You’re the first to meet an intelligent alien species. What are you going to do? Here’s a brief, handy guide — I’ll just excerpt a few points.
I like this idea: there’s no way we’re going to war with them. Our technologies will not be comparable, and we have to note the obvious: they’d be the ones with interstellar space flight, not us. So, yes, it will be a case of nuclear weapons vs. sponges, and we’d better be careful.
But there is one important matter to consider about the comparison. If you found a sponge on a beach crowded with sponges, how much remorse would you feel if you took a sample? You don’t want to be the first contactee. Or the second. Or any of them. This is going to be a personally dangerous event. Your best bet is to run away rather than try to chat.
There are several more suggestions for how to communicate, and it ends with this example.
Now if we’ve gotten this far, we’re going to have to assume that the aliens do see us as something more than sponges. If we’re close to them technologically, then yes, it’s worth your while to show off your awareness of your place in the universe. If we’re not close, then face it — the aliens won’t care how much knowledge of our species’ history we have. They’re going to be sizing us up for edibility, or suitability for mindless labor, or whether we’d be useful scrubbing implements in the shower, none of which require any philosophical or scientific capabiity at all.
It’s an interesting thought exercise, but only if we meet an alien species that isn’t too far beyond us intellectually.