Contact could end all life on Earth
Quite simply, making contact with aliens could result in humanity being destroyed. Some scientists fear that sending honing beacons out into the vast unknown only paints a target on our back and that it’s just a matter of time before a more advanced society descends upon Earth and wipes us out. Yikes.
Mankind could benefit
Astrophysicist Lucianne Walkowicz claims that meeting aliens could benefit mankind, being “something that accelerates the ability to live quality lives on Earth”. With the assumption that alien lifeforms possess more advanced technology than us mere humans, the hope is that we’d work together to advance society.
We could be invaded
Stephen Hawking likened meeting extraterrestrials to Columbus invading America. The physicist believes that foreign lifeforms wouldn’t hesitate in trying to colonize our planet, beating humanity into submission, and that we should be doing everything we can to avoid making contact with species from beyond the stars.
We would attack them
Astronomer Alberto Caballero believes that we are far more likely to attack any alien species than they are to attack us. In fact, the scientist goes on to say that there’s a measly 0.0014% chance of Earth being invaded by a technologically advanced civilization – citing that other alien races don’t battle one another to back his claims.
We have no solid plan in place
If we make contact with aliens, we don’t actually have a set plan in place, according to Niklas Hedman, executive director of UN Office for Outer Space Affairs. He claims that the course of action we would take “boils down to the will of member states”.
Aliens could steal our resources
In a dystopian future that’s straight out of a sci-fi movie, some scientists fear that extraterrestrials would use Earth to plunder its resources, turning humankind into cattle. Physicist Mark Buchanan fears that aliens “may not be disposed to treat us nicely”. As a race that destroys its own home, who could blame them?
It could humble humanity
Seeing UFOs in our sky could unite humanity on a global level, leading to a Utopian society. Some theorize that meeting a life form from beyond our own solar system could dissolve borderlines, put an end to war, and connect the entire planet with a common interest. An overly optimistic outcome, perhaps, but not impossible.
Global mass panic would ensue
As humanity is, at its core, violent, destructive, and trigger-happy, a likely outcome from encountering an alien species is mass, global panic. With man turning against man, riots could erupt on the streets, while nukes could be launched out of fear and anguish. Not the prettiest picture.
Aliens could be granted rights
We already have laws and regulations for space. These treaties cover the prohibition of weapons and declare that each nation is responsible for its own space exploration. Currently, these laws are focused on humans and how our actions affect one another. These treaties could be extended to Martians if the need arose, potentially granting them with laws of protection.
We’d be ignored
If aliens had any sense, they’d steer clear of humanity. Some scientists believe that aliens are already aware of our existence, but see us as an inferior species unworthy of their time. Others follow the zoo theory – a hypothesis that proposes that aliens know that we’re here, but purposely leave us be in order to let evolution and biology play out naturally.
It would change our view of the universe
Making contact with aliens would change our entire view of the universe. Everything we know about physics, astronomy, and biology would be thrown out of the window, leaving humanity with nothing but endless questions. Where are the aliens from? What’s their home planet like? How did they contact us? What do they want with us? Some questions are best left unanswered.
They’d only contact us to avoid global catastrophe
Could aliens be our salvation? That’s what scientist Allen Tough believes, citing that the space creatures may only attempt to contact Earth in order to save us from ourselves. Believing that aliens may have learned from their past mistakes, Tough claims that aliens may step in at the last second, right before we nuke ourselves into oblivion.
Aliens would invade us to help us
Futurist Allen Tough states that aliens may view us as being in our “technological adolescence”. Their superiority with advanced tech means that they may – if they were willing – teach us the theory of everything, how to use zero-point energy, and how to travel faster than light.
We’d be wiped out from afar
A darker theory – but some scientists believe that aliens would contact us in order to determine our location. Once they’d honed in on where planet Earth sits in the solar system, they’d exterminate us from afar, removing our existence in a blink of an eye.
We’d be alerted to more alien civilisations
Receiving a signal from an alien race would drastically change the world. If another race existed out in the endless abyss, it stands to reason that they’d be other civilizations scattered through the universe. If the Martians we first made contact with were inclined, they could spill all of the secrets of the stars, confirming the existence of multiple races.
They’d take us to their planet
Many scientists’ theories depend on how aggressive aliens may or may not be. While most scientists believe alien contact would be a negative experience for the human race, there are some that believe it’d be a harmonious encounter. Professor Albert Harrison believes that aliens may help us, perhaps even bringing us to their own planet to learn from them.
It could change religious beliefs
Discovering the existence of aliens wouldn’t just cause chaos in the skies – it’d also have a real change down on Earth. For some, religious beliefs may be discarded, with everything organized religion teaches being put under the microscope. A global change in consciousness may not be a good thing – change often leads to fear, perhaps acting as the catalyst for global catastrophe.
They’d abduct select humans
If aliens were to contact us, some believe it would only be to pluck our finest citizens, whisking them away into the stars to run tests on them. Researcher John E. Mack states that abduction may be possible, but that it would take place on a spiritual plane, the use of materialist science unable to reliably measure the phenomenon.
They’d send probes down to Earth
Scientists believe that if aliens were to make contact with us, it may not be directly from their home planet. Instead, they’d send probes into Earth’s orbit, allowing for more immediate communication. In the best-case scenario, they’d send probes full of information, dropping off the secrets of the universe on our doorstep.
It could change our history
Confirming the existence of aliens – even the smallest of confirmations – could dramatically shift the way we view our history. That’s according to author Erich von Däniken, who believes that Earth’s monuments such as the pyramids and Stonehenge are artifacts of an anachronistically advanced technology. It should be noted, however, that von Däniken was imprisoned for fraud, writing one of his books from prison.
Conflict could start over who received contact
As humans are an inherently violent, possessive species, many scientists believe that conflict would erupt over who receives the first radio contact from aliens. Motivated by greed, it’s thought that whoever was granted first exposure to extraterrestrials would monopolize the contact, with the potential of a world war running rampant.
It could alert other aliens to our presence
If the aliens we manage to make contact with are friendly, helping to advance our society, it doesn’t mean our future is golden. Establishing contact could alert other species to Earth’s activity – and these other breeds may not be as helpful, perhaps seeing us as a stain on the universe that needs to be eliminated.
Mere contact could advance society
Simply establishing even the most basic form of contact with an alien species is likely to rapidly advance society. Alien expert Michael A. G. Michaud believes that contact would be similar to medieval European scholars encountering Arab scientists, revering at the new knowledge that could advance humanity. The mere existence of aliens would prove the impossible possible, motivating scientists to delve deeper into the mysteries of the universe.
It would advance space exploration
Knowing that aliens existed somewhere out in the cosmos would see an increase in space exploration. With a higher degree of motivation to discover foreign lifeforms, funding for space travels would skyrocket across the globe, each nation competing in a modern space race, eager to be the first to unearth the biggest discovery in history.
Capitalism could crumble
The existence of aliens would shake the very foundations of planet Earth, throwing everything we know to be true out of the window. Some experts believe that receiving contact from aliens would signify the end of capitalism, with humankind seeing little value in money, status, and materialism – elevating instead to a higher state of consciousness.
They’d use us to create biological weapons
In a situation that’s straight out of a sci-fi movie, many fear that aliens would only contact us in order to exterminate us. Not with devastating explosions, but by studying our DNA, then forming biological weapons that would wipe us off the face of the planet.
We’d ignore it
An unlikely hypothesis, but perhaps the most sensible one. Ignoring radio waves sent by aliens may be the only way to save humanity, according to Stephen Hawking. The scientist stated: “We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn’t want to meet”, suggesting we’re better off staying far away from any form of alien contact.
Conspiracy theories would run rampant
Even with concrete evidence of Martian life, conspiracy theories would likely encapsulate mankind. Some may see aliens as the Antichrist, fearing that the end times are at hand. Others may believe that it confirms that we’re living inside a simulation, where reality can be molded at will – perhaps by the very aliens in question.
Some may see the aliens as Gods
Much like our ancestors worshipped the Sun as a God, some would see aliens as spiritually superior beings. Believing that our true salvation lies in the cosmos – and that the Bible was truly referring to our otherworldly overlords – many may prostrate themselves before the more advanced species, creating a religion based on physical matter.
There’d be an increase in spirituality
American astronomer Carl Sagan stated that “space exploration leads directly to religious and philosophical questions”, suggesting that the existence of aliens would lead to an increased interest in astrotheology. Humankind’s focus may shift to spiritual beliefs based on what we’re able to learn from the stars.
Military defenses would increase
Wherever the alien signal landed, military defenses would be put in place, saving humanity from swarming the place. Once that was established, our military would likely turn to the skies, with all our time and money being pumped into trying to protect our planet from the potential of space warfare.
The signal could be hijacked
Radio contact with aliens would possibly be hijacked. While it’s not known what medium aliens would choose to contact us through, we can learn from humankind’s history that we have a tendency to be territorial, wanting to keep things for ourselves. If it was possible for other nations to hijack the signal, it’s highly likely that they would.
Scientists would celebrate
Naturally, a decades-long search for alien life finally being confirmed would be a cause for celebration for scientists and astronomers everywhere. Jill Tarter, director of the Center for SETI Research and the inspiration behind Jodie Foster in the movie Contact, states: “We do have a plan. It starts with champagne.”
The signal would be dismissed as a hoax
Many would immediately dismiss findings of aliens, citing them as nothing more than a hoax by the government, protecting their fragile view of existence. Confirming a foreign signal as being authentic would be a lengthy, laborious process, with some never believing in the validity of the contact.
We wouldn’t understand the contact
In the event that aliens did contact humanity, perhaps via the means of a radio signal, it’s unlikely we’d be able to comprehend their message. Likewise, it would be difficult to communicate back to our messengers from the cosmos, meaning it’d be a lengthy process before any significant correspondence could be established.
It’d be kept a secret from humanity
Some state that life wouldn’t change too much for the average citizen if alien life was detected, believing that the world governments would keep it secret from the general public. The secrecy would likely be to prevent mass panic from erupting across the world, involving only heads of state in extraterrestrial matters.
We’d exchange resources
In an ideal universe, contact with aliens could result in an exchange of resources. Although they may be more technologically advanced, Earth may provide essential, unknown, resources for the strange species, and vice versa, leading to an open exchange of goods, materials, and assets that’s mutually beneficial.
We’d never meet them as the universe is too big
Although we may make contact with aliens, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we’ll meet our cosmic counterparts. As space is so vast, any signals we do receive may be outdated, meaning the aliens may have already departed from their location by the time we’ve received their contact.
We’d attempt to find their planet
Naturally, our first instinct would be try to locate any aliens that got in contact with us. Searching the cosmos for other lifeforms is something we’ve been doing for decades, but having their existence confirmed would allow us to know that the search isn’t in vain.
Day-to-day life would stay the same
Although receiving contact from aliens would shake us to our very core, some psychology experts believe that day-to-day would, after a while, remain the same. Taxes would still need filing, work would still need attending, and children would still need looking after. Humans are adaptable creatures, meaning we’d soon adapt to the history-changing event.