a reply to: StanFL
I'd imagine the principle reason WE would travel to other planets is indeed colonisation...initially at least.
Extrapolating what we would do and the reasons we'd do it and applying it to unknown ET species is not a safe assumption.
If Humanity manages at some point to develop the technology that enables efficient exoplanet colonisation, after a given period of time and sufficient
worlds colonised, our motivations for further exploration would likely change.
'Sufficient worlds' is subjective, but in my mind would probably mean a) Protection of our species b) Ensuring the continuation of our species, if (or
in case) our home-world is rendered uninhabitable for some reason c) We have obtained more resources than we could know what to do with.
After these are accomplished, there really isn't much left other than scientific endeavours, including exo-anthropology studies and altruistic helping
Higher ET's would more than likely already have galactic empires or the equivalent, would already have access to as many resources as they could
possibly use, and would already have established political and social structures to keep these empires cohesive and functioning as desired.
They wouldn't need our water, our oxygen, our minerals, our living space or our 'meat'. There is more of all of that, or the ingredients required to
produce any of it, floating around in comets and asteroids, on exoplanets and their moons than there is here.
The ONLY thing they would not be able to find available in this hypothetical galactic empire is our native flora and fauna, including our species.
This brings us back to both the exploration and visits here for scientific and altruistic purposes, to sample us and the rest of life here and to
observe and perhaps occasionally guide the dominant species.
BUT...if ET is socially like us and is just starting out on it's adventures through space, has no empire, has no governing structures inclusive of
like minded species and is discovering a reachable exoplanet and ET species (Our earth and we Humans) for the first time...the reasons for coming here
would then probably be very different.
It all depends on how advanced they are...the more advanced they are, the better off we Humans would be.
edit on 12-8-2015 by MysterX because: typo