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How does this study of predictive reactions to news of alien live seem like good news for Liberals?

Hayabusa Rider

Admin Emeritus & Elite Member
Jan 26, 2000
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I don't think it says anything. Have a look at the following.

The scientists asked 500 people to describe their reactions to a hypothetical discovery of alien microorganisms. Respondents also had to predict how humanity at large would react. Like the journalists, people in the study used positive words. There were no characteristics that set responses apart, not a person's income, ethnicity, political orientation or traits such as neuroticism or agreeableness. But people felt that the rest of the country would be generally less agreeable.
People seem to react individually without correlation to ideology or anything else considered.
 

woolfe9998

Lifer
Apr 8, 2013
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https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2017/12/04/how-will-humanity-react-to-alien-life-psychologists-have-some-predictions/?utm_term=.9ec92efd55fc

I see the potential positive reaction to such potential news to be a sign of a liberal leaning population. Your thoughts. There were a number of interesting facts presented you may also care to comment on.
I don't know. I think gauging people's reaction to the discovery of microbial life is vastly different than it would be if we discovered intelligent life. People aren't likely to be threatened by the discovery of microbes, so I imagine most people would view it as a cool scientific discovery, and nothing more. A truer test of our liberality is how we would react to the discovery of sentient life elsewhere.
 

Hayabusa Rider

Admin Emeritus & Elite Member
Jan 26, 2000
50,874
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I don't know. I think gauging people's reaction to the discovery of microbial life is vastly different than it would be if we discovered intelligent life. People aren't likely to be threatened by the discovery of microbes, so I imagine most people would view it as a cool scientific discovery, and nothing more. A truer test of our liberality is how we would react to the discovery of sentient life elsewhere.
How should a liberal vs. conservative react to intelligent life?
 

woolfe9998

Lifer
Apr 8, 2013
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How should a liberal vs. conservative react to intelligent life?
In theory, you'd expect conservatives to react with fear and hostility, while liberals would be more likely to welcome the aliens. For an empirical reference point, look at how conservatives and liberals react to human "aliens" who immigrate to their countries. It should be noted, in fairness, that the conservative reaction would be the appropriate one if it turned out to be like "Independence Day" and the aliens were actually here to conquer us.
 

sandorski

No Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
67,821
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Hard to say, especially if it's Microbial. I suspect some would simply deny it, others would find it cool.
 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
66,503
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I don't think it says anything. Have a look at the following.



People seem to react individually without correlation to ideology or anything else considered.
But isn't that why it's good news for liberals. It's that "a majority" of all individuals regardless of political affiliation had a positive reaction, not that political affiliations reacted differently. I see the reaction as liberal across the board.
 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
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In theory, you'd expect conservatives to react with fear and hostility, while liberals would be more likely to welcome the aliens. For an empirical reference point, look at how conservatives and liberals react to human "aliens" who immigrate to their countries. It should be noted, in fairness, that the conservative reaction would be the appropriate one if it turned out to be like "Independence Day" and the aliens were actually here to conquer us.
I don't know. I think gauging people's reaction to the discovery of microbial life is vastly different than it would be if we discovered intelligent life. People aren't likely to be threatened by the discovery of microbes, so I imagine most people would view it as a cool scientific discovery, and nothing more. A truer test of our liberality is how we would react to the discovery of sentient life elsewhere.
I would agree but that test can't yet be done. I think this one was a way at approaching that question that was actually open to investigation.
 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
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Hard to say, especially if it's Microbial. I suspect some would simply deny it, others would find it cool.
Why do you say, hard to say when the point of the test showed a majority positive to the possibility?
 

Hayabusa Rider

Admin Emeritus & Elite Member
Jan 26, 2000
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In theory, you'd expect conservatives to react with fear and hostility, while liberals would be more likely to welcome the aliens. For an empirical reference point, look at how conservatives and liberals react to human "aliens" who immigrate to their countries. It should be noted, in fairness, that the conservative reaction would be the appropriate one if it turned out to be like "Independence Day" and the aliens were actually here to conquer us.
I think your's is the correct prediction regarding aliens, but it demonstrates that ideology is a negative in interpreting such events.

This is my perspective which fits none of the above.

First, this would be absolutely fascinating from a scientific perspective. We have wondered for countless thousands of years if others beyond our world exist, be they physical or spiritual, and this would answer the first part. It would also increase the universe of intelligent life from a data point of exactly one. Well it does more scientifically than I can imagine. It would address societal development, that intelligence exists and can lead to a technological mindset and on and on. It also potentially increases our scientific knowledge by giving us clues as to what is possible in the real world and provides the potential opportunity for new avenues of research. We now know that live more advanced than us exists. That's the positive.

The negative is that we know that life more advanced than us exists. Where there are two technologically species there may be many more. Physical laws being the same, every organism must have the ability to survive hostile environments. All resources are limited and so will develop the ability to compete. In our case and that of planet "X" this lead to intelligence and potential ability to expand beyond planetary boundaries. In all cases, survival is THE biological imperative exists simply because unsuccessful organisms always die.

That last sentence is the key to concerns. We cannot assume any like moral characteristics or even sentience as we understand it. Now back to survival and resources it make sense at some level of development that thermodynamically it is advantageous to visit and take resources from off-world. By that I mean that entropy and energy are key to survival. If less disorder and resources are to be had by taking them elsewhere then it is reasonable to assume it will happen. Human morality or the equivalent may not exist at all. It might, but the balance life and death might be determined on that.

Which if the three scenarios, indifference, benign interest or hostile intent would be true?

I have no idea, I can have no idea and therefore I can have no overall opinion on what things mean. Given that being "good" doesn't mean accidental damage to us or our world is a forbidden possibility, and that self interest of survival by one vastly superior species likely means extinction, I would err on the side of caution.

As a physicist once said in response to the question "What should we do if aliens call"?

"Don't answer!"

I agree that caution needs to be foremost, but that is determined not by who I support or fear but what I believe to be a rational analysis of possible consequences given what we can now know.

Ideologies would not help where they create a bias one way or another.
 

Hayabusa Rider

Admin Emeritus & Elite Member
Jan 26, 2000
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Why do you say, hard to say when the point of the test showed a majority positive to the possibility?

In this case Conservatives are indistinguishable from Liberals and that is why I responded as I did in my original post on the subject. Given that Liberals may welcome hostile consequences through the bias of ignorance and that Conservatives may fear contact even if there is genuine good intent and action doesn't change that the opposite isn't equally likely. Liberals might be right and so with Conservatives given learning of intelligence with no other data to suggest the nature of these beings.

What is "good"? I have no idea, but I know I am too ignorant to make a declarative statement in advance.

One word about me on this- Clueless.
 

1prophet

Diamond Member
Aug 17, 2005
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https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2017/12/04/how-will-humanity-react-to-alien-life-psychologists-have-some-predictions/?utm_term=.9ec92efd55fc

I see the potential positive reaction to such potential news to be a sign of a liberal leaning population. Your thoughts. There were a number of interesting facts presented you may also care to comment on.
More like Hollywood/television conditioned population through endless bombardment of science fiction laced with a bit of government conspiracy.

 

IronWing

No Lifer
Jul 20, 2001
60,238
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In theory, you'd expect conservatives to react with fear and hostility, while liberals would be more likely to welcome the aliens.
Not me. Nuke them from orbit. Intelligent alien life is an existential threat to us. Alien microbes might out-compete us and there ain't no way some dumbass wouldn't try to bring samples back to earth so just nuke them.
 
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Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
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I think aliens are like a Rorshack test. We see in them what we feel about ourselves. Suspicion and fear of aliens tells me we have a person who is frightened of what they feel because they are suppressing a lot of hostility. It strikes me as intuitively obvious that any culture that may have evolve to the point of traveling to the stars would have long before gone extinct if it were hostile. That is exactly what will happen to us if we can't find a way to deal with our self hate. Competition is hate, but humans can cooperate, but only successfully and fully when they feel good about themselves.

And if I am wrong, what difference will it make. There isn't the slightest chance that I can see that we could defend ourselves against a star-traveling technology. The only thing you could do is die with pride knowing there once was a race capable of loving the universe and all life that might be within it.
 
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woolfe9998

Lifer
Apr 8, 2013
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Not me. Nuke them from orbit. Intelligent alien life is an existential threat to us. Alien microbes might out-compete us and there ain't no way some dumbass wouldn't try to bring samples back to earth so just nuke them.
Perhaps, but Moonbeam has a point here. Any race capable of interstellar travel is going to destroy us if that is their intent. Yet if we fire on them first, they may destroy us even if that wasn't their original intent. He also has a point that any alien species which survived long enough to develop interstellar travel is probably not that hostile overall, or they would have destroyed themselves before they even got there. I personally think that is precisely what will happen to us.

So we may as well take the chance of trying to communicate with them, unless of course their hostile intent is evident straight off.
 

pmv

Diamond Member
May 30, 2008
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As this is about micro-organisms, I don't see people's reactions tells us anything of interest.

The chances of sentient life being a position to actually physically get anywhere near us, given the distances involved, seems so remote as to not be worth worrying about. We have far more to fear from the so-called intelligent life here on earth.

(Plus, any entity cabable of interstellar travel would surely be capable of using the same mechanism it uses for that, to send something crashing into earth at near-light speeds and wipe us all out)

(If anything does turn up here, don't send Trump or he might attempt to grab it by whatever sexual organ it has).
 

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