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Why are we afraid of aliens?

June 3, 2013

 

 

That’s a good question and I suppose the short answer is that there is always  a fear of the unknown. Before the advent of accurate science the forces of nature like lightening and earthquakes were given unearthly power s and origins. The unexplained could be explained as being from a higher being including God. Although this is not a discussion on matters religious the question was posed in the modern era was God an astronaut?

What would liens be like if they were to arrive tomorrow? Would they be humanoid, in keeping with the reports of UFO abductees, with large heads and dark round eyes? Or would a vastly superior intelligence manifest itself as a kind of energy or computer program as has been put forward by some reputable scientists? Considering the vast difference between life forms here on earth from simple single cell organisms to Elephants and Earthlings it’s anyone’s guess as to the appearance of as yet unseen extra-terrestrials.

 I suppose there is angst that E.T. will want to take over and would begin to issue demands on us not necessarily to our liking. This was the subject of the early sci-fi film ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’ and I’m sure would be a factor in first contact. The 1998 movie ‘Contact’ also deals with this issue. Some worry that that human beings would find themselves superfluous at having to share earth with unwelcome guests who have outstayed that welcome.

There is an old saying we have nothing to fear but fear itself. This was parodied in the Jack Nicholson sci-fi movie Mars Attacks! The Martians do arrive but they proceed to destroy Las Vegas and all pretence of diplomatic relations are wrecked when the bubble headed Aliens vaporise the US President (Nicholson) himself and much else. I would prefer aliens to be more like those in the Spielberg films Close Encounters of the Third Kind and E.T.

That is the filmography of the subject and although it is hard to separate fact from fiction although  science and technology tells us   they are yet to arrive. What we do know is that Earth-like planets are relatively plentiful in the universe and several dozen have been found in the local (up to double digit light years away) area. With water and the right temperature life could well exist in other solar systems and many have already been detected with the building blocks in place. With extremely advanced technology it could be possible to detect and even view alien life in the not too distant future. I do hope first contact happens in my lifetime and there is every possibility it will.  

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