Sooner or later, people will meet aliens in space. And researcher John Gertz is already offering to prepare plans for this case. He believes that the earthly governments should conclude some kind of agreement in this case and create a UN committee in which scientists would deal with this issue.
Disadvantages of the SETI program
Researcher and enthusiast of contacts with extraterrestrials John Gertz recently posted his article on the arxiv preprint server, called “Interstellar Diplomacy”. In this article, he considered the main issues that relate to the first encounter with extraterrestrial life.
Gertz drew attention to the fact that now, thanks to the SETI program, we might be in the “golden era” of the search for alien life. Now all the major radio telescopes of the planet are involved in identifying possible signals from extraterrestrial civilizations in one way or another: FAST, the VLA, MEERKAT, the ATA, Parkes Observatory, and Green Bank Observatory.
However, this method also has disadvantages. After all, each of these instruments can only look at each star for a certain insignificant period of time. And there are a lot of luminaries in the sky. And the chance that at this very moment some signal sent by aliens hundreds of years ago will reach us is extremely low.
Preparing for the visit of the interstellar probe
Therefore, Gertz concludes that a much more likely scenario than an interstellar signal may be a probe that will be specially built to contact us. One day, something similar to the Borisov comet or the Oumuamua asteroid will reach us from the depths of space.
But instead of approaching the Sun and disappearing forever, it will begin to maneuver, slow down, and, eventually, send greetings from other intelligent beings. And we will have to react to it somehow.
Many believe that in this case we need to prepare some kind of weapon, and the only thing that needs to be discussed is what it should be. But Gertz still believes that it will be necessary to resort to diplomacy. However, no plans for this case, as well as for the case of receiving an extraterrestrial signal, have yet been prepared by the government of the Earth.
What should be done before the aliens arrive
According to Gertz, no matter what the first contact is, it is necessary to develop a clear algorithm for it. And the first necessary thing is to establish international cooperation on this issue. If aliens arrive unexpectedly, then it will be necessary to act carefully, but at the same time try to establish contact.
A peaceful message can only be a lulling of our attention, or it can really be a sign of friendship. Therefore, individual thoughtless reactions of some countries can ruin the whole of humanity. At the same time, Gertz pays special attention to totalitarian states like China.
He believes that humanity needs a global international agreement on actions in the event of an alien visit and an international authority that will coordinate international efforts to implement it by various countries. As an example, he cites the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space at the United Nations, which has been operating since 1959.
Gertz argues that whatever the name of the committee or authority studying this problem, it should be multinational and interdisciplinary. Its creation can last for decades, accompanied by sharp debates. And, knowing humanity, it will not do without fierce disputes and accusations.
“Members might include experts in such fields as astrobiology, astronomy, biology, computer science, cryptology, diplomacy, economics, emergency planning, epidemiology, game theory, law, linguistics, mathematics, psychology, religion, rocket science, security, and space science,” he writes.
According to phys.org
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