What if the aliens value jerks?

PhotonQ-Iron Meteorite
Image by PhOtOnQuAnTiQuE via Flickr

I was reading some news story today about an article soon to be published in an allegedly peer-reviewed journal called Cosmology. I know nothing of the journal, having stayed in my safe areas of Chemistry and Education throughout my travels to the library. The news story goes on to say that a scientist who has been studying meteorites for years has found fossils of alien life forms that resemble bacteria.

They are opening the findings up to peer review and scrutiny before publishing. I’m interested, but incessantly Skeptycal. I’m going to read the article and see what I think. But just the brief glance got me thinking about the possibilities. At first glance the alien life form in one photo looks small and harmless. Of course, it is always overwhelming and wonderful to think about life on other planets.

What happens if those ancient, meteoric bacteria really did settle somewhere else safe and had enough time between further impacts to evolve into something intelligent. What if we meet them someday and find out they have different ideas than we do about what it means to be a jerk?

What happens if they have much more advanced technology than we do and they show up here and start treating the Earth like their zoo. I’m sure humans would be an interesting life form to study. They might even set up techie ray shields throughout the countries of the world to prevent us from interacting too much. They could feed us daily and study our primitive tendencies.

What happens next depends on their values. If they value sensory creativity, they would search for evidence of sculpture or music and isolate the “higher level creativity” specimens to keep a safe incipit catalogue. That might give me a good spot on the shelf. If they value language and communication, perhaps all of the peerless tweeters and bloggers of our time would be housed with the poets and songwriters.

If they value ‘survival of the fittest’ type theories, they might take videos of hunters and killers of our society and give them more food and freedom to hunt. Imagine a reality show that follows a serial killer through his daily life and documents all of the wonderful, creative ways that he subdues his prey. Maybe a competition to see who can kill the most people in the shortest time.

What if they value jerks? What if these aliens find it a highly valuable trait in their society to care nothing about anyone or anything but yourself. Would they nourish all of the selfish people of the world to protect those specimens from the evils and waste of thoughtfulness? Maybe anyone caught showing feelings would be submitted for electric shock treatment. If caring for others were a weakness in their society, where would they put the fences of the human zoo? Would they even need the fences?



  1. Hmm i love the ideas you posed here – especially about that Aliens would value and how that would effect diff types of humans and our overall society. Imagine if being a jerk gave you higher privileges with the aliens.. before long our whole society would condone being selfish and inconsiderate to each other. I’ve never really thought about how aliens could change our values or societal structure. Pretty cool to think about!


  2. Would they nourish all of the selfish people of the world to protect those specimens from the evils and waste of thoughtfulness?

    On bad days I think this has already happened, though it never occurred to me that it might be because of aliens among us.


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