How best to strike up conversations with intelligent aliens? Mathematics might be the common lingo. Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to confer with E.T? well, according to researchers, the key to this repartee lies in mathematics. Imagine using Arithmetic, Calculus, Geometry and a whole host of other Mathematic types as lingua for dialogue with life outside our planet. Humans being able to send and receive information to and from Extra-terrestrial intelligence would bring about a paradigm shift in human civilization.

A language based on universal scientific concepts was proposed by Carl DeVito from the University of Arizona in Tucson and described his work at the Astrology Science Conference in 2017. He explained that the design of a signal that attracts attention and on examination is clear that is a work of intelligence is a complex problem.

DeVito highlighted that in the past, some fair attempts had been made to communicate with external intelligence such as when German scientist Karl Gauss who suggested planting swaths in the Siberian forest showcasing the Pythagorean theorem and when Austrian scientist Joseph von Littrow wanted to burn kerosene filled trenches in the Sahara Desert to display Geometric shapes. Though neither carried out their plans, they both thought this would gather some attention from extra-terrestrial life if they were watching and this would underscore our level of intelligence.

DeVito also posited that for the two societies to be able to share meaningful and accurate scientific information for mutual benefit, we must then learn each other’s unit of measurement. The language he developed with fellow scientist R.T Oehrle enables us to be able to communicate each other’s planet’s masses, chemical composition of their atmospheres and energy output of their stars. This is all based on certain assumptions such as can both societies; count and do arithmetic, recognize the chemical elements and the periodic table; have made a quantitative study of the states of matter, know enough chemistry so as to make chemical calculations.

There are some possible matters which may arise. For instance, if the alien race has a different geometry from ours and have developed laws of motion from that geometry. They may not use the same Euclidean geometry with us and this may mean that physics such as mechanics may not be in tandem with ours. Another important question is if the Alien race models its solar system as the Copernican system as we have done.

With this in mind, given that the alien race are in line with physical reality, then, we can start to develop a language to communicate using a suitable level of mathematics necessary. The challenge a cross-cultural researcher would face is how to switch from a discussion of mathematics to one dealing with human civilization.

The thing is we humans would want to present ourselves as a race who have high levels of intellectual prowess and strength. In lieu of this, we would have to show that we are a lifeform which has achieved so much but is still smart enough to recognize that there is still much more knowledge to be gained.


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