Plans to relay Earth’s position into space could have unintended consequences, an Oxford scientist warns.
While there are certainly arguments in favor of trying to make contact with any intelligent alien civilizations that may be out there, it can also be argued that drawing attention to yourself may not be the wisest move in the long run.
Recently, a group of NASA scientists proposed sending out a new, updated version of the famous Arecibo message, containing detailed information about the Earth, our understanding of physics and mathematics, the biochemistry of life, and even an invitation to send a response.
However, according to Anders Sandberg, a senior fellow at the Oxford Future of Humanity Institute (FHI), such a move would not be without some risk.
Even if the likelihood of a message being read by aliens is extremely low, he argues, the consequences could be extreme if the recipient is hostile.
On the subject in general, he argues that too many people don’t take the issue of alien contact seriously, no matter how important it may be in the grand scheme of things.
Sandburg is certainly not alone in his views – the late Professor Stephen Hawking also warned of the danger we could face if we accidentally attracted the attention of a hostile alien race.
The real danger, perhaps, lies in the assumption that sentient aliens will be friendly.
If our own civilization living here on Earth proves nothing, then it makes sense that there could be both hostile and peaceful aliens out there, and we don’t know which one of them will find us first.
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