can you save us from ourselves?

October 25, 2008 — 2 Comments

space fleet

Objectively speaking the world is a dangerous and violent place. Terrorism, genocide, wars, nuclear warheads on constant standby, dictatorships and corruption all leave us longing for someone or something to step up to the challenge, wave a magic wand and fix this mess. It’s no wonder that doomsday cults are always in season and Left Behind books are embraced as a Biblical appendix by Evangelical Christians convinced they’re living in the end times. But what if you can’t believe in the Apocalypse of John or just plain don’t like the tribulation and bloodshed it would take for the world to be reborn?

Never fear, there’s an alternative to how everything will get better. Our magical peacemaker will come from another planet. Though according to ufologists, he got here in 1947, crash landing in Roswell, New Mexico. His arrival was soon after the Trinity test, Hiroshima and Nagasaki so is it a coincidence that he landed near the home of the world’s first nuclear bombing squadron? Actually, yes it is.

If you listen to a number of ufologists, the reason why flying saucers appeared over our skies soon after WW2 was because weve opened a major can of worms. We learned how to split the atom and very quickly after that, how to combine them for even more oomph. We have become Death, the Destroyers of Worlds and weve been trying to figure out what to do with this power ever since. Foreseeing our dilemma after detecting the first nuclear blasts on Earth, the aliens rushed right over to help, but wouldnt you know it? An electrical storm brought them down.

I call this the Good Samaritan theory. To many UFO believers, its a soothing explanation that makes them feel at ease with the world. Soon the aliens will come and fix our our mess. Theyll share their wisdom from beyond the stars and all war, poverty and hate would be gone. But as much as I hate to be a buzzkill (ah, who am I kidding, if I really hated it that much, I wouldnt be writing this), why? Why would an alien species that spent thousands of years advancing itself suddenly want to run around giving out wisdom to another species thats clearly violent and still getting its bearings? What do they have to gain? What would they want? The old adage of the only free cheese is in a mousetrap definitely applies here.

The second problem with this theory is that its core idea is physically impossible. If the Trinity test, Hiroshima and Nagasaki took place in 1945 and the aliens showed up just two years later, they wouldn’t have time to detect the blasts. And they wouldn’t be able to detect them simply because to an alien, our solar system shows up as the sun and the four gas giants. Our planet would be less than a pixel in size at best. Additionally, the energy and the light from the nuclear explosions can only travel as fast as light. According to ufologists, the Grays (the alien species that visits us) live in the Zeta Riticuli system, 39 light years away which means that it would take up to 39 years for the energy from the blasts to reach them. Of course, by then the 20 kiloton fission burps would be easily overshadowed by stellar events that are literally trillions of times greater in magnitude. Our nuclear tests are not visible to the universe at large.

If the Grays are here, they’re not here to save us from our ICBMs and fusion bombs. If that was truly their mission, they would’ve done it by now. Whatever they have in mind is probably far from helping us. Like Dr. Neil Degrasse Tyson puts it:

We aren’t nice even to each other. So what makes us think that the aliens will be nice to us? I have no confidence that the aliens will treat us better than we treat ourselves.

Indeed. This doesn’t mean that we immediately have to assume the worst if we’re contacted by an alien species, but we shouldn’t welcome them with open hearts and assume they’re going to save us from all our demons. A healthy dose of skepticism is a very good thing when you don’t know with what you’re dealing.

[ illustration by CG artist Sylvain Lorgeou ]

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  • Sharon

    We aren’t nice even to each other. So what makes us think that the aliens will be nice to us? I have no confidence that the aliens will treat us better than we treat ourselves.

    I loved that line. I’m transgender and RARELY are people nice to me. RARELY.

  • http://365wonders.wordpress.com/ wallflower 3000

    Duuuuude! They’re not REALLY aliens! They’re ANGELS!!! And, last time I checked, they can do ANYTHING–period!!!

    Silly rabbit!

    (Awesome blog!!!)