Global UFO sightings hit all-time high
According to the data of the National UFO Reporting Center, UFO sightings all over the world have reached an all-time high. Statistics show people in the USA have more chance to witness a UFO
If extraterrestrial life is ever discovered, mankind would probably be pretty cool.
A new study, one of the few in its kind, is of the opinion that people usually react very positively to the idea of life on other planets. The study examined the possibility of finding microbial alien life, not intelligent E. T. s, so people of the comments may be a little different as they were, told an armada of aliens were on their way to the Earth, warned study author Michael Varnum, a psychologist at Arizona State University. However, he noted, that a large part of the people believe that there are intelligent extraterrestrial beings exist and that they have visited Earth; therefore, even a more dramatic announcement, maybe not ruffle feathers.
“What this suggests is, there is no reason to be afraid” of sharing news of astrobiology with the public, Varnum told Live Science. “We will not collapse. We’re not going to have chaos in the streets.” [13 Ways to Hunt Intelligent Alien Life]
Are we alone?
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How would the people react to finding that they are not alone in the universe is a hard question, but one that has been the subject of much more speculation than study, Varnum said. He could find only one study that asked people how they thought they would react to the announcement of alien life, and it was a decade old.
Varnum wanted to address the question a little more realistic. So he turned to the real-world news, the analyze of the articles, dating from 1967 which looked at the discoveries that might have hinted at extraterrestrial life (including — full disclosure — articles, Live Science’s sister site Space.com on a star with uneven brightness cycles that could have detected alien activity, but the irregular cycles are more likely to result from an orbit around the substance).
Most of the language in these documents is skewed positive, the software analyzes revealed, and the writers tend to emphasize that the potential benefits of discovery about the potential risks. Armed with that knowledge, Varnum turned to real people. He first recruited 501 subjects on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk crowd-sourcing website, they will have to pay a small fee for the writing of answers to two questions. One was how they would feel if scientists announced the discovery of alien microbes. The other was how they thought the general public would respond to such a message.
“It really is a lot more likely that we go for a meeting with the foreign germs place, E. T.,” Varnum said. And no one has previously studied people’s attitudes in the direction of the discovery of extraterrestrial microbes.
In a second study, Varnum recruited Mechanical Turk participants. This time, they read a real-life article about the possibility of alien microbes. In 1996, scientists announced that they had found what might be fossilized microbes in a martian meteorite, known as Allan Hills 84001. Today, the researchers behind the discovery still think that they have found telltale signs of ancient extraterrestrial life, although the people in the field as a whole are far from convinced. In any case, current news articles about the discovery were very positive, Varnum said. He picked up one of The New York Times, stripped of the information about the date, and presented 256 participants as a new article. As a control group, he asked 249 other participants to read a real article on the creation of synthetic life in the laboratory.
Earthlings love company
In both studies, people have responded to the idea of extraterrestrial life with more positivity than negativity, Varnum found. They had the tendency to focus on the reward over the risks. Persons in the first study, she found, personally, would react to the announcement of the microbial E. T.’s with a little more positivity than the general public, but they thought still that the mankind as a whole would be enthusiastic.
In the case of the realistic announcement about microbes on Mars, the people were still overwhelming. They were pretty gung-ho about synthetic life, Varnum said, but Mars life, people were even more jazzed. This finding suggests the enthusiasm is not only for the science or discovery or even just a new life, he said, but specifically about extraterrestrial life. [7 Theories on the Origin of Life]
“I think there might be something kind of reassuring to know that life is not an accident that happened once here,” he said. “Maybe we feel a little less fragile, or a little less lonely in the vastness of space.”
A paper describing the findings is available as a preprint and is under review in a peer-reviewed journal. Varnum wants to replicate its findings in other countries to see if cultural or other factors that affect people’s attitudes towards foreigners. He would also like to study people’s responses to intelligent life, but it would be harder to fool participants into believing, even briefly, that the human race had made contact with an alien civilization.
“I have to think that the subject pool would be thinking, ‘Why am I hearing about this in a psychological experiment?'” he said.
Reactions to the discovery of intelligent life outside the planet Earth, maybe a bit more complex, Varnum said, but it is difficult to say. Already, he noted, polls show that more than half of the Americans, British and Germans believe extraterrestrial intelligence exists. Thirty percent believe that intelligent aliens have contacted the Earth, but that the government has covered up.
“That raises another question,” Varnum said. “If I did the kind of research where I have a real-worldish, fake announcement, maybe a good chunk of the participants would go, ‘Well, I knew it already.'”
Original article on Live Science.