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Cosmologist
2013-Jan-20, 03:37 AM
Years ago I remember a lot of deluded people thought aliens would be friendly if they visited the earth. The so called reasoning behind this bizarre belief is that anyone capable of interstellar travel must be peaceful. This kind of wild preposterous claim is clearly flawed rubbish as it assumes intelligent aliens will have a morality based on human ideals. A morality even humans don't share to any serious degree. Interstellar travel requires a lot of work. That requires intelligence, teamwork and an efficient social structure. Placing the wellbeing of inferior lifeforms like us above their own welfare would be illogical and counter to evolution.

ravens_cry
2013-Jan-20, 04:31 AM
Well, maybe, but given past human first encounters, I'd say the evidence, as slim as it is, points toward a rather less than pleasant possibility.

neilzero
2013-Jan-20, 04:36 AM
I would expect ET to be nuetral = looking out for the best interest of himself and his kind. That could be bad for humans, possibly very bad, and of course unintended harm to humans could occur, even if the ET made considerable effort to be helpful. We really have no way of knowing even after we have met a few ET from various cultures, if we ever meet any ET. Neil

Ronald Brak
2013-Jan-20, 04:54 AM
I wonder how many opportunities to mate writing this online comment will bring me? Obviously, I wouldn't bother to do it otherwise as it would be counter to evolution.

Elukka
2013-Jan-20, 05:03 AM
There's no reason for them to be hostile. Whether they're outright friendly would depend on the particular aliens, I imagine. It's quite possible they're different enough that 'friendly' or 'hostile' aren't even concepts to them. I think there's more reason to believe they might be friendly than that they might be hostile, and that's not because of utopistic ideas that interstellar flight requires you to be a saint before you can do it. It's just that we have nothing special they could take from us so if they dislike us or don't care about us there's no reason for them to make contact.

ravens_cry
2013-Jan-20, 06:06 AM
Well, if they consider us vermin, it doesn't mater if they are hostile or not, we are still rather screwed.
Maybe they are so different that they don't even notice us, but their actions are an utter devastation to our environment.
There is a lot of Bad Things that can happen even if they aren't hostile per sae.

Paul Beardsley
2013-Jan-20, 11:04 AM
There's no reason for them to be hostile. Whether they're outright friendly would depend on the particular aliens, I imagine. It's quite possible they're different enough that 'friendly' or 'hostile' aren't even concepts to them. I think there's more reason to believe they might be friendly than that they might be hostile, and that's not because of utopistic ideas that interstellar flight requires you to be a saint before you can do it. It's just that we have nothing special they could take from us so if they dislike us or don't care about us there's no reason for them to make contact.

I completely agree with this.

They're not going to enslave the human race in order to steal our gold because it doesn't make business sense. They're not going to remove the Earth's core and replace it with an engine because that doesn't make any sense. They're unlikely to want to eat us or forcibly mate with us - I'm no biologist, but I gather it doesn't make biological sense. They're not going to drive a hyperspatial bypass through us. And so on.

Sure, aliens might be fascist bullyboys who want to blow up planets for no reason. Or they might be enlightened, spiritual beings who want us to explain to them the purpose of this "war" thing that we are apparently so fond of. But I think the truth will be far outside the limited visions of TV SF.

Interesting to note the aggressive language of the OP, happily avoided in the replies. There's nothing wrong with speculating about things for which there is no evidence, but when anything goes, there is no room for dogma.

Ilya
2013-Jan-20, 02:55 PM
There's no reason for them to be hostile. Whether they're outright friendly would depend on the particular aliens, I imagine. It's quite possible they're different enough that 'friendly' or 'hostile' aren't even concepts to them.
Or are concepts which mean something very different.

"I am forgetting my manners, my new friend! It is way past time to swap our heads."

R.A.F.
2013-Jan-20, 02:55 PM
They're not going to enslave the human race in order to steal our gold because it doesn't make business sense. They're not going to remove the Earth's core and replace it with an engine because that doesn't make any sense. They're unlikely to want to eat us or forcibly mate with us - I'm no biologist, but I gather it doesn't make biological sense. They're not going to drive a hyperspatial bypass through us. And so on.

"They are coming to take our water" is my "favorite" as it completely ignores how difficult it would be to enter our gravity well, "fill up buckets" with water, and then drag that water up out of our gravity well.

"Costly" doesn't even begin to discribe it.

R.A.F.
2013-Jan-20, 03:12 PM
Years ago I remember a lot of deluded people thought aliens would be friendly if they visited the earth. The so called reasoning behind this bizarre belief is that anyone capable of interstellar travel must be peaceful.

Well, if we're talking "years ago", George Adamski's "blond nordic type" aliens only had to "travel" from Venus, so right there your reasoning hits a "snag".



This kind of wild preposterous claim is clearly flawed rubbish as it assumes...

Seems to me that you are doing exactly the same thing, just from the opposite "side" of the argument.

Solfe
2013-Jan-20, 03:59 PM
I would think aliens would be neutral to friendly, if they had no intention of staying here. We could find ourselves negating for water rights... to a comet. Who wants water that Earthings have pee'ed in? If they are moving on, they may have a desire to trade for some tribal art like drawings, vacuum tubes, an iPad and a couple of nukes. It is easier to get those things by asking "what is important to you?" rather than bombing a planet to the stone age and then picking over the rubble.

The more neutral side would be aliens "stealing" stuff like some hydrocarbons from Titan, observing our transmissions and a Pioneer craft. Those things might be enough for the more curious who do not want a protracted involvement. If they merely valued information, they could just buzz the planet a few times and demand an uplink of some sort. No bombing required, but the threat would be there. Exactly how would we stop them if we only had a window of a year to get up and protect our rights against the perceived possibility of being bombed?

For hostile invading aliens, toting weapons across the galaxy is slightly impractical. They may bring a couple of sidearms, but actually build the big guns here. Again, with only a year to set up defenses, what would we do?

Aliens might be a crap shoot; they are alien after all. What if they require an invitation to land like space vampires, or they have a rule against foreign entanglements or a religion that precludes contact with the impure. They could be completely unaware of our presence, like us and microbes or they are required not to initiate contact with those who are not immortal or light purple in color. What if we can't pass the alien equivalent of the mirror test and they do not believe we are intelligent and sentient and therefore don't merit any contact at all. In all the scenarios where we aren't acknowledged at all, there is the danger of pest control. EDIT - Pest control isn't hostile, it is a public service.

JustAFriend
2013-Jan-20, 04:23 PM
My philosophy is that pretty much everything follows a bell-shaped curve.
So there be Klingons out there as well as friends.

Either way it's a roll of statistical dice so you just gotta hope you don't run into Kzinti that'll find you delicious...

ravens_cry
2013-Jan-20, 04:46 PM
"They are coming to take our water" is my "favorite" as it completely ignores how difficult it would be to enter our gravity well, "fill up buckets" with water, and then drag that water up out of our gravity well.

"Costly" doesn't even begin to discribe it.
An interesting update of that hoary old idea might be the aliens stealing not Earth's water, but taking the natural resources of the rest of the solar system, strip mining asteroids and harvesting comets, leaving Earth as a kind of nature preserve.

galacsi
2013-Jan-20, 04:47 PM
My philosophy is that pretty much everything follows a bell-shaped curve.
So there be Klingons out there as well as friends.

Either way it's a roll of statistical dice so you just gotta hope you don't run into Kzinti that'll find you delicious...

I did love these Kzin stories from Larry Niven when I discovered them in a previous century , but now I cannot open one of these books and close it immediatly ; they are too much childish for my taste.

About the OP I think all the answers above has been right , both in tone and content.

R.A.F.
2013-Jan-20, 04:58 PM
An interesting update of that hoary old idea might be the aliens stealing not Earth's water, but taking the natural resources of the rest of the solar system, strip mining asteroids and harvesting comets, leaving Earth as a kind of nature preserve.

It certainly makes more "sense" to mine asteroids, and harvest comets. All you have to do is match velocities, and collect whatever resource you want.

ravens_cry
2013-Jan-20, 05:31 PM
It certainly makes more "sense" to mine asteroids, and harvest comets. All you have to do is match velocities, and collect whatever resource you want.

Exactly, and still devastating to our prospects as a spacefaring species.

trinitree88
2013-Jan-20, 05:31 PM
[QUOTE=Solfe;2099811]....[SNIPPET.] Who wants water that Earthings have pee'ed in? [SNIPPET].

Solfe. I do. So does everybody else on Earth. The idea that water molecules on Earth are "purer" in high mountain springs has some merit in that rain water evaporated from the oceans contains little solids and few gases.....but the oceans it left were filled with animal urines. As soon as it gets to lower altitudes, where life is more abundant, the leaching of ambient soils soon begins the buildup of 'pee" and other contaminants.
Your local water supply is chlorinated to kill bacteria, but is usually populated by fish, frogs and other aquatics....and has small traces of pee. The pH adjustments are usually lime (CaO).. to bring the pH to neutral, and sand filters remove large particulates...not viruses, or urea, or uric acid, though they will degrade slowly, chemically.
The appalling expense of bottled water in the US is one of the biggest hoaxes in history...most tap waters in the US are equally good, for little is done to supervise or regulate the "spring" sources, to see that indeed nothing but water molecules are in there, or that bis-Phenol A...an endocrine disrupter.. is not leaching from the plastic of the bottle into the "spring water". Money would be better spent elsewhere in the world, on almost any other thing.
Now if you triple distill the water in a lab, with a glass and stainless steel still....you've got pretty pure water, but few people buy that.

And, as hydrogen is #1 in universal abundance, and oxygen is #3....water is ubiquitous. What would make Earth an interesting alien target is our biodiversity............................pete

TooMany
2013-Jan-20, 05:36 PM
Years ago I remember a lot of deluded people thought aliens would be friendly if they visited the earth. The so called reasoning behind this bizarre belief is that anyone capable of interstellar travel must be peaceful. This kind of wild preposterous claim is clearly flawed rubbish as it assumes intelligent aliens will have a morality based on human ideals. A morality even humans don't share to any serious degree. Interstellar travel requires a lot of work. That requires intelligence, teamwork and an efficient social structure. Placing the wellbeing of inferior lifeforms like us above their own welfare would be illogical and counter to evolution.

Perhaps what is delusional is the idea that they would be hostile and want something from us. Why would they? With interstellar technology, they can reach plenty of earth-like planets that do not have intelligent life. (But what would they want with the planet anyway, beyond studying it?)

It's not clearly flawed rubbish at all. Perhaps you haven't given it much careful thought. Such aliens lack no resources that we can provide. Hostility has no purpose. This is very different from Spanish Conquistadors who came to the new world to find gold. They did and they stole it. They also imposed their religion and culture on the natives. What purpose would this serve aliens who can stop by an asteroid and take whatever resources they need?

There is good evidence that hostile interstellar aliens do not exist. We are still here and have not be attacked. If some alien civilization has a several million year head start on us, they may well have already dominated the galaxy in the sense of being aware of what's going on in all systems and protecting themselves from potential threats.

Evolution in the sense of competition for resources has an end. At some point the technology makes the resources so easily available that there is no problem. Hostility itself is a legacy of our evolutionary foundation. It is a big problem in our world and it must be solved or we may not survive.

In order to keep the sort of competitive evolution that we have on earth going in a super advanced civilization, you would have to assume that they are stuck on the idea of consuming all available resources by expanded their population to profoundly ridiculous numbers. I doubt that would actually happen. What purpose would an enormous population serve?

We, on the other hand, still reproduce with little control and will shortly encounter some significant resource issues with continued expansion of the human population. If we don't end up back in the dark ages, maybe we will learn to control our population to a more comfortable level.

It's hard for us to know what the motivations of such an advanced civilization would be, but the assumption that they remain the kind of arguing brutes that we are doesn't really make sense. The path of civilization is toward unity and peace. We have not arrived at that point on earth. However locally we have. States in the US for example don't declare war on one another or invade one another anymore.

We constitute no threat to an advanced civilization, so why would they show hostility toward us? Arguably, to become so advanced, they must transcend their hostile evolutionary heritage.

TooMany
2013-Jan-20, 05:45 PM
The appalling expense of bottled water in the US is one of the biggest hoaxes in history...most tap waters in the US are equally good...

You don't mind the taste of chlorine? I find it pretty offensive. I also have softened water which has a higher salt content. Hence, under the sink I have a reverse-osmosis system and the drinking water tastes great.

Solfe
2013-Jan-20, 06:14 PM
[QUOTE=Solfe;2099811]....[SNIPPET.] Who wants water that Earthings have pee'ed in? [SNIPPET].

Solfe. I do. So does everybody else on Earth. The idea that water molecules on Earth are "purer" in high mountain springs has some merit in that rain water evaporated from the oceans contains little solids and few gases.....but the oceans it left were filled with animal urines. As soon as it gets to lower altitudes, where life is more abundant, the leaching of ambient soils soon begins the buildup of 'pee" and other contaminants.
Your local water supply is chlorinated to kill bacteria, but is usually populated by fish, frogs and other aquatics....and has small traces of pee. The pH adjustments are usually lime (CaO).. to bring the pH to neutral, and sand filters remove large particulates...not viruses, or urea, or uric acid, though they will degrade slowly, chemically.
The appalling expense of bottled water in the US is one of the biggest hoaxes in history...most tap waters in the US are equally good, for little is done to supervise or regulate the "spring" sources, to see that indeed nothing but water molecules are in there, or that bis-Phenol A...an endocrine disrupter.. is not leaching from the plastic of the bottle into the "spring water". Money would be better spent elsewhere in the world, on almost any other thing.
Now if you triple distill the water in a lab, with a glass and stainless steel still....you've got pretty pure water, but few people buy that.

And, as hydrogen is #1 in universal abundance, and oxygen is #3....water is ubiquitous. What would make Earth an interesting alien target is our biodiversity............................pete

If you were living off of recycled water for an interstellar journey, I would imagine that water from a comet would be more attractive; there is no known biological junk to mess up your recycling system. It isn't so much that the water from Earth is "dirty", it is more the concept that the water from Earth is too "diverse". A comet can be tested to a higher level of confidence, because nothing is using the water for any reason.

You wouldn't want to test water from earth and find a microbe or something, then later find out the microbe enjoys the pipeworks in your ship or dies and causes some other chemical to be released. Simple dust with unknown properties could be an issue. You could isolate the water and process it, but you still run the risk of contamination.

As far as Biodiversity goes, that might be a reason to hang out and visit for a while. But that diversity may cause some paranoia as the value of study declines due to cross-contamination. It isn't so much wiping each other out as simply being annoyed by having to vet and re-vet results because you keep finding your local stuff mixed into the samples.

Romanus
2013-Jan-20, 06:17 PM
Thank goodness for Alexander, Pizarro, and Genghis Khan, or else we'd never know what extraterrestrials will be like.

Solfe
2013-Jan-20, 06:43 PM
I think Bjork is some sort of alien. And Sting has that song...

cjameshuff
2013-Jan-20, 06:56 PM
Any civilization that can successfully bridge the gap between stars will not necessarily be peaceful, but will have reasonable competency in evaluating costs and benefits of various options. Conducting hostile actions across interstellar distances have little or no benefits, while the costs are likely to be enormous, even without considering the risk of retaliation. In contrast, the benefits of cooperative locals are potentially huge and the costs of cooperation are likely to be insignificant.

As for evolution, we are talking specifically about social aliens, as others would not have built a technological civilization. Societies evolve largely by assimilating ideas and members of surrounding societies, and successful societies will make members that integrate well with that society more reproductively successful. A society that does nothing but war against its neighbors, whose members are genetically incapable of tolerating outsiders, is unlikely to thrive and become dominant. So no, it is not "against evolution" to cooperate with another species...in fact, cooperative relationships actually evolve fairly often, particularly when the environment is stable and resources are plentiful.

iquestor
2013-Jan-20, 07:30 PM
Years ago I remember a lot of deluded people thought aliens would be friendly if they visited the earth. The so called reasoning behind this bizarre belief is that anyone capable of interstellar travel must be peaceful. This kind of wild preposterous claim is clearly flawed rubbish as it assumes intelligent aliens will have a morality based on human ideals. A morality even humans don't share to any serious degree. Interstellar travel requires a lot of work. That requires intelligence, teamwork and an efficient social structure. Placing the wellbeing of inferior lifeforms like us above their own welfare would be illogical and counter to evolution.

The OP is certainly very strongly biased, see bolded comments. It reminds me of some FAQs I saw somewhere explaining the position of some organization, where their answers invariably began with some variation of "Fools often say"...

Fact is we cannot say if aliens exist, let alone if they have interstellar travel. If they do, it may not be a big deal, or it may be something that requires incredible feats of engineering and sacrifice.

If they do show up here deliberately, there is likely some motivation for the visit. I think that motivation would more likely advance their own agenda and not just be for our benefit or doom in and of itself. it may be bad for us, or it may be good, but whatever the outcome, the effect on us will likely be a side effect of their intention, and not the reason for the visit.

We cant know right now and wont until they show up, if they show up.

publiusr
2013-Jan-20, 08:08 PM
Assuming they have similar emotions and aren't just robots, my guess is that they would have to be friendly, being far from home. Iron law of logistics states that as you move into enemy territory, the farther you are from your resources and the closer the enemy is to his. Only the allied powers in WWII were able to achieve decisive force projection.
I'm thinking a RAMA ark ship most likely for anything living. A single nuke would be a threat to that.

swampyankee
2013-Jan-20, 08:36 PM
Would ET be actively hostile? No more reason to do that than for them to be actively friendly. I tend to think that the most likely, unless they're intentionally trying to contact planet-bound species, is completely ignoring us.

Which may be more harmful to our collective ego than bright yellow spaceships hanging above our cities in exactly the same way bricks don't.

ASTRO BOY
2013-Jan-20, 09:50 PM
Years ago I remember a lot of deluded people thought aliens would be friendly if they visited the earth. The so called reasoning behind this bizarre belief is that anyone capable of interstellar travel must be peaceful. This kind of wild preposterous claim is clearly flawed rubbish as it assumes intelligent aliens will have a morality based on human ideals. A morality even humans don't share to any serious degree. Interstellar travel requires a lot of work. That requires intelligence, teamwork and an efficient social structure. Placing the wellbeing of inferior lifeforms like us above their own welfare would be illogical and counter to evolution.



I also believe intelligent Aliens, far in advanced of us will be friendly with a nice disposition, and I'm neither deluded nor do I believe the Idea to be preposterous.
Here on Earth we have had a ups and downs, gone through the dark ages and then the renaissance but I'm fairly sure, looking at the large scale picture, we are not as war like or blood thirsty as we were in the dark ages.
I subsequently believe that any vastly superior intelligence, may find us interesting or just plain boring, but I don't believe they would be here to covet whatever wealth the Earth has.

They would probably want for nothing and be able to produce and mine what they will.
No, with apologies to Stephen Hawking who I regard very highly, I believe vastly superior intelligent Aliens would be our mates.

cjameshuff
2013-Jan-20, 11:13 PM
They might not be friendly, they might be disgusted or creeped out, or dislike us intensely, or be terrified of us or be something other than friendly in some unanticipatably alien way. But I think the odds are heavily in favor of them being more interested in cooperation than aggression.

Paul Wally
2013-Jan-21, 12:34 AM
They might not be friendly, they might be disgusted or creeped out, or dislike us intensely, or be terrified of us or be something other than friendly in some unanticipatably alien way. But I think the odds are heavily in favor of them being more interested in cooperation than aggression.

I thinking cooperation might actually be the better strategy. For example, if inter-stellar travel is as difficult as it appears to be aren't there ways to make it easier through cooperation. If that is true then doesn't that mean that advanced inter-stellar aliens are more likely to be cooperative than hostile?

Hornblower
2013-Jan-21, 12:39 AM
My brother once offered a line of thought that any civilization that can master the challenge of harnessing enough energy to achieve an interstellar voyage, without blowing themselves to kingdom come in the meantime, could reasonably be expected to be peaceful and nonagressive by nature. I would not blow off such a thought as being delusional.

TooMany
2013-Jan-21, 12:49 AM
They might not be friendly, they might be disgusted or creeped out, or dislike us intensely, or be terrified of us or be something other than friendly in some unanticipatably alien way. But I think the odds are heavily in favor of them being more interested in cooperation than aggression.

Like us cooperating with Chimpanzees (e.g. alien Jane Goodall might pay us a visit). If they are ever interested in contacting us, it probably won't be until we are more mature. In the meantime, it's quite possible that we are monitored, but present so little threat that we can be ignored for a while.

Cosmologist
2013-Jan-24, 01:07 AM
Any civilization that can successfully bridge the gap between stars will not necessarily be peaceful, but will have reasonable competency in evaluating costs and benefits of various options. Conducting hostile actions across interstellar distances have little or no benefits, while the costs are likely to be enormous, even without considering the risk of retaliation. In contrast, the benefits of cooperative locals are potentially huge and the costs of cooperation are likely to be insignificant.

A new world for the empire is no benefit? Costs? The objective isn't to wipe out humanity. Its colonisation. They will simply take over. Like turning indonesian jungle into palm oil plantations. Nothing personal against the Orangutangs. Its simply survival of the fittest.


As for evolution, we are talking specifically about social aliens, as others would not have built a technological civilization. Societies evolve largely by assimilating ideas and members of surrounding societies, and successful societies will make members that integrate well with that society more reproductively successful. A society that does nothing but war against its neighbors, whose members are genetically incapable of tolerating outsiders, is unlikely to thrive and become dominant. So no, it is not "against evolution" to cooperate with another species...in fact, cooperative relationships actually evolve fairly often, particularly when the environment is stable and resources are plentiful.

Only if they considered us equals. Militarily we would be pathetically beneath them. Intellectually too most likely. Cooperation is only implemented after the stronger culture has suppressed the inferior one. Ants and mites. Romans and germans. Spanish and Mayans. Peace only follows after war. To open up a new niche in our world(assuming thats all they want) means evicting who is already there. With no predators aliens would take over our world. Not share it.


Perhaps what is delusional is the idea that they would be hostile and want something from us. Why would they? With interstellar technology, they can reach plenty of earth-like planets that do not have intelligent life. (But what would they want with the planet anyway, beyond studying it?)

So you think most alien races will follow star treks prime directive? If Star trek isn't utopian then I don't know what is. If aliens reached earth I seriously doubt they would ignore it as a potential colony and move a hundred light years further because primitive apes are infesting the place.


It's not clearly flawed rubbish at all. Perhaps you haven't given it much careful thought. Such aliens lack no resources that we can provide. Hostility has no purpose. This is very different from Spanish Conquistadors who came to the new world to find gold. They did and they stole it. They also imposed their religion and culture on the natives. What purpose would this serve aliens who can stop by an asteroid and take whatever resources they need?

Earth like planets number in the billions but not all of them are suitable for colonisation. If aliens arrive on earth you can assume that it is suitable.


There is good evidence that hostile interstellar aliens do not exist. We are still here and have not be attacked. If some alien civilization has a several million year head start on us, they may well have already dominated the galaxy in the sense of being aware of what's going on in all systems and protecting themselves from potential threats.

LOL. Galaxy wide? Communications would be sluggish. Isn't that what happened in Prometheus. They protected themselves by developing bioweapons to launch against us. These are advanced aliens that are related to us and look like us. Like Star trek its just scifi. Aliens will look nothing like us. They will be repulsed by us.


Evolution in the sense of competition for resources has an end. At some point the technology makes the resources so easily available that there is no problem.

Until the resources run out. Then you move on. Even recycling has its limits. Populations grow. If you outlaw breeding people will defy the law. Even form up armies and revolt. Societies constantly change. Look at Easter Island. That was like a spaceship. Then a crazy new religion sucked up all the resources and the people died out.


Hostility itself is a legacy of our evolutionary foundation. It is a big problem in our world and it must be solved or we may not survive.

The universe is a jungle. The meek will not inherit the earth. Thats just a supernatural myth. How do you plan to "solve" human nature? Ever see Demolition Man? A major criminal wakes up from suspended animation to find a world full of weak cowardly spineless humans and he just takes over. Cool flick. We need aggressive tendencies if we want a future in this wild unknown universe. We have no idea what monsters are out there.


In order to keep the sort of competitive evolution that we have on earth going in a super advanced civilization, you would have to assume that they are stuck on the idea of consuming all available resources by expanded their population to profoundly ridiculous numbers. I doubt that would actually happen. What purpose would an enormous population serve?

Have you checked out the human population and growth rate in the last century?


We, on the other hand, still reproduce with little control and will shortly encounter some significant resource issues with continued expansion of the human population. If we don't end up back in the dark ages, maybe we will learn to control our population to a more comfortable level.

Lack of food forces controls. When we reach space the human race will really expand. You haven't seen anything yet. We haven't even reached our first trillion. Like fleas on a dog we will keep multiplying until we use up all the resources available. Then we'll migrate to other stars.


It's hard for us to know what the motivations of such an advanced civilization would be, but the assumption that they remain the kind of arguing brutes that we are doesn't really make sense. The path of civilization is toward unity and peace. We have not arrived at that point on earth. However locally we have. States in the US for example don't declare war on one another or invade one another anymore.

It doesn't make sense that they would act as angelic humans. We aren't talking about different states. We are tyalking about different species. Symbiotic relationships take centuries to evolve. Testing each others limits through war is normally the initial reaction. Spain and mexico do trade with each other now but they were the same species to start with.


We constitute no threat to an advanced civilization, so why would they show hostility toward us? Arguably, to become so advanced, they must transcend their hostile evolutionary heritage.

Why do humans drive over animals on the roads. Why do we dam up rivers and kill fish. Why do we give lethal viruses to chimps. Because we can. There is no serious opposition. They are just animals.

ASTRO BOY
2013-Jan-24, 01:48 AM
Why do humans drive over animals on the roads. Why do we dam up rivers and kill fish. Why do we give lethal viruses to chimps. Because we can. There is no serious opposition. They are just animals.

Because any civilisation capable of interstellar travel would be far in advance of us, and I believe aggressive and bullying behaviour will gradually be purged as intelligence and technology grows, just as we humans have, and are still growing less aggressive as time goes on....A long way to go yet but we in general, we certainly have left the dark ages and the cruelty it entailed way behind in all but a few minor exceptions.

Also of course a species far in advance of us would logically have made use of the near infinite supplies of whatever they need from the Universe itself, without resorting to conquering or destroying another species.
We/us in general have seen the folly of our ways and are now acting in many cases to preserve flora and fauna that we may have been responsible for putting on the near extinction list.

And as far as driving over animals, I never have purposely and will always try and avoid if I can do it safely.
That's my view and I'm certain it is closer to reality then the aggressive Aliens hypothesis.
Apologies of course to Stephen Hawking.

Solfe
2013-Jan-24, 01:48 AM
Only if they considered us equals. Militarily we would be pathetically beneath them. Intellectually too most likely. Cooperation is only implemented after the stronger culture has suppressed the inferior one. Ants and mites. Romans and germans. Spanish and Mayans. Peace only follows after war. To open up a new niche in our world(assuming thats all they want) means evicting who is already there. With no predators aliens would take over our world. Not share it.

I hate the point this out but the Spanish had to "go native" with the Aztecs (not Mayans) and adopt their methods for dealing with the local environment. It wasn't just a fight, it was a plague, plus extortion, plus fighting, plus insurrection, plus pillaging, plus kidnapping. Pretty much hell on Earth.

The Romans only had control of Germania for a decade or two then retreated after a humiliating defeat. It was all downhill from there.

In the case of invasion, "More Dakka" doesn't work. We already have enough nukes to wreck the planet. Aliens threatening us with magic space bombs does not equal pacification. That would result in nothing worth invading. The aliens would have to be more subtle than that. By necessity, that would be less powerful weaponry, applied in what we would consider to be a very unconventional approach.

Elukka
2013-Jan-24, 01:49 AM
It seems exceedingly unlikely an alien species would come from a planet exactly like Earth and our biospheres happen to match enough that they could live here. To them, chances are Earth's environment will be inconvenient at the very best, outright fatal at worst. Also, if they're flying around the stars they are extremely well versed in living in space habitats. They might not even have any need for planets but even if they do I think it's pretty safe to say they have no need for our planet.

As for our resources, nobody is talking about some prime directive. It makes no practical sense for an alien civilization to conquer Earth for its resources. The Earth isn't some sort of wondrous treasure trove, there are literally billions of other places, many no doubt richer in resources than our solar system and as a bonus they have no troublesome monkeys. We quite simply have nothing of practical use that they could take from us.

ThriveDev
2013-Jan-25, 02:56 PM
In my opinion, out here will be and evil and good.
As example alien race with same tech level as us, there would be 50% chaces to they be neutral, as they aren't ultrapowerful, and we would be both be powerful same.
But if we would have guns, and aliens would have nuclear weaponary and plasma rifles, then there is more chances to the attack us, beacuse of:
-Territoriality
-ressource need
-and etc.
But if they are more friendly, they would trade ressource if needed, and if need teritory, live together with us.
Then small, tribal alien races would possibly thin us we are some type of god, beacuse of all technology we have.
Alien civilisations smaller than use would fear possibly, and don't try to attack us.

cjameshuff
2013-Jan-25, 08:28 PM
A new world for the empire is no benefit? Costs? The objective isn't to wipe out humanity. Its colonisation. They will simply take over. Like turning indonesian jungle into palm oil plantations. Nothing personal against the Orangutangs. Its simply survival of the fittest.

Except we are likely to object, and we will have access to far more energy and material resources than any invaders, and an extremely advantageous position over spacecraft decelerating into the system. Conquest without destruction will be an extremely expensive and risky endeavor. If they screw it up, we may well retaliate, and we will likely be more interested in defense than in conquest...and it's a lot easier to throw a bunch of near-relativistic projectiles at a planet in another system than it is to send an invasion force, and a lot harder to defend against such an attack.



Only if they considered us equals. Militarily we would be pathetically beneath them.

On equal ground with equivalent forces this may be so. In this situation, the invaders are vastly outnumbered, cut off from any resupply, and the terrain grants an enormous advantage to the defender.



Intellectually too most likely. Cooperation is only implemented after the stronger culture has suppressed the inferior one. Ants and mites. Romans and germans. Spanish and Mayans. Peace only follows after war. To open up a new niche in our world(assuming thats all they want) means evicting who is already there. With no predators aliens would take over our world. Not share it.

Just plain wrong. Distant civilizations have often traded without ever coming into conflict, due to the difficulty and cost of conflict relative to its small benefits. You paint an extremely simplistic and limited view of the world, one that is not supported by facts.

Cosmologist
2013-Jan-26, 12:11 AM
Because any civilisation capable of interstellar travel would be far in advance of us, and I believe aggressive and bullying behaviour will gradually be purged as intelligence and technology grows, just as we humans have, and are still growing less aggressive as time goes on....A long way to go yet but we in general, we certainly have left the dark ages and the cruelty it entailed way behind in all but a few minor exceptions.

You believe aggressive and bullying behaviour will gradually be purged as intelligence and technology grows? The evidence says otherwise. Its in our DNA. Take away the security of western living and we become fierce. Look at the rest of the world. In Africa children are kidnapped and turned into soldiers. In New Guinea tribes still hack each other to death with machete. Even in the so called civilised Americas you have homeless children being gunned down in the street. In the USA you have the highest gun death rate in the world. You can believe what you want but the truth is we are programmed to kill. Take way the veneer of civilisation and we revert to our true selves.




Except we are likely to object,

The aztecs(not mayans) objected. The australian aborigine objected. The american indians objected. Big deal. Didn't stop the inevitable did it.


and we will have access to far more energy and material resources than any invaders, and an extremely advantageous position over spacecraft decelerating into the system.

They have the high ground. All they have to do is manufacture a virus to wipe us out. Easily completed and dropped into our atmosphere before we even know they are here. We are still discovering moons around the gas giants. Fleets of heavily armed colony ships would be invisible to us. Especially as they would be trying to remain concealed.


Conquest without destruction will be an extremely expensive and risky endeavor. If they screw it up, we may well retaliate, and we will likely be more interested in defense than in conquest...and it's a lot easier to throw a bunch of near-relativistic projectiles at a planet in another system than it is to send an invasion force, and a lot harder to defend against such an attack.

This isn't a trench war. They only have to use our own biology against us. How about a nice aerial ebolapox? That would decimate a few billion. Then maybe a few other nasties to finish off the survivors. Something that spreads to the ecosystem and infects our food would remove the ape problem.


On equal ground with equivalent forces this may be so. In this situation, the invaders are vastly outnumbered, cut off from any resupply, and the terrain grants an enormous advantage to the defender.

As others have said the earth is not the only resource rich place in the solar system. I would expect a constant stream of ships to arrive anyway. Should lessen the population pressure marginally wherever they came from. We assembly line cars. Why is it so hard to imagine aliens assembly lining starships? All they need is suspended animation and ships that can reach solar system escape velocity. Ships could continue arriving for centuries.



Just plain wrong. Distant civilizations have often traded without ever coming into conflict, due to the difficulty and cost of conflict relative to its small benefits. You paint an extremely simplistic and limited view of the world, one that is not supported by facts.

I'm not just talking about the world but the Milky Way. WW2 was the largest war we ever had. Germanys main goal was to turn Russian land into German territory. There was no plan to keep the Russians around. Interstellar invasions will be much bigger than WW2.

Selfsim
2013-Jan-26, 12:46 AM
You believe aggressive and bullying behaviour will gradually be purged as intelligence and technology grows? The evidence says otherwise. Its in our DNA ...Can you show us where that particular part is, in our DNA?

What is the evidence that our intelligence grows over time? Is this true?

Solfe
2013-Jan-26, 12:51 AM
You believe aggressive and bullying behaviour will gradually be purged as intelligence and technology grows?

Nope.


The aztecs(not mayans) objected.

They didn't at first, and by the time they realized what was happening, it was too late. They almost bagged a lot of their Spanish enemies because the Spanish were so brazen. The conquistadors had to run (swim actually) and hide to escape one foolish encounter at the capital.


They have the high ground. All they have to do is manufacture a virus to wipe us out. Easily completed and dropped into our atmosphere before we even know they are here. We are still discovering moons around the gas giants. Fleets of heavily armed colony ships would be invisible to us. Especially as they would be trying to remain concealed.

This isn't a trench war. They only have to use our own biology against us. How about a nice aerial ebolapox? That would decimate a few billion. Then maybe a few other nasties to finish off the survivors. Something that spreads to the ecosystem and infects our food would remove the ape problem.

How would they remain undetected while breaking to slow down? A lot of ships would make a lot of signals, from the exhaust of the ship, from the coordination efforts. If they had warp technology, that would freak out sky surveys.

How would they design a bio-weapon without coming down to see what biology we have? Assuming they could, if the plague is too fast it won't spread and if it is too slow, it won't be effective. Additionally, what would prevent someone down here from going all Tzu Sun and nuking the infected areas? It makes sense to stop an outbreak, to destroy an earthly foe and force an alien conflict on someone else's home ground. Evil, but Win-Win-Win.

As for sitting in or passing through LEO, there is so much stuff in orbit, it is highly probable that someone may decide to burn some satellites as impactors on the ships coming down. One, it could work and two, if it doesn't it could create more debris to prevent more ships from coming down. Add in a few nukes and you have a very effective shield of orbital debris.

Moving on from there, most naval ships have missiles that can reach space with a special tracking warhead. If you were willing to carpet bomb low orbit, you can skip the tracking warhead. Add in antimissile systems and you have a huge amount of stuff going up to clutter the approach. It wouldn't be especially effective, but sometimes it is better to be lucky than good.

Other improvised attacks could be meteorological and astronomical lasers to blind sensors. Annoying and double so, because it may divert the enemy from attacking other things.

I wonder if you turned all of the world's radars on a spaceship, could you kill the inhabitants with heat? I would certainly try. At the worse, it merely provides another level of annoyance that needs to be destroyed.

swampyankee
2013-Jan-26, 12:59 AM
OK. There is a range of possibilities, from "they're friendly, want to trade, and give us the wonders of the heavens" to "they think that carbon-based life forms have negative worth and should be exterminated." Neither extreme is likely. At one extreme, the travelers may be run by the equivalent of Captain Cook, and they'll come and visit, and those at the other extreme may be run by the equivalent of Hernando Soto, and they'll conquer Earth. I think the most likely, though, is that they'll be run by the equivalent of 15th Century fishermen on the Grand Banks, Arctic sealers, or Antarctic whalers, who wouldn't care about the indigenes, as they have no control of any of the resources the ETs find interesting. In this scenario, ET visits the Solar System, but never gets closer than the Kuiper Belt. We'd not notice they were there unless they did something on the order of disassembling Pluto.

On the extremes, I view the "Captain Cook" to be more likely than the conquistadores, as the latter were frequently running on the ragged edge of criminality within the social and political milieu of their time.

chrlzs
2013-Jan-26, 01:03 AM
..a lot of deluded people..
..so called reasoning..
..bizarre belief..
..wild preposterous claim..
..flawed rubbish..

???
Well, I think it ... so I must have deludedly used my so-called reasoning while having bizarre beliefs of wild preposterous claims that are merely flawed rubbish..

Actually, I should clarify a little .. for me:
1. What is the point of making wild guesses about completely speculative things that are thus far unencountered and for which no evidence yet exists? The most intelligent races out there within striking distance may well be algae or mould, if that...
2. Where is the logic in assuming *any* human characteristics apply to an alien race (if said race exists, let alone bothers to visit?)
3. Given a race that manages to visit is very likely to be way in advance of our technology level (given their interstellar travel abilities an all), what is the point worrying about them being nasty? - they probably have pets with lasers strapped to their heads that could vaporise us in an instant...

My redonculous attitude is of course based on all the facts we have to hand relating to this subject. (namely watching sci-fi (& Austin Powers) movies..)

cjameshuff
2013-Jan-26, 01:27 AM
You believe aggressive and bullying behaviour will gradually be purged as intelligence and technology grows? The evidence says otherwise. Its in our DNA. Take away the security of western living and we become fierce. Look at the rest of the world. In Africa children are kidnapped and turned into soldiers. In New Guinea tribes still hack each other to death with machete. Even in the so called civilised Americas you have homeless children being gunned down in the street. In the USA you have the highest gun death rate in the world. You can believe what you want but the truth is we are programmed to kill. Take way the veneer of civilisation and we revert to our true selves.

Actually, humans are some of the least violent animals. Other animals regularly begin solving their problems with violence the first season they're sexually mature or decide to stake out a territory, with confrontations regularly ending in death. Most humans go their whole lives without a single violent confrontation, despite living longer than most animals, and death is rare. In 2004, the estimated number of intentional homicides per 100000 people was just 7.6. One of the problems that has to be overcome while training soldiers is getting them to reliably cause harm to another human, something that most people actually have a strong aversion to. Extreme social behavior and tolerance of other humans is one of our major adaptations. We even place restrictions on ourselves preventing mistreatment of other species.



The aztecs(not mayans) objected. The australian aborigine objected. The american indians objected. Big deal. Didn't stop the inevitable did it.

In numerous cases, they actually objected successfully, wiping out technologically superior but numerically inferior and poorly supported forces. And in this case, an effective defense against further invasions and reprisal against the attacker can easily follow before the invaders have a chance to make another try.



They have the high ground. All they have to do is manufacture a virus to wipe us out. Easily completed and dropped into our atmosphere before we even know they are here. We are still discovering moons around the gas giants. Fleets of heavily armed colony ships would be invisible to us. Especially as they would be trying to remain concealed.

No, we have the high ground. All we have to do is get an obstacle in the way of an incoming ship and cause enough damage or loss of reaction mass that it can't brake, and it will pass through the system and never come back. The rest of your argument goes against all physics and biology. They could never hide incoming ships braking from an interstellar journey, and they can't manufacture a virus without first developing a whole field of xenobiology around us. To do that, they have to not only enter our system, but land on Earth, collect lots of samples and test subjects with no initial idea of what to look for, get back off the planet and to a secure location, and start a massive research project which will realistically take decades even with advanced biological sciences and a large population of capable researchers devoted to the project, a population that they will have to support and defend. This is not a good setup for a colonization mission, it's absurdly imbalanced and devotes huge amounts of limited resources to a completely unnecessary hostile action.



As others have said the earth is not the only resource rich place in the solar system. I would expect a constant stream of ships to arrive anyway. Should lessen the population pressure marginally wherever they came from. We assembly line cars. Why is it so hard to imagine aliens assembly lining starships? All they need is suspended animation and ships that can reach solar system escape velocity. Ships could continue arriving for centuries.

And it's a lot cheaper to mass produce defenses, even with vastly inferior technology.

Your proposal of going into a mass interstellar war of conquest to reduce population pressure is completely absurd...it's not going to make any meaningful difference in their population, but the energy and material resources it would consume could be used to support far more population at home than it could ever transport to another star. Realistically, if they're to the point where population pressure is a major problem, they've already lost: they won't have anything to spare for an interstellar conquest. If they somehow manage to put an interstellar colony ship together in spite of that, they would be far better off aiming at a system not full of natives who could destroy it just by throwing rocks and who might be antagonized into bombarding your planetary populations.

TooMany
2013-Jan-26, 02:52 AM
Most likely they won't show up until we grow up. Sounds like we have a ways to go.

Paul Beardsley
2013-Jan-26, 07:58 AM
Most likely they won't show up until we grow up. Sounds like we have a ways to go.

(My bold.)

It always amuses me when people word it like that.

ZunarJ5
2013-Jan-26, 03:09 PM
Placing the wellbeing of inferior lifeforms like us above their own welfare would be illogical and counter to evolution.

Thats a very human way of looking at it...

JCoyote
2013-Jan-26, 03:18 PM
I agree in general that for an interstellar civilization, invading a planet for rational reasons is not viable.

I think between likely vastly different intelligent species, each with at least one planet's worth of resources, that large scale any particular interest in each other would be more intellectual and emotional, a desire for cultural exchange and to learn about and from each other. The only thing of real value in the exchange is the fact that the other is intelligent, thus that is the token of exchange.

However, there are possibly irrational reasons a species could invade. No one has mentioned religion perhaps being a driving force in a spacefaring culture, but there is no reason it couldn't be. Technological development and belief structures are not so exclusionary of each other. Religious reasons can go outside any bounds of reasonable use of resources; it could be the very reason they did the UNreasonable thing of sending that first crew on an interstellar journey in the first place when the resources were so desperately needed planetside. A religious species could engage in a crusade, to either save our souls from our own culture, or to eradicate us for something inherently "wrong" by whatever their definition is: 5 is the number of their anti-divinity, and we all have 5 fingers on each hand, thusly we are and always will be an evil species... etc.

This feels unlikely, but I have to remember that every day I am surrounded by irrational members of an technologically developed species.

cjameshuff
2013-Jan-26, 03:26 PM
Thats a very human way of looking at it...

Not really. Humans regularly risk their lives and health for the wellbeing of animals, or of humans who have no close relation. It's really just the attitude of someone who has a very simplistic view of evolution and logic. Life isn't a zero sum game, and there is evolutionary pressure toward cooperative and even altruistic behaviors that in the end provide a net benefit to everyone. If Cosmologist's view were true, there would be no social behaviors other than fighting for territory and breeding. Plants exhibit more complex social behaviors than that.

ZunarJ5
2013-Jan-26, 03:31 PM
Not really. Humans regularly risk their lives and health for the wellbeing of animals, or of humans who have no close relation. It's really just the attitude of someone who has a very simplistic view of evolution and logic. Life isn't a zero sum game, and there is evolutionary pressure toward cooperative and even altruistic behaviors that in the end provide a net benefit to everyone. If Cosmologist's view were true, there would be no social behaviors other than fighting for territory and breeding. Plants exhibit more complex social behaviors than that.

My point is, how can any of these views be anything other than from a humans perspective. We have no idea how an alien intelligence might think, and to say one opinion on the matter is rubbish and that another is so superior is flawed.... they both come from equal levels of ignorance.

cjameshuff
2013-Jan-26, 03:46 PM
I think between likely vastly different intelligent species, each with at least one planet's worth of resources, that large scale any particular interest in each other would be more intellectual and emotional, a desire for cultural exchange and to learn about and from each other. The only thing of real value in the exchange is the fact that the other is intelligent, thus that is the token of exchange.

Their point of view as an independently evolved technology-using intelligent species with a completely independent technological base alone is extremely valuable. Cognition is full of shortcuts, biases, and approximations, with formal logic and accurate descriptions of physical phenomena often being more difficult to understand or outright counterintuitive. An alien mind might see an easy solution to problems that have had us stuck for centuries...and the same goes for us with even an advanced alien civilization.



However, there are possibly irrational reasons a species could invade. No one has mentioned religion perhaps being a driving force in a spacefaring culture, but there is no reason it couldn't be. Technological development and belief structures are not so exclusionary of each other.

Not impossible, but not likely. Being prone to such things seems likely to interfere in capability to successfully carry them out. And it'd be vastly faster and cheaper to just bombard Earth...

JCoyote
2013-Jan-26, 09:50 PM
And it'd be vastly faster and cheaper to just bombard Earth...

Yes, but the crusade can't save our souls if they kill us all... they'd only reluctantly kill those who insist on not being converted. Hence, religious conversion to me seems one of the few working models for why interstellar aliens would get down and dirty in up close conflict with us at all.

Solfe
2013-Jan-26, 10:06 PM
Not impossible, but not likely. Being prone to such things seems likely to interfere in capability to successfully carry them out. And it'd be vastly faster and cheaper to just bombard Earth...

Why? I used metric and US system of measures all the time. My wife follows both the Sabres and the Penguins. Those religious views seem more like a benefit than a hindrance. :)

ASTRO BOY
2013-Jan-27, 12:55 AM
Most likely they won't show up until we grow up. Sounds like we have a ways to go.

Agreed....But I do believe we are getting there, albeit slowly.

Xibalba
2013-Jan-28, 02:50 AM
It has probably been said already, but here's my opinion:

Given that life formed on another planet in a similar way as on Earth, it would be one hell of a coincidence if the resulting sentient beings were humanoid, omnivorous, with neural cells and ganglions developing into a brain, and well you get the point. Then it also depends on their culture: are they an imperial civilization? Or do they prefer collaboration over enslaving other civilizations? Moreover, are the aliens making contact with us of the Government? Or are they outlaws like pirates or something like this?

It would be uncanny that they were humanoid, or that they even came from the same life origin as ours. Then, you have close to an infinity of scenarios, most of which you would never be able to predict.

The question is pretty futile, if you ask me.

ASTRO BOY
2013-Jan-28, 06:52 AM
It has probably been said already, but here's my opinion:

Given that life formed on another planet in a similar way as on Earth, it would be one hell of a coincidence if the resulting sentient beings were humanoid, omnivorous, with neural cells and ganglions developing into a brain, and well you get the point. Then it also depends on their culture: are they an imperial civilization? Or do they prefer collaboration over enslaving other civilizations? Moreover, are the aliens making contact with us of the Government? Or are they outlaws like pirates or something like this?

It would be uncanny that they were humanoid, or that they even came from the same life origin as ours. Then, you have close to an infinity of scenarios, most of which you would never be able to predict.

The question is pretty futile, if you ask me.



Personally I equate ET life in two categories....[1] Life as we know it' and [2] Life as we don't know it"

Discovering either category would not surprise me too much.

moonstroller
2013-Jan-28, 07:11 AM
If evolution has followed some bizzare path on another planet, aliens might look at us like we look at fish, as food. Some fish build nests and other objects for, most likely, reporduction efforts. But the key thought here is; "they build stuff". We build stuff too but might a type III civilizaton look upon our building as efforts at reproduction?

I hope not but you never know.

eburacum45
2013-Jan-28, 07:36 AM
What is the evidence that our intelligence grows over time? Is this true?
The best we can say is that it appears to be true at the moment, if certain measures of intelligence are reliable.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flynn_effect

The Flynn effect is the substantial and long-sustained increase in intelligence test scores measured in many parts of the world from roughly 1930 to the present day.
Whether this represents a true increase in intelligence, or if it will continue into the future, and whether this would be relevant in any alien contact scenario, is another matter.

Selfsim
2013-Jan-28, 07:59 AM
The best we can say is that it appears to be true at the moment, if certain measures of intelligence are reliable.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flynn_effect
...
Whether this represents a true increase in intelligence, or if it will continue into the future, and whether this would be relevant in any alien contact scenario, is another matter.Hmm ... measured over about an 83 year period, eh?
From "Proposed Explanations": (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flynn_effect#Proposed_explanations)

The Flynn effect has been too rapid for genetic selection to be the cause.Interesting ...

eburacum45
2013-Jan-28, 03:41 PM
One interesting explanation for the Flynn effect I've never seen before (mentioned on that page) is heterosis, hybrid vigour. Don't know if it is the right one.

TooMany
2013-Jan-28, 09:33 PM
What is the evidence that our intelligence grows over time? Is this true?

Apes evolving into humans?

Selfsim
2013-Jan-29, 07:09 AM
One interesting explanation for the Flynn effect I've never seen before (mentioned on that page) is heterosis, hybrid vigour. Don't know if it is the right one.It seems to be controversial, also ... (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heterosis#Controversy)


Not all outcrosses result in heterosis. For example, when a hybrid inherits traits from its parents that are not fully compatible, fitness can be reduced. This is a form of outbreeding depression.

Selfsim
2013-Jan-29, 07:12 AM
Apes evolving into humans?Hmm ... I thought humans evolved from an 'ape-like ancestor', from which modern apes also evolved?

Do we know that this common ancestor was not 'intelligent'? (Whatever that term means, when going back that far, that is ... :) )

Cosmologist
2013-Jan-29, 10:50 PM
Actually, humans are some of the least violent animals. Other animals regularly begin solving their problems with violence the first season they're sexually mature or decide to stake out a territory, with confrontations regularly ending in death.

No other animal species has gone to war. Our intelligence allows us to kill thousands of people we've never met at the touch of a button. We don't even have to be there. Predator drones can do it for us.


In numerous cases, they actually objected successfully, wiping out technologically superior but numerically inferior and poorly supported forces. And in this case, an effective defense against further invasions and reprisal against the attacker can easily follow before the invaders have a chance to make another try.

LOL. We don't even have weapons capable of reaching deep space. I've heard people talk about cost. Money is a human invention. Most societies follow a system more similar to ancient kingdoms with a single emperor like figure. The Chinese didn't question the cost of building a wall across the nation. The Egyptians never stopped building the Giza pyramid halfway through. Parallel evolution dictates the most common political system will be an empire.


No, we have the high ground. All we have to do is get an obstacle in the way of an incoming ship and cause enough damage or loss of reaction mass that it can't brake, and it will pass through the system and never come back.

Shall we take your spacecraft or mine? We don't have any real spaceships buddy. How are you going to block fleets of ships from arriving?


The rest of your argument goes against all physics and biology.

Your arguments defy logic. Not mine.


They could never hide incoming ships braking from an interstellar journey,

Ofcourse they could. Who are you trying to con? An asteroid the size of a football field passed between the earth and the moon a few years ago and nobody noticed until 4 days later. We are blind to whats out there. Alien stealth technology would make an impossible job even harder. Even if we could see them we don't have enough telescopes to cover the whole sky. They don't have to travel near light speed. With suspended animation it doesn't matter if the journey takes centuries.


and they can't manufacture a virus without first developing a whole field of xenobiology around us.

So they send a few stealthy ships down to collect samples from remote regions. Maybe probe peoples butts to get bacterial samples from the guts. :)


To do that, they have to not only enter our system, but land on Earth, collect lots of samples and test subjects with no initial idea of what to look for, get back off the planet and to a secure location, and start a massive research project which will realistically take decades even with advanced biological sciences and a large population of capable researchers devoted to the project, a population that they will have to support and defend.

I suspect they would be more efficient than that but so what if it did take decades? Terraforming might take longer than that.


This is not a good setup for a colonization mission, it's absurdly imbalanced and devotes huge amounts of limited resources to a completely unnecessary hostile action.

Like giving pox laden blankets to Indians. Yeah, that would never happen.


And it's a lot cheaper to mass produce defenses, even with vastly inferior technology.

They have all the resources of the solar system at their disposal. To aid in our disposal. Nobody is going to travel here just for a holiday. Its going to be a one way trip. They are coming to stay and we won't get much of a say in the matter I'm afraid.


Your proposal of going into a mass interstellar war of conquest to reduce population pressure is completely absurd...it's not going to make any meaningful difference in their population,

Ofcourse. Because I never said that. I said it would have a minor impact on population pressure which would be a bonus.


but the energy and material resources it would consume could be used to support far more population at home than it could ever transport to another star.

A longterm thinking species would be more concerned about establishing its presence in the Galaxy and ensuring its survival.


Realistically, if they're to the point where population pressure is a major problem, they've already lost: they won't have anything to spare for an interstellar conquest. If they somehow manage to put an interstellar colony ship together in spite of that, they would be far better off aiming at a system not full of natives who could destroy it just by throwing rocks and who might be antagonized into bombarding your planetary populations.

Any planet suitable for life probably has life. It popped up here the second the earth became habitable. Ignoring a suitable world and risking your ships by unnecessarily travelling many lightyears further in search of empty planets would be crazy. They would fight over the territory just like any other dominant predator. Wimps don't become top dog.