Should we ever develop technologies to such extent that allow us manned travel and manned exploration of interstellar space, I think a bigger concern
would be in finding another intelligent, yet primitive civilization that possesses greater or equal intelligence, cunning, and ambition such that they
GTA our our technology against us, trace our point of origin and come knocking.
We've already clear examples in history to guide our decisions and conduct in encountering other intelligent civilizations out in the beyond. How
we'll be treated in return is something else.
In fiction written by Larry Niven, a species of intelligent carnivorous 12ft tall tiger-like aliens called the
got their own foothold on space travel by jump starting their own space faring empire through the
enslavement of their first alien contacts.
The Kzin civilization was at an iron-age technological level when an alien race called the Jotok landed and made stealthy first contact with a
tribe of primitive hunter/gatherer Kzinti.
The Jotok were interstellar merchants looking for a species they could use as mercenaries.
Once the Jotok had taught the Kzinti how to use high-technology weapons and other devices (including spacecraft), the Kzin rebelled and made their
former masters into slaves, as well as the occasional meal. The crest of the Riit (Royal) family appears to be a bite mark, but is in fact a dentate
leaf, with the words "From mercenary to master." written around it in Kzinti script.
Yes, that's complete entertainment fiction, but, a lesson from fiction such that would not be a lesson we'd want to learn the hard way.
Niven also wrote a title called The Gripping Hand
that details the discovery of a
savant-like race of extremely brilliant but territorial and ambitious aliens which would pose an extreme threat to the entire galaxy should they learn
the secret of interstellar travel.
It's a fun read posing some interesting questions.
Thus, the concern shouldn't so much be what damage we might do, but, what damage we might do to ourselves in being too friendly or too open.
Telling anyone we meet "We come from [coordinates to Earth]", or even simply pointing out our distant star could be extreme folly.
This doesn't mean we shouldn't be friendly, but, we should also be cautious.