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The problem at imagining extraterrestrial beings

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posted on Apr, 17 2011 @ 03:17 PM
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is that people tend to imagine them equal to us, evolutionarily speaking.

Thing is, the posibility of them being as old as us is really low compared to them being simple but beautiful bacterias or incredibly advanced beings.

That said, look what humanity has made in less than eighty years. If we take this as an example and we project it, extend it, to the future, a hundred years, can you imagine that imaginary world?

A hundred years is an incredible short period of time in terms of life spreading and evolution. Now imagine an extraterrestrial being, who knows, one thousand years older than our species, or one million years older. Do you think they would be capable of travelling trough galaxies, trough the universe? Again, taking us as example of evolution.

I think so, in that case. But we seem to be us because we have a good combination of intellect and hability (dolphins are highly inteligent [even more than us] but they haven't modeled their world to their needs, probably because they don't have hands that let them, but there's also the posibility that they don't need to change it).

Anyway, think about it again, now not taking us into consideration.. One million years, three million, a hundred million years.. Whatever. You get the idea.

Now there's the other side. What if they are really young? What if they are viruses or bacterias? For sure they couldn't come here.

But, all of this is supposing there's only one extraterrestrial life form out there.. And for sure there isn't just one.

If you think about it, we, dolphins, monkeys, plants, fungus and whatever are the proof of existence of life in the universe. This planet is the proof, one in a solar system, in a galaxy. Millions of galaxies out there.

What were the chances of becoming a inteligent species in one planet? Elephants, dolphins, monkeys, lions, us; a lot of species have become highly inteligent; maybe we should see it as a natural improvement more than a casual fact.

If you apply this logical statement to the above, and you add the age thing.. Well, the result is that the universe may be full of species that are becoming inteligent, that have become as inteligent as us or that are more inteligent than us. This, also, taking our inteligence as the main one. We don't even know if there is another form of inteligence (chorals, for example, are another form of inteligence) that could lead to the same results as ours (philosophy, science..).

As you can see, all of this is based on our actual knowledge. The truth is, we don't know nothing but a minimal part of what the universe is, and we can't defragment all of this world with our senses, so we just can't say there's no life out there, neither they are visiting us, neither there is and they are visiting us.

But, hey, seeing that life has emerged becoming inteligent in this single planet of a single solar system of a single galaxy of a single universe, the future brights nicely for the posibility of us playing chess with them.
edit on 17-4-2011 by Spinotoror because: Removed some redudancies, fixed some words




posted on Apr, 17 2011 @ 03:23 PM
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reply to post by Spinotoror
 


Great post. I always come down on sci-fi interpretations of aliens because they look like us with some minor difference (in Avatar they look like us but are taller and have a blue-cat thing going on). Same can be seen with 'greys' who pretty much are just little grey bald people.

I always thought it was a limited perspective because they'd be evolving in a world much different than ours, but I hadn't put much thought in to how different their TIME would be. So we've got to think not only of where they're evolving, but also when they're doing it.
edit on 17-4-2011 by Hawking because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 17 2011 @ 03:31 PM
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reply to post by Hawking
 


Thank you. Yeah, completely. There are so many variables, that I think everything could be true.

Regarding their appearance.. Well, I don't know what to say. They could be humanoid, they could be not.. The thing is that, as I said, the universe is completely unknown so no one can state something as completely true.

There's also the issue of the inteligence (which I have added to the main post); we don't know how the inteligence of cats is; it may be the same as us (limited) or a completely different one. That's the problem with all of this, we humans tend to analyze everything trough our eyes.
edit on 17-4-2011 by Spinotoror because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 17 2011 @ 04:25 PM
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Originally posted by Spinotoror
is that people tend to imagine them equal to us, evolutionarily speaking.

Thing is, the posibility of them being as old as us is really low compared to them being simple but beautiful bacterias or incredibly advanced beings.

That said, look what humanity has made in less than eighty years. If we take this as an example and we project it, extend it, to the future, a hundred years, can you imagine that imaginary world?

A hundred years is an incredible short period of time in terms of life spreading and evolution. Now imagine an extraterrestrial being, who knows, one thousand years older than our species, or one million years older. Do you think they would be capable of travelling trough galaxies, trough the universe? Again, taking us as example of evolution.



You would have to think though that this would stagnate at certain points, like for example if we never had oil? The difficulty of producing anti-matter may what is stagnating us for further progress now. At different levels of technology there is a resource cost that may not be able to be achieved at the current point, and must wait. So a civilization shouldn't so much be based on its technology as it should it's available resources. As any intelligent being or collection of minds can quickly discover every thing there is to know about something, but not yet have the ability to carry through to the next level. It really is a materialistic universe.

Or it could be that there is some hidden science on a level so small or so grandeur in its nature that it remains oblivious to us, but even then, can we or even potential extraterrestrials harness something as momentous as a dyson sphere?



posted on Apr, 17 2011 @ 09:54 PM
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Originally posted by Spinotoror


But we seem to be us because we have a good combination of intellect and hability (dolphins are highly inteligent [even more than us] but they haven't modeled their world to their needs, probably because they don't have hands that let them, but there's also the posibility that they don't need to change it).




Now that's just not true. Sure they might communicate with each other, many animals do. They can be trained, yes, but have you ever seen one do quantum physics?



posted on Apr, 18 2011 @ 12:59 AM
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reply to post by RSF77
 


The problem is not a problem of the technical sort. It's a problem of our system, the society in which we live. We stagnate as you call it not because we can't harness antimatter. We stagnate because our system suppresses many things that are unwanted for a ruling elite. This is not a truthful world. In fact most things we hear and know are propaganda and secrecy is still big these days.

We must overcome our monetery power system in order to REALLY progress further. We must realize that there is MORE to reality than just this physical world. This is the point where we stagnate. Capitalism, propaganda, manipulation, ignorance, egoism and secrecy are the show stoppers that hold this world from stepping up quickly.

But it's up to every single one of us to change that NOW...
edit on 18-4-2011 by mrMasterJoe because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 18 2011 @ 08:05 AM
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reply to post by thepainweaver
 


Quantum physics are a human invention. Human invention that has been possible due to language and something to write on. We have been able to transfer complex formulas due to paper, and we have needed hands to develop it. If you take a look, we have made this world with our mind, yes, but also using a powerful instrument, the hand.

There's also the urge of decomposing this world. Of understanding how everything works. And, as I said, maybe dolphins just don't want or need to do it.

Also, we have been able to develop science cause we have the time to think on it, to create things. We don't need to look for predators, we don't need to chase preys.. We have everything to survive for granted from when we are bornt.

This is again the problem. We just keep comparing everything to us, like we were the source of anything. And that's wrong. I understand your point, and it may be true. I remember reading exactly that though.

reply to post by RSF77
 



It really is a materialistic universe.


I disagree. That's exactly our point of view of this world. Our point of view based on our senses and the instruments we have made. Based on our abilities. If there's another parallel world, and we can't analyze it because of our limitations, does that mean it doesn't exist?


Or it could be that there is some hidden science on a level so small or so grandeur in its nature that it remains oblivious to us


Yeah, who knows, we can't even say for sure black holes exist, almost everything about the universe is just a theory.

It is the lack of knowledgement that limites our sight. With imagination comes creativity; we have to keep an open mind and expect anything from nature.
edit on 18-4-2011 by Spinotoror because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 18 2011 @ 08:22 AM
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Yes, I do often wonder what a civilization of thousands of years ahead from ours might be capable of, it's really beyond my imagination. But IF we're really the modt advanced species in the universe we have to start making contact to others. Or it's just the same thing over and over again. A species evolves, is capable of (fast/ light) space travelling, observes other species until the other species are ready to do the same... Maybe it's just an immortal flow of energy, lives and light!



posted on Apr, 18 2011 @ 08:29 AM
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reply to post by Spinotoror
 


I like this post, it's something that puzzles me too. A lot.

When it comes to interpretation I'm sure most of the people writing here or bothering about how aliens look (ah, bored male human specimens!) are looking at the problem from a western-centric male white perspective. Don't get me wrong, I'm AGAINST this vision, but that's what most of our culture can apparently come up with.

So, from this perspective I used to retro-analyze the elements we take for granted in ET and tear them apart:

ET is humanoid. Because, you know, humanoids are cool. Not only that, ET is naked and doesn't have apparently any sexual organ. But if they are humanoid in shape, why do they look like a Mattel's doll?
Now, let's take into account the number of species that posses a humanoid shape on Earth, compared to all the others. Less than 0.001%? Maybe less. Our beautiful planet gives us plenty of shapes to think about, and we only come up with something that looks almost exactly like us only smaller.
Talking about evolution of humans, we are smart because we are terrible predators. We became smart in order to survive a world where the cutest thing has teeth like Rambo's knife. Why should be different for the aliens? A very bad body shape is better for intelligence, evolutionary speaking. Maybe we, humans, are not so well designed for the development of intelligence, we are still too strong, fast and agile to be truly intelligent.
So for ET my only physical expectations are: Efficient mean of manipulation. Good vision (Ask a bat or a dog to make a electronic circuit). Large or efficient brain. Gender and individual extreme differentiation (Unless they are an eusocial specie, but i believe it would lead to stagnation). The mean of travelling in an atmosphere, since it's very hard for aquatic species to develop technology, no matter the fluid they are immersed.
Regarding any else, they can have the body shape they prefer, the number of genders and sexuality they want, they can breathe any atmosphere and have whatever metabolism they can come up with.

ANd now i have to work but i'll come back with my thoughts about society.



posted on Apr, 18 2011 @ 10:54 AM
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Great post, you raise some very good points. The interesting thing about intelligence - at least as far as evolution on this planet is concerned - is that it does not necessarily grant an advantage to a species. Obviously, when it comes to a critical point, combined with other factors (such as having hands to do stuff with), then civilisation can start to grow. But many of the major 'top dogs' in this world are not particularly smart - i.e. sharks. I guess there are many species which are cunning, but still aren't particularly competent at tasks such as observational learning.

The proposed alien types that I've come across are surprisingly...anthropocentric. I'm so sceptical about reptilians for a number of reasons: they're evil lizards. The idea of reptiles and evil are ideas that are firmly rooted in Western society due to Genesis, so for another planet to evolve a race of lizards which have malevolent intentions seems far to much of a coincidence. Again, humanoid aliens also seem unlikely to me, although it may be possible that for evolution on a planet with conditions similar to ours, convergent evolution may tend to throw out that shape - I guess, the whole idea of convergent evolution is interesting, but on the other hand, it needs similar sets of conditions which may not be present on planets within 'range' of here.



posted on Apr, 18 2011 @ 04:06 PM
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reply to post by PhineasCousland
 



The idea of convergent evolution is not possible if we look at our planet, the only true laboratory we have right now to observe and interact with.

Convergent evolution doesn't happen because (I'm no ecologist) it is not evolution after all. Yes, all creatures on Earth look similar in some fashion: limbs are common place in almost every specie , sensory organs too have very common structures, for example they come in pairs. Bilateral symmetry is something we take for granted but are we sure it's so common? Every creature we look at on this planet has this simmetry, even life in the oceans ( a 3d environment). But how much is it tied to the initial evolution of life on this planet, the first creatures to evolve? The pro and eucariotes have many shapes, mostly offering hexo or tri lateral symmetries, could it possibly be that only because of chance we live a bilateral world?



posted on Apr, 18 2011 @ 04:11 PM
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Originally posted by nostringsattached
reply to post by PhineasCousland
 



The idea of convergent evolution is not possible if we look at our planet, the only true laboratory we have right now to observe and interact with.



Are you saying that convergent evolution as a general concept cannot happen?



posted on Apr, 18 2011 @ 04:23 PM
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reply to post by PhineasCousland
 


Oh no, it happens regarding phenotypes acquired by different species in response to identical stimuli in different times scales (Such as why dolphins have fins like the sharks).

Now, I think we are speaking as the whole ecosystem evolution, considering two planets in two different times and with great differences regarding atmosphere, star's brightness, celestial movement and soil chemistry, etc etc.

How can we speak about convergent evolution? Does ET live in the very same atmosphere as our? Same brighness of the star? Same planetary revolution? Same soil composition and land/water ratio?



posted on Apr, 18 2011 @ 04:28 PM
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Originally posted by nostringsattached
reply to post by PhineasCousland
 


Oh no, it happens regarding phenotypes acquired by different species in response to identical stimuli in different times scales (Such as why dolphins have fins like the sharks).

Now, I think we are speaking as the whole ecosystem evolution, considering two planets in two different times and with great differences regarding atmosphere, star's brightness, celestial movement and soil chemistry, etc etc.

How can we speak about convergent evolution? Does ET live in the very same atmosphere as our? Same brighness of the star? Same planetary revolution? Same soil composition and land/water ratio?


Ok, I see where you're coming from now. No, I agree, it is a longshot; conversely though, there are plenty of animal characteristics which have evolved convergently, but in completely different conditions, such as the eye. Obviously, they're not exactly the same entity, but there are remarkable similarities in the structures of, say, a mammalian eye and an octopus eye given that they've evolved under completely different conditions.



posted on Apr, 18 2011 @ 04:40 PM
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reply to post by Spinotoror
 


Personally, my money is on there being ETs that are younger than us, and those that are older than us, and even those comparable in age to us.

In addition, they are likely just as diverse or moreso than life on Earth.

Just sheer statistics really....

Also, I'm going to say that I wager we even find such life (though not intelligent) right here in our own solar system, whether its microbes near a liquid water patch on some moon, or swimming in the oceans beneath the icy surface of another.



posted on Apr, 18 2011 @ 05:32 PM
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Originally posted by PhineasCousland

Originally posted by nostringsattached
reply to post by PhineasCousland
 


Oh no, it happens regarding phenotypes acquired by different species in response to identical stimuli in different times scales (Such as why dolphins have fins like the sharks).

Now, I think we are speaking as the whole ecosystem evolution, considering two planets in two different times and with great differences regarding atmosphere, star's brightness, celestial movement and soil chemistry, etc etc.

How can we speak about convergent evolution? Does ET live in the very same atmosphere as our? Same brighness of the star? Same planetary revolution? Same soil composition and land/water ratio?


Ok, I see where you're coming from now. No, I agree, it is a longshot; conversely though, there are plenty of animal characteristics which have evolved convergently, but in completely different conditions, such as the eye. Obviously, they're not exactly the same entity, but there are remarkable similarities in the structures of, say, a mammalian eye and an octopus eye given that they've evolved under completely different conditions.


Yes, I agree, the eye is, from a logical point of view, striking, because almost EVERYTHING has them, one way or the other. I would say that it is a fundamental element for Intelligence, since it allows domestication and manipulation of the environment. But it's the only sense I would save, the other four are mostly present together only in superior, land species.



posted on Apr, 18 2011 @ 06:30 PM
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reply to post by mrMasterJoe
 


Well that is kind of part of what I was talking about, with human beings as a resource (labor). Of course you are going to have to convince all humans under your influence to work with you, as opposed to having criticisms about your way of doing things. We just don't have anywhere near the system necessary to accomplish what we need to do in order to progress as a civilization, nor would we accept it individually.

reply to post by Spinotoror
 


Naa, I was just saying that an organization or civilizations power should be determined by the resources available to it. You could give the Kenyan government all the information they needed to construct an F-22 Raptor aircraft, but they would not be able to do it because of lack of resources. I don't see any reason why this would not apply to an even greater affect on an interstellar civilization, which would have an immense amount of resources it had accumulated over a very long time period.

The things that we don't know, like black holes, are based upon the fact that we don't have the ability to create devices which can explore them. I'm not trying to totally disagree with you because I don't know anything either, just a different perspective I guess.



posted on Apr, 18 2011 @ 07:23 PM
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reply to post by PhineasCousland

Thanks. Yes, sometimes I doubt the veracity of humanoids visiting us. We are humans after all, we tend to humanize everything we see (hence the premise of this thread).

But (this is why I doubt), as Michio Kaku said, in something infinite (that could be the universe), all of the posibilities would be present.

reply to post by RSF77

No, in fact I agree with you a bit. Your point is as valid as mine.

I hate to write everything as hipothetical.

reply to post by PhineasCousland

I think the best way to confirm convergent evolution is to compare DNA. The eye could be inheritance of a species that roamed Earth, a species of whom we (all or almost all species) come from. Was this theory proved wrong?
edit on 18-4-2011 by Spinotoror because: (no reason given)



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