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dyslexic nam
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Re: SETI taking an unwise turn? new [Re: shawnhar]
      #5902080 - 06/04/13 03:54 PM

Quote:

I think we can make some reasonable assumtions about the disposition of potential visitors.
They are a collective, groups working together. The level of cooperation required to travel through space must be tremendous. The decision to come here will be a collective one. Jo shmo alien is not going to decide on his own to vaprorize us.
They will come from far away, it's a long distance endeavor. They must perceive the journey as a benefit. There are no resources we have here that they would not have passed along the way. Even if they do have FTL, the group will have to mull over the cost to benifit of making the journey and decide who's going to go, what they will bring, how long it will take, if they can get back, a thousand logistics...
They will not be able to eat anything here or breathe our atmosphere.
They will recognize our dominance over the planet, we will not be viewed as insects or cattle, c'mon, we split the atom and throw stuff into space on a regular basis, wer'e not that primitive.
Do those not seem like reasonable assumptions?




I don't know - mainly because I have no idea what life would be like for an alien species capable of FTL (which is what this is entirely predicated on). Maybe they have discovered a way to fold space-time such that the journey isn't nearly as daunting as you make it out to be.

This would also rebuff your idea that a rogue traveller couldn't be acting alone. I see no reason to believe that interstellar travelers must, of necessity, be collaborative creatures undertaking a common venture. If FTL mechanisms are discovered, I don't see why we shouldn't predict the maturation and proliferation of that technology. Within 50 years, we have gone from primitive computers that occupied 100s of cubic feet, to something the size of an iPod that has computing power that dwarfs the capacity of the former machines. Now apply that same level of growth to all potential FTL mechanisms, potentially over the course of millions of years of technological evolution, and I see no reason to think that interstellar travel would continue to be the daunting task you make it out to be.

I will be frank - I have no idea what such a species would do, nor what their capacities could be. But to blunt, I don't think you do either. That is part of the problem - we have no idea what an alien species might be like. They might be benevolent creatures that lead us to a new era of light. They might be neutral observers that watch us from afar. They might be a roving penal colony that was teleported out of their galaxy and carries one heckuva grudge. We simply have no idea. And in the absence of that information, I think it is a bit cavalier to start actively inviting them over.


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Mister T
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Reged: 02/01/08

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Re: SETI taking an unwise turn? new [Re: dyslexic nam]
      #5902330 - 06/04/13 06:08 PM

If an alien race decides that this planet warrants a visit, realistically the only reason for them to come here is us (the human race and terrestrial life).

As has been stated before, anything else they can get here would be available elsewhere for much less effort.

I don't see a race of beings so far advanced as to disregard us as an insignificant species.

The "worst" situation I see is that maybe they would come to study us and not intervene when we get ready to annihilate ourselves.

more realistically they will share our scientific curiosity

As much of a fan of science fiction as I am, I have a hard time believing that the Klingons would survive themselves long enough to get off of Kronos.

And the Vulcans would see no logical advantage to pillage us.

And the Rebel alliance would never violate the Prime directive....


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InterStellarGuy
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Re: SETI taking an unwise turn? new [Re: shawnhar]
      #5902637 - 06/04/13 09:01 PM

Quote:

It's simple logic. (to me)
If they have to obey the laws of physics like we do, the energy used to "get us" far outweighs any resource benefit to them.
If they have figured out a way around the limitation of faster than light travel, there is no way they would feel threatend by us, and with that kind of tech, what would be the need to harm us or pillage our resources?




What about sheer imperialism? Human history is littered with tyrants and despots who sought to conquer and dominate for no other reason than to expand their spheres of control and domination.


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Rick Woods
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Re: SETI taking an unwise turn? new [Re: Mister T]
      #5902728 - 06/04/13 09:48 PM

Quote:

If an alien race decides that this planet warrants a visit, realistically the only reason for them to come here is us (the human race and terrestrial life).




There's always the possibility that Earth-like planets, ones that have everything needed for life as we know it (large moon, oceans, plate tectonics, magnetic field, etc etc), are rare; and an alien visitation might be for the purpose of colonization, and for all the same reasons we talk endlessly here about why we need to colonize Mars.


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llanitedave
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Re: SETI taking an unwise turn? new [Re: Rick Woods]
      #5902851 - 06/04/13 10:47 PM

Don't make me start talking about comets again!

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Rick Woods
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Re: SETI taking an unwise turn? new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5902893 - 06/04/13 11:08 PM

I'm not talking resources; I'm talking home planet. None of us would want to live in an artificial environment out in the Oort cloud just because access to resources would be much easier; we need sky, horizon, panorama, distance; all the outdoors things that you only get on a planet. Why shouldn't an alien race have similar needs? And if they wanted our planet for colonization, they might be a lot like us in motivation, too.

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llanitedave
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Re: SETI taking an unwise turn? new [Re: Rick Woods]
      #5902978 - 06/04/13 11:54 PM

We've evolved to want those things, but we really don't need them. There are plenty of urban dwellers who spend their whole lives in artificial environments -- I've known a few who were aghast at the idea of having to spend too much time outdoors.

Thousands of people have already signed up to live in a Mars colony, which will of necessity be an enclosed artificial environment. It seems likely that any species that has learned to succeed at space travel has also learned to survive perfectly well in artificial environments.


It's worth mentioning that Earth, for any creature that evolved on a different planet, would also be a very alien environment, and visitors would almost certainly need artificial habitats to survive here. Even if they could breathe the air and drink the water, the biological environment is not likely to be benign.


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shawnhar
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Re: SETI taking an unwise turn? new [Re: InterStellarGuy]
      #5903396 - 06/05/13 08:29 AM

Quote:

Quote:

It's simple logic. (to me)
If they have to obey the laws of physics like we do, the energy used to "get us" far outweighs any resource benefit to them.
If they have figured out a way around the limitation of faster than light travel, there is no way they would feel threatend by us, and with that kind of tech, what would be the need to harm us or pillage our resources?




What about sheer imperialism? Human history is littered with tyrants and despots who sought to conquer and dominate for no other reason than to expand their spheres of control and domination.



Really? You think it is even remotely possible Ming the Merciless is running around out there?
I think it's sad that there is a lot of projection of our behavior, good or bad, onto these potential visitors. They would not act or think like us, at all, promise.
(and they certainly won't speak english like Ming did)


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dyslexic nam
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 01/28/08

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Re: SETI taking an unwise turn? new [Re: shawnhar]
      #5903465 - 06/05/13 09:23 AM

The only ones projecting the behaviour of aliens as an given are those who are claiming that there is no possibility of threat. Everyone else is simply raising the possibility that they may not be entirely benevolent, and urging caution in light of this uncertainty.

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shawnhar
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Re: SETI taking an unwise turn? new [Re: dyslexic nam]
      #5903515 - 06/05/13 09:58 AM

I will concede that it is possible, intentions might not be good. I think it is highly unlikely though. I would give it the same odds they gave the 1st A-bomb of creating a runaway reaction and destroying the planet.

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Pess
(Title)
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Reged: 09/12/07

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Re: SETI taking an unwise turn? new [Re: Rick Woods]
      #5904204 - 06/05/13 03:55 PM

Quote:

I'm not talking resources; I'm talking home planet. None of us would want to live in an artificial environment out in the Oort cloud just because access to resources would be much easier; we need sky, horizon, panorama, distance; all the outdoors things that you only get on a planet. Why shouldn't an alien race have similar needs? And if they wanted our planet for colonization, they might be a lot like us in motivation, too.




On the contrary, if interstellar travel times require generational ships, I would bet cold hard cash that those descendents living in those ships would view descending to a dirty ball of a planet as abhorrent.

Some would, sure but most would probably embrace the sterile and happy environment of their ship.

It is a given that if the ship could support multi-generations through space that is was probably a comfortable, regulated environment to live.

Unless we can generate interstellar speeds that render ships as mere transportation systems, I bet most space faring races pretty much go to space and stay there.

In fact, I'll bet that by the time an alien race has routine interstellar travel, they are no longer biological constructs. Being 'Bags of mostly water' will be a thing of the past.

Pesse (If I want to visit a planet I'll play WoW!) Mist


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llanitedave
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Re: SETI taking an unwise turn? new [Re: Pess]
      #5904951 - 06/05/13 11:04 PM

Those who feel that because Earth is an ideal home for humanity means its also an ideal home for potentially competitive aliens may be forgetting just how wide the diversity of planets out there really is. A life form that evolved on a different planet will be adapted to that planet's environment, in a very fine-tuned way. That planet will have a different gravitational field than the Earth, it will have a different atmospheric composition, it's likely to have a different radiation environment. The mix of proteins, fats and sugars utilized by the unearthly biology is likely to be very different than our own -- possibly using different amino acids in their enzymes and maybe different nucleic acids too.

Just as one example, a perfectly plausible atmospheric mix is 25% oxygen, 20% CO2, 40% Nitrogen, and 14% Argon, with 2% other gases. There's no physical reason that I know of why this mixture couldn't exist on some planet somewhere. That atmosphere is perfectly capable of supporting life in principle. It would be quickly fatal to humans, however. On the other hand, a species which evolved in that atmosphere would be attuned to it, and would very likely require a certain percentage of carbon dioxide as, say, some regulatory system. An atmosphere sadly lacking in CO2 like ours (despite the fact that it's a lot higher than it used to be) would not be capable of supporting those organisms. They'd need life support systems to exist here.

As another example, suppose these ET's home star is a K0 main sequence star. K stars are a lot more abundant in the galaxy than G stars like the Sun. This star has a surface temperature of 5,200K, less than the Sun's 5770K. Using Planck's Law, we find that a K0 star emits only about 40% as much ultraviolet radiation at 300nm wavelength as does a G2 star like the Sun. Organisms evolving under those lower radiation conditions will be even less resistant to UV than we are, and it's tough enough on us. They'll need extra protection.

So the idea that some species from another star system will just galivant down to Earth and take over because they like the scenery is kind of out there. Not only are the chances of some signal of ours reaching someone who's listening vanishingly remote, but the chances of those listeners finding a place like Earth to be an inviting place to do anything more than study are even smaller. We've really got nothing to offer other than curiosity. Not resources, not climate, not cuisine, and probably less than scintillating conversation.


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Rick Woods
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Re: SETI taking an unwise turn? new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5905190 - 06/06/13 02:55 AM

Quote:

We've evolved to want those things, but we really don't need them. There are plenty of urban dwellers who spend their whole lives in artificial environments -- I've known a few who were aghast at the idea of having to spend too much time outdoors.

Thousands of people have already signed up to live in a Mars colony, which will of necessity be an enclosed artificial environment. It seems likely that any species that has learned to succeed at space travel has also learned to survive perfectly well in artificial environments.

It's worth mentioning that Earth, for any creature that evolved on a different planet, would also be a very alien environment, and visitors would almost certainly need artificial habitats to survive here. Even if they could breathe the air and drink the water, the biological environment is not likely to be benign.




I hear what you're saying; but I maintain those things are necessary for the development of the complete person. Those urban dwellers you refer to are anomalies (see how smoothly I segue over to the other contentious thread? ). It is not natural to live your entire life in a completely artificial environment.
I suspect many of those Martian volunteers don't quite understand what they'd be getting into. Yes, we can survive in a completely artificial environment; but we do not thrive.

And, that last was exactly my point. Planets just like Earth might be in very short supply, and be very attractive to beings who evolved on a similar world. There may just not be very many out there.


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Rick Woods
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Re: SETI taking an unwise turn? new [Re: shawnhar]
      #5905195 - 06/06/13 03:00 AM

Quote:

Really? You think it is even remotely possible Ming the Merciless is running around out there?
I think it's sad that there is a lot of projection of our behavior, good or bad, onto these potential visitors. They would not act or think like us, at all, promise.




That's an interesting assertion - with a promise, to boot! I have to ask: what makes you so sure? Would you bet your life on it? Will you do so right here and now, publically?
How sure are you really - and why?

Remember, this wouldn't be a case of if you're wrong, we could go back to the drawing board. If you're wrong, game over. For good.


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Rick Woods
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Re: SETI taking an unwise turn? new [Re: Pess]
      #5905198 - 06/06/13 03:03 AM

Quote:

On the contrary, if interstellar travel times require generational ships, I would bet cold hard cash that those descendents living in those ships would view descending to a dirty ball of a planet as abhorrent.





Well, there's a thought.


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shawnhar
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Re: SETI taking an unwise turn? new [Re: Rick Woods]
      #5905507 - 06/06/13 09:09 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Really? You think it is even remotely possible Ming the Merciless is running around out there?
I think it's sad that there is a lot of projection of our behavior, good or bad, onto these potential visitors. They would not act or think like us, at all, promise.




That's an interesting assertion - with a promise, to boot! I have to ask: what makes you so sure? Would you bet your life on it? Will you do so right here and now, publically?
How sure are you really - and why?

Remember, this wouldn't be a case of if you're wrong, we could go back to the drawing board. If you're wrong, game over. For good.



Human brains are Earth biological, electricity and chemistry drive the base behavior like eat, sleep, reproduce. These are a result of developing in this enviornment, this very specific enviornment. Our type of star makes our brains produce lithium when watching a sunset, that's why it's so relaxing. There are lots of other examples, but that is only the BASE behavior, social behavior is shaped in the same enviornment specific way, even specific to which part of the globe your'e in. When's the last time you ate a fried chicken foot on a stick?
They don't have the same bio mechanics and social influences, they won't have human emotions, they won't act like us.
Yes I will bet my life, yours and everyone on the planet.


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Glassthrower
Vendor - Galactic Stone & Ironworks
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Re: SETI taking an unwise turn? new [Re: shawnhar]
      #5906262 - 06/06/13 03:21 PM

If aliens can travel faster than light and break the laws of physics as we know them, then our planet would not be toxic to them. They would probably be so advanced that they would use "mecha" type suits of "bio-armor", or they might project an avatar that is not biological and send it down here. Breathing some Earth atmosphere is probably not going to ruin the day of a being that does not breathe at all.

I also agree with what Rick said earlier - our type of watery planet might be very rare in the universe. We might be very lucky sitting on our little rich planet that is filled with readily-accessible resources and teaming with diverse life.

The vast majority of exoplanets we have studied are hostile, poisonous, violent worlds - massive gas giants bathed in deadly radiation. We have yet to see a single world that might fall into the "Earth-like" category. If our world is rare in that way, we might be of interest to aliens who are curious about our strange, beautiful and wet world. Hopefully the aliens will come as respectful tourists.

So, some aliens might find our planet worth plundering. Or, they might be so advanced that they have no interest in us at all. But like I said before, if such aliens are very advanced, then our atmosphere, gravity, and life would be little bother to them. They could come and go as they please. If they can break the light-barrier, then Earthly bacteria are not going to kill them, and nasty-tasting air won't deter them.

Imagine a ship full of fully-armed Predators landing here. They wouldn't give a moment's thought to our air or microbes. They would have a field day with us and the SETI scientists who brought them here will be hiding in terror under their desks and waiting for our militaries to clean up the mess they made.

I respect the other points of view here and I cannot completely argue against them. But, I still don't think this is a good idea. Given the minimal chance of a positive outcome, I'd say scrap the idea until a future date when more of the variables are known.


Edited by Glassthrower (06/07/13 12:06 AM)


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fodderwing
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Reged: 02/19/13

Re: SETI taking an unwise turn? new [Re: Glassthrower]
      #5906572 - 06/06/13 06:19 PM

If aliens detect us and are interested lets hope they can travel faster than light.
Hopefully they will get here and stop us from triggering an Oceanic Anoxic Event.
Due to humanaties pumping carbon in the atmosphere,
our oceans could be pink in a couple of generations rendering all non micobial life extinct.

Earths little way of wiping the slate clean


But then again they may feel right at home in those conditions


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Unknownastron
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Re: SETI taking an unwise turn? new [Re: fodderwing]
      #5907323 - 06/07/13 03:20 AM

Here is a website which explores many of the ideas expressed here in some depth. It;s a great site overall putting real science into sci-fi themes. Here is there extensive page about aliens. It covers a variety of ideas. The pertinent parts here start with the discussion of the Fermi Paradox. Some that follows is disquieting,

http://www.projectrho.com/public_html/rocket/aliens.php

CLear skies and clean glass,
Mike


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Pess
(Title)
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Reged: 09/12/07

Loc: Toledo, Ohio
Re: SETI taking an unwise turn? new [Re: fodderwing]
      #5908420 - 06/07/13 05:36 PM

Quote:

If aliens detect us and are interested lets hope they can travel faster than light.
Hopefully they will get here and stop us from triggering an Oceanic Anoxic Event.
Due to humanaties pumping carbon in the atmosphere,
our oceans could be pink in a couple of generations rendering all non micobial life extinct.

Earths little way of wiping the slate clean


But then again they may feel right at home in those conditions





At some point we will extinguish our fossil fuels and the continuous generation of CO2 will abate.

I just hope we have an alternative for energy generation by then that is viable.

I don't think Solar has the energy density necessary to really make it anything more than a niche energy source.

Fission generates dangerous waste and potential environmental damage that could elevate above the CO2 build up threat if all our energy generation came from it.

We need a clean, abundant energy source such as Fusion. Hot or Cold fusion--I'm not picky.

Maybe an alien race that doesn't want us to know about their existence will send down their equivalent of 'Scotty' to give us the secret of 'Transparent Aluminum' (oh, and fusion too)

Pesse (just say'n) Mist


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