Author Topic: If advanced, benevolent space aliens visited Earth...  (Read 2933 times)

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Online 2397

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Re: If advanced, benevolent space aliens visited Earth...
« Reply #15 on: December 28, 2016, 05:00:12 AM »
I would agree that the main reason to care about the state of non-human life and biodiversity is because of how it affects human life. Environmentalism is selfishness, or at least it should be seen that way and maybe it would be a more effective movement. I care about preventing the suffering of other life forms as far as I can perceive that they're suffering (so I care more about mammals than insects), but I'm not bothered by the non-existence of something, beyond how it affects our existence. Other than "that looks cool, wish I could've seen it in real life".

And yet, people are always trying to correct the imbalances we've created. We wipe out the wolves in a forest, then we see that there are too many deer, so we re-introduce wolves to control the deer.

I postulate that intelligent aliens would see that the natural controls on human population have been nearly eradicated, leading to overpopulation of people, and they would re-introduce those natural controls to bring our numbers under control, just as we re-introduce wolves to the forest to bring the deer population back under control.

Humans feel that humans are the most important creature on the Earth, and that we therefore have the right to do whatever we like with and to all the other creatures. No other species would be likely to regard us the way we regard ourselves, and if they had an interest in restoring the Earth to a natural balance, they would naturally want to control our numbers. Not because they see us as "bastard animals" that "should have been stopped," but merely because they see that our numbers have grown too great for the carrying capacity of the planet.

If I didn't care about humans in particular, I might not care about any of the problems for organisms on Earth. If I cared about the natural order of things, as an alien species maybe I should just stay out of it entirely. If humans kill off 99% of species and then themselves, it's still nature that follows. If I could stick around to observe all the changes and watch what new species and stable ecosystems rise out of it, that would be incredibly fascinating.

But if an alien species dropped by and recognized humans as the most worthy their concerns because of human sentience, then let's have controlled fusion and sterility for all, please.

Online daniel1948

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Re: If advanced, benevolent space aliens visited Earth...
« Reply #16 on: December 28, 2016, 10:07:22 AM »
When I look back at history and I see extinctions due to predators, famine, or disease I don't think, "Those bastard animals should have been stopped!" I think, we ll that is part of evolution. I don't see any reason why aliens wouldn't view humans as anything different. Yes we are putting stress on just about every creature in the world but stress is a fundamental aspect of natural selection. The animals that live well with humans will thrive and evolve and those that do not will will not. Just like with dramatic climate changes you see a dip in the number of species and then a rebound you will see the same with humans.

And yet, people are always trying to correct the imbalances we've created. We wipe out the wolves in a forest, then we see that there are too many deer, so we re-introduce wolves to control the deer.

I postulate that intelligent aliens would see that the natural controls on human population have been nearly eradicated, leading to overpopulation of people, and they would re-introduce those natural controls to bring our numbers under control, just as we re-introduce wolves to the forest to bring the deer population back under control.

Humans feel that humans are the most important creature on the Earth, and that we therefore have the right to do whatever we like with and to all the other creatures. No other species would be likely to regard us the way we regard ourselves, and if they had an interest in restoring the Earth to a natural balance, they would naturally want to control our numbers. Not because they see us as "bastard animals" that "should have been stopped," but merely because they see that our numbers have grown too great for the carrying capacity of the planet.


What makes us unnatural and why is our evolution and effect on species less natural? It seems to me that we are just a very dominate apex predator that is putting a huge amount of stress on the environments in which we live which will ultimately result in accelerated evolution of the creatures we affect. If another species "probably a virus of some sort" evolved on earth and started wiping out humans and a bunch of other animals at an alarmingly quick rate I don't think I would call that unnatural.

Losing species is unfortunate but not unnatural.

There's nothing unnatural about us! We are a species that's managed to eliminate so many of our natural predators that we've over-populated and have become a threat to our own survival. We are changing our environment faster than has ever happened since life appeared on Earth, and we are causing extinctions at a faster rate than has ever happened, even during the great Cambrian extinction.

A benevolent alien visitor would want to save our species, and the rest of the biome, by reducing our numbers to a sustainable level. Not because we are "unnatural" or "evil" or "bad," but just because the predator/prey relationship has gone out of balance, and if not restored will lead to our demise along with many other species.
Daniel
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Online Billzbub

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Re: If advanced, benevolent space aliens visited Earth...
« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2017, 10:18:31 AM »
It would be more humane to create a highly contagious virus that will sterilize people, but where a third of the population is randomly immune to the virus.  The immune people will reproduce immune children, and the virus will become ineffective now that it's job has been done.
Quote from: Steven Novella
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Online Ah.hell

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Re: If advanced, benevolent space aliens visited Earth...
« Reply #18 on: January 05, 2017, 10:33:12 AM »
No surprise, but I think the premise in the op is totally wrong.  The Earth can sustain a lot more than just 10 percent of the current human population the number increases as technology has improved, something Daniel downplays. 

Truly benevolent aliens with the capacity to get here would not kill us all they'd either relocate us(as humans often do with large predators that end up in the suburbs)or they would offer us technological help to provide a more sustainable civilization.  They would have no reason to believe that we would kill our selves.  If the provide us a bunch of fusion power plants that would essentially result in a post scarcity society and any objection to getting rid of fossil fuels goes away, we could use the for forms of water purification (UV and De-sal) that are mostly un-common now because the energy costs are so high.  As the aliens have gotten here, they clearly have effectively limitless energy so, why not.  Give us effectively limitless power energy and suddenly a lot of conflict disappears.  Who cares if china owns the S China Sea if they don't need oil.

Also, there's no reason to think that aliens would put particular value on any sort of natural balance.

Offline seamas

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Re: If advanced, benevolent space aliens visited Earth...
« Reply #19 on: January 05, 2017, 11:59:50 AM »
How exactly are the benevolent aliens going to look at the earth and determine that it is "out of balance".
If they observe one species as expanding and dominating/altering its environment, why would they conclude that the one species is not part of the natural order?
I'm trying to see why the alien would make an arbitrary move to take out 9/10 humans in the name of some ideal.

It would be like we humans discovering living 2-3 organisms on Mars and deciding that the more robust or plentiful of the organisms must be culled to create an artificial sense of balance.

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Re: If advanced, benevolent space aliens visited Earth...
« Reply #20 on: January 05, 2017, 12:48:56 PM »
It would be more humane to create a highly contagious virus that will sterilize people, but where a third of the population is randomly immune to the virus.  The immune people will reproduce immune children, and the virus will become ineffective now that it's job has been done.

Good idea. I had not thought of that one.

No surprise, but I think the premise in the op is totally wrong.  The Earth can sustain a lot more than just 10 percent of the current human population the number increases as technology has improved, something Daniel downplays. 

Truly benevolent aliens with the capacity to get here would not kill us all they'd either relocate us(as humans often do with large predators that end up in the suburbs)or they would offer us technological help to provide a more sustainable civilization.  They would have no reason to believe that we would kill our selves.  If the provide us a bunch of fusion power plants that would essentially result in a post scarcity society and any objection to getting rid of fossil fuels goes away, we could use the for forms of water purification (UV and De-sal) that are mostly un-common now because the energy costs are so high.  As the aliens have gotten here, they clearly have effectively limitless energy so, why not.  Give us effectively limitless power energy and suddenly a lot of conflict disappears.  Who cares if china owns the S China Sea if they don't need oil.

Also, there's no reason to think that aliens would put particular value on any sort of natural balance.

The Earth is out of balance because one species is causing the extinction of other species at the most rapid rate ever in the entire history of the planet. Giving us the unlimited energy to proliferate indefinitely would result in most of the other species being eliminated, and would leave us without enough land to stand on before terribly long.

Exponential growth cannot continue forever, even with an unlimited supply of energy.

And humans relocate large predators only when one or a few are considered a threat to us, or when we re-introduce a small number to an area where they have gone extinct (usually because we killed them all ourselves). Benevolent aliens might seed a small population of humans on another planet, but they'd still want to maintain a sustainable environment here on Earth (the assumption is that they are benevolent). And a sustainable environment will necessitate limiting the number of humans.

Exponential growth cannot continue forever in a finite space. We are already growing food on all the more suitable land, and moving into land that is better suited for other purposes, and depleting the oceans of desirable fish species, and killing off other species at an absolutely unprecedented rate. If we do not take measures to limit our population, nature will do it for us through famine and overcrowding-related diseases, with attendant political turmoil, food riots, and wars. Unlimited free energy would not prevent this. It would, at best, delay it for a few more years.

There are too many humans on the planet, and most of them want to keep having more kids than the replacement rate.
Daniel
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"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
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Online Ah.hell

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Re: If advanced, benevolent space aliens visited Earth...
« Reply #21 on: January 05, 2017, 12:56:31 PM »
Exponential growth has already stopped.

Offline seamas

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Re: If advanced, benevolent space aliens visited Earth...
« Reply #22 on: January 05, 2017, 02:04:42 PM »
The Earth is out of balance because one species is causing the extinction of other species at the most rapid rate ever in the entire history of the planet.

Why would an alien see that as being out of balance?

Isn't the balance you speak of, in many ways a subjective ideal?

Offline amysrevenge

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Re: If advanced, benevolent space aliens visited Earth...
« Reply #23 on: January 05, 2017, 02:07:22 PM »
Listen, if balance is what you want to bring, you need this guy:

(click to show/hide)
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Online daniel1948

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Re: If advanced, benevolent space aliens visited Earth...
« Reply #24 on: January 05, 2017, 05:21:28 PM »
Listen, if balance is what you want to bring, you need this guy:

(click to show/hide)

I have no idea who that is.
Daniel
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"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
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Offline lubbarin

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Re: If advanced, benevolent space aliens visited Earth...
« Reply #25 on: January 05, 2017, 06:10:35 PM »
Listen, if balance is what you want to bring, you need this guy:

(click to show/hide)

I have no idea who that is.
He was in a new wave 1980s band, famous (if you could call it that) for songs like, "My Love is a Flaming Car", "Sublime Hopelessness Polka", and "@%%@£".


Or he's the dude who played Anakin / Vader in the Star Wars prequels. I forget which
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Offline Tassie Dave

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Re: If advanced, benevolent space aliens visited Earth...
« Reply #26 on: January 05, 2017, 06:41:02 PM »
I wish I lived in a world where I didn't know that was. For obvious reasons  8)

Online daniel1948

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Re: If advanced, benevolent space aliens visited Earth...
« Reply #27 on: January 05, 2017, 08:52:21 PM »
... He was in a new wave 1980s band, ...

Most of the music I listen to was written before 1792. And some early jazz, boogie woogie, and ragtime.
Daniel
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"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
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Offline Jeremy's Sea

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Re: If advanced, benevolent space aliens visited Earth...
« Reply #28 on: January 06, 2017, 02:49:33 AM »
It would be amazing if they knocked us down to 10%, took off and then a few years later a planet killer asteroid finished off the rest of the species.   :laugh:

Also, if they can space travel and are benevolent, why not just use technology to help us out of our messes instead of destroying us? When I run low on dog food I don't kill one of my dogs to sustain the other two, I use my technology to obtain more for everyone.

It would be more humane to create a highly contagious virus that will sterilize people, but where a third of the population is randomly immune to the virus.  The immune people will reproduce immune children, and the virus will become ineffective now that it's job has been done.
You should watch Utopia from BBC.
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Online daniel1948

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Re: If advanced, benevolent space aliens visited Earth...
« Reply #29 on: January 06, 2017, 10:25:18 AM »
It would be amazing if they knocked us down to 10%, took off and then a few years later a planet killer asteroid finished off the rest of the species.   :laugh:

Also, if they can space travel and are benevolent, why not just use technology to help us out of our messes instead of destroying us? When I run low on dog food I don't kill one of my dogs to sustain the other two, I use my technology to obtain more for everyone.

Poor analogy. We are not running low on food for lack of technology to produce food. We are overpopulating at an unsustainable rate and destroying other species wholesale as we are altering the climate in a way that will impact catastrophically on our ability to produce food.

A better analogy would be if your city was so overrun by dogs that packs of them were killing and eating all the people and all the other wildlife.
Daniel
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"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
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