Originally posted by karl 12
Originally posted by nik1halo
The simple fact is that in order for a race to develop technology, they must have some sort of apposeable digit in order to handle tools and perform
fine motor control. Therefore, they must have hands. Those hands need to be mobile enough to be useful, so they must have arms. It is doubtful that
they would use these now precious hands to walk on, as that would put wear and tear on them, so (assuming they were quadrapeds prior to evolution)
bipedal is the next obvious step.
I would say that a humanoid form would almost be essential for a species to develop technologically.
Heres a related article from the Blade Tribune Newspaper, September 17, 1986
E.T. May Look Just Like Us."
"Forget all those fanciful Hollywood notions about the bizarre appearance of extra-terrestrial beings. E.T., if he or she exists, actually may look
much like an ordinary human being. That is the conclusion of an international authority on the origins of life who has reported the first scientific
evidence that life may be fundamentally similar throughout the universe.
'When we do land on a planet some where some day, don't be surprised if somebody walks up to shake your hand.' Dr. Cyril Ponnamperuma
Not only would I be surprised, I'd be shocked, however I can't rule out the possibility, I can only say it seems unlikely and that Dr. Cyril
Ponnamperuma's opinion is likely in the minority on this point. A thumb and a forefinger might be enough to grip things, so with only two opposable
digits would it really be a hand? Actually I'm not even sure the opposable thumb is required, that may be a popular myth. I can pick up and
manipulate tools without using my thumb by just curling my fingers around the tools, can't you? The thumb helps by making it easier, but it may not
be as essential as is often claimed.
I also disagree that hands or arms are needed. Why not a tentacle, or an elephant's trunk, for example?
The trunk, the elephant's hand. Study of its prehensile and tactile nerve endings
The tentacle can grab things to manipulate them with no hands and no arms, and the elephant's trunk has a prehensile appendage at the tip for
grabbing smaller objects, which can do gripping and manipulating. And in these two examples I'm just limiting thoughts to known Earth forms. Some
forms I can't even imagine might evolve elsewhere with similar capabilities to arms and hands but look nothing like arms and hands.
And even if the creature has hands and arms, why does it need to be bipedal? What about a 6 limbed creature with 4 legs and 2 arms?
Couldn't that do everything biped can do, and more, like run like a horse? Think about it, if we had the body of a horse we wouldn't need horses or
cars to get around locally. And there's plenty of evidence for creatures with 6 or even 8 limbs right here on Earth so that isn't such a stretch.
I think it's a normal human tendency to be biased toward an anthropocentric view of the universe (and I'm affected by that bias just like everyone
else is). So I think we need to be aware of that bias and think outside of our anthropocentric box, or try to at least, the best we can with our
built-in bias. Some people try harder than others.