A little fun, frightening, and hopefully thought inducing speculative discussion for a Saturday moning...
As it's plain to see, the producers of the new movie "Skyline" are sponsoring some of the forums on ATS. Having considered all the recent commentary
(that's all it can be after all) by the "big thinkers" regarding the possibility of what the intentions of aliens who finally make contact with
humanity might be, this movie hits me right between the eyes (after you see the movie you'll get the pun).
Not long ago the brilliant Stephen Hawking predicted that the likely intentions of any visitors would not be to "save humanity" from itself or,
enlighten us with amazing new technologies, rather, it would be take our resources, all of them, including US.
The basis for this hypothesis, for the most part, is based on human history. When our early explorers came across a new found (to them) civilization
they typically over powered them, enslaved them and stole their gold. In some cases (commercial slavery) they "stole" the people and hauled them back
to their homeland to be sold as slaves to that population.
I don't know about you but I find it a little hard to assign despicable, early human behavior to what would have to be a very technologically advanced
species/race of beings. Humanity has gotten beyond this deplorable behavior (for the most part) because we realized that it is not only "wrong"
(another human construct), it just isn't practical or effective.
Going in a destroying/stealing the resources of new found territories, especially the human resources, leaves you with a one time gain. After your
first haul there is nobody left to continue producing the resource. If you make peace with the new founders you have the opportunity for trade (both
ways) and a continued supply chain for the resources you covet.
A civilization that has advanced to the point of inter stellar travel would have gone through a similar evolution and learning curve if one can assume
that intelligent life on any other planet would probably evolve as it has here on Earth. I know that's a stretch but, we are talking about something
we have absolutely NO data on, so it's just likely as not.
Let's assume the above is correct for the sake of this thread.
Seeing "Skyline" has brought to mind somethings I hadn't considered before when thinking about the plans a "visiting" alien race would have for dear
mother Earth and us lowly humans...
Agreeing that the aliens evolved much like we have (only a lot further technologically), it is logical to think that they would be benevolent and
looking for new galactic friends. Even if you take into account that there could be several different species/races, one would think that war was long
dropped as a total waste of resources and life.
Or would you?
Taking humanity's plight into consideration, what if one of the terrible figures of our history succeeded in taking control of the population? Say,
for example, Joseph Stalin had managed to wipe out the west before he died and the USSR was the dominant super power on the planet the last fifty plus
years AND Stalin's tactic of wiping out any and all dissidents was carried on throughout that entire time.
Through sheer violence and the fear of sheer violence they had managed to get people to focus on nothing but technology, space exploration and
conquest. I know this is a stretch to our human logic because of human nature but, remember, we are talking about "what ifs" here.
So, a few hundred years down the line, say, in 2410, we have mastered travel between the stars and have built great ships to explore and conquer with.
How would that
brand of humanity treat a population that was not up to our technological prowess? I imagine we would bomb them into submission,
take what we wanted and move on.
So that's one possibility of how a species/race could evolve and end up as a space faring, conquering, horde...
In "Skyline" the "visitors" have made no attempt at communication, no demands have been proffered, they just start taking everyone who succumbs to
their bizarre "light". The very premise, while similar to the treatment mankind endured in "War of the Worlds", is a most intriguing one. The first
astonishing thing (to me at least) is they seem to have enough of an understanding about the human body to have developed a means to take over the
fight or flight instinct and, just about every other brain function, via a light beam.
That "light beam" indicates an intricate knowledge of the human physiology. Where would these intrepid conquerers have gained such knowledge? The only
possibility would be through direct study, or, the "visitors" are human/humanoid themselves.
Taking a look at the former, abductions come to mind, looking at the latter, the scenario I spelled out above comes to mind.
I guess the possibility there are life forms out there that need us for food is as likely as any other wild guess about the myriad variations of life
the universe may have nurtured into predominance on planets far away, but, it's so foreign to what our experience has been it's hard to fathom, or is
Technically, WE need "US" for food. That hamburger, salad, or awesome piece of fish you ate yesterday is (or now, was) a carbon based life form. How
big of a stretch is it to imagine some brutal, space faring, humanoid race that has thrown "fine dining" aside, as a waste of productive time, and
opted for the "Soilent Green" approach?
If the above were the case, do you think we'd have any chance? Do you think there would be opportunities for negotiations? Would there be any
dissidents who are repulsed enough by the wholesale gathering of human beings from planet to planet, only to be turned into human peanut butter?
Would there be any intellectuals left in a society like the one I've described above who wonder what their people could learn from their dinner if
only they had avoided slaughtering it?
I have to say that the premise of gathering your food by completely consuming all the resources on every planet is truly not a "best practice" no
matter how advanced your technology is. This leads one to wonder if they are smart enough to have "breeding farms" on board their ship for the
possibly long intervals between finding planets with the resources needed?
While the breeding farms would answer the need for a continued supply of nutrition, they are also a huge liability from a security stand point. I, for
one, would not be happy about producing children to adorn the plates of my captors evening meal.
There's a whole universe out there we know very little or nothing about. The odds are we aren't the only ones living in its vastness, who else is out
there and what do they eat for dinner?
edit on 11-6-2010 by Springer because: clarity