Poll

Do you think aliens have the same problem as here on Earth?

Yes
7 (53.8%)
No
4 (30.8%)
Other
2 (15.4%)

Total Members Voted: 13

Author Topic: Do you think aliens have the same problem as here on Earth?  (Read 429 times)

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Offline One Above All

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Do you think aliens have the same problem as here on Earth?
« on: February 19, 2013, 12:56:37 PM »
For the sake of this thread assume alien civilizations exist, and that they're at least as advanced as the most technologically advanced country on the planet.

By "problems" I mean stuff like debt, revolutions, murder, religious nuts, two political parties trying to screw each other at the expense of the country, corruption, dictators, et cetera.
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Offline pianodwarf

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Re: Do you think aliens have the same problem as here on Earth?
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2013, 01:12:53 PM »
For the sake of this thread assume alien civilizations exist, and that they're at least as advanced as the most technologically advanced country on the planet.

By "problems" I mean stuff like debt, revolutions, murder, religious nuts, two political parties trying to screw each other at the expense of the country, corruption, dictators, et cetera.

There are probably too many unknowns to be certain.  I would think that most, if not all, of these problems would have their bases largely in biology, and if an alien civilization consists of beings whose biology is radically different from our own, it's likely that it would not even be possible for them to conceive of some of the same problems we have, let alone actually have those problems.  (It would also follow from that that the reverse would also be true.)  If, for instance, the survival of the civilization relied on a hive-type society (e.g., honeybees), then the concept of revolution would probably be completely alien to them, inasmuch as it isn't possible, or even meaningful, to "rebel against yourself", which is what such a civilization would effectively be doing.
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Offline Nick

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Re: Do you think aliens have the same problem as here on Earth?
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2013, 01:52:04 PM »
No, nobody could screw things up as bad as we do/have.
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Offline Seppuku

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Re: Do you think aliens have the same problem as here on Earth?
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2013, 05:37:51 PM »
I would say it's a possibility, but it would depend entirely on how they've evolved, not just as a species but as a society, I say a society because I would suggest that being a social species has helped give us an advantage as a species, I don't think language would have developed so effectively without some level of interaction.

Also, bear in mind humans are territorial creatures and our societies rely on some level of dominance to lead the pack and also, people may challenge the alpha male. Essentially we are exactly like our ape cousins, only more sophisticated.

If there alien civilizations, do I think there are civilizations with our problems? I don't know, even if I were to consider it hypothetically, we are but a speck of a speck of a speck in this universe (of many more specks), I would say there are an infinite number of possibilities when dealing with unknowns simply because they are unknowns. For the same reason I'll never accept, "we don't know, therefore God".

But I think, assuming there are other advanced civilizations that it's possible that there are ones without the problems - it might not be in their biology as Piano suggests, or they may have already solved the problem. I would say given natural selection (with survival of the fittest) and where there's a limit on resources, the problems we face would be found there, who knows there could be a world where there's so much of an abundance of resources that the populous needn't fight over it? But then natural selection may not be present on other worlds. We see animals fight for similar reasons to humans, though I think we're probably the only species who fights over superstition or because of superstition. Though we not the only animals have superstitions, as superstition is only really born when patterns are observed, whether they are causally related or not. I think we fight over our superstitions because we are intelligent and I say that to suggest our superstitions are more complicated a more considered and they don't just affect certain behaviours but it also affects how people interpret the world and their own sense of morality. Of course, I'd like to say we've grown even more intelligent than that and deemed superstition to be irrelevant, but such is not the case. Whilst in some cases it does no harm, in many others it does...as I'm sure we all know. ;)

On which note, maybe there's a lifeform who's evolved to a state where such a thing is apparent and superstition is viewed as something animalistic, like an animal pissing up a wall to mark their territory...saying that, I'm sure there's even humans who still that.
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Online jaimehlers

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Re: Do you think aliens have the same problem as here on Earth?
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2013, 06:49:47 PM »
Probably.

While there are far too many unknowns regarding alien civilizations, it isn't unreasonable to use our own species as a benchmark.  That is to say, we shouldn't assume that aliens are significantly less emotional or more logical than we are, significantly more or less intelligent than we are, etc.  So it's likely that any technologically advanced alien species had to deal with the same problems as us, whether or not they've solved them.

Online wright

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Re: Do you think aliens have the same problem as here on Earth?
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2013, 07:19:10 PM »
I believe that it's likely there are other sentients out there: planetary systems seem fairly common, Earth's biochemistry doesn't use rare compounds, and the universe is mind-bogglingly old, allowing for abiogenesis to occur again and again where local circumstances permit it.

It comes down to how similar the biological and social evolution of alien sentience is to ours. It seems reasonable that another group-dwelling, yet individualistic species would have parallel problems in sorting out their social hierarchy.

The hive-mind pianodwarf postulates could avoid many if not most of those, but might also have problems of its own; conflict with other "hives", for instance. Or miscommunication problems within a given hive, like our own schizophrenia or dementia, only involving multiple members of a hive-group.

What type is more common in a single galaxy? Alas, a question that could only be answered by very advanced technology that we may not have the opportunity to develop.
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Offline stuffin

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Re: Do you think aliens have the same problem as here on Earth?
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2013, 07:34:31 PM »
I voted no because humankind is a god created disaster and I would like to believe it hasn't happened anywhere else.
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Online ParkingPlaces

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Re: Do you think aliens have the same problem as here on Earth?
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2013, 09:04:31 PM »
Surely there is life elsewhere in the universe. I trust that it is actually ubiquitous. But intelligent life, such as our own, is presumably a rarity. By our definition, there is only one intelligent species on our planet. One less genetic mutation and we could be just another bonobo swinging through the trees, and there would be no intelligent life or civilizations or web sites dedicated to dissing the concept of gods.

So if we assume our own experience as "normal", we can extrapolate and say that there may be many planets with life that have no intelligent species. Of course, since we are merely taking a snapshot of our own planet as it currently exists, we don't know how many intelligent species might exist on earth in a million years. Or ten million years. So it may be that we are the first and that many other planets, older or otherwise in a position to be more advanced, evolution-wise, might have multiple intelligent species.

But whether one or a dozen, they may be intelligent enough not to f**k with mother nature, and hence they may do their best to stick to natural lifestyles, rather than the agriculture/trade/kill people route. And we'll never know they exist because they won't be calling us.

Or they may be intelligent enough and active enough to modify their planet and biology as much as we have, or more. If they've done it a little worse, they won't survive long enough to become our friends. If they've done it wisely, overall, then they may not want us for friends.

Hopefully it is both hard and unusual to mess up the ecosystem more than we have. And hopefully the species that become intelligent on other planets are a bit less aggressive.

The one thing that we tend to forget is that the peak period of any given intelligent civilization may not coincide with the peak period of other relatively nearby intelligent civilizations, so there may have been some great world circling around what we now call the Crab Nebula or something, and it is now simply gone. And it probably was gone for millions of years before the star went supernova, because things go bad for planets long before big explosions happen. While it is surmised that the earth will get swallowed into the sun when it grows into a red giant 7.9 billion years from now, but life on earth will cease to exist other than simple one celled critters in about 600-800 million years because of changes in the sun and the unsurvivable global warming that results. If humans can't figure a way to get off the planet long before that, we are toast. Literally. And if that has already happened to civilizations within contact range, we'll never know it.

But you can safely assume all civilizations will have problems. If not with themselves, then with earthquakes and asteroids and extreme weather. And maybe ray guns from other less well adjusted beings living on nearby planets.

In some instances, there may be other intelligent species in the same solar system, and hence intermingling might be relatively easy once one of the worlds gets space travel. But holy crap, can you imagine the dangers of two disparate ecosystems colliding via visitation. The best outcome might resemble the horror of North American natives meeting European germs. The worst outcome could be the end of all native life on at least one of the planets. Being intelligent species doesn't mean you are also immune to unknown microbes.

For that reason, I suspect that most direct intelligent interactions between civilizations from different world will be done by robotics and other automation rather than face to face contact. Or whatever it is they have on their bodies that resembles our faces functionally. If anything.

Man those guys could be weird.

Of course we may actually be alone, at least in our galaxy. Right now, for all practical purposes, we may as well be.
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Offline Graybeard

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Re: Do you think aliens have the same problem as here on Earth?
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2013, 06:29:59 AM »
There is not one form of life on this planet that does not have problems; why should life-forms on other planets be different?

The desire to live creates problems: once you have water -> problem = food, -> problem = health, -> problem = warmth, -> problem = shelter, -> problem = safety, -> problem = mate, -> problem = offspring, -> problem = food, -> problem = lost car keys and wife wants picking up from supermarket, etc.
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline Tero

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Re: Do you think aliens have the same problem as here on Earth?
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2013, 07:33:28 AM »
It all has to do with family and tribe. Herd animals seem to get along. The nuclear family allowed the male to attempt to improve the life of his female and offspring at the expense of others.

Enemies are everywhere, thus man sees an agent in acts of nature. Thus god.