Space Quotes: Worry about Asteroids, Not Aliens

Image (Credit): Image of a UFO. (SETI Institute)

“This paper attempts to provide an estimation of the prevalence of hostile extraterrestrial civilizations through an extrapolation of the probability that we, as the human civilization, would attack or invade an inhabited exoplanet once we become a Type-1 civilization in the Kardashev Scale capable of nearby interstellar travel. The estimation is based on the world’s history of invasions in the last century, the military capabilities of the countries involved, and the global growth rate of energy consumption. Upper limits of standard deviations are used in order to obtain the estimated probability of extraterrestrial invasion by a civilization whose planet we send a message to. Results show that such probability is two orders of magnitude lower than the impact probability of a planet-killer asteroid. These findings could serve as a starting point for an international debate about sending the first serious interstellar radio messages to nearby potentially habitable planets.”

-Abstract to a study, Estimating the prevalence of malicious extraterrestrial civilizations, by amateur astronomer Alberto Caballero. I suppose the results of this latest study is encouraging since we can expand to other planets in the solar system and beyond to reduce the impact of an asteroid on the human race, but trying to outrun another civilization could be somewhat more difficult. This gives us a green light for SETI as well as exploration on Mars.