Aliens are usually seen as something fictional, creatures that only show up in books and movies.
But when we really think about it, in a universe such as ours, in a reality such as ours, it’s improbable that we’re the only living beings, the only planet with living beings, in existence. I mean, come on. One planet among many, in a solar system among many, in a galaxy among many, and apparently we seem to be the only ones here?
But when you start thinking like that, you have to look back down at us, and what we might look like to an alien who has never heard of us, never known about how our societies work.
Imagine you’re an alien. Let’s say a short green one with antennae, and understand perfect non-slang English. Imagine randomly showing up on Earth in a space ship with your own crew. Firstly, you have no information about our planet other than it can sustain life and is covered by billions of living plants and animals. You have no idea if there is intelligent life until you actually show up. But when you do, what would be your first impression. Where would you look to find the intelligent race of our planet, and what would you expect in how we’d react to seeing another intelligent race?
Now lets say that against all odds, you somehow come across the United States government as your first point of contact (I’m not going to go into the whole “English isn’t our only language, and what makes the US the most important of them all” argument, I’m just speaking hypothetically in an ideal meeting among races). Would you observe the society first, see how people treat each other, how we interact?
If you did, you wouldn’t exactly see the happiest or kindest bunch of humans. Our planet is frequently populated with war among countries, horrible natural disasters and all kinds of events in between. Based on this first view, what would your first opinion of us humans be? That we’re always rational? That we don’t always treat each other fairly? How about that we resort to war if things don’t go well for us?
If I was in that kind of position as an alien, and I was legitimately looking for other intelligent races that we could communicate with, I probably wouldn’t stay long on Earth. I’d either see the humans as a threat, as something dangerous, or as a bunch of loonies that should stay on their own planet.
Now if we continue on the previous line, and after observing a little of what happens on little old Earth, say we (as the aliens) did go to the government with our “we come in peace” line. Would the officials really buy it? Would they actually try to negotiate with the aliens, or see them as a threat and try to blow them out of the sky?
So many crossroads, so many possibilities. I could expand on this post forever, but hopefully you’ve gotten the idea and have built your own opinion on the matter. If you would like to share it, go ahead and respond in the comments.
Note: None of this is backed by any kind of scientific research, it’s all opinion that I decided to write about.