Aliens Are Not Likely to Attack Earth, Scientist Says

July 16, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. extraterrestrial [ek-struh-tuh-RES-tree-uh] (n.) – a being that comes from or exists outside the Earth
ExampleHumans have long been searching for extraterrestrials that can possibly enter the earth.

2. surmise [ser-MAHYZ] (v.) – to assume or to guess
ExampleThe astronomer surmised that if aliens existed, they would look a lot like humans.

3. plausible [PLAW-zuh-buh l] (adj.) – likely to be true
ExampleThe scientist read about a plausible method that they can use for the experiment.

4. intrude [in-TROOD] (v.) – to go to a place or event without invitation or permission; to be unwelcome
ExampleThe scientist got suspended from work for intruding the laboratory of his colleague.

5. interstellar flight [in-ter-STEL-er flahyt] (n. phrase) –  travel between stars
ExampleScience fiction novels become more interesting because of the interstellar flight that narrates extraordinary travel between stars.


Read the text below.
A scientist involved in the real-life search for extraterrestrials says that if aliens really do exist, they will not likely bother attacking the planet Earth.

Many science fiction novels and movies have been made about aliens attacking Earth. The notion of alien invasion dates as far back as H.G. Well's 1898 novel "War of the Worlds" and remains popular to this day with movies such as "Pacific Rim" and "Star Trek Into Darkness."

According to the NASA's Kepler planet-searching mission, billions of earth-like planets may exist in the Milky Way galaxy alone. Therefore, aliens are very unlikely to invade the Earth, says Seth Shostak, senior astronomer of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute. Aliens would be able to find in other planets what they can find on Earth, except culture, maybe.

In movies, aliens come to Earth in search of water or because something is wrong with their reproduction. But Shostak dismisses these predictions, saying that they do not make sense. He surmises that cultural exchange is a more plausible reason – aliens just might like our music.

Shostak likewise points out that movies such as "Alien" and "Forbidden Planet" are more realistic because the plot is most likely for humans to intrude the aliens' habitat.

Besides, Shostak adds that aliens capable of interstellar flight are going to be much more technologically advanced than humans. If aliens really did come to attack Earth, no fight against the humans will happen, contrary to what the movies depict.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you agree that aliens would not have any motivation to attack us? Why or why not?
·         Why do you think humans are so interested in extraterrestrial life?

Discussion B

·         Do you think the government should be spending a lot of money on the search for extraterrestrial life? Why or why not?
·         If aliens visited the Earth for a week, what would you show them or where would you take them to teach them about the human race? Please explain your answer.


July 16, 2013