Would any alien visitors be friendly?

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by roadkill, Jun 24, 2003.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. roadkill Registered Senior Member

    Ok, I know alien life isn't proven yet, but to the ancient greeks anything beyond the pillars of hercules wasn't proven. Even they conjectured about planets around other stars and the possibility of life on such worlds. What I'm wondering about is the likelihood of intelligent life being friendly. I guess I'm a pessimist. I see no reason to think higher intelligences will be a mirror of our own idealised ethical perfection. For gawdsakes. They're ALIENS! How can we expect them to be more human than we are? Besides, all that malarkey about us being more civilised and spiritually aware than our forebears just doesn't cut it with me. I see no evidence of that. An apex predator doesn't reach the top of the food chain by being nice. He doesn't stay there by being nice. I have a feeling that when two spacefaring species meet it generally gets messy. History seems to back me up. Maybe thats why we have never met any intelligent races from other stars. Because different Alien species are too busy fighting with each other to have reached here yet.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    SpaceDaily Forums.
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2003
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  3. wet1 Wanderer Registered Senior Member

    I can give you two arguements, one for and one against a friendly alien civilization.

    1. For any civilization to advance, there must be co-operation. No one individual could research, finance, and support a space effort. (As witness to that, look at how much effort, energy, and finances go into just putting a satellite into space.) For co-operation to exist between individuals there has to be give and take. Over time, co-operation leads to the the realization to mutual benefit is better and more abundant in the long term than it is the short term. It is therefore better to help your other partner at times to ensure that the co-operation continues. This leads to the development of a sort of trust and helping the welfare of the other to maintain this relationship. Any wars, have the tendancy to slow down commercial interests (unless they are war centered) and peace tends to destroy commercial war interests. Between the two, far more is achieved by peace than war, as far as commercial co-operation is concerned. It is therefore of more benefit to the groups and species to maintain a peaceful effort than a war like one.
    2. (This one came up sometime ago and is posted somewhere within Sciforums. I can not remember the member that posted it but do remember the subject.) It was his contention that our broadcasts into space, leaked communication signals, even our radio telescope efforts were the wrong things to be doing by a species that wished to survive. That the first logical thing a race should do when discovering a competing race should be to plan the total elimination of that discovered species. Nothing less than total elimination would be acceptable. Competition for resources and growing room would lead survival of the species towards this trend. That if you let the other species remain after knowing they are there that one day the shoe may well be on the other foot and that the discovering species could well be faced with their own destruction. Therefore, in self-interest all species should be that upon discovery that a planet buster should be launched at first given oppurtunity and that the path of the weapon should be disguised so that no return weapon could be launched.
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  5. spookz Banned Banned

    dilemma dilemma (thanks wet) my head hurts now!

    i wanna advertise my presence and on the other hand i wanna kick myself for doing so. this antropomorphic assumption on our part about the peaceful intentions of aliens is really not cool. but then again......... i got it! lets err on the side of caution! what if you are responsible for the welfare of billions of humans? what would you do?
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  7. roadkill Registered Senior Member

    The aliens we first encounter will either be more advanced than us, less advanced than us or on a par. Three possibilities only. Assuming they are more advanced we can look at our own behaviour towards less sentient life for guidance. How do we treat the most intelligent creatures on this planet such as chimpanzies and dolphins? Ok. Chimps are expendable experimental test animals, circus performers, caged zoo exhibits or in some regions of Africa an exotic dish. Dolphins are served as whalemeat or tuna in many parts of Asia, shot at by fishermen for "stealing" fish, made to jump through hoops at Sea World and used by the military for fetching underwater bombs.

    I don't want to be the inferior race when we meet the neighbours from back of beyond. Intelligent creatures have at best a total disregard for less intelligent or less technologically advanced races. The lower the species the less regard. I don't watch the pavement for fear of stepping on ants. Civilised little creatures with their own societies they might be but they have the intelligence of a Commodore 64 computer. If they don't get out of the way tough luck.

    If they are on a par with us then they can be treated as equals. Equal competitors that is. As equally advanced beings they are a threat and most wars are the result of misunderstandings or one side wanting one thing and the other wanting something different. We disagree and fight among ourselves constantly. The more diverse the opposing cultures the greater the possibility of conflict. Canada and the US are not likely to chant hate cries across the border. The US and the middle east however is different. Both are strong and both disagree strongly on ethical values. Neither side understands the other so there is fear and contempt and hatred. How will it be with an alien species which will likely be impossible to comprehend? As complex as us physically but an utterly different mindset.

    I don't doubt that the most successful races in the universe are the best fighters. Those are the ones who will expand beyond their own sphere of space, through others, and eventually reach ours. That scares the hell out of me. Hopefully it wont happen for a few million years.
  8. filibuster I only call names in bed Registered Senior Member

    likely aliens

    What does a wolf do when it sees a mirror? It growls.

    Living here on good old greedy warlike Earth, it's too easy to assume that aliens will be hostile (ID4). Imagine how long it will be before we are actually capable of finding alien life and visiting it. By that time, we probably won't even be Earthlings ourselves anymore. I'm not saying that we will be any smarter once we've destroyed our home planet, but the children born on the moon or Mars may be a bit different than we are.

    All I'm saying is that even if the aliens were human, we cannot currently relate to the motivations of any species capable of the interstellar travel necessary to carry out your scenario.
  9. siledre Registered Senior Member

    I think any aliens out there need to worry about falling into our hands, more than likely we have already been classified dangerous if there are aliens out there.
  10. MechTech Registered Senior Member

    I think that if they exist, they will either be scientist-like, and thereby only use us for study/experiment (kinda reduce us to monkey status), or else they will either harvest us for food or destroy us in battle so that they can take the resources of the earth (metals/etc.....although it MIGHT be more important for them to take the water, being as that seems rare on other planets)
  11. spuriousmonkey Banned Banned

    Maybe it is also dependent on how common life is. If a alien species meets new intelligent lifeforms all the time it might be a bit triggerhappy. If it is the first time it meets other equal life it might rethink their actions twice. It is the first and only opportunity ever to exchange ideas with other intelligent lifeforms after all...
  12. eburacum45 Valued Senior Member

    Unfortunately, not only is there no reason to assume that alien life would be friendly, there is no reason to expect alien life to be friendly even with other members of its own species.

    Once intelligent entities in different solar systems become aware of each other, they are forced to observe each other over a separation of light years- this means any military intelligence is years out of date, and instead of rational friendliness and mutual understanding even the most intelligent entities would be forced to adopt a paranoid, worst case scenario strategy.

    Sorry, but that is the way it is.
    SF worldbuilding at
  13. eburacum45 Valued Senior Member

    And this is almost completely wrong, I am afraid; Alien life is likely to be so different to earth life that we will share few amino acids, proteins and enzymes in common, yet we may each contain trace elements that are deadly to each other...
    Each solar system seem to have a unique composition of heavy metals and other elements, which will no doubt cause many problems for colonists.
    Having said that there are few elements valuable enough to transport from one solar system to another-
    it would be cheaper to manufacture them at the home system by fusion or fission.
    And finally the Earth has no monopoly on water- Europa, Ganymede, Callisto, Titan, Triton, Pluto each have much more water than Earth... you have to melt the ice, is all.
    SF worldbuilding at
  14. river-wind Valued Senior Member

    I'd like to add to this list. What if the aliens are more advanced in some areas, and less advanced in others? What if they are technologically and socially different enough that neither their or our methods of doing things can be considered truely better or worse? only "not the same?" Or maybe their methods of doing things are great, but have some horrible side effect. Maybe the aliens have come to accept this sideeffect, or maybe it simply doesn't bother them. in either case, their technology may seem more advanced than ours to them, but may seme asinine and backwards to us.

    This is a very good logical question, though.
  15. filibuster I only call names in bed Registered Senior Member


    In addition, interstellar travel will take generations, and if it's done at zero G the effects on the our DNA are unpredictable. Our DNA has evolved in gravitational and magnetic fields. With such a radical environment change, we might not recognize our own astronauts as human if they showed up after a 200 year journey. So if the aliens are explorers themselves, they might not be representative of their own species anymore, either, assuming that mutation is a universal trait of life. Explorers do go everywhere first, after all.
  16. Clockwood You Forgot Poland Registered Senior Member

    Many alien races would look at earth the same way as we look at venus. Completely inhospitable. Why invade us?
  17. NenarTronian Teenaged Transhumanist Registered Senior Member

    If all sentient life is similar to humans, in how they think, why NOT invade us? Maybe all sentient life is intelligent, but so stupid at the same time...working on fear rather than logic, fiercely xenophobic and racist, stereotypical and judgemental, impulsive.... etc
  18. Clockwood You Forgot Poland Registered Senior Member

    Maybe they wouldnt because our enviroment was so vastly different from what they are used to that neither their biology or technology could function here.

    That does not exclude orbital bombardment.
  19. Greco Registered Senior Member

    If man eliminated all competitors there would be only one family existing on Earth. Obviously there's competetion among men and among species but there's a balance also of predator and prey. Different species find ways to co-exist. What we have to do if we encounter a more advance species is contribute something to their happiness.

    The inferior species has the task of accommadation. The superior species has a choice of destroying us or using us for their purpose. Hopefully they are vegeterians.
    The test of intelligence on our part would be to avoid the urge of confronting an advanced species. That would be suicidal.
  20. Ertai Registered Senior Member

    If aliens have hostile intentions..

    Ive read some interesting articles, and rest assured... if they visit us, their technology would be so advanced we would not have a chance (no moron heroic "save-the-world" feats like in ID4)

    But probably they wont care much about us, or have pacific intentions, while trying not to destabilize our social, scientific and general life on planet earth
  21. 2inquisitive The Devil is in the details Registered Senior Member

    It would seem logical that for them to be able to get "here" in
    the first place, they would have to be more highly evolved than
    us. Perhaps they evolved from an asexual form of life, or evolved
    to that state. Perhaps they can easily produce any food supply
    they would need. Those two traits could have great effects on
    their "personalities" or intensions towards us. They could have
    long mastered the physics of their own bodies, eliminated cell
    mutations, cell aging to some extent, their bodies producing
    perfect new cells to replace the ones that eventually did age.
    They could produce the ideal "food" or energy pill for their bodies
    from common elements found throughout the universe. They
    could then live VERY long lives, barring some type of accidental
    death. They could be free of many of the emotions that make
    us human as a race. If they were almost immortal, procreation
    would become a handicap rather than a necessity. Being asexual
    could eliminate many of the "distracting" emotions and instints
    that we feel, leaving them a with a very boring life by our standards.
    Our "primative" lifestyle, ability to procreate, and use of our planets
    resources could be of great interest to them. Why would such a
    species feel hostile towards use? We would have nothing they
    needed, except as a subject of study to further their knowledge.
    Curiosity may be one of the few pleasures they still have left.
  22. roadkill Registered Senior Member

    That's my point. Sure, such aliens probably do exist. They will not have faced such things as starvation or jealousy in a long time and learned to get along with one another. But I doubt every advanced race has chosen to limit its growth in numbers. Life has a built in drive to expand and reach out. What happens when this static immortal race meets an equally advanced race of savage competitive predators?

    Assuming the immortals aren't indestructible they will still die when fired at. In a universe entirely made up of peaceful alien races save for one, its that one which will expand outwards and enslave or devour its neighbours. They will be the empire builders. The main force in the universe. Pessimist that I am I can't help but think there is more than "one" fierce alien race out there.

    I find the idea of peaceful species rather difficult to imagine. No such thing exists on our world and evolution is driven by survival of the fittest and most determined. From sperm, only one in millions survives. Then on to babies, perhaps one in ten youngsters reaches adulthood. Then the adults must compete for females. Species that turn their backs on competition will either devolve or simply stop progressing. Meanwhile, other more violent strains of life will continue advancing.

    We humans compete from childhood onwards. For money and a nice car and a high prestige career. Everybody knows deep down that its a dog eat dog society. Everybody from the government downwards is under the thumb of somebody else. There is little real difference between the FBI and the organised crime syndicates they battle. Each is fighting over the same turf. Every nation would like to have more power than its neighbours and every person would like to rule the world.

    If we travelled to another world and it was inhabited by less advanced life then somebody would find a way of making money from it.

    Some Aliens might be more advanced than us in some ways and less in others. Sure. Thats what I mean by equal to us. Maybe not exactly equal but it would take centuries to discern all our comparative strengths and weaknesses during a war.

    Sorry, this is really long isn't it. Got carried away.
  23. kabuki Registered Member

    I would just want to say that the aliens visited Earth for sure, you know! And if they did (posibility is always 50 percent, but think about all saucers that have been seen!!!) they most likely contacted elephants. WHY? Because elephants are intelligent living beings and they have mind and they are aware of they existance! Elephants even have better, MUCH better memory than we humans. They are comunicating with some voice that is ultra something...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page