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Astrophysicist Says We Should Find Extra Terrestrial Life Sometime In The Next 100 Years

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The frontier for scientific knowledge is expanding at a phenomenal rate. It’s hard to believe that less than 20 years ago, there was no evidence of extra solar planets even existing and yet now we have confirmed the existence of 783 of them, with thousands more waiting on conclusive data. It’s this seemingly exponential growth of knowledge in the realm of astronomy that leads astrophysicist Jocelyn Bell Burnell to believe that we will find the answer to that all important question, “Are we alone?” some time this century.

At the 5th Euroscience Open Forum conference in Dublin, Dr. Burnell announced her expectations that we should be seeing evidence of alien life very soon. According to DailyMail, Dr. Burnell  isn’t just hopeful that we’ll find evidence of alien biospheres, but that we might even stand a chance at spotting intelligent extraterrestrial life.  Dr. Burnell  isn’t some crackpot wearing a tinfoil beanie though, she is the respected astrophysicist who was responsible for discovering the first pulsar. In her opinion, governments and world leaders should already be working on plans for what to do when we finally find hard evidence for the existence of extra terrestrials. According to Dr. Burnell…

 I do suspect we are going to get signs of life elsewhere, maybe even intelligent life, within the next century.

How well prepared are we? Have we thought of how we approach them? Should we put them in a zoo, eat them, send in GIs to bring them democracy?

If we do suspect there is intelligent life out there, are we going to make ourselves known to them or not?

There are interesting questions about who you would tell first – the Press, the Prime Minister, the Pope? We should start thinking now.

Burnell’s belief that we will find evidence of little green men hinges on the recent explosion of exoplanet data that has occurred with both ground and space based telescopes such as NASA’s Kepler. She says that as more data comes in revealing rocky earth-like planets we should expect the discovery there. But if we do discover aliens, any actions that our world leaders might take will still hit the universal roadblock of the speed of light…

 Nothing can travel faster than the speed of light. So you are probably talking of conversations that could take 50 or 100 years, just one way.

So barring any crazy medical advancements that might drastically expand your longevity, don’t expect to see a reply in your lifetime.  While Stephen Hawking is already on the record saying that most technologically advanced alien races are probably hostile and might come for our resources (a point of view that frankly doesn’t make all that much sense, especially coming from an astrophysicist who should know better), others such as Jill Tarter of the SETI Institute think that finding and communicating with an advanced species could be a harbinger of hope rather than doom. I guess we should know which one of them is right over the next 200 years.

So what do you think, should we say hey when we find aliens out in the cosmos, or should we hide in terror from our future galactic overlords?

Comments

  1. Richard Elliott says:

    I think the world’s religious leaders will have a riot on their hands.

  2. Yootha says:

    Hawking’s comment makes PLENTY of sense. Just look at what the human race has done to itself – Native Americans, Inuits, African slaves… need I go on? If humans can exploit themselves, then a different species should cause no qualm. And if we can do it to them, they sure can do it to us. Survival of the fittest. Basic evolutionary law.

    • Sorry, but advanced alien races attacking us for our natural resources doesn’t make any sense at all. There are far batter and easier places in just our solar system alone to get everything we have on Earth without the troublesome nuisance of humans flinging nuclear weapons at you.
      Aliens pass through an asteroid belt rich with precious metals just to get to earth, and if they were after our water, Jupiter’s moon Europa has three times the water of planet Earth so that wouldn’t make any sense either. If aliens want to eat us, then sure, they should invade, but the natural resource angle just doesn’t hold any water and Hawking should know that.

    • Dan says:

      Your comment is based on the wrong assumption that we are a comparable advanced race. The human race is not advanced technologically, socially, and most importantly morally. Lets set aside for a moment the ridiculous concept that any alien civilisation will be structured and constituted by behavioural attributes expressed in social and moral laws similar to our own. If it is a civilisation similar to our own, but lets say 1000 years ahead, moral evolution predicts that an advanced intelligence would realise that violence is detrimental to the system as a whole. This is something that humans are coming to realise, but has yet to reach a critical point. We have not reached it yet because because we are essentially still a race of teenagers dictated by our hormones.

  3. If we get the first look at them observation would be the first order to see what their capabilities are and then prepare ourselfs for a hostile act if they have interstellar travel capabilities. Once that’s done we can then start talking just like Gene Roddenberry imagined in Star Trek, who knows they might be Vulcans that want to start Starfleet.

  4. the only resourse aleins couldnt get from asteroids or large uninhabited plants is us.

    the only reason they would have to contact us is if they were just as un advanced as we are. so exchanging information would be the goal. just imagine the effort and resourses it would take to get an army here with out any hope of resupply or reinforcement? what would be the point……

  5. Jp 1690 says:

    You all make good point`s. But would a Alien race that has the power to travel between stars just not not stop at the Asteroid belt and chuck one our way? End of story for any armed reisistance. Just move in after the dust settle`s. Let`s just hope they are Vulcan`s.

  6. If Stephen Hawking says that technologically
    advanced alien races are probably hostile, then that’s good enough for me. The
    author has a lot of nerve speaking so derisively about one of the greatest
    minds of our age. Who the hell do you think you are Brian
    Williams? I’ll tell you, who I think you are and that’s a no body.
    Before you go making such pronunciations why don’t you go win yourself a Noble
    Price in astrophysics first. Until then why don’t you keep your own non-professional
    opinions to yourself!

  7. Tactician says:

    Yeah sure and it wouldn’t be covered up by governments to make sure the masses don’t change a thing and think differently, or like if it ever was it hasn’t. And yeah nothing can go faster then the speed of light…Except the expansion of the universe at its expanding edge which isn’t visible on visible wavelengths because….wait for it….It’s expanding faster then the speed of light. Also light that is on the even horizon of supermassive gravitational objects in a direct linear path to the source may be dragged at faster then the theorized maximum, which has to be proven but the instrumentation has not been built yet. Think a bit out of the box, and not from others all the time.