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First contact with aliens

 
 
Acquiunk
 
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Reply Fri 21 May, 2004 10:00 am
rosborne, I do not know the title of the book but that is definitely a Darwinian argument, and a crude one at that. The assumption is that aliens, like any terrestrial species, would eliminate competition within its own niche. This assumes that Darwinian processes are universals. The reverse could be assumed that aliens would find cooperation to be more productive. I think the scenario you present speaks to our own ambivalence about our venture into space.
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rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 May, 2004 10:43 am
Acquiunk wrote:
rosborne, I do not know the title of the book but that is definitely a Darwinian argument, and a crude one at that. The assumption is that aliens, like any terrestrial species, would eliminate competition within its own niche. This assumes that Darwinian processes are universals. The reverse could be assumed that aliens would find cooperation to be more productive. I think the scenario you present speaks to our own ambivalence about our venture into space.


Hi Acq,

The argument in the novel was not so unsophisticated as you assume based on my summary. Please remember that I boiled down an entire novel which I read years ago into a paragraph. Needless to say, a lot was lost in the translation. Also, I am very familiar with the arguments you make, and would not have been impressed with any novel which didn't make a better case for itself than that. So there must have been more to it.

I wish I could remember the name of the book. Unfortunately, I emptied my closets recently and donated several hundred sci-fi and science books to the library, so it's probably gone.
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Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 May, 2004 11:14 am
I think that one of the more important features of a random encounter between two species from different solar systems is that in a universe many billions of years old, it is improbably that the two will be anywhere near each other technologically.
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MyOwnUsername
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 May, 2004 11:46 am
OFF TOPIC sorry, but he started it - I think others told you enough, I can only agree - fact that you are insulted with joke about Bush is not my problem - it WAS joke. It WAS NOT insult. My opinion about jokes and opinion of MANY Americans about jokes you can found in "Negros crossing sign" so you can as well continue discussion about weather it was joke or offensive political comment there. I can only add that difference between you and me is that your comments about croatian government can only make me hilariously laughing. Whatever was or is dirty in croatian history or presence or future annoyed me or will annoy me more then anything in american, peruvian or belgian history or presence or future and I'll be first to YELL against it. I am last person someone could call bigoted patriot. Oh, no, I am not suggesting that you might be one Shocked But I do suggest that you have problems if you think president of your country should not be subject of jokes. And, once again, it was joke....

END OFF TOPIC
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MyOwnUsername
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 May, 2004 11:50 am
funny enough, I completely agree with your last comment related with real subject of this thread....
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rosborne979
 
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Reply Fri 21 May, 2004 12:04 pm
Brandon9000 wrote:
I think that one of the more important features of a random encounter between two species from different solar systems is that in a universe many billions of years old, it is improbably that the two will be anywhere near each other technologically.


This would seem to be a logical assumption, especially given our own rate of technological change as an example.

It's also seems likely given the diversity of life on Earth, that any aliens we do meet will be significantly different from us, not only in biology but in behavior and communication.

Even if they figure out our language with their superior technology before they land. We may have a very hard time understanding their motivations and choices.
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Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 May, 2004 12:08 pm
MyOwnUsername wrote:
...sorry, but he started it...

I think you started it by making a political post on the science board. Despite your efforts to re-interpret my point, the only issue here is whether political posts belong on the science board.
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Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 May, 2004 12:15 pm
rosborne979 wrote:
Brandon9000 wrote:
I think that one of the more important features of a random encounter between two species from different solar systems is that in a universe many billions of years old, it is improbably that the two will be anywhere near each other technologically.
...It's also seems likely given the diversity of life on Earth, that any aliens we do meet will be significantly different from us, not only in biology but in behavior and communication.

Even if they figure out our language with their superior technology before they land. We may have a very hard time understanding their motivations and choices.

I agree completely. Even if evolution were to occur a second time on the Earth, starting with virtually the same conditions, we would probably not get anything very close to humans, just because of the number of forks in the evolutionary road - e.g. the random death of some individual with some set of genes. Even the most non-human life form on the Earth at least has an ancestor in common with us, so a being from a completely disconnected line of evolution is likely to be very different. As you say, understanding of the aliens' motives would probably be difficult unless they just had a lot of experience in such communications. It would be interesting to find out what things we did have in common and are universal (or widespread).
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timberlandko
 
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Reply Fri 21 May, 2004 12:27 pm
Brandon9000 wrote:
We may have a very hard time understanding their motivations and choices.


Good point. One of humankind's shortcomings seems to be a propensity to assume all must be as we understand it to be from our own parochial point of reference.

Its my supposition, none the less, that given the vast distances separating galaxies, and even the stars within those galaxies, the occurrence of a meeting of an interstellar traveling species would be rare enough an event to occasion great notice and fanfare among each. I find it highly improbable a spacefaring race would surreptitiously pluck semi-literates from rural hillsides to probe and impregnate. I'd figure much more likely a very much bigger, and far more public deal would be made by anyone stumbling across us. In that our most noticeable signs of life and intelligence, our artificially-produced electromagnetic emissioms, have had yet only about a century to expand from our mortal coil, it would be unsurprising should we remain unnoticed for some time to come. There are lots of stellar systems out there, and ours is pretty unremarkable, along with being tucked away on the outer fringe of one arm of our galaxy. I fully expect we are not alone, but I suspect we should expect to remain lonely a while yet.


No matter what our politics, or preferences, happen to be, regardless how much entertainment we may dervive from squabbling about them, and where and how we choose to conduct those silly squabbles.
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rosborne979
 
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Reply Fri 21 May, 2004 12:30 pm
Brandon9000 wrote:
It would be interesting to find out what things we did have in common and are universal (or widespread).


Exactly. Is DNA the only building block of life? Will we consider mechanical intelligence to be "life" if it has evolved, and will we consider it "life" if it's been built? Does life have to come about naturally to be considered life, or can something which is built also be considered "life"?

We have such a limited example to draw from right now (only Earth).
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Acquiunk
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 May, 2004 12:50 pm
timberlandko wrote:
One of humankind's shortcomings seems to be a propensity to assume all must be as we understand it to be from our own parochial point of reference.


That is called reaching closure. That is given incomplete information about something novel, we cram it into a preexisting category of knowledge and act as if it were correct. Lacking information to the contrary we can begin by assuming that an alien would do the same thing. Proceeding on that assumption we would have to assume that in the meeting with an alien species any and every thing we thought we knew might be wrong. Thus the willingness to jettison all assumption at any moment would be the first rule in any encounter.
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Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 May, 2004 01:01 pm
Acquiunk wrote:
timberlandko wrote:
One of humankind's shortcomings seems to be a propensity to assume all must be as we understand it to be from our own parochial point of reference.


That is called reaching closure. That is given incomplete information about something novel, we cram it into a preexisting category of knowledge and act as if it were correct. Lacking information to the contrary we can begin by assuming that an alien would do the same thing. Proceeding on that assumption we would have to assume that in the meeting with an alien species any and every thing we thought we knew might be wrong. Thus the willingness to jettison all assumption at any moment would be the first rule in any encounter.

The alien, particularly if he had come to us, might have experience at meeting species from other worlds.
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cavfancier
 
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Reply Fri 21 May, 2004 01:05 pm
My first alien experience started not far from the Rio Grande....uh oh...no political comments allowed...
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Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 May, 2004 01:27 pm
cavfancier wrote:
My first alien experience started not far from the Rio Grande....uh oh...no political comments allowed...

No, go right ahead, but then I or anyone will be permanently entitled to go into the "Relationship and Marriage" board and make posts ridiculing my political opponents. If that's the kind of site you want this to be, maybe we can agree to that.
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cavfancier
 
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Reply Fri 21 May, 2004 01:34 pm
Ahh Brandon, lighten up. I happen to believe in the possibilty of alien life, in all sincerity. I find it very hard to accept that we are the only intelligent life forms in the universe. Our behaviour clearly demonstrates that. Perhaps that is why some politically charged posts snuck into this thread. I'm not a huge fan of conspiracy theories regarding a government coverup, but hey, I'm open to suggestions. I just think the aliens are not yet that interested in us to enlighten us with their knowledge.
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MyOwnUsername
 
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Reply Fri 21 May, 2004 03:54 pm
OFF TOPIC No, I haven't started anything, I told you it was joke and not political comment. Can you find any reason for me writing a political comment against Bush and then denying it Confused It doesn't make sense :wink: . However, it can be and obviusly was misunderstanding, but when I make such mistake (and we all do) then I accept explanation - cause, one more time, there is absolutely no reason for denying nature of this post, whatever it is END OFF TOPIC

Cav - if we assume that there are able to visit us I suppose you are right. They surely wouldn't be very interested in enlightening of human race on level on which we are now. However, although I happen to think that there is not just possibility, but it's certain that there is life "somewhere" that still doesn't mean that there is life on the level that many sci-fi fans believe. It's possible that somewhere is life so much more intelligent then ours that we cannot even imagine, but at least same odds are that there isn't. Civilization on some of "those" planets might be much more intelligent then ours, but that still doesn't mean that it's on that level that they can visit us.
It's nice to think and "dream" about it, but I honestly doubt such encounter will happen soon.
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Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 May, 2004 11:27 am
MyOwnUsername wrote:
It's possible that somewhere is life so much more intelligent then ours that we cannot even imagine, but at least same odds are that there isn't.

I think the odds are higher that there is, because of the age of the universe. Our sun is 2nd generation, which means that it's made up of the remnants of stars that lived and died and blew up, so the cosmos was here for billions of years before our solar system even formed. Plenty of time for someone to become quite advanced.
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MyOwnUsername
 
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Reply Sat 22 May, 2004 03:19 pm
I agree with you that odds are higher that there is life more intelligent then ours - even much more intelligent.
I just don't think odds are high that this life is on such level that they could visit us. Of course, it is possible....
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Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 May, 2004 01:51 pm
MyOwnUsername wrote:

I just don't think odds are high that this life is on such level that they could visit us. Of course, it is possible....

From our vantage point, the technological difficulties inherent in practical interstellar travel seem insurmountable simply because of the distances, but someone else may find it easy.
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neil
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 May, 2004 06:31 pm
The consensus seems to be the advanced aliens are rare, and radically different than humans. I don't want that, so I will indulge myself, by grasping at straws, illogical perhaps but more fun.
The DNA originated at perhaps ten locations in our galaxy and has spread though out much of the volume of our galaxy = transpermia. A creator = God had a hand in the originals so the appearance does not very widely, but the chemistry and physics variations permit one type of DNA to thrive on Venus, another on Mars, and a third on Titian. The other 6 are not well suited to this solar systems, but we should expect some differences in other solar systems. God has a pre-existence and an after life for these advanced being, perhaps even for the not very advanced beings. Being all powerful, God can make such adjustments as necessary to make what seems impossible to humans practical.
In binary and more star systems communications and travel is possible at great risk and cost. Travel two to ten light years to the next out post of advanced beings in single sun solar systems, happens rarely but does occur, So most of the planets and moons that approach self sufficiency have outposts if not colonies: Perhaps one trillion though out our galaxy.
Very few of the beings are worthy of lots more advanced than present Earth, so lots of them are about as advanced as Earth, but very few are lot's more advanced. Neil
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