Researchers from Scotland’s University of St. Andrews and the British SETI research network will jointly develop procedures in the event that a signal from an alien civilization hits Earth.
According to the coordinator of the newly formed team, “aliens” can contact us “at any time”, and Earthlings are not prepared for this event. “It’s high time,” says Dr. John Elliott.
Scientists at a British university have warned that an extraterrestrial civilization could contact the inhabitants of Earth “at any moment”. Researchers are of the opinion that when beings from other parts of the Universe appear, you will need to know what to say to them.
The Scottish University of St. Andrews has teamed up with the UK’s SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) research network to establish procedures that could be used should an epochal moment arrive, reports The Telegraph.
The newly established SETI Post-Detection Hub will bring together experts from around the world to determine methods for deciphering possible signals, develop space law and predict the social impact of terrestrial contact.
‘We don’t know if we’ll ever get a message from extraterrestrial intelligence,’ said Dr John Elliott of the St Andrews School of Computer Science and coordinator of the new team. However, he believes that Earthlings cannot afford to be poorly prepared.
So far, the only procedures in the case of human contact with “aliens” date back to 1989 and were prepared by participants of the SETI program. These procedures have not been updated since 2010.
The 2010 symposium “The Discovery of Extraterrestrial Life and Its Consequences for Science and Society”, organized by the British Royal Society, did not help to reach an agreement on how to deal with contact.
The main problem will be the language
In the recent BBC documentary ‘First Contact: Encountering an Alien’, scientists admitted that it may never be possible to understand what the aliens will want to tell our civilization.
The issue of deciphering the extraterrestrial language may be one of the main hurdles that experts will need to consider.
Dr. Aleksander Rehding, a professor of music at Harvard University, believes that it will be even more difficult because people still have trouble understanding animals.
“Whales are a very good research object, and in some ways the closest thing to the ‘aliens’ on Earth,” says Rehding.
He emphasizes that the form of vocalization used by marine mammals has still not been explained.
“We don’t know what it’s for. Whether it’s music or language” – explains the professor, suggesting that it may give an idea of the difficulty that the world of science will face when “aliens” talk to us.
“We cannot intelligently talk to most creatures on Earth. How will we communicate with intelligent civilizations? I’m not sure we’ll ever understand them”, says William Borucki, a former NASA expert.
He added that reality will certainly not resemble Hollywood movies, where talking to aliens is easy, and people and aliens have “similar ambitions and similar reactions”.
“The Telegraph” reminds that for many scientists intelligent life in other regions of the universe is already quite a real possibility.
In turn, NASA recently launched an investigation to investigate hundreds of unexplained UFO sighting reports. The investigation is expected to last eight months, with a report scheduled for next summer.