At least one scientist, Simon Conway Morris, has warned that we should all be wary of the potential threat that extra-terrestrials could pose if some should ever visit our planet. But he’s not concerned that they might have vastly superior (and deadly) technology, or that they could have threatening powers of the mind. No, he’s warning that if aliens come calling, they may be just like us – violent, greedy and exploitative.
According to the The Guardian, this was the basis of a lecture that Morris gave at a conference of the Royal Society in London back in January.
Morris’ theory is pretty simple. He suggests that since scientists agree that life in the rest of the universe would be most likely to occur on planets similar to Earth, it is reasonable to expect that this life would develop in much the same way that it has on Earth. He explains,
“My view is that Darwinian evolution is really quite predictable, and when you have a biosphere and evolution takes over, then common themes emerge and the same is true for intelligence.”
And if this is the case, it is quite likely that aliens could show up looking for water, fuel, or simply a place to live – presumably because they had already screwed up their own planet.
There is certainly some logic to this theory. If life developed on a planet similar to Earth, and was subject to the same kind of Darwinian evolution, one would expect extra-terrestrials to have all sorts of commonalities with humans.
But wouldn’t those commonalities include our limitations? We can’t travel to the next closest planet in our own galaxy – never mind planets beyond it! If an extra-terrestrial society were to have emerged in a such manner as would produce beings similar to us, how would they manage to get here?
Maybe it is wishful thinking, but I would like to believe that an alien civilization that is capable of overcoming the speed of light problem, will also have overcome greed and intolerance.
As far as I am concerned, if aliens visit, humanity will pose a greater threat to itself than the visitors will. And lets face it, any truly intelligent beings with malice intent would recognize that taking over Earth would only require a minimum of influence from themselves. They would need only to make their presence known – and basic human insecurity would drive us to kill each other.
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