archive: Re: SETI Why would anyone look forward to sharing this galaxy?

Re: SETI Why would anyone look forward to sharing this galaxy?
Mon, 5 Oct 1998 22:52:44 EDT

In a message dated 10/5/98 10:13:28 PM Eastern Daylight Time, writes:

> >But Jerry, in fact we share this world with billions of other creatures
> of
> >all types including wolves, lions, tigers, bears and all sorts of
> We don't share!, tigers will be gone soon, then probably the wolves. Bears
> and lions are already pretty much confined to parks and preserves (for
> economic profit in the final analysis).

Do you actually believe the bears woudn't eat us for dinner? What are you
going on about? We are the winners of Darwinism, or if you are a creationist,
then God put us here in charge of the world. Either way, we didn't create
survival of the fittest, and we didn't put ourselves on top by being wicked,
but by being successful. We all inherited this world as it is.

> We had better study our behavior
> in this, because this will probably be the reaction of any ET race towards
> us.

I respectfully disagree. Any ET's will clearly recognize the difference
between us and worms. They may not care, but they will know that we are not
worms, and have acheived sentience.

> I assume any intelligence, any one that we will recognize anyway, will
> be as far ahead of us as we are ahead of the social predators (wolves and
> lions etc.).

Why do you discount the possibility of sentience making us able to
communicate? No matter how they communicate, they will in fact need to
communicate. And we can communicate, one way or the other. The difference
between 2 sentient beings communicating, and the way man communicates with the
animals, is likely to be significant. We are not worms. And we will not be
worms no matter how advanced any civilization is. The difference being
sentience, self awareness, stored up knowledge, ability to educate, just to
name a few off the top of my head.

> >I doubt we will ever exterminate the snake or black widow or termite
> >or the flu or ... some creatures we can and have exterminated it is
> >true but not all creatures ...

It is survival of the fittest. If we are the fittest, then so be it.

> If you ask the average person "would you exterminate all termites, for
> example, if you only had to press a button?" what do you think the average
> person would say?

I think the average person would not push the button. I think the average
person knows full well the ecological conseqences of reckless specicide (is
that the right word?)

> Now if they're as far advanced of us as we are the rattlesnakes or sharks,
> then we might be safe - unless we inadvertently expand into their comfy
> 'homes or rec areas', in the analogy. This will probably become as
> unavoidable for us in the future, as it is becoming for rattlesnakes and
> sharks today.

Again, the difference is sentience. We have the conscious ability to avoid
their living room, as long as we know they are there. And we can ask them
simple questions like "why?". An animal cannot ask why.

> >We share this world with them --- so too we may find ourselves
> >sharing the universe with many other creatures in the Galaxy. There is
> >no need to exterminate them or they us ...
> I don't how you can think that. Look at the history of life on earth, look
> at man's short history, there's been an acceleration. We should learn from
> these dynamics and relationships which are repeated throughout the animal
> and plant (and human on human) worlds. There's no doubt about the
> direction of 'progress' on this planet, and are we unique? is the Earth
> that special in this regard?

I doubt it. Evolution seems to depend on Darwinism.

> We should also get it through our heads that we are an 'infant', stumbling
> and powerless race at this point and any venture out of our secluded
> playpen will be fraught with danger,

Come on now, the metaphor breaks down here. We are not infants by any stretch
of the imagination. Again, we have achieved sentience, and all the psychology
that goes along with it. No other species on Earth has achieved such
sentience. We can now look outside the playpen, and understand what we see,
even though we may not be ready to leave it.

> if the range of probabilities are even
> close - a tech/civ every 3000 cubic LYs only gives us a few thousand years
> to mature, that's if we don't make a lot of 'noise' (and the aliens, which
> would already be spanning a few hundred light years, don't explore even
> more efficiently).
> Thanks for taking the time, I look forward to any replies, corrections,
> similar or very different opinions,
> Jerry
> >Al

Well, I hope I didn't flame anyone too badly. Sorry if I did.


John Marcus.