Why do the Cylons bother to destroy the Humans? What's their reasoning? They could have just as well populated the rest of the universe and left the puny humans alone, destroying the humans should have been noted as a waste of time. Why did they choose to get involved?

3 Answers 3


One captured version of Boomer (I think it was actually Athena) explains it to Adama. She says that the Cylons believe that the humans just did not deserve to live. The implications are it's because of their inability to live up to a moral standard.

Think of it as a cleansing or purging.

Also, from the Cylon point of view, humans are a threat to them and Cylons are long-lived. If they head for another galaxy, their fear is that at some point the humans could spread and outnumber them and find them again. If that happened, it would not be their children who were threatened, it would be them. So exterminating humanity would protect the Cylons down the line.

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    Wow, their logic was flawed at many points but I guess that's what makes Cylons different from any other 'computer' or 'machine' race. They picked up the flaw of pride an self righteousness. They could have easily belived that the universe would supply almost limitless resources to expand their culture. They would have easily surpassed human numbers and would probably evolve into a higher form of being. But their downfall was their arrogance (and ignorance to their creators). So many mistakes, computers... so many mistakes! Commented May 3, 2011 at 16:19
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    I remember the first Cylon scene on old Caprica "They were like children, they needed our guidance but [...]" and "This was inevitable, they would have done it themselves" Commented May 4, 2011 at 14:02

They believed they were the next step in evolution. And you know what generally happens to an ancestor species when a more evolved version comes around. The ancestor species ends up being recognized by it's fossils.

  • Yes, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the newer species wiped out the ancestor species. It usually means v1.0 died off (naturally) and v2.0 thrived. Commented May 4, 2011 at 13:50
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    except, that this is not exactly how evolution normally works - there tend to be two divergent species from one ancestor species (think monkeys and humans evolving from monkey/human-like ancestors) - and the idea of 'more evolved' is more inline with Nietzchean philosophy than current evolutionary biology.
    – HorusKol
    Commented May 4, 2011 at 23:38
  • Oh I agree - normally evolution specifies a "die-off" for whatever reason. Hwoever, put in some jealousy and resentment in a species that is sentient and believes itself to be more efficient and you have a recipe for the newer species wanting "help speed things along" - to say nothing of inhabiting the ancestor species home.
    – David
    Commented May 9, 2011 at 13:22

You learn quite a bit from the the series - how the Ones (Cavil) despised being 'mere' and inefficient flesh, and their desire to avert the plan of their creators (for humans and cylons to coexist in peace).

As @TangoOversway mentions - the cylons (at least the skinjobs) had a sense of self-righteousness and being on the "one true path".

Also, there was at least one incident during the cease-fire where the colonials invaded cylon space - this could have been seen as provocation by the cylons who then arranged the pre-emptive nuclear strike against the colonies.

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