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Aliens May Destroy Humanity to Protect Other Civilisations, Say Scientists

Source: The Guardian (http://guardian.co.uk/)

NASA BOMBSHELL REPORT: ALIEN CIVILIZATION(S) MAY DESTROY HUMANITY IN
ORDER TO PROTECT OTHER CIVILIZATIONS, SAY SCIENTISTS! / RISING
GREENHOUSE EMISSIONS MAY TIP OFF ALIENS THAT WE ARE A RAPIDLY EXPANDING
GLOBAL THREAT, WARNS AN OMINOUS REPORT FOR NASA! / ARE THESE MANKIND's
FINAL HOURS?! –
Ian Sample, Science Correspondent, guardian.co.uk, Friday 19 August 2011

When they see what a mess we've made of our planet, aliens may be forced
to take drastic action. It may not rank as the most compelling reason to
curb greenhouse gases, but reducing our emissions might just save
humanity from a pre-emptive alien attack, scientists claim.

Watching from afar, extraterrestrial beings might view changes in
Earth's atmosphere as symptomatic of a civilisation growing out of
control – and take drastic action to keep us from becoming a more
serious threat, the researchers explain.

This highly speculative scenario is one of several described by
scientists at Nasa and Pennsylvania State University that, while
considered unlikely, they say could play out were humans and alien life
to make contact at some point in the future.

Shawn Domagal-Goldman of Nasa's Planetary Science Division and his
colleagues compiled a list of plausible outcomes that could unfold in
the aftermath of a close encounter, to help humanity "prepare for actual
contact."

In their report, Would Contact with Extraterrestrials Benefit or Harm
Humanity? A Scenario Analysis, the researchers divide alien contacts
into three broad categories: beneficial, neutral or harmful.

Beneficial encounters ranged from the mere detection of extraterrestrial
intelligence (ETI), for example through the interception of alien
broadcasts, to contact with cooperative organisms that help us advance
our knowledge and solve global problems such as hunger, poverty and
disease.

Another beneficial outcome the authors entertain sees humanity triumph
over a more powerful alien aggressor, or even being saved by a second
group of ETs. "In these scenarios, humanity benefits not only from the
major moral victory of having defeated a daunting rival, but also from
the opportunity to reverse-engineer ETI technology," the authors write.

Other kinds of close encounter may be less rewarding and leave much of
human society feeling indifferent towards alien life. The
extraterrestrials may be too different from us to communicate with
usefully.

They might invite humanity to join the "Galactic Club" only for the
entry requirements to be too bureaucratic and tedious for humans to
bother with. They could even become a nuisance, like the stranded,
prawn-like creatures that are kept in a refugee camp in the 2009 South
African movie, District 9, the report explains.

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.

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."

The authors warn that extraterrestrials may be wary of civilisations
that expand very rapidly, as these may be prone to destroy other life as
they grow, just as humans have pushed species to extinction on Earth. In
the most extreme scenario, aliens might choose to destroy humanity to
protect other civilisations.

"A preemptive strike would be particularly likely in the early phases of
our expansion because a civilisation may become increasingly difficult
to destroy as it continues to expand. Humanity may just now be entering
the period in which its rapid civilisational expansion could be detected
by an ETI because our expansion is changing the composition of the
Earth's atmosphere, via greenhouse gas emissions," the report states.

"Green" aliens might object to the environmental damage humans have
caused on Earth and wipe us out to save the planet.

"These scenarios give us reason to limit our growth and reduce our
impact on global ecosystems. It would be particularly important for us
to limit our emissions of greenhouse gases, since atmospheric
composition can be observed from other planets," the authors write.

Even if we never make contact with extraterrestrials, the report argues
that considering the potential scenarios may help to plot the future
path of human civilisation, avoid collapse and achieve long-term
survival.

 

 

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