Great work Karl!
I think I'll put you on my buddy list, since we have a tendency to end up in the same threads and share some mutual interests.
Originally posted by die_another_day
can we please be a little more creative.
Originally posted by Arbitrageur
You beat me to it. While we don't know what aliens will look like, people who research biology and evolution think that the chances of an alien
intelligence having a form similar to ours if it evolved independently are very slim.
So since we didn't get very creative with the sketches, maybe we can get creative about why they might look humanoid. If there really are humanoid
visitors one possibility could be they are really time travelers from the future and not aliens (if such time travel is even possible), or else it
would take some kind of panspermia or seeding of similar life forms across multiple solar systems to get humanoids in more than one solar system.
I really expected aliens to look more, well, alien! These humanoids don't look too alien to me.
As you said Arbitrageur, and I'm glad you left the door open for several possibilities.
According to biology as we know it (and we don't know ANYTHING about extra-terrestial biology if it exists), an organism takes just about any shape
that makes it the most efficient in the environment it lives. But nature never takes the same route twice, or rather, conditions for evolution are
never the same and therefore offers unlimited morphological possibilities.
Nevertheless, that is a biological evolution left to its own.
The oldest galaxies known to us today are about 12 billion years old.
If life is a universal process, it could have started in one of these galaxies billions of years ago.
If that life form developed intelligence, and had basic instincts of survival similar to ours, it would seek to spread over its planet (or wherever it
originated), then spread to other worlds.
Today, we're genetically manipulating many types of life forms (food crops, domestic animals, etc), and we're talking about terra-forming Mars even
before we know what we'll find on that planet.
Would we find another planet out there harboring organic life, and were we able to get to it, we would surely interfere with its evolution in one way
An intelligent life form allowed to evolve during billion of years probably control galaxies, perhaps the entire Universe as we know it.
It can probably not only manipulate stars, it probably controls the process of creating solar systems, and planets.
It can therefore probably seed life and control the evolution of that life.
It is not the same as the Panspermia theory, which states that life was seeded either randomly, or intentionally (Francis Crick). Here we're talking
about direct intervention in the evolutionary process of life, ie genetic engineering,
Which is what many ancient cultures on Earth states, that the 'Gods' came down from the sky and bred with man.
Which is also what 'abductees' often claim, that the purpose of their abduction is somehow connected with reproduction.
Think about it; what would be the best way to 'take possession' of another planet harboring life?
To simply go there and settle in? Absolutely not. It's not because it's regularly done in Hollywood SF movies that makes it doable.
Any biologist worth the name will tell you it's absolutely impossible. Forget about jumping through a stargate to another planet, where everything is
nice and dandy. Even if the planet was livable for a human being and the air breathable, you would be dead within minutes. Orson Welles got it right
in "War of The Worlds. The microbial life would do you in. You simply cannot exist in another eco-system than the one you've evolved in, period.
Even different eco-systems on a planetary scale can kill you. It's what happened when the Spaniards arrived on the American continent. They brought
with them disease that the local population had no resistance to, and so wiped out 90% of them.
The only way to settle permanently on another planet is to breed 'your' genetics into it, slowly directing the evolutionary process so that it goes
in 'your' direction, and finally arrive at something that is 'your' species, but adapted to the eco-system of the planet.
So to wrap it up, perhaps it is not so strange that most alien species reported somehow resemble us morphologically. We simply don't know enough
about that stuff yet.
Then again, wasn't the Babylonian 'God' Ea a being with the body of a fish and the head of a man (similar to the Sumerian demi-God Apkallu?). We
also find various therianthropic creatures in Egyptian, Babylonian and Mayan mythology, so perhaps there are 'alien' aliens.