Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Evolution of multicellular life, postbiological life and exopsychology

Welcome! “Alien Life” tracks the latest discoveries and thoughts in the various elements of the famous Drake Equation. You may notice that this and future entries are shorter than usual; Career, family and book deal commitments have forced me to cut back some of my projects. Now, here’s today’s news:
g Abodes - Researchers have uncovered new data about how changes in the past environment of Earth may have encouraged the evolution of multicellular life. See article.
g Message - Postbiological life might operate (communicate, organize, travel, colonize) on a larger scale than a single galaxy—possibly on the scale of the supercluster. The most advanced postbiological civilizations in our Local Supercluster may have developed in the Virgo Cluster, a rich cluster where intergalactic communication and travel would be easiest. If these advanced civilizations wanted to contact new civilizations elsewhere in the Supercluster they might collectively broadcast from one central location, for the sake of efficiency and to make it easy to find. A powerful, centrally located beacon would tend to replace all others in the Supercluster. This could explain the failure of SETI. The most likely location for this beacon is the giant elliptical galaxy M87. See http://www.contactincontext.org/cic/v2i1/m87.pdf.
g Learning - An excellent collection of books about SETI, including some for elementary and middle school children, appears online at http://www.space.com/searchforlife/sharing_seti_devore_041209.
. These would make some great gifts.
g Imagining - Like first contact stories? Then be sure to read Lisanne Norman’s novel “Turning Point,” published by DAW in 1993.
g Aftermath - The next social science to be created might be "exopsychology" — the study of behavior, attitudes, personalities and thoughts of alien beings. Although necessarily speculative, exopsychology might eventually be a critical link between humans and aliens. In the meantime, such a study could also provide the additional benefit of informing us about earthbound prejudices. See http://www.parentsurf.com/p/articles/mi_m1175/is_n2_v22/ai_63