox and Native Americans populations. Maybe this time around it would be us who are herded on to reservations, or worse.
Around four billion years from now, our sun will begin to expand into a red giant star. When it does so, it will grow larger and larger and at some point envelop the earth. Our only way of surviving as a species is to move – go and colonize another hospitable planet somewhere else. How will inhabitants of that planet, should they exist, feel about us moving in? If we find the perfect planet after traveling through space, how do you think we would react to their resistance?
Keep in mind that while the suns expansion is still four billion years away for us, if we presume life exists elsewhere, some much older civilization is confronted right now with that same issue. They have no choice but to recolonize or perish.
Could a civilization recolonize and possibly come here? Is that even a possibility? So is there really an issue at all? Many think not. This is really the reason that those involved in announcing our presence don’t worry about the consequences. Traveling at less than light speed makes the journey next to impossible. Such a journey would take hundreds, possibly thousands of years.
Frankly such a civilization would need to be very advanced to us and have learned to warp space to be able to travel freely. Warp drive if it can be mastered, eliminates most all of the physical effects of space travel, and allows for almost instant transport. If the technology is possible, then a future visit becomes increasingly more possible, even if not probable.
What are your thoughts? Tell me. What you think would happen if we were visited by aliens?
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