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  • File : 1289268443.png-(152 KB, 320x273, 1222867627609.png)
    152 KB Humans are... Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)21:07 No.12730648  
    This isn't a humanity fuck yeah thread, but rather an attempt to predict how we will be weird compared to whatever aliens we happen to meet. Obviously many things will be different, but, positing a wide variety of sentient species out there, what's actually unusual about humans? I don't think it's going to be altruism, violence, or capacity for self-sacrifice; all those are adaptive behaviors that one would logically expect most sentient species to have some degree of. However...

    Humans are big. The technical term is "macrofauna;" we're huge compared to most other animals on earth. There are exceptions, sure... there are a couple hundred types of critter that can get bigger than us. But there are literally BILLIONS of species that are smaller than us. All insects. Rodents. All birds but a couple of large flightless ones. Most fish, all amphibians, most reptiles, all crustaceans, and so on.

    Now, to achieve sentience you need some kinda processing capability, and processing power often increases with size, so I'm not proposing that the average size of a sentient is ant-level. But I wouldn't be surprised if the average intelligent alien is cat-sized, and humans are giants.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)21:10 No.12730679
    I would say that humans would be at best twice the size of the standard sentient creature. Monkey-sized is the smallest I would go for aliens. In essence, all hobbits all the time.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)21:12 No.12730709
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    pic very related
    Humanity, FUCK YEAH thread? Oh I think its a HUMANITY, FUCK YEAH thread.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)21:14 No.12730737
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    I'm just going to post this one actual HUMANITY FUCK YEAH story, but in relation to OP's topic, but I guess it depends on how we come into contact with the alien race. Why would we be larger? If they discover us, I would assume they would be the bigger ones, since they would therefor have higher processing power. Rather I believe it would depend on the conditions of the planet on which they evolved. If it supported large organisms(back in the day on earth, food was plentiful and times were good), then they would probably be large.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)21:15 No.12730756
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    Humans are funny. The "humor" response is a peculiar one; one can make some guesses as to what purpose it serves, but one can easily imagine a sentient society that just doesn't have that instinct. It might be a quirk of our particular evolutionary path.

    Humans are sleepy and dreamy. Lots of species have evolved to go dormant when activity would be a waste of energy, but actually falling unconscious and hallucinating vividly is odd to say the least.

    Humans breath air. Most of Earth's life is in the oceans. In fact, a liquid medium is so necessary to life that living things are basically sacs of seawater, even when they have the audacity to waterproof themselves and go wandering about on land. Life lives in water; breathing just keeps our inner sea oxygenated. It wouldn't be surprising for most alien life to be liquid-dwelling, even if not water-dwelling.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)21:16 No.12730771

    OP said it WASN'T a HFY thread

    Also, Imma post something so related it hurts(Once I find it)
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)21:19 No.12730813
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    See, that one I don't actually agree with. Life evolves, proliferates, and competes. Life lives anywhere that doesn't immediately kill it, and if it does find an environment to be lethal it'll be back in a few generations with a new adaptation.

    I think every planet with life probably looks like a deathworld to everyone but the species that evolved there.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)21:20 No.12730815
    "How Xiulaqu'e'th Learned to Breath Fire"

    One day Xiulaqu'e'th left his progenitor's nest to procure nourishment at the nearby hub of exchange. As he walked the road, he was beset by broodlings many cycles his elder.

    "Give us your exchange-helpers so that we may exchange with the humans!" cried one of the elder broodlings quite fearsomely.

    "Oh!", exclaimed Xiulaqu'e'th as he fearfully tried to run past them. Alas, he could not do so quickly and struck by many mighty blows before escaping.

    At the hub of exchange, Xiulaqu'e'th, in great pain, procured nourishment but dreaded his return. The elder broodlings would surely be waiting for him. In his fear, he forgot his eyes and ran right into a human.

    Fearfully, Xiulaqu'e'th looked up at the figure, towering over him on two limbs. The human held a FIREWAND and breathed in its flame before exhaling its ghost like the soot wyrms of myth. Xiulaqu'e'th turned pale as the giant began to bend down.

    But Xiulaqu'e'th did not perish in a fire. Instead, the human looked at him with kindness and despite its size spoke gently, like harvest wind.

    "You should take care where you walk, little one. It's crowded and one such as you can be easily trampled on."

    Xiulaqu'e'th's felt a mix of relief and trepidation. The elder brood still told stories of the first humans, how threw storms of hardest shale that laid waste to whole generations. Their mighty beasts of burden that rumbled hives when they passed over, right down to the deepest chambers. But that was many generations ago. Now they were protectors and exchangers.

    "So? Do you have anything to say little one?"
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)21:20 No.12730826

    Xiulaqu'e'th, not knowing why, told the human of his great fear. How he dreaded his return home yet knew he must walk it. The human listened, its visage intent but amused. At the end, it simply shook its head and made a sound of mirth.

    "I think you give those bullies more credit than they deserve!"

    Xiulaqu'e'th did not understand its words but recognized wisdom. Profound and vast, his head swam in its revelations. But Xiulaqu'e'th knew that thoughts could not shield his body and fell once more into despair.

    The giant repeated its mirth sound and spoke, "Ah, what are we going to do with you? Here, take this, you look like you need it more than I do!" It stretched out one of its two appendages and held within it the firewand, glowing fiercely.

    Xiulaqu'e'th hesitated, he tried to wield it as the giant did, but could not replicate its grace. It looked at Xiulaqu'e'th and beckoned him to inhale the fire.

    How can one describe the feeling of fire dancing in one's carapace? The sensation of its ghost trail fluttering outward? Xiulaqu'e'th knew what it was to breathe fire.

    "We see you have returned and have used our exchange helpers!" yelled the elder broodling. "How considerate that you - "

    His words remained in his throat as he saw Xiulaqu'e'th approach. Undaunted. Unwavering. Unafraid.

    He saw Xiulaqu'e'th breathe fire.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)21:22 No.12730839
    Music, I'd think. There's very little evolutionary reason why it should affect people so strongly and generally be such a major part of life.
    >> снайпер 11/08/10(Mon)21:25 No.12730883
    Our capacity to consistently do the wrong thing until the only option left is to do the right thing.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)21:26 No.12730887

    Hmm... tones following certain mathematical patterns produce profound emotional reactions. Yeah, that's probably a peculiarity of our brains, specifically.
    >> GHSTDRFT 11/08/10(Mon)21:26 No.12730888
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    <--Future of humanity as well as my current lifes goal.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)21:26 No.12730891
    >>12730839Music, I'd think. There's very little evolutionary reason why it should affect people so strongly and generally be such a major part of life.

    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)21:27 No.12730907
    I think humans would be recognized for their penis size. Humans have the largest cocks among primates.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)21:28 No.12730911
    Man, if someone taught canines that, we'd be ...
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)21:29 No.12730939
    Would be pretty cool, OP, Humans as the ultimate soldier race. Imagine an alien diplomat visiting Beijing during a military parade.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)21:30 No.12730950

    Nah, the trait "stupidity" is probably widespread. Remember, no one evolves straight from "animal" to "fully logical, wise, and insightful superbeing."

    Most commonly, you probably get the human pattern, where a species gets intelligent enough that the very smartest of them can think logically some of the time. The vast majority are ruled by instinct and habit, and even the clever act on instinct and habit MOST of the time.

    Remember, all that's necessary for a species to advance technologically is for a slim minority of them to be clever enough to invent and improve tools. The rest of the population just uses what the freaks make.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)21:31 No.12730963


    A deliciously pompous spectacle, isn't it?
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)21:33 No.12730992
    Camping for pleasure seems to be a recurring uniquely human thing.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)21:33 No.12730994
    One of humanity's most recognizable traits would be our arrogance.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)21:34 No.12731003

    Birdsong is signaling. It's adaptive, it carries a message ("this is my territory," "lets fuck," and so forth.) It's not music.

    A human doesn't listen to human music for the informational content. Beethoven's 5th arguably doesn't tell anyone anything. And yet, it's profoundly moving.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)21:35 No.12731013
    I don't know why but that cracked me up.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)21:35 No.12731019
    According to some parents' groups, some music tells people to kill one another or commit suicide.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)21:36 No.12731023
    Lifespan. There are animals that live longer, or even indefinitely, but even without modern medicine, we are in the upper percentiles for expected lifespan.

    Endurance. The oldest human hunting tactic, before tools were developed, is to run prey down. Many animals can run faster, of course, but only for short periods of time. A human can track and chase an animal until it falls from sheer fatigue.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)21:37 No.12731049
    There is a lot of features aliens could be expected to share with humans. For one, they both would need to have both dexterous limbs for manipulating tools and a reason to do so. Usually this means competition, and there isn't any reason to think natural selection doesn't happen on other planets.

    So they would probably also have capacity for violence or 'evil' or whatever you want to put there. At the very least, they'll understand that kind of predatory thinking, if they aren't warring marauders themselves.

    The things that would most stand out (aside from all the physical differences) would probably be the evolutionary strategies humans have for solving the life/death dilemma. Maybe alien races ended up going down a different path for coping with death, so to them human's dealing with death by denial (IE, religion and believing in an afterlife) is seen as bizarre and foreign.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)21:38 No.12731060
    Perhaps it would be our inherent strain of self-destruction. Seriously, our chief forms of entertainment are self-destructive; smoking, drinking and doing drugs are ways of poisoning ourselves, movies, video games and recreational reading are effectively utter wastes of time and a lot of it focuses on intra-species combat. We consider pointlessly killing and maiming amusing and have come up with very creative ways of doing so.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)21:39 No.12731077
    Faith would also be one of our most powerful weapons in that regard. Imagine Hezbollah being trained, equipped and funded, then being set upon an alien civilian population.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)21:40 No.12731087

    Nah, lots of species like to roam around and sleep in different places. Cats, for instance, will sleep outside even when inside is an option.

    Camping, specifically, is probably enjoyable at least in part because it's soothing to be in an environment more like what we evolved in. I wouldn't be remotely surprised if sentient aliens kept some kind of wilderness preserves on their homeworld that they could visit, maybe to camp or hunt in, maybe for old-fashioned courtship rituals, whatever.


    Unlikely. Arrogance is adaptive; it's a weight on decision-making that leads one to behave selfishly and engage in high-risk, high-reward behavior. It's balanced by altruism and caution. Many animals exhibit it to some degree, and it would be surprising for non-human sentients not to have some form of it.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)21:43 No.12731118

    Endurance, good one! Yes, that's a genuine peculiarity.

    Lifespan... good point, we live much longer than most species. While most sentient species could be expected to try to extend their own lifespans, the base, natural lifespan is probably unusually high for humans.

    Clever fellow, you are.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)21:44 No.12731120
    Humanity has drugs/booze man. We love getting fucked up. I think that self poisoning (to a degree) is pretty unique amongst most species.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)21:45 No.12731147
    Grow up. Humanity is violent by it's very nature. So is every other predatory species. Humans are also the busiest of any species - these "wastes of time" you mention are better than doing nothing, like the rest of the animal kingdom does. The self-destructive aspect of drugs is well realized by many people, and self-destruction is in no way a trait that can be attributed to species.

    I would hope that by the time we encounter an alien life form, humanity has discarded imaginings like religion and afterlife.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)21:45 No.12731149
    Since we don't have any other intelligent species to judge against, it's hard to tell whether faith is an evolutionary hiccup in humans or something that all intelligent life would need to develop in order to cope/survive.

    It's hard to classify an entire SPECIES of intelligent beings by a few heavily simplified traits though. We should probably look to much more basic things than emotions when describing what would set humans apart. Things like walking on two legs, for one, is kind of silly. Humans should tip over very easily, but they have highly developed senses of balance to make-up for this deficiency. This was just an evolutionary quirk- monkeys on their hind legs had free hands to hold tools. Another alien species might have tentacles or be low to the ground so balance isn't an issue, so top-heavy humans might appear silly or (like the OP said) very tall.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)21:48 No.12731169
    They'd be useless against aliens. How would they infiltrate an alien society? If they try car bombing or some shit they'd be spotted at once and taken out. None of the pros of being an urban guerilla army apply if you're fighting aliens.

    Animals eat fermented fruit in order to get fucked up whenever given the chance.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)21:49 No.12731175

    ...I think that last part is false.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)21:49 No.12731176
    Additionally, we have hands well suited to tool use, what with out opposable thumbs and all.

    And, not many people realize this, but Humans have some of the densest muscles on the planet.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)21:49 No.12731177

    Actually, I would consider this pretty normal for predatory animals. Ever see cats play? They kick the fuck out of each other, bite, and claw, and chase each other. For shits and giggles. Because what the mind considers fun is really learning a new set of skills, whether it is carpentry or killing people through video games. And violent film? It strikes a chord within us, our violent tendencies that we can't really express otherwise. Why do you think so many people learn martial arts, or wrestling? Or play football, hockey, or rugby? Because it's fucking violent, and we love it.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)21:49 No.12731178
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    Holy shit, it's John Milner... His smokes are on the wrong side.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)21:49 No.12731181
    Two legs makes sense if you consider, like >>12731023 said, distance running.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)21:49 No.12731188
    Intelligent beings always need some way to cope with the concept of death. If it isn't a god or an afterlife, it'll be something like earning enough money to upload our brains to the glorious hivemind AI or something similar.

    Denial would still be the strongest driver regardless. People who don't believe in any gods still cope with death largely by ignoring it.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)21:51 No.12731195

    Actually, it's really, really not. Horses, monkeys, birds, damn near any species that gets alcohol will love it and get smashed as often as they can. Humans are just unusual in that we're clever enough to supply ourselves; animals in the wild have to rely on occasionally finding rotten, fermented fruit to get buzzed on.


    This bears on your point as well. The things you cite as "self-destructive" are all basically just ways of tingling the pleasure receptors without actually doing anything constructive. The pleasure/pain carrot and stick are a big part of the motivational psychology for all the animals we know of, and most of them will cheat if given the option. Mice given access to cocaine, for example, won't bother to eat or mate.

    I would expect most sentient species would have invented ways of giving themselves pleasure, downsides be damned.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)21:51 No.12731200
    >movies, video games and recreational reading are effectively utter wastes of time

    No, they're not. Recreational activities (all of them, not just the ones you listed) are basically necessary for survival - given our ability to think, a world where everybody works for 16 hours a day every day trying to be as productive as possible would just result in suicide, suicide everywhere. All that happens is you be productive so that you survive so that you can be productive so you can survive so that you can be productive so that you can survive and so on and so forth - this would work with a lesser creature that works more on instinct, but humanity doesn't really do that.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)21:53 No.12731222
    Yeah, it's not that two legs don't serve a purpose, but they still owe their existence to the fact we came from some distant monkey ancestor and were co-opted into usefulness when we started walking on two feet. It's highly unlikely other intelligent species followed the same "From the trees to the ground" kind of evolution tree human beings did.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)21:58 No.12731277
    It's not the violence in sports that cause us to like them, but the competition and its associated status. I mean, take a look at nearly any team game. There are several key components to victory: good judgment, ability to work as part of a group, athletic capability, willpower. Isn't it odd how these are the exact same qualities sought out in potential mates?
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)21:59 No.12731293

    Two legs aren't that unusual, because they're good for running. See: ostrich, Utahraptor, etc.

    What IS highly unusual is the vertical spine arrangement tottering up on top of the two legs. THAT's weird. Although many animals stand upright occasionally, the ONLY animals that wander around with their spines upright most of the time are humans and goddam seahorses. Everything else with a spine keeps it level with the ground, or at the very least at an angle.

    It's also a terrible, terrible design. Ain't no species that gets back problems like humans.

    Just a bizarre quirk of evolution, and one that it's highly unlikely any other sentient species share.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)22:04 No.12731346
    Humans make the best bounty hunters, not just because they can run you down no matter how far and how fast you flee, not just because they form natural symbiosis with a species who's noses can scent anything with a chemical biology for miles and over weeks, and not just because they're notoriously strong and agile for their size.

    It's because they're smart enough to figure out where you're going, and stupid enough to follow you no matter where it is.

    That's why you never, ever fight a human. They have terrible risk/reward judgment.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)22:04 No.12731348

    Sports are basically our answer to our psychological need for tribal warfare. You identify with the "warriors" from your town or school or other group. They engage in ritual combat with the warriors of the neighboring groups. Everyone cheers and feels pride in belonging to their little group.

    It's damn near parallel to the highly-ritualized tribal warfare you find in indigenous groups all over the world. Humans like to band together and challenge the humans over the next hill.

    It's unlikely that this would be unique to our species.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)22:08 No.12731395

    While that's a cool idea, fun to base a game or story around, you haven't actually supported any of your suggestions.

    Why do you think humans would be unusually strong or agile for our size? Why do you think humans would have worse risk/reward judgement than the average sentient species? I mean, we're all one evolutionary step from animals, here, no reason any other species would be any more logical than us.

    Interesting point about dogs, though. Humans do domesticate lots of flora and fauna. However, I doubt that's uniquely human, and not just because some ants do it too. I think domestication is probably one of the basic applications of intelligence, along with making tools and altering your environment by building shelters.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)22:09 No.12731397
    It's just new, and the disadvantages it brings occur too late in life to be heavily selected against. There's no reason a vertical spine couldn't be suitably reinforced so as to be less easily injured, it's just that evolution is terrible at it's job.

    It'd be interesting enough if humans were the only species who thought like that though. We look at what natural processes have created, in all their splendor and complexity, and think "Yeah, I could do better..."

    Our answer to the galaxy's incredulous "Why would you rip out perfectly good pieces of your flesh and replace them with cold, unliving machinery?" Is "Because they weren't perfectly good, only pretty good."
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)22:11 No.12731421
    I wonder if that's why I was never really into sports.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)22:12 No.12731442
    Man, if we meet aliens and it turns out we can't fuck them, I'm going to be so disappointed.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)22:12 No.12731450
    Out of curiousity, would the ability to function well as both ambush and pursuit predators be a unique human quality, or something that would generally come with sentience?
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)22:12 No.12731452
    Humans ARE unusually strong for our size. Ape muscles are 30% stronger per unit of volume than those of most mammals, and mammals are already stronger for their size than most reptiles, fish, etc.

    Our weird, upright body shape also lends us a great deal of flexibility, and our descent from arboreal species makes us great at spatial judgment, traits a lot of other species wouldn't have.

    As for the recklessness, eh, I just thought it'd be interesting. We really don't have any other sapient species to judge ourselves against, so I'll give you that.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)22:13 No.12731466
    Dude, just gave me an idea for a bounty hunter with an awesome gene-modded armor-plated near-dog hyena looking companion.

    Gonna have to stat this up in something...maybe shadowrun...
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)22:13 No.12731467

    Ehh... even if the spine were reinforced, you've still got the problem of organs sitting on each other, rather than hanging from the spine.

    And any species that looked at nature and said "ehh... looks fine to me" would never develop technology. Or rather, would be wiped out the the tribe with the aberrant, mutant genes that make them want to improve things.

    That's behavioral evolution for you. The species that survives is the species with the instincts that make it scrabble tooth and nail to survive.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)22:15 No.12731483
    No, dude's right.
    Deer will actively seek out fermented apples.
    There should be a video on youtube, and I'd find a link for you, if my internet wasn't as slow as it is.

    Coping with death by investing in life-prolonging technology is the opposite of faith, or denial. "Denial" occurs because humans don't like to think about things we find unpleasant (like the thought of our death). But it isn't actual denial, it's just avoidance. Avoidance is something that I think could definitely be common in other sentient life forms.
    Of course, some might argue that we have a fascination with death, and that this fascination (and hatred) is why many are so hell-bent on developing medicine, effective immortality, cryogenics, and even space travel (as they believe that the planet will soon be rendered inhospitable ala Wall-E).
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)22:15 No.12731489
    Ambush predation would come pretty naturally to anything sapient with any history as meat-eaters.

    Pursuit predation is much rarer and more specialized. Species that do it exclusively, like canids and humans, are pretty much universally classified as super-predators, at least on earth.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)22:16 No.12731503

    Dude, just look at porn, esp. gay nonsense. The amount of innovation there is all but staggering.

    There is *nothing* we cannot find a way to fuck.

    That unpleasant topic aside; things like poor risk/reward judgement are largely cultural, in my opinion. I'd bank on something like mammalian live birth to be the "what the bloody hell, guys" trait. Show an egg-laying or external-fertilization alien a video of a C-section and watch them label humans as eldritch abominations.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)22:16 No.12731511

    You'd have more luck fucking a Dutch Elm. Seriously.

    On the upside, all those hot blue or green or horned or pointy eared but basically human images we've been fapping to? Yeah, we're gonna genemod ourselves to look like that. And build robot sex slaves. Don't worry, the future is full of things to bone. It's just that aliens aren't among them.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)22:17 No.12731528
    I'd argue that some tool-making would be natural to increase your odds of survival, but it's entirely possible that humans are the only ones who look at THEMSELVES and think "I could do better than this."

    For other species, tools are used to assist their biology. Only humans use it to SUPPLANT their biology.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)22:18 No.12731540
    >You'll never live long enough for gene-modded sex slaves.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)22:19 No.12731547

    While getting back to nature is part of it, I think the heart of camping and really any pastime is that it's an interesting break from the routine. Camping in particular is a pretty hard break for your average suburbanite. Plus, it can come with that added bonus of acquiring and mastering new skills, which are then used to conquer unique challenges.

    Main problem I see with aliens is that anything we'll recognize as our equals will have to be a great deal like us already. If we ran into intelligent space-squids with no civilization or tool use that were solitary animals, I doubt many people would consider them "on our level."
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)22:20 No.12731565
    This. On our one, singe biosphere, there are so many ways to reproduce it's not even funny.

    Like the Anglerfish. Males, rather than "Mating" with females, latch onto them with their jaws until the skin grows together, and her biology starts trading DNA with his so babby can be formed. This keeps up until the male is ENTIRELY ABSORBED.

    Now consider how comparatively closely humans and anglerfish are related, and then that any aliens we meet will have less in common with us than mushrooms do.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)22:22 No.12731589

    I'm in my twenties, and they just started making permanent artificial hearts and cloning livers. I figure I've got plenty of time.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)22:23 No.12731591
    Well that's just the thing. Humanity's acheivements are really defined by its tools, more than anything else. Sure, there's some aspects of life in which we glorify physical ability - sports, pro wrestling, etc - but even if you end up doing manual labor, it usually requires more machine than man. Our knowledge of using tools is more important than anything else besides just being able to breathe, digest food, and procreate; we ignore pretty much everything else.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)22:24 No.12731611


    And then Humanity was terrifying.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)22:25 No.12731629
    Humans would probably be notable for all the vestigial traits we usually don't think about. Things like being able to choke to death would probably be a good one.

    "Those humans, man. Eating AND talking from the same organ? What was their god thinking?"
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)22:26 No.12731646
    Aliens will have less in common with us GENETICALLY than we do with mushrooms. That doesn't mean anything at all as to how like or unalike we will be.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)22:27 No.12731661
    Maybe this kind of thinking in general is unique to humans.
    The way our brains are set up, we have daydreams (and regular dreams) in which we analyze situations, and rapid, random firings of neurons. (E.G. Oh wait, I wonder what happens when I apply this statistical analysis of gas particles to... And then relativity happened.)
    Through this process, we might be able to make leaps of intuition that could astound beings with more logically-ordered brains.
    Actually, our brains in general are put together weirdly. Our optical processing center is at the BACK of our head? The brain hemispheres are opposite in relation to what they control? What the fuck, mang. The only thing that makes any sense is our olfactory system setup. And even that is weird. Our olfactory receptors are replaced on a monthly basis!
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)22:29 No.12731686
    I fucking LOVE Humanity fuck yeah threads

    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)22:30 No.12731692
    There's still a snowball's chance in hell they'll have an orifice in the right place, configuration, and size, for us to successfully please and be pleased by.

    Just get yourself an android hooker with the Tentacula attachment.
    >> Brokazaki !!GGO9kwAPCR4 11/08/10(Mon)22:31 No.12731701
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    Related to OP
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)22:34 No.12731735
    Actually, if I recall correctly, in Lovecraft, that was why the Mi-Go were so interested in looking at human brains; they could control down to the individual cell which parts of the brain handled logical and abstract thought, but they couldn't figure out what combination of such allowed humans to solved problems by skipping from point A all the way to point Z.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)22:34 No.12731747
    I say our ability to domesticate and work with other animal species in order to shore up our own abilities makes us pretty special.

    Someone should do a sci-fi film noir story about a grizzled human detective and his uplifted cyberdog partner as they solve space-crime.
    >> Anomorphous 11/08/10(Mon)22:35 No.12731764
    I read something very similar to that in Analog.
    But it was just a guys brain in a synthetic dog body.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)22:36 No.12731771
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    Man, SMBC really touches on this a lot, doesn't it?
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)22:37 No.12731795
    I always wanted to do a campaign where one of the races was the "Up" dogs in power armor.
    >> BROTHER SIX-STRINGS 11/08/10(Mon)22:40 No.12731825
    What's an up dog?
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)22:41 No.12731839
    From the movie "Up"?

    I could see that. Tried Eclipse Phase?

    >Captcha: rauthey kittens;

    A kitten is fine too...
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)22:41 No.12731842
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    I always just wanted to play Kemlo Caesar.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)22:41 No.12731852
    one of the dogs from the movie up, basically they were dogs that had their thoughts played through a microphone
    >> BROTHER SIX-STRINGS 11/08/10(Mon)22:43 No.12731864

    And neither of you rise to a pun, for shame. And an old one at that.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)22:44 No.12731888
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    sigh, i didn't see it at all.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)22:45 No.12731897
    Dogs still aren't very smart. Which is good, I think.

    The whole idea is that we offer one another advantages. We get their sharp senses, they get our ability to plan and think in the abstract.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)22:46 No.12731901

    Humor, actually, has been seen in some of the greater apes. For example there was an incident in which a gorilla in a zoo had offered "food" to one of the workers. The "food" was actually a rock, and the gorilla was laughing to some degree when the human took the rock.

    It actually has been theorized that it evolved as a means of diffusing situations. Hence the cliche of two guys with guns at each other, silent staredown, then sudden laughter between the two.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)22:54 No.12732018
    >Humor, actually, has been seen in some of the greater apes.

    Guess this puts a new angle on chimp fecal matter.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)22:54 No.12732022
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    One of the oddest evolutionary traits of humans is that we are ALL born premature. Even at 9 months, the human brain is not as developed as another primates would be at birth for another 3 months. The problem, however, is that this would cause the baby's head to become too large to exit through the pelvis. So, by necessity, our offspring are basically forced to abandon ship when things get cramped. This leads to an added dependency on out parents for survival (compared to similar species) as we are less developed and not capable of independence for a VERY long time. Of course, some theorize that this early birth leads to the comparatively small amount of instincts a new-bron baby has compared to other animals (We only have TWO instincts at birth. No more, no less. We turn towards a nipple when touched by it and we curl our feet when they are touched.)
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)22:58 No.12732086
    This would be common to any species with a solid pelvis.

    Egg layers and external fertilizers though? We are some weird mamajamas.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)23:00 No.12732117
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    On the topic of how large we are, it is a very good point that sentient life would probably exist at a much smaller scale then our own. For one, the obvious reason is the Surface Area-to-Volume effect that makes things more inefficient as they scale up. We circumvent this through being composed of numerous small scale organelles that still function efficiently at their reduced size while allowing larger structures like bones and muscles to be maintained by other, more efficient systems.

    Perhaps the most mindblowing distinction we might find is the fact that EVERY ORGANISM ON EARTH produces energy the same way, through the citric acid cycle and decomposition of glucose to create ATP. Obviously this trait stems from the first self-replicating proteins that allowed life to exist on our world, but it would certainly be possible to imagine an alternate situation where the first organisms began with traits and functions completely alien to our own and that life and natural descent would take a very different course accordingly.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)23:02 No.12732159
    Well mammal fetuses are essentially parasites of the mother. Sharks and snakes and other live birthing animals just carry the eggs inside, or have the young free floating at attached to a yoke. Only the placental mammals have a circulatory exchange with the parent organism.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)23:03 No.12732166
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    The solid pelvis isn't the only cause. And, in fact, the pelvis does shift during childbirth to allow passage through. Other mammals and even other primates who have similar pelvises don't experience this issue. It's the fact that our brains are MASSIVE for our size that leads to the issue.

    I suppose something similar occurs with dolphins, though I'm not sure of this.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)23:05 No.12732196
    I wonder if our huge brains are perhaps an anomaly then.

    Birds supposedly have extremely efficient brains, and only their tiny size makes them stupider than us.

    A creature with a distributed brain might be even better.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)23:09 No.12732258
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    True, current beliefs about intelligence aren't actually based upon the size of the brain but upon it's surface area. More folds allows more surface area on the same volume so wrinkles are often used as a common measure of intellect capabilities. The other mark of intelligent capabilities is the Corpus Callosum, the tissue that connect the two hemispheres of the brain. humans have an incredibly extensive network of latticed tissue between the two halves of our brain, allowing very quick interactions between our calculated, spacial, reasoning side and our imaginative, conceptual, expressive side.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)23:17 No.12732371
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    Debates about personality ans societal traits, while an interesting and relevant topic, are nearly impossible to quantify or think of statistically. This is because these developments are all based as heavily upon environment as they are upon biology. And our biologies were heavily decided by the composition of our planet's crust and availability of certain elements. And while we can compare life as it exists in our own environment, we have no basis for life as it would exist in a separate and distinct environment. And believe me, life is tenacious. I have no doubt that, once started, life could persist through any form of environmental change given a gradient longer than a generation to adjust through. Life could quite easily exist in manners we would conventionally think of as impossible.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)23:23 No.12732439

    Well, when you're talking about life in general, sure, it's potentially diverse enough that it's difficult to make generalizations. Consider life as a self-replicating pattern, a localized reversal of entropy, and you could have it in any complex system that changes over time.

    But we're not talking about weird abstracts like that. We're talking about species intelligent in a way we would understand as intelligent; species that communicate and use some kind of technology (whether that be biotech or manipulation of magnetic fields in hot gasses or whatever.)
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)23:27 No.12732499
    Human bones are unusually dense, and at the same time, flexible.

    This is thought to be a holdover from our time as arboreal creatures, where a fall could be lethal to any creature without a heavy, shock-absorbing skeleton.

    We are nature's linebackers.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)23:34 No.12732572


    One of the things about evolving sentience is that suddenly a lot of the pressure for physical adaptation and evolution is taken off by your new potential for cultural and technological evolution. If it gets cold, instead of developing thicker fur over a couple million years, you develop a habit of killing things and wearing their skins over a couple hundred years.

    So, the most recent physical developments don't wind up getting refined or optimized. In humans, this is most visible in three places. First, our backs. They're bad. They ought to be about twice as thick. Second, our feet. They've still got goddam vestigial fingers on them, and they're so vulnerable that most of us wear artificial feet over them to keep them from getting cold or injured. Hooves is probably too much to ask for, but if we weren't smart enough to make footwear we'd probably have pads like a dog by now.

    Finally, our brains. Our most recent development, and our least refined. There was pressure for more thinkin', so we just upscaled. More neurons, pack em in, swell that skull. It's not efficient or miniaturized, it's just more brains, wrinkle it up for more surface, pack it tight.

    So, any sentient species is probably going to have a large, inefficient thinking organ, because that was the last thing to evolve before they started solving their problems with tools rather than slow adaptation. No time for optimization, see.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)23:47 No.12732718

    Humor evolved as a way of defusing tense situations? Eh, I don't really buy that. Sure, it CAN serve that purpose sometimes... but with apathy, fear of violence, boredom, social disapproval, displacement activity, and so forth, we've already got circuits installed for defusing tension. Humor is an incredibly complex aspect of psychology to have evolved just to occasionally serve a redundant function. And yes, some great apes have basic senses of humor; they're our closest relatives, it's not surprising we have that in common.

    Most of the psychological quirks people have touted as being uniquely human serve obvious purposes. Things like aggression, altruism, selfishness, recklessness, and so forth have been observed in lots of different animals. They seem to be basic behavioral strategies for an evolved organism, and it would be surprising to find an intelligent alien without them. But humor is so peculiar and useless that it's doubtful any species we aren't directly related to would share it.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)23:51 No.12732752
    What about senses?

    Trichromatic vision is uncommon amongst most animals, so aliens might see fewer colors than we do. Or possibly more, there is a type of shrimp that can see into the ultraviolet and infrared spectrums.

    Smell, too. Humans have a horrible sense of smell compared to other animals. Can't even identify someone by their pee.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)23:54 No.12732797
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    Peacock Mantis Shrimp.
    Manliest fuckers, ever.
    >> Anonymous 11/08/10(Mon)23:58 No.12732834

    Well, humans are evolved to see the chunk of the electromagnetic spectrum that's most abundant when a yellow star shines through a nitrogen/oxygen atmosphere. So, it's a damn good bet that any two alien species are going to see different parts of the spectrum, if they have eyes at all.

    Other possibilities for main sense include echolocation and electrosense (which electric eels and rays use to sense their surroundings and, I kid you not, the electrical signatures of the nervous systems of nearby fish. Imagine a species that evolves able to directly observe each other's brain activity...)
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)00:13 No.12732969
    And when they see our weird-ass brains...
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)00:14 No.12732976
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    A species that sees through electricity... Boy, our world will look like a beacon in an ocean of darkness. (Although there are quite a few electrical storms on some of the planets with denser atmospheres like Venus and Jupiter.)

    Imagine, for a moment if you will, a species that grows up in a region where the only source of light is hawking radiation from the black hole it orbits. First of all, the entire ecosystem has to arise without plants, so something akin to chemosynthesis is more likely. It has developed such that it "sees" in a manner and a spectrum completely unknowable to us without technological aid. We would appear as aberrations to them, perhaps even incorporeal or invisible in that we might not reflect the same spectrum they do.

    Now imagine a species that has a primary sense of smell, rather than sight or hearing like us, who's "language" is purely in the form of scent-based pheromones. This is not difficult to imagine, as other organisms that communicate this way are abundant in the insect world. How would we even begin to communicate with such an organism? Or how would they even look at us and see we give off but one scent at all times, thinking we do not communicate, and understand?
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)00:19 No.12733021
    Humans actually give off a wide variety of smells.
    B.O., farts, fish-gina, hormones, residual food, decaying skin, blood, etc.

    Imagine coming here, and getting barraged by all these smells that have no discernible contextual reference, because you can't ask what something is. ALL DAY. EVERY DAY.
    Walk into a room and freak out, because OMG FLY PAPER WTF?
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)00:22 No.12733057
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    We kill them and use there world as a farm world or harvest it for its metals.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)00:22 No.12733060

    This. Humans never really had the need to adapt and evolve away radically, more endurance, more brain, more muscle was always enough to overcome obstacles, evene extreme population bottlenecks.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)00:25 No.12733083
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    I recall one alien race in the book series "Animorphs" once remarked that human (and many other Earth-based brains) were utterly bizarre because they were divided into two separate hemispheres, and actually believed this meant that dual personalities were residing in the same "shell".

    And then there are the Andalites, who have no sense of taste due to absorbing nutrients directly through their feet, so when one of them transformed into a human they went APESHIT over taste. They even started eating cigarette butts because the sensation was completely foreign and overwhelming to them.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)00:26 No.12733089

    It's unlikely a human would ever be able to learn to speak an alien language without machine assistance.

    With machine assistance, however, communication becomes possible. It's likely any species with technology will figure out how to use radio for long-range communication (it's just so damn convenient,) so, we talk to one another with radios. Our radios feed through a parsing computer and output text; theirs feed through a parsing computer and output stank. And, in the end, we communicate.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)00:30 No.12733124

    What about the possibility of an alien race that communicates exclusively through a hive mind that is fully functional regardless of the distance between individuals? That being the case, they could easily have space travel and advanced technology despite never having even conceived of the idea of a "telephone", let alone long-range radio.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)00:33 No.12733153
    Like the Bugs in Ender's Game?
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)00:34 No.12733167

    Hmm... The dual-hemisphere thing is odd, but it's debatable how much it actually affects us.

    The idea of a species with no sense of taste is... odd. Taste and smell are basically the ability to sense and identify chemicals you come in contact with. It's arguably the ONLY sense that EVERY life form has, right down to single celled algae. Eating through your feet is not sufficient explanation for losing this universal, vital function.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)00:34 No.12733168
    Aside from point-to-point quantum entanglement, there is nothing that acts like this in real life.

    QE is also biologically impossible. It just can't be evolved, it has to be done deliberately by an intelligent species with advanced science.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)00:35 No.12733184

    Exactly. And therein lies yet ANOTHER huge theoretical difference between alien races and us: The concept of the individual. The "Buggers" really only consisted of a large number of sentient Queens directing armies of essentially mindless bodies that lacked any sort of free will, and made the dire mistake of assuming that other aliens operated in the same way. The death of a drone meant literally nothing.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)00:36 No.12733192
    See, the problem with this is that in the truest sense a "hive-mind" still exists through physical signals. In the case of ender's game it's a telepathic connection. In the real world its pheromones secreted by a queen, which in turn stimulates other pheromones and so on and a simple mind that lives through very basic patterns combined with specialization and division of labor.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)00:36 No.12733193
    Andalites sense chemicals. Ax for example knows when he's trodding on snails, because he feels the extra protein entering his system.

    It's just that in humans, the sensation is extremely powerful and visceral, and a lot more qualitative than it is for andalites.
    >> Alpharius 11/09/10(Tue)00:38 No.12733212
    It's been a while since we had a mass effect/eclipse phase thread...what happened to them?
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)00:39 No.12733217

    What Andalites possessed was a bit...strange. Not only could they absorb nutrients through their feet, but they were capable of discerning exactly what they were consuming as well. ie: They would still know if they were being poisoned or eating something unpleasant, it's just that they didn't have the sort of heightened sensitivity that our taste buds possess.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)00:40 No.12733227

    They weren't very good.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)00:41 No.12733236
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    God damn, do telepathic aliens piss me off. Why give them magical telepathy or relativity-defying ansible hiveminds when you could just say they evolved to communicate with radio waves? You don't need "telepathy" for a hivemind; you just need a high-bandwidth, always-on channel. Complex, multitonal sound works. So does good vision and rapidly-shifting chameleonic skin. Best option is probably electrosense again. It works best if the species lives in salt water or some other electrically conductive fluid, but it basically means that the species can sense each others brains and nervous systems working, and talk to each other with electrical impulses. Hivemind isn't too many steps removed from that.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)00:50 No.12733323
    Going along with the Hivemind tangent, what if we're the Hivemind?

    Humans and other animals on Earth tend to develop societies. What if the alien race took another path, and to them, our kind of societal identity and action is as odd as the idea of a hivemind is to us?

    >shilleck economics
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)00:51 No.12733333
    Pretty much this. A hive mind can only exist with an extremely rapid and precise form of communication, quite the opposite of not needing communication at all.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)00:51 No.12733337

    I'd like to point out that the Buggers weren't actually a hivemind. Queens were sentient. Soldiers and workers were not even separate organisms, really; cut them off from their queen and they stopped being alive. Basically, as a species they had more in common with a guy with a bunch of remote control robots than with an ant colony.

    A hivemind does not have a sentient "ruler" and a bunch of followers. Rather, the intelligence is a distributed function, emerging from the behavior of every member of the hive. If you took any single member, even the member responsible for laying eggs, OUT of the hivemind, it would be nonsentient.

    Similarly, the ant queen does not rule the hive. She just lays eggs. She's as much a cog in the machine as any worker, and the hive makes decisions by instinct and consensus.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)00:53 No.12733362
    By that reasoning, any form of society is a small-scale hive mind. While it is true that there are large-scale objectives that human nations/cultures/group will work as a collective to complete it is far from perfectly orchestrated by one prevalent desire. Each individual involved has a subset of desires and goals exclusive of the overarching ones.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)00:57 No.12733401
    Octopi are both very intelligent and very solitary, only coming together to mate, and being in conflict at all other times.

    Sentient octopi who are freaked out about how we tolerate each other when not currently fucking?
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)01:01 No.12733442

    Yeah, humans aren't a hivemind. The hallmark of a hivemind is that the whole is more intelligent than the parts; an ant hive is capable of far more complex behavior and responses to stimuli than a single ant.

    Human society, as a whole, is a little dimmer than the average individual human. When it does something smart, it's usually because a smart individual came up with an idea that he successfully convinced people to go along with, not because society reached a decision on a level above individuals.

    It's still an interesting idea, and much good sci-fi, science, and regular fiction has been written around the idea of society as an organism.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)01:03 No.12733465
    This kind of behavior is not uncommon in animals, but social animals tend to have advantages when it comes to stability and division of duties: both conducive to highly intelligent creatures. Not to say that there couldn't be a race of extremely competitive, non-social, long-lived, resource needing super genius sentient organisms. A single one might have an extremely complicated system designed merely to harvest resources for his continued subsistence.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)01:05 No.12733486
    There is most certainly a science to it. Every part of a cell can be assigned, both in function and organization, to different parts of a culture/society. And all the of same essential components exist.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)01:09 No.12733510
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    This has been the best discussion I've seen on /tg/ in a long time. Maybe ever.
    Godspeed, and good night.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)01:09 No.12733512

    Yeah, when I was a kid I wrote a short story about space praying mantids. Not social in the least, no language of their own. Smart enough that a single one could figure out human technology and hunt us effectively, eventually hack together an escape ship with stolen components that was better than anything we could field... but back to the stone age next generation, as they never taught their young anything or shared anything they learned with each other.

    They were more intelligent than a human, but it never occurred to one of them to want to talk to us.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)01:11 No.12733527
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    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)01:14 No.12733548
    To some extent, you could say it is. Each group is an organism to some extent, and the more it scales up, the more complex it gets, the more the organization resembles life.

    Humans naturally group together, and when they do so, their goals become the groups goals and vice versa. Those who don't adapt to this are expelled from the group.

    But it's all very loose, not tightly bound and controlled like our traditional view of the Hivemind.

    So then, shall we theorize at a race that is as far from us as we are from true Hiveminds?

    How would this happen? Would it even be viable? How the fuck would they think?

    Perhaps our basis for comparison should be spiders, minus the mating element. Each year, a reproduction cycle begins, and the parent lays a couple hundred fertilized eggs somewhere, and then buggers off. The hatchlings ignore each other aside from as food or as a potential threat, and go to live their own lives.

    Eventually a society would form, but it would be alien to us. No emotional attachments, no tribalism, everything is for the betterment of the individual. Thus all interactions are done at a distance, if at all, and no enterprise is undertaken that doesn't improve the individual's life.

    As a result, the race would likely be few in numbers - perhaps a race of hermits, and as they die, their advances are left behind to be discovered by the next generation, who may or may nor even be able to comprehend what they've found.


    A society that can only trust the dead. Eventually, each member of this race begins putting together it's death achievement, a tutorial for the next to inhabit it's domicial, and so the race slowly moves forwards...
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)01:19 No.12733595
    Endurance, most likely. We evolved to be plains hunters, and adapted to being able of running animals down and ganking them when they're tired. A species that evolved in another environment would be unlikely to have the endurance we do - hell, most animals don't.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)01:24 No.12733626
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    This. This entire thread harks back to the glory days.
    There is hope for this poor, divided board of ours yet.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)01:25 No.12733633
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    Veeery eeeenteresting.

    Great idea for a story or species in a game. A bit unlikely, though. Any geneline with the psychological quirk "doesn't mind relatives" has an advantage. A geneline with the psychological quirk "relatives work together" will quickly kick the shit out of the genelines that lack the mutation.

    For sentient species, cooperation is a killer development, a real dominator. More so than "guns," or, hell, even "weapons."
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)01:27 No.12733653
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    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)01:30 No.12733685
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    This thread is full of THOUGHTS!

    Someone archive, por favor!
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)01:31 No.12733701
    True - I'm trying to go with the assumption that this can happen, and work from there. Frankly, the race could easily achieve sentience, but without some way to develop technologically, no-one would ever know or care. So as far as the premise of the thread goes, this is a bit of a dead end. We either need to go so alien that it doesn't even matter, or give the things super-powers to make it work in any galactic civilization sense.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)01:32 No.12733711
    I've been screencapping it as I read, wasn't sure about putting it on sup/tg/.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)01:39 No.12733757
    Hair man. Wtf is up with humans and that damn hair. Its disgusting, dead skin growing in their hides like a parasite trying to get at their most important bits. They have to constantly clean the stuff or it gets greasy and filled with mites, its constantly getting tangled, and burns at the slightest provocation. Why they dont all just shave themselves smooth at the first opportunity is beyond me.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)01:39 No.12733758
    Maybe we can backtrack a bit with this tangent, and look at the octopi. Any cephalopodian sages out there able to chime in on what a society of them would look like?
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)01:40 No.12733776
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    Well, the thread is about what makes humans unusual among sentient species.

    A corollary of that is what sentient species are likely to have in common.

    A good metric of that is evolutionary utility; if something is useful enough that those who had it would kick the shit out of those who didn't, it's likely to become widespread.

    So, most sentient species probably:

    Are social. Cooperation is super effective. Corollary: some kinda communication.

    Use some kind of technology. Even if your species has nature-attuned superpowers, you're still better off with nature-attuned superpowers AND a weapon.

    Are capable of violence. One of the basic ways of modifying your environment is wrecking the shit of any predator or competitor who fucks with you.

    Are capable of altruism. A genepool in which individuals will take a hit for the benefit of the group at large has an advantage over a genepool full of selfish dicks.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)01:40 No.12733778
    I've entered it into the archives, someone needs to keep on updating it if more people post.
    >> Gnollbard !aDIap4MeRg 11/09/10(Tue)01:45 No.12733818
    Ahhh, I missed this.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)01:48 No.12733842
    One thing about human flexibility vs hypothetical alien sentients. Compare humans to other animals.

    Generally speaking, no other animal of comparable size to us has the ability to traverse as many different types of terrain as we do.

    We're semi-aquatic mammals capable of some level of brachiation, are very proficient climbers, well adapted for arid, hot environments, have sufficient vision to operate diurnally and nocturnally, can travel non-stop across entire continents on foot. All of this without any sort of clothing, tools, or specialized training.

    Smaller animals than us can accomplish some of these feats partly because climbing becomes exponentially easier as you lose mass. Animals better adapted for aquatic lifestyles are capable of almost none of the other feats we are. Apes are notoriously poor swimmers, and generally lack in stamina. One of the very, very few things we cannot do naturally is fly, and flight is an incredibly demanding adaptation that on some worlds might not even be possible due to gravity or atmospheric density, or a combination of the two.

    It would not be unreasonable to suppose that most other sentients would be similarly adapted, with only a few examples showing a comparable level of versatility in a wide variety of environments. However, it's also reasonable to suppose that those species would be more successfully adapted to a single type of terrain such that we couldn't directly match their native ability.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)01:48 No.12733848
    Agreed. I've hesitated on trying to contribute as I don't feel I have anything particularly insightful to add. Hope this gets archived before it dies, going to bed now.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)01:51 No.12733877
    Right. So, back on target, we have so far:

    Body formation (bipedal, upright, dense muscle mass, dense bones)
    Brain Size
    Senses (Spatial awareness & color vision)
    Premature birth
    Land Dwelling (borderline)

    These set us apart among most known animals, and so almost certainly do the same for aliens.

    And some theories have included: Dreaming, brain organization, method of communication

    ... You know, even if this isn't a Humanity Fuck Yeah thread, the actual science here makes it look fairly fuck yeah. We've got a lot of physical advantages over any aliens we might meet, if what we have so far is any indicator. We may think of ourselves as weak and pathetic, but we always compare ourselves to the best of the best on Earth. When you look at the base-line, we basically wreck shit.

    What kinds of things can we find that might make us worse than them?
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)01:52 No.12733892

    Not entirely accurate. We can do very basic swimming immediately after birth. Fuck if I know why. To make things even stranger, we forget how to do it after a few months and have to relearn it later.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)01:54 No.12733907
    In all actuality, there might be nothing similar between us and aliens except we MIGHT both be physical beings. There is no telling and it would all count on the planet they originated from, we stand upright because it works, on a high gravity planet they might be lower to the ground and walk on any number of appendages or slither to be even closer to the ground. They would likely think in a manner we could not possibly understand and might not even communicate in an audible fashion,
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)01:54 No.12733910
    A high gravity world native species would almost certainly outclass us when it comes to stamina and overall durability. It might not be objectively stronger than us, because it would probably be significantly smaller, but it would enjoy a remarkable leverage advantage, meaning that it could outmuscle us with a little bit of thought on how to apply its strength best.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)01:57 No.12733947
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    Perhaps one of the oddest things to consider is the idea of a Micro-Scale intelligence. A sort of sentience arising from a multi-celled colony of single celled organisms, different from our multi-celled organisms of non-independent cells. Each colony would act as a sentient being, but be composed of many different organisms, such that communication might take place through exchange of individuals between colonies so as to share collective "thoughts" between colonies. Intra-colony communication would be conducted through protein production. The will of the colony would be decided by the 'votes' of individuals based upon the proteins they produce, with the more prevalent one deciding the way the colony would "choose" to react in a given situation. This inconsistency due to complexity would be indistinguishable from a thinking, cognitive organism and therefore by the Turing Test would have to be concluded to truly have sentience.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)01:59 No.12733963

    Well, the mile-long tentacled floaters that live in gas giants will think we're pansies for not being able to take 9 Gs and 100 atmospheres of pressure.

    As a previous fellow mentioned, we eat and breath through the same hole, and sometimes we screw up eating and choke and die. That's pretty embarrassing.

    This goes with the fact that it's weird that we live on land breathing air: We probably make terrible pilots compared to anything that lives in a fluid environment. Not only are we not used to maneuvering in three dimensions, it only takes a few Gs of acceleration to kill us. But water doesn't compress; if you had, say, a squid... neutral buoyancy, water inside, water outside... it wouldn't give a shit about no 20 Gs.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)02:00 No.12733974
    A high-gravity dwelling species faces the same problem we do in space but to an even greater extent: Muscle deterioration in zero-gravity. This might be an advantage in some situations but certainly not all. Even upon arriving on our planet, their muscles would deteriorate quickly as they adjusted to the new gravity.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)02:10 No.12734060
    That says that we might employ cephalopod or cetacean species to do our piloting for us, while we stay in medical stasis in tanks full of shock-gel.

    They dispense us upon the battlefield, where we do our crazy-adaptable, high-endurance soldierin'.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)02:11 No.12734073
    Actually, that's a good point. High-G aliens are going to have a hell of a time getting off world, and run into all sorts of problems, much like liquid dwellers (better pilots, thanks to 3D environment, but less likely to, say discover flight, let alone space travel, as their world has a discernible 'roof' which they can't travel past - an actual end of the world, as it were.

    So a low-G air-based race is optimal. Or perhaps a low-G, nonbreathing race.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)02:14 No.12734106
    If the species doesn't breath it needs a new method of producing energy, since all known aerobic forms of life need respiration to produce energy and all anaerobic forms can't produce very much energy through fermentation... A sufficiently complex anaerobic species would come from a strange environment indeed...
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)02:16 No.12734123
    Scramblers yo.

    They ferment for a very long time, expend all their energy in one long burst, then die.
    >> [M1] Badhand !wyY1DflC7A 11/09/10(Tue)02:16 No.12734126
    Hi Gnollbard!
    Oh, WW says "goddamit,"
    but I wouldn't put too much stock in it, he says it a lot
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)02:16 No.12734128


    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)02:19 No.12734147
    Brofist to Brotacle.

    Cuttlebros are best bros. And you can even watch Lethal Weapon on their 200 DPI skins.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)02:19 No.12734152
    I think it would be fascinating to see how aliens from differing environments would adapt (or fail to) in earth style gravity. As it would be interesting to see how humans could try to live on other planets.

    I'd imagine living on a world with higher gravity could be brute forced to a small extent, before exhaustion and physical ailments such as muscle tearing and the like would rear their ugly heads. Higher level gravity would possibly need some sort of exoskeleton, or hell, even some sort of buffering such as a liquid layer.

    Low gravity worlds would be great, until you started the inevitable deterioration of strength.. I'm sure there are other, less obvious effects as well. (the Elcor would need a lot of training time to stay healthy here)

    Im not quite so sure how atmospheric pressure would change things aside from probably needing a suit to survive. Something like a different atmospheric composition would only need a gas mask unless its something like ammonia and hydrofloric acid.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)02:20 No.12734155
    ... So, you think aliens are willing to uplift too? Because I just had this weird braingasm about the various animals they'd uplift, and how weird this could get.

    Also, I'm beginning to think that we're going to need to establish a baseline of aliens before going much further with this. Right now, we're looking at the physical differences between us and other Earth-based life, on the assumption that aliens are like that. But the further afield this goes (different G levels, different atmospheres, not even mentioning actual space-dwellers or a single organism species that exists as a planet, or even the intersection of specific time-space events), the more of the base-line we can establish has to go out the window.

    Perhaps it's time to make some aliens that we can start putting these differences to the test with, and maybe looking at some that have managed to skirt around the requirements of civilization.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)02:21 No.12734170
    Question, about high-gravity species. Wouldn't legs be sort of redundant in a high gravity world? Or at least long legs? I'm imagining centipedes, slugs and other creatures likes that. If their planet is more flat/even than ours, which it should be unless they have a hell of an active geological process, then they'd also need a good way to deal with the greater impact (assuming that they have legs at all), say... many many legs taking short short steps or so.
    Just jumped into this thread, if this has already been said then disregard this. Also, I fail at science and english.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)02:23 No.12734191
    Increase the density of an atmosphere, sounds get higher. Increase the viscosity, sound gets lower.

    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)02:25 No.12734204
    There are probably a dozen different ways for life of some sort to develop in rather energy rich ways without traditional oxygen atp processes.

    The problem is we don't know about it, so most people would dismiss it without thinking.. We're have literally zero idea of what could be workable. Now if scientists knew of a bunch of planets and only one type of life formed with one chemical process, I'd be a little more partial to the idea that it is the only way possible
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)02:25 No.12734205
    Greetings from /a/, just thought I'd drop by and leave this here...
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)02:25 No.12734206
    You're on the right track, but think sturdier.

    Cetipedes with elephant-like pillar legs.

    Everything is built like a stool or table.

    Slugs. Slugs everywhere.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)02:26 No.12734211
    Pressure causes some concerns that aren't immediately apparent:

    -Your blood will boil at low enough pressures even at a comfortable temperature.
    -You might not be able to keep enough oxygen dissolved in your blood, or can't get carbon dioxide out.
    -Your skin is very adjusted to fighting a constant 1-atmosphere pressure. More or less will mess with your integumentary system.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)02:27 No.12734217
    We excrete waste through the same orfice we repoduce with. WAT
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)02:28 No.12734219
    Holy shit, Mangafox is still around?

    I thought all the big manga hosts got shitcanned.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)02:29 No.12734232
    Well if we had two different orifices for that we'd be running a greater risk of infection, right? Wash one and you wash both.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)02:29 No.12734233
    Higher gravity also means smaller organisms will be predominant. Remember that as size increases linearly volume (and therefore mass) increase exponentially.

    Basically this thread is saying aliens will all be little green men.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)02:29 No.12734237
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    Well, there's hi-G, and then there's hi-G.

    Earth's actually on the largeish side for a rocky planet. You're not gonna get more than, ehh, 5 Gs on an Earthlike world. That's crawl-around-real-slow weight. Any more than that, 10 or 20 Gs, and you're talking gas giant. Of course, gas giants have a large enough radius that you only get the real crushing G-levels deep in the atmosphere. Jupiter, fer instance, is only about 1.5 G at cloudtop.

    But the point is that walking around on the surface is an iffy prospect, and moreso the higher the grav gets. No, you wanna go neutral boyancy. Float in the sea or the thick atmosphere. Giant superintelligent Jovian cloud-jellyfish, supersquid in the seas of the big rocky worlds. Grav don't matter when you don't weight any more than the medium you're floating in.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)02:31 No.12734247
    >EVERY ORGANISM ON EARTH produces energy the same way, through the citric acid cycle and decomposition of glucose to create ATP

    That's not true. Only eukaryotes do the citric acid cycle. And not all prokaryotes decompose glucose.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)02:32 No.12734256

    Little yes, green maybe, men no.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)02:32 No.12734259
    Anon, this ain't going to be something that you're going to see on 4chan everyday. Or likely ever again. But. Your contribution is as valid and interesting as any of the others. This is basically a kind of groupthink and, as such, all kinds of questions and ideas and statements are valued, because, even if they sound obvious or stupid to you, it may well be or bring about an insight to someone else. So don't be shy. As long as truly retarded shit (OMG GUIZ ALENZ W/ TENTICALS RAEP GURLS!) stays out, your contribution is both welcome and valued.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)02:32 No.12734264
    I forget the exact physical limitations, but I'm pretty sure it would be impossible for a rocky planet with 10 times earth's mass to exist.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)02:33 No.12734269
    Right, I have to leave for a few hours. Don't let this thread die!
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)02:34 No.12734274

    But everyone does use sweet, succulent adenosine triphosphate. It's what life runs on. Or is there some exception I'm unaware of?
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)02:35 No.12734284
    >Grav don't matter when you don't weight any more than the medium you're floating in.
    Actually, it still does to some degree. Blood does weigh something.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)02:41 No.12734324
    Yup, ATP is just some kind of magical short term energy pumping miracle drug, and its hard to imagine life existing without it.

    Then again, our biology was very much defined by the composition of the the earth. Our bodies have iron in them because it's the most common metallic element in the earth's crust. We have masses of oxygen in us because it's the most common element on the planet. Nitrogen is a close second and its everywhere in biology.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)02:44 No.12734335

    If a creature is evolved for true neutral bouyancy, which involves all tissues and internal fluids being equal in density to the medium it's floating in, then no, grav is no problem. So you could actually have complex life deep in Jupiter... the aforementioned giant jellyfish. (And this is actually a real possibility, guys. I'm not saying ALIENS ARE REAL THEY PROBED MY UNCLE, I'm saying the color of Jupiter is due to lots of complex organic compounds and chemists are scratching their heads to come up with an explanation for all of them that doesn't involve life.)

    It's a problem for humans even when we're floating in water or gel or whatever because our tissues and fluids are all different densities, so some things are still trying to sink. It think that's what you're talking about.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)02:46 No.12734357
    All organisms go through the citric acid/krebs cycle. Eukaryotes go through an additional process known as oxydative phosphorylation while most prokaryotes use fermentation to recycle NADP. Also, glucose isn't the only material broken down but all hydrocarbons, proteins, lipids, etc. enter into the same process at some point anyways.

    If I'm wrong, though, please correct me. I'm going to go look this up myself now anyways.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)02:52 No.12734410
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    Remember how people say that you can't abort un-born fetuses because they are potential humans?
    Now, what happens when we can "uplift" animals?
    Does it become immoral to kill potential humanoids?
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)02:53 No.12734412
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    Stuff I've noticed about neurotypical humans:

    - They insist on using facial expressions and body language in communication when language alone would suffice.
    - They have an odd emotion or feeling called loneliness, which I never did understand what that would feel like.
    - They are comfortable in crowds.
    - They don't mind being touched, and indeed, think it's acceptable to touch other people.
    - They lace their communication with odd social deviance and posturing.
    - Most worryingly, they seem to have an outright hatred for anyone who thinks or acts differently than them.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)02:55 No.12734425
    First Question: If we can create a good work-around for any of these limitations, will it be allowable?
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)02:57 No.12734437
    Vat-grown meat.

    Or else we just get more practical, and stop bitching about potential anything.

    >Rhys wangalle
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)02:57 No.12734438
    In regards to that last one, human beings like patterns. /its an evolutionary trait linked to the way we like to organize data. We also feel uncomfortable when something violate these comfortable patterns.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)02:57 No.12734441
    Not really, rather it's just that if you like having a circulatory system, and you like not having your body being entirely at the exact same elevation as the rest of it, you stil need to take gravity into account to some degree.
    From what I understand, octopus arms have semi-independent neural structures of significant size. Also, one can imagine a planet where all life is chemotrophic, like the stuff that lives near vents in our oceans, thus reducing the importance of light.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)02:58 No.12734446
    Thread archived.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)03:00 No.12734462
    Way to overgeneralize. Unless I misunderstand what you mean by "neurotypical".
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)03:01 No.12734467
    This is true, but chemotrophic life depends on carbon and carbon compounds for life, still. These massive methane deposits only exist on earth from deposits caused by prehistoic life.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)03:02 No.12734481
    I am high-functioning autistic.

    That is how neurotypical humanity as a whole appears to me.

    Alien, in a manner of speaking.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)03:03 No.12734486
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    I gotta disagree with most of your statements. Your basic fallacy seems to be the idea that having neurons devoted to one thing somehow takes away from everything else. That's just not true.

    First, multiple limbs take less brainpower than you seem to think. Octopi certainly aren't LESS intelligent because of all the brainpower they have to dedicated to their tentacles, and millipedes are dumb as bricks but never trip over their feet. This assertion is simply false. So, there's no predicting how many or few limbs to expect, beyond needing some way to get around and some kinda fine manipulators. But, hell, that could be ten thousand tentacles or a slug belly and big, mobile lips.

    Sensor number and placement is also much less clear-cut than you describe it. Humans have two eyes front for binocular vision and two ears on the sides for all-round hearing. Bats have two ears oriented to the front for binocular echolocation, and most prey animals have two eyes on the sides for all-round vision (nearly.) Spiders have two large eyes and several smaller ones. Pit vipers have two visible-spectrum eyes on the sides and two primitive infrared sensors oriented to the front. Assuming number, type, and position for aliens is silly.

    Although having a head, which is to say a part of the body with most of the sensors, the mouth, and the brain, high and forward on the body seems to be pretty popular. So good call there.

    But your assumption that a lifebearing planet will have visible light seems totally unfounded.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)03:04 No.12734493
    And the sheer volume of decaying organic matter at the bottom of the oceans.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)03:07 No.12734511
    First thought is secondary brains/neurobundles to control additional limbs.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)03:08 No.12734518
    Light from a sun means more energy, which means more food, which means more evolution.

    Also intelligence is brain size compared to body mass. So while a creature could have as many limbs and eyes as they want, they would have to have an enormous brain.

    And that means something larger to get between some crosshairs. So humanity is all fine people.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)03:09 No.12734520

    Woah woah woah. Actually, you've just illustrated how and why sci-fi usually gets it wrong. Baseless assumptions used to justify expectations. There's no reason to expect aliens to be humanoid, and your justifications are total bull.

    Seriously, man, reexamine your assumptions.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)03:09 No.12734521
    The planet would need a source of heat and energy for life, and since geothermal energy is only notable for a cosmically insignificant amount of time (relative to the amount of time the planet could orbit a star) light seems like a requirement. Also, as far as I know there's no way to have a food chain based on a planet's infrared radiation - though that might be handwaved, given we're talking about hypothetical aliens. Who knows how they'd work.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)03:10 No.12734530
    Does it? I thought there was stuff that ate hydrogen sulfate or something like that spewing from volcanic vents. Are you saying that the carbon that they use in the rest of their biochemistry comes from other formerly living things that lived elsewhere?
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)03:13 No.12734547
    One thing you guys haven't mentioned yet is the ability of our brains to treat anything we touch as an extension of our body. It's why we can pick up a stick and swing it around without any trouble(our brain thinks of it as an extension of our arm), and why we can pilot vehicles/horses with relative ease(we treat the vehicle/mount as an extension of our body).
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)03:13 No.12734552
    According to some parents' groups, rape is the best way of letting your children know you love them
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)03:16 No.12734577
    >Also intelligence is brain size compared to body mass

    No, no it's not at all.

    It's the total surface area of the brain.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)03:17 No.12734588
    Yeah, the sun and light are great and all, but we can't assume that life can't exist in places where other sources of energy dominate. It might be unlikely, but life itself and especially intelligent life would seem to be unlikely, so the fact that it's unlikely doesn't invalidate the possiblility.
    Does anyone even really know how geothermal energy works on this planet, much less on hypothetical other planets that are unusual? Is it really hard to imagine that maybe some planet out there could be really well built for super long lasting powerful geothermal vents?
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)03:18 No.12734591
    Visible light is most certainly NOT necessary for a life-bearing planet.

    Yes, we use a lot of it around here. We've evolved to use a lot of it, because we happen to have a lot of it. But thermal vents have perfectly functional life cycles without any light involved, and keep in mind those are probably where life on this planet got started. And geothermal activity can last plenty long. Io, for instance, has its interior constantly torqued by tidal forces. It will be volcanic as long as it orbits Jupiter. This is not unusual; most planets that stay geologically active do so due to tidal forces.

    Life just needs is some kinda energy differential. Chemicals from a volcano that can be metabolized. Radiation from a star; visible, infrared, whatever. The processes deep within gas giants. Please don't get stuck on visible light just because that happens to be the one resource earth has lots of; it's like you're Icelandic philosophers proposing that "civilization cannot possibly exist without cod."
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)03:24 No.12734632
    "Part of your comment isn't allowed to be posted :("
    How do I tell what it's angered up about? My contribution was about adrenalin and stuff.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)03:26 No.12734645

    >Insects can pull off crazy numbers of limbs because they are fucking insects. It's an insect thing. They don't even think.

    How the FUCK is that an argument?

    Look, man, we were having a really good thread, but your ideas just haven't been thought through. Lurk a while, reconsider.


    Volcanic vents. Whole foodchains without the sun involved anywhere.

    Yes, tentacles are sub-optimal for moving around on land, why do you assume we're only talking about land-dwelling life.

    Land-dwelling vertebrates all have 4 limbs because they are all descended from early tetrapods, who had 4 limbs. That doesn't make 4 the max or the minimum, it just makes 4 what happened to evolve on this planet. Ostriches are evolving toward 2, and elephants are evolving toward 5, and snakes have none. 4 is not supreme.

    Seriously, man. Assumptions everywhere, when this whole thread is about throwing out assumptions.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)03:28 No.12734667

    I think the educational TV you watch is either the bad edutainment kind, or you just didn't understand it very well. You are talking out of your ass.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)03:34 No.12734701
    Why are you assuming land based creatures?
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)03:34 No.12734704
    >They insist on using facial expressions and body language in communication when language alone would suffice.
    Some people have trouble communicating through lanugage alone, especially about some topics, like emotion. So, although language alone might suffice if it were used effectively, that might not be an viable option.
    >They have an odd emotion or feeling called loneliness, which I never did understand what that would feel like.
    That seems simple to me. It's wanting there to be someone else there, specifically someone who isn't hostile to you and preferably is freindly. You do understand the idea of friends, don't you?
    >They are comfortable in crowds.
    I got nothing.
    >They don't mind being touched, and indeed, think it's acceptable to touch other people.
    I think this might be a cultural thing.
    >They lace their communication with odd social deviance and posturing.
    I'm not sure what you mean by that.
    >Most worryingly, they seem to have an outright hatred for anyone who thinks or acts differently than them.
    Some certainly do, but not all.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)03:37 No.12734712
    Insects are essentially small living computer chipped animals. their multiple limbs are spossible because they're basically a dedicated server. All they have to do is move in ceertain ways at certain times, in response to stimulus X. Sapients do not have that option. They actually have to think about where they are moving their limbs to and what they are doing with them. Walking is learned habit, not programmed into us. Multiple limbs are possible but unlikely, simply because it takes more computing power to run limbs that are not based on simple programing like an insects are.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)03:37 No.12734714
    Other than that last one, I don't see how any of that would be a problem.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)03:40 No.12734734

    The main problem is that you're only considering one very specific situation: human-scale vertebrates on the surface of earthlike worlds. You start with the situation humans live in, and then demonstrate that humans are likely to live in it.

    We're talking about silicon-based aliens on worlds hot as mercury, huge beings floating in the depths of gas giants, dark civilizations in the hidden oceans of a planet covered with an icy crust but warmed by volcanoes within. Aliens a mile long, aliens the size of beetles, and stranger things still.

    As for underwater civilization... we've developed our technology based on the limitations of gravity and air, so we know how to solve those problems. They'd develop technology based on the limitations of floating in water; we don't know the solutions to those problems, because we haven't focused on them. One prediction: they wouldn't use much fire, but they'd use lots of electricity. Lots of ocean critters can sense it, and quite a few can make it. It's useful for all sorts of things; electroplating metals, for instance.

    Their tech would be different from ours, but developing technology underwater isn't inherently more difficult.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)03:42 No.12734742
    Uhh, Fuuka, I think you're the one getting angry. Please try to calm down.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)03:45 No.12734758
    >Their tech would be different from ours, but developing technology underwater isn't necessarily inherently more difficult.
    It might or might not be more difficult. I think it's a really cool idea to think about though.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)03:46 No.12734760
    Having dexterous and complicated hands requires lot's of brainpower. But it didn't keep us dumb, it promoted intelligence. Getting more limbs to do stuff with would in long run increase brainpower - we would get more neurons for structures needed for operating them and our brains would be more stimulated by doing more stuff. Sorry for bad english.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)03:47 No.12734768
    Eh, we'd actually, in all likelyhood, be surprisingly similar to any other sentient life out there.

    For instance, carbon-based life just makes sense given the atomic structure of carbon (the number of electrons in the outer shell of a carbon atom makes carbon bonding a really good way to store energy) and its relative abundance in the universe (compared to heavier elements). From there we can estimate what sort of molecules would show up in living things based on what other atoms carbon is most likely to bond with and just on what happens to be floating out there.

    Sugar just makes sense.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)03:47 No.12734772
    All of this, even the last one, is important to survival as a social species. Were we still in the wild, anyone who wasn't like this would be outcast and left to die.

    Civilization as it is now, we can take care of people with mental/physical differences and deformities, but when we were still evolving, an autistic person would be left to die.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)03:48 No.12734780

    >so goddam niche
    >most successful multicellular animals on the planet
    >more species of beetle than all vertebrates put together
    >aberration in the natural order

    This is the insects' planet, man. We just live here.

    As for the leg thing, yes, they've evolved admirably efficient reflexes for moving lots of legs with little computing power. Which was my point. You can manage lots of legs with little computing power. Insects do it all the time. They are not an exception, they're too numerous for that. They are the rule.

    You've admitted you don't know much about insects. Will you now admit you don't know much about neurology, and concede the limbs point?
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)03:51 No.12734790

    Silicon actually acts pretty similar, just at higher temperatures. That's what people are talking about when they mention silicon-based life; it's a good candidate for replacing carbon.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)03:51 No.12734792
    I'm not the near-sociopath who made that post, but even I can see how those items would be alarming to him. To elaborate:
    >They insist on using facial expressions and body language in communication when language alone would suffice.
    "They act in ways I do not understand for reasons I do not understand and cannot emulate, and they do this at all times."
    >They have an odd emotion or feeling called loneliness, which I never did understand what that would feel like.
    "There is an entire dimension of their existence that lies permanently beyond my comprehension."
    >They are comfortable in crowds.
    >They don't mind being touched, and indeed, think it's acceptable to touch other people.
    "This dimension seems to allow them to behave in incomprehensible and inimitable ways in response to fear-inducing stimuli."
    >They lace their communication with odd social deviance and posturing.
    "Communication is only possible in the most rudimentary sense; all nuance, subtlety, beauty and charisma remain permanently intranslateable, the studies which have found that 90% of communication is nonverbal demonstrate that the vast majority of their instinctive linguistic structure can only turn into gibberish, and you can never move to a level of understanding greater than that provided by Google Translate."
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)03:55 No.12734807

    silicone would work okay, but carbon is several times more abundant, so while silicone-based life is possible, carbon-based life is considerably more likely
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)03:56 No.12734810
    Hah, this is a pretty biased understanding of his point of view.

    You know it's possible those survival traits that have been programmed into us aren't going to be viable anymore someday.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)03:58 No.12734823
    Not really. We need those social traits to work together.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)03:58 No.12734825
    Or be considered a shaman or something. Especially the ones who aren't completely helpless might have useful and unusual skills, sort of like touhoufriend being really good at D&D character building. Maybe they might be really good at making stone tools or something. Heck, maybe that's how some things were first invented, some autistic or semi-autisic person who's always messing with rocks or sticks or fire or something figures out how to mess with them just right so as to do something that nobody would have thought of.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)03:59 No.12734829

    Actually, those are all perfectly possible. We're not talking faster-than-light travel or psychic powers or anything like that; those critters work, within the chemistry and physics we know. They're no more unlikely than life on Earth is.

    As for optimal arm and leg placement... what's wrong with elephants? Four sturdy legs, one manipulator appendage dangling off the front (no, I'm not saying they're sentient, I'm saying it's a functional design for a sentient creature.) Or the praying mantis setup, 4 legs and 2 manipulators? Or, hell, ever heard of Pierson's Puppetteers? Decent design, that, weird as hell but perfectly functional. And this is still human-scale, solid surface of an earthlike planet. Yeah, fitting in brains is a problem if you scale down, but a hivemind is a possibility. Need something faster than pheromones to communicate, though, otherwise you can't get the processing speed up to sentient levels. But the guy earlier in the thread worked that out; light, sound, radio, or electricity.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)04:02 No.12734843
    Some, maybe, might be considered a Shaman of some sort. But don't romanticize autism; not everyone is high functioning, most need a caregiver at some point in their life and it would not be beneficial for a tribe to take care of them.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)04:03 No.12734853

    Yeah, carbon's a little less than 5 times as common as silicon. So, chemical issues aside, carbon-based life would probably be 5 times as common as well. Of course, "1 in 5" doesn't make silicon-based life exactly rare.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)04:06 No.12734867

    All sailors wear adorable waterwings at all times. LIFE OR DEATH.

    Seriously, though, a majority of sailors during the Age of Sail couldn't swim. It wouldn't have completely derailed history, but it would have made significant changes.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)04:06 No.12734869
    Ehh, why do we have two arms then? Wouldn't one be good enough?
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)04:08 No.12734879

    Apes had two for brachiation. We evolved from them. So, two arms.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)04:13 No.12734897

    Those specific social traits are all currently necessary, but they will also be mostly obsoleted when we move on to superior robot bodies with superior computer brains, and what remnant remains essential will be easy enough to implant.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)04:14 No.12734902
    So you think we're all going to turn into cybermen?
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)04:14 No.12734903

    Here's the thing about lotsa legs, though; the alternative is fewer, bigger legs. Bigger legs need more calories to run, and if you lose just one you're boned. A fly is fine if it loses a leg; an ostrich, not so much. And a millipede may have scores of legs, but they're all small, cheap to grow, cheap and simple to run, and disposeable.

    So, say there's a highgrav world where you want stability. You've got your manipulator arms up front, fine. But for locomotion you get the millipede lotsalegs package; rows of simple legs, reflex controlled to perform a simple walking motion; you pick the direction and they take care of the rest (this is actually how millipede neurology works.) It's slower than two legs, but much less risky; if you're on a highgrav world where falling over can be fatal, it's safe and efficient!
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)04:16 No.12734913
    /tg/, this thread has restored my faith in you. Let it be archived for great justice, and let it teach others about themselves.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)04:17 No.12734919
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    You think we aren't?
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)04:18 No.12734925

    That's not a hive mind. It was explained in >>12733337

    Basically, a hive mind is distributed computing. One drone's brain isn't sentient, but all the drone's brains working together are sentient. Just like one nerve cell isn't sentient.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)04:19 No.12734932
    >You ever have the thought, "Fuck, I need more friggin HANDS" when you get really busy? Multiply that sensation if you only have one hand. Only you feel it ALL THE TIME.

    I don't know how you two-armed creatures operate. If I tied all but two of my manipulator appendages behind me, how could I possibly get through the day?
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)04:20 No.12734933
    Yes, I realize that not all autistic people are high functioning. I was just trying to counter the idea of "all tribes must murder all their autistic members because autistic people would never be anything but a burden."

    There is also the fact that it being unthinkable to abandon one of your own people has certain survival advantages, at least in a lot of circumstances.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)04:24 No.12734948

    Number of limbs is not important. What is important is how much brainpower each limb requires. This is entirely dependent on how much fine motor control each limb needs.

    Your legs are bigger than your arms. However, your arms take up more processing power, because you have much more precise and complex control of your hands than of your feet.

    Your legs still take up a lot of processing power because the human gait is hella complicated, and you have lots of control of your legs. A bunch of legs with a simpler stride would actually take less brainpower in total. But you wouldn't be able to moonwalk or do ballet; just scuttle forward or scuttle backward. Or side to side.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)04:25 No.12734957
    Your anti-arthropod prejudice is noted. Please stop gunking up this fine thread.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)04:26 No.12734960
    Here's a fun fact: All male ants are haploid. All female ants are diploid. Freaky.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)04:27 No.12734965

    Nope! A critter with only 4 limbs, sure, lose one and it's screwed, and will probably bleed out any how. But a giant squid the size of a car can lose a tentacle and just not give a shit! Multiple, redundant limbs for the win! That's what you tetrapods get for putting all your eggs in, er, four baskets.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)04:31 No.12734976
    I wonder how the motor control parts of the brains of people who have lost their arms but learned to use their feet instead look. The human brain is an adaptable thing, you know.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)04:31 No.12734977

    Bonus: They can eat/rape each other. As one hive forcibly abducts "hands" from another and joins them into it's own communication network and hivemind, the victim becomes progressively more traumatized and retarded. Of course, if a hive gets too big, it's too hard to stay synced, and one train of thought my literally wander off and become a new individual.

    Hiveminds are fun!
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)04:34 No.12734988
    I believe our thermal self regulation will be a difference. Bugs, fish, birds, lizards are all cold blooded. It's likely to think another species could be as well.

    That's why any aliens dressed as eskimos make sense.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)04:34 No.12734990

    Double-bonus: depending on how the hivemind's memory storage works, the rapist hivemind may be literally stealing memories and skills from the victim as it grabs the "hands" that were storing the relevant information in their little brains.

    >Six beetles scuttle up to the humans.
    >"Please help me/us, earth hives. The great swarm is eating my/our thoughts."
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)04:37 No.12735002
    Except it doesn't. If you don't produce your own body heat, bundling up does nothing.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)04:38 No.12735004
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    Been a pleasure jawing with you. You made some interesting points. We got a little heated from time to time, no hard feelings I hope.

    Goodbye for now, I have to go lose consciousness for several hours and hallucinate vividly. Cause that's how humans roll, motherfucker!
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)04:38 No.12735006
    It's fairly accepted that eyes would probably be a fairly universal trait that *would* develop again if someone were to press the reset button on planet earth.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)04:39 No.12735010
    Do we fashion for them adorable little tinfoil hats to keep the barber swarm from stealing their thought-energy?
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)04:39 No.12735011
    >birds are cold blooded?

    Since when?
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)04:41 No.12735018

    Eyes have evolved at least six different times, totally independently.

    There's one type that evolved only in lobsters. Let's them see in water, no matter how murky it gets.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)04:42 No.12735023

    Well, yeah. On planet earth. Because planet earth gets lots of light in the visible spectrum, so eyes are an excellent and useful adaptation here.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)04:44 No.12735033
    Pretty much.

    I think that there's great intellectual fun to be had by trying to figure out some of the other possibilities, and then, as was the stated purpose at the begining of this thread, consider how we might look through such different sensory organs.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)04:49 No.12735062
    Really? I hadn't heard of that. I've heard of people's lungs being better if they grew up at high altitude, but not of people having finger-toes if they lack arms. Please provide a source if possible as this sounds interesting and I would like to learn more.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)04:51 No.12735070
    Guess not. Oh well, I should be getting to sleep too.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)04:51 No.12735073
    >strange habit of stubbornly refusing to make multiple trips to carry stuff

    You just need to get inventive.

    (far as I know my family's never figured out how I managed to carry three loaded storage containers up a flight of stairs at once)
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)04:58 No.12735094

    Glucose-based treats are well know and traded in the galaxy, but human chocolate is different. You see, chocolate when ingested, makes the brain release chemicals that mimic the feeling of love.

    Yes, other races have an equivalent. But chocolate works on EVERYONE. Any race that can ingest it safely gets this feeling from it.

    It is no surprise that one of the biggest trade ships in the entirety of human space is called 'The Spirit of Cadbury'
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)05:02 No.12735112
    Humans as drug runners? I could see it.

    "Hey man, I got some Theobromide here. Get you crazy fucked up. Them humans man, they know how to brew a good chem. You should see the shit they do when THEY want to get high."
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)05:02 No.12735115
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    ...sauce please?
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)05:03 No.12735118
    As stated before, a second pair of arms would be heavy energy consumptive and may not be much of an advantage, but i'd kill to get some kind of third simple arm out of the center of my torso to be used for carrying/immobilizing stuff while my two manipulator arms work on it.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)05:04 No.12735120

    Making mating behaviour very unspecific seems to be the best way to do it. Or do you think birds could thrive, if they could only use a single type of material to build their nests?
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)05:05 No.12735121
    Mote in God's Eye fan?
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)05:06 No.12735127

    Eh, training changes the muscle tone and body shape. Big news there. See English Archers and their shoulder muscles.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)05:08 No.12735130
    I think I saw that one about the climber girl. I guess I must've gotten there halfway in.

    I actually dislike chocolate and have since I was young.

    I'm glad that I'm fairly sure that picture is, in fact, meant to make absolutely no sense.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)05:09 No.12735134
    One arm six inches longer than the other?
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)05:09 No.12735138
    Like, maybe, a tail?
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)05:10 No.12735143
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    >First time offense gets bitten. Second time you get your limbs bitten clean off and left to die. They take that shit seriously, and they can FUCKING TELL when one has gotten drunk.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)05:11 No.12735144

    Yep, and more recently, the Vortigaunts from half-Life
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)05:13 No.12735149
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    That's one tiny-ass bee.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)05:15 No.12735160
    How? The smell? Anomolies in the dances? And why do they care so much?

    I've heard some really interesting things about bees. Like that their dances might work by using six dimensional geometry projected onto the honeycomb. I think that was in discover magazine or scientific american or something in 1998. Also, I recall someone figuring out a way to pattern the inside of a tunnel to fool them into thinking it was a different length from what it really was. I think that was in science news or something like that in 2000 ish.

    I really need to get to bed. Why must /tg/ be best when I should be sleeping?
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)05:17 No.12735164
    Dunno why people always assume aliens who come to us are going to be rapacious plunderers. If they're anything like us, they just want to see and meet, exchange tech, culture, knowledge, and just not be alone in the universe.

    I mean, if they wanted to be our enemies, why would they even muster the effort and risk to show up? They could just stay in their system, or fire some extraterrestrial rocket that'll blow us up centuries after it is fired or some shit.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)05:20 No.12735177
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    >If they're anything like us, they just want to see and meet, exchange tech, culture, knowledge, and just not be alone in the universe.

    Because mankind would NEVER start off the discovery of more sentient life with a good old fashioned enslavement or genocide.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)05:21 No.12735181
    One thing that I believe is quite unique, is the human capacity to have significant variance in muscle mass. What other species that we know of can have a single organism go from weakling to super-strong and back again through pure effort over time?
    Anyway, I personally think the key traits of mammals would probably be the weirdest to aliens. Hair, breastfeeding, live-birth.. Then to top it all off, we regularly drink secretions from other mammals designed to feed their children.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)05:21 No.12735183

    Look on Youtube. There's videos out there of armless people able to do normal tasks with their toes easily, because the brainmeats that were formerly devoted to the hands reset themselves to the feet instead.


    There's also the possibility of a sort of "marriage", whether out of genuine caring or some sort of convenience: two swarms join into one, then split into three.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)05:22 No.12735186
    Did all of Fuuka's posts just get deleted? What the damn?
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)05:23 No.12735189
    Asking why is pretty silly. Why do humans do a lot of things?
    I think it's not unlikely that aliens would want to engage in war against us for the experience of fighting another sentient species, and vice versa.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)05:24 No.12735193

    Exactly what happened when europeans discovered america... right?... RIGHT?

    Any spacefaring specie would have the following caracteristics :
    - They would consider their survival as top priority, over our survival. Evolutionary pressure and all that stuff.
    -They would be aggressive to a certain extend. You don't win the evolutionary war by being passive.
    - They would assume that the same rules apply to us.

    I remember it from Atomic Rockets website. It have a short but interesting page on alien species.

    So no, they probably wouldn't travel through half the galaxy just to shake some hands and see how bad we are in quatum physics.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)05:24 No.12735195

    Why do people keep thinking hair is weird? Hair/fur (or downy feathers) is just the kind of thing I'd expect to happen with convergent evolution, since it serves a simple purpose (insulation) and is found all over Earth in completely different species.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)05:26 No.12735204
    Any planet that gets enough light would have eyes be a *huge* evolutionary advantage.

    Unless for some reason all life is subterranean or aquatic.

    If there's light, there will be eyes.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)05:27 No.12735205
    I always thought abortion was strange. I don't know if there are many species out there that enjoy recreational sex, but I doubt there are many that think, "Nah, I don't want to spread my DNA, kill that mother fucker."
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)05:27 No.12735209
    We outgrew the need for it early on when we learned to make clothes, and it's kind of weird that we still use it.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)05:31 No.12735224

    The interesting thing is that, there is not many interesting material on our planet for an alien specie. Most materials we can find on earth are pretty common in the solar system, water, metal, organic molecules, so attacking us to harvest our ressources would be utterly pointless, the effort/reward ratio would be way better by taking it elsewhere. If they're used at spacefaring and discovering new lifeforms, we would fill some entries in their encyclopedia galactus about our biology, and, as a sentient specie, we may be of some interest for alien anthropologist, but we would be probably of minor commercial and technological interest.

    Yeah, except of course if they fuckin love human brain-burgers.
    >> Phyrexian 11/09/10(Tue)05:32 No.12735226



    >> Gnollbard !aDIap4MeRg 11/09/10(Tue)05:32 No.12735231
    Yeah. Fuuka got banned for a day because, and I quote: "POST CONTAINS BANNED URL". Despite the fact that she posted no URL.

    Iunno. Anyways, she wanted me to tell you all, alright? Have a good one.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)05:33 No.12735232
    If they're anything like us, they'll be intelligent, cooperative amongst their species omnivores, who band together to fuck up any other predator they've come across.

    Humans are the apex of Darwinism on our planet and to think that we might meet another species like ours (according to darwin traits) should fucking terrify you.

    Highly cooperative, Intelligent, Aggressive, Communal, Tool users, Apex Predators.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)05:34 No.12735237
    Yeah, that was us discovering a new continent. There's a huge difference between "Hey, look, another landmass," and "Holy shit, another PLANET with ANOTHER SPECIES that is VASTLY different."

    We enslaved dem blackies because they too were human, so we felt like we understood them and had the right to do so.

    Now we're much different over the years, gotten to a point where we actually have a person who's role is to be our "Emissary" if we make contact with extraterrestrials. Yes, we mankind have appointed someone to talk to aliens for us, should it happen.

    If we've gotten to a point where we're willing to communicate and learn from them (which we ARE right now) why shouldn't they be in a similar place?

    You guys are just deluded by the silly portrayals of SPACE WARS in scifi settings. Zomg space war would be so cooool I bet all aliens wanna do it.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)05:34 No.12735240
    Well, they could come for the RARE minerals. Like, maybe they are running low on uranium or something.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)05:35 No.12735244

    There are all kinds of anatomical features that outlived their practical origins but became extremely important to a species' sexual displays. Like mastodon tusks; too large and too curled to be used to plow or root through dirt for food, too weak and too curled to fight with, just in general not the best possible thing to put on a creature's face, but presumably part of what would make a mammoth sexy. A Smilodon's infamous "saber teeth" are presumed to follow a similar path, having started out as a practical feature but grown beyond all reason or all practicality due to sexy.

    Peacock tails can actually be detrimental to an individual's survival. There were experiments in which biologists basically glued longer tails on top of pre-existing peacock tails, thus completely ruining the male peacock's ability to fly short distances or run or escape danger in any way. Female peacocks universally preferred these freaks over peacocks with survival potential.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)05:35 No.12735246
    >we get abortions due to the instinct

    Good luck supporting that.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)05:36 No.12735248
    This may very well get me to complain to moot. It takes a lot to get me to take action like that. Thanks for telling us.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)05:37 No.12735250
    Mastadon tusks were perfect for removing a snow cover from vegetation, dumbass.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)05:37 No.12735253
    White Knight
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)05:38 No.12735254
    Uranium isn't rare. Or very common on earth. I mean, Earth is one of the better places in the solar system to stock up on your U, but you can find more then you'd ever need just sitting around.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)05:38 No.12735255
    It's true. Sort of. Many mammals will kill/eat newborns if they feel threatened,or feel that they won't be able to get enough resources to actually raise the infant. Abortion is just going at it sooner and saving yourself the pain of birth.

    >tredify winn

    Truly, this is threadified win Captcha!
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)05:39 No.12735259

    Here's her posts for evidence.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)05:40 No.12735261
    I don't see anything remotely similar to it in our own evolutionary chain, honestly. Not to mention our reasons for it rarely have to do with resources, but rather intimidation and embarassment.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)05:41 No.12735266
    Any intelligent species that makes it to space in large numbers is likely to share a large number of traits with us.

    -Agression (this is a pro-active trait in evolution as it will drive off predators)
    -Cooperative amongst their own species (You don't build spaceships by yourself)
    -Probably omnivorous with a favoring towards meat (Big brains require big energy, big energy comes from eating other creatures who don't need to have as high of an energy intake)
    -Probably expansionist in nature (due to darwinism).
    -Tool Users
    -Plus much much more.

    Put all this together with an alien sentience that doesn't give a shit about your well being because it has no reason to and you've got something terrifying.

    You'd just better hope that altruism is one of their *REALLY FUCKING BIG* traits.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)05:42 No.12735272

    If they're interested in basic metals, harvesting asteroids would be indeed much easier. I have no idea of the abundance of rarer elements like uranium in the solar system, but i'd be happy to read about it if you have any information.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)05:42 No.12735273
    I take that as a complement. But it's not entirely true. For starters, I only said might. But more significantly, this hurts /tg/ as a whole by making it harder to have a conversation when at any time anyone might be banned and have all their posts deleted completely at random for no reason at all.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)05:44 No.12735284
    That's because we are a social species. Your social status is as important as your stock of nuts and the number of predators in the area. People have been killing their babies ever since, well, they were people. The pressure being social or some other kind probably does not make much of a difference.
    >> Magus O'Grady 11/09/10(Tue)05:45 No.12735289
    It depends on the chemical structure of the aliens in question, really. Yes, almost all life on earth is carbon based. But could certain life-for types grow to larger size under different conditions? High gravity? Low gravity? High atmospheric pressure? Low pressure? A mix of gravity and pressure? Are they aquatic in nature? What about different temperatures? We've discovered bacteria in boiling PH 1 water under high pressure in volcanic sulfur vents at the bottom of the ocean. Who's to say that sentient life couldn't develop under similar conditions elsewhere in the galaxy? Perhaps all the Mercury- and Pluto- like planets that scientists have been ignoring are really havens of unique life forms? We won't know until we get there.

    Are they even made of carbon? I know a popular element to build a fictional race off of is Silicon, but really, any rigid or semi-rigid element that naturally forms solid structures could be a base for a life form. Any of the metals, most of the metaloids. Pretty much anything non-gaseous.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)05:47 No.12735298
    Path of least resistance and all that.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)05:48 No.12735301

    Space wars would totally suck because any spacefaring civilization would be litteray uphill and could shit ruin our sorry face with whatever they want without any way for us to strike back. Another important characteristic they would have is that they see long-term. Fucking long term. When you travelled through space you probably learn to be patient. They wouldn't mind waiting some millenias for the dust to fall down after blowing us up if they really need something earth has and we're on the way.

    As someone just said above, our only hope is that altruism is higher on their list of traits than aggressiveness.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)05:50 No.12735311
    Those are all functions of a social society. You are, unfortunately, kind of an outlier. No insult intended, honest. Your autism severs your connection to the society that defines normality. It's just how you're made.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)05:51 No.12735323
    I don't see how ANY of this supports a theory that the default extraterrestrial reaction to being able to come here, to Earth, would be to engage in war with us and try to fuck us up. WE as an organized species seem to LOVE the notion of observing new societies and learning new things, ESPECIALLY where extra-terrestrials are concerned.

    I think your problem (evidenced by the liberal name-dropping of Darwinism) is that you think humans are highly motivated by evolutionary features they've long since trivialized, and assume aliens would be the same.

    Oh, and stop mentioning Darwinism, I don't think you understand why it doesn't fit this conversation.

    I have my doubts aliens will just be feral wolves that want to fuck anything that gets too close up.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)05:51 No.12735325

    Very related and of some interest, although i think most of you guys know it.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)05:55 No.12735343
    Right, back again. Reading through the thread, and it feels like a lot of people have been interpreting social and psychological traits as genetical traits. Such as alcohol and drugs and bloodsport and television... I've always been of the belief that these are construct to keep an unhappy populance from thinking about how unhappy they are, by distracting them. Sure, drugs and booze can be fun but, it can be for any specie and humans have no unique genetical taste for it. We can come up with new ones because some of us are inventive and some others driven by the prospect of gain, but in the end, I don't think it's any kind of defining trait of the human race at all.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)05:55 No.12735345
    >but really, any rigid or semi-rigid element that naturally forms solid structures could be a base for a life form. Any of the metals, most of the metaloids. Pretty much anything non-gaseous.

    This is stupid and you are stupid and don't understand why carbon is the base element of life. (Hint: it has to do with the formation of electron bonds)
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)05:55 No.12735347
    The idea that a space fairing species being overly agressive seems odd to me. After all wouldn't a species have to grow passed atleast some of the aggressiveness that alowed them to thrive initially if they wanted to get their shit together enough for space travel?

    I mean look at humanity. We may not all be peace loving hippies but we've managed to get passed genocidal tribals (for the most part). After all, space travel is a BIG thing to attempt and it seems only natural that any species doing so would need to band together... or else slow down the processes signifigently.
    >> Magus O'Grady 11/09/10(Tue)06:01 No.12735371
    >They wouldn't mind waiting some millenias for the dust to fall down after blowing us up if they really need something earth has and we're on the way.
    Really, what does the Earth have that would be desirable? Any minerals are easily attainable on various moons or asteroids with much lower gravity. There'd be no point in wasting energy and effort conquering Earth just for the minerals. Plant an animal life is a possibility, but attempting to wipe us out would have a high probability of destroying the target resources in the process. Ergo, stupid idea. A trade treaty would be much simple, give the ignorant humans a cheap toy or waste product in exchange for something they don't know is valuable. The only reason to aggressively conquer Earth is for slave labor. The only reason any space-faring race would attempt to seize Earth is for the humans themselves. And with our history, let's just say I doubt the economic viability of aggressively enslaving humanity. The cost/return balance sheets would have to be cooked to hell and back to justify the expense.

    The only other reason I can think of for aliens to wage war on earth would be religious. If we meet a race of derka-derka nutjobs who are offended that we don't pray to their giant seven-headed vagina-bird goddess while standing on our heads, we're boned. We can't even get members of two local faiths which are essentially identical to sit down without trying to kill each other. A truly devout alien theocracy would be a disaster.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)06:02 No.12735377
    Well that and we've learned something through the centuries, and that's that we can royally fuck each other up.

    It used to be we'd go at it with rifles and cannons because we were just killing soldiers to make progress/put forth a point. THEN, we developed nuclear weapons, and realized, "Oh shit, if we use these on them, they'll use theirs on us, rendering both sides all dead and their regions inhospitable."

    So as greater technology develops over time, we are more and more capable of outright just making ourselves die forever.

    So, by the time we can make the seemingly impossible hurdle of space travel, we've probably long since had the ability to completely wipe each other out, but simply haven't. So if aliens ever DID come, they must have some value for the concept of peace by then.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)06:04 No.12735386
    On the thoughts of slavery, I doubt they'd come and be like "Humans! Goody! Enslave them!"

    On the flip side, they don't really know our history, I doubt they've recorded us in any way. So the way I see it, a species so advanced to be space-faring will have no need of significantly less advanced people as slaves, or even slaves in the first place. If they do, they might not GO TO SPACE to get slaves, I'm sure they can find some right at home that are more adapted to their world and can function better as laborers.

    I just don't see myself needing slaves for labor, and I don't even have the tech to make spaceships.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)06:06 No.12735392

    I'm sorry if i wasn't clear enough. I'm not pretending they would be overly aggressive. I'm just pretending that they would probably have the same behavorial characteristic that make us a competitive specie. Ergo, if they would have too chose between them, their project and the survival of us, alien specie, i wouldn't bet on our chances, the very same way we everyday exploit large portions of our planets without much second thinking about it. Except that they may apply that at a much higher scale we may not be able to deal with.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)06:06 No.12735393
    I made a typo, I meant ALIEN slaves for labor.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)06:06 No.12735394
    With the technology level required for interstellar travel (at our current understanding of physics), if sentient alien life openly contacted us, we would be alive because they allowed us to be.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)06:06 No.12735399

    A mod could have banned her. They can specify any reason for doing so. Or she could be lying to get us to mistrust the system. All in all, I'm just glad it happened to fuuka. I saw her posts; they had some good points, but she was being so argumentative and didn't listen at all to the counterpoints, she ended up almost derailing the thread. I remember once she derailed her own thread after a single person said something bad about her. She's nuts. But this isn't about her.

    As much as I'd like to contribute, most of the points I was going to comment on have been resolved.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)06:08 No.12735404
    That's not a certainty though, even if it does seem likely. They could be heavily divided, maybe it was even a recent split brought on by some new moral dilemma, or maybe those who are sent away have been exiled due to being troublemakers. Or maybe they have a very strong xenophobia or at least cultural and racial bias, thinking us to be worthless but our resources to be fine.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)06:09 No.12735407
    You make some bold and unsupported claims there, such as suggesting we're an aggressive and competitive enough race to want to wage war with a species we know nothing about for no significant reason (basing that off your statement they could be like us, in support of aliens being war-makers.)

    Or suggesting that we actually exploit our planet significantly and that this is proof they'd not be afraid to wipe us out. We're not wiping out an alien species to exploit out world every day, and honestly I don't like your tone when we say we don't give any thought to it.
    >> Magus O'Grady 11/09/10(Tue)06:10 No.12735411
    Yes, Carbon is the base life element here on earth. under a specific set of chemical and physical conditions. That scientists have confirmed are exceedingly rare everywhere else in the universe. Interesting note: in the presence of intense pressure, or high heat, or low heat, or high levels of nuclear radiation (all relative to the earth-norm) many elements have wildly different chemical properties. To assume that all life in the universe will arise on worlds identical to Earth is both Ignorant and Arrogant.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)06:12 No.12735417
    I don't think an exile would lead them to use their likely greatest technological pursuit, space travel, on the people they didn't favor enough to want to exile.

    Not to mention I doubt exiles trapped on a ship would be outfitted with the weapons to take our entire world so they could colonize us. Under these circumstances they'd be more likely to say "Hey, we got kicked out, can we crash here?"

    And about the whole resources thing, what resources? We don't have jackshit down here on Earth that would be of use to an alien, space-faring civilization.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)06:16 No.12735429
    Social and psychological traits are just complex expressions of genetic traits. Everything has a root somewhere. Genetic traits are just complex expressions of chemical reactions etc etc ad infinitum.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)06:21 No.12735451

    The thing that allows complex chemicals to exist is covalent bonds. Ionic bonds form self-similar crystal lattice structures that are of limited use; in addition, they don't fare well in fluid environments, which is necessary for actual development.

    Carbon is almost unique because it has the ability to form four bonds at once, which gives it a great degree of versatility in constructing complex molecules. I say almost because silicon has similar properties at very high temperatures, but it's much less common than carbon on a stellar scale. Germanium would have similar abilities, but it is a metal and thus cannot form covalent bonds.
    From what we understand of stellar nucleosynthesis, there isn't likely to be significant variation in proportions of elements formed from a star. Life makes do with what it has; therefore, carbon is the most likely base element for chemical life.
    Nitrogen, with its ability to make three, is also useful, but a nitrogen-based system wouldn't work because nitrogen really likes pairing off, while carbon doesn't.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)06:23 No.12735462

    Sorry i think my english is simply not fluent enough to be perfeclty understandable. I was not implying they would be willing to wage war for inventive reasons, nor that the human race in general follow this pattern. i was saying that, prioritizing their needs over ours, they may deal with us in a manner that may be highly harmfull to us without much more than, a "sorry guys" in return.

    I really wasn't claiming that we would be of any significant importance, threat, or level of annoyance for any spacefaring civilization to willingly eradicate us
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)06:24 No.12735465
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    This is by far one of the most fascinating threads I've been in in a long time. This feels like it should be on /sci/.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)06:27 No.12735484

    Actualy, waging war with people we know nothing about for no significant reason looks terribly to me like any religion war we had through human history :)
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)06:29 No.12735496
    Oh no, we had a reason there.
    They didn't believe in what we held all important at the time.
    That's something we KNEW about them.
    Might not be a good reason, but it's a reason AND it's based on something we knew about them.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)06:31 No.12735501
    "significant" is a nebulous term in this case. The reasons those people had for waging war seem trivial to us now, but they were the most solid reasons in the world to them. To them, waging war over oil would seem ridiculous. There was an unlimited supply of semi-convenient ignition source.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)06:34 No.12735516
    Religious wars are VERY unlikely to be a subject that'd come up in alien contact. I mean, we quickly realized as a species (quickly in our lifespan as a species, when you consider it) that it would be okay if the church lost much power in our world, and we could go further with it. So it could go either way; they could either have loss a sense of priority in afterlife theories/creationism/religion in favor of practical pursuits in life, leading to space travel - or they could be MOTIVATED and UNITED by religion, yet not abstaining from technological and scientific alteration of their surrounding universe like we may have been, which presents a TERRIFYING foe, when you consider it. Though it strikes me as unlikely. I think religion is just a short human phase that got out of hand when people realized they could exploit it for power. I imagine many of the people who waged religious war weren't THAT spiritual, but just insane and power hungry, justifying their horrible misdeeds as guidance by a divine figure.

    Well that is quite fine and makes much more sense. It's possible they'd want to wipe us out if we stood in the way of their survival (though such a situation seems unlikely) without so much as an inkling of hesitation, though you never know honestly. I don't know if we as humans have come to a point where we're protecting species that do nothing for us, and I don't know if the people protecting them can speak for the people who don't give a fuck.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)06:42 No.12735555
    That brings up the interesting point of assuming all members of an alien species to behave the same. We have WILDLY different viewpoints in our own species, on things as varied as how to run ourselves, how to consume food, what should live, how to make things, etc.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)06:44 No.12735561

    Also, just saying, a lot of the time that wasn't even the main reason. Take the conquest of the aztec empire, for example. Cortes had allied himself with the aztecs' enemy, the tlaxcala confederacy. The aztecs were the aggressors in the previous war, and the tlaxcalans feared for their very existence. The spaniards also only started the war when they heard that the aztec village they stayed in was planning to kill them all in their sleep.
    After all was said and done, the Aztec Empire was propped up as a puppet state, and aztec noblemen were made noblemen of the spanish crown (after converting, of course; they didn't have much problem with this), the collapse of the spanish-aztec system came when the conquistadores who were given large tracts of aztec land.
    You'll notice the conversion was incidental; at no point was religion the primary reason for going to war. They mostly saved that particular casus belli for the muslims, and even then it was because the muslim armies liked holy wars even more.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)06:46 No.12735582
    the wrist. no other animal has the ability to whip things around like the human wrist. a baseball pitcher throwing a fastball is one of the most violent physical actions ever recorded in a lab. early Man utilized this with the atal. you can have dextrous digits, but a wrist is somthing altogether somthing else
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)06:49 No.12735595
    Well you are right, it is awfully presumptuous to assume that aliens would be united in their standpoints - but it is also highly likely (and I didn't consider this originally, so it isn't a rebuttal but just a continued theory) that the first aliens to actually head into space and find us will be united in purpose and beliefs (after all, if America gets into space to see aliens, do you think our ship is going to be made entirely of other cultures, or dominantly American with influences from other cultures?)

    So it's likely in the time it takes for them to get here, we'll be seeing an unvaried facade of their species and culture.

    Which is interesting, because what if aliens came and were truly benevolent and culturally rich, but we find out about a doubted member of their species who has traits of people we fear in history, like Stalin?
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)06:51 No.12735601
    Not to mention that said race's history could have a massive impact on how they would view us and react to us.

    For example, a race that had been completely dominant over all forms of life on their own world, then in their own solar system and so on, could believe that in conquering a galaxy, they were doing us a favor. Or they could believe that the galaxy/universe is theirs for the taking due to their history of supremacy giving them the impression, false or not, that no other species is worthy.

    Or they could be peaceful scientist squids?
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)06:55 No.12735614
    I'd love peaceful scientist squids! But you know, if they WERE ruthless conquerors, MAN I will feel badass if we fucked them up royally.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)07:11 No.12735674
    You know, I've been thinking... how viable would an elephant like sentient lifeform? Scale it down a bit, two trunks that are proportionally larger. Voila, manipulators. Change the brain shape, more wrinked, more processing power, and perhaps sentience would be possible. I think an elephant like alien would be pretty cool.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)07:18 No.12735693
    But what causes us to use drugs is not a genetical urge to do so. People generally aren't born with an addiction to opium.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)07:22 No.12735704
    good point. of course theres the chance that said aliens are the Puritans of their race. kicked off to the new world to be batshit crazy by themselves.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)07:26 No.12735720
    About America launching populated spaceships to explore the galaxy. I would venture to say that countries as they are today will long have disintegrated before we're at that stage. Something along the lines of The Lion of Comarre. That level of technical prowess is so far in the future that a unified Earth will most likely come long before.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)07:36 No.12735750
    and unified earth perhaps, but that does not mean everybody is friends or we agree on everything. i mean look at the US. both parties want to better the nation but rather than work together they are too busy bullshiting or sitting with their dicks in their hands (looking at you Dems last 2 years) to work together. usually.

    im sure that Man will one day be under 1 or a few more banners, but there will always be infighting and factions.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)08:18 No.12735921
    Most likely yes, but so much that "the U.S.A." can send up a colonial space vessel full of "americans"? I doubt it.
    But that's just my take on it, of course.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)08:41 No.12736057
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    Absolutely outstanding thread. One of the best I've ever seen on the boards.

    You make me proud /tg/.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)08:46 No.12736087
    is this thread going to suptg or 4chanarchive?
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)09:02 No.12736178
    Protip: While carbon is incredibly mutable due to it's electronic properties they are certainly NOT unique.

    Silicon is, perhaps, not the best example as it tends to not form covalent bonds as readily as ionic ones and has such a high mass that unless the compounds in question are in an environment much hotter than our own the bonds would require an enormous amount of energy to change as readily as in carbon compounds.

    However, an interesting note is that the B-N bond is ISOELECTRONIC to the C-C bond. This 'inorganic' compound can actually form carbon-like chains and has incredibly similar properties.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)09:30 No.12736339
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    This made me think. The only form of dogma or religion that would be conducive to advancing a civilization towards space faring would be one that has reverence for the stars themselves. Or life. Or even just technological advancement... (pic related)

    This is also a very good point. Of course, this could be counteracted by the nature of the beings not to have 'individuals' in the sense we commonly think. But, for sake of discussion, lets say that because of this, upon attaining interplanetary travel the first think that might happen would be division of the species. A species capable of existing on more than one world might have sovereign nation-state worlds as easily as we have separate nations. In fact, this may even be a future occurrence for our species (Though I have my doubts. The emerging Global Culture seems to indicate otherwise). A single species could very likely compose several immensely different cultures.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)09:34 No.12736361
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    Fantastic thread guys. Just incredible. Almost sorry I had to go to sleep half way through it.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)10:10 No.12736541
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    Another thing occurs to me. To those of you who speak of the possibility of worlds without sunlight or some form of radiation as their primary driving force against entropy:

    Consider this. Life on earth is constantly bombarded by a large amount of radiation. Normally, this would cause masses of mutations in our genetic data (and, in fact, it does). But we have developed very sophisticated systems within our cells to repair these mutations as they develop. Our repair systems combat upwards of 50,000 mutations a day.

    Now, consider space travel. One of the limitations we still face is that cosmic radiation is far more damaging outside of earth's ozone atmosphere. Even our most advanced materials can only block so much of the radiation. How would an organism that did not develop constantly fighting radiation ever be able to leave their isolated paradise?
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)14:16 No.12738190
    Generation of strong electromagnetic fields around their ships, extensive shielding or nanintes repairing their DNA (so probably just electromagnetic and material shielding, I'm not a big believer in omnipotent nanites)
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)15:26 No.12738748
    A species evolved on a planet with no magnetic field is my new explanation for super-healing. Once there's no radiation damage to repair, those wounds will probably close up while you watch.
    >> Anonymous 11/09/10(Tue)15:35 No.12738810

    I think you might be wrong. Miners don't have super healing powers underground.

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