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View Full Version : When the aliens come, will they be hostile or friendly?


05-28-1999, 08:55 PM
If aliens visit Earth, which scenario do you think is more likely?

Friendly E.T/Close Encounters type aliens?

Or hostile Independence Day/Mars Attacks type aliens?

05-28-1999, 09:06 PM
If? I'll let Contestant #3 set you straight!

05-28-1999, 09:20 PM
I guess if this is their first contact as well, they're more likely to be friendly since they won't know what we can do yet. Most likely, I'd think we'd know they're on their way because they'd send out some sort of probe before bothering to send a 'manned' force to a planet that they know nothing about.

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"I guess it is possible for one person to make a difference, although most of the time they probably shouldn't."

05-28-1999, 09:32 PM
I personally dont believe there are aliens, but just in case it is true, they will either by equal or more advanced then us technologically. If they are Equal technologically then they might be hostile, if they are more advanced they might not even bother with us.

05-28-1999, 09:35 PM
Maybe we'll get to their planet first. I'd guess the obvious order of the day would be to go in friendly but be prepared to fire!

05-28-1999, 09:40 PM
They're most likely to be hungry, and thirsty.

05-28-1999, 09:55 PM
I've always imagined aliens to resemble "Carla" from Cheers. I vote for hostile.

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"An ignorant person is one who doesn't know what you have just found out." Will Rogers

05-28-1999, 10:05 PM
Maybe they will be apathetic, not really giving a shit about finding us. You know, like being out for a lazy Sunday joyride, seeing something new, and saying Ohh...ahhh a few times, leave a few crop circles and buzz a few airplanes just to fuck with our heads, and then head back to where they came in order to get back to their alien workplaces on Monday...

...just a theory,

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Contestant #3

05-28-1999, 10:17 PM
They will get in touch with their own kind, computers.

What makes you think you're so special?

05-29-1999, 12:57 AM
RTA
Member posted 05-28-99 09:40 PM
[quote]They're most likely to be hungry, and thirsty.[quote]

How to Serve Man?

05-29-1999, 01:09 AM
Slight twist to the original question-Let us suppose they have already landed;Who are they?
My list starts with Jeff Goldblum, David Bowie, and James Woods.
Any others?

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"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."
Hunter Thompson

05-29-1999, 06:45 AM
Indifferent, like Man is indifferent to the ant hills in a field that "needs to be developed."

05-29-1999, 07:24 AM
Dennis Rodman.

05-29-1999, 10:31 AM
Ants don't have nuclear weapons.
Peace,
mangeorge

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"If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything" Mark Twain 1894

05-29-1999, 09:46 PM
True - but have you ever been stung by fire ants?

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Mastery is not perfection but a journey, and the true master must be willing to try and fail and try again

05-29-1999, 10:47 PM
Oops, guys, attempted serious answer coming up:

First, I am agnostic on the existence of civilizations on other planets; I highly doubt there are any, and if there are any, the odds against their getting here within our lifetimes is very small. Still, this is a good topic, and if anybody wants to debate it, let's start a new thread.

Second, if alien civilizations exist, I would assume them to be hostile. I am basing this on the history of Earth--as far as I know, every highly technologically developed civilization that went out looking for new territory wound up taking over the new territory they discovered, often with catastrophic results for those conquered. The Americas seems like the classic example to me. Of course, any civilization that managed to come to Earth would be more technologically advanced than us, since they would be able to come to our planet and we wouldn't be able to go to theirs.

05-29-1999, 11:35 PM
I think that as we become more advanced we also become less hostile. I know, it doesn't seem that way, but look at history. How long has it been since the US (or any major country) actually, by force, took over another country? Most empires have been broken up.
Now we do it by economic might, I guess.
I think the scenario would be more like
E.T./Bill Gates.
I don't want to believe that we're the only race in the entire galaxy.
Peace, I hope.


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"If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything" Mark Twain 1894

05-30-1999, 05:48 AM
quote: Of course, any civilization that managed to come to Earth would be more technologically advanced than us, since they would be able to come to our planet and we wouldn't be able to go to theirs.
--------------------------------------------

So what? The europeans were more advanced than the indians, and look what they did to them. If earth contains some resource that the aliens need, we are toast.

05-30-1999, 08:10 AM
"I think that as we become more advanced we also become less hostile. I know, it doesn't seem that way, but look at history. How long has it been since the US (or any major country) actually, by force, took over another country? "
HELLO!!! Mangeorge what about Haiti, Panama and Vietnam?????

to go back to the original question I surly think there is life on other planets. In fact I am sure, to think of a universe this big and to think were the only one's in it is hipocrasy.
When they come we might just try to say HOA (like the Indian-Americans said to the white man) and see what happens. Maybe they will have more patience or be a bit further in evilution then we are.
At least let's hope so or kill our friends goodbay!!

Have a nice day!



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Thor

05-30-1999, 04:03 PM
I suggest reading "Rendevouz with RAMA" by Arthur C. Clarke.

Puts a perspective on things.

My personal belief is:

Shure there are other life-forms out there. Can anyone think of a really plausible reason why they would arrive here in 1947, and still be monitoring us?

(oh please grab that bait, please....)


CT
Who admits to trolling with this particular post.

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05-30-1999, 04:29 PM
"HELLO!!! Mangeorge what about Haiti, Panama and Vietnam?????"
---Thorleifur
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Hello, Thor. If I recall correctly, we got our asses kicked out of those countries. Whether militarily or politically.
I believe the "super powers" are just beginning to learn that it's just not economically expedient to use military force to dominate another country.
I did not mean to imply that these world leaders were a bunch of sweet guys.
Good luck with getting rid of whoever it is that's pushing you around. Holland?
I'm sorry, I'm not up to date on current events in Iceland. My failing.
Enlighten me.
Peace, and try not to be so fucking hostile.
mangeorge

05-31-1999, 02:35 PM
Physics-wise the resources necessary to travel interstellar distances is ENOURMOUS!The distances involved are immensely vast, and the cost of the energy resources alone make material exploitation economically impractical. Matter is the same everywhere, and any technology great enough to travel interstellar distances could not find any form of matter here that they could not find at home. Terraforming [the technology of altering a planet's environment to suit your own needs] would be easier and cheaper than conquest. Robots and genetic engineering replace the slave labor motive. A hive intelligence [ants, bees, etc] might throw itself across interstellar distances to spawn and breed. Religion could send them [to convert us; or destroy us as offences to their faith]. A dying planet or star could drive a race into something desparate [could go both ways]. What do you Earthlings think about my list?

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05-31-1999, 06:12 PM
I think that if aliens could get here, they wouldnt be all nice and care for our suffering like a lot of "abductees" think. Anyway, i dont think there are any "intelligent" species at least in this universe. Look at this planet, so far we're the only intelligent species, so intelligence or at least the capability of gaining technology is very very rare. However, i think that there is most definately life on other planets, just not capable of creating technology.

06-01-1999, 09:14 AM
Let's turn the original question around
and ask, if we manage to visit another
world someday, what's the likelihood that
we will be perceived to be friendly or
hostile... It depends on who we send,
likewise for visiting aliens...

However, I will add this caveat. Given the
nature of the TV signals we've been
broadcasting for many years, any visiting
alien would be advised to be on his guard.
Maybe a "shoot first and ask questions
later" mentality might be prudent...

mangeorge wrote:

> I think that as we become more advanced
> we also become less hostile.

History suggest that the more advanced we
become the more advanced methods of killing
we devise. We also get more clever about
convincing ourselves that we act for the
greater good when we kill.

Personally, I think a truly intelligent
species would tend to be well adjusted
enough to just stay home with the wife and
kids, rather than wandering the galaxy
looking for other civilizations to befriend
or conquer.

06-01-1999, 10:41 AM
Charlie Tan:
Can anyone think of a really plausible reason why they would arrive here in 1947, and still be monitoring us?

What, you've never seen an ant farm?

Imagine what they must be charging the tourists for admission...

COME ONE, COME ALL! SEE THE AMAZING BAGS OF LIQUID HYDROGEN-OXYGEN COMPOUNDS! THEY DO THE MOST AMAZING THINGS! ONE MIGHT EVEN THINK THEY ARE SENTIENT! STEP RIGHT UP...

06-01-1999, 11:57 AM
I think aliens smart enough for inter-stellar space travel would probably be reasonable and peaceful. However, their germs might wipe us out due to lack of immunity.

I heard that when the Eurpoeans colonized the Americas, more native Indians died from disease from the new germs from Europe (especially small pox) than from war fare.
More people died in the world from a flu outbreak soon after WW1 than from either of the big wars, WW1 or WW2.

I don't think humans have ever taken a weapon with them on an outer space trip (to the moon, space station or satellite) or attached one to a probe we sent. However, we have taken our germs with us.

06-01-1999, 02:00 PM
HMMMM, I think we'll all end up in some kind of terrarium when the aliens come. Actually, there seems to be a few different potentialities:
1. They are highly advanced, peaceful, and wish to study us and/or teach us (although, looking at our history, they'd probably think better of that and limit what they give us)
2. They are highly advanced, warlike and wish to use us as slaves and/or food.
3. They are highly advanced, and like us, peaceful or warlike, depending on who has more of "x" commodity than they do and the level at which they need it. I'm thinking Ferrengi.
4. They are highly advanced and just don't care whether we "here" or not.

This whole thread reminds me of one of the freakiest sci-fi stories I ever read. Story starts with you reading memoirs from this guy from earth that becomes ambassador to this planet where 3 other ambassadors have been seemingly tortured to death. As story progresses, you read as he tells of the tortures they have put him through and how he reacts to the tortures and his hosts. Comes to realize that this torture is how they determine the "worthiness" of others. Story ends by his coming to some "enlightenment" through this torture and subsequent destruction of most of his body and him saying, "I think I'll send for my wife". VERY FREAKY! Can't remember author or name of story. Got most of the generalities right but I may be a little hazy on some of the details. Whoever wrote this was very twisted or needed to purge some serious issues!! Anyone out there familiar with it?

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Carpe Diem!

06-01-1999, 02:57 PM
Chef Troy, "Even on earth (with certain exceptions), diseases that affect one type of animal usually don't cross over to another."

Rabies...mad-cow disease. There are enough excpetions that it's a consideration.

06-01-1999, 04:05 PM
I think by far the most likely scenerio would start with a series of radio (or other electromagnetic wave) communications, which of course would involve several years, round trip, between sending a message and receiving a response. After several back-and-forth message iterations (which may take generations) we may each finally understand WHAT the other is saying, rather than just that they are saying something. After some information is then shared (which may take several more decades), we may decide to send each other an unmanned "care package" which would include articles of interest, tissue samples, Chuck Berry records, etc. This package, of course, may take a few centuries to arrive. Only after all that, I believe, we might think about making physical human/alien contact.

I think the possibility of aliens just showing up out of the blue is very, very, very unlikely. Of course if they do just show up out of the blue, with no sort of warning, then they must certainly be hostile.


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"For what a man had rather were true, he more readily believes" - Francis Bacon

06-02-1999, 12:29 AM
The problem with your germ theory is that microbes that evolved along with alien biochemistry are unlikely to have ANY effect on terrestrial organisms. Your mention of the Europeans infecting the Native Americans isn't applicable; the microbes affected their new hosts because they were, after all, the same species. Even on earth (with certain exceptions), diseases that affect one type of animal usually don't cross over to another. Add xenobiology to the mix, and the likelihood of cross-infection is all the more remote.


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Live a Lush Life
Da Chef

06-02-1999, 07:56 AM
In the movie Independence Day, the aliens' ships were first detected by radio waves. They were detected by the SITE people in New Mexico, the same people who have come up with this SITE@home screen saver for your pc. However, I think there was only a day or so between the time the radio waves were detected and the time the alien ships were hovering over Earth ready to attack.

As Mark Mal wrote, I think this short time difference would be likely if the aliens were hostile and trying not to let themselves get discovered. They may have a way of masking their radio waves or capturing them so that they are not released througout the galaxy. Otherwise, if they are peaceful, I think Mark Mal's estimate of a long time of exchanging radio wave communications before making physical contact would be likely.

06-02-1999, 08:17 AM
This is a good question and the discussion about radio waves is interesting. It seems that by boldy announcing our prescense to the universe by broadcasting our radio waves since early this century, we have naively presumed that any possible alien intelligence out there is friendly and peaceful. It is like we stood up and shouted "HELLO out there! Here we are. Come and visit us if you can!" However, if the intelligent aliens are violent and not peaceful, we might regret sending our radio waves. Therefore, perhaps we should try developing a way to keep our radio waves to ourselves, or disguise them, and hide from aliens. Better safe than sorry?

06-02-1999, 11:36 AM
BunnyGirl, I'm pretty sure the torture story was written by Piers Anthony, I recall reading it in a collection of his short stories.

06-02-1999, 02:03 PM
<<Of course, any civilization that managed to come to Earth would be more technologically advanced than us, since they would be able to come to our planet and we wouldn't be able to go to theirs.>>

Not really, Just because they could reach our planet and we cant reach theirs wotn rellay mean they are more advanced then us. They may be more advanced in a certain area like engine technology, or may have access to a element that allows a more efficient way of propulsoin then any material we have on earth. We might have better weapon technology or medical technology or whatever.

Now about the disease thing, even if there are different species, we might be carrying some basic bacteria that is no big deal to us, but may have never been encountered by them and vice versa. Also about the disease being transfered from different species , wasnt the ebola viruse transfered from a ape. Bubonic plague transfered from rats?

06-02-1999, 02:10 PM
<<<This is a good question and the discussion about radio waves is interesting. It seems that by boldy announcing our prescense to the universe by broadcasting our radio waves since early this century, we have naively presumed that any possible alien intelligence out there is friendly and peaceful. It is like we stood up and shouted "HELLO out there! Here we are. Come and visit us if you can!" However, if the intelligent aliens are violent and not peaceful, we might regret sending our radio waves. Therefore, perhaps we should try developing a way to keep our radio waves to ourselves, or disguise them, and hide from aliens. Better safe than sorry?>>>


If the aliens that recieve our message are hostile, what makes you think they will want to come here. If our radio waves we broadcasted in the middle of this century are recieved around our time or in the future, they will presume we are still on the technological level of the 1950's, when we are in fact on the technological level of the year 2000, that is something they will have to think about. they will have to figure out how much of a advance we could have made. By then i bet they will say the hell with us and leave us alone before they get into something they didn't expect.

06-02-1999, 02:18 PM
<<<1.They are highly advanced, peaceful, and wish to study us and/or teach us (although, looking at our history, they'd probably think better of that and limit what they give us)
2. They are highly advanced, warlike and wish to use us as slaves and/or food.
3. They are highly advanced, and like us, peaceful or warlike, depending on who has more of "x" commodity than they do and the level at which they need it. I'm thinking Ferrengi.
4. They are highly advanced and just don't care whether we "here" or not. >>>

Just because they are a space faring race doesnt mean they will be highly advanced. Another possibility is we might be their first contact also, sure they might have seen plant life , and other organisims, but they might have never met a intellegent race. They probally will try to study us, as we would try to study them. They probally will try to be on their best behaviour as we would try to show our best qualities and all our peaceful achievements, while trying to hide each others violent tendecies etc.

06-02-1999, 07:03 PM
To quote George Carlin, "the aliens are big and black, and they are PISSED!!!"

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TT

"Equal Opportunity means everybody has the same chance at being incompetent."
--Dr. Lawrence J. Peter

06-02-1999, 07:20 PM
I'm going through a lot of threads to do this, but the discussion, being hypothetical, should be moved into the Great Debates section.

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"[He] beat his fist down upon the table and hurt his hand and became so
further enraged... that he beat his fist down upon the table even harder and
hurt his hand some more." -- Joseph Heller's Catch-22

06-02-1999, 07:31 PM
One could also consider the improbability of a race becoming spacefaring without being at peace on their homeworld. It would be difficult for humans to ever colonize other planets without being united here. Perhaps the method of unification would determine the attitude of the explorers. If a planet were united through war and conquest, the race would likely be hostile. If treaty and negotiation led to a unified world, the race would probably be benign.

As to the question of why you would "watch" since 1947, how about this scenario?
Atomic bomb tests lead an alien race to take a closer look at our planet. Upon seeing our warlike species, they decide to enact a "quarantine" on our planet, allowing us only a limited amount of space travel and exploration, until such time as we become peaceful enough to interact with other planets. Kind of an intergalactic U.N. peacekeeping force.
I dont believe this scenario, just continuing a debateable thread

06-03-1999, 12:59 AM
I believe it will be lke Contact..they will learn of us by the television that is popping out there.

You seen the state of television now? Hell, I would not go near any planet with shows like "When Good Pets Go Bad" "The 700 club" and repeats of "The Gong Show". For all we know, they think Chuck Barris may be our leader.

But if any have the stones to actually land, Murphy's Law will have them land in the backyard of Hussein or Falwell's residence which will generally doom us. Hopefully they wil be hostile

06-03-1999, 02:38 AM
They were detected by the SITE people in New Mexico, the same people who have come up with this SITE@home screen saver for your pc.

SETI. Not SITE. SETI. If you're interested in the SETI@home thing, btw, you can join my team http://fathom.org/opalcat/distributed.html

Also about the disease being transfered from different species , wasnt the ebola viruse transfered from a ape. Bubonic plague transfered from rats?

You're missing the point here. All life on earth is rather closely related. It is all based on DNA, it all evolved together. Apes? Well shit, they're practically human, biologically. We're talking about EXTRATERRESTRIAL LIFE here, or did you miss that? Who is to say that they are even DNA-based?

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&gt;^,,^&lt;
"Cluemobile? You've got a pickup..."
OpalCat's site: http://fathom.org/opalcat
The Teeming Millions Homepage: fathom.org/teemingmillions (http://fathom.org/teemingmillions)

06-03-1999, 06:59 AM
SETI. Not SITE. SETI. If you're interested in the SETI@home thing, btw, you can join my team http://fathom.org/opalcat/distributed.html

Hey, cool, I'm a member of SETI@home too, Opal. (Take THAT, Contestant #3.)

06-03-1999, 08:57 AM
I'm not a huge Trekkie, but it seems to me if we could come up with the Prime Directive for a TV show, any civilization advanced enough to master deep space travel probably thought of it as well. We may be having an eye kept on us, if there's anyone out there and if they know we're here.
I agree with roksez on the basic assumption that there has to be some basic form of worldwide unity before any civilization might be able to step off the homeworld with serious intent of exploration and contact. I personally feel that such a civilization would have moved beyond a class-based system of economic competition simply because the drive to make a profit kinda cuts into the drive to further space exploration; we as a planet haven't done anything really huge since Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins first went to the moon, and the Shuttle these days is mostly used for satellite launches and some scientific experiments.

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Cave Diem! Carpe Canem!

06-03-1999, 02:20 PM
It seems to me everyone is attributing way too many human characteristics to these hypothetical aliens. My guess is that if we do encounter life on other planets, even intelligent life, we would be hard pressed to even recognize it as life, never mind worrying about what kind of political philosophies they may subscribe to. I wouldn't be surprised if the very concepts of "hostile" and "friendly" (as we understand them) is completely alien to the aliens.

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"For what a man had rather were true, he more readily believes" - Francis Bacon

06-03-1999, 10:44 PM
That's an excellent point, Mark Mal. Another thing we would have to consider: could we ever REALLY trust them? Trust is based in part on predictable behaviour, and we predict based upon our experiences with humans. These would not apply.

06-04-1999, 12:45 AM
A lot of anthropomorphizing going on, here. Friendly/hostile/indifferent: No way to tell, without knowing their reasons for the visit. They may be desperately searching for nuclear waste. Mars may, in fact, need Cheerleeders. They may be more interested in the chemicals contained in our gas giants. Each of these motives would result in drastically different outcomes.

Even without some radically advanced technology, distance and time may not be such a big hurdle. A 100 year trip wouldn't be much of a hardship for many of the well-known, longer-lived species here on our own planet. A Joshua tree wouldn't even get bored on the trip.

The idea that we are alone in an infinite universe seems like a hard position to defend.

Interview with an Extraterrestrial:
www.arachnoid.com/lutusp/alien.html (http://www.arachnoid.com/lutusp/alien.html)

-Monte

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"Fusion drives are slow, but the Universe is patient." -- some Ptshtokian guy

06-04-1999, 01:16 AM
If history's any guide, they'll probably be vicious bastards who will try to enslave us or kill us in order to exploit our little planet. We'll end up selling them Earth souvenirs and giving them clap.

06-05-1999, 07:40 AM
Guys - you missed the point I was trying to make [which is my fault, I was in too much of a hurry]. All societies, including non-human ones, are both guided by and limited by economics. An economy, for the purposes of this discussion, is a system of obtaining, developing, and manufacturing the goods and resources a society needs to grow and develop [the invention of money is NOT a prerequesite]. Any economy that has developed the technology to travel interstellar distances will have to have developed the supporting technologys to achieve this. These supporting technologys must include sophisticated means of generating, storing and directing energy; an advanced level of physics, engineering and mathematics; and chemical and metalurgical sciences, including molecular chemistry. There are NO magical 'special elements'--atomic theory allows for none, except transuranic elements whose lifespan is measured in milliseconds. Thus, any material that exists on Earth can be replicated synthetically any place in the Universe - if sufficiently advanced technology exists to do it. This includes life. Since it would cost vast sums on energy expenitures alone, taking resources or slaves from Earth, by force of arms OR by trade is economically impractical. Conquest of the planet would cost too much in resources when compared to terraforming a less-distant, lifeless planet. Robots and genetically modified organisms would be more docile than coerced human slaves, and easier to take care of. Any physical contact [i.e. - Martians landing on the White House lawn, etc] is extremely unlikely. Radio contact is more cost-efficient, assuming They use radio frequencies for communication. But suppose that life is extremely common in the universe? We might just be another bunch of primitives, like millions of other worlds. Contacting us could be a bore---"Been there! Done that! Damn primitive are all alike! How dull." Lack of contact can best be explained by the facts that : 1--it would cost a lot; 2--we don't have anything to offer that's special; 3--why would they care? PS: I don't want to hear from any sneering Hippy offspring who want to condemn me for being "materialistic". I'm not. I'm not talking greed or personal gain, I'm discussing the real limitations place on interstellar travel.

06-10-1999, 09:49 PM
We are a species less than 10,000 years removed from the dawn of agriculture and permanent settlement. What the heck do WE know of the behaviors or characteristics of sentient species who have been around for awhile? We are very very young and it is an incredibly immense space out yonder, most of it void. Turn it around: how soon will WE be checking out alien civilizations we discovered while exploring a sphere of, say, 20 light years radius? I'm tempted to say 250,000 years since agriculture, but, technological leaps being what they are, call me in a mere 10,000.



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06-10-1999, 09:51 PM
Fooey. Lost a zero in there. Shoulda been 200 light years radius. 20 lyr isn't much of a sphere.



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