If we find other planets with life, should we colonise them?

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There has been a lot of talk, among scientists and sci-fi enthusiasts alike, over the past decades, over whether life on other planets exist, and whether, if it does, this could be the saviour of humanity. We assume that if life on other planets exists, this would be a good opportunity for human habitation there. But would this be a good idea?

In the past, when people, especially tose in richer countries such as European ones and now America, have discovered new lands, they have colonised them, and this has often been good for the inhabitants of those countries, as they now have more space to inhabit and new chances in a new world. It is often assumed that this is what would happen if humans found life on another planet, as it would be good for humanity.

This would be true. It would be an escape of refuge from our dying planet, and would save lives, potentially. However, I think it would not be a good idea. In history, when richer countries have colonised newly discovered, not as powerful ones, it has often destroyed them. Colonists havebrought new diseases which the natives of those places were not immune to as they were, and therefore become sick or died, they have taken them into slavery, persecuted them, forced them to speak their language and follow their religion. They have brought animals to their country which have been invaders and killed off their native animals. Generally, they have treated the inhabitants of the newly-discovered land badly. There is nothing to say that we would not do this to the life of other planets. Yes, we may have stronger morals of equality, but the spread of foreign diseases on their planet could not be helped. Would we want to bring this on the creatures of the planet? Or would humans be considered more important than them, and therefore a priority over their health, as the colonists believed with the natives, so infect their planet?

What are your thoughts?

Comments (22)

  • tom Tom @ the BNC
    18 Dec 2019

    This is such a fascinating question which links space exploration with events we have experienced on Earth. Thank you for raising it!

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  • Hammond School logo genuine_cat | Hammond Junior School A
    18 Dec 2019

    I think if we find life on another planet, we should not colonise it. As you said, we could risk the health of the natives and it would be supremely unethical. There is a sizable amount of evidence to back up my argument; if we look back to the time when Britain colonised Bharat { India}, we can see what it caused there. India wanted to govern itself. My point is that if we suddenly go up to a different planet and suddenly say ' this world is ours NOW' how would the local react. Probably kill us. Why should we go to somebodies home and say to them 'get out!'

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    1. Vishay Dodia.jpg EXPERT: Vishay Dodia, Deals Advisory Analyst @ KPMG
      genuine_cat's comment 12 Jan 2021

      That's a really interesting insight genuine_cat! If we look at the past examples in history, colonisation is often imposed on unwilling people with oppressive results. However if mankind used a different tactic of diplomacy to treat with alien life forms, would you change your mind?

      Reply to this comment
  • Richmond-Hill-logo-250x250.jpg committed_physics | Richmond Hill Academy
    18 Dec 2019

    I think if we find another planet we should first be sure if there are other living organisms already occupying that space. If not then we should settle there with our resources. But is there is actually someone there then we should befriend them like we would do on Earth if we met someone. And like genuine_cat said, we should see if that planet is

    1) Beneficial to evolve human life.
    2) The occupants would like to share their space and let us colonise there. If not then we should leave them alone and
    not disturb their life

    On the contrary, if we find another planet we should not take over it unless it has precious resources because we should learn to deal with the growing population or other issues which want us to leave our planet. Because then we would find a solution and like Richelle E. Goodrich said " Many times what we perceive as an error or failure is actually a gift. And eventually we find that lessons learned from that discouraging experience prove to be of great worth.”

    So the mistakes that e make now may help us in the future.

    Thank you.

    Reply to this comment
    1. Olivia-Avatar.jpg Olivia @ the BNC
      committed_physics's comment 19 Dec 2019

      Thanks for your comment! Why do you think we should take over another planet that has precious resources? Who do you think owns these or has the right to own them?

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  • Hammond School logo determined_shrimp | Hammond Junior School B
    18 Dec 2019

    If we find life on a different planet we should not colonise it because,

    Firstly, the only planets that we know of that contain life are some the moons of Saturn and Jupiter. If Mars isn’t in our reach at the moment, then Jupiter and Saturn are impossible places to go to. This would not risk but kill so many people trying to get there. People have lost contact with Earth by going to the moon, no where near Jupiter or Saturn. This was proven by an Indian rocket recently, that lost connection as it was about to land on the moon. Also, people can get their muscles weakened, DNA changed and genes changed. On a longer travel in orbit imagine how much that could effect astronauts health.

    Secondly, if their is any civilisation on the planet and we invaded their planet and changed their philosophy of life dramatically, I don’t think they would be to pleased. They might kill us or send us away. We shouldn’t invade people’s land because we should treat other species in the way we want to be treated.

    Finally, it would be very hard to transport non-astronauts to a different planet. Especially somewhere that far away. It would be a problem owning land which is that far away. How would we be able to control both planets and transport resources and have a police force. Also, I think that people would riot on Earth if they had to leave their homes and families behind.

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    1. Olivia-Avatar.jpg Olivia @ the BNC
      determined_shrimp's comment 19 Dec 2019

      Well explained reasons - it's great that you have given the example of the Indian rocket to support your point of view.

      Reply to this comment
  • Lyons Hall Primary School intrepid_hurricane | Lyons Hall Primary School B
    19 Dec 2019

    I think that if we find other planets we should colonise them because if Climate Change doesn't work out, then we might have to find a new planet to live on and possibly stay on. The people living on the planet might welcome us, and let us live there.

    The downside to colonising another planet is that the people there will definately live a different way to us and, like you said, we could interrupt their way of life and they might kill some of us or order us away. The travel there might affect our skin and change some of our natural features/genes. It would also cost a lot of money to transfer the all humans on Earth to that planet and if we get there and the people there kick us out, we would have wasted a lot of money and some people might of died in the rockets or in the planet

    To conclude, I think that we should not colonise other planets with life for the resons I have stated above.

    Reply to this comment
    1. tom Tom @ the BNC
      intrepid_hurricane's comment 20 Dec 2019

      Will there be 'people' there? Or just life? A good two-sided approached, though!

      Reply to this comment
  • Hammond School logo jolly_seahorse | Hammond Junior School A
    20 Dec 2019

    We shouldn't colonise them because it is there home and we can't take over it.

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  • Birchwood-logo-250x250.jpg inspiring_jackfruit | Birchwood C of E Primary School
    07 Jan 2020

    I think if we find another planet we should concise them because climate change is not working out then we might have to find a new planet to live on and possibly stay on

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  • Lyons Hall Primary School giving_market | Lyons Hall Primary School A
    10 Feb 2020

    I think that if we did find another planet NASA should explore and see if there are resources or cures for any illnesses.

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  • Lyons Hall Primary School bold_blackcurrant | Lyons Hall Primary School A
    10 Feb 2020

    My opinion on this is we have to do some research on this life/plant before colonising them because we don't know if it could be dangerous or have an impact on other life.
    We should also study their diet.
    Scientists should see if they need a certain environment to survive in.
    Nasa should go to the planet to see if there is any more of this plant/life.
    This life could cure illnesses.
    It could give us materials and a new food.

    Reply to this comment
  • Boutcher-logo-250x250.jpg meticulous_octopus | Boutcher C of E Primary School B
    17 Mar 2020

    I think we should do research first before we use it but if we do end up using it then all I can say is that we shouldn’t cause pollution on that planet and I don’t think it would be possible to live on any other planet it could be quite dangerous because earth is the only planet with an atmosphere and we need one. Either way if we are to far away from the sin than we won’t be able to survive because there would be bad weather conditions and we would potentially freeze tho death

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  • White Hall Academy playful_wallaby | White Hall Academy F
    20 Apr 2020

    I think we will need 1 person with food and water to build a little shed, a bed in the shed and sleep and live for a day. If he or she comes out like they would on earth then you could colonise it. Before that though, for safety maybe build a little safe room next to it in case of injury or unsurvival

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  • global-conversation.png lovable_agency | Rev Father Lemmens Basic School | Ghana
    21 Apr 2020

    I think if a new planet is discovered ,we should not habit it because when a planet is discovered ,there are some things that are hidden but we don't no. Even the brightest of all the planet known as Venus is dangerous and cannot support man's life .Only God Knows why he created human beings and placed them on earth so I think we should be where we are and inherit our land.

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  • global-conversation.png precious_twilight | Mwangaza Secondary School | Kenya
    24 Apr 2020

    I think if we find other planets with life,we should not colonise them.Colonisation leads to bad effects as it did in Africa.If they are colonised,there may be no undeestanding

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  • global-conversation.png precious_twilight | Mwangaza Secondary School | Kenya
    24 Apr 2020

    I think if we find other planets,we should not colonise them.Colonisation may lead to negative effects as it did in Africa.If the people there are colonised by us,it probably will lead to misunderstanding between them and us.This is likely to happen because they definitely follow their own way of life.Trying to change their life may lead to the p eople from the other planets to try and fight us.Also living in other planets may prove difficult.This is because:
    1.The climate the other planets may not be favourable for people from the earth.This may lead to deseases and death of many.
    2.The people in the planet may assume we are Intruders if we try to snatch their freedom away from them.This will probably lead to them fighting,killing and chasing us from their planets.
    3.People from earth may find it difficult to start over a new life in the other planets.
    -On the other hand,colonising them might be advantageous.This is because when calamities strike the earth or the earth is threatened to be destroyed by other universe objects,we may seek refuge in the other planets with life.

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  • global-conversation.png decisive_song | Good Shepherd Minor Secondary School | Kenya
    03 May 2020

    Form me I think yes because now Earth it's suffering with some erristable pandemics such as locusts, diseases such as covid 19 , weather changes like tornado, global warming and many more so if we can find other planet that supports life we should colonise fully

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  • global-conversation.png happy_wasp | Rafah Prep Girls B | Occupied Palestinian Territory
    22 May 2020

    In my opinion, there is no life on a planet other than ours, but this is what people seek. I have read that space scientists have discovered a planet other than ours fit for life. On the Internet, I came to the conclusion that scientists put the best possibilities, which is the existence of life on the surface of another planet, but this is not accurate, because so far, it is only a possibility and the technologies that are currently not sufficient to prove this possibility, and therefore until now the existence of life on the surface of another planet is only a possibility .. But the question will remain It wanders in the minds of others, is the Earth unique? I think the answer to this question will be available when the possibilities to prove this possibility are available

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  • Braiswick Primary School polite_walrus | Braiswick Primary School
    10 Nov 2020

    Astronauts hadn’t found any planets humans could live on or with life

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