Physicist Mark Buchanan has argued that humankind should cease attempting to contact life forms other than our own, as the current attempts run the risk of "Extremely dangerous" consequences. Buchanan formerly worked as an editor of the science journal Nature and magazine New Scientist and has shared his worrisome predictions.
Based on the youth of our planet, Mark explained that "Contacting aliens could end all life on Earth." Buchanan was quoted in The Washington Post saying, "The search for aliens has reached a stage of technological sophistication and associated risk that it needs strict regulation at national and international levels."
He continued, "Without oversight, even one person...could take actions affecting the future of the entire planet. That's because any aliens we ultimately encounter will likely be far more technologically advanced than we are, for a simple reason: Most stars in our galaxy are much older than the sun." But, concern didn't end there.
Buchanan concluded: "There ought to be many civilizations in our galaxy millions of years more advanced than our own. Many of these would likely have taken significant steps to begin exploring and possibly colonizing the galaxy." The question then becomes whether communication will come from other forms of life first.
According to Buchanan, this is a possibility. But, if it were to happen, the outcome may not be in humankind's favor. "Our history on Earth has given us many examples of what can happen when civilizations with unequal technology meet - generally, the technologically more advanced has destroyed or enslaved the other."
So, with this potential lingering in space, what are we to do? Mark explained, "The best way forward...is to broaden the discussion. If all of humanity is exposed to the possible consequences [of] trying to contact alien civilizations, then more people should be involved in making decisions about what is wise and what isn't."
As more professionals gather to figure out what the best mode of action is, Buchanan restates the importance of more eyes on this situation. "It shouldn't be left to a handful of radio astronomers," he said. So, for now, as dialogue increases, let's let E.T. remain on the movie screen, huh?