Monday, November 10, 2008

The Zoo Hypothesis and can’t we be a little more imaginative regarding aliens?

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 Life - Scientists are debating claims that potholes in a remote Arizona wilderness are dinosaur footprints. In a recently published study, the impressions were interpreted as footprints around an ancient Jurassic watering hole. Now scientists aren't sure of their true origins. See article.
g Message -During the early 1980s, David Brin offered an explanation for Fermi’s Paradox, which asked why if extraterrestrial life existed it wasn’t on Earth. Brin’s answer: The Zoo Hypothesis. Here’s a copy of that groundbreaking paper, “The 'Great Silence': The Controversy Concerning Extraterrestrial Life”.
g Imagining -For anyone who has watched the recent incarnations of Star Trek, one question must present itself: do the majority of alien beings in the cosmos really just look like Earthlings, only with bonier faces or pointier ears? Is that it? Because, aside from the occasional intangible space entity, most “way-out” life forms are remarkably similar to us. Even the weirder images of the little green (or grey) aliens in popular culture are pretty unimaginative. Two arms? Check. Two legs? Check. A head, some eyes, an upright posture? Yes, please. This is not the cutting edge of science fiction, more our own narcissistic reflection dropping in via spacecraft. Surely we can aspire to thinking something a little more alien? See article.
g Aftermath - Here’s an interesting book for some astrobiological reading: “After Contact: The Human Response to Extraterrestrial Life”by Albert A. Harrison. See reviews.

Honoring the Past, Inspiring the Future

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