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  1. #21
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    As far as we know all life on Earth has the same DNA, and has had the same DNA for four and a half billion years, that is, we are all part of the same web of life.

    However we are now sequencing the genome, and we may discover a creature on Earth or in the depth of the oceans with a different DNA. This would mean they are not part of our web of life and are truely alien. And it is possible they are living amongst us.

  2. #22
    meh Salomé's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AffirmitiveAnxiety View Post
    So do you think the limitations of humanity will stop it from ever expanding or even encountering other civilisations?
    I was being sarcastic.

    The fact is, there is no such thing as a single "human civilisation". There are multiplicities of human civilisation across time as well as space. Invading other civilisations is what humans do, by default. Like most social species under pressure for scarce resources.

    We used to content ourselves with demonising other groups of humans and animals. Now we don't think that's so PC so we invent aliens to persecute. It's the age-old battle between "us" and "them" fought on an extraterrestrial stage. *yawn*

    We cannot know what genuine alien civilisations would look like, but we can assume that a species intelligent / successful enough to harness the technology to invade other planets would have similarly evolved in-group empathy which assists with a collaborative approach, which in turn affords greater survival success. This is why the reptilian "Vs" are so daft. One reason, anyway..
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Gosh, the world looks so small from up here on my high horse of menstruation.

  3. #23
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    I always sort of see variations of this story as more of an analogy for people glimpsing the bigger picture and being able to accept the humanity of groups outside their own instituted cultural systems. There’s a tendency in people to dehumanize others (to consider people outside our own group less worthy of compassion or empathy) because they hold different beliefs, as a way of making sense of that difference. I think it happens most because of religion- but on a much smaller scale, I live close to Chicago and every Monday I see headlines about how much gang violence took place of the preceding weekend.

    So I agree that putting it in terms of “is humanity special?” is missing the point. Because I think the theme underlying the metaphor (using aliens to represent ‘humans so different they don’t seem human’) is that there isn’t one group of humans more ‘special’ and deserving- of their own beliefs to be considered superior enough to impose on all- than any other group of humans. There’s something commendable about an ‘alien’ who can rise above the senseless dehumanizing their group is doing to others, realizing that having respect for all as equals is a higher road than blindly following what they’ve been told. The urge to separate and dehumanize others is essentially born of fear and insecurity- not wisdom.

    *****

    One of my favorite movie moments along these lines is the end of the Planets Of the Apes series. When one of the apes finally kills another ape (which is exactly why the apes felt justified in considering themselves superior to man in the first place- because they didn’t kill their own kind ‘like humans do’), one of the slave humans looks at another slave human and says “I guess you could say, they just became human.” One of the cheesiest moments in cinematic history, imo. [eta: okay I just looked it up on youtube and he actually says, "I guess you might say, they just joined the human race." This alienation of another group as a lesser life form is the theme of the whole series. The very first movie starts with Charles Heston asking 'future generations' if man is still "killing his brothers", or something like that.]
    Reality is a collective hunch. -Lily Tomlin

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  4. #24
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    Humanity is special to us because we're humans, just as one's specific culture/tribe is (at least a lil' bit) special to them because he/she is in that culture/tribe. So on and so forth with one's place in any given taxonomy.

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by bologna View Post
    Humanity is special to us because we're humans, just as one's specific culture/tribe is (at least a lil' bit) special to them because he/she is in that culture/tribe. So on and so forth with one's place in any given taxonomy.
    So you think the idea of aliens allying themselves with humanity because humanity is so awesome is unlikey?

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    So you think the idea of aliens allying themselves with humanity because humanity is so awesome is unlikey?
    The more that aliens relate to us, the more they'll think we're awesome and.. I dunno, allyable.

    If relationships between organisms (especially human-human) on our planet is any guide, they might at first want to War the hell out of us.

  7. #27
    Temporal Mechanic. Lexicon's Avatar
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    All this thread brings to mind is that short scifi story ( @Gish recently reminded me it exists)

    THEY'RE MADE OUT OF MEAT
    03/23 06:06:58 EcK: lex
    03/23 06:06:59 EcK: lex
    03/23 06:21:34 Nancynobullets: LEXXX *sacrifices a first born*
    03/23 06:21:53 Nancynobullets: We summon yooouuu
    03/23 06:29:07 Lexicon: I was sleeping!



    04/25 04:20:35 Patches: Don't listen to lex. She wants to birth a litter of kittens. She doesnt get to decide whats creepy

    02/16 23:49:38 ygolo: Lex is afk
    02/16 23:49:45 Cimarron: she's doing drugs with Jack

    03/05 19:27:41 Time: You can't make chat morbid. Lex does it naturally.

  8. #28

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    I think humanity is an underachiever. Held by its commodity fetishism, class struggles and petty maturational issues. God damnit humanity!!! Grow up!!! DAMN YOU!!!

  9. #29
    Theta Male Julius_Van_Der_Beak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I think humanity is an underachiever. Held by its commodity fetishism, class struggles and petty maturational issues. God damnit humanity!!! Grow up!!! DAMN YOU!!!
    This is why whales are better. When I grow up, I'm gonna invent a way to implant my brain into a whale.
    [Trump's] rhetoric is not an abuse of power. In the same way that it's also not against the law to do a backflip off of the roof of your house onto your concrete driveway. It's just mind-numbingly stupid and, to say the least, counterproductive. - Bush did 9-11


    This is not going to go the way you think....

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  10. #30
    reflecting pool Typh0n's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mole View Post
    Aliens are likely to have different senses than we do. And so we would have difficulty in just perceiving one another, never mind understanding one another.
    Lol likely to have different senses than we do?

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