Impact of extraterrestrial life discovery for third world societies: Anthropological and public health considerations

M. Margaret Weigel, Kathryn Coe

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    2 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    In this chapter we focus on the strategies developed by humans, living around the world, to prevent the injuries and death that can occur when confronted by random, but not totally unanticipated disasters. While the occurrence of events such as tsunamis, floods, volcanic eruptions, drought, and hostility from a distant tribe may be forgotten, the ancestral memory of these events, and strategies for coping with them, are retained in such things as stories and rituals. These seemingly unimportant cultural strategies made it possible for individuals to respond to such events with immediate and appropriate actions, thus providing those people with significant survival advantages. We begin by outlining some of the strategies honed by humans over centuries and millennia that proved to be successful in responding to potentially threatening events and that informed future generations about these events and the strategies needed to address them. These strategies, which continue to be practiced in traditional groups, include the use of such things as stories, parables, song and dance. We then apply this thinking to develop a research design for studying the response of individuals living in developing countries to information about possible contact with extraterrestrial complex or intelligent life. We conclude this chapter by outlining a justification for such a study.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationAstrobiology, History, and Society
    Subtitle of host publicationLife Beyond Earth and the Impact of Discory
    EditorsDouglas Vakoch, Douglas A. Vakoch
    Pages283-299
    Number of pages17
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Sep 2 2013

    Publication series

    NameAdvances in Astrobiology and Biogeophysics
    ISSN (Print)1610-8957
    ISSN (Electronic)1613-1851

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
    • Astronomy and Astrophysics
    • Geophysics
    • Atmospheric Science
    • Space and Planetary Science

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  • Cite this

    Margaret Weigel, M., & Coe, K. (2013). Impact of extraterrestrial life discovery for third world societies: Anthropological and public health considerations. In D. Vakoch, & D. A. Vakoch (Eds.), Astrobiology, History, and Society: Life Beyond Earth and the Impact of Discory (pp. 283-299). (Advances in Astrobiology and Biogeophysics). https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-35983-5_15