Extraterrestrial life is a mystery and tempting topic in science. If there are more advanced alien races than humans on Earth, they may be close and friendly, like the first contact described in science fiction movies, but they may also be wandering invaders in the universe that will bring humans after landing on Earth. Ruin...
If we see alien creatures, how do we recognize them?
These questions are so far away from human reality that, from the most fundamental point of view, what makes you believe in the existence of extraterrestrials? The question was raised at a recent astrobiology conference held at Stanford University in California. Experts at the meeting made a number of points, such as the unique composition of gases in the planets atmosphere, the strange gradient of heat on the planets surface, which might prove the existence of extraterrestrial life. But none of this is convincing, and one scientist has come up with a solution: take a picture of an alien!
Some experts laughed on the spot, and some experts nodded their heads in agreement. Taking a picture of an alien is the most convincing proof that Earth humans arent the only highly intelligent life in the universe.
What does aliens look like? People may think first of the funny little green man in the science fiction movies, or of the alien monsters in the horror movie Alien that can instantly devour humans. So far, scientists have described an image of the most reliable spectrum of extraterrestrial organisms to date, calling them Glipgloops.
Why is this picture powerful persuasive? According to the image description, if we find it on an alien planet, we may only regard its exposed part as rock. In a vast space environment, a planet orbits a star, and the underlying forms of life on its surface will be very strange, far beyond human imagination. So, what characteristics can we know that it is life? This question and the answer are closely related to our search for extraterrestrial life, and to the extraterrestrial life we expect to discover.
Astrobiology, the study of potential life on other planets by scientists, has evolved from the frontier disciplines of biology, chemistry and astronomy into a leading interdisciplinary field that attracts the attention of researchers from leading institutions around the world and receives substantial research funding from NASA and commercial agencies. Funds. But what are astrobiologists looking for? How do we know when to celebrate champagne?
Biologic appearance comes from biocompatibility.
The difference between life and non life forms lies in their design. For living organisms, from the simplest bacteria to the tallest Redwood trees, they have a large number of complex parts that combine to keep the organisms working.
You can imagine that your hands, heart, spleen, mitochondria, cilia, nerve cells, toenails, all work together to keep pace with human behavior, complete daily walking, eating, thinking and survival... In contrast, even in the most beautiful natural rock formations, it is still not living, nor as complex as a small part of a single bacterial cell structure, bacterial cells can coordinate the operation of cell division and reproduction.
Living organisms are not only made up of many complex parts, but all of them share a common goal: survival and reproduction. This complex structure, combined with obvious purposes, is also known as biological adaptability and can be used to define life characteristics. When we look at the images of extraterrestrial life in Glipgloops, its this biological adaptability that shocks us, and we see clearly the difference between ordinary rock and the exciting structure of extraterrestrial life. Thats good news for us, because theres only one way to get this kind of structural design, natural selection.
Mutation, genetic and differential success
Natural selection occurs when extraterrestrial life has certain elements (such as cells, replication factors, the physiological structure of the hypothetical species Glipgloops), and three characteristics (mutation, heredity, and differential success), a process that stems from the survival instinct of life, so science fiction movies depict little green people who look like humans, and they The scientific basis for existence is not sufficient.
Scientists now paint interesting images of Glipgloops that give people plenty of room to imagine. Some of the Glipgloops give birth to long-eyed stem larvae, which are caused by mutations that have longer eye stems than normal larvae. Later, the long-eyed stem larvae mature and reproduce more long-eyed stem larvae, which is the result of mutation inheritance. These long-eyed stem Glipgloops will not satisfy the underground habitat environment, drill out of the methane hole, explore the ground environment, and reproduce more offspring, there are mutation-related differences in success. The end result is that over time, Glipgloops evolved into slender eyes.
This hypothetical evolutionary example illustrates how natural selection determines the appearance of a species. At each moment and generation of birth, only individuals with better reproductive capacity can be selected by nature. Over time, the population evolves into structural designs with reproductive goals, which is very precise because natural selection criteria always complement physical design.
As you can imagine, all the parts of a car require different blueprints, and eventually you wont be able to make a completely identical car. This reflects the unshakable law of natural selection - the genetic role of genes in future generations, so that without designers, from the perspective of natural selection and survival of the fittest, the most reasonable structure design of species.
In fact, the criteria for natural selection are so consistent that an organism is designed to be a breeding machine that can only contribute genes to offspring. Thats why we cant find organisms that sacrifice for the overall interests of the species. Generally speaking, individuals are selfish, and guaranteeing their own reproductive continuity at the expense of other individuals is a good way to pass on genes. Sometimes we do see sacrifice and collaboration in nature, but only when collaboration is good for us, or when it is good for your partner. For example, as bees with shared genes, bees are willing to sacrifice for their queens (their mothers). If the Queens can produce 100 female offspring, they carry half of the genes. These traits will produce more genetic expression, and calculations of when and how much sacrifice an individual makes are very accurate and rigorous. Thats why evolutionary biologists can build mathematical models that correctly predict how many young females will be allowed to live in nests and how likely wasps will eat their brothers and sisters. This natural selection algorithm is also of great value to astrobiologists.
Prediction of extraterrestrial life by natural selection and evolutionary mathematics theory
A train of thought will reveal the evolution of alien life: life and its design become special. In the absence of designer, the only way to obtain biologic design is natural selection. Therefore, alien creatures must be the product of natural selection. Natural selection follows certain rules and produces only certain forms of life. Therefore, astrobiologists can use natural selection and evolutionary mathematics to predict the existence of extraterrestrial life.
Do scientists describe Glipgloops as life? This is certainly a question when one looks at this picture. Obviously, its just the simplest prediction of life on the planet by scientists, and it doesnt mean that extraterrestrial life will surpass human intelligence. But we can see that even simple creatures like bacteria cant get away from natural selection. Even in the post biological era, the high tech alien is ultimately the product of natural selection. But we need to consider a marginal scenario: Imagine that on a completely unfamiliar planet, there are a lot of replicating molecules, like miniature nude genes, if they replicate their genes, and each time they replicate is perfect, without mutation and difference, they wont be able to move naturally. Change.
Glipgloops images are very valuable.
Is this life? Maybe, but they will not interest scientists. First, without mutation, life molecules never change, become more adaptable, or evolve into more interesting and complex forms of life. Finding tiny bacteria or giant bears on distant planets means there may be life of all shapes and sizes in the universe. These replication factors have no value or significance, and what is more problematic is that their existence is likely to be short-lived --- without natural selection, they will not be suitable for the changes on their planet, so they disappear before humans discover them.
The argument of natural selection is powerful, even in marginal situations. This allows us to use the Earth as a tool for predicting the evolution of life elsewhere.
Scientistsimages of Glipgloops are invaluable and can present certain mental imagery, in which biological structures are designed to suit the environment. But we claim that aliens have eyes, limbs, and a green body based on this image, which is not predicted by better evolutionism, but according to natural selection, the physical structure, survival goals, and evolutionary pathways of aliens are limited.
Based on this sketch, our research team imagined a nodular alien creature, jokingly called octomite, which was once a single entity struggling to survive, reproduce and evolve. How do we identify aliens? It will consist of an entity hierarchy in which each lower level of interest is aligned with the composition of the upper level, and the image we envisage will show the division of labor, in which parts perform different tasks in an interdependent manner. Work is just beginning to incorporate evolutionary theory into our astrobiology tools. What else can Darwin tell us about extraterrestrial life? There may be a lot more, but if this image does appear on Earth, it is a completely new species for us. But for evolutionary biology students, they will know better. Source: NetEase science editor: Wang Fengzhi _NT2541
Based on this sketch, our research team imagined a nodular alien creature, jokingly called octomite, which was once a single entity struggling to survive, reproduce and evolve. How do we identify aliens? It will consist of an entity hierarchy in which each lower level of interest is aligned with the composition of the upper level, and the image we envisage will show the division of labor, in which parts perform different tasks in an interdependent manner.
Work is just beginning to incorporate evolutionary theory into our astrobiology tools. What else can Darwin tell us about extraterrestrial life? There may be a lot more, but if this image does appear on Earth, it is a completely new species for us. But for evolutionary biology students, they will know better.