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Humanoid Aliens

  1. Aug 24, 2004 #1
    Are they out there?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 24, 2004 #2

    turbo

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    Certainly! There are political Cardassians, warlike Klingons and greedy Ferngi in our galaxy. Each of them have infiltrated our society, and most of them live in the Baltimore/DC Metro area, although a lot of Ferengi live near Manhattan, for some reason. Please keep this to yourself. The Romulans will kill you if they find out that you know this.
     
  4. Aug 25, 2004 #3
    nah, seriously man
     
  5. Aug 25, 2004 #4

    Chronos

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    Gold, that is one of the burning questions. No one has much to go on. Some say if they were, they would be all over the place, hence obvious [the Fermi question]. Others say they have the same problems we have, hence, nearly undetectable. I tend to favor the later theory. If relativity prevails, interstellar travel is nearly an impossible task. Going from star to star would take more political energy than is known to exist on a mere planet.
     
  6. Aug 25, 2004 #5
    i was asking if there were humanoid aliens, not if there were aliens
     
  7. Aug 25, 2004 #6

    selfAdjoint

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    Well, if there are no aliens, then of course none of them are humanoid.

    The other day upon the stair
    I saw a man who wasn't there.
    He wasn't there again today;
    Gee gosh, I wish he'd go away!
     
  8. Aug 25, 2004 #7
    if intelligent life is fairly extensive- then it is likely that many of these species have at least evolved into upright bicameral bipeds- the evolution of life on Earth has shown us that this sort of environment favors just a few body-plans and structures- things like eyes/ legs/ wings/ heads/ torsos/skin/ skeletons/ etc occur independently across all the categories of animals-


    however I would imagine that intelligent life rarely maintains it's animal structure for very long once it develops technology- so no humanoid ETs are going to visit us- by the time they got around to visiting other worlds they would have long before adapted their physicality to variable environmentally adapted tools-
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2004
  9. Aug 25, 2004 #8

    Phobos

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    Welcome to Physics Forums, Gold Barz!

    Of course, without any solid evidence so far, we don't know for sure whether there are human-like aliens elsewhere in the universe. We don't even have a good handle on the odds of there being life of any kind elsewhere in the universe. Keep your eyes on the NASA missions to Mars and Jupiter's moons and NASA's next generation telescopes for more insight on that question.

    Many people believe it's likely that there's life elsewhere. Human-like life would be less likely, but still possible. Some would say that if the universe is indeed infinite, then it's pretty much guaranteed that there's life elsewhere since even low probabilities become reality with infinite trials.
     
  10. Aug 25, 2004 #9

    marcus

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    metallic life-forms adapted for life in a lowgravity vacuum
    not the question: "are there humanoid aliens"
    instead the question: "are there robotoid aliens"

    the preceding 7 posts are a riff that PF keeps doing better and better.
    those 7 posts are more sophisticated and articulate than a
    same-topic thread of 70 posts might have been 2 years ago.
    it's the old saw practice makes perfect.

    further question: are there robotoid aliens with humanoid feelings?

    now I begin to see that all questions about exploring and extending life in our galaxy boil down (not to rockets and space-stations but) to whether or not you can build a mechanical chicken that can write poetry.


    --------
    a self-replicating mechanical chicken of course, and if you can, then it's clear what to do, you work on the chicken for as long as it takes, nevermind rockets. when you finally know how to make the chicken then you produce a whole lot of them and boot them into the far-flung galactic prairieland. after a while one of them finds something and writes a poem about it and comes back and tells you the poem.
     
  11. Aug 25, 2004 #10

    pervect

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  12. Aug 25, 2004 #11

    marcus

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    this is an awesomely beautiful SciFi. thanks to pervect!
    "They talk by flapping their meat at each other. They can even sing by squirting air through their meat."
     
  13. Aug 25, 2004 #12

    turbo

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    Killer piece of fiction!!

    There have been all kinds of life-forms invented by science fiction writers for decades, some of them quite plausible. Can you imagine creatures exploiting energy gradients within gas-giants like Jupiter? If not, why not? There are whales in our oceans that can dive to depths that would crush us like a used tissue, and many of them show signs of intelligent behavior. Melville's "Moby Dick" had a basis in fact, in case anybody would like to Google it. In the early 1800's a large white bull sperm whale got a bad reputation for attacking whaling ships in the waters around Mocha Island and actually sank one - Melville's book was a mix of romance, allegory, and VERY factual information about life as a whaler: a good read.

    Re my flippant post about Ferengis, Klingons, etc: It is convenient for science fiction shows to depict intelligent life as humanoid because they can employ human actors to play out the plots (like Shakespeare dressing boys as women when Elizabethan society did not allow women as players), but we know that an infinite Universe has a lot more complexity and variation on tap than Central Casting can fill. The expectation of encountering bipedal intelligent life forms is in part due to decades of movies and TV shows using human actors to portray aliens. I would sooner expect to encounter a life-form VERY unlike us, and hope that their quest for expansion is not driven by purely territorial or resource-based self-interest (a VERY bad thing for the indiginous population, as many decimated human cultures can attest!).

    At the risk of being repetitive, I post the wonderful URL of the Ask Nettie archive link where this subject is covered in a succinct manner - see the question dated 5-3-2001:

    http://www.dearauntnettie.com/archives/archives-0105.htm
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2004
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