Most Americans Don't Think Contacting Aliens Is a Good Idea
Is it a good idea to contact intelligent aliens? According to a recent Huffington Post poll, most Americans are either opposed to communicating with extraterrestrials or unsure.
[Credit: Huffington Post/YouGov]
This poll shows that while most of the country believes that intelligent extraterrestrials exist, the notion of contacting those aliens doesn't find the same swell of support. Only 37% thought that contacting intelligent extraterrestrials was a good idea, while 27% thought it was a bad idea, and 36% were not sure. Although contacting aliens would be one of the greatest scientific breakthroughs of our time, we can hardly argue with this ambivalence, considering that scenarios for extraterrestrial contact are just as likely, if not more likely, to be terrifying as comforting. Indeed, 8% of Americans believe that we should not contact aliens because they may be "unfriendly."
The demographics showed that men were more likely to believe in extraterrestrial intelligence (58% of men and 43% of women), and to think it was a good idea to contact them (41% of men and 33% of women). Whites and Hispanics were shown to be more likely to believe in extraterrestrial intelligence than black people (52%, 54%, and 34%, respectively), and they were also more likely to think it would be a good idea to contact them by a similar margin (38%, 41%, and 28%). Interestingly, belief in extraterrestrial intelligence was split almost evenly along party lines (51% of Democrats, 51% of Independents, and 47% of Republicans), and there was similarly little difference according to region. But, when asked if it was a good idea to contact aliens, Democrats and Independents were significantly more likely to say "yes" (40% of Democrats, 38% of Independents, and 30% of Republicans), and those in the Northeast and West were more likely to be in favor than those in the Midwest or South (39%, 44%, 33%, 34%). Age and family income did not appear to show any definitive patterns, except that seniors were less likely to believe in extraterrestrial intelligence by a significant margin.