Intelligent alien life might not be what we expect. Image Credit: Henry Kaiser / NSF
A new project is aiming to have us reassess exactly what an intelligent alien life form might be like.
Most people think of an intelligent extraterrestrial as primarily human-like, a bipedal entity with two arms, two legs and a face not dissimilar to our own. The reality however is that our limited knowledge of how life can develop elsewhere in the universe may be blinding us to possible forms of intelligent life that are completely unlike anything we've ever seen before.
"I suspect there could be life and intelligence out there in forms we canít conceive," said astronomer and astrophysicist Lord Martin Rees. "Just as a chimpanzee canít understand quantum theory, it could be there as aspects of reality that are beyond the capacity of our brains."
In an effort to further explore this idea, a new paper is soon to be published detailing an exercise called COMPLEX ( COmplexity of Markers for Profiling Life in EXobiology ), which compares various non-human intelligences with one another.
"The goal of COMPLEX would be to prepare ourselves for assessing other species if we find life in space," said author Denise Herzing.
"I think someday we may be able to just see ourselves as one of many species who has evolved a few specialties, like vocal language and manipulation of things, instead of looking at ourselves as the only species that are smart, because we think having language is smart."
Source: Daily Galaxy | Comments (209)