Let’s shoot first…

If [space] aliens landed what would happen to us, could we survive? That was the question the people at the Discovery/Science channel posed to a group of “experts” consisting of scientists, SciFi writers, journalists, politicos, disaster recovery personnel, military, and police and firemen from the US, Canada, and different countries in Europe. The consensus of this esteemed panel was that the human race would survive but at the cost of society, culture, and nations. They all felt it would result in a global war to defeat the aliens and save the world.

My whole being bristles because not a single person even considered that ET might be benign or [gasp] even friendly. Instead, everyone assumed that anyone coming from another planet (after traveling for how many light years, while probably wondering the same things that we have–is there any other intelligent life out there?) is automatically out to conquer us. Really?!?!

Is that why we’re trying to find life outside of our own planet, so that we can conquer them? For goodness sake, we can’t even run our own planet, how in the world could we even imagine that we could conquer someone else and take over theirs?

So, why would someone come all that way just to wipe us out? When asked, some of the science and military folks offered explanations — the aliens want our resources (the ruined air and polluted water would be a splendid addition to anyone’s planet, I’m sure); they lost their own planet, so want ours (did they put an ad in the lost and found, maybe the folks on Alpha Centauri found a planet wandering by); they’re simply like us and like to fight with whomever they come across while wandering the galaxies (maybe they film the confrontations and televise it as reality TV); they might not consider us intelligent and so they would have no qualms about wiping us out (ahhh, sort of the way we treat all the other beings on our own planet, such as the dolphins, whales, and gorillas — okay, that one I might believe).

But not a single person put forth the idea that maybe, just maybe a group of explorers from another planet would want nothing more than to take a few photos to show their people to say, “Hey, guess what? There are other beings out here.” It just totally shocked me, I must admit, that our societies are so blood thirsty.

Why do we assume that everyone is as blood thirsty and as fond as war as we all seem to be? Why can’t we remember those explorers of long ago, such as Magellan, Thomas and Clark, or even Admiral Byrd, who merely wanted to find out what was out there. They didn’t set out wanting to kill anyone, they just wanted to know what was over the next hill. Well, maybe those [space] aliens that come to visit are simply trying to find out what’s beyond the next moon or the next galaxy.

My biggest solace, is that I believe that whatever form alien life takes, it will most likely be something we either don’t recognize as being alive or we don’t recognize as being sentient and intelligent — such as something plant-based or something that resembles an insect rather than oxygen breathing carbon-based bipeds. Therefore, we have most likely already seen and ignored it, finding it, in our arrogance, of little or no significance. Who knows, maybe that dragon fly that just zipped by is really an alien, and just maybe that flower it’s sitting on is its space ship. You never know…