HomeArticlesBill Nye: Would Humanity Make Peace with Aliens—or War?
Bill Nye: Would Humanity Make Peace with Aliens—or War?
September 20, 2019
QUESTION: If humanity at some point in the
future discovered another alien civilization, at least mildly comparable to our own, if
society as it is now stayed basically the same, how do you think we would react to it,
you know: be violent or have a new colonial era, or make peace and advance with everyone
or something like that? Thank you. BILL NYE: What if we found or discovered another
alien civilization, would there be colonization? I hope not. I just feel that another alien civilization
probably couldn’t live on the earth and we probably couldn’t live there. There’s too many details that wouldn’t
work, unless we’re all wearing spacesuits. But maybe. I just don’t think that there would be that
much interaction. That is to say, I think it’s much more like
we will find an alien civilization on a world so distant, so remote, that there won’t
be going back and forth in spaceships. If it’s, let’s say, 40 lightyears, as
it is to these TRAPPIST-1 planets, the ones they found around this very cold or relatively
cold small star—cool star, then the way we’d communicate with them is by radio or
by light, electromagnetic waves. And so there wouldn’t be a chance for colonization
or misplaced bank accounts or whatever else would go wrong—or warfare. That just wouldn’t be possible. Instead though, it would be profound. It would change the way everybody feels about
being a living thing in the cosmos. It would be extraordinary. And furthermore we do this research looking
for alien civilizations at a tiny fraction of our international budget. It’s a worthy thing to always be doing in
the background. Listening and looking for aliens.