Speed bumps


Came across a paper on the net that is kind of a different twist. It postulates that humans could be possible future agents of an interstellar mass extinction event- when we find another intelligent species, we will seek to kill them.

This, of course, is a sorrowful thread that shows up throughout my trilogy.

I don’t think it’s far off from the truth. The peak lifeforms from any given planet or exocivilization will by definition be ultra evolutionary competitors- these theoretical aliens will have overcome millions of other species to be the apex lifeforms on their worlds.

We will not tolerate other competitors in our hypothetical future domains.

Of course, it can only be that I view this subject from a human perspective, and as a witness to our nasty little internecine conflicts. As a species we have not only subjugated nature and other lifeforms, we also gleefully slaughter our own kind for any given reason. Some of these reasons are quite silly when you stand back and look at them. The color of another’s skin, the god they worship, their political leadership. It seems that humans will jump at any chance to kill the “other.”

Would this not count doubly so for exocivilizations? Mass media is full of violent encounters between us and aliens, such encounters have been a staple of science fiction since its founding. If you’ve never read it, see “War of the Worlds” by H.G. Wells. As a child, I was indoctrinated by a cartoon series called Robotech, which featured an ultraviolent clash between human civilization and invading alien hordes. The spaceship pictured above came from this series.

We’ve been hyping ourselves up for a confrontation like this for a long time. I’m not going to bother listing the long, long list of movies that feature violent confrontations between us and aliens.

If and when we develop interstellar travel, and if we exploit distant planets (which will surely happen), any encounter between us and the “other” will probably not go so well.

We’ll treat other civilizations like speed bumps.


4 thoughts on “Speed bumps

  1. Sadly i think you are right but the biggest issue might not be how violent we are but how disease ridden. So much devastation was from disease and bacteria rather than violence. Imagine if we met another civilization, got along well and they all died from a cold. Think HG might have been a little ahead of the curve on this one.


    • Possibly. Read a great book years ago called “Guns, Germs and Steel,” it covered the disease and technological mismatch angle really well. The only question I have re: alien colds is whether we may be so different biologically that our germs wouldn’t do much. Of course, it could work the other way around and we all die of a horrible plague. Or, we kill each other with our nasty little beasties. It’s something worth thinking about. And HG was WAY ahead of the power curve.


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