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What is the chance of ETs being humanoid?

Discussion about UFO's, Aliens, ET's, Alien Abductions, Ancient Astronaut theories, etc.

What is the chance of ETs being humanoid?

Postby SydneyPSIder » 23 Oct 2012, 20:10

Something that occurred to me recently -- given the nature of evolution and the vast variety of life forms just on earth, and the fact that other planets would be larger/smaller/longer year/shorter year, etc, and that we have evolved from a particular branch of primates with a rotating shoulder and jointed elbows and knees, and forward facing eyes with binocular vision to see fruit in the jungle, and flat nails and not claws, and opposable thumbs to grasp branches, and so on and so forth, why would you expect life forms on other planets, intelligent or relatively unintelligent, to in any way resemble humans or be humanoid in appearance, a la the supposed appearance of 'greys' and all the other hypothesised beasties that certain people claim to know all about intimately. (With never any real photographic evidence.) Thoughts? What could an intelligent ET, perhaps capable of space travel, look like? 10 arms?

And given the nature of carbon-based life forms on a watery planet, they could also be similar to fish, amphibians, reptiles, or mammals.... not to say reptiles could not have gotten ahead on another planet... or starfish....
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Re: What is the chance of ETs being humanoid?

Postby SydneyPSIder » 23 Oct 2012, 21:06

bump.... I'm exploring the UFO threads now aince the site's quiet... not a lot to report....
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Re: What is the chance of ETs being humanoid?

Postby Arouet » 23 Oct 2012, 23:05

I don't think there is any reason to expect humanoid-like lifeforms on other planets - not if evolution is by natural selection. Have no idea how to calculate the odds though.
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Re: What is the chance of ETs being humanoid?

Postby SydneyPSIder » 24 Oct 2012, 20:04

Given that we have a rotating shoulder as a primate that evolved really just to swing through branches and avoid predators on the forest floor, and an opposable thumb just for grasping branches, it's kind of lucky that we evolved big brains and could use these things to throw things at prey, and eventually fashion and use tools. Bipedalism seemed to come about from the Kenyan Rift opening up and advantaging chimps who could stand upright to look over the savannah, and run after things.

This is all a preface really to calling BS on the imagery of the 'greys' and all the other supposed humanoid ETs that get written about and described in great detail -- all bipedal, long legs, adapted feet for walking (even chimps have feet like hands with an opposable big toe that they can use to pick things up etc), hands for gripping, human appearance, etc. They seem to be an artifact of human consciousness and imagination more than anything.

It might be possible for intelligent ETs to be insect-like also, or crustacean-like, with many legs. Although the exoskeletons of insects supposedly limit the size to which they can grow as a genus by and large -- they have to keep shedding skeletons to grow larger, etc...
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Re: What is the chance of ETs being humanoid?

Postby NinjaPuppy » 24 Oct 2012, 20:14

I say that they are similar to lichen.
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Re: What is the chance of ETs being humanoid?

Postby SydneyPSIder » 24 Oct 2012, 21:10

lol. a super-intelligent colony of lichen with a hivemind... how do they go at building spaceships?
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Re: What is the chance of ETs being humanoid?

Postby NinjaPuppy » 25 Oct 2012, 00:19

SydneyPSIder wrote:lol. a super-intelligent colony of lichen with a hivemind... how do they go at building spaceships?

They manipulate dead scientists (spirits) to do that work for them. :shock:
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Re: What is the chance of ETs being humanoid?

Postby Twain Shakespeare » 31 Oct 2012, 07:09

The odds are incalculable, since we have only one sample.
However, their are the alternative theories of panspermia, or of the extraterrstial origin of life
This is known to be possible (at the level of replicating chains of amino acid, which some evidence indicates may have arrived via cometary or ateridal impact.)
However, the evidence at this point indcates that gentic codes also evolved (dif dialects exist between mDNA and cDna, so that the biochemistry can recognie which instructions are far sub cellular vs transcellular metabolosm.
According to classic evolutionary theory, evolution developes "randomly". So the next question is, is their something inherent in the human form that allows the development of intelligence or technology?
Even on Earth alone, chimps and other apes, crows, ravens, parrots, and squids, octopi and cetaceans show intelligence on such a level that they might plausibly be on the verge, at least, of a linguistic consciousness. But noy even an intelligent form evolved from other primates would be likely to be confused with a human, anymore than a modern chimp is. (continued)
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Re: What is the chance of ETs being humanoid?

Postby Twain Shakespeare » 31 Oct 2012, 07:52

However, even if a linguistic intelligence evolved in the form of an a whale, it would lack the means of manipulating its environment. Such an intelligence in he form of an elephant, a octopus, or a bird, they would have means of manipulating the environment (although it might be tough for a bird) However, some environments are more manipulatble than others. It is hard to see how an aquatic intelligence could progress beyond stone age technology (without access to at least a volacanic heat source to allow some metallurgy)

This brings us to the question of environment. Less than a quarter of the earth's surface is suitable for civilzation, and earth appears to be an atypical planet in an atypical steller system, which takes us about as far as my thoughts have gone in this direction. Apparntly, et-ologist must conside the possibility of, not only non water-based ife, but of water based life evolved under jovian pressure and venerian heat.

Now, when we consider the evidence of "ufos", if accepted for the sake of argument, the visitors apparently are adapted to earthlike conditions. I considering that so unlikely as to think the Roswell aliens, if they exist, should be considered strong evidence of panspermia. But their are other theories that would account for the similarity, and might even explain anal probes. Suppose a non-carbon based intelligence should visit earth. Beings who eat arsenic, and drink copper sulfate cooled to a mere 1200 degrees, for example. It would be unlikely they would attempt exploration wearing anything so cumbesome as a spacesuit, especially given they have atech capable of cossing the void.
It is far likelier they would use androids or biochem robots as exploratory devices with which they would interface.
These are the humanoids we would see, artificial beings adapted for use in our environment, and interaction with us. It also explains the unfinished and cartoonish appearance of the greys. They are cartoons, and they are unfinished in that they are artificially designed for a narrow ange of purposes, and not for independent, self-perpetrating lives. Not being products of evolutin, they are incomplete from the perspective we have, and look unfinished.

Conclusion, baring strong panspermia, anything as humanoid as a raptor in a spacesuit even, is unlikely to have evolved elsewhere, but the likelihood that artificial humanoid form devices would be used to observe the subsentient inhabitants of earth is much much higher!
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Re: What is the chance of ETs being humanoid?

Postby Arouet » 31 Oct 2012, 09:04

Hey Twain! Welcome back. But did someone hack your account? I mean, I understood everything you wrote there! What's up with that??? :D :D ;) :lol:

But seriously, even if our basic building blocks came from outerspace, the evolutionary path, as you pointed out, would be different given the environment. And you are indeed right that we have no way of calculating the odds.

But I think you may be off on how many potential planets could be out there that could conceivably sustain life. I was listening to a This Week in Science podcast this week recorded earlier this year, and I believe they estimates have vastly increased for the possibility of those types of planets. I think the story said there could be millions or billions of them (if I understood it correctly).

There's also no reason to believe that other intelligent species will not evolve here on earth. Dolphins are supposed to be pretty smart, and as you pointed out the other primate lines could evolve into something new. And no doubt our species will make way for the next (if we don't get wiped out first).
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Re: What is the chance of ETs being humanoid?

Postby Grichard » 31 Oct 2012, 10:00

I've wondered before whether the humanoid "aliens" people have reported seeing are in fact our descendants from the far future, come back in time to study us. In rather the same way that we would go back and study our early ancestors if we had the ability to time travel. It would explain why they are similar, but subtly different from us. Now there's a topic for debate!
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Re: What is the chance of ETs being humanoid?

Postby Twain Shakespeare » 31 Oct 2012, 12:33

Grichard wrote:I've wondered before whether the humanoid "aliens" people have reported seeing are in fact our descendants from the far future, come back in time to study us. In rather the same way that we would go back and study our early ancestors if we had the ability to time travel. It would explain why they are similar, but subtly different from us. Now there's a topic for debate!


Computer viruses arouet. Thanx for the compiiment!

Streiber suggested the time travel hypothesis, with the wrinkle that the ufos we see now are the first generation time machines, and not yet able to reach farther in time, or simulkate us well. In the farther future they manage to mimic us well enough to pass as aiships and their foreign crews in the 1890. Still farther in the furure, they will go back to pretech eras, and pass themeselves of as elves, angels, and, in the final trips, as the gods who created etc....
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Re: What is the chance of ETs being humanoid?

Postby SydneyPSIder » 31 Oct 2012, 16:01

Grichard wrote:I've wondered before whether the humanoid "aliens" people have reported seeing are in fact our descendants from the far future, come back in time to study us. In rather the same way that we would go back and study our early ancestors if we had the ability to time travel. It would explain why they are similar, but subtly different from us. Now there's a topic for debate!

Yes, I've heard that theory before -- it boggles the mind! If physical time travel were even possible, or became possible in technology, where would the earth and sun be in physical space relative to where it was 100, 1,000 or 100,000 years ago? One flaw with 'time travel' is that the planet has probably shifted a long way through space in the interim, both relative to its sun, but also it is transiting through space relative to some other point at a high rate of knots -- and which item is actually 'moving' and which items are stationary in a relativistic framework?

it would explain the weedy little humanoid characters with large brains and atrophied limbs, perhaps -- and to think it all started with internet bloggers and forum participants sitting around all day with no need to exercise...

plus problems with the time travel paradox etc, although if it's possible to time travel maybe there is no paradox. and how can a species go back and evolve itself through time travel!!??

Then there is the question of premonitions etc to turn it over to the unexplored paranormal for a sec -- there are people out there who can tell fortunes some 3-5 years out with surprising accuracy, concerning things that don't involve 'cold reading' or things that would happen to everyone ('I see you filling out a tax return'), things that are quite specific and often quite unwanted -- I know a guy who can do this and is some demand for his abilities. Similarly for people who have premonitions a few minutes or a day or two out -- clearly somehow 'information' is able to travel backwards in time for some psychics -- this might be a topic for another thread....
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Re: What is the chance of ETs being humanoid?

Postby SydneyPSIder » 31 Oct 2012, 16:27

Twain Shakespeare wrote:The odds are incalculable, since we have only one sample.
However, their are the alternative theories of panspermia, or of the extraterrstial origin of life
This is known to be possible (at the level of replicating chains of amino acid, which some evidence indicates may have arrived via cometary or ateridal impact.)
However, the evidence at this point indcates that gentic codes also evolved (dif dialects exist between mDNA and cDna, so that the biochemistry can recognie which instructions are far sub cellular vs transcellular metabolosm.
According to classic evolutionary theory, evolution developes "randomly". So the next question is, is their something inherent in the human form that allows the development of intelligence or technology?
Even on Earth alone, chimps and other apes, crows, ravens, parrots, and squids, octopi and cetaceans show intelligence on such a level that they might plausibly be on the verge, at least, of a linguistic consciousness. But noy even an intelligent form evolved from other primates would be likely to be confused with a human, anymore than a modern chimp is. (continued)

Apparently for a long time it was an RNA world, DNA came along much later. There are some theories about how we are all actually evolved from kitty litter -- a particular type of volcanic rock called Montmorillonite used for kitty litter these days that allows amino acids to adhere to the crystalline structure -- and interestingly also allows lipids to form around them, similar to how cells use lipids as an envelope today. Add some heat, water, organic compounds and a primal stew in an ocean pool and hey presto!

Montmorillonite-catalysed formation of RNA oligomers: the possible role of catalysis in the origins of life
http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/ ... /1777.full

Clay's matchmaking could have sparked life
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn4307

Also, there are some new wrinkles on evolutionary theory beyond Darwin's original ideas about total randomness and either useless or useful mutations that suggest that genes can reprogram themselves to some extent to adapt constructively, as a kind of behavioural repertoire thing -- my own theory is that some of the so-called supposed 'junk DNA' we possess, which is most of it, is perhaps stuff that has been disabled or switched off that is switched on in other life forms and gives them their own characteristics. So by switching on or off lengths of junk DNA an organism can try to adapt to a new environment quite quickly, it's just pulling another trick out of the toolbag. And 'ontogeny follows phylogeny' of course -- developing human foetuses pass through evolutionary stages of fish gills, amphibia, mammals, etc, suggesting their genetic precedents. And the fact that toddlers have very short legs and waddle for several years before the legs lengthen and straighten out look remarkably like chimpanzee legs, suggesting of course that upright bipedalism and longer legs are the most recent evolutionary phenomenon to come along. But also, for instance, there's a fish that essentially has human teeth! Square teeth top and bottom uncannily like our front 4 incisors. Which reminds me of characteristics being switched on and off out of a grab bag.

So to some extent it seems Lamarck may have been right, only not in the time frame he proposed. Further, Mendeleev fabricated some of his experimental findings with pea genes to attempt to make his results conform with his over-simplified theory of inheritance! We seem to have a number of contributing genes to characteristics, not just one.

But panspermia is not a particularly necessary thing. The conditions and chemicals already existed on earth for organic compounds and for life to form.
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Re: What is the chance of ETs being humanoid?

Postby Twain Shakespeare » 31 Oct 2012, 17:28

SydneyPSIder wrote:[.
Apparently for a long time it was an RNA world, DNA came along much later. There are some theories about how we are all actually evolved from kitty litter -- a particular type of volcanic rock used for kitty litter these days that allows amino acids to adhere to the crystalline structure -- and interestingly also allows lipids to form around them, similar to how cells use lipids as an envelope today. Add some heat, water, organic compounds and a primal stew in an ocean pool and hey presto!

Also, there are some new wrinkles on evolutionary theory beyond Darwin's original ideas about total randomness and either useless or useful mutations that suggest that genes can reprogram themselves to some extent to adapt constructively, as a kind of behavioural repertoire thing -- my own theory is that some of the so-called supposed 'junk DNA' we possess, which is most of it, is perhaps stuff that has been disabled or switched off that is switched on in other life forms and gives them their own characteristics. So by switching on or off lengths of junk DNA an organism can try to adapt to a new environment quite quickly, it's just pulling another trick out of the toolbag. ..... characteristics being switched on and off out of a grab bag.

So to some extent it seems Lamarck may have been right, only not in the time frame he proposed. Further, Mendeleev fabricated some of his experimental findings with pea genes to attempt to make his results conform with his over-simplified theory of inheritance! We seem to have a number of contributing genes to characteristics, not just one.

But panspermia is not a particularly necessary thing. The conditions and chemicals already existed on earth for organic compounds and for life to form.



Just one possibility, panspemia is, but needed for suspension of disbelief if one is going to enjoy 99% of the science fiction on the subject. ;)

Just tossing out theories. I lean towards some unfalsifiable concepts more than others, I admit, but I hope I know what the evidence is, even when I am not sure what it means.

i am familiar with the RNA lipid formation theory you described, and it fits in so well with my preferences and conceptual framework that it is currently my null hypothesis, ie, until it is proven wrong, I will tend to accept it. In removes the need for the weak panspermia theory of the origen of life I mentioned, but actually supports stronger theories of panspermia, as it implies the evolution of life is an inherent phenomena of univese, but it leaves a possibility that new codes continue to arrive in comets, and our organic ecology is a transteller phenom, and even the possibility of convergent evolution.

This theory of strong panspermia also fits well with your discussion of so called "junk" (or, more accurately, "x-factor" DNA, in the sense of an unknown influence, possibly negligible, possibly vitally important) These theories both deal with the basic problem, that the causative mechanism of randomness seems insufficient.

I am Twain in part because I do not feel I have a grip on any subject, unless I have to have at least two contradictory explanations for it. On this one I have every explantion from Babylon to Zardoz. My preferred (Beta) theory these days transcends biology and cosmology as known, and even it has multiple sides.

Basically I have concluded the what we distinguish as two (or posssibly three) distinct things are actually the same thing, no dif than yin/yang or two sides of a coin. (and the coin itself) Those are awareness, which we all have direct experience of, the information which forms the content of our awareness, as seawater and life are the content of the ocean. The third thing would be matter itself, which I experince, and have always felt, is "alive", from the level of a photon, which knows if it is watched, to the level of the mimetic monster men, those legal corporate persons, those embodiments of the informational work inherent in money.

I am not saying anything else in universe I personally know of shares the kinds of reflective time binding linguistic I/Thou artitically creative and theoretically rational I share to greater or lesser degree with other humans, but I myself have experienced consciousness without self, and awareness without volition, so I know lower forms of awareness exist. I suspect higher forms of consciousness exist also, which means all bets are off, and we are no likelier to figure out what is going on than lab rats are likely to learn cheese comes from cows, an ant to comprehend a magnifying glass, or a kidney cell is likely to understand why everyone keeps pissing on it.

The strongest evidence I have for thinking this intuition is correct is the fact that matter has evolved into language directly, in the forms of the NAs, (mDNA, cDNA, RNA) Add in my an (limited and probably erroneous) factoid that information (like my 23 pair) appear to be "negative energy' or "work waiting to be done" or (leaving even vaguely conventional physics behind) the morphogenic field which contains the process before the process (Me, for example) occurs.

Just gassing, since my puter is crippled and this appears to be the only program I can currently use. Did I say information was doubling? I'm getting senile, I forget.
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