Alien Life:   Perception is NOT Scientific Reality

Is there life elsewhere in the Universe?  Is there anybody out there?

        Ask most people, including biology students, and they would say sure.
Scientists have no definitive scientific evidence to support such a belief, but
human popular culture (films, TV, novels) are filled with alien creatures.

The majority of polls taken since the 1960's indicate that about 50% of the
general population have believed that "extraterrestrials exist". Consider such
common cultural terms as UFO,   crop circles,   Roswell,   the Face of Mars  (image),
and movies as Alien, Species, & Independence Day.   Many a novel or TV show (UFO)
have suggested that UFOs are alien spacecraft visiting Earth to observe or to experiment.






The answer to the presence of life elsewhere in the Universe must come from a judicious
application for the scientific method to the collection of data in support of the premise.

Is this question open to the Scientific Method ???
  to some extent yes... Let's see what has been done.

    1.  The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence - SETI
                assumes alien neighbors are trying to contact us and we should look for them.
                SETI is a research program looking for the evidence of life elsewhere in the cosmos.
                The program assumes that use of microwave radio to communicate between the stars
                may suggest intelligent life elsewhere in the Universe and thus SETI uses large radio
                telescopes, as Mt. Arecibo (Golden Eye) in Puerto Rico & VLA in New Mexico.
                While there have been several false alarms, there has been no reception of a non-random,
                intelligent radio signal
. Radio is to slow & in 100 years since Marconi our signals have
                not left our galaxy yet.

           Contact - 1997 SciFi film of Carl Sagan - novel about a SETI contact realized.






    2.  Other scientific approaches in the field of astrobiology include:
                a.  the study of the origins of the Universe - Modern Cosmology  +  Big Bang
                b.  analysis of meteorites for the evidence of life or its byproducts
                c.  analysis of molecules from space - comets & Origins of Life  + 
                d.  telescopic analysis - Hubble telescope  - images - search for "M" class planets
                e.  collection of samples (moon rocks & maybe Martian dust - Pathfinder - Rovers)
                        and satellites to the Universe - Voyager, Galileo
                f.  life simulation experiments with extremophiles
                g.  travel to distant stars?
                            Space Travel - by current technology (best rockets travel @ 10Km/sec)
                                    might take 100,000 years to reach our nearest neighbor star?
                            Star Trek Warp Engines? - not with our science and physics 
                                    The theoretical energy to move a ship the size of the Enterprise
                                    at just 1/10 the speed of light would be greater than all the heat
                                    energy burned by mankind since recorded history.
              Search for Extraterrestrials - Where are They? Space exploration.






    3.  So what would aliens really look like - are there anthropomorphic similarities?
                Our human view of extraterrestrials have stretched from pets as ALF & Tribbles to
                        anthropomorphic models (Jerri Ryan as 7 of 9) similar to the human species. 

                Are these assumptions valid. What might we expect aliens to look like?

                How many eyes would they have?
                        2 is a good guess, for it would allow depth perception;   3 might even be better,
                        with an eye in the back of the head, one could see where they had been,
                        or who was sneaking up to eat them. But, 4 or more eyes could be a neurological
                         nightmare, for it could present too much sensory information to process.

                How large would they be?  If ET was twice our average height, it means that they
                        would have 4 times the cross-sectional area and thus 4 times the strength.
                        Unfortunately, an ET twice as tall would be 8 times as heavy and thus ET's
                        power-to-weight ratio would actually be reduced by a factor of 2.
                        This rules out such Hollywood greats as "Them" and "Godzilla". 






      Law of Biological Convergence suggests that via the known laws of chemistry and physics,
          aliens and man that evolved under the same rules might therefore have similar body morphs...
                                                        ( some more ideas of alien form )

               Vatican announces   "It's OK to believe in aliens" 

                   Conclusion:    Some scientific questions, while similar to a belief or perception,
                                       are best answered by using the scientific method,
                                       which can gather conclusive evidence of fact.

the Earth



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            Last Update - 09/02/2008