Which will aliens communicate with first? Humans, or ?

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posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 09:14 AM
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I just had my paradigm challenged by watching a documentary about extraterrestrials on NatGeo.

I have always assumed humans are the most intelligent life forms on Earth.

So naturally I assumed if intelligent aliens do make contact with creatures of earth, the creatures they contact would be human. But apparently a researcher by the name of "Doyle" thinks this may not be the case. You can start the documentary at 2 minutes and 45 seconds to hear the relevant part:



For those who can't play the video, here's what the show says:


So who does Doyle think may be the best candidates to communicate with aliens? So far he's not convinced that dolphins or humans have the necessary linguistic skills. But he's found one species on Earth with a communication level much, much higher.

Doyle: "Humpback whales we're majoring in because they look like they will have the absolutely most complex communication system maybe on the planet"

Doyle's study of humpbacks is in its early stages, but so far he's only studied their social calls. But it may be that when extraterrestrials talk to the Earth species with the most intelligent language, they won't talk to us, but to humpback whales instead.


Wow that had never really occurred to me, have I just not been open minded enough to consider that possibility that humpback whales would be the first species they would contact and not humans?

Or could that explain why there are UFOs but no proof of contact with humans, maybe it's not the humans they are contacting?

I guess humpbacks are so large that their brains are larger than ours, and I should have thought about this possibility more seriously after watching the Star Trek IV movie where the plot was that the aliens would ONLY communicate with humpback whales. But since we had hunted them to extinction, Kirk had to go to the past and get some humpback whales, which you can see pictured here, called George and Gracie:



Those two whales saved the Earth in the movie because they could communicate with the aliens, and humans couldn't.

But I thought that was just science fiction that aliens would communicate with Humpback whales before humans, could it really be closer to science fact?

And does this mean that when we venture out to the stars we should take a couple of humpbacks with us to improve our chances of successful communication with the alien species we encounter? Maybe by then we'll be able to communicate with the humpbacks so they can act as translators? That will really add to the weight requirements of the spacecraft won't it?

What do you folks think? Can we believe this researcher that whales might be better able to communicate with aliens than Humans?

[edit on 16-12-2009 by Arbitrageur]




posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 10:06 AM
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I searched for some information about that researcher Doyle and found this:

www.seti.org...


Laurance Doyle

With a background in extrasolar planet detection (including co-discoverer of two of the eight principal methods for extrasolar planet detection), astronomer Laurance Doyle began calculating the habitability of planets around other stars long before the discovery of the first extrasolar planets. He currently applies some of these detection techniques as a member of the NASA Kepler Science Working Group, a mission which is expected to be able to find the first truly Earthlike planets around other stars.

Not content to understand how much an individual species can communicate, he seeks to understand how the rules of information theory can be used to intercompare many different species’ communication systems. He hopes to apply the results from animal communication studies to the search for extraterrestrial intelligent signals in the near future.


I think it's the same Doyle in the NatGeo show. Interesting background.



posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 10:29 AM
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Ants are far more numerous than humans, and more successful as well. They have even been around for millions of years. I think aliens would go to ants before they went to us.



posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 10:42 AM
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reply to post by wiredamerican
 
I was amazed to learn that ants can have very complex societies. In fact some species are like farmers...they can raise and "milk" the juices from aphids very similar to the way humans raise and milk cows for their nutritious fluids, that's really amazing behavior for ants with such small brains.

But, their brains are really small, and they communicate with scent I think. I'm not sure how well that will work for the aliens in terms of communication. However if the aliens are highly evolved ants then it might be a perfect match.



posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 10:53 AM
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Considering the gulf of space and mind boggling figures required to work out the distance between objects in a solar system let alone a galaxy, I think first contact will not be with humans either.

At present we are sending probes into space, so who is to say that aliens couldn't have already done something similar or more advanced. Considering the distance, first contact could be between computers. A topic also covered by Star Trek and Star Trek: The Motion Picture

It makes a lot of sense when you look at it from that point of view. The probe could fly through safe without the requirement for life support, unhindered by time or distance, exam data streams to see if a civilisation is worth talking to, or advanced enough, without even announcing its presence to the organic inhabitants. Once examined, it would relay information back to its creators about the types of life and the current state of tech, without the alien having to leave their homeworld.

That little webcam on your desk... you could be being viewed by an alien computer right now! Give it a wave and show it your friendly!


All hypothetical though



posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 11:03 AM
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reply to post by Arbitrageur
 


I think ants and other creatures with very simple individual capabilities often form extremely complex behaviour as a group. Emergence is fascinating:

en.wikipedia.org...

I think also relevant to alien life, and questions about how we define intelligent/complex behaviour in general.

reply to post by Daisy-Lola
 


I think that'd be likely. I think unless they're very long lived or have some form of FTL or time based transportation, it'd be quite possible that the probes they've sent out don't return anything useful within a few generations.



posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 02:05 PM
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reply to post by Daisy-Lola
 


In a very real sense our first contact with alien life could be via a robotic vehicle such as one sent to Mars to detect life. But beyond that I agree that robots are MUCH easier to send through space. They can shut down for long periods of time without having to worry about life support systems, oxygen, water, etc. which is a big advantage. So you have a point.

We see human "hibernation" n some sci-fi movies but that doesn't always seem to work out so great, sometimes those "sleep chambers" malfunction and the results are not good when that happens.

That movie you mentioned also infers a degree of sentience attained accidentally by one of our robotic creations (v-ger in that case) but another robot possibility is if we create intelligent robots like in the movie I, Robot, and then let's say blow ourselves up, the robots might survive the radiation aftermath better than humans so if they are all that survive WWIII, ET may be contacting them instead of us!

But robotic astronauts are already a fact so to say first contact may be with a robot is very plausible.

What do you think about Doyle's whale idea though? Any chance he might be right or was he just more influenced by Star Trek IV than I was?



posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 02:15 PM
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Star Trek 4 rocked. The best of the bunch in my not so humble opinion...

Only mans own hubris would lead us to conclude we're the only intelligent creature on the planet. The dominant one? Yes. Only intelligent one? Not so fast...

Whales of all sorts, their intelligence is only blindingly obvious... This includes their cousins, the dolphins.

Chimps...tool use would seem to indicate a fair amount of native intelligence.

Interesting topic though.



posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 02:24 PM
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I doubt aliens would communicate with humpback whales first. For the simple reason that despite their complex songs, they are not the most interesting beings on the planet. They are not the ones doing things, creating, building, exploring.



posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 02:31 PM
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reply to post by DoomsdayRex
 


That's the thing right there. Just because they don't do things as we do, they wouldn't be of interest? We don't really know how they perceive the Universe. Oh, we can look at the rods and cones of their eyes, or the structure of their brains, or what have you... That tells us nothing of them. Whether they dream, or what they dream of, what philosophy, if any, they follow.

We know next to nothing of the very intelligent creature we share the planet with.



posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 03:45 PM
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Originally posted by DoomsdayRex
I doubt aliens would communicate with humpback whales first. For the simple reason that despite their complex songs, they are not the most interesting beings on the planet. They are not the ones doing things, creating, building, exploring.
Yes if they come here, I lean toward contacting humans first as more likely too, but I'm intrigued by the whale idea.



posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 03:47 PM
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Originally posted by hephalump
reply to post by DoomsdayRex
 

Whether they dream, or what they dream of, what philosophy, if any, they follow.

We know next to nothing of the very intelligent creature we share the planet with.


Good point.

I'm wondering what the whales are saying now. And what would they say if they talked to aliens: "Watch out for those hairless primates, they are destroying the rainforests and dumping all their waste in our home (and some of them are trying to kill us), don't let them trash your planet like they are trashing ours"? Just a guess, LOL.



posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 04:20 PM
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Originally posted by wiredamerican
Ants are far more numerous than humans, and more successful as well. They have even been around for millions of years. I think aliens would go to ants before they went to us.


I would think they would go for a species with the capability of (at least basic) sentient thought. Insects aren't known for being very conscious in IMO.

but the video near the end basically just brushes aside the entire ufo field, kind of off-put me though the rest was pretty interesting



posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 05:45 PM
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Originally posted by zetamafia911
but the video near the end basically just brushes aside the entire ufo field, kind of off-put me though the rest was pretty interesting


If you mean the video in the OP, that was only part 5 of 5, there are 4 more parts before that which you can view by opening up the youtube link and looking at the links on the right side for the other parts.

I found most of the show pretty interesting, like the guy who built an array of satellite dishes in his back yard for detecting ET communications. He used a detector made from a coffee can which he says is the perfect size so it's really a shoestring operation but it might work. I get the impression he'd like to be the first guy to discover communications from aliens.


Or the part about the messages we are sending to aliens. If you could send a message to aliens what would you say? I didn't know what I would say, but it was fun to hear what someone else said to them.



posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 05:48 PM
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they shall communicate with the snails.


interesting topic by the way, never thought about it.



posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 05:50 PM
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Ha I was jokingly going to say dolphins before reading any of it



posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 05:56 PM
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When a whale tells me to "eat # and die"
Then ill be impressed.



posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 06:00 PM
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Originally posted by someguy420
Ha I was jokingly going to say dolphins before reading any of it


Hey I'm always impressed with somebody who reads a thread before replying to it! Not everybody does. Way to go!


Yeah he sort of lumps the humans and dolphins together. But I was fascinated by the TV show Seaquest DSV where they came up with a dolphin translator so they could understand what the dolphin was saying. I wonder if we'll really be able to do that someday?



posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 06:05 PM
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Originally posted by superdebz
When a whale tells me to "eat # and die"
Then ill be impressed.

Maybe they have already told us that but we just don't understand them? Or maybe they said "stop flushing your s*** into my home"?

I think some foreign guy may have said that to me once but I didn't even understand him either because he wasn't speaking English. I can only guess that might be what he said because he didn't look too happy




[edit on 16-12-2009 by Arbitrageur]



posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 06:17 PM
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Very interesting,thanks for posting.Bring back some trekkie moments.I thought about it back then when the trek movie released,but disregarded the idea pretty fast due to the fact whales would be hard to abduct





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