Don’t get me wrong. I love a good “practical, calculating alien vs. impulsive emotional human” trope. But I think any aliens we may meet will actually be a lot like us, at least in behavior. Let me explain why.
What drives us to explore space? What are the innate traits of humanity that lead us to send out the Mars rovers, the Voyager space crafts, and to set foot on the moon?
Personally, I’d say it’s:
1) Curiosity (we even named one of said rovers after it)
We just have to KNOW. We need to know the answer, even if we don’t like it. Even if it doesn’t matter whether we know it or not. We could survive just fine without exploring space. It makes no difference, really, to the survival of our species. And yet we explore anyways, because we need to know.
This ties into curiosity. When we really care about something, we don’t give up on it. It drives us to solve complicated problems, and keep trying until we crack it. Like building and engineering something that takes people into space, for example.
3) Social ties
We are a species of relationships. Our societies, our civilization, depends on complex webs of cooperation. We achieve far more together than we ever could apart, including scientific and technical advances that aid us in space exploration.
All these traits drive us to the stars. They are the reason we have made it as far as we have into space. If any alien species has managed the same thing, and meets us through these means, odds are they have the same traits.
Curiosity, resilience, and social ties are the foundation of all our societies, behaviors, vices and virtues. If aliens have them (and they must, if they have the same drive and ability to explore) than they’re probably a lot more similar to us than we think
Via minne on Pinterest
IC 1318: The Butterfly Nebula in Gas and Dust Via NASA
Mars over Duddo Stone Circle Via NASA
Curiosity’s Selfie at Mont Mercou Via NASA
This is the Sombrero Galaxy! 👒🎩🎓
This galaxy’s unusually bright central bulge and its prominent dust lane as seen from Earth gives it its hat-like shape. The center of the galaxy contains an unusually large supermassive black hole that is almost 1 billion times the mass of the Sun! ✨✨✨
Taken by me (Michelle Park) using the Slooh Chile Two telescope on March 7th, 2021 at 7:08 UTC.
“And a softness came from the starlight and filled me to the bone.” —W.B. Yeats
“Against my body, your body lay like a warm soft star,” —Kenneth Rexroth, from Sacramental Acts: The Love Poems; “She Is Away”
“The soul looks out the window into the mysterious starry night and is dazzled.” —Clarissa Pinkola Estés, from “Women who Run with the Wolves”, c. 1992
This is the Cat’s Paw Nebula! 🐾🐾🐾
This nebula is glowing due to the interactions between its hot stars and large molecules known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. This makes it particularly bright in the infrared and a common target for astrophotography in the Milky Way galaxy! 🔭🔭🔭
Taken by me (Michelle Park) using the Slooh Chile Two telescope on March 7th, 2021 at 6:38 UTC.