Why Aliens Haven't Found Us Yet

Discussion in 'Ufology' started by ted_bloody_maul, Jan 18, 2007.

  1. blessmycottonsocks

    blessmycottonsocks Justified & Ancient

    Messages:
    1,508
    Likes Received:
    1,863
    Trophy Points:
    154
    The 20th century saw astonishing developments in technology, which would seem like magic to our ancestors from even just a few centuries ago. The 20th century was also the bloodiest in humankind's history.
    Technological advancement does not necessarily go hand in hand with moral enlightenment.
     
    Cochise likes this.
  2. Cochise

    Cochise Justified & Ancient

    Messages:
    4,069
    Likes Received:
    2,642
    Trophy Points:
    159
    LOCATION:
    Gwynedd, Wales
    There is also the distance to consider. Assuming for the moment that warp drive is simply a convenient fiction to make sci-fi books work, and that Einstein was generally correct, to achieve interstellar travel would really require some entity to whom years were as days or weeks to us. I don't really buy the idea of sleeper ships.
     
  3. PeteByrdie

    PeteByrdie Privateer in the service of Princess Frideswide

    Messages:
    1,964
    Likes Received:
    1,415
    Trophy Points:
    154
    LOCATION:
    The high seas
    TWITTER:
    PeteByrdie
    But travelling near-luminal velocities would render the journey shorter from the perspectives of the travellers. Their main concern might be the decades that would pass on their home planet during their voyage. Perhaps finding individuals with the spirit to explore a new world in spite of all they'd be leaving behind wouldn't be difficult, but convincing a civilisation to invest in such a long term venture would pose difficulties. Perhaps there's a story or novel to be written about the first pioneers arriving at a new planet, after only a decade to them, only to discover that in the centuries that have passed on their home world warp drive was developed and their destination colonised.
     
  4. EnolaGaia

    EnolaGaia I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...

    Messages:
    5,859
    Likes Received:
    5,397
    Trophy Points:
    294
    LOCATION:
    USA
    It was written over 70 years ago ...

    'Far Centaurus' by A. E. Van Vogt, first published in 1944.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Far_Centaurus
     
    PeteByrdie and ramonmercado like this.
  5. PeteByrdie

    PeteByrdie Privateer in the service of Princess Frideswide

    Messages:
    1,964
    Likes Received:
    1,415
    Trophy Points:
    154
    LOCATION:
    The high seas
    TWITTER:
    PeteByrdie
  6. James_H

    James_H And I like to roam the land

    Messages:
    4,598
    Likes Received:
    716
    Trophy Points:
    144
    LOCATION:
    Hong Kong
    ramonmercado likes this.
  7. Cochise

    Cochise Justified & Ancient

    Messages:
    4,069
    Likes Received:
    2,642
    Trophy Points:
    159
    LOCATION:
    Gwynedd, Wales
    Agreed. Although in my mind that's one reason why you'd need a long lived race, to ensure some continuity 'at home'. But even travelling at near light speed borders on the impossible for humanoids - it would take forever to work up to it at G forces we could handle. (although G-Force wouldn't be the applicable term, there being no G in space!)

    In reality, I suspect we are alone. Intelligence isn't necessary for survival if you are fast and have big teeth, you are poisonous or well armoured. Our planet had to go through hundreds of specific events in exactly the right order to arrive at us. The universe may be teeming with life but intelligent life , not so much. And given the very brief period our civilisation has lasted and the high probability we will one way or another destroy it, other intelligent life may simply not overlap with us.
     
    PeteByrdie likes this.
  8. ramonmercado

    ramonmercado CyberPunk

    Messages:
    43,858
    Likes Received:
    13,628
    Trophy Points:
    269
    LOCATION:
    Dublin
  9. INT21

    INT21 Justified & Ancient

    Messages:
    1,858
    Likes Received:
    1,000
    Trophy Points:
    154
    ..If alien civilisations exist, they are mathematically likely to be far in advance of us, .... ...They could retain human scientific curiosity,

    This seems to imply that you believe they are of human origin. How else can they retain human scientific curiosity ?

    INT21
     
  10. Mythopoeika

    Mythopoeika I am a meat popsicle

    Messages:
    29,168
    Likes Received:
    13,051
    Trophy Points:
    284
    LOCATION:
    Inside a starship, watching puny humans from afar
    Inhuman scientific curiosity. To be avoided!
     
  11. INT21

    INT21 Justified & Ancient

    Messages:
    1,858
    Likes Received:
    1,000
    Trophy Points:
    154
    ...And given the very brief period our civilisation has lasted and the high probability we will one way or another destroy it, other intelligent life may simply not overlap with us...

    But the worrying thing is that we can plainly see where most of the problems that will eventually cause our demise are coming from.

    And yet the people who could do something about it are also the ones who benefit the most from the status quo and thus have no incentive to change it.

    INT21
     
    Cochise and PeteByrdie like this.
  12. jimv1

    jimv1 Analogue Boy

    Messages:
    8,301
    Likes Received:
    5,190
    Trophy Points:
    294
    Not necessarily. There could be a scenario where slaves were held on a planet, usurped their alien captors, hijacked their fleet to escape and have generally been fucking about in space Red Dwarf style maintaining the vending machines.
     
    PeteByrdie and Swifty like this.
  13. eburacum

    eburacum Papo-furado

    Messages:
    2,720
    Likes Received:
    691
    Trophy Points:
    129
    Another possibility is that an advanced civilisation has perfected automation to such a sophisticated level that the occupants of the saucers don't ever have to make any difficult choices; they might simply press a button to make it go, and sit back and watch the pretty lights. The George Jetson model of advanced civilisations.

    After a few million years the aliens could lose all semblance of intelligence, and revert to the mean of whatever class of animals they evolved from. Such a situation might be stable for an arbitrary time, assuming self-maintaining and self-repairing technology.
     
    EnolaGaia likes this.
  14. eburacum

    eburacum Papo-furado

    Messages:
    2,720
    Likes Received:
    691
    Trophy Points:
    129
    Yet another possibility is that the advanced civilisation creates artificially intelligent entities that can operate the saucers, but they don't actually have the capacity to innovate; such AIs might appear perfectly user-friendly, but they would simply continue to carry out the last set of instructions given to them by their creators. Without the capacity for innovation or evolution, such entities might explore or even colonise the entire galaxy, but they would never advance or develop. They would also be very boring to talk to, unless you like chatbots.
     
    EnolaGaia likes this.
  15. James_H

    James_H And I like to roam the land

    Messages:
    4,598
    Likes Received:
    716
    Trophy Points:
    144
    LOCATION:
    Hong Kong
    Another Liu Cixin piece, a short story called 'Taking Care Of God' has something like this. The aliens who created humanity by seeding the earth in the first place return in their (societal) old age. They have perfect, automated ships, and no idea how they actually work.
     
  16. James_H

    James_H And I like to roam the land

    Messages:
    4,598
    Likes Received:
    716
    Trophy Points:
    144
    LOCATION:
    Hong Kong
    To paraphrase, the dark forest theory is that because of the distance between planets and the low possibility of communication between them, any civilization must assume that any other civilization is hostile, and act hostilely themselves. Therefore the universe may be full of civilizations keeping their own profile low, while being forced to immediately to destroy any other civilization that makes itself visible.
     
    EnolaGaia and ramonmercado like this.
  17. eburacum

    eburacum Papo-furado

    Messages:
    2,720
    Likes Received:
    691
    Trophy Points:
    129
    The 'Dark Forest' scenario has been around for a long time, and was referred to in almost exactly those terms by Greg Bear in his excellent The Forge of God.

    A scenario which is pretty much the opposite of this is the 'Interstellar Internet'; civilisations never leave their home systems (too expensive) but they stay at home, communicating in great detail over high-bandwidth channels. I think that is what SETI are hoping for.

    Of course this scenario opens the door to scams, liars and interstellar trolls.
     
  18. James_H

    James_H And I like to roam the land

    Messages:
    4,598
    Likes Received:
    716
    Trophy Points:
    144
    LOCATION:
    Hong Kong
    I'm reading Vernor Vinge's 'Fire Upon The Deep', in which the 'interstellar internet' suspiciously resembles BBS systems of the early 90s.
     
    ramonmercado likes this.
  19. Dr_Baltar

    Dr_Baltar Left Foot of God

    Messages:
    2,636
    Likes Received:
    942
    Trophy Points:
    129
    LOCATION:
    Bohemian Groove
    The universe could be teeming with life that might never come across us. As Adams said, space is big. Really big.
     
    PeteByrdie likes this.
  20. oldrover

    oldrover Justified & Ancient

    Messages:
    3,742
    Likes Received:
    1,090
    Trophy Points:
    159
    LOCATION:
    Wales
    Well, my air conditioning has certainly put me in a better mood.
     
    Jim likes this.
  21. Mythopoeika

    Mythopoeika I am a meat popsicle

    Messages:
    29,168
    Likes Received:
    13,051
    Trophy Points:
    284
    LOCATION:
    Inside a starship, watching puny humans from afar
    Reminds me of alien greys. They seem to be robotic and have no distinct personalities.
     
  22. PeteByrdie

    PeteByrdie Privateer in the service of Princess Frideswide

    Messages:
    1,964
    Likes Received:
    1,415
    Trophy Points:
    154
    LOCATION:
    The high seas
    TWITTER:
    PeteByrdie
    My personal thoughts (which I've probably voiced here before at some point) are that life is probably rare in any given area of the Universe, and multicellular life, let alone intelligent life, far more rare. However, what there is can probably cope with most of its civilization's expansion into space using the vast space and resources within its own star system. Seriously, if all we're looking for is space to expand and energy and materials to do so, how long will it be before the solar system no longer supplies our needs, and extrasolar exploration is even worthwhile? There's probably little point looking for another habitable world to settle, as one that would support us without modification is highly unlikely to be found, and if a world needs terraforming, such an act would destroy its life and anything making it unique. We may more easily terraform a world nearer that's already lifeless.

    I can conceive of a universe full of life, but mostly unicellular, and separated by vast, practically unmanageable distances. Here and there, perhaps some more complicated beings have arisen, and some of the more intelligent have expanded into the own star systems, dotting the space between planets with artificial habitats and farms, perhaps growing food, mining materials and water from asteroids and comets, powering their space stations directly or indirectly from their stars, their machines working relentlessly to maintain them. Humanity could probably sustain itself for millennia in this way.
     
    dr wu, Cochise and Jim like this.
  23. kamalktk

    kamalktk Justified & Ancient

    Messages:
    3,522
    Likes Received:
    3,059
    Trophy Points:
    159
    Dark forest doesn' answer the paradox, it just says "why havnt they killed us yet and taken over the planet yet?"
     
  24. eburacum

    eburacum Papo-furado

    Messages:
    2,720
    Likes Received:
    691
    Trophy Points:
    129
  25. INT21

    INT21 Justified & Ancient

    Messages:
    1,858
    Likes Received:
    1,000
    Trophy Points:
    154
    James-H,

    ..I think that is what SETI are hoping for...

    You have to admire their optimism.

    INT21
     
  26. dr wu

    dr wu Doctor Prog

    Messages:
    1,040
    Likes Received:
    558
    Trophy Points:
    144
    And that is basically the theme of the book 'Song Of The Greys' by Nigel Kerner.
    He believes that the so-called 'greys' are lab created clones/androids who were sent out by some 'Prime Race' to explore on behalf of this Prime Race. They were supposed to report in every now and then but Kerner postulates that the 'greys' developed a personality of sorts and decided that they wanted to be in charge so they abandoned their overlords and are now roaming the galaxy and found us some years ago. Apparently according to Kerner they have an interest in humans because we believe in 'souls' and they want to also have souls but since they were created and not procreated in a natural way they must take ours. And that's what they have been doing for decades says Kerner.
    Well....it makes for fun reading at any rate.
    ;)
     

Share This Page