Scientists say: We’re fucked if ET comes knocking

The Solar System – Even while the Fermi paradox states the universe is teeming with life (but somehow we can’t find any, paradoxally) the chances of anything coming from Mars is estimated a million to one. Which is a good thing. Because science says we’re fucked if it happens.

A bout of theorycrafting has resulted in a paper that says we’re likely screwed when extra-terrestrial entities come to earth.

We see two types of scenarios in which ETI might intentionally harm us.  The first scenario involves hostile, selfish ETI that attack us so as to maximize their own success.  This scenario suggests a standard fight-to-win conflict: a war of the worlds.  The second scenario involves ETI that are in no way selfish but instead follow some sort of universalist ethical framework.  ETI might attack us not out of selfishness but instead out of a universalist desire to make the galaxy a better place.

Surely humanity doesn’t suck that much to warrent extermination for the betterment and greater glory of the universe? Well, yes, we do. The universal definition of ‘intelligent life’ is ‘nuking humanity from orbit for the good of all.’ And can we blame them? We don’t have that good a trackrecord with other peoples and species, so when we extrapolate such behavour to ET’s:

The astronomers and others hope that the extraterrestrials, delighted to discover fellow intelligent beings, will sit down for a friendly chat. Perhaps the astronomers are right; that’s the best-case scenario. A less pleasant prospect is that the extraterrestrials might behave the way we intelligent beings have behaved whenever we have discovered other previously unknown intelligent beings on earth, like unfamiliar humans or chimpanzees and gorillas.

Just as we did to those beings, the extraterrestrials might proceed to kill, infect, dissect, conquer, displace or enslave us, stuff us as specimens for their museums or pickle our skulls and use us for medical research.

So, it’s a good thing space is really big and empty. Even when, say, 1% of all planets has inteligent life, the nearest planet would be hundreds of lightyears away. Also, there isn’t really a reason to go here, except for tracing back those signals we are sending into space. Hellooooo! We’re here! Please come wipe us out!