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A Multidimensional Impact Model for the Discovery of Extraterrestrial Life

Vidal, Clément

Abstract: I first argue that the extraterrestrials we will find will not communicate, for the simple reason that they would likely be either immensely inferior or immensely superior to us. Then, I argue that the discovery of extraterrestrials will be slow, like other previous major scientific discoveries. I introduce a multidimensional model to assess and to prepare the impact of discovering extraterrestrial life. Twenty-six dimensions are introduced, illustrated with spider diagrams, which cover both what extraterrestrial might look like, and how humans may react.

Keywords: Astrobiology, extraterrestrial life, SETI, impact of discovery, slow discovery, Rio scale, worldview, spider diagram.


Vidal, C. 2015. "A Multidimensional Impact Model for the Discovery of Extraterrestrial Life." In The Impact of Discovering Life Beyond Earth, edited by Steven J. Dick, 55–75. 10.1017/CBO9781316272480.006. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
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