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Alien evolution

  1. Sep 3, 2004 #1
    Check this out:

    http://edition.cnn.com/2004/TECH/space/09/02/et.send/index.html

    This article got me thinking. On an alien planet, on which life forms have developed in a completely different way to us; how would they think (presuming they were more intelligent than us) what would their purpose be, in other words what would they strive to do? Would they be interested in finding other lifeforms????? On the planet which we currently live (most of us) strive to work hard to make money----basis of capitalism. Others devote themselves to religion (religion is, in effect, an illusion of the human mind--with no proof god exists people who are depressed or poor turn to god and the belief they will die and go to a better place). However on a highly advanced alien planet, on which the lifeforms are both equal and willing to work hard (a mixture of capitalism, marxism, and democracy) like a utopia. What would these lifeforms strive for, if there is nothing to strive for???(Exploration,......)??????????
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 3, 2004 #2

    hypnagogue

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    It's a complete shot in the dark to speculate about such matters. It's not clear what would really constitute truly intelligent life elsewhere, let alone if they would strive for anything in roughly the same sense that we humans understand ourselves to strive for things.

    It's not unreasonable to think that there might be an advanced lifeform somewhere that would feel 'lonely' in the universe and seek out other life. Such sentiment is presumably the result of a need to seek companionship, which itself is presumably the result of a very general evolutionary survival strategy of organisms forming social groups that work together towards achieving common goals. If life elsewhere is anything like it is here, we might expect such a strategy to be a common one due to principles of convergent evolution, and thus we might expect that sufficiently advanced societies would commonly feel the urge to seek out advanced life elsewhere in the universe.

    But when we begin to talk about intelligent alien life, it boggles the mind to think of all the ways in which the mental lives of such aliens could vary from that of a human. It's hard enough to try to make sense of all the complexities of the human, on both the individual and social scale. To what extent could we understand an intelligent life form with no biological ties to us whatsoever, which evolved on a completely different planet in a completely different context? It seems to me that in all likelyhood the psychological lives of such creatures would be almost completely beyond our understanding (and vice versa). Therefore, it might not even make sense, metaphysically or epistemically, to speak of such life as having anything like typically human intentions.
     
  4. Sep 3, 2004 #3
    Without some idea of their history, conditions, enviromental motivations, etc. I doubt there is any way to make even the slightest guess. One good hypothetical example of alien evolution (vs alien philosophies and goals) was presented in Dragon's Egg and Starquake (By Robert Forward) where the story presents life of a most radically different form than ours and shows some of the evolution and consequences.

    I would be careful not to assume all religions are theistic or based on belief in a god or gods. Buddhism and Taoism are two religions that aren't.
     
  5. Sep 3, 2004 #4
    The possibility of other intelligent life forms is certainly interesting.

    I'd like to add that the suggestion that depressed and poor people are the one's believing in God is unfounded. Some people who believe in God that aren't depressed and poor. Some people believe in God but don't follow a faith. There is no reason to insult people who aren't even harming you. If you want to insult people who manipulate religious texts for personal use, then you might have justification.

    There is no proof god doesn't exist either. Being Agnostic is a much more openly logical choice than Atheism in my opinion. Atheism logic just like faith does. It simply provides a more logical basis to live one's life.

    Saying Alien life is not possible would be considered unlogical. Even though we haven't found any you can't deny the possibilty. God could be looked at as an Alien.
     
  6. Sep 3, 2004 #5
    Dooga,
    Many of the people around here, who call themselves atheists, would fall into your definition of agnostic. Many definitions of atheism simply involve a lack of belief (i.e. disbelief) in a god or gods - nothing more. It is common usage that contains the idea that atheists all "believe" there is no god(s). Many atheists avoid the term agnostic because of it's philosophical overtones.

    As to proof (or in my view at least some credible evidence), then the burdon of proof relies on those making the positive statements, not those having a default "no belief" position. To state one position is more or less logical isn't really true, IMO. However, stating one position is more rational, using Occam's razor, may be supportable.

    For instance, if there were no evidence that other planets could exist (which could possible harbor life), then it would be rational to accept that there was no extra terrestrial life. Using the term logical is a little iffy (maybe just personally uncomfortable), being you're not talking about a train of reasoning from evidence, but the presence of, or lack of, evidence.

    I agree that insulting believers, by making unsupported statements as to their motivations, is both unjustified and an ad-hominem flaw.

    Glenn
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2004
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