According to a new study, at least four extraterrestrial civilizations with hostile intentions towards our planet may exist as humanity prepares to beam their address into the heart of the Milky Way galaxy. The researcher has concluded, however, that the chances of alien civilizations invading Earth are extremely remote.
Alberto Caballero, a Ph.D. student in conflict resolution at the University of Vigo in Spain, undertook the yet-to-be peer-reviewed study. He was also the author of a separate study published in Cambridge University's peer-reviewed International Journal of Astrobiology that attempted to explain where the famed WOW! Signal came from.
"This work aims to estimate the prevalence of hostile extraterrestrial civilizations by extrapolating the probability that we, as a human civilization, would attack or invade an inhabited exoplanet," Caballero writes in the study.
Other astronomers have not read the manuscript, and it is more of a thought experiment than a solid discovery.
For his research, Caballero studied human invasions of other countries over the last 50 years. He used that information to calculate the number of living "exoplanets"—planets beyond our solar system—in our galaxy.
According to a 2012 study, there are up to 15,785 extraterrestrial civilizations among the Milky Way's millions of exoplanets. Caballero calculated the number of hostile planets by integrating the frequency of human war with the probable number of alien civilizations. He came up with four, although he admits that his back-of-the-envelope calculation has a few big problems.
It doesn't seem like there's anything to be concerned about with four hostile alien powers. According to Caballero, the chances of mankind finding one of these hostile civilizations and being overtaken by them are vanishingly small.
Caballero's work is an intriguing thinking exercise, although the author acknowledges that his model has flaws. The invasion probability is based on a fairly limited period of human history, and it involves numerous assumptions about our species' future evolution. According to Caballero, the model also assumes that alien intelligence will have brain compositions, values, and empathy similar to humans, which may or may not be the case.
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