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Survey says Earthlings not ready for extraterrestrial contact

Despite the initiation of sending messages to potential regions of space where the highest possibility of extraterrestrial life may exist that locate the Earth for potential visitors from space by the Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence (SETI) new research conducted by Gabriel G. de la Torre at the University of Cádiz in Spain claims Earthlings are not ready. Education, psychology, and religion are the major reasons Earth is not ready for meeting beings from another planet. The research was published in the May 5, 2014, edition of the journal Acta Astronautica.

Jill Tarter, director of the Center for SETI Research looks at a graphic showing the newly discovered planet Kepler-22b during a news conference at the NASA Ames Research Center on December 5, 2011, in Moffett Field, California.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Dr. de la Torre bases her conclusion on a survey of 116 students from the United States, Italy, and Spain. The survey included presumed general knowledge about astronomy, space exploration, and science. The survey also asked the participants about their beliefs that God or a god created the universe. The participants also responded to questions about the potential for the existence of extraterrestrial life.

The results indicate that even young educated people from Europe and the United States are not psychologically ready to meet extraterrestrials. Lack of knowledge of space and general concepts of astronomy that one would presume to be a commonality that people from Earth had with extraterrestrials was lacking. The basis for beginning a communication with beings from another world is expected to be reference to known planets and star systems. The facts are that the average person does not know enough about space to converse with an extraterrestrial if they happened upon a being from space.

Religious beliefs as held on Earth are another problem according to the researchers. The researchers do not critique any belief system. The researchers do indicate that human beings are at present incapable of conceiving of and accepting a totally alien belief system that does not incorporate the concepts of “good” and “evil” in a human sense. A commonly held and erroneous assumption about alien beings from other worlds is that these beings would be benign and not hostile or antagonistic.

SETI, NASA, and the ESA have never found any signs of life on other planets. Life on other planets could be as simple as a microbe and would be astonishingly rare based on the Earth’s present but limited knowledge of other worlds. SETI has found no defined evidence of life on other worlds in the last 50 years. According to the research we are not ready to encounter extraterrestrials.