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Thread: Why do we assume....

  1. #1
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    Why do we assume that any aliens that we encounter will be intelligent? Or why do we assume that they have an interest in space or even us for that matter?

  2. #2
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    we don't.

  3. #3
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    And if we do, it's only because of the interest in self-preservation...

  4. #4
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    The general public believes that eany life we find will be intelligent. Any life we find outside the solar system will may well be intelligent (as for the moment the only way to detect life outside the solar system is to get a transmission), any life inside the solar system (ie. on Europa) would most likely be unintelligent, basic forms of life.

  5. #5
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    Why do we assume that any aliens that we encounter will be intelligent? Or why do we assume that they have an interest in space or even us for that matter?
    A less extreme characterization of our view is that we must be aware that some of them may be intelligent. If some are, then we must prepare accordingly. You don't suppose that all those dinosaurs actually wound up in some alien's meat locker do you? Or fell prey to pathogens left by a casual visit from those who could? Regardless of how benevolent they are, they will carry pathogens.

  6. #6
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    Why do we assume that there is intelligent life on Earth? I've yet to see the evidence!

    Jake B)

  7. #7
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    Well, not the scientific community (UT), but everyone else (that I know) just assumes that theyd be intelligent and far beyond our technology.

  8. #8
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    I think it's safe to assume that not all planets that are capable of supporting life are going to have "intelligent" life, but as the late Dr. Carl Sagan once put it, with "billions and billions" of stars out there, and a certain percentage of those stars having planets and then a percentage of those having planets with eviroments condusive to life, etc., etc., then there is at least the possibility that there could be millions of planets capable of having life that evolves to some level of intelligence. Now when you add in the fact that humans have only been around for a comparativly short period of time (remembering that the dinasours were here for millions of years before us) then its also quite possible for life on other planets in solar systems, perhaps much older then our own, to have been evolving over the course of that time. Assuming we don't destroy ourselves, our planet and each other, think about where we could be in just 100,000 years, let alone a few million. In addition to all of this, we live in a universe that is rather condusive to life...the priciple elements required for the formation of life appear to be quite abundant. It's logical to assume that it's at least -possible- for there to be intelligent life out there "somewhere" and that life could indeed be quite abundant.

    As to the issue of "Or why do we assume that they have an interest in space or even us for that matter", here I would have to be a little more speculative, but I think that there could be some logic in saying that curiosity is part of thinking. Not just human thinking or what -we- consider to be intelligent...look at most young animals. Puppies, kittens, etc., are often very curious about their enviroment and tend to "explore". As far as space goes, we have evidence that suggests even the earliest humans and certainly later human civilazations (such as the Mayans) looked towards the stars and most likely wondered what those points of light in the sky were. People thru the ages had hypothisized that perhaps those little lights in the skys were something similar to our own sun, just seen from a very great distance away and I'm sure many of those early people wondered if they were suns, could they perhaps not have planets around them such as our own? It's probably a safe leap of logic to assume that if other life evolves, perhaps in a similar fasion to that here on Earth, and that life does achieve what we call sentience, then it's very likely that they ask many of the same questions we do...who am I? Where do I come from? What else is out there? These "people", like ourselves, may simply be curious and may simply want to know more about the universe in which they live.

    Now with all of that said, I believe that it's human arrogance that assumes they would have any interest in "us" at this point in our own evolution. For reasons that I shall not go into in this forum, we tend to think of ourselves as "special" and despite rational scientific knowledge, we still tend to have this belief that the universe revolves around -us-. In truth we are still a relatively primative species that lives on a small planet that orbits a rather unspecatcular star in what could really be considered the backwoods of our galaxy. We've only had technology that is capable of planatary communication for a brief period (around 80ish years if I'm not mistaken). Even if someone was aware of our presence in the galaxy, which is highly unlikely, why should we be so interesting to them other then perhaps a passing curiousity? I think it unlikely that any "advanced" civilization would find us worthy of their interaction at this point in time. As I've said in other threads, if there is intelligent life that is capable of interplanatary, let alone intergalactic space travel, that does happen to know we're here, then they are also intelligent enough to know -we're not ready-. Again we're a very primative species that still squables over petty issues and that tends to kill and slaughter members of our own species over such trivial concepts as politics and religion (amungst other things). We certainly still fear that which we do not understand and have not yet even learned to properly care for the planet on which we all live, let alone the other species that share the planet with us. I would think it a logical assumption that any advanced species would have no interest in involving itself with -us- in any way at this point in our evolution...as a species we still have a lot of "growing up" to do. -If- they know we're here, they'll let us know when they think we're ready.

    Bright Blessings and Gentle Breezes,
    Jim

  9. #9
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    lomitus1 your reply is one of the best I have ever seen. You have put it right .. and with your permision I would like to reprint it for our local astronomy clubs newsletter. with credit to Jim. ( interested in astronomy, good comunitive skills, named Jim... are you James Tiberious Kirk? ) :unsure: Oops sorry for that.. I await your reply, Mark. :blink:

  10. #10
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    I also want to add my appreciation for those comments. Very, very well put!

  11. #11
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    lomitus1, have you ever considered writing a book on life in space? As, I agree with astromark and Duan - your comments are exceedingly well put and extraordinarily intelligent.

    Regards
    Rigel

  12. #12
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    Well, that made the rest of my thread pointless... Thanks for the reply Jim. Youve obviously put some thought into it. Very well put. B)

  13. #13
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    We certainly still fear that which we do not understand and have not yet even learned to properly care for the planet on which we all live, let alone the other species that share the planet with us. I would think it a logical assumption that any advanced species would have no interest in involving itself with -us- in any way at this point in our evolution...as a species we still have a lot of "growing up" to do. -If- they know we're here, they'll let us know when they think we're ready.
    I think we apply more than fear to that which we do not understand, and learning to care for this planet is happening at an ever increasing rate. It is because they are curious that they will get involved with us as we would if we stumbled across a planet with intelligent critters where our ancestors were one million years ago. We would enjoy observing how they progressed and we would probably stay out of their way except to observe. We do have a lot to learn and always will. They will come when they are ready just as we will go when we are capable. We must achieve a level of technological competence that ensures that we get a vote that counts.

  14. #14
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    :huh: What is it with this "we" stuff what about the people who don't believe that alien life is definately intelligent? More to the point what about the poeple who don't believe in alien life at all? :mellow:
    Personally I believe that if earth contains the sum total of intelligent life in the universe it's an awful waste of space. :wacko: Ah too much thinking for me...

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