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Author Topic: Do you agree with Hawking (about Aliens)?  (Read 18672 times)

Offline norcalclimber

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Do you agree with Hawking (about Aliens)?
« Reply #50 on: 10/05/2010 17:52:14 »
You can't get a decent pint in the US, Geezer. I don't accept your terms :-)

norcalclimber, I am just going on some sort of statistical likelihood of the events postulated as a means of deciding whether we should try to hide from the rest of the universe or not. I would not deny that any outcome is possible, but then if we, personally, took such a view we would all be reclusive and never venture outside our houses.

We may think a few hundred billion stars as being a lot but, if interstellar travel is practical, then over the possible 4.5 billion years that alien civilisations may be in advance of us it would be relatively easy for a whole variety of them to have a good galactic geo-political map and that they will have been here (and maybe here now or at least observing us). We would not know and there is no point looking. The analysis of vast amounts of data from the earth would be trivial and automated for such advanced technologies.

I would contend that colonisation is a recent and temporary drive in an expanding population. I think that it is likely that advanced alien cultures may have cracked birth control when they had to face it within the confines of their own planet, much as we are doing now, if not yet wholly successfully.

If we wish to advance ourselves and explore the galaxy we are going to have to face up to meeting alien cultures anyway. Even if the assumption is made that there are hostile and expansionist aliens (and they are all too preoccupied to have noticed the earth over the last few million years), given the timespan of the cultures that may be out there, trying to hide is only going to delay the interaction by a few hundred years.

You have a very good point, I tend to disagree on the colonization part, but that is just my opinion.

So we don't try to hide.... but does prudence lead us to look into extraterrestrial weapon systems so we aren't caught with our pants completely down?  How well do conventional weapons actually work in space?
 

Offline graham.d

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Do you agree with Hawking (about Aliens)?
« Reply #51 on: 10/05/2010 18:32:04 »
So we don't try to hide.... but does prudence lead us to look into extraterrestrial weapon systems so we aren't caught with our pants completely down?  How well do conventional weapons actually work in space?
I don't see there being a lot of point. The same reasoning would suggest that if alien cultures have weapons, they would be far in advance of any we could make. And, if they don't, we are hardly going to engender goodwill. However, I expect that what good be classed as defensive armour or beam "weapon" would be essential if only against the odd meteorite moving at a rapid rate. If we ever find any practical means of travelling between the stars, we have to have the means to protect against impacts and radiation.
 

Offline UndergroundRisingUnited

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Do you agree with Hawking (about Aliens)?
« Reply #52 on: 10/05/2010 21:14:04 »
what resources do you think we have that aliens want? do you think they need coal for their starships steam engine?
i dont think we have anything to fear but our selves, we who still kill our own brothers, have to come together before discussing such a topic.
 

Offline Geezer

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Do you agree with Hawking (about Aliens)?
« Reply #53 on: 11/05/2010 07:02:47 »
what resources do you think we have that aliens want? do you think they need coal for their starships steam engine?
i dont think we have anything to fear but our selves, we who still kill our own brothers, have to come together before discussing such a topic.

Coal might be as good a reason as any other. We have no idea how common coal is in our Galaxy, let alone the Universe.

You kind of lost me on the second bit. Have you decided this topic should be removed or something?

BTW - Interesting handle. What does it mean?
« Last Edit: 11/05/2010 07:04:59 by Geezer »
 

Offline latebind

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Do you agree with Hawking (about Aliens)?
« Reply #54 on: 11/05/2010 16:29:10 »
what resources do you think we have that aliens want? do you think they need coal for their starships steam engine?
i dont think we have anything to fear but our selves, we who still kill our own brothers, have to come together before discussing such a topic.

If they showed up here, they would probably want our water. There is tons of water in the universe, but very little of it is liquid. Because Earth is in the 'temperate zone' most of our water is liquid, and perhaps the alien's have used up all their water or their planet is no longer in the temperate zone and they need a new source of h20 to continue their species. Just one thing they might want...
 

Offline graham.d

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Do you agree with Hawking (about Aliens)?
« Reply #55 on: 11/05/2010 17:11:12 »
That idea was used on a daft SciFi series. We are talking of a civilisation who is capable of interstellar travel. I think they could melt a few comets!
 

Offline kckuhns

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Do you agree with Hawking (about Aliens)?
« Reply #56 on: 12/05/2010 00:54:50 »
Perhaps the aliens have already been here and left, a million years ago.
They seeded the planet with their own kind.
And we are them....

Kevin
 

Offline UndergroundRisingUnited

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Do you agree with Hawking (about Aliens)?
« Reply #57 on: 12/05/2010 04:01:18 »
what resources do you think we have that aliens want? do you think they need coal for their starships steam engine?
i dont think we have anything to fear but our selves, we who still kill our own brothers, have to come together before discussing such a topic.

Coal might be as good a reason as any other. We have no idea how common coal is in our Galaxy, let alone the Universe.

You kind of lost me on the second bit. Have you decided this topic should be removed or something?

BTW - Interesting handle. What does it mean?
I do tend to generalize, the point i am trying to make is, if there is a life form traveling from star system to star system, they are probably advanced enough to acquire what ever resources they need by other means than war.  In the unimaginable vastness of the universe it is ignorant to think the elements found here on earth are only here. For example in the star trek movies when you want water you say, computer i want water.
I dont think star ships will run on coal, if steam power was sufficient for light speed we would have been using it already.
The end part suggests that we need to open our minds more before taking on such a subject.
 

Offline UndergroundRisingUnited

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Do you agree with Hawking (about Aliens)?
« Reply #58 on: 12/05/2010 04:05:52 »
what resources do you think we have that aliens want? do you think they need coal for their starships steam engine?
i dont think we have anything to fear but our selves, we who still kill our own brothers, have to come together before discussing such a topic.

Coal might be as good a reason as any other. We have no idea how common coal is in our Galaxy, let alone the Universe.

You kind of lost me on the second bit. Have you decided this topic should be removed or something?

BTW - Interesting handle. What does it mean?
the handle is my web site, please take a look. And coal is here from the era of the dinosaurs, millions of years of compressing organic material = coal, oil , and the rest of fossil fuels. U.R.U.TM
 

Offline UndergroundRisingUnited

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Do you agree with Hawking (about Aliens)?
« Reply #59 on: 12/05/2010 04:07:36 »
Perhaps the aliens have already been here and left, a million years ago.
They seeded the planet with their own kind.
And we are them....

Kevin
or they could be traveling through time
 

Offline UndergroundRisingUnited

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Do you agree with Hawking (about Aliens)?
« Reply #60 on: 12/05/2010 04:08:49 »
That idea was used on a daft SciFi series. We are talking of a civilisation who is capable of interstellar travel. I think they could melt a few comets!
ICE PIRATES
 

Offline imatfaal

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Do you agree with Hawking (about Aliens)?
« Reply #61 on: 12/05/2010 10:30:12 »
Although it is a totally unanswerable problem - my feeling is that any species that can cross interstellar distances will only have two aims; scientific discovery and a search for alternative life-forms.  I think an enquiring and scientific 'mind' is a prerequisite to leaving one's own solar system; any other prognostication is unfounded and anthropocentric. 

I think the only thing the earth could offer to alien species is the knowledge of a different basis of life

Matthew
 

Offline latebind

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Do you agree with Hawking (about Aliens)?
« Reply #62 on: 12/05/2010 11:50:29 »
Although it is a totally unanswerable problem - my feeling is that any species that can cross interstellar distances will only have two aims; scientific discovery and a search for alternative life-forms.  I think an enquiring and scientific 'mind' is a prerequisite to leaving one's own solar system; any other prognostication is unfounded and anthropocentric. 

I think the only thing the earth could offer to alien species is the knowledge of a different basis of life

Matthew

That is well said Matthew.

But there is also a third reason I think.
One day aliens, just like us, will have to leave their planet because it is no longer habitable, and they will be looking for a new place to call home.

They probably would put their needs in front of ours if they found earth, just like we would put the needs of all humans before aliens.

The last paragraph of mine here was just speculation, but the first is the important one :)
 

Offline graham.d

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Do you agree with Hawking (about Aliens)?
« Reply #63 on: 12/05/2010 12:45:17 »
Latebind, you are repeating the same concern but ignoring the facts about the timespan of development of any alien cultures. If this was a likely scenario it would have happened already. If life bearing planets are relatively common, aliens would go to one that was not occupied with intelligent life.

If life bearing planets are very rare then your suggestion is at least a plausible possibility. However, the Hawking idea about keeping quiet so we would not get noticed would only apply if the aliens were not hugely advanced compared with ourselves (and so were somehow incapable of any sizeable exploration of the galaxy or incapable of detecting our presence so far) but sufficiently advanced to have interstellar travel. His concept would also preclude us from ever exploring space for fear of detection - it seems daft to me, even if he is a clever bloke in other respects. This narrow window over a potential span of billions of years is not very probable.

I am not presupposing any moral compunction on the part of an alien culture here, though I expect they would have such rules and laws and, I would hope, be more respectful and caring of other life-forms than us, only recently developed, humans. The points I am making are really just based on evidential data and statistics.
« Last Edit: 12/05/2010 12:47:34 by graham.d »
 

Offline imatfaal

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Do you agree with Hawking (about Aliens)?
« Reply #64 on: 12/05/2010 15:57:31 »
Graham - agree entirely.  In addition to the fact of unlikely coincidence of the timespans of develpment; these is also the possibilty/probability that the first life to reach earth will be adapted to entirely different planetary conditions.  Whilst a life-form like ours would be hard to imagine developing on a gas giant; as gas giants are at present thought to be common throughout glaxy perhaps our first contact will be with gas giant dwellers.  It is damn near impossible to avoid anthropocentrism in questions like this.  Personally I look forward to meeting the hooloovoo; a super intelligent shade of the colour blue (H2G2 again)

Matthew
 

Offline norcalclimber

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Do you agree with Hawking (about Aliens)?
« Reply #65 on: 17/05/2010 22:46:13 »
Latebind, you are repeating the same concern but ignoring the facts about the timespan of development of any alien cultures. If this was a likely scenario it would have happened already. If life bearing planets are relatively common, aliens would go to one that was not occupied with intelligent life.

If life bearing planets are very rare then your suggestion is at least a plausible possibility. However, the Hawking idea about keeping quiet so we would not get noticed would only apply if the aliens were not hugely advanced compared with ourselves (and so were somehow incapable of any sizeable exploration of the galaxy or incapable of detecting our presence so far) but sufficiently advanced to have interstellar travel. His concept would also preclude us from ever exploring space for fear of detection - it seems daft to me, even if he is a clever bloke in other respects. This narrow window over a potential span of billions of years is not very probable.

I am not presupposing any moral compunction on the part of an alien culture here, though I expect they would have such rules and laws and, I would hope, be more respectful and caring of other life-forms than us, only recently developed, humans. The points I am making are really just based on evidential data and statistics.

I think we also have to look at the possibility that faster than light travel is really impossible.  If so, a species could be far, far more advanced than us but still be unable to traverse the entire galaxy looking for a planet capable of supporting life but without life.  Look at our own difficulties in finding planets outside of our solar system.  It could very well be that aliens would only be able to tell if a planet had the basic elements needed for life, and maybe they only have one shot to decide where they move to.  We have no problem killing many of the life on our own planet, in fact our very survival depends on us killing(animals or plants, both are life).  I think the most likely reason why an alien species would be traveling the galaxy would be because their home planet is no longer a viable home.

I think that when it really comes down to it, most of us care about survival.  We kill, or others kill for us daily in order for us to survive, and that seems to be primarily the case for animal life at least.  I see no reason to believe that life which evolved somewhere other than Earth would not put it's own survival before ours.

Should we be quiet then?  Should we try to hide?  I don't think so.  But I think we should also not delude ourselves into assuming that alien life most likely has what we consider an "enlightened" perspective.
« Last Edit: 17/05/2010 22:48:20 by norcalclimber »
 

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Do you agree with Hawking (about Aliens)?
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