The aliens are coming, and this time I don’t mean the ones from El Salvador looking to join the local chapter of MS-13.
There’s a new Marist poll out this week which shows a surprising shift in public opinion. An increasing number of Americans, adding up to a significant majority at this point, believe that the truth is out there. Perhaps not in the sense that Fox Mulder would have it, but they do believe that there’s other intelligent life in the universe. Not only that, but the extraterrestrials are probably at least as smart as us, if not smarter, and they’re probably going to find us before we find them. Unless, of course, they already have.
Many Americans (68%) think there is intelligent life on other planets, up from 52% in 2005. Nearly three in four residents with that belief (74%) say those extraterrestrials are at least as intelligent as human beings. In fact, this includes a plurality (46%) who think the intelligence of extraterrestrials exceeds that of the human race. These results have changed little in more than a decade. But, are these otherworldly beings coming to get us? A majority (55%) say they will find us before we find them.
Younger Americans (under 45) and men are the most likely to believe that ET is out there, but even older citizens and women are believers. All groups are ringing up numbers at least in the low sixties. A majority of the younger respondents said the aliens will find us before we discover them, while 45% of older Americans thought so.
The point is, this is now a majority opinion in the country. Does the recent shift have anything to do with that story in the New York Times last December which exposed what our government has been up to? Members of Congress, the military and many scientists are admitting that not only do they think aliens might be hanging around but that our government has been funding a secret program to study unusual occurrences long after such programs officially ended. And when you look at some of those military videos like the one of the white tic tac, you have to begin asking what’s going on.
One other question to consider is whether there are really more people who believe this phenomenon might possibly be real or is it just that more people are willing to say it out loud. Around Christmas time I wrote about the high profile, “respectable” figures who are now willing to admit in public what would have previously ended their careers. We don’t know about any definitive evidence yet which would put the matter to rest once and for all, so there’s still plenty of room for debate. But the folks who released that information in December said there is more to come which is currently under review. If they’ve got proof, the world is going to change. I’m just not sure if that change will be positive or negative.