It is true that those who do not care much about history are doomed to repeat it.
History has shown us that the ill-effects of war, of deforestation, of natural climatic changes, can transform lush green lands to swathes of desert.
Now, considering the present state of Earth when nuclear warfare is just a button away, deforestation occurs on a global level, and air pollution is at an all time high, we know that we need some serious retrospection.
Learning from the aliens might help.
The chair at Harvard’s astronomy department, Avi Loeb claims that this is probably what happened to alien races who got extinct way before our time. It would also explain the ‘hospitable’ environment present in other planets.
But the question remains, why did they end up extinct?
Loeb believes that most civilizations are transient. Ours too. At the meeting of The Humans to Mars Summit in Washington DC, he mentioned that these alien races were simply inflicting wounds on themselves without thinking about the future, ultimately killing them as a civilization.
The search for extra-terrestrial life could bring up several ‘alien’ experiences – burnt up planetary debris, or remnants of nuclear war in an alien world.
If stuff like this were found, it is inevitable that it would become one of the greatest discoveries of all time. It could also help save this species from extinction. A new realization would dawn upon us – are we progressing the right way? We may realize that we need to behave better and also, monitor nature to preserve it.
Loeb tries to justify SETI ( Search For Extraterrestrial Intelligence) in many ways.
He thinks that the principle idea behind this is peace. It is possible that if we make contact with an alien civilization, it would lead to major technological breakthroughs that would change the way we see reality. Of course, it would only be possible if the aliens are kind enough to help out.
To some extent, he is right about it in theory – the technology we have is only about 100 years old. If there were civilizations with technologies that were a billion years old, things would get way simpler for us.
And, all these are reasons for interstellar flight technology, something that Enders Game is all about.
Attempts to make contact
At this point in time, Loeb also chairs a $100 million initiative called the Breakthrough Starshot, that is planning to send tiny laser-like probes over the exoplanetary systems moving at 20% the speed of light.
The initiative is planned to be active in about 30 years from now. And this would definitely help the aliens see us in a new way – worthy of respect, attention and admiration. Possibly.
Loeb is placing a lot of trust in his initiatives.
He states that discovering a dead alien civilization would help us understand what we are putting on stake. It would force us to get back on the right track. He hopes that once we get out of the solar system in search of information throughout the galaxies, the other civilizations will welcome us with open arms.
Finally, he believes that we have already seen a glimpse of it. He co-authored a paper on Oumuamua, the first confirmed interstellar object found in our own solar system, dubbed as an alien spacecraft. While the general consensus is that it is simply a comet, Loeb wants the population to keep their minds open about these new things.
Who knows what disguise an alien spaceship might take to reconnaissance Earth?