How would Humans React if Alien Life is discovered?

How would Humans React if Alien Life is discovered?

The question which has not been answered yet despite a lot of effort is, ‘Are we alone in the universe or life is spread all over this infinite space? 

The observation of the universe leads to a question that has kept us curious ever since. After realizing that we are not alone, human race dearly wants to locate the existence of aliens. All the latest research indicates that there are no aliens around us but the human quest for extraterrestrial life will go on.

Humans have passed thousands of years believing that Earth is the only place where life exists. Any success in all this research will bring about a massive change in this major paradigm. What effects it will have on the society are unclear right now but there are people who believe that the very fabric of society can be blown away by it.

This image has been fed into our systems through movies and seasons. We have seen all kinds of violence at the hands of portrayed aliens, and this has left a lasting impact on our minds. Visualization of chaos, hysteria, and panic follows alien intervention in all such scenes. Balls of Fire and Smoke, Crumbling Buildings and Collapsing Societies are some examples of the inhuman behavior of the aliens.

This makes us think twice before looking out for signs of life outside our planet. There is another side of the picture as well. Many people consider this good for the human race and want to welcome alien life. According to American Association for the Advancement of Science, “we will take it rather well. Michael Varnum of Arizona State University briefed the press about it and said,

I think we’re generally sort of positively predisposed to novelty unless we have strong reason to suspect it could harm us. Of course, I would also predict that if a hostile armada showed up near Jupiter, we wouldn’t be happy.

He is also a member of the Interplanetary Initiative of the university. The task assigned to this research group is to build a social framework for collaborating with extraterrestrial life in the future. He is also working on finding the answer to this long-lasting question. About it he said,

I’m a person who has been into science and sci-fi for some time. To be honest, I wasn’t at all sure what we would find. It is worth noting that in fiction, often the discovery of extraterrestrial life is portrayed as having negative societal or psychological consequences.

His team worked on gathering survey responses and news headlines in the context of alien existence. Their general observation was that people have quite a positive response in this regard. Even fake announcements, like the presence of Microbial Fossils on Mars, were welcomed by the public in large masses. Statement from Seth Shostak of SETA Institute holds significance in this regard. He said,

I think the fact that the (slim) majority of folks seem‘down’ with the idea of microbes on Mars or elsewhere is hardly surprising. Grey guys are quite different, and the really interesting studies are those that try to gauge the reaction to a SETI detection, or even more dramatic, the discovery of alien hardware.

The starting technique adopted by Varnum’s team was to analyze relevant news stories through a language-analysis program. The emotions of people were to be gauged via this experiment. Words like ‘happy’ and ‘good’ were considered positive responses while ‘annoying’ and worried were the common negative responses. The sample stories included 1967 discovery of pulsars, fossilized microbes on Mars and the Strange Dead Stars.

Then, they used ‘Amazon Mechanical Turk’ and asked the users to predict their response to knowing that aliens do exist. In the end, they asked 500 users (divided into two groups) to read two stories and write their reactions. The first group read, ‘1996 finding of fossilized Martian microbes in a meteorite’ while the other group wrote about ‘the creation of synthetic life forms on Earth.’ In all these experiments, they found more positive responses than the negative ones.

Despite all that, the uncertainty of how our race will react can be analyzed following this statement from Shostak, who is an astronomer himself. He said,

“There’s this feeling among the public – a very large fraction of the public – that the discovery of intelligent life at least would be kept secret by the government because otherwise, everybody would just go bonkers.”

Computer Scientist by qualification who loves to read, write, eat, and travel

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