You haven't defined 'intelligence,' which itself defines your entire question. If an alien civilization were to observe Earth, what they saw would
be defined by their classification methods.
Personally, I think that if an alien civilization were to discover this planet and notice
the human civilization, they would view us as another
'civilization'. Else, they would classify us as just another organism on this planet -- in which case, we wouldn't be all
they would see, as
the OP's post implied. They probably wouldn't see 'rabid monkeys killing each other.' (I've flown a few times, and even I haven't seen rabid
monkeys killing each other, nor have I thought to apply that description to what I saw). In a similar way, we wouldn't know
if an alien
civilization was peaceful and beyond warring by just looking at their ships.
Unless you can readily identify an ammunition bay that has been neatly converted into a cargo hold.
I think that more than anything, your question clearly points out a current trend in popular opinion about terrestrial and extraterrestrial life: the
opinion that terrestrial or extraterrestrial belief counts for anything. What exists out there already does so, whether or not we can see or believe
in them. We have established a civilization (per our standards) on this planet. New extraterrestrial acquaintances will recognize this. They won't if
we approach them with an inferiority complex.
It is sad too that when a thread like this arises, we hasten to spit some more on the human race. I keep repeating that we are part of this world --
even when it doesn't seem so great -- and this universe. We are every bit as deserving to raise our heads as any
thing else out there, because
we're here too. No one has dibs on anything: history has made this very clear.
As long as we continue to think ourselves separate (and perhaps "unfortunate") bystanders in existence, we will miss the big picture. While we do,
we will continue to spit on our world, declare it inhabited by rowdy barbarians, and desperately wish that someone else would come clean up our
[edit on 3/20/2008 by Mr Jackdaw]