The possibilities and consequences of such a discovery have been discussed at the World Economic Forum.
Prominent business leaders and politicians met for the annual conference to discuss potential risks and issues that may crop up in the near future including a list of five 'X Factor' items that represent dangers that can sneak up on us. One of these items is the possible consequences of the discovery that we are not alone in the universe, a revelation that could have a profound effect on society.
"In 10 years' time, we may have evidence not only that Earth is not unique, but also that life exists elsewhere in the universe," states the WEF Global Risks report for 2013. "The discovery of even simple life would fuel speculation about the existence of other intelligent beings and challenge many assumptions that underpin human philosophy and religion."
"The discovery of alien life or Earth-like planets and the implications to the world was a crucial item on the agenda at the annual World Economic Forum, or WEF, in Davos, Switzerland."
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