Volume 7, Issue 1, page 5

By ALFRED R. PULYAN That They Might Be Like Us?
HE ONLY available evidence for " visitors from outer space " has come so
far from highly imaginative individuals who wish either to achieve
a little notoriety or to promulgate
their particular religious theories
and ethical concepts. We are told
that some of these visitors come
from planets of this solar system,
with the intention of preventing us
from blowing up our earth and as a result,
disorganizing the whole system. Their advice consists, as it must, of variations
on the golden rule. It is doubtful if
there are any other living beings in this

In the case of visitors from planets
revolving about far distant suns, which
seems the only possible place of origin,
there seems no other reason for their
coming than curiosity and scientific research, unless they have a genuine desire
to share their attainments with others.

The question which prompted this article is whether such highly-developed beings would regard us as "vermin "and perhaps wish to exterminate us. There seems
a certain fear that this could be the

We use the word "vermin" to denote
certain living things like rats and fleas
that are obnoxious to us. It is obvious
that there are many members of our society
who are much worse than vermin, but we
feel that on t h e
whole, we are civilized and kindly. As
such, we have decided that as these
obnoxious beings are
conscious beings
like ourselves, they
should not be interfered with, unless
perhaps they fail to
pay t h e i r income
tax. After all, the
conditions of society are such that
any of us might have
grown up very similar to these dangerous individuals.

There would, of
course, be no reason
to exterminate us
unless the visitors
intended to
colonize the
earth or it became possible
for us to travel to their
distant system.
Even then it is
to be hoped that
there would be
a selective system in our extermination.

The real
question is in
what respect
these t e r restrials could be -~_
so superior to
us. It is assumed that in time we could
learn to tolerate one another's differences in appearance and smell and that
communication would be established.

Suppose that _you and I lived 20 or 30
thousand years ago on this earth and were
visited by a race of beings at our present level of development. We should have
been self-conscious and our minds would
have been something like that of a bright
child, preoccupied not with inanimate nature but with men and animals. We should
have a language adequate for our needs
and could have been fine pictorial artists. Our visitors (at the present level
of development) would have many ways of
handling the powers of nature, but would
lack many direct instincts of the primitives and in addition, would have their
memories filled with a lot of useless and
dubious philosophic and religious theories. No doubt the primitives would have
had a matching set of fears and tabus.

It is doubtful if the ethics of the
visitors from today would be better than
those of even Cro-Magnon man.

Furthermore, at some early stage of
the race's history