Monday, June 27, 2011

Eight Things We Could Expect from Direct First Contact

Here are eight things we could expect from Direct First Contact with an extraterrestrial civilization. That is, First Contact that involves extraterrestrial visitors coming to earth.

1. If an extraterrestrial is curious enough to contact humans it would probably share some of our intellectual abilities and value orientations. This idea comes from psychologist John Baird in his book "The Inner Limits of Outer Space"

2. If they reach us first they are likely to be scientifically and technologically superior to us. This again is from the Baird book, but a common idea shared by many. It is really common sense. We don’t have the ability to travel between stars. If they come here they do have that ability. Ergo they are more technologically advanced.

3. If they wish to make contact they would likely do research first. They would probably examine our environment, language, culture and psychological nature. Once again, this is a proposition derived from common sense. If they have the ability to travel between stars they have problem solving abilities. Research is a basic step in problem solving.

4. They would most likely have a motivation for First Contact and a plan for carrying it out. If you understand problem solving you probably won’t take serious action without a plan.

5. They would be bringing their party to our house. First Contact, at least in the initial stages, would be their objectives, their process and their rules.

6. If they have studied us thoroughly, they would realize that we would not react well to such an overtly controlling process.

7. They would probably consider ways to keep us peaceful, calm and open to communication.

8. In short: they would have a public relations plan.

What does all of this mean for us? We must be cautious at every step. We must work to determine their true motivation and what it means for us. We cannot assume their motivations will keep our best interests in mind. We must be as open as possible and not let paranoia and fear prevent us from acting effectively. We must be united in our approach and response. We must state clearly that First Contact on our planet must be carried out according to our rules. We must quickly establish guidelines and protocols for protecting our civilization and yet keeping an open dialogue to develop a fruitful relationship. We must hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

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