alt.alien.wanderers: Beliefs *of* aliens
Newsgroups: alt.alien.wanderers, alt.aliens, alt.aliens.they-are-here, alt.atheism
Subject: Re: Beliefs *of* aliens
From: email@example.com (Bill Thacker)
Date: 13 Jul 2000 17:38:10 GMT
In article <Rn4b5.1567$M11.1525@news2-hme0>,
Martin Willett <Martin.Willett@cwcom.net> wrote:
Is there anybody out there interested in the beliefs *of* aliens?
I will put the matter of the belief *in* aliens to one side, I am interested
in what aliens might believe. Naturally I am assuming that we are only
interested in aliens with a level of intelligence comparable or superior to
our own. I am particularly interested in any irrational beliefs they may
have. This is a theoretical question and I am interested in the theory of it.
OK. We think the way we do because we evolved that way. Our ability
to believe in God, I think, is an outgrowth of something that gave us
an evolutionary advantage. It was obviously beneficial for our species
to be obedient to authority (just as it's beneficial for every other
social species), and we evolved the ability to understand some pretty
complex subtleties of authority hierarchy. Perhaps this facility
gives us the ability and need to extrapolate to an Ultimate Authority
- which we fill in to create the concept of God.
Alien thinking would likewise have evolved. To get to Earth, an
alien species would also have to cooperate, and that suggests they,
too, must have had an instinctive respect for authority. (Maybe not:
I can conjecture a species that is perfectly democratic. But I can
think of no examples, whereas many species use dominance
hierarchies.) And they'd have to be intelligent, so they need the
ability to mentally extrapolate patterns. So it wouldn't surprise me
a bit if they, too, have notions of an ultimate authority.
But this is all controlled by your genes. Humans don't have
interstellar space flight, but we can tinker with genes already, and
I'm betting that within 100 years we still won't have left our solar
system, but we'll be pretty good at genetic engineering. With
genetic engineering, we can re-write the way we think. That's a scary
proposition for us now, since our instinctive thinking is that any
*other* way of thinking is bad. But eventually I have little doubt
that our species will re-program itself significantly. People 200
years from now may be more alien to us than Australopithecus
If aliens progressed the same way, then by the time we meet them
they have have eliminated any evolved quirks like religion.
Or they may have replaced them with something we can't even
comprehend, because we still think like animals.
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Bill Thacker firstname.lastname@example.org
Bill's Rail Buggy Page: http://www.ds.net/~gunner/buggy/buggy.html
"Our governor can beat up your governor." - Minnesota bumper sticker