Do you think that aliens would bother to come to a highly superstitious planet?
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24-10-2012, 04:45 PM
RE: Do you think that aliens would bother to come to a highly superstitious planet?
(23-10-2012 08:13 PM)Free Wrote:  I want to give ya an opinion on how I think aliens should be viewed.

If they exist (and I believe its very possible) I think the best way we should look at them is to not humanize them. I say this because I view all sentient life as being comprised of different kinds of animals, humans and aliens included.

So, what i am trying to say is that aliens would be a different kind, albeit, intelligent animal. They may be as different from us as we are as different from our family pet.
I think we have such a diversity among people, that we pretty much cover lots of alienness. (have you ever heard of neurodiversity?) And the rest we can cover by the courtesy of some awesome sci-fi writers, who create intriguing stories of alienness and otherness on purpose. We might be actually surprised by aliens being more similar than we thought. More human than humans, that is, more humane, less inhumane than us, better developed at what are we trying to achieve for millenia. Maybe humanity is just a phase of post-animal evolution, characteristic by growing a social and abstract brain. You know what is social and... let's say abstract means orienting ourselves according to the universal constants and blueprints, like, logic, maths, physics, art, philosophy, voice tone appreciation, golden mean, fractal structure, brotherhood, freedom, justice... These may be common phenomena and concepts in any post-animal life form.

(23-10-2012 08:13 PM)Free Wrote:  When we look at other animals, we don't see any superstitions, religious beliefs, or anything like that. I think that if an alien were to look at us, they may not see nor understand things like religious beliefs or superstitions because they would simply not be human, and wouldn't possess our human qualities.
Understanding religious beliefs is cultural. By default, all beliefs are weird unless you grew up in them. So the aliens won't understand, unless they keep really good history records or have a culture closer to ours than we'd think possible. Hell, even I don't understand people like religious fundies or naturalists or mechanistic materialists.
As for the absence of superstitious animals, you'd be surprised Wink



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24-10-2012, 08:36 PM
RE: Do you think that aliens would bother to come to a highly superstitious planet?
Not having read any of the replies (Yay for laziness justified by avoiding groupthink!), here's my take.

What would said aliens want with Earth and/or us, really? Sure, if they're extremely alien in their psychology, they might want to obliterate every tenth planet in their cataloging system for no reason we can comprehend and, oh look, Earth's one of those. But assuming psychologies we can somewhat understand, let's look at some possible motivations for them to come to Earth.

1) Resources. This isn't very plausible in most regards, but see point 2 below. Basic elements and minerals would be far more easily harvested from asteroids, comets, or solar winds WITHOUT going deep into an awful, awful gravity well. (Especially a gravity well with free oxygen. Talk about a nightmare for maintenance.) Forget aliens showing up to stripmine our atmosphere, unless they're extremely irrational. In which case, seeing a planet overflowing with dozens or hundreds of world views that are equally irrational... well, they'll probably try to kill us, because that's the way that equally irrational but contradictory world views seem to interact.

2) Biodiversity. Aliens can get lots and lots of stuff outside of a gravity well, but one thing they can't get is stuff that only grows on Earth. A lot of speculation back and forth has been done over just how mutually compatible an alien species would be. Could they eat our crops, for example? I'd say probably not, but we can't really draw conclusions like that without data points. But even barring something they can eat, they might be interested in, say, wood for its usefulness as a construction material, or birds for the aerodynamic principles found in their forms, or a wide variety of bacteria that can be bio-engineered to perform useful tasks, or flowers (or, say, manitees) because they're pretty to look at. Earth is the ONLY place to get this stuff. The aliens might have encountered a whole lot of OTHER biosystems, but nothing quite like ours. These aliens will probably do a wide survey and sampling of Earth, but leave humans the heck alone (save to put a few of us in zoos). But maybe they won't recreate the right environment for pine farms on their first, second, or third try. Then they'll have to come back for more samples... and if they discover that we're rapidly depleting their reserve of natural pines, they might get persnickety. As a variation, they might be interested in cataloging the biodiversity for the sake of pure research, and again they might get irritated that we're wiping out species even as we try to study them. (Yes, there's a connection between all this and religion.)

3) Environment and Colonization. Maybe, just maybe, these aliens wish to establish a colony, and pick Earth because they can tolerate conditions here. Why? Current astronomy is finding more and more "Earth-like" (near as we can tell) planets in our galactic neighborhood, and just looking at a snapshot of our history suggests that most of those planets are uninhabited. So why come to Earth? Maybe their colony ship picked a star with such a planet without realizing it's occupied (radio shell? You guys use RADIO? Why not gravi-comms, they're SO much more efficient!), and lacked the fuel to head to a different star once they discovered Earth was occupied. So what next? Maybe coexistence, maybe wipe-em-out-and-take-their-world... in any case, they wouldn't be dealing with us because they WANT to, but because they HAVE to, so it has no bearing on the original question.

4) Cultural and Technological Diversity. Now this is the one that amuses me most. Suppose the aliens' day to day needs are met by technology, and they focus most of their effort on intellectual pursuits or leisure. Then they encounter our radio transmissions. Their psychology is such that they can appreciate our forms of entertainment, but it's utterly different from anything they might produce themselves. (Which isn't to say they can't produce their own.) Or maybe they can produce stuff like ours, but still find ours of use. For a parallel, look at the American otaku. They start by trying to get access to everything in our libraries and watching and listening and reading everything in our infosphere. Then they start snagging our best talents (maybe abduction, or maybe just a recording contract) to produce works on commission. These aliens LOVE our suspicious natures, because they're so damn entertaining.

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25-10-2012, 11:31 AM
RE: Do you think that aliens would bother to come to a highly superstitious planet?
Nope. If the stereotypical aliens exist, all they need to do is hack into the internet and see just how crazy this place is "Ok... Earth is a definite no-no, those people are insane"
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26-10-2012, 06:35 PM
RE: Do you think that aliens would bother to come to a highly superstitious planet?
(Skipped the first 7 pages, just dropping my opinion)

I suspect that the theories posed by both Star Trek TOS (episode Who Mourns for Adonais?) and Stargate SG 1 (more or less the entire series) have reasonable validity - an advanced race came by, saw our lively ball of mud, and stopped for some fun; then moved on.

Just my take though. We wont find out, however, until we stop our petty BS and take our place among the stars.
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27-10-2012, 12:20 AM
RE: Do you think that aliens would bother to come to a highly superstitious planet?
As a practical matter, I don't think they'd be able to tell if we were superstitious or not until they were very much in contact with us already, if they even had a concept of what superstition means. They'd probably find us fascinating. Or kill us.

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614C → 714N + e + ̅νe
2 K(s) + 2 H2O(l) → 2 KOH(aq) + H2 (g) + 196 kJ/mol
It works, bitches.
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27-10-2012, 07:30 AM
RE: Do you think that aliens would bother to come to a highly superstitious planet?
(24-10-2012 04:45 PM)Luminon Wrote:  
(23-10-2012 08:13 PM)Free Wrote:  I want to give ya an opinion on how I think aliens should be viewed.

If they exist (and I believe its very possible) I think the best way we should look at them is to not humanize them. I say this because I view all sentient life as being comprised of different kinds of animals, humans and aliens included.

So, what i am trying to say is that aliens would be a different kind, albeit, intelligent animal. They may be as different from us as we are as different from our family pet.
I think we have such a diversity among people, that we pretty much cover lots of alienness. (have you ever heard of neurodiversity?) And the rest we can cover by the courtesy of some awesome sci-fi writers, who create intriguing stories of alienness and otherness on purpose. We might be actually surprised by aliens being more similar than we thought. More human than humans, that is, more humane, less inhumane than us, better developed at what are we trying to achieve for millenia. Maybe humanity is just a phase of post-animal evolution, characteristic by growing a social and abstract brain. You know what is social and... let's say abstract means orienting ourselves according to the universal constants and blueprints, like, logic, maths, physics, art, philosophy, voice tone appreciation, golden mean, fractal structure, brotherhood, freedom, justice... These may be common phenomena and concepts in any post-animal life form.

(23-10-2012 08:13 PM)Free Wrote:  When we look at other animals, we don't see any superstitions, religious beliefs, or anything like that. I think that if an alien were to look at us, they may not see nor understand things like religious beliefs or superstitions because they would simply not be human, and wouldn't possess our human qualities.
Understanding religious beliefs is cultural. By default, all beliefs are weird unless you grew up in them. So the aliens won't understand, unless they keep really good history records or have a culture closer to ours than we'd think possible. Hell, even I don't understand people like religious fundies or naturalists or mechanistic materialists.
As for the absence of superstitious animals, you'd be surprised Wink


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27-10-2012, 07:30 AM
RE: Do you think that aliens would bother to come to a highly superstitious planet?
Aliens are already here. They're called Republicans.
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27-10-2012, 09:54 AM
RE: Do you think that aliens would bother to come to a highly superstitious planet?
(27-10-2012 12:20 AM)Phaedrus Wrote:  As a practical matter, I don't think they'd be able to tell if we were superstitious or not until they were very much in contact with us already, if they even had a concept of what superstition means. They'd probably find us fascinating. Or kill us.

I disagree. If they have the technological capability of galactic flight, theyd have, presumably, the technology to be able to monitor us from a distance; especially our communications. I doubt itd take them long to figure out at all.
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27-10-2012, 11:12 AM
RE: Do you think that aliens would bother to come to a highly superstitious planet?
Sure, who cares what your new slaves think.

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27-10-2012, 07:03 PM
RE: Do you think that aliens would bother to come to a highly superstitious planet?
(28-06-2012 10:26 AM)LabMonster13 Wrote:  On the off chance that there is
intelligent life out there somewhere; do you think that they would
want to have anything to do with such a superstitious life form? In
my personal opinion I think that any advanced lifeforms curious about
this planet, wouldn't bother with it until life on this planet
learned to move beyond superstitions. This is an idea I have been
toying with and trying to get into a script. I would like to know
what the people on this part of the interweb think. Thank you. Big Grin

If you are referring to Earth now, no I wouldn't if I were them. On the whole, humanity if still very much infantile. That being said, our weapons are pretty scary. Way back when our most advanced weapons were sticks and stones, yes I would if I were them. If you come across a primitive civilization and you have tech that ensures that they cannot possibly hurt you, but you can kill them at will. The majority of predatory species would definately take advantage. One day I expect our species to do the same.
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