A document recently released by a scientist from NASA suggests that Earth might have already had the first contact with aliens, but with carbon-based extraterrestrial organisms.

On Monday, Dec. 3, Silvano Colombano, a researcher at Ames Research Center in California, in a two-page paper, argued that the scientific community should broaden its approach in finding life outside of Earth. He further recommended that the community reconsiders the assumption that the planet has never had extraterrestrial visitors.

Reconsidering Assumptions In Search For Alien Life

In the paper, Colombano listed down all the present assumptions of the scientific community that might have been putting a hamper in the search for extraterrestrial life. He proposed that the community rethinks assumptions that interstellar travel is highly unlikely, that radio waves continue to be the major form of communication, that intelligent civilizations would be based on carbon life, and that aliens have not visited Earth.

These claims are based on the argument that the solar system is fairly young, having formed around 4.5 billion years ago. Meanwhile, the universe is estimated to be 13.8 billion years old. The oldest planetary system found by the Kepler Space Telescope is 11.2 billion years old.

"I simply want to point out the fact that the intelligence we might find and that might choose to find us (if it hasn't already) might not be at all be produced by carbon-based organisms like us," he wrote.

He further suggested that an alien species might be "extremely tiny super-intelligent entity." In an e-mail to Newsweek, he added that an alien species could have evolved to be "robotic in nature."

Colombano is not the first to challenge current assumptions in the search for aliens. In October, astrobiologists convened to draft a new strategy to find life outside of Earth.

Have Aliens Visited Earth?

Colombano does not claim that aliens have visited Earth at some point in history or currently on Earth without anyone knowing. In a conversation with Live Science, he clarified that the document, which was part of his lecture at Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute or SETI last spring, urges scientists to reconsider the possibility, even if it is unlikely that aliens have visited Earth.

"My perspective was simply that reports of unidentified aerial phenomena should be the object of serious study, even if the chance of identification of some alien technology is very small," he said.

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