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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2010 > Oct > Oct 5

Re: Shostak's Search Shift?

From: Jerome Clark <jkclark.nul>
Date: Tue, 5 Oct 2010 10:34:37 -0500
Archived: Tue, 05 Oct 2010 13:13:05 -0400
Subject: Re: Shostak's Search Shift? 


>From: David Rudiak <drudiak.nul>
>To: post.nul
>Date: Mon, 4 Oct 2010 10:23:23 -0700 (PDT)
>Subject: Re: Shostak's Search Shift?

>>From: J. Maynard Gelinas <j.maynard.gelinas.nul>
>>To: post.nul
>>Date: Sun, 3 Oct 2010 21:08:57 -0400
>>Subject: Re: Shostak's Search Shift?

>>>From: Stanton Friedman <fsphys.nul>
>>>To: post.nul
>>>Date: Sat, 2 Oct 2010 09:58:48 -0700 (PDT)
>>>Subject: Re: Shostak's Search Shift?

>This point keeps coming up, that there are supposedly strong
>scientific arguments that (biological) space aliens would not be
>humanoid but some other unimaginable form. These arguments are
>neither strong, informed, nor particularly scientific, at best
>highly speculative, and also at odds with what we observe
>evolution creating here on planet Earth, where natural selection
>forces in particular environmental niches produce many examples
>of convergent evolution of form. Or as the jingle goes, form
>follows function.

>Rather than rewrite the many counterarguments to the "they can't
>possibly look like us" argument, I'll quote from myself from
>just last year. Notice a major constraint in all this is that we
>are dealing with a _technological_, space-faring race able to
>build machines that can get them here. Thus you can
>automatically eliminate any life-form that cannot possibly
>develop a technological civilization at some point, even if they
>were very intelligent. Therefore, don't expect organic space
>aliens visiting us to look like octopi or porpoises or sponges
>or worms around underwater thermal vents. (However, all bets are
>off for the form of cybernetic intelligent beings not subject to
>normal evolutionary forces that shaped us.)

I'm always shocked, though I suppose I shouldn't be, that the
they-can't-possibly-look-like-us argument is still afloat. I
guess that in the absence of a particle of evidence for their
own fantasy aliens, SETI types have to conjure up a priori
reasons for their failure to look for what may be actual
evidence much nearer home.

This paper remains essential reading, showing that not only
could intelligent ETs look like us, they'd _have_ to look like
us to get here:

Michael D. Swords, "Science and the Extraterrestrial Hypothesis
in Ufology." Journal of UFO Studies 1 (n.s., 1989): 67-102.


Jerry Clark



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