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Debates Forum

  1. 23 Sep '16 15:32
    Should we seek them out or hide from them?

    Here is what Stephen Hawking said about the idea.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/nation-now/2016/09/23/stephen-hawking-aliens-wary-answering-back-intelligent-life/90895018/

    He seems to think it would be like Columbus meeting the Indians, so we should be wary.
  2. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    23 Sep '16 16:05
    Originally posted by whodey
    Should we seek them out or hide from them?

    Here is what Stephen Hawking said about the idea.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/nation-now/2016/09/23/stephen-hawking-aliens-wary-answering-back-intelligent-life/90895018/

    He seems to think it would be like Columbus meeting the Indians, so we should be wary.
    An unlikely scenario in the extreme, since nothing has been detected anywhere 'near' Earth and so an advanced civilization would statistically be thousands of light years away, maybe even in Andromeda galaxy rather than our own Milky Way.

    Another issue I don't see people bringing up:

    Suppose we knew how long the average civilization lasts at a high techno level, like ours today or stronger.

    So suppose we figure out we have a smaller and smaller chance of that civilization being around some number of years in the future.

    So for Earth, just going out on a limb here, say that number is 500 years or so, hell lets go all out and say 1000 years.

    So we have radio for 1000 years and our signals therefore in 1000 years will cover a sphere 2000 ly across. So suppose at the thousand year mark, our civilization poops out, stops transmitting. We would then have an outgoing wavefront of radio/TV electromagnetic signals 1000 light years deep going out into the galaxy.

    Ok, now supppose there is another civilization say 10,000 light years away from us in our own galaxy.

    Suppose further that civilization does its own 1000 year cycle but 3000 years ago from our time frame. So ITS 1000 light year deep wavefront charges out into the galaxy and what happens? Both of our signals meet life forms incapable of recieveing signals, us say 3000 to 4000 years from now when the alien signal would get here. And from us our 1000 ly thick wavefront will pass them by with them never having a radio capaple of picking us up. So it's like ships passing in the night but in a fog bank, neither one of us will ever know the presence of the other civilization. So extend that to opposite ends of our own galaxy, say 100,000 light years apart. Now aliens may be separated in time by nearly that amount of time and our signals bounce around in the galaxy theirs reaching us when we were say, back in the stone age or maybe 100,000 years in OUR future when we maybe have advanced past the need for radio waves and therefore are radio silent for another reason.

    Maybe most of any possible alien signal does the same, the result, we can listen for 1000 years and maybe encounter absolutely nothing.
  3. 23 Sep '16 16:27
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    An unlikely scenario in the extreme, since nothing has been detected anywhere 'near' Earth and so an advanced civilization would statistically be thousands of light years away, maybe even in Andromeda galaxy rather than our own Milky Way.

    Another issue I don't see people bringing up:

    Suppose we knew how long the average civilization lasts at a high t ...[text shortened]... does the same, the result, we can listen for 1000 years and maybe encounter absolutely nothing.
    I'm not so much interested in the odds of contacting another life form, I'm more interested in the hypotheticals assuming it is possible.

    Should we assume that another life form is as predatory as say Columbus and the American Indians? Naturally, as human beings it is all we know, so we tend to assume all other life forms would be like us.
  4. 23 Sep '16 16:46
    Originally posted by whodey
    Should we seek them out or hide from them?
    Stephen Hawking is right. But if you were an indian and you saw the white men with their guns and other wonders, would you run away, or would you go and try to trade?
  5. 23 Sep '16 17:32
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    An unlikely scenario in the extreme, since nothing has been detected anywhere 'near' Earth and so an advanced civilization would statistically be thousands of light years away, maybe even in Andromeda galaxy rather than our own Milky Way.

    Another issue I don't see people bringing up:

    Suppose we knew how long the average civilization lasts at a high t ...[text shortened]... does the same, the result, we can listen for 1000 years and maybe encounter absolutely nothing.
    Won't the destroyed civilization rebuild itself again and again? Granted, if destroyed by nuclear means, rebuilding may be delayed, but on the other hand, evolution might be accelerated due to all the mutating going on.
  6. 23 Sep '16 17:42 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Stephen Hawking is right. But if you were an indian and you saw the white men with their guns and other wonders, would you run away, or would you go and try to trade?
    The question is apples and oranges.

    If I were an Indian I would know what human beings are capable of and what makes them tick.

    Being another species is another matter entirely.
  7. 23 Sep '16 17:45
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    An unlikely scenario in the extreme, since nothing has been detected anywhere 'near' Earth and so an advanced civilization would statistically be thousands of light years away, maybe even in Andromeda galaxy rather than our own Milky Way.
    ......
    Maybe most of any possible alien signal does the same, the result, we can listen for 1000 years and maybe encounter absolutely nothing.
    Funny how you went from 'lack of evidence=absence of aliens' to 'maybe they are everywhere but not transmitting'.

    The reality is we just haven't looked.
  8. 23 Sep '16 17:48
    Originally posted by whodey
    The question is apples and oranges.

    If I were an Indian I would know what human beings are capable of and what makes them tick.
    Obviously the indians didn't and they mostly died.

    Being another species is another matter entirely.
    But you would still, almost certainly, be excited by the shinys. Despite Hawkins cautions, humans would be all over themselves trying to communicate if they ever discover aliens.
  9. Standard member vivify
    rain
    23 Sep '16 18:25
    I guess we'd have to be cautiously optimistic. Approach the aliens gladly, but ready ready to kill if need be.

    There's also the possibility that they could be unintentionally harmful, via disease that's not harmful to them but deadly to us, or they could be radio-active.
  10. 23 Sep '16 19:45
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Obviously the indians didn't and they mostly died.

    [b]Being another species is another matter entirely.

    But you would still, almost certainly, be excited by the shinys. Despite Hawkins cautions, humans would be all over themselves trying to communicate if they ever discover aliens.[/b]
    What do you reckon humans would want from them?
  11. Subscriber Suzianne
    Misfit Queen
    29 Sep '16 13:07
    Originally posted by whodey
    Should we seek them out or hide from them?

    Here is what Stephen Hawking said about the idea.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/nation-now/2016/09/23/stephen-hawking-aliens-wary-answering-back-intelligent-life/90895018/

    He seems to think it would be like Columbus meeting the Indians, so we should be wary.
    If they show up, we'll just play Slim Whitman and explode their brains.
  12. 29 Sep '16 22:02 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by twhitehead to Whodey
    Stephen Hawking is right. But if you were an indian and you saw the white men with their guns
    and other wonders, would you run away, or would you go and try to trade?
    Europeans did not invent guns (or gunpowder) or the magnetic compass; the Chinese did.
    When China sent ships to Africa (which was much less technologically advanced), the
    Chinese traded peacefully without aiming to capture slaves like Europeans and Arabs did.

    http://newafricanmagazine.com/chinas-long-history-africa/

    "China's Long HIstory in Africa"
    --Curtis Abraham (11 March 2015)