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Is humanity really ready for alien contact ?

Posted on Wednesday, 7 May, 2014 | Comment icon 104 comments

If someone is out there, are we ready to meet them ? Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 Hajor
A new study suggests that the human race may not be prepared for communication with extraterrestrials.
Researchers at SETI recently announced plans to begin an active communications program which would involve sending messages in to space in the hope of making contact with another species. But what if someone were to actually respond - are the inhabitants of Earth really in a position to begin corresponding with an alien civilization ?

To answer this question, neurophysiology professor De la Torre recently conducted an experiment to determine if mankind possessed sufficient knowledge for such communication by asking students a number of questions designed to assess their awareness and understanding of the universe, religion and other fundamental topics.

The results, as it turned out, were not too encouraging.

"This pilot study demonstrates that the knowledge of the general public of a certain education level about the cosmos and our place within it is still poor," said De la Torre.

"Therefore, a cosmic awareness must be further promoted where our mind is increasingly conscious of the global reality that surrounds us using the best tool available to us: education."

Source: Red Orbit | Comments (104)

Tags: Alien, SETI

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #95 Posted by psyche101 on 12 May, 2014, 1:15
I think we would be naive to assume that any civilization evolved enough to travel the unimaginable distances required would be doing so as a matter of exploration. It would have to be done through necessity, i.e. expansion of their habitable space, lack of natural resources or cataclysmic events at their point of origin. We cannot think that other advanced beings have the same inmate curiosity human beings do as a matter of fact. However I think it is reasonable to assume that life elsewhere, like on Earth, has the natural instinct to reproduce and on a fundamental level, survive. Which would... [More]
Comment icon #96 Posted by Hawkin on 12 May, 2014, 1:41
A lot of knowns too though. Enough to make educated guesses. But as I said, does he? Is it possible for information to remain organised under those conditions, and can something like that achieve sentience? I am not sure if it is or not myself. I would not say "energy beings might be able to exist" because it's entirely possible that they cannot at all. P, the reason why I'm open to possibilities (even though our human minds find it hard to comprehend) is something an elderly woman shared with me. True Story. When she was a teen in school back in the 1940's, She was sitting in class and the te... [More]
Comment icon #97 Posted by psyche101 on 12 May, 2014, 2:31
P, the reason why I'm open to possibilities (even though our human minds find it hard to comprehend) is something an elderly woman shared with me. True Story. When she was a teen in school back in the 1940's, She was sitting in class and the teacher was talking about travel to the moon. He told the class that it would be impossible to put man on the moon because there was no oxygen to breath. Well as you know, that impossibility became a reality. Several times. You see the point I'm trying to make? Something might be inconceivable to us now but it could possible be conceivable in the future. A... [More]
Comment icon #98 Posted by kane9 on 14 May, 2014, 5:49
I can't help but think that actively trying to contact an extraterrestrial civilization is the rough equivalent of an uncontacted Amazonian tribe leaving a map to their village alongside a logging road. Pre-determining the motivations of an advanced, alien species seems dicy at best. It would even be an assumption that an alien contact would be with a biological entity. What would motivate an alien AI? I think that the best and maybe most likely outcome would be indifference on the part of an advanced alien civilization but who really knows.
Comment icon #99 Posted by AtlantisRises on 14 May, 2014, 7:08
I don't know if an Alien will necessarily be ready to meet us. We assume that anyone that happens upon the Earth will have been cruising through space for thousands of years and have seen everything and be used to seeing new lifeforms. But if life, particularly intelligent life, is as incredibly rare as seems likely then it is quite possible that we would be the first other species that the ETs have ever encountered. If they have been in space for a long time in generational space ships or something similar then who can know how they would react. Assuming that we humans don't kill ourselves or... [More]
Comment icon #100 Posted by Admiral Rhubarb on 14 May, 2014, 7:19
Oh boy. A discussion of how humanity would handle the news of aliens contact is now infected with Star Trek. All down hill from here. I think scifi has more to say than we do if we pay attention. Their main job is to entertain but their audience is such that they can't get away with just entertaining as is with most media. that's a good point. I think scifi authors and producers have a lot to say about philosophy, science and how the hardware might develop. Even if they have to devise fictitious science to make the storyline move along, they do raise issues that are worth thinking about, and s... [More]
Comment icon #101 Posted by Heroic Bishop on 14 May, 2014, 8:38
"A new study suggests that the human race may not be prepared for communication with extraterrestrials." Given some of the posts we all see on these forums, there is a large portion of the human race who are DEFINITELY not ready lol
Comment icon #102 Posted by Frank Merton on 14 May, 2014, 11:52
How does one prepare for something we don't know will happen and if it does happen we have no idea what it will be?
Comment icon #103 Posted by Silent Trinity on 29 May, 2014, 11:20
I think given the blanket usage of Aliens in everything from video games to movies, novels to action figures, we are surrounded by alien life as a story telling tool. In the same way that we look towards the Fantastic Four or Batman as two examples of other 'characters' created for that purpose. That is what has become of the alien question I fear, it has been seized upon as a great story telling tool, therefore making it difficult for anyone not involved in the study of the subject on a serious level to possible accept that this could be real, as our society views them the same as Batman or o... [More]
Comment icon #104 Posted by Frank Merton on 29 May, 2014, 11:25
Yea it's gonna be anticlimactic when the aliens turn out to be talking gobs of mud.

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