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http://www.space.com/29439-pluto-spacecraft-message-to-aliens.html

I'm curious to know how my fellow Hypogs feel about sending this message on the New Horizons craft. We all know some noted Physicists have warned against it. I was just interested to see if the majority of people would be for it.

I'd also like to know what the message representing our entire planet would say. since it's an American craft it will most likely be mostly in English. If it does go through and they want it to succeed the best language to recognize by aliens would be mathematics.

I am against sending it out. When this topic comes up I'm always reminded of my favorite quote of all time by Arthur C Clark.

Two possibilities exist; either we are alone in the universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.

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  • 2 months later...

Over 30 years ago someone wrote an article against the SETI programme saying that there could be dangerous aliens out there with technology beyond our comprehension who if they become aware of us might wipe us out for any number of reasons.

 

Of course, by time space probes "get anywhere", there is no guarantee mankind will still be here. At best they are time capsules, which we could as easily bury in the ground for alien visitors to eventually find.

 

Then again, it could be like the original Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy story, where they send an astronaut on a thousand year journey to the nearest star and when he arrives there, he is greeted by Earth people who have had a colony there for hundreds of years. They invented star travel hundreds of years after he left and did not disturb him.

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Given that the probability of a small, long-inactive spacecraft being found by an ET is, I think, between small and extremely small, I think the importance of putting messages on spaceships lies less in them actually being found than in how the act of doing so influences how we humans feel about ourselves, science, and the future.

 

Steven Hawking and other opponents of active SETI/METI make sensible arguments and scenarios about the dangers of encountering people more scientifically/technologically advances than us, but I disagree with them, because I think the social psychological impact of their advocacy is to promote fear of the unknown. To modernize an old aphorism, “a fearful person dies a thousand deaths, a brave person, but one.” Hawking and other “lay low” advocates – I might as well come out and brand hem xenophobes – are I think, dying the thousand deaths, and influencing others to join them.

 

Worse, I think ET xenophobia can easily be generalized into xenophobia of other Earth people, which leads to people supporting protectionistic and even militarily aggressive national policies. Fearful people not only die a thousand metaphorical deaths, but can too easily be swayed to support policies that cause millions of unnecessary and unjust real deaths. Brave people, I think, tend to be more compassionate and less accepting of killing in the name of security.

 

Enough about the social psychological impact of xenophobia. I think trends in astronomy show that, even if a “lay low” METI strategy is correct, unless taken to extremes to which no one on Earth would be willing (such as living in airtight caves), it won’t work. Our ground and space-bases astrometric technology is already on the verge of being able to detect the presence of technological life similar to ours on planets hundreds of light years away. In the next century, we may be able to image features on planets of other stars in our galaxy with sufficient resolution to detect intelligent life, whether it want to be detected or not. I suspect that our civilization’s scientific/technological progress, in which we are able to explore exoplanets astrometrically long before we are able to travel to them, is typical. If so, hiding from ETs much more advanced than us is futile.

 

The trend in astronomy I’ve witnessed just deepens my appreciation of Fermi’s famous question: where is everybody?.

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The trend in astronomy I’ve witnessed just deepens my appreciation of Fermi’s famous question: where is everybody?.

 

 

Possibly the idea of one ecosystem encountering another is always a bad thing, there is some evidence that virus material is shared all over our planet at some level, and various planets might be highly unlikely to resemble each other enough to allow one ecosystem to exist within another.

 

Then again maybe planets are simply the birth places of civilizations and any that want to survive abandoned planets early on...  

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Since we are still very far away from interstellar travels technology, I agree on the futile to hide part. Just look at the scientific progress in the last 20 years and following the trend dictated by "the more evolved a civilization the quicker it evolves" (proved throughout history) by the time we get (if ever) interstellar-travel technology our other technology will be so much more advanced than ours now that it is barely comparable...so why hide, they could also wipe us out and detect us with no problems...

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