The UK’s national academy of science, The Royal Society, assembled this week to discuss alien life. Representatives from NASA, the European Space Agency, and the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs were present to discuss the consequences for science and society if/when extra-terrestrial life is discovered, among other things.
Wait. The UN Office for Outer Space Affairs? Reading that one caught me off guard. I’ve certainly never heard of the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs. It sounds fascinating, so I had to visit their website to see what this office does.
The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) is the UN office responsible for “promoting international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space,” according to their website. They also maintain the UN Register of Objects Launched into Outer Space. I wonder if they also keep a register of objects from outer space that come to Earth . . .
Anyway, back to the Royal Society’s assembly.
Leading Cambridge scientist Conway Morris presented claims that, when aliens are discovered, they will look and talk like humans. The evolutionary paleobiologist bases his theory around Darwinism. Morris doesn’t mean that aliens look exactly like humans, but rather than being vapor or shapeless blobs, they will have features similar to humans like limbs and eyes.
Arizona State University (my alma mater) professor, Paul Davies, was a key participant at the event. He concluded the event with a lecture entitled “The Eerie Silence: are we alone in the universe?” Davies believes that the search for alien life should get more attention here on Earth. He believes that microbes of extra-terrestrial origin are here on our planet.
There is a common misconception that only crazy people take the idea of UFOs and extra-terrestrial life seriously. The Royal Society’s recent gathering of leading academic and scientific minds shows that there is interest in UFOs and aliens in the scientific community.