Who made the artifact?

Actual alien beings
1 (5.6%)
The UW
2 (11.1%)
A practical joker
9 (50%)
Someone with a nefarious plan (not the UW)
6 (33.3%)

Total Members Voted: 17

atompunk on December 31, 2009, 08:50:06 am
Tentacles are fairly useful for manipulation, but much less so for propulsion.  They aren't as versatile as hands, which have the bone very close to the surface, making them also useful for defense or attack (fists).  A tentacle can either grip or, using the tip, perform fine manipulation but cannot easily do both at the same time.  A hand is basically five rigid tentacles with supporting bone structure within it.  Even adding bones to a tentacle has problems that make hands more flexible (in the figurative sense, not the literal).  Fewer bones (and therefore fewer joints) means less chance of injury.  Hinge joints are less prone to dislocation and repetitive-motion stress than ball-and-socket joints.  Fingers capable of bending completely both ways would require more tissue than hands like we have, and therefore more oxygen and food.

While it is marginally possible for an animal to develop tentacles (or tentacle-like arms) for manipulation and more efficient legs for locomotion, the odds against it are exceedingly high.  Asymmetrical lifeforms tend not to survive for a large number of reasons, not the least of which being a lack of adaptability to changing situations.

So according to you octopi donít swim and crawl as much as they manipulate things, hands are better at attack and defense than tentacles and tentacles canít grip and manipulate simultaneously; say to open a jar. You see no discernable difference between a finger and a 240 cupped tentacle. Iím not sure what point you are trying to make about the bones.  Octopi donít have bones so donít have bone related problems. I am not sure what the last paragraph there is about. Obviously two animals did develop tentacles on earth and they both have bilateral symmetry.
If your argument cant be proven wrong than you dont have one

atompunk on December 31, 2009, 09:29:18 am
Azure Priest,
I did a littel digging and all I could find were storires abductees finding very small objects in there bodies.  Small objects do find their way into our bodies sometimes.  This could have happed durring the abducties black out period.

I still think these abductees are coping with some kind of truama.  They might have been involved somehow in somekind of violence that was never presecuted or if it was, never linked to the abductee.  PTS might be so intense that the reality of it simply cant be processed so instead they create a dream like alien abduction as a wonderful way to explain the terrible thing that happened to them.
If your argument cant be proven wrong than you dont have one

enemyofthestate on December 31, 2009, 07:01:16 pm
What do we really know?

Jacques Schist is about it.  Didn't anyone of of those miners think to bounce a laser off the artifact(s)?  (Are the lasers tunable BTW?) That at least would give some evidence of composition and isotope ratio.  A fusion drive is going to be a damned good neutron source so even neutron activation may be possible.  These guys are miners.  They they must know something about determining the elemental makeup of a rock.

So far this is like speculating based on a National Enquirer article.

Anyways, I'm leaning toward a publicity stunt but there is possible religious angle too.  Which are both kind of the same thing.

Question for Scott Bieser.  Did you deliberately make Reggie look like James Randi?  It took me while to figure out why he looked so damned familiar.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2009, 07:27:55 pm by enemyofthestate »

atompunk on December 31, 2009, 09:25:24 pm
Big artifacts like that i would start passive sensors and slowly make my way up to low energy, low frequency active sensors.  Anybody remember the movie mission to mars? On the off chance that it is a real artifact I would never want to iridate it.  We could take samples and analyze those
If your argument cant be proven wrong than you dont have one

BlackWolfe on December 31, 2009, 11:39:47 pm
So according to you octopi donít swim and crawl as much as they manipulate things, hands are better at attack and defense than tentacles and tentacles canít grip and manipulate simultaneously; say to open a jar. You see no discernable difference between a finger and a 240 cupped tentacle. Iím not sure what point you are trying to make about the bones.  Octopi donít have bones so donít have bone related problems. I am not sure what the last paragraph there is about. Obviously two animals did develop tentacles on earth and they both have bilateral symmetry.

Not true.

Octopi swim, but the tentacles are only a part of that.  Crawling does not equal running.  Therefore, for purposes of survival on land, legs are a preferred means of locomotion.  For movement on land at high speed, essential in many situations, the impact absorbing structure of bones, cartilage, muscles, and tendons is vital.

Lack of bones is not an advantage when it comes to survival.  Octopi and squids, both mollusks, have developed other means of defense, but these defenses are pretty heavily reliant on the environment they live in.  Bones protect internal organs.  Without that protection, the survival rate of a species drops.  Accidents and predators make short work of unprotected areas of an animal.  If the whole animal is unprotected, there's a problem, from a survival standpoint.

Both animals that have tentacles have tentacles exclusively.  Bilateral symmetry is not what I was referring to.  The only animals that have two types of limbs that are not only different in function but in structure are insects.

Birds' and bats'  wings are structurally similar to their legs for a reason.  I still don't understand how insect wings developed, they're just... weird.

atompunk on January 01, 2010, 01:50:39 am
I think you are trying to say that intelligent life can only evolve on land.  Just because the only cat a man ever sees is grey with black stripes does not mean all cats are grey with black stripes.
If your argument cant be proven wrong than you dont have one

ObscureDragom on January 01, 2010, 02:22:54 am
Well Rectal Runes kind of cuts the Government out of the equation.

It's a little too silly.

quadibloc on January 01, 2010, 04:06:37 am
Aliens were eliminated on Wednesday, from what Reggie has been saying, but they're also eliminated again by that silliness as well. I agree that Tobi is a strong possibility, and I think it's unlikely that the UW ship simply stumbled across someone's cosmic scavenger hunt puzzle.

BlackWolfe on January 01, 2010, 04:44:08 am
I think you are trying to say that intelligent life can only evolve on land.  Just because the only cat a man ever sees is grey with black stripes does not mean all cats are grey with black stripes.

I am saying that space-faring technology is most likely to be developed on land.  You will note that at no point in this conversation have I written the word "impossible."  Well, except just now, to illustrate the fact that I have not done so.

Yes, I am making assumptions based on the fact that the only technologically developed species I have ever encountered is humanity.  I am aware of this.  You, however, seem to be saying "just because something is not impossible, it must therefore be true."

I am using the only available tool-using, technologically "advanced," apparently sapient species available as a basis for some of my conjecture.  However, the existence of alternatives is not impossible.  The problem is that many things possible above the surface are impossible in water.  (Other liquids are not eliminated.)  As the number and difficulty of hurdles for an aquatic-based race is greater than a land-based one, the likelihood of such a race developing space travel diminishes.

Before they conquer space, they must conquer the air.  Before they conquer the air, they must conquer land.  Before they conquer land, they must conquer their own environment.  In such a situation, conquest of air and land may happen in rapid succession, as vehicles adapted for travel in one fluid may be adaptable for travel in another.  It would be safest, however, to find a way to put a person on land than to send them into the air.

If no land is available, then the difficulty of developing air travel increases greatly, until they find a way to build floating platforms to allow them essentially unlimited access to the surface world.  Unlike traveling from air to space, the shift from water to air is sudden and drastic, making trial and error much more dangerous.

Amphibious creatures would have a much bigger advantage over pure-aquatic creatures in a situation where land masses are available.  In such a situation, what I've stated earlier regarding locomotion and sensory organs still holds true once they're on land.  This may or may not put them at a disadvantage when returning to water, however.

Development of technology in an underwater environment is much more dangerous, as well, as the molecular density of liquids is vastly greater, making development of such technologies as electricity much more likely to result in fatalities.  (Assuming the creatures don't already have some sort of natural defense against electricity.)

Once they're in microgravity, they would be at an advantage over land - and even flying - animals, as they are used to living in neutral buoyancy.  However, this all assumes that an aquatic race could develop the technology to achieve space travel.

In the end, yes, I am using the only available sample as a baseline.  However, instead of saying "we look like this, therefore all space-faring races must look like this," I am asking what made it possible for us to develop the technology we did.

Imagination is assumed.  Without imagination, there is no impetus to develop new technologies at all.

Some form of manual dexterity is assumed.  Without the ability to manipulate things, there is no ability to build.

Air breathing is an advantage, as many of the technologies we developed to take us beyond the atmosphere are based on chemical reactions that are much rarer in a fluid (e.g.: fire).

A skeleton or exoskeleton is a major advantage on land, as it helps protect vital organs from accidents and predators.

The more advantages a race has, the more likely it is to survive long enough to achieve space travel.

Again, I am not stating that an aquatic race cannot do it, just that land-based races are at an advantage.  If the first alien race we encounter are the Squidlians from Squornshellous Zeta, that still doesn't make me wrong.  If they look just like us, except with funny, ridged foreheads, it doesn't make me right.  It just means we have two whole models to compare.  It takes a lot more than that to build a real sample, so you'll have to forgive me for showing some bias due to lack of data.

Well Rectal Runes kind of cuts the Government out of the equation.

It's a little too silly.

Given what we know of the United World, I'd have to agree.  While it's tempting to suggest some wit achieving a high enough rank to put this plan into motion, the environment that UW creates would either crush that sort of thinking or drive them off-world.  I guess that means it's time to change my vote!   :P

Aliens were eliminated on Wednesday, from what Reggie has been saying, but they're also eliminated again by that silliness as well. I agree that Tobi is a strong possibility, and I think it's unlikely that the UW ship simply stumbled across someone's cosmic scavenger hunt puzzle.

This reveal makes me less likely to believe it's Tobi.  While I agree he'd probably find it funny, it doesn't seem like the type of joke he himself would play.  Tobi isn't the only rich person in the solar system, though.  Anyone who's managed to get rich enough to pull this off is likely to be intelligent enough to either set it up themselves, or to hire people who could.  I just can't shake the feeling that this originates on Mars.

Gillsing on January 01, 2010, 04:49:24 am
I think you are trying to say that intelligent life can only evolve on land.  Just because the only cat a man ever sees is grey with black stripes does not mean all cats are grey with black stripes.
Depending on how you define "intelligent", perhaps fire plays a large part? Not easy to get fire started under water. And carrying around equipment isn't easy either, which I imagine works against any seabased species developing methods of crafting tools. And what about bad weather, encouraging landbased animals to seek shelter, or build their own? If adversity allows smarter creatures to prevail over faster and stronger creatures, perhaps the sea just doesn't offer enough of it? Or perhaps it doesn't offer enough variety, encouraging animals to adapt to a lot of different circumstances? Or perhaps it's because life started at sea, and therefore it only evolves significantly when it goes out of its natural habitat?
I'm a slacker, hear me snore...

Azure Priest on January 01, 2010, 07:07:39 am
Azure Priest,
I did a littel digging and all I could find were storires abductees finding very small objects in there bodies.  Small objects do find their way into our bodies sometimes.  This could have happed durring the abducties black out period.

I still think these abductees are coping with some kind of truama.  They might have been involved somehow in somekind of violence that was never presecuted or if it was, never linked to the abductee.  PTS might be so intense that the reality of it simply cant be processed so instead they create a dream like alien abduction as a wonderful way to explain the terrible thing that happened to them.

My statements come from the publicized and televised "Roswell" and "Abducted" documentaries where the "abductees" testified about what happened to them. I have no way to confirm or deny their stories aside from the facts they list in their medical reports and the brutal ridicule as well as the fact that these witnesses testified despite very real threats to their physical as well as professional well being. I can say these threats were real because they provided phone recording, and letters with names and return addresses redacted with messages along the lines of "talk about this and...[something bad will happen]." Makes their stories infinitely more credible.

As for the artifacts, I'm definitely going with a very well researched prank. Many of the abductee stories state that strange objects were placed in their rectum either by the "greys" or some more malevolent "lizard" type creatures. The fact that runes were placed there fits with the motif.

Rocketman on January 01, 2010, 10:09:50 am
I just had a thought while reading all of these recent posts that might open a new can of worms.  Maybe Tobi is completeing his experiments, heard that the UW had gotten wind of what he was doing but didn't know exactly where the "little prince" is located so Tobi had some of his people make the statues to lead the UW on a wild goose chase and use their ships for something other than looking for him.  What do you think?

Sean Roach on January 01, 2010, 03:16:28 pm
By some of the arguments here, the species with the easiest time achieving spaceflight would be one that was adapted for vacuum, microgravity, and hard radiation.

Another possibility for an "aquatic" species.
Perhaps a species that can consciously alter its own DNA and morphology, allowing it to birth specialized offspring, possibly with the ability to transfer its identity to one of these offspring.

Suddenly the body becomes a meta-tool.  A smart fish decides to explore the skies, and births a smart balloon-like animal.  A smart balloon-like animal decides to explore space, and grows dense plates to protect against radiation.

Just a thought.  I favor the brachiating species as a precursor to major tool-using species myself.

SandySandfort on January 01, 2010, 07:24:10 pm
I just had a thought while reading all of these recent posts that might open a new can of worms.  Maybe Tobi is completeing his experiments, heard that the UW had gotten wind of what he was doing but didn't know exactly where the "little prince" is located so Tobi had some of his people make the statues to lead the UW on a wild goose chase and use their ships for something other than looking for him.  What do you think?

Nah, that would never work.   ;D

Scott on January 02, 2010, 02:11:08 pm
Quote
Question for Scott Bieser.  Did you deliberately make Reggie look like James Randi?  It took me while to figure out why he looked so damned familiar.

Once again, I am not the artist for this feature, Lee Oaks is. However, I did ask Lee to model Reggie on a fellow named Richard Boddie, who is a libertarian activist living in Southern California. It's not an exact likeness but reasonably close.

 

anything