Sci-Fi Aliens may be more like us than we think

Tom

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Aliens may be more like us than we think: What evolutionary biology tells us about how aliens could look

What evolutionary biology tells us about how aliens could look
Date:
October 31, 2017
Source:
University of Oxford
Summary:
For the first time, researchers show how evolutionary theory can be used to support alien predictions and better understand their behavior. 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.


These illustrations represent different levels of adaptive complexity we might imagine when thinking about aliens. (a) A simple replicating molecule, with no apparent design. This may or may not undergo natural selection. (b) An incredibly simple, cell-like entity. Even something this simple has sufficient contrivance of parts that it must undergo natural selection. (c) An alien with many intricate parts working together is likely to have undergone major transitions.
Credit: Helen S. Cooper

I think that they are referring to "Like Us" in our method of evolutionary traits, not the traits themselves.

Traits on this planet are defined by the biome that the organism exists in while it is evolving.
The radiation levels, atmosphere content and even gravity, ect.


The Article said:
They show that aliens are potentially shaped by the same processes and mechanisms that shaped humans, such as natural selection.
It's unlikely that humans like us exist on alien worlds but whatever complex life forms do exist, exist from similar evolutionary processes to the organism. This means that it starts out as a complex cellular chain, progresses to a simple organism and then evolves into complex life forms.

Article also said:
Species complexity has increased on Earth as a result of a handful of events, known as major transitions. These transitions occur when a group of separate organisms evolve into a higher-level organism -- when cells become multi-cellular organisms, for example. Both theory and empirical data suggest that extreme conditions are required for major transitions to occur.
Article also said:
At each level of the organism there will be mechanisms in place to eliminate conflict, maintain cooperation, and keep the organism functioning.
Journal Reference:

  1. 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
If you look at all the lifeforms on this lone planet, you will see the diversity of evolution on an isolated scale. Using similar theory, based on Earth's evolution mechanisms, scientists can extrapolate possible lifeforms of other planets based on the same mechanisms but tailored to that planet's conditions.

This holds to be a valuable theory when science fiction writers attempt to design an alien biosphere.
There is now a theory of acceptability to the alien designs possible. It might also hold to be a civilization standard for alien value systems.

eliminate conflict, maintain cooperation, and keep the organism functioning
 
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