Is there anyone else out there? NASA is keen to find out. However, the space administration's plans to bring extraterrestrial life to Earth is not sitting well with everyone on our planet. In fact, for some, it's a terrifying call for something we don't understand.
NASA's Alien calls scare Oxford scientist
Reported by The Telegraph, senior research fellow at Oxford’s Future of Humanity Institute, Anders Sandberg, is worried about the risks NASA is taking. Back in March, NASA created the “Beacon in the Galaxy”, a binary message that will greet aliens in deep space.
An updated form of 1974’s Arecibo message, NASA’s beacon holds vastly more information than ever before. As it just so happens, the more detailed message is leading some to become frightened at the possibilities it generates.
Sandberg explained that NASA’s chances of reaching out to an alien civilization is low. On the other hand, the Oxford scientist believes it could have massive consequences for humanity, and the potential benefits are too small to make sense.
“It has such a high impact that you actually need to take it rather seriously,” the Oxford scientist said. “Many people just refuse to take anything related to it seriously. Which is a shame, because this is important stuff.”
The Alien Invasion
Sandberg told The Telegraph that humanity is being reckless with its call to aliens. The Oxford scientist explained that humanity doesn't coordinate messages into deep space. Instead, groups bombard “poor aliens” with myriad messages “for all sorts of reasons”.
Toby Ord, a colleague of Sandberg, explained that humanity does this with zero knowledge of the consequences. For example, if making first contact results in annihilation, then that would be bad (for some).
“The main relevant question is the ratio of peaceful to hostile civilisations,” Ord said. “We have very little evidence about whether this is high or low, and there is no scientific consensus. Given the downside could be much bigger than the upside, this doesn’t sound to me like a good situation in which to take active steps toward contact.”
Of course, humanity’s reach out to the stars in search of new life has always been rather hilarious. With humans unable to live peacefully amongst each other, the idea of finding new intelligent life feels like it can only end in disaster.