Katie Mack @AstroKatie (a.k.a. Dr Katherine J Mack) astrophysicist/cosmologist, occasional freelance science writer, connoisseur of cosmic catastrophes May. 28, 2019 1 min read

[decades of research and data showing incontrovertibly that the Earth is warming]
"Ehhhh... I'm not convinced; maybe we should wait and see"

[pilots get confused about weird dots on radar]
"OMG THE ALIENS ARE HERE"

Aliens should never be the first hypothesis. And no amount of "I saw a weird thing" or "something looks funny on the radar" is evidence for "someone from an alien civilization travelled across light years totally undetected just to buzz around weirdly in our atmosphere for a bit"

Hypotheses to try before aliens:
* balloons
* drones
* hallucinations due to stress & hypoxia
* instrumental glitches
* various kinds of accidents & debris
* experimental aircraft made by humans
* dunno, look, people make stuff up sometimes
* combinations of all of the above

In my experience, among professional astronomers the consensus is
- the chance of alien life existing somewhere in the Universe is extremely high
and
- the chance any has come to visit Earth is extremely low.

The main reason for both is the same: space is really, really big.

If you think I am ruining your fun by talking about our quest to explore all the different implications of the vastness of the Universe and the various mysteries within it, I think maybe you have an unusually narrow idea of fun


You can follow @AstroKatie.



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