Elon Musk weighs in on whether Earthlings are alone in the universe
The concept of aliens or extraterrestrial life has been explored in literature and mythology throughout human history
April 19, 2023 11:19am
Updated: April 19, 2023 12:00pm
In a recent interview with Fox News host Tucker Carlson, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk made a bold claim about the existence of aliens, stating that he has not encountered any evidence that suggests their existence. Musk, who many consider today's Sherlock Holmes of space exploration, went on to say: "if anyone would know about aliens on Earth it would probably be me."
"To the best of my knowledge, we see no evidence of conscious life anywhere in the universe," he said. Musk also referred to the Fermi Paradox, a question posed by physicist Enrico Fermi about the absence of aliens.
The Fermi Paradox is the apparent contradiction between the high probability of the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations and the lack of evidence for, or contact with such civilizations. The paradox has led to many hypotheses and theories attempting to explain the absence of evidence, including the possibility of self-destruction or the difficulty of interstellar travel.
Musk added, "I've seen no evidence of aliens," stating that he would instantly tweet about it on Twitter, a company he recently purchased and currently serves as CEO. He humorously mentioned that such a tweet would "set the internet ablaze," considering his large following.
Musk also addressed the notion that the military may be hiding information about aliens, stating that they would be acting in their own interest to disclose any extra-terrestrial threat. He quoted a defense official who said that producing an alien would result in the Pentagon getting carte blanche from taxpayers. Musk joked that the fastest way to increase the defense budget would be to "pull out an alien," as it could potentially be seen as an invasion threat.
A 2021 Pew Research Center survey found that 65% of American adults think that there is intelligent life on other planets, while 34% believe that humans will eventually make contact with aliens. However, attitudes towards aliens can vary depending on factors such as political affiliation, religious beliefs, and age.
The concept of aliens or extraterrestrial life has been explored in literature and mythology throughout human history. However, the first time the term "alien" was used in a science fiction context to refer to beings from another planet was in the novel "The War of the Worlds" by H.G. Wells, published in 1898.
The novel describes an invasion of Earth by Martians who use advanced technology to try to conquer the planet by exterminating humankind. It was transformed into one of Hollywood's first science fiction films in 1953, starring Gene Barry and Anne Robinson, and later remade by Stephen Spielberg with actors Tom Cruise, Dakota Fanning and Tim Robinson.
The novel's vivid portrayal of the conflict between humans and aliens has had a significant influence on science fiction literature and popular culture and helped to popularize the idea of extraterrestrial life in the public imagination.