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(Discovery)   NASA and other scientists recently met to discuss the Prime Directive   (news.discovery.com) divider line 47
    More: Interesting, NASA, Icarus Interstellar, Ian O'Neill  
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5333 clicks; posted to Main » on 23 Aug 2013 at 9:25 AM (48 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



47 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2013-08-23 09:28:29 AM
www.randomfunnypicture.com
 
2013-08-23 09:29:20 AM
oh yay!  Meetings about nothing...NASA is bored...
 
2013-08-23 09:29:22 AM
dada.warped.com

Don't give me that intelligent life crap.    Find m something I can blow up.
 
2013-08-23 09:35:44 AM
Well when the whole reason you were created was yanked out from under you by a person in control simply because space ain't important, what else is there to do with tax payer dollars but gather an discuss Prime Derective non-interference.

And the guy that said: "Should we interact with extraterrestrial biology, we will be so unalike (biologically speaking) that it is highly improbable that we will be negatively impacted." yeah I think he's gonna be surprised to find that we might have much more in common than he thinks.

////we humans have more in common with a fly than a chimp... So there ya go.
 
2013-08-23 09:42:41 AM
We can't even uphold the prime directive for lesser species on Earth. We should probably take baby steps and stop killing eachother first.
 
2013-08-23 09:44:00 AM
Captain Janeway was quoted as saying, "Prime Directive? ... Fark that. I do what I want."
 
2013-08-23 09:48:24 AM
im 100% for non interference... as long as their planet does not have resources i want.
 
2013-08-23 09:50:42 AM

Sticky Hands: im 100% for non interference... as long as their planet does not have resources i want.


What would they have that isn't already here? Is there another version of the periodic table of the elements that I'm not aware of?
 
2013-08-23 09:51:25 AM
Why deny ourselves contact with a tasty new species?
 
2013-08-23 09:52:37 AM

Quantum Apostrophe: Sticky Hands: im 100% for non interference... as long as their planet does not have resources i want.

What would they have that isn't already here? Is there another version of the periodic table of the elements that I'm not aware of?


42
 
2013-08-23 09:55:15 AM

Sticky Hands: im 100% for non interference... as long as their planet does not have resources i want.


No green blood for dilithium!!
 
2013-08-23 09:55:36 AM
We'll never get off this godforsaken rock.

Aliens will come here to dig up our graves and examine the monuments of a species too interested in hitting each other with clubs and navel-gazing to have ever made it past our own satellite.
 
2013-08-23 09:56:48 AM

The Irresponsible Captain: We'll never get off this godforsaken rock.

Aliens will come here to dig up our graves and examine the monuments of a species too interested in hitting each other with clubs and navel-gazing to have ever made it past our own satellite.


So, you're saying you agree with QA, though coming from a different route?

Perhaps you should re-examine your life choices.
 
2013-08-23 09:57:03 AM

Evil Mackerel: Why deny ourselves contact with a tasty new species?


Well, there is that.

images4.wikia.nocookie.net
 
2013-08-23 09:57:57 AM
I've never really completely understood the whole Star Trek version of the prime directive.   Why not let other thinking being know we are here, and possess the ability to communicate, travel, etc...?  Perhaps if the Vulcans had decided to make contact when they were award of Earth rather than waiting until we developed warp technology, things would have worked out differently.

I mean, I can understand if the beings in question are nothing more that comparatively dim cavemen.  But something else altogether if the society is actively searching for intersteller intelligence.

To put it another way...  Consider how hard many people are trying on this planet to find that intelligence now.  If there is already a galactic-wide "Prime Directive" set by some other beings out there, we will simply be cut off until we develop faster-than-light travel?  That sucks.
 
2013-08-23 10:01:00 AM
Sorry folks, but we're probably going to end up on the wrong end of someone else's Prime Directive.

/And we'll be tasty too
 
2013-08-23 10:02:33 AM
13 Ways to Hunt Intelligent Aliens

Consultants:

theinspirationroom.com www.notarealdomain.com
 
2013-08-23 10:40:00 AM
 "I'm pro-human being."

This guy is scary.  Pretty much gives us license to do whatever we want.  Post a picture of what you think he looks like.

i40.tinypic.com
 
2013-08-23 10:44:14 AM
You mean the prime directive they use on us?
 
2013-08-23 10:44:34 AM

Chiquidin: ////we humans have more in common with a fly than a chimp... So there ya go.


Umm, no. we share 93% DNA with a fly, 99% with chimps.

As to the issue of compatibility with alien species. Its quite possible that alien microbes have already hit earth, and were quickly removed by native life forms. Even so, viruses work because they are specifically tuned to our DNA. This is why in general you can't catch a virus from an animal, because the virus is tuned to that specific animals DNA. We haven't found any "generic" viruses yet that can attack any life form, no reason to think an alien virus would know how to attack our DNA.
As for bacteria, it really depends upon the environment. If the bacteria can outcompete native bacteria because it doesn't have any "natural" enemies, it could be a problem. But in general such issues are more common with animals and not bacteria.
 
2013-08-23 11:01:53 AM
There's always Special Circumstances.

/RIP
 
2013-08-23 11:06:18 AM
I'd prefer these types of heady questions aren't answered by Texans and Alabamans. Hope they're shipping these dudes in and not tapping the local brain trust.
 
2013-08-23 11:07:42 AM

MindStalker: Chiquidin: ////we humans have more in common with a fly than a chimp... So there ya go.

Umm, no. we share 93% DNA with a fly, 99% with chimps.

As to the issue of compatibility with alien species. Its quite possible that alien microbes have already hit earth, and were quickly removed by native life forms. Even so, viruses work because they are specifically tuned to our DNA. This is why in general you can't catch a virus from an animal, because the virus is tuned to that specific animals DNA. We haven't found any "generic" viruses yet that can attack any life form, no reason to think an alien virus would know how to attack our DNA.
As for bacteria, it really depends upon the environment. If the bacteria can outcompete native bacteria because it doesn't have any "natural" enemies, it could be a problem. But in general such issues are more common with animals and not bacteria.


Sure but if we use and understand that all things in the universe are composed of the same basic elements that we recognize, then the probability of other-worldly beings having more in common with us is really not that slim, I mean unless they are not a carbon based life form, say like the Tholians, or the Founders, or some other elemental life form.

/still stand by the idea presented by Calvin: "...the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us."
 
2013-08-23 11:10:05 AM

Carousel Beast: The Irresponsible Captain: We'll never get off this godforsaken rock.

Aliens will come here to dig up our graves and examine the monuments of a species too interested in hitting each other with clubs and navel-gazing to have ever made it past our own satellite.

So, you're saying you agree with QA, though coming from a different route?

Perhaps you should re-examine your life choices.


Perhaps you might want to take your own advice.
 
2013-08-23 11:10:58 AM

MindStalker: Chiquidin: ////we humans have more in common with a fly than a chimp... So there ya go.

Umm, no. we share 93% DNA with a fly, 99% with chimps.


Umm, ahh, speak ... ahh, speak for yourself
media.screened.com
 
2013-08-23 11:18:14 AM

durbnpoisn: Consider how hard many people are trying on this planet to find that intelligence now.  If there is already a galactic-wide "Prime Directive" set by some other beings out there, we will simply be cut off until we develop faster-than-light travel?  That sucks.



When we play Galactic Cowboys and Indians... we might be the Indians this time.
 
2013-08-23 11:20:39 AM

Quantum Apostrophe: Sticky Hands: im 100% for non interference... as long as their planet does not have resources i want.

What would they have that isn't already here? Is there another version of the periodic table of the elements that I'm not aware of?


More of a question of ease of extraction and transport.  (Setting aside your assertion it will never happen in the first place, of course -- thanks for joining with your biases set aside), if we do encounter, say, a planet where rare earths are in abundance near the surface, or a high amount of easily accessible cropland that's hospitable to our food sources at the time.  With the whole NIMBY attitude on earth combined with the fact that we've gathered most easy resources, a planet that still has most surface resources relatively unexploited would be awesome -- at the expense, of course, of the natives.

I personally think we'd gather most resources in our solar system for quite a long time, but eventually we'd find a planet where, say, thousands of tons of gold were deposited on the surface in a recent meteor strike.  Too easy of a grab to pass up -- even though that probably would crash the market price.
 
2013-08-23 11:52:33 AM
I don't know why we still have to have the stupid "debate" about whether life exists anywhere other than Earth. Our entire science is based on the idea that if it's happening now, it's happened before, and will continue to happen in the future. And we have a big old example that life exists in this universe. This covers sentient life as well. Now what we don't know is if we'll ever be able to effectively interact with other life forms.

As far as sentient life we know of one type of life that has produced intelligence we can relate to: mammals. But we have hints that avians and Cephalopods may also be able of developing intelligence.

The one from TFA I found laughable was the the guys talking about how we'd likely be safe from alien viruses. Because no virus ever has mutated and/or jumped species . . .

Of larger concern for our biosphere would be the alien equivalent of cockroaches, rats, or snakes. We've got plenty of examples of that going sour very fast. Just ask Guam.

As far as our morality in interaction with other sentient life forms I think we can take it as a blessing we are still stuck on this rock. Because we aren't even close to anything that resembles a moral species. And if there are space faring cultures observing us, they are most likely waiting for us to grow the fark up before significantly contacting us.

The running joke I have with the wife is ET could take one look at the Internet and learn all they needed to about us. I don't think we come off as terribly impressive by that metric.
 
2013-08-23 11:55:40 AM
Cropland that is hospitable is an interesting thought to me.  I am not a biologist, can someone give us an idea of what that would entail?  Could Earth plants even grow somewhere else?  Wouldn't we then be bringin huge amounts of the extraterrestrial soil and nutrients to Earth?
 
2013-08-23 12:00:38 PM
If we do encounter sentient yet less advanced life forms we should mutilate their livestock and subject them to anal probes. You know, payback.
 
2013-08-23 12:03:49 PM
The Prime Directive is a rule governing interactions with alien cultures.  Cultures are a construct of intelligent life.  Intelligent life is a subset of life.  Since there is no life outside of Earth's biosphere, alien cultures are nonexistent.  Therefore, the Prime Directive is a rule governing interactions with nonexistent life.  NASA is a government organization.  Government organizations are bound by the First Amendment.  The First Amendment prohibits government organizations from interfering in religious affairs.  Religious affairs are dealings with nonexistent life.  Therefore, NASA should not be developing the Prime Directive.
 
2013-08-23 12:16:51 PM
Boudyro:

The running joke I have with the wife is ET could take one look at the Internet and learn all they needed to about us. I don't think we come off as terribly impressive by that metric.

That assumes that aliens don't have their "fickle" class.  Unless there's something about advanced technology that turns sentients into highly cultured creatures, I'm sure other species have their own Honey Boo Boos and "Ow My Balls" shows.

In fact, I figure that's the greatest evidence against space travel, at least there's surely no private version of spacecraft; surely there's some version of hillbilly out there with warp drive and nothing better to do than go to some backwater planet and screw around with the natives.  And then, being a dumbass, they'd crash or get captured somehow.

Or hell, Space Puritans deciding their Space Jeebus told them to leave their homeworlds and colonize somewhere they can convert the natives or make them do their dirty work.  Although It's feasible that high tech civilizations are more agnostic in nature, all it takes is one Charismatic nutjob to get a flock together.  Doesn't have to be religious, either, could be a Manson-type.

If there's space travel, it's either non-trivial to do so only very organized groups can do it, or everybody's still far enough away and preoccupied with local systems such that we're "the jungle" as far as exploration is concerned.
 
2013-08-23 12:17:25 PM
NASA can talk all they want it will be the Pentagon that ultimately decides on how contact will be handled. Military will trump anything civil due to the nature of how alien life could impact humanity. Can we kill it? Yes: exploit it, No: concede and hope we aren't enslaved.
 
2013-08-23 12:24:30 PM

Roadogs: "I'm pro-human being."

This guy is scary.  Pretty much gives us license to do whatever we want.  Post a picture of what you think he looks like.

[i40.tinypic.com image 260x194]


Honestly, I don't necessarily disagree with him. Until we form some kind of Federation with tons of other species, promoting what's best for keeping our species thriving and evolving, seems to be the core reason for going out into space.

Also from the article:

As for colonizing those worlds containing basic lifeforms, it is less likely that we'd want to hang around very long. "We live in the depths of a gravitational abyss," said Obousy. Assuming our interstellar descendents has access to huge quantities of energy and resources, "I'm not convinced that we'll want to go from one gravitational abyss to another gravitational abyss. I'm not convinced that settling on planets or even moons is going to be necessary."

I what he is thinking, in the sense of living like The Culture did, mostly in a space environment, but I think one of the primary reasons for colonizing other words (and I get not doing it to worlds that already have a sentient species developing there), is to make sure all our eggs aren't in one basket. To expand our species so that should something bad happen, we as a species live on...

As for being on "gravitational abysses", it's easier and cheaper than building space stations and artificial worlds to live on, especially in the beginning. And having more space for industry just is another version of Moore's law, in the sense we can continually double our potential output... Plus I think shipping people off to other worlds would allow for our world to balance itself out better with population levels.
 
2013-08-23 12:28:09 PM

MindStalker:  Even so, viruses work because they are specifically tuned to our DNA. This is why in general you can't catch a virus from an animal, because the virus is tuned to that specific animals DNA.


Chicken pox, cowpox, cat scratch disease, eastern- , western-, and Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus, bovine tuberculosis, and avian flu all have those names for a pretty good reason.  Zoonoses are quite common, actually, and are among the worst of the diseases that humans get.  Epidemics that  don't have a non-human reservoir tend to burn out really quickly.
 
2013-08-23 12:35:30 PM
The fun part would we get out there and find we are very tiny fish in a big ocean.
 
2013-08-23 12:57:24 PM
And the answer is very simple, actually.

If the aliens look like this:
i105.photobucket.com i105.photobucket.com i105.photobucket.com i105.photobucket.com i105.photobucket.com

Make contact.

If they look like this:
i105.photobucket.com i105.photobucket.com i105.photobucket.com i105.photobucket.com

Stay away from them.

And if they look like this:

i105.photobucket.com
Throw Tom Cruise into a volcano.
 
2013-08-23 01:44:53 PM

elchupacabra: Boudyro:

The running joke I have with the wife is ET could take one look at the Internet and learn all they needed to about us. I don't think we come off as terribly impressive by that metric.

That assumes that aliens don't have their "fickle" class.  Unless there's something about advanced technology that turns sentients into highly cultured creatures, I'm sure other species have their own Honey Boo Boos and "Ow My Balls" shows.

In fact, I figure that's the greatest evidence against space travel, at least there's surely no private version of spacecraft; surely there's some version of hillbilly out there with warp drive and nothing better to do than go to some backwater planet and screw around with the natives.  And then, being a dumbass, they'd crash or get captured somehow.

Or hell, Space Puritans deciding their Space Jeebus told them to leave their homeworlds and colonize somewhere they can convert the natives or make them do their dirty work.  Although It's feasible that high tech civilizations are more agnostic in nature, all it takes is one Charismatic nutjob to get a flock together.  Doesn't have to be religious, either, could be a Manson-type.

If there's space travel, it's either non-trivial to do so only very organized groups can do it, or everybody's still far enough away and preoccupied with local systems such that we're "the jungle" as far as exploration is concerned.


My guess is the requirements for a species to reach interstellar capability preclude too much derp. But it's just a guess.

As far as the "hillbilly" element, if the UFO community is even remotely correct about anything we've got plenty of that kind of evidence. I also think that could all be part of an organized plan to get us used to the idea of ETs.

As far as space puritans go, my theory would be that kind of society just doesn't get far enough to be a threat. The open trade of ideas and thought are critical to advancement, and the puritanical societies we've experienced so far haven't been too keen on the free trade of ideas. I really hope a race smart enough to travel between star systems wouldn't be dumb enough to fall victim to dogma or dictators. But I could be wrong.
 
2013-08-23 01:52:46 PM
Take me to your leader..............
 
2013-08-23 02:08:31 PM
The farthest we've made it is the moon.  That's less than 2 light seconds away from Earth.  Only 24 people have made it that far.  Nobody else has gone beyond low earth orbit.  And it's been over 40 years since that happened.

So far, we've been unable to reach the nearest other planets, which are roughly 5 light minutes away.

The nearest star (actually a three star system) is alpha centauri, which is over 4 light years away.

If we meet aliens in the next 1,000 years, it will be because they came to us.
 
2013-08-23 02:31:08 PM

Boudyro: elchupacabra: Boudyro:


My guess is the requirements for a species to reach interstellar capability preclude too much derp. But it's just a guess.


Yeah.  Although it's possible the "traveling" culture and the "home" culture may be different.  Might be aliens come by, but go away because we're too much like home.

As far as the "hillbilly" element, if the UFO community is even remotely correct about anything we've got plenty of that kind of evidence. I also think that could all be part of an organized plan to get us used to the idea of ETs.

I would check for monkeys coming out of my butt on the day that current UFOologists are shown to be correct.  My money is on our first genuine extraterrestrial encounter being either finding the spaceship equivalent of "flotsam and jetsam" or when we start to leave the solar system.

As far as space puritans go, my theory would be that kind of society just doesn't get far enough to be a threat. The open trade of ideas and thought are critical to advancement, and the puritanical societies we've experie ...

Probably a bit over-specific in calling it "Space Puritans".... More like any counter-culture that is non-desireable in the main society for a really good reason... Space Puritans, Space Klansmen, Space Cult, whatever.  I don't see aliens having wholly eradicated such concepts.
 
2013-08-23 02:46:23 PM

JuggleGeek: The farthest we've made it is the moon.  That's less than 2 light seconds away from Earth.  Only 24 people have made it that far.  Nobody else has gone beyond low earth orbit.  And it's been over 40 years since that happened.

So far, we've been unable to reach the nearest other planets, which are roughly 5 light minutes away.

The nearest star (actually a three star system) is alpha centauri, which is over 4 light years away.

If we meet aliens in the next 1,000 years, it will be because they came to us.


Humans have existed as a distinct species for about 100,000 years.

For the first 90,000 years, the only way humans got from place to place was by walking.
About 10,000 years ago, we domesticated some animals that we could ride.
About 5,000 years ago, we invented the wheel and could get animals to pull us in carts.
About 200 years ago, we harnessed steam power
about 110 years ago, we developed the diesel engine
103 years ago was the first commercial flight
74 years ago was the first flight of a plane to be powered entirely by jet engines
53 years ago, first human in space
44 years ago, first humans on the moon
42 years ago, first space station
15 years ago, ISS
9 years ago, first manned private space flight.
Right around now, first human-made object to exit the solar system.

Put another way:
Prior to my great grandfather's lifetime, no human had ever traveled more than about 35 or 40 miles per hour (unless they fell off a cliff).
The 100 MPH barrier was broken in my grandfather's lifetime.
The sound barrier was broken during level flight in my father's lifetime
We first got out of the earth's gravity well during my lifetime.

The trends are all pointing one way, so I'm optimistic.
 
2013-08-23 03:04:26 PM

shifter_: Take me to your leader..............


Take me to a breeder.
 
2013-08-23 03:23:12 PM

Daffydil


oh yay! Meetings about nothing...NASA is bored...

What else did they have to do? They've already completed their primary obama goals.
fellowshipofminds.files.wordpress.com

it's why we have peace in our time.
 
2013-08-23 04:42:58 PM

FloydA: The trends are all pointing one way, so I'm optimistic.


People believe all sorts of crazy things.  I hope your right.
 
2013-08-23 05:04:14 PM

Roadogs: "I'm pro-human being."

This guy is scary.  Pretty much gives us license to do whatever we want.  Post a picture of what you think he looks like.

[i40.tinypic.com image 260x194]


This whole argument was a central theme to this movie, so I imagine him to be this guy:

mimg.ugo.com
 
2013-08-23 05:16:13 PM
I made it about as far as "myriad of topics" in TFA.  I have my doubts as to whether we, as a species, make it as far into our galaxy as I made it into TFA.
 
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