posted on Sep, 20 2010 @ 05:59 AM
This assumes the same levels of reason and logic which apply to humanity as we know it, and of course thats the only species we have a good level of
information on, so one can understand people making the cardinal error of making assumptive predictions about other races based on that. However,
understandable though it may be, it is still a terrible way to come to a conclusion about the potential of other races that may be out there.
Let me make some examples to illustrate what I am talking about.
Let us suppose for a moment that a species has advanced to the nuclear age, as we are at the moment, and has had a cataclysmic event on thier
homeworld, but has avoided extinction by burrowing underground. Let us also suppose that the species has reasonable levels of intellect. Hundreds of
years underground, waiting for radiation levels to drop provides ample time for study of physics, mechanics, theology,biology, and all manner of
intellectual pursuits. Those who are left to escape the underground bolt holes will be intelligent, have good basic communication skills, and have
aquired in the generations since being put down there, information and drive for achievement. Let us suppose that these beings rebuild society, with
the paramount aim of not being bought down by thier own hatred of eachother and everything else, and build the new way around peace and knowlege ,
rather than war and conquest. Once the work of restoration is complete, and society has begun to function well, thier drive to achieve and learn will
be piqued. Thus, thier hard earned scientific and ethical studies may lead them to explore thier local space, and then the wider galaxy around them.
Now utterly used to the idea of centuries of isolation and study, the idea of generation ships, and similar contrivances would be less harrowing and
psychologicaly complicated for that species, allowing them far greater reach, and far longer term planning than our species currently expresses.The
possibilities for a species so effected by its journey from lumbering cave grunt, to intellectual star voyager are almost beyond limits of either
possibility or imagination. Who knows where the terminating point would be for a species which had survived nuclear armageddeon?
Another possibility, beings which are born, live and die in space. Leviathans of the void, ploughing through space consuming small asteroids and
living off the solar radiation of stars they pass. Beings capable of endless patience and amazing biological efficiency , able to go hundreds of years
without seeing near objects, or consuming nutrients. Theres no reason to suspect that such a creature would be utterly without intelligence, since
figuring the best path to your next meal when you deal in terms of light years , and the intricate dance of navigating deep space and all its hazards
takes considerable reasoning skills. Outlandish, but theres nothing to say directly that it isnt possible, and since we only have little old us to
reckon with (I.E. we have not nearly enough data to say that one or another form of life is likely or unlikely to exist) it cannot be said to be
For all we know there may be beings out there whos physical form is so strange that you and I would mistake it for something else. A gaseous cloud, a
plant, a rock, a ball of plasma, all these things, on other worlds, with different physical conditions driving thier evolution, may yet be alive, and
may have intelligence. In the discussion of alien life, and its intellect one can only say that until we have FAR more data on MANY more worlds than
we currently do (and I mean at least a fair chunk of the newly discovered exoplanets as well as those in our immediate area) we cannot even begin to
assume ANYTHING about the limitations of intelligence , or indeed what the outcomes of that intelligence are likely to be in a cross section of the
population of the galaxy/universe. No good scientist would base a hypothesis on anything less than the very best of the data available, and when there
is no data, you know the only response which makes sense is "More data is required."