Motivations of Aliens to Visit Earth

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Re: Motivations of Aliens to Visit Earth

Postby speising » Mon May 12, 2014 7:52 am UTC

if there are warlike cultures, and peaceful ones, guess who will survive when they meet. pacifism is not a good evolutionary strategy.

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Re: Motivations of Aliens to Visit Earth

Postby mathmannix » Mon May 12, 2014 2:57 pm UTC

speising wrote:if there are warlike cultures, and peaceful ones, guess who will survive when they meet. pacifism is not a good evolutionary strategy.


Well, if warlike cultures are the equivalent of carnivores/predators and peaceful cultures are the equivalent of herbivores/prey, then the peaceful cultures can survive as long as they are good at (1) hiding, (2) fleeing, or (3) otherwise making themselves not worth the effort.

(However, that means that if these are the first races to visit earth, we should look out for whoever's chasing them.)
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Re: Motivations of Aliens to Visit Earth

Postby Whizbang » Mon May 12, 2014 3:06 pm UTC

PM 2Ring wrote: War-loving species are more likely to kill themselves off before they leave their planet, or at least before they've traveled far from their home system.


[Citation Needed]

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Re: Motivations of Aliens to Visit Earth

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon May 12, 2014 3:11 pm UTC

It's worth pointing out there aren't many intelligent herbivores, but there are a lot of intelligent carnivores and omnivores.
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Re: Motivations of Aliens to Visit Earth

Postby infernovia » Tue May 13, 2014 1:05 pm UTC

PM 2Ring wrote:
infernovia wrote:The pacifistic alien race is an ok concept I guess, but I find it highly unlikely.

Why unlikely? War-loving species are more likely to kill themselves off before they leave their planet, or at least before they've traveled far from their home system. Also, they waste a lot of resources on military stuff. Of course, that logic isn't very relevant if there's a cheap &/or fast method of interstellar travel.

The alternative to pacifistic isn't war-loving, it's aggression in general. There are many ways a race might be very aggressive while still being civil to their own species/society and thus ensure species survival. And a society that's willing to wage war will always win against one that will not consider it.

And I find it highly unlikely that a species capable with interstellar travel hasn't messed around with nukes and other such destructive tools.

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Re: Motivations of Aliens to Visit Earth

Postby ahammel » Sun May 18, 2014 2:36 pm UTC

Whizbang wrote:
PM 2Ring wrote: War-loving species are more likely to kill themselves off before they leave their planet, or at least before they've traveled far from their home system.


[Citation Needed]

Let's not pretend that we aren't all speculating recklessly.
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Re: Motivations of Aliens to Visit Earth

Postby stoppedcaring » Mon May 19, 2014 2:57 pm UTC

infernovia wrote:And I find it highly unlikely that a species capable with interstellar travel hasn't messed around with nukes and other such destructive tools.

Any means of space travel capable of achieving relativistic speeds can be used to make a relativistic kinetic impactor. Infinite mass punch.

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Re: Motivations of Aliens to Visit Earth

Postby Whizbang » Mon May 19, 2014 3:28 pm UTC

ahammel wrote:
Whizbang wrote:
PM 2Ring wrote: War-loving species are more likely to kill themselves off before they leave their planet, or at least before they've traveled far from their home system.


[Citation Needed]

Let's not pretend that we aren't all speculating recklessly.


;)

Also, although skewed, we can use cultures and subcultures of humanity to guess at possible outcomes, especially when the criteria is aggressive vs passive. Look at the Vikings. They were aggressive in that they had a raiding season where they raided other countries and even other tribes regularly. They prided themselves on their strength and bravery, and the only way to get into their heaven was to prove your valor through battle. They expanded and explored all over. In the end, it was the expansion and exploration that was the doom of the Vikings, as the influence of the rest of Europe, especially Christianity, eventually changed the culture to become more mainstream. So, in the end, it wasn't their warlike culture that doomed them, but their exploration.

'Course, you could argue that if they had nukes or other modern weapons they would have killed themselves off, but that is as much speculation as the rest of this thread.

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Re: Motivations of Aliens to Visit Earth

Postby stoppedcaring » Mon May 19, 2014 3:36 pm UTC

Whizbang wrote:
ahammel wrote:[Citation Needed]

Let's not pretend that we aren't all speculating recklessly.


;)

Also, although skewed, we can use cultures and subcultures of humanity to guess at possible outcomes, especially when the criteria is aggressive vs passive. Look at the Vikings. They were aggressive in that they had a raiding season where they raided other countries and even other tribes regularly. They prided themselves on their strength and bravery, and the only way to get into their heaven was to prove your valor through battle. They expanded and explored all over. In the end, it was the expansion and exploration that was the doom of the Vikings, as the influence of the rest of Europe, especially Christianity, eventually changed the culture to become more mainstream. So, in the end, it wasn't their warlike culture that doomed them, but their exploration.

'Course, you could argue that if they had nukes or other modern weapons they would have killed themselves off, but that is as much speculation as the rest of this thread.[/quote]
I suppose that there's a sort of negative feedback in cultural evolution. A culture that is TOO warlike/aggressive will not be able to maintain peaceful conditions long enough for the innovation necessary to make warfare more efficient. Yet a culture that isn't aggressive enough will not be motivated to undertake innovation to increase the efficiency of war. The question then arises: is there a level of aggressiveness that maximizes motivation to innovation while also minimizing conditions harmful to innovation?

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Re: Motivations of Aliens to Visit Earth

Postby PinkShinyRose » Wed May 21, 2014 5:01 pm UTC

stoppedcaring wrote:
Whizbang wrote:
ahammel wrote:[Citation Needed]

Let's not pretend that we aren't all speculating recklessly.


;)

Also, although skewed, we can use cultures and subcultures of humanity to guess at possible outcomes, especially when the criteria is aggressive vs passive. Look at the Vikings. They were aggressive in that they had a raiding season where they raided other countries and even other tribes regularly. They prided themselves on their strength and bravery, and the only way to get into their heaven was to prove your valor through battle. They expanded and explored all over. In the end, it was the expansion and exploration that was the doom of the Vikings, as the influence of the rest of Europe, especially Christianity, eventually changed the culture to become more mainstream. So, in the end, it wasn't their warlike culture that doomed them, but their exploration.

'Course, you could argue that if they had nukes or other modern weapons they would have killed themselves off, but that is as much speculation as the rest of this thread.[/quot​​​​​​​e]
I suppose that there's a sort of negative feedback in cultural evolution. A culture that is TOO warlike/aggressive will not be able to maintain peaceful conditions long enough for the innovation necessary to make warfare more efficient. Yet a culture that isn't aggressive enough will not be motivated to undertake innovation to increase the efficiency of war. The question then arises: is there a level of aggressiveness that maximizes motivation to innovation while also minimizing conditions harmful to innovation?

What about a weapons race? If they are good at espionage they may reach a durable standoff amongst themselves without anyone having the upper hand. At least not to an extend that they would risk a war.

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Re: Motivations of Aliens to Visit Earth

Postby stoppedcaring » Wed May 21, 2014 6:47 pm UTC

PinkShinyRose wrote:
stoppedcaring wrote:I suppose that there's a sort of negative feedback in cultural evolution. A culture that is TOO warlike/aggressive will not be able to maintain peaceful conditions long enough for the innovation necessary to make warfare more efficient. Yet a culture that isn't aggressive enough will not be motivated to undertake innovation to increase the efficiency of war. The question then arises: is there a level of aggressiveness that maximizes motivation to innovation while also minimizing conditions harmful to innovation?

What about a weapons race? If they are good at espionage they may reach a durable standoff amongst themselves without anyone having the upper hand. At least not to an extend that they would risk a war.

Cough, Cold War, cough.

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Re: Motivations of Aliens to Visit Earth

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu May 22, 2014 9:21 am UTC

"but general, what if China decides to launch nukes from mars!"

We'd be there in a year's time.
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Re: Motivations of Aliens to Visit Earth

Postby PinkShinyRose » Fri May 23, 2014 12:43 pm UTC

Really childish leaders that wanted to trump their enemies but could not do so violently were the greatest benefactors of earth's space advances.

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Re: Motivations of Aliens to Visit Earth

Postby infernovia » Sat May 24, 2014 1:30 pm UTC

whizbang wrote:They expanded and explored all over. In the end, it was the expansion and exploration that was the doom of the Vikings, as the influence of the rest of Europe, especially Christianity, eventually changed the culture to become more mainstream. So, in the end, it wasn't their warlike culture that doomed them, but their exploration.

Well, sort of. Sure, the mythology died but I am sure the reason for this wasn't just exploration, but the lack of significant progress in empire expansion and maybe even an inferior technological/cultural base. If they had as much infiltration and staying power as the Romans, without simply assimilating to the local lands or just going back to their homeland, I am sure it would have been different. But that requires a different sort of staying power.

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Re: Motivations of Aliens to Visit Earth

Postby peregrine_crow » Tue May 27, 2014 1:53 pm UTC

PinkShinyRose wrote:What about a weapons race? If they are good at espionage they may reach a durable standoff amongst themselves without anyone having the upper hand. At least not to an extend that they would risk a war.


I'm not sure you can have a stable standoff for any extended period of time while both parties are producing new weapons technology. Our cold war lasted only a few decades and there were a few close calls there already.

Imagine that going on for centuries; dozens of Cuba crisis incidents, people living in constant fear of nuclear attacks (or worse) espionage/counterespionage going rampant, generating new levels of paranoia and xenophobia. Eventually someone with more fear than common sense will find himself in a position of power and do something stupid and then everyone is screwed.
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Re: Motivations of Aliens to Visit Earth

Postby PinkShinyRose » Tue May 27, 2014 4:40 pm UTC

peregrine_crow wrote:
PinkShinyRose wrote:What about a weapons race? If they are good at espionage they may reach a durable standoff amongst themselves without anyone having the upper hand. At least not to an extend that they would risk a war.


I'm not sure you can have a stable standoff for any extended period of time while both parties are producing new weapons technology. Our cold war lasted only a few decades and there were a few close calls there already.

Imagine that going on for centuries; dozens of Cuba crisis incidents, people living in constant fear of nuclear attacks (or worse) espionage/counterespionage going rampant, generating new levels of paranoia and xenophobia. Eventually someone with more fear than common sense will find himself in a position of power and do something stupid and then everyone is screwed.

The espionage should be more effective so both parties would control all military technologies but the people should be stupid enough to realise it makes no sense to develop new weapons.

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Re: Motivations of Aliens to Visit Earth

Postby stoppedcaring » Tue May 27, 2014 6:03 pm UTC

PinkShinyRose wrote:
peregrine_crow wrote:
PinkShinyRose wrote:What about a weapons race? If they are good at espionage they may reach a durable standoff amongst themselves without anyone having the upper hand. At least not to an extend that they would risk a war.


I'm not sure you can have a stable standoff for any extended period of time while both parties are producing new weapons technology. Our cold war lasted only a few decades and there were a few close calls there already.

Imagine that going on for centuries; dozens of Cuba crisis incidents, people living in constant fear of nuclear attacks (or worse) espionage/counterespionage going rampant, generating new levels of paranoia and xenophobia. Eventually someone with more fear than common sense will find himself in a position of power and do something stupid and then everyone is screwed.

The espionage should be more effective so both parties would control all military technologies but the people should be stupid enough to realise it makes no sense to develop new weapons.

In other words, the United States.

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Re: Motivations of Aliens to Visit Earth

Postby Frenetic Pony » Fri May 30, 2014 9:27 am UTC

The answer I've come up with is "Bored."

Really why not? Most civilizations will be peaceful, I need to write up a formal thing on this, but the basic proposal is that modern evolutionary pressure has mostly destroyed warlike tendencies in much of humanity. As our weapons have gotten more efficient those with the most warlike tendencies just die easier, lowering the chance of them having children, thus evolution in a nutshell. Really I suppose it's just Larry Niven's Kzin thought experiment as applied to humans, but the basics are sound enough.

And immortality, however you define it, is perfectly physically possible (the end of the universe whatever that looks like, aside). There's no reason in physics why some "entity" couldn't exist practically forever and in perpetuity. So time being no concern, and with artificial intelligence and an entire universe of raw material effort being if little relative concern, any sufficiently advanced species could travel to any other planet in a galaxy just for the heck of it.

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Re: Motivations of Aliens to Visit Earth

Postby infernovia » Mon Jun 09, 2014 12:42 am UTC

Warlike tendency dies easily? It's only been 60 years since the last huge war and only the war-accepting cultures have dominated on earth so far (through imperialism etc.).

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Re: Motivations of Aliens to Visit Earth

Postby sehkzychic » Fri Jun 20, 2014 8:14 am UTC

Copper Bezel wrote:I always find discussions of realistic alien motivations weird. Within our sample size of one, 100% of known intelligent species* do 99.999% of everything they do according to totally arbitrary psychology and custom that couldn't have been predicted from knowledge of Earth's biology 100 Ma ago. And Earth's biology took a path we couldn't have remotely predicted from total knowledge of its LUCA.


Is that really true? I know this whole anti-human mindset is fun and all, but evolution is predictable in its broad strokes. That's what makes it a science, after all. We can reliably predict that (for instance) a bacterial population exposed to a toxin in gradually increasing concentrations over many generations will develop some resistance to that toxin. We don't know if it will be through producing a modified target structure, preventing uptake, promoting excretion, adding a second gene with a modified target, etc., but we can be confident that it will usually happen.

By analogy, from 100mya, we wouldn't have necessarily predicted the rise of hominids, but things like reciprocity, memory, social hierarchy, pair-bonding, tribalism, warfare, trade, etc. those seem fairly predictable given the rise of multicellular life on a planet with sufficient ecological complexity to allow many independently evolving locales.

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Re: Motivations of Aliens to Visit Earth

Postby snowyowl » Fri Jun 20, 2014 12:38 pm UTC

sehkzychic wrote:By analogy, from 100mya, we wouldn't have necessarily predicted the rise of hominids, but things like reciprocity, memory, social hierarchy, pair-bonding, tribalism, warfare, trade, etc. those seem fairly predictable given the rise of multicellular life on a planet with sufficient ecological complexity to allow many independently evolving locales.

Reciprocity and memory, I agree with, but pair-bonding and tribalism are a stretch. There's no reason why an intelligent species can't reproduce asexually, or lay 400 eggs and not care who fertilises them - parenting is overrated. They could have no social structure beyond eat-fuck-fight, but be clever and long-lived enough to develop true science anyway. Or they could be sessile (permanently attached to the ground), which would make warfare and trade very difficult.

Evolution's not that predictable. We don't even know whether human-level intelligence is likely to be selected for. Sure, eventually we got nukes and spaceships and flint arrowheads, but over time periods of a few generations, a bigger brain is probably just a waste of protein and not an evolutionary benefit.
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Re: Motivations of Aliens to Visit Earth

Postby ahammel » Fri Jun 20, 2014 1:02 pm UTC

sehkzychic wrote: By analogy, from 100mya, we wouldn't have necessarily predicted the rise of hominids, but things like reciprocity, memory, social hierarchy, pair-bonding, tribalism, warfare, trade, etc. those seem fairly predictable given the rise of multicellular life on a planet with sufficient ecological complexity to allow many independently evolving locales.

Nope.

We've got lots of samples of bacteria to work with, and only one sample of humans. We can't say that any of those things are inevitable given the origin of multicellular life, because it's only happened once, so far as know, and we certainly don't have a theory that predicts all that from first principles.
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Re: Motivations of Aliens to Visit Earth

Postby SDK » Fri Jun 20, 2014 3:01 pm UTC

sehkzychic wrote:By analogy, from 100mya, we wouldn't have necessarily predicted the rise of hominids, but things like reciprocity, memory, social hierarchy, pair-bonding, tribalism, warfare, trade, etc. those seem fairly predictable given the rise of multicellular life on a planet with sufficient ecological complexity to allow many independently evolving locales.

I don't think you can say anything even remotely close to this. 100mya the dinosaurs were the dominant animals. They'd already been around for 150 million years, with no indication that they were moving towards anything close to human-level intelligence (though, admittedly, the late Cretaceous did have a few of the smartest). What would the Earth be like today if the asteroid hadn't shown up 65 million years ago? You definitely can't say with any certainty that humans (or something like us) would have developed. More likely we'd see more of the same. It had worked for nearly 200 million years already.

Then, only 200 000 years ago, over 1000 times a shorter period than the dinosaurs ruled, humans show up and you claim that was inevitable? C'mon. Given how much of evolution is based on random neutral or even disadvantageous mutations, nothing is certain. Like snowyowl implied, our large brains may well have been a disadvantage in the beginning, something we survived in spite of rather than because of. Eventually we made good use of them, but the Earth could just as easily still be populated by big dumb reptiles. Way too much is based on random chance to have much hope of predicting evolution's path.
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Re: Motivations of Aliens to Visit Earth

Postby infernovia » Sat Jun 21, 2014 3:33 pm UTC

snowyowl wrote:Reciprocity and memory, I agree with, but pair-bonding and tribalism are a stretch. There's no reason why an intelligent species can't reproduce asexually, or lay 400 eggs and not care who fertilises them - parenting is overrated. They could have no social structure beyond eat-fuck-fight, but be clever and long-lived enough to develop true science anyway. Or they could be sessile (permanently attached to the ground), which would make warfare and trade very difficult.

Evolution's not that predictable. We don't even know whether human-level intelligence is likely to be selected for. Sure, eventually we got nukes and spaceships and flint arrowheads, but over time periods of a few generations, a bigger brain is probably just a waste of protein and not an evolutionary benefit.

You are overselling your "unpredictability" a lot. We know the benefits of sexual reproduction over asexual, the mixing of genes and the ability to hide traits for multiple generation and not just ousted in one environment/time. This allows the species as a whole to adapt to multiple environments and to apocalypse better. Asexual is just way too efficient for sexual reproduction to not have some significant advantage in creating more complex beings.

I honestly cannot think of ONE way that a species will be able to create the level of knowledge we have without parenting and without a social structure. Yeah sure, I can imagine it as a possibility, but trying to imagine a path to get there? I can't think of it. Politics is a science and a force, and a species/culture with a political will has an advantage over those that do not. See the Romans/Greeks/Persia etc.

KazukoKodo wrote:Then, only 200 000 years ago, over 1000 times a shorter period than the dinosaurs ruled, humans show up and you claim that was inevitable? C'mon. Given how much of evolution is based on random neutral or even disadvantageous mutations, nothing is certain. Like snowyowl implied, our large brains may well have been a disadvantage in the beginning, something we survived in spite of rather than because of. Eventually we made good use of them, but the Earth could just as easily still be populated by big dumb reptiles. Way too much is based on random chance to have much hope of predicting evolution's path.

We already had a lot of htis discussion in the Egg laying thread, but current scientific theory implies that the larger brain size was evolved exactly because it gave the ability for humans to adapt to larger amounts of climate change. The larger brain wasn't in spite of anything, it evolved in an environment that it could exploit and a species with the appropriate habits for it to work in that environment.

I would be far more willing to look at what were the conditions for the brain/controlling unit to have the most ability to grow to it's great complexity on a species level than to dismiss all of these factors as "unpredictable".

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Re: Motivations of Aliens to Visit Earth

Postby Izawwlgood » Sat Jun 21, 2014 4:21 pm UTC

infernovia wrote:I honestly cannot think of ONE way that a species will be able to create the level of knowledge we have without parenting and without a social structure.
We've been over this brochacho. Parenting can be a loose term. Social structure, absolutely, but parenting is something that can be extremely downplayed in an intelligent organism, i.e., r-type reproduction.
KazukoKodo wrote: Like snowyowl implied, our large brains may well have been a disadvantage in the beginning, something we survived in spite of rather than because of.
I don't think you understand anthropology. Hominids have not always had our extremely large Homo brains.


A rash of terrible assumptions;
snowyowl wrote:Sure, eventually we got nukes and spaceships and flint arrowheads, but over time periods of a few generations, a bigger brain is probably just a waste of protein and not an evolutionary benefit.
Neither of these statements appear to even approach legitimacy; assuming tool use will just 'happen' is laughable, and forgetting that bigger brains are extremely useful is as well.
snowyowl wrote:. Or they could be sessile (permanently attached to the ground), which would make warfare and trade very difficult.
And developing intelligence very difficult.
snowyowl wrote:They could have no social structure beyond eat-fuck-fight, but be clever and long-lived enough to develop true science anyway.
Yeah, because such an organism would have a burning desire to... you know... write things down?


Look, do you guys not understand the difference between reptiles and mammals?
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Re: Motivations of Aliens to Visit Earth

Postby infernovia » Sat Jun 21, 2014 5:50 pm UTC

Nope, all we established was there are some r-type intelligent species. To have the level of civilization the humans have achieved with the amount of technology it has without the nature to teach their young (I guess "teaching" would be more appropriate) is, if not improbable, at least highly unlikely.

Edit: I guess I didn't really disagree with the main premise. Regardless I am still not partial to the belief that a species which lays 400+ eggs and lets it go on the wild will form a society that will eventually nurture the survivors, just seems incredibly inefficient. Could happen, but I consider it unlikely.

This doesn't change the factor that it's highly likely (if not a necessity) that you would need a society level infrastructure with writing/knowledge passed down to the young to get to our level of technology. On which point, I think we both agree.

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Re: Motivations of Aliens to Visit Earth

Postby Izawwlgood » Sat Jun 21, 2014 6:16 pm UTC

You are basing that though on absolutely nothing other than 'because infernovia cannot imagine it'.

infernovia wrote:Edit: I guess I didn't really disagree with the main premise. Regardless I am still not partial to the belief that a species which lays 400+ eggs and lets it go on the wild will form a society that will eventually nurture the survivors, just seems incredibly inefficient. Could happen, but I consider it unlikely.
And as we talked about in the other thread, just because you cannot fathom it doesn't mean it isn't plausible, especially because babies != juveniles.
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Re: Motivations of Aliens to Visit Earth

Postby infernovia » Sat Jun 21, 2014 7:22 pm UTC

Right, I believe things are likely and unlikely based on my model of the world, and my model is related to the evolution of life and knowledge on earth. There is nothing else to say about that although I would love to see a theoretical scenario on why a life form like that will form and then dominate but also why it didnt happen on earth.

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Re: Motivations of Aliens to Visit Earth

Postby Izawwlgood » Sat Jun 21, 2014 7:53 pm UTC

infernovia wrote:Right, I believe things are likely and unlikely based on my model of the world, and my model is related to the evolution of life and knowledge on earth. There is nothing else to say about that although I would love to see a theoretical scenario on why a life form like that will form and then dominate but also why it didnt happen on earth.
Didn't we establish in the other thread that you're not a biologist, and indeed, haven't taken any biology coursework since high school? College?

My point is that it is perfectly reasonable to see culture/civilization/parenthood arise in an r-type reproducing organism. It shifts cultural expectations around, to be certain, but does not eliminate the possibility.
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Re: Motivations of Aliens to Visit Earth

Postby infernovia » Sat Jun 21, 2014 11:51 pm UTC

I am not sure why you are using the word "unlikely" to mean "eliminate the possibility." Moreover, since I am defending the need for social/cultural teaching and the existence of parents as in biological ones or ones eventually accepted by the community doesn't really matter in the end.

Furthermore, you haven't given any examples of organisms that follow the model you are defending here (r-type reproduction that eventually leads to adults training the young). So I am not sure why you are complaining about my lack of knowledge instead of just giving examples as to why I am wrong.

Edit: Although I was thinking about this today, should species reproduction be strictly classified as r/K type? Humans are sort of r-type in certain conditions:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R/K_selection_theory
In certain species, the r/K dichotomy likewise manifests itself upon population-specific examination relative to the range of expressions of a given trait observed across that species. For example, among humans, populations having low socioeconomic status disproportionately exhibit r-type traits such as early pregnancies, large numbers of children, male dispersal of offspring across multiple households, and low parental investment (in part because of a lack of resources to invest), in keeping with their disproportionate occupation of niches featuring high levels of instability and existential risk to individual members, whereas populations having high socioeconomic status disproportionately exhibit K-type traits such as delayed pregnancies, small numbers of children, concentration of offspring within a single household, and high parental investment (in part because of the presence of more resources to invest), in keeping with their disproportionate occupation of niches featuring relative stability and lower levels of existential risk to individual members

So there you go, not that it proves anything one way or the other as I was mostly complaining about the behavior of laying 400 eggs with high mortality rate unlikely to be done by an animal that would develop high intelligence due to my perceived lack of the social cohesion in species like that. Could happen, fictionally interesting, you could even build a cultural/spiritual reason for it, but I personally see as too dependant on outside factors. But whatever, this is off topic.

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Re: Motivations of Aliens to Visit Earth

Postby Izawwlgood » Sun Jun 22, 2014 12:57 am UTC

Yes; the fact that some humans in some conditions adopt r-type like reproductive behavior should be a sign to you that it is quite feasible for culture to exist in r-type reproducers.

infernovia wrote:So there you go, not that it proves anything one way or the other as I was mostly complaining about the behavior of laying 400 eggs with high mortality rate unlikely to be done by an animal that would develop high intelligence due to my perceived lack of the social cohesion in species like that. Could happen, fictionally interesting, you could even build a cultural/spiritual reason for it, but I personally see as too dependant on outside factors. But whatever, this is off topic.
I'm not sure why you think given your awknowledged example, the above is still 'unlikely'. We spoke about this in the other thread; imagine, if you will, an organism that casts it's offspring into the ocean, and after a period of time, those that survive return as juveniles and are reared by the adults. I'm pretty sure I linked you to a really great science fiction story that explored that theme.

We've actually had this conversation before.
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Re: Motivations of Aliens to Visit Earth

Postby infernovia » Sun Jun 22, 2014 1:01 am UTC

Science fiction isn't biology, nor does it make something more plausible. Since you pulled rank on me, I expect a biological example for the behavior we are talking about. Humans don't count, because you have to again rely on a species that has both parental (communal or otherwise) and societal teachings.

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Re: Motivations of Aliens to Visit Earth

Postby Izawwlgood » Sun Jun 22, 2014 1:33 am UTC

I mentioned the science fiction story because you wrote;
infernovia wrote:. Could happen, fictionally interesting, you could even build a cultural/spiritual reason for it, but I personally see as too dependant on outside factors. But whatever, this is off topic.
I was showing you an example of people thinking about cultural/spiritual developments for such a species.

I don't even have to pull rank; you yourself saw in the wiki that humans sometimes adopt r-type reproductive strategies.
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Re: Motivations of Aliens to Visit Earth

Postby infernovia » Sun Jun 22, 2014 2:15 am UTC

Here is the convo if you were missing it:
Spoiler:
Original point: Intelligent species that visit human doesn't have to be tribalistic or even use standard sexual practice. They could lay 400 eggs etc.
Me: I find that highly unlikely because I can't imagine any one with technology even near us to be accomplished without parental/societal teachings.
You: Cultural/societal I can agree with, but parental is not necessary through cuz r-type.
Me: Yes, when I mean parental, I am taking into account communal parenting like orphans or non-biological parenting. I think it's unlikely for r-type 400+ egg laying species unlikely to form these kind of behavior.
You: You didn't take college level biology (ad hominem). And yes, it's totally possible.
Me: Give me an example, because I only said it is unlikely given the history of the earth. Oh and btw, humans technically reproduce as an r-type, isn't that interesting?
You: Science fiction. Also, since some human breeding can be called r-type, how can you call it unlikely (that 400+ egg laying species are unlikely to form intelligence)
Me: That shows me nothing. I expect an example on earth with a species that lays 400+ eggs that eventually leads to the species parenting (communal or otherwise) the youngling.
You: Yes it does. And it's obviously possible that humans reproduce in an r-type pattern sometimes.


I don't feel like I am getting my points attacked or anything other than just getting railed on for absolutely no reason that's related to the topic. Humans producing in an r-type way has nothing to do with my point that
a) Parental (communal or biological) and then cultural teachings/indoctrination is important for eventual birth of technology and intelligence. Without these, high technological development is unlikely (high defined as the ability to travel to other stars/planets).
b) I find 400+ egg laying creatures are unlikely to showcase these behaviors due to what I know about what happened in Earth.

B could be wrong, and there can be solid counter examples. That would be a direct counter to the point I had proposed.

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Re: Motivations of Aliens to Visit Earth

Postby Izawwlgood » Sun Jun 22, 2014 2:29 am UTC

This isn't a side track; this is me correcting you making statements about biology that are hinged solely on 'infernovia can't imagine it otherwise'. Your conversation summation is adorable, but rather misrepresents things. For example, you claimed that you couldn't imagine r-type reproduction leading to culture/civilization, and then yourself observed there are examples of humans ADOPTING r-type reproduction. Notice, because humans sometimes do this does NOT mean that humans are r-type reproducers, which is... odd that you would suggest as such.

I'll remind you, this is a thread discussing the 100% hypothetical handwavy reasons for aliens to visit Earth, and you're making biological claims that are unfounded, and then demanding actual examples of said hypothetical biology. It's a bit rich.

So, the point here is that you cannot fathom a way for r-type reproducers to have culture. I have actually now given you TWO versions of how this could be. You asking for proof of this is rather besides the point, and rather out of place in the thread.

EDIT: Culturally, it's pretty neat to think about how different adaptations, reproductive or otherwise, would affect culture. Imagine, for example, what porn would look like for an intelligent Weaver Bird. Or what a city built by intelligent moles would look like. These are all things that would affect the shape and make of their civilization.
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Re: Motivations of Aliens to Visit Earth

Postby infernovia » Sun Jun 22, 2014 3:03 am UTC

I didn't say I couldn't imagine r-type reproduction achieving civilization and technology, I specifically said I cannot imagine high civilization/technology without parental/cultural teachings. You COUNTERED this point by saying you are wrong because r-type reproduction. Humans using r-type reproduction has nothing to do with my point because guess what, they use parental (communal or biological)/cultural teachings despite using partial r-type reproduction strategy.

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Re: Motivations of Aliens to Visit Earth

Postby Izawwlgood » Sun Jun 22, 2014 3:13 am UTC

Right, because you were disagreeing with snowyowl saying that an r-type reproducer (the whole 'lays 400 eggs' bit) with no culture could be intelligent. I agree with you that social structure is requisite for intelligence and space faring, but I'm disagreeing with your;
infernovia wrote:I honestly cannot think of ONE way that a species will be able to create the level of knowledge we have without parenting and without a social structure
Because, again, parenting is a loose term, and r-type reproducers may very well find a way around the need to care for their babies, instead communally caring for their juveniles.
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Re: Motivations of Aliens to Visit Earth

Postby infernovia » Sun Jun 22, 2014 3:17 am UTC

Ok, that makes things clearer. When I meant parenting, I didn't mean biological ones, but communal ones. As this was probably how a lot of pre-historic human babies were raised.

Regardless, I still haven't seen good examples of 400+ egg layers display this kind of behavior in a species wide level, whereas you see it all the time in other animals. I could be wrong about this, I am not a zoologist, but that's why I consider it unlikely. I am not saying it's impossible even if it turns out to be true, just that I would put lower odds on that happening.

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Re: Motivations of Aliens to Visit Earth

Postby Izawwlgood » Sun Jun 22, 2014 3:28 am UTC

I didn't mean biological one's either. That was my entire point; that r-type reproducers can still parent (and indeed, many do). I'm not sure if there are examples of r-type reproducers parenting in communities, but wouldn't be terribly surprised if there were. I think protoeusocial organisms do just that, but I'm not sure of any specific examples. Some wasps maybe? ...Anyway;

Again though, what proof are you asking of? An example of an r-type reproducer that has attained space flight? I feel like this is a bit of the round about we had in the other thread; r-type reproducers can still parent. Perhaps they loose 99% of their offspring for some reason, and only parent the few that survive. In fact, some mammals practice an (admittedly extremely) watered down version of this with in utero sibling competition, fertilizing, say, 8 ova, and birthing 1-2. Obviously this isn't r-type reproduction, but it's a nod to it. The reverse can somewhat be observed in Emperor Penguins, or communal bats, who are only birthing 1-2 per breeding cycle, but communally caring for the offspring, either directly or in the form of parents supporting parents.
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Re: Motivations of Aliens to Visit Earth

Postby SDK » Mon Jun 23, 2014 1:54 pm UTC

KazukoKodo wrote: Like snowyowl implied, our large brains may well have been a disadvantage in the beginning, something we survived in spite of rather than because of.
I don't think you understand anthropology. Hominids have not always had our extremely large Homo brains. [/quote]
I am aware of that. What's your point?
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