2
$\begingroup$

The Question

What would be the most likely reason for a post-scarcity civilization to preserve humanity from extinction and move it to different planet, along with terrestrial life that has been repopulated on the said planet?


Background

Suppose a post-scarcity interstellar civilization controls a few hundred star systems. Because they are post-scarcity, they can easily supply their bodily needs.

Because lower tiers of their needs had been fulfilled, their society changes their priority to pursue knowledge, to learn more of the universe they lived in.

Then they settle on many lesser civilizations' planets, secretly. One of them is Earth. Their motivation is not to invade, but to study those civilizations and watch them grow.

Their external morphology is quite indistinguishable from humans' external morphology, but their anatomy and physiology is not entirely human-like (I know it's unlikely for this to happen in a species that evolved on a completely different planet, but there is an explanation for this matter in-universe, in which uncovering it on this question would be off-topic), except for skin tones, hair pigments, and ears slightly (not too pronounced like Spock's ears) pointed at their tips. This aids them to blend in human society (just put some cosmetics and they're ready to blend in) to study humans closely.

One member of their second generation on Earth rebels and reproduces with a human woman in its disguise on a human city. The woman gets pregnant and gives birth to the first alien-human hybrids (with more human-like appearances, less pointy ears, and more human-like anatomy up to some degree).

It turns out that the human's genome differs from theirs by less than 1% (really, they were surprised, because in-universe, their understanding of exobiology dictates that it is very unlikely for species that evolved on different planets to have a completely similar genetic make-ups, just like what we understand).

This sparks a wave of curiosity about humanity, and an interest to study humans more. Their public even assigns humanity with informal tag, as their sister race.

Then good things have to end eventually. As described in this question's background, another species, unaware of their existence on Earth, wages a war to take over humanity.

The aliens decide to stay neutral, and let humanity fight for itself, because they believe that even if they had the will and might to overwhelm the invading aliens, the events of humans are not theirs to intervene.

That human-alien hybrid stands for humanity in a trial to preserve humanity, held on the alien's home-world. As humanity is on the brink of extinction, his heart fonds on humanity as much as his fondness to the aliens.

Then, (move to the question above).

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Please suggest additional tags, as I could not find proper tags for this question. Also please suggest edits if this question lacks something, or should (could) be improved. $\endgroup$ – Hendrik Lie May 23 '15 at 9:17
  • $\begingroup$ Xenobiology is the tag your looking for. $\endgroup$ – Tanzanite Dragoness Nov 7 '18 at 5:15
1
$\begingroup$

Short answer: saving money.

I am using that other question and my answer to it as background. In light of the two species the suggestion of social and economic integration actually seems more practical. While the aliens probably would have considerable prejudice against humans, they'd be motivated to act as if they were open minded towards humanity.

If we assume that the species has already terraformed a planet and intends now to colonize it, the next step is to get some colonists, transport them to the planet, and then get them to stay there. If we assume a post-scarcity society the last part is non-trivial. Colonists usually go because their previous circumstances were seriously problematic. Oppression, intolerance, poverty, famine... a long list of reasons that are mostly not applicable to a post-scarcity society or could not be solved by moving to somewhere as organized and well-planned as a successful planetary colony should be.

So it is quite likely for there to be a scarcity of willing colonists.

So the solution for getting colonists would be to offer generous economic incentives and benefits that make becoming a colonist profitable and attractive. This costs lots of money. A new colonized planet will eventually make up for it with new revenue, but obviously less you have to spend on the colonists faster you can start making profit.

Reasonably, if demand for colonists exceeds the supply, the price will go up.

So few billion people who are not only willing, but actually forced to to leave their old homes and relocate to a recently terraformed planet lacking in amenities without getting paid would be very attractive. Obviously there would be risks involved, but if you treat them as colonists who have voluntarily (you didn't threaten them) agreed to work as part of the colonization project, the risks are actually smaller and more manageable than with refugees. And making the savings justify the risk only means you have to assume the scarcity of colonists is large enough.

As long as you think the aliens for political and security reasons wish to expand their area of control faster than their population base organically supports you are golden. They will be short on colonists. And what happened to Earth makes that quite reasonable. There are bad people out there.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Hmm, what an insightful answer. Post-scarcity doesn't mean that they will stop to think about making profit, there has to be some profit to support those post-scarcity status. $\endgroup$ – Hendrik Lie May 23 '15 at 15:31
1
$\begingroup$

The simplest option is that the aliens don't help human race due to their strict policy of noninterference. One of the humans find the hidden alien spaceship (perhaps with teh help of human-alien offspring?) which they are able to make crude copies with their existing technology. While not as safe as the original, having no choice, masses of human flee in the copied spaceships. The reason they choose that particular planet is simply because that is the only one they find in the starchart of the original ship that is capable of sustaining homosapiens.


Original Answer 1. Historical record keeping 2. Knowledge preservation 3. Study the effect of an alien environment on homosapien evolution

These are the more likely reasons. From here on, I'm going out on a limb and stating reasons that may or may not blend in the backstory.

  1. The aliens are trying to preserve the alien planet due to historical reasons of their own and homosapiens are a convenient part of the biological ecosystem that they come up with for that planet.
  2. That planet is a galactic zoo
$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ If you read the linked question, you should be aware that the planet humans transported to had been terraformed. Though I would like if you could expand your answer, as this answer seems to be (sorry) too vague for me. I couldn't get your idea just now. $\endgroup$ – Hendrik Lie May 23 '15 at 10:08
  • $\begingroup$ My apologies for not reading the linked question. It seems you already have a backstory that limits the available options. I'll have to edit the answer to be relevant. $\endgroup$ – Adnan Y May 23 '15 at 10:14
  • $\begingroup$ Hmm, perhaps it was my bad, to not including details on the linked question, I was trying to prevent redundancy, but ended up confusing people. Sorry for it then, heheheh. But still, I would love to see you expand your answers. I would glad to have explanation for each points you propose. $\endgroup$ – Hendrik Lie May 23 '15 at 10:18
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I've updated the answer. See if this fits in the backstory. Also, for your linked question, I would say that you take a look at cast studies for Dadaab (that largest refugee camp in the world). Here is one $\endgroup$ – Adnan Y May 23 '15 at 10:31
  • $\begingroup$ Well, this is definitely better, but the question is "how to convince them to interfere". I would love to hear your thought of how could this be done. $\endgroup$ – Hendrik Lie May 23 '15 at 12:01
1
$\begingroup$

Unless there's a serious error in our current understanding of physics, interstellar travel is going to be exceedingly difficult. In a previous answer on the WB site I ballparked it at $3,750 Trillion (many decades of the entire Earth's combined GDP).

At such high costs, pretty much any physical objects in other star systems (e.g. minerals, living space, etc.) are simply not worth pursuing.

Add to that the fact that two technological civilizations are perfectly capable of transmitting knowledge using radio, laser, or equivalent exceedingly cheaply. Meaning trading information doesn't require interstellar voyages either.

What that leaves us with is something more like the motivations of the monolith makers in Arthur C. Clarke's 2001: A Space Odyssey. In those books the monolith makers treasured the spark of intelligence itself and planted the monoliths to aid in blowing on the embers of fledgling intelligences and notifying its makers when those embers ignited into a new intelligence.

IMO, the only rational and self-consistent reason for expending the effort of interstellar travel in the events of your book would be the preservation of this spark of diversity.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ So, your suggestion is., this is done to preserve information diversity? I never heard of it, perhaps you would be kind enough to expand your answer? $\endgroup$ – Hendrik Lie May 23 '15 at 15:55
  • $\begingroup$ The objective isn't the preservation of information. In 2001: A Space Odyssey, the monolith makers (also known as First Ones), were a million or more years more advanced than humans. There was literally nothing we knew / could know that they didn't already know. They treasured not new knowledge but kindred intelligences. Of all the things in the Universe, this was what they found to be the rarest and most valuable of treasures. Another way of looking at it, they were lonely and wanted others to join their community. You'd have to read the 4 Odyssey books to understand fully, I think. $\endgroup$ – Jim2B May 23 '15 at 19:44
  • $\begingroup$ Ouh, my apology, I haven't read them, unfortunately $\endgroup$ – Hendrik Lie May 24 '15 at 6:14
1
$\begingroup$

Because they're not aliens (or looking at it differently, we're not aliens to them).

One member of their second generation on Earth rebels and reproduces with a human woman in its disguise on a human city. The woman gets pregnant and gives birth to the first alien-human hybrids (with more human-like appearances, less pointy ears, and more human-like anatomy up to some degree).

Barring crazy alien genetics that allow a species extreme flexibility in breeding, if the aliens and humans can have sex, and the children are also viable? Then we're basically the same species. The most common definition is:

a group of living organisms consisting of similar individuals capable of exchanging genes or interbreeding

So a group of "aliens" successfully argues that since humans can interbreed with them, we should be considered a sub-culture instead of a totally different race, and they use that to justify some degree of limited preservation.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Well, the idea is that they evolved independently, and that's what makes their xenobiologist surprised to the fact that their genetic make up is very compatible. Still, in-universe-wise, this one is quite good for an argument. $\endgroup$ – Hendrik Lie May 23 '15 at 17:46
1
$\begingroup$

We really should name these species to keep them distinguished.

If the "post-scarcity interstellar civilization" has that kind of technology (FTL-drive, tons of resources, enlightenment, etc.) Then they'd also probably have teleporters, point-singularity-projector weapons, etc... in short, stuff that could easily save humanity. Or at least stuff on-par with the adversary's tech.

If they really were biologically as close to humans as they seem to be, wouldn't they decide to interfere? I mean, a third party is trying to erase one of the universe's biggest mysteries -- "why is our sister race (humans) so much like us?" I don't think a civilization could sit by and do nothing as genocide were committed, especially if they have the means to do so. "Law of non-interference" or not. Perhaps this starts a feud/uprising/rebellion etc.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ If you read the linked question, I had named them. The name is aucafidian for the benevolent alien, and the invading one is denefasan. Still, your answer do make sense, in their perspective. After all, public opinion of their side might be enough to move the government? $\endgroup$ – Hendrik Lie May 23 '15 at 17:34

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.