Is Extraterrestrial Intervention Needed for Peace and Prosperity on Earth?

Avi Loeb
4 min readMay 26, 2024
The campus of Kyung Hee University in South Korea. (image Credit: KHU)

In my recent podcast interviews, I emphasized the immense benefits that discovering advanced extraterrestrials could bring to humanity. If “survival of the fittest” selected the most abundant civilizations that emerged over the past 13.8 billion years in our Milky-Way galaxy or beyond, then we are likely to encounter first the most intelligent inhabitants of our cosmic neighborhood. They could serve as our role models for longevity over timescales measured in billions of years and travel over length scales measured in thousands of light-years. For comparison, the distance from the Sun to the farthest Solar system planet, Neptune, is just 0.00048 light-years.

Because the human species emerged on Earth just 0.003 billion years ago, and modern science and technology are merely 0.0000001 billion years old, the encounter with extraterrestrial messengers could educate us about new aspects of science and technology that we did not have the opportunity to master. It could also change our political priorities from territorial disputes on the surface of our terrestrial rock — a tiny residue left from the formation of the Sun, to the exploration of interstellar space — where vastly larger territories lie and where the grander chapters of the cosmic playbook take place. If we pay attention to the lessons learned, we might hear a Messianic message of peace and prosperity that traditional religions were praying for.

I thought that the hopes I expressed were lost in the noise of loud critics. But to my pleasant surprise, they are being echoed by readers of my writings. The latest testimony came in the form of a letter that I had received from a time zone which is 12 hours ahead of Massachusetts:

Dear Professor Avi Loeb,

I am delighted to extend to you on behalf of Kyung Hee University System an invitation to join us as an Eminent Scholar in our newly established Advanced Studies for Holistic Engagement (ASHE) program. This initiative emerges from a critical observation of the global landscape, which is currently grappling with a range of crises — from environmental degradation to socio-political upheavals, ASHE is designed to address these pressing challenges through a transformative educational approach that integrates diverse disciplines and fosters leadership to envision and guide us towards a more sustainable and harmonious future.

ASHE has been conceived in response to the historic demands of our times, serving as a transformative platform for education, research, and action. The program aims to cultivate a new global paradigm of peace and prosperity that thoroughly embraces the interconnectedness of humanity, the universe, and all life. ASHE transcends traditional academic boundaries by incorporating science, philosophy, humanities, politics, economics, society, and culture. This holistic curriculum is designed not only to engage global citizens in this intellectual inquiry but also to prepare them for impactful leadership in the future…

Your leadership of the Galileo Project has significantly inspired our vision, particularly your pioneering and provocative exploration for signs of extraterrestrial intelligence or technology both on Earth and in its vicinity, as well as your efforts to shed light on anomalous objects such as Oumuamua or UAP. Your endeavors are particularly compelling for our ASHE program, as they hold the promise of opening new horizons for our students and professionals across the world, who are eager to challenge mainstream science and venture into the unknown.

In recognition of your esteemed contributions, we would be delighted if you could deliver a couple of lectures and discussions focused on “The Next Frontier: Exploring Extraterrestrial Life and Interstellar Objects.”

We are eager to welcome you to Korea at your earliest convenience … Professor Loeb, we believe your participation will be instrumental in realizing the vision of ASHE… Thank you for considering this opportunity. We look forward to the possibility of your positive response and to welcoming you into the ASHE community.

Sincerely yours,

Kim Won-soo

Rector/Chair Professor of Global Academy for Future Civilizations

Kyung Hee University

Former Under Secretary-General of the United Nations

The letter was delivered to my home by Professor Jong-Bok Kim who serves as Provost for External Affairs at Kyung Hee University. As Jong-Bok is a professor of Linguistics, the two of us had a fascinating long conversation about the impact of Artificial Intelligence and Large Language Models on his discipline and on my research.

I was deeply moved by the content of the invitation and wholeheartedly accepted it. Knowing that others share my vision for a better future gives me hope. Kyung Hee University might advance our civilization to a higher level that would make us proud of our own intelligence once we encounter extraterrestrials. This raises a fundamental question: Is extraterrestrial intervention really needed for achieving peace and prosperity on Earth? I hope to answer this question after visiting Korea.


(Image credit: Chris Michel, October 2023)

Avi Loeb is the head of the Galileo Project, founding director of Harvard University’s — Black Hole Initiative, director of the Institute for Theory and Computation at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, and the former chair of the astronomy department at Harvard University (2011–2020). He is a former member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology and a former chair of the Board on Physics and Astronomy of the National Academies. He is the bestselling author of “Extraterrestrial: The First Sign of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth” and a co-author of the textbook “Life in the Cosmos”, both published in 2021. His new book, titled “Interstellar”, was published in August 2023.



Avi Loeb

Avi Loeb is the Baird Professor of Science and Institute director at Harvard University and the bestselling author of “Extraterrestrial” and "Interstellar".