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Thread: Stephen Hawking takes a hard line on aliens

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    Re: Stephen Hawking takes a hard line on aliens

    Quote Originally Posted by Cardinal View Post
    It seems fair to assume that two worlds of equal variety would create relatively equal havoc for each other.
    If they were truly advanced, that might be a reason for them to avoid us at all costs...or to spend time collecting controled samples of our diseases to develop ways to counteract them or develop immunity within themselves before contact. then they could feign friendship and within a century or so most of us (and other earth-life) would croak from exotic-mutated alien diseases.

    then we'd be screwed.
    Last edited by other; 04-29-10 at 01:12 AM.

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    Re: Stephen Hawking takes a hard line on aliens

    Quote Originally Posted by other View Post
    If they were truly advanced, that might be a reason for them to avoid us at all costs...or to spend time collecting controled samples of our diseases to develop ways to counteract them or develop immunity within themselves before contact. then they could feign friendship and within a century or so most of us (and other earth-life) would croak from exotic-mutated alien diseases.

    then we'd be screwed.
    Yup.

    .........

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    Re: Stephen Hawking takes a hard line on aliens

    Quote Originally Posted by Cardinal View Post
    The latter. My point was that history as recent as the twentieth century demonstrates that evolution has done nothing to calm our violent tendencies. However, my statements about the degree of our violence gained a big "no duh" from you, so I don't understand your position anymore.
    Yes, you are right that as recent as the twentieth century has seen much killing. The numbers reflect our ability to kill more people with less manpower (the technology). That being said, some of us have reached the point that we see the futility and horrors of war and have changed on a psychological level (our perceptions). I would think this is due to the technology on the information side of the issue. We can turn on the telelvision or the computer, and know pretty quickly what is happening anywhere on the globe. Before this information was readily available, people had a "disconnected" sense of war. This has brought about a change in attitude toward war itself. It has caused us to look at the real effects of conflict and we take it personally. In effect, the same technology that has allowed us to kill so many people has also allowed us to take it to heart and changed our psyche toward war.
    I still have firm convictions that humans do have a psychological love of war that is deep-seated, but I think that we are able to perceive the effects in a way that has made us start to reason more and not be quite as reactive as we used to be. We have a long way to go, and it may well be that this current pacifist trend is just a temporary phase due to the relative prosperity we have seen in the second half of the 20th century. We'll see.
    My primary concern is that our tendencies toward pacifism (primarily a Western thing) will result in our demise because we will become so idealistic and pacifist that we will be unable to defend ourselves. (I'm talking long-term here)
    My personal position on war is to defend, not offend.
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    Re: Stephen Hawking takes a hard line on aliens

    why can't aliens be like us, wide eyed and bushy tailed about meeting another intelligent species for the first time, the odds are if they're flying through space, they'd have enough resources to last 'em perpetually, or ways of producing more when they're on the long dark highway between intergalactic truck stops, so they wouldn't need to strip mine earth, and would just be interested in communicating.
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  5. #45
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    Re: Stephen Hawking takes a hard line on aliens

    If the universe is teeming with humanoid, spacefaring, sapient life, cross-species conflict is probably inevitable, but I don't think inter-planetary wars are very likely. War is a logistically difficult process. Combine that with space travel and colonization, two other logistically difficult processes, and you have a virtual impossibility on your hands.

    Even for a species with FTL travel, the resources, technology, and planning required to subjugate humans and colonize Earth would be enormous. If you have the ability to do any of those things, it would be much, much, much easier to find an uninhabited world like Mars and terraform it. It is always good for mineral resources, and you can spec it to fulfill other needs; surely a civilization with FTL travel has the tech to make Mars-like soil suitable for farming. If you planet is too arid, surely it is easier to tap water from asteroids and other chunks of ice floating in your solar system than to go to war over Earth's limited freshwater supplies. Basically, any species with the tech and motivation to go to war must surely already possess the ability to resolve their situation peacefully, and more economically.

    Besides that, species capable of interstellar travel are probably combining their colonization efforts with population control and highly refined recycling programs.
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    Re: Stephen Hawking takes a hard line on aliens

    Re: Stephen Hawking takes a hard line on aliens
    Not sure I agree.

    If the universe is teeming with humanoid, spacefaring, sapient life, cross-species conflict is probably inevitable, but I don't think inter-planetary wars are very likely. War is a logistically difficult process. Combine that with space travel and colonization, two other logistically difficult processes, and you have a virtual impossibility on your hands.

    Even for a species with FTL travel, the resources, technology, and planning required to subjugate humans and colonize Earth would be enormous. If you have the ability to do any of those things, it would be much, much, much easier to find an uninhabited world like Mars near your own planet and terraform it.

    Such a planet is always good for mineral resources, and you can spec it to fulfill other needs; surely a civilization with FTL travel has the tech to make Mars-like soil suitable for farming. If you planet is too arid, surely it is easier to tap water from asteroids and other chunks of ice floating in your solar system than to go to war over Earth's limited freshwater supplies. Basically, any species with the tech and motivation to go to war must surely already possess the ability to resolve their situation peacefully, and more economically.

    Besides that, given historical trends on Earth, species capable of interstellar travel are probably combining their colonization efforts with population control and highly refined recycling programs, further reducing the motivation to go to war.
    Last edited by Morality Games; 04-29-10 at 03:28 AM.
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    Re: Stephen Hawking takes a hard line on aliens

    I think he's just messing with us.

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    Re: Stephen Hawking takes a hard line on aliens

    Quote Originally Posted by lizzie View Post
    Hawking is right. If anyone is "out there" and can come here, we had better hope they are benevolent or we are screwed.
    Yep, they won't be coming here for a hug. LOL

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    Re: Stephen Hawking takes a hard line on aliens

    Stephen Hawking said, "We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn't want to meet."

    Good call.

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    Re: Stephen Hawking takes a hard line on aliens

    Quote Originally Posted by Orion View Post
    Stephen Hawking said, "We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn't want to meet."

    Good call.
    Whichever is the case, whether we are evolving in a positive and productive manner, or are evolving to the the point that we will meet our destruction, one or the other will happen. I personally believe the former is the more likely. Evolution of a species is so gradual and takes several setbacks and starts, but over the long haul I think true progress is made. Taking just a couple of points in time, chosen to make a point, is misleading. Evolution takes many adjustments and changes in intellect, emotional state, and action. We never can see the whole picture by looking at a century, a millenium, or an era.
    "God is the name by which I designate all things which cross my path violently and recklessly, all things which alter my plans and intentions, and change the course of my life, for better or for worse."
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