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Extraterrestrials haven't visited the Earth yet because:

by Arunbear (Prior)
on Sep 01, 2016 at 10:24 UTC ( #1170961=poll: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

vote on Extraterrestrials haven't visited the Earth yet because:

There is no Extraterrestrial life
[bar] 35/6%
There aren't any suitably capable Extraterrestrials
[bar] 54/9%
Interstellar travel is too difficult
[bar] 191/33%
We're too uncool / not worth the trouble
[bar] 100/17%
What do you mean they haven't visited?
[bar] 141/24%
Other reason
[bar] 59/10%
580 total votes
  • Comment on Extraterrestrials haven't visited the Earth yet because:
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Re: Extraterrestrials haven't visited the Earth yet because:
by LanX (Bishop) on Sep 01, 2016 at 10:39 UTC
    Probably they fear the Perl bashing ... ;-)

    Cheers Rolf
    (addicted to the Perl Programming Language and ☆☆☆☆ :)
    Je suis Charlie!

      ...or they hate regular expressions.

      «The Crux of the Biscuit is the Apostrophe»

        ...or they hate regular expressions.

        Everyone jumps at the chance to vent with some irregular expressions.

Re: Extraterrestrials haven't visited the Earth yet because:
by Ratazong (Monsignor) on Sep 01, 2016 at 13:21 UTC

    But there is plenty of evidence that aliens already visited earth:

    So the basic assumption of your poll looks wrong to me. Maybe it is just a desinformation-campaign of the Illuminati?! Then we will probably never know...

    So long, Rata (resuming his studies of the Principia Discordia in search for the secret tunnels to Atlantis)

      Smart people SELL insurance against alien abduction.

      Jenda
      Enoch was right!
      Enjoy the last years of Rome.

        Here is a Dilbert on a similar topic.

      there is plenty of evidence that aliens already visited earth

      XKCD: Settled

      Principle of Least Astonishment: Any language that doesn’t occasionally surprise the novice will pay for it by continually surprising the expert

      I don't worry too much about the abductions as such but I fear their the anal probes.

      But there is plenty of evidence that aliens already visited earth: many UFOs have been sighted in the last 3500 years

      :) I believe in UFO, I believe I can see things flying, and I don't know what they are -- that don't mean its aliens, it doesn't follow

Re: Extraterrestrials haven't visited the Earth yet because:
by GotToBTru (Prior) on Sep 02, 2016 at 13:06 UTC

    I remember seeing Chariots of the Gods as a pre-teen. It was an early lesson in how you can make almost anything sound plausible if you only give one side of the story.

    But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 (NASB)

Re: Extraterrestrials haven't visited the Earth yet because:
by perldigious (Curate) on Sep 01, 2016 at 14:04 UTC

    Oh, I like this poll. It's fun to talk about this stuff.

    I had to say "Other reason" because I think it's probably a combination of factors. I doubt a or b are true due simply to universal scale. I figure there is probably extraterrestrial life and furthermore there is probably intelligent life that would be suitably capable of interstellar travel. It would seem statistically unlikely that humans are the "only" or even "the first".

    The next question would be do they know fundamental things we don't about the universe and have they been able to exploit that knowledge to develop technology that allows them to travel (safely) between star systems faster than light? If not that would be the "Interstellar travel is too difficult" option, with the difficulty increased if there are no relatively nearby star systems with this hypothetical intelligent life. That seems plausible based on the current human understanding of the universe, but humans have made drastic advances before that largely void the current state of that understanding of "what we think we know now". Even if faster than light travel between systems is possible, the scale of the universe combined with a low (if it is really low) likelihood of life (let alone intelligent life) developing could still make it extremely unlikely for any two intelligent species to find each other. There's also the 4th dimension to consider with time. Perhaps there was or will be life here or there, but not right now while we are looking for them or when they were/will be looking for us, that could be a big killer to different intelligent species ever finding each other as well.

    I think "We're too uncool / not worth the trouble" is plausible because any species advanced enough to come to us may not be sufficiently interested by us, but that already assumes there is another intelligent species aware of us and that just seems unlikely to me (maybe I'm too close minded on that). I look at "What do you mean they haven't visited?" in the same way, not entirely implausible (heck sufficiently advanced technology could have them observing us from their own home), but it just seems really unlikely to me.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4XT8R5AfD8

    I love it when things get difficult; after all, difficult pays the mortgage. - Dr. Keith Whites
    I hate it when things get difficult, so I'll just sell my house and rent cheap instead. - perldigious
      there is probably intelligent life that would be suitably capable of interstellar travel. It would seem statistically unlikely that humans are the "only" or even "the first"

      We're neither, not by a very long shot, and the fact that you can even say this implies that you have not grasped the scale or scope that would be involved. We are, in fact, not significantly closer to being capable of interstellar travel now than we were three millennia ago.

      Yes, we can now, in theory, build devices capable of unmanned interstellar travel; but they're preposterously expensive, wouldn't accomplish much, and would take dozens of human lifespans to reach even the nearest alien star systems and would not be able to stop when they do get there, other than by crashing into something. They might be able to radio back a little information, but the distance makes both lag and bandwidth a real problem, and absolutely positively everything would have to be entirely pre-programmed and so would be very, very primitive in terms of its capabilities compared to what NASA and similar agencies do with in-system probes, all of which receive and carry out instructions interactively as they go, generated by earth-based scientists who are looking at the data the probe just sent and deciding what to do based on it, something that would be fundamentally impossible with a multi-year communications lag (particularly given that the device would, by virtue of the nature of the mission, be moving at rather high speed, by human standards).

      In fact, it is not at all clear that we will ever achieve (manned or practical) interstellar travel. We're real proud of the fact that we've achieved "space flight", by which we mean landing on the moon a couple of times and sending unmanned probes around our solar system, but interstellar flight is an entirely different matter altogether. It's like the difference between school boys putting a six-foot-long plank across a creek to get across without needing to take their socks and shoes off (or get them wet), versus building a nuclear submarine to explore the ocean under the north pole. Actually, I think it's quite a bit more of a difference than that. Even sending a data-collection probe to one very (by interstellar standards) near star system would be a logistical feat that would make all the in-system stuff we've done to-date seem like nothing. And, in turn, sending a single data-collection probe to one very nearby star system would be nothing at all compared to actually exploring the galaxy, much less the universe.

      Personally, I am convinced that A) there almost certainly is not alien extra-terrestrial life in other star systems, but B) even if there were, the odd are very very low that any of it would develop practical interstellar travel and furthermore C) even if they did, we would almost certainly never find out about it, because the odds they would travel here, specifically, out of all the places they could go, are much, much lower than the odds that a multi-billionaire I've never heard of has named me in his will and will die tomorrow.

Re: Extraterrestrials haven't visited the Earth yet because:
by martin (Friar) on Sep 01, 2016 at 15:22 UTC

    (·) Other reason —

    Infestations of planets by humans tend to be so short they are unlikely to be perceived by anybody in time to be able to get there while they last.

Re: Extraterrestrials haven't visited the Earth yet because:
by Dallaylaen (Hermit) on Sep 05, 2016 at 11:17 UTC

    That's an old joke, like from 70-s:

    "Q: If there are sensible creatures elsewhere in the universe, why haven't they contacted us?"
    "A: Because they are sensible!

    That said, I think the other reason could be they just keep us intact and let us develop on our own, much like humans make national parks on Earth. See, the more advanced we are, the more concerned we get about the environment. A race capable of interstellar travel could be much more delicate in this respect.

Re: Extraterrestrials haven't visited the Earth yet because:
by chacham (Prior) on Sep 01, 2016 at 12:47 UTC

    The next patch to the matrix has them.

Re: Extraterrestrials haven't visited the Earth yet because:
by talexb (Canon) on Sep 01, 2016 at 18:34 UTC

    Interesting question. As a previous answer said, based on the scale, it's highly unlikely that we're the only aliens out there.

    It could be we're the most advanced, but that's also unlikely. It could be that we're under observation, but no approach will be made until things settle out .. maybe they're waiting for something like all of the polar ice to melt; or until we send a manned vessel beyond our own solar system.

    As to whether aliens have been here already .. it's an interesting thought experiment. I think the answer is 'Probably', because, well, wouldn't you want to check out another whole planet?

    Alex / talexb / Toronto

    Thanks PJ. We owe you so much. Groklaw -- RIP -- 2003 to 2013.

Re: Extraterrestrials haven't visited the Earth yet because:
by blue_cowdawg (Monsignor) on Sep 02, 2016 at 19:25 UTC

    If indeed ET has come calling there are several reasons I can think of that this is not general knowledge:

    • They're much better at stealth than we are and make sure we didn't know they were here.
    • ....because their Prime Directive says we aren't supposed to know.
    • As a primitive planet in a backwater corner of the galaxy they are not motivated to come here
    • we have nothing they need/want.
    • Cowboy Niel

    I've heard the argument that we are all alone in this universe and I just don't buy it. In fact I consider it the height of hubris to think we are so special that we are the only intelligent life in this universe. I think ET is out there but not too excited about the prospect of meeting us at this point.

    I've also heard argument they have been here already (or even now) and I find myself questioning what ET's motivation would even be for doing so. Travel across interstellar distances is expensive no matter what your technology is. If ET has figured out FTL then ET might come by and check in on this place but I still say there are no resources or technology or anything else of value here to ET that would make the trip very worth it.

    In saying all that I sincerely hope I'm proven wrong someday but for now ET is the province of speculation and science fiction novels.


    Peter L. Berghold -- Unix Professional and DevOps developer and architect
    Peter -at- Berghold -dot- Net; Blog: http://blog.berghold.net Warning: No political correctness allowed.
Re: Extraterrestrials haven't visited the Earth yet because:
by swampyankee (Parson) on Sep 04, 2016 at 16:08 UTC

    "When we visit, you will worship us." — Nyarlathotep

    Sorry, but I think the real reason is that – if they even know we exist – is that we're not worth the bother.


    Information about American English usage here and here. Floating point issues? Please read this before posting. — emc

Re: Extraterrestrials haven't visited the Earth yet because:
by Anonymous Monk on Sep 01, 2016 at 14:59 UTC
    It's too early yet. They find us on April 5th, 2063.
Re: Extraterrestrials haven't visited the Earth yet because:
by stevieb (Abbot) on Sep 02, 2016 at 13:28 UTC

    Given that nobody has any idea how vast the universe is beyond even what the most powerful telescopes can see, and that earth, nor our solar system is the centre of the universe, I'd have to say that we're all extra terrestrials to begin with, hence, we've been visited :D

Re: Extraterrestrials haven't visited the Earth yet because:
by wjw (Priest) on Sep 16, 2016 at 23:40 UTC
    At the risk of bringing religion into the question: A number of various belief systems refer to their deity returning at some point. Assuming the return from another location in time and space, that would make them extraterrestrials. And assuming they are in fact returning, that would mean they have already been here.

    From the purely scientific standpoint, I am unaware of any hard evidence that extraterrestrials have been here, and am equally unaware of any hard evidence that they have not.

    Until we have hard evidence that there are extraterrestrials, it will be rather hard to determine where they have been and where they have not been I would think.

    ...the majority is always wrong, and always the last to know about it...

    A solution is nothing more than a clearly stated problem...

      From the purely scientific standpoint, I am unaware of any hard evidence that extraterrestrials have been here, and am equally unaware of any hard evidence that they have not.

      If a bacteria transported here by a meteor survived to divide on earth, is that an extraterrestrial?

      If a soup of protein precursor molecules arrived the same way and combined on earth to form 'life'; are they extraterrestrial?

      If a key ingredient of primordial life was added to the soup by one or more meteors, would that life be extraterrestrial?

      Since all the constituent parts of the Earth's environment originated 'in space'; surely extraterrestrials have been here; because we are they?


      With the rise and rise of 'Social' network sites: 'Computers are making people easier to use everyday'
      Examine what is said, not who speaks -- Silence betokens consent -- Love the truth but pardon error.
      "Science is about questioning the status quo. Questioning authority". I knew I was on the right track :)
      In the absence of evidence, opinion is indistinguishable from prejudice.
        In the first case, yes. They are extraterrestrial.

        In the second case, yes. The soup is extraterrestrial. In the third case, yes. The combo would be extraterrestrial.

        I suppose the argument could be made that we are in fact the extraterrestrials. However, the original question asked about 'visiting', which to me implies a decision. Rightly or wrongly, my answer regards something making a conscious decision to visit Terra, meaning it came from someplace at least as far away as outside the breathable atmosphere..

        ...the majority is always wrong, and always the last to know about it...

        A solution is nothing more than a clearly stated problem...

      A number of various belief systems refer to their deity returning at some point.

      Really, a number do that? Outside of Xianity, which ones do? I thought most of them just have the deity to supernatural stuff, as opposed to "returning".

      Is returning from the dead, heaven, Sto'Vo'Kor, the Divine Treasury, the Fates, whatever, even called extra-terrestrial? They just took a long vacation to see the sites, burn in hell, talk to a god, and rock their soul. When they do come back, well, the book will probably be too long; I'm gonna hold out for the motion picture.

Re: Extraterrestrials haven't visited the Earth yet because:
by soliplaya (Beadle) on Oct 01, 2016 at 15:36 UTC

    Because if they had, we would probably not be here to hold this poll anymore.

    Over the last 200-odd years, we have made some significant advances in some areas :

    • the maximum speed at which we can move has gone from approx. 60 Km/h (horseback), to several thousand Km/h.
    • the maximum distance at which we can instantly communicate with someone has gome from some hundred meters (waving flags, flashing lights), to hundreds of thousands of Km. (I can now talk to anyone on Earth using my portable phone).
    • we have set foot on the Moon, and have filled near-Earth orbits with hundreds of man-made satellites, some of which can look down and check what I'm having for lunch
    • I can type this message and have it instantly visible to anyone on Earth who bothers visiting this site
    • we have started to look at modifying our own genes, to eradicate diseases, and make ourselves more intelligent and long-lived
    • On the other hand, we have also perfected an astonishing number of mechanisms to kill or harm people, ranging from the bacteriological through the radiological through the ballistic to laser light
    • the maximum distance at wich we can kill someone else has gone from a few hundred meter (Napoleon-time artillery), to the entire planet (ICBM, UCAV)
    • the maximum number of people we can kill at a stroke, has gone from a few dozen (think powderkeg), to millions (ICBM)
    • and we have started to find ways to do all these things above while becoming close to invisible when doing them (optical and radar stealth technology)

    The point of the above is not to be exhaustive, but just to list some of the things which 200 years ago might have sounded like science-fiction, if the term would have existed then (Jules Verne came later).

    Now imagine a race of Aliens having a couple of thousand years advance over us (they would have to), evolved, intelligent, long-lived, cultured, benevolent (to eachother), artistic, admirers of nature's beauty, and looking like giant green spiders. And imagine that they come by around this planetary system to have a look (which given 2000 years advantage, would have to be much faster and stealthier than what we can imagine nowadays).

    They might like the views and the landscape, and think this might be the ideal spot for some week-end homes and hotels.

    As to ourselves however, would they look at us as possible future intergalactic chess partners (given a few additional thousand years) and leave us alone ? or would they look at us as food ? or if they find us unedible, as a dangerous pest best eradicated right away ?

    I believe the first of the above to be rather unlikely. So, given that any kind of Alien capable of visiting us would have to be far more advanced than we are, the balance of probabilities must be that they haven't. Or maybe they have, but then it must have been a very long time ago.

    "Visited a planetary system today, in the vicinity of X7fth56-beta. The sixth planet has beautiful rings. The third planet had liquid water and an atmosphere with oxygen, so we beamed ourselves down to have a look. The mussels were not bad, but the whole place is swarming with pesky flying things, it's too hot and it reeks like sulfur."

Re: Extraterrestrials haven't visited the Earth yet because:
by chacham (Prior) on Sep 02, 2016 at 12:20 UTC

    Since the extraterrestrials seeded the Earth with us, they have visited, and moved onto other planets.

Re: Extraterrestrials haven't visited the Earth yet because:
by chacham (Prior) on Sep 22, 2016 at 12:55 UTC

    Maybe they just haven't been invited. It'd be rude to just show up.

Re: Extraterrestrials haven't visited the Earth yet because:
by perlofwisdom (Pilgrim) on Sep 15, 2016 at 02:08 UTC
    ...because there is insufficient intelligent life here :)

      there is insufficient intelligent life here

      And how, pray tell, did you come to know that?

Re: Extraterrestrials haven't visited the Earth yet because:
by Anonymous Monk on Sep 20, 2016 at 22:55 UTC

    The fifth answer is correct, and as a matter of fact we have been here for quite some time. We are from the fifth planet orbiting the Algol star system and have had observers on earth for over three centuries. Our native language is unpronounceable to humans, so you may call us Algolians, but please do not confuse us with another alien race visiting your planet called Algoreans.

    Unlike the Algoreans, our mission is observation only and non-interference. However just over a half century ago we did covertly provide assistance with your development of computer programming languages.

Re: Extraterrestrials haven't visited the Earth yet because:
by BrowserUk (Pope) on Sep 02, 2016 at 13:16 UTC
Re: Extraterrestrials haven't visited the Earth yet because:
by freonpsandoz (Acolyte) on Sep 19, 2016 at 04:15 UTC

    #2 and #3 really should go together. There probably aren't any suitably capable extraterrestrials close enough to have detected us, decided to contact us and then done so. Note that, unless Einstein was dead wrong about the limitations imposed by the speed of light, extraterrestrials must have the capability to live for millennia in order to either communicate or travel effectively over interstellar distances. That means they would either need to also have the capability to engineer that longevity or they would take billions of years to evolve.

      Not exactly. #2 is meant to cover the case where there is extraterrestrial life, but it never evolves to a human level of intelligence (or higher). i.e. we don't know if the emergence of life inevitably leads to technological capability.
Re: Extraterrestrials haven't visited the Earth yet because:
by cragapito (Scribe) on Sep 03, 2016 at 22:38 UTC
    Other: There are no capable terrestrials to worth.

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