Could We Communicate with Aliens Through the “Universal Language” of Mathematics?
There are many, many unanswered questions about potentially contacting intelligent extraterrestrials. First, there's the little problem of whether they exist to begin with, and then where they are, whether we can detect him, whether they can find us first-or why they haven't already. But even when/if we find advanced aliens, they presumably won't speak any language that we would understand (no matter what shows like Stargate would have you believe). So if we manage to find them, will we even be able to communicate with them?
There's no way to answer this question, since it'll be a moot point until we find them, but scientists have a few promising theories. At the Escape Velocity science convention in Washington D.C. last weekend, David Grinspoon, astrobiologist and senior scientist at the Planetary Science Institute, was confident that we would be able to find a way to communicate with any extraterrestrial intelligence, should the opportunity arise.
He went on to explain that there would likely be some common intellectual ground that we could use to converse with them. There's a possibility we could communicate by color, but there's no guarantee that they would be able to perceive color (or they could perceive many more colors than us), so it would more likely be through physics and math. Especially if they found us by building a starship, then they would need both of those subjects to come across us to begin with.
However, even if we did find a way to communicate with them, there's also no guarantee that they would have any interest in speaking with us. It's possible that, as Neil DeGrasse Tyson has famously said, we're just too stupid for such advanced beings to talk to.
But that being said, if we were able to communicate with them, it could be a huge boon to humanity. Although there are some theoretically plausible nightmare scenarios, according to Grinspoon, it's "not unlikely" that finding extraterrestrial intelligence would bring us into a sort of "techno-rapture":