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A Realistic Assessment of How it Would Go: Aliens

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posted on Aug, 17 2006 @ 11:40 AM
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I'd like to take this opportunity to set up a rational discussion about what a true alien encounter would be like for Earth. I'm not talking about people who claim they are in contact with the Zebulons of Nebula 420 or whatever, but rather a realistic, probable, and above all, verifiable assessment of what will happen if and when aliens discover our solar system.

First, to the people thinking aliens will save humanity from itself, I've got news for you. Just because they're aliens, doesn't mean they have humanity's best interests at heart. In fact, I think it's probably much more likely that they will have their own interests at heart, and those interests likely do not involve our well being through any means other than sheerest coincidence if it works out that way. First and foremost, the duty of any life form is to ensure the survival of its own species, and sometimes, in fact, usually, that means competing for the same resources as something else.

Now, first and foremost, aliens would have to actually discover us. Don't get me started on the current odds of this happening. Considering that currently the only way to detect us would be to intercept electromagnetic waves emitted, and we've only been emitting waves for the last hundred years or so, the decay of signal strength, and the exponentially limited number of spots where aliens could even pick up a signal the further out they were (the larger the sphere, the larger the surface area of places one could be at where the signal wasn't)...

...one would have to be within 100 light years or so of our system, in just the right spot, with just a receiver set to pick up signals in the narrow band we've discovered to transmit in, pointed specifically at our star, and somehow be able to filter it against all the background noise of the universe as well as the (presumed) intersteller traffic...

Now... assuming all that occurs, they have to actually take an interest in our system once they discover us. If one is to logically assume there are enough sentient species out in the universe to have developed one or more interstellar beings, then one can logically assume that there are a far greater number of beings whom have developed the ability to emit artificial electromagnetic waves (like radio and television). Considering SETI has YET to find even one recognizable extra-terrestrial source of artificial radio waves, we can assume that even this much larger number of potential candidates is relatively small.

Next, considering the technological leaps neccessary to travel one's own solar system in a timely and safe fashion, one may presume that the technology of being able to produce radio waves would not even qualify as "intelligent life" to an interstellar force. The comparison on Earth would be the equivolent of bird calls to human technology. We hear birds. They broadcast messages. They build nests. They are not, however, considered to be anywhere near on par with human intellect, and the vast majority of the time, we simply ignore them and move on, because we know the birds simplly do not yet possess the capacity to communicate back with us in anything other than a novel and amusing manner.

So, we would have to have triggered the attention of something effectively seeking "birds", again lowering the odds.

When aliens first discover Earth, they will view it in one of two ways: a potential colony, or a potential source of resources. The third alternative is that of us being a potential threat, but unless we are so far advanced as to have a Space Force capable of quick launch, then idendification, interception, and interdiction of alien craft, this is highly unlikely in anything other than the most implausable of circumstances.

Now, luckily for us, the Oort Cloud (giant bubble of gas and ice and rock around our solar system) is probably far richer in various resources than Earth, and is much more easily farmed with zero detection or interference from us humans for the forseeable future. And also, luckily for us, the aliens would not travel without their own food supply, so it is unlikely humans would be considered a resource of food for them, and even then, not one that is economically feasible to repeatedly hunt. It would make far more sense to take a few and breed or clone them if we were food.

That leaves Earth as more likely being viewed as a colony if it were viewed as useful at all to the alien's purposes.

This now means that not only must we have been discovered by the interstellar equivolent of a birdwatcher at just the right time and place by one of the few species capable of interstellar travel, but that this species of alien would also be able to survive in an environment such as ours. The assumption that any life can thrive on Earth is a very arrogant one, and most likely incorrect. All life generally has a very narrow range of temperature, energy source, and reaction to various gasses and chemical compounds. Considering all the possible combinations for planets, stars, ambient gasses throughout the galaxy, and minerals, etc... it is far more likely that Earth would prove to be a hostile environment to alien life than a hospitable one.

The bad news to this is that any species that can travel the stars probably already has terraforming technologies at its disposal, and thus the only real consideration for a planet being used for colonization would be its distance from whatever star it orbits (temperature), as this would be the hardest factor to artificially control. Everything else, atmosphere, ambient liquid, etc, is negotiable to the colonizing species.

Which means if they want to colonize our planet, most likely it will entail turning the Earth into a hostile environment for us humans.

However, since we're on a streak of incredibly astronomical luck, let's assume that the species of alien that found us was completely compatible with our environment, and that our world would make a fine breeding ground for their kind: there's this problem of it already being infested with these fleshy things that are the equivolent of a virus.

This "virus" does not match breeding to its ecosystem. In fact, it consumes all resources and land in its wake. The waste produced by this virus does not break down naturally in any timely fashion, generally toxifies the surrounding area, and cannot even be properly recycled. It is a virus that is slowly destroying its host.

The first instinct of any rational colonizer would be to recognize the damage being done and do its best to cleanse Earth of its human viral infestation. A few tests might be run on the organism, but it would be roughly the same result as if humans suddenly began running tests on birds. The birds would be unable to communicate their desire to live in freedom in their previous environment, and the humans wouldn't really care even if they could. The competition for living space, resources, and the need for that planet's ecosystem to remain stable would outweigh the desires of a virus that has been destroying it. So they would decide to do away with us, for the sake of the planet and future generations of their species.

(continued in the next post)




posted on Aug, 17 2006 @ 11:42 AM
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After a few initial scouting parties and tests determined the exact extent of our capabilities, they would exploit our weaknesses and attack with the least possible risk of "infection" to themselves. At one point I had assumed this would mean lobbing rocks into the surface of the Earth. However, I believe that ionization of the atmosphere would be far more effective, due to actual viruses and germs the aliens would most likely not be immune to. The single greatest threat Earth could provide against aliens is its myriad of diseases.

Ionization of the atmosphere would effectively sear all life from the surface of the Earth, while leaving the orbital pattern, soil, and integrity of the surface relatively unmarred. Terraforming units could then be dispatched to produce the ideal atmosphere for the aliens, the call could be sent to begin sending the colonists, and the aliens would either tick around keep an eye on the planet afterward, or more likely dispatch status monitors with automated feeds to a data processing beacon, and move on.

While I compile other, less depressing scenarios for this thread, I would be curious to hear other thoughts on the subject.



posted on Aug, 17 2006 @ 12:01 PM
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Nowadays, what's the first thing that happends when you discover a new civilization? First, you study them.
They tell you their story, culture, beliefs. As you analyze them deeply, you start to tell them there is another 'world' out there, much more advanced technologies, another way of living, etc.

Most of them will be relutant to change so fast, even if they already know that their lives would improve or not. Translating, fear of the unknown, fear of being fooled, etc.

Little by little, some of them will go to a downtown, gonna be amazed with all those new thing to see and learn. And, will bring it back to his Civilization, telling / showing everybody else new things, teaching new stuff, etc.

What happen? Some aspects of foreigner cultures are gonna merge with their, turning into a new and improved one.

That's exately what I think it's gonna happen. Personally I think your view is too pessimist, a lot actually.



posted on Aug, 17 2006 @ 12:18 PM
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I agree with the OP on this subject. We have yet to detect any signals from outerspace, and if there was some intelligent life emmitting some sort of signal thousands of years ago, we should be able to receive it. But sadly no, no signals.

Distances are just too vast.



posted on Aug, 17 2006 @ 01:58 PM
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Originally posted by tunin
Nowadays, what's the first thing that happends when you discover a new civilization? First, you study them.
They tell you their story, culture, beliefs. As you analyze them deeply, you start to tell them there is another 'world' out there, much more advanced technologies, another way of living, etc.


...and then you proceed to move into and take over their land, annex their water supply, and eat all their food, while denuding the landscape of its resources to build shelters for your own kind. And when the native inhabitants protest, you kill them.

Read several history books. There has NEVER been a "happy" integration of indigenous peoples into another nation colonizing the same area. At best, the indigenous peoples have their lands taken and their culture dissected and refurbished into a mockery of what it was. Usually, though, it involves the slaughter of the natives, sometimes down to complete extinction.

And this is between two homo sapien races whom not only look relatively the same, but communicate the same through words and gestures, breed the same way, experience the same emotional range, and so forth.

An alien species will not only most likely not look like us, communicate, breed, or even have the same emotional range, since it can be argued that emotions are highly evolved brain responses to glandular secretions, and an alien isn't likely to have the same glands.

As pessimistic as my outlook is, keep in mind I'm travelling down the scope of most broad probability and working my way outward.

So, let's assume then that, ceterus paribus, our world is discovered by an alien birdwatcher who ISN'T looking to destroy the human race, for whatever reason.

Why?

The most obvious reason would be that Earth would be a sort of "nature preserve," and a strict policy of non-development and non-interference would be put into effect. In this case, the only ones who would come to Earth would either be our "wardens" or criminals looking to do a bit of poaching. This unfortunately means that we are not only squatting on "someone else's property", but that should we ever develop the means for interstellar travel, that we likely have to give fealty to whomever protected us long enough to develop to that point.

Alternately, there may perhaps be a resource that is abundant to us that appears to be rare elsewhere in the universe (the interstellar equivolent of gold). an opportunistic alien race capable of communicating with us may trade us something pretty and useless (the interstellar equivolent of wampum beads) for that rare resource until we are left impoverished of this resource before we even find out it is valuable.

Now... perhaps... just perhaps... our alien visitor is the interstellar equivolent of Jane Goodall, and wants to observe this fascinating species that bears such a close resemblence to her own.

Who is to say the Jane Goodall alien looks anything like a human? Perhaps they look more like an octopus, and the whole of their studies, their communication attempts, and their desires for contact, stem around octopi. Perhaps they even have the ability to somehow communicate with them to a limited degree. Then a human comes along and kills the octopus. What do you think would happen?

Even then, say the Jane Goodall alien comes to understand humans, communicates with them, learns their ways, and even loves them as a species. Who is to say the rest of her kind won't decide she's a nut, they need our land, and they decide to get rid of us anyway.

The odds of a Jane Goodall Alien existing, discovering Earth, being able to survive our atmosphere and organisms, recognizing the human race as a potential friend and ally, being able to effectively communicate with us, AND have the alien species as a whole understand and respond in a friendly fashion are so infinitestimally small as to nearly be unthinkable. So many factors must happen EXACTLY in a certain way, in a certain order, that it makes ionizing the atmosphere to flash-burn all potentially hostile life and then terraforming the planet to ideal conditions an almost 100% certainty by comparison.



posted on Aug, 17 2006 @ 02:07 PM
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Fine job of reitterating the difficulties faced by SETI...

Still, a snowball's chance in hell is better than no chance at all, so happy they're doing it.

While detection is a big deal, another wakeup call could have been the splitting of the atom. After all, this is when we see the biggest flap of UFO activity, and when it became known to the public at large.

The Hill story is another interesting tidbit. If one accepts the encounter, then this particular type of alien was investigating stars like their own (i.e. yellow and similar to our sun). This would narrow the odds drastically, and start to make a bit more sense.

There is a lot of evidence to suggest that regardless of the odds, they found us.

Going from that, I believe thelibra's conclusions are correct. Benevolence is likely not the agenda. Nature shows us that organisms compete for one another for resources. We can speculate that this is different on other worlds, but our known fact patterns are all we have to go on.

Ionizing the atmosphere....now there's a cozy thought... However, this would likely lead to some loss of surface and increased sea level. Still, pretty sterile...

the good news.....

With evidence they're aware of us, and for over half a century at least, it seems that they haven't gone the colonization route yet, so perhaps we're still just a curiosity...but it does seem strange that one sentient being wouldn't seek out revealing to another they are not alone. Then again, maybe that feeling is uniquely human, or far in the aliens' past....



posted on Aug, 17 2006 @ 02:17 PM
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Originally posted by thelibra

The odds of a Jane Goodall Alien existing, discovering Earth, being able to survive our atmosphere and organisms, recognizing the human race as a potential friend and ally, being able to effectively communicate with us, AND have the alien species as a whole understand and respond in a friendly fashion are so infinitestimally small as to nearly be unthinkable. So many factors must happen EXACTLY in a certain way, in a certain order, that it makes ionizing the atmosphere to flash-burn all potentially hostile life and then terraforming the planet to ideal conditions an almost 100% certainty by comparison.



Almost like the chances of human beings evolving and becoming the dominent species on this planet... oh wait, that did happen.

A little off topic, but, since I do agree with you that if an alien species does discover us, they will be manevolent, I personally think that not only are we aware enough to at least put up a fight, but also that the second coming of Christ to save humanity will then occur.



posted on Aug, 17 2006 @ 02:47 PM
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So birds are we ?


I dont really think thats an apt analogy, I'm sure intelligent life would recognise intellegent life, or rather sentient life would recognise sentient life.I am aware that I am aware, that sets me apart from every other living thing on this planet.Imagination is the key to all this,I have the ability to look ahead and plan, to look back and learn.

Imagination seperates us from animals even previous forms of the homo genus, for instance homo erectus used a flint hand axe as a tool, many of these tools have been found in africa and china and were in use for over a million years by our homo erectus ancestors, the funny thing is the axe never changed over that million year span it was is use.You'd think they would have improved on the axe in a million years, mabye stick a handel on it, but for homo erectus that was unthinkable,literally they lacked the imagination for it.

We are remarkable in our own way, we are intellegent and sentient, we may have our downfalls, but I think an alien race would recognise us for what we are. We may be walking an evolutionary/social road they were already down.We harnased our enviroment starting with fire and have slowly removed ourselves from the struggle that all life endures on this planet, freeing up time for other pursuits art,music,philosophy and science .This time out to think so to speak have improved our lives,the wheel,the steam engine,the splitting of the atom and space travel and in this they will recognise kinship.

Aliens will know us for what we are,intelligent and aware, similar to them time to grow is the only thing seperating us.Even if they dont have our best interests at heart
they will see us as simialr to them.What would humans do if the tables were turned? Would we just see birds or intellegent life ?



[edit on 17-8-2006 by Merkeva]



posted on Aug, 17 2006 @ 04:10 PM
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It's very simple.

We don't even have the slightest idea what their nature would be like. The OP from theLibra is what it is: Rational opinion based on common knowlegde and assumptions of the world around us. Until know we can only speculate on what they would do if they would discover us and would be here. We can be either right or we can be dead wrong on that.

One thing is certain though. We can not be sure that our nature of thinking and acting is in anyway similar to theirs.



posted on Aug, 17 2006 @ 10:02 PM
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There you go again. You're taking opinions about what we would do if we develop inter-galactic travel and discover another civilization.

About your points,
Why not give for free?
Why everything have to be priced or exchanged?
Why the captalism system or Observation-for-study purposes?

Not everything is "achieve-my-goals-only".
We can think this way, but they can't, who knows.

It's all a mystery, unfortunatelly.



posted on Aug, 17 2006 @ 10:35 PM
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Why does everyone assume that a far advanced species would use radio signals for communication when they are so sloooooow related to the distances of space? I'm pretty sure they would have silenced all radio emissions from their planet, just to ensure their security/safety. Radio signals aren't very secure. Why would a species want to broadcast their existence and location to everyone/anyone?
I think this is the reason why SETI hasn't found anything yet. It's like dolphins searching for intelligence by hunting for echo location. We don't use echo location, but we are far more intelligent than them. There's probably much more effective, secure and faster ways to communicate across space. We just haven't discovered them yet (or have we? quantum entanglement anyone?).



posted on Aug, 17 2006 @ 10:51 PM
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Originally posted by TheBandit795
It's very simple.

We don't even have the slightest idea what their nature would be like. The OP from theLibra is what it is: Rational opinion based on common knowlegde and assumptions of the world around us. Until know we can only speculate on what they would do if they would discover us and would be here. We can be either right or we can be dead wrong on that.

One thing is certain though. We can not be sure that our nature of thinking and acting is in anyway similar to theirs.


I agree. We really don't know any of this. So using common sense and an analytical eye seems to be the best approch. Take what you know for sure and build a thoery from it. What else can we really do until we have more info



posted on Aug, 17 2006 @ 10:59 PM
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we don't know if they view the same visible light spectrum we do, need to eat to survive (maybe they draw energy from the sun ?) have a need for our mineral resources or water, or even if they reproduce sexually or are chimeras or hermaphrodites, so predicting their behaviour is kinda tricky


if they are a race of green women, we can always send william shatner to seduce their leader ...sorry...



posted on Aug, 18 2006 @ 12:03 AM
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Originally posted by thelibra
I'd like to take this opportunity to set up a rational discussion about what a true alien encounter would be like for Earth. ...... a realistic, probable, and above all, verifiable assessment of what will happen if and when aliens discover our solar system.


I applaud you on your effort. I've read through all the posts provided by the contributors of this thread. It would seem that the level of thought your intro post has inspired is an accomplishment within itself. I give you KUDOS for that, and sincerely thank you.

I can understand your viewpoint on a majority of issues, but i humbly dissagree with some of your statements. I am not looking for a word-fight, just a friendly, rational discussion with some of my Co-ATSers.

I see your intro does seem very pessimistic. Not necessarily unjustified, but you have had to make certain presumptions, assumptions, and insert your own opinion to reach a conclusion that involved you considering how most effectively to irradicate the human race. Optimism is surely not a word i would use to describe your view point. Examples of your speculation (which is not an ATS sin by the way, and you loose no cool points from me):

quotes from intro post:


...I think it's probably much more likely ...

...those interests likely ...

...Considering that currently the only way to detect us ...

...as well as the (presumed) intersteller traffic...

...Now... assuming all that occurs...

...If one is to logically assume...

...then one can logically assume that...

...we can assume that even...

...one may presume that...

...they will view it in one of two ways...

...this is highly unlikely in anything other than the most implausable of
circumstances...

...probably far richer in various resources than Earth...

...so it is unlikely...

...It would make far more sense...

...That leaves Earth as more likely being viewed...

...it is far more likely that Earth would prove to be a hostile environment to alien life...

...Which means if they want to colonize our planet, most likely it will entail...

...let's assume that the species of alien...

...The first instinct of any rational colonizer...

...So they would decide to...


I'm not quoting from the original post to in any way deminish from the content of this thread, or it's author. In many instances i tend to agree with the assumptions. However in some cases, i believe it to be a stretch which arrives at a decision to eradicate a species that took nature a long time to make, or God to make in an instant.

I think before we begin to interpret their will and intentions, we must shed our own will and intentions. A perfect observer of the facts (*which may be non-existant) would not let thier conclusions be affected by their judgment. Judgment of what you witness limits what you can witness. And it is our judgmental nature which leads us to make assumptions about the will and intentions of possible celestrial visitors. 20 such examples above to reach a conclusion that humanity will be seen as a virus, and exterminated.


Don't get me started on the current odds of this happening. Considering that currently the only way to detect us would be to intercept electromagnetic waves emitted, and we've only been emitting waves for the last hundred years or so,...

Now... assuming all that occurs, they have to actually take an interest in our system once they discover us.


With 200 billion solar systems in our own galaxy and a universe that existed approximately 10 billion years before our own sun, i personally would be dissapointed in a universe that failed to produce life that would not have ventured out to the stars long before the arrival of the human race. I believe the odds of life having visited this planet long ago are drastically underestimated by the general public. The mathimatical probability is in my opinion in favor of us being known to them.


Considering SETI has YET to find even one recognizable extra-terrestrial source of artificial radio waves, ...


They did have something (perhaps a signal) that originated far enough away, and has since failed to repeat again, even naturally. It most certainly was not recognizable, not verified by any other independant listening post, but could not be explained as natural either.


The assumption that any life can thrive on Earth is a very arrogant one, and most likely incorrect. All life generally has a very narrow range of temperature, energy source, and reaction to various gasses and chemical compounds. Considering all the possible combinations for planets, stars, ambient gasses throughout the galaxy, and minerals, etc... it is far more likely that Earth would prove to be a hostile environment to alien life than a hospitable one.


This is the one paragraph i simply dissagree with the most. Don't under-estimate the adaptability of life. It does thrive, and within the past 20 years we have witnessed and recorded life in some of the most austere conditions.

You say all life generally has a very narrow range of temperature. However in the past 20 years we have thawed out life from the permafrost in the Fox Tunnel (Fox Cavern) in Alaska. Once thawed out this life form was still alive, even after being frozen for a few million years. We also find microbial life in boiling hot hot springs in Yellowstone National Park that contain sulfur and other gassed poisonous to us.

We are generally taught to believe life cannot exist without liquid water. However we have discovered microbial life within solid rock after drilling 70 feet into the rock, with minimal water of any kind, and certainly no sun light.

We are generally taught to believe life cannot exist without sunlight. However with thousands of tons per square inch at the bottom of the oceans where sunlight does not reach, we find life in abundance around thermal vents called "Smokers, or chimneys".

Don't underestimate life. It is the greatest resource, and it does endure and adapt.

Good thread. Made me think, and the contributions are outstanding.



[edit on 18-8-2006 by Esoteric Teacher]



posted on Aug, 18 2006 @ 11:31 AM
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Originally posted by Gazrok
Fine job of reitterating the difficulties faced by SETI...

Still, a snowball's chance in hell is better than no chance at all, so happy they're doing it.


Me too, although I also understand the resentment by "everyone else in astronomy" who get mad at them for getting all the funding because they're the Rockstars of astronomy. Still, seems the most logical way to search, and presumably we'll find other stuff too.



Originally posted by Gazrok
While detection is a big deal, another wakeup call could have been the splitting of the atom. After all, this is when we see the biggest flap of UFO activity, and when it became known to the public at large.


tbh, I think we'd have already have to have been monitored to pick something like that up. I don't know that the shockwave produced by a split atom is going to go any further or be more noticable than a radio wave.



Originally posted by Gazrok
There is a lot of evidence to suggest that regardless of the odds, they found us.


While I will admit some evidence exists to the possibility, I'd say more evidence exists that they have not.


Originally posted by Gazrok
Nature shows us that organisms compete for one another for resources. We can speculate that this is different on other worlds, but our known fact patterns are all we have to go on.


True, it's possible that a benign alternative exists whereas our discoverers have reached such an amazing technological state that any matter can be convered to energy and energy can be converted to any matter. This is the one and only situation I see where competition for resources isn't a factor in our eventual interaction with aliens..


Originally posted by Gazrok
Ionizing the atmosphere....now there's a cozy thought... However, this would likely lead to some loss of surface and increased sea level. Still, pretty sterile...


Yeah, but with terraforming, all that could be fixed in a jiffy.


Originally posted by Gazrok
but it does seem strange that one sentient being wouldn't seek out revealing to another they are not alone. Then again, maybe that feeling is uniquely human, or far in the aliens' past....


Well that probably all depends on the mission of whatever is observing. If it's military related, the watchers would probably be silent recon while the fleet arrives. Know thine enemy is good strategy no matter what biological makeup you have.

If they are a scientific research group, they may be under some sort of moral, ethical, or legal imperative not to.

If they are neither, but alone, and they've seen what we do to each other...well, I wouldn't want to contact us either.



Originally posted by Mouth
A little off topic, but, since I do agree with you that if an alien species does discover us, they will be manevolent,


manevolent? Do you mean "benevolent" or "malevolent"?



Originally posted by Mouth
I personally think that not only are we aware enough to at least put up a fight, but also that the second coming of Christ to save humanity will then occur.


I think that'd be a great South Park episode.

Jesus vs. The Aliens.



Originally posted by Merkeva
So birds are we ?


I dont really think thats an apt analogy, I'm sure intelligent life would recognise intellegent life, or rather sentient life would recognise sentient life.


Birds may not be the best analogy, but it was the best one I had at the time. However, using our own species treatment of "lesser animals" as an example, it has only been in the last hundred years or so that we've really worried about things like endangered species, animal intellect, and conservationism.

Even then, it's pretty much limited to what we find useful, cute, or that the media puts in front of us. There aren't a whole lot of people out there trying to preserve endangered species of wood lice, but people will happily turn over checks for thousands of dollars to save cute fuzzy baby seals.

Let's use a more direct anology. The Africans and Native Americans, during the colonial era of America. They weren't seen as intelligent beings. They were seen as animals, despite the fact that they were were from the same planet, with deep complex social structures, arts, music, emotions, same phsyical shape, and ability to communicate with one another. But because the shade of their skin was different, they were seen as animals and every other aspect ignored.

People didn't really start paying attention to the intelligence of dolphins till sometime in the previous century, and even then, those who haven't read much about them or watched some documentaries on what they can do pretty much view them as little more than an obstacle to tuna.

The amazing collective unification mind of ants and bees has been almost completely ignored by all but the most dedicated scientists, and most people just view them as pests to be destroyed. I wouldn't call them sentient, per se, but their hive mind has fascinating capabilities that the vast majority of people do not know about, much less appreciate.

Even squirrels, with their incredible problem-solving abilities (watch that special about trying to make a squirrel-proof bird feeder) are pretty much see as either cute fuzzy things to be ignored, or pests to be shot at with a pellet gun. Sure, they can sure do some neat cute things, but don't let them near our trash, they'll make a mess.

Revisiting Jane Goodall, remember what happened to her gorilla tribe. They were slaughtered, because they stood in the way of "progress", as are gorillas all over the world. Despite their OBVIOUS intellect and social structures, and laws forbidding poaching or disrupting their environment, people do all the above anyway.

Why? Because life as we know it is very ego-centric. This is not a uniquely human trait. The turtle doesn't judge us for cutting down the tree, the turtle just knows that now there was a lot of noise and now there's a tree in the way.

Aliens may not be like that at all. They may have a value for life that goes beyond anything we can even imagine. This is equally dangerous for us as much of human life nowadays depends on killing things. For an alien species to have so much respect for life that we are not immediately destroyed despite giving every appearance as a parasitic virus to our planet, they would probably neutralize our ability to cause any more harm. Or they may opt to destroy us to preserve the most life, like pruning dead limbs from a tree.


Originally posted by Merkeva
What would humans do if the tables were turned? Would we just see birds or intellegent life ?


I think history is pretty clear on that one.

1.) We eat it.
2.) If we can't eat it, we enslave it.
3.) If we can't enslave it, we kill it.
3a.) If it burns, we use it as a fuel source.
4.) If we can't kill it, we subdue it, take the land, and relocate it to some other less desirable place.


Originally posted by TheBandit795
One thing is certain though. We can not be sure that our nature of thinking and acting is in anyway similar to theirs.


I would actually be more likely to assume they DID think like us, because that's a sentient thought process already proven to exist. We haven't run across another sentient species yet with a different mentality. Even the aforementioned African and Native American peoples were, for the most part, doing this to their own people long before Europe got involved.

(continued in next post, out of space)



posted on Aug, 18 2006 @ 11:35 AM
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manevolent? Do you mean "benevolent" or "malevolent"?


Whoops, brain fart right there. malevolent. yeah, thats right.


As for the southpark episode comment, (even though I was kind of serious) that was pretty darn hilarious!



[edit on 18/8/06 by Mouth]



posted on Aug, 18 2006 @ 01:05 PM
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Originally posted by tunin
There you go again. You're taking opinions about what we would do if we develop inter-galactic travel and discover another civilization.


Yes. Shame on me for using proven, real-world examples instead of just making stuff up out of the blue.



Originally posted by tunin
About your points,
Why not give for free?
Why everything have to be priced or exchanged?
Why the captalism system or Observation-for-study purposes?


Because if resources are scarce, that's just how it goes.

Now, like I said above, we may be lucky enough to get discovered by a race that can convert any matter to energy to any matter. In such a case, you could, quite literally, turn lead into gold, or the moon into an orbiting paradise of platinum, etc...

So they may not need our specific resources from the Earth. They might, however, need land to settle on, unless they have ALSO perfected industry to the point where building a planet-sized base is as easy as or easier than colonizing a planet.

Otherwise, they're going to expend the least energy to ensure survival.



Originally posted by Toasty
Why does everyone assume that a far advanced species would use radio signals for communication when they are so sloooooow related to the distances of space?


Ummm... because radio waves travel at the speed of light, and as far as we can prove, light is the fastest travelling thing. And before you get into tachyons, may I remind you that they are not proven to exist, they are theoretical anomolies.

However, I agree, FTL communications would be neccessary for any sort of efficient galaxy-wide communications network. However, at the moment, there's no real proof that's even possible.



Originally posted by NOMADSR1000
I agree. We really don't know any of this. So using common sense and an analytical eye seems to be the best approch. Take what you know for sure and build a thoery from it. What else can we really do until we have more info


Well... in truth, if we're discovered by aliens before we discover them, we're entirely at their mercy. Absolutely nothing on Earth right now is going to pose them a threat if they can just sit back and lob rocks at us from a distance or ionize our atmosphere and wait for the fires to die down.



Originally posted by syrinx high priest
we don't know if they view the same visible light spectrum we do, need to eat to survive (maybe they draw energy from the sun ?) have a need for our mineral resources or water, or even if they reproduce sexually or are chimeras or hermaphrodites, so predicting their behaviour is kinda tricky


True. Two more reasons why they may not notice us and we may not notice them are size and speed.

Two living organisms of sufficiently different size will be unaware of each other's presence. Likewise, two organisms that move at significantly speeds may fail to be able to perceive each other as life.

A mineral-based life form, for instance, may lack ambulatory ability and only move rarely through some sort of telekinetic power only after exausting all availble info from its surroundings. Not only could a human walk right by a "rocky alien" without realizing it was a living being, the rocky alien might waste all of its research time on Earth trying to communicate with geodes instead of humans.


Esoteric Teacher, I'll answer your post seperately as I've already used up the space in this one











Originally posted by Esoteric Teacher
I applaud you on your effort. I've read through all the posts provided by the contributors of this thread. It would seem that the level of thought your intro post has inspired is an accomplishment within itself. I give you KUDOS for that, and sincerely thank you.


Aw, thanks man. I appreciate it. As my title suggests, I'm an ecclectic skeptic. I'm open to any possibility, but also try to temper it with a more logical explanation before assuming it's anything more than the mundane. I personal believe 100% there is life out there, somewhere, besides Earth. Statistically, there has to be. Everything from that point on decreases the odds.


Originally posted by Esoteric Teacher
I can understand your viewpoint on a majority of issues, but i humbly dissagree with some of your statements.


Please, by all means, disagree away. This is meant to be a discussion, not a lecture. I will, of course, defend my points until convinced otherwise, but I do encourage and welcome rational debate among my peers.


Originally posted by Esoteric Teacher
I see your intro does seem very pessimistic. Not necessarily unjustified, but you have had to make certain presumptions, assumptions, and insert your own opinion to reach a conclusion that involved you considering how most effectively to irradicate the human race.


Admittedly, it's something I've given quite a bit of thought to, as that used to be my goal. Now I just want to conquer them.


Originally posted by Esoteric Teacher
Examples of your speculation (which is not an ATS sin by the way, and you loose no cool points from me):

quotes from intro post:


...I think it's probably much more likely ...

(snip)

...let's assume that the species of alien...



Oh yes, that. You'll find that in just about any post where I don't have hard, verifiable proof to say that A plus B definitively equals C. I learned early on here on ATS that if I ever say "X will happen" or "Z is absolute", I'd best have either the math displayed to prove it, or reliable references cited, sourced, and linked. Otherwise, I do far better to use phrases like the above "X is likely, Y is probable, one may assume Z...etc."

So any time you see those phrases, just assume (heheh) that what I'm actually saying is "I think this will happen, but I don't have (or am unwilling to go find) hard core proof of it. Truthiness, if you will.


Originally posted by Esoteric Teacher
i believe it to be a stretch which arrives at a decision to eradicate a species that took nature a long time to make, or God to make in an instant.


Really? What about smallpox? bubonic plague? polio?



Originally posted by Esoteric Teacher
I think before we begin to interpret their will and intentions, we must shed our own will and intentions.


I respectfully disagree. I think before we begin to interpret their will and intentions, we must fully understand our own, because that is the strongest vantage point we have to work with.

I agree, however, that this does not neccessarily mean it will be an accurate assessment of the enemy...I mean aliens...



Originally posted by Esoteric Teacher
A perfect observer of the facts (*which may be non-existant) would not let thier conclusions be affected by their judgment.


Agree. 100%, but by the time we need "observers" it's too late. What we're looking for is "predictors" to anticipate and prepare.


Originally posted by Esoteric Teacher
With 200 billion solar systems in our own galaxy and a universe that existed approximately 10 billion years before our own sun, i personally would be dissapointed in a universe that failed to produce life that would not have ventured out to the stars long before the arrival of the human race.


I wouldn't be disappointed, though I would be amused by our superiority at that point. Keep in mind that even if a space-faring race HAD appeared in the universe's history, there's no guarentee they aren't extinct by now. Sometimes entire galaxies collide and explode violently enough to fry neighboring galaxies. Such is probably our own fate one day, prompting a re-creation of life all over again.

(cont...)

[edit on 8/18/2006 by thelibra]



posted on Aug, 18 2006 @ 01:10 PM
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Originally posted by Esoteric Teacher
I believe the odds of life having visited this planet long ago are drastically underestimated by the general public.


See I'm much more in the opposite camp here. While I certainly don't discount the possibility of there being space-faring species out there somewhere, the odds of them having "seen our signal" AND planned the trip logistics AND travelled to our solar system SUCCESSFULLY and THEN proceeded to our specific planet are exponentially lower with each additional circumstance you have to add. Then to add "long ago" shortens the timeframe even more, unless you mean before artificial radio waves, in which case I'd say the odds were, quite literally, astronomical, due to the sheer number of stars and the sheer random chance they'd have picked ours with no technological noise as their guide.

The odds are just too far against it.

Do I still think it happened? Maybe. Who knows. As one poster said, we humans evolved, defying all odds, didn't we? And if that's not enough, I found a woman crazy enough to marry me. If that don't beat all odds, then I don't know what does.


Originally posted by Esoteric Teacher
They did have something (perhaps a signal) that originated far enough away, and has since failed to repeat again, even naturally. It most certainly was not recognizable, not verified by any other independant listening post, but could not be explained as natural either.


Hehehehe... Man, they got, like... this car that runs on water... and it's been classified...

It's a "car that runs on water" story. Another thing that "everyone knows" that there's not a shred of verifiable evidence to support, and even if there was, like you said, nothing was able to be concluded from it.


Originally posted by Esoteric Teacher
You say all life generally has a very narrow range of temperature. However in the past 20 years we have thawed out life from the permafrost in the Fox Tunnel (Fox Cavern) in Alaska.


Nononono, lemme clarify this right quick.

I don't mean that ALL LIFE lives within RANGE X to Y.

What I mean is that every species has a temperature threshold that is its signature living condition. For instance, the human body at a paltry 98.6 degrees, is far too cold for some bacteria, and way too hot for others. Humans themselves can't survive in a freezing climate without artificial means, nor above the range of 200-something degrees. Other organisms have been known to be able to survive in a kiln, while others die if they are brought above 32 Farenheit.

Further, each of these organisms, in addition to a specific temperature threshold, has a pH threshold it can stand. If its environment is too base or too acidic, it will die.

And so on, and so on. So yes, while life is adaptable, it does have a limited range. that it must either change the surrounding environment to match, or it must evolve into something with a different threshold.




Originally posted by Mouth

As for the southpark episode comment, (even though I was kind of serious) that was pretty darn hilarious!


Ah, well... er... While I don't discount the possibility that Jesus (or any other of the Dieties mankind has invented) will play a role in the inevitable conflict with Satan (or any of the other Dieties that mankind has invented), I don't know that they'd really bother with the likes of aliens.

Unless the aliens were actually hordes of demons or something, and the whole gods, demons, etc, was actually all alien-life forms to begin with, and then we get into something waaaaaaay different than the original intent of the thread. Though again, I don't discount that possbiliy either.

In all probability though, I'm pretty sure the human race is on their own during the first confirmed alien encounter.



posted on Aug, 18 2006 @ 02:34 PM
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If we could go back in time and communicate with early man, besides the wonderfull
technology we could show them, we couldnt tell them anything about the spirtual
side of things or why we are here, so why would aliens? Just cos they might have
superior tech doesnt mean they know anything about the meaning of life.

i think people expect far to much from them, they certainly wouldnt save
humanity.



posted on Aug, 18 2006 @ 03:10 PM
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Birds may not be the best analogy, but it was the best one I had at the time. However, using our own species treatment of "lesser animals" as an example, it has only been in the last hundred years or so that we've really worried about things like endangered species, animal intellect, and conservationism.


Thats exactly my point, Im not convinced that other sentient beings would see us as "lesser animals" maybe far less civilised than they are. There are still tribes living in remote places on this planet that use what we would see as primative tools.They are far less educated than us,we could tell and show them things that blow there mind,our technology ect, but are they lesser animals? I dont thinks so.




Let's use a more direct anology. The Africans and Native Americans, during the colonial era of America. They weren't seen as intelligent beings. They were seen as animals, despite the fact that they were were from the same planet, with deep complex social structures, arts, music, emotions, same phsyical shape, and ability to communicate with one another. But because the shade of their skin was different, they were seen as animals and every other aspect ignored.


By the invading states there were seen as animal.But what about the normal every day people of the time, what about the average joe's who had to kill these "Animals" I'm sure they were aware they were killing people not animals.Its called convienice, it was easier to annex the land of a people if they are reduced to to animal status.Political viewpoint is not the public viewpoint.



Aliens may not be like that at all. They may have a value for life that goes beyond anything we can even imagine. This is equally dangerous for us as much of human life nowadays depends on killing things. For an alien species to have so much respect for life that we are not immediately destroyed despite giving every appearance as a parasitic virus to our planet, they would probably neutralize our ability to cause any more harm. Or they may opt to destroy us to preserve the most life, like pruning dead limbs from a tree.


Honestly I dont think it will we so black and white, if they are like us they will have differing opnions they will have there conservatives and there liberals, there warmongers and there peace makers ,there ecologists and there economists.They may have a 2000 year long debate as to what to do with us who knows




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