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Surprising Science

ET Like Me?

Aliens visiting Earth will be “just like humans”, sporting faults such as greed, violence and exploitation of the weak, according to claims by a leading scientist at Cambridge University.

“Governments should prepare for the worst if aliens visit Earth because beings from outer space are likely to be just like humans, a leading scientist is claiming. Extra-terrestrials might not only resemble us but have our foibles, such as greed, violence and a tendency to exploit others’ resources, says Simon Conway Morris, professor of evolutionary paleobiology at Cambridge University. And while aliens could come in peace they are quite as likely to be searching for somewhere to live, and to help themselves to water, minerals and fuel, Conway Morris will tell a conference at the Royal Society, in London tomorrow. His lecture is part of a two-day conference at which experts will discuss how we might detect life on distant planets and what that could mean for society. ‘Extra-terrestrials … won’t be splodges of glue … they could be disturbingly like us, and that might not be a good thing – we don’t have a great record.’”


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