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Time Machine - Page 205

post #6121 of 6198
Quote:
Originally Posted by star_man View Post

SH presumes that some alien civilization would only be a little more advanced than us and in that case would represent a threat. But It's doubtful they would be a little more advanced, more likely they'd be much more advanced and would probably consider us in the same way an adult considers a youngster. That is they would chuckle and encourage us but probably say "no we're not sharing all we know just yet, you're not ready"

As my momma use to say to me: never assume.

In this situation, I would have to agree with SH.
It is better to be safe than sorry.

And, no, we shouldn't be hostile.
However, a little bit of restraint would be prudent strategy.
After all, a mistake can be fatal.
post #6122 of 6198
Quote:
Originally Posted by oink View Post

As my momma use to say to me: never assume.

In this situation, I would have to agree with SH.
It is better to be safe than sorry.

And, no, we shouldn't be hostile.
However, a little bit of restraint would be prudent strategy.
After all, a mistake can be fatal.

Well yeah, we shouldn't be, but we are......and we've been continuously broadcasting unambiguous evidence of our hostility for many decades. It's a little late to put that particular cat back in the proverbial bag.
post #6123 of 6198
Quote:
Originally Posted by rto View Post

we've been continuously broadcasting unambiguous evidence of our hostility for many decades. It's a little late to put that particular cat back in the proverbial bag.

That is a good point.
But I am a "half-full" guy; I hope we can walk it back.
post #6124 of 6198
Quote:
Originally Posted by oink View Post

That is a good point.
But I am a "half-full" guy; I hope we can walk it back.

I hope so too. I actually think there's a good chance that Sagan had it right.
post #6125 of 6198
Quote:
Originally Posted by rto View Post

I actually think there's a good chance that Sagan had it right.

There is no way to know for sure.
IF it happens before human extinction, it could save us.

One thing is reasonable certain, it would be seriously idiotic to fnck with galactic travelers.
Even if we were to plead ignorance or a lack of evolutionary brain-power, we could be doomed.
And, NO, I am not one of those Paranoids that are all the rage these days....
post #6126 of 6198
I see no reason why we automatically assume that more advanced understanding of physics, for example, would have any indication as to ultimate intent of that race. A race who has understood how to create and use wormholes, as the "common" theory on travel, doesn't mean they are more or less likely to be aggressive.

I highly doubt that humans are any more or less hostile than any other alien race. Hostility isn't tied to technology. If tommorow some genius here on Earth cracked space travel, you know we would be off and exploring. We wouldn't be more hostile, or less hostile, just because we gained a new technology and ability in the universe.

I totally disagree with the notion that because a race is more advanced in their technology, they are automatically a threat.
post #6127 of 6198
Quote:
Originally Posted by warrenP View Post

I totally disagree with the notion that because a race is more advanced in their technology, they are automatically a threat.

Agreed.
post #6128 of 6198
Quote:
Originally Posted by warrenP View Post

I totally disagree with the notion that because a race is more advanced in their technology, they are automatically a threat.

I see your point, but the more technically advanced a civilization becomes the more they become a potential threat to themselves and other civilizations.

If a form of life is inherently hostile, it seems likely to me they will destroy themselves before they develop the technology to export their hostility beyond their own planet.
post #6129 of 6198
Quote:
Originally Posted by warrenP View Post

I totally disagree with the notion that because a race is more advanced in their technology, they are automatically a threat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oink View Post

Agreed.


I don't know about that, throughout the history of our own planet hasn't that generally been the case though? The more technologically advanced have been the ones to be feared? Sounds like fairly sound logic to me.
post #6130 of 6198
Quote:
Originally Posted by warrenP View Post

I see no reason why we automatically assume that more advanced understanding of physics, for example, would have any indication as to ultimate intent of that race. A race who has understood how to create and use wormholes, as the "common" theory on travel, doesn't mean they are more or less likely to be aggressive.

I highly doubt that humans are any more or less hostile than any other alien race. Hostility isn't tied to technology. If tommorow some genius here on Earth cracked space travel, you know we would be off and exploring. We wouldn't be more hostile, or less hostile, just because we gained a new technology and ability in the universe.

I totally disagree with the notion that because a race is more advanced in their technology, they are automatically a threat.

I actually think we can make a few fairly safe, fundamental assumptions. For example: any intelligent species employing technology must have some anatomical adaptation capable of dexterously manipulating objects, ( at least early in it's evolution. ) I think it's also a safe assumption that space travel of any form can only be achieved by social creatures, because a high level of cooperation would be required to produce a technological system capable of escaping any planetary gravity well.

I also personally believe that ( assuming it's even possible ) practical interstellar conveyance is a really, really tough nut to crack, requiring an intimate, comprehensive understanding of the forces controlling our universe. I think it's likely that any species will have necessarily worked out how to effectively manage the resources of their local system before they figure out a practical means of traveling to another.

All of this obviously implies a high degree of cooperative effort, and while a certain level of aggression may be a universal prerequisite for individual survival in a competitive environment, I think an effective means of controlling/obviating the negative aspects of that drive may well be a prerequisite for the long-term survival of any intelligent species employing technology and social cooperation as a survival strategy.

I think a half-cocked attitude is likely incompatible with the kind of sustained, long-term cooperation required to develop interstellar space-faring capabilities.
post #6131 of 6198
Quote:
Originally Posted by keenan View Post

I don't know about that, throughout the history of our own planet hasn't that generally been the case though? The more technologically advanced have been the ones to be feared? Sounds like fairly sound logic to me.

But our "society" may also be somewhat unique in that we have different countries, political agendas, religions, etc and are motivated by greed (for the most part) rather than the greater good of society.

There is nothing saying that another planet/race couldn't have one cohesive society with one (or no) religion, thus avoiding most of the conflicts that are the cause of so much grief here.

Of course, things such as this depends on if other races would have evolved "human" qualities that make us as violent and as pre-disposed as we are. Taking a look around at nature, mankind is about the only creature that purposely will kill another member of our own species for something as trivial as tennis shoes or an xbox. Other "lower" species may fight over mates or territory, but rarely will kill a member of their own species (or other species even) just for the fun of it (and not out of necessity). Humans may be "unique" in this regard, as we are burdened with human qualities such as greed, jealousy, fear, mistrust, religion, etc.
post #6132 of 6198
Quote:
Originally Posted by mproper View Post

But our "society" may also be somewhat unique in that we have different countries, political agendas, religions, etc and are motivated by greed (for the most part) rather than the greater good of society.

There is nothing saying that another planet/race couldn't have one cohesive society with one (or no) religion, thus avoiding most of the conflicts that are the cause of so much grief here.

Of course, things such as this depends on if other races would have evolved "human" qualities that make us as violent and as pre-disposed as we are. Taking a look around at nature, mankind is about the only creature that purposely will kill another member of our own species for something as trivial as tennis shoes or an xbox. Other "lower" species may fight over mates or territory, but rarely will kill a member of their own species (or other species even) just for the fun of it (and not out of necessity). Humans may be "unique" in this regard, as we are burdened with human qualities such as greed, jealousy, fear, mistrust, religion, etc.

I was thinking more along the lines of earlier history, not so much contemporary. More along the lines of how early Europeans easily dominated the less advanced peoples of the New World, Africa, etc, and of how 200,000 years ago a superior species arose to dominance that ended up wiping out the then current inhabitants(Neanderthals) of the area of Europe.

The idea that other species in the universe might be so advanced as to be above and beyond human failings, being a threat, or a danger to other species, is only based on our own sociological views and experiences with our owned, clearly flawed, species. To think that other species from beyond our "shores" have not developed similarly, or worse even, is a baseless guess at best, hence why I believe Hawking urges caution, the old "better to be safe than sorry" approach.
post #6133 of 6198
Quote:
Originally Posted by keenan View Post

To think that other species from beyond our "shores" have not developed similarly, or worse even, is a baseless guess at best, hence why I believe Hawking urges caution, the old "better to be safe than sorry" approach.

Being "safe" would require that we cease all electromagnetic emissions which could theoretically be detected at interstellar distances. That clearly ain't gonna happen, so his warning is rhetorical.
post #6134 of 6198
I have so much I'd like to add to this, I hope I have the time to do so... back to work for now... Enjoyable thoughts all.
post #6135 of 6198
Quote:
Originally Posted by rto View Post

... I also personally believe that ( assuming it's even possible ) practical interstellar conveyance is a really, really tough nut to crack, requiring an intimate, comprehensive understanding of the forces controlling our universe. ...

Of the many fine points, I wanted to do a quick reply to this one. While I do agree that the above is the most likely scenario, the first thought that came to my mind was a simple bird.

For a really long time man wanted to fly. However, we assumed that nut was impossible to crack, as every idea had failed. Yet somehow the simple bird, a creature with no mind like a human, could fly with ease. And not just one bird, virtually all of them. Those creatures have no idea whatsoever of any understanding of how. They just fly.

Do I think there is some giant flying brid on the way from Alpha Centauri? um, no. I don't know why that was the association that came to mind, but it did, and I wanted to share with the class.

The space birds would be kind of neat though. Imagine what Michael Bay could do with that!
post #6136 of 6198
The assumption that life exists on other planets beside Earth is a good one. All that is needed is water.

But the assumption that that life is more advanced than we are and even knows that Earth exists is a bad assumption. That life may be 500 million light years away.
post #6137 of 6198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Stewart View Post

The assumption that life exists on other planets beside Earth is a good one. All that is needed is water.

But the assumption that that life is more advanced than we are and even knows that Earth exists is a bad assumption. That life may be 500 million light years away.

Life as we know it needs water, you mean.

A lot of things have to happen for us to find any advanced civilization (or for them to find us). Keep in mind that the human species has been around a very very very short time (in the grand scheme of things), so not only would we/they have to be advanced enough to find each other, but we'd also have to exist at the same time.
post #6138 of 6198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Stewart View Post

The assumption that life exists on other planets beside Earth is a good one. All that is needed is water.

But the assumption that that life is more advanced than we are and even knows that Earth exists is a bad assumption. That life may be 500 million light years away.

Wait, are you chiding us for making unfounded assumptions, while presuming that we're the most advanced species within a vast region of space one billion light years across?
post #6139 of 6198
Quote:
Originally Posted by keenan View Post

I don't know about that, throughout the history of our own planet hasn't that generally been the case though? The more technologically advanced have been the ones to be feared? Sounds like fairly sound logic to me.

I would tend to agree with this. First, you have to wonder why they'd take the chance to visit us in the first place. Second, you'd have to assume if they achieved the ability to visit us from another galaxy, they'd already know pretty much everything about us. If they didn't, they'd be taking a risk, and a super advanced race would ultimately be ready to dole out an ass whoopin' on anyone they had to if they were going into the meeting blind.

Since we are not exactly known for peaceful interaction between differing social and cultural groups here on planet Bob, an alien race who may know this wouldn't visit without thoughts of eating our brains. So, I think they'd be hostile. There's no other reason to put themselves in harms way....unless they plan on an extended stay at District 9.
post #6140 of 6198
Quote:
Originally Posted by rto View Post

Wait, are you chiding us for making unfounded assumptions, while presuming that we're the most advanced species within a vast region of space one billion light years across?

No - that sounds like your assumption. Mine is that if there is a more advanced race of being - they may be so far away from us that the distance would be too great for them to even know we exist. There may be many worlds inhabited by humans in our own section of the universe, who are no further along in technology than we are.

Unfortunately, too many here take theoritical views as fact. Or believe the things they see in science fiction movies.

Life is not defined by us - human beings. Life can be defined as simple bacteria.
post #6141 of 6198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Stewart View Post

No - that sounds like your assumption. Mine is that if there is a more advanced race of being - they may be so far away from us that the distance would be too great for them to even know we exist. There may be many worlds inhabited by humans in our own section of the universe, who are no further along in technology than we are.

Unfortunately, too many here take theoritical views as fact. Or believe the things they see in science fiction movies.

Life is not defined by us - human beings. Life can be defined as simple bacteria.

I don't think anyone participating in this discussion takes any aspect of these highly speculative musings as "fact"........We may have differences of opinion about what we individually believe is more or less likely. For example, I don't think it's likely that our galaxy is inhabited by a number of intelligent humanoid species sharing our precise level of technology. It goes without saying that I could be completely mistaken.
post #6142 of 6198
Yeah, I don't think anyone takes anything said here as fact.

Although I do believe life is probably pretty common throughout the universe (in the form of bacteria or other simple organisms).

I feel intelligent life on the other hand would be a bit rare, and a lot of things have to happen in order for them to find us or us to find them. Keep in mind that although the human race has been around for awhile, it's only been a blink of an eye in the grand scheme of things. And we have only been "advanced enough" to look for extraterrestial signals or signs of life for what? 50 years, give or take? Intelligent civilizations could have lived and died out millions of years ago, or there could be life starting out now somewhere else that won't be to the point we are for a a few million years.

I personally think it would be almost impossible that the life on Earth is unique in the vastness of the universe. Most of us cannot even comprehend how big our galaxy is....let alone the universe which has billions of galaxies. Finding each other would be a challenge of course.

Of course, who knows how advanced a civilization could be? In theory, they could have evolved to where we are at millions of years ago....think of the progress we've made in the last 100 years. Assuming we can survive as a species, how advanced would we be in another 2 million years?

Fun to think about.
post #6143 of 6198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Stewart View Post

But the assumption that that life is more advanced than we are and even knows that Earth exists is a bad assumption. That life may be 500 million light years away.

And possibly traversed in the blink of an eye.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mproper View Post

A lot of things have to happen for us to find any advanced civilization (or for them to find us).

Unless we were never lost.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Stewart View Post

…if there is a more advanced race of being - they may be so far away from us that the distance would be too great for them to even know we exist.

There may be 10, 10 thousand, 10 million, 10 billion civilizations where that may be the case. There also may be 10, 10 thousand, 10 million, 10 billion civilizations where that may not be the case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Stewart View Post

There may be many worlds inhabited by humans in our own section of the universe, who are no further along in technology than we are.

And further behind, not only in our known universe, but also the unknown universes. Of course the reverse applies as well.
post #6144 of 6198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aliens View Post

And possibly traversed in the blink of an eye.




Unless we were never lost.



There may be 10, 10 thousand, 10 million, 10 billion civilizations where that may be the case. There also may be 10, 10 thousand, 10 million, 10 billion civilizations where that may not be the case.

And further behind, not only in our known universe, but also the unknown universes. Of course the reverse applies as well.

Aliens, that's got to be one of the be longest posts I've ever seen that didn't actually say anything. Way to take a stand, dude!

Marshall Savage actually postulated the opposite regarding the eternal "Are We Alone?" question. Some scientists have theorized that it would take about 600 amino acid molecules to have to come together in precisely the right way to create a self-replicating molecule - the precursor to DNA. That would seem to have to be the fundamental building block of any kind of life that we can contemplate under our current understanding of the physical laws of the universe.

Now, 600 factorial is an awfully big number. In fact, it exceeds the number of stars estimated to be in our known universe by several orders of magnitude. The possibility of such a thing happening by sheer chance is so great that it's basically impossible, except that it actually happened here. Then another whole set of fantastic circumstances would have to be met for rudimentary life to become first sentient, than space-faring without being destroyed by natural disaster or, as it sometimes seems inevitable with us earthlings, destroying itself.

So, it's actually no great leap of imagination to speculate that yes, we are the only life forms - certainly the only intelligent species - in the galaxy, maybe even the whole universe. It's just math.
post #6145 of 6198
Quote:
Originally Posted by rto View Post

I recently e-mailed him ( I know, he probably recieves about a gazillion every day) to ask why he warned against efforts to make "contact" because ET's might be hostile.....as if any species with our violent proclivities would ever have a chance of surviving long enough to figure out how to get here from there in something considerably less than several hundred thousand years.

Time dilation makes that possible. As long as you can approach a significant fraction of light-speed, time will slow down for you. Journeys of thousands of light years can be accomplished in mere decades. The faster you go, the more time you shave off your trip. Of course, that trip is one-way; by the time you get to your destination, everyone you left behind will have been dead for centuries. Or in some cases, perhaps involving an ex-wife or two, you might feel

Faster than light travel is likely to always be the stuff of science fiction. If we ever do become a truly interstellar species, doing it the hard, slow way will probably be how we'll colonize our neck of the stellar woods - hopping from star to star, leaving our civilization behind us at every stop to grow and hopefully thrive. The afore-mentioned Marshall Savage, a very smart guy, calculates it could take as little as a million years of this stellar leapfrogging to effectively colonize the whole Milky Way. Think of it - in a relatively short period of time, we could become the galactic version of kudsu!
post #6146 of 6198
Quote:
Originally Posted by toobwacky View Post

I see your point, but the more technically advanced a civilization becomes the more they become a potential threat to themselves and other civilizations.

If a form of life is inherently hostile, it seems likely to me they will destroy themselves before they develop the technology to export their hostility beyond their own planet.

Depends on whether they are 'social' creatures. A race likely would not destroy itself if they have a common 'enemy'. As long as there was an 'evil' race nearby (threat), then they would not destroy themselves...the other race may manage it, however.
post #6147 of 6198
Quote:
Originally Posted by archiguy View Post

Time dilation makes that possible. As long as you can approach a significant fraction of light-speed, time will slow down for you. Journeys of thousands of light years can be accomplished in mere decades. The faster you go, the more time you shave off your trip. Of course, that trip is one-way; by the time you get to your destination, everyone you left behind will have been dead for centuries. Or in some cases, perhaps involving an ex-wife or two, you might feel

That's the problem with relativistic travel. Every journey is a one-way trip, and the motivation to do something like that would almost certainly be survival, not a quest for knowledge which cannot be shared. If you have a good handle on resources, there's really no reason to do that, so it would likely be a desperation move.

Quote:


Faster than light travel is likely to always be the stuff of science fiction. If we ever do become a truly interstellar species, doing it the hard, slow way will probably be how we'll colonize our neck of the stellar woods - hopping from star to star, leaving our civilization behind us at every stop to grow and hopefully thrive. The afore-mentioned Marshall Savage, a very smart guy, calculates it could take as little as a million years of this stellar leapfrogging to effectively colonize the whole Milky Way. Think of it - in a relatively short period of time, we could become the galactic version of kudsu!

I think that presupposes the same kind of uncontrolled population growth and consumptive habits which have gotten us to where we are today. Hardly a good recipe for long-term success.
post #6148 of 6198
Quote:
Originally Posted by rto View Post

That's the problem with relativistic travel. Every journey is a one-way trip, and the motivation to do something like that would almost certainly be survival, not a quest for knowledge which cannot be shared. If you have a good handle on resources, there's really no reason to do that, so it would likely be a desperation move.

Possibly, or maybe just the urge to explore. I would postulate that if the means existed to make such a one-way colonization trip into the unknown, the number of applicants would far exceed the spaces available. A lot of people just want to get away, you know?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rto View Post

I think that presupposes the same kind of uncontrolled population growth and consumptive habits which have gotten us to where we are today. Hardly a good recipe for long-term success.

Do you really see that changing any time soon? Those are the factors that will drive any human colonization effort, from Mars onward. In fact, one might argue that growth of population and consumption has provided the stimulus for technology to advance to today's level. The "Red Mars" series of books by Kim Stanley Robinson explores some of these pressures in terms of a hypothetical colonization of Mars, looking at both socio-political and commercial interests as drivers. Good stuff.
post #6149 of 6198
I wonder if NASA (or, at least, the Men in Black) secretly keeps tabs on this thread....
post #6150 of 6198
Quote:
Originally Posted by archiguy View Post

Possibly, or maybe just the urge to explore. I would postulate that if the means existed to make such a one-way colonization trip into the unknown, the number of applicants would far exceed the spaces available. A lot of people just want to get away, you know?

Sure, but who's gonna pay-up for the construction costs of a world ship, ark, or even a less ambitious freezer? There's no return on investment unless you're along for the ride, because it's a one-way trip. Distance and relativistic effects would result in a complete loss of continuity between the original population and any "colonists" so there's really no motivation for any government or business entity to become involved in that kind of effort, unless it becomes a necessity....an act of desperation.

Quote:


Do you really see that changing any time soon? Those are the factors that will drive any human colonization effort, from Mars onward. In fact, one might argue that growth of population and consumption has provided the stimulus for technology to advance to today's level. The "Red Mars" series of books by Kim Stanley Robinson explores some of these pressures in terms of a hypothetical colonization of Mars, looking at both socio-political and commercial interests as drivers. Good stuff.

I don't have any idea whether or not we'll change our habits, but it's becoming ever clearer, that unless we begin to reduce our impact on the very finite environment of Earth, we many never even begin to exploit the resources of our local system. Once we crack fusion, the game changes, and I think that will happen, but perhaps not as soon as we'd like to believe. I also think that either we'll get a handle on negative environmental impacts of human activity within a few decades, or nature will find a balance by killing off most of us. If we can't manage not to totally f#ck up a temperate self-regulating planet with a global ecosystem, how likely is it that we'll ever successfully colonize less hospitable worlds?

It's a completely wild guess based on nothing more than gut instinct, but I tend to believe any technology exploiting species will also need to clear some significant hurdles of enlightenment long before they ever have a chance to go flitting around the universe on a whim.
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