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Are We Prepared for Alien Visitors?

by Kenny Hoeschen

We can calculate the probability of alien life existing using the Drake Equation and we may consider why we have no evidence of alien life by considering the Fermi Paradox, but what have we done to prepare for possible visits from aliens? Are we unprepared and would chaos ensue? Michael Stevens at Vsauce explores what principles should be considered and how we should respond.

We’ve planned for alien life by quarantining early astronauts after they returned from space. We’ve also been careful sending potentially contaminated spacecraft onto planets where life might potentially exist. And, of course, SETI has created a set of principles to be followed should signs of extra-terrestrial intelligence be found. The first official news provided to the public would be in terms in the Rio Scale, which takes into account the credibility of the  message, how repeatable the observation is, the type of message, and how far away it is.

Stevens even suggests who might be considered the best ambassadors for Earth-alien relations. And what sort of information would we send back to the aliens, if anything at all? Some experts think it would be a mistake to respond in any manner.

(Thumbnail image courtesy of Etsy artist, Lindy Brown.)

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