In a new study published in the International Journal of Astrobiology scientists from the University of Oxford show for the first time how evolutionary theory can be used to support alien predictions and better understand their behaviour. They show that aliens are potentially shaped by the same processes and mechanisms that shaped humans, such as natural selection.
The theory supports the argument that foreign life forms undergo natural selection, and are like us, evolving to be fitter and stronger over time.
Actually theories do not support arguments, they underlie them passively.
Sam Levin, a researcher in Oxford’s Department of Zoology, said: ‘A fundamental task for astrobiologists (those who study life in the cosmos) is thinking about what extra-terrestrial life might be like. But making predictions about aliens is hard. We only have one example of life — life on Earth — to extrapolate from. Past approaches in the field of astrobiology have been largely mechanistic, taking what we see on Earth, and what we know about chemistry, geology, and physics to make predictions about aliens.
‘In our paper, we offer an alternative approach, which is to use evolutionary theory to make predictions that are independent of Earth’s details. This is a useful approach, because theoretical predictions will apply to aliens that are silicon based, do not have DNA, and breathe nitrogen, for example.’ Paper. (public access) – Samuel R. Levin, Thomas W. Scott, Helen S. Cooper, Stuart A. West. Darwin’s aliens. International Journal of Astrobiology, 2017; 1 DOI: 10.1017/S1473550417000362
It’s easy work because we have not ever encountered any aliens. If we do encounter them and they do not conform to the claims, they would not falsify the claims. Darwinian claims cannot be falsified by evidence.
From the paper:
Natural selection is the only way we know to get the kinds of life forms we are familiar with, from viruses to trees. By familiar, we are not restricting ourselves to life forms that look earthly. Instead, they are familiarly life-like in the sense that they stand out from the background of rocks and gases because they appear to be busy trying to replicate themselves. A simple replicator could arise on another planet. But without natural selection, it won’t acquire apparently purposeful traits like metabolism, movement or senses. It won’t be able to adapt to its environment, and in the process, become a more complex, noticeable and interesting thing.
In other words, the theory is pure Darwinism, unbounded by reality— the notion that natural selection is a mystical but not intelligent creative force that creates complex, specified beings. We have never observed that but no matter, the theory fills a need: design without intelligence. Like magic, it just happens.
See also: Don’t let Mars fool you. Those exoplanets teem with life!
But surely we can’t conjure an entire advanced civilization?
How do we grapple with the idea that ET might not be out there?
Not only is earth one nice planet among many, but our entire universe is lost in a crowd