An Alien’s Guide to Earth

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About This Episode

Jon Stewart is the first guest of the new season. He and Neil discuss the Daily Show book, Earth: A Visitor’s Guide to the Human Race. Addressed to aliens who visit our planet long after humans have gone extinct, this book is all that’s left to document the world as we know it. Lynne Koplitz returns as Neil’s co-host to investigate this hilarious encyclopedia humanica.

NOTE: All-Access subscribers can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free here: An Alien’s Guide to Earth.

This StarTalk Radio Season 2 episode is available as a digital download for $1.99-$2.09.

Season 2 Complete: 40 episodes for just $27.95 – that’s over 65% off the price of downloading each episode individually. Another perfect gift for the science fan in your life, especially if that person is you!

In This Episode

Episode Topics

  • NI Yao

    Hi, I want to mention that… I plan for zombies. You should meet my friends, when the time comes we will rise.

  • NI Yao

    Hi, I want to mention that… I plan for zombies. You should meet my friends, when the time comes we will rise.

  • Kiwi

    Off-topic musical question: Could anyone provide me the title of the song starting at 33:12 please? Is StarTalk keeping a list of the songs they use anywhere on the internet?

    • startalkradio

      Kiwi, we started putting song lists on the pages for each episode on our website with Season 2, Episode 37. Unfortunately, we don’t have songs listed for shows before that date, but you’re in luck. The song you asked about is “Weird Science” by Oingo Boingo. Here’s a link to the YouTube video:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jm-upHSP9KU

      • Kiwi

        And this is how StarTalk rocks! Thank you!

    • Rahil Sethi

      My 1 to 10 least likely to most likely scenario of human extinction:
      1. Global Warming (9-10 points)
      2. Pandemic (8-9 points)
      3. Nuclear warfare (7-8 points)
      4. Asteroids/Comets (7 points)
      5. Gamma Ray Bursts (5 points: by Wolf Rayet Stars and Eta Carinae)
      6. Natural Disasters/Super volcano activities (3-4 points)
      7. Planet Collisions (2-3 points Mercury or rogue planets)
      8. Sun nearing its death (1-3 points)
      9. Alien Invasion (1 -3 points)
      10. Artificial Intelligence (1-2 points)

      • Steven McDonald

        I have a feeling that I am not alone in not understanding the ordering of your list as per the description.. Does “1. Global Warming” mean it is the least likely in your opinion or the most likely? Also what do you mean with the number of points at the end of each item on the list?

        To add to it, the way I see it humans have only 2 possibilities for our long term future. We are either brought to extinction, by means of natural phenomena that we have yet to be able to control or by our own hands due to not advancing our civilization faster than our technology (the Nuclear warfare and Global Warming options above plus more), or we survive long enough to be made obsolete by an artificial intelligence created by our own technological advancements.

        We are either going to be killed off by the plethora of natural phenomena which can tip the balance of our habitat (be it here on earth, on an asteroid, in deep space, on another planet, etc.) or we have a strong enough natural desire for exploration and thirst for knowledge of the universe to make scientific and technological advancements to allow us to escape or otherwise alter uninhabitable climates to stay one step ahead of the cosmos’ ability to kill us (diverting asteroid/comets, terraforming, artificial biological enhancements, massive galactic colonization, etc.).

        If it is the later, then it must follow that we will keep advancing said technology which allows us to survive in this harsh universe in which we live. That advancement inevitably leads to self learning technology, thus the inevitable obsolescence of our species.

        What happens to our species after we create an artificial intelligence imbued with the exploratory desire and self learning capabilities would be less than speculation.

        • Rahil Sethi

          What do you think dude? Don’t you see the points in parentheses? Numbering on the left side is mere indexing and I just happen to Rank them. Have you even seen or used Excel? Try one if you haven’t. Your list gets indexed under default settings. Its a standard format. Scaling is always done on the right side and left side is always indexing irrespective of the order. Also what do you think the points are???? They are mere relative scaling of the scenarios I have listed

          • Seb

            Yeah dude… “1 to 10 least likely to most likely” that implies 1 is least likely and 10 is most likely. Take a step back and relax, make your list accurate and don’t reference something that has nothing to do with the argument (awesome, you can use Excel, so can millions of others)

  • Kiwi

    Off-topic musical question: Could anyone provide me the title of the song starting at 33:12 please? Is StarTalk keeping a list of the songs they use anywhere on the internet?

  • Rahil Sethi

    My 1 to 10 least likely to most likely scenario of human extinction:
    1. Global Warming (9-10 points)
    2. Pandemic (8-9 points)
    3. Nuclear warfare (7-8 points)
    4. Asteroids/Comets (7 points)
    5. Gamma Ray Bursts (5 points: by Wolf Rayet Stars and Eta Carinae)
    6. Natural Disasters/Super volcano activities (3-4 points)
    7. Planet Collisions (2-3 points Mercury or rogue planets)
    8. Sun nearing its death (1-3 points)
    9. Alien Invasion (1 -3 points)
    10. Artificial Intelligence (1-2 points)

    • Steven McDonald

      I have a feeling that I am not alone in not understanding the ordering of your list as per the description.. Does “1. Global Warming” mean it is the least likely in your opinion or the most likely? Also what do you mean with the number of points at the end of each item on the list?

      To add to it, the way I see it humans have only 2 possibilities for our long term future. We are either brought to extinction, by means of natural phenomena that we have yet to be able to control or by our own hands due to not advancing our civilization faster than our technology (the Nuclear warfare and Global Warming options above plus more), or we survive long enough to be made obsolete by an artificial intelligence created by our own technological advancements.

      We are either going to be killed off by the plethora of natural phenomena which can tip the balance of our habitat (be it here on earth, on an asteroid, in deep space, on another planet, etc.) or we have a strong enough natural desire for exploration and thirst for knowledge of the universe to make scientific and technological advancements to allow us to escape or otherwise alter uninhabitable climates to stay one step ahead of the cosmos’ ability to kill us (diverting asteroid/comets, terraforming, artificial biological enhancements, massive galactic colonization, etc.).

      If it is the later, then it must follow that we will keep advancing said technology which allows us to survive in this harsh universe in which we live. That advancement inevitably leads to self learning technology, thus the inevitable obsolescence of our species.

      What happens to our species after we create an artificial intelligence imbued with the exploratory desire and self learning capabilities would be less than speculation.

      • Rahil Sethi

        What do you think dude? Don’t you see the points in parentheses? Numbering on the left side is mere indexing and I just happen to Rank them. Have you even seen or used Excel? Try one if you haven’t. Your list gets indexed under default settings. Its a standard format. Scaling is always done on the right side and left side is always indexing irrespective of the order. Also what do you think the points are???? They are mere relative scaling of the scenarios I have listed

  • Chris Yo

    excited to listen to this episode, can’t believe i overlooked it:)

  • Harrison

    This is what happen when you give a book to Neil, he became a comedian. No offence. Love neil

Find All Of Season Two On

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