How would you react in the event of alien contact ? Image Credit: CC0 Pixabay
Researchers want to ascertain the public's views on how humanity should respond to first contact with aliens.
The question of whether we are alone in the universe remains one of the biggest philosophical conundrums of our time. While it seems almost inconceivable that our civilization is alone in the cosmos, the fact still remains that we have yet to see any evidence to the contrary.
But what would happen if we did happen to detect a signal from an intelligent alien civilization ?
This week the UK Seti Research Network (UKSRN) is launching what is being billed as the largest ever survey of the general public's attitude towards contact with intelligent alien life.
"There is absolutely no procedure enshrined in international law on how to respond to a signal from an alien civilization," said astronomer Martin Dominik. "We want to hear people's views."
"The consequences affect more people than just scientists."
Even if we did happen to intercept an alien signal however, would we be able to understand it ?
"We can't rely on there being a Rosetta stone, or some great decipherment crib, in the signal," said Dr John Elliott. "It will take time to understand and if that work starts to drag out and there is nothing new we can say, the information vacuum will be filled with speculation."
"Conjecture and rumour will take over."
Suffice to say, in such a scenario, determining truth from speculation may prove a challenge.
You can view and respond to the UK Seti Research Network survey - here
Source: The Guardian | Comments (56)