Let’s pretend for a moment that in the future humanity are able to travel to other planets and discover… even more humans. A University of Cambridge astro-biologist believes that scenario is more possible than you’d imagine, based on his research.
The BBC’s Science Focus magazine recently published an interview with Simon Conway Morris, an evolutionary palaeobiologist at the university’s Department of Earth Sciences, in which he stated that researchers can “say with reasonable confidence” that human-like evolution has occurred in other parts of the universe.
The idea of convergent evolution, which, according to Science Focus, asserts that “random effects gradually average out such that evolution converges, tending to generate similar creatures in any given environment,” lies at the heart of Morris’ thinking. Flying, for instance, was used by the magazine as an illustration of how flying “had evolved independently on Earth at least four times — in birds, bats, insects, and pterosaurs.”
In summary, convergent evolution theory asserts that evolution is a natural law that operates similarly on all planets. In other words, the blue and green alien humanoids from “Star Trek” may be real.
It’s not only Morris who thinks extraterrestrial life evolved “human-like.” In fact, a biologist named Arik Kershenbaum at the prestigious British school published a whole book on it.
“Because evolution is the explanatory mechanism for life everywhere,” Kershenbaum told Quanta magazine this year, “then the principles that we uncover on Earth should be applicable in the rest of the universe.”
While it’s “tempting” to imagine extraterrestrial species who don’t share human cultural interests like philosophy and literature, Kershenbaum argues that they didn’t merely emerge as sophisticated technical entities. Even advanced extraterrestrial lifeforms would have “evolved from a pre-technological species,” Kershenbaum added.
“If that pre-technological species went on to develop all the things that we have now, chances are that they were built on building blocks that served that social purpose — things like bonding between group members, transmission of information and useful ideas between group members,” he told Quanta. “A pre-technological alien civilization could be singing and dancing and telling stories just like pre-technological human civilization did, because it serves the same purpose.”
It’s fun to envision other planets where humanoid lifeforms are “singing, dancing, and telling tales” as on Earth. We are more likely to relate to and communicate with aliens if evolution is as powerful as Darwinists like Kershenbaum and Morris think.
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