ET: The Embarrassed

by James Roser

Should it ever be discovered that we humans are not alone in the void, the inhabitants of our little planet ought to be terribly afraid. For if we are discovered by advanced intelligent life, our continued existence could be very much in question. We must hope they do not wish to question Earthlings about what it means to be human, or why we only value a select few forms of life. Will we be able to explain away the reasons we dream of journeying to a new home among the stars while we can’t be bothered to take care of the one we already have? On that unparalleled day when contact finally answers our oldest question, we will all be equal for the very first time since we first learned how to hate. Will our interstellar overlords elect to enslave or exploit humanity? Perhaps they will simply vaporize the lot of us into extinction. Who could blame them, if they get a look at our historical record and find out who we really are? Hurtling blind and oblivious through the emptiness, it is foolish not to be afraid or to believe for an instant that we are the unquestioned, invincible masters of the gift of life. Because if other beings ever found our planet, we’d better hope they don’t behave like humans.