Aliens may destroy humanity to protect other civilisations, say scientists

It may not rank as the most compelling reason to curb greenhouse gases, but reducing our emissions might just save humanity from a pre-emptive alien attack, scientists claim.

Watching from afar, extraterrestrial beings might view changes in Earth's atmosphere as symptomatic of a civilisation growing out of control – and take drastic action to keep us from becoming a more serious threat, the researchers explain.

This highly speculative scenario is one of several described by scientists at Nasa and Pennsylvania State University that, while considered unlikely, they say could play out were humans and alien life to make contact at some point in the future.

Shawn Domagal-Goldman of Nasa's Planetary Science Division and his colleagues compiled a list of plausible outcomes that could unfold in the aftermath of a close encounter, to help humanity "prepare for actual contact".

In their report, Would Contact with Extraterrestrials Benefit or Harm Humanity? A Scenario Analysis, the researchers divide alien contacts into three broad categories: beneficial, neutral or harmful.

Beneficial encounters ranged from the mere detection of extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI), for example through the interception of alien broadcasts, to contact with cooperative organisms that help us advance our knowledge and solve global problems such as hunger, poverty and disease.

Another beneficial outcome the authors entertain sees humanity triumph over a more powerful alien aggressor, or even being saved by a second group of ETs. "In these scenarios, humanity benefits not only from the major moral victory of having defeated a daunting rival, but also from the opportunity to reverse-engineer ETI technology," the authors write.

Other kinds of close encounter may be less rewarding and leave much of human society feeling indifferent towards alien life. The extraterrestrials may be too different from us to communicate with usefully. They might invite humanity to join the "Galactic Club" only for the entry requirements to be too bureaucratic and tedious for humans to bother with. They could even become a nuisance, like the stranded, prawn-like creatures that are kept in a refugee camp in the 2009 South African movie, District 9, the report explains.

The most unappealing outcomes would arise if extraterrestrials caused harm to humanity, even if by accident. While aliens may arrive to eat, enslave or attack us, the report adds that people might also suffer from being physically crushed or by contracting diseases carried by the visitors. In especially unfortunate incidents, humanity could be wiped out when a more advanced civilisation accidentally unleashes an unfriendly artificial intelligence, or performs a catastrophic physics experiment that renders a portion of the galaxy uninhabitable.

To bolster humanity's chances of survival, the researchers call for caution in sending signals into space, and in particular warn against broadcasting information about our biological make-up, which could be used to manufacture weapons that target humans. Instead, any contact with ETs should be limited to mathematical discourse "until we have a better idea of the type of ETI we are dealing with."

The authors warn that extraterrestrials may be wary of civilisations that expand very rapidly, as these may be prone to destroy other life as they grow, just as humans have pushed species to extinction on Earth. In the most extreme scenario, aliens might choose to destroy humanity to protect other civilisations.

"A preemptive strike would be particularly likely in the early phases of our expansion because a civilisation may become increasingly difficult to destroy as it continues to expand. Humanity may just now be entering the period in which its rapid civilisational expansion could be detected by an ETI because our expansion is changing the composition of the Earth's atmosphere, via greenhouse gas emissions," the report states.

"Green" aliens might object to the environmental damage humans have caused on Earth and wipe us out to save the planet. "These scenarios give us reason to limit our growth and reduce our impact on global ecosystems. It would be particularly important for us to limit our emissions of greenhouse gases, since atmospheric composition can be observed from other planets," the authors write.

Even if we never make contact with extraterrestrials, the report argues that considering the potential scenarios may help to plot the future path of human civilisation, avoid collapse and achieve long-term survival.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2011/a...

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red pill junkie's picture
Member since:
12 April 2007
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3 hours 8 min

Mr. X, next time please just add a relevant paragraph of the article, and the link to it, instead of copy-pasting the whole thing --that's not Kosher.

It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie
_______________
@red_pill_junkie

cnnek's picture
Member since:
28 June 2006
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Red Pill,

red pill junkie wrote:

Mr. X, next time please just add a relevant paragraph of the article, and the link to it, instead of copy-pasting the whole thing --that's not Kosher.

But in addition, he should post a link to the original article in order to properly foot note it!!!

What do you think?

cnnek

{You Can Teach People How To Think Critically Or What To Think; But, You Can't Do Both! It Is Better To Teach People How To Think Critically!!!}

Inannawhimsey's picture
Member since:
14 April 2009
Last activity:
1 year 7 weeks

According to quite a lot of my clothes, I'm made in Taipei of all things :3 How aboot you?

EDIT: btw, have you ever considered writing aboot your home country here, cnnek? Like rpj has done? Show people the lovliness and wonderfulness and other interesting truths aboot your culture, unfiltered by western media.

---------
All that lives is holy, life delights in life.

--William Blake

cnnek's picture
Member since:
28 June 2006
Last activity:
1 year 21 weeks

Inannawhimsey,

I'll write more about Japan in the near future. Japan is a very wonderful country!

What do you think?

cnnek

{You Can Teach People How To Think Critically Or What To Think; But, You Can't Do Both! It Is Better To Teach People How To Think Critically!!!}

Inannawhimsey's picture
Member since:
14 April 2009
Last activity:
1 year 7 weeks

I eagerly look forward to your missives :3

---------
All that lives is holy, life delights in life.

--William Blake

MRXUSA's picture
Member since:
24 July 2011
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2 years 34 weeks

Point noted.

emlong's picture
Member since:
18 September 2007
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1 hour 59 min

When I want to know what the current mass mind conditioning looks like I watch The History Channel, Nat Geo, Discovery Channel, and The Learning Channel. Currently they are getting people used to the ET idea and then painting the ET's as menacing. They are also constantly harping on 911 so that people don't forget the fear imagery. It is obvious what is coming - a police state centered around imaginary enemies that probably include faux ET's and generalized fear and unease about a million different things.

Sounds goofy I know, but the most helpful and ethical thing you can do to remedy the situation is help us toss or "gift" orgonite out into the world. It has an amazing effect on the aura of fear and unease some of which is perpetrated on us via cell tower manipulations of frequency - some of it purposeful and some of it accidental. Help us also raise consciousness about the planet wide chemtrail project which is having an immense impact on human health both mentally and physically.

www.warriormatrix.com