X-Message-Number: 14575
Date: Thu, 28 Sep 2000 21:38:39 -0400
From: James Swayze <>
Subject: Re: Alien humanity, highly doubtful
References: <>

At the risk of stunting my growth, going blind or having hair grow on my pal..er
ah inside my scalp...I must respond to this "Off Topic" subject. ;) Although I 
agree with the possibility of the basic premise here I do have trouble with some
of the assumptions. Oh and I do run the
 program. See responses below.

> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Message #14556
> From: 
> Date: Wed, 27 Sep 2000 11:24:28 EDT
> Subject: Re: SETI off topic? Maybe not
> SETI discussion may have more direct relevance than indicated by posts I have
> read so far.  Considerable thought over the last few years and a passing
> knowledge of current SETI activity leads me to this conclusion. I believe
> that the very first messages we receive after contact may well tell us  how
> to suspend human animation in such a way that reanimation without damage or
> loss is certain.   The main reason: it buys us time so that a subsequent
> stream of enlightening life-saving messages can be absorbed and implemented
> by us in an orderly manner.

Good idea. Logical assumption, but...

>  In
> brief, my theory rests on these assumptions: [1] life is a reasonably common
> occurrence throughout the universe;


> [2] life inevitably evolves toward
> human-like intelligence on its way to something much more amazing;

Not agreed. This is anthropomorphism. Other intelligences could be wholly 
undechipherable by us and totally incomprehensible. We have alien inteligences 
here on Earth we may never comprehend. Take cetacean or cephalpod intelligence 
for instance. You can say also that all life on Earth is

related and from a common DNA template. Other world life may not be even close. 
May not have anything even like DNA. So if we have trouble understanding DNA 
based bretheren imagine the problems with the unimaginable variations out there.
This also doesn't take into account difference in

levels of development. For instance, Australopithicene humans could hardly, even
with lots of help from us, understand us and again we are very related.

It once was common to assume the "humanoid" model of higher development ie: two 
eyes (stereocopc vision), two ears (stereoscopic aural information gathering), 
bipedalism, brain near to these senses for shorter transmition distance thus 
smell sense also with the rest all grouped on a head

at the highest point of the body etc. etc., would be a universal result of 
evolution anywhere. I disagree. For instance the mechanism for intelligence and 
sense gathering could be modular and parallel. Transmission distance needn't 
lead to a centrally located brain if a being has multiple

independant yet connected sensory devices with localized processing. There might
be aliens with brains in each finger and having hundreds of those. I doubt a 
being like this would think anything like a human.

It has been speculated that had the dinasours not gone extinct (by the way, I 
can prove the KT event did not kill the dinos...if anyone is interested email 
me) a humanoid being might have evolved from their stock. This may well have 
been possible but one must remember we are cousins. Same

DNA template. They already had the beginning parameters including even for some 
five fingers. Even an octopus so alien to our design has two eyes, same Earth 
centric template. Something from another entirely different evolutionary impetus
might have, most likely will have, totally

different expressions in response to evolutionary presures. If evolution were 
re-run on this planet nothing even close to human would arise.

> [3] there
> already exists a universe-wide interconnected intelligent culture containing
> millions of worlds which are more advanced than we are right now;

Again not agreed. First of all, "Universe-wide" communication is not likely 
possible if indeed even galactic-wide is.

> [4] more
> advanced human cultures have a highly developed sense of caring for a
> collective universal humanity which, fortunately for us, includes us;

Here again not agreed. What human cultures? What universal humanity? Humanity is
us, here, on Earth, only on Earth, so far. Aliens might have societies akin to 
ants or bees or so far removed from even that and so alien to our culture we 
couldn't begin to fathom it. I don't understand this

popular opinion that advanced society brings altruism. This again is 
anthropomorphism and isn't even guaranteed in our own society. In the show 
Babylon 5 there was a scene where the G'Kar character was explaining an 
encounter a scientist had with a supposedly to the plot older more highly

advanced race. The scientist asked what were they? The G'Kar character picked up
an ant that had found a ride on an imported plant and placed it back down. He 
then said to the scientist that the ant asking his fellows what just picked him 
up and placed him back down was equivalent to her

question to G'Kar. We step on ants all the time and hardly are concerned if 
billions are wiped out in the everyday machinations of our cultural needs. A 
more advanced alien race may have no more or even less concern for us.

> [5]
> this collective sense of caring has led to the establishment of powerful
> light house beacons located at various point throughout our galaxy; the
> purpose of these beacons is to bring new cultures into the collective through
> the dissemination of their advanced knowledge in a carefully shaped sequence
> of messages; and

In the words of the main character in Hemmingway's "The Sun Also Rises",  "It's 
pretty to think so".

> [6] within the last decade we may have reached a level of
> sophistication in our electromagnetic wave receiving capacity to passively
> locate and connect to such a beacon.

We can only hope. I'd like to reiterate I do think we are not alone in the 
universe. However, unless they are related to us they won't look or think like 
us. They won't be human and may not be humane.

Some of our views are spacious
some are merely space--RUSH

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