What if we have to play the part of Mt. Ararat in an interstellar, UFO survival situation?

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What would entail to be in a place that has to receive more refugees than is possible after a catastrophe? What if those refugees come from another world? Would it be possible to bet on success in such cases or should we expect another disaster?

We have discussed the viability of the Noah's Ark concept as a survival strategy (see "Is Noah's Ark a realistic, valid survival strategy?"), but so far from the point of view of the survivor, that is, the person that actually has to use something like an ark in order to survive an extraordinary disaster or catastrophe. Such people become, after beginning to use the ark, in refugees because in essence they are kept in a relatively safe environment, but waiting for fate to blink an eye on them. Thus, they are at the mercy of fortune and luck.

Every successful ark strategy ends with a colonization process. Using the biblical story, after waters go somewhat away, Mount Ararat appears and the survivors of the ark eventually get out and settle in a brave new world. However, this new world might be the old one or some part of it that has not been hit by catastrophe, or entirely a new one. In both cases, settlement and colonization will have some sort of impact on it.

In that receiving world - be it a mountain, an island, another continent or even another planet - there might be a native population of plants, animals and people, and the arrival of a batch of newcomers will hardly be of no consequence for them. Just think about the few dozens of European settlers - many of them persecuted, survivors or refugees in their own nations - that arrived into the the places that later became their colonies. History doesn't allow us to be optimistic regarding those beings and places that fit into the role of Mount Ararat after widespread disaster.

Prima facie then, we should bet on a disastrous outcome for those receiving refugees under such conditions. On the other hand, survivors in an ark arriving to such a place should not expect a warm welcome, or if one takes place, they should assume that the situation might deteriorate quickly. Leaders on both sides will certainly have a hard time keeping peace.

Every time war or famine happens in some part of the world, refugee camps begin to appear in neighbouring countries. Despite their auspices and those of the UN and several NGOs, such refugee camps cause lots of trouble. For example: the Palestinian "refugee camps" care inscribed within a very serious geopolitical dispute in the Middle East. Such problems are easy to start but very difficult to stop, even for governments with unquestionable advantages in military, political and financial terms. No one can, thus, bet on the long-term viability of refugee situations without proper assimilation or repatriation in the long run, and proper means to sustain adequate living conditions for those refugees in the meantime.

So, in order to gain full understanding of a "Noah's Ark" survival strategy, and before betting on it, we have to forget the somewhat simplistic view on the matter that the Bible gives us and try to gain some level of understanding of what might go thorough the minds of every participant - however unwilling - of such situation. Thus, it becomes also indispensable that we try to view things from the eyes of those obliged by facts to assist and provide help and shelter. We will use a somewhat extreme example to toy with that might seem at first a little bit out of a sci-fi story but, given the information and understanding that science has provided us so far, not so impossible or outlandish after all: What would happen if our civilization makes contact with extraterrestrials fleeing from some sort of disaster, heading towards us because they see Earth as something like their own Mount Ararat?

Why couldn't a big UFO really be a space ark of sorts? Odds are that there is life out there, and the same odds and evolutionary laws suggest that it might be as imperfect as we are, so why bet on the assumption that incoming aliens would be enlightened beings instead of refugees from some space war or planetary environmental disaster? A more advanced technology to travel thorough space - either a little bit or far more advanced - really means nothing: the Nazis were indeed technologically superior to African pygmies but who would dare say that they were ethically or morally better?

Given that the problem is an extensive one we will deal with it into separate parts, but let's start considering that between survivors and their receptors there will be a collection of cultural differences, understanding them as dissimilar degrees of advancement and views on technology, science, education, art and other aspects that make each civilization. To that we should add more or less obvious physical differences. In the case of different species that come from different planet, these differences will likely be profound.

The deeper those cultural and physical differences are, it is likely than the odds in favour of potential trouble will increase. As differences between earthlings and Aliens - let's remember that this is our hypothesis right now - would likely be profound, the potential for trouble will also be remarkably high. There are several relevant questions in this case:

Could the aliens really be considered "superior" in moral, technical or technological aspects?

Will their presence represent a health hazard for the Earth ecosystem?

What impact could they have on human civilization?

Would it be morally correct to assist them or Earthlings should abstain from intervening in Alien problems?

Would Earth have the right to allow for the extinction of another planetary environment contained in an ark because of the inconvenience of assisting those survivors? Our loyalty to life should be limited to our planet?

Would it be possible to define correctly the conflict hypotheses created by an alien presence under such conditions?

Who would be entitled to speak in representation of the Earth?

It is hard to answer these questions now because this is a mere hypothesis. However, if such a crisis ever begins to unravel, we can bet that we will have to answer them, rather quickly..

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