Friday, December 12, 2014

Cosmology: Should We Be Afraid Of Aliens?

(Drivebycuriosity) - Are you afraid of aliens? Some scientists say, we shouldn´t yell at aliens, "because there is a chance of alerting aliens to come destroy us" (overcomingbias  cato). These warners refer to SETI, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, and other systems of radio signals to contact alien beings beyond Earth.

chance of alerting aliens to come destroy us
chance of alerting aliens to come destroy us

I believe that these fears are way overblown. Aliens won`t attack us. There are at least 3 reasons that we have nothing to fear from them.

1. If aliens exist they are far, far, far away. The nearest habitable planets, where other intelligent life forms could have evolved, are many light years away. Searcher didn´t detect any signal which could have been emitted by intelligent beings yet. I am still convinced there is somewhere intelligent life because the universe is so vast - and possibly infinite. But the next advanced life form could be thousands of light years away, maybe even millions or billions.

Nothing can travel faster than light. Even if some evil being would send harmful radiation waves - or other dangerous electronic signals - this could need thousands of years or more to hit us. There is no sense in it.

2. Conducting a war over a distance of many light years doesn´t make any economic sense. Neither attacking or occupying a far away region. Aliens would have nothing to gain if they would harm us. They cannot slave us or steal our belongings. On the other hand they would have nothing to fear from us. There is no need for a prophylactic strike over distances of many light years.

3. Aliens who are able to travel interstellar distances would be highly developed. The history of our world shows the societies become less violent when they advance and become wealthier.

 Europe and other regions were highly violent places in the middle ages. There were a lot of devastating wars between countries, regions and cities like the "Thirty Years War" in Central Europe  (wikipedia) and the "Hundred Years War" between England and France (wikipedia). "Violence played a major role in family disputes, in the justice system, and even in education and entertainment" (getty). In the 19th century the US suffered a bloody civil war and fought against England, Spain & Mexico. In the recent decades advanced regions like North America, Europe and East Asia became peaceful as a result of a painful political learning curve. This is not just the absence of war, the number of murders and deadly bar fights haven been falling too.

I believe that evolution in other regions of space follows similar learning curves which lead to civilized and organized political and social systems which are peaceful.

Far advanced alien might have reached a state of blissful enlightenment like Zen buddhists. Maybe those alien would be happy with themselves and ignore us. No need to be afraid of aliens.

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