There’s a common critique in science fiction series like Star Trek about the extraterrestrial species not looking ‘alien’ enough, as well as about their technology being strangely similar to our own, not to mention compatible to the point where their widgets can be integrated into terrestrial systems by any plucky engineer. Is this critique justified, or perhaps more succinctly put: if we came across real extraterrestrial life with real extraterrestrial technology, would we even notice? Would an alien widget borrowed of an alien spacecraft even work with our own terrestrial spacecraft’s system?
Within the domain of exobiology there are still plenty of discussions on the possible formation and evolutionary paths conceivable within the Universe, but the overarching consensus seems to be that it’s hard to escape the herding effect of fundamental physics. For lifeforms, carbon-based chemistry is the only reasonable option, and when it comes to technology, it’s hard to not end up at technology using the same physical principles which we presume to exist across the Universe, which would practically guarantee some level of interoperability.
What’s notable here is that over the past years, a number of people have claimed to have observed potential alien technology in our Solar System, in particular the ʻOumuamua asteroid in 2017 and a more recent claim by astrophysicist Abraham Loeb regarding an interstellar meteor that impacted Earth in 2019, which he says could be proof of ‘alien technology’. This raises the question of whether we are literally being pummeled by extraterrestrial spacecraft these days.