Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

First Contact

  1. Mar 17, 2003 #1


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Greetings !

    3 basic scenarios for you to consider and respond :
    1. They come to us.
    2. We come to them.
    3. Our starships "bump into" each other.

    Questions :
    Would you make/not make contact - How ?
    Would you make/not make contact - Why (for them too) ?

    (Are you one of "them" ? )

    Live long and prosper.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 17, 2003 #2
    I don't mean to digress but don't you have the exact thread in Philosophy?
  4. Mar 17, 2003 #3
    I know that the question was not asked to me, but i think i can answer it.
    The way the VBulletin works is not like the snitz forums (for moving a topic).
    Back in PF 2.0 when you moved a topic, the topic will go off the forum where it was moved from , and show in the forum where it was moved to .
    Here when a topic is moved from a forum to another, a note is left in the source forum, when you click the note it takes you to the new location of the topic.
    I think that this feature was made just for people to track the topic, and don't feel lost when they don't find a certain topic that have been moved.
    So this topic was first made in the philosophy forum, and then was moved to the M&PS forum, so you can find the topic in the M&PS forum, and can still find the note in the philosophy forum (where the word "Moved" next to it).
  5. Mar 17, 2003 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    WHAT ?!
    Mystics and Pseudo Science ?!
    Are you kidding me ?!
    Maybe a poll about possibility of future First Contact
    will show how few people here (if ANY at all !) consider
    this "Mystics and Pseudo Science" stuff !

    PUT IT BACK !!!
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2003
  6. Mar 17, 2003 #5


    User Avatar

    1. I would not make contact. Contact at one's homeworld places us at a severe disadvantage and leaves no rooms for error. What if they are hostile? (unlikely) What if they are so alien to us we are incompatiable? (very possible) The risks are to large for this. We want to meet them on an equal basis, not as servants.

    3. Ideally, no. A situation like this gives us a good view to study their culture, but any culture that we can study like this would probably not be worth contacting, perhaps simply out of "culture shock". We also don't want to cultivate an image of dominance - it can turn out for the worse in the future. But if they can detect us, we scarcely have any choice of initiating contact. We should go to the primary government first to avoid panic. And NO abductions! :wink:

    3. This is probably the best circumstance, though kinda unlikely. This gives plenty of room to back off in discussion, and limits the scale of any misunderstanding. It is best if any contact was initiated by proxy - eg AI robot probe from long range so we can try again if it goes wrong. Patience is essential and we should strive for some vague understanding before communication is attempted. They will probably do this too.
    Assuming we initiate contact.... To communicate, start with em, moving up in frequency from radio to x-ray. If they respond positively, narrow down the frequency to which they respond to, and send patterns of different frequencies to produce a "language". Mathematical operators first, and then use the mathematics to describe concepts etc. Hopefully they will cooperate. If they don't respond to em, other methods must be attempted, such as literally banging on their hull to make sound based transmissions.
  7. Mar 17, 2003 #6
    Thanks Staii. That makes sense.

    Sorry Drag, but Kerrie moved it here for a reason and I respect her decision, however, any questions or concerns you may have are welcome.
  8. Mar 17, 2003 #7
    Ideally yes, FZ+

    But, what's stopping "them" or "it" from coming and breaking the ice first? I'd like to know?

    There has been a lot of talk about "them" coming and then leaving unnoticed. (Except for a few mutilated cow carcasses and some hypnotic and implanted alien hybrids).

    This fits the idea that any civilization advanced enough to get here from 100 thousand light years or more away will have the intelligence to stay out of the affairs of their research subject. Especially when "they" realize how ill equipped humans are in accepting "their" presence. Our hormone driven society could look like a kindergarten for infant planaria worms to "them".
  9. Mar 18, 2003 #8


    User Avatar

    We hide? :wink:
    Hopefully, they will be more or less as enlightened as us, and so may not make contact until we can meet them, until we have the technology etc to make contact worthwhile. Indeed, you must wonder, what would an alien advanced race want to do with us? Why should they care about our existence. This is what we need to address before we get in the position we can make contact.

    I agree though. From the way most of us act, it seems that in any intergalactic alliance, we would be the weakest link.
  10. Mar 18, 2003 #9


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    4. Interstellar travel is impossible.

    If relativity is even close to correct, interstellare travel is simply not possible.

    It is likely the ONLY contact we will ever have is through radio or some other type of data communication.
  11. Mar 18, 2003 #10
    my bet is that initially it will be that either we or they bump into some stray comunication, like in the movie contact. that could happen well before there is interstellar travel.

    what happens after that is probably not much. I'm betting on alot of slow steps. nothing like a ship just appearing in earths orbit. though that is possible...
  12. Mar 19, 2003 #11
    Yes. There is the chance that their teaching methods have advanced lightyears ahead of ours (not hard to imagine ) and that they could bring us up to speed with their way of dealing with the environment we all have in common... the universe.

    However, I bet our brains would explode. I bet they'd know our brains would explode. And I bet they wouldn't bother teaching us anything.

    Especially if someone like russ-waters told them they can't travel between stars because some furry little guy named Albert said they can't.

    "Not even nothing is impossible". Carl
  13. Mar 19, 2003 #12


    User Avatar

    Difficult. Yes
    Impractical. Probably
    But Possible.

    FTL travel is impossible by normal methods. Relativity prevents that, and this is confirmed by experimentation. But interstellar travel without FTL is clearly still plausible, and even a few hundred years of travel time would not forever discourage a sufficiently determined alien race. Robotic explorers can work in time periods that normal living things simply cannot tolerate, and large seeder vessels (see A C Clarke's Songs of Distant Earth or Rama series... Ok, SF, but gives idea of possibilities) can allow galactic colonisation.
    And there may still be room for unconventional methods of travel. I am talking of methods based on hyperspace/wormholes, for example. These do not break relativity.
  14. Mar 26, 2003 #13
    I don't think we would bump into them for some reason presently escaping me. Scenarios 1 and 2 are more the way I think it might happen.
    Would I make contact? Yes. I would consider sucking up to their political elite and helping them rule the masses. :smile:
    I would take them a copy of one those 'special' US news rags (with the aliens shaking hands with presidents) to show them how well such a relationship can actually work.

    Seriously, It might pay to be cautious (like those unfortunates in the movie: Flight of the Phoenix). If you are killed, tortured, or whatever, it would be nice if they couldn't trace you back to the planet earth. One way or another I would want to make contact.
  15. Apr 1, 2003 #14
    First Contact on the Internet

    I think that if we did come across any aliens. It would be on the internet. Not really but wouldn't that be something? They all use 802.11a or B or to them 802.11Z technology and infiltrate an AOL chat room? lol
  16. Apr 5, 2003 #15
    Scenario 1. Would we have much choice in contacting them if they came to us? Surely we couldn't *all* hide behind the sofa hoping they'll think no one's home and leave.

    Scenario 2.

    How - Cheerfully waving as I plunder the resources of their home planet.

    Why - Because plunder be like a siren song to me, ahar matey!

    Scenario 3.

    How - Resort to road rage and smash in the face of the other driver with a conveniently placed space brick.

    Why - Self defence, your honour. I thought he was going to hit me with the cosmo 2x4 he got out of the back of his vehicle.
  17. Apr 6, 2003 #16
    1st contact

    1st contact might be really boring like them sending a computorized self energy generating radio machine to us, so we can return a message to them that might take years in itself. And if the machine they send us took a century to get here we would be wondering if their civilization still existed. I mean, are we sure ours will be here 100 years from now? Maybe they could send us some band-aids and bandages too.
  18. Apr 7, 2003 #17


    User Avatar

    Boring? You've gotta be joking. That's more exciting then most people can hope for. It shows that they use close to the same sort of communications technique to us, and gives a key insight into their technology. No, this is perhaps more interesting than a cliched "we come in peace".:smile:

    Well, civilisation would take longer than a century to disappear, but then again it is very unlikely any aliens would be found within fifty light years. But even then, it's good to know we are not alone, and it's good for them to know that part of their society lives on with us. I expect that this is all they would really want to receive off us. Barring an alien Dubya, their civilisation should still be around in 100 years. :wink:
  19. Apr 11, 2003 #18
    Beyond the space-time continuum, I-we traveled an infinity to reach out to the yet to be born developing intelligences and this is what I-we find. Single entity communication with unenlightened foundations of two vectors ideas limited to symbols of sounds without multi-deminsional visioning. The employment of discrete step functions as the ether of that noise. I-we are re-prioritizing my-our focus to more promising galactic point areas but I-we never leave any point areas. I-we will re-prioritize when waval understanding emerges.
  20. Apr 12, 2003 #19


    User Avatar

    Pah. What crap movie is this? There hasn't even been any big explosions yet.
    I want my money back....
  21. Apr 12, 2003 #20

    I-we comprehend the requirement for expanding energy waves at convergent coordinates. The photonic and molecular atmospheric disturbance overloads the organic networks managing the information flow in beings at your infantile stage. Overdriven, a glimpse of what could be and has been is simulated. Stimulated, the network could perceive realities beyond current comprehension. Rock and Roll works, too.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook