Something most Americans agree on

A majority of Americans (65%) said they believe alien life exists, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey. What do Americans overwhelmingly agree on? When asked to think about U.S. national security, most Americans (87%) say that UFOs are “not a threat.”

In an America that is politically and ideologically divided on almost every subject, these survey results made me smile, mostly because the results are backwards. 87% (or more) should have deduced with statistical certainty that, due to the vastness of the universe, some form of life must exist elsewhere.

The “not a threat” answer is telling. Either those surveyed truly don’t believe there are aliens sophisticated enough to come to earth, that interstellar travel is either not practical or not possible, they were not thinking that hard about their answer, or they’ve watched one too many SciFi movies. If extraterrestrials were to show up, it’s doubtful that humans (all life on earth, actually) would survive the encounter unscathed.

The threat of a hypothetical close encounter of the third kind is incalculable, but we can look at our own history of regional and continental conquests for context. Regardless of initial intentions, it is a rare event in human history where a technologically advanced group of humans have descended upon a group of technologically inferior humans and the latter group survived unchanged with its culture intact.

So, in the possible (but highly improbable) event of an extraterrestrial visit, the “threat to national security” would be dwarfed by the “threat to our existence.” But that’s for another column.

Author’s note: This is not a sponsored post. I am the author of this article and it expresses my own opinions. I am not, nor is my company, receiving compensation for it.

About Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the Professor of Advanced Media in Residence at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication and the CEO of The Palmer Group, a consulting practice that helps Fortune 500 companies with technology, media and marketing. Named LinkedIn’s “Top Voice in Technology,” he covers tech and business for Good Day New York, writes a weekly column for Adweek, and is a regular commentator on CNN and CNBC and writes a popular daily business blog. He’s the Co-Host of the award-winning podcast Techstream with Shelly Palmer & Seth Everett and he hosts the Shelly Palmer #CryptoWednesday Livestream. Follow @shellypalmer or visit shellypalmer.com.

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