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Old April 15 2013, 05:25 AM   #31
Gary7
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Re: If Warp Drive were Possible...

King Daniel wrote: View Post
The galaxy is so ridiculously big they could have missed us. Or there could be a civilization on a million planets with FTL drive, but 50 galaxies away.

Not only that, but we're located on the periphery of the Milky Way Galaxy... If the navigation of advanced space vessels uses linear movement, then we're just WAY too far away to even bother exploring. There's just far too many habitable planets within closer reach to existing sentient life to even trouble with sending a probe all the way out to our location.

Even still... there are some people who wholeheartedly believe we've been visited by extra terrestrial crafts. Maybe we have. But by the time any useful information will have made it back to their place of origin, we'll have long been extinct (sadly, the odds are very much against us).

The ONLY way we could be on ANY alien life's radar scope of interest, is if they can fold space and travel to almost anywhere in the universe at will in reasonably short time periods (relative to their lifespans). Based on how physics works, I see that as a 0.01% chance of being true.

It's easy to fall back on "well, 100 years ago people thought [X] was impossible and today we have [X], so there." Well sure, when looking at the pragmatic progression of technology. We have made enormous strides in a very short period of time. But, there isn't even the slightest indication that the laws of astrophysics can be stretched or significantly altered. Those laws limit speed, even with engines far more powerful than we've even imagined as yet. Distance is our key obstacle. We're too far away from any sentient life.

Our imaginations are TERRIFIC at surpassing those laws in fantasy scenarios, and when people who enjoy sci-fi become so FAMILIAR with these imagined capabilities, it's easy to believe we can do anything. We can do a lot... but we CANNOT change the fundamental laws of physics. We're stuck out here on the periphery of it all. Sad, but miserably true.
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Old April 15 2013, 05:30 AM   #32
Bry_Sinclair
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Re: If Warp Drive were Possible...

Why is it that alien life has to be more advanced than us? If there are alien civilisations out there they could be centuries or millenia behind us in development, making us the most advanced species (scary thought when you take time to consider it).

Even if there are species out there who have developed warp drive, it isn't a means of instantaneous travel and still takes time to get from A to B. They could be far enough away from Earth that getting here to colonise our world would be impractical. That is even accepting that they breathe an oxygen-nitrogen mix, require Earth gravity (their homeworld could have a third of ours or six times as much), or can survive within our climate.

As for building an empire, why? Not every species would have our bloody (as in actual blood) history. Seizing new territory and conquest may not hold any interest for them. They may have gone to the stars millions of years ago, seen no other intelligent life around and returned hom to focus on their own development and evolution. Or maybe they're sitting up in orbit watching us after seeding our world billions of years ago, there is after all no way of knowing that didn't happen.

I like to believe that we are not alone in this universe, that other life does exist and that it isn't merely out to screw us. Look at how many types of life forms evolved under a huge array of conditions and locations across our own little planet, then just think of all the others out there. What life there is here can't be all there is.

Plus they could use some kind of starburst, or hyperspace, or probability drive to travel through space, it doesn't have to be warp
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Old April 15 2013, 07:01 AM   #33
JirinPanthosa
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Re: If Warp Drive were Possible...

ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
not wrote: View Post
I'm curious as to why it always comes down to 'warp drive' or 'robotic' visitors -
It seems limiting
Without warp drive or some kind of FTL, it would take thousands of years just to reach the nearest star .
[Dwight]False.[/Dwight]

It'd be thousands of years for Earth, but maybe only a few years for the travelers themselves. That's special relativity.
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Old April 15 2013, 10:09 AM   #34
Timo
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Re: If Warp Drive were Possible...

Plus, achieving an individual lifespan of thousands of years might be a trivial feat for a civilized species, something we humans will do before the next century rolls.

Why come halfway across the galaxy to blow us up?
To ensure that we don't come and blow them up! Sterilizing the galaxy of competition is a valid strategy of survival. Although one might invent more altruist motivations for berserkers, too - say, they might want to stop civilizations from becoming so advanced that they quicken the heat death of the universe by their technologies (Alastair Reynolds toyed with this). Or they might be on a terraforming spree, but over the aeons, something goes wrong and terraforming becomes extermination - a very realistic prospect considering the basic nature of terraforming.

And even with superior technology, how do you colonize and control seven billion people? You'd have to bring an army, and that'd have even higher energy demands.
Naah. Just enter orbit, spray everybody with an agent that will kill them (or worse) unless they behave and queue up for their antidote, and the biggest expense in all of this will be hiring the clerks who dish out the antidote pills. Then, at your liberty, introduce other useful chemicals into the daily antidote dose...

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Old April 15 2013, 10:46 AM   #35
Metryq
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Re: If Warp Drive were Possible...

T'Girl wrote: View Post
ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
One of the many troubles with such generation ships is that by the time your people get anywhere, they won't be your people anymore. Their culture would be entirely different after millenia in space.
In the novel Voyage to Yesterday (James Hogan), instead of having a generation ship, or freezing people for protracted time periods, what you do is send genetic material only.
And in the case of VOYAGE TO YESTERDAY an entirely new culture was the intention. While I love much of Hogan's work, this novel was not one of his best.
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Old April 15 2013, 12:18 PM   #36
Robert Comsol
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Re: If Warp Drive were Possible...

I do think the Prime Directive is one of Star Trek's most foresighted inventions and probably universally applicable.

And one of the best episodes ever is still TNG's "First Contact" that says it all, IMHO.

What would happen, if there actually was a global close encounter of the third kind in our lifetime?

Maybe half the people of our planet would adopt their ethics and guiding principles while the other half would simply reject it. Since we are right now plunging back into the Dark Ages with religious fanatism and murder becoming ever increasing, that's just what we can use right now to insure the demise of the human race.

In simpler language: Benevolent aliens would cherish the Prime Directive on our behalf, evil ones would come and say "hello"...

Bob
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Old April 15 2013, 01:09 PM   #37
Metryq
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Re: If Warp Drive were Possible...

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
In simpler language: Benevolent aliens would cherish the Prime Directive on our behalf, evil ones would come and say "hello"...
The so-called "evil" aliens might be making a first contact, too. There's a first time for everything, including mistakes. (And as the old adage goes, "Experience is what many people call their mistakes.") They may have a race history with no precedents of disaster between tribes, nations, etc.

And why must the Prime Directive be altruistic? Suppose the more technically advanced race has learned not to reap first contacts until a new race is ready to contribute in some way. In human dealings, I'd more readily trust mutual interest than alleged altruism. ("The road to Hell is paved with Prime Directives.")
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Old April 15 2013, 01:19 PM   #38
Metryq
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Re: If Warp Drive were Possible...

[QUOTE=Gary7;7945723]
King Daniel wrote: View Post
Based on how physics works, I see that as a 0.01% chance of being true.
How were you able to calculate this probability?

But, there isn't even the slightest indication that the laws of astrophysics can be stretched or significantly altered.
You live a sheltered life. The history of science alone will tell you how often decisive pronouncements have later turned out wrong.
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Old April 15 2013, 01:27 PM   #39
not
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Re: If Warp Drive were Possible...

Gary7 wrote: View Post
King Daniel wrote: View Post
The galaxy is so ridiculously big they could have missed us. Or there could be a civilization on a million planets with FTL drive, but 50 galaxies away.

Not only that, but we're located on the periphery of the Milky Way Galaxy... If the navigation of advanced space vessels uses linear movement, then we're just WAY too far away to even bother exploring. There's just far too many habitable planets within closer reach to existing sentient life to even trouble with sending a probe all the way out to our location.

Even still... there are some people who wholeheartedly believe we've been visited by extra terrestrial crafts. Maybe we have. But by the time any useful information will have made it back to their place of origin, we'll have long been extinct (sadly, the odds are very much against us).

The ONLY way we could be on ANY alien life's radar scope of interest, is if they can fold space and travel to almost anywhere in the universe at will in reasonably short time periods (relative to their lifespans). Based on how physics works, I see that as a 0.01% chance of being true.

It's easy to fall back on "well, 100 years ago people thought [X] was impossible and today we have [X], so there." Well sure, when looking at the pragmatic progression of technology. We have made enormous strides in a very short period of time. But, there isn't even the slightest indication that the laws of astrophysics can be stretched or significantly altered. Those laws limit speed, even with engines far more powerful than we've even imagined as yet. Distance is our key obstacle. We're too far away from any sentient life.

Our imaginations are TERRIFIC at surpassing those laws in fantasy scenarios, and when people who enjoy sci-fi become so FAMILIAR with these imagined capabilities, it's easy to believe we can do anything. We can do a lot... but we CANNOT change the fundamental laws of physics. We're stuck out here on the periphery of it all. Sad, but miserably true.

Are you sure?
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Old April 15 2013, 01:46 PM   #40
not
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Re: If Warp Drive were Possible...

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
I do think the Prime Directive is one of Star Trek's most foresighted inventions and probably universally applicable.

And one of the best episodes ever is still TNG's "First Contact" that says it all, IMHO.

What would happen, if there actually was a global close encounter of the third kind in our lifetime?

Maybe half the people of our planet would adopt their ethics and guiding principles while the other half would simply reject it. Since we are right now plunging back into the Dark Ages with religious fanatism and murder becoming ever increasing, that's just what we can use right now to insure the demise of the human race.

In simpler language: Benevolent aliens would cherish the Prime Directive on our behalf, evil ones would come and say "hello"...

Bob
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Old April 15 2013, 02:45 PM   #41
Timo
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Re: If Warp Drive were Possible...

Yeah. It's just that religious fanaticism is now on TV.

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