Did this really just happen? The White House officially just declared that an alien invasion is not imminent.

7 Nov

 

 

Here’s the excerpt from Mashable.

Well, perhaps not an invasion, but the White House has issued an official statement saying that there is no evidence that life exists outside of Earth.

The statement came in response to two petitions on We The People, the White House’s experiment in crowdsourced petitioning and public opinion. Any petition that gains at least 25,000 signatures will be passed along to a top policymaker for a response. The petitions asked the White House to “formally acknowledge an extraterrestrial presence engaging the human race” and to “immediately disclose the government’s knowledge of and communications with extraterrestrial beings.”

Both petitions claim that extraterrestrials exist on Earth and that the government has gone to lengths to hide this information. The White House, though, says:

The U.S. government has no evidence that any life exists outside our planet, or that an extraterrestrial presence has contacted or engaged any member of the human race. In addition, there is no credible information to suggest that any evidence is being hidden from the public’s eye.

The combined signatures don’t add up to 25,000, so it’s odd the White House would respond to this petition instead of others on the platform. Here are some pros and cons of the decision.

Pro: Despite the seemingly outlandish petition, the White House responded with a respectful and fairly lengthy response penned by Phil Larson, who works in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. In it, Larson says that while aliens aren’t on Earth, “that doesn’t mean the subject of life outside our planet isn’t being discussed or explored. In fact, there are a number of projects working toward the goal of understanding if life can or does exist off Earth.” He lists three programs — SETI, the Kepler spacecraft and the Mars Science Laboratory — as examples of the search for life on other planets.

Con: The White House chose to answer this petition instead of handling more controversial topics such as those addressing the electoral collegeKeystone XL Pipeline or same-sex marriage.

Pro: This response is encouraging to the validity of the We The People platform. No matter the petition, if it receives enough popular support, the White House will take it into consideration and respond.

ConOccupy Wall Street is picking up speed and influence. The 2012 election is top of mind. The job market is still dismal, and there are tensions running across political and economic divides. While space exploration is certainly an important element of the U.S.’s tech history, the decision to handle this petition, titled “Searching for ET, But No Evidence Yet,” seems like a case of bad timing especially since it has fewer than 25,000 signatures.

Now it’s your turn: Did the White House make the right decision by responding to this alien inquiry? And are your Area 51 beliefs crushed, or do you still hold out hope for alien life?

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2 Responses to “Did this really just happen? The White House officially just declared that an alien invasion is not imminent.”

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  1. Alien invasion cancelled « Strange Days - November 16, 2011

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