Imagine the possibilities if we made contact with a higher intelligence that could renovate the surface of the earth, extend our renewable resources and spread mankind’s civilization across the universe. Imagine if that higher intelligence was a mere decade or two away, only awaiting us to make the first contact.
Speculations about the existence of extraterrestrial life has been widely spread; yet, with no significant value to them. The theories involving aliens, or extraterrestrial life have been met with negativity, disbelief and sarcasm.
One organization that works on the field of reaching extraterrestrial life was METI (Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence). The aim of the organization is to make contact with the extraterrestrial. President Douglas Vakoch believes that contact with aliens will be made within 10-20 years.
However, with the foundation of such organizations, critics arose to take a stand against the idea as a whole due to the circumstances it may lead to. One of the renowned names that criticizes the idea of making contact with aliens is Stephen Hawking who makes a powerful claim that making contact with powerful, intelligent extraterrestrials may prove to be a troublesome idea that may be the doom of humankind.
Dr. Vakoch claims that the discovery of intelligent life elsewhere may be very well possible due to the advancement in technology nowadays; technologies that were not available to us in the past. However, with that comes the question of why it is necessary to make contact with the extraterrestrial. Vakoch claims that through the contact with extraterrestrial, humankind has a greater chance of survival.
Vakoch’s work on the extraterrestrial had started in 1960 where he could only do so much. But now, he claims that the possibilities have significantly improved and ensures that contact would be possible—had the theory of extraterrestrial life proven to be accurate.
“My hunch is that in the next decade or two, we will detect extra-terrestrials if they are out there and trying to make contact.” He said during his interview with Futurism. However, he claims not to take lightly the warnings of people like Stephen Hawking. He claims that we may be no more valuable than bacteria to aliens. It is worth noting that Hawking believes that we are not alone in the universe, yet he urges organizations such as METI not to transmit signals throughout space that could be perceived as an invitation for invasion.
Yet, Vakoch also believes that Hawking seems to not take in consideration that we may have already been sending signals through radio transmissions. This is what Vakoch had to say:
It’s the fact that every civilization that does have the ability to travel to Earth could already pick up I Love Lucy. So we have been sending our existence into space with radio signals for 78 years. Even before that, two and a half billion years, we have been telling the Universe that there is life on here because of the oxygen in our atmosphere. So if there’s any alien out there paranoid about competition, it could have already come and wipe us out. If they’re on their way, it’s a lot better strategy to say we’re interested in being conversational partners. Let’s strike up a new conversation.
While we may have the technology to communicate with alien-life in the near future, the question of should or shouldn’t we brings itself up in the mere idea. Are we truly setting ourselves up for the doom of our planet? Or is the planet already doomed and we may be sparking the flame to the only chance of survival we may get?