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Weirdo lookin' aliens

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posted on Jul, 31 2007 @ 07:30 PM
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Weirdo aliens.
I've often thought this myself.
Why do we presume that alien life will necessarily be similar in its needs to ourselves or other of earth's animals/organisms.
I remember reading an excellent short story about humans landing on Pluto and tromping around the place and generally making a nuisance of themselves. It is only much later that they discover that these pretty little snowflake type things lying all over the planet that they were stomping through were actually lifeforms that they destroyed.
You can just see us doing something like this can't you.
We know so little about ourselves and our own enviroment that it amazes me that we could even begin to think what life on other planets may be like.
Not only the life forms speculated on in the linked article, but can you imagine gigantic gaseous animals floating in the outer atmosheres of gas giant planets. Or organisms that live in the bottoms of volcanoes. What would a creature that lived on a high gravity world look like, or a water locked world. Could there be life forms that can exist in the vacuum of space? How about silicon creatures, or crystalline, or............

Anyway here's the article.

Alien Life May Be "Weirder" Than Scientists Think, Report Says


Instead of thriving on water, extraterrestrial organisms might live in a sea of liquid methane. Or instead of getting energy from the sun, they might thrive on hydrochloric acid. snip........
The report concludes that scientists need to consider an expanded list of characteristics that define life, including so-called "weird" life-forms that may thrive where Earth organisms couldn't.


Page 2


Since these characteristics make life on Earth possible, scientists have long assumed they are required for life elsewhere in the universe.
But advances in biology and biochemistry in the last decade show that the basic requirements for life may not be so concrete, according to Baross.
For example, he said, the Viking lander missions to Mars in the 1970s were controversial, because although they did not find life, they only looked for Earthlike life.


Link to the related article on the Viking mission


The Viking Mars mission may have missed signs of life when it visited the red planet 30 years ago, a new study suggests.
If future missions are to set the record straight, the study's authors add, scientists may need to change the ways in which they search.



"We simulated these [tests] that Viking did 30 years ago, this time in extreme regions of our own planet," said Rafael Navarro-Gonzalez, of the National Autonomous University of Mexico in Mexico City.
"We found low levels of organic compounds in those soils, but we cannot detect them by the same technologies used by the Viking mission."


Page 2


Possible Martian life-forms now include a newly discovered class of microorganisms on Earth that can survive and even reproduce at 30 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 1 degree Celsius)—below the freezing point of water.
The cold-resistant life-forms fascinate scientists, because frigid planets like Mars are far more common in our galaxy than warmer worlds.


Related article on the ice lake discovered on Mars

Scientists Finding Strange Life Forms in Great Salt Lake


Westminster, the University of Maryland and George Mason University are not only finding life where life shouldn't exist, but life, perhaps like nothing of this earth.
Instead of the rods, spheres and spiral shapes microbiologists are familiar with, they're seeing organisms shaped like pyramids, triangles, squares and crescents.


Related article on life in the Atacama desert, the driest place on Earth

Link to artistic impressions of what some different life forms may take, just scroll through the 6 pictures

Flying Whales, Other Aliens Theorized by Scientists


One side of the planet is draped in eternal freezing darkness, the other side is bathed in permanent starlight.
Fields of "stinger fans"—animals that look like tall plants—cover the floodplains. Other strange species abound, from giraffe-like predators called gulphogs to tiny flesh-dissolving tadpoles known as hysteria.


Distant Planets Could Have Plants of "Alien" Colors

Related article by Dr. Seth Shostak


In fact, as a tour of any zoo will convince you, there’s a breathtakingly wide variety of creature designs that work on our planet – and presumably on theirs, too. So why would intelligent extraterrestrial life look anything like us? Probably it wouldn’t, although there’s a mechanism known to biologists as “convergent evolution” that argues for at least a bit of a resemblance.



But it’s a bit extreme to maintain that we are the best design, and therefore convergent evolution will ensure that an intelligent alien looks like your brother-in-law. After all, an extra set of arms might be useful, as would an eye in the back of our heads. A double spine might allow faster and easier walking, and a few extra digits on each hand could make for better tool use or piano playing. The bottom line is that any biological creature we find that’s at least as clever as we are might have, some features in common with us (two eyes, instead of one, for instance). But there’s little reason to think our own design is so wonderfully optimal that all thinking beings will have converged on it.


Link to cool interactive video

I sure hope that when we do master space travel that we treat the worlds we visit with the utmost respect and take as much care as possible to protect any lifeforms that may exist on other planets from our usual gung-ho attitude to exploration.
Consider how we decimated our own species when europeans first passed on diseases to indigenous populations during exploration and discovery of our own world.
Consider the damage we could do on Alien worlds, or i guess, what alien microbes or bacteria could do to us.

Any thoughts on this?


think outside the box

mojo



[edit on 31/7/07 by mojo4sale]




posted on Jul, 31 2007 @ 09:03 PM
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mojo, Dude, you gave me at least a couple hours of reading here.
Not that I mind, I love to read.

I want to compliment you on a nice opening post. Plenty of links and information. You are a good example for us all.


I have company on their way over, so I will post later.



posted on Jul, 31 2007 @ 09:33 PM
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This thread just made me smile all the way thanks mo!
I will read the links later too, check back later.



posted on Jul, 31 2007 @ 09:57 PM
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Here is another interesting point for the third branch of the tree of life only discovered in the 60's. I have often tried to teach my children to accept all life forms by some fun and simple techniques in tolerance of other species and where they are on the evolutionary ladder.



posted on Jul, 31 2007 @ 10:22 PM
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Hey thanks NGC2736 and Antar, i look forward to your thoughts on this.

I know i went a bit nuts with the links but it really fired my imagination reading through them all. As i said in the OP i have often felt that our expectations of what alien life would be like were extremely close minded.

I hesitate to mention it but i have even more cool links up my sleeve to add a bit further on.


mojo



posted on Aug, 1 2007 @ 10:32 AM
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Thanks for the links man. It will be wonderful reading here while I’m in a meeting.

As for the NGC link I was wondering where I could find it bc I do remember watching the show a couple years ago and it was very good. Hopefully I can get it on DVD.


I always wondered if there is something capable of living in the vacuum of space.

Once again thanks again!!



posted on Aug, 1 2007 @ 10:58 AM
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Ok, here is why I think it is reasonable to assume all intelligent life in the universe would be similar to us. Biological life on Earth is based primarily on carbon-12 atoms. Why carbon-12? Because it is the most stable element, even used as the international standard for atomic weight because of its ability to bind with the most elements, particularly itself. Amino acid chains emerge from this self binding force. As carbon resonates into larger and larger forms, it follows a universal harmonic shape of symmetry and interconnected cardioids. The proportions of the cardioids are governed by harmonic resonance and damping, resulting in attenuation of energy as it grows outward. There is much more to bio-harmonics, but the net effect is that the more complex the organism (i.e., brain), the more it comes to resemble the coherent bi-pedal of a human. Mainstream science is based on an incorrect belief that random selection occurs during evolution without any quantum lattice effect, so are therefore confused about the significance of atomic structure in affecting the organization of life. The most advanced life will be based on carbon atom organizing principles, with the possible exception of silicon which is almost as stable.



posted on Aug, 1 2007 @ 11:14 AM
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Mojo, absolutely well put, I've heard this mentioned before, and totally agree.
I think it's very arrogant to believe that we know everything about life, just because we think we know everything about evolution, elements etc. How do we know that there aren't other elements out there that could be/is the basis of other life forms??
It could be possible that we are nowhere near our evolutionary end.



posted on Aug, 1 2007 @ 02:36 PM
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awesome thread mojo


whenever someone brings up "the planet can not support life" i always shake my head and think of basically what you just posted.

we don't know what can support life and what can't



posted on Aug, 1 2007 @ 03:20 PM
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Fantastic thread, very informative. Very suprised how much and how easily I understood the links etc.

I remember watching a tv programme a few years ago, I think it was an episode of Horizon on BBC2, which touched on this and gave artists impressions etc.

I have searched for a link but can't find one at the moment but will continue looking.



posted on Aug, 1 2007 @ 03:36 PM
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/slightly off topic - addressing why we might assume aliens look like us...

my 2 cents is that there are certain things that humans generally consider necessary for being able to advance far enough to be space-faring. one thing i can think of is opposeable digits. it would be very difficult to craft even the simplest tools/machines without a way to grab on to things.

one thought that does intrigue me is that it's very possible, maybe even likely that any alien being would have the means to sense other aspects of our environment. we have 5 (arguably 6, depending on who you talk to) senses. perhaps an alien would have a means for sensing aspects of reality that exist outside of our 3rd dimensional viewpoint.

all in all, i don't expect them to look just like us, but i do expect them to have certain traits. i find the mantis beings a little hard to swallow - how would they have initially crafted space ships with claws and mandibles? sure, maybe they enslaved another race with telepathy and had them do the work for them. it seems to me that the mental evolution wouldn't have so far outpaced their physical attributes.

as far as microbial-sized life, etc - it's entirely possible there are beings out there that look like regular rocks and are registered as such on any of our instruments.

[edit - added content]

[edit on 1-8-2007 by an0maly33]



posted on Aug, 1 2007 @ 10:30 PM
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originally posted by Maxpageant Ok, here is why I think it is reasonable to assume all intelligent life in the universe would be similar to us. Biological life on Earth is based primarily on carbon-12 atoms. Why carbon-12? Because it is the most stable element snip.............

The most advanced life will be based on carbon atom organizing principles, with the possible exception of silicon which is almost as stable.


Well i wont get into your whole post because to be honest i didnt understand most of it. It seems though that your certain that we are the prime example of what intelligent life would be like, or at least be fairly similar too.
What have we based this on.
All the evidence we rely on, or 99%, is based on terrestrial life on one planet out of billions in a not very exciting part of a fairly mundane galaxy.

But i did notice at the end of your post you said " with the possible exception of silicon which is almost as stable ".
What if an exception on Earth is the majority elsewhere.
Possibility's upon possibility's must abound in an infinite universe and for us to believe that we have all the answers to what life is and must be like is just pure arrogance. We barely know anything about some of the creatures that live in what to us seem to be hostile enviroments on our own planet. I have some linky's to back this up but will have to post them later.

Maxpageant, thanks for your post mate.

Sorry but i'll try and get to everyone else tomorrow, got a heap of stuff going on in RL at the moment.

Cheers mojo



posted on Aug, 2 2007 @ 06:16 PM
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Here's a bit more reading for those of you who may be interested.


Life in extreme enviroments, also lots of other good links at the bottom of this page.


Take the discovery of a huge body of -liquid- water four kilometers under the ice of Antarctica. This "lake" is 250 kilometers long by 40 wides and is 400 meters deep: approximately the size of Lake Ontario! Confirmed in 1996, this discovery came at a time when the Galileo Orbiter was sending back the most intriguing images of Europa - which have led to the current hypothesis that Europa harbors a liquid or perhaps "slushy" ocean beneath its icy crust.



Ice samples from cores drilled close to the top of the lake have been analysed to be as old as 420,000 years, suggesting that the lake has been sealed under the icecap for between 500,000 and more than a million years.
Biologists suspect that there may be life forms that have been unaffected by surface conditions for up to a million year, making Lake Vostok an invaluable, living biological museum.
At the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which manages the Galileo Mission, a project has been initiated to probe the waters of Lake Vostok for life - a model for a possible mission to Europa.


www.astrobio.net, an excellent article, ive snipped some interesting bits if you dont want to read the whole thing.


The committee that wrote the report found that the fundamental requirements for life as we generally know it -- a liquid water biosolvent, carbon-based metabolism, molecular system capable of evolution, and the ability to exchange energy with the environment -- are not the only ways to support phenomena recognized as life.



The assumption that life requires water, for example, has limited thinking about likely habitats on Mars to those places where liquid water is thought to be present or have once flowed, such as the deep subsurface.
However, according to the committee, liquids such as ammonia or formamide could also work as biosolvents -- liquids that dissolve substances within an organism -- albeit through a different biochemistry. The recent evidence that liquid water-ammonia mixtures may exist in the interior of Saturn's moon Titan suggests that increased priority be given to a follow-on mission to probe Titan, a locale the committee considers the solar system's most likely home for weird life.



Additionally, studies in chemistry show that an organism could utilize energy from alternative sources, such as through a reaction of sodium hydroxide and hydrochloric acid, meaning that such an organism could have an entirely non-carbon-based metabolism.


So what these guy's are saying is, Yes, we do need to rethink the way that we view what shape, form, environment and energy is needed to harbour life.

OK, conjecture time.

Why would an intelligent alien need to have toolmaking ability.

An enormous gaseous amoeba type of creature floating in a gas giant planets atmoshere would have no need of toolmaking. It is able to interact with its enviroment by creating electricity within its body, it is the top of the food chain, it spends its life (lets say 1000years) floating around in social groups discussing mathematics or algebra, how much more advanced in that particular area of intelligence would that creature be.

Cheers mojo



posted on Aug, 12 2007 @ 10:16 PM
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Mojo, atomic composition is a universal thing. There is only one carbon atom whether we're here are on the other side of the Universe and it will bind better than any other element anywhere. In fact, carbon is only produced by stars super nova which then get picked up as dust by other star systems, like our own, and thereby incorporated into planets and life. There is no substitute for the binding capability of carbon or silicon here or on the other side of the universe, so this is not an issue of arrogance - it's an issue of physics.

Now, gravity, atmosphere, solar energy and other variables will affect that carbon (or possibly silicon) life. Animal life will be shorter or taller or have other variations, but it will inevitably be more similar than different. It will process oxygen and water, because these bind easily with carbon. In order for there to be oxygen and water, it can't be too hot or too cold. This means the gravity has to be within a certain tolerance.

Science is loathe to admit any uniformity regarding life because it is based on the idea of random selection within an evolutionary context. While this is certainly true, it isn't the whole truth. The whole truth would include incorporation of quantum lattice theory and harmonic coherence principles. Coherence, like that found in any standing wave, resonates into predictable shapes everywhere. That is, resonance principles bubble up from the subatomic level to the macro level consistently. Atomic binding is resonance and carbon and specifically carbon-12 is the most resonant element. Shape can be predicted within fairly tight parameters from this resonant binding action - even on the other side of the universe.



posted on Aug, 13 2007 @ 05:32 PM
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Thanks Maxpageant, did you check out this article. www.astrobio.net.


originally posted by Maxpageant It will process oxygen and water


What about ammonia instead of water.

The original point i guess i was trying to make was that of all the alien life forms that are regularly discussed or believed to exist, ie the greys, nordics, reptilians etc, are basically humanoid in shape and biochemistry.
Surely this form would not be the optimum form on gaseous worlds or water locked worlds or high gravity worlds and so on. I'm not necessarily saying the life forms would not be carbon based in all cases. Wouldnt a silicon based life form be better suited to certain types of worlds. And as the article above states water may not be a prerequisite.

Thanks for your thoughts on it.



posted on Aug, 23 2007 @ 10:10 PM
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Found an article that originated as a press release from the Institute of Physics and is now on www.astrobio.net


Summary (Aug 21, 2007): Physicists have discovered life-like structures that form from inorganic substances in space. The findings hint at the possibility that life beyond Earth may not necessarily use carbon-based molecules as its building blocks.




"These complex, self-organized plasma structures exhibit all the necessary properties to qualify them as candidates for inorganic living matter," says Tsytovich, "they are autonomous, they reproduce and they evolve".


They are suggesting that life may in fact not need to be carbon based, or even organic!! Thats a seriously cool theory.

Seems to me to be a rash of interesting articles and research being released lately dealing not only with the possibility of life being found elsewhere but exactly what form of biology that life may be like.



posted on Sep, 1 2007 @ 11:55 PM
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Another article on the possibility's of life being found in extreme enviroments, though this deals only with bacterial forms.

news.nationalgeographic page 1


The work suggests that if bacterial life existed on Mars or on Jupiter's moon Europa, it might still survive locked in icy soils.


news.nationalgeographic page 2


But in the much colder environments of Mars or Europa, life might be able to survive while frozen for much longer, Willerslev said.
At those lower temperatures, DNA damage would accumulate more slowly.
So the new results "could suggest that if you had similar life on Mars, it could exist for much longer," he said.



posted on Sep, 2 2007 @ 03:15 AM
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Because the main thing we're interested in, the real thing we're searching, isn't pyramidal shaped amoeba on Charon, but sentient life. And in my opinion sentient life will be humanoid simply because you need at least two free limbs with opposable thumbs and a sophisticated brain. Look at dolphins, they are extremely intelligent, but without any kind of hand appendage and without the possibility to use fire they will never develop like we did, unless they return to land.



posted on Sep, 21 2007 @ 02:49 AM
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So maybe were not that far away from creating our own "weirdo lookin' alien life".

Artificial Life Likely in 3 to 10 Years


Experts expect an announcement within three to 10 years from someone in the now little-known field of "wet artificial life."


This is intersting too.

www.timesonline


SCIENTISTS have discovered that inorganic material can take on the characteristics of living organisms in space, a development that could transform views of alien life.



mojo



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