What would surprise you most (and least) if it turned out to be true?

I wasn’t sure whether to put this in CS or IMHO, so if a mod wants to move it I shan’t bitch.

Anyway… think of things from science fiction, fantasy, or other aspects of pop culture that you currently disbelieve in. Of that list, which would you be most surprised be if they turned out to have a basis in fact? Contrariwise, which would least surprise you?

I’ve got an answer for both, of course.

The least surprising thing to me is a double-header: faster-than-light travel and, along with it, extraterrestrial visitors. Don’t misunderstand me: I’m perfectly familiar with the basics of physics that prohibit the former, and I don’t think there’s anything more at Roswell, NM that isn’t at every other Air Force base in America. But if somebody, five years from new, came up with a stunning technical breakthrough that made travel to Betelguese possible in a human lifetime, my reaction would tend to be, "Well, I’m sure there’s tons of physicists even now slapping their heads and saying ‘crap, why didn’t I think of that?’ " Likewise, if we are ever visited in a verifiable way by Betelgeusians, I’ll be amazed and excited, but not I won’t have an apoplexy.

What WOULD give me an apoplexy, though, would be **humanoid ** aliens, particularly ones capable of interbreeding with Homo sapiens. If I ever meet Mr. Spock, I will simply die on the spot.

Anybody else?

Least surprising for me would be some type of life on Mars (like bacteria). I would be stunned but not terribly surprised if aliens contacted us in some way such as radio if not an actual visit. They have to be out there somewhere and we have been sending out signals ourselves for over 100 years now.

Most surprising would be that there is a God just like the fundamentalists spell out. Second Coming or rapture type happenings would surprise the crap out of me. Bonus points if it is the God of fundamentalist Islam and we get struck down right after the virgins do a little dance to show us what fools we were :smack:

Shagnasty said the exact two things I was going to say.

Me too, aliens and God.

Of course, the big conundrum would be an alien who was responsible for our creation.

Biggest Surprise: If there is never a real nuclear war, of some type. So many countries are going to have these weapons eventually that they can’t all have rational governments. In the grand scheme of things the cost-benefit ratio of nuclear weapons is just too great for an industrialized country to ignore. The type of war I’m expecting would be pretty low-level, such as an exchange of two bombs apiece between Pakistan and India, not a world-destroying conflagration. In fact, I’ll be surprised if this doesn’t happen within my own lifetime.

Least Surprised: If aliens do exist, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they came to Earth to loot its resources and enslave the inhabitants. Interstellar travel would require vast amounts of evergy; why would they invest all of that just to come here and say hello? When Europeans discovered the New World, they promptly used their technological advantage to exploit it in every way; why should aliens be any different towards a species that isn’t even their own? We’ve proven on our own planet that technological superiority doesn’t breed moral superiority.

I wouldn’t be surprised if someday, time travel is made possible. Perhaps not in the form of our conventional and fictional conception of physical time travel. But maybe we will be able to transmit information to the past and possibly the future.

I would be surprised if death were eliminated, or somehow lifespan were increased and humans could live a healthy 500 years.

Wow. I’d actually reverse these two. It seems to me that substantial life extension is inevitable. OTOH, time travel isn’t looking good at all.

Count me in with the Aliens (least) God (most) crowd.

Shangasty said what I was going to say also. So let me see if I can think of secondary things.
I say time travel would be most surprising to me, after God.

And maybe that certain animals are way more intelligent than we think would be the least surprising after angels.

Shagnasty and Dio said the two exact things (each) I was going to say.

Least- extraterrestrial life

Most- Fore and Brimstone type (or any, really) god

If that is going to happen wouldn’t we already know ?

Most surprising? Jesus comes back.
Least surprising? He condemns a whole shitload of fundies and TV preachers straight to hell.