Jump to content
Strawberry Orange Banana Lime Leaf Slate Sky Blueberry Grape Watermelon Chocolate Marble
Strawberry Orange Banana Lime Leaf Slate Sky Blueberry Grape Watermelon Chocolate Marble
Alan de Enfield

What To Do If Aliens 'Drop In'

Featured Posts

The Guardian :

 

In the event that aliens ever contact Earth, the British public is clear on one thing: do not hold a referendum to decide what to do next.

The option to hold a planetary vote on how to respond to inquiring extraterrestrials ranked bottom in a poll of 2,000 Britons asked how humanity’s reaction should be determined.

In a survey commissioned by researchers at Oxford University and conducted by Survation, only 11% of respondents thought such a referendum was a good way to agree on Earth’s cosmic communications. No other option scored lower.

Those who did support a worldwide vote were equally split between leavers and remainers, suggesting no one side of the Brexit debate was any more disillusioned with the voting instrument than the other.

Leah Trueblood, a lawyer, and Peter Hatfield, an astrophysicist, teamed up for the research after wondering who had the moral authority to decide how humanity should respond if an alien civilisation ever dropped Earth a line. While researchers have issued a number of declarations that demand a global discussion before answering, who actually decides has been left open.

One of the earliest statements of how to respond came in 1996 from the International Academy of Astronautics. It said no response should be sent “until appropriate international consultations have taken place”. The line was echoed by Seti researchers in 2015 who declared that a worldwide scientific, political and humanitarian discussion must occur before any message is sent.

In work presented at the British science festival at Warwick University on Tuesday, Hatfield and Trueblood declared that the most popular option, with 39% of the vote in the poll, was to leave the decision on how to respond to scientists.

“It’s a small poll but it’s reassuring that people feel they can trust scientists to make these big decisions,” Hatfield said.

Other options put to the public hardly fared well. Handing the response to elected representatives won 15% of the vote, while a citizen’s assembly of randomly selected adults polled as badly as a global referendum. Nearly a quarter of people who took part, or 23%, confessed they did not know which option was best.

Leaving scientists in charge of Earth’s official response would not be a straightforward matter. Despite the speculative nature of the question, whether and how to engage with little green men, or even a genderless conscious goo, has vexed researchers for decades.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On a serious (?) note we should definitely not reply ... just like you should never reply to junk mail or answer phishing phone calls.... don't confirm that you know they are there 'cos that confirms (a) that you exist and (b) the level of technology you use to return the communication tells them a lot about our capabilities.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, KevMc said:

On a serious (?) note we should definitely not reply ... just like you should never reply to junk mail or answer phishing phone calls.... don't confirm that you know they are there 'cos that confirms (a) that you exist and (b) the level of technology you use to return the communication tells them a lot about our capabilities.

We could just follow them on Facebook though, eh?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They are already here. They have definetly taken over this forum.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, Sea Dog said:

We could just follow them on Facebook though, eh?

Now that would be interesting ... see if they post pictures of what they eat ... and their pets

  • Greenie 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, KevMc said:

On a serious (?) note we should definitely not reply ... just like you should never reply to junk mail or answer phishing phone calls.... don't confirm that you know they are there 'cos that confirms (a) that you exist and (b) the level of technology you use to return the communication tells them a lot about our capabilities.

Seems they know already. Some aliens observing earth with a view to invasion were heard to say, "They appear to be quite technologically advanced as they already have nuclear weapons on earth, but they can't be very bright since they have them pointing at one another."

Edited by catweasel
  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The real question is, do we mean "contact" or "drop in"? The whole SETI project is based upon the reasonable guess that no aliens are going to manage interstellar space travel without first sending out a lot of radio traffic for decades. After all, the discoveries physicists have made over the centuries are somewhat interdependent, and themselves dependent on discoveries in mathematics which took even more centuries to accumulate. Then, having understood enough for Marconi to get radio working and all our radio and TV transmissions to begin advertising our presence to the rest of our galaxy, a century later we've only got as far as the moon landings and sending some unmanned craft out of the solar system, so slowly that they'll take centuries at least to reach another star.

So there should be a lot of time, centuries at least, between first receiving and decoding incoming radio data from aliens and any of them turning up. But that huge time lag would be needed for somehow making the world democratic enough to hold a proper referendum. then to hold endless debates about what the voters really meant, followed by endless court cases about what the correct procedure is for deciding what the voters meant or what to do about it.

Meanwhile various people would probably just unilaterally send their own responses anyway, and the poor aliens would end up very confused about our intentions. Especially as they might well have been watching all our science fiction films.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, Peter X said:

The real question is, do we mean "contact" or "drop in"? The whole SETI project is based upon the reasonable guess that no aliens are going to manage interstellar space travel without first sending out a lot of radio traffic for decades. After all, the discoveries physicists have made over the centuries are somewhat interdependent, and themselves dependent on discoveries in mathematics which took even more centuries to accumulate. Then, having understood enough for Marconi to get radio working and all our radio and TV transmissions to begin advertising our presence to the rest of our galaxy, a century later we've only got as far as the moon landings and sending some unmanned craft out of the solar system, so slowly that they'll take centuries at least to reach another star.

So there should be a lot of time, centuries at least, between first receiving and decoding incoming radio data from aliens and any of them turning up. But that huge time lag would be needed for somehow making the world democratic enough to hold a proper referendum. then to hold endless debates about what the voters really meant, followed by endless court cases about what the correct procedure is for deciding what the voters meant or what to do about it.

Meanwhile various people would probably just unilaterally send their own responses anyway, and the poor aliens would end up very confused about our intentions. Especially as they might well have been watching all our science fiction films.

Given the vast distances, we are not talking about just a few centuries either. The nearest star to Earth is about four light years away. It would take the fastest spacecraft ever built, roughly 40,000 years to travel one light year. I don't think any of us have anything to worry about.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Phil. said:

Given the vast distances, we are not talking about just a few centuries either. The nearest star to Earth is about four light years away. It would take the fastest spacecraft ever built, roughly 40,000 years to travel one light year. I don't think any of us have anything to worry about.

But what if they set out 39,999 years ago?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, KevMc said:

But what if they set out 39,999 years ago?

Then they will be a quarter of the way here, just another 120,000 years to go. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If aliens do visit, it will be to get the follow up to music on the voyager Golden record.Now that's what I call music 2, available in all good record stores:-

 

 

My personal favourite "Dark was the night" by Blind Willie. Who said NASA has no sense of humour.

Edited by rusty69

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
45 minutes ago, Phil. said:

Then they will be a quarter of the way here, just another 120,000 years to go. :D

or have worked out ftl travel ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, KevMc said:

Now that would be interesting ... see if they post pictures of what they eat ... and their pets

But would we know which were which?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, dor said:

But would we know which were which?

they could be both

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did NASA include the obvious choice, released just before the Voyager launches I think?:

Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft, by the Carpenters

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, Peter X said:

Did NASA include the obvious choice, released just before the Voyager launches I think?:

Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft, by the Carpenters

Originally a song by a group called Klaatu (named after the film the day the earth stood still) according to wikipedia.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The comment I liked from the OP regarding what to do if contacted by aliens was,"... do not hold a referendum to decide what to do next.... " could I just second that:rolleyes: best not to let them know we're all barking mad before they get here, eh?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, matty40s said:

Kathy is just asking the question

 

20190909_114907.jpg

 

So that is what Mr Blobby looks like now that his rash has cleared up and he's lost weight. 😁

  • Greenie 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, cuthound said:

 

So that is what Mr Blobby looks like now that his rash has cleared up and he's lost weight. 😁

Nope, I mustn't.

Nope, I mustn't.

Nope, I mustn't.

Nope, I mustn't.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

well, you may be in luck - NASA has identified a planet that is only 110 light years away, that appears to have a suitable environment for supporting life; it has the imaginative name of K2-18b.

 

they could be landing any time in the next trillion years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.