Despite the crush of the closing weeks of the semester, I found a little time to follow the conversation about whether Earthicans ought to welcome a meeting with whatever extraterrestrial life might be out there to meet us, or whether we’d be better off hiding under the bed.
Although the Free-Ride offspring have not followed the point and counterpoint on the best alien life action plan, they’re generally more enthusiastic futurists than I am. So, I asked them to dig deep into their imaginations and give us their visions of first contact.
It should surprise no one that the elder and younger Free-Ride offspring have very different visions of this event.
Before they started drawing, they brainstormed a bit about what forms extraterrestrial life might take. Maybe you’d find your classic Star Trek humanoids, or comic book little green men. But why couldn’t alien life be mostly plants, or fungi?
Maybe we’ll be negotiating intergalactic treaties with microbes? (I’m thinking people might be less cavalier about skipping vaccinations if that’s how things play out.)
In any case, here are the pictures of first contact they came up with.
I don’t know when the younger Free-Ride offspring has been reading Pharyngula (unless PZ also has space now on the Nickelodeon website), but this seemingly benevolent alien is pretty clearly squiddy. (If you count carefully, you will notice ten digits on each hand.) The alien also seems to be wearing a diaper.
Anyway, the younger offspring thinks contact with alien life will be groovy.
As shown above, the elder Free-Ride offspring envisions our first extraterrestrial as a caterpillar-like creature. A wee little caterpillar in the gloved hand of a space suit-clad Earthling.
But I guess where there are wee little caterpillar-like creatures, there are sometimes big, scary, hungry caterpillar-like creatures.
Which I guess means that it’s the second contact that may get us.