View Full Version : What if...? Number 2

03-07-05, 18:09
Seeing that there is the current release of War of the Worlds I thought I'd go with an alien type of question

What if there was life on Mars, comparable to our own, how would we react?

When I say comparable, I mean they would be at the same stage of technological advancement as we are at the moment. Would the fact that intelligent life exists so close to us unite the planet, or would we still be as fractious as we are now? There is a book worth reading by Harry Turtledove, called A World Of Difference which deals with this type of scenario.
If you read many of the stories from the 1950s and 60s by the likes of Philip K. Dick, Issac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke you find that that saw life on prctially every planet in the solar system, either more or less advanced. They do make for interesting reading to see the mindset of that era. After all it was the time of the Iron curtain and the Red Menace and a lot of the stories are allegorical in nature. Just change Red to Alien.
The point is that if intelligent on Mars discovered Radio about the same time we did, it would mean we would have had contact before WW2 or even WW1. How would that have altered our world?

03-07-05, 22:23
Hm I really love the idea of this thread... Unfortunately for me its 4.19am and I have been sitting here for some time, but I feel compelled to at least TRY and write something :)
Life on Mars and how it would have altered our world...

If there were Martians of equal or comparable intellectual evolution give or take 100 years...then there would have been contact. But there wasn't any. So if Martians existed, then they would be of a lower intelligence.

I think that if there was life on Mars (which is a possibility) then perhaps we would be reacting very similar to how we are now... because there have been people wondering for years about that same thing, and since we supposedly do have the intelligence but unfortunately not the correct technology, there really is little more we can do.

If however they were slightly more advanced intellectualy then its very probable that they would have made first contact. I dont think that we would be too far off the mark in intelligence quotas, but Im thinking Mars would have a higher population, and with the land mass and content they could invent some fairly amazing things. Im sure that if we could meet the life on Mars, assuming that they are at the same if not slightly higher level, we could form quite some union.

Perhaps if they were advanced technologically perhaps a 100 or so years before us, and continued at the speed as we do now, then, they could have warned us about the wars... however at the sametime, perhaps they were the ones who secretly instigated the wars? Hmm theres something to think about too... :blush:

04-07-05, 23:13
Read Harry Turtledove's Colonization and World War series - not just the one book :p. That's what would happen if there were martians :p. But if there was another race comparable to ours in age and technology then I think the only thing that would change (I say "only"...hahahaha) would be interplanetary tradelines for our resources (and Earth would be doing much of the exporting) as well as immigration and emmigration. We would have nothing to learn from each other via technology so essentially all scientific exchange is ruled out. We could exchange information about the atmosphere and geological structure of our planets, but that would be useful only as knowledge and won't help with any scientific advancement.

And just because mars has more 'land mass', doesn't mean it's all habitable...As mars is now, it's impossible to house life unless it is subterranean. Millions (or perhaps billions as everything is dated relative to cratering) of years ago Mars DID have liquid water. Only during that period would it have been habitable for a complex lifeform.

On a side note, the head scientist of the Mars Rovers mission (Opportunity and Spirit) teaches at Cornell: Steven Squyres. I took a class with him last semester - amazing person! It was really cool because before each class he would give us updates on the rovers. We would see images and data at least oen week before the press got it. I remember the "freshest" image we saw was one that was received only 30min prior to class!

05-07-05, 11:55
I've got a few of his books, including the World war and Colonisation series. I used World of Difference as a reference because it was the closest to my 'What if..'. The World war and Colonisation series deal with aliens with 21st century technology coming agianst 1940s technology and wasn't really what I was looking for.
If you want to read a good series about the colonisation of Mars try Kim Stanley Robinsons' Mars series. They can be a bit long winded in some places, but I found them a good read overall.