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

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

jerry and judy ( jerbidoc@zianet.com )
Wed, 7 Oct 1998 12:11:39 -0600

>If we feel threatened by an ETI civilization, assuming we ever discover one,
>we will, no doubt, react in the standard way (as in numerous movies, like
>Independence Day, ..., etc.).

And this response would be the authentic and natural one, which has been
programmed into vertebrates for hundreds of millions of years. Our
cerebral cortex or our technology might tell us that its not the suitable
response this time, but IMO there probably will be no appropriate response.
What is the evolved response of an ant colony to a bulldozer?

> Either we'll lose the battle and be subjugated
>or wiped out completely, they lose the battle, we both lose, or some kind
>of truce is achieved. That is; if we feel threatened!
>
>But suppose we don't feel threatened. Suppose the Arisians land on Earth
>or the Vulcans "discover" us and actually help us! Why isn't this just as
>likely as your scenario?

Well, state one case from earth's history, of even the beginning of this
type of relationship. Species don't help other!, except extremely
indirectly and then only when they share the same ecosystem, but those
relationships evolve over thousands and millions of years.

>Perhaps the Galaxy will be like a big city containing the good, the bad, the
>beautiful, and the ugly, ... the whole spectrum! We really will share the
>Galaxy, despite wars, racial prejudice, and the whole spectrum of problems
>we face even today in our cities, this country, and the world ... these
>problems
>won't go away so long as there is a wide diversity of attitudes, feelings,
>opinions,
>life styles, races, social strata, ... , on and on , ...
>
>We share the cities, the countries, the world, and we'll share the Galaxy
>too...

We share it now, but in the future I think there's a higher probability
that we will only 'share it' as a 'domesticated' pet of the advanced
tech/civs. Remember, we took the menacing wolf with its potential, and
bred it, domesticated and transformed it to our advantage. In some cases,
we went too far and the dogs became genetically defective, I hope our new
masters are smarter than that! In any case, I'm still convinced that we
shouldn't look forward to the sharing of this galaxy!

No, the bipedal dinos were the only hope for the DNA of this planet and
they were flattened by a stray mountain that Jupiter failed to grab in
time. I know, impact events occur every 30 million years or so, and they
tend to speed up evolution, but it's such a shame! Those *dinos* would
have been spacefaring for 20 million years by now (all over our galaxy and
already thinking about seeding M31 with brainy *dinos*!! Hallelujah to the
Supreme Dromaeosaur!!)

Our species is very young compared to this potential that was snuffed out
65 million years ago! Bipedal dinosaurs were well along their way toward
sentience. There were a few promising lines which had already started on
the path of enhanced socialization, enlargement of the visual part of the
brain, bipedalism, efficient manipulation and increased encephelization (as
a feedback development loop). If these guys had survived the impact, as
our ancestors did! :), representatives of this planet would be populating
other star systems for maybe over 30 million years by now! (Alright 10
million, how many million do you want? We're almost there and it only took
us 20 million or so.)

Now, this perspective probably rules out our planet (and humans!) as being
among the most advanced tech/civs in the Milky Way. We're probably too
late now!
So unless the earth is even more special than we currently believe, we are
millions of years behind the average *favorable* planet, which spells
trouble for us, the upstarts!

>Another case:
>Maybe ETI will be so advanced that they don't really care about us at all. It
>would be like us trying to communicate with an ant perhaps. Silly and
>unthinkable right?
>
>There are many scenarios! Perhaps we should be cautious, but that is all
>I'd advise ...

Such bravery with so little evidence on your side. I think I'm objective,
and all I see are reasons to cower and hide! I'll repeat the reasons;

1. The age of our sun is only half the age of the Galaxy.
2. The assumption of parallel evolution of behavioral (survival) responses.
3. The very recent emergence of human beings as compared with the 'proven'
potential for rapid evolution of higher life, at least on this planet.
4. The very recent and extremely rudimentary human development of
'self-correcting' technologies which are needed to make us 'smarter' and
less 'brutish'.
5. And personally, the fact that I love my life and I like being a
(secure) top dog in this little system! We certainly have enough problems!!
6. Finally, what's to be gained commensurately? that would justify the
danger?? I just offered my car keys to my dog and he actually took them
gingerly, which surprised me, (but after all he thinks of me as a god, and
I must know what I'm doing, right!?). He walked to a neutral corner,
dropped them, sniffed them and then just as suddenly took off to patrol
another section of the house. He hasn't come back to resniff the keys as
I've written these sentences. Here was offered all this incomprehensible
technology and power, but he didn't have the brain patterns or the body
plan or the need or desire to drive a car. The modern genus of Canis
appeared about 6 million years ago, as we did, so the example is not that
far off. IMO, we have more in common with our pets than we'll have with an
ETI, but the roles will be reversed.
Let's try to remain free!! and maybe a little poorer...

Thanks AL,
Jerry

>Al Aburto
>