Alien Contact: What Happens Next?

Are we alone in this vast universe? Some think that’s highly unlikely. With new technologies joining the search, NASA estimates we’ll find definitive evidence of aliens within 20 to 30 years. Which raises the vital question: And then what? Will the news inspire jubilation, despair, or fear? Will aliens be seen as gods or interlopers? Evidence of alien life will provoke fundamental questions about our place in the universe–not just about who they are, but also who we are. Join astronomers, astrobiologists, anthropologists, philosophers, and linguists as we ponder these issues.

PARTICIPANTS: Kathryn Denning, David Kipping, Karen Lewis, and Marcelo Magnasco

MODERATOR: Wendy Zukerman


This program is part of the BIG IDEAS SERIES, made possible with support from the JOHN TEMPLETON FOUNDATION.

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00:00 – Participant intros
1:50 – How are scientists searching for intelligent life?
5:10 – Sending messages into space
6:59 – What kind of alien signal are we likely to detect?
9:00 – Would we be able to interpret an alien signal?
13:44 – What is the closest that intelligent life could be to Earth?
16:25 – How would we know if far away transmitting civilizations still exist?
20:00 – How well can we communicate with dolphins?
24:19 – Dolphin research film
26:27 – Understanding dolphins vs. understanding aliens
28:44 – What are the steps to understand an alien language?
38:02 – What happens on earth after we contact alien life?
44:40 – “War of the Worlds” broadcast controversy and damage
46:40 – Will the discovery of aliens unite humanity?
50:39 – What if we’re alone in the universe?
53:10 – Could AI help us find aliens?
54:20 – Using our children to bridge languages and species

See also  Free CCNA | Interfaces and Cables | Day 2 | CCNA 200-301 Complete Course


– Produced by John Plummer
– Associate Produced by Laura Dattaro

This program was recorded live 6/3/18 at the World Science Festival and has been edited and condensed for YouTube.

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Edwin TheCrow

I like the efforts that humans are trying to take to comprehend the idea of first contact but humans are still a zero type civilization. They fight each other and never seem to govern themselves peacefully.👽

J Randall Murphy

Some assumptions here don't seem reasonable to me. Like the idea that intelligent aliens probably have a completely different "neural architecture". It seems to me that some common principles of biological evolution are reasonable to assume as likely. For example, intelligent creatures with sensory capability on Earth have commonly evolved so that their sensors are located closer to their processing center, e.g. eyes, ears, and noses are all located near the brain, which makes logical sense, which ends up being some sort of head, which is then attached to a biological support system of some kind, which ends up being some kind of body, which generally has some means of manipulating the environment around it, which ends up being some type of appendages. If however, they have transcended biological existence e.g. evolved into AI, then the whole game changes, and they may be very different, but in that case they would probably also be advanced enough to bridge the gap down to our level.

Ivan Petryshyn

If humans are seeking for alien messages, they are (this or that way) in trouble!

Ivan Petryshyn

The echoes of the Universe do narrate, but – what? how? why? when? where?

So loopy u all went too far down this rabbit hole..
Here's a logical explanation or theory to why we believe in aliens in this universe.

A meteor hit the world thousands of years ago when humanity already had advanced technology and power grids like today. At the same time some humans, like today, lived in the wilderness without contact to "civilization". Two groups humanity.. like today with multiple space stations orbiting earth.

The cataclysmic even ends the power grids and destroys entire civilizations. One group of humans cannot survive without their power grids and being killing and warring each other for resources.
The other group knows exactly what to do and how to survive off the land.
The "civilized " group destroys itself leaving only the primitive tribes in the wilderness. Those people stuck in the space station run out of resources and eventually have to return on their emergency evacuation capsules. They are seen returning to earth by these primitive tribes and they are viewed as God's, aliens, and advanced humans that came from the sky. There are your damn aliens.

Not saying earth is the only place w life. I believe live exists but only once per universe/ solar system. We will never contact another universe/solar system so stop trying and fix the power have here on earth instead..

If alien contact happens we immediately need to get them to identify themselves, state their business and not trust them an inch. This is our world. They would only go to the trouble of coming here if there was something in it for them. Like biological resources, minerals, water etc. We would only be dealing with nature. All we have to do is look at what has happened to all the native peoples of our own world when they were discovered by a third party to know what would happen.

Alina Olga Mazneva

basically woman in red, you have NO OPINION!….sounds like much of the new z gen, only leads to conflict

She should a least do her hair a little makeup and dress better. Like you’re on tv gosh!!
I dislike women like her.

I believe a civilisation advanced enough to harness all the energy of a sun wouldn't waste what we call waste heat

A Nickerson

From what I have learned is Alien is alien from another planet extra Terrestrial is human from our future.

Gytis Pranskunas

Our greatest hope is that aliens are so smart, they will know how to communicate with us. So we don't have to.

Pan Demonium

I wonder if Dyson thought about how many planets would have to be completely destroyed in order to build a sphere around a star? Would all the planets and their moons in our own solar system produce enough material to envelope our own sun?

Junker Veld

The rigid silver definitely stop because claus exemplarily gather following a warlike burma. offbeat, fretful train

ronald pellet

Yeah we the people should have a say a works wide vote not electronic machines.

ronald pellet

Great what if street wise aliens not so called “ intelligent” these universities who are in no way using science just politics just the ones you’d not want to contact aliens. I mean Dems have now open borders if they were so intelligent they would know no civilization survived with open borders and survived just imagine the real aliens not the illegal ones


Just beam your messages directly to the damn UAP, it's not so difficult or complicated. 🙂
You could probably even do it in English. I'm fairly certain they haven't come all this way to study us while neglecting to familiarize themselves with our Earth languages.
We like to think we're really clever, and that they would need a purely mathematical signal in order to notice us. Considering what we can do with AI today, a civilization thousands of years ahead of us should be able to use their AI to decode our languages with relative ease.

nein und nein

I think it rather narrow minded to expect all intelligent creatures of the extraterrestrial world to communicate via language with notions and synthax, only because we, the most intelligent species of our world, use this device.

I think that the basics of communication is: emit signal, receive signal. And even most primitive beings communicate in their own way, without any language, word or synthax. Even plants communicate with each other.
Now we have created another means, the binary code which could communicate by any means, be it words and synthax, mathematics, or any kind of intelligent device.
And that's proof enough that there must be all kind of means of communication, not only linguistical, not only via language. It might be for example that they communicate via colors…

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