Are We Ready For Aliens?


Hey, Vsauce. Michael here.
But what could be out there?
The likelihood of extraterrestrial intelligence has been the subject of an equation and the current lack of any communication with aliens the subject of a paradox.
But here’s a different question. If we were to hear from intelligent life beyond earth, what would really happen next?
Well, no government has ever officially adopted a post-detection policy. And when asked how they would deal with
a confirmed message from extraterrestrial intelligence, the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs simply said that their job does not
include any issues regarding the question you pose. So are we unprepared? Would chaos ensue? These things are unlikely but the way we prepare for, and anticipate our
species encountering one from beyond earth, is important and illuminating even though improbable.
Historically, we have acted as though alien life exists.
Back contamination is a concern that a
man-made object returning from space could carry with it undiscovered alien
life forms, especially viruses and bacteria that could wipeout life on earth.
This was a serious concern dealt by serious people when we first sent humans to the Moon.
When Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin
returned from the lunar surface, they didn’t immediately hugged their
families and join a public parade. Instead, they were sealed up in
biological isolation garments and flown to a quarantine facility to be locked
away for three weeks, in Houston, Texas. By Apollo 15 the practice was
discontinued but forward contamination has also been a real concern. When NASA sent the
Galileo spacecraft to serve a Jupiter and its moons, it got amazing data but there was a problem.
It had never been sterilized.
Because life, even liquid water, could exist on these moons, NASA made the decision to
avoid contaminating an alien biosphere and the mission was over,
steered Galileo into Jupiter, where it burned up and was destroyed, along with any Earth life possibly. on board.
So protocols and decisions have been officially made in the past under the assumption that aliens might exist. When it comes to actually hearing from aliens, receiving a message from
technologically advanced life forms, capable of sending us say, a radio signal, groups like SETI, the search for extraterrestrial
intelligence, are other ones actively listening. They have an ear to the sky.
And they are prepared. The SETI committee of the
International Academy of Astronautics created a declaration of principles
concerning activities following the detection of extraterrestrial intelligence. No government has officially adopted
any of its recommendations, but if something were to happen,
it would likely be the first place authorities went.
It’s one of the only handbooks they’d have. Seth Shostack explained the
philosophy in atmosphere at SETI, predicting that because verifying a signal is slow, and the media are fast, you will be media
blasted about a possible detection days before the people who find it are
certain it’s for real. In the midst of rampant media speculation, elation and panic on the part of the public, the most likely string of official events, after the discovery of a message from
extraterrestrial life, would follow SETI recommendations.
First of all, the individual or team who discovered the message would continue to assess the credibility of the message and alert all parties to SETI’s declaration.
Next, once they were certain the message was
real, the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams would be alerted, so as to inform observers all over the world. They would also inform the secretary-general of the United Nations, because article 11 of the treaty on principles governing
the activities of states in the exploration and use of outer space,
including the Moon and other bodies says they should.
The first official news we got, the public, would likely be in terms of the Rio Scale.
First presented to the International Astronautical Congress, the Rio Scale measures the significance of consequences of
evidence of extraterrestrial life, making it a likely tool to be used,
because it neatly manages public reaction. There’s a great online
calculator you can play with to see how the Rio scale works.
It takes into account the credibility of the message on a scale from believed extraterrestrial origin to hoax, how repeatable the observation is, what type of message it is, for instance,
is it uninterpretable or clearly for us and how far away it is. Is it extra galactic or near enough that
we could respond and hear back within the length of a human lifetime.
Seth Shostak and Ivan Almar applied the Rio scale to fictional and historical events. It’s a great way to get a feel for
how the Rio scale will affect vocabulary authorities use when reporting on an extraterrestrial message.
They considered the Moon monolith, discovered in 2001: A Space Odyssey, a 6 on the Rio scale – noteworthy. In the movie Independence Day,
the initial unidentified signal would be about 4 to 8, moderate too far-reaching. Once the message is confirmed to be no
further than the Moon and moving, it would be an automatic 10, extraordinary. In real life, the Martian Face, discovered in 1976, was a 2 – low. Until high resolution
images from 2001 revealed it was nothing, just a thing that looked funny
under the right conditions and was immediately downgraded to zero, no significance.
So if we were to receive a message from extraterrestrial intelligence,
those things in those words would likely be used.
But who would be in charge? Although she denies ever being selected
or prepared for such a role, Mazlan Othman, the director at the
United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs is a pretty good candidate.
As is Paul Davies, the chairman of SETI’s post
detection task force. Were it to be necessary, both of those
people are in positions to become ambassadors for earth-alien relations.
So what do we say back? Well, if we want to show that we are
intelligent, perhaps we should send back a string of information representing Pi or the Fibonacci sequence.
Or maybe we shouldn’t say anything at all. Stephen Hawking warned, quote, “If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America,
which didn’t turn out well for the Native Americans.”
And professor Simon Conway Morris, a Cambridge University palaeontologist has said that if the cosmic phone rings, we shouldn’t pick it up. Observations like that are at the core of the importance of
this video’s question. We can learn a lot by looking, not just at how we prepare for
a space message, but how we imagine actual contact with aliens going.
Anthropologist Katherine Denny frequently points out that the ways we
imagine a contact with aliens happening often says more about ourselves than it does any hypothetical aliens.
We do this all the time.
When we project our own
modern-day ambitions and fears onto prehistoric people, Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jethá call that “flintstoning.”
So let’s piggyback off of that phrase and label any projection of modern human
behaviors, desires, anxieties onto futuristic, technologically advanced
beings capable of visiting us “jetsonsing.”
Some examples of jetsonsing involve thinking that any aliens out there
trying to contact us might want to hurt us. Maybe that’s
simply because whenever we have met new people, we often enslave them or pity them or take advantage of them.
It’s also possible to think that aliens will be friendly. They’ll want to help us.
The ways we imagine them helping us say a lot about the kind of help we
think we need. There’s a poetic idea that from space Earth looks peaceful.
All of the boundaries we have put up don’t exist, you can’t see them.
But that’s not entirely true.
The old boundary between East and West Germany is still visible from space,
each side using different lightbulbs.
And this is the boundary between Pakistan and India.
You can see from space India flooding the border with lights to
deter smugglers from bringing across weapons and ammunition.
We don’t all get along together here on earth, we are afraid of each other,
we don’t trust each other and the wrinkles and scars that causes are visible from space.
Imagining how aliens would interpret that,
communicate with us and how we would or should respond teaches us a lot about ourselves.
It makes our struggles strange again.
Less ignorable. And that is the entire point of fantasy. G. K. Chesterton said that the
function of the imagination is not to make strange things settle,
so much as to make settled things strange. And as always, thanks for watching.

100 thoughts on “Are We Ready For Aliens?

  1. Extraterrestrials will not help you. Do not listen to their advices. They are not human beings and they do not understand us.

  2. people in sept 18th 2018: guys its the end of the world! aliens are going to kill us all!
    a year and 2 days later
    people in sept 20th 2019: today's the day boys, we are going to storm area 51 and get us some aliens!

  3. extraterrestrial life is likely*,we have never seen any other vessels.sorry to ruin your dreams but,if we were to find aliens,they would be *plants.or bacteria,since the vessel cant be complicated*.its hard to explain,but there is more than plants and bacteria *out there…

  4. Only someone who possesses just about all scientific knowledge humankind now (now, as in the moment one reads this comment at any point in time) knows should be trusted to know an alien when that person sees one. Same goes for afterlife, ghosts, etc… We humans should stop building tribal totems over every stupid thing we witness. Instead of worship nothingness we should always "challenge" it. And knowingly making false reports of "weirdness" is same as dancing around that tribal totem yet again 😉

  5. Micheal: If we were to here from intelligent life beyond earth, what would really happen next?
    Me: Mass panic.

  6. I only want to figure out one thing. Why the hell is it when I see a depiction of aliens they are never wearing clothes?
    Seems to me if they have acquired advanced technology their wardrobe would reflect that.
    Future peoples in movies and TV are always wearing uniforms or flowing robes.
    But not these guys. They have an agenda and that agenda is exposing their junk to as many species as possible. These vulgar degenerate creatures have absolutely no morals and seem to take some paradoxical perverted pleasures in flashing our children, wives and grandmas with their intergalactic genitalia.
    It is an established fact these creatures are obsessed with human orifices as well.
    Clearly we are dealing with a criminal element here.
    The manner in which they fly and crash those flyin' saucers proves they hijacked these vehicles from a more advanced civilization.
    There is only one way to deal with these mutant misanthropes and that is blast 'em when we see 'em.
    Rockets, missiles, shotguns what ever it takes to protect the sensibilities of the more sensitive and impressionable amongst us.
    There is nothing to be gained by communicating with these reprehensible interlopers.
    They are simply vulgar vermin standing in the way of mankind's Manifest Destiny to ultimately control and dominate the galaxies resources for our mutual benefit.

  7. Well as far as we can observe from earth biology, intelligence is the mark of a predator, because to be a successful predator requires the ability to anticipate the future, in order to plan how to catch a meal…ie out think the prey.
    So if aliens are intelligent enough for interstellar travel, then they definitely have the mark of a predator. But also one we'd never have the slightest chance of defeating, not even a nuclear warhead could even scratch their ships since they were capable of the voyage to earth from another star. This is because of the cosmic dust it'd have to be able to withstand. This dust will most likely be the last main problem for human interstellar travel, once all the other MAJOR problems are solved.

  8. We are gonna be ready 20th September 2019

    Thought I was the first to think of this.. Damn you Shiro Tenno.

  9. Area 51 Scientist: Captures aliens and puts them in a glass cage
    Aliens: Explodes Cage
    Area 51 Scientist: Surprised Pikachu Face

  10. We have no means of talking to them, we dont understand their language.
    For example we waving our hand must mean "i will masturbate" in thei language or they talk through telepathy.

  11. The reason that we still cannot find any aliens is because they are galaxies far far away

    insert star wars theme song

  12. I wonder why Humans think they would avoid a super-intelligent alien that probably travelled lightyears across the galaxy.

  13. All I can think of is how meeting intelligent extraterrestrials would cause complete panic from religious groups, epidemiologists, and militaries.

  14. Humankind isn't even ready for itself. We're not even born ready for life…

    That our models of aliens are modeled on bipedal things very similar to humankind proves it lacks the imagination and perceptual faculties to even be able to comprehend anything truly alien…because even his extraterrestrials in all their supposed mystery are eerily like him; a fantasy of his unconscious.

    If they were here on Earth from a different galaxy, dimension, universe altogether even, and were here for billions of years, the human psyche and our brains would filter anything permitting us to perceive of them , NOW THATS FUCKING ALIEN…for something to remain unknown indefinitely while humankind dances in circles to it's mentally masturbatory and eustress inducing fantasies…

    I tend to think some of Lovecraft's works come closer to trying just that in depicting amorphous masses, and characters who almost black out with fear in such that whatever it was is kept buried from conscious recollection…His contemporaries of the mythology he created didn't quite follow suite. Nonetheless, who says one isn't sitting right next to you , but it's imperceptible??

    Another equally alarming possibility are viruses, bacteria carried here on tiny projectiles from space that would have the potential to do whatever they do. This would be another black swan humankind can't prepare for because what impact will such have if any? Or rather what if certain outbreaks such as the bubbonic plague hitched a ride on some meteorite???I won't go into panspermia because whatever life came to Earth from elsewhere has evolved here long enough to no longer be considered alien..

    My final question, what if in this universe, there is no other life than what is on earth , as vast and infinite as it seems? What if LIFE ITSELF as we human knows it is alien to this fucking universe???Now that's one to consider. If it lives, it be an invader>..

  15. Good content but the music is superfluous and annoying. Hard to hear you, esp. in the car. Have confidence in your material. It is interesting enough without senseless b/g fluff.

  16. I wouldn't know how to communicate. I'd be here like Eminem arms rapping trying to talk. I'd probably get alien shanked

  17. If there were aliens that could easily travel through galaxies or across nebulas or whatever they probably wouldnt care about makng contact with humans. I mean what use would they get out of meeting with humans regarding anything that we have to say? We cant go to other solar systems and our resources are probably nothing like what they use on earth so theyd have virtually no reason to meet with us whether its for allies or for enemies. The only real reason i can think of for aliens that might not even be carbon based life like us to meet with us would be to help us get to the point where they are technologically so that we could help the fight a war or defend their homeworld, but even that is hard to believe because they probably have vastly different fighting styles and tactics for war than we do that would leave us completely useless in a space dogfight even with aliens helping us

  18. Personally I think your intelligence Micheal is beyond human… I'm starting to suspect that you are here to prepare us for your kind

  19. Area 51 and during the war of one was a alian above it there are pics of them to From a scientist in Dallas tx released a vid of it and a pic of an alian from area 51

  20. what does a frog do when a bug gets near……. froggy EATS IT!! what does an alien do when it sees a human….. alien. EATS IT……ahh war of the worlds hmmnn maybe they are on to something? ……Hawkins nows best..RIP.

  21. Why would Aliens even give humans a time of the day? Humans can't comprehend Alien intelligence. Humans are apelike species who hasn't evolved into their intellectual minds yet. Aliens will enslave the humans and kill them until they are extinct.

  22. In all likelihood alien bacteria wouldn't affect us. Just like 99.999% of other viruses and bacteria on earth pass through us with no effect. Because their not evolved to bother humans

  23. We humans can't even handle ourselves. We fight for the stupidest of things…

    Extraterrestrials can make us destroy ourselves before they conquer the planet, or maybe not conquer anything and do it just for the show. And I didn't mean any sci-fi mind control stuff, just some base psychology that a more intelligent lifeform can use to fool with the more simple one 🙂

  24. we should make our own aliens, send some bacteria to some planets, wait a couple billion years, then when they come back to earth, we'll all be dead because of G L O B A L W A R M I N G

  25. I think aliens exist but it's been proven nothing can travel faster than light so I think they are out there but even if they found out how to go as fast as light it would still take them too long to get to us unless they somehow figured out how to create wormholes which is still just a theory

  26. There will be/are all types of aliens. From single celled to exotic animals and on to intelligent with technology. And there will be very many different types of aliens with that technology, just like there are very many different types of humans with cell phones and sports cars. Some are nice, and some are not. I think though, that they should really give Earth a miss. Maybe enjoy our music, and films via our radio/tv transmission or if they can get it, the Internet. But apart from that, nope, stay away – Humans are TROUBLE!

  27. The narrative that the European governments and by extension the populations they governed deliberately, knowingly extorted or killed any indigenous population for wealth is the most childish abstraction from all history is really just anti-colonial propaganda made by the US government after WW2 to assist in de-nazification and further propagated by anti-war movements During the Vietnam war. In any instance where the broader European public heard of atrocities, or anything illegal take place anywhere in the world most people were appalled, just like they would be today. It’s the same thing, the difference is we in our modern society have the unique freedom of speech, the press, and the right to assembly so there’s actually something we can do about it unlike I’m the past, regardless, most governments didn’t let psychotic maniacs roam the world and murder everyone they saw. That’s not how it happened, it’s a childish world view, if we find it disgusting today, so would our ancestors.

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