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America's Debate > Archive > Assorted Issues Archive > [A] Science and Technology
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moif
Okay... I know this hardly qualifies as Science, but please try to think of it as a serious question.

IF an alien actually did crash land on this planet, what do you think would happen to it? Provided it survived the actual crash, what would its rights (if any) actually would be? Do you think its chances of survival would be better in the west? or would every nation on the planet act in a similar fashion?

Would the possible benefits of alien technology out weigh the repercussions of a possible later retaliation?
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Gray Seal
This qualifies as science fiction. Interesting question but it does not deserve to be in the category of Science and Technology.

If anyone has done any work calculating travel times at half the speed of light and used some educated guesses at how frequently there will be a star similar to ours and how often there will be a planet of the right mass and orbit, etc.. I have. I did it as part of a space opera I have conceptualized. You have to have some sort of "magic" to enable travel between M class planets.

I think the reaction to aliens would be vary widely on different parts of the world. They would be most in danger in parts of the world where human life is cheap and the best chance for them would be in parts of the world where human life has a high value.

Rights would be similar to how the local government treats aliens from our own world, I reckon. Intellectuals would be eager to spend time with the alien. Just think of what could be learned! The sensational aspects of it would attract many people the same way they are attracted to the Super Bowl.
DaytonRocker
QUOTE
You have to have some sort of "magic" to enable travel between M class planets

Here's a quick calculation:
You, me, and everybody else on this planet knows precisely squat about the universe.

Naturally, you see things as we know it. You see time as our seconds, minutes, and hours. You see distance as point A to point B. You see your surroundings and everything you know in 3 dimensions.

And that's the problem.

If we were to base possibilities on time, velocity, and space as we know it, you would be correct. But to put it in it's proper perspective, our solar system would seem like a tiny atom on Anna Nicole Smith's fat a$$.

There is no way to know or fathom what has been going on around in the vastness of the universe for billions of years. Things exist in this universe that Carl Sagan couldn't have even imagined. Curved space, worm holes, anti-matter, the list is endless. Civilizations could have been using concepts we can't even fathom to travel from wherever they want in only seconds. Maybe they live in an environment where time doesn't have the same meaning. Maybe they come from an environment where physical travel isn't even necessary.
QUOTE
"Everything that can be invented has been invented."
Charles H. Duell, U.S. Commissioner of Patents, in 1899.

Actually, that quote is a myth and was never really made (although internet folklore has given it plenty of life). But that's what your response sounds like.

To answer the question, we'll never know. The government will make sure that happens.
Gray Seal
I love to speculate, too! However, science is the study of what we know. Science fiction is for creative speculation based on made up technologys layered onto known scientific knowledge.

I do believe there is much knowledge to be learned in the future. I relish the discovery process. Scientific speculation does not mean we need to throw out what knowledge we have gained so far. Creative speculation is part of the scientific process. However, travel between the stars is the stuff of science fiction. There is no way to do it reasonably without throwing out the knowledge we have.

Boy do I want to believe we can someday travel intragalactically. Wishing and wanting something to be true is not enough. I know enough to recognize it is science fiction.

Fantasy is a cousin to science fiction as there is speculation but known physics/chemistry is tossed aside. I enjoy that creative process, too.

It is a problem if science fiction muddies the water of science. Hence, I put space travel in the category of "magic".

As far as denigrating the knowledge we have now of the universe, I have a more amazed emotion when I realize the amount of understanding we have currently and the rate we are expanding this knowledge. Some of the concepts, such as dark matter, do require me to reorder my thought processes. It is difficult to keep up to speed with the cutting edge of physics.
Victoria Silverwolf
It this were to really happen, it would depend on how many humans knew about it. If a few military or government types knew, it would be ultra top secret for a while, but eventually someone would let out the secret. If many "ordinary" people knew about it, I think there would be the attention of the world drawn to it. I think this vast publicity would tend to overcome the intentions of any repressive government against the alien. (Can you picture the headlines? "[Insert name of nation here] enslaves first extraterrestrial visitor." Very bad publicity for any regime.)

I tend to think the alien technology will be so alien that it will be of very little use to humanity. The very existence of the alien being, of course, will be of very great importance to human science.
GoAmerica
QUOTE(moif @ Jul 14 2003, 08:30 PM)
IF an alien actually did crash land on this planet, what do you think would happen to it? Do you think its chances of survival would be better in the west? or would every nation on the planet act in a similar fashion?

It would obviously be covered up by governments and it would probably be better if it was in the west.

I have to agree with Victoria in the way of rights:

QUOTE
I think this vast publicity would tend to overcome the intentions of any repressive government against the alien. (Can you picture the headlines? "[Insert name of nation here] enslaves first extraterrestrial visitor." Very bad publicity for any regime.)



QUOTE
Would the possible benefits of alien technology out weigh the repercussions of a possible later retaliation?


It would be worthless unless it was translateable to an Earth language and not some gibberish
nileriver
i dont know how the world as a whole would react to it in the first place, on being found, i think the first thing that would happen for the most part is the leadeship of the finder may be sought after. Depending on who, and where would be all of the difference, per say if it met a lion or a bear, i dont think its chances may be much better then 50/50. As for in america, i think that it would have to land in a commune, then bump into some hippies, of course the irrational nature of the hippie might be cause for concern. More or less, i think its best odds would be to land by a cult that worships something along those lines, as it would be a deity to them , and that i think only exists in the west.
this is all based on the alien has no idea of anything on earth, and is not hurt.
Anarchy Praxis
I can tell you what happened, a story about a flying saucer hit the AP wire and the rest is history. It may have been one of the flying saucers that were developed in Nazi Germany but there were not very many of them and they were virtually useless. They were actually developed by an occultic group to get in touch with anchient Germanic gods, I doubt seriously that they were successfull. This whole thing is a classic example of how people are so gullable when it comes to the media. An article says that there was a flying saucer and people 50 years later still believe it. I imagine the Air Force love this kind of hype because it distracts from what they are really doing out there, which is none of our buisness.
quarkhead
QUOTE(Anarchy Praxis @ Jul 15 2003, 11:19 AM)
I can tell you what happened, a story about a flying saucer hit the AP wire and the rest is history. It may have been one of the flying saucers that were developed in Nazi Germany but there were not very many of them and they were virtually useless. They were actually developed by an occultic group to get in touch with anchient Germanic gods, I doubt seriously that they were successfull. This whole thing is a classic example of how people are so gullable when it comes to the media. An article says that there was a flying saucer and people 50 years later still believe it. I imagine the Air Force love this kind of hype because it distracts from what they are really doing out there, which is none of our buisness.

I think moif was asking a hypothetical, not referring to Roswell... moif?
moif
Thats right. In essence the question is;

Would the possible benefits of alien technology out weigh the repercussions of a possible later retaliation?
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Mrs. Pigpen
QUOTE(Gray Seal @ Jul 14 2003, 08:46 PM)

Boy do I want to believe we can someday travel intragalactically.  Wishing and wanting something to be true is not enough.  I know enough to recognize it is science fiction.


Imagine for a moment that you are in the medieval period, and someone explains that one day, it will be possible for millions of people to all view a single message simultaneously within seconds of it's inception. That's exactly what we are doing now, so check your assumptions. smile.gif

Regarding moif's question. No, I don't believe that the benefits of alien technology would outweigh the potential repercussions of later retaliation. If such a being had the unfortunate luck to land on our soil, I would hope that any information we obtained would be offered rather than forced. I think (hope) the human race is smart enough not to enrage a much more advanced and deadlier opponent.
Anarchy Praxis
Ok, I misunderstood the question blush.gif

I know what we could do with it. First we fly it back to wherever these egg headed things came from and we abduct a couple of them. Then we mutilate their livestock and draw wild designs in their crops and see how they like it.
santasdad
Dont know about aliens, but man will never fly, thats for sure.
Bill55AZ
I think once they had to deal with our petty politicians and beauracrats, they would do whatever it takes to warn the rest of their people to stay away.
First thing to happen would be a cop asking for license, registration, and proof of insurance, not to mentioned passport, green card, and/or work visa. Then the language barrier would be apparent, and the cop would get angry and start using gestures, some of which would surely be insulting to the aliens, and then a war would start.
But if that didn't happen, surely the aliens would see that the technology that we have is more than we can handle and giving us their advanced knowledge would be too much too soon and would probably just disrupt our economy.
Plus the luddites of the world would want to kill them.
Zebbeddee
If aliens did actually crash into our planet then I think it would be a good idea to leave their technology alone because if they have developed a way to travel the vast distances of space but haven't worked out how to land properly yet then they're not the most intelligient of creatures dry.gif . We still might be able to jery-rig something useful from there spaceship but better to leave it well alone rather than create a technology boom that ends up destroying the planet and killing everyone sad.gif (what am I saying, I agree with this, who's for genocide everyone biggrin.gif ).

However I think the knowledge of experiences, language, art and culture etc would be incredibly useful. w00t.gif w00t.gif w00t.gif w00t.gif

I don't believe their is life on other planets and think that ours is one of a kind but that doesn't stop the speculation. happy.gif
Horyok
If aliens crash on our planet, then I wish them luck! dry.gif

They'd better have an asbestos immune system to filter the billions and billions germs we are exposed to every day. That is one soup from hell by itself.

I guess that if they crashed, it means that they wouldn't want to land on Earth in the first place, right? To the least, I guess they would be really curious about their surroundings and that they'd try to bring souvenirs. To the most, I think they'll be *** NOTICE: THIS WORD IS AGAINST THE RULES. FAILURE TO REMOVE IT WILL RESULT IN A STRIKE. *** and hostile (especially after the germs episode I was talking about) and they'll start wiping out everything in sight.

If they really get bored, they'll start exploring the surroundings eventually. If they're lucky, their land-ship thing runs on common fuel, and they can get refills at the nearest gas station. If they're not, the ship will stall and they'll have to take a cab to go back to their spaceship. Maybe they would wonder why we have so many traffic jams?

I'm afraid their translator would give up after a while (too many languages : Hi, Guten Tag, Guten Dag, Buenos Dias, Bonjour, Bongiuorno, Meow, squeak... etc).

Darn, it's not easy being an alien on Earth.
Amlord
Of course, it is always hard speculating about visitors from space...

BUT, given what we know about how WE would approach space, I don't think that any space traveller is likely to be equipped with "Weapons of Mass Destruction", unless they were specifically a warship.

The disease angle is a key one. Remember Orsen Wells' "War of the Worlds"? It was only the lowly germ that kept the invaders from destroying us all. Of course, the same type of scenario would await any potential explorers from THIS planet.

I doubt that any alien would be using a power supply that we would understand. That isn't to say we would not have the raw materials that would be needed...Of course, most fuels are not naturally occuring, and any visiting space alien should BYOF (bring your own fuel--and food).

Alien contact would be a uniting force for the Planet Earth, I think, especially if they were hostile (or were perceived to be hostile). A scary scenario, to say the least...
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