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If there were aliens

by decibel
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Innexplicable
#19
Nov23-03, 12:28 AM
P: 13
First off, back to the riginal question:

1. Ofcoarse as logical beings, it's safe to say we would be cautious on first meeting the aliens, and we would try to be prepared for any possible outcome and we would most likely have our military on high alert. As for fear, any logical, intuitive human being would not be afraid of aliens, since that would require preset beliefs about their motived, without concerning true logic. I believe this would be the same with them.

2. Secondly, one can not truly believe they would come here, of all places, for recourses. Since there are more than enough recourses in out universe to supply our needs forever, i.e. titan is a fuel moon, and it is much bigger than earth, and europa is a water moon, and has more water than earth. Besides, why would they risk fighting other intelligent beings for VERY limited recourses?

3. Their only true reason to destroy us may be as a precaution, so that we may not become more advanced than them and possibly destroy them.
LURCH
#20
Nov23-03, 07:03 AM
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Originally posted by Innexplicable
First off, back to the riginal question:

1. Ofcoarse as logical beings, it's safe to say we would be cautious on first meeting the aliens, and we would try to be prepared for any possible outcome and we would most likely have our military on high alert. As for fear, any logical, intuitive human being would not be afraid of aliens, since that would require preset beliefs about their motived, without concerning true logic. I believe this would be the same with them.


I do not entirely agree. The purpose of fear is self-preservation. If our species (or any species, IMHO) did not fear new things until it was proven that they should be feared, we would likely be extinct. Often the first indication that something should be feared is when it attempts to kill you. For the unwary, this attempt is more likely to be succesfull.

2. Secondly, one can not truly believe they would come here, of all places, for recourses. Since there are more than enough recourses in out universe to supply our needs forever, i.e. titan is a fuel moon, and it is much bigger than earth, and europa is a water moon, and has more water than earth. Besides, why would they risk fighting other intelligent beings for VERY limited recourses?

3. Their only true reason to destroy us may be as a precaution, so that we may not become more advanced than them and possibly destroy them.
Points two and three I do agree quite strongly. I get such a chuckle out of sci-fi where aliens come to Earth for water! They had to fly right passed Europa and all the rest to get here, where pathogens flourish and a technological race (however primative) is also out to make their mission dificult, not to mention the more inconvenient gravity.

Of course, I suppose a story about a bunch of aliens who come to our Solar system, syphon a bunch of water off of Miranda, and then leave without us ever knowing they had been here would lack dramatic tension.

But when my gaming friends ask me for suggestions as to why their alien attackers might be attacking, my answer is allways "xenophobia".
Merlin
#21
Nov23-03, 12:15 PM
P: 31
Hmmmm. yes ah..., The answer is ; Barring any great technological leaps, we are cursed with fractions of light speed to 99.99999% light speed, still dreadfully slow, by galactic standards, much less intergalactic travel, the ETs will find us, not we them. So by their Tech. standards we might as well still be using runners.
Phobos
#22
Nov24-03, 08:43 AM
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Originally posted by Merlin
... we are cursed with fractions of light speed to 99.99999% light speed, still dreadfully slow, ....
Especially slow for the viewers back home, but much more reasonable for the person making the trip due to time dilation.
Merlin
#23
Nov24-03, 09:06 AM
P: 31
Thank you for the kind reply!
Nereid
#24
Nov28-03, 08:49 PM
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LURCH wrote: I do not entirely agree. The purpose of fear is self-preservation. If our species (or any species, IMHO) did not fear new things until it was proven that they should be feared, we would likely be extinct. Often the first indication that something should be feared is when it attempts to kill you. For the unwary, this attempt is more likely to be succesfull.
I'm no naturalist or biologist, but it seems there are several important counter examples. In many islands - not only lumps of land surrounded by water, but also mountain peaks - there were (until good ol' homo sap introduced aliens which promptly proceeded to make them extinct) many animals (mammals and birds at least) which did not seem to have a 'fear gene'. They were at the top of the food chain, both herbivores and carnivores, and had even developed interesting relationships with the local flora (dodos are apparently essential for some species of tree on Maurtius to propogate; unless the seed pods are suitably processed in dodo gizzards, they cannot germinate in dodo poo).

Did they know fear but lost it? Did they evolve fearlessly? Why not fear?

Apparently because it's costly to the individual, where there are no threats, and so those without it had more offspring who were more successful in mating, etc ... evolution at work.

Lions are at the top of the food chain; do they 'fear' anything (other than homo sap)? Tigers? Kodiak bears?

The Earth is a giant island; what is the meta-characteristic like fear that we lack because we're king of the castle?
Loren Booda
#25
Nov28-03, 09:20 PM
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In what manner might Terran biota (have) intimately coexist(ed) with alien life? Extradimensions, micro- and macroforms, psychological states, divine intervention, or our inborn ignorance of our true environment?

Maybe species evolve gradual awareness and trust - first toward life most familiar, then finally to life most diverse.
Nereid
#26
Nov30-03, 07:16 PM
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Originally posted by Ivan Seeking
I agree to a point, but going all the way back to the first predator, predatory behavior must have evolved nearly as soon as strategies for reproduction. Again, I am equating predatory behavior with violence towards other species.

Is respect for life a trait likely to occur? This seems to imply the capacity for a philosophy in our sense.
LURCH made a really good observation, about fear. Looking at life on Earth, and those mammals which are top predators (or are not prey to another (large) mammal), what evidence of 'gratuitous violence' is there (other than that associated with competition for mates)? How would one assess whether such evolutionary winners have some kind of 'respect for life'? How to determine the extent to which this may, over millions of years, evolve into philosophy?
Nereid
#27
Dec5-03, 08:51 PM
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Ivan wrote: What about things like emotions or even consciousness for that matter? Could we meet an ET who is not even self aware by our standards? Could ET be intelligent but still have more in common with spiders or plants than he does with us?
Trying to get 'outside ourselves' on these is, IMHO, extraordinarily difficult.

Start with emotions. We know something about these in ourselves, though we continue to make interesting discoveries. What about the aliens already on Earth? What emotions do chimps, dolphins, horses, hyenas, mice, and other mammals experience? How can we tell? What about 'simpler' animals - snakes, turtles, sharks, eels, trout?

It'd be helpful if one of the PF members with a solid biology training contributed here, I'm way beyond my knowledge comfort-zone.

Apparently some social mammals (chimps, dolphins at least) can even mask their emotions from their fellows, in order to deceive, apparently, is one hypothesis.

How certain are we of the extent and subtlety of mammals' emotions to be able to make confident generalisations that could be the basis of informed speculation about ET's emotions?

My guess is, we are still profoundly ignorant.

Consciousness? Such a can of worms! As Mentat said in one of his excellent posts (on some philosophy-related thread, IIRC), without a means of communication, there's no way you can study this scientifically (he'll probably protest at my horribly inaccurate paraphrase). As the only critters who we can communicate with are ourselves, we're at a dead-end on this one.

Ivan, on re-reading your post, I see there are two other paragraphs with good ideas that I haven't commented on yet; later.


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