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Smellyoldgit 04-26-2010 03:14 AM

Anybody Out There?
 
The sheer humungousness of the universe would suggest (to me anyway) that it’s highly unlikely we’re the only semi-intelligent beings inhabiting the place. Setting aside the rather fundamental problems of travelling the unimaginable distances involved, we’ve been putting our message out for quite some time – primarily via this lot.

The much respected electro-voice now suggests that it may not be in our interests to even bother trying.
Quote:

Aliens almost certainly exist but humans should avoid making contact, Professor Stephen Hawking has warned.
Part of me would really enjoy the prospect of learning loads of “stuff” from vastly intelligent creatures – whereas the reality gene suggests we could well end up as a mining colony or a carbon based snack for a less than friendly visitor.

I wonder how we’ll see this in a few thousand years – if we survive that long?!

Irreligious 04-26-2010 07:31 AM

Quote:

Smellyoldgit wrote (Post 607689)
I wonder how we’ll see this in a few thousand years – if we survive that long?!

Lots of books, films and TV shows have speculated about this. If other intelligent life is out there, I suspect the chances are good that we'll be in conflict should we ever hook up, especially if they're anything like us.

Either we will need to fear them or they would be wise to fear us.

Victus 04-26-2010 08:30 AM

On some levels, I agree with Hawking. Humans, as genetic constructs, have existed for something like 200,000 years, and have a recorded history of about 15,000 years or so (depending on how you define "recorded"). Can you imagine interacting with a species that has a recorded history (and requisit advances) stretching back a million years? A billion? We might literally have more in common with an ant than with them. The prospects of developing a health relationship seem limited, unless evolution has led their sentience to be not utterly dissimilar from our own.

On the other hand, if a species can jaunt from system to system, I doubt resources are much of an issue for them. Once you're able to get into space easily, there's basically an infinite amount of resources (e.g., moon-sized diamonds). The only thing that makes Earth "special" resource-wise is life and its by-products, which would probably have little or no value to them as a resource in the traditional sense. Anything earth life could produce, could probably be done by the aliens themselves (e.g., generating oxygen), so turning Earth into a mining colony would probably be a waste of time.

The worst case scenario would be for a species, having an extremely long view of the future, to perceive humans (or any other non-homeworld life) to be an inevitable threat and wipe us out. Given how different we might (will) be, it may well be less meaningful to them than kicking over an ant hill.

A guide to first contact has been proposed. Study it carefully oh yee guinee pig.

Kate 04-26-2010 08:47 AM

http://www.smartfellowspress.com/To%...namite%203.jpg

psychodiva 04-26-2010 09:19 AM

Quote:

Victus wrote (Post 607704)

On the other hand, if a species can jaunt from system to system, I doubt resources are much of an issue for them. Once you're able to get into space easily, there's basically an infinite amount of resources (e.g., moon-sized diamonds). The only thing that makes Earth "special" resource-wise is life and its by-products, which would probably have little or no value to them as a resource in the traditional sense. Anything earth life could produce, could probably be done by the aliens themselves (e.g., generating oxygen), so turning Earth into a mining colony would probably be a waste of time.

The worst case scenario would be for a species, having an extremely long view of the future, to perceive humans (or any other non-homeworld life) to be an inevitable threat and wipe us out. Given how different we might (will) be, it may well be less meaningful to them than kicking over an ant hill.

A guide to first contact has been proposed. Study it carefully oh yee guinee pig.


Have you read 'Footfall' by Niven and Pournelle? also their 'Mote in God's Eye' - puts forward a different scenario re resources

psychodiva 04-26-2010 09:19 AM

exactly!!

Victus 04-26-2010 10:33 AM

Quote:

psychodiva wrote (Post 607706)
Have you read 'Footfall' by Niven and Pournelle? also their 'Mote in God's Eye' - puts forward a different scenario re resources

I haven't read them, but the plots described in wiki look interesting. The threat of pre-emptive extermination could be realistic if some species declares us unsustainable (i.e., we would be a plague on the galaxy). Of course given the 2nd law of thermodynamics, all life as we currently define it is unsustainable if you zoom out far enough into the future, making resource scarcity inevitable.

That is to say, extermination could be logical depending on how much of a self-absorbed prick species you are. Hence my advice to whatever species first stumbles upon our lovely system is: Run. If you value your future, run!

Philboid Studge 04-26-2010 11:15 AM

Quote:

Victus wrote (Post 607704)
On some levels, I agree with Hawking. Humans, as genetic constructs, have existed for something like 200,000 years, and have a recorded history of about 15,000 years or so (depending on how you define "recorded"). Can you imagine interacting with a species that has a recorded history (and requisit advances) stretching back a million years? A billion?

Yes but ...

In another sense, "we" have been evolving for 3.5 billion years. That's a sizable chunk of the known universe. For all we know, ours are the oldest forms of life in the whole shooting match, assuming we're not the only ones ...

Victus 04-26-2010 11:51 AM

Quote:

Philboid Studge wrote (Post 607709)
Yes but ...

In another sense, "we" have been evolving for 3.5 billion years. That's a sizable chunk of the known universe. For all we know, ours are the oldest forms of life in the whole shooting match, assuming we're not the only ones ...

This is also true; however, for most of this 3.5 billion year period we certainly we're the dominant species on the planet, we were well integrated into the food chain as both predator and prey. We were slime, slugs, fish, amphibians, rats, apes, and eventually humans (yes, I've probably just botched our evolutionary history, I know). I'm saying that a species that first started exploring space a billion years ago is probably going to be awfully advanced. That would be about on par with you trying to interact with slug. Neither party is likely to find this beneficial, and one may end up on the wrong side of a salt shaker.

Kate 04-26-2010 12:20 PM

http://ransackery.com/wp-content/upl...oServeMan3.jpg

Philboid Studge 04-26-2010 12:39 PM

http://i40.tinypic.com/o55lvq.jpg

Choobus 04-26-2010 12:49 PM

jesus fuck, when humans encounter other slightly less technologically advanced humans they waste no time ass raping their culture and enslaving them. What the hell is going to happen when we are the weaker party? They'll throw a blanket of smallpox over the whole fucking planet. Unless they are, you know, enlightened beings, in which case they will probably just plant a mostly harmless sign and be on their way.

Victus 04-26-2010 02:53 PM

Quote:

Choobus wrote (Post 607717)
jesus fuck, when humans encounter other slightly less technologically advanced humans they waste no time ass raping their culture and enslaving them. What the hell is going to happen when we are the weaker party? They'll throw a blanket of smallpox over the whole fucking planet. Unless they are, you know, enlightened beings, in which case they will probably just plant a mostly harmless sign and be on their way.

My favorite scenario is probably that of The Road Not Taken, wherein an alien race with warp drives and anti-gravity invades the earth, only to find their pointy stick level weaponry utterly outmatched. Their dying thoughts are of the horror they have unleashed on the universe by giving humans access to interstellar transit technology.

ghoulslime 04-26-2010 06:32 PM

They might come to serve humans. :|

just questions 04-27-2010 03:20 AM

Quote:

Choobus wrote (Post 607717)
Unless they are, you know, enlightened beings, in which case they will probably just plant a mostly harmless sign and be on their way.

More likely, they, who have the technology to travel to us, would refuse to touch this shit. They might watch us with some faint amusement, just like we watch the dungbeetles labouring with their dung balls.

Victus 04-27-2010 06:52 AM

Quote:

just questions wrote (Post 607742)
More likely, they, who have the technology to travel to us, would refuse to touch this shit. They might watch us with some faint amusement, just like we watch the dungbeetles labouring with their dung balls.

Quick, do something dramatic. Our ratings are falling!

Philboid Studge 04-27-2010 11:00 AM

PZM links to some blogviating on the subject here, and adds his two cents:

Quote:

If I were in charge of humanity's expansion into the universe, and if light-speed is the absolute limit it seems to be, I'd be sending out robot probes all right…all loaded with the biological seeds to impose human-compatible biospheres on any remotely human-compatible geospheres it encountered. It would bombard atmospheres with bacteria, sow the planet with algae, fungi, and lichens, and work its way up to grasses and trees and rodents and birds. And then it would start unspooling the stored genetic information of millions of humans into infants that would be raised onboard, educated by machines, and eventually transported onto the now hospitable planet surface to build a new technological civilization. Communication between planets would be limited and slow, and all the planning would be long-term — thousands to tens of thousands of years — so this wouldn't be so much the growth of a human empire, but an organic expansion.
I don't know about this plan. I agree with the robot probes--we should probably divert all resources currently poured into manned missions into cheaper, more efficient robotics. But bombarding atmospheres with bacteria sounds a little bit invasive. At the very least the probes should investigate whether there's already organic life there and then if there is, fuck off.

Victus 04-27-2010 12:50 PM

This is one of the drawbacks of looking for worlds we can land on and inhabit. If it's habitable, it's almost certainly already inhabited. I think I read somewhere that without organisms to produce it, an oxygen atmosphere can't/is unlikely to be generated spontaneously.

Way back when, Earth used to have purple oceans and green skies (I'm probably botching the colours), and you would die instantly upon taking your first breath.

Davin 04-27-2010 01:31 PM

Quote:

Victus wrote (Post 607760)
Way back when, Earth used to have purple oceans and green skies (I'm probably botching the colours), and you would die instantly upon taking your first breath.

I don't remember anything about the colours.

IMO: Finding a planet all ready for us already is unlikely and finding it without life is even less likely. But finding a planet with breathable air and no technologically advanced species I think might be more likely than finding one with a technologically advanced species.

Smellyoldgit 04-27-2010 01:41 PM

Our perception of what types of lifeforms may be possible is obviously skewed towards what we currently understand about our own planet's development and evolution to date. We have no idea what types of life may be able to evolve under very different base conditions, unless one's a best selling sci-fi writer.

Victus 04-27-2010 01:49 PM

Quote:

Davin wrote (Post 607762)
I don't remember anything about the colours.

I think I saw it in the context of a documentary on past mass extinctions, some of which alledgedly occured due to runaway greenhouse effects caused by algae, or something. The colours are probably wrong, but the point is that at various times, even Earth hasn't been particularly Earth-like by contemporary standards.

Quote:

Davin wrote
IMO: Finding a planet all ready for us already is unlikely and finding it without life is even less likely. But finding a planet with breathable air and no technologically advanced species I think might be more likely than finding one with a technologically advanced species.

Indeed. If Earth is any indicator, we're likely to stumble across a bunch of slime-matted worlds with breathable (if slightly off) atmospheres. Once in awhile we find some alien "animals" of some sort, some of which may demonstrate some level of intelligence (e.g., space dogs). The liklihood of stumbling across technological species depends on whether you believe they're/we're predisposed to destroying ourselves once the technological capacity is present.

Davin 04-27-2010 02:23 PM

Quote:

Victus wrote (Post 607765)
I think I saw it in the context of a documentary on past mass extinctions, some of which alledgedly occured due to runaway greenhouse effects caused by algae, or something. The colours are probably wrong, but the point is that at various times, even Earth hasn't been particularly Earth-like by contemporary standards.

I meant that I don't remember what the colors were but that isn't what I said. I remember it being said that the colors were different, and it makes sense to me that different mixes of chemicals in the atmosphere would change the color of sky. Same for the water.

I don't think anything is predisposed to anything specific. I mean that I don't think a technological species is predisposed to destroying themselves, but I do think that a man with his foot nailed to the floor is predisposed to walking in circles. I don't think that intelligent life must always go through the same crap we have gone through... maybe they had only one religion for the entire planet and they killed anyone who didn't believe and they stayed that way for millions of years. Or maybe they never had even come up with the concept of a god... I can always speculate.

just questions 04-27-2010 02:54 PM

Quote:

Victus wrote (Post 607749)
Quick, do something dramatic. Our ratings are falling!

Not my words. I once talk to a friend of mine, a theoretical physics scientist, about this. He thought that or noone would be able to travel so far pratically in the end, or the one that can travel so far/fast would be so advanced that we look more like ants to them, a species that is worth more to watch than to communicate with.
OK, the ants part may be exaggeration, but the last part makes sense to me. If you could travel to a far away planet and found some Homo Erectus there, what would you like to do?

Philboid Studge 04-27-2010 03:00 PM

Quote:

just questions wrote (Post 607769)
If you could travel to a far away planet and found some Homo Erectus there, what would you like to do?

I'd buy her dinner and see how it goes.

Kate 04-27-2010 03:05 PM

Hey, baby, let's go clubbing ;)
http://www.mmmmhot.com.au/sites/mmmm...5-02-22-24.jpg

just questions 04-27-2010 03:17 PM

bon appetit
http://idology.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/worm.jpg

Philboid Studge 04-27-2010 03:19 PM

I'd ask her to show me her cave.

just questions 04-27-2010 03:21 PM

:lol:

lostsheep 04-27-2010 08:04 PM

Dammit! I was going to post that!!!

ILOVEJESUS 04-28-2010 02:51 AM

Maybe they could and do come here to safari and hunt us like game. Oh wait isn't that Predator?

lostsheep 04-28-2010 05:47 PM

There was a terrible movie with an cool idea: we contacted aliens via satellite, then the sent us a message of how to create energy via hydrogen fusion. Then they sent a message about some DNA sequences to be incorporated into a human being, which turned out to be a sequence of their DNA, which turned into a thing designed to wipe out human beings, recolonize the planet with their own DNA. There was a similar bad movie with a cool idea for invasion via electromagnetic pulses which wiped out human minds and transferred alien intelligences. I know of some other great reads along this lines, but I must look them up. Promise I will get to it after my final!

psychodiva 04-29-2010 04:28 AM

your final what? :D

ILOVEJESUS 04-29-2010 05:33 AM

What if these aliens are watching us now. But rather than interact with us, because of their ability to manipulate space and time , they just freeze time for all life on earth whilst they go about their business of making a pizza or whatever, then restart it as soon as they have retreated back to their observation distance lol. We would never need to know about them.

Philboid Studge 04-29-2010 06:18 AM

If an alien could freeze time, then it wouldn't be able to move within the frozen environment. Just the interaction of its skin (or shell or what-have-you) with the air would necessitate movement in space and therefore time. So it wouldn't be able to make a pizza or give us wedgies or anything else if time were frozen.

Unless it was an immaterial, atemporal Being, but even in that case there would never be any tangible evidence that it exists in the universe at all. Thus it would only exist in the minds of those who really, really wanted to believe in it ...

psychodiva 04-29-2010 06:29 AM

circular argument is circular :D

ILOVEJESUS 04-30-2010 01:49 AM

Quote:

Philboid Studge wrote (Post 607901)
If an alien could freeze time, then it wouldn't be able to move within the frozen environment. Just the interaction of its skin (or shell or what-have-you) with the air would necessitate movement in space and therefore time. So it wouldn't be able to make a pizza or give us wedgies or anything else if time were frozen.

Unless it was an immaterial, atemporal Being, but even in that case there would never be any tangible evidence that it exists in the universe at all. Thus it would only exist in the minds of those who really, really wanted to believe in it ...

But these aliens have a special doodang and it actually stops time for those who interact with its Zelon Particles, (a particle made from combining a Higs Boson with some dark matter, then run through a Helios light containment unit), the aliens of course have anti Zelon suits, so can wonder freely, and engage with anything that gets caught in the anti zelon pod streams they carry.

dogpet 04-30-2010 02:20 PM

The aluminium helmet is an effective Zelon deflector, enabling the protected to witness alien presence.

Irreligious 04-30-2010 09:26 PM

Tinfoil hats for everyone! :lol:

By the way, I love how you guys say ah-loo-MIN-ee-um instead of ah-LOO-min-um.

And I see you even spell it wrong. Er, I meant, um, differently. :D

Choobus 04-30-2010 09:51 PM

Quote:

Irreligious wrote (Post 608019)
Tinfoil hats for everyone! :lol:

By the way, I love how you guys say ah-loo-MIN-ee-um instead of ah-LOO-min-um.

And I see you even spell it wrong. Er, I meant, um, differently. :D

As it happens, the discoverer of Aluminium (sir Humphrey Davy) first called it Alumium but then went with aluminum, so it that sense you septics have got it right. It later ended up being "officially" called aluminium, partly because all the new metals had ium endings. This is one situation where I will side with the Americans, since Davy should have been allowed to call it whatever the fuck he wanted.

dogpet 05-01-2010 01:30 AM

Let's all be thankful Davy, despite his name wasn't Welsh, or it would be Alwminiwm.

ILOVEJESUS 05-02-2010 01:00 PM

Quote:

dogpet wrote (Post 608014)
The aluminium helmet is an effective Zelon deflector, enabling the protected to witness alien presence.

At last I would be able to catch the fuckers moving my car keys around so I cannot find them when I need them. Between that and moving my mobile, they are busy alien critters.

Smellyoldgit 05-03-2010 07:54 AM

Quote:

dogpet wrote (Post 608023)
Let's all be thankful Davy, despite his name wasn't Welsh, or it would be Alwminiwm.

And of course, the man himself would become Daffy :|

Victus 05-03-2010 07:58 AM

Quote:

dogpet wrote (Post 608023)
Let's all be thankful Davy, despite his name wasn't Welsh, or it would be Alwminiwm.

That's crazy. The Welsch can't be scientists.

BOOM ZING!


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