I really like the folks here and observe a lot of really good friendly and civil interaction on all kinds of subjects (outside politics and religion of course, which are rightfully discouraged). So, I thought why not toss out a carrot for a conversation about something that is bugging me.
I’m a sci-fi nut. But, I’m also a big fan of real science. I often look at sci-fi with a scrutiny of plausibility. The more plausible, the more I enjoy it. Of course, that’s all tempered with certain suppositions. But generally, there are well known laws of physics that should never be violated, only “stretched a bit.”
When I was a kid, I was all keen about the possibility of UFO visitations and wanted so much to be one of the lucky ones, to either directly observe one or even get a chance to meet extraterrestrials. As an adult, my position has changed tremendously. And what really bothers me is that unless there’s some incomprehensible tech that allows for biological beings to do “slip stream” travel, across many thousands of lightyears in a mere instant, there is no feasibility for biologicals to travel the cosmos. It’s too resource burdensome, would require safe cryogenics, and the beings doing it would essentially sacrifice their relationships with family & friends to choose journeying among the stars for their lifetime… presuming they’re not bioengineered or maintained for perpetual life. Any society of beings that evolves to the point of being able to develop technology together have to be friendly and civilized to each other. Their mental makeup would include socializing and dependency. But yes, we can assume there are some people who are very independent, social loners, and willing to leave everything behind for the chance to explore something they’d never otherwise get to do. It’s a “one way trip,” of sorts. But is it worth the risk?
Given all that… my take is, biological space travel is way too resource intensive, complicated, and risky. So, the only thing that really makes sense is to send out deep space probes, possibly governed by AI that’s onboard, and perhaps even incorporated in mechanical mobile devices that can move about like living beings.
In Star Trek, we have the “Prime Directive” premise. This is of course a human contrivance. There’s no guarantee a real space faring advanced species would abide by it. However, the scientific approach would prohibit it purely for the sake of preserving something for long range study. Influencing a subject by demonstrating your presence or leaving behind artifacts contaminates the subject… rendering it flawed for further analysis. And we’ve seen that for ourselves on Earth with Cargo Cults – primitive people in very remote places who are totally ignorant of what’s going on across the rest of the Earth, who then get contaminated by accidental cargo drops, intended for a known civilization but lands among these people who then get to enjoy the contents with new reverence to the “Sky Gods.” Some such Cargo Cults have self-destructed, because of useful artifacts left behind invoke extreme jealously and ultimately violence.
The point being, a highly advanced civilization able to discover Earth, would have the sophistication to do it totally clandestine. They’d be sure to avoid detection, or if detected, be able to camouflage as something terrestrial to avoid being construed as alien. The premise of such crafts visiting Earth actually crashing, with the remains able to be discovered by humans… seems preposterous. But being spied by accident? Sure. Every type of intelligent species must be capable of error.
So, we get a Congressional hearing where several men confess that yes, UAP’s are real and biologics have been recovered. That would mean, the species solved the biological resource problem somehow, in all likelihood a “slip stream” method of instantaneous travel. That’s very far-fetched, though. And lastly, what of CONTAMINATION? They never really talk about that. We’ve seen what can happen when an invasive species comes into a new territory–no natural predators. The species then proliferates and destroys other species. Same is true for viruses and bacteria. We would have NO defenses. The only rare situation would be that the alien biosystem is so very different from ours, it can’t interact and therefore can’t attack our biology, nor our biology affect them.
Another thing that seriously bugs me is this: NO SIGN OF TECHNOLOGY. Our age of electronic scientific advancement is so recent and so short, relative to human civilization’s history, that there’s not enough time for it to reach any intelligent life out there in the cosmos that might detect it and then come take a look. We’re also not in the “thick of things,” meaning we’re quite far from the galactic center. Coming out to see Earth would be extraordinarily difficult to luck upon… because no technological flags are out there calling for attention.
And finally… USABLE RESOURCES. Presuming aliens have been here, even as just AI driven probes, they know about this gem called Earth. We’re a very rare kind of planet. It’s immensely special. So… knowing how there’s a good chance for exploitative aliens to be out there, why haven’t they come and just taken planetary resources with ease (because we can’t stop them)? Or, why haven’t they just landed and set up an impenetrable zone where they choose to live and just ignore the “pesky primitive humans”? So of course, that hasn’t happened. Which then brings us back to detection and also feasible biological transportation for colonization. If they’ve not come and taken over, then perhaps… it’s because the simply can’t be here in person.
So that’s my “UFO” dump.