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Saru

Are alien probes scouring the galaxy ?

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I think you would send out probes, to find the places you really want to explore. But, I think the movie independent day has it more correct. Just take everyone. When you get to a new system, unoccupied, take all the resources you need move on. I think wee cn build such a ship now. When you need to build more such ships to either travel together or split up.

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How do you mean, nutcases? All UFO Sightings are the work of nutcases, is that what you're saying?

I think as a general rule, yes. I've had dozens of experiences of this and had no difficulty finding more reasonable ways to look at it; and even an "I don't know" approach seems more rational. Maybe my problem is the word "nutcase," as a shorthand for someone who seems to prefer the exotic over the mundane, when the mundane is really the way to go.

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I think you would send out probes, to find the places you really want to explore. But, I think the movie independent day has it more correct. Just take everyone. When you get to a new system, unoccupied, take all the resources you need move on. I think wee cn build such a ship now. When you need to build more such ships to either travel together or split up.

The film hypothesized a species that by its nature quickly consumed all the natural resources of a planet and then was necessarily forced to move on. I think a more self-sustaining society will be possible, so that any expansion will either be from curiosity or from insurance.

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There is also an argument against Alien civilizations creating self-replicating probes in the first place. There is some probability that during the self-replicating process errors would occur in the original program of the probes. Over generations, these errors would increase to the point that the probes' program would eventually be completely different than the originally intended program.

Instead of the intended benign information gathering behavior, the behavior of some later generation of probes would become unpredictable. There would be some probability that these probes would have become aggressive and hostile to biological life.

This scenario being a statistical probability, Alien civilizations would dare not to create these information gathering self-replicating probes.

Even if the probes were not self-replicating, but self-repairing, the same scenario could occur.

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What exactly do you envision they might evolve into? I don't see anything similar to natural selection being around.

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What exactly do you envision they might evolve into? I don't see anything similar to natural selection being around.

If you're asking me, I would assume these probes would need to have some high level of artificial intelligence to determine the level of intelligence and technology of a planetary civilization. I would think they would be programmed to detect and comprehend as much information as possible of Earth culture, for instance. I would also think the Alien technology used in these probes would be much advanced compared to our own technology.

Why go to all this expense and trouble sending probes all over the galaxy if they're just dumb receptors of basic biological life?

It would seem that in any self-replicating device there would be a probability, however small, that there would be an error in the replicating process. I would think generations of perfect replications would be much more improbable, if not an impossibility.

These errors in replicating would be similar to biological mutations, or a kind of artificial selection.They would have unpredictable results in the intelligence program of the probes. These errors would be passed on to later generations. It would only take one crazy probe to start an unlimited replication of itself exponentially to create havoc in the galaxy.

One problem with this defense against uncontrolled replication is that it would only require a single probe to malfunction and begin unrestricted reproduction for the entire approach to fail — essentially a technological cancer — unless each probe also has the ability to detect such malfunction in its neighbours and implements a seek and destroy protocol.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-replicating_spacecraft

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Biological evolution occurs when random mutation (reproductive errors) happen that for one reason or another are an improvement over the parent's phylogeny, allowing it to pass its new material into the succeeding generations more successfully and thereby and therefore we presume eventually replace the older forms.

The factors creating this improvement are sexual and natural selection. There would be no sex with probes, so only natural selection might be an element. I just don't see this. With natural breeding populations you have a niche in an environment. Here you have individual probes rarely interacting with each other or anything else. The benefits of probes in terms of cost and accessibility to parts of the universe we can't see appear to me to vastly outweigh an almost trivial danger

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Biological random mutation produces defects as well as improvements. Genetic mutations can be beneficial or harmful. Harmful mutations can cause genetic disorders or hereditary diseases.

We cannot say what kind of technology Alien probes are made of. Their method of replication may be similar to biological reproduction.These probes may be a combination of technology and biology. They may be real life-forms, though artificially created. Who can say what kind of technology an advanced race of beings can devise?

Due to the damaging effects that mutations can have on genes, organisms have mechanisms such as DNA repair to prevent or correct (revert the mutated sequence back to its original state) mutations.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mutation

However, this DNA repair mechanism itself can become defective by harmful mutations. I think it would be a danger for advanced civilizations to send out millions of self-replicating or self-repairing machines into the galaxy, knowing that there is a calculable probability that unpredictable mutations or errors will occur within some generations of probes. Especially if these probes are capable of unlimited reproductions.

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After reading this thread, a rather random thought occurred to me:

If there can be possible alien probes adventuring through-out space. And if there are drones that venture out all over our world... then when does one have to be able to start to tell a difference between them?

This is a genuine ponderment.

Kind Regards :)

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After reading this thread, a rather random thought occurred to me:

If there can be possible alien probes adventuring through-out space. And if there are drones that venture out all over our world... then when does one have to be able to start to tell a difference between them?

This is a genuine ponderment.

Kind Regards :)

i suppose the difference is that the Drones we use for such purposes as spying on people or assassinating America's Enemies are remotely controlled, and the decision making is left to those bravely controling them from a bunker deep underneath a mountain in Wyoming. When we start devloping self-aware Drones that can make their own decisions, then perhaps people might begin to raise objections ....

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I believe there is a plan to build a self-repairing solar sail underway, which will provide a possible form of propulsion for our future probes. Whilst a great idea, I believe this highlights a problem we are going to have ourselves, as a species, that the ability to build better spaceships is possibly going to outstrip the ability to develop trans-galactic communication systems, which will ultimately defeat the concept. There is no point in sending stuff across the cosmos if we cannot get anything out of it.

So, we will either have to develop communication relay-stations, or spaceships that come BACK with information, both of which will be a major drain on our current interstellar resources.

To go back to the original discussion though, I think that the other possibility, of motherships capable of supporting a species in its entirety, is a more rewarding way to explore the universe. Once a species has evolved means to both anticipate and deal with the potential hazards of space-travel whilst building and repairing at will, then there is almost no limit to what they are able to do. It's one possible solution, I think.

The other solution is the one we have not yet discovered, thought of, or perhaps never envisaged - the easier way to get around space, whatever that is. :D Although the human species is currently stuck in the realm of thermo-nuclear physics and various other forms of propulsion, I'm assuming that within another 1000 years we will have other options, many of which no one has yet thought of.

That's assuming we are still here of course. At some stage one race on earth is going to have to pull their weight and become top dog to avoid a complete meltdown of everything on the planet, and I do not think that is either going to be pretty or leave a lot behind that will be of use to a species.

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Why go to all this expense and trouble sending probes all over the galaxy if they're just dumb receptors of basic biological life?

Maybe for the exact same reasons you listed in your previous post?

The more simple the drone, the less likely there will be errors in reproduction.

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We have been in the situation where ships were our only means of communication between the mother country and her colonies. It is for this very reason that the bttle of new orleans took place, six weeks after the war was over.

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Maybe for the exact same reasons you listed in your previous post?

The more simple the drone, the less likely there will be errors in reproduction.

Good point.

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The thing is, there isn't going to be just one of them out there -- there are going to be thousands if not millions of them -- and they are going to each be different. Where are they? Something just doesn't add up.

.

welcome to the world of the Fermi Paradox Frank.....

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.

welcome to the world of the Fermi Paradox Frank.....

Honestly, I personally don't see much of a paradox in the Fermi paradox :-)

Cheers,

Badeskov

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Posted (edited)

If an alien civilization did create self replicating probes I sure hope they didn't give them the ability to make self improvements. It is not hard to imagine that going horribly wrong if those probes became self aware and decided that biological life posses a threat to their existence. :no:

When you throw in the exponential growth factor, it would not be long before they became stronger, smarter and faster than anything we can imagine or have any hope of defending ourselves against.

Edited by Razer

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Honestly, I personally don't see much of a paradox in the Fermi paradox :-)

Cheers,

Badeskov

.

true Badeskov, it's more of an immediate inference than a paradox,

as it only references its own answer rather than attacking it, but i guess "that thing that Fermi bloke said about aliens" didn't have the same ring to it!

:-)

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Maybe for the exact same reasons you listed in your previous post?

The more simple the drone, the less likely there will be errors in reproduction.

I think if you sent probes out into space, you would want them to evolve for new situations Unknown facters. Self programing drones.

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think if you sent probes out into space, you would want them to evolve for new situations Unknown facters. Self programing drones.

This could be a good idea, too. Wouldn't whoever sent out the drones want to gather as much information as possible about a distant planet's biology? That biology may be of an unexpected order, and the drone may have to alter its expectations of what it considers life to be.

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The way I see it.... We can barely detect a quarter mile asteroid flying by, much less some silent, small alien probe that might be watching us with superior optics.

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I think if you sent probes out into space, you would want them to evolve for new situations Unknown facters. Self programing drones.

If there is a system that is so harsh it destroys the drone, it is probably too harsh for colonization anyway, and thus mostly useless. I'd keep a drone simple. I'd even use very primitive technology, the bare minimum, as I'd not like good technology to fall into the hands of anyone out there who happened to capture it.

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Or give it selfdestruct option if it is picked up. The five drones that we have leaving the system has out of date tech on them. New horizen has the most advanced tech on it. The other four have traveling since the seventies.

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Posted (edited)

Ask almost any astrophysicist you might happen to find walking down the street and the first you will hear from them is, "Fermi's Paradox." (If you want a real expert you will need an exobiologist, but as these are getting rare they can nowadays and be found only with difficulty on campus).

The whole idea is now pretty much rejected except among a few die-hards that have forgotten the first rule of the Scientific Method (check the literature) and the idea of all the visitors is pretty much laughed at now in academic circles and we are close to alone out there and that the universe is ours for the taking.

Sorry, it seems much less exciting at first but in the long run it will make for a far more interesting universe to see how we evolve, and maybe we will run into a few others that we can learn from and cooperate with.

Edited by Frank Merton

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Or as the traveler on next generation said, we aee just not interesting. Also in first contact,the vulcans only stopped by because of the warp test, ie our tech was good enough to interest them.

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