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How plausible is the 'War of the Worlds' ending?


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I was watching Tom Cruise's 'War of the Worlds' the other day, which has more plot holes than a ton of Swiss cheese, but that aside, I want an opinion on the ending. In the movie and HG Wells' original story, the aliens are eventually wiped out by some Earth virus or bacteria. I used to think that this was entirely plausible since the extraterrestrials certainly wouldn't have encountered the germs before and thus would have no immunity against them, but now I'm not so sure. Setting aside the obvious absurdity of an advanced alien civilization being totally unprepared for foreign germs. While it is certainly true that the aliens would have no preexisting defence against alien (to them) microbes, I would think that it is very likely that our viruses and/or bacteria would likewise be entirely unadapted to the aliens.

 

So while the aliens would be unable to fight off the germs if they managed to infect the aliens, the germs (especially viruses) would likely be unable to infect the aliens. Can someone give me an opinion on which option is probably the most likely? It seems absurd to me that an Earth virus, which can only infect a small number of terrestrial life forms, would be able to infect and kill an alien life form which in all likelihood has completely different anatomy and cellular receptors.

 

Thoughts?

Edited by Fanghur
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Glad to see you're pondering the big issues of today. biggrin.gifJust Speculating here, seeing as this is a fictitious scenario, but I'm guessing you're right. An alien population that advanced would have prepared for such infections. Especially considering they go from planet to planet using up biological material regularly. The infection problem was a systematic one too, suggesting no real preparation, e.g. getting out of their machines and walking around a house with no suits on for protection.

 

I think they were looking for Tom Cruise to kill him for spreading the cult beliefs of Scientology, which are so stupid it's an insult to the alien race.

Edited by Iota
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The viruses which affect humans seldom infect other mammals- never mind aliens.

But there are bacteria that degrade all sorts of things, including materials that we think of as toxic waste.

I doubt that the aliens could be made of things so "unearthly" that some bacteria wouldn't be able to treat them as food.

Our alien invaders wouldn't have any immunity to those bacteria (in the sense that we have).

They might have a general immune system which would protect them from earthly micro-organisms in just the same way that it protects them from the bugs they (presumably) had on their home planet.

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Not to mention an if an alien race regularly invades other planets there is virtually no way they wouldn't have some sort of plan for infectious diseases.

 

Right. For example we took quite a bit of care not to bring back germs from the Moon. Straight from Wikipedia:

 

Though the chance of bringing back pathogens from the lunar surface was considered remote, it was considered a possibility and NASA took great precautions at the recovery site. Divers provided the astronauts with Biological Isolation Garments (BIGs) which were worn until they reached isolation facilities on board the Hornet. Additionally astronauts were rubbed down with a sodium-hydrochloride solution and the command module wiped with Betadine to remove any lunar dust that might be present. The raft containing decontamination materials was then intentionally sunk.

 

Any race that is going to visit other worlds will have to take some precautions, however remote the risk.

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In the original story by H G Wells the Aliens were from Mars and “regarded this world with envious eyes” (so not habitual invaders) and had long since eradicated disease from the planet. I think H G was trying to suggest, having done so they overlooked the effect viruses and bacterium would have, add to which the accelerated evolution of such organisms. The premise of the book is much more plausible than that of the film, as not enough background is present in the film.

 

 

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Right. For example we took quite a bit of care not to bring back germs from the Moon. Straight from Wikipedia:

 

ajb, do you by any chance have MythBusters on your Facebook to have found that out? That's where I found it out today, is all.

 

Michael Collins, Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong also had to go through US customs after returning from the Moon. Got to be careful and all, you know? You can't be certain, telling who might be trying to get into the US via the Moon. Illegal 'aliens' and what not.

Edited by Iota
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I think they were looking for Tom Cruise to kill him for spreading the cult beliefs of Scientology, which are so stupid it's an insult to the alien race.

 

No argument from me there; Scientology is an insult to the human race, nevermind an alien race. lol.

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All microorganisms that decay all living things into their original nutrients (i.e. fungi) could pose a major challenge to aliens. Without defense, they'd rot as quickly as a piece of dead meat.

 

If they only observed from up there, they might not be aware how small life can be. They might simply not have recognized the majority of life on earth until it was too late. I think that YemSalat made a good comment there. It might not be entirely plausible, but it would explain that movie.

 

The raft containing decontamination materials was then intentionally sunk.

... Sunk into the largest incubator on the planet: the ocean.

 

Fixed that for them.

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considering any real space fairing invader would use either unmaned weaponry, or just nuke us from orbit... not that likley

also asuming that they are biological in nature, they would have some form of natural antibacterial/small life defence, like our phagocytes, since a large being would have to deal with oportunistic pathogenic bacteria, no mater what planet they came from

 

after all if we evolve from bacteria, its a good posibility they stuck around, just so they could eat us later

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Remember war of the worlds was an old story, i mean for godsake it was first told over the wireless thats how old it is. Back than people weren't as smart, you didn't have google to tell you everything.

 

I think the old thinking behind this film comes from when the white man went to America he killed a lot of the native Indians with the flu and small pox which their immune systems weren't use to.

 

I liked it though, i thought it was a decent remake and as much as i dont like Tom Cruise i thought he was good in this film.

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