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Alien physiology

mike

Paranormal Adept
Already, we're eliminating the need for internally-directed self assembly by using bioprinters (essentially machines like the Makerbot replicator that print living cells rather than plastic) to directly print the final form of tissues and organs -- and perhaps one day organisms. Here, assembly is controlled externally by computer software so that biological self-assembly (and the DNA code required for it) is unnecessary. Combined with metabolic engineering and stem cell technologies, this should give developers a powerful suite of design tools for making a wide range of biomaterials (think replacement organs and much more), including hybrid systems that are part biological, part made of conventional materials -- useful for things like biochip-based sensors.
Andrew Hessel: 3 Gigabits of Genetic Code
 

pickles

Paranormal Maven
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.
"And let us make them in our image."

Right there in the Bible.

Although I have to ask - and I understand the scientific hypothesis behind the idea that similarities are unlikely - what makes the stuff that made us that different than the stuff that made them? Let's go deeper and assume "they" didn't engineer humans. If there is an overarching, universal God, why wouldn't our differences be less than our similarities? In other words, the humanoid model works when discussing sentient, functioning beings. Why make a car with wings and square wheels when the usual archetype works fine?

I think unfortunately science fiction clouds the minds of scientists that imagine gigantic differences in beings from different planets. Don't see why that's a necessity.
 

Goggs Mackay

Administrator
Staff member
Pickles, I agree. I can see a case for 4-limbed creatures being common, also with eyes at the front, ears at the sides, brain up high, protected by skull etc. It makes a lot of design sense.

And, I can also see a case for the weird and wonderful, it doesn't cause me any problems at all thinking there is life quite like us but totally separate and also life nothing like us at all.

In the UFO/alien field, I've always been interested in mention of these 'nordic' types, as described by Travis Walton. If such a race exists, being almost identical to humans, it's then that I have to think that one of us created the other, or a third party created both of us, or we evolved from the same place etc.
 

Burnt State

Paranormal Adept
Jerome Clark, in a Paracast episode, cited a scientist who has made an academic case for Goggs' ideas above regarding the humanoid form as a basic and common one for using tools and technology. At the same time, in readng through narratives of encounters with alien creatures you run into everything from Amoeba like creatures to Bird Men flying back up to the spaceship. Perhaps the familar reptiod, grey, Nordic cabal has more to do with cultural front loading, what is popularized on UFO websites and in the paranormal literature?
 
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USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
Recently I've hypothesized that they came here and have made themselves in our image. At first this seems entirely counterintuitive, but it actually makes sense when viewed in a certain way.
 

kellyiom

Skilled Investigator
massive topic but I think personally that there may not be a great difference in beings that have experienced similar demands of requiring our kind of intelligence . If I didn't know better, if shown a dinosaur , I could quite easily believe it to be not of this world. It might be a tad parochial and anthropocentric but I think the physiology is purely functional and maybe the result of biobot or genetic engineering , I do like the AI probe concept .

Large brain, low muscle density (because of machine ubiquity ) , large eyes (shielded ), complex and problematic systems kept to a minimum (like digestive ,reproductive ), yeah, I could see that. I think that's been the 'classic' answer to et physiology. I don't see it ruling out other life forms like macrobe eating gas clouds in methane rich planets or whatever , but they would need to make significant changes in order to develop in such a way as to reach us. That sounds quite dumb but I'll leave it in!

However , physically , there wouldn't be much difference between me and another human from the Amazon or somewhere in Africa yet culturally , there would be enormous differences. How huge would any gap between ET and Terrans be?
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
massive topic but I think personally that there may not be a great difference in beings that have experienced similar demands of requiring our kind of intelligence ... However , physically , there wouldn't be much difference between me and another human from the Amazon or somewhere in Africa yet culturally , there would be enormous differences. How huge would any gap between ET and Terrans be?
How huge would any gap between ET and Terrans be? The biggest difference would be our histories. After that it depends largely on which Terrans the aliens were comparing themselves to. Rational, intelligent beings with no allegiance to any particular belief system is a reasonable expectation for a certain percentage of any technologically advanced civilization. So in that there may some commonality. This was illustrated in the original version of the movie The Day The Earth Stood Still, when Klaatu wrote on the scientists blackboard. In this scene we see depicted the expression of a common language based on the principles of science.

As Earth's civilization evolves we're also finding multiculturalism to be more prevalent and intolerance something to be frowned upon, even legislated against. Can we assume that a more advanced species would have followed the same path? I'd argue that the probability is high that they would, largely because of the huge amount of resources and cooperation required to mount space missions. Our own multinational efforts in this regard are a testament to multinational and multicultural cooperation. The problem is that these efforts are still such a small part of our global civilization, that it's not sufficient enough to define our species as a whole.

The amount of conflict based on localized material, ideological, religious, and cultural differences still keeps us from uniting on a global scale. It's ironic in a way. The dream of a united and peaceful Earth was once honorable. Now it's seen as an evil conspiracy to stamp out independence.
 
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kellyiom

Skilled Investigator
now that is one interesting point. maybe a one world government will only be realized when people have the confidence that there is a completely just arbiter which could then never happen . But it was seen a Utopian ideal not all that long ago..
 

boomerang

Paranormal Adept
I prefer the term "alien" to "Extra Terrestrial". An ET who had been here longer than biological mankind would, in a sense, be more terrestrial than we.

When speculating about intelligences orders of magnitude higher than humans, we do so in a kind of vacuum. IQ is generally agreed to be a measure of ability to manipulate abstract concepts. Does such ability confer ever more powerful control of nature? We think so, but don't really know. Assuming it does, we then assume we would recognize advanced intelligence by its ability to manipulate and control the forces of nature. And also by the intellectual superiority of individual aliens.

Or, are we talking about advanced abilities that reside in a larger culture as opposed to a culture of more advanced individuals ? There seems a kind of dichotomy here: hierarchical vs collective intelligence.

Our morphological concept of a more intelligent specimen of alien is driven by extrapolating what seems to be the evolution of our own species. Cranial sizes get larger. Bodies get relatively smaller, etc. A concept of collective intelligence is harder to conjure up. It could be as banal as beings not unlike us who would rather cooperate in building a Dyson sphere than engaging in tribal warfare. Or it could be as esoteric as a mile wide jellyfish sitting on some alien ocean bottom, directing hordes of "worker bees" whose physiology is optimized for a given task. Lots of "dunno" here...
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
I prefer the term "alien" to "Extra Terrestrial". An ET who had been here longer than biological mankind would, in a sense, be more terrestrial than we ...
Excellent post. A great example of how when we start using more precise terminology, things start to fall into place in surprising ways.
 

Nanook

Paranormal Novice
Why do ET's have Earthling physiology? Has anyone, contactees or otherwise, taken time out to explain this?
On Earth there are many examples of parallel evolution, species which are unrelated to species in other locations being very similar because the environment they evolved in was similar. I see no reason that should not apply in other non-Earth environments.
 

Trajanus

Paranormal Adept
On Earth there are many examples of parallel evolution,
It's called convergent evolution or homoplasy.


species which are unrelated to species in other locations being very similar because the environment they evolved in was similar. I see no reason that should not apply in other non-Earth environments.
Especially since life is unlikely unless they're earthlike.
 


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