17 ways humanity's first contact with aliens could go down
1. ETs ignore us Just like in Star Trek, it’s possible that ETI has some kind of Prime Directive or other non-interference policy with other species for whatever reason, so that even if we did know for sure that they were out there, they might not respond to us. They also might not communicate simply because as a species, humans don’t interest them, whether it’s because of our primitive nature or violent tendencies or terrible taste in music or otherwise. Or, they could show up in the form of a giant alien probe, have a pleasant conversation with the whales, and then leave, without sparing us so much as a glance.
2. ETs maybe contact us, but maybe not When ETI does contact Earth, it may be as unambiguous as a UFO landing in Times Square. Or, it may be a signal that we only receive once and can’t understand or decode. In fact, it’s possible that this has already happened, as with the still unexplained “Wow signal” in the above pic.
3. ETs change our philosophy No matter when or how we detect ETI, if it happens it’s going to cause massive changes to everything from science to religion, even if we find out nothing else besides the fact that ETI do exist. All of a sudden, we’re not alone in the universe, and Earth and everyone on it goes from being a super special place to just another planet covered with self-replicating and tolerably aware biological lifeforms. While most people would probably argue that this is a good thing to know, we’d have to seriously re-evaluate our existence, which has been unavoidably human-centric.