I for one welcome our new reptilian overlords. Tosev 3 will be safer in their (slightly colder and scalier) hands.
Renowned physicist Stephen Hawking has repeated his long-held belief that intelligent aliens are likely to exist, and that a visit by them to present-day humanity would probably have unfortunate consequences for us. Publicising a new documentary he has made for the Discovery Channel, the legendary boffin told the Times at the …
Is off base and his ideas are rather childish. Has his quest to find the ket of the Universe run aground?
Let's hear Charles Stross on the question. He's infinitely better at this:
>>They order, and Gregor waits for the waiter to depart before he continues. “Suppose there’s an alien race out there. More than one. You know about the multiple copies of Earth. The uninhabited ones. We’ve been here before. Now let’s see…suppose the aliens aren’t like us. Some of them are recognizable, tribal primates who use tools made out of metal, sea-dwelling ensemble entities who communicate by ultrasound. But others–most of them–are social insects who use amazingly advanced biological engineering to grow what they need. There’s some evidence that they’ve colonized some of the empty Earths. They’re aggressive and territorial and they’re so different that…well, for one thing we think they don’t actually have conscious minds except when they need them. They control their own genetic code and build living organisms tailored to whatever tasks they want carrying out. There’s no evidence that they want to talk to us, and some evidence that they may have emptied some of those empty Earths of their human population. And because of their, um, decentralized ecosystem and biological engineering, conventional policy solutions won’t work. The military ones, I mean.”
Gregor watches Sagan’s face intently as he describes the scenario. There is a slight cooling of the exobiologist’s cheeks as his peripheral arteries contract with shock: his pupils dilate and his respiration rate increases. Sour pheromones begin to diffuse from his sweat ducts and organs in Gregor’s nasal sinuses respond to them.
“You’re kidding?” Sagan half-asks. He sounds disappointed about something.
“I wish I was.” Gregor generates a faint smile and exhales breath laden with oxytocin and other peptide messengers fine-tuned to human metabolism. In the kitchen, the temporary chef who is standing in for the regular one–off sick, due to a bout of food poisoning–will be preparing Sagan’s dish. Humans are creatures of habit: once his meal arrives the astronomer will eat it, taking solace in good food. (Such a shame about the chef.) “They’re not like us. SETI assumes that NHIs are conscious and welcome communication with humans and, in fact, that humans aren’t atypical. But let’s suppose that humans are atypical. The human species has only been around for about a third of a million years, and has only been making metal tools and building settlements for ten thousand. What if the default for sapient species is measured in the millions of years? And they develop strong defense mechanisms to prevent other species moving into their territory?”
“That’s incredibly depressing,” Sagan admits after a minute’s contemplation. “I’m not sure I believe it without seeing some more evidence. That’s why we wanted to use the Arecibo dish to send a message, you know. The other disks are far enough away that we’re safe, whatever they send back: they can’t possibly throw missiles at us, not with a surface escape velocity of twenty thousand miles per second, and if they send unpleasant messages we can stick our fingers in our ears.”
I don't really see why an alien race, even one which has used up its resources, would single us out amongst the billions of others which could be more suitable for harvesting. If they are roaming the universe scooping up resources they'll probably get here eventually anyway, SETI or not.
>I don't really see why an alien race, even one which has used up its resources, would single us out amongst the billions of others which could be more suitable for harvesting.
But free-range humans are so much more tasty than the frozen, battery-farmed ones you get in supermarkets. It's always well worth travelling the extra thousand or so zels and picking your own.
I would not be so sure for this if I was German ya know... Getting my arse nuked out of existence by our new reptilian overlords is not a good way to end. Not that the French or Japanese fared much better in the book.
Also, they took of to come to Tosev 3 (Earth in reptilian speak in the WW2/Colonisation series by Harry Turtledove) when they thought that all they were going to meet will be the mighty warrior of Tosev 3 - a knight from the crusades. They might come considerably better prepared if they hear a radio first. In fact they may not come at all. A couple of comet cores accelerated to fraction of C velocities aimed straight at Earth may come instead.
Plus, us sending signals out doesn't make us any more noticeable. I'm sure they can see us. Hell, we'll be able to find Earth-like planets in the next few decades and we're so primitive that we invented digital watches only 40 years ago. It doesn't take a rocket scientist. Er, well you know what I mean.
They can see what chemicals Earth (and the rest of the Sol system) is made of, they can see some of them are sentient-made, so they know if we have any resources they want. If they're looking for places to harvest, they've either not noticed us, which seems unlikely, or there's other places more attractive and as Jason Bloomberg said, they'll get here eventually.
Physicists should do physics. Speculating on the sociology of space civilisations is not their forte. I am put in mind of Penrose's stab at explaining why artificial consciousness could not exist (a computer cannot answer the question "how do you feel"). Hawking also made the bold statement that if we could find the grand unified theory we would "truly know the mind of god". Try defending that argument in an undergraduate level philosophy course. If this theory was the only justification for the spending money on NASA, I'd pull the plug.
I don't think anything we can do to "attract attention" matters much in terms of our security. Advanced aliens are likely to use self-replicating probes to explore space. With that method, you don't need to know there's something interesting on the third planet of that specific yellow star, because you're exploring each and every solar system anyway.
IOW, if hostile advanced aliens exist, we're screwed, even if they don't know we're here. They'll find us eventually, and even if we get to their same level of technology, they'll be backed by the resources of thousands of planets and therefore be unbeatable.
Our only chance is that either the intergalactic empire is good, or that we're the first intelligent species to develop and therefore *we* get to be the evil intergalactic empire.
What if we just arm every flying object in space now with a couple nukes, go to the moon and mars and but some defenses out there too ... and wait. Once the aliens come into our solar system we'll hijack them, take there ships and use it against them (maybe uploading a mac virus or something).
We would the "bad part of the neighbourhood" of the milkyway.
I wouldn't mind seeing more money flowing into the space industry, not just for robotics but getting humans up there (incl the moon and mars).
Terminator: we could build T800 to do the killing for us?
already happened, they're already here, we've already got the technology to defend ourselves (plus sort out all the world's problems to boot), we already know (most of) their intentions.
we just need to hear all that from one country. unfortuately it has to be the USA as if any other country "admitted" the alien situation it would likely not be taken at all seriously. even the UK or Western Europe generally - imagine if France suddenly said "OK, we know all about aliens and have proof they exist" - no one would give a shit. If America said exactly the same thing, the world would change overnight (possibly for the worse).
never going to happen though anyway...
"Space is big. REALLY big...."
The actual quote in full is ""Space,is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly hugely mindbogglingly big it is. I mean you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space"
I suppose some would call it "Security by obscurity" - I just think it's a dickens of a long time to anywhere.
Also : "Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun. Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-eight million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea"
If there is alien life...
If that life is intelligent...
If that life has technology of any kind...
Then, considering cosmic time-scales, it will either be too primitive to get here...
Or so mind-boggingly advanced that it could get here and we not know one damn about it...
And if it got here with malice, then there'd probably be feck all we could do about it.
"Ah puny human, a nuclear bomb. How quaint. I'll see your nuclear arsenal and raise you that moon. Yes, the one now dropping towards you. Toodles!"
Might as well get the most relevant quote in:
POPULATION OF UNIVERSE : None.
It is known that there are an infinite number of worlds, simply because there is an infinite amount of space for them to be in it. However, not every one of them is inhabited. Therefore, there must be a finite number of inhabited worlds. Any finite number divided by infinity is as near to nothing as makes no odds, so the average population of all the planets in the Universe can be said to be zero. From this it follows that the population of the whole Universe is also zero, and that any people you may meet from time to time are merely the products of a deranged imagination.
Just because there is an infinite amount of space does not imply an infinite amount of worlds. The universe is expanding which implies that it is moving into areas that are hitherto empty. Not that there are infinite worlds. The actual numbers may make my pedantry irrelevant though ;-)
The "Truly known the mind of God" statement he made was a bit of tongue-in-cheek fun - but then you seem a bit sour to know that concept. And I think your final statement meant to say SETI, not the unrelated NASA, but I doubt you actually think about what you say...
What's Earth got that's valuable enough to them? To put it another way, what do we have on Earth that's worth a bunch of aliens going down the gravity well, fighting it out with human defenders, and hoisting themselves and their stash back up the gravity well again?
We're certainly rich in water, but if you're out in space anyway and you're tatting around in the solar system, you've already flown through the Oort cloud and Kuiper belt with uncountably many "dirty-water" asteroids and comets. Metals? Oort cloud again, or there's a perfectly good asteroid belt before you get to us, and Mars has plenty of resources too with less gravity. Hydrogen or hydrocarbons? Easier to send scoops down into the upper atmosphere of any of the gas giants. Sulphur? Venus. Iron? Mars again. The only thing really special about Earth is artificially-created elements like plutonium, and I suspect pretty much any government would be happy to *give* the stuff to them, in as large quantities as they like. But for that matter, if you're advanced enough to run a starship then you've figured out nuclear fission already, so mining/refining/reacting uranium yourself is a trivial exercise.
The thing about the european colonisation o f N. America is that there were bloody millions of them who turned up. Not just a Mayflower-full. If our first contact with aliens results in them phoning home and saying "Hey, look what we've found ... come on over and bring your friends" then we may well be the subject of an invasion. Although if the indians had had nuclear weapons, the story might have been different.
On the other hand, if we come across a single individual, or a spaceship that has taken hundreds of years to get here then the balance of power could well be tipped in our favour. Simply by strength of numbers (readers of Footfall will be familiar with this situation) as the aliens couldn't be everywhere, all the time.
Personally, I think if aliens did come here, they'd either not notice us, or would react the way we do to an ant-hill when out walking: something to be ignored and avoided, unless it becomes a nuisance.
...the rest of the solar system has massive resources that would be far easier to gather for a spacefaring species than what Earth has to offer. Comets, asteroids, gas giants are full of stuff you might want for your journey. Unless they wanted some trees or something to brighten up the place, why would they bother with us? More likely we would attack them for nicking our stuff.
I'm sorry, but bright as Steven Hawking is, duh. Stick to physics, Steve.;
... its more about being able ot freely strip the more abundant planets without the annoyance of pesky humans.
If aliens came and started strip mining the other planets, im sure the inhabitants of Earth would take it upon ourselves to defend our solar system (we'll need those resources for when we start strip mining whole planets!). Therefore, whilst it might take a few years of development, we would eventually become a pest. Much simpler, to just wipe out makind from the start in one quick attack, and then strip mine until your hearts content...
So what are Cameron, Brown and Clegg going to do about it eh?! Oh yes, bang on about the NHS, privacy concerns and proportional representation, won't do you much good when a slimy skinned, yet beautiful and slightly soft-focused alien ( thinking 80's V here! ) is about to chow down on your soft squidgy bits!!
This is a very good response, and I feel that Hawking's imagination is too severely constrained by the usual human impulses and motivations: people/aliens would only ever justify going anywhere to "conquer" or for "resources". If intelligent extraterrestrials have managed to engineer something to let them (or their descendants) travel across interstellar space, either they've done so at a stretch and may not have any capacity to do much more than crash into the Earth, or the whole project required such resources and knowledge that in making a voyage (or by merely preparing for it), they are in a technological state that means that they hardly need to pop down, elbowing Exxon Mobil out of the way, in order to suck out the last drops of Earth's oil, all because "the aliens are running out of gas".
The only kind of extraterrestrials that would come along to mess around with humankind are some breed or other of space perverts. All the others would probably see no merit in interfering.
I will reply to this post at random - but there are a hell of a lot of posts here with the same sentiment :
"bright as Steven Hawking is, duh. Stick to physics, Steve:" and they all have one thing in common:- written by a load of numpties who think science fiction books are somehow the best the human race can offer.
Read what he said for gods sake. They might, just want resources, they might just want a little holiday in the galactic outbacks, but how the f*ck to you know what they want? Please explain to me how you know they want asteroids or commets or gas giants or anything else out in the oort cloud or just floating around in space.
They are aliens! Your "smallbrain" cannot know what they want.
They might just want to build a luxury holidy resort, but they need to send the pest control in first.
All Hawking is saying is they we cannot know what they want, so lets just keep our heads down until we get a better idea. If you do fancy calling all an sundry over for dinner, could you please find another planet to do it from?
we all get along just fine with each other down here on Earth don't we, what could possibly go wrong bumping into some space peeps ? Intelligent life my arse. Survival of the fittest maybe, but that's another matter. Survival by means of smelling the coffee and being rational, noooo, not going to happen. Survival of some itty bitty remnants left behind by humins for something / body to find in the distant future and mull over, that's more like it. The potential for other sentient beings to exist in the universe cannot be denied, but co-existing within communicable time / distance, no, I don't think so. Let's get back to putting our heads in the sand until the party is really over then.
..Vernor Vinge:"A Fire Upon the Deep". It does a very good job of conveying just how vast our galaxy is and how isolated we might be. Anyone worried about the consequences of alien contact might get some comfort from that :)
You should also read "A Deepness in the Sky" because it's a sort of prequel and, frankly, a bloody good book.
But back to the article - I think he makes a valid point. I think visiting aliens will only do one of two things:
* Avoid contact but perhaps leave some kind of probe/alarm system behind that can detect if/when we ever grow up enough to be worth talking to.
* As Prof. Hawkins says - they'll take what they want and we'll be lucky if we survive.
If we were friendly and rational then a third option would be to open dialogue and maybe send a small population down to co-habit. Unfortunately no-one is going to want to co-habit with us for the foreseeable future. We can't even live with ourselves at the moment - stupid sods that we are.
Mathematically there's every chance of alien life out there somewhere. It's very probable indeed.
However the chances of meeting any are still pretty slim as (if they're like us) they'll be a tad self destructive, and so won't last that long, relatively. Think in terms of shooting stars in the night sky. If you're into sailing at night and are keeping an eye out on a 4hr watch you might see half a dozen on a clear night. I've never seen any collide though.
Also they'd have to want something pretty specific to go to the bother of dragging it up through our gravity well, when there's a lot of material floating about in space or on moons.
If we are truly to be intergalactic lords...it's more of a case of sayin..."Cap'n to Engineerin', more power juices please and oh yeah, pedal a bit faster an' harder"....transwarp drive yeah right...where's the dilithium crystals....instead of using bikes to generate transwarp....pppfffttttt http://www.theregister.co.uk/Design/graphics/icons/comment/happy_32.png
There are two scenarios assuming hostile resource mining/conquering aliens exist - either they have faster than light technology, or are moving at substantially less than the speed of light.
If they have FtL flight then the only possible advantage Earth offers is that it's a pleasant place to live, astronomically speaking. Plenty of other moons/planets offer resource that could be mined. The assumption is also that Earth like planets are also rare, which is undoubtedly true in terms of our local cosmic neighbourhood, but perhaps not so accurate given FtL travel and an almost infinite universe.
If they don't have FtL flight, then it's not a problem for anyone currently alive and probably not their grandchildren either, due to the distances involved. You also have to consider the thinking of a relatively slow colonisation ship - taking a punt on a planet broadcasting a SETI signal still being in a decent shape by the time the colonisation ship arrives. I would have thought it would be more sensible to have a self sustaining ship and a load of researchers on board working on terraforming and suchlike..
"and that a visit by them to present-day humanity would probably have unfortunate consequences for us."
Err.... Professor Hawking would do very well and better to stay well clear of the Alien debate, lest it render his lead cosmic position and his life's work in support of planetary models in tatters and subject to a more objective reexamination and total annihilation and completely different reappraisal.
To consider that present-day humanity is in any way in a fortunate position which an alien visitation and manifestation could not both materially and virtually enhance beyond the wildest of primitive dreams, is typical I suppose of Man's limited intelligence capacity and Lack of Imaginative Ability.
Whether though that is to remains the case in the Immediate Future, for just some or nearly all, is directly related to a native ability and decided willingness to listen to and process new information as it is fed to them via Media and IT Networks InterNetworking Novel Intelligence Feeds ........ Raw Virgin Source for Revised Global ProgramMING. ........ which, if it is any easier for you to imagine, you may like to consider is a Special Intelligence Service Project with the Full Might and Majesty of C,M, and Q Bonding to Deliver the Public, Advanced IntelAIgent Goods, rather than any Political Party Policy Product which doesn't Present Pretenders Pratting about like Precious Prima Donnas Pontificating in a Pantomime.
And as it is a Quantum Field of Communication, would it seem to be ideally suited to Professor Hawking's eleven dimension Mind, even should it suggest that there is no limit to the number of available dimensions in which to Work, Rest and Play in Command and Control of Creative Cyberspace for Computers and Communications and Global Operating Devices, ..... which if they don't play dice, sure as hell play a mean game of poker.
And further brief views with some history on such Future Time Space Projects and Programs is shared in a readily available chronicle, zerodDaily ........ http://tinyurl.com/C42QuantumControlSystems ....... [well, available until such times as the servers are nobbled again to have NEUKlearer HyperRadioProActive Ideas and CodedD Transmissions removed from Global Online for All GO Systems.]
I've been discussing things along these lines for years with people. In order to beat the 'Captain Cook and the South-Sea Islanders' syndrome we, as a planet, need to not only get our planetary defenses up pronto, but the get 'out there' as fast as possible to mark out and defend our territory. At a very minimum that would include our solar system as far as the periphery of the Oort Cloud.
Time to stop bickering amongst ourself and start pointing those nukes outwards where they might at least be useful.
What, you mean the boss alien explorer is going to be reasonably OK and well-meaning (up until the point where we murder him with a pointy stick), but the crew give everyone a fatal dose of the clap and the greedy boss aliens back at Prime Base decide to send out expeditions to assimilate us?
Personally I think the arrival of aliens would immediately trigger the SquabblePocalypse as every extreme religious group on the planet declare Holy War on each other, themselves, Richard Dawkins, the aliens and whatever else is in sight.
If an alien wants to depopulate the planet all they have to do is put in a personal appearance while wearing a hijab with a yarmulke on top, brandishing a cross and eating a pork chop. We wouldn't last a week.
No-one has mentioned H G Wells "The war of the Worlds". I suspect that should biological aliens arrive on another planet with biology, there are only three possible outcomes, none good:
1. Their microbes overcome our immune systems and reduce the Earth's biosphere to goo.
2. Our microbes overcome their immune systems and reduce the invaders to goo. Their home planet likewise, if any make it back home.
3. Both of the above, followed by a very long war (hundreds of millions of years, or billions) while two competing microbial biosystems evolove their way to victory or a peace treaty (symbiosis).
But of course, the real universe appears to have a speed-of-light limit. Perhaps we should be thankful for that. I suspect interstellar travel has to wait until biological life works out how to upload itself into robotic bodies. At that point they can go exploring, by slowing their clocks down enough to make interstellar journeys tolerably short in subjective time.
Post-biological life plausibly poses no threat to us, because it will prefer vacuum (almost all the universe) to nasty corrosive biospheres (a negligibly small part), and the tops of gravity wells to the bottoms. It might even be here already, if it's ethical enough to leave primitive bio-life alone and just watch our evolution quietly from the comfort of the asteroid belt!
The nasty alternative -- exponential growth, conversion of every solar system it reaches into smart matter, etc. -- can probably be ruled out in this galactic heighbourhood by astronomical observation. We'd have noticed mature stars surrounded by smart-matter dust clouds that should not be there, and most especially a patch of all-atypical stars characteristically different from the rest of the galaxy.
How can we be sure the Solar System (or observable parts of it) are not a reservation already, with the observable universe arranged to appear to be what the technically more advanced colonists of our sector want us to see ? E.G. if they don't want us to contemplate interplanetary travel yet, why not make the local speed of light and locally observable distances make it look as if it would take too much energy and time for us to escape the boundaries placed upon our reservation ?
Use of extraterrestrial explanation icon somewhat obvious !
Sorry Stephen, I think that's about as likely as them coming to steal our women. Have you been watching Independence Day, which was wrong from beginning to end? Any aliens with the technology to travel the stars have no need of going to the bother of invading a populated planet for resources. As has become perfectly clear in recent years, our galaxy, indeed our local solar system, teems with materials that are unclaimed and free to exploit. Much easier to target uninhabited planets or indeed asteroids. The old idea of aliens stealing our water is a classic of the genre, but pretty dumb when you consider how much free water is out there. Don't get me wrong, the idea of alien invasion is a fun one and I've even written a book on the subject, Waging the War of the Worlds, but we've got very little to worry about on this score, with one exception. If the aliens are like us, there might be purely xenophobic reasons for them to attack!
i think the point is, its the agressively expansive aliens that are likely to be out there looking around - and those are precisely the ones we dont want to run into.
sure - its unlikely aliens would attack us for resources, but its entirely possible they'd want a pre-emptive war of annihilation, to stop these bastard humans (who are polluting the airwaves with their hippy filth!) from being a threat to their beloved grandkids in 3000 years time.
not to mention the problems if we attract some form of haegemonizing swarm of robots (nano or otherwise), fresh from wiping out their creators, and hungry for more biological life to exterminate!
"Sorry Stephen, I think that's about as likely as them coming to steal our women." ..... Tieger Posted Monday 26th April 2010 12:43 GMT
Given that Man is so totally useless at fulfilling the needs of women with feeds to their satisfaction, I can imagine it being a very likely avenue of entry for world takeover and makeover.
And should Aliens have no Untoward Physical Form but be of a Powerful MetaPhysical Meme and have Morphed into Bodies of Advanced and Highly Developed and Developing Thought Patterns, would they easily Infect and take over Human Hosts for a Perfectly Stealthy Invisible Force of Super IntelAIgents.
Which is definitely Juicy Lucy Hawking Field?
They are like the aliens out of Signs?
All you need are some doors which we have and water pistols and we can defeat them easily then take the fight back to their planet.
But seriously, the chance of other life forms existing at this specific point in time is slim. Has Mr Hawking forgot to factor in that there may have been life forms on other planets previously that have long died out or yet to exist? I think that is more likely.
If we ever develop antimatter-based rockets, then:
-We will be abe to build relativistic missiles able to snuff whole biospheres.
-These engines will produce unmistakable radiation signatures.
If we don't happen to civilizationally fritz ourselves, building those engines is mostly a given. For us and for any other technological race out there. So then you have several players, us included, able now or in the future to get the means to exterminate each other. Would we risk it, or would we hit first? Would they risk it, or would they hit us first?
"But seriously, the chance of other life forms existing at this specific point in time is slim."
Depends on what you take as the sample. You are possibly right for the local portion of our galaxy, which SETi efforts and telescopes can examine, but there are billions of more stars in our galaxy, and if that is not enough, billions of other galaxies. This is Hawkins' reasoning. The probability that the universe contains other intelligent beings besides us is 1.0, but they may be situated on another galaxy, and communication with them is impossible.
Beware and be aware and prepare yourself for the aliens with an insatiable appetite and immaculate taste for crashing systems with love for money honey. Who then would want to be human whenever they share those memes/float that methodology?
And without the control of money, would you be defenceless, for is that not your remote slave driver?
And re: ..."already happened, they're already here, we've already got the technology to defend ourselves (plus sort out all the world's problems to boot), we already know (most of) their intentions." ..... envmod Posted Monday 26th April 2010 10:55 GMT
How about we speculate on the truths in that statement with a simple binary straw poll for perceived accuracy/hope/wishes.
Yes, Yes, No, Yes, No.
OK, probably missed something completely here, wasn't it Hawking that said "I think the human race has no future if it doesn't go into space", just as long as nobody spots us when we're out there?
I would note that he's is being misquoted, he actually said that some *may* pose a threat, and *could* wipe out humanity, he makes no effort (or it has not been reported) how likely he thinks it could be, but for me, any species that has managed to conquer energy production, has the technology to roam space and can sustain themselves for the time it takes to cross vast distances in space has probably solved most of the things that cause such abberant behaviour on earth (perhaps their gods are the real ones, or perhaps they are atheists having evolved socially as well as technologically).
It's true that our solar system has nothing special in terms of resources. There's nothing here that you can't get elsewhere...except maybe an iPad or three.
However, intergalactic travellers might be dangerous religious fanatics who view our population as a large group of infidels who need converting and/or exterminating. It may be that our primitive way of life is an abomination to them.
We are a reservation. Go to a zoo. There's always a kid that doesn't read the sign or can't and messes with the caged animals and gives them food or what not.
The only reason I see why there's no alien kid with his daddy's car messing with us is because we are the caged animals. We are in an actively protected reservation unbeknownst to us. They have to do that otherwise we'd have alien kids pretending to be Gods and what not. It also makes, in this goofball of a post, perfect sense. Of course you protect the babes that can't walk yet. Its like a galactical U.N. charter deal.
And to goof off more, their base is on the moon and that's why we are not going back there: the first time they drive the point home.
Ah, what speculative and unfounded fun:)
'Unfortunately I got stuck on the Earth for rather longer than I indended',
said Ford. 'I came for a week and got stuck for fifteen years.'
'But how did you get there in the first place then?'
'Easy, I got a lift with a teaser.'
'Er, what is...'
'A teaser? Teasers are usually rich kids with nothing to do. They cruise around
looking for planets which haven't made interstellar contact yet and buzz them.'
'Buzz them?' Arthur began to feel that Ford was enjoying making life difficult
'Yeah,' said Ford, 'they buzz them. They find some isolated spot with very few
people around, then land right by some poor unsuspecting soul whom no one's ever
going to believe and them strut up and down in front of him wearing silly antennae
on their head and making beep beep noises. Rather childish really.
Very limited view of Extraterrestrials. The probability is that several extraterrestrial civilizations already exist and they are probably organized into some kind of federation. The federation, chances are, has experience dealing with civilizations like ours. They will probably propose to us some kind of membership but not before we eliminate wars and nuclear bombs. It is very probable that the federation already has bases in the moon and already has contact with the US government. The reason Obama is not going to the moon is that the federation already have bases there and for sure they do not want us around. I think the federation is also slowly feeding us technology to improve our lives and the federation will push for some kind of global government to make it easy to negotiate with us as a whole.
if a civilization exists which can travel the stars - a quote of Arthur C Clark comes to mind.
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
any civilization capable of interstellar travel, will own one or more magic devices. We will have no effective defense if they desire to colonize Earth.
Why would they want too?
While there are innumerable stars 'out there', so far, of the planetary systems we know of ( just a very few admittedly) we have found only 1 (other than our own) which resides in the habitable zone around it's star. It may well be that planets such as ours - reasonable gravity, reasonable temperature, reasonable atmosphere (not consisting of sulfuric acid for example) are few and far between.
Imagine we figure out interstellar travel.
We travel to some star system, and find a planet that is habitable (by our own standards) what do you think will happen?
1 - we will carefully examine it looking for existing life/intelligence avoiding all possible contamination. Then and only then upon finding no existing life we colonize this planet
2 - assuming there are no civilizations. we immediately start building habitable structures and start colonizing.
3 - given that there is a civilization at some level of development, that we immediately start to colonize AND either wipe them out or push them into reservations (as was done in the US to the native population).
Why should we expect anything different from any other civilization contacting us here??
Ok, they want what we've got, all the more reason then to burn through our remaining stocks of gas, coal and oil ASAP so there's nothing left for them thieving alien scum. Sod climate change, this is more important!
Mines the one with the keys to a Hummer, towing a whacking great trailer with a speedboat on top.
Err... ooops .... sorry
That "Heavenly Brothels for Practising Perfect Creative Techniques and Seductive Adddictive Methodologies" post was in Homage to "That's fucking obvious. Paris Hilton AND Britney Spears! ... What's Earth got that's valuable enough to them?" ... Anonymous Coward Posted Monday 26th April 2010 13:26 GMT.
It might not make a great deal of sense without that additional information. :-)
The reality of interaction with intelligent life in our universe is already stranger than we imagine it will be, and it is coming at a very bad time - when we are already experiencing resource depletion and conflict between our nations. Professor Hawking is more right than wrong, though at this point if alien races wanted to take this planet, they would not need weapons to do it. They would just have to persuade and manipulate us to do what they wanted, as we are divided and ignorant of life beyond our world. Go to www.alliesofhumanity.org or www.greatwavesofchange.org to learn more. This is not an intellectual exercise. It is an event and phenomenon of the utmost importance, not mystical or out of a scifi series, and it is happening right now.
"...we are divided and ignorant of life beyond our world."
Thus this thread?!
"Go to www.alliesofhumanity.org or www.greatwavesofchange.org to learn more."
If *you* can't explain your theory in a paragraph or less, why should I subject myself to overlong web pages full of multicolored large font nonsense with blinking backgrounds? [don't need to go there, all those pages are alike]
It was on TV last night, here in the U.S. It's pretty good!
That being said, here are my thoughts:
1. What makes us think that we are so interesting to talk to? Given the scale of time the universe developed over and the relative youth of our solar system on that scale, any intelligent life out there is probably going to be millions or billions of years more advanced than us. So advanced, that we may not even perceive it as life. Or it may be so powerful that it can alter our perception of the broader universe (think of a whale or fish living in an aquarium tank), so that we don't even perceive them out there or the fact that we have already been captured and penned. Maybe all that "dark matter" stuff is the real universe, with space fleets rolling around and engineering going on at the solar system level, and we have been relegated to the fish tank/wildlife sanctuary with the other primitive specimens.
2. As an insurance policy, I like anonymous cowards idea of using up all our consumable resources before any dirty aliens can put their grubby tendrils on them. Pass me a beer and let the party begin!!
First engineer a virus that harms humans by removing the gene for reproduction.
This is easy to do as we backwards race already can get a virus to put a gene into our own DNA. So a bunch of Aliens will have no trouble with this.
Then place virus into the atmosphere and then go at 10x light-speed for a day and then return to discover that 150 years have past on Earth and there are no people left.
One ready to be occupied planet - no need to dress up as humans or fight them.
Mind you to clean up the mess left behind by us will take a while. :-)
...there's a series of alien beacons around our system just outside the Oort cloud broadcasting a message like:
"STAY AWAY! The inhabitants of this system are freaking psychopaths! If in distress you'd be better served to blow your ship up right now rather than try landing there!
YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!"
Or perhaps the beacons might use more emphatic language... (laughing)
It strikes me that any extremely advanced race would not be able to exist with a violent /selfish trait. Since it’s that trait that generally promotes the destroying of each other and prevents the working together in blissful harmony trait that would be required to move past the point of self annihilation in order to get to such a evolutionary stage.
After all, once you hit a technology level where by it is relatively easy to destroy your own planet or similar levels of destruction such like – you need to be dam sure there is not one single being on your planet who would not under some misguided religious or power crazed mindset want to make use of that technology in such a way.
For example, humankind reached the point of nuclear fusion – and then proceeded blowing each other up with that technology. We best hope we don’t do that when we start playing with antimatter or fiddling with space and time itself!
"For example, humankind reached the point of nuclear fusion – and then proceeded blowing each other up with that technology"
May be pedantic but who exactly was blown-up by nuclear fusion ?
Also we've been 'playing' with antimatter for a while but I don't think we'll see a lot of it (e.g. micrograms) anytime soon.
Brighter than us, two billion year old civilization and gave up flying cars because they "Were so back then."
If FTL was possible in any way shape or form it could be the only breakthrough they had.
Perhaps they hang out around our planet now awaiting the newest Intel, Apple or (who was that other chip manufacture, you guys never mention them.)
And thinking to each other "If Adobe doesn't get to this patch rather quickly, I am going to kill a cow."
It would only take one breakthrough, well perhaps two; seat belts come to mind.
And I would say Just Land Already; we won't hurt you, but don't land in Oregon; not right now.
Humans are just too much trouble to bother dealing with. We're far too primitive a species that we aren't work even keeping around. I think aliens would just destroy us without hesitation. Carrying on...
Mr. Hawking is way off the mark. Aliens that are capable of interstellar travel would be far more advanced than we are in such ways that are not even fathomable by our puny primitive human brains. The fact that they'd have to figure out the restrictions of time over vast distances where every planet/solar system/galaxy are all completely out of temporal sync with each other poses another significant problem. Humans assume that since WE live in this particular dimension of time, then it's therefore obvious that the entire universe and all its inhabitants live in the same time. This is false. We our out of sync with everyone and everything that exists off of our planet.
So, aliens would have to be compatible with our time otherwise we'd never even know that either of our species even exist. In addition, we also assume that aliens can live within our 'life sustaining zones' of temperature, radioactivity, gravity, pressure and other relative factors. Just by sheer calculations alone it is possible that alien species could be living in a different time dimension in severe temperatures of radiation within an intense gravitational field, making Earth an unlikely place for them to live.
As far as a species being exactly like us being able to live in our time dimension and environment, this is possible. But time is a factor in the equation that poses severe uncertainty for everyone. For all we know they are already here but have already arrived, existed and gone extinct within only a nano of a nano of a nano second. it is also possible that for them 1 second = 1 billion of our own Earth years making our planet an unsuitable place for them to live. Lastly, it is possible that they are not even in our time dimension and we already occupy the same space, but not the same time.
Just because we see and understand things a certain way doesn't mean it's the way of life for others in the universe. We don't really know anything about anything yet, but due to our immense arrogance we just think we do.
With all due respect Mr. Hawking, I'm surprised you haven't thought of all this. Tsk, tsk.
Reasonably we can assume that any advanced alien species will be libertarian. We'd be flying to the stars ourselves if we had John Galt's electrostatic engine.
Given that this is the case the only way to prevent ourselves from being summarily homesteaded by an advanced alien race is to respect natural libertarian property rights ourselves.
It's food for thought isn't it? Every song you pirate is a nail in coffin of humanities future.
http://planetquest.jpl.nasa.gov/index.cfm . . . . We can already detect planets around other stars down to 2x the size of earth (probably smaller as the data comes in this year/next.) We can also detect the gases of some exoplanets. Gases like CFCs (these don't happen naturally,) oxygen, which doesn't stick around unless something is making it etc. Translation, any civilization that's anywhere nearby that's as advanced as us or more, probably already know we're here. We'll know they're there regardless of their silent radios. In the next 50 years we're going to have a massive database of planets and their vitals. We can already detect planets 20,000 light years away in the center of our galaxy using chance opportunities with gravitational lensing. Imagine the database of planets aliens have. One day someone is going to do a facepalm when they look at SETI data slighty differently or in a different range etc.
" They'd do it so that we could never pose a threat to them..." I agree, which is why I go around killing children, dogs, monkeys, immigrants and lizards.
"However, intergalactic travellers might be dangerous religious fanatics who view our population as a large group of infidels who need converting and/or exterminating. It may be that our primitive way of life is an abomination to them." . . . . That is about the only feasable doomsday scenario, and the way I see it, is we're stranded on a tropical island. Sure there may be pirates, but I'm gonna go ahead and signal any boats I see. The don't talk to strangers strategy is counter productive, they're going to see us first anyways.
p.s. I'm 25% American Indian and thank FSM Columbus brought civilization, otherwise I'd have a life expectancy of 40 years and squirrel for lunch.
Hawkings is wrong more than he is right and here he is talking out his butt, AGAIN!!...Whats next, noble prize for encouraging spaced based weaponry...(I think spacecraft should have a particle defense weapon against wayward astreroids anyways....but that could just be a water toy to darth vader and company)....the little microbes, surely already raining down on us for a couple of billion years, at least from the ice geysers of the saturaninan moons and jovian moons, are the greatest statistical threat to terrestial life....and like all the other things that have came and passed into history, the little microbes would eventually find an ecological balance, whatever that maybe!!...back to physics....trees have a form which follows thier function....we will find this form all over the damn galaxy.....ALL OF US can safely assume that multipeds will outnumber monopeds as the dominant method of mobility.....but circumstance may allow the lower order statistics to appear as the order of the day via happenstance.....beaming out seti signals is neither good nor bad...first if we have been beaming out signals for what, a few decades now???how far have they gone? what percentage of space have they traversed towards the nearest star??....hell we are so dumb we blast out signals at SUB light speed in the direction of a star that has not been in that targeted location for HOW MANY MILLIONS OF YEARS????..Let alone where the targeted star will be WHEN AND IF the intended signals arrive....so many parsecs away the hope for success is only supported by serendipity.....hopefully they are looking for nanowatt or femtowatt signals in the HF spectrum.....a few million years from now!!!...our own historians are statistically more likely to hear seti than KUBLA KAHN FROM KLAKATU or whatever....quit asking that geek questions about social anything!!....and start checking his damn facts!!!....onwards.....maybe the big bad green guys came here to TALK to an intelligent being....WHAT THE HELL MAKES ANYONE THINK THAT WOULD BE US????....damn ignorant of any species in general to be that foolish......statistically, we do not have ANY information on what an alien civilization would think of us....just a bunch of biased guesses that, like stephens, change from day to day depending on personal social biases......perhaps they were already here, surveyed, mined, left a few escaped slaves on the surface, took a few as replacements, off they went, same thing happens over and over again....personally I would avoid large groups of anything unknown, keep a safe distance from any race that purposefully tossed strontium 91 around like it was pixie dust, keep the gamma detector of high so as to avoid large groups of organisms that liked banging different rocks together to see if they could duplicate the really cool glowing mushroom cloud effect, and of course, at all costs, AVOID WITH DEAR LIFE IN TOW, ANY CIVILIZATION THAT DOES NOT WASH IT"S HAND'S AFTER GOING TO THE BATHROOM!!!!....surely a least common denominator among all species......Steve is a good guy, I hope will go back and work on some quantum entanglement stuff, I need to know if any of the axions are ftl theory possible or not....I don't believe in axions nor fiction from outerspace or megamedia....good luck, thanks for all the fish...forget the vogans, they ran out of money and no one want so come near this swamp infested part of the galaxy anyways...they are all hanging out at vantage points near the great hole...watching the greatest show of the galaxy (no, sorry freud, it ain't us) and feeding the monster that keeps it all spinning fractionalized dust particles.
Most of the arguments in favour of the exitence of ET intelligence seem to rely rather heavilly on probability.
Take a look at us. How long have we had the capability to fly into space? A few decades. And so far are we able to travel interstellar distances? Nope. Indeed the likes of Hawking can't even tell us how we're going to manage that and when we will have the capabilities.
So considering the age of the universe what are the probabilities that there are aliens out there now (or in the next century or so) who have the capability to fly to earth and actually want to fly to earth? Aggregate the probabilities and I suspect that you end up with something that is very unlikely indeed.
Oh and you can bear in mind that we haven't had any confirmed contact with ETs yet. So we're not only looking at the likelyhood that there is somebody out there now who has the ability and inclination to come here, but we have to weigh it against the fact that even though they can do it they haven't chosen to do it yet.
I have to disagree. I mean why would an alien race risk casualties and a conflict just to come here and stomp us out? Taken in the context of an entire universe they could explore why would they stop here for our piddly little resources? They need oil to power those super-interstellar space ships of theirs? From my lay man understanding the universe is essentially a big cosmic soup made up of every imaginable element. Given that idea you could find almost any resource out on uninhabited planets and not risk any conflict in gathering them. Seems like a hell of a lot of effort when you could just go find a uranium asteroid to gobble up. And I agree with other posters that to advance to this stage you'd have to move past things like nationalism that cause all those wonderful wars. Case in point look at the US's defense spending versus its space exploration spending. We're ready for that unknown time in the future when the USSR rises from the ashes and once again threatens freedom! But hey, we don't even have gas money for a trip to the moon. I suspect they have already been here (dons tinfoil hat) and saw no reason to return. If they landed anywhere near Texas I can virtually guarantee they will not be back for some time!
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