Pop culture is littered with movies, video games, and books that imagine a potential alien invasion. While all the scenarios that have to do with such a catastrophic event involve weapons and massive warships, a new research paper claims that extraterrestrials can wipe out our civilization with just one message.
An independent scientist from the Sonneberg Observatory in Germany by the name of Michael Hippke and a professor with the High Energy Physics Group at the University of Hawaii named John G Learned claim that any message received from aliens should be taken with a grain of salt.
According to their research paper titled Interstellar Communication. IX. Message Decontamination is Impossible, the two scientists said that any message sent from space will require computers to interpret and decode. They claim that such a message will wreak technological havoc on our systems.
“Such a message cannot be decontaminated with certainty, and technical risks remain which can pose an existential threat.” The two researchers wrote.
Hippke and Learned explained how dangerous extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI) is by pointing out to the efficiency of a well-placed message as opposed to sending an invasion force.
The scientists established a few possible threats from an ETI message. They claim that a simple message such as “We will make your sun go supernova tomorrow” could cause widespread panic or demoralize cultural influence.
The academic wanted to emphasize through their research that Earth is dominated by human intelligence and if ETI were to send a Trojan horse in the form of a message, they could destroy our civilization.
Scientists believe that if ETI were to exist, there would be both good and bad civilization. While we can’t be sure how many aliens are good or bad, it would still be incredibly difficult to decrypt a potential message.
The research paper was published in the journal, Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics.
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