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Fraser
2014-May-06, 07:10 PM
A common criticism of science is its quick decision to experiment, without thinking about whether or not it should. While many argue that philosophical implications do not belong within the realm of science, others argue that scientists should absolutely consider the broader implications of their results. Now, neuro-psychologist Gabriel G. de la Torre from the […]

More... (http://www.universetoday.com/111743/are-we-ready-for-contact/)

NEOWatcher
2014-May-06, 07:22 PM
And how did this neuro-psychologist determine what the adaquate level of education was and who should possess that level of education?
What were the majors of these university students? Were they even science related?

Now; I agree that we are lacking in science education, but this just sounds like an over-generalization of a specific circumstance.

Unfortunately I don't have access to the study, and there's no guarantee I would be able to fully grasp it anyway.

redshifter
2014-May-06, 07:54 PM
I'm not sure I buy into any of this study, at least based on what the article states. I'm not convinced that 'lack of awareness' on 'many aspects of astronomy' equates to 'we're not ready to talk to E.T.'. And I suppose 'lack of awareness' is highly dependent on what questions are asked to what audience.

iquestor
2014-May-07, 12:59 AM
I could do a survey on the general population regarding their awareness of the properties of the internal combustion engine, general knowledge of the automotive manufacturing process, insight into the availability of natural resources required to create gasoline, and easily conclude that we as a civilization are 'not ready to drive automobiles'.

Spacedude
2014-May-07, 10:27 PM
Perhaps "We" here at Cosmoquest may be ready but the rest of the world probably not. If it's just radio contact that could be easier to swallow than direct contact from beings thousands or millions of years our senior. Finding microbes on Mars or Europa would be a good first spoon full for most to digest.

KaiYeves
2014-May-08, 12:31 AM
I could do a survey on the general population regarding their awareness of the properties of the internal combustion engine, general knowledge of the automotive manufacturing process, insight into the availability of natural resources required to create gasoline, and easily conclude that we as a civilization are 'not ready to drive automobiles'.

Heck, I couldn't even pass the existing road-test... and I've taken it twice! (I think that as an individual I am not yet ready to drive automobiles, if only because it's been nearly a year since the last time I tried and I've probably forgotten several rules...)

Noclevername
2014-May-10, 05:21 PM
Perhaps "We" here at Cosmoquest may be ready but the rest of the world probably not. If it's just radio contact that could be easier to swallow than direct contact from beings thousands or millions of years our senior. Finding microbes on Mars or Europa would be a good first spoon full for most to digest.

Many 'average" non-scientists already believe in beings far more advanced than us. Contact would not shock them.

I don't think technical knowledge has anything to do with being "ready" for contacting an alien culture. It's like saying that the best spear-makers of a hunter-gatherer tribe are more "ready" to meet Western missionaries.

Spacedude
2014-May-11, 01:43 PM
Many 'average" non-scientists already believe in beings far more advanced than us. Contact would not shock them.

I don't think technical knowledge has anything to do with being "ready" for contacting an alien culture. It's like saying that the best spear-makers of a hunter-gatherer tribe are more "ready" to meet Western missionaries.


Spear makers meeting up with missionaries is too close to our human home for a real comparison imho. I guess it may depend on how "far more advanced" and "alien" is defined. If contact were initiated in a similar manner as in the fictional reassuring human-like Vulcans of Star Trek fame (a century or two ahead of us) then that may go well for many. But contact from creatures that are totally unfamiliar, non-human-like, and a million years ahead of us, then that may not so well. I used to think that I too would be ready to accept direct contact, but meeting a Vulcan vs meeting creatures with technologies that are so far beyond our imaginations, perhaps not.

Noclevername
2014-May-17, 06:03 PM
Spear makers meeting up with missionaries is too close to our human home for a real comparison imho.

It's not a real comparison, it's a metaphor. But the point is that technological knowledge does not help one get "ready" for first contact, especially if the aliens are so advanced or so different that we can't understand their technology.


ADDED: It's the wrong skillset. We'd need people who are socially adaptable, and tolerant of the bizarre.

TJMac
2014-May-18, 02:43 PM
Personally, I think people would deal with it. Just like we deal with every other unexpected thing that happens in our life.

I have never bought into this mass panic concept that so many want to toss out. I doubt, really, seriously doubt, that aliens will make contact tomorrow. It's not in my plan, or my routine. Neither is having a life threatening car wreck, or my wife having a stroke when she was 26. Those happened, life went on. If Klingons, Vulcans, Daleks, or any other aliens show up tomorrow, we would deal with it.

If it happened, who knows how, or who they would contact? The U.N.? The Vatican? Why would they pick one country over another?
Population? Who has the biggest military? Space Program?

If a tornado hits your house, takes away all you own, suddenly your life has all new rules. Hundreds of people deal with similar situations on nearly a daily basis. (pulled that number out of a hat) It's not something to be happy about, but generally, humans can deal with almost anything that comes along.

Yes, there would be some who want to be friends, and some who want to shoot at them, and some who want to dissect them. All three may happen at some point, if aliens show up. How is that different than anything we know now?

TJ

NEOWatcher
2014-May-19, 01:30 PM
If a tornado hits your house, takes away all you own, suddenly your life has all new rules. Hundreds of people deal with similar situations on nearly a daily basis. (pulled that number out of a hat) It's not something to be happy about, but generally, humans can deal with almost anything that comes along.
Although I don't think there would be mass panic either, I don't think the analogy holds too well.
Those are situations that affect limited numbers of people. There are always other people that provide support to them.
A contact situation would affect everyone. So; all will be affected, but some will be supportive of others just like in a large disaster situation.


Yes, there would be some who want to be friends, and some who want to shoot at them, and some who want to dissect them. All three may happen at some point, if aliens show up. How is that different than anything we know now?
That's what I would expect to see.
Factions arguing about what we should do, how we should do it, and who is taking credit for anything related to it. In other words, political bickering.