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(Huffington Post)   Five misconceptions about alien life. "The idea that they've come for breeding purposes is more akin to wishful thinking by members of the audience who don't have good social lives"   (huffingtonpost.com ) divider line 168
    More: Interesting, renewable resources, Seth Shostak, IEEE Spectrum, Nibiru, earthlings, social animals, Christopher Columbus, Copernicus  
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8706 clicks; posted to Main » on 17 Jun 2012 at 11:41 AM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-06-17 01:31:18 PM  

Enemabag Jones: Face grabbers (aka, xenomorphs) were actually based on real examples
There are both peaceful and aggressive/violent form of integration with other life forms.

The blue moth pupa gets ants to take care of it until it is ready to launch.
Botflys don't kill cows but lay eggs in it's skin.
Many wasps lay it's eggs in caterpillars or spiders and kill the other organization.

Who's to say that nature won't be violent and UFO will come down tomorrow and colonize us tomorrow. Because it's an unknown unknown anything is possible.

/Or is it a known unknown?


"It is known to him to whom it is unknown;
he to whom it is known does not know it.
It is unknown to those who know,
and known to those who know not."
 
2012-06-17 01:31:46 PM  
Ack ack ack.
 
2012-06-17 01:31:56 PM  
Speaking of sex with aliens and cartoonists, the late great Kliban did a cartoon of "Genitalia of the Universe" which should put paid to that idea. Even the examination of the genitalia preserved at the famous Penis Museum would show you that there is sufficient diversity even among mammals that sex with aliens might not be a practical option: consider the pig, the whale, the rat, and the duck (not a mammal, but weird nonetheless). Sexual organs are subject to a sexual arms race which makes for weirdness, impracticality and even a certain amount of hostilitiy within a species, let alone between species.

Before having sex with an alien, study the scientific and pornographic literature intensively. Find out if it involves one partner eating the other, for example. Also, whether the kind of penetration involved can be fatal to humans (the squid is a recent example).

Are alien young a threat to their parents? Are they parasitic? Are sex changes usual for the species you are farking? If so, will you marry a handsome lithe male only to have him turn into a fat vicious female in a few years?

The main point about aliens is that they are alien, and that you will never quite be able to imagine or understand them, no matter how much they make it easy for your tiny simian brain, slathered on a rodent brain, on top of a reptilian brain, wrapped around a fish brain.
 
2012-06-17 01:32:27 PM  
So let's start

The most common elements in the universe are as follows, Hydrogen, Helium, Oxygen, Carbon, Neon, Iron, & Nitrogen. Helium & Neon being chemically inert, don't get to play with the cool kids. There's about 71 times more Hydrogen in the universe than Oxygen, but that being said most of it is located in stars. So, knowing that these are the abundance of chemical ingredients with which to work, that selective pressures, dominant strategy, and various other mechanism give rise to certain molecules being more gregarious than others, we can definitely be assured that other non-terrestrial life will be carbon based as well.

While the structure of the data encoding molecule might be datable, there are some pretty good reasons why it would involve the nucleic acids with which we're familiar.

Whenever I hear this squabble, I think to myself, truly the world is full of persons needing more education.
 
2012-06-17 01:32:43 PM  

CygnusDarius: In all seriousness, if we were invaded by an alien species that 1.- Cares only about fighting 2.- Reproduces when it dies 3.- Has instinctive knowledge of how technology works and 3.- Creates a chain reaction that causes millions of its species to go on a killing frenzy... We'd be screwed.


If it cannot count to four we might pull through
 
2012-06-17 01:33:51 PM  

MustTryHarder: CygnusDarius: In all seriousness, if we were invaded by an alien species that 1.- Cares only about fighting 2.- Reproduces when it dies 3.- Has instinctive knowledge of how technology works and 3.- Creates a chain reaction that causes millions of its species to go on a killing frenzy... We'd be screwed.

If it cannot count to four we might pull through


Because four is the magic number?.

/It works with movie franchises
//And group sex
 
2012-06-17 01:36:44 PM  

Nakito: It's a cookbook.


Hot Sex for Black Widow Spiders is a cookbook.
 
2012-06-17 01:37:44 PM  
Chances are that if an alien race were to drop in and say hi, I'd like to think it'd be because finding an intelligent species is rare in the known universe.

POINT: Don't expect them to think like us.

In recorded history, we've run into that with our own species. Even today there are communication difficulties between countries because we tend to think differently.

I watched a video from China where this guy pulled into a parking area with lots of people walking around. He plowed over a little girl of about three. The wheel of his van went right over her. He stopped and as folks looked on, backed up, running her over again and drove off. No one stopped him. No one checked on the little girl who was bleeding out. No one called the cops or rescue. Several minutes went by with the girl laying there before a lady checked, then got the girl's mom, who scooped her up and took her to the hospital. The last report I had was that the girl was in critical condition but alive.

The mass reaction of a group of possibly 50 people doing their daily business to a crushed kid bleeding out was essentially 'not my problem'. I studied the crowd. Many would look, note the girl and keep on walking.

China, after centuries of suppression and turmoil, does NOT think like us.
Various areas of the Middle East, even the oil rich areas, have no problem with stoning a criminal to death or beheading one. Their version of beheading is not what you think. (A big blade, kneeling prisoner and a chopping block.) No. The prisoner is heavily tranquilized, bound up and the executioner removes his head with a knife, like butchering a pig, taking time to slice the tendons, letting him bleed out, then digging around in the neck, cutting through cartilage and bone until the head comes off.

We'd find this horrifying. They don't.

In some nations, various social classes are treated like animals with no hope of change since they were born into the caste. The population accepts this. Our own global history shows that ALL RACES in the past had no problems with forcing others into slavery and had a history of being slaves themselves.

Recently, our own government changed the laws concerning eminent dominion, meaning confiscating land for the good of the nation. Now, land can be confiscated for the good of the developer -- and very few seem to have a problem with this.

We have a legacy of being lied to by businesses. Even today in advertising. We accept that. In some places, this would not be accepted. If you brag about how your product is the number one in the land, you'd better have actual proof of this.

We tend to consider aliens as being like ourselves, which is probably a good reason for them to stay away. Our morals and values shift along national boundaries. Our 'civilized condition' changes depending on amounts of available needed resources. Our 'rights' fluxuate depending on our national economies.

It's hard to grasp the concept of an alien intelligence not thinking like us. After all, we've had super smart people who had no problem with abandoning ethics to further their research or to enrich themselves at the cost of many lives.

I'd like to figure that aliens are friendly and helpful, like in so many science fiction books I've read, but the hard fact is, their version of friendly might not be ours.

Like when Columbus landed on a small island, found it populated and the people very friendly, gentle and kind. He admired their technology, their society and their beauty. At the same time, he was making notes about how valuable they would be as SLAVES and how much money could be made off them.

He had no problem with this.

Trying to grasp the thinking of a species nothing like our own is nearly impossible -- and, somewhat scary.

We mainly rely on our own historical experiences. Even with our advanced civilization today, you must be cautious when dealing with members of your own kind. New technologies also tend to bring along a whole new set of abuses and criminal activities.

It's hard to imagine a civilization that wouldn't do that.
 
2012-06-17 01:39:12 PM  

Joshudan: If they don't want to mate with us, then why all the probing?


They use crap as a fuel. Those aren't medical probes. They're dipsticks.

God forbid they ever abduct Rush Limbaugh. He's so full of crap that they'll invade our planet looking for more like him.
 
2012-06-17 01:46:14 PM  

I'M NOT SAYING IT WAS HUMANS

BUT, IT WAS

www.dudelol.com

 
2012-06-17 01:49:00 PM  

GAT_00: They won't come in peace

Yeah, this is one of those that you have to think through. As I figure, any species powerful to get here, since best as we can tell that is very expensive, difficult and time consuming, is doing it with a specific purpose: they want what is here.


Bath salts. They planted them here as an experiment.
 
2012-06-17 01:49:24 PM  
If they are after minerals, they would probably first go after the asteroids and moons of the planets. Mind you, when they got to ours, tidal repercussions could be nasty for the coasts and islands. What, other than some biological samples, would they want from earth?
 
2012-06-17 01:54:21 PM  
And most likely they'd do it for some ridiculous useless thing on earth like ginger or human poo

This is the only reason I can think of for aliens to come here. Something organic that needs to grow or be produced that doesn't exist elsewhere that they had a use for. Kind of like the Brits a couple centuries ago needing Chinese tea. Now whether they would trade or just take it (whatever it is) is the question.

MustTryHarder: CygnusDarius: In all seriousness, if we were invaded by an alien species that 1.- Cares only about fighting 2.- Reproduces when it dies 3.- Has instinctive knowledge of how technology works and 3.- Creates a chain reaction that causes millions of its species to go on a killing frenzy... We'd be screwed.

If it cannot count to four we might pull through

Because four is the magic number?.


because he listed 4 things and counted to 3, with the last item (the second 3) being the killing frenzy
 
2012-06-17 02:08:52 PM  
What if they're aliens that don't have good social lives?

/Where all the green women at?
 
2012-06-17 02:22:01 PM  
img232.imageshack.us

img27.imageshack.us

img196.imageshack.us

img803.imageshack.us
 
2012-06-17 02:25:30 PM  

Joshudan: If they don't want to mate with us, then why all the probing?


The aliens are Rhombomys opimus and desire nothing more than to free their brethren from their confines.
 
2012-06-17 02:39:43 PM  

brantgoose: Speaking of sex with aliens and cartoonists, the late great Kliban did a cartoon of "Genitalia of the Universe" which should put paid to that idea. Even the examination of the genitalia preserved at the famous Penis Museum would show you that there is sufficient diversity even among mammals that sex with aliens might not be a practical option: consider the pig, the whale, the rat, and the duck (not a mammal, but weird nonetheless). Sexual organs are subject to a sexual arms race which makes for weirdness, impracticality and even a certain amount of hostilitiy within a species, let alone between species.

Before having sex with an alien, study the scientific and pornographic literature intensively. Find out if it involves one partner eating the other, for example. Also, whether the kind of penetration involved can be fatal to humans (the squid is a recent example).

Are alien young a threat to their parents? Are they parasitic? Are sex changes usual for the species you are farking? If so, will you marry a handsome lithe male only to have him turn into a fat vicious female in a few years?

The main point about aliens is that they are alien, and that you will never quite be able to imagine or understand them, no matter how much they make it easy for your tiny simian brain, slathered on a rodent brain, on top of a reptilian brain, wrapped around a fish brain.


Doesn't matter. If aliens show up, you find the nearest hole and cram your dick into it for all Earth.
 
2012-06-17 02:40:21 PM  
Aliens probably have the same problems we do: they're too far away to know that we're here, and couldn't travel that far anyway. To them, we are a tiny white dot in their sky, Sol. At that distance, knowing that there's a rock planet orbiting the star is hard. Any radio signal we could possibly send would be so attenuated that it would disappear in the radiation from our star.

Aliens are almost certainly out there, but they're not going to find us, and we're not going to find them.
 
2012-06-17 02:47:54 PM  

NotARocketScientist: This is the only reason I can think of for aliens to come here. Something organic that needs to grow or be produced that doesn't exist elsewhere that they had a use for. Kind of like the Brits a couple centuries ago needing Chinese tea. Now whether they would trade or just take it (whatever it is) is the question.


Though interstellar material trade is often prominent in science fiction it would be so ridiculously impractical as to not exist. However I could imagine aliens advanced enough to visit the Earth analyzing and recording life forms and then lasering home instructions on say how to build the conch snail life form.

Interstellar exploration and travel would not be similar to the past days of sailing ships on the Earth, though most science fiction uses that as a model.

A google turns of Charles Stross and more CS discussing this issue.
 
2012-06-17 02:54:41 PM  
HairBolus:A google turns of Charles Stross and more CS discussing this issue.

Whoops, links dropped

A google turns up Charles Stross and more CS discussing this issue
 
2012-06-17 03:01:46 PM  

LoneWolf343: //"Humans think their dead can smell. We know because they bring flowers to their death rituals."


I liked SMBC's take better. "Our most bitter enemies..."
 
2012-06-17 03:38:05 PM  

mmonnens: What, other than some biological samples, would they want from earth?


Iain M. Banks said something like "There are probably very few places where total solar eclipses occur. If the moon were a little smaller, or a little farther away, or if its orbital plane were different, or Earth were closer to/farther away from the sun, no total solar eclipses. So, since these things are so rare, some rich aliens would probably like to visit Earth to see a total solar eclipse as close as possible."

A plausible excuse for space tourism? Maybe. I think it'd be pretty rare though, since interstellar matter transport is energetically expensive and takes forever....
 
2012-06-17 03:43:23 PM  

wildcardjack: If such amino acids are common, then bacteria will be an issue both ways. There's a whole complexity of what's a poison and what's a treat, but at the amino level it's a bacterial feast. And given a few days of selective pressures I'm sure they'd be a problem, since I doubt the bacteriophages would make as big a leap.


I came here to say this. We have bacteria that live in boiling water and eat hydrocarbons for breakfast. Unless they're some totally bizarre silicon or energy based life form, the bacteria will find something on them tasty. On the other hand, they could just as easily introduce a space cold which would cause a massive die off.
 
2012-06-17 03:52:03 PM  
Wanting to bang another species. Isn't that what furries do?
 
2012-06-17 03:54:48 PM  
Also, First Contract by Greg Costikyan, which explores what might happen if aliens with superior tech show up. These aliens don't want to conquer us. Nope, they want to economically exploit us by selling us consumer goods that their advanced tech allows them to produce far more cheaply than our less advanced factories can. And, of course, take advantage of our ignorance by doing the equivalent of buying Manhattan for $35 in silver. (Say, that large gas giant in your solar system... you're not using that, how about selling it to us?)

(It'd be sort of amusing if it weren't basically a roman à clef sort of based on how the British East India Company operated....)
 
2012-06-17 04:07:53 PM  

GAT_00: They won't come in peace

Yeah, this is one of those that you have to think through. As I figure, any species powerful to get here, since best as we can tell that is very expensive, difficult and time consuming, is doing it with a specific purpose: they want what is here.


Going along that line of reasoning, what's so special here that isn't available in ANY solar system in the galaxy (with or without life). Metals? Hell they woudln't even need to come to earth, there's way more metal out in the asteroid belt. Water? Why mix it up with the natives when they could mine ice off Europa?

Why come all this way for resources that would be absurdly cost prohibative to move off system? We are not really that special. there is nothing here anyone would want (except maybe a slave force but they wouldn't have to conquer the planet for that. kidnap a few hundred humans and you have breeding stock).
 
2012-06-17 04:14:55 PM  

Ambivalence: GAT_00: They won't come in peace

Yeah, this is one of those that you have to think through. As I figure, any species powerful to get here, since best as we can tell that is very expensive, difficult and time consuming, is doing it with a specific purpose: they want what is here.

Going along that line of reasoning, what's so special here that isn't available in ANY solar system in the galaxy (with or without life). Metals? Hell they woudln't even need to come to earth, there's way more metal out in the asteroid belt. Water? Why mix it up with the natives when they could mine ice off Europa?

Why come all this way for resources that would be absurdly cost prohibative to move off system? We are not really that special. there is nothing here anyone would want (except maybe a slave force but they wouldn't have to conquer the planet for that. kidnap a few hundred humans and you have breeding stock).


Who's to say what the interest might be? Hard to say exactly what they'd want, but there's no good reason to assume they'd be peaceful.
 
2012-06-17 04:15:19 PM  

ronaprhys: Wanting to bang another species. Isn't that what furries do?


Non-sentient species.

I only fark the sentient ones.
 
2012-06-17 04:20:10 PM  

MaudlinMutantMollusk: GAT_00: They won't come in peace

Yeah, this is one of those that you have to think through. As I figure, any species powerful to get here, since best as we can tell that is very expensive, difficult and time consuming, is doing it with a specific purpose: they want what is here.

Which assumes they'd be as stupid, shortsighted, and greedy as we are

/if that were the case, they'd never get here
//just like we'll never get off of this planet


No, it's nothing to do with stupid, shortsighted or greedy. It's a question of why anyone goes anywhere. Nobody, even unknown space aliens, is just going to go en masse to a place a long way off, land there, and just look around a while. To do all that, you have to want something MORE, and whether its to enslave or eat us or "enlighten" us and save us from ourselves, they would not be coming in peace. If all they want to do is show us the error of our ways, for example, they don't have to come here in large numbers and colonize us; they could just phone us. If they came here, it would have to be because they want something here--and if they went to all that trouble, it wouldn't be enough for us to say "No thanks!" to make them leave.

Now, it's not impossible, I guess, that one or two aliens could arrive to just look around; sort of a space alien version of a Nat Geo expedition; but the article was referencing the overall "space alien" theory, which implies large numbers of them either coming here or being here, and that means some kind of takeover.
 
2012-06-17 04:33:27 PM  

Ishkur: If they come here for any reason at all, it's because our planet has lots of delicious resources


And that's even attaching too much value. There are things on Earth in reasonably abundant/accessible quantities compared to elsewhere in the Solar System. But, there is no reason to think that there's anything even slightly interesting resource-wise on Earth (or even the Solar System) that isn't just as abundant in any of billion other star systems.

/ Mediocrity principle
 
2012-06-17 04:36:12 PM  

Lt. Cheese Weasel: You can't have a misconception about something not yet proven to exist. Until they are, all theories are equally valid. Logic is a biatch.

Except not all theories are equal -- Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence

 
2012-06-17 04:55:43 PM  
It's hilarious that everyone is stating their wild hypothetical suppositions as fact. I'm really surprised Stephen Hawking participated in this intellectual wank-fest.
 
2012-06-17 05:06:50 PM  
I suspect that if someone out there finds our radio frequencies they won't be terribly interested. If they are advanced enough to come visit they probably will have found other races out there. What they would do would probably depend a lot on if there is away around light speed. There are people who think they'd wipe us out as a safety precaution, but we'd hardly be a thread.

I doubt they'd send a mission. Why? It's much easier to just establish radio contact. If they are doing it because they are curious about us it's much easier to just watch our broadcasts and, if they establish radio contact, ask us questions. Even if they are effectively immortal, why would they want to get on a spaceship that might not even get here while we are still here? If one of their scientists needs data on how life evolved on our planet, or even specimens for the zoo, it would be much easier to just ask us to beam them the DNA sequences and let them grow them there. (Hmm, there is an idea for a sci-fi story in there... I call dibs.)
 
2012-06-17 05:15:20 PM  

MaudlinMutantMollusk: GAT_00: MaudlinMutantMollusk: GAT_00: They won't come in peace

Yeah, this is one of those that you have to think through. As I figure, any species powerful to get here, since best as we can tell that is very expensive, difficult and time consuming, is doing it with a specific purpose: they want what is here.

Which assumes they'd be as stupid, shortsighted, and greedy as we are

/if that were the case, they'd never get here
//just like we'll never get off of this planet

If they were a decaying remnant of their civilization escaping with the last resources they might.

Ya know... that might make a good plot for a SyFy channel movie

/or maybe even a summer blockbuster with the right star
//I wonder what Adam Sandler is up to?


content6.flixster.com

/From what I can see, the entire thing depends on where they evolved. That's where the prediction part comes in.
//First message will probably be 'holy f*ck, aliens! ...Wait, my mike's on, isn't it."
 
2012-06-17 05:42:08 PM  
Aliens probably can hear us but ignoring us like if we're the retarded cousin.
 
2012-06-17 05:57:46 PM  

Psycoholic_Slag: Molavian: More likely they'd want to hire us as cheap foreign labor.

We'll make great pets.


They try to make me their pet and I'll pee on their carpet.

/great tune
 
2012-06-17 05:58:57 PM  

Mugato: It's hilarious that everyone is stating their wild hypothetical suppositions as fact. I'm really surprised Stephen Hawking participated in this intellectual wank-fest.


He made a whole TV episode about it.

Link
 
2012-06-17 06:51:48 PM  

Mugato: It's hilarious that everyone is stating their wild hypothetical suppositions as fact. I'm really surprised Stephen Hawking participated in this intellectual wank-fest.


Dude, that's what theoretical science is about. You want to wait till we're invaded to find out if we're wrong or not?

Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but this "wank-fest" was meant to counter the usual aliens-among-us paradigm and discuss why the current narrative is wrong. You may not like it, but a whole lot of people believe space aliens are here and already screwing with us in various ways. Those same people won't listen to your "ha-ha boy are you dumb" refutations. But some of them MIGHT listen to Stephen Hawking.
 
2012-06-17 06:59:15 PM  

ronaprhys: Ambivalence: GAT_00: They won't come in peace

Yeah, this is one of those that you have to think through. As I figure, any species powerful to get here, since best as we can tell that is very expensive, difficult and time consuming, is doing it with a specific purpose: they want what is here.

Going along that line of reasoning, what's so special here that isn't available in ANY solar system in the galaxy (with or without life). Metals? Hell they woudln't even need to come to earth, there's way more metal out in the asteroid belt. Water? Why mix it up with the natives when they could mine ice off Europa?

Why come all this way for resources that would be absurdly cost prohibative to move off system? We are not really that special. there is nothing here anyone would want (except maybe a slave force but they wouldn't have to conquer the planet for that. kidnap a few hundred humans and you have breeding stock).

Who's to say what the interest might be? Hard to say exactly what they'd want, but there's no good reason to assume they'd be peaceful.


Again, perhaps they are nomads and find it convenient to locate locate budding industrial worlds to extort fuels and spare parts much faster and in greater quantities than they could manufacture with whatever equipment they've crammed into their spaceship.

Far fetched, I know, but at least it makes a little sense.
 
2012-06-17 07:02:01 PM  

Gyrfalcon: Dude, that's what theoretical science is about. You want to wait till we're invaded to find out if we're wrong or not?

Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but this "wank-fest" was meant to counter the usual aliens-among-us paradigm and discuss why the current narrative is wrong. You may not like it, but a whole lot of people believe space aliens are here and already screwing with us in various ways. Those same people won't listen to your "ha-ha boy are you dumb" refutations. But some of them MIGHT listen to Stephen Hawking.


Probably not. People who are into that aren't all about things like "facts" or "logic". They've got their theories and they're set in them. No amount of science, logic, nor facts will actually change their minds. Think about the "but aliens" guy. They take him seriously.

Just think about that for a second. They take that guy seriously. Why in the hell do you think they'd actually care what Hawkings has to saytype?
 
2012-06-17 07:08:22 PM  
Imagine if aliens came here just to find other concious beings in the universe. Maybe resources and even life are abundant in the universe but conciousness isn't. After a long time of exploring the universe; finding resources and life but finding no one to talk to they would be lonely. Maybe they would come here to find one thing that was a little similar to them. What would they find?
 
2012-06-17 07:25:08 PM  
Why do people automatically think visiting aliens would be smarter or more civilized than us? What if their civilization is 5,000 years older than ours? 3,000 ago Egyptians built pyramids. I don't know how to build a pyramid. But I can fly a chopper and shoot a gun. Given enough ammo I could be a Pharaoh, balls deep in Cleopatra. Are we really any more civilized now than we were 3,000 years ago? Maybe these hypothetical aliens are at the point where any drunken alien douchbag can pilot his own Star Destroyer.

So my original point was that all this conjecture about how these hypothetical aliens would behave or what their motives would be is meaningless conjecture based on parameters you all just made up based on what you hope we would be like when/if we developed FTL space travel.
 
2012-06-17 07:39:37 PM  

Mugato: Why do people automatically think visiting aliens would be smarter or more civilized than us? What if their civilization is 5,000 years older than ours? 3,000 ago Egyptians built pyramids. I don't know how to build a pyramid. But I can fly a chopper and shoot a gun. Given enough ammo I could be a Pharaoh, balls deep in Cleopatra. Are we really any more civilized now than we were 3,000 years ago? Maybe these hypothetical aliens are at the point where any drunken alien douchbag can pilot his own Star Destroyer.

So my original point was that all this conjecture about how these hypothetical aliens would behave or what their motives would be is meaningless conjecture based on parameters you all just made up based on what you hope we would be like when/if we developed FTL space travel.


VISITING aliens would have to be at least more technologically advanced than we are. Smarter or more "civilized" not so much.

But you can presume that they wouldn't be here en masse just to drop off a few flyers about how bad nuclear war would be.
 
2012-06-17 07:40:26 PM  

Captain McLoverstein Sr.: Imagine if aliens came here just to find other concious beings in the universe. Maybe resources and even life are abundant in the universe but conciousness isn't. After a long time of exploring the universe; finding resources and life but finding no one to talk to they would be lonely. Maybe they would come here to find one thing that was a little similar to them. What would they find?


How do you define consciousness? Self awareness?
 
2012-06-17 08:07:53 PM  

threadjackistan: bootman: Aliens will not want for resources. Any species with the know how to get here would also have to know how to harvest energy from solar orbital photovoltaics. They will not want to elements, there about one earth's total volume of H20 in the Oort cloud, there is nothing here that cannot be obtained locally for much less effort. Their drives and desires will be even more alien to us than their appearance.

Maybe they need some sort of messy fuel, not h2o, but some weird radioactive blend of crap that is messy and requires bulky refineries that take lots of upkeep and don't want to get their hands messy?

"But they'll be super advanced!" Unless they can change the laws of physics, they aren't gonna want to haul a huge fuel refinery around with them.


If you are going to build a huge refinery for a space purpose, you sure as hell don't want to put it at the bottom of the largest terrestrial gravity well in this solar system.
 
2012-06-17 08:35:09 PM  

Lawnchair: And that's even attaching too much value. There are things on Earth in reasonably abundant/accessible quantities compared to elsewhere in the Solar System. But, there is no reason to think that there's anything even slightly interesting resource-wise on Earth (or even the Solar System) that isn't just as abundant in any of billion other star systems.


Heavy elements aren't.

Gold and Uranium are hard to come by. And despite Star Trek insistence, there is no cost-effective method for transmuting energy to matter that would not require more energy than whatever it is you're trying to transmute. So if they want/need heavy elements, they're going to have to mine for them manually.

Anything heavier than iron-56 can only come from one place: Supernovae. And in a galaxy as big as this one, supernovae are actually pretty rare -- about one every 100 years or so. And I would like to think that it would be an incredibly tedious task to mine heavy element molecules from exploded star dust and debris scattered across light-years of space, so if they want the goods, it'd be easiest to get them after they've coalesced into planets.

Fortunately, the Milky Way is an old galaxy (an estimated 80% of the stars are dwarfs), which means there are lots of second and third generation systems, which means lots of heavy element-baring planets and other things that are favorable toward life.

So the good news is if they need resources, they definitely don't have to come here for them. But that doesn't say they won't.
 
2012-06-17 08:53:04 PM  

twomutts: [media.screened.com image 600x300]

Sweet, sweet alien love...


Doogie Howser IS Hermann Goering IN 'The Amazing Doctor Doolittle'.

Comingsoontoatheatrenearyou
 
2012-06-17 09:07:47 PM  
I'm inclined to agree with South Park that we're just a long-running sitcom for an advanced civilization.
 
2012-06-17 11:11:11 PM  
i.imgur.com
 
2012-06-17 11:27:58 PM  

Relatively Obscure: Doesn't matter. If aliens show up, you find the nearest hole and cram your dick into it for all Earth.


I want that on my tombstone.
 
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