Scientist Warns – ‘think twice before replying to alien signals’
A scientist in charge of finding signs of life on other planets has warned that human beings maybe should think twice before making contact with aliens.
Professor Matthew Bailes is based at Swinburne University in Melbourne. He is warning that making contact with aliens capable of sending powerful signals to Earth through thousands of light years could lead humanity into disaster. He says they are likely to be much more advanced. “The history of weak civilizations contacting more advanced civilizations is not a happy one,” he said.
Prof Bailes is heads up the Breakthrough Prize Foundation’s $100 million search for alien life, which is being financed by Russian billionaire Yuri Milner and backed by Professor Stephen Hawking.
The team working on the project will use the Parkes radio telescope to scan the universe. They will use one of the largest telescopes in the world, in what has been described as bringing a “Silicon Valley approach to the search for intelligent life”. The initiative will cover 10 times more area of sky than previous programs.
Professor Bailes said “The difficulty is to know what sort of signal we are looking for,” “There is no manual on how to find aliens. We’ll have to imagine the sort of transmissions an alien race might send.”
The computers, he warned, would take a year to build, and the project has five years to run. But he said that the signal, if and when it arrives, would likely be quite small after travelling across such vast distances.
He said that scientists hope that aliens will send a pattern human beings would be able to recognize. Maybe prime numbers. He said we may all be “long dead and buried” before we worked out how to reply, and the aliens get an answer.