Science fiction has a plethora of ideas about what happened in the past and what to expect from the future. Unfortunately, not all of those ideas are exactly plausible in reality. In Suspension of Disbelief, we’ll take a look at the best ideas from sci-fi movies, books, comics and videogames to see where (and if) they intersect with the real world.
Aliens exist. It’s pretty much a mathematical certainty that there is non-human life somewhere in the universe. It’s even highly probable that across the billions and billions of years that the universe has been around that one of those species became intelligent and found ways to explore its solar system and galaxy. And yet, despite math telling us that they’re out there, there has never been any evidence found of alien life. Aliens have been coming to Earth in fiction for nearly 2,000 years, and every possible scenario, from friendly to cooperative to destructive to terrifying, has been envisioned, but in real life, we haven’t so much as seen the glint off of some leftovers from an ancient civilization sitting abandoned on a planet thousands of light years away.
Still, that doesn’t stop us from trying to contact extraterrestrials. Stephen Hawking, among many others, has advised against doing so, considering what might happen if a technologically-superior species found us, but we still persist in flinging our “messages in a bottle” into the cosmic ocean. Since the probability of these messages ever being discovered is incredibly low and the chances of any of us still being alive when/if a response is ever heard back are even worse, our messages are more often useful as a way of seeing how humanity views itself, or, at least, would like to be viewed. Our messages often see us putting our best foot forward, showing off what we know about the universe, what we’ve done in our relatively short time on Earth, the kinder side of who we are as living beings, and what we value most.
Click through the gallery to see seven messages humanity has constructed for an alien race to find.
Hailing from upstate New York, Cameron Wade is a freelance writer interested in movies, videogames, comic books and more. You can find his work at protogeektheblog.wordpress.com.