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Let us not burn our aliens

Though interstellar space travel seems like a distant dream and our abilities to contact alien life are limited, we still must prepare ourselves for the likelihood of contact.

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If I had any marketable skills other than high thumb dexterity from video games and an ability to read for, like, hours on end, I would’ve signed up for the Mars One colony. Despite that, I still have my hopes up for one day exploring space and maybe meeting really intelligent alien life forms who will be super cool and teach humanity how to fly or read minds or whatever. That may make me naive, but I think we could really gain something from finding that we aren’t alone out there.

However, I’ve seen enough science fiction movies–“Alien,” “Predator,” “Independence Day”–to note that people don’t think happy thoughts about alien contact.

Regardless, I’ve been fairly obsessed with any and all news coverage of the beautiful moon of Jupiter named Europa. Now, Europa is considered one of our best chances to find alien life in our solar system. On Earth, the moon’s gravity pulling on the surface of our planet cause the waves–and tidal bulges, friction etc.–and it is this function that makes people excited about Europa.

It is believed the force of Jupiter’s gravity on the frozen planet might cause friction which would heat the moon below its surface, making the ice melt into water. This frosty surface might also protect against radiation, much like our atmosphere does for us.

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All of that cool science-y stuff just means hey, water is necessary for life on our planet, so it might be so for other planets. Europa might have that water.

Even if there isn’t alien life in our own solar system, there are a seemingly endless supply of planets out there that we have only begun to canvas. So far, the scientific techniques are really good at finding big planets that are close to their stars, but those probably don’t account for even a fraction of the planets out there. And even the Vatican has acquiesced to the idea that there might be alien life out there.

Now, think about what we could learn from those aliens. Seriously, they grew up on a completely different planet. They may have developed differently, focusing on psychic powers or energy manipulation, whatever, instead of technological growth like we did. Maybe they’re completely bereft of the selfishness of humanity and they have ridiculously long life spans due to awesome medical care.

You may be sitting at your computer scoffing because you don’t believe in alien life or ghosts or anything cool, but it’s still good to be prepared for what may happen. As we stand right now, with all our severely negative depictions of aliens–with the exception of “E.T.,” and that still didn’t go smoothly–our society will probably freak the heck out if aliens try to make contact.

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Maybe I’ll be surprised in a good way for once at the actions of humanity, but what we need to do as individuals is turn the tide on this whole deal. People are rioting all over the world and killing one another–human beings–so I doubt everyone will turn completely around and treat aliens well. However, when the media started talking in favor of homosexuals, the Average Joe on the street started looking at the situation in a different light. Now people barely blink about it…in certain areas, anyway.

I propose movies and television put aliens into a good light, like “Star Trek” or–um, this is harder than I thought–“Superman” but without, you know, all of the alien invasions. I mean, we still need to be prepared if there is an invasion, but it could be like your parents’ bully advice. “Don’t throw the first punch, but you better throw the last one.”

Let’s at least give them a chance to not smash our faces in before we smash theirs, that’s all I’m asking.

Yes, I drew this myself, thanks for asking.
Yes, I drew this myself, thanks for asking.

About Marina Head

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