The Official Star Trek Movie Forum

The Official Star Trek Movie Forum > Star Trek > Off Topic Discussions > Q&A: The Anthropology of Searching for Aliens
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 04-04-2012, 12:56 PM
omegaman's Avatar
omegaman omegaman is offline
Admiral
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Penrith NSW Australia
Posts: 4,609
Default Q&A: The Anthropology of Searching for Aliens

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/20...tories+2%29%29
__________________
TREK IS TREK. WHATEVER THE TIMELINE!

The next TV Series should be called STARFLEET!
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 04-05-2012, 02:09 PM
Captain Tom Coughlin's Avatar
Captain Tom Coughlin Captain Tom Coughlin is offline
Fleet Admiral
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: USS Meadowlands
Posts: 10,989
Default

It's an interesting article, however I'd like to see them expand on some of the answers. For instance, she took exception with the Hawking analogy of the new world meeting the old world, and how that didn't work out to well for the natives of the new world. Well, it didn't!
__________________

Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 04-05-2012, 02:11 PM
omegaman's Avatar
omegaman omegaman is offline
Admiral
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Penrith NSW Australia
Posts: 4,609
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Tom Coughlin View Post
It's an interesting article, however I'd like to see them expand on some of the answers. For instance, she took exception with the Hawking analogy of the new world meeting the old world, and how that didn't work out to well for the natives of the new world. Well, it didn't!
Agreed.
__________________
TREK IS TREK. WHATEVER THE TIMELINE!

The next TV Series should be called STARFLEET!
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 04-05-2012, 03:58 PM
horatio's Avatar
horatio horatio is offline
Fleet Admiral
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 9,282
Default

I do not agree with Hawking. His very existence shows that we humans are actually pretty cooperative creatures. No "survival of the fittest" nonsense, his chronical condition gets treated. If he were a lesser creature, e.g. a dog, he would have been left behind and died long ago.
This is by the way not my argument but Richard Dawkins'. Now if you zoom out a bit and think in terms of natural selection about several hypothetical intelligent species besides our own you realize that the ones who are too competitive have a higher chance of annihilating themselves.
That's after all also the story that Trek tells, either we don't get out sh*t together and stand a decent chance of annihilating ourselves in a nuclear holocasut or we start to cooperate first worldwide and then galaxywide.
Furthermore a spacefaring species will probably encounter many Minshara class planets but only few with intelligent life on them. They have better technology than we, they are culturally further evolved and thus more likely to be more cooperative than we are, they do not really want our resources as there are plenty of empty Minshara class planets out there which you can take without a fight ... so why the hell should they attack us?
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 04-05-2012, 04:18 PM
omegaman's Avatar
omegaman omegaman is offline
Admiral
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Penrith NSW Australia
Posts: 4,609
Default

i was just thinking about all the intergalactic rules and regulations (if there are/were any) we probably be breaking by sending probes into space, landing them on planets without permission or crashing them into planet atmospheres after their usefulness has petered out.
__________________
TREK IS TREK. WHATEVER THE TIMELINE!

The next TV Series should be called STARFLEET!
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 04-06-2012, 04:15 AM
Captain Tom Coughlin's Avatar
Captain Tom Coughlin Captain Tom Coughlin is offline
Fleet Admiral
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: USS Meadowlands
Posts: 10,989
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by horatio View Post
I do not agree with Hawking. His very existence shows that we humans are actually pretty cooperative creatures. No "survival of the fittest" nonsense, his chronical condition gets treated. If he were a lesser creature, e.g. a dog, he would have been left behind and died long ago.
This is by the way not my argument but Richard Dawkins'. Now if you zoom out a bit and think in terms of natural selection about several hypothetical intelligent species besides our own you realize that the ones who are too competitive have a higher chance of annihilating themselves.
That's after all also the story that Trek tells, either we don't get out sh*t together and stand a decent chance of annihilating ourselves in a nuclear holocasut or we start to cooperate first worldwide and then galaxywide.
Furthermore a spacefaring species will probably encounter many Minshara class planets but only few with intelligent life on them. They have better technology than we, they are culturally further evolved and thus more likely to be more cooperative than we are, they do not really want our resources as there are plenty of empty Minshara class planets out there which you can take without a fight ... so why the hell should they attack us?

Is it an attack when I clear out a hornets nest from my garage? You frame it as if we would be equals, we would not be. They may look at us as if we are bugs. I also don't believe you can frame the question as if they would see it as a war or conflict. To them, removing us could be a simple matter of maintenance if it suits them to do so.

Perhaps instead of sending their equivalent of the Army, they'd be sending their equivalent of a janitor. When you have ants, you don't negotiate with them. You just remove them.
__________________


Last edited by Captain Tom Coughlin : 04-06-2012 at 06:35 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 04-06-2012, 10:42 AM
horatio's Avatar
horatio horatio is offline
Fleet Admiral
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 9,282
Default

They could very well view us as ants. But I think that intelligent life in the universe is rare enough to be viewed by other intelligent life that discovers it as worthwhile of investigation and not of eradication. It is easy for us to view intelligent animals as lesser beings but once an animal becomes more than that, need culture, creates a giant civilization and eventually reaches out there it will not view other animals who have crossed this treshold as just animals. It will rather recognize the similarity and view them as fellows.

Besides grabbing Minshara-class planets (the recent discoveries indicate that they are not scarce), other resources and exploring the physical aspects of the universe discovering new life is probably one motivation to get out there for a spacefaring species.
Call me naive but I really think that Star Trek got it pretty right. Most sci-fi views aliens either as invading conquerers or wise little grey guys whereas the truth is probably somewhere in between.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 04-06-2012, 11:20 AM
kevin's Avatar
kevin kevin is offline
Federation Councillor
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: East Kilbride, Glasgow, UK
Posts: 21,077
Default

The problem with the history of Earth is that while you have plenty of examples of co-operation you have as many examples of conquering, invasion and destruction.

Therefore her casual dismissal of Hawking does her own credibility no immediate favours because she appears to be unwilling to expand on just why his take is so simplistic in and of itself when we have many, many examples of both the conquering nature of human history and the damage when two different peoples are brought together (sure, we all know the Europeans were also able to bring diseases that indigenous people had no immunity from so that was able to aid their technological advantages because theire very presence was able to kill off a lot of them naturally) but can't co-exist.

The problem is that even in attempts at co-existence one side always really wants to still have the upper edge. In the case of the Americas that was the Europeans and subsequent generations of those born there who decided the place was 'theirs' over those who had been there before them.

Similar thing in the Australia's. And we know what happened there. This is observable history. Ignoring it don't change it. Disliking it don't change it.

In a hypothetical (which essentially applies to her as much as Hawking) scenario there's really no way to know how it would go if we did make verifiable contact with an alien race that was already way ahead of us. There's probably no automatic reason to assume we would be 'colonised by them' (but it certainly proves fertile enough to act as metaphor and analogy in fiction to our history) but there's no automatic reason to suspect it would all be sweetness and light either.

It's like the existence of anything that is currently believed but also in reality unknown..........we don't know either way. Where she is correct is that we only have cumulative Earth history to draw ideas from. So perhaps it depends on your perspective on human history.

That said, my general feeling is that if there was no specific reason for any advanced civilisation to 'need' Earth for some reason (which forms the basis for most stories based around alien invasion) then they would probably pass us by and not pay us very much attention. At this stage, we don't really warrant a special visit unless they did need something. We have a long way to go before we're ready to leave this planet and start encountering others who may be ahead of us. I don't think we would necessarily handle it very well to perhaps realise we weren't as advanced as 'we' thought we were.
__________________
'If the Apocalypse starts, beep me!' - Buffy Summers
'The sky's the limit.....' Jean-Luc Picard, 'All Good Things'


courtesy of Saquist

Last edited by kevin : 04-06-2012 at 11:24 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 04-06-2012, 11:29 AM
kevin's Avatar
kevin kevin is offline
Federation Councillor
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: East Kilbride, Glasgow, UK
Posts: 21,077
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Tom Coughlin View Post
Perhaps instead of sending their equivalent of the Army, they'd be sending their equivalent of a janitor. When you have ants, you don't negotiate with them. You just remove them.
But then in that analogy whose environment you're in also decides who 'wins'.

You would win in your setting of say, an apartment. Where you have the advantage of your technology over the small(ish) numbers you may need to deal with.

You put yourself in the jungle where the Ants exist in their tens of millions in swarms and YOU would have to get out of THEIR way! I've seen documentaries showing that when an army of Ants sweep through smaller towns in the millions it's the people who get out of the way til they pass through and leave!

(course the co-existence benefit argument can also be made here since the villagers tend to appreciate the periodic clearout of scorpions, spiders and other nasty bugs that tend to inhabit their houses roofs etc every once in a while that the swarm brings!)
__________________
'If the Apocalypse starts, beep me!' - Buffy Summers
'The sky's the limit.....' Jean-Luc Picard, 'All Good Things'


courtesy of Saquist
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 04-06-2012, 12:43 PM
horatio's Avatar
horatio horatio is offline
Fleet Admiral
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 9,282
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin View Post
That said, my general feeling is that if there was no specific reason for any advanced civilisation to 'need' Earth for some reason (which forms the basis for most stories based around alien invasion) then they would probably pass us by and not pay us very much attention. At this stage, we don't really warrant a special visit unless they did need something. We have a long way to go before we're ready to leave this planet and start encountering others who may be ahead of us. I don't think we would necessarily handle it very well to perhaps realise we weren't as advanced as 'we' thought we were.
If beyond-animal intelligent life, i.e. folks like us who are create culture, is widespread this might indeed happen. But I seriously doubt that such life is so common that spacetravelers would just ignore it. Given how small the ratio of time in which modern humans have existed over time in which life on Earth has existed intelligent life existing at the same time is probably extremely rare.
The folks among them who make it into space will not ignore or kill their distant brothers and sisters. As smart as Hawking is, here he really seriously erred. Space cannot be full of violent conquerers as these guys stand a higher chances of killing themselves than the nicer folks. It is not wishful thinking, it is natural selection.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:13 PM.


Forum theme courtesy of Mark Lambert
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright © 2009 by Paramount Pictures. STAR TREK and all related
marks and logos are trademarks of CBS Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.