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"Aliens? Kill them all!" Topic

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1,043 hits since 4 Jun 2018
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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian04 Jun 2018 5:27 p.m. PST

"What if," Berezin wrote in a new paper posted March 27 to the preprint journal,"the first life that reaches interstellar travel capability necessarily eradicates all competition to fuel its own expansion?"


Cacique Caribe04 Jun 2018 5:44 p.m. PST

That would make perfect sense to me. Why wait until the others also reach that same level and then become a competitor or even a direct threat to you?

The universe is surely an ET-EAT-ET kind of place.

We don't hear them because they're just like Earth's killer whales (man's analog in the oceans), and are avoiding all discernible chatter until the killing is already under way.

PS. Of course, there will always be some (often referred to as "easy meals") who insist that advanced technology goes hand in hand with advanced ethics and sensibilities, and with "evolved" economics: :)
TMP link

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP04 Jun 2018 6:06 p.m. PST

"Of course, there will always be some…who insist that advanced technology goes hand in hand with advanced ethics and sensibilities, and with "evolved" economics…"

And it would be perfectly proper to regard any such as a food source. I only have qualms about devouring intelligent life forms.

Winston Smith04 Jun 2018 6:08 p.m. PST

Ethical life forms taste just as good as unethical ones.

Cacique Caribe04 Jun 2018 6:11 p.m. PST

Ethical ones taste the best. Their sensible insides are nice, soft and squishy.

The intelligent ones not so much. Too calloused. :)

PS. The civilization that created the multi-dimensional bomb in the 2000 film Supernova had it right. Seed the universe with copies of a device so intriguing and addictive that lesser civilizations won't be able to resist taking it back home for study, then boom. Brilliant use of bait. It's how I get rid of ants inside the house. But the best bait for taking out a knowledge-seeking civilization is a device that seems to promise knowledge. Like I said, brilliant. :)

ZULUPAUL Supporting Member of TMP04 Jun 2018 6:43 p.m. PST

Resistance is futile…

Daithi the Black04 Jun 2018 7:22 p.m. PST

Given the possibilities for diversity, the likelihood of non-terrestrial lifeforms being able to safely ingest *us* is only slightly more likely than them being sufficiently technologically advanced to physically contact us at all.

I was going someplace with this post, but I'm on a lot of painkillers right now and have completely forgotten where.

Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP04 Jun 2018 8:26 p.m. PST

Shame you didn't finish your thoughts: it was shaping up to be an interesting post.

SF usually anthropomorphizes aliens as most writers lack the imagination to make them anything but slobbery monsters bent on conquest.

Cacique Caribe04 Jun 2018 9:56 p.m. PST

Daithi the Black: "I was going someplace with this post, but I'm on a lot of painkillers right now and have completely forgotten where."

I know what you mean. I was like that for two days last week and I should have cut back on my posts during that time. :)

Hope you feel better again soon.

PS. "the likelihood of non-terrestrial lifeforms being able to safely ingest *us* is only slightly more likely than …"
Well, if we are both chips from the same ol' "panspermia" DNA block … who knows? Our species might be able to digest each other. :)
There's only one way to know. Lets get Mikey to try it!

Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP05 Jun 2018 1:09 a.m. PST

Whales will even eat plastic bags (which will kill them though), but if we are talking about alien beings with the intelligence to have space travel, "meet & eat" seems far fetched.

I wouldn't insist that eating other life forms is totally impossible but such a simplistic scenario (used in far, far too many "pulp" tales) ignores the probabilities of radically differing physiognomies, incomprehensible cultural differences and possibly the immorality of eating intelligent life forms.

The simple question of why also seems a barrier. You clearly don't traverse space without air and other requirements. Why would you need to eat something that will look alien, may taste awful, smell worse & indeed, could kill you?

skipper John Supporting Member of TMP05 Jun 2018 5:15 a.m. PST

When you are starving… stuff you never ever would have before considered, looks pretty darn good!

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP05 Jun 2018 5:44 a.m. PST

Oh, come on guys. Any decent SF writer could come up with a dozen work-arounds to the problem of mutual inedibility. Start with these:
--Our brains are harvested and used in nutrient baths for their ship's computers.
--They seed planets with humans because we'll accumulate calcium (in our bones) in harvestable quantities.
--Freeze-dried and powdered, we're still not really digestible, but we're a gourmet seasoning.
--We share some chemical reactions, making us perfect lab animals.

Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP05 Jun 2018 6:00 a.m. PST

When you are starving… stuff you never ever would have before considered, looks pretty darn good!

True enough…but why should they be starving? Such a premise is good for a story or two but hardly the obsession that is the stuff of a lot of "pulp". I will admit to not being a "pulp" fan, preferring more cerebral Sci-fi. That is, science in my fiction. However, I think plausibility should be a consideration whatever.

Robert P's examples are 3 out of 4 not about eating per se but about harvesting components. The exception turns humans into Taco Seasoning….I'm not sure I'd travel inconceivable distances for some hot sauce.

The Soylent Green idea is very compelling albeit dated as mass starvation recedes as a danger (thank you petro-chemical industry and your fertilizers).But even here cannibalism should be seen in an historical context where most is culturally driven & not out of a need for protein.

Cacique Caribe05 Jun 2018 8:32 a.m. PST

Robert: "--Freeze-dried and powdered, we're still not really digestible, but we're a gourmet seasoning."

Reminds me of the idiots who will pay top dollar to eat pizza with gold foil on it.

Or maybe "Human horn" is an aphrodisiac somewhere in the universe!



Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP05 Jun 2018 9:08 a.m. PST

To paraphrase a certain general, the Space Marine motto should be "Be polite, be professional, but always have a recipe for every alien you meet."
evil grin

Cacique Caribe05 Jun 2018 11:11 a.m. PST


Wow, I like that!


robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP05 Jun 2018 11:47 a.m. PST

'Or maybe "Human horn" is an aphrodisiac somewhere in the universe!'

Bound to be. Those things don't even have a mating season: they're like that all year round.

Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP05 Jun 2018 2:14 p.m. PST

I will admit to liking the 'Predator' concept…the first movie at any rate.

Trophy hunting sounds a lot more plausible than harvesting for food.
The 'Voyager' series used this concept well in a few episodes.

Legion 405 Jun 2018 2:48 p.m. PST

I liked most of the Star Gate episodes & series. As did I like Voyage and DS9. Regardless, aliens eating humans is highly unlikely. Hunting may be a higher probability …

Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP05 Jun 2018 4:57 p.m. PST

Ralph, we're probably in a minority about "Voyager' but for me it was the best ST series.

They did have a race that harvested organs to help alleviate a plague they were experiencing. This premise always seemed a little dubious to me given the possibility of rejection amongst human donors.

Wolfshanza05 Jun 2018 10:49 p.m. PST

There was an old SciFi short story about an alien (pretty much humanoid) visitor/embassader that came to earth. Wonderous technology was shared etc. One of the people he hung with took him out on a duck hunt. he asked why they didn't shoot the duck on the water and the reply was not sporting to shoot a sitting duck. He replied that this was wonderful and we were so much like his people ! He said that their fleet should be meeting up with ours (on training manuevers) in about a week !

Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP06 Jun 2018 2:49 a.m. PST

hat's the type of SF story I like, Wolfshanza.

Cultural aspects that highlight both the differences & similarities are good "meat" for SF.

MKGipson06 Jun 2018 8:35 a.m. PST

Humans overall have a very poor record of tolerating threats or competition. If we make it into interstellar space I don't see that changing all that much – it appears to be hardwired into our species. The Empire from Warhammer 40,000 is more likely that the United Federation of Planets from Star Trek.

I see no reason why other intelligent species would be much different – especially if they were able to discover and understand our history.

Lion in the Stars06 Jun 2018 9:05 a.m. PST

Depends very much on the aliens involved.

Have you read any of Alistair Young's Eldraeverse? The Empire there is a bunch of immortal (or next closest thing) hyper-libertines. They show up, say 'hi' (in a close approximation of local language because they learned it from your radio broadcasts), and demonstrate that they have the capability of wiping Humans off the map for some other sentience to emerge. But they don't, because they have some … interesting ethics about it. Something of a 'you think differently, therefore you may have useful inventions despite the fact that the Empire is a Kardachev-2 civilization.

Or, hey, you're a new trade partner, once we get that stargate built (which was hauled out here by an automated antimatter-powered torchship). And killing off trade partners is really bad for business.

Cacique Caribe07 Jun 2018 11:23 a.m. PST

Divide and conquer seems to work well. And we could sell both sides the right weapons to wipe each other out, starting with each other's infrastructure.



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