Earth must prepare for close encounter with aliens, say scientists
By Alok Jha | Guardian.co.uk
UN should co-ordinate plans for dealing with extraterrestrials Ė and we canít guarantee that aliens will be friendly
World governments should prepare a co-ordinated action plan in case Earth is contacted by aliens, according to scientists.
They argue that a branch of the UN must be given responsibility for "supra-Earth affairs" and formulate a plan for how to deal with extraterrestrials, should they appear.
The comments are part of an extraterrestrial-themed edition of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A published today. In it, scientists examine all aspects of the search for extraterrestrial life, from astronomy and biology to the political and religious fallout that would result from alien contact.
"Will a suitable process based on expert advice from proper and responsible scientists arise at all, or will interests of power and opportunism more probably set the scene?" asked Professor John Zarnecki of the Open University and Dr Martin Dominik of the University of St Andrews in the introductory paper. "A lack of co-ordination can be avoided by creating an overarching framework in a truly global effort governed by an international politically legitimated body." The pair argue that the UN has a ready-made mechanism for such a forum in its Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (Copuos).
Member states of Copuos should put "supra-Earth affairs" on their agenda, say the scientists, and establish structures similar to those proposed for dealing with threats from near-Earth objects, such as asteroids, that might be on a collision course with our planet.
According to Simon Conway Morris, a professor of evolutionary palaeobiology at Cambridge University, anyone planning for alien contact should prepare for the worst.
Evolution on alien worlds, he said, is likely to be Darwinian in nature. Morris argues that life anywhere else in the universe will therefore probably have important similarities with life on Earth Ė especially if it comes from Earth-like worlds that have similar biological molecules to ours. That means ET might resemble us, warts and all, with our tendencies towards violence and exploitation.
"Why should we íprepare for the worstí? First, if intelligent aliens exist, they will look just like us, and given our far from glorious history, this should give us pause for thought," wrote Morris in the journalís special issue.
Ted Peters, a professor of systematic theology at the Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in California, considered what might happen to the worldís religions in the event of ET making contact. Conventional wisdom suggests that terrestrial religion would collapse if the existence of extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI) were confirmed, he wrote.
"Because our religious traditions formulated their key beliefs within an ancient world view now out of date, would shocking new knowledge dislodge our pre-modern dogmas? Are religious believers Earth-centric, so that contact with ET would de-centre and marginalise our sense of self-importance? Do our traditional religions rank us human beings on top of lifeís hierarchy, so if we meet ETI who are smarter than us will we lose our superior rank? If we are created in Godís image, as the biblical traditions teach, will we have to share that divine image with our new neighbours?"
His conclusion, however, is that faith in Earthís major religions would survive intact. "Theologians will not find themselves out of a job. In fact, theologians might relish the new challenges to reformulate classical religious commitments in light of the new and wider vision of Godís creation."
"Traditional theologians must then become astrotheologians ... What I forecast is this: contact with extraterrestrial intelligence will expand the existing religious vision that all of creation Ė including the 13.7bn-year history of the universe replete with all of Godís creatures Ė is the gift of a loving and gracious God," he speculated.
Article from: guardian.co.uk
Also tune into:
Steven Greer - ET: Friend or Enemy? Disclosure & Free Energy
Stephen Bassett - Official UFO/ET Disclosure
Kevin Randle - UFO Crashes, Sightings & The Roswell Incident
Lynn Marzulli - The Alien Interviews
Alfred Webre - Exopolitics, NASA Bombing of the Moon, Outer Space Treaty & E.T.
Clas Svahn - UFO Sweden: Reports & Ghost Rockets
Clas Svahn - UFO Sweden: The Archives & Contact Reports
Sex of The Fourth Kind: Alien-Human Sex Studies
NASA: Clue to alien biology after scientists discover mysterious bacteria that can live on arsenic
Disclosure for Dummies: What Would Knowledge of Aliens Entail?
Whoís the Conspiracy Theorist Now? Govít Scaring the Public with Aliens, Asteroids, and Global Pandemics
Has There Ever Been This Much ďAlienĒ Entertainment at Once?
UN plan for "alien ambassador" a case of science fiction?
Donít talk to aliens, warns Stephen Hawking
Aliens visiting Earth will be just like humans, scientist claims
Latest News from our Front Page
Feminist blogger uses her vaginal yeast to make sourdough bread
It's a tale that might ensure you never look the same way at a humble loaf again.
When a feminist blogger found herself suffering from a vaginal yeast infection, she made the unusual decision to use the unwanted bodily fluid as an ingredient for making bread.
Zoe Stavri, who writes under the title Another Angry Woman, has documented the details of her ...
Apple could be working on virtual reality projector, patents show
The company has been granted a patent for an ‚Äėadaptive projector‚Äô, which can project images onto surfaces
Apple could be working on a new augmented reality projector, which would allow it to make computers without even adding a screen.
The company has been granted a patent for an ‚Äúadaptive‚ÄĚ projector, reports Patently Apple. The patents seem to refer to a tool ...
83-year-old Romanian Jewess crowned "Miss Holocaust Survivor" in Israel
83-year-old Romanian born Rita Berkowitz wins the one-of-a-kind charity beauty pageant
Romania-born woman who immigrated to Israel won the third annual Miss Holocaust Survivors Beauty Pageant in Haifa.
Rita Berkowitz, 83, was chosen among the 16 European natives who participated in the contest on Tuesday. She came to Israel in 1951.
Hairdressers and makeup artists primped and pampered the contestants before they took ...
North Vancouver schools get first gender-neutral washroom
In a first for North Vancouver schools, Seycove secondary has opened a gender-neutral washroom.
The move is a step in the right direction and recognition that not every student feels welcome in the binary male- or female-designated washrooms, according to Brian Wilson, president of Seycove‚Äôs Queer Straight Alliance Club, which lobbied the school administration for the washroom.
High school is already a ...
Newly-Completed Fukushima 'Containment' Wall Already 'Slightly Leaning'
Just weeks after re-starting the building of a giant ice-wall to contain groundwater leaking from the Fukushima nuclear plant, TEPCO has been forced to admit that a 780-meter protective wall built alongside the crippled power station (completed only last month and designed to prevent contaminated groundwater from seeping into the sea) is already "slightly leaning." While this sounds a lot ...
|More News » |