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Alien physiology

ProphetofOccam

Paranormal Adept
I was looking around tonight, and started reading up on some abduction stories I'd never heard of, before. It made me think of something regarding ET physiology that had kind of slipped my mind for a while. When I stopped actively reading about the paranormal for a number of years, I never really took the time to find out. Basically, when came to mind was a question -- a question i am sure is frequently asked, as it's one of the primary problems some people have with Star Trek and various sci-fi media.

Why do ET's have Earthling physiology? Has anyone, contactees or otherwise, taken time out to explain this?

I realize that there are some people who don't believe that the beings that are allegedly encountered during abductions and the like are extraterrestrial in origin, but actually from Earth (the past, the future, alternate reality, etc), or other dimensions (even the mind). I am exclusively talking about the people who do believe that the beings in these stories are extraterrestrials. What is the accepted explanation for this?
 

mike

Paranormal Adept
There are a number of potential answers to this one imo
It may be that only humanoid ET, are "licensed" to visit earth, so's not to induce pre contact xenophobia. The sentient arachnids of dendrite IV would be prohibited under section 17 of the galactic ruleset from coming anywhere near precontact humanoids.

In my Synthetic intellect hypothesis, i postulate that the "biologicals" are just biological waldos, and that using local DNA to build these conciousness vessels makes practical sense.

And there is the direct brain input hypothesis, which may again include humanoid data input for the same reasons as above, Just enough data to suggest ET is real, not enough to freak us out.

In our own contact history, just a different skin colour or clothing was enough to send the natives screaming into the jungle on many occasions.

If we are just one of many species in this galaxy, and our contact is being managed. It may make perfect sense to do so in a way as to minimise the shock.

Looking at the alleged data, even strange humanoids freak us out, If it turns out our nearest neighbours look like giant spiders , it may make sense to let humanoids make the first contacts, and once we are OK with that, meet the non humanoid neigbours
 

ProphetofOccam

Paranormal Adept
The issue people who ask this question have isn't necessarily with "what is the purpose" of the physiology, but how it's explained as possible, cosmically.

I'd have an infinitely better chance of waking up tomorrow morning to find a man standing over my bed, discovering that he's won the Power Ball lottery 14 times in a row, and then experience him stab me to death with a basketball than any planet has of evolving life forms that are reminiscent of human form (which includes two eyes, two arms, legs, or even any form of these biological constructs, at all). The basic amino acids and proteins that formed during the development of life on another planet would be 100% different than anything we've got here -- they wouldn't even have DNA. For aliens to look like they seem to look in the stories, we'd have to share a common ancestor. The aliens couldn;t just be a from an "Earth-like" planet, they'd have to be from a planet that is Earth, save for one or two differentiating ecological events that took place during the development of their version of habilis.

While I think some of your ideas are neat, what I'm really asking is if there is an accepted explanation amongst contactees who support the ETH.

As a side not:

Many of the stories that are passed off as history, regarding encounters between, say, Europeans and the inhabitants of the New World, are myths. Seldom have the first encounter between two different types of people been psychologically traumatic or resulted in the fleeing of a scared native into the jungle. Depending upon the hostility of a region, "strange people" are generally greeted warmly, with curiosity and/or even skepticism.
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
Why do ET's have Earthling physiology? Has anyone, contactees or otherwise, taken time out to explain this? What is the accepted explanation for this?
All we can do is surmise. One theory, based largely on mythology and ufolore is that the aliens have played a role in our evolution and engineered us in their image. Setting aside the idea of genetic engineering, it's reasonable to expect similar worlds to evolve similarly. Why? If we assume the laws of nature are the same everywhere in the universe, the same natural laws and conditions that caused life to evolve into what it has here would also exist on any other similar planet, therefore we shouldn't surprised to find life with similar traits evolving along similar lines on similar worlds. For example if there are oceans, there will probably be some kind of fish and they will probably have the shape of a fish because it facilitates movement through water better than other shapes. On the land, there will probably be some kind of vegetation, and animals will probably make their homes in it. Consequently they'll need stereoscopic vision and limbs to facilitate movement and to grasp branches and food. Evolution has a way of working its way up from the simplest forms to more complex forms by retaining what is useful and discarding what isn't. So we shouldn't expect to see three headed five legged four eyed space monsters.

Also, it is at our present stage of evolution that we're developing the ability to travel off of our planet. So why wouldn't we expect any similar species elsewhere not to do the same thing once they've reached the same stage? It all seems perfectly logical to me. An objection to this might be that there are so many possibilities that the chances of it happening are infinitesimally small. However when we look around us here on Earth, there have been literally millions of species. So out of all of them the odds are pretty good that something like us would eventually spring up. So there is no reason to think that something similar wouldn't happen on another similar world. But out of all of them, there are only going to be a few that evolve the intelligence and ingenuity to develop space travel ... and again, since we've done it in this form along this line of evolution, based on common universal principles, it may be the case that our particular design is the most common one to evolve the ability before the rest of the competition.
 

ProphetofOccam

Paranormal Adept
All we can do is surmise. One theory, based largely on mythology and ufolore is that the aliens have played a role in our evolution and engineered us in their image.


That occurred to me, and I'd come across it, but I wasn't sure if it was a general consensus type thing.

If we assume the laws of nature are the same everywhere in the universe, the same natural laws and conditions that caused life to evolve into what it has here would also exist on any other similar planet, therefore we shouldn't surprised to find life with similar traits evolving along similar lines on similar worlds. For example if there are oceans, there will probably be some kind of fish and they will probably have the shape of a fish because it facilitates movement through water better than other shapes.


Part of the way we got to be the way we are is the manner in which the basic structures that make up our biological materials come together. While the materials that make up those structures would, probably, exist on another planet where life could develop, that chances of those coming together in a similar way as they did on this planet is inexpressibly unlikely. It's not as universal as you seem to understand it to be. There are a number of ways that nucleotides, phosphates and ribose can form in an early Earth-like environment, but the chances of it happening, in exactly the same way, producing exactly the same chemicals in exactly the same amounts at exactly the same time as on Earth, is so improbable that it's impossible. Aliens would most certainly be made of completely different base materials, and would most certainly not have DNA (but a completely different, self-replicating system).

These systems would in turn form more complex biological structures that are physically different in form and function, given that that self replicating system would also be a different physical form and have different needs and functions.

There wouldn't likely be anything like a fish on another planet, even a planet similar to Earth, because the systems at work building the creature would function in an entirely different way. There may well never be the possibility for tubular animals on that world, given the structure of the foundation materials and how they come together. It's not impossible, but given that it probably wouldn't have limbs and eyes, etc (these things are only necessary to use because of our cellular ancestry), the need to be shaped like a fish would probably be unnecessary.

There are countless ways that our systems could have formed over time. Breathing, for example, is just one possible, efficient way to absorb oxygen. The very need to absorb oxygen is the result of the way that the prevailing hydrogen, nitrogen, and carbon structures came together (which can happen in many different ways) to form the nucleotides that make up our most base structures. Chances are slim this would happen in precisely the same way, with the same timing, in the same quantity as it did on Earth, allowing those particular structures to be the prevailing structures. The creatures would likely have entirely different methods for absorbing necessary chemicals into its cells, if they even has cells as we know them, that would direct its evolution in entirely different directions than our own.

Millions of factors would have to come together, before the formation of the first cell, in exactly the same way, with the same timing, etc, as they did on Earth for a creature so share our morphology. The chances are less likely than the guy winning the power ball 14 times in a row. Considering the potential number for planets with conditions exactly like Earth, and the number of human-like aliens reported, it's more like winning the power ball lottery millions of times in a row. It's impossible.

However when we look around us here on Earth, there are literally millions of species. Out of all that the odds are pretty good that among them something like us would spring up.


Creatures on Earth share morphology because they all have a common ancestor. We all share our history down to the first unions of hydrogen cyanide molecules, that just so happened to form at the precisely right time to prevail, spread, and lead to the formation of other nucleotides, which in turned happened to form at the right time to prevail long enough to form nucleic acids, and on and on. Hell, on Earth, out of the millions and millions of species that have existed -- probably billions and billions if you count every historic insect -- only one ever developed in a way where our type of intelligence was necessary for survival. According to history, everything has to come together in a very, very specific way for that need to ever arise; chances of it happening with completely different chemistry are incalculable -- there's no reason to even believe it can happen, when it's only happened once on a planet on which we know it's possible.

Human intelligence is not a cosmic goal. It was a happenstance of our particular development. One species on a planet of billions. One species, even though other species evolved for hundreds of times longer. Dinosaurs had no need for it, nor does any other species on the planet, otherwise, they'd have it. People make the mistake of believing that evolution is some kind of sentient cosmic force, with an end game in mind. Evolution is a word applied to biological trial and error -- our specific type of intelligence was a need to help a specific species survive a specific set of circumstances. Species that evolved along side our ancestors, even flourished in numbers beyond our own, didn't encounter those circumstances, but different ones, requiring the fulfillment of different needs and the development of different tools.

Haha, I didn't really mean to get into this. I just really wanted to know what the accepted lore was for the morphology of common alien types. I think your answer seems to be the most popular (seeded human life).
 

Muadib

Paranormal Adept
I don't think the powerball comparison is valid, mainly because while it is unlikely that you will win the powerball with one ticket, the comparison doesn't hold up because there literally may be billions of "tickets" out there, and life is holding all of them, tickets meaning worlds with similar conditions to ours. When you're holding billions of tickets your odds of winning improve considerably. We just don't know yet how common or uncommon our situation may be. Not to mention that as far as we know, in order for life to flourish, as it has here on Earth, the planet it developed on would almost certainly have to be extremely similar to ours. Add in this:

DNA Scraps Found in Meteorites - TIME

And it becomes more and more likely that possible sentient life elsewhere in the cosmos may look extremely similar to us. Panspermia, if it's true, would virtually guarantee that we would be made of the same materials, the only difference would be the individual environments that we had to adapt in. So while it isn't likely that they would have eyes that worked like ours we can almost guarantee that they would have some type of sensory input that allowed them to see their environment and potential predators, and so on and so forth. Is it really that impossible that there's a few planets out there that are our twins when it comes to environmental conditions? I don't think so, but only time will tell.
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
Millions of factors would have to come together, before the formation of the first cell, in exactly the same way, with the same timing, etc, as they did on Earth for a creature so share our morphology. The chances are less likely than the guy winning the power ball 14 times in a row. Considering the potential number for planets with conditions exactly like Earth, and the number of human-like aliens reported, it's more like winning the power ball lottery millions of times in a row. It's impossible.
The Power Ball analogy isn't quite accurate, and for more reasons in addition to Maudib's. First of all, evolution isn't a completely random process. It is dependent on environmental factors. Biological systems that work better in a particular environment will be favored over those that don't. A shape that can move quickly through a liquid to catch food and avoid predators is going to win out over other shapes. Assuming the physics of fluids are the same everywhere in the universe for water on planets similar to Earth, a fish shaped life form is to be expected. It's a perfectly legitimate hypothesis. But environmental factors are only part of the equation, it's also the number of tickets, and while Maudib considers the number of tickets to be limited to one per world, a more accurate analogy would be that a single Earth like planet is going to have billions of years and billions of combinations to play, all of them funneled down the same path because of similar environmental factors. So it's more a matter of millions or billions of worlds each with billions of tickets and billions of years to play. Therefore it's not a matter of if something similar to us will evolve, it's more a matter of where and when.
Creatures on Earth share morphology because they all have a common ancestor. We all share our history down to the first unions of hydrogen cyanide molecules, that just so happened to form at the precisely right time to prevail, spread, and lead to the formation of other nucleotides, which in turned happened to form at the right time to prevail long enough to form nucleic acids, and on and on.Hell, on Earth, out of the millions and millions of species that have existed -- probably billions and billions if you count every historic insect -- only one ever developed in a way where our type of intelligence was necessary for survival.life).
Our ultimate common ancestor is the universe itself, which we assume distributes the same physical components and governs by the same rules pretty much everywhere. As Maudib pointed out, it's been known for a long time now that the basic building blocks of life as we know it are found in space rocks. The only real factors that would inhibit similar life forms from evolving elsewhere are dissimilar environmental conditions. However any solar system that evolves similarly to ours will probably have similar planets and similar planets will have similar conditions, and from similar conditions we can expect similar life forms to evolve. It's all really quite straight forward. We just don't know if it's actually the case or not, but the universe is a big place with nearly infinite possibilities. If the principles of evolution are universal and not limited merely to Earth, it would seem unreasonable to believe other life forms out there nearly identical to us would not exist someplace.
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
I should probably add that in the case that alien contacts are something fictional or fabricated, the psychological tendency for humans to anthropomorphize is probably a contributing factor.
 

ProphetofOccam

Paranormal Adept
I don't think the powerball comparison is valid, mainly because while it is unlikely that you will win the powerball with one ticket, the comparison doesn't hold up because there literally may be billions of "tickets" out there, and life is holding all of them, tickets meaning worlds with similar conditions to ours.
The power ball analogy isn't so much about "what" life might be holding, but how and when. A person who plays the power ball has to select a specific sequence of numbers -- in the case of life, events -- that have to be drawn in a very precise way, and hope that outside factors -- the absence of any other winning tickets, or, with life, the absence of any events being different than here on Earth -- come together to win the complete jackpot. Life needs those exact same, precise factors to win the "Earth" jackpot. Unlike power ball, however, there is no controlled drawing of numbers or factors. There is a completely random soup of possibility, with many different components that can come together in an uncountable number of ways. There are no truly universal forces at play in the way these things come together.

Couple of problems.

Firstly, "compounds that are similar to nucleic acid" is not interchangeable with "DNA," and not one of the scientists in the story said anything about finding DNA, anywhere. What they found were biologically useless structures similar to those found in nucleic acids. DNA is a nucleic acid, and that's about as close as that link gets.

Secondly, understand that nobody is arguing against the idea of alien life, here. In fact, they're trying not to argue, at all. Still, what's being argued against is the likelihood of a creature forming on another planet with Earth-like morphology (humans, or any other creature). Having the components for the beginning of life, which nobody is arguing aren't out there, is an infinitesimally small piece of that overarching puzzle of probability.

All the meteorites suggest is that the building blocks are out there, but they don't tend to come together in any useful way, much less exactly the same way they did on this planet. Statistically, they'd have to come together to form something useful, somewhere, at some point, but the chances of that happening with all the same chemicals and all the same timing and all the same evolutionary circumstances (each being its own, uncontrolled lottery) is impossible.

I also have a distinct feeling that the phrase "we know [these compounds] will form in space," is far less exciting to this particular discussion than it sounds.

And it becomes more and more likely that possible sentient life elsewhere in the cosmos may look extremely similar to us. Panspermia, if it's true, would virtually guarantee that we would be made of the same materials, the only difference would be the individual environments that we had to adapt in.
Evolution doesn't have goals. Intelligence is not the highest level of evolution or the supreme state of being in the universe. It is not the end of a structured series of events. It's one, arbitrary link in a thoughtless chain of infinite possibilities.

Natural selection isn't just the adaptation to an environment, it's the adaptation to a specific set of scenarios and circumstances that take place in a specific environment (more uncontrolled lotteries). Even on Earth, in 13 billion years of molecule-to-life development, the conditions that required our brand of intelligence -- as opposed to tiger or humming bird intelligence -- have only come about one time, and our ancestors were lucky enough to survive that need and adapt. These conditions include the environmental changes that caused our earliest ancestors to come out of the trees, the environmental changes that caused the ice ages, which shaped our evolution further, and even the very specific flora and fauna we developed right along side, which shaped our needs and requirements for survival. There is absolutely no reason, what-so-ever, to infer that, without these very specific set of circumstances, human-like intelligence will develop, given that, without these factors, it never has on the very planet where the soup came together in a way that we know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that it's possible, let alone human-like morphology.

he Power Ball analogy isn't quite accurate, and for more reasons in addition to Maudib's. First of all, evolution isn't a completely random process. It is dependent on environmental factors.
In my response to Muadib, I explained how the only factor making the power ball analogy slightly inaccurate, is the fact that it is controlled, and thus not as random as the factors that make up the entirety of evolution and how those factors impact natural selection.

I'll say that you guys also seem to be getting hung up on natural selection, and using it as an interchangeable term for evolution. Evolution requires natural selection to work as a theory, but the two concepts are different things. Evolution is the theory that natural selection leads to the development of species over time through a process of biological trial and error in an arena of otherwise random factors. Natural selection is the principal behind the rate of survival amongst those involved in the trial and error game, which is less random and determined by very specific developmental factors.

Regardless, before life begins to compete for survival, molecules have to compete for survival. The factors that determine survival are specific to each scenario (for which there are infinite possibilities), the factors that make up those scenarios (including environmental factors) are very much random. Even at that early stage, life has to develop just as it did here on Earth, meaning all of the power ball lottery factors need to be true in the precisely correct way, for the creatures to share developmental likenesses with Earth creatures. As the meteors from Muadib's link suggests, even that early stage of development doesn't come together quite right for Earth-like genesis.

Our ultimate common ancestor is the universe itself, which we assume distributes the same physical components and governs by the same rules pretty much everywhere. As Maudib pointed out, it's been known for a long time now that the basic building blocks of life as we know it are found in space rocks.
As for the universe as the common ancestor, without sounding too harsh, that's just rhetoric. It's true in a poetic sense, but not in a literal sense. While the components that made all of the precise scenarios that took place on Earth possible are everywhere in the universe (most likely), the forces that bring them together are not as controlled, predictable, and streamline in an open environment as you seem to believe them to be. Earlier we had a discussion about how there are some things that it is difficult for science to fully understand -- that's a big part of why. In this case, carbon, nitrogen and hydrogen can make a vast array of molecular combinations, in turn, those molecular chains can make up an even larger array of larger chains. As Muadib's link points out, those chains tend to be useless.

The compounds found in the space rocks were not building blocks for life. They were biologically useless compounds that are made out of the same stuff that makes up some of the biological materials on Earth. Stepping outside of science for a moment and presupposing that these compounds found in the space rocks could be applied to building life on other planets, just useless biologically on Earth, we'd still run into the problem of gelling how these very different compounds would evolve into cells and then into creatures with even vaguely similar biological needs to our own, and thus experience natural selection in the same way, even if they had actually developed in our place, with all the right environmental changes and random factors, here on Earth.

The only real factors that would inhibit similar life forms from evolving elsewhere are dissimilar environmental conditions. However any solar system that evolves similarly to ours will probably have similar planets and similar planets will have similar conditions, and from similar conditions we can expect similar life forms to evolve.
They couldn't just be similar, they'd have to be precisely timed and exact. This is evidenced by the fact that we are the only species on the planet (even being open to the idea that, for some reason, despite millions of years of evolution to the contrary, great apes could develop human-like intelligence and ditch their ape brand of intelligence which enables them to survive perfectly well) that have experienced just the right series of random scenarios that led to the naturally selected condition of human-like intelligence -- after 13 billion years of cosmic development from molecule to man. That's ignoring, as I mostly have been, that a brain that runs human-like intelligence is just one piece of a gigantic morphological puzzle.
 

ProphetofOccam

Paranormal Adept
All of that crap aside, I also like the idea that the creatures project a mental perception onto people. It's a lot more fun than the seeded life idea, and is so open and without the ability for certain observational questions, that it holds up pretty good as solid lore.
 

Muadib

Paranormal Adept
Evolution doesn't have goals. Intelligence is not the highest level of evolution or the supreme state of being in the universe. It is not the end of a structured series of events. It's one, arbitrary link in a thoughtless chain of infinite possibilities.

Natural selection isn't just the adaptation to an environment, it's the adaptation to a specific set of scenarios and circumstances that take place in a specific environment (more uncontrolled lotteries). Even on Earth, in 13 billion years of molecule-to-life development, the conditions that required our brand of intelligence -- as opposed to tiger or humming bird intelligence -- have only come about one time, and our ancestors were lucky enough to survive that need and adapt. These conditions include the environmental changes that caused our earliest ancestors to come out of the trees, the environmental changes that caused the ice ages, which shaped our evolution further, and even the very specific flora and fauna we developed right along side, which shaped our needs and requirements for survival. There is absolutely no reason, what-so-ever, to infer that, without these very specific set of circumstances, human-like intelligence will develop, given that, without these factors, it never has on the very planet where the soup came together in a way that we know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that it's possible, let alone human-like morphology.
I don't have a problem with anything you said except for the portions in bold, I wasn't referring to human intelligence at all in my post, only the circumstances that could possibly lead to something developing a physical appearance similar to ours. I certainly don't think that we are the end all be all or the top of the food chain, so to speak. Just wanted to make that clear.

Also you need to re-read that article, I'll put the relevant portion here though:

And now scientists at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., are claiming that another set of molecules crucial to life have also rained down on Earth: adenine and guanine, two of the four so-called nucleobases that, along with cytosine and thymine, form the rungs of DNA's ladder-like structure.
Also:

Hydrogen cyanide, ammonia and water — critical to building biology — are known to exist throughout the cosmos, and when you mix them together in a lab, says Callahan, "it's pretty easy to make nucleobases." It's not even a little bit of a stretch to imagine that the same processes could happen on, or in, a meteorite. It's also at least plausible that life would never have arisen on our planet without a liberal dose of space chemicals, delivered to Earth on a barrage of meteorites billions of years ago.
That says to me that they found something more than useless biological based structures but perhaps I'm misinterpreting. I'd also avoid using terms like "it's impossible" when we don't actually know that for sure. Unlikely, sure, but when you say impossible you're actually claiming that you posses knowledge above and beyond what is actually known.
 

ProphetofOccam

Paranormal Adept
I know, Muadib, but I was sort of trying to keep it to a single factor, like intelligence, to keep the scope of the discussion simple. It wasn't meant to be accusatory. It was also tied to my ongoing discussion with Ufology.

The point I was making is that these types of morphological conditions aren't part of some universal rule set. They're very specific conditions that developed in response to very precise circumstances within very precise scenarios. The elements that are involved in the formation of those conditions are following some very basic, but very sparse rules, but none of those rules favour, in one way or another, any particular morphological development in an essentially randomly developing arena. It was more or less an extension of that conversation.

The reason I say there is no reason to infer that intelligence, like ours, would develop, again, is because it hasn't, with the exception of our one, very specific case. Even our closest relatives, who come from a recent common ancestor, have had no need for it. Presupposing that creatures on other planets would even evolve brains with the hardware capable of abstract thought, what good reason is there to infer it would happen, without all of our precise evolutionary conditions, [when it hasn't happened on the one planet that we know has the goods?]

[EDIT]
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
All of that crap aside, I also like the idea that the creatures project a mental perception onto people. It's a lot more fun than the seeded life idea, and is so open and without the ability for certain observational questions, that it holds up pretty good as solid lore.
The above seems to imply some sort of mind control. I suppose that is a possibility. To conclude our exchange on evolutionary probabilities, I would say your points don't negate anything I've said so far. However I would be willing to conceed that the concept in general is subject to a lot of variables, and that my view obviously assumes a more favorable set of circumstances. It's not impossible that we're the only humanoid creatures in the universe, just unlikely. But as we start to factor in other issues like cosmic distances, it does seem to get more and more likely that the farther away we have to look, the less likely they are coming here.

Until we know just how many Earth like planets there are within say 50 light years or so, and just how easy interstellar travel really is, we can't extrapolate any real probabilities. Lastly, I don't know if entities are actually coming here. I've never seen one and most of the UFO sightings I've read about don't involve encounters with entities. I have an easier time with autonomous probes than EBEs. However that being said, perhaps it isn't so important that we dwell on the probabilities and simply acknowledge the other position, which is that for some people the issue of why may have nothing to do with their belief. The one witness I interviewed who had seen entities exiting and entering a UFO probably doesn't care if any of the reasons why or why not make any sense. He just knows what he saw and accepts it, and I tended to believe his story.
 

ProphetofOccam

Paranormal Adept
That says to me that they found something more than useless biological based structures but perhaps I'm misinterpreting. I'd also avoid using terms like "it's impossible" when we don't actually know that for sure. Unlikely, sure, but when you say impossible you're actually claiming that you posses knowledge above and beyond what is actually known.
They found a couple of compounds that partially make up DNA, that's not the same as DNA. Space isn't a lab. These compounds have to come together under very specific circumstances to make up DNA, or even the chemicals that they managed to form. This is why we have to do that kind of testing in a lab. In an environment with so many random factors going on, it's very difficult for those kinds of structures to form correctly, but then they'd have to do it in the exact same way as on Earth.

But once he and his collaborators got hold of samples from 12 meteorites that had landed mostly in Antarctica and ran them through the lab's liquid chromatograph and mass spectrometer, they discovered all sorts of other molecules — substances that were similar in structure but not biologically useful. That was a surprise; if a meteorite picked up its biological traces on the ground, the adenine and guanine would have been accompanied by other, equally familiar molecules — not these substances that were not quite nucleobases but not quite not either.
One of the scientists literally said that the compounds found in the rocks was not useful biologically. It was his wording. That was the majority of what was in the rocks. They didn't find DNA, they found two components of DNA and junk. I will say that I read the entire article, and I haven't seen anything existing in it that hasn't really already been mentioned at some point before. 99% of the time, these things end up the result of contamination. They argue against contamination, but it's still likely.

I don't read news reports about this kind of thing. If you come across the actual journal, I'd be interested in looking at that, but I feel like it will probably be something similar to what's already been written. Without a very clear description of the findings, it's difficult to say exactly what they found, of what quality and what measures were taken to ensure that the materials gathered weren't the result of contamination.

They do this like every four years.

Even if it weren't contamination, again, the conditions have to be specific for the factors to play out in a way that leads to Earthling morphology. Those factors become more specific and difficult to overcome the more complexity you add to the developing structure.
 

Muadib

Paranormal Adept
They said some of the compounds they found were not biologically useful, not all of them and that was part of their argument against contamination. So you accept one part of the statement and then throw out the conclusion? They also said this:

Hydrogen cyanide, ammonia and water — critical to building biology — are known to exist throughout the cosmos, and when you mix them together in a lab, says Callahan, "it's pretty easy to make nucleobases." It's not even a little bit of a stretch to imagine that the same processes could happen on, or in, a meteorite.

So I'd say that throws out the rest of your argument against it happening randomly. Either way I'm not interested in arguing it, I think you're ignoring the fact that in order for life to evolve as we know it, it would have to evolve on a planet with conditions extremely similar to ours and IF, and yes it's a big if since we don't know whether it was contamination or not, the theory of panspermia is correct, there's no reason to think that beings couldn't develop with physical characteristics similar to ours. Not exactly like ours, though it's certainly not impossible, but I don't think two arms and two legs is that much of a stretch honestly. Once again I'm talking strictly physical characteristics, not intelligence.
 

ProphetofOccam

Paranormal Adept
We're not going to agree.

We can agree that there is almost certainly life on other planets. Even if that life isn't made of exactly the same structures that life on Earth is made of.

But, this was more clear and convincing than the news report:

NASA - NASA Researchers: DNA Building Blocks Can Be Made in Space

So, they actually did find molecularly identical compounds to what is found in DNA, and not the "similar" ones he mentions in the video first. My original suspicion was that they just found the "similar" compounds, and it wasn't clear to me that they hadn't -- as past news reports of those very discoveries read almost identically. That's a little more interesting, from the horse's mouth.

Still, there are a lot of factors that need to come together for those simpler developments to continue on in a way that produces DNA and even humanlike morphology. If they were to discover complete DNA, of some kind, in a meteor, it'd certainly reduce the number of factors that have to play out to get us to where we need to be, but there would still be all those random factors that'd need to play out to get a humanoid. As I keep saying, we've only got one humanoid on this planet, and this is the only planet that we know for certain produces humanoids. Our evolution was very specific process, just like the evolution of all the other creatures. Intelligence of our type might just not be that universally useful.

We'll agree to disagre on how likely these factors are, or even how important DNA is to that more complicated question. At least, I will.
 

ProphetofOccam

Paranormal Adept
Oh, so as to not disregard your last statement that i hadn't yet seen:

As I said, it very much happens in a random arena, but there are principals, the likes of which Ufology references, that make those formations possible, like predictable molecular attraction. I didn't mean to imply that these molecules form bonds at random, if that's what i seemed to imply. But as the meteorites typically have "similar" materials in them, we can understand that there are many different ways those molecules can come together. Apparently, sometimes they come together to make up certain components of DNA -- most of the time, they seemingly don't.

I'm not overlooking the fact that these creatures would need to develop on an Earthlike planet, that's why i keep pointing out that on the most Earthlike planet of all -- Earth -- human-like intelligence needed a pretty specific series of events to become a necessary development for survival. No other creature in the history of Earth has ever needed it for survival, and there are no signs that any creature is on their way to encountering that need. The same can be said for any other piece of morphology, though the argument for certain bits of morphology definitely increase with the presence of DNA.
 

ProphetofOccam

Paranormal Adept
The above seems to imply some sort of mind control. I suppose that is a possibility. To conclude our exchange on evolutionary probabilities, I would say your points don't negate anything I've said so far. However I would be willing to conceed that the concept in general is subject to a lot of variables, and that my view obviously assumes a more favorable set of circumstances. It's not impossible that we're the only humanoid creatures in the universe, just unlikely. But as we start to factor in other issues like cosmic distances, it does seem to get more and more likely that the farther away we have to look, the less likely they are coming here.


Oh, don't misunderstand. I didn't mean for that little debate to be about whether or not there are alien visitors coming to this planet, or anything like that. While I don't think it happens, I don't think that anything we discussed could be used as an argument for or against it. I think that's a totally separate string of ideas -- a string of ideas that are missing too many pieces of information to be debated in any legitimate way.

The one witness I interviewed who had seen entities exiting and entering a UFO probably doesn't care if any of the reasons why or why not make any sense. He just knows what he saw and accepts it, and I tended to believe his story.


Fair enough.
 

ProphetofOccam

Paranormal Adept
This thread wasn't supposed to be about the legitimacy of claims of alien beings, even anthropomorphic ones, it was more just about the folklore that surrounds these alleged beings. We ended up having a cool discussion, and a bit of a debate, things that are difficult to pass up, but they were an aside to the larger purpose of the thread, which is to understand, and culturally track, the lore of the phenomenon.

That purpose still stands, as I'd imagine there are more consensus views than just the mental projection and seeded life views, yes?
 

ProphetofOccam

Paranormal Adept
As a side note, if you guys, or anyone here in the forums, feels frustrated or agitated in anyway by impromptu debates or sudden differences of opinion they may have with me, let me know so that we can just wrap that up. I didn't pick up much of that from this exchange, but it worries me. There's no reason to have those types of exchanges if everyone's not having fun. Ultimately, it doesn't matter, up or down, if anyone's correct or nobody's correct, it doesn't change anything. That's a little more postmodern than some folks like, I know; but, it keeps everything fun and friendly, and that's the whole point of an interest-based community forum.
 


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