Interesting question. I too have wondered if other civilizations
have become extinct through disasters such as those caused by large
meteor strikes. JPL published a nice Mars Pathfinder poster which
featured high resolution color image of Mars. There is what
appears to be an impact site which becomes a long terrible
gouge which courses horizontally near the equator for
roughly 1/5 the circumference of Mars. It is not hard to imagine
Earth dying as the result of a similar event. I too have wondered why
there apparently are no far-away ET signals, maybe most of our galaxy
consists of dead worlds or world living systems do not evolve as
often as disasters occur? Naa...too many people are seeing machines
in our skies which are apparently not-from-around-here for that to be
completely true. I believe SETI (HRMS type schemes) will produce
verifiable results, and It will be a glorious day for SETI.
------- Forwarded Message Follows -------
From: Larry Klaes <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "email@example.com" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: RE: SETI Why would anyone look forward to sharing this galaxy?
Date: Fri, 9 Oct 1998 09:49:35 -0400
I have wondered if one reason we are not being inundated with
ETI signals, radio or optical, is that our area of space has suffered
natural cosmic catastrophes in the relatively recent past, such as a
supernova, which we on Earth managed to avoid, which other planets may
not have been so lucky about?
I know I always wonder whenever I see an image of a supernova in some
distant galaxy who might have been in that neighborhood and if they
could have escaped in time?
Here is one such article on the subject:
And related ones:
From: Matthew G Cheung
Sent: Thursday, October 08, 1998 8:48 PM
To: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Re: SETI Why would anyone look forward to sharing this
What makes you think that this is the only planet to ever experience a
natural disaster like what happened to the dinos.
"The whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday
thinking." ALBERT EINSTEIN
On Wed, 7 Oct 1998 12:11:39 -0600 jerry and judy <email@example.com>
>>If we feel threatened by an ETI civilization, assuming we ever
>>we will, no doubt, react in the standard way (as in numerous movies,
>>Independence Day, ..., etc.).
>And this response would be the authentic and natural one, which has
>programmed into vertebrates for hundreds of millions of years. Our
>cerebral cortex or our technology might tell us that its not the
>response this time, but IMO there probably will be no appropriate
>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
>>of truce is achieved. That is; if we feel threatened!
>>But suppose we don't feel threatened. Suppose the Arisians land on
>>or the Vulcans "discover" us and actually help us! Why isn't this
>>likely as your scenario?
>Well, state one case from earth's history, of even the beginning of
>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
>>beautiful, and the ugly, ... the whole spectrum! We really will share
>>Galaxy, despite wars, racial prejudice, and the whole spectrum of
>>we face even today in our cities, this country, and the world ...
>>won't go away so long as there is a wide diversity of attitudes,
>>life styles, races, social strata, ... , on and on , ...
>>We share the cities, the countries, the world, and we'll share the
>We share it now, but in the future I think there's a higher
>that we will only 'share it' as a 'domesticated' pet of the advanced
>tech/civs. Remember, we took the menacing wolf with its potential,
>bred it, domesticated and transformed it to our advantage. In some
>we went too far and the dogs became genetically defective, I hope our
>masters are smarter than that! In any case, I'm still convinced that
>shouldn't look forward to the sharing of this galaxy!
>No, the bipedal dinos were the only hope for the DNA of this planet
>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
>tend to speed up evolution, but it's such a shame! Those *dinos*
>have been spacefaring for 20 million years by now (all over our galaxy
>already thinking about seeding M31 with brainy *dinos*!! Hallelujah
>Our species is very young compared to this potential that was snuffed
>65 million years ago! Bipedal dinosaurs were well along their way
>sentience. There were a few promising lines which had already started
>the path of enhanced socialization, enlargement of the visual part of
>brain, bipedalism, efficient manipulation and increased
>a feedback development loop). If these guys had survived the impact,
>our ancestors did! :), representatives of this planet would be
>other star systems for maybe over 30 million years by now! (Alright
>million, how many million do you want? We're almost there and it only
>us 20 million or so.)
>Now, this perspective probably rules out our planet (and humans!) as
>among the most advanced tech/civs in the Milky Way. We're probably
>So unless the earth is even more special than we currently believe, we
>millions of years behind the average *favorable* planet, which spells
>trouble for us, the upstarts!
>>Maybe ETI will be so advanced that they don't really care about us at
>>would be like us trying to communicate with an ant perhaps. Silly and
>>There are many scenarios! Perhaps we should be cautious, but that is
>>I'd advise ...
>Such bravery with so little evidence on your side. I think I'm
>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)
> 3. The very recent emergence of human beings as compared with the
>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'
> 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
> 6. Finally, what's to be gained commensurately? that would justify
>danger?? I just offered my car keys to my dog and he actually took
>gingerly, which surprised me, (but after all he thinks of me as a god,
>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
>another section of the house. He hasn't come back to resniff the keys
>I've written these sentences. Here was offered all this
>technology and power, but he didn't have the brain patterns or the
>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
>far off. IMO, we have more in common with our pets than we'll have
>ETI, but the roles will be reversed.
>Let's try to remain free!! and maybe a little poorer...
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