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

Re: Shostak's Search Shift?

From: David Rudiak <drudiak.nul>
Date: Mon, 4 Oct 2010 10:23:23 -0700 (PDT)
Archived: Tue, 05 Oct 2010 09:59:16 -0400
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?

>>It is clear from their books (which I have read) and their
>>articles and lectures which I have reviewed, that they
>>essentially never review the UFO evidence such as the 5 large
>>scale scientific studies, the many multiple witness radar visual
>>cases, the physical trace cases involving reports not only of
>>flying saucers on the ground, but the 15% of those cases
>>involving reports of humanoids.They know nothing about national

>Where are these humanoids? I've never seen one. I saw a flying
>saucer once; I definitely believe my own eyes. But I've never
>seen a humanoid alien. And I've got to say, the speculative
>arguments made by evolutionary biologists _against_ the notion
>of so many reports of different bilateral bipedal aliens make a
>lot of sense. The Pre-Cambrian explosion is just one example of
>how weird the morphology of biological forms can take. Life
>found in and around hydrothermal vents are another example of
>life taking form and sustenance in ways that belie the notion of
>repeating bilateral bipedalism throughout the nearby galaxy.
>There is simply no reason to assume that life repeats form
>across environments in that manner. From my perspective, those
>scientists have a strong point. The UFO community offers nothing
>to refute these arguments but testimony from alleged witnesses.

>So, the division here is: informed speculation vs. unverified
>testimony. Who wins?

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.)



From: David Rudiak <drudiak.nul>
Date: Fri, 1 May 2009 12:24:15 -0700
Archived: Fri, 01 May 2009 16:30:00 -0400
Subject: Re: Debunkers & ETH

>From: J. Maynard Gelinas <j.maynard.gelinas.nul>
>To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <post.nul>
>Date: Wed, 29 Apr 2009 17:02:31 -0400
>Subject: Re: Debunkers & ETH

>2) Reports of various alien physiologies are too

This ignores the fact, observed on many species on earth, that
particular evolutionary niches have a limited number of
optimized morphological forms for survival, resulting in
parallel evolution of form, or "form follows function." Thus
flying insects, pterydactyls, birds, and bats, with very
different evolutionary histories, all have wings and forward
looking heads and eyes with feet for landing, are bilaterally
symmetric, etc. Cephalod (squid, octopus, etc.) eyeballs are
almost identical in structure to vertebrate eyes, though the
lines diverged hundreds of millions of years ago when the "eye"
was nothing more than a primitive pigmented optic pit.

A few weeks ago I was in central Nevada at Icthyosaur State
Park, up at 7000 feet. There are the fossilized bones of dozens
of icthyosuars, marine reptiles dating from 220 million years
ago, when North America was still attached to Pangea, there was
no Atlantic Ocean, and the Pacific Coast ran through present-day

The icthyosaurs looked almost identical to present day
porpoises, which are mammals. Both are believed to have evolved
from land animals and gave birth to live young. Yet they evolved
200 million years apart from very different evolutionary lines.

Why is this so? Because both are marine predators relying on
speed for basic survival. Thus they have similar streamlining,
dorsal fins, tails, large eyes, long snouts with teeth,
blowholes between the eyes, and so on. Form follows function.
Sharks, barracudas, our submarines, etc., have similar
steamlined shapes and features.

Or consider car "evolution", where constaints on fuel economy,
safety, and missions (carry people and cargo) have led to very
similar designs (similar streamlining, front and back crush
spaces and places to put motor and cargo, etc.). It's often hard
to tell one line of car from another.

So why shouldn't space-faring aliens have basic hominid
features, such as large heads (big brains=intelligence), major
senses (eyes, ears) close to the brains (for speed of high-
bandwidth data processing), forward-looking binocular vision
(for good depth perception, valuable in tool-making and
hunting), arms with tool-manipulating appendages or hands (how
else are they going to build a technical civilization leading to
space-ships?), legs for locomotion (bipedal frees up two other
limbs for manipulation or other tasks, such as bipedal birds
with wings.

Internal skeletons that grow with the animal allow for larger
animals (all exoskeleton animals are relatively small) and you
can't have intelligent beings who can build spaceships unless
they have larger brains, which require larger bodies. Don't
expect space aliens to look like crabs with exoskeletons or
octopi with no internal skeletons at all. You also need a
skeleton to be a land animal, and you need to be a land animal
to build fire, smelt metal, and eventually build a technological
civilization. (Another reason alien space octopi will not emerge
from a UFO, even if they are smart and can finely manipulate
materials with their tentacles.)

Bilateral symmetry arose in the oceans and is a characteristic
of all mobile species (radial or spherical symmetric species
move around slowly or not at all). Bilateral symmetry is also
energy efficient, minimizing friction in the water
(streamlining) and energy to move in a given direction
(otherwise have to expend energy to keep from going in circles).
Bilateral symmetry = minimal motion energy = speed = survival.
Bilateral symmetry also conserves DNA information, since
symmetrical left and right sides are just copies off the same
genetic blueprint (minor left/right specialization arose later).
Heads with brains, main sense organs, and mouths are going to be
up front in the direction of motion and where the food is.

When you think about it, all our rapidly moving ships, water and
air, adopt the same streamlined, bilateral symmetrical form.
Why? Because it is an optimal solution. Form follows function.
The eyes, brains, and control of an airplane (the pilots) also
sit up in the front of the airplane (the head), not the tail,
because this is the optimal place for them to be, just like it
is for insects, birds, bats, and pterodactyls.

So why shouldn't at least some aliens resemble basic human form?
The big point here is that not everything goes when it comes to
form for an intelligent space-faring race. We shouldn't expect
alien starfish or sea urchins or dolphins to emerge from UFOs,
because they would never be capable of building a technological
civilization, much less space-flight.


David Rudiak

Listen to 'Strange Days... Indeed' - The PodCast



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