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What if we aren't alone in this universe?
The world today is an isolated one. There are many planets out there, but so far none of the planets we have discovered contain life. It can be said that there is a deep desire in humans to discover other life - to discover that we are not alone in the universe. The discovery of life other than our own world would be a momentous discovery. It is, therefore, the ambition of every astronomer to discover signs of intelligent life other than our own. With every new discovery, there is an opportunity to find something that will change history forever.
Many current worldviews and beliefs would be shattered with the discovery of alien life. A number of religions would struggle to reconcile their beliefs with the existence of life outside of our own world. There would be a huge controversy. In addition, there must be a number of other considerations. Should we contact this alien life, if it shows signs of intelligence? The world, together, would have to unite over how to deal with the discovery of life other than our own.
What if the alien life is intelligent?
If the alien life that is discovered is intelligent, that would require a lot of considerations and think. The extraterrestrials may not be as developed as us, or more developed than us, and it may just be a coincidence that we discovered them before they discovered us. Even if they are less developed than us, what if they have some deadly technology that could obliterate our technology? In addition, thought has to made in terms of morality and ethics. In the case of undeveloped tribes in the world we live in, there is a global consensus that it is better to leave these tribes on their own until they discover advanced technologies themselves. It is thought that it is ideal for them to discover us, rather than us to spring our existence upon them.
Should we communicate with extraterrestrial life?
When it comes to communicating with extraterrestrial life, it should be a worry that communicating with them might disrupt their culture and way of life. In addition, were we ever to meet with them in person, there might be a great deal of disease and plague that comes to them or us similar to when the Americas were colonized and the settlers spread disease among the Native Americans. There should also be a consideration as to whether or not we would colonize their world, since it would most likely be hospitable to our own species. As resources on Earth continue to be used up and as space becomes more and more of an issue, this is a real concern. Would we put the rights of these aliens over our own personal greed and ambition? Would we ever be able to put another race before our own? That is unlikely.
What if this extraterrestrial life is dangerous to our own existence?
Another consideration must be made: could this life pose a danger to ourselves? If we encounter a civilization that has mastered space travel or at least managed minor expeditions into space, should we communicate with that civilization? A civilization capable of space travel means that it might be dangerous to Earth and our own civilization. What if contacting extraterrestrial life leads to our own world being attacked? This is a real consideration that must be taken into account, considering the number of dangerous individuals who exist on our own planet. Figures such as Hitler, Napoleon, and more, throughout our own history have attempted to create huge, sprawling empires through aggressive expansion. If a similar figure existed in the context of our entire galaxy, that might pose a danger to our own world, and attempting to contact extraterrestrials through any means necessary might place our world at risk from these extraterrestrials.
What are the realities of space travel?
The reality of space travel is that it will probably always be something extraordinarily difficult. It is unlikely that anything will ever pass the speed of light, and as a result travel throughout space will always be very slow. This limits the realm of science fiction from ever truly becoming reality. Colonizing space, or interacting with extraterrestrials, will be something that is very difficult as it would take years and years to ever successfully communicate with extraterrestrials even if we actually discovered life forms intelligent enough to communicate. However, if alien life was discovered it would likely deeply encourage the space sector.
What sort of worlds would have alien life?
The most likely worlds to have alien life would be worlds similar to our own. All of the basic building blocks of life on our planet would very likely be required by life on other planets as well. While it is possible for life to develop in an alternative way, it is very unlikely. The reality is that any world that we find that has extraterrestrial life would likely be a planet very much like our own. This sort of extraterrestrial world could serve as a potential target for colonization by humans in the future, even if intelligent life is discovered in that world. Ultimately humans will need to leave Earth and spread out throughout the galaxy.
In conclusion, extraterrestrial life is something that really has the potential to exist throughout the universe given how large and expansive it is. It is unlikely that we are alone in the universe. Humans would be faced with a massive change if intelligent life other than our own was discovered, and many religions and beliefs would become obsolete or would have to adapt. Society and our perception of the universe would change forever. There would be many questions on how to proceed, and there might be divisive arguments about what to do with the discovery. But ultimately, the discovery of life other than our own would be the ultimate unifier for the human race.