The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
3 Points

Extraterrestrials will attempt to destroy our civilisation for our planet and its resources

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/25/2013 Category: Science
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,448 times Debate No: 42945
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (18)
Votes (1)




The subject of this debate considers whether extraterrestrial civilisation (organisms from another planet around another star) would attempt to destroy our civilisation to colonize our planet. I consider this a thought experiment to mainly explore what the morals/behaviour of an alien race would/could be as well as to take into account factors that space affects and what might be possible in the far future.

This debate assumes that the extraterrestrials will be unprovoked by us and will intentionally attack us first.

Round 1: Acceptance
Rounds 2-4: Arguments & Rebuttals
Round 5: Rebuttals and Summary of Main Arguments/Counters (NO Rebuttals - Will result in disqualification)

I advise my opponent to consider many aspects of the topic and to think outside the box as not all things on Earth apply to outer space/aliens.

Any questions about rules - Please comment beforehand. If you accept before questioning the rules then you will have to just abide by them.

Thanks for reading and merry xmas.


Thank you for the incredible oppurtunity to engage in such a fun thought experiment with you. I look forward to this debate with you.
Debate Round No. 1


I"ll start this debate with a look at what has happened when a civilisation has come into contact with a less advanced civilisation. I say this as if there are extra-terrestrials around in our galaxy (I strongly believe there are) the odds are heavily in favour of them being more advanced due to the timescale of our galaxy relative to our civilisation (~13 billion years vs 10,000 years) and the fact that 75% of the stars in or galactic habitable zone are older than our sun.1

A classic example is the Spanish colonization of the Americas. In less than a century, the Spanish colonised large portions of Mexico, North America and the Bahamas. In the process they had decimated local populations with war, slavery and disease. The main motives for this colonisation were the search for additional resources and the spreading of the Catholic faith. I argue that the first of these is a universal factor and that resources will be sought after no matter who or were you are.

If we look around on Earth you see life pretty much anywhere that it can exist. Evolution forces all species to propagate and spread as far as possible in a constant battle for survival. If we give some plop some sugar on some bacteria in a petri dish, the bacterial colony grows to take advantage of the resources. So much so that they will rapidly use it up and die when the resources run out. If you look at how human civilisation has progressed then you can see essentially the same pattern. Our current fossil fuel, food and water crisis is testament to that. Technology may help but just like bacteria, if we remain in our closed environment (solar system) we will die. Except we have rocket ships that enable us to leave this world. And in fact we did go ahead and send ships to space and the moon more or less exactly when we were first able to do so. If we extrapolate this to the future, it"s a solid bet that we"ll colonise other planets and star systems as soon as we feasibly can. Since all these points would apply to any species produced by evolution, the long term goal of any species would be to spread throughout the galaxy looking for new planets to inhabit and mine. Needless to say, sharing resources with another race is not efficient.

Another cause would be to eliminate any potential threats to your civilisation. If the ultimate goal of your species is to survive and grow then why would you allow another civilisation to survive and grow also? For one, there is a (vast but) limited number of planets in our galaxy so eliminating them would remove any competition as well as ensure that they don"t try to eliminate you in the future. Again you can see this on Earth in abundance. The only logical course would be to remove any and all other civilisations from existence.

An interesting point I picked up from the book "Speaker for the dead" (2nd book in Enders Game series) is that making contact and developing a relationship with an alien race may be futile. Any alien civilisation would be just that: Alien in every way. Think of the cultural and behavioural differences that have caused countless wars and conflicts between groups of people in the past. Any cultural exchange between two species from different planets would dwarf this. Could we ever really hope to have a relationship with a species so different from ourselves where one wrong move could potentially lead to a conflict? The only other alternatives are to leave them alone and hope they don"t feel threatened enough to destroy your race or eliminate them and remove the threat altogether. In this case any species with the capability to travel here would have technology so superior that removing us from the planet should be trivial.

[1] C. H. Lineweaver, The Galactic Habitable Zone and the Age distribution of Complex Life in the Milky way, Science, 1

I think I've made enough arguments for now. I look forward to reading your argument.


I want to start off by thanking pro for posting this debate.

Aliens would be very unlikely to cause us harm to colonize us for several reasons.

1. The Fermi Paradox states that we should have been visited by intelligent beings already[1]. The fact we see no evidence this has occurred indicates several things about any intelligent E.T. Life that is already aware of us.

A. They aren't interested in us and therefore are not hostile towards us.

B. They are interested in us and observing us but only for educational purposes.which would also indicate they aren't hostile.

C. They have made limited contact with Earth ( perhaps with different governments ) perhaps for technology exchanges. Since their contact was on a very limited basis we ( average people ) have no way of knowing they actually made contact. This sort of behavior would also indicate the E.T.s are not hostile.

I will remind everyone that pro's argument is that E.T.s would attempt to destroy the Earth's civilization to colonize it. Any argument I make to show E.T.s would destroy the Earth without any attempt to colonize it works in my favor not my opponents. I'm okay with pro extending his argument to include destroying civilization not just for colonization purposes but also mining purposes or other similar things.

2. Miscellaneous answers to Fermi's paradox

A. The wack a mole theory. Alien life forms have created a planet destroying device that looks for planets who have reached a technological singularity. Once a planet reaches this stage of evolution it becomes a threat to other intelligent life in the universe. This could explain why we haven't made contact yet as well. Any planet reaching the level of technological ability to find or communicate with us is being destroyed immediately upon doing so. Once we reach that stage of evolution the planet eating device ( lets call it galactus ) is going to kill us all[2]. Note- this scenario results in us being killed and not colonized or mined.

B. Another answer to the Fermi paradox is called The Rare Earth Hypothesis [3]. This hypothesis in a nutshell explains that Earth like planets are significantly more rare then the Fermi Paradox took into account. If this is true, then it would mean that E.T.s are extremely unlikely to mine or colonize Earth if they discovered it. The extreme distance that they would have to travel would make it cheaper and therefore more likely the E.T.'s would mine lifeless planets close to home. Also with how expensive intergalactic travel is sure to be it would make it extremely expensive to colonize distant planets especially one where the inhabitants might be hostile towards them[4].

3. Some theories unrelated to the Fermi Paradox.

A. Directed panspermia[5]. This is a theory that speculates intelligent extraterrestrial life seeded life throughout the universe. If this is the case then any E.T.s that visit or become aware of us in the future are likely to be closely related to us. Contact made is likely to be with our creators and very friendly towards us.

B. The simulation hypothesis [6]. This is probably the most likely scenario. This theory states that we live in a simulated universe. This has a lot more evidence then the other hypothesis [7][8][9] and is by far the most likely. If this is the scenario is true then the alien race we encounter would be the programmers of the simulation. If they communicated with us it would probably be in a way that feels supernatural to us.

4. Scenarios if the aliens are our computer programmers.

A. The simulation is just for observation and our programmers won't interfere with the simulation or will interfere minimally. If this is the case then the aliens aren't hostile and we have nothing to worry about.

B. The simulation is just simulating up to or until a certain event then is programmed to turn off. Something such as the achievement of a technological singularity within the simulation could use up so much memory that it would force an end to the simulation. If this occurs then for our purposes the E.T.s are hostile and pose a threat. Also, because this is just a simulation the E.T.s are unlikely to colonize and they would unlikely be able to mine the planet for precious minerals.

5. Ancient Alien Theory as postulated by Zechariah Sitchen ( and revamped slightly by me ) Not by the history channel ( though some overlap exists ).

A. This theory supported by various Sumerian tablets as interpreted by Zechariah Sitchen states that aliens came to Earth from planet X. Because of the odd orbital path of planet X it comes close to Earth about once every 20,000 years. This close proximity it comes to makes it economically feasible to go to Earth. The E.T.s from planet X are known as annunaki. The Annunaki were in dire straits. Their ozone was becoming depleted and they needed to mine for a specific mineral related to Gold on Earth to fix their ozone.

The conditions on Earth were harsh for the aliens, so they combined their DNA with Bigfoot DNA and created a slave race known as humans to do the mining for them. The Annunaki after getting what they needed left the Earth never to be heard from again.

If this theory is true then it proves that Aliens are not hostile to us. They did mine us on one hand, but on the other hand instead of destroying civilization they created it.

6. Modern UFO and abduction phenomenon as made famous by Betty and Barney Hill [10].

It looks like if modern UFO and abduction phenomenon actually supports a friendly alien intent. The aliens seem to be going out of their way to not interrupt or harm any civilization on Earth. The aliens are just witnessed observing us and when they do abduct people the reports seem to indicate they are merely trying to understand our biology. On top of all this I have seen no reports of aliens in the modern UFO and abduction phenomenon interested in the Earth's resources.

7. Summary

Most scenarios That range in likeliness to occur, be Occurring or will occur fall into one of 3 categories.

A. Aliens become aware of our presence and are uninterested leaving us entirely alone.

B. Aliens become aware of our presence and are interested but prefer to have minimal contact and just observe us.

C. Aliens become aware of our presence feel threatened and completely destroy us without any interest in colonizing or mining the planet Earth.

E.T.s are unlikely to mine or colonize Earth due to the fact they can likely get the same resources closer to home and either mining or colonizing Earth ( a potentially hostile planet) would prove troublesome and expensive.


Debate Round No. 2


Firstly I"d like to state why I believe the Fermi paradox is invalid. The Fermi paradox states that the Galaxy should be teeming with extra-terrestrial civilisations even with modest habitable planet figures. This is then seen to be paradoxical with respect to the fact that we haven"t observed anything to suggest that there are in fact any sapient races. However there is a fault in the conclusion drawn from this lack of evidence. We, as a species have only been "online" as a civilisation for 60 years or so as this is how long we have been broadcasting radio signals into space (for communications, military radar etc..). Again this is a miniscule period of time compared to cosmological time. Another fact is that space is truly vast. Much too vast for any human to truly comprehend. We are talking distances of tens of trillions to just the very nearest stars (our "stellar neighbours") and many, many times further for many stars you see in the night sky. This, combined with the fact that light travels at a finite speed means that we have a bubble around us representing how far out our communications have reached into space. It is 50 or so light years and even then most of our radio communications are much too weak to actually be extracted from background noise at that distance. So the fact is that only a handful of stars could actually pick up our signals (via military radar or other strong signals etc..) if they happen to be listening to the right part of the sky at the right time. Not to mention it would take 50 years for them to send a message back if they replied today. So my point is that we are very isolated in space. And the same for the inverted scenario. We are extremely unlikely to pick up any signals even if the galaxy is crowded with sentient life. The fact that we haven"t any evidence from the last 50 years is not reason to jump to conclusions as it is a cosmic "blink" of time.
We also have no reason to assume anything about the population of the Galaxy. It could be extremely populated, sparsely populated, only a handful or even just us! Now for this debate we have to assume that there are at least a few but we can"t assume that it is heavily populated as there are far too many unknowns. Therefore it is wrong to assume we should have been visited. As we only have a sample of one, we can"t say anything about the likelihoods of us being visited are.
I would also like to add that if they are interested in our species why would that rule out the possibility of hostility? Maybe they are interested in the same way a country is "interested" in a rival nation and so they send spy planes/satellites above it to monitor them. If there are any aliens observing us, our first reaction should be that of suspicion and defending ourselves. Maybe they are carrying out reconnaissance to aid the battalion of ships they are sending towards us to exterminate our species.

Well I use the world colonise in a broad sense. It doesn"t have to mean settling there. It just means that they use the planet in some way. I don"t see the motive of any E.T just destroying our planet without taking advantage of the resources they"ll need for building ships and such.

A much more efficient plan would be for the E.T civilisation to kill the native civilisation without destroying the planet which would surely require unbelievable amounts of energy to do anyway. Then they can send ships afterwards to use the planet for its resources. A non destructive method like a computer virus or nanobots would be many orders of magnitude easier and more beneficial.

I believe as the technology of the civilisation increases and the resources of their native solar system runs out over millions of years, it will become fruitful for the civilisation to colonise other worlds. Interstellar travel while far out of our reach at present, could be trivial for a civilisation a million years older than us. I put forward that E.T would be forced to look for other planets to grow.

This is theoretically possible but what if they seeded life here on earth just to have an ecosystem here for whatever reason and they had no knowledge of any of a sapient race evolving here? They could have planted life here just to create a habitable environment for them later down the line. Then it is likely they will not want us to inhabit and mine the planet for ourselves and will therefore want to remove us.

I don"t know of any evidence of this grand claim. It is a purely hypothetical theory that has no pieces of evidence behind it. In this case there could be two types of E.T. Ones that cohabit the universe with us and ones that are our creators and being that cohabit their "universe". If this is the case then my points all still stand. They could well also remove us from the simulation in favour of letting another civilisation grow and watch them evolve and advance. This could all be a cycle in a program.
Planet X is a wildly speculative theory that has no scientific backing. There are no stable orbits for a planet like this and if it did enter our solar system, the earth and the other planets would be swung out of orbit.


Wylted forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


Nomad91 forfeited this round.


The Fermi Paradox-

You refute the Fermi Paradox by arguing what is essentially The Rare Earth Hypothesis. The rare Earth hypothesis only helps my argument though. If these planets with intelligent life are so rare then we are extremely unlikely to be harvested for resources. Space travel is expensive. It is far more likely that Intelligent aliens would harvest resources from a planet significantly closer to home. I can't see why they would colonize Earth either when it would be far easier to colonize a closer planet that has all the benefits of Earth but without the hostile sentient creatures on board.

" We also have no reason to assume anything about the population of the Galaxy."

But, you just argued The RARE Earth Hypothesis.

" Why would that rule out the possibility of hostility"

If an intelligent alien species interacts with us I believe it is far more likely they will be hostile, and for the reasons I have given. You have to prove a specific type of hostility to win this debate. If the hostility is come here and straight kill us all, then I win. The specific type of hostility you chose to prove is Hostility for useful purposes such as taking Earth resources. The type of hostility I'm arguing for is a kill our whole species in a preemptive strike type.

Alien colonization strategies-

Strategy one given by pro-

Step 1- kill all humans

Step 2- send additional ships in to harvest for resources

Problems- the biggest issue with this is the fact that an alien civilization would have to travel past other planets with the same resources as Earth to get the Earth' s resources. Even if space travel is relatively cheap which it's unlikely to ever be, then you still have the problem of too much energy being used to collect resources. Why have battleships destroy sentient beings in a targeted way. If the goal is killing potential threats the targeted way of killing sentient beings would certainly be more expensive then non targeted destruction, which would destroy all the planets resources. If resource collection is the aliens primary motive then it makes little sense to target Earth instead of a closer planet to their home.

Strategy 2 given by pro-

Step 1- Seed life on Earth to later harvest us for trees etc.

Step 2- Come to harvest the trees etc.

Step 3- realize sentient hostile intelligent beings exist on Earth and they screwed up

Step 4- kill all sentient life so the aliens can begin harvesting the Earth like was originally planned.

Problems- The aliens have literally waited billions of years to start harvesting. This long stretch between seeding life and harvesting the non sentient life is ridiculous. I can't believe any intelligent species would have the patience to wait a billion years before harvesting. Exspecially since they could have harvested it way before now.

" I don't know of any evidence of this grand claim "


1. The holographic universe- the universe is a holograph.

2. Uncertainty principle in quantum physics- when we view something it acts different then when we don't view it.

3. DNA resembles a computer program.

" It is a purely hypothetical theory that has no pieces of evidence behind it."

This is a debate that is purely hypothetical and when discussing the types of Alien contact that might be made with our species only hypothetical arguments can be made. Besides I have connected some evidence to the hypothesis just to show its not something completely absurd I just pulled from thin air.

" they could well also remove us from the simulation in favour of letting another civilization grow."

They could also turn our civilization into a giant porno. We aren't debating what's possible. We are discussing what's likely if aliens discover us. If aliens are to discover us then they likely already have. Given that they most likely already have, then we need to look at how they discovered us. This is why the simulated universe theory is on the table.

If the universe is simulated, then aliens see us everyday they may even have a hacker communicate with us through a burning bush occasionally. The point is given the aliens seem to have a non interference policy when it comes to the simulated reality, then they are likely to maintain that policy. The one exception I can see to the policy is if the Earth is on the verge of some sort of intelligence explosion which would hurt the simulations memory. In this case the program is likely to automatically shut down or reset. We are more likely to be shut down then to be replaced by a new civilization. It's not enough to say that are civilization is likely to be replaced by another pro needs to also explain the alien's reasons for doing such a thing.

Planet X theory-

The planet X theory is the only one that could actually give pro's argument any credibility yet it is the one theory I propose that he most easily dismisses. It's a shame you dismissed my argument for planet X when you could have used what I said to lend your argument credibility. The only way an alien species would colonize Earth is if it was a planet like planet X that even though already refuted by the one person who should be Using that theory, that planet is the only one close enough to justify Earth being colonized while not spending a ridiculous amount of money to do so. Planet X is the only planet that wouldn't have to pass up other planets like ours with similar resources to get to ours. The aliens on planet X are the only possible alien species that would want to kill all humans while preserving other Earth resources.

Thank you pro for dismissing the only possible theory you could bring into this that would justify your conclusion.
Debate Round No. 4


Nomad91 forfeited this round.


It was fun debating with you. Since there were no rebuttals of my last arguments, I have nothing to add
Debate Round No. 5
18 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Nomad91 5 years ago
Ha its fine. I'm here to debate, not get meaningless internet points ;)
Posted by Wylted 5 years ago
Thanks that is extremely considerate of you.
Posted by Nomad91 5 years ago
Ok. Well I don't have a problem with forfeiting this round and making it a 3 round debate instead of 4.
Posted by Wylted 5 years ago
I was sick sorry I will be continuing despite the disadvantage
Posted by Nomad91 5 years ago
Only 80 mins left for you to post your argument Wylted! Make it a good one :)
Posted by Wylted 5 years ago
My grammers not the best either. I think my grammer is only good enough to fool people with average grammer.
Posted by Nomad91 5 years ago
No worries. You'll have to forgive me for my grammatical mistakes. Saw a couple when i just glanced at it now.
Posted by Wylted 5 years ago
I'm glad your aren't forfeiting I was really looking forward to this
Posted by Nomad91 5 years ago
Go for it Adam! Let me know if you do as i'd be interested to read others opinions as well (hence why i made this debate). It really is a interesting question when you get into it as there's so many aspects to take into account and you have to use logic well as you can't really make assumptions for aliens like you can for other humans. Literally everything is open for discussion since we can't exactly call an alien up and ask him.
Posted by Nomad91 5 years ago
I wont be forfeiting this. I've been busy so i haven't been able to get at it but i'm going to post my argument tonight.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by kbub 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro FF (x2), Con FF (x1). Pro's FF was near the end, which is usually the worst time to FF. Arguments go to Con, because Con's last round was not refuted. Conduct does not change, because both sides FFd.