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Stephen Hawking: Aliens may pose risks to Earth

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  • User profile image
    Minh

    mstefan said:
    Minh said:
    *snip*

    Or possibly not even be aware that what they're doing when they pay us a visit is killing us. I mean, when you wash your hands, do you think about and mourn the loss of the bacterium that are destroyed?

    technically, you just wash 'em down the drain... even the anti-bacterial stuff don't work all that good. Maybe I should wish them bon voyage

  • User profile image
    Charles

    Minh said:
    mstefan said:
    *snip*

    I'm just afraid they'll hunt us for sports. I mean it's not fair. They got invisible armor, and infrared eyes. And Arnold is now out of shape.

    Smiley

  • User profile image
    ScanIAm

    Charles said:
    Minh said:
    *snip*

    Smiley

    Assuming that they can move from their origin system to ours, it implies that they can destroy us.  If you can move a 'ship' from a to b, you can move an asteroid from orbit to land.

     

    That said, I would suspect that anyone who would make the long trek to meet us would have very little impetus to drop a rock on us as well.  Why would you spend all that time just to kill the end result.

     

    Further, I hate to quote the obvious, but the ability to travel amongst the stars is a scam.   The distances are so far that the only way we'd ever become part of that is to find a way to sleep for millenia. 

     

    Even if our society becomes spacefaring, the best we can ever hope to see is the asteroid belt.

     

    Our children, however, might see the universe in a better light.

     

    And, I'm so jealous of our children...

  • User profile image
    Charles

    ScanIAm said:
    Charles said:
    *snip*

    Assuming that they can move from their origin system to ours, it implies that they can destroy us.  If you can move a 'ship' from a to b, you can move an asteroid from orbit to land.

     

    That said, I would suspect that anyone who would make the long trek to meet us would have very little impetus to drop a rock on us as well.  Why would you spend all that time just to kill the end result.

     

    Further, I hate to quote the obvious, but the ability to travel amongst the stars is a scam.   The distances are so far that the only way we'd ever become part of that is to find a way to sleep for millenia. 

     

    Even if our society becomes spacefaring, the best we can ever hope to see is the asteroid belt.

     

    Our children, however, might see the universe in a better light.

     

    And, I'm so jealous of our children...

    Theoretically, life forms capable of space travel over astronomically large distances probably have the means to move themselves at speeds that exceed the speed of light. Most likely, they'll possess technology capable of generating worm holes. We can't assume a technological equivalence with humans inhabiting Earth. Places that are further away from the center of the universe than Earth will be older than Earth and most likely much more advanced. This is naive, of course, since it assumes that the stars we see in the sky are actually still making daylight on their orbiting class M worlds... Stars have lifespans, just like wet, rocky planets like Earth (and Mars, for a close to home example...).

     

    Perhaps highly advanced intelligent life forms won't drop asteroids on us, but they may find us to be a nuisance , much like dandelions in your garden. Living systems on Earth's surface may not be what attracts them. Perhaps it could be our abundance of liquid water and other natural resources. Or, they may just be very curious creatures. One could imagine that curiosity is common among advanced life forms capable of realizing that they are life forms, surrounded by virtually infinite amounts of space, matter and energy (and lots of time).

     

    C

  • User profile image
    Dr Herbie

    Matthew van Eerde said:
    CreamFilling512 said:
    *snip*

    > Are humans still evolving biologically?

     

    Yes, of course, and in the same direction we have been for a while.  The new "survival of the fittest" is "survival of the most socially networked."

    "The new "survival of the fittest" is "survival of the most socially networked."

     

    No.

     

    Evolution is all about the number of copies of genes you pass on -- social networking has no effect on that, nor does wealth or education.

     

    Herbie

     

  • User profile image
    Charles

    Dr Herbie said:
    Matthew van Eerde said:
    *snip*

    "The new "survival of the fittest" is "survival of the most socially networked."

     

    No.

     

    Evolution is all about the number of copies of genes you pass on -- social networking has no effect on that, nor does wealth or education.

     

    Herbie

     

    Richard Dawkins' view of our world (he's arguably the best living proponent of the gene being the essence of everything living...) may not extend to the rest of the universe... Genetic systems aren't the only ones capable of evolution. This has been proven in both software and mathematical systems, for example. In these cases, the system in question is in no way itself alive, but only the creation of intelligent living creatures inhabiting Earth's surface, executing their curiosity of what's around them (and inside of them).

     

    "The first and simplest emotion which we discover in the human mind, is curiosity." - Edmund Burke

     

    C

  • User profile image
    Dr Herbie

    Charles said:
    Dr Herbie said:
    *snip*

    Richard Dawkins' view of our world (he's arguably the best living proponent of the gene being the essence of everything living...) may not extend to the rest of the universe... Genetic systems aren't the only ones capable of evolution. This has been proven in both software and mathematical systems, for example. In these cases, the system in question is in no way itself alive, but only the creation of intelligent living creatures inhabiting Earth's surface, executing their curiosity of what's around them (and inside of them).

     

    "The first and simplest emotion which we discover in the human mind, is curiosity." - Edmund Burke

     

    C

    You're right that biology isn't the only system that can evolve, but the basic premise is the same;  a system where imperfect replication takes place will tend to be become dominated by types that produce the most replicates.

     

    Herbie

     

     

     

  • User profile image
    Charles

    Dr Herbie said:
    Charles said:
    *snip*

    You're right that biology isn't the only system that can evolve, but the basic premise is the same;  a system where imperfect replication takes place will tend to be become dominated by types that produce the most replicates.

     

    Herbie

     

     

     

    I am arguing that the gene need not be a universal evolutionary type.

    C

  • User profile image
    Dr Herbie

    Charles said:
    Dr Herbie said:
    *snip*

    I am arguing that the gene need not be a universal evolutionary type.

    C

    Yes, but my point is that the process is the same, regardless of the physical mechanism.  Really, DNA is irrelevant to the process but if there isn't some mechanism of inheritance then it's not evolution, it's something else (which would be interesting).

     

    Herbie

     

  • User profile image
    Charles

    Dr Herbie said:
    Charles said:
    *snip*

    Yes, but my point is that the process is the same, regardless of the physical mechanism.  Really, DNA is irrelevant to the process but if there isn't some mechanism of inheritance then it's not evolution, it's something else (which would be interesting).

     

    Herbie

     

    Exactly. Mutating types are basic ingredient in the terrestrial evolutionary formula. On other worlds, you could imagine some form of evolutionary mechanism that requires no mutative type, yet still drives chaotic chemical and physical changes in exotic life forms. The process you are describing happens to be the implementation strategy for evolving living systems here on our world. The math and science behind this are not universally applicable given the number of variables yet to be discovered then precisely defined (mathematics) and the higher level understanding (knowledge) developed and made reliably testable (science). 

     

    The rabbit hole is deep.

    C

  • User profile image
    exoteric

    Dr Herbie said:
    Charles said:
    *snip*

    Yes, but my point is that the process is the same, regardless of the physical mechanism.  Really, DNA is irrelevant to the process but if there isn't some mechanism of inheritance then it's not evolution, it's something else (which would be interesting).

     

    Herbie

     

    Evolution reminds me of trial and error - on a large scale. Give the monkeys enough years and one will come along called Shakespeare. Maybe at some point in time, probably as digital beings, we seize to rely on evolution - even genetic algorithms, and become self-correcting continuous beings. At that level, can we really talk about evolution or is it just development? ... Developers, developers, developers, developers...

     

    Smiley

  • User profile image
    Dr Herbie

    exoteric said:
    Dr Herbie said:
    *snip*

    Evolution reminds me of trial and error - on a large scale. Give the monkeys enough years and one will come along called Shakespeare. Maybe at some point in time, probably as digital beings, we seize to rely on evolution - even genetic algorithms, and become self-correcting continuous beings. At that level, can we really talk about evolution or is it just development? ... Developers, developers, developers, developers...

     

    Smiley

    Strictly speaking that would be a form of learning\developing, since evolution is defined in terms of populations and not individuals (evolution == net change in makeup of a population, development == change in an individual).

     

    Evolution is a directed form of trial and error; it is directed because it concentrates around localised maxima but trial and error certainly play a part.

     

    Herbie

     

     

    EDIT: to clarify, by 'directed' I don't mean my some form of intelligence, but by the blind mechanism. 'Bias' might have been a better word to use.

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