Most of us have probably considered before whether aliens exist, but we've probably thought about it only briefly or not too deeply. Someone who has considered it in depth is Seth Shostak, senior astronomer at the Center for SETI Research in California. If anyone knows a thing or two about extra terrestrial life, he does.
In this interview he discusses how first contact would affect us here on earth. If we believe Hollywood it would definitely affect us all by them first blowing up the White House. Actually, if you think about it, with the upcoming elections that might not be such a bad idea.
But Shostak explains how it's likely to be much more subtle, but still mind blowing.
You're still going to be heading to work next week, life on earth will go on as normal, but one thing that will change (apart from the subject matter of our social media updates) is we will know that we aren't the only lifeforms in the universe—and that will be a huge thing for us to process.
As for how likely we are to find aliens, well, Shostak explains that we're learning that habitable planets are more numerous than we previously thought. "Now we know that, yeah, it's not just an interesting idea that there might be aliens out there, but there's a lot of real estate for them to live on." he notes.
When he puts it like that and with the discovery earlier this year of Kepler-452b, what's being called a "second earth," by NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope, it makes you think that, yeah, maybe one day the news headlines will be saying we've received a signal from another race. A race intelligent enough to build a radio transmitter and who, like us, are searching for other lifeforms.