We should not try to initiate contact with aliens. Denning states that descriptions of possible contact is a type of “double-think” that “reduce[s] complex truths to simple stories” in which the native populations suffer irreparable harm (4) while the “web of contingency” (6), or assemblage, is much more complicated with a “cultural hybridity on a large scale” as the long term result of initial contact between native peoples and Europeans (6). However, one cannot escape the fact that contact, while eventually resulting in a more positive outcome than analogies suggest, resulted in devastating disease (5). Baum, et al. also note that aliens would be more advanced because humanity and its technology are “relatively recent phenomena in the history of Earth” (6) and any alien technology arriving here would be the result of their advanced “interstellar communication(s) or travel” (6-7). I would not want to be one who died because of disease as a result of contact with aliens, even if the cumulative result for Earth was eventually positive. Even if the contact did not result in mortal disease, I am not sure how I would react to the challenge to my Christian beliefs (Baum, et al. 10). While I try to move away from anthropomorphism, I am moving towards a theist-centered view of the earth with decentered humanism and respect for all assemblages. I have yet to determine if this is heresy. While writers such as C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien have explored nonhuman worlds, especially Lewis’ Out of the Silent Planet trilogy, for me, this is mostly good entertainment. I do advocate continuing space exploration as this has advanced human technology in ways we now take for granted (see “NASA Spinoff”).
Baum, Seth, Jacob D. Haq-Misra, and Sawn D. Domagal-Goldman. “Would Contact with Extraterrestrials Benefit or Harm Humanity? A Scenario Analysis.” Acta Astronautica 68.11/12 (2011): 2114-2129. Web. 21 April 2016. Provided by professor.
Denning, Kathryn. “The History of Contact on Earth: Analogies, Myths, Misconceptions.”
“NASA Spinoff.” NASA, 2012 Web. 26 April 2016. <http://spinoff.nasa.gov/Spinoff2012/>.