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Discovering extra terrestrial life with human rules

Oct 27, 2021
I started this thread to discuss the search for extra terrestrial life using human rules. At the moment humanity has one example of life in the universe- its self. We have no idea what an extra terrestrial life form's physical characteristics, its logic and thought process, its reasoning, its needs and wants.

We are searching for this thing blindly. We are using the qualities/characteristics that defines life on this planet to find life that is external to it. We should explore with open minds not uncompromising ideas of what life should look like. What if its not bi-pedal and looks like a giant tentacled hissing bat? Will we label it an "animal"? What if has a ricky outer shell?

Here in lies my question - can humanity identify a lifeform it was never seen before? Life ,"as we know it", may not be so recognizable out there in the vastness of space.


Apr 1, 2020
I'd say the simplest answer is, "Start with what you know". First, let's find out if there is life out there (doesn't really matter if we don't recognize it the first time around). We find life as we know it and then start factoring in the differences in the environment that life endured in. We also take note of any differences in the form that life developed. We build a database of the environments that we've found life existing in.

From that database, we go back through the other various environments we've discovered (but without life) and compare them to environments were life was found. Based on the differences in life based on environmental changes, what changes can we extrapolate in life on these other worlds? That's about the best we can do for the time being.

-Wolf sends
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Jun 1, 2020
When we never knew microorganisms existed, then looked through a microscope, it didn't take long, no doubt, to determine they were life forms.

I think our intelligence is quite high in recognizing patterns, so much so, that it's hard to imagine us not recognizing life forms. Usually some sort of motion is expected, so perhaps, living rock-like things that don't grow would take longer to recognize... unless they talk back to us. ;)
Nov 12, 2021
Well, alien life will have certain similarities dictated to the environment it is in to be mobile and sense its environment. Like on earth in water living complex organisms do look different than on land or in the air. But what if such life from is not at all carbon based? What if such life is made of other matter we simply cannot see (dark matter) and interact totally different to our known laws of physics? What if such life form is present on planets we judge hostile to biological life but maybe not to them?

For that matter, they might as well be already on earth but we have a hard time to see and detect them...
Nov 27, 2021
Astronomers are now able to detect planets orbiting stars other than the Sun where life may exist, and living generations could see the signatures of extra-terrestrial life being detected. Should it turn out that we are not alone in the Universe, it will fundamentally affect how humanity understands itself—and we need to be prepared for the consequences. A Discussion Meeting held at the Royal Society in London, 6–9 Carlton House Terrace, on 25–26 January 2010, addressed not only the scientific but also the societal agenda, with presentations covering a large diversity of topics.

My Balance Now
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