Monday, June 25, 2012

Extraterrestrial Contact: Seven Questions

Biology and technology will be important issues to consider in a First Contact situation if it occurs some day. Here are a few questions I ponder when considering human biology, technology and our perception of aliens. I know that it's impossible to speculate about alien life, but knowing human nature we can discuss how we might react to extraterrestrials.

1. Are human biological imperatives still driving our civilization?
It certainly seems so. Fighting, fornication and social systems are all about survival and all living things on Earth are in the survival business.

2. Can civilizations develop beyond their biological imperatives?
We have certainly sought to control birth and conflict. Perhaps it is part of an evolutionary trend?

3. Will technology allow us greater control over biology, environment and social systems?
 That seems likely, especially in the functions of our bodies. We use technology to control biology, environment and social systems. Technological developments would create more possibilities for greater control.

4. Might alien civilizations have grown in the same way?
One would imagine that intelligent aliens would also use technology to control their biology and environment. It would be a natural survival function for intelligent life. Social systems get more complicated, as those would depend on the nature of alien life. They may not have social systems in the form we understand. It could be a complex set of interactions well-beyond our comprehension. Still, the use of technology to control biology and environment would be an important commonality with humans.

5. Could this control of biology and environment lead to a virtual world and perhaps machine-based life?
That would certainly allow for the ultimate manipulation of biology and environment.

6. Would this type of intelligence have an impact on our relationship with a highly advanced alien civilization?
 That seems likely. Commonalities will strengthen the relationship and differences will weaken the relationship in a First Contact situation with humans.

7. Will we have to get beyond our differences to have a reasonable relationship with an extraterrestrial civilization?
Clearly and it will most likely be a challenge.

What do you think about the importance of technological development in the relationship with an extraterrestrial civilization? Chime in on the Alien First Contact Facebook page.

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