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Old 01-25-2016, 10:56 AM
 
Location: Maine
19,189 posts, read 22,893,373 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scratch33 View Post
Would human society - our governments and religious institutions - be able to survive revelation of superior alien existence? There was an article I read probably 40 years ago that concluded "no"; our systems would fail catastrophically. Therefore the article concluded that it would take generations for humans to assimilate and accept such a truth.
That's like asking, "Would all restaurants be able to survive the extinction of cows?"

The answer is the same: Some would. Some would not. Most would adapt accordingly.
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Old 01-25-2016, 11:11 AM
 
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I think it's worthwhile to look at how 'primitive' human cultures here on earth were impacted by encounters with more technologically advanced ones. The Aztecs meeting the Spanish comes to mind.
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Old 01-25-2016, 11:25 AM
 
Location: MA
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I don't think humans could accept no being in command and being 'inferior' to someone else. WE are too arrogant in certain ways.


We don't want to walk before we run and if history serves, technology primarily came from military tech. So we tend to weaponize everything, never a good sign.
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Old 01-25-2016, 11:45 AM
 
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It is said the universe is approximately 12.5 billion years old. If that is the case it took 1/3 of that amount of time for us to evolve here on earth which is about 4.5 billion years old. At the time of the big bang, would life just spring up suddenly, or cool down for several billion years first? Lets say it took 4 billion years to settle.......in that case the window for evolvement becomes much narrower.

I often hear our sun is a regular Joe, nothing special, perhaps but maybe not. Our sun is in fact a large sun, not super or mega large but a large sun. Most stars (about 65%) are dwarfs, very much smaller than ours. The larger the sun the shorter its life span. Our sun is said to be middle aged and that it has about 5 billion years worth of gas left in the tank. Dwarfs on the other hand is said may thrive nearly a trillion years---that is correct a trillion. Immortal.

Stars form in "star incubators" where several stars form at once, hence the reason many solar systems contain binary stars, two suns instead of one or at the very least stars nearer to each other than what we find in our system. What is different about our system is where are our sister suns? For years I've heard and read that our system is located in an outer spiral of our galaxy the Milky Way. We are but not quite, we are in fact located between two outer spirals of our galaxy, in a sort of no man's land. The theory goes is our sister suns, 2 suns relatively the same size and similar composition and age are several light years from us, forgot their names, but the mystery is how/why did our sun separate from the others? We know that our sun had partners because we've recovered meteors that contain substances not from our system. There have been two rocks found in Mexico and South America that do not match any rock ever found that fell from the sky and are believed to have come from our sister suns.

Our search for exoplanets has netted a very large amount of gas planets evolving close to its star. It seems at the moment that gas planets appear to be the dominate planet closer in than rocky planets. What is strange about this is why is our system the complete opposite? The theory goes is that a gas planet would burn up much quicker because of its gas would be at the mercy of its sun revealing a small rocky core. A bit of a mystery at the moment.

Having said all this my gut is life is much more precious than we think, we may in fact be rare birds as far as thinking, aware individuals. Ask yourself, what are the odds of you being born a human on this planet? Life is all around us, this planet is a living planet for sure and most likely has a signature that could have alerted intelligent life 1 billion years ago. It could be that we are being watched over---but never will interact. I truly believe we have a long long way to go.
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Old 01-25-2016, 12:10 PM
 
Location: The Carolinas
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It's darned near impossible to determine what's in the entire ocean, by trying to deduce it by what's in the eyedropper full we have so far only examined.
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Old 01-25-2016, 12:45 PM
 
Location: Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NightBazaar View Post
Would you mind giving a clarification of what that means? What kind of dimension?
I can't explain what I don't know...I just meant any theory is possible since we know so little.
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Old 01-25-2016, 01:11 PM
 
Location: Boise, ID
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmking View Post

Our search for exoplanets has netted a very large amount of gas planets evolving close to its star. It seems at the moment that gas planets appear to be the dominate planet closer in than rocky planets. What is strange about this is why is our system the complete opposite? The theory goes is that a gas planet would burn up much quicker because of its gas would be at the mercy of its sun revealing a small rocky core. A bit of a mystery at the moment.
This is easily explained. The primary ways we had of finding new planets are twofold. First, we detect the "wobble" of the star as the star and its planet orbit their common center of mass. The most obvious, and thus easiest to detect are when there is a large planet very close to the star. Thus, a disproportionate number of early detections would be that sort of system. Secondly, we detect the drop in light output as the planet makes a transit across the sun, relative to our position. Again, easiest to detect when the planet is large and has a small orbit (so it crosses more often), so a disproportionate number of discoveries match that description.


In short, it isn't that there are a relatively large number of gas planets evolving close to their star, it is just that those are the easiest to discover, so we have found them first.
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Old 01-25-2016, 01:17 PM
 
Location: Boise, ID
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As for the original topic, we've evolved fairly early in the progression of the universe. We couldn't have evolved any sort of reasonably intelligent life in the first generation or two of stars after the big bang, as there were no heavy elements yet, only Hydrogen, Helium and a little bit of Nitrogen. It took fusion to make elements up through Carbon, and supernovae to make heavier elements and also to distribute the elements up to Carbon throughout the universe. So we needed at least one entire generation of stars before life could form, and probably several generations for the heavier matter to be distributed.


And then once the Earth formed, life began to develop almost as soon as the crust hardened.


It is possible that other planets developed life before we did, and given the literally inconceivably large numbers involved, it is likely that some did and there are some intelligent beings scattered around the universe. But the more time that goes by, the higher the odds get, and it becomes more and more likely for other civilizations to have had time to develop.


In short, my opinion is that they aren't all dead yet. Most of them haven't been born yet.
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Old 01-25-2016, 05:05 PM
 
Location: Falls Church, Fairfax County
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asgardian View Post
I don't think humans could accept no being in command and being 'inferior' to someone else. WE are too arrogant in certain ways.


We don't want to walk before we run and if history serves, technology primarily came from military tech. So we tend to weaponize everything, never a good sign.
You are trying to project your personal politics and insecurities into this situation.
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Old 01-25-2016, 06:25 PM
 
Location: Greenville, SC
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Originally Posted by redguard57 View Post
If there are advanced aliens with inter-stellar travel capabilities, they probably progressed to post-scarcity economics ages ago. If they could travel to different star systems in reasonable amounts of time, they would have access to all the metals and other elements of theirs and neighboring star systems and their energy sources near-unlimited. I seriously doubt they would think in the economic terms we do. Their valuation systems would be completely different.
Maybe ... maybe not. The basis of any economic system will be satisfying needs, acquiring wants, availability or scarcity of the things that are needed and wanted, and the difficulty of acquisition. Even very alien species are going to work within these economic constraints, because they're objective constraints not dependent on the nature of a society.

If they can travel to different star systems, my guess (and that's all any of us are doing here) is that they will reach a point in a star system where the resources are being outstripped by the system population, and a portion of them will move on to the next system. The notion that they'd ship resources like iron or ice between star systems doesn't seem very likely, but other things that are scarce in most systems (like certain metals used in tech) will become commodities worth shipping between systems. And systems that are relatively rich in some rare item will become wealthy because of it.

My guess is that you will have some systems in a post-scarcity state, but if there's a galactic culture there will be other systems where this isn't the case.

Quote:
I highly doubt they would think in terms of "dollars" and would probably think we're stupid for doing so. The only similarity might have with us is if their life-spans are similarly limited. Then their time would be valuable to them.
An economy is not the same as "dollars", and the notion that having a very advanced society that's post-scarcity (and usually in SF stories, peaceful because they've outgrown violence) is itself a human notion, since for centuries we've been imagining utopias. I think what you'd end up with is a patchwork of cultures, some post-scarcity, others not; some violent, some peaceful; some driven by religious or ethical principles, others driven by selfish motives.

Quote:
It's not inconceivable that in 200 years WE ourselves could have hand-held devices that, after being put out in the sun for a day, would power a car or a house for a year. Imagine how little we would care about oil then - which today is completely responsible for our whole economy. Aliens with FTL travel would probably be exponentially farther along than that.
An erg is an erg, so it's hard for me to imagine how a device that's not hundreds of miles wide might gather enough energy in a day to power a car or house for a week, let alone a year. The numbers just don't add up so I'd say this scenario is inconceivable on logical grounds. However, post scarcity cultures in the galaxy might be possible.

Quote:
Also much of our economics are based on our ape-like psychology and behavior. It's unlikely that aliens would share that.
Again, I'd argue there are general economic principles that would apply across all intelligent cultures, but who knows?
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