Re: SETI sci.astro.seti newsgroup created

Robert J. Bradbury (
Tue, 2 Nov 1999 11:29:10 -0800 (PST)

On Tue, 2 Nov 1999 wrote:

> In a message dated 11/01/1999 3:40:47 PM Eastern Standard Time,
> writes:
> << How about today? If you were an ET here, and compassionate, but
> determined to allow the civilization to develop roughly on its natural
> course, mightn't you still want to help those around you in a small way? >>
> I can give you this much... If we had the technology to do so, and we
> came across a planet were there is the potential for intelligent life and it
> just needed a little genetic boost and some guidance... I think we would
> jump on it. There would just be too much to learn from it. Hell we would
> do it just because it's cool.

This falls into the exact pitfall of applying "our" motivations to a state of technological development that we don't have. When we have that level of development, it is impossible to say what our motivations will be.

I think the only situation that would ever arise where this might happen in the universe is when you got two planets forming in the same solar system within the "possible life belt". Then the discovery of and activity of an intelligent civilization could influence the evolution of life on the other planet without the requirement for interstellar travel technology. We would need some simulations of the formation of planetary systems to see how probable that is.

Once you have interstellar travel you probably have nanotech and AI as well. If so, it is questionable whether you have an interest in biosphere engineering (other than perhaps dismantling them). Why would you want to do reality engineering with hardware when you can do it with software?