Alerted by greenhouse gases? In “Aliens may destroy humanity to protect other civilisations, say scientists” (The Guardian, August 18, 2011), Ian Sample explains, “Rising greenhouse emissions could tip off aliens that we are a rapidly expanding threat, warns a report,” Indeed, “Aliens may destroy humanity to protect other civilisations, say scientists.” Other worries:
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.
[Note: It’s come to our attention that the claimed links to NASA were overstated by The Guardian: One of the researchers works for NASA. Just to be clear. The paper is not a hoax. It was published in a journal and the authors, including the NASA employee, believe its contents. Donna Laframboise observes “if the academic paper that caught the attention of Guardian science correspondent is any indication of how the current generation of young scientists think, we’ll need to start viewing scientific findings with more than a grain of salt.” Donna, we’re ahead of you there, here. Five Feet of Fury asks, “Why do you read newspapers any more?” ]
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.”
So our doctors should quit getting lab results by e-mail?
Does anyone remember Apollo Eleven? What happened? How did rubbish come to dominate over achievement?