25
   

Aliens Check Out the Earth

 
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Aug, 2009 04:24 pm
@Brandon9000,
Brandon9000 wrote:

Setanta wrote:

I don't see any reason for such an assumption. In fact, it seems logical that when a species reaches a certain level of both technological and social sophistication, they will be ready to become a space-faring species. If they're not, you're not going to meet them. But so long as any two species are space-faring, there is no reason to assume a great disparity between them.

The universe is about 14 billion years old. Humans of today could crush humans from 100 years ago.
The chances of a random encounter bringing together species so precisely at the same level
that a fight would be meaningful are small.
Clearly, that is true.





David
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Aug, 2009 05:31 pm
@OmSigDAVID,
The chances of an "encounter" are even smaller.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Aug, 2009 05:33 pm
@spendius,
No, the chances of an encounter have to be larger than the chance of a particular encounter.
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Aug, 2009 05:38 pm
@roger,
I can't argue with that you pedantic twottle.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Aug, 2009 05:40 pm
@Brandon9000,
Brandon9000 wrote:
It's not very logical, because the other species you meet will either be so far behind you that they couldn't possibly threaten you, or so far ahead that you couldn't possibly threaten them.

Believe it or not, I think that was part of the logic behind why they WOULD exterminate other species.

I don't remember the argument precisely, but I think it included an assumption that within a handful of centuries any sentient species would/could progress so dramatically that if it wasn't a threat to you at present it might well be a threat to you in the near future, so the safest course of action would be to exterminate it before it could become an overwhelming opponent.

I really wish I could remember the name of that book. Have you run across it Brandon?

rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Aug, 2009 05:43 pm
@Brandon9000,
Brandon9000 wrote:
The universe is about 14 billion years old. Humans of today could crush humans from 100 years ago. The chances of a random encounter bringing together species so precisely at the same level that a fight would be meaningful are small.

I agree. A chance encounter between any two species is very unlikely to be evenly matched. In addition the rate of development between any two species is unlikely to be the same unless there is a sharing of technology which balances them.
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Aug, 2009 06:35 pm
@rosborne979,
rosborne979 wrote:

Brandon9000 wrote:
It's not very logical, because the other species you meet will either be so far behind you that they couldn't possibly threaten you, or so far ahead that you couldn't possibly threaten them.

Believe it or not, I think that was part of the logic behind why they WOULD exterminate other species.

I don't remember the argument precisely, but I think it included an assumption that within a handful of centuries any sentient species would/could progress so dramatically that if it wasn't a threat to you at present it might well be a threat to you in the near future, so the safest course of action would be to exterminate it before it could become an overwhelming opponent.

I really wish I could remember the name of that book. Have you run across it Brandon?

No, and I love science fiction.
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Aug, 2009 07:53 pm
@rosborne979,
Sounds somewhat like a series done by Harry Turtledove, and yes, that's his real name.
0 Replies
 
gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Aug, 2009 08:00 pm
@Brandon9000,
Quote:
Will the Earth someday be visited by aliens and, if so, how are we likely to fare in the encounter?


What you want for dealing with space Aliens is that three punch combination which Duran used to use:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a93R-Gh7sIU

Jab, straight right, and then left hook either to the head or to the liver area...

Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Aug, 2009 08:43 pm
@Brandon9000,
Quote:
The universe is about 14 billion years old. Humans of today could crush humans from 100 years ago. The chances of a random encounter bringing together species so precisely at the same level that a fight would be meaningful are small.


This is a naive assumption. When Caesar conquered Transalpine Gaul, the Celts were physically larger than his men, they were better fed over their lifetimes than his men, they were fighting on their own home ground, and their metallurgy was at least one century, if not two or three centuries in advance of the Romans. Caesar handed them their collective military ass because of Roman social organization.

By the same token, an Araucanian Indian tribe of South America, the Mapuche, who inhabit Chile, turned back an "Inca" invasion about a century or more before the Spanish arrived. They very nearly exterminated the first Spanish settlers, and fought them to a standstill for, literally, more than two and a half centuries. After O'Higgins and Marti liberated Chile, they continued to successfully fight off the now Chilean settlers. In the mid-19th century, the government, at public expense, provided firearms and ammunition to the settlers. The Mapuche were pushed back, to an area of less than 20% of their ancestral lands. The Mapuche survive to this day. The were technologically inferior to all of their enemies, and their social organization was inferior to that of the "Incas" and the Spaniard.

It is always naive to assume that technological differences are as significant as you seem to claim, and that they axiomatically confer any particular military advantage. I find your thinking on this matter to be two dimensional, and your assumptions both about how far technology can progress, and what the likely significance of any difference would be to be a product of speculation, rather than certain knowledge.
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Aug, 2009 01:00 am
@gungasnake,
gungasnake wrote:

Quote:
Will the Earth someday be visited by aliens and, if so, how are we likely to fare in the encounter?


What you want for dealing with space Aliens is that three punch combination which Duran used to use:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a93R-Gh7sIU

Jab, straight right, and then left hook either to the head or to the liver area...


What is your point ?
that we can never be visited by extra-terrestrial life ?
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Aug, 2009 01:01 am
@OmSigDAVID,
i would think if we got visited dave, you would be on their to do list...
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Aug, 2009 01:05 am
@Rockhead,
Rockhead wrote:

i would think if we got visited dave, you would be on their to do list...
Thanx for the warning.
I 'll keep the I.N.S. on my speed dial.
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Aug, 2009 01:10 am
@OmSigDAVID,
here is some sound advice, dave...

How to Survive an Alien Attack
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrRCR0iOMr0&feature=related
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Aug, 2009 04:53 am
@Rockhead,
Rockhead wrote:

here is some sound advice, dave...

How to Survive an Alien Attack
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrRCR0iOMr0&feature=related

Its easier to just surround your house
with steel bear traps.

Will u test that and let us know how well that works out ?
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Aug, 2009 05:56 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

Quote:
The universe is about 14 billion years old. Humans of today could crush humans from 100 years ago. The chances of a random encounter bringing together species so precisely at the same level that a fight would be meaningful are small.


This is a naive assumption. When Caesar conquered Transalpine Gaul, the Celts were physically larger than his men, they were better fed over their lifetimes than his men, they were fighting on their own home ground, and their metallurgy was at least one century, if not two or three centuries in advance of the Romans. Caesar handed them their collective military ass because of Roman social organization.

By the same token, an Araucanian Indian tribe of South America, the Mapuche, who inhabit Chile, turned back an "Inca" invasion about a century or more before the Spanish arrived. They very nearly exterminated the first Spanish settlers, and fought them to a standstill for, literally, more than two and a half centuries. After O'Higgins and Marti liberated Chile, they continued to successfully fight off the now Chilean settlers. In the mid-19th century, the government, at public expense, provided firearms and ammunition to the settlers. The Mapuche were pushed back, to an area of less than 20% of their ancestral lands. The Mapuche survive to this day. The were technologically inferior to all of their enemies, and their social organization was inferior to that of the "Incas" and the Spaniard.

It is always naive to assume that technological differences are as significant as you seem to claim, and that they axiomatically confer any particular military advantage. I find your thinking on this matter to be two dimensional, and your assumptions both about how far technology can progress, and what the likely significance of any difference would be to be a product of speculation, rather than certain knowledge.

If there is life which arises from time to time in the universe, then, since the universe is 14 billion years old, there will be civilizations of widely different ages. Therefore, there should be civilizations of widely different levels of development. A billion years is a long time. It's simply a fact that a well equipped army from the present day could beat a well equipped army from 1909 unless the circumstances were very unusual. Furthermore, since the time span appears to be many billions of years, a random encounter between two civilizations is unlikely to bring together two entities at so precisely the same level that a contest is meaningful.

You say:
Setanta wrote:
technological differences are as significant as you seem to claim, and that they axiomatically confer any particular military advantage

Massive technological differences, as between us now and cave men, do confer a military advantage. For example, an orbiting alient spacecraft might simply use a matter/antimatter missile to obliterate the Earth.
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Aug, 2009 02:23 pm
@Rockhead,
Rockhead wrote:

That was good Smile

(now what's the name of that book I'm looking for?) Smile
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Aug, 2009 02:47 pm
@Brandon9000,
Of course, any species deploying a technology which will obliterate the planet (something, by the way, which we possess ourselves) would likely be unstoppable, if they were sufficiently clever to allay our fears before deploying their weapon. But your remark about the difference between contemporary humans and "cavemen" is not apposite. You are talking about space-faring civilizations. We are a space-faring civilization. You are assuming that there would very likely be a great discrepancy in levels of technological development, and making that assumption on the basis of no evidence and a speculation for which you offer no good logical basis.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Aug, 2009 02:50 pm
By the way, Brandon, this:

Quote:
It's simply a fact that a well equipped army from the present day could beat a well equipped army from 1909 unless the circumstances were very unusual.


. . . is also not an apposite statement; it is not "simply a fact." Remember the Vietnam War? Are you aware of the day-t0-day situation in Afghanistan, especially Helmand province? In neither of those cases do i believe you could make the argument that the circumstances were very unusual. The most i would concede is that were an alien species indifferent to the complete destruction of the biosphere, or the complete destruction of the planet itself, they might have us at a disadvantage.

None of that changes that you have not offered any good reason to accept your ipse dixit that any alien, space-faring civilization we meet is likely to be greatly superior to us technologically.
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Aug, 2009 02:53 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

Of course, any species deploying a technology which will obliterate the planet (something, by the way, which we possess ourselves) would likely be unstoppable, if they were sufficiently clever to allay our fears before deploying their weapon. But your remark about the difference between contemporary humans and "cavemen" is not apposite. You are talking about space-faring civilizations. We are a space-faring civilization. You are assuming that there would very likely be a great discrepancy in levels of technological development, and making that assumption on the basis of no evidence and a speculation for which you offer no good logical basis.

This is based on the idea that the universe is 14 billion years old and that even 100 years of technological difference in our own history between 2009 and 1909 renders a battle one sided. The age of the universe suggests that there are civilizations of widely different levels of development. If spacefaring civilizations range in age from zero to many billions of years old, then the many possible levels of development make it improbable that a random encounter would bring together two at a close enough level to make it much of a contest. This is the basis for my assertion.

By the way, we do not, in fact, possess any single missile which would produce an explosion large enough to obliterate the planet, such as would be easily possible with antimatter. Matter-antimatter annihilation bombs would be much, much more powerful than the types of nuclear weapons we currently possess.
 

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