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Would the detection of extraterrestrial life cause the kind of paranoia or alien worship we see in science-fiction shows ranging from "The Day the Earth Stood Still" to "V"? In a fresh round of studies, scientists and theologians suggest it really wouldn't have much impact on what we do or what we believe.

The Brookings Report warned in 1961 that the discovery of life beyond Earth could lead to social upheaval. But Albert Harrison, a psychologist at the University of California at Davis, says "times have changed dramatically" since then.

Even the discovery of intelligent aliens "may be far less startling for generations that have been brought up with word processors, electronic calculators, avatars and cell phones as compared with earlier generations used to typewriters, slide rules, pay phones and rag dolls," Harrison writes in one of the papers published Monday in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A.

That would depend on the aliens, wouldn't it?  To read the rest of the article, click here.
Category: Science