Weirdo Aliens.

Holographic Universe or Computer Simulation? Big Bang or God?

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Re: Weirdo Aliens.

Postby mojo » Fri Sep 12, 2008 9:53 am

Hmm, bit of catching up to do. Great anecdote torbjon, rats and cockroaches, the great survivors. :)

@ lost shaman, thanks, i hadn't thought "backwards" to what the earliest lifeforms would have been like, but then (supposedly) that would not have been intelligent life.

Does intelligence equate to carbon based life forms only?

Why?

sorry, thinking aloud. :)

Access Denied wrote:Who knows, you could be right…the really frustrating part is we only have one data point to go on as far as “highly advanced” intelligent life goes and I don’t see that changing anytime soon… although that may change somewhat should we find other examples of life in our own solar system… but even then I suspect it will be pretty similar to one of our own species. We already have millions of different “weirdo” life forms right here on Earth… many no doubt as yet undiscovered.


Europa is obviously the exciting prospect, although the abundance of water and oxygen means any lifeforms (if any) will most likely be carbon based.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Europa_(moon)

At just over 3,000 kilometres (1,900 mi) in diameter, Europa is slightly smaller than Earth's Moon and is the sixth-largest moon in the Solar System. Though by a wide margin the least massive of the Galilean satellites, its mass nonetheless significantly exceeds the combined mass of all moons in the Solar System smaller than itself.[10] It is primarily made of silicate rock and likely has an iron core. It has a tenuous atmosphere composed primarily of oxygen. Its surface is composed of ice and is one of the smoothest in the Solar System. This young surface is striated by cracks and streaks, while craters are relatively infrequent. The apparent youth and smoothness of the surface have led to the hypothesis that a water ocean exists beneath it, which could conceivably serve as an abode for extraterrestrial life.[11] Heat energy from tidal flexing ensures that the ocean remains liquid and drives geological activity.[12]


Access Denied wrote:Who’s “we”? As your links show, many scientists, specifically those in the Astrobiology field, believe this to be an open question and don’t presume anything. That said however, in searching for other life in our own solar system, the logical first step (and when it comes to space exploration logic is dictated by budget) is to search for life as we know it first. Should that hypothesis be falsified then obviously the next logical step would be to look for other possibilities.


I guess i meant "we" as in common usage. The layperson, generic science fiction, some in the scientific community, a broad spectrum "we". :)
Your right though the logical first step is to look for life that we would recognize, i guess i just hope that we don't forget to expand that "box" when the opportunity arises.

Access Denied wrote:I suspect that depends on who’s paying the bill if history is any kind of lesson. If it’s democratic governments doing the exploring they’re accountable to the taxpayers who fund it but if it’s dictatorships or privateers looking for exploitable resources then I’m afraid probably anything goes.


Call me sceptical but just because they are democratic doesn't necessarily equate to altruistic intentions, imho.
Personally i dont trust any of us to do the right thing, sad little life i lead. :D

Access Denied wrote:
mojo wrote:OK, conjecture time.

Why would an intelligent alien need to have toolmaking ability.

To get to the other side?

[hopefully you get the reference]

I guess it really depends how you define intelligence… toolmaking ability is certainly one good sign but I don’t think it’s a necessary one. Dogs for example seem pretty intelligent to me but they don’t need tools to survive… they have built-in tools… paws, teeth, etc.


:lol:

Both of my dogs do seem intelligent, that is until i return home and find my 80 year old leather bound copy of Poe essays and poems torn to shreds, then they appear to be more like "morlocks".

Access Denied wrote:
mojo wrote:So maybe were not that far away from creating our own "weirdo lookin' alien life".

Well, perhaps not but the real trick in my opinion would be creating intelligent life…


Agreed, we need to get the percentage up a few points amongst our own population first as well.

:lol:

Access Denied wrote:I guess in general what stands out most to me is the need to define intelligence and to some extent what constitutes life… indeed one could argue the Universe itself is one giant organism.


Ahh, thats another little pet theory of mine, maybe for another day. ;)

Thanks for all the feedback, still sifting through some more articles that deserve some discussion.

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Re: Weirdo Aliens.

Postby torbjon » Sat Sep 13, 2008 8:31 am

Access Denied wrote:Reminds me of spaced out scientist dude’s line [Jeff Goldbloom] from Jurassic Park…

Henry Wu: You're implying that a group composed entirely of female animals will... breed?
Dr. Ian Malcolm: No, I'm simply saying that life, uh... finds a way.


On the other hand rats don’t use tools.

More later…


Perhaps, but it would seem that Elephants are capable of using tools to create works of recognizable art.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=He7Ge7Sogrk

Of course it's just a "trick", right? I mean, from what I hear elephants have ADD... or is that dyslexia?... *sighs* I can't remember...
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Re: Weirdo Aliens.

Postby Access Denied » Sat Sep 13, 2008 10:18 am

Elephants are cool…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elephant_intelligence

Chimps can be trained to paint too…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tool_use_by_animals

What I meant by rats don’t use tools is genetically speaking and contrary to popular belief, it appears the more complex (evolved, intelligent) a life form becomes the longer it takes for them to evolve further and the harder it becomes to adapt to changes… i.e. it appears to be a process limited by diminishing returns.

In physics this makes sense, see entropy and the second law of thermodynamics…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_law ... modynamics
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Re: Weirdo Aliens.

Postby torbjon » Sat Sep 13, 2008 11:09 am

I guess my problem in this scenario comes from the concept of "intelligence".

Very generic example: Humans believe themselves to be clever and unique because of tool use and the technology that has spawned. We're intelligent because we make tools, other life forms on this planet are not intelligent because they don't.

I "feel" that marine mammals, specifically certain whales and dolphins, are, in many if not all ways, as intelligent as us. They have a rich vocabulary and an 'oral tradition' that goes beyond simple 'bird song'. They Communicate with each other in a meaningful way.

The Human counter argument is that if whales were so dam smart then why didn't they get together and declare War on those pesky humans in wooden ships that were slaughtering them left and right.

My rebuttal to that is Gandhi. Whales are just Smarter than us. They have evolved past that type of stupid violence and lame need for revenge, to the point where they are willing to Die as a race rather than dirty their souls by sinking all of our ships (which they could easily do) That's the Christ thing, the Buddha thing, the Gandhi thing... very enlightened.

Humans are not enlightened. We're just clever. We kill anything that moves just for the 'ell of it. I'll kill you just because you looked at my kid funny and you'll kill me 'cause I called your mother a silly name.

I have a hard believing that that type of behavior could be classified as "intelligent"... clever? okay.. Intelligent??? Nawww.

Hey, I know, Flipper for Prez!!

(chimps have fingers, you try painting a picture with your nose *grins*)
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Re: Weirdo Aliens.

Postby lost_shaman » Thu Sep 25, 2008 7:36 am

Hey torbjon,

I think you inadvertently hit one nail on the head, that being that 'intelligence' in general is absolutely useless as an evolutionary trait if an organism can not physically (or even mentally) act on any given 'intelligence' to give itself an advantage within an ecosystem.

Literally even if something like a Whale or any other Cetaceans had 'intelligence' that enabled them for instance to understand something like how fire works those organisms have absolutely zero chance of ever starting a single fire if only to study fire much less to start fires on a regular basis to keep warm or do anything else that might be useful simply because they exist within and are adapted to life in the Oceans rather than the alternative life on Land.

I guess the distinction here has probably more to do with definitions of 'intelligence' and the perceptions of animal 'intelligence' Vs what we as Humans experience in Modern Times, the fruits of 'collective knowledge' coupled with the right environment and the right physiology that enables us to use both 'intelligence' and 'collective knowledge' to directly physically benefit in the near term (within our own lifetimes). When thinking about 'intelligence' in this way it is physiology and environment that determine whether or not 'intelligence' becomes and evolutionary advantage or not.

See how the difference suddenly becomes dramatic here?

What I mean is that once one of 'our' Hominid ancestors had the 'intellectual' ability to understand something as natural as Fire, for instance, then these Hominids could/did also reproduce Fire at will and benefit from Fire immediately whereas Cetaceans, given their physiology and environment, never can and never will benefit from something as natural but essential as Fire even if we simply assume they could 'intellectually' understand what Fire is!

For Cetaceans no amount of 'intellect' can change their position on Earth! Either they eat and reproduce faster than they die, or not. The same is not true for Homo Sapiens as we are able to influence traits in other species that allow us to maintain inflated numbers that otherwise could never be maintained without the benefit of selection. Can you even imagine what life on Earth (Modern Civilization) would be like without Corn/Maize, Beans, Potatoes, Cotton?

Anyway I digress, 'intellect' is only an advantage if there is an environmental or physical advantage that can be exploited via 'intellectual' means. It might be true that 'our' own Civilization shows this to to be the case.
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