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Author Topic: Could Earth defend against an alien invasion?  (Read 7925 times)
J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #25 on: October 10, 2013, 12:01:50 am »

Study our physiology and I'm sure any et with the right tech could easily synthesize a virus that would wipe us all out, yet leaves the planet and our infrastructure undamaged..


Actually, chances are they would just need to blow whatever passes for a nose, and we would be done for.
Hell, even a particularly vicious fart could be enough...

War Of The Worlds had it right - no resistance to alien bacteria. Mind you that goes both ways, so they are in just as much danger.

Only safe way to plunder a planet is to completely sterilise it first, on a global scale that means a mountain size space rock (about 95% effective, bacteria deep in the Earth's crust would survive) or extreme radiation exposure on par with a gamma-ray burst. While gamma rays would not penetrate Earth's atmosphere to impact the surface directly, they would chemically damage the stratosphere. Gamma rays could deplete a large percentage of the world's ozone layer, this would result in mass extinction, food chain depletion, and starvation. The side of the planet facing the gamma-ray burst would receive potentially lethal radiation exposure, which would cause radiation sickness in the short term, and in the long term result in serious probems due to the ozone layer depletion.
Longer-term, gamma ray energy may cause chemical reactions with oxygen and nitrogen molecules which may create nitrogen oxide and nitrogen dioxide gas, causing photochemical smog. The GRB may produce enough of the gas to cover the sky and darken it. The gas would prevent sunlight from reaching Earth's surface, producing a "nuclear winter" effect, and may even further deplete the ozone layer, thus exposing the whole of the Earth to all types of cosmic radiation. This would kill about 98% of all life (again, deep crust bacteria may escape).

If time is not a concern for the invaders, and no requirements for slaves / lifeforms to survive, then near total sterilisation is the likely method.

SS


Dear chaps and chapettes, what is the point of sterilizing a planet, when there are so many sterile planets in the universe?? Sterilizing Earth also means killing it's climate.  It may turn into something like Venus.  Wouldn't it be easier just to muscle their way to Mars or Venus?  Or better yet, just pick any star system with no life on it!  The odds are that slightly "passable" planets can be inhabited with zero opposition from inferior creatures.
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akumabito
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« Reply #26 on: October 10, 2013, 07:27:42 am »

Study our physiology and I'm sure any et with the right tech could easily synthesize a virus that would wipe us all out, yet leaves the planet and our infrastructure undamaged..


Actually, chances are they would just need to blow whatever passes for a nose, and we would be done for.
Hell, even a particularly vicious fart could be enough...

War Of The Worlds had it right - no resistance to alien bacteria. Mind you that goes both ways, so they are in just as much danger.

That's a pretty dangerous assumption to make though. I would think our biological makeup would be far too different. Mind you, even in the unlikelycase that 'life is inevitable' given the proper starting conditions, and assuming that RNA and DNA are the only ways to go for advanced lifeforms - even then, our fysiology would be shaped on twoentirely diffeent worlds, separated by billions of years of evolution..it's actually quite unlikely we have much (if anything) in common.
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« Reply #27 on: October 10, 2013, 07:44:39 am »

We could send a message into space, explaining on how to distroy this planet, but with a twist:

"Dear aliens. Please do NOT fix the hole in the ozone layer. Fixing it will kill us. Also, DON'T give us an alternative for fossil fuel engines. We need the exhaust to breathe. DON'T fix the hunger in 3rd world countries and DON'T give us world peace."

That'll do, I think.  Cheesy
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« Reply #28 on: October 10, 2013, 07:58:11 am »

Ooohhh, reverse psychology.. I like that Grin
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« Reply #29 on: October 10, 2013, 07:59:45 am »

We are safe. The Doctor will save us.

Sorontar
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« Reply #30 on: October 10, 2013, 08:01:32 am »

We are safe. The Doctor will save us.

Sorontar


Yup, we're good..

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« Reply #31 on: October 10, 2013, 09:09:44 am »

We are safe. The Doctor will save us.

Sorontar


Yup, we're good..




I think you've got the wrong Doc.


and if, at some time does go horribly wrong, we can depend on:
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Madasasteamfish
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« Reply #32 on: October 10, 2013, 09:12:06 am »

We are safe. The Doctor will save us.

Sorontar


Yup, we're good..




I think you've got the wrong Doc.


and if, at some time does go horribly wrong, we can depend on:



I'm sure there are MORE than enough 'Mad Scientist' types gathered here to allow us to thwart any attempted invasion/attack from aliens.
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« Reply #33 on: October 10, 2013, 11:25:30 am »

Indeed..

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« Reply #34 on: October 10, 2013, 11:40:41 am »

In Goliath, a short story by by Neil Gaiman set in the Matrix universe, and the film Starship Troopers, aliens bombard Earth from a safe distance using asteroids. This means they have easy access to a nearly limitless supply of ammo, without having to risk themselves or their ships by approaching Earth.

So basically if I can think of 2 writers off the top of my head who independently had this idea, chances are the aliens have thought of it too.

We are totally screwed.

This was my first thought too.

Personally I hope we are unlikely to be of much interest to an alien species, if one should ever stumble upon our planet. It's likely we'd be so vastly different as to have few points in common. I hope that they'd just observe us with mild interest and continue on their way.
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« Reply #35 on: October 10, 2013, 12:58:14 pm »

Well, I could have been meaning this (more steamy-like) doctor



Just face it, Flash Gordon wouldn't have got anywhere if it wasn't for Dr Zharkov.

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« Reply #36 on: October 10, 2013, 08:47:56 pm »

In Flesh Gordon, a film I saw when VHS was the wave of the future, it was Dr Jerkov. 
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« Reply #37 on: October 10, 2013, 10:32:15 pm »

In Flesh Gordon, a film I saw when VHS was the wave of the future, it was Dr Jerkov. 


Well, let's hope aliens have not yet found a copy of that particular 'art film' - Really don't want to give them ideas about what to do with us.... Lips sealed

The last thing we need, is to be attacked by Emperor Wang the Perverted!


SS
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« Reply #38 on: October 11, 2013, 10:59:02 pm »

But why would they bother to come all this way to wipe us out?

I doesn't bother to watch if someone said it already but: ressource, that why they will come.

In fact, the invasion won't look anything like a war, but more a mining expedition absentmindly crushing the local ants.
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« Reply #39 on: October 11, 2013, 11:57:23 pm »

Well, what should we DO?  In movies, some people rush out with welcome signs and prepare to beam up; some people hurry the President and various white-haired portly generic businessmen into Cheyenne Mountain, the military lines up to A) provoke the obliteration of the planet from an initially benign arriving species or B) hurl everything we have at them in a futile initial burst of panic without information. The general population runs and screams or loots and pulls other people out of their cars and gets gridlocked in tunnels on the way out of town.

What ought a civilized Steampunk individual to do on the Eve of Destruction?  In the event of an alien invasion?  Apart from being splendid, of course. That is a given.
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« Reply #40 on: October 12, 2013, 09:12:54 am »

We go be splendid somewhere else, far, far away from major population centers, that's what. Smiley

For starters, when the proverbial excrement hits the fan, people will be just as dangerous as the invaders. Perhaps more importantly, if you're loking to exterminate a species, you might as well start there where there are most of 'm, right? So yeah.. northern Sweden looks pretty attractive now Tongue
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« Reply #41 on: October 12, 2013, 02:27:54 pm »

Nah, sorry, that never works.  Even in the real world.

To illustrate: in the 1970s, a young father was worried about the coming nuclear war.  Historically speaking, it certainly seemed to him that it was a strong probability.  Not being the typical 'survivalist' stereotype, he did his research, looked at fallout patterns and probabilities of nations being involved, and realized that moving to the Southern Hemisphere seemed to be the best protection for his family.  He finally found a small, out-of-the way, English-speaking, friendly territory down South, and moved his family there. 

To the Falklands.

In 1981.

 Shocked

D'Oh!!!




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« Reply #42 on: October 12, 2013, 02:34:07 pm »

Considering the vastness of space and the, no doubt, billions of uninhabited planets made of every desirable mineral and element anyone could need I would think any alien civilisation requiring them could obtain them quite easily without having to bother with pesky inhabitants.

Unless, of course, they are looking at us as a potential food source.

Why would any civilised, intelligent life form CHOOSE to come here?
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« Reply #43 on: October 12, 2013, 02:59:16 pm »

Maybe it is the beacons we send out into space.  All the radio and TV broadcasts, plus some intentional "we are here" messages.
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« Reply #44 on: October 12, 2013, 05:36:07 pm »


Why would any civilised, intelligent life form CHOOSE to come here?


Easier to harvest already mined and refined metals and other minerals, than it is to mine ores on a desolate rocky body likely inhospitable to most forms of intelligent life....


Next question?  Wink

SS
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« Reply #45 on: October 13, 2013, 12:14:48 am »

If they have the technology and the harnessed power to get here from... wherever... they probably have all the physical 'stuff' they need or want.  If they want ores and metals, there is plenty in the asteroids just floating around, not down here in this horrible gravity well.

If I were writing a scifi novel about it, probably the most difficult part would be rigging up motivation for them to come here in the first place - I mean, really, what's worth coming all that way for, other than simple curiosity?

Take a look at what we have to overcome, after all:








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« Reply #46 on: October 13, 2013, 02:22:16 am »

If I were writing a scifi novel about it, probably the most difficult part would be rigging up motivation for them to come here in the first place
I have a motivation for you: putting some distance between themselves and some less civilized critters where they came from.
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James Harrison
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« Reply #47 on: October 13, 2013, 10:20:13 am »

Well, why do we move around the planet ourselves?  I can think of a few just off the top of my head:

1- Seeking out resources (already considered in the thread I see)

2- Fleeing (from what- war?  persecution? natural disaster?) [Bear in mind this was why H G Wells had his Martians come to Earth]. 

3- Economics/ trade (ties in I guess with my point 1- also, would someone invade just to buy and sell stuff?- actually, look at the Western approach to trade with China and Japan in the nineteenth century- 'open up or we'll force our way in'....)

Now then, do I think we could defend ourselves.  Many variables.  Many, many variables.  Could we defend ourselves against a race equal to our own in terms of technology?- I think we could.  Though I think any alien race would have to be far more advanced than ourselves just to get here, unless of course there is intelligent life on Mars hiding out in vast cities many miles below the surface.

Could we defend against a massively superior intelligence- I doubt it.  A 'boots on the ground' invasion might possibly be repulsed by sheer weight of numbers- how big an army could the aliens land, and how quickly?  Act fast and we could destroy their beachheads before they get properly organised.  If on the other hand they simply held their invasion force just outside of missile range and bombarded us- we'd have no chance.   
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« Reply #48 on: October 13, 2013, 08:44:01 pm »

Gathering resources has been an old sci-fi favorite. Of all the reasons, I think this one makes the least sense. As others have pointed out, there are numerous asteroids, moons, planets etc out there. If you'd run out of stuff and you had the capability, it would make sense to just grab the nearest celestial body and start mining there. Even if an alien civilization mined up all materials in their solar system and had to move on, you'd think they would start with either the largest planets / planets that feature the most of whatever it is they're looking for / planets that are easiest to mine. Having an uncooperative indigenous population doesn't help (even if we're just pesky flies to them)
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« Reply #49 on: October 13, 2013, 08:48:01 pm »

Thinking about it further I think the only reason any civilised, intelligent beings would visit Earth would be to discourage us from venturing further into space and messing it up for everyone else. I have a low opinion of our species don't I? Smiley
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