Friday, July 17, 2009

Cosmological computer simulations and the noncorporeal lifeforms

Welcome! "Alien Life" tracks the latest discoveries and thoughts in the various elements of the famous Drake Equation. Here's today's news:
g Stars - Cosmologists have come up with a novel technique, based on how brain neurons behave, which can dramatically speed up computer simulations of the universe. See article.
g Life - Scientists say they have discovered marine microorganisms use manganese and iron to convert methane into carbon dioxide. See article.
g Cosmicus - As the world observes the 40th anniversary of the historic moon landing on July 20, 1969, the U.S. agency that accomplished that feat is working on plans for a return to the moon and an even more ambitious plan to use the moon as a base for missions to Mars. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is gearing up for its biggest challenge yet at a time when funding may be harder to come by. See article.
g Imagining - An early “Star Trek” alien is the Thasians, who serve a deux ex machina role in one episode. The Thasians apparently are a noncorporeal life form that gave a human child incredible powers of telekinesis. Such capabilities, as exhibited by the child (now a 17-year-old teenager) appear to stem from within his own physical being, however. The Thasians themselves also are dependent on the physical reality of a spacecraft for traveling beyond their planet. Of course, how a noncorporeal life form might exist is beyond our physical science, though one might suspect it is an organized pattern of electrical impulses, somehow held together and organized without use of a physical platform (such as our brain cells) — though their powers can be transferred to such a platform, as occurs with the boy. Most likely the Thasians did not evolve as noncorporeal life forms but instead, being eons ahead of us in technology, rely on machines (using teleportation-like technology) to do their work; their own beings might be interfaced with such machines so a mere concentrated thought can command it. The Thasians, thus feeling encumbered by physical form, shifted to another dimension — again, more fiction than reality — where the very nature of that space allows the beings (electrical patterns) to remain organized, and perhaps better able to communicate with their machines. Of course, too little was said about the Thasians in the episode, though the boy did note that the Thasians do not “feel” or “touch” in the same way that humans do.

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