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Thread: aliens will look like humans

  1. #181
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    If you mean reproducing together, zero.
    The problem, though, is that in the original quote, from People magazine of all places, Sagan adds, "let alone of producing viable offspring," so it's a bit unclear what he meant by "mating." It was an interview, so I think he was probably not thinking very deeply about what it meant.
    As above, so below

  2. #182
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    The problem, though, is that in the original quote, from People magazine of all places, Sagan adds, "let alone of producing viable offspring," so it's a bit unclear what he meant by "mating." It was an interview, so I think he was probably not thinking very deeply about what it meant.
    In the original he was talking about the fundamental differences in our genetic codes. We share a common ancestry with that plant that we don't with alien. He was saying that it's extremely unlikely that we could mix our DNA with that of a Earthly plant and produce something that would live. But there's no chance at all that we'd be able to cross our DNA with an alien and get a live offspring. There's no commonality at all.

    This was in the original Cosmos series.

  3. #183
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noisy Rhysling View Post
    In the original he was talking about the fundamental differences in our genetic codes. We share a common ancestry with that plant that we don't with alien. He was saying that it's extremely unlikely that we could mix our DNA with that of a Earthly plant and produce something that would live. But there's no chance at all that we'd be able to cross our DNA with an alien and get a live offspring. There's no commonality at all.
    Yes, I think you are completely correct. The original comment I made was just to point out that "mating" doesn't (at least to me) mean "mix DNA," but rather means "pairing up usually for reproductive purposes." So I think that absolutely, if we say, "it's much more likely you could create a creature with mixed genes from a human and a petunia than with an alien" then I'd completely agree. If you say that it would be more likely you could create offspring with a petunia through mating, then I think that both would be impossible.
    As above, so below

  4. #184
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    All it would take for a completely incompatible alien would be for the four chemicals we use in our DNA to be a different four chemicals in the aliens. (I don't know if there's a range of compatibility in the chemicals.)

  5. #185
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    The problem, though, is that in the original quote, from People magazine of all places, Sagan adds, "let alone of producing viable offspring," so it's a bit unclear what he meant by "mating." It was an interview, so I think he was probably not thinking very deeply about what it meant.
    Incompatible phalic interface probably. Which is why I made the whole attractive joke that didn't land.
    What does God need with a starship?

  6. #186
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sardonicone View Post
    Incompatible phalic interface probably. Which is why I made the whole attractive joke that didn't land.
    That wouldn't rule out IVF.

  7. #187
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noisy Rhysling View Post
    That wouldn't rule out IVF.
    Though IVF wouldn't work either for an alien or a petunia.
    As above, so below

  8. #188
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    The chances of producing viable offspring with our closest living relative the chimpanzee are questionable, so is "compatibility", the chance of a human alien hybrid would seem to be complete fantasy.

    Discovery channel has a bit on this.

    http://scienceblogs.com/grrlscientis...ybrids-possib/

    In Googling this subject I also came across a piece about a geneticist who hypothesised that humans are the result of a chimp/pig hybrid.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencete...eneticist.html

    This is starting to sound like a Larry Niven novel...
    "Back off man, I'm a Scientist!"- Peter Venkman, PhD in Psychology and Parapsychology

  9. #189
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    Grunts

  10. #190
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    Quote Originally Posted by starcanuck64 View Post

    This is starting to sound like a Larry Niven novel...
    Well, the human race could use a Protector.

  11. #191
    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Evolution is a process of adaptation and survival. It doesn't have an "apex"... The simplest bacteria alive today is just as evolved as we are.
    This is food for thought. Assuming the "simplest bacteria alive today", which have existed unchanged for billions of years, are just as evolved as we are, then why did any evolution take place at all? Consider the need to adapt as a driver in evolution; with bacteria evolved well enough to survive long ago, why all these more complicated life forms?

    That's one of the problems I have with present day evolutionary theory orthodoxy: it fails to adequately explain why early life forms evolved into something more complicated when their survival was not at issue. New life forms appeared from no apparent "driver".

  12. #192
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    Bacteria change all the time and can exhibit very rapid evolution. We do a good job of providing strong selection pressures with antibiotics.

    I'll leave the answer to your question to someone more knowledgeable. I've actually sometimes wondered if complex life is inevitable at all, or if a habitable planet could end up being totally dominated by microbes in a sort of natural grey goo scenario.

  13. #193
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canis Lupus View Post
    Consider the need to adapt as a driver in evolution; with bacteria evolved well enough to survive long ago, why all these more complicated life forms?
    What reasoning in Wikipedia: Evolution of biological complexity do you find fault in? Why?
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    Skepticism enables us to distinguish fancy from fact, to test our speculations. --Carl Sagan

  14. #194
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canis Lupus View Post
    This is food for thought. Assuming the "simplest bacteria alive today", which have existed unchanged for billions of years, are just as evolved as we are, then why did any evolution take place at all? Consider the need to adapt as a driver in evolution; with bacteria evolved well enough to survive long ago, why all these more complicated life forms?
    Competition is a driver in evolution, and there are different ways of competing, different evolutionary strategies.

    Organisms which remain small and comparatively simple (e.g. bacteria) have the advantage that they keep their energy costs low and they reproduce fast compared to larger organisms. On the other hand, cells which are larger and more complex not only require more energy (which is a disadvantage), they also have the advantage that they are better able to obtain energy for instance by swallowing smaller cells whole and oxidising them.

    It's a bit like David versus Goliath, except that the Davids don't always win.
    Last edited by Colin Robinson; 2016-Jun-28 at 12:22 PM.

  15. #195
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveC426913 View Post

    I think there are shapes where we will just as likely have a tough time telling one end from the other.
    we might go crazy just looking at them

    humanoid aliens are very convenient for movie producers because their facial expressions are easy to understand for (human) spectators...

    someway its regrettable that James Cameron used big budget cgi to show us delectable blue tall women instead of TRUE ALIENS... he could do it if he wanted it...
    Last edited by Barabino; 2016-Jul-12 at 07:30 PM.

  16. #196
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    Just for the sake of argument, what if an Earthlike environment produces humanoids by preference? Principles, you can pick whatever you want... But if it did then "people" interested in this planet would be similar to us.

    Or not.

  17. #197
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    The Earthlike environment we are familiar with has only produced one humanoid intelligent species, and very few upright bipeds (mostly humanoids and penguins). I would guess that upright bipeds are just as rare on other Earth-like planets as they are on Earth.

  18. #198
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noisy Rhysling View Post
    Just for the sake of argument, what if an Earthlike environment produces humanoids by preference?
    Ours doesn't.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  19. #199
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barabino View Post
    someway its regrettable that James Cameron used big budget cgi to show us delectable blue tall women instead of TRUE ALIENS... he could do it if he wanted it...
    He wasn't interested in creating interesting aliens, he wanted fairy cat people with mind reading trees and flying islands.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  20. #200
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barabino View Post
    we might go crazy just looking at them

    humanoid aliens are very convenient for movie producers because their facial expressions are easy to understand for (human) spectators...

    someway its regrettable that James Cameron used big budget cgi to show us delectable blue tall women instead of TRUE ALIENS... he could do it if he wanted it...
    It is the continual dilemma of science-fiction imaginists to make aliens that we can relate to.

    If he had made them truly alien, they would have stolen the show. A film is, first and foremost, a commentary on the human condition. They show our own foibles through a differently-coloured lens.

  21. #201
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    Have any of you been to Wal Mart? Aliens don't look like humans, humans look like aliens.

  22. #202
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barabino View Post
    we might go crazy just looking at them
    To elaborate on this: the imaginable oddity of alien life is not limited to the biological form, but also includes other aspects, e.g. how its possible intelligence is organized (i.e. I can imagine a world dominated by an eusocial life-form, of which only a few specimens, the philosopher-queens so to speak, have something remotely resembling our individual self-consciousness; these might produce some cultural output, equivalent to science and literature).

    And even if their form of intelligence might be like ours, their ethics might still be totally weird or even appal us (like, eating their mates, or regarding succesful genocides as inevitable steps in a species' maturation, and indexing new-discovered species based on this).

    So, they might not even look like us in a less literal way.


    It would suck if the first specimen of alien life that we meet is their equivalent of Timothy Leary.

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