Guidelines for Successful Conduct of First Contact
Presenting Our Species and Our Planet
By contemplating the idea of first contact with an advanced alien civilization, I devised these six guidelines for the official team that will communicate with them. I won't speculate about the composition of the team, only about the idea of how to present our planet and humanity to an outside civilization. My secret wish is that UN will spot these and make them into their official policy haha. Here we go:
1. Explaining the Development of the Planet Earth
What we know is that Earth formed around 4.54 billion years ago, by accretion from the solar nebula. Volcanic outgassing created the primordial atmosphere and also the ocean, but we believe that the early atmosphere contained almost no oxygen. Much of the Earth must've been molten because of frequent collisions with other bodies which led to extreme volcanism. Over time, we believe that the Earth cooled, causing the formation of a firm crust, and therefore liquid water was possible on the surface.
With that explanation, it inevitably goes to the one about the development of life. How we developed from prokaryote life to today's human species. Here we have to speak about Darwinian theory. Darwinism is a theory of biological evolution formed by Charles Darwin (1809–1882), stating that all species of organisms arise and develop through the natural selection. That is, because of the small, inherited variations that increase the individual's ability to compete, survive, and reproduce.
That's the best we got so far, unless the aliens prove us wrong somehow. We should be open to receive a new information but, of course, first view them critically, through sharp lenses.
2. Explaining the Earth's Position Regarding Our Solar System and Our Milky Way Galaxy
Explain how our planet is inside the collection of eight planets and their moons in orbit around the sun. Of course, with smaller bodies like asteroids, meteoroids, and comets. And in return, we should ask the visitors to provide the location of their origin. Hopefully, we will deal with the peaceful kind of aliens that are ready to cede much information to us.
3. Explaining the Human Psyche Development and Achievements Throughout History
We'll explain how we became sedentary after being nomads first. Also how we developed first settlements, first cities, first civilizations. Explaining them our philosophies, from eastern ones to western ones. From Confucius to Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle to modern ones like Kant, Nietzsche and Tolstoy. Of course, we shouldn't forget to mention great psychology names like Freud, Jung, and Pavlov.
4. Explaining Our Beliefs, Myths, and Religions
Explain our five big religions: Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism. Plus, we should be having an honorable mention of the new age religions. Mention the great Joseph Campbell and his take on mythologies of human cultures. Joseph John Campbell (1904 – 1987) was an American Professor of Literature at Sarah Lawrence College who gave his best contribution in comparative mythology and comparative religion. Campbell's best work is his book The Hero with a Thousand Faces, where he discusses his theory of the journey of the archetypal hero found in probably all of the world mythologies. It is my personal belief that the hero's journey must be explained to aliens because it is the essential story of human beings and our experience in the search for meaning.
5. Explaining Our Political Structures and Nation States That Are Currently in Place
Explain the fact that we have the United Nations as a lasting effort to bring our species to a common goal of living in peace and prosperity. In the charter, it is mentioned that the UN aims to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war. The best part of it is the promotion of the social progress and better standards of life in freedom. It is my sincere hope that humanity will reach this goal in the not so distant, future.
Also, we have to explain that one day we wish to start with interplanetary travels; which our visitors probably know and are here to help us.
6. Explaining Our Biology, Our Plant, Animal and Human World
We'll explain that we are striving to achieve the harmony between those three. That we wish to make a lasting impact on global biodiversity, that is, the variety of life on our planet. And that we would appreciate our visitor's help in doing so.
Those were general guidelines for presenting our species and our planet during the first contact, which will one day inevitably happen. With so many planets out there, it would be highly improbable that we are alone in the universe. And when it happens, we must be ready and stand together, as one species on this beautiful blue planet.