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imported_Ziggy
2004-Apr-15, 03:14 PM
I was reading an article on Earth-like extrasolar planets and watching Star Trek at the same time when I got the idea. Could intelligent aliens look like humans? Supposibly Earth-like extrasolar planets might be very commen (some even believe that 25% of all planets in the galaxy are Earth-like). Conditions on those planets would be very similer to those on Earth, hence the name. One could imagine a near copy of the sun with a planet the size of Earth in the habital zone, would have a very similer climate and geographical formations to Earth. Could'nt humanoid beings develope there? When you think about it, it would'nt be that hard to imagine something like Cardassians or Klingons developeing. Some of these humanoid spices might have strong ties to reptile DNA, and look like the Cardassians or Xindi from Star Trek. Something like Klingons might be a more robust, primitive version of us. So my question to you is this: Would you be suprised if most intelligent beings in the galaxy are humanoid?

GOURDHEAD
2004-Apr-15, 06:02 PM
:unsure: It largely depends on the broadness of your definition of humanoid. Of course we don't know and won't know even after we have seen a few of them. My guess is that brain energies and efficiencies will drive the configuration of sentient species to 2 locomotion appendages, 2 manipulation appendages, seeing, hearing, touching, and smelling organs/systems, and regulated blood temperature. Statue and facial features won't necessarily be constrained to resemble humans. They will be physical and constrained to the 3 dimensions of space and one of time and won't flit about in any other dimensions. :unsure: :unsure:

Polarbeast
2004-Apr-15, 07:00 PM
I imagine a race would have to evolve through the stages of technology... limbs to use tools, having whatever area containing the brain expand to accomodate greater intelligence, etc.

It also depends on the habitat of the planet, assuming they are still living on the planet on which they evolved (and not on a moon or other planet). Perhaps severe changes in altitude make for civilizations with different abilities to breathe the atmosphere, or rocky/volcanic conditions make for the ability to resist heat or climb mountains.

If their sun has become a red giant over the last few million years, and they moved to a safer planet or somehow managed not to die out, their vision might extend into the infrared spectrum more than ours. Perhaps they did not evolve to use sound, or their sense of smell is sensitive enough to act as vision.

I rather think they would probably NOT look really humanoid... who knows what ecological niche a species must fill in order to become the dominant intelligent race... what if it's a watery world...

Polarbeast

Al in Virginia
2004-Apr-15, 07:25 PM
I do not know how likely or unlikely it will be. I think we will be surprised by the variety of life and places life can exist. Life we recognize as life. I wonder if sentient life forms that have evolved in very different environments would even be able to recognize each other as "alive". I am sure there must be science fiction written about this. I imagine things like photovoltaic life forms, gaseous life forms, etc. I am reading a book now called "Hidden Empire" where a advanced civilization in a gas giant went unrecognized until humanoids ignited the planet to form a new sun.

I did want to interject that there may be true commonalities in life on various planets and other environments if theories like panspermia turn out to be valid, even if the shape these life forms take are not 'humanoid'.

I have also wondered about how realistic it is to think we would be able to settle an 'earth-like' planet. There is a lot of science fiction out there that considers such things as common/conflicting proteins in a similar but alien environment. The DNA may have a common origin but the proteins it makes on a different planet may be deadly to us. We may be poison to other life forms on earth-like planets.

I think Star Trek's plethora of sentient humanoid life forms filling the universe is too human-centric to be real. :-) I think it is necessary for reasons of plot and so forth. Also, we don't have to many other models.

I think life is unfathomable. Could it be that we are even just a small barely sentient part of what is aware and alive about earth. Ghia, anyone?

Fun topic.

Sp1ke
2004-Apr-15, 10:24 PM
There are tasks that intelligent life needs to perform, like manipulating, communicating and sensing, but there are loads of way these are done on earth, let alone on other planets. Just look at the octopus, compound eyes, fire flies, dolphins etc. I don't think it's difficult to imagine aliens based on even more outlandish forms than these.

I think Star Trek used humanoid aliens to save on special effects and to make the communicating easier. There were some exceptions, like the nanobots from the Next Generation and the sentient rock from the original series. But these tended to follow a simple story of: Alien causes trouble, debate whether it is alive or not, managed to establish communication, all ends happily ever after. ;)

mikey76
2004-Apr-16, 03:07 PM
I think the humanoid form is a somewhat efficient design of evolution in responce to the needs and conditions that are specific to our gravity, temperature and other environmental factors here on earth. Provided such similar factors are present on other earthlike worlds, I beleive the process of evolution would eventually come back around to the same or similar humanoid design. But since evolution can be a very slow process (in our perception of time) the likely hood of our finding other humanoid life is probably going to be a lot smaller than the likely hood of our finding other earth like planets.

I wonder how things would evolve on an earthlike world with gravity more similar to our underwater environments? I also wonder whether evolution would also create other forms of life like we have on this planet (cats, dogs, rodents, fish, etc) and what they would look like.

To answer the question...yes, I would be a little surprised if we discovered that there was an abundance of humanoid life in space, however I'd be even more surprised if we ever discovered a way to cheaply and efficiently get off this planet and reach warp like speeds that enabled us to do more exploration of space than what we do now.

Mercyless
2004-Apr-17, 03:14 AM
It´s all about symetry. We humans have what is called a lateral (don´t know if this is the correct term in english) symetry. But there are life forms on Earth with other kinds os symetry. A sea star has what is called a radial symetry. I agree that our "configuration" gives us very usefull habilities (as posted previously) but don´t forget that we are as we are because of the conditions thru out our evolution on this planet (and all the consequences that come from that)

Supernatural
2004-May-09, 05:46 PM
having just read Michio Kaku's interview about what scientists hypothesize about Type 2 and 3 civilizations, he says that these beings will be able to manipulate space-time the way you or i would manipulate a wet washcloth... so i would imagine these Type 2 beings would be able to materialize when they are on planets that have a specific gravitational pull, and when they are travelling between universes they would naturally dematerialize and let their minds control and navigate any "space craft" they might be travelling in. maybe they'd have "2 legs" or "2 eyes" when they assumed a terrestrial form, or maybe they'd be able to shape themselves into something that would not look out of place to a native of some exotic unexplored planet by taking in soil and atmospheric samples, and running them thru some kind of analyzer. then Type 3s would basically be shapeshifters and could assume any size or shape they needed to be depending on which kind of environment they happened to be in and they wouldn't use handheld tools to accomplish these feats, they would just have to think about them and *voila* they've morphed again, like interplanetary chamaeleons...

just rambling and imagining .. hi all..i'm new here.

kashi
2004-May-11, 01:56 AM
While it may be nice to think that we are a foregone evolutionary conclusion, I think it is a little human-centric to assume that the same path would be followed anywhere else. The Dinosaurs ruled Earth for much longer than we have. If it weren't for them being wiped out, we probably wouldn't be here to talk about it.

Sp1ke
2004-May-11, 01:48 PM
The difference between us and the dinosaurs is that they had all that time and didn't develop speech, writing, tools, technology etc. Now it's arguable whether we've done "better" but we've definitely done more.

But I think the speed of our development is a double-edged sword. We'll either burn up fast, die young and leave a good-looking extinct species; or we'll make all these amazing advances that we're speculating about. What I don't think will happen is that in 1000 generations we'll be anything like we are today.

StarLab
2004-May-11, 11:01 PM
Well, I think we are just an experiment with nature...and we are the first experiment to turn loose on the experimenter.

Just one thing: if there were an advanced civilization on Earth anywhere from 5.4 Billion years ago to six hundred million years ago, what are the chances we'd find out about it?

GOURDHEAD
2004-May-12, 01:30 PM
Just one thing: if there were an advanced civilization on Earth anywhere from 5.4 Billion years ago to six hundred million years ago, what are the chances we'd find out about it?

About one in 10 to the 56.

ASEI
2004-May-12, 02:18 PM
We have a hard enough time finding the remains of our civilization from 8000 years ago. I think that it would be difficult to find remains of civilization that is any older than a million years or so. If a civilization did exist though, there is no reason I could think of that it would completely die out. Even nuclear war wouldn't completely wipe out civilization, just rough it up a bit.

As for the humanoid thing - dolphins look a lot like fish even though they came from a completely different spot on the evolutionary tree. I wonder how much necessity will constrain how an organism will develop in these cases. I would guess that with earth like gravity, and a terrestrial (rather than oceanic) habitat, our intelligent lifeforms will have at least four limbs (two manipulating, two for walking). Other than that, anything goes.

Binary
2004-May-15, 10:11 AM
I agree with ASEI anything does go, just imagine a creature which evolved in a liquid medium. It would need to travel in a “Space ship” filled with a liquid, it would need to communicate through liquid a so forth. What weird and interesting adaptions would result from such an evolution. This creature would have to discover countless other technologies just to survive. Then the question arises, would we even recognize such a creature. :huh:

GOURDHEAD
2004-May-15, 11:58 AM
I agree with ASEI anything does go, just imagine a creature which evolved in a liquid medium

You mean like us?

Binary
2004-May-15, 05:43 PM
Well I was actually referring to species still in a liquid medium ^_^

zrice03
2004-May-16, 05:50 PM
I don't think an advanced liquid-dwelling lifeform could evolve. In a liquid, you can't have fire, which means no metallugy, which means no electricity. Maybe they'll find ways around it, but it seems unlikely.

GOURDHEAD
2004-May-16, 07:27 PM
Well I was actually referring to species still in a liquid medium

Perhaps you underestimate the power of evolution to drive them out of the liquid.



In a liquid, you can't have fire, which means no metallugy, which means no electricity. Maybe they'll find ways around it, but it seems unlikely.

Evolution is very wasteful at first until it produces sentients capable of technology development. Whatever is not prohibited by the laws of physics will be tried in many places more than once.

Europa is a likely example of a water world in which life could evolve with little hope of crawling out onto dry land but mindless evolution cares not a whit. It could produce critters which would use instinctive biological functions to build hermetically sealed calcate/silicate (or other material depending on what's prevalent) modules thus creating totally submerged dry land for their descendants or others to evolve dry land relevant technology. As intelligence increases it will produce curiosity which will lead them to break through the icy shell which at first will cause great trauma and even death for some of them. They will solve this dilemma and establish outposts on the surface of Europa and begin to contemplate the universe as we do. Prior to this their view of the universe would have been very myopic. These critters will probably have a crablike or scorpionlike appearance; however, we should not rule out reptilian nor mammal like creatures with breathing apparatuses greatly extrapolated from gill-like structures. Evolution can also provide bio-lights and even bio-torches (hypergolic processes useful to tunnel through the icy shell ) as well as capabilities we (I) haven't thought of.

Soup up your imagination; join me in dreaming up a practical biota for Europa, Ganymede, Titan, and Callisto. Assume the energy source is a combination of gravitational flexing and radioactive element decay heat.

ulgah
2004-Jul-16, 03:54 AM
I'm guessing, because of evolution, they could look somewhat like us. But, you can bet, they'll not be a vertebrate. :)

eburacum45
2004-Jul-16, 02:21 PM
They will almost certainly look nothing like humans; even the bipedal bilaterally symetrical ones with a distict head will look incredibly outlandish compared to anything on Earth, as they will share no common ancestor.

Other species will look entirely alien...
http://www.orionsarm.com/xenos/Toul_hunting_party.jpg

DarkChapter
2004-Jul-27, 12:41 AM
I think it is naiave of us to think that creatures on another planet would become humanoid in shape. How much of our biological structure is due to our gravity, and the gasses present in our atmosphere . If the earth had been 5 degrees hotter when we made that special leap from small mammals to larger mammals, we would have needed to develop a better circulatory system to enable us to be more efficient in cooling ourselves, either by producing baggy skin (such as the elephant) or to remain much smaller as to not produce as much body heat. Minor differences in our history could have had drastic effects on our evolution. Other species may breath through their skin, rather than have a respiratiry/circulatory interchange like humans, leading to completely different anatomical design. If Gravity had been 15ms^-2 instead of 9.8, would we have made the transistion from walking on all fours to standing upright, we would most definately not have an average height of 175cm (approx).

P.S. GOURDHEAD, I like your prediction for life on europa, nice work.

astromark
2004-Jul-27, 02:35 AM
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Of corse there's life out there... we're here, I think. No It wont look like us. Why would it? As the time line unfolds the life history on this planet has not been a smooth ride. As we all know the earth has been devastated sevral times. The reamergance of life forms after each avent has not been so simple... If life can prevail it will, but in what form that takes is only speculation. We can predict the rise of insects to domanance, maybe. But can you emagine if the dino's had not been stopped, just where would that be now. A Raptor with a lap top...oh dear.
Another question worth a spin is this.. Do we know our own history?. not without some argument. Has there been external interferance in our development or evolution.. we cant be so sure either way. No proof. this is a big subject. Could we be the desendants of a previously great civilisation, from somwhere else...
why cant we find the missing link? its not here maybe...

Cambo
2004-Jul-27, 04:33 AM
To answer whether the humaniod shape would appear elsewhere in the universe is to some degree quite simple.... A big fat NO.
That's not to say it won't but it is probably not very likely.
Just look at the diversity of living things here on our little speck. Bacteria to Blue Whales; from the depths of hot vents many fathoms down in our oceans, to the high icy mountains of the Andes to the frozen plains of the Poles life has appeared in many forms over eons. And if you believe in evolution all from primordial soup, if in creationism then by the design of 'something else'.
Let's leave the creationist story to one side because it will cause problems and I don't know the full story from every 'creationist belief' and therefore will upset someone.

We 'evolved' from what was there before to what we are now, the mere acceptance of the concept 'evolution' means change caused by outside influence to be able to survive the influence or die. We have lots of proof about things that were unable to adapt and hence died, and we were the 'outside influence' in a lot of the latest extinctions.
If but one of the millions of minute influences did not happen in the order they happened we might well not have existed in the first place. If that pool of primordial soup that first spawned the bacteria that eventually evolved into home sapiens had dried up that nice warm summer, or if in fact it wasn't a nice warm summer but a huge deluge that washed the bacteria into a very large ocean who knows...
If the trees grew smaller or caves were bigger to allow hunters to eat our fleeing forebears we'd be gone in this shape but might appear in a different form with longer arms since long armed animals ran faster.
Basically think of any beast shape we know exists and start from there and add bits and take bits, it all could be possible.

Dave Mitsky
2004-Jul-27, 12:34 PM
It is wrong to think of evolution as having a goal, whether it is sexual reproduction, the development of flight, or the advent of an intelligent, technological species. Thus nothing is "wasteful".

Along that line of thinking sentience is no more important in the grand scheme of things than any other biological innovation.

Read Stephen Gould for more on this topic.

Dave Mitsky

astromark
2004-Jul-28, 01:13 AM
:unsure: We all agree then.. The chances of finding a life form that is humanoid is not somthing we could expect. The steps that brought us to this point were a random set of life and extinction avents. My mind struggles to comprehend what forms life could have taken or evolved into. If the sercomstances had been just any bit diferent.
Science tells us that at no time did man and dinosour live side by side... well then how do we explain our mithical dragons, from many of our coltures.. Crocks have bad breath..but dont breath fire. whats all this about serpants..?arent they just snakes. Our history is full of rubish.Goblins Gosts and spirate beings. I wonder what hope humanity if we still believe in fairies. spirate beings and the like. and where all this comes from.
In my mind I have deduced that we may never meet or find proof of alian intelagance.. I dont see a lot of it here. and the time line and size of this galaxy may preclude us ever meating... or are we them.

GOURDHEAD
2004-Jul-28, 05:37 PM
Read Stephen Gould for more on this topic.

Also Dennis Dennett.

Humanoid appearance is neither guaranteed nor prohibited. If panspermia proves to be an accurate assessment of one of the methods of how life is able to permeate the universe, humanoid types may be ubiquitous (again it depends on how restrictive your definition of humanoid is). Having two locomotive and two manipulative limbs seems to work quite well here and evolution will try that design whereever it is not prohibited by the environment. The dominant biology may be reptilian, avian, or amphibian and the skin covering may be like nothing we have imagined and still they could be considered humanoid in some sense. Brain efficiencies seem to prefer only two locomotive and two manipulative limbs which condition leaves enough brain power to achieve the level of intelligence that is conducive of technology development, electromagnetic communication, and space exploration.

GOURDHEAD
2004-Jul-28, 05:45 PM
About one in 10 to the minus 56.

After reading what I wrote, I realize I said the opposite of what I meant. It should have read: "about one in 10 to the plus 56" or: "about 10 to the minus 56"

StarLab
2004-Jul-31, 06:54 AM
Actually, I would like to challenge Dave on the point he made that:

It is wrong to think of evolution as having a goal, whether it is sexual reproduction, the development of flight, or the advent of an intelligent, technological species. Thus nothing is "wasteful".
I would like to disagree on the grounds that I believe nature's purpose is to culminate in a conscious, intelligent life with a conscience. You see, we are so separate from the works of Mother Nature that any move we make can destroy her. We are so removed from the system that our only choice is to develop a conscience or risk losing ourselves and subsequently destroying the system.
Just like in The Matrix. The agents were so isolated, so removed from the system that without that approptriate, necessary conscience, they set out to control, to dominate the system, hence a side effect of success would have been the eventual destruction of the system. So it is with human beings. So it is with reality.

GOURDHEAD
2004-Jul-31, 05:23 PM
You see, we are so separate from the works of Mother Nature that any move we make can destroy her. We are so removed from the system that our only choice is to develop a conscience or risk losing ourselves and subsequently destroying the system.

I prefer to think (imagine?) that we are an integral part of nature and that degree of consciousness that produces technological development is self perpetuating by jealously persuing its survival. It isn't Mother Nature that has purpose, it's her spawn that does. The Mother is indestructable!!!

astromark
2004-Aug-01, 07:23 AM
Salective reproduction or lust,? there must be an advantage or it wont happen...
In order to servive we select a mate that provides the needs... security,food,wealth and other worldly needs... the upright stature. won becouse we needed it then. The opposing thumb... we still need it. I wont go on you should see where im going with this. The human being is not the most logical shape
We are the way we are becouse of the sercomstancess we live in.. So what does intelagent life look like... Given enuff time would the octopuss want to evolve?
Why havent sharks changed for millions of years? they dont want (need ) to.
Are we the only spiecies in the Universe that looks up in wonder..? I hope not.
but I fear we might be. Its a realaty we should face...

Dave Mitsky
2004-Aug-01, 09:18 PM
Originally posted by StarLab@Jul 31 2004, 06:54 AM
Actually, I would like to challenge Dave on the point he made that:

It is wrong to think of evolution as having a goal, whether it is sexual reproduction, the development of flight, or the advent of an intelligent, technological species. Thus nothing is "wasteful".
I would like to disagree on the grounds that I believe nature's purpose is to culminate in a conscious, intelligent life with a conscience. You see, we are so separate from the works of Mother Nature that any move we make can destroy her. We are so removed from the system that our only choice is to develop a conscience or risk losing ourselves and subsequently destroying the system.
Just like in The Matrix. The agents were so isolated, so removed from the system that without that approptriate, necessary conscience, they set out to control, to dominate the system, hence a side effect of success would have been the eventual destruction of the system. So it is with human beings. So it is with reality.
Disagree away but that is merely anthropomorphic thinking, IMO.

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_...27/ai_110575765 (http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2843/is_6_27/ai_110575765)

BTW, human beings are certainly responsible for one of the greatest mass extinctions in history but to my way of thinking we will never destroy "Mother Nature" or less romantically speaking the ecosystem, which will continue to flourish long after the human race is but a memory.

Dave

GOURDHEAD
2004-Aug-02, 03:50 PM
BTW, human beings are certainly responsible for one of the greatest mass extinctions in history .....

Which one? How so?

Tinaa
2004-Aug-02, 03:56 PM
The one happening right now.

http://www.well.com/user/davidu/extinction.html

Bobunf
2004-Aug-06, 09:01 PM
It was interesting to look at the link you provided. “ If present trends continue one half of all species of life on earth will be extinct in 100 years.” I was gratified to see that “New articles are added regularly.”

But a little distressed to note that the “Most recent update: July 14, 2004.” This is, after all, August 6, 2004. Hasn’t anything happened on this front in the last three weeks? Maybe 30 species have bit the dust.

Then I was really startled to note the lead article date April 21, 1998 from page 4 of the Washington Post. That was six years ago. Three thousand or more species should have gone extinct in that time. I say “or more” since it’s not known how many species there are—within an order of magnitude.

I would think it would be a little tough to figure out how many have become extinct, if we don’t know how many there are to start with. And then there are issues of cause and significance; which don’t seem to be discussed with calm deliberation.

How come I haven’t noticed anything going extinct in all this time? Whatever, it must not be very notice
able. Or somebody may suffer from a little hysteria.

Bob

Plat
2004-Aug-15, 09:21 PM
yeah i think there would be some humanoid aliens out there, some even VERY humanoid, like have 2 arms, 2 legs (walks upright), a torso, a brain and a head, organs, reproductive organs, maybe even hair/fur, some may be tall, muscular some maybe short whatever but i think there are some humanoid aliens out there and very human-like aliens out there, there is like 20+ billion earth-like planets in our galaxy alone, theres just bound to be....not just one or ten probably hundreds

Plat
2004-Aug-15, 11:30 PM
plus i think an earth-like planet will most likely produce similar life here on earth

Bobunf
2004-Aug-16, 04:42 AM
“there is (sic) like 20+ billion earth-like planets in our galaxy alone”

This is not exactly a well established fact. And one could easily imagine it’s being less by many orders of magnitude.

Estimates of the number of stars in the galaxy vary from 100 billion to 400 billion, but what percent of these stars reside near the core of the galaxy and are thus very unlikely to be friendly to life?

What percent reside in metal poor globular clusters or other metal poor parts of the galaxy?

What percent are subject to unpleasant interstellar neighbors like super nova, black holes, gamma ray bursters, etc.?

What percent are in multiple star systems that preclude stable orbits in planetary habitable zones?

What percent of the remaining stars have too a short a lifetime, like type O and B stars?

What percent of the remaining stars are too dim for a robust planetary habitable zone?

What percent of stars actually produce planetary systems with planets of the size and composition of Earth in the right kind of orbit?

Of the planetary systems, what percent have migrating Jupiter-type planets that disrupt the inner parts of such systems?

What percent of initially Earth-like planets fail to maintain orbital stability for other reasons?

What percent don’t have Jupiter-type planets in the right place to deflect intense bombardment?

What percent of the remaining planets maintain the right temperature for 4˝ billion years? It’s may have been a close call even for Earth on several occasions in our geologic past.

On what percent of planets does life not develop because of inadequate water, some other chemical, energy or other condition?

What percent of planets with life have it snuffed out by planetary disaster?

What if a necessary condition for life to survive is something like Earth’s tectonics or the role the moon’s plays in generating tides or controlling Earth’s obliquity? These conditions are very, very unlikely.

On what percent of the remaining planets with life does complex life evolve? Since it took so long on Earth, the process is probably not inevitable in any time frame like the age of the galaxy.

On what percent of planets with complex life is thee too much water so that no substantial land based ecology is possible? No fire would, I think, mean very limited technology would be possible in water.

So how many Earth like planets are left to develop creatures who manipulate symbols, invent language and develop technolgy, as well as look like us? I could easily speculate that out of the original maybe 400 billion stars, only a few thousand would remain. Maybe less.

20 billion seems like really far far out.

eburacum45
2004-Aug-16, 08:05 AM
Good post; most of your questions have fairly well understood answers, but some do not. And those that do not are the important ones.

For instance the stellar population of the galaxy is only considered to be 400 billion if you include hypothetical brown dwarfs; the number of main sequence stars is probably between 1 to 2 hundred billion.
The fraction of stars we are looking at is single stars (not binary) of classes K, G and F; this fraction is also well known.

But the fraction of these suitable stars which have suitable Earth-like planets is not known;
this has been modelled many times, but there is no way of checking if the models are correct yet.

The fraction of these planets which are exposed to neaby high energy events is not known (I suspect it is less than half, but I may well be wrong).

So the final fraction is very much in doubt, and is likely to be much lower than the figure of twenty billion.

My own prejudice against the existence of alien humanoid intelligent lifeforms is based on the fact that there are only two creatures on Earth which are erect bipeds;
humans and penguins.

So this bodyplan is one of the most unusual on our planet, even after five hundred million years of metazoan evolution; I don't think it will be common elsewhere either.

ASEI
2004-Aug-16, 03:18 PM
I take issue with that number in drake's equation dealing with the lifespan of a civilization. So far as we know, even though civilizations (specific) have bit the dust here or there, civilization (general) and the human population have steadily grown and developed at a geometric rate. There were periods where it got a little rough, such as the dark ages or the black plague, but civilization as a whole survived because there were surviving humans to carry it on. The only civilization (general) that we have knowledge of hasn't died yet, and it doesn't look like it would.

DarkChapter
2004-Aug-16, 11:54 PM
Don't forget the killer SARS virus!!!! That could have been a huge problem!! with only a 98% survival rate, we could have been in reeeaaalll trouble... :lol:

Bobunf
2004-Aug-17, 12:45 PM
“My own prejudice against the existence of alien humanoid intelligent lifeforms is based on the fact that there are only two creatures on Earth which are erect bipeds;”

I don’t think it is particularly telling that only one species inhabits the niche of Homo Sapiens. There have been many species of erect bipeds, but they have all gone extinct, quite possibly as a consequence of competition from modern humans. Bipedalism has obviously been an extremely successful body plan on Earth, but one species of bipeds has replaced all of the others, which may have numbered several hundred.

I think it is really difficult to speculate about the evolution of extraterrestrial bipedalism since we do not have any firm understanding of why bipedalism evolved on Earth. “Why do we walk on two legs? We don’t know.”

Bob

Bobunf
2004-Aug-17, 01:15 PM
“that number in drake's equation dealing with the lifespan of a civilization.”

Aside from having no example of a technological civilization that failed, we also need to take account that Drake doesn’t deal with the possibility of re-emergence. Civilizations could collapse because of external or internal events or processes, but recover at some future point if even a very small number of individuals survived.

Within a few decades it is possible to imagine a group of humans surviving off the Earth while some disaster took place and re-colonizing Earth. With sperm and egg banks, genetic understanding, and even genetic engineering, the number of individuals would not have to be very large while maintaining genetic diversity.

The main obstacle to re-population, it seems to me, would be reluctance on the part of a sophisticated technological civilization to devout the time, energy and material necessary to raising substantially more than two children per female. Families of three are rather out of fashion in developed countries, let alone families of ten. But, I would think this obstacle could be overcome.

Another big thing the lifespan number doesn’t deal with is the emergence of hyper-stable entities, such as computers. Within a century we should be able to establish facilities on the Moon, or other places, which could last thousands of centuries, performing functions that could even entail signaling extrasolar planets that we would know held complex life. Such facilities could incorporate biological elements for some processes as while as machines—both computers and androids.

Another possibility is self-replicating robots, which could add another arm to the survival of any technological species. And, I’m sure there are many other possibilities that could enhance the life span of a technological species. Can anybody think of any others?

None of this is to take anything away from Frank Drake, who certainly thoroughly and uniquely conceptualized this whole subject.

Bob

Plat
2004-Aug-17, 06:17 PM
well how many earth-like planets do you think are in the milky way?

i think 20 billion is way too much too, probably like 5 billion

ps: there has to be humanoid species out there

GOURDHEAD
2004-Aug-18, 12:03 PM
well how many earth-like planets do you think are in the milky way?

The question we should pursue is: How many objects are there on which life can originate and evolve? . The answer to such a question could include the likes of Europa, Ganymede, Callisto, Titan, etc.,. Another aspect worthy of consideration is whether a technologically competent civilization will not spread out and experience designed species divergence thus enabling it to occupy objects not otherwise suitable including the more dense areas of the galaxy and multiple star systems. This could (and will) lead to numbers in excess of 20 billion inhabitable sites within the MW.

eburacum45
2004-Aug-18, 12:19 PM
Originally posted by Plat@Aug 17 2004, 06:17 PM
ps: there has to be humanoid species out there


Well, there probably are; but they might be billions of light years away, while non-humanoid aliens could be much more common..

We need more data to be sure.

Plat
2004-Aug-18, 03:14 PM
yeah there are probably countless types of different aliens out there, if you take one type out and compare it to the bunch then it will definately look uncommon.....and i think when the scientists say "Earth-like" planets i think they mean the planets that can sustain life as we know it....??

Bobunf
2004-Aug-19, 04:34 AM
GourdHead,

“The question we should pursue is: How many objects are there on which life can originate and evolve? The answer to such a question could include the likes of Europa, Ganymede, Callisto, Titan, etc.,.”

It seems to me the operative word here is “could.” There is no evidence at all for life of any kind on, in or around Europa, Ganymede, Callisto, Titan, or anywhere else in the whole universe ex-cept that with an Earth origin, with the faint barely possible additional exception of Mars.

To go from no evidence at all to billions seems to me to resemble a leap of faith as opposed to a careful assessment of probabilities.

I think distinctions need to be made amongst four types of habitats:

1. Those where life did not originate, but which could be made habitable by a technological civilization more advanced than ours. Such places need not be habitable for eons of geologic time; a few million years would be more than adequate.
2. Those where life originates and does not evolves complex forms.
3. Those where life originates and evolves complex forms, but technology does not advance. I think a world covered in water could be an example of a place unsuited to the evolution of a technological civilization.
4. Those where life originates and evolves into complex life forms with technological civiliza-tions.

It seems to me that there is a big problem with the idea of civilizations spreading out and occu-pying substantial numbers of objects of any kind. If there were even a few dozen such civiliza-tion in our galaxy, within a few million years, if not less, they would have occupied, or at least explored, the whole galaxy and beyond, including places like Earth and Mars, and possibly other objects in the solar system.

I also find it hard to believe that there are or have been more than two hundred objects inhabited by technological civilizations operating within 100 light years of Earth (four plus percent of the five thousand or so stars in our neighborhood).

None of the ETs have observed the solar system up close? Even knowing, from the atmospheric gasses, there was complex life here, verging on technology? None of them have affected the neighborhood in a way detectable by us? No interstellar signaling industrial, transportation, communication or energy producing processes? No big, detectable disasters? No big art projects? No deliberate or accidental transmission to us by anybody? No effects from interstellar travel, which must sometimes approach within a parsec of Earth?

As Fermi said, “Where are they?”

Bob

GOURDHEAD
2004-Aug-19, 12:50 PM
It seems to me that there is a big problem with the idea of civilizations spreading out and occupying substantial numbers of objects of any kind. If there were even a few dozen such civilization in our galaxy, within a few million years, if not less, they would have occupied, or at least explored, the whole galaxy and beyond, including places like Earth and Mars, and possibly other objects in the solar system.

You make some good points and raise very serious questions, Bob. If I were betting the lunch money, I'd follow your line of reasoning. The other side of the coin is that if my hyper-optimism about the proliferation of life throughout the universe is anywhere near on track, we could easily be betting whether we'll become lunch. My zeal is focussed on having us proceed with all deliberate speed to become very difficult prey and very hard to digest.

The distribution of living organisms across the technological spectrum is likely to be such that few are equal to or greater than we.....hence Fermi's question remains unanswered. My hyper-optimism causes me to posit that living organisms are ubiquituous and most of them exist in a state of evolution about 500,000,000 earth years earlier than where we are today. In keeping with Daniel Dennett's explanation of how evolution works as well as my bias towards the survival value of tecnological development, I believe it to be well within the confines of reasonable speculation to expect technologically competent critters to be out there exploring and colonizing. We are fortunate, for now, to have developed in the boon docks of the MW. However, our MW competitors who evolved where the competition was more fierce are likely to have an advantage over the long haul.

Herd-type species, whether they be lion-like or musk oxen-like or planetary proto-custodians (such as we) have to balance malevolent and benevolent urges in order to optimize survival. There are disastrous excursions from the mean in each direction and this is the filter that keeps, up till now, the "MW herd" thinned.

Plat
2004-Aug-20, 12:21 AM
so you guys think there are humanoid aliens out there

GOURDHEAD
2004-Aug-20, 12:02 PM
so you guys think there are humanoid aliens out there

I prefer the term technologically competent critters. I'm not sure we have sufficiently defined "humanoid"; they may well be humaniform.

eburacum45
2004-Aug-20, 02:35 PM
I've made a little page of images I havre made showing some non-humanoid aliens;
these aliens are part of the OA universe, but this is my own separate site.

http://eburacum45.5u.com/alien_worlds.html

Bobunf
2004-Aug-20, 03:10 PM
Hello Gourdhead. You said, “My zeal is focussed on having us proceed with all deliberate speed to become very difficult prey and very hard to digest.”

This raises very interesting questions of what are optimum strategies for dealing with possible future contact with intellectually superior extraterrestrial beings, and what would be optimum strategies if such contact were actually made.

It could be very useful to realistically look at our own historical experiences of large scale encounters of technologically advanced civilizations with less technologically advanced civilizations. Such a review could be very useful in giving us clues as to how we could best survive such an encounter with extraterrestrials

An observation I would make about such encounters is that they do not proceed as a prime effort of the parent civilization, but as a very peripheral endeavor. Some examples I would cite:

Compare the military effort expended in the Spanish conquest of the Americas with the military effort directed against the Moors in Spain—one following the other chronologically. For instance, in Cortez’s conquest of the Aztec empire, a good hunk of Meso-America, he had about 600 men and 20 horses. The whole process of conquest took less a century. On the other hand the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa involved close to a hundred thousand fighting men on each side, and this was only one of scores of major battles taking place over seven centuries.

Compare the military effort expended by the British in the occupation of Australia and New Zealand with their efforts in the Napoleonic Wars. It’s literally a difference of three orders of magnitude.

The same observation holds of the efforts expended in the United States in dealing with the indigenous (Indian) populations compared to the military efforts involved in the Civil War.

And there are scores of other, similar, examples, if not hundreds.

The lesson I would draw from these observations is that we would want to avoid generating any feeling on the part of ET that a major military effort against us is necessary or desirable. Our efforts need to be directed to avoiding a major confrontation. Among other things, I think this means that we want to avoid appearing to be threatening since a perceived danger is the most common motive for major military endeavors.

A second observation I would make is that social and political disunity is the most important reason for the success of these comparatively small efforts against less technologically advanced civilizations. History is replete with examples.

The lesson I would draw from this observation is that we should try working out means of establishing very broad and effective political and social cohesion and consensus in such a situation. One way of working on this is to publicly think the issues through ahead of time.

I wonder what other lessons, strategies, ideas are out there concerning how to deal with an encounter with intellectually superior extraterrestrials? A most interesting topic.

Bob

Plat
2004-Aug-20, 08:10 PM
wow i like that page you created eburacum, so interesting, can you tell me about the inhabitants of those planets though

bossman20081
2004-Aug-20, 09:19 PM
I think that it would be impossible for any alien to look like us in any way. Our environment has shaped us into a unique species almost impossible to duplicate.

Plat
2004-Aug-21, 01:21 AM
its not impossible just uncommon, there are billions and billions of earth-like planets out there, the chances are small though

Mr.PoopyPants
2004-Aug-21, 01:03 PM
Originally posted by Supernatural@May 9 2004, 10:46 AM
Type 3s would basically be shapeshifters and could assume any size or shape they needed to be depending on which kind of environment they happened to be in and they wouldn't use handheld tools to accomplish these feats, they would just have to think about them and *voila* they've morphed again, like interplanetary chamaeleons...
I think cats are type 3 probes. It would explain why they are so high and mighty. perhaps they communicate in hairballs or something. Whatever the case i believe the US government should spend 10+ billion researching this.

eburacum45
2004-Aug-21, 07:23 PM
Originally posted by Plat@Aug 20 2004, 08:10 PM
wow i like that page you created eburacum, so interesting, can you tell me about the inhabitants of those planets though
Thanks!
There are links to more information on that page; but perhaps I can tell you some stuff about the intelligent ecology of Kemmerer that isn't on the site...

the ecology there swaps genes around like virii between all its members, and several million years ago began to select genes for intelligence; the whole ecology appears to be self aware now, but some of the self-designed species are also comparable to humans in intelligence.

The animal-like mobile species that is most like humans is the Joker Leafant, a kind of cross between a monkey, an ant, and a rubber-plant; the Joker mobiles compete with each other in their language of shrieks and sign-language in contests of wit, sarcasm and insults; very often the competition breaks down into mask fighting, which involves duels with their extendable jaws.
The most successful of the duellists, both linguistic and martial, have their genetic load perpetuated by the ecology.

Kemmerer is too dangerous for humans, and is surrounded by a restiction swarm which (in theory) keeps any information from coming in or out; but illegal copies of the Joker phenotype occasionally are sighted thoughout the galaxy, especially wherever low level brushfire warfare is likely or in progress.

Plat
2004-Aug-22, 12:32 AM
are there any sentient beings?

ASEI
2004-Aug-22, 02:54 AM
Our environment has shaped us into a unique species almost impossible to duplicate.

Dolphins look vaguely like fish, yet are nowhere near genetically similar. (Even our submarines begin to resemble aquatic creatures due to necesities in shape and dynamics) The environment shapes life towards forms that work. Perhaps other intelligent arboreal type creatures will be humanoid.

In any given environment, the set of forms which work (and granted, it still leaves vast possibilities) is selected over the even larger set of forms which don't.

ASEI
2004-Aug-22, 03:02 AM
Bobunf, your thoughts on first contact are interesting. However, I don't think, human psychology being what it is, any sort of broad social cohesion or consensus would develop in anything but opposition to the more advanced culture. (Alliances are like that: they don't hold together unless they are opposing something) In which case, it is better to actively attempt to assimilate in small groups into their civilization. If this helps us gain their protection, then so much the better. It would persuade other irrationally opposed groups to capitulate.

bossman20081
2004-Aug-22, 03:14 AM
ASEI-
Id say dolphins are a little different than humans. Any animals that swim are going to be similar, but on land there are several routes a species could go depending on its environmet.

Plat
2004-Aug-22, 09:21 PM
yeah but still there is a good chance that somewhere out there that atleast there is one humanoid alien race, probably more

eburacum45
2004-Aug-24, 05:54 AM
Originally posted by ASEI@Aug 22 2004, 02:54 AM
Dolphins look vaguely like fish, yet are nowhere near genetically similar. (Even our submarines begin to resemble aquatic creatures due to necesities in shape and dynamics) The environment shapes life towards forms that work.
Dolphins and fish are both chordates, and both vertebrates; parallel evolution has a head start in this case. Most cases of parallel or convergent evolution are myths, which fail to take into account the close genetic and evolutionary relationship between these creatures.

On an alien world a fish-like or dolphin like organism would not share a single codon in common with our own sea-life; the elongated, streamlined shape will probably remain, but no specific common features can be expected to be shared.

GOURDHEAD
2004-Aug-24, 12:18 PM
On an alien world a fish-like or dolphin-like organism would not share a single codon in common with our own sea-life; the elongated, streamlined shape will probably remain, but no specific common features can be expected to be shared.

True! it can't be expected. On the other hand similarity at the codon level is not prohibited especially if panspermia is in play. The chirality of sugars and proteins could be different on different worlds with isolated evolutionary origins if panspermia does not pertain. The three dimensional characteristics of the CHON molecules may dictate more commonality at the RNA/DNA level than we know. That, which the universe does not prohibit, happens.

Plat
2004-Aug-24, 09:40 PM
GOURDHEAD, yes or no, do you believe that there humanoid aliens out there?

Plat
2004-Aug-25, 05:26 AM
and to eburacum45, in that orionsarm site, do they add planets and alien races regularly, and why no humanoid aliens, they should atleast create one or two

eburacum45
2004-Aug-25, 11:06 AM
Yes, they add planets regularly; we have a number of planets queueing up for inclusion as we speak; and no; just to be different, we have decided not to include any obviously humanoid aliens.

We have humans who have altered themselves genetically, to remble catpeople, tigerpeople, wolfpeople; we have intelligent dolphins, chimps, squid, elephants; we have humanoid cyborgs and robots;
the OA civilisation is full of humanoids at each other's throats- there is no need for alien humanoids as well...

Plat
2004-Aug-25, 04:45 PM
oh, thats the reason? i thought that you guys thought there are no humanoid aliens

GOURDHEAD
2004-Aug-26, 12:52 AM
GOURDHEAD, yes or no, do you believe that there humanoid aliens out there?

I believe there are technologically competent critters out there; some of which are equal to or more advanced than we. Some of them probably have the form of humans, but that's humaniform. Humanoid is a highly ambiguous word. If you define it with some rigor, I'll answer the question if I haven't done so already.

I believe none of them have visited earth in the last 4 million years.

Plat
2004-Aug-26, 02:56 AM
humanoid, similar structure and chemistry to us

ironpirate
2004-Aug-26, 12:14 PM
Life forms are probably just as diverse in the Universe as a whole, as it is here on Earth. Just look at the different types here. Deep sea creatures that don't rely on sun light. etc. I guess life will evolve based on it's enviroment.

GOURDHEAD
2004-Aug-26, 03:06 PM
humanoid, similar structure and chemistry to us

External structure, yes; internal structure, not necessarily physiologically but close functionally. Chemistry, chirality of proteins and sugars not withstanding, some may be close at the RNA/DNA level, closer at the amino acid level. Obviously, I believe that carbon based DNA "fueled" life in the universe is the dominant process due to its efficiency.

Plat
2004-Aug-26, 05:05 PM
i think so too, unless theres more efficient one we havent discovered yet

Plat
2004-Aug-29, 06:27 AM
Originally posted by eburacum45@Aug 25 2004, 07:06 AM
We have humans who have altered themselves genetically, to remble catpeople, tigerpeople, wolfpeople; we have intelligent dolphins, chimps, squid, elephants; we have humanoid cyborgs and robots;
the OA civilisation is full of humanoids at each other's throats- there is no need for alien humanoids as well...
my only problem with the orionsarm is that there is too much cyborgs, robots, and artificial stuff, its like they took over the galaxy....plus i never really liked the idea of a.i.'s

eburacum45
2004-Aug-29, 06:29 PM
Well, either artificial intelligence is possible or it isn't;

science fiction is a game of 'what if?'

If artificial intelligence is possible, our own future is likely to be jam packed full of it;
and if it is possible, the first signs of intelligent alien life that we are ever likely to encounter physically will be artificial as well.

It is much easier to send a robot ambassador probe to another star than to send a living being (plus life support system).

so we will probably meet alien robots first;
in fact one likely scenario involves our robot envoys meeting their robot envoys a hundred light years from anywhere much.

Plat
2004-Aug-29, 06:48 PM
there should be like a limit though, and check your PM's on badastronomy.com, i send a PM to you

eburacum45
2004-Aug-30, 06:39 PM
Done...

cgbjr
2004-Aug-30, 07:49 PM
Personally, I think WE will be the aliens of the future, that WE are the GENESIS species that will move out into the universe, evolving as we go, spawning new species of human "aliens" as we go. Hopefully, by then, we will have learned to quit killing and going to war as a solution to our "differences."

starlight
2004-Aug-30, 08:07 PM
Evolution finds it's course: think about marsupials, for instance. There's a wolf, a mole, a bear.... All those evolved to be alike different creatures in other parts of the planet because the conditions were the same... Some theorize that humanity came from the african plains, where the two-legged position was an advantage to see enemies coming, and they had to start hunting to feed themsleves, and the use of tools was another advantage... This should all be replicable in at least some other planets with life...So, I think that humanoid alien life forms are quite probable...

On the other hand, sencience is not restricted to humans even on this planet: dolphins are often used in Sci-Fi as an alternate sencient species after some evolution. I even think they are already sencient: they can use tools, communicate amongst themselves and with other species, have a complex social structure, feelings, etc, etc, etc...
Someone talked about dinossaurs: they did evolve - the first ones were too huge to think about anything else other than eating what came in front of them. For the last few million years, they got smaller, more specialised... some fossils have been found that prove some bypede species had very developed arms, and maybe even used tools... and the largest brain in the whole dinossaur kingdom... had they not been exterminated, they could be the technological species of today. By the way what defines humanoid? Standing on two legs and have a head on top of its shoulders? Well, lots of dinossaurs had that, and so do chicken :)


So to sum things up, I think humanoid species could exist in other planets, as could any other kind... I just wonder if many of them could reach technological status in the same planet (but that's a whole different question)

Plat
2004-Aug-31, 03:56 AM
it would probably depend on the planet, but yeah humanoid species are probable

jeanette
2004-Aug-31, 08:19 AM
I think we need to differentiate between intelligent species and space faring species. Other posts have mentioned dolphins (has anyone mentioned ants or bees - they also have a complex social structure even though they are bugs to us), but they are intelligent and some may say sentient - they do respond to environment and can learn after all.

The big thing that makes us different is our ability to alter our environemnt - build a dam, make electricity for TV etc. But our thing is our eyes.....we can SEE the stars, we want to go up there and have a nosey and that will hopefully make us a spacefaring race. I don't think dolphins will want to go into space, the sea is enough for them, do they even know what stars are?

I'm sure we'll see intelligent life at some point in as many varieties as here - after all, all life on earth follows 11 basic body plans, but in the precambrian era there were 26 body plans of animals (that we can find from fossils) - even animals that looked like hovercraft !!- they didn't work out here but they may do somewhere else - i think the spacefaring races if we ever see them with have EYES to see, and brains to wonder. But i'm sure they'll be heaps of interestingly structured intelligences out there that we'll meet sometime!

can't wait!

Gajaal
2004-Aug-31, 09:33 PM
Greetings All

Form follows function.

On Earth, there are many different eyes that have evolved. Physiologically and functionally they are quite different and yet, superficially look the same, and YET don't "LOOK" the same.

The differences are in frequency sensitivity (visual to U/V or I/R), binocular or independant function, single and multiple lenses etc. Human eyes are an evolutionary adaptation from our Hunter-Gatherer time and the risk of being staulked. Our peripheral vision is about 200 Xs more sensitive to movement than our central vision which is colour sensitive with much higher detail accuity.

Bipedal loccomotion is very practical in conjunction with the functional dexterity of human hands.

Many a reference to Star Trek type portrayals of Humanoid forms are valid, (Noting that the most "prominant" distinctions are "cranial plates") there have been a number of "Types" with "Hands" that I consider were so non-dextrous as to have been an evolutionary encumberance, were they to have actually existed.

My opinion is that the Humanoid Form is highly practical and adaptable and the most likely to evolve to "Warp Capability".

Besides we have proof on Earth. The 1st and 2nd most intellegent beings on Earth, the 2 prominent members of the Delphinidi, Orca Orcinus and the Common Dolphin, have physical barriers to the evolutionary directions Humans have taken.

But how do you measure superiority anyway. The Dolpins haven't contributed to all that is epocolyptic about the conditions on Earth to date.

Regards

Plat
2004-Sep-01, 05:56 AM
yeah i agree

GOURDHEAD
2004-Sep-01, 01:37 PM
But how do you measure superiority anyway. The Dolpins haven't contributed to all that is epocolyptic about the conditions on Earth to date.

Nor can they build the instruments nor are they likely to have sufficient interest to anticipate the surprises that the universe may have in store for us. When those mammals decided on an acquatic life for which they are extremely well suited, one of the prices they paid was exclusion from the world of technological development. If any species is likely to save them and us from asteroid collisions or deadly outbreaks of omni-species pathogens it is us or some equivalent technology developers. At whichever scale the universe is examined it is constantly changing, sometimes very rapidly, and some of those changes can be devastating to earthlings. There is value across all earth biota to have a least one species capable of anticipating catastrophe and taking remedial action.

It may prove useful for us to modify the dolphins genetically so they can help us as custodians. The more dutiful servant becomes the more complete master; it is required of the more dutiful master to be the more complete servant.

eburacum45
2004-Sep-02, 07:00 AM
There is no way to find out if the humanoid form is common in the universe without actually going out there and meeting them; but I am completely convinced that parallel evolution rarely occurs when you consider the biology of widely separate planets.

If you consider the evolution of the eye for instance- there are genes involved which are shared by all Earth organisms with light sensitive organs; so the eye did not evolve several times independently- it diverged.

Almost all examples of so-called parallel or convergent evolution on our planet involve organisms which share large parts of the same genetic material;
this would not be the case on other, entirely separate worlds-

therefore there will technically be no humans, mammals, vertebrates, in fact no members of the animal kingdom anywhere outside the Earth,

and it seems to me that organisms with humanoid form are extremely unlikely.

GOURDHEAD
2004-Sep-02, 09:16 PM
Almost all examples of so-called parallel or convergent evolution on our planet involve organisms which share large parts of the same genetic material; this would not be the case on other, entirely separate worlds-


How can you rule out panspermia at the RNA/DNA level?


therefore there will technically be no humans, mammals, vertebrates, in fact no members of the animal kingdom anywhere outside the Earth,

That depends on how restrictive your definition of "technically" is applied. If we discovered objects that looked and acted like animals and plants but had triple or quadruple stranded "DNA", how would we classify them? My guess is that evolution tried most of what is likely to succeed while developing the biota of the earth and that life emerging on other worlds (excepting protein and sugar chirality) will be quite similar without panspermia, with panspermia the probability of similarity is larger. Once life starts anywhere in a galaxy, panspermia is highly probable and will spread it throughout the galaxy with or without high technology possessing sentients. The more durable structures will prevail and dominate the biota.

Plat
2004-Sep-02, 11:22 PM
dont mean to look stupid but what does RNA stand for?

galaxygirl
2004-Sep-03, 12:12 AM
Originally posted by Plat@Sep 2 2004, 07:22 PM
what does RNA stand for?
Ribonucleic Acid

Plat
2004-Sep-03, 05:34 AM
and what does DNA mean?

ulgah
2004-Sep-03, 05:44 AM
DeoxyriboNucleic Acid

Plat
2004-Sep-03, 05:53 AM
oh damn, can someone tell me the difference between the two

ulgah
2004-Sep-03, 06:03 AM
Originally posted by Plat@Sep 3 2004, 05:53 AM
oh damn, can someone tell me the difference between the two
Plat, click this link: http://www.visionlearning.com/library/modu...ewer.php?mid=63 (http://www.visionlearning.com/library/module_viewer.php?mid=63)

Plat
2004-Sep-03, 06:31 AM
thanks alot

eburacum45
2004-Sep-03, 01:58 PM
Originally posted by GOURDHEAD@Sep 2 2004, 09:16 PM


How can you rule out panspermia at the RNA/DNA level?
I don't; it may happen only within a single solar system, or possibly between stars- although the second option is less likely.


If we discovered objects that looked and acted like animals and plants but had triple or quadruple stranded "DNA", how would we classify them?

Well, we would need to make new classifications up; taxonomists love doing this.

Currently we tend to have five kingdoms, Monera, Protista, Fungi, Plantae, Animalia;

on another planet these kingdoms would be different, but perhaps related in meaning-
for instance
Moneroidea, Protistoidea, Fungiformes. Plantiformes, Animaliformes;

with additional ones perhaps like
Phytozooiformes, Ammoniphila, Siliconoidea or Cybiota describing forms unknown on our planet.

Plat
2004-Sep-04, 12:56 AM
is it possible for an alien race to transform? like transform to something different for a period of time then go back to its original form?

GOURDHEAD
2004-Sep-04, 02:59 PM
is it possible for an alien race to transform? like transform to something different for a period of time then go back to its original form?

Such as when Scottie beams'm up...or down. Or pupae to butterflies. Evolutionary processes can turn out such critters and others with modes of transformation that I can't think of. The opposing process is that if an organism becomes too good physiologically to cope with its evironment, it may not ever become technologically competent.

Plat
2004-Sep-04, 07:55 PM
but is it possible? and i agree that the transformating specie would have a very hard time evolving into technologically competent specie