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What will alien life look like if we find it? Will we be meeting life-forms incredibly similar to ourselves? Or will they be the aggressive aliens of sci-fi films? How do you break news of alien discoveries to the world without creating wide-spread pandemonium? These are just some of the questions that are being discussed by several of the world's leading authorities at a conference on Extraterrestrial Life starting this week at The Royal Society in London. The meeting is not intended to give any conclusion on whether other life exists but give a snapshot of where we are in our quest to find it -- and speculate on the impacts of such a discovery on human society.

Several of the world's leading authities will be discussing the question: Professor Simon Conway Morris FRS a British paleontologist at Cambridge University will predict what extra-terrestrial life might be like and preparing for the worst, Professor Albert A Harrison on what the reality of human responses to extra-terrestrial intelligence might be, and Nobel prize winner Christian de Duve on life as a cosmic imperative.

A line-up of world-leading astronomers, biologists and astrophysicists including SETI founder Dr Frank Drake, principal investigator for the British Beagle 2 Mars lander project Professor Colin Pillinger and Director of the BEYOND: Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science Professor Paul Davies, will be discussing man’s search for extra-terrestrial life and the consequences for science and society. 

"There is no firm evidence that life exists elsewhere, but there is a very firm probability (for it)," said Baruch Blumberg, an astrobiologist at the Fox Chance Cancer Center in Philadelphia.

"My clear prediction is that living generations have an excellent chance of seeing extra-terrestrial life being detected," said Martin Dominik, an astronomer at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland.

Life on Earth may have been kickstarted thanks to carbon molecules and dust that drift through interstellar space, said Pascale Ehrenfreund, an astrochemist at George Washington University, Washington.

If so, "the basic building blocks of life -- at least as recognised on Earth -- must be widespread in planetary systems in our Milky Way and other galaxies," she suggested..

"We don't even know how life began here on Earth and that being said, we don't even know how to place our bets on how widespread life is or where to look for it," Lord Rees, president of the Royal Society, said in an interview. 

New astronomical tools, including powerful orbital telescopes, are exposing "extra-solar" worlds, or planets orbiting other stars, and one of them could eventually be revealed as a potential haven for life, said Blumberg. Since 1995, "more than 400 extrasolar planets have been detected and the number is increasing rapidly," he said..

If alien life exists, our first discovery is likely to be in microscopic form, which would not be too disconcerting for our civilisation, said Albert Harrison, a social psychologist at the University of California at Davis. It could be as a bacterium found in promising sites in the Solar System such as the sub-soil of Mars, Jupiter's satellite Europa or on the Saturnian moon Enceladus, which are thought to harbour oceans beneath their icy crust, some hope.

Simon Conway Morris offered a contrasting view. "My own opinion is that the origin of life is a complete fluke," he said. "I fear that we are completely alone... there's nothing (out) there at all, not a thing."

Should smart aliens want to contact us, he warned,  "They could be like the Aztecs, just as aggressive and extremely unpleasant," he said. "If I'm wrong, and the telephone rings, whatever you do, do not pick it up... we might not want to say hello."

Casey Kazan

Source:

2010 AFP

http://www.physorg.com/news183642293.html

Comments

Should smart aliens want to contact us, he warned, "They could be like the Aztecs, just as aggressive and extremely unpleasant," he said.

How the ###k is he going to compare the Aztecs to an alien.

Unlike what is being published regarding our universe; such as "The Big Bang", "Alternate Universes" and "Infinite" or "Dark Matter filled" concepts, which are intellectually difficult to handle; I started on the highly complex path towards the understanding of the Human BRAIN universe and the "Soul" field that manages same. As part of my endeavors I ended up with "The Spirit of Chipanquo" an exciting fantasy. Here goes a free example:

The second beginning…

The last wisps of the morning fog were being swept away by the fresh breeze that had begun to blow, rippling the surface of Lake Erie. Nick was standing on the ancient pier, rebuilt with novosteel and the original solid wood, watching the speeding Z-boat at the tip of a white water triangle until it became a speck in the sunlit distance. He turned around, to walk back towards the sprawling house, his cowboy boots making a hollow sound on the weathered planks.
The sight of his house and its green surroundings suddenly triggered reminiscences of a similar moment in time, together with a haunting thought, coupled to images and smells set in his memory that had not been wholly his... A time when the beauty of the woods is at its height, the hues at their brightest... also reasserting the wonder of his current state of mind and body.
He ran lightly up the short flight of steps, to stop on the polished wooden deck under the NOVRAY awning, where he turned around to have another look at the great expanse of wind-ruffled waters. For a short while his gaze followed the birds wheeling against the intensely blue sky, some puffs of white cotton clouds announcing a change of weather. Contented, he smiled and took another deep breath of the sharp morning air, and then headed towards the sliding metglass door that sighed open to let him pass into the screen room.
Upon entering, his eyes widened in understanding surprise as he saw the Katana resting on a lacquered black and gold stand that had mysteriously appeared beside the C on his desk. As he came close enough, a surge of feelings invaded him when he recognized the exquisite workmanship and the characteristic motif of the Tokugawa Clan, repeated in gold on the top of the black grip and the gold inlaid, black steel Tsuba (hand guard) of the sword. For a moment, his fingers reverently touched the lacquered sheath that guarded the treasure within.
Hah! Tosheero! he realized, experiencing a joyful surge of emotion.
“Good morning Nick.” The wall-sized R-screen greeted him with its sexy voice, from across the large room. It had turned itself on, to show a vividly realistic view of a solitary, sunlit beach with tall palm trees, their branches weaving in the soft wind; the visual spectacle coupled to the lulling sound of far-off breakers lost on the otherwise distracted owner of the house.
The guy had it delivered during the night… through the most efficient alarm system on earth… he thought with amusement and a sudden pang of forlornness. So what’s he up to now? It’s been so long, and do I miss the scheming bastard… His train of thought continued while he picked up the large envelope propped on the Katana stand. It was manufactured from coarse, handmade paper, and engraved with the Tokugawa seal. Full of expectant excitement, he broke the redbrown lacquer seal, opened the envelope and then sat down on the nearest couch to read the letter, executed in beautifully drawn Kanji, chuckling as he read the version of his name.

将軍 The Shogun Tosheero Tokugawa
To
Nicku Kamenjin Sama.
生涯の友 祝賀会Greetings my friend.

Having expressed my greetings, the second object of this letter is to inform you, with great joy, that the main part of the task initiated with your aid has been completed and that the Tokugawa Clan shall rule openly very soon. !万歳 (Banzai!)

Also, I am most pleased to tell you that I have taken a wife, and am the father of twins; currently a five year old boy and his sister, thus fulfilling what I once believed should be the most transcendental phase of my life. Nevertheless, as you also must have found out, our children seem to be a new, uncontrollable and totally independent kind of human beings. It is as if I do not have descendants, reason why they are far from being a source of 幸福 (happiness).

A matter of interest for you to know is the fact that at the moment my children were born, I released Kamakura, who has chosen to take up his former position in the alternate U.S. branch of his family’s company. Probably, having left him alive may be a mistake, but if you analyze the situation, I am certain that you will understand the reasoning behind this difficult decision. Be careful of him, since he is an extremely dangerous man, full of resentment and, most likely, filled with paranoid hate.

I shall visit you in about thirty day’s time, so we may discuss the matter of transcendental importance I once mentioned to you. It so happens that the scientific starship from your side has returned a few days ago with very bad news. Ours returned three months ago, with similar news for us. Thus, you have even less time to develop the weapons and strategies required to avoid an eventual disaster in both realities. In view of these circumstances, Mike has expressed his wish to return to your world, and sends you his regards. It is so true; a man’s loyalty lies where his heartstrings sing strongest.

As for the Shojin Katana that I have conveyed to you, it is because I believe that you should keep something of special value, as a token of my everlasting gratitude and friendship, having given you only a material reward for your services.
With my gratitude and greetings to Larry, Laura and Karen.

Signed at the Edo Palace
on the 7th day of the 9th Month of the Year of the Rat - 7.107
(Your Continuum – A.D. 2106)

When he finished reading, Nick chuckled, considering the informal Banzai; the contents of the letter triggering a storm of nostalgic memories that invaded his being, while he touched the Katana with reverence. He had already confirmed that it was one of the priceless Shojin blades, which conveyed to his inner self a sense of belonging to the Tokugawa Clan, and the understanding that it was Tosheero’s way of welcoming him to same as a very special friend. The comprehension also brought to his mind the fact that the Kamakura Clan preferred the Myamoto blades, of which his friend had acquired several.

Now it’s definitely clear, it can’t be a coincidence… he realized as well; a surge of excitement, mixed with a pang of anxiousness rushing through his system, as he decided that the time had come to explain to his friends and Laura, their, now confirmed, suspicions regarding their children. With mixed feelings, he grimaced-smiled at the thought of Tosheero in the role of a discontent father, his mind’s eye bringing into focus an image of his and Laura’s son and daughter twins who, together with Karen, Larry and their twin girls, had gone on the Z-boat trip across the lake. A shudder went through him as he thought of the children; the mention of the news that the starships had brought causing a sinking feeling in his stomach and increasing his worry about what tomorrow might bring to his reality. Both his and Larry’s children had been born with naturally expanded brains and, from age three, had started showing some extraordinary capabilities, which they agreed would eventually be noticed by other people, endangering both the young and their parents. The necessity of protecting them, as well as the lack of a practical and immediate solution to the problem, had forced the two families into almost complete isolation at his secluded place by the lake; where their children received the required learning by means of the AI controlled Subnet. It was no surprise for them when they found out that their children were directly communicating with the AI; and their curiosity about the contents of the exchange hadn’t been satisfied as yet. The circumstance reinforced his idea about the AI being controlled by a human group.

He shuddered again, this time due to the vivid images that the mention of the starships’ return had suddenly brought to his mind, reviving some of the terrible impressions left by Tosheero’s nightmare experience.

So the menace exists here as well, with some differences, but it’s also definitely here...

Thought that reading some local fantasy might bring an entertaining interval to the scientific topics published by "The Galaxy...". Way back in the past some, now classic, French writers became highly successful when pages of their work were published in a newspaper. Would like to know what Casey Kazan and Luke McKinney thin of it.

Actually, it´s "think of it"; and my offer to publish my whole work, FOR FREE, stands. The number of pages to be defined by the owners of the site. The French newspaper highly increased their circulation; but that´s another story.

"Will we be meeting life-forms incredibly similar to ourselves? Or will they be the aggressive aliens of sci-fi films?"

Is there a difference?

1. THEIR SURVIVAL WILL BE MORE IMPORTANT THAN OUR SURVIVAL.
If an alien species has to choose between them and us, they won’t choose us. It is difficult to imagine a contrary case; species don’t survive by being self-sacrificing.

2. WIMPS DON’T BECOME TOP DOGS.
No species makes it to the top by being passive. The species in charge of any given planet will be highly intelligent, alert, aggressive, and ruthless when necessary.

3. THEY WILL ASSUME THAT THE FIRST TWO LAWS APPLY TO US.

Taken from some SF book. Unfortunately the web site didn't give attribution and I long ago forgot the name and author's of the book. Just, that it was two authors, one whose name started with an N, similar to Negraponte, and he had also written a book on Atlantis.

oh, btw .. it was called the 'three laws of alien behavior.' ..

Simon Conway Morris is dead wrong. Nature has never created just one of anything. If there is one tree, there are more trees, if there is one fish, there are more fish, if there is one living planet, there are more living planets. Life is certain to be ubiquitous throughout the universe.

- JAPANESE SCIENTISTS EYE MYSTERIOUS "PLANET X"... The researchers at Kobe University in western Japan said calculations using computer simulations led them to conclude it was only a matter of time before the mysterious "Planet X" was found...
- Astronomers Discover Earth-Like Planet Outside Solar System... Scientists from the European Southern Observatory working in Chile have found a new planet outside our solar system that is more like Earth than any other known planet... Like Earth, the new planet "Gliese 581c" orbits its sun in "the habitable zone.":
http://cristiannegureanu.blogspot.com/2010/01/we-will-find-twins-of-earth-this-year.html

"What will alien life look like if we find it? Will we be meeting life-forms incredibly similar to ourselves? Or will they be the aggressive aliens?"
"Will thy be like us?" But we ARE aggressive beinges! Are you living whit your eyes closed?

Finger skate are used by a range of people from those utilizing them as toys to skateboarding and related sports professionals envisioning not only their own skating maneuvers but for others as well and can include the use for planning out competition courses as skating boarding develops into an international sport.

Skate with your fingers, another feeling

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