READINGS / REPARTEE

When Civilizations Meet, or Astrobiology: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Frank Kovalchek, Flick r

Frank Kovalchek, Flickr https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

The current Huffington Post cover story is “Astronomers to Congress: We’re Not Alone

Our favorite headline on the topic, however, is Wired’s:  This Alien Hearing Is the Best Thing Congress Has Done in Months.

So suppose there is alien life. Let’s just take a moment to consider what happens when populations are introduced to each other:

Albino California King Snakes and Grand Canaria Giant Lizards“The word plague comes to mind.”

 Columbus and the Arawaks  “mass suicides began, with cassava poison”

Rockefeller and Papuan Asmat People  “by trading in bisj poles he was trading in the souls of men, souls that could make you sick, that could kill you”

We’re with Stephen Hawking. “too risky”

 

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