Calvin: Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us.
Stephen Hawking: "If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn't turn out well for the Native Americans."
We're screwed however way you look at it.
In Avatar (Spoilers ahead if you haven't seen it), Jake Sully went into the Avatar program thinking Humans had the top spot in the universe, much like the rest of the people on the merc force and corporate suits.
However, after spending much of his time learning firsthand about the Na'vi, he had a change of heart, from "These are just animals" to "These are people too", and fell in love with one of them.
While the vast majority of humans on Pandora kept on with their petty war for minerals, Jake and a select few from the Avatar program fought back.
This proves that even if a war breaks out, there will be someone on one side who tries to make peace, even if it means risking life and limb in the process.
I like to believe that if we do go to war, we'll be easily routed by the new species, who in all likelihood would only be fighting to ensure survival, where we'd be fighting to subjugate and enslave them (Not a pretty thought, but knowing Humanity in this day and age...).
Interspecies relationships would eventually become less of a taboo, though no offspring could come of such unions. Even so, adoptions and artificial insemination would work exquisitely to ensure no family went without a child should they choose.
Hell, Interspecies relationships would probably be so much of a taboo that humanity would forget about Same-sex relationships, if only for a while.
All in all, despite me not being able to live for the required amount of time to see the new species arise, I wish them well. And to the humans that would see them destroyed or enslaved, a big ol ..|..
Is it really that hard to believe that there is life out there as intelligent as us that isn't a dangerous aggressive species?
I see no reason they wouldn't be as kind as we are (well some of us).
Foxxie brings up a great point, givin the language or physical features of the other species wasn't to big of an issue, relationships would invariably form.
Who said anything about dangerous and aggressive? Avatar takes the typical hippie view of humans being the bad guys and harassing the poor defenseless aliens who live like cavemen. The movie was technologically amazing, but story-wise it's utter rubbish, both in terms of quality and the view it takes.
I'd say Star Wars is a better depiction of intelligent life. Species' with their own cultures and languages, but with economies and the means to defend themselves and wage war if necessary.
But don't get me wrong, I'm not saying we'll just start killing each other. I honestly hope we can coexist and even form economies and diplomatic relations between us and any intelligent life we meet.
[Edited by SuperSkyline89, 5/1/2010 5:33:43 PM]
Complex organisms only started to emerge over the last two billion or so years. Consider that from trillions of species that have come on gone since then we are literally the only ones in Earth history to be regarded as sentient.
Realistically if another were to ever emerge you would assume it would be long after humanity ceases to exist.