Mar 21, 2015

Boston Globe: Don’t Invite Extraterrestrials (The “Ancient Enemy” That Wiped Out The Anasazi?) — They’ll Destroy Earth

A group of scientists in California recently unveiled plans to advertise Earth’s existence to space aliens, and invite them to visit. This prospect should terrify anyone familiar with the history of imperialism and conquest. On our planet, when a civilization that considers itself superior encounters a “lower” one, the result has usually been enslavement or massacre. Aliens would probably treat us just as pitilessly.

Reaching out to extraterrestrial intelligence is the worst idea ever. It transcends follies committed by individual nations because it exposes all humanity to destruction. “Fatal embrace!” Herman Melville cried when he saw Pacific Islanders welcoming Europeans. “They fold to their bosom the vipers whose sting is destined to poison all their joys.

” Human history must guide any debate about whether we should trumpet our presence to aliens. It tells of many who suffered and died because they attracted the attention of powerful predators. Spain sought gold in the New World, so entire civilizations were crushed. Belgium wanted rubber from the Congo and did not mind killing half of the 16 million Congolese to get it. Other examples fill many books.

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