A small group of scientists released a 33-page study arguing that, should we make contact with intelligent extra terrestrials, there’s a good chance they will come and destroy us. We wrote all about this silliness yesterday, where we argued that these researchers may just be watching too many movies, as a huge number of alien invasion films have come out in the last two years. If you watch aliens destroy Los Angeles enough times, you may think it could actually happen.
The study advises those who make contact with intelligent aliens to put our best foot forward and lie to the aliens by omission. Telling them about how we live may cause them to become upset at how we’ve treated the Earth. Since one of the study’s authors is connected to NASA, major sites like CNN and Fox News reported the story as coming from NASA, which the agency has refuted on Twitter several times: “@NASA: “Yes, @FoxNews & @CNN have it wrong. There is no NASA study about aliens. Facts from one of the report’s authors http://t.co/mYLiN33” That link leads to a page by one of the study’s authors who admits that the study has no affiliation with NASA.
“I stand by the analysis in the paper,” writes one of the study’s authors, Shawn Goldman, who describes it as a “fun paper” he wrote with some friends. “Is such a scenario likely? I don’t think so. But it’s one of a myriad of possible (albeit unlikely) scenarios, and the point of the paper was to review them. But remember – and this is key – it’s me standing for the paper… not the full weight of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. For anything I have done to mis-convey that to those covering this story, to the public, or to the fine employees of NASA, I apologize.”
However, earlier in his defense of the paper, he brought up a recent alien invasion movie, admitting that they had actually studied Hollywood films for this paper: “One of the scenarios we considered in the review was the possibility that an alien civilization would contact us because they were concerned about the exponential growth of our civilization, as evidenced by climate change. This isn’t an entirely new idea; remember, this was a review effort. Indeed, Keanu Reaves recently played a similar alien in the movie “The Day the Earth Stood Still.” There were lots of other ideas we reviewed, but this was probably the most provocative.”
So there you have it. A paper about hostile aliens written by science fiction fans who have likely seen a lot of movies about hostile aliens. Now, if only Hollywood would make some more nice alien movies so someone would write a study countering this one.
Having said that, there are plenty of movies where robots destroy the world, but that isn’t stopping the Navy from developing crazy robot swarms that can work together and construct more robots on the fly–a self replicating army of metallic mayhem. We may need the aliens to come bail us out of that hot mess. Hopefully they’re friendly.