I'm not a huge fan of simply posting pictures made by other people but I ran across this fairly nice guide while visiting io9.com.
I'm really fond of this picture. The creator obviously put quite a bit of thought and research into this project and it shows. The portion discussing communication is particularly nice as often-times the difficulty in communicating is ignored.
There are a couple of key flaws with Mr. email@example.com's --the creator-- picture, though. For one thing, while he's probably correct about the importance of staying humble and not expressing a belief the universe was made for us, explaining this to any aliens would be incredibly difficult. More than likely, their measurement of our own humility would stem not from an explicit statement but rather, from study of how humans behave in general – in which case we are probably doomed.
Furthermore, while drawing a series of organisms increasing in complexity might make sense to us humans to describe evolution, the fact that most of us lack any sort of formal art training means our drawing will probably be totally unrecognizable. Even more, if the aliens value scaling models and drawings properly then any creations we make are going to be completely unintelligible to them. Unfortunately I can't think of any superior methods of communicating these ideas than what firstname.lastname@example.org has presented us so naturally it might be best to defer to him.
So what do you think of the image? Do you think Mr. email@example.com offers any good suggestions? Do you think there are any mistakes? How would you attempt to communicate if you were abducted by extraterrestrials? Be sure to leave a comment with your opinion!
Rusty is the co-founder of How To Survive Alien Invasion Novels, and gets up to all kinds of shenanigans planning for any and all kinds of apocalypse when he's not busy reading, writing, or yo-yoing. Keep up with him and Rachel on Facebook and Twitter to get cool, space related news or click here to read more of his thoughts on the terror of alien invasion novels.