Midieval Fantasy wrote:Then again, if they used their minds, they'd kill us all instantly. Hell, if I were another life being seeing what our race did to this planet, I think I might.
That might not
be so! If an alien species proved to be more
intelligent than we are, it would be because they're had so many millennia ahead of us in all
aspects of their society. They haven't just advanced technologically; they've advanced as an interplanetary society. They have fought in more wars, committed more diplomatic errors, made more mistakes than we have and have learned from all of it.
For example: the Federation of Star Trek: The Next Generation
is light-years ahead of us in all
areas of societal development. Technologically, if you compared them to modern humans, Starfleet officers might as well be gods
. Not only do they have FTL travel, they have matter-to-energy/energy-to-matter converters (transporters, replicators), they have nearly infinite supplies of energy (via a matter/antimatter drive and some form of plasma-fueled fusion batteries installed throughout their starships that they use as back-up
power generators; apologies, I've got an honorary PhD in "bullshit Trek
nology"), they have cloaking technology (yes
, the Fed has had it since Kirk's era
, they just choose
not to develop it due to a treaty with the Romulans
they have artificial gravity
(which is something we're still
only theorizing about)... Hell, they have a method of compensating for the Heisenberg uncertainty principle
, for God's sake! (Though, when Time Magazine
asked the creators of TNG
how such a device would work, Michael Okuda's response was, "They work just fine, thank you."
Take a closer look at the human beings of TNG
and you'll see that their development goes beyond
merely the technological aspects. In between today and the hypothetical future of the series, humanity has gone through the Eugenics Wars
, a massive epidemic of poverty and homelessness in America
and the riots that quickly followed
, World War III
fought with nukes), a war with some species only fans of The Animated Series have ever heard about
(unless you're a big fan of Larry Niven's "Known Space"
series), a horrible war with the Romulans
that led to the creation of the Federation, and several conflicts after
the "peaceful" Federation's beginning (Klingons, Cardassians, etc). That's a lot
of "trial by fire" learning to go through!
The humans of Kirk's era, while still so similar to us that we can identify with them, are radically different socially (as Star Trek IV
proved). They have an equitable, just global government (something we still
can't figure out without totally fucking it up
); they've abandoned actual hard currency
for a credit system; they can't even understand
our wars (and while Kirk could be considered "speciesist" against Klingons in Star Trek VI
, he still
tried to make peace with them)... and that's still 80-something years before
Picard takes command of the Enterprise
-D. By Picard's time, humanity had become so peaceful that most crude common phrases and swear words no longer exist in the "standard" English language, money has completely
disappeared (and venture capitalists are considered "worse" than dictatorial tyrants, if Riker's comments in "The Neutral Zone"
are any indication), killing an opponent in battle - something our soldiers see as "part of the job description" - is considered a deplorable "last ditch" effort when all else has failed utterly and an "average student" in elementary school is studying calculus
in the third grade
. (Seriously! Watch some of those episodes of TNG
featuring little kids! Those kids are all genius
level, and they're the average
! No wonder you have to be a genius just to enlist
in Starfleet! All those red shirts that died over the years? All of them would be PhD-level scholars
, compared to today's humans. Let that sink in a moment. In the future presented by Star Trek
, all humans are so damn smart that geniuses
have become expendable
.) Humans in TNG
have advanced so far beyond us that they might as well be aliens!
Now, imagine that the Enterprise
-D drops out of warp just behind Earth's moon today
. (God, fanfic writers would have a heyday with that...) Pretend, for a moment, that the Federation wasn't
started by humans, but by the human-looking "Nordic" or "Asian" aliens. (According to UFO literature - which I realize is dubious, but let's give it the benefit of the doubt - the E.B.E.s that visit us on a regular basis are part of an "intergalactic brotherhood" that also includes the "Grays" and "reptilians", depending on which ufologist's books you're reading.) Sure, they're far ahead of us developmentally... but does this mean they'll want to wipe us out for all the horrible things we've done?No.
Why not? We've had genocide, religious violence, environmental pollution, child abuse, rape, ass-clown politicians, McDonalds... But, if you think about it, the E.B.E.s who are piloting the Enterprise
-D have all gone through the same thing
- seemingly endless wars and great technological progress - that we have. They, too, have had horribly dark chapters of their history. They, too, have progressed into the stars despite
those dark chapters. They would look on us in the same way they view their ancestors, and little alien tears would roll down their cheeks (if they possess tear ducts
, that is). Sure, we're biologically different from them, but if these aliens are part of the "intergalactic brotherhood", they've already learned to look past that
particular prejudice to join in an intergalactic interspecies government. They would see us as a whole... and they would weep
, and maybe even try to help us abandon our silly, warlike practices.
According to some UFO contactees/cultists (like the Aetherius Society
, the Universe People[/i] of the Czech Republic and [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urantia#Adherents]followers
of The Urantia Book
's teachings), the UFO pilots already have
been doing this since ancient times.
Just to add a personal disclaimer to this post, I do not
adhere to the teachings of any UFO cult, and I believe many of the claims of UFO contactees/abductees to be highly suspect. (I add this to avoid any confusion.) However, their claims do represent one viewpoint I find somewhat enlightened: that the E.B.E.s aren't
here to eat us, but would view us as a less-advanced, less-enlightened version of themselves. (Granted, many who hold that viewpoint are mentally disturbed, but if your mental illness makes you believe in intergalactic peace [like UFO-nut author Whitley Streiber
], maybe we could use more
individuals with that sort of mental illness.) While I don't believe these aliens would necessarily want to come preach their hippie New Age "intergalactic peace" gospel to us, I do
believe they might have their own version of Roddenberry's Prime Directive
(or "Starfleet General Order 1", if you really
want to drown in the geekiness), which prevents the Federation from contacting any species that hasn't at least
developed FTL travel. It's a very logical doctrine that, when applied correctly, makes so much sense: allow the species to develop on their own, make their own mistakes and struggle through their darker periods in a sort of "galactic quarantine" while the more developed species of the galaxy go about the business of running the Milky Way, checking in on those lesser-developed species now and then to see how they're progressing. Even celebrated Christian author C.S. Lewis
envisioned a sort of "galactic quarantine" (in his Space Trilogy
) where Earth (or "Terra", the eponymous "silent planet" from the book Out of the Silent Planet
) was exiled from the rest of galactic civilization because our sins had tainted our world (a quarantine that would end after Armageddon/World War III, called "The Siege of Deep Heaven" in Lewis' trilogy).
I think if there are sufficiently advanced E.B.E.s who developed along similar societal/technological lines as we had, they might look upon us with a curious mixture of dread and compassion, and in their compassion would quarantine us from the rest of the galaxy (lest our warlike, aggressive natures infected some other world) until a point when they could no longer ignore us, such as the development of FTL drive. In other words: no, I don't
believe aliens have been here (though, if they had
, I don't think they'd have littered our religions and ancient mythologies with evidence of their arrival, as von Däniken claims in Chariots of the Gods?
Kudos to whomever checked "They're ScArY dEmOnS!" above! Technically, I could've
combined both that response and
the "interdimensional hypothesis" answer (if you're like me and you believe the celestial beings commonly referred to as malakim
- "messengers" in Hebrew; we call them "angels" - and their "fallen" counterparts are interdimensional non-corporeal beings), but I thought I'd keep them separate, for those who - like Hynek and Vallée - are striving to maintain a purely scientific viewpoint.
-- Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:45 pm --(EDIT: I recently discovered, after downloading
more of John Keel's works, that it was Keel himself - ever the showman - who first coined the abysmal term "ultraterrestrials".
*sigh* Thus, another hero of mine topples from his lofty pedestal.)