First of all I want to say sorry for my bad english and it is great to have someone help me brainstorming my ideas.

Let's say there is an alien race that kidnapped humans from Earth to another planet a long time ago (maybe prehistoric) and still continue until now. Because of that, a new human civilization grows on that new planet. The reason behind it is to place all of the kidnapped humans on that new planet, that has been terraformed in such a way to be the lab for them to observe and do the experiment to human in the large scale.

Is this reason plausible?? Or maybe there is something else that I have to consider?


closed as primarily opinion-based by Aify, Mołot, Rekesoft, Renan, SPavel Apr 30 '18 at 12:26

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  • $\begingroup$ is this our planet that they are putting the kidnapped humans on or a new one the aliens built its a bit hard to understand $\endgroup$ – Creed Arcon Apr 30 '18 at 3:22
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    $\begingroup$ The aliens need a reason to put them on a planet and experiment on them there, for experiments in inter-species relationships, human-proofing their tech, etc.. $\endgroup$ – Amoeba Apr 30 '18 at 3:25
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    $\begingroup$ No it is not Earth... they kidnapped human form Earth to another planet that they built. $\endgroup$ – iko chomi Apr 30 '18 at 3:25
  • $\begingroup$ Why can't they conduct their experiments on Earth? $\endgroup$ – enkryptor Apr 30 '18 at 11:26
  • $\begingroup$ The only thing comes to mind to keep a constant flux os specimes is to keep a healthy genetic variation of the controled population (humans has a intrisic low genetic variation) $\endgroup$ – jean Apr 30 '18 at 11:39

As @Amoeba mentioned in the comment, I think the most important thing is to consider the motivation behind the experiments, especially because creating a terraformed planet to be a lab is a considerably expensive endeavour.

It must also be answered why such an endeavour would be better than observing and doing experiments on the humans in their natural habitat, i.e. the Earth. In other words, what experimental/scientific advantages would they have in doing the experiments on another planet?

We can compare at least the following three lab settings:

  1. The native environment (the Earth): preserves the nativeness but compromises the degree of control of variables
  2. A regular laboratory without any attempt to emulate the native environment for humans: higher degree of control over the experimental variables but lack of nativeness may cause humans to behave differently
  3. A terraformed planet: a bit of (1) and (2)

So you may want to think of the kind of experiments that would be best conducted on a terraformed planet as opposed to other options -- the kind of experiments that requires certain features of the native environment but also a certain degree of control.

From here, you can then design the experiments and what the controls are going to be. For example:

  • Can the humans remember the abduction event?
  • Can they remember the pre-abduction events?
  • How similar is the terraformed planet to the Earth?

to suggest a few.


Is this reason plausible??

Sure. (Humans "terraform" the environment to make it suitable for non-native species, populate the terraformed environment and call it a Zoo. There's nothing to stop interstellar space aliens from doing the same thing.)


Cost is very high

  • Cost of terraformation : it is a lot of work. So if they invest so much money, why do they not use the planet for themselves?

  • The cost of transportation and logistics: You need to go to earth, take some humans and bring them to the new planet, which is likely quite far away so that they don’t see each other too easily. You also need to do so in a hidden way, so humans on earth don’t see you too much and organize resistance.

  • Cost of maintenance: If you want it to work on long term (from prehistoric to today is a lot of years), you need to make sure the terraformed earth don’t break down. That humans on it don’t attack each other too much, don’t die from epidemics and so on. You also need to maintain your scientific research, archives, researchers, …


Because the price is so high, you need to find a reason that is very strong for the aliens to do it. What type of experiment needs so much time to yield results?

  • If it’s biological, it’s likely that in a few years you will have all the results that you want. Especially if you have such an advanced technology.
  • If it’s sociological, why can’t you do it on earth directly by observation?
  • If it’s a zoo, why not put a few humans on an island, or in a big building. So they can do it on their own planet and don’t have to space travel to go and see it.
  • If it’s for hunting, why not hunt on earth? Or on their own world? Why would they need a whole planet and all these costs to do it?


A better way to explain it, would be the aliens wanting to protect the human race. They think that we are likely to destroy ourselves, either by war or by destroying the planet’s environment. So they decided to build a backup for us. If the human race disappears from earth, it would still exist on another planet.

They are just very philanthropic.


While the experimental protocol involved in this research wouldn't pass most ethics committees, however if we assume aliens are ethically challenged in the way they conduct research, then this is plausible.

It's all a matter of considering what sort of research is being conducted in these experiments. Basically we know humans are being kidnapped and transported to a terraformed planet. This process has been going since prehistoric times. So humans will have developed, initially, a palaeolithic culture. Presumably as things go on, their technology and culture will develop and various forms of civilization will arise.

However, over time the civilization(s) on the terraformed planet will be supplemented by the continual arrival of more humans who will bring with them the latest developments of technology and culture from planet Earth. Possibly the humans on the experimental planet will have learned to expect this continued influx of new arrivals and adapted their cultures accordingly.

Now we come to the crux of the matter. What is the nature of the experiment being run by the aliens? This by now should be obvious. It is an experiment in continuous adaptation and development of members of a sapient species, in this case humans, who have been transplanted in the environment(s) of a different world, in this case a terraformed planet.

While it is not unreasonable to condemn this experiment on ethical grounds. It is, after all, being conducted without the consent of the experimental subjects and their descendants are forced to remain as inhabitants of the terraformed planet without any redress. This type of research does appear to be quite plausible and could be carried by almost highly advanced technological civilization where its scientific practices are more than somewhat ethically challenged.

In conclusion, understand the science and you can understand the reasons for doing it. This makes it plausible. Not nice, but plausible.

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    $\begingroup$ Ethics are tricky. What if they need those experiments to notice we're sentient in the first place? You can imagine lots of alien societies that would see us as "mere animals" at a glance (a common sci-fi example being "hive minds" etc.; a great treatment of this is in Card's Ender series). $\endgroup$ – Luaan Apr 30 '18 at 7:38
  • $\begingroup$ @Luaan The ethics of scientific experiments applies to animals too. Whether sapient aliens with a hive mind have similar ethic standards to us is a moot point. In fact, they might be more ethic. Everybody is integrated together into a single whole. Interesting. $\endgroup$ – a4android Apr 30 '18 at 8:11
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    $\begingroup$ They might be more ethical, or less. Think about how much thought you give to the skin cells dying on the surface of your body all the time. If they consider their bodies similarly disposable and interesting only in the service of the greater whole, they might not even realise they're kidnapping people - they might see it as experimenting with something like the hair you shed or such. And that's still an alien society that's easily imaginable to us; not something truly alien. $\endgroup$ – Luaan Apr 30 '18 at 10:23
  • $\begingroup$ @Luaan Since we've never really encountered a hive mind species, we don't know the exact nature of a hive mind. They might not even exist. We're in purely speculative territory. $\endgroup$ – a4android Apr 30 '18 at 11:42
  • $\begingroup$ We know analogues from our own planet. Evolution selects based on reproductive fitness of a set of genes. If all the population of the hive has the same genetic information, there is no benefit to cheaters - and the only thing that matters is the hive. This is true even in humans - your cells work the same way. If the organism creates cells that don't behave, it's selected against. Cancerous cells exist, but they're a dead end - whether they kill the organism or not, they die with it; they can't survive on their own, just like individual ants can't. $\endgroup$ – Luaan Apr 30 '18 at 14:44

Two ideas spring to mind. A petting zoo or a hunting ground.

Human take animals from their habitats and stick them in cages for the amusement of the public all the time. To an alien species capable of traversing stars, we're nothing more than a primitive tool using monkey. Having a zoo means the public doesn't have to travel the stars to see one of those humans.

As a hunting ground, humans are violent and war like and can be quite inventive when it comes to killing. For a race obsessed with hunting, setting up a hunting preserve closer to home makes sense (and money)

The rarer and more dangerous they prey is, the more prestigious the trophy is.

The Predator series of movies right up to the final one where humans are captured and released in a hunting preserve planet is a good example.


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