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Author Topic: What would aliens do?  (Read 3585 times)

Offline grizelda

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What would aliens do?
« on: 26/10/2013 02:10:16 »
We can assume that any alien species advanced enough and sentient to explore the cosmos and discover earth would be morally too advanced to wipe us out and claim our home. The technological advances they would have made would make it suicide to battle with such technology, so wars would not be an option. If they discovered our planet tens of thousands of years ago, they would have realized that we were a sentient species and likely to inhabit the planet for tens or hundreds of millions of years, as many earth species have. But if we were introduced to religion, politics, witch doctors etc. (civilization), it could be predicted that we would eugenically modify our species into something nature did not create, and extinction would be only a matter of a short time. True to form, most religious and political entities have eugenically modified their adherents into slaves of the administration and wiped themselves out in political/religious wars. So if the aliens come by needing a planet in the future and this one is freshly sentience-free and available, well, I'm not saying they had anything to do with it, but it's awfully convenient. Like they say, "Follow the Money".


 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: What would aliens do?
« Reply #1 on: 26/10/2013 07:21:34 »
It would have been trivial for an "alien" species to wipe out humanity, or most of humanity, while we were still in the stone ages, or copper age.  It would be far more dangerous to wait until our technology arrived to the level it is today, or even push it towards the level it is today.  Humanity could self-destruct, but if that happens, we could certainly take a lot more with us.  We also may stabilize, and endure through the ages, perhaps gaining enough power that it could be very damaging to any potential alien invaders.
 

Offline grizelda

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Re: What would aliens do?
« Reply #2 on: 26/10/2013 08:47:04 »
An advanced alien civilization would have already passed its stage of being warlike, as the weaponry available to them would already have made them extinct if they were foolish enough to use it.
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: What would aliens do?
« Reply #3 on: 28/10/2013 00:31:51 »
What is your evidence? As I see it, our species at least has "advanced" from mutually supportive hunting groups to pointlessly competitive individuals, and groups prepared and equipped to exterminate hundreds or millions on the basis of the presumed beliefs of their chosen victims.
 

Offline grizelda

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Re: What would aliens do?
« Reply #4 on: 28/10/2013 02:37:34 »
Yeah the advanced groups which survived would be the exception, which proves that extinction is the rule.
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: What would aliens do?
« Reply #5 on: 28/10/2013 05:29:30 »
If a civilization discovered that they weren't confined to their own solar system, they would also assume that other civilizations weren't confined to their solar systems.

It would make sense that they would at least also invest in defense.

However, if the trip out of one's solar system is takes a Herculean effort, then it is quite possible that they would not be able to arrive at the destination in force.  Certainly not with an overwhelming force to conquer with.

Of course, planting seeds for technological advancement might make the arrival more pleasant.
 

Offline David Cooper

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Re: What would aliens do?
« Reply #6 on: 28/10/2013 17:39:15 »
What interest would aliens have in coming here? Resources? They could get plenty nearer to home, so that's unlikely. A new place to live? That's more likely, but they'd want to wipe out all life here first so that our bacteria can't harm them. How do you irradiate a planet? You'd never get every last bacterium as they're deep in the ground, but you could release tiny artificial bacteria of a safe kind (safe to the aliens) to destroy all the natural ones near the surface and maintain a permanent battle against them while the surface would be safe for the aliens to live on. An alternative would be to knock something big into the Earth to melt the entire surface, then wait for it to resolidify. Apart from that, another possible motivation for aliens interacting with us would be for cultural exchange, but that can all be done at a distance through radio communications.
 

Offline grizelda

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Re: What would aliens do?
« Reply #7 on: 29/10/2013 01:02:26 »
If a civilization discovered that they weren't confined to their own solar system, they would also assume that other civilizations weren't confined to their solar systems.

It would make sense that they would at least also invest in defense.

However, if the trip out of one's solar system is takes a Herculean effort, then it is quite possible that they would not be able to arrive at the destination in force.  Certainly not with an overwhelming force to conquer with.

Of course, planting seeds for technological advancement might make the arrival more pleasant.

The best defense is a good offense. Few defenses have proven effective, from the Alamo to Fortress Europe. The siege of Leningrad was finally lifted by offensive efforts from outside. A far flung empire staffed by offensive forces is bound to turn ugly. Probably the world wars were fought by returning colonial armies. If we're talking aliens with time travel, faster than light travel or teleportation, resistance will be futile. As I say, these kinds of technology in the hands of a warlike culture are a one-way trip to oblivion. Only a culture of peace, love and tranquillity has a hope of making it past its birth.
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: What would aliens do?
« Reply #8 on: 29/10/2013 08:05:04 »
What interest would aliens have in coming here? Resources? They could get plenty nearer to home, so that's unlikely.
What motivated the Elizabethans and Victorians to build an empire? The Romans were trying to establish a defensible boundary, but the Conquistadores and suchlike were after something else. 
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A new place to live? That's more likely, but they'd want to wipe out all life here first so that our bacteria can't harm them. How do you irradiate a planet? You'd never get every last bacterium as they're deep in the ground, but you could release tiny artificial bacteria of a safe kind (safe to the aliens) to destroy all the natural ones near the surface and maintain a permanent battle against them while the surface would be safe for the aliens to live on.
We've been there too. Whisky and infected blankets. Beware of aliens bearing gifts. 
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An alternative would be to knock something big into the Earth to melt the entire surface, then wait for it to resolidify.
Most of it is liquid already.
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Apart from that, another possible motivation for aliens interacting with us would be for cultural exchange, but that can all be done at a distance through radio communications.
An hour of Saturday television would convince anyone that there is no intelligent life on this planet. Cultural exchange? What could anyone possibly want with Strictly Come X Factor?   
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: What would aliens do?
« Reply #9 on: 29/10/2013 10:43:51 »
[
A new place to live? That's more likely, but they'd want to wipe out all life here first so that our bacteria can't harm them. How do you irradiate a planet? You'd never get every last bacterium as they're deep in the ground, but you could release tiny artificial bacteria of a safe kind (safe to the aliens) to destroy all the natural ones near the surface and maintain a permanent battle against them while the surface would be safe for the aliens to live on.
We've been there too. Whisky and infected blankets. Beware of aliens bearing gifts.
I'm not sure about the harm posed by bacteria.  Possibly. 

Certainly viruses are very specific to their host. 
Many bacteria is also quite specific. 

Another issue is that most higher animals (on Earth) are also quite picky about their food source.  Rearrange a few atoms in the basic structure of biological organisms, and one could well have all the food being toxic. 

An alternative would be to knock something big into the Earth to melt the entire surface, then wait for it to resolidify.

The oxygen atmosphere, and perhaps the water oceans may be a precious commodity.  And, of course, hydrocarbons, even if they aren't quite what is desired.  One would have to be careful that one wouldn't wipe out everything that makes Earth unique.  If too much is blown into space, or oxidized, one might not get it back now that the earlier periods of heavy bombardment are over.  And, it could take millions of years to rebuild the atmosphere.  That might be ambitious. 

Of course, that doesn't mean that some aliens didn't initially seed the Earth with bacteria, and perhaps eukaryotes 4 billion years ago, and just never came back once the terraforming process was complete.
 

Offline grizelda

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Re: What would aliens do?
« Reply #10 on: 29/10/2013 18:26:36 »
One scenario would be aliens stuck in a trailer park on some forsaken asteroid with depleting resources after their sun went poof. With their technology they discover our planet, and in an act of altruism (all they know) they explain consciousness to us as an archetypal pattern followed by cliche patterns and cliches of that cliche etc. This is dumbed down by local artists who explain it to the people in icons like god, zeus etc. Rinse, lather, repeat and suddenly you have religions to fight over. Everybody reaches for their weapons and ten thousand years later the "vacancy" sign lights up on a perfectly good sentience-free planet.
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: What would aliens do?
« Reply #11 on: 29/10/2013 20:06:04 »
Of course, if you teach your "target" how to make Nukes...
You may not want to move back in for another million years or so.

In movies, the last resort is always hitting the "self destruct" button.
If Earth was invaded, would hitting the "self destruct" button for our entire planet be an option?
 

Offline grizelda

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Re: What would aliens do?
« Reply #12 on: 30/10/2013 07:03:52 »
A million years sounds a bit high at the one end of the risk curve, but ok. On the other end, our eugenically modified species might find itself wiped out in a pandemic rolling over an immune system no longer evolved by nature. So say forty years to let the smell, etc. fade and load the alien's caravans and hit the road.
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: What would aliens do?
« Reply #13 on: 30/10/2013 07:57:16 »
If Earth was invaded, would hitting the "self destruct" button for our entire planet be an option?

Unfortunately "We had to destroy the village in order to save it" has already been offered as a defence in a war crime trial. Fortunately the USA lost that war, otherwise they might have gone on to obliterate the entire Far East for its own good. Just like the Conquistadores before them, and today's religious fanatics bombing each other and anything that might contain an infidel. So I've no doubt that someone will say "better gone than Klingon" and hit the red button as you suggest.

Destroying your own base, or calling for artillery to shell your own position, has some desperate value in combat, but only to prevent the enemy advancing further or capturing key assets. Not sure how legitimate it is to take out your own civilians without a vote. 
 

Offline Mad Mark

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Re: What would aliens do?
« Reply #14 on: 06/11/2013 20:38:15 »
Not sure how legitimate it is to take out your own civilians without the vote?
I don't think worrying about future protesters will be on their minds when they press the button!
 

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Re: What would aliens do?
« Reply #14 on: 06/11/2013 20:38:15 »

 

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