First Contact: What would intelligent alien life look like?

First Contact: What would intelligent alien life look like?
First Contact: What would intelligent alien life look like?
Anonim

In all sci-fi books, comics and films, we are faced with an endless menagerie of alien creatures that take on a huge number of forms. In the old days, budget constraints for television and film meant that aliens usually looked at least a little human. In more modern times, computer effects have made aliens a little more bizarre, but still mostly aliens are portrayed as at least something we can understand or relate to, at least on a basic level.

All of this testifies to our intense curiosity about what alien life will actually look like, and in this case, intelligent space life. If a spaceship arrives tomorrow and opens the door, who will come out? Will it be something like us, or something beyond what we have ever imagined? This is a question that we cannot answer in any way.

So, if we were to meet aliens, what would they look like? What form will they take and how will they interact with the outside world?

The answers to this question seem to be as varied as the people who ponder the question. On the one hand, we have the idea that since they evolved from a different life form and in a completely different alien world, they will not look like us and may be beyond what we can even imagine. There are all sorts of ideas on this, ranging from the fact that they may not even be carbon based on the fact that they have no DNA, live in an invisible wavelength that we cannot see, or that we cannot recognize them as life at all. in our own definition of the term. Co-author Aaron Rosenberg explains this idea:

Living things evolve in response to their environment. We have grown opposing thumbs so that we can better grasp objects. Monkeys have developed prehensile tails for the same reason. We have eyes because light here splits into the visible end of the electromagnetic spectrum. But if we were in a completely different world, with different temperatures and relief, flora and fauna, we would develop differently.

And if that other world had a completely different chemical composition, then we would be the same. All life on Earth is carbon-based, but it wouldn't be elsewhere. Life forms can be based on silicon, iron, or anything else in general.

They could have as many arms and legs as they wanted - or nothing at all. Perhaps life on other planets has evolved without a physical form or without a fixed form - perhaps there are aliens who are nothing more than intelligent clouds, or who have mutable bodies that can change according to the needs of the moment.

Maybe they can swim in space unaided and use stellar radiation as a food source and sensory matrix, detecting changes in radiation in the same way that bats detect sound waves.

Who needs eyes and ears when your whole being resonates? Who needs a separate brain when your consciousness is spreading everywhere just like our nerve endings in us?

There are many beings here on Earth who are so strikingly different from us that we can barely understand them.Try watching an octopus squeeze through a tiny crack in a glass tank sometime, or study a tobacco worm, or get a close up view of a praying mantis. Then think about how small our planet is compared to the universe as a whole - it's like finding the weirdest M&M shape in a bag and then realizing that you are in a whole candy store filled with literally thousands of other kinds of candy, most of which are you've never even seen before.

A real alien would be so far removed from anything we have ever imagined that we can hardly understand his existence. And we would have seemed to him just as completely, incomprehensibly strange.

The basic idea here is that aliens would be completely alien to us. One has only to look at some of the incredibly different and even seemingly alien life forms on our own planet to understand that something from another world can be very different from us.

However, we are talking here about intelligent life that created civilization and reached out its hands through the stars to meet us, and so the opposite side of this argument is that while they will certainly be completely different from us, there are certain constants that we might expect them to fit us as well, and we can perhaps make an educated guess that they might be similar.

There are many assumptions about certain criteria that, so to speak, any intelligent space race would meet. First, although they would have come from afar, they would still follow the same laws of physics and chemistry as we do, since it is a constant throughout the entire Universe, at least this one. Professor Peter Ward, a paleontologist at the University of Washington, explains it this way: "on any planet in the universe, the laws of physics and chemistry will be the same as here. There are only a limited number of ways to defeat physics." One of the other very basic things that we might expect from an alien being is that it is likely to be bilaterally symmetrical, that is, one half mirrors the other, at least to some extent., and even inanimate objects such as crystals, and even entire galaxies, so that after this seemingly universal constant, they would probably be at least somewhat symmetrical.

Since we are talking about universal physics, there would probably also be some general rules of ecology that they would have to overcome in specific ways. For example, they would need a way of obtaining energy, hunting and food, as well as senses in order to perceive the world around them, and they would have to obey the rules of gravity, the density of the environment and have a source of energy. They would need some way of breeding their species, and they would have to compete with other species in the same environment in order to survive long.

In other words, no matter where the aliens come from, they basically would have to overcome the same basic physical and evolutionary limitations as we do. There are many ways to get around or get food, see how similar some of the floating or flying species on Earth are, no matter how genetically different, bats and birds or sharks and dolphins. Some methods simply work better, and evolution would weed out those that are ineffective in the face of competition from other species. In many opinions, these hypothetical extraterrestrials would also likely evolve from predators, which means they are likely to have stereoscopic vision that allows judging distance, which means more than one eye on the front of their head, and they are likely to be mobile rather than sedentary plant species. They also probably should have become the dominant life form in their world, so probably not microscopic or overly fragile. Well-known theoretical physicist Michio Kaku said this:

In all likelihood, intelligent aliens in space evolved from predators that hunted for their food.This does not necessarily mean that they will be aggressive, but it does mean that their ancestors could have been predators a long time ago.

Another constant they would probably display is that they would have something similar to a brain, and that it would be enclosed in some kind of protective shell, be it a skull, an exoskeleton or something else. and this brain would also probably be held high above the ground. Aliens would need to breathe somehow, and some form of locomotion that would have to at least be fast enough to allow them to hunt and survive on their own planet to become an evolved species. They would probably have some kind of legs if the alien is on land, and there would be some kind of covering on the body that we could recognize as "skin." Harry E. Keller, professor of chemistry at Northeastern University, talked about these two points

- Legs? For sure. Other means of transportation will be relatively slow and will be categorized as armored animals and those living in burrows. None of these lifestyles will naturally lead to greater intelligence. How many legs does he have? In our case, we adapted the front legs to manipulate animals with four legs. No terrestrial animal with endoskeletons has more legs. The implication is that aliens with two legs are more likely than those with four. - Fur? - Hair? Feathers? Something else that's truly alien? The skin cover can be anything that makes sense. Real feathers are not that likely. Since feathers are used for flight, the brain will be small. Scales are unlikely because they are particularly well adapted to ectotherms, although a scaly appearance of the skin may be possible. Fur against hair is difficult to sort out due to my innate bias. Fur has good reasons for being that are not related to intelligence. If fluffy, then our aliens probably have short hair.

In order to make tools and manipulate their technology, they would have to develop some kind of appendages with fine motion control. It doesn't have to be fingers and thumb like we do, but some grasping appendages of some kind, something that looks like what we would recognize as their version of fingers. These appendages are also likely to be released for use, which means they can be recognizably bipedal. They will also need some kind of analogue of their senses to perceive their surroundings, such as eyes, nose and ears, as well as some way of receiving energy, in short, a mouth, probably near the eyes, where they can see that they are trying to eat. As for these eyes, there would probably be at least two eyes facing forward for the stereoscopic vision we talked about earlier.

The eyes will likely be drowned and there will probably be some way to cover and protect them. These eyes would also likely be close to the brain to minimize signal transmission times. They would be tuned to the spectrum of their own Sun and might look very different from our own eyes, but they would probably be at least recognizable as such. In addition to all this, they will need a way to produce sounds or signals for some form of communication and, crucially, a language, since any cosmic society will need a way to communicate complex information to each other.

To summarize it all, when we are faced with the same physics, physical requirements for survival, evolutionary constraints and criteria for developing tools and technologies, in this idea with any aliens that have flown to earth, we could probably expect to see terrestrial symmetrical creatures with recognizable senses, limbs and other features with some analogy to what we know, and therefore would not be as plump, absurdly strange, as others lead us to believe. They would most definitely not look like people, and, of course, depending on gravity and the characteristics of their atmosphere and the world in general, they would look very different, but the point here is that they might not be so mind-blowing, are impossible and significantly different from life as we know and understand it.

However, all of this suggests that they are from this dimension at all, because if they were from a completely different universe, perhaps even with different laws of physics, then we could probably throw it all out the window.

Of course, all of this assumes that aliens are organic life forms in general. In recent years, more and more suggestions have been made that space aliens who have reached Earth may not be biological organisms at all, but rather highly advanced robots.

These machines may have been sent here by their creators, or could even be a self-replicating race of robots that wiped out their biological creators, and their creators perhaps even distant, long-gone prehistoric faded memories for them. This makes sense, as it will be the next step in evolution from the frontiers of biology, and robots will be ideal for the harsh conditions of space and the vast distances associated with travel to other worlds. However, if they were robotic, then the appearance is really beyond comprehension, although they would still have to follow our own laws of physics. Professor Susan Schneider of the University of Connecticut and the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton believes that such robotic alien civilizations could be billions of years old and said:

I do not believe that most advanced alien civilizations will be biological. The most complex civilizations will be postbiological, forms of artificial intelligence or alien superintelligence.

Other civilizations may be much older than us - earthlings are galactic babies. All lines of evidence agree on the conclusion that the maximum age of extraterrestrial intelligence will be billions of years, in particular, ranges from 1.7 billion to 8 billion years.

After all, it's hard to really understand what intelligent space aliens would look like, as we really only have one example to compare them to us. All our ideas about extraterrestrial life and how to find it revolve around our basic premise that they will meet the criteria for life as we know it, but of course, chances are that this is not the case at all. Indeed, there is a scientific contingent that thinks that the reason we have not found alien life in the universe, despite our best efforts, is because we are looking in the wrong places and in the wrong direction. Perhaps our own definition of life is more rare than the norm, and perhaps we need to change our perception.

In the meantime, we can only speculate. What would intelligent alien life from another planet look like if we ever make this first contact? Will they be in some way similar to us and life as we know it, or will it be incomprehensibly alien? Will we be able to recognize life in him at all? We can guess, extrapolate, speculate, and debate whatever we want, but the only way we'll ever get a real answer is when this ship lands and they walk, slide, or float out into the light.

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