Today I read an article about the decommissioning of Kepler Space Telescope, which contained interesting data.
For 9 years, Kepler collected data on more than 530,000 stars in the universe and discovered 2,662 exoplanets. The latest data obtained from the telescope prove that 20-50% of the stars (that we see in the night sky) have rocky exoplanets in their systems, in the star's habitable zone. Theoretically, these planets may have the conditions for the emergence of life.
This data once again makes us think one of the most important question for all of humanity:
Are we alone in the universe?
Only our galaxy contains between 200-400 billion stars. According to Kepler, 40 billion star systems in our galaxy have exoplanets. Agree, these figures inspire hope for the presence of life not only on our blue ball.
Suppose, we are not alone.
Our generation, and perhaps generations in the next 100 years, will be able to see the aliens only in one case: if they find us and come to Earth. The level of our technologies does not allow us to make interstellar flights, so let's hope that our "neighbors" will be more developed and will be able to overcome space at high speeds.
Would you like to witness "first contact"? It is worth thinking carefully, because we have already accepted the fact that the first contact in our time can take place only with a more developed (than our) alien civilization.
Is it a blessing or a threat?
There are hundreds of movies about meeting humanity with aliens. And only in 1 out of 10 movies, this meeting does not turn into a war of annihilation. If you do not go into a long description, there are only a few scenarios:
- The war for the possession of the planet with the complete destruction of the enemy.
- The war (maybe psychological) for the possession of the planet and the enslavement of a weak civilization (our civilization). Slaves are also a valuable resource.
- Trade relations. Exchange of our resources for their technology (not advanced). Will you give an atomic bomb to the savage in exchange for coal?
- Commonwealth and assistance to a weak civilization in the development of society and technology.
- Contact for the sake of contact and further non-interference.
Obviously, we all don't want the first two options! Well, if sociology works roughly the same in every corner of the universe, then we don't have to worry.
Despite the fact that I am an engineer by profession, I believe in one thing:
Humanism and technology are inextricably linked.
Technological progress is possible only in a high humane society. A humane society gives the individual freedom, including freedom and the opportunity to invent and create.
It sounds paradoxical, because most of the technologies that we call advanced today are products of wartime (the secret of the atom, the Internet, genetic engineering). But, at the same time we see the advantages of humanism. It is in peacetime any technology begins to develop faster and spreads in all possible areas of our life. With the ultimate goal to improve life and push the boundaries of the possibilities of civilization.
Undoubtedly, war and technology are also closely linked. It is in wartime is more likely a breakthrough in technology, it is a breakthrough, not development. The military economy allows you to concentrate huge resources to solve a specific task in a short time and create a new technology.
However, the constant martial law leads to the rapid degradation of society, because all resources are spent not on improving the life of your civilization, but on worsening the life of the civilization with which you are fighting. Therefore, we can assume that a military-type civilization can’t exist for a long time.
To achieve high technology (such as interstellar travel) should be used scientific marathon, not military-sprint.
Therefore, I believe that if civilization has the technology of interstellar flights, then it is humane enough to appreciate the freedom and life of other thinking forms. So I wouldn't mind witnessing the first contact. Maybe aliens will make us better...