Aliens could be huge, says scientist

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Message 1662159 - Posted: 7 Apr 2015, 3:25:55 UTC

Aliens could be huge, says scientist

Technically Incorrect: Cosmologist Fergus Simpson believes that the most intelligent of aliens out there will likely weight 650 pounds. Yes, little green people could be very, very big.

--snip--
University of Barcelona cosmologist Fergus Simpson has been thinking deeply about alien size. He recently published a paper entitled "The Nature of Inhabited Planets And Their Inhabitants."

He relies on a mathematical model that says other planets conserve energy just like we do. "Throughout the animal kingdom, species which are physically larger invariably possess a lower population density, possibly due to their enhanced energy demands," he says.

--snip--
Your average polar bear weighs around 650 pounds. But as Seth Shostak, researcher at the SETI (Search For Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) Institute told Newsweek: "Polar bears are large but do not write great literature and build radio towers and a lot of that is probably because they are walking around on all fours."

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Message 1662221 - Posted: 7 Apr 2015, 7:17:26 UTC

I've wondered about whether the dinosaurs would have evolved into a human-like intelligence if they'd stuck around.
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Message 1662288 - Posted: 7 Apr 2015, 11:29:14 UTC - in response to Message 1662221.  

I've wondered about whether the dinosaurs would have evolved into a human-like intelligence if they'd stuck around.

I think not, the dinosaurs were here for several million years and evolved little toward intelligence. It is believed that if a species faces few challenges to survival there is little or no incentive to get smarter.
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Message 1662435 - Posted: 8 Apr 2015, 3:33:58 UTC - in response to Message 1662288.  

I've wondered about whether the dinosaurs would have evolved into a human-like intelligence if they'd stuck around.

I think not, the dinosaurs were here for several million years and evolved little toward intelligence. It is believed that if a species faces few challenges to survival there is little or no incentive to get smarter.


That's an interesting point. There could be a lot of big dumb ET's out there.
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Message 1662585 - Posted: 8 Apr 2015, 14:29:33 UTC - in response to Message 1662435.  

I've wondered about whether the dinosaurs would have evolved into a human-like intelligence if they'd stuck around.

I think not, the dinosaurs were here for several million years and evolved little toward intelligence. It is believed that if a species faces few challenges to survival there is little or no incentive to get smarter.


That's an interesting point. There could be a lot of big dumb ET's out there.


I just wonder then, what they taste like? Like a good beef steak? Or over-sized dry chicken? LoL

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Message 1662593 - Posted: 8 Apr 2015, 15:23:17 UTC - in response to Message 1662288.  

I've wondered about whether the dinosaurs would have evolved into a human-like intelligence if they'd stuck around.

I think not, the dinosaurs were here for several million years and evolved little toward intelligence. It is believed that if a species faces few challenges to survival there is little or no incentive to get smarter.


Also, the dinosaurs DNA wouldn't have had the capability to evolve in that direction.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_DNA
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Message 1662806 - Posted: 9 Apr 2015, 2:14:28 UTC - in response to Message 1662593.  

I've wondered about whether the dinosaurs would have evolved into a human-like intelligence if they'd stuck around.

I think not, the dinosaurs were here for several million years and evolved little toward intelligence. It is believed that if a species faces few challenges to survival there is little or no incentive to get smarter.


Also, the dinosaurs DNA wouldn't have had the capability to evolve in that direction.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_DNA



Hmmmm, well, I don't know. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dinosaur_intelligence

Maybe this would have happened~ ;~)
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Message 1662873 - Posted: 9 Apr 2015, 5:44:57 UTC

Interesting too~

http://www.strangehorizons.com/2009/20090713/trent-a.shtml
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Message 1662897 - Posted: 9 Apr 2015, 6:45:41 UTC

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_DNA
This link seems to just define how well older DNA can be sequenced and not how well it would evolve or change to what ever stimuli was present. I am not sure how this article applies to evolution Julie. I really enjoyed reading it though.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dinosaur_intelligence
This one goes a bit further to speculate on how some dinosaurs may have had a path to sapient intelligence.

Oen of our big advantages is opposable thumbs so maybe the raccoon would make a good successor to our race if we succeed in eliminating ourselves on this playing field. The other creature that has a lot of intelligence is the octopus. The drawback for them is they have been around for a very long time and seem unable to take the next few steps to being self aware as far as we can determine.

+1 on the topic

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Message 1663424 - Posted: 10 Apr 2015, 4:45:32 UTC - in response to Message 1662897.  

There is evidence that some dinosaurs (specifically the “small” theropods like Dromæosaurus) hunted in packs—which could be a driver for intelligence: communication and “theory of mind”. Many palæontologists think they were warm-blooded, but I believe this remains a controversial point. Some of these animals’ skulls also have orbits with a suitable geometry for binocular vision. They may well have been of comparable intelligence to modern wolves & lions, e.g.

Anyway, had the K-T-boundary cataclysm never occurred, I don’t think there’s any compelling reason that would prevent species from a dinosaurian lineage from developing a human level of intelligence. Among their modern descendants, crows and parrots may be in the same league with apes and dolphins e.g.; who’s to say how they might have developed in circumstances similar to our own ancestors’?

As for the notion that the dinosaurs’ evolution had somehow stalled, I don’t think that’s at all valid. Although we tend to lump them together, there was plenty of diversity and change throughout the Mesozoic, with species appearing and disappearing all the time—presumably from the same kind of climatic and ecological processes that have driven evolution in comparatively recent times.
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Message 1663432 - Posted: 10 Apr 2015, 5:28:57 UTC

A lot of what you say has merit. I think though for a species to gain 'self awareness' needs the whole package and if just one o the items are missing it won't work. Much like unlocking a combination lock, just miss one number and it stays locked.

I think this same rule applies to intelligent alien life also. The drake equation does not have enough variables in it to make any type of guess or estimate of probability of intelligent life elsewhere.

You mentioned crows, dolphins, parrots for example and I feel they are at the top of intelligence for their niche. To be able to up the game to the next step they lack a few critical elements such as limbs that manipulate items in a precise manner. Birds use their feet to do this but i think it needs to be more specialized. Feet need to walk while hands need to manipulate. If octopi were a much more social animal it may come close to meeting most of the criteria but maybe that its brain is not centralized is another strike against it. Also being cold blooded may not allow enough energy for the brain (brains) to further develop.

The lesson applied here would very likely apply in any other planet. I think the probability of intelligent life is low. It need to meet many variables. Much different than the probability of just life, I think that finds a way in more unique ways than we can imagine.

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Message 1663460 - Posted: 10 Apr 2015, 7:07:23 UTC - in response to Message 1663432.  

[…] You mentioned crows, dolphins, parrots for example and I feel they are at the top of intelligence for their niche. To be able to up the game to the next step they lack a few critical elements such as limbs that manipulate items in a precise manner. Birds use their feet to do this but i think it needs to be more specialized. Feet need to walk while hands need to manipulate. […]


There‘s nothing to stop a bird-descendant from evolving hands, given enough time and the right stimuli, despite the fact that birds’ present niches allow them greater benefit from wings. Most of them, anyway; penguins’ wings have turned into flippers to the extent that they’re no use for flying any more … call it a fluke, but isn’t everything? ;)

Given that our sample size is one, I don’t think we’re in a position to predict with much confidence what traits are prerequisite for recognizable intelligence in general, just as with the broader question of life itself. Although it’s my impression that much has been learned about the evolution of human intelligence, with the identification of several important factors, it’s far from clear just what combination of physical characteristics, ecological pressures, and feedback mechanisms led to our unprecedented ability to manipulate our environment.

Even if we knew all that about our own history, however, how much would be transferable to an alien world we can barely imagine? Sci-fi often tests our assumptions in this area—sometimes fancifully or improbably, but it’s an enjoyable exercise.
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Message 1664758 - Posted: 13 Apr 2015, 2:41:35 UTC
Last modified: 13 Apr 2015, 2:44:28 UTC

The closest living relative of Tyrannosaurus rex is the chicken. Such is the fate of some of the evolutionary tree's larger inhabitants.

As for large intelligence on Mars-sized planets, it seems that that size of planet would not be any more able to retain an atmosphere of any density, than Mars has. It doesn't bode well for any sort of complex life. I'd opt for a planet of approximately Earth's size.
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Message 1664822 - Posted: 13 Apr 2015, 6:32:02 UTC - in response to Message 1662806.  
Last modified: 13 Apr 2015, 6:32:17 UTC

I've wondered about whether the dinosaurs would have evolved into a human-like intelligence if they'd stuck around.

I think not, the dinosaurs were here for several million years and evolved little toward intelligence. It is believed that if a species faces few challenges to survival there is little or no incentive to get smarter.


Also, the dinosaurs DNA wouldn't have had the capability to evolve in that direction.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_DNA



Hmmmm, well, I don't know. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dinosaur_intelligence

Maybe this would have happened~ ;~)

of those dinos that survived the Great extinction (sharks, birds, crocodiles, alligators, varans, camelion, etc.), we didn't see much development towards inteligence...

maybe if we truly try a little harder to understand other species...we might learn something out of them: http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-22067192

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Message 1664854 - Posted: 13 Apr 2015, 7:24:01 UTC
Last modified: 13 Apr 2015, 7:25:14 UTC

Isn't there a theory domewhere that says evolving into intelligent life, is a ratio of brain size to body size. Elephants are on the limit. But that takes into account gravity on earth which of course would be different elsewhere as it already is in the Solar System.
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Message 1664901 - Posted: 13 Apr 2015, 8:23:01 UTC - in response to Message 1664854.  

Isn't there a theory domewhere that says evolving into intelligent life, is a ratio of brain size to body size. Elephants are on the limit. But that takes into account gravity on earth which of course would be different elsewhere as it already is in the Solar System.


This begs the question: Why do so many alien illustrations show ET's with small bodies and big heads?
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Message 1664946 - Posted: 13 Apr 2015, 10:33:55 UTC - in response to Message 1664854.  

Isn't there a theory domewhere that says evolving into intelligent life, is a ratio of brain size to body size. Elephants are on the limit. But that takes into account gravity on earth which of course would be different elsewhere as it already is in the Solar System.

if elephants were smarter, they would change a diet...and not be so large!

It's not effective...

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Message 1665094 - Posted: 13 Apr 2015, 19:14:12 UTC - in response to Message 1664946.  

Elephants are better at being Elephants than you all are. They do not reap nor do they sow. They do not worry what to wear, what to eat to eat and their sustenance grows on trees.

Dolphins are good at being dolphins as well.
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Message 1666933 - Posted: 18 Apr 2015, 19:00:00 UTC - in response to Message 1662159.  
Last modified: 18 Apr 2015, 19:00:15 UTC

Aliens could be huge, says scientist

Technically Incorrect: Cosmologist Fergus Simpson believes that the most intelligent of aliens out there will likely weight 650 pounds. Yes, little green people could be very, very big.
[/color] told Newsweek: "Polar bears are large but do not write great literature and build radio towers and a lot of that is probably because they are walking around on all fours."


Titans in Greek mythology? :)
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Message 1667305 - Posted: 19 Apr 2015, 19:45:45 UTC
Last modified: 19 Apr 2015, 19:55:36 UTC

Dinosaurs happen to be known because we are able to find the remains of these animals by means of their skeletons.

In order to have a particular interest as well as knowledge into the subject, you need to be a paleontologist.

My guess is that people who are caring for elephants in zoo's (or zoological gardens, really) are well aware about their potentially aggressive nature as well as also the possible intelligence these animals may be having.

Intelligence is something which is being found in the brains of both animals and humans. Intelligence is a result of evolution and the path of evolution is a result of the environment and time period which has been lived through by different generations of animals and people.

In many instances experiences being learnt are being taught through generations. A young giraffe may learn from his or her parents that the fruits for breakfast or maybe dinner may be found in the trees and that many trees are having their fruits hanging at exactly the location in a given tree where it may be reached.

It is not only about adaptation to the surroundings. At times nature may be just that forgiving and saving you a lot of trouble. There may still be events where dispair and sorrow becomes the main factor, but that is yet another lesson being part of evolution. Some animals as well as people are left to live while some are left to die.

This is the way nature is supposed to be doing its bookkeeping and in the end it becomes only statistics of it all.

The same can not be said about the possible existence of E.T. in the other way. Whether or not we are observing orbs that are floating or moving around in the sky or perhaps think we are seeing a mothership in the sky, we do not necessarily assume intelligence being present with such objects, mainly because of the lack of signals being detected which might be regarded as being intelligent, or a possible transmission coming from such types of objects.

Still, we do not always assume such objects to be animals being a natural part of the earth either. There may be times where quite a noticeable difference may be observed.

Still we may find it hard to believe when it happens, of course.
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