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What would happen if contact with alien life actually occurred?

 
 
giujohn
 
Reply Wed 2 Nov, 2016 03:36 pm
I believe that we may be on the verge of proof that intelligent life exists outside our solar system.

If it was definitively proved, what would be the social, religious, or political impact?
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Type: Question • Score: 10 • Views: 1,417 • Replies: 34

 
roger
 
  7  
Reply Wed 2 Nov, 2016 04:03 pm
@giujohn,
Build a wall?
rosborne979
 
  2  
Reply Wed 2 Nov, 2016 04:14 pm
@giujohn,
It's a great question. Assuming we could get actual information from the signal I bet there would be a huge push from business to acquire new physics theories as fast as possible. Depending on what type of signal or evidence we receive the potential for earth changing new knowledge would loom as benefit or disaster.
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Nov, 2016 04:15 pm
@giujohn,
What particular events make you think we are closer to proving extraterrestrial life than before?
Ragman
 
  3  
Reply Wed 2 Nov, 2016 04:21 pm
I'm not so sure we have that intelligent life forms here on earth ~ never mind beyond earth.
0 Replies
 
giujohn
 
  -2  
Reply Wed 2 Nov, 2016 05:13 pm
@rosborne979,
There have been a few interesting signals...nothing more. But I notice that we have moved the Hubble to investigate and China has also taken an interest.
0 Replies
 
giujohn
 
  -1  
Reply Wed 2 Nov, 2016 05:16 pm
@rosborne979,
Actually I was only thinking of the situation whereby we would confirm life. I would assume that if there was an actual 2 way exchange (which I think unlikely) it would be classified.

I was curious to know how the knowledge would affect society.
RABEL222
 
  2  
Reply Wed 2 Nov, 2016 05:51 pm
I for one would be very nervous, if some alien life was intelligent enough to solve faster than light travel. Think Spain and south american indians, The U S and north american indians. And hang on to your ass.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Nov, 2016 06:55 pm
@giujohn,
Some of my thoughts on this are related to (and covered by) this thread: http://able2know.org/topic/297814-1

My speculation about the affect of the knowledge was working on the assumption that we were in a "receive only" type of situation (given the speed of light limits and all that) in which we were either receiving a signal, or observing a situation (like an Alien Megastructure) the existence of which could give us tremendous engineering knowledge merely by observing it or decoding the signal.

There are two key events currently in play at this time:
1. Tabby's star is still being very mysterious and they are continuing to investigate it.
2. Recently some scientists claimed that certain signals they had filtered out of the background could only have been produced by extraterrestrials. However, I am very suspicious of this claim since they haven't gleaned any actual data out of the signals. Also, their argument is basically the same as the "God of the Gaps" argument except it's "Super-Intelligent Aliens of the Gaps", neither one of which is convincing.
giujohn
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Nov, 2016 08:17 pm
@rosborne979,
Guess I missed your original thread. Specifically I was wondering what you thought the global socio-economic implications might be of knowledge of intelligent life.
nacredambition
 
  0  
Reply Wed 2 Nov, 2016 09:23 pm
@giujohn,
Quote:
I was wondering what you thought the global socio-economic implications might be of knowledge of intelligent life.


The price of tin on the London Metal Exchange futures market would sky-rocket and the time when cans of baked beans politely sat in rows upon their supermarket shelves would be all over bar the shouting as humanity scurried to heavenly forfend the perceived apocalypse now that the nearest major galaxy had signalled it's presumably nefarious intent.

The next day, knowledge that Andromeda was 2.5 billion light years away would make some feel like the a veritable silly sausage anagram and assuage some fear. Travel agents would spruik early bird holidays to Galaxy Island while the adventurous fought over the first shuttlecocks on the battledore decks of the pleasure craft.

Belief in imaginary super beings would reach an all time high with the certain knowledge of real super beings and militant atheists would take to websites bemoaning the fostering of feeble-minded fervour for father figures and the appalling dearth of tongue-twisters.

Uptown, it would be biz as usual.
0 Replies
 
Blickers
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Nov, 2016 10:50 pm
Well, for one thing, movie studios would float internet rumors that real extraterrestrials were secretly used as advisors on their latest sci-fi opus.

Also, Newt Gingrich would give a press conference where he announced a plan to divide up the populated planet into enterprise zones for future economic development, like he did for the Moon.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Nov, 2016 12:59 am
Inasmuch as the detection of radio or television signals would be sufficient to let us know that we are not alone, I don't think it would be plausible to automatically assume that they would be more technically advanced than us, nor militarily hostile. A lot of people seem to think those things would be true, though.
0 Replies
 
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Nov, 2016 02:17 am
If it led to the chance of having sex with busty green women with (not too large) pointy ears, and sort of slanty eyes, I for one would welcome alien contact.
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Nov, 2016 02:20 am
@giujohn,
giujohn wrote:

I believe that we may be on the verge of proof that intelligent life exists outside our solar system.


People have been saying that at least since HG Wells' War Of The Worlds. Still not happened, just like the Rapture. Having said that, it's probably the least nutty thing you believe.
nacredambition
 
  0  
Reply Thu 3 Nov, 2016 03:46 am
@contrex,
Quote:
If it led to the chance of having sex with busty green women with (not too large) pointy ears, and sort of slanty eyes, I for one would welcome alien contact.


I hear where you're coming from and the pointy ears where burgeoning breasts be otherwise sounds quite pretty and kinky. I usually just close my eyes and think of home.

Take me away to Marseilles.


farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Nov, 2016 07:05 am
@nacredambition,
bilateral symmetry is not a universal requirement of all life on our planet. If there is some sort of advanced intelligent life we are talking about, bilateral symmetry seems to be the best "bauplan" with which to accomplish mechanical things.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Nov, 2016 07:23 am
@farmerman,
So, my point (after being rudely interrupted by some fone salesman), is that , we may see our visitors carrying themselves in a"left side, right side" construction. NOW, will tthey have endo or exoskeletons???
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Nov, 2016 07:39 am
@farmerman,
By the way, the Sci-Fi movie called "Arrival" is due out next week, and it's getting great reviews. Supposed to be a philosophical sci-fi with lots of good ideas. I love those types of Sci-Fi's and we don't get enough of them.

Anyway, I'll withhold my judgement until I've seen it, but I'm getting hopes up Smile
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Nov, 2016 07:50 am
@giujohn,
I think humanity's reaction will vary greatly on what type of life or data we discover.

For example, if we find evidence of past microbial life on Mars the scientific community (myself included) will be beside themselves with shock and enthusiasm. But I predict the general public will only be vaguely impressed. Many people probably already believe in "Martians" and don't know what a fossil or a microbe is.

Likewise if we discover microbial life anywhere outside of Earth, even if it's currently alive and not ancient fossils, I think most of humanity will be unimpressed and skeptical that it exists.

But I think things will be very different if we discover evidence of high-order intelligence and/or technology. For example, if Tabby's Star turns out to have a real alien Mega-Structure around it, the possibility of us learning new physics from merely observing how it is constructed will present us with the imperative of gaining any of that knowledge as fast as we can. And to that end, I think governments and businesses would quickly divert huge resources into research. Similarly, if we were to identify a signal of some type which contained information in any form, we would be inexorably drawn to it, not only for the implications to out knowledge of physics and technology, but also for simple entertainment. What would happen if we actually received "TV-like" images from an extraterrestrial source. I bet humanity would be glued to its screens for generations watching for any scraps of technology or information in the background. A situation like that would change humanity.
 

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