Tuesday, April 27, 2010

If Aliens Exist

If aliens exist, should we be eager to meet them? Maybe, maybe not.

Obviously, in order to get to Earth, inhabitants of a distant planet would require a technology vastly beyond anything we Earthlings, at present can conceive. But advanced technology does not imply cultural enlightenment. What if they have the technology to conquer us but no civilized culture to offer?

Witness the sixteenth century on Earth, when Europeans had the most advanced military technology in the world but were culturally still in the Stone Age. They went around the world conquering, colonizing, and enslaving the culturally more advanced civilizations of Africa, American and Asia, simply because these people didn't have the military might to defend themselves.

The results are still with us today. Most of the world is dominated by two primitive stone-age religions, Christianity and Islam, each of which is determined to obliterate the other, not to mention they both want to get rid of the more enlightened ideas of nonbelievers.

So it's conceivable that somewhere out in the galaxy there might be an alien life form whose entire intelligence is devoted to domination of the universe, with no cultural enlightenment whatsoever. If they conquer us, we're doomed. We'll all be enslaved and converted to whatever primitive religion they've got, although I find it hard to believe there could be any religion much more primitive and unenlightened than Christianity and Islam.