Protecting Earth from the evil Aliens

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Protecting Earth from the evil Aliens

Postby BlackSails » Sun Jan 18, 2009 6:03 am UTC

The topic of destroying planets (viewtopic.php?f=18&t=33084) made me think:

Assuming that there is some form of FTL travel which allows us to make contact with intelligent aliens, the only way to assure the safety of Earth would be to keep it secret.

What ways could we make sure that Earth's location stays unknown?

Assume:
1) FTL is cheap enough to be economically feasible, at least by states/planets
1a) FTL is fast enough to not take forever to reach nearby civilizations
2) It is possible to determine the bearing of FTL travel (ie, it is possible to determine what direction you just moved from/to)
3) Assume a level of technology about on par with Battlestar Galatica. (Artifical gravity, not-quite self sufficient ships, nukes, etc)
4) Assume that the way the aliens we meet communicate isnt so inscrutable and incromprehesible to us that it is possible for us to talk to them, eventually


What sort of protocols might the International Fleet set up? What should be expected from vessels we send out?


The first thing I think would be to have some sort of Quarentine station set up a long distance from our solar system. Outgoing ships go to the quarentine point first, and incoming ships also go there first.

Next, any ship that is boarded should at the very least, purge its computer's of Earth's location if not destroy itself. Actually, it might be good practice to design ships to only hold either the quarentine station's coordinates or Earth's, but never both.


What else ought to be done? Should ships we send out into the universe be unarmed (to show we are not warlike) or heavily armed (to show that we are not to be messed with)?

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Re: Protecting Earth from the evil Aliens

Postby Sharlos » Sun Jan 18, 2009 8:32 am UTC

It would be impossible to keep earth hidden, if they were looking they would be able to detect the large amount of non-natural radio emissions coming from earth, as well as finding out the composition of our atmosphere and the types of gases that would indicate life.

Ships we send out are likely to be unarmed or lightly armed until we encounter something worth expending effort/energy on equipping our spaceships with weapons.

If we do develop FTL travel then I think it would be likely we'd have some sort of first-contact guide for the crew to follow.


One interesting thing I think of is if we encounter a less advance alien species that isn't capable of leaving their planet. I'd imagine we'd royally screw their society up.

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Re: Protecting Earth from the evil Aliens

Postby Avelion » Sun Jan 18, 2009 1:07 pm UTC

You have to remember though that the probability of finding alien life close enough to Earth to detect those sort of things is extremely slim. I'd thin we'd keep stations on the routes we use that keep the relavent nav data for Earth and the ships only have the nav data for the stations. If under attack the ships/staions destroy the system memory. Links can be added to the chain by adding more stations after the first waypoint making an innavigable maze for any enemies. Also I would think that we would monitor any possible underdeveloped civilizations before making contact and if they are insufficiently advanced we do not make contact at all. There would probably be a few clauses for emergencies pertaining to either the space farer or undeveloped planet.
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Re: Protecting Earth from the evil Aliens

Postby idobox » Sun Jan 18, 2009 7:45 pm UTC

The thing with erasing the Earth location from the computer is that it means the crew must learn it. And it's much easier to torture some one into telling you what you want than hacking into an alien computer system.
And if we find an alien race that is danger for us, it means they have FTL, significant "man" power and effective weaponry. Such a race could probably send probes all around and map human presence in the local cluster quite fast. In fact, a species with better technology and interest in other star systems will probably spot us long before we spot them.
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Re: Protecting Earth from the evil Aliens

Postby Avelion » Sun Jan 18, 2009 9:34 pm UTC

I highly doubt that any human mind could memorize the navigation data to get to a planet light years away. With similar technology and enough of a buffer between Earth we should be able to find and eliminate probes before they can get near.
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Re: Protecting Earth from the evil Aliens

Postby Sharlos » Mon Jan 19, 2009 12:31 am UTC

If my interstellar probes kept getting destroyed in one particular area of space I think i'd definately investigate.

But I also think the chances of aliens being hostile as somewhat remote.

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Re: Protecting Earth from the evil Aliens

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Jan 19, 2009 12:44 am UTC

Sharlos wrote:But I also think the chances of aliens being hostile as somewhat remote.

They wouldn't have to be evil and hate-filled to have the same effect on us, though. To paraphrase some futurist or other, is it malicious genocide when a human being steps on an anthill?
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Re: Protecting Earth from the evil Aliens

Postby Sharlos » Mon Jan 19, 2009 1:14 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
Sharlos wrote:But I also think the chances of aliens being hostile as somewhat remote.

They wouldn't have to be evil and hate-filled to have the same effect on us, though. To paraphrase some futurist or other, is it malicious genocide when a human being steps on an anthill?


No, but in a situation like that I don't think the ants would be capable of of preventing the foot from landing (or perhaps even aware that it was attached to an intelligent lifeform).

While even just the existence of alien life could have severe effects on our culture I don't think it would be profitiable/worthwhile enough to attack one another except in a perceived pre-emptive strike situation (which could realisticly occur through misunderstanding).

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Re: Protecting Earth from the evil Aliens

Postby Diadem » Mon Jan 19, 2009 1:35 am UTC

idobox wrote:The thing with erasing the Earth location from the computer is that it means the crew must learn it. And it's much easier to torture some one into telling you what you want than hacking into an alien computer system.

Why? The computer knows the location of the way-point. It can jump back there and receive the location of earth from the central command hub, after it has met the proper inspections of course.

Of course aliens could still attack the waypoint and from it maybe learn the location of earth. But the waypoint would supposedly be heavily defended.


Anyway I doubt this is feasible. Such an advanced alien race should be able to detect earth from hundreds of lightyears away. Or at least life-bearing planets, which it can then investigate with probes. So this hiding-our-location stuff is only useful if intelligent life is really rare. For example if the nearest intelligent life is a few superclusters away. In that case hiding our location like this would be possible. Though I still wonder how useful it be. What are the odds of them being hostile?
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Re: Protecting Earth from the evil Aliens

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:58 am UTC

Meteorswarm wrote:I think with horror on the effects alien microbiota would have on Earth ecosystems. This is an avenue largely ignored by science fiction writers, but foreign microorganisms could royally screw up our ecosystems at the bacterial level by out competing native organisms or producing toxins to which Earth organisms have no resistance. You are covered inside and out with bacteria that exist in a sort of quasi-truce with you. Foreign bacteria could cause major problems, and would be damn near impossible to prevent unless you never board an enemy ship.


Largely ignored? War of the Worlds did it! (And NASA was careful about this with Apollo.)
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Re: Protecting Earth from the evil Aliens

Postby jmorgan3 » Mon Jan 19, 2009 4:03 am UTC

Meteorswarm wrote:I think with horror on the effects alien microbiota would have on Earth ecosystems. This is an avenue largely ignored by science fiction writers, but foreign microorganisms could royally screw up our ecosystems at the bacterial level by out competing native organisms or producing toxins to which Earth organisms have no resistance. You are covered inside and out with bacteria that exist in a sort of quasi-truce with you. Foreign bacteria could cause major problems, and would be damn near impossible to prevent unless you never board an enemy ship.

David Gerrold is in the middle of writing an entire series about an ecological invasion of Earth by an alien ecosystem. The invasion starts with alien microbes that lay the foundation for an entire foreign ecosystem.
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Re: Protecting Earth from the evil Aliens

Postby idobox » Mon Jan 19, 2009 1:29 pm UTC

Why would alien bacteria be better adapted to earth than earth organisms? I understand that a macroscopic animal can seriously imbalance the ecosystem, like what happened in Australia with cats and rabbits. But microorganisms are often highly specialized and fit very well their niche.
I don't say an alien micro organism will cause damage, but that it is very unlikely Earth has optimal conditions for it. If it can secrete toxins and chemicals harmful to earth life, the reverse is also true, and things that look normal for our biochemistry could be lethal for something else. For example, the high levels of O² could oxidize essential parts of the organism, or the predominance of red light over ultraviolet, or anything...
Some terrestrial organism could survive for a short time on other planets, there are maybe some planets were they could live, but only on a very similar planet could they thrive.
During all history of exploration and colonization on Earth, I'm not aware of a single bacterial contamination causing huge damages to ecosystems. Plants and animals do, diseases spread, but microorganisms don't seriously imbalance the ecosystem.
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Re: Protecting Earth from the evil Aliens

Postby idobox » Tue Jan 20, 2009 12:16 pm UTC

I'm not convinced dirt bacteria from eastern Europe are the same as the ones found in Australia before colonization.
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Re: Protecting Earth from the evil Aliens

Postby Tac-Tics » Tue Jan 20, 2009 3:27 pm UTC

1) FTL is impossible. What is wrong with fast-as-light travel for avoiding threats?
2) Staying hidden is easy. You just stop broadcasting.
3) This is science fiction, not science.

Space ships will not be like naval ships today. Things are much more volatile in space than on the sea. It's much easier to acheive much faster speeds, and the winner of a space battle would be whoever detects the other first with weapons capable of breaching the other's hull. Having an armed ship in space would not be useful unless you planned on blowing something up to begin with.

There is no way to predict how we might interact with other intelligent life. It's not like Columbus discovering America. Humans are human, but if an alien civilization developed independently, their psychology and emotional bases would be so different, we'd never be able to communicate in any comfortable way.

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Re: Protecting Earth from the evil Aliens

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Jan 20, 2009 3:46 pm UTC

Tac-Tics wrote:Space ships will not be like naval ships today. ... the winner of a space battle would be whoever detects the other first with weapons capable of breaching the other's hull. Having an armed ship in space would not be useful unless you planned on blowing something up to begin with.

How is that not like naval ships today?
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Re: Protecting Earth from the evil Aliens

Postby oxoiron » Tue Jan 20, 2009 4:29 pm UTC

They're in space!! :P
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Re: Protecting Earth from the evil Aliens

Postby Turambar » Tue Jan 20, 2009 6:05 pm UTC

Tac-Tics wrote:There is no way to predict how we might interact with other intelligent life. It's not like Columbus discovering America. Humans are human, but if an alien civilization developed independently, their psychology and emotional bases would be so different, we'd never be able to communicate in any comfortable way.


And why shouldn't we be able to communicate with them? I'll grant you, we might never be able to understand them or their motives, but I think that actual communication is not out of the question. We could develop a language based on math!
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Re: Protecting Earth from the evil Aliens

Postby idobox » Tue Jan 20, 2009 8:03 pm UTC

We fail to communicate with dolphins, crows, squids, ants. Why would we be able to communicate with something much more different? Why should they even care about communicating?
Math isn't universal. Math is human. Maybe other species around the universe do maths, maybe they don't, maybe they do in a way we will never understand. Assuming we can communicate with another technological species is in no way trivial.
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Re: Protecting Earth from the evil Aliens

Postby Sharlos » Tue Jan 20, 2009 8:13 pm UTC

Yeah, if they managed to reach space (or even obtain some form of interstellar travel) then we can assume a few things like having and advanced enough knowledge of mathematics and science to get there.

Not much else we could assume about them.

I'd also like to point out that the assumption that they will be from an earth-like planet to be a pretty unfounded one, there are so many non-earthlike planets out there. That and earth is still only earth-like because of the living ecosystems on the planet keeping it that way.

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Re: Protecting Earth from the evil Aliens

Postby idobox » Tue Jan 20, 2009 8:43 pm UTC

Mathematics and science are the way humans give meaning to the universe. We have no idea how alien lifeforms understand the universe. Even on Earth, many civilizations had nothing that could be qualified as math or science.
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Re: Protecting Earth from the evil Aliens

Postby oxoiron » Tue Jan 20, 2009 9:07 pm UTC

idobox wrote:Even on Earth, many civilizations had nothing that could be qualified as math or science.
For example?
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Re: Protecting Earth from the evil Aliens

Postby idobox » Tue Jan 20, 2009 9:34 pm UTC

Most so-called "primal" cultures did not have math better than counting, adding and subtracting. And what we call science began in western Europe during renaissance. Some civilizations did not even acquire writing until contact with westerners.
This way of using rational thought and scientific method to understand the world, and rely on human knowledge and understanding rather than on mystical or divine guidance, or tradition, is not very frequent throughout history.
Technology and science have advanced more in the last 2 centuries than in the rest of human history, and this is because our tools to do so are recent.
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Re: Protecting Earth from the evil Aliens

Postby oxoiron » Tue Jan 20, 2009 9:47 pm UTC

I was hoping you'd actually cite some civilizations, not just talk in generalities. Off the top of my head, I can't think of any society that reached the status of a 'civilization' (I know, the definition is open to debate) without some form of science (astronomy seems to be particularly common, perhaps because anyone can observe the sky and find patterns in celestial motion).
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Re: Protecting Earth from the evil Aliens

Postby BlackSails » Tue Jan 20, 2009 9:49 pm UTC

Tac-Tics wrote:1) FTL is impossible. What is wrong with fast-as-light travel for avoiding threats?


I stipulated FTL because light-speed travel makes it nearly impossible to make contact with other intelligent life, and almost certainly impossible to do it cheaply.

We fail to communicate with dolphins, crows, squids, ants. Why would we be able to communicate with something much more different?


Dolphins, crows, squids and ants are not sentient.

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Re: Protecting Earth from the evil Aliens

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Jan 20, 2009 10:23 pm UTC

While humans can certainly live and be intelligent without math, I'm a bit more skeptical of the claim that a species that originates on a planet could engage in spaceflight without some kind of abstract thinking such as logic and mathematics.
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Re: Protecting Earth from the evil Aliens

Postby idobox » Tue Jan 20, 2009 11:29 pm UTC

I was hoping you'd actually cite some civilizations, not just talk in generalities.

My point is that what we call math and science, is young, and originates in western Europe. Alchemy, astrology, traditional medicine, numerology, all those things are attempt to explain the world, and denote the irresistible need for humans to make the world a system with rules, but are not what we now usually call science.

While humans can certainly live and be intelligent without math, I'm a bit more skeptical of the claim that a species that originates on a planet could engage in spaceflight without some kind of abstract thinking such as logic and mathematics.

Religion and philosophy are abstract thinking, and are very different from math and science. We have no idea how an alien mind could see and understand the world. We barely understand each other's culture, which leads to a lot of wars and hate, because our social background, life style and many other things influence a lot the way we understand things. I do not understand how some people can be creationist, how some people can believe stars direct their lives or how some people can believe a piece of bread really is the body of Christ, etc... but this ways of understanding the world are common in populations all around the world, and when discussing with these people, I often found that communication is really hard, because we don't see the same world.
What I'm trying to say is that if a human thought can be so alien to me that I cannot understand it, how can we assume a really alien mind will have thoughts we will even be able to identify as thoughts?

I'm a bit more skeptical of the claim that a species that originates on a planet could engage in spaceflight without some kind of abstract thinking such as logic and mathematics.

I agree that abstract thinking is needed, but is science the only way to do that? Music instruments were built long before science could explain how they work, and even now, most instrument makers do not run long simulations on computer before building them. You don't absolutely need science to build a spaceship, you just need to know how to build one, and we can imagine a species can achieve it without really understand how it works, or understanding it in a way totally different from our own.

Dolphins, crows, squids and ants are not sentient.

It all depends on what you call sentient. They are unquestionably intelligent, capable of complex problem solving and fine social interaction, but we are unable to communicate with them.
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Re: Protecting Earth from the evil Aliens

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Jan 20, 2009 11:34 pm UTC

Everything else you mentioned there, like religion and music and alchemy, does indeed differ fundamentally from science. You cannot use those things to make accurate predictions about the world. I suspect that you'd need some system that *did* allow predictions in order to accurately travel between the stars.
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Re: Protecting Earth from the evil Aliens

Postby Pa-Patch » Wed Jan 21, 2009 12:06 am UTC

Yeah, unless we're talking some sort of wacky-improbable non-sentient species with biological spaceflight capability, they're going to have maths and something not unlike science. How radically different their arts are doesn't matter: you can't build a spaceship without maths to calculate and science to figure out how physics works. If we're imagining some giant space borne predator animal (only debateably possible) we don't need to worry about them tracking us down because they won't have the brains to do it unless they stumble into us.
Examples of radically different cultures in the past don't rally cut it. If they used numerology or unusual music to build a spaceship (or any other technological leap you want to think of) then this would be a different story. Those people were all well within the realm of possible to communicate or reason with, by the way. Science is they only way to accomplish these things. Anything that systematically tries to understand the world in a way necessary to advance like this is also science.
I don't see how you can imagine a species building a spaceship without figuring out how one works.
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Anyhow, I hate be to the guy to bring it up, the Teh Haloz actually paid attention to the notion and didn't do a bad job of explaining a system of dealing with it during the game. It was basically along the lines of the ideas put forth here of ships prepared to completely self-destruct, with the addition that FTL directly to earth was forbidden, as such movement could be tracked. Several "jumps" had to be made, the first ones random and followed by checks to pursuers.

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Re: Protecting Earth from the evil Aliens

Postby Sharlos » Wed Jan 21, 2009 12:28 am UTC

Yeah, I wasn't saying you have to have science or math to be intelligent or have a civilisation, I was saying I very much doubt your ability to get into space without them.

Unless they developed on some sort of small asteroid/gas cloud or something else unexpected, but even so, I would have trouble imagining them acomplishing the equivelent of FTL/interstellar travel without an understanding of science/math.


edit: as for methods of protecting earth: it would depend on the method of interstellar travel. If it was through some fort of self contained space-time warping/bending technology (practically equivelent to Star Trek or whatever) then keeping earth secret would be a fairly futile effort, we have been broadcasting our location to space for a while now.

If travel required external apparatus at both ends of travel or was some for of wormhole tachnology then keeping earth safe would be anj easier affair, I would require a holding/waiting period of at least one 'jump' before reaching earth (provided such limitation wasn't prohibitively high) otherwise some sort of space station(s)/bases in the outer solar system as a checkpoint to clear all visitors of any potentially dangerous organisms.

But a protocol like that could only work after two species were well aquainted with one another. If an alien race came visiting earth for the first time, communicating to them to stop at jupiters orbit first would be a bit difficult (and could even offend them).

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Re: Protecting Earth from the evil Aliens

Postby idobox » Wed Jan 21, 2009 1:08 am UTC

Everything else you mentioned there, like religion and music and alchemy, does indeed differ fundamentally from science. You cannot use those things to make accurate predictions about the world. I suspect that you'd need some system that *did* allow predictions in order to accurately travel between the stars.

You don't NEED accurate predictions to travel between the stars, you need them travel SAFELY. And philosophy and theology can be very complex, leading to predictions. But if those predictions were about measurable quantities, it wouldn't be philosophy and theology anymore, but plain science.

Anything that systematically tries to understand the world in a way necessary to advance like this is also science.

Theology, demonology, philosophy, alchemy and all that stuff tried, and still tries, to systematically understand the world to advance, to lead humanity to a "better" state.
Those people were all well within the realm of possible to communicate or reason with, by the way

If you tried explaining quantum physics, biochemistry or general relativity to a middle age clergyman, you'd probably end up on a stake. And even if they listened to you, they would probably not understand.

Science is they only way to accomplish these things

No. Science is OUR only way to accomplish these things. Today, when we look at alchemy, we see an attempt to explain the world, but flawed because of false axioms and methodology errors. but at the time, it made perfect sense. Maybe in 1000 years, when looking at today's science, people will think the exact same thing. Alchemy achieved a few things, and made some accurate predictions that were the basis for chemistry. Science achieves a lot of things, and make a lot of accurate predictions, but still, there's a lot more to explain. I am not able to imagine what could be beyond science, but this doesn't mean there isn't anything beyond science. Humans created a few different ways to analyze the world with varying results, science giving so far the best results in explaining natural phenomena. Is it so hard to accept there are other ways to analyze the world, especially for a species with radically different physiology, in a totally different environment. For example, we've spent a lot of time devising on how a species could achieve space flight without even thinking as to WHY they would do that. This doesn't shock us, because we are expansionists and curious, but that simple idea could be totally alien for a species that does not move, anemone style. We could also imagine wondering how without wondering why to be alien for another species.

We project our motivations, instincts, ideas and methodologies onto an hypothetical intelligent species, because we are not able to imagine something really different from us. Maybe dolphins know the meaning of life and discuss why Planck's wall is just an illusion, or maybe they're just reasonably intelligent mammals that love to play, but we don't know, because we are unable to recognize intelligence that is different from us.
I don't dare to describe a really alien way of thinking, nor a way to achieve space flight without science, I just say alien species can have totally alien, yet efficient representations of the world.
A good example in fiction is Solaris, by Lev I think. In the book, the only known alien life form is a living planet organism thingy, called Solaris, that exhibits complex surface activity, studied for over 200 years by humanity, without a single idea of what this even means. The thing with alien life is that we never encountered it, so the only example we have is Earth, but nothing tells us life has the slightest resemblance to us elsewhere, and even if it has, nothing tells us our way of thinking is the only one that can lead to technology.
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Re: Protecting Earth from the evil Aliens

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Jan 21, 2009 1:16 am UTC

idobox wrote:Today, when we look at alchemy, we see an attempt to explain the world, but flawed because of false axioms and methodology errors. but at the time, it made perfect sense.

Yes, but it couldn't have been used to make accurate enough positions to get into space. The fact that our earlier stages of development involved both unscientific mysticism *and* a complete inability to even travel in the air, let alone in space, is really not indicative of anything you're trying to argue. If anything it suggests the exact opposite. Show me someone whose nonscientific worldview allows them to get into space, and I'll eat my sock, but until then, I'll continue to maintain that your examples aren't exactly illustrative of *anything*.

Sure, aliens may have some kind of radically different way of communicating concepts than we do, but if they're spacefaring, I suspect it'll be *more* different from alchemy and religion than it will be from our science. *



* There is the possibility that the spacefaring civilization was just flat-out given the technology to do so, by some earlier civilization that did figure out how to do it with SCIENCE!, and taught how to use it blindly, without themselves knowing anything behind it. But this would really be the exception that proved the rule, more than anything else.
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Re: Protecting Earth from the evil Aliens

Postby Herman » Wed Jan 21, 2009 2:21 am UTC

Assuming that there is some form of FTL travel


Use FTL to go back in time. Sterilize planets that will one day spawn invaders. Or you could just use time travel to break conservation of energy, giving you unlimited power for weapons. Or create an AI that could think infinitely fast and come up with a perfect solution to every conflict.

Unless someone else does it first!

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Re: Protecting Earth from the evil Aliens

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Jan 21, 2009 2:23 am UTC

Pretty sure FTL doesn't imply time travel...
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Re: Protecting Earth from the evil Aliens

Postby Sharlos » Wed Jan 21, 2009 2:24 am UTC

Herman wrote:
Assuming that there is some form of FTL travel


Use FTL to go back in time. Sterilize planets that will one day spawn invaders. Or you could just use time travel to break conservation of energy, giving you unlimited power for weapons. Or create an AI that could think infinitely fast and come up with a perfect solution to every conflict.

Unless someone else does it first!


You make baby causality cry.

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Re: Protecting Earth from the evil Aliens

Postby Mr. Beck » Wed Jan 21, 2009 2:27 am UTC

Causality: ur doing it wrong.

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Re: Protecting Earth from the evil Aliens

Postby Vieto » Wed Jan 21, 2009 3:15 am UTC

I think the best protocol is to have a few 10-Liter tanks of the common cold hanging around. And chicken noodle soup for any surviving prisoners. It helps to let the aliens board first, then seal a gas chamber.

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Re: Protecting Earth from the evil Aliens

Postby ecshafer » Wed Jan 21, 2009 3:45 am UTC

if aliens could reach earth in a reasonably enough that they would all go bankrupt/die from old age in the process and wanted to kill/rape/enslave us all, we are screwed. they would be able to harness such massive amounts of energy, that if they wanted to kill us they wouldn't have to even bother. so if you are afraid of alien invaders, better hope they have become peaceful and are over all of that, or have better things to do with their time.

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Re: Protecting Earth from the evil Aliens

Postby Sharlos » Wed Jan 21, 2009 4:33 am UTC

If a species acheives intertellar travel I don't think there will be many potential causes for war.

Most wars are either over resources (land/food/water/minerals/ect.) Or ideological differences.

If they are capable of reaching earth I can't imagine what us or earth could offer them that they couldn't get themselves without making an interstellar journey.

Leavng us with only ideological differences assuming a few things:

They think even remotely like we do for them to care about what we believe in (or vice versa).
That our difference are so different to one another that conflict is inevitible (I.e. We can't just ignore one another and go on with our business).

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Re: Protecting Earth from the evil Aliens

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Wed Jan 21, 2009 4:40 am UTC

Sharlos wrote:If a species acheives intertellar travel I don't think there will be many potential causes for war.

Most wars are either over resources (land/food/water/minerals/ect.) Or ideological differences.

If they are capable of reaching earth I can't imagine what us or earth could offer them that they couldn't get themselves without making an interstellar journey.


Living space. Class M planets are only so common. (Although honestly I doubt this holds much water. Still.)

Leavng us with only ideological differences assuming a few things:

They think even remotely like we do for them to care about what we believe in (or vice versa).
That our difference are so different to one another that conflict is inevitible (I.e. We can't just ignore one another and go on with our business).


That only happens if they're inherently antagonistic. Covenant, Borg, etc.
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Re: Protecting Earth from the evil Aliens

Postby Pa-Patch » Wed Jan 21, 2009 7:02 am UTC

idobox wrote:Theology, demonology, philosophy, alchemy and all that stuff tried, and still tries, to systematically understand the world to
If you tried explaining quantum physics, biochemistry or general relativity to a middle age clergyman, you'd probably end up on a stake. And even if they listened to you, they would probably not understand.
No. Science is OUR only way to accomplish these things. Today, when we look at alchemy, we see an attempt to explain the world, but flawed because of false axioms and methodology errors. but at the time, it made perfect sense.

You seem to have confused what "science" means. It's not the same thing as atomic theory, and the word doesn't describe the way we went about our technology. Those disciplines claimed to or tried to systemically explain the universe, but they didn't. If their methodology was right they would BE SCIENCE. It doesn't matter if you start off with a faulty assumption and call yourself an alchemist. Given time, if you have a methodology of testing, you will reach a better conclusion (and call yourself a chemist, etc) and be DOING SCIENCE.
Basically, if you're not doing science the only way to progress is dumb luck and half-right theories that work for a while. Theoretically, a race could spend trillions of years putting random materials together in random ways without regard to what works (because such regard would be science) and eventually end up with a spaceship. Except not, because planets don't stay habitable for trillions of years, and as soon as they hit on anything that worked someone would say "Hey, that worked. Let's build more. Let's build similar things that might work! I wonder why this works? I wonder what else could work?" and then they'd be on their way to science.
If you tried to explain "Don't attack me and we won't attack you" you'd be able to pull it off. If there were a large group of these clergymen with leaders and scientists, you'd be gradually able to learn more. Worst case scenario, you "point" at a star, send a signal that we will associate with star, and spend a long time working things out.
Hell, you wouldn't even need to explain, just show that you do have military power and don't attack them first.


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