originally posted by: Blue Shift
originally posted by: Puppylove
There's also a difference between believing in aliens and believing in magical invisible unicorns.
Just goes to show you that belief doesn't really have much to do with something actually existing, regardless of the possibility of something actually
Well, that was actually the point I was trying to make. You might really really WANT something to be true. There might even be a possibility of it
BEING true. But the more conditions, especially implausible ones, you add on to the belief, the less likely it becomes. Until it becomes one with
1) "I believe that life exists outside Sol system"
See? That one's almost a gimme. If you can define "life" well, that would help. Since there's nothing but what we've got here to go by, I assume our
definition has a lot of assumptions to it that might fall if you had intelligent crystals as an example, possibly.
2) "That is intelligent"
Ok, now you've taken the likelihoods down a LOT. I know it's the thing to hate humans. But Earth has spawned a few mammals and avians that can reason
logically, at least to an extent. It took a long, long time, and a total revamping of the biome several times before that happened.
Maybe it's not that common an occurrence. We don't know, because we don't have enough data points. But there's the Fermi Paradox that says it doesn't
happen all the time.
3) "And is gregarious, forms into social groups, and is technological"
Another issue. Say your distant intelligent beastie is, say, an intelligent grizzly bear analog? They only come together to mate, then leave. If your
alien Cthulhu candidate is a non-social evolved sessile aquatic life form? They sit in one place on the sea bottom. Not going to develop a physical
technology that way. You can be intelligent and yet never form into a race that can or wants to do big physical projects.
4) "and is curious, adventurous and can leave their biome to explore"
Another assumption - you could form a technical society that doesn't do research for the hell of it. Or wonder what's over the next hill. Or maybe
they're anchored to their home biome by a need to swim upstream and spawn. Or they're the size of the QE2 and are aquatic.
5) "can either travel FTL or they are extremely long-lived and don't become bored"
A randomly chosen otherwise technical civilization may stop at a Newtonian understanding of physics and be happy as the clams they are. Or may not
ever have the situation that leads them to the discovery of FTL. Or FTL may not be possible.
6) "and have found us"
And the selection continues to narrow. The same Carl Sagan "billions and billions of stars" thing that works so well for the Drake equation back at
step 1 works just as hard against you here. You're going to have to look a lot of places, for a long time.
7) "and are interested in us"
Most true believers take this as a given. But if you were a gas creature, you might not perceive humans as intelligent. Or worth studying. Say a human
craft was exploring Wolf 359 and found a fart smell. They'd wave their noses and walk on through the fields of pseudo-grass looking for a 3 eyed
wombat they saw on a probe photo, and never understand they just murdered 15 ambassadors from Flatus City. Even if you knew that the fart smells were
intelligent creatures, what sort of conversation would you have with a floating poot that took days to complete a sentence, and when you got it, it
was sort of the equivalent of "be sure to drink your ovaltine". I don't see us spending a lot of time studying their eddas on swamp emissions.
8) "and are kind and nice and somehow have humanesque thought patterns and morals and can be understood by people, and have some sort of
Roddenberry-ish Prime Directive"
I find the entire 'aliens look and act like something from Star Trek®' to be immediately suspicious. My take on it is that you will have a lot of
difficulty communicating at all, much less will they look like humans. There's nothing magic about two eyes, a nose, a mouth, a head at the top, two
arms and two legs. Frankly, when someone reports an alien that is humanoid, I immediately discount it. It's as likely to look like a cucumber crossed
with a hydra.
9) "who breed with us for our DNA"
(facepalm) There are just too many issues with this. You can't breed with a sea cucumber, and you're going to have a lot more in common with it in
terms of DNA than any creature that didn't evolve here. Who says that an alien creature even HAS DNA? Life certainly didn't start off with it here.
And I imagine there are other macromolecules that could also be used for information encoding. It's just that complex life settled on that method
By the time you add on even a few options here, you've pretty much reduced the possibilities to zero.