The Discovery of Alien Life –“How Will the Human Species React?” (WATCH Today’s ‘Galaxy’ Stream)




Michael Varnum, a psychologist at Arizona State University and a member of its new Interplanetary Initiative, is trying to anticipate the discovery of extraterrestrial life. “One of the initial questions [of the initiative] that we're curious about is how might we respond if we discover evidence of extraterrestrial life.”

The Washington Post has created a video that summarizes Varnum's study. The scientific community has not predicted the psychological reactions to extraterrestrial microorganisms in a “systematic, careful way,” Varnum said. (The image above is the scene of discovery and interaction with extraterrestrial life in the movie, Arrival).





Varnum and his colleagues “make a critical distinction between reactions to the discovery of extraterrestrial intelligence and finding evidence for microbial life beyond Earth,” said Douglas Vakoch, president of the nonprofit group Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence, who was not part of the study.

“It’s more likely that we're going to find microbes or viruses rather than, say, intelligent civilizations living on Venus,” Varnum said.

“While it’s no doubt true that there are more planets in the galaxy with microbial life than with intelligent life, that doesn’t mean we’ll detect 'bacteria' beyond Earth before we pick up a radio signal,” Vakoch observed.

The Daily Galaxy via Washington Post   and  ASU Interplanetary Initiative




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