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Author Topic:   What type of biological life will more than likely be found on other planets?
Theodoric
Member (Idle past 102 days)
Posts: 7051
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005


Message 120 of 178 (670983)
08-21-2012 12:27 PM
Reply to: Message 117 by New Cat's Eye
08-21-2012 12:01 PM


bilateral symmetry
For example, bilateral symmetry. I think we could expect highly evolved aliens to look similiar to life on our planet in that regard.

I tend to highly agree with this statement, but as I thought about it more I am not so sure.

My thoughts are that we do not know what we don't know. If the life evolved on a planet similar to ours I think this is very likely.

But there is the rub. We have no idea of what alien life could be like. Is bilateral symmetry a result of unique circumstances in the evolution of life on this planet?

I think there is a very high likelihood that other life out there exhibits bilateral symmetry, but am very open to the idea that we may find something that utterly astounds us and falls completely outside of any of our expectations.

To put it simply, with the knowledge we have I think you are correct. It is what we don't know that is the wild card.

Edited by Theodoric, : subtitle added


Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts

"God did it" is not an argument. It is an excuse for intellectual laziness.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 117 by New Cat's Eye, posted 08-21-2012 12:01 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 122 by New Cat's Eye, posted 08-21-2012 1:00 PM Theodoric has responded

  
Theodoric
Member (Idle past 102 days)
Posts: 7051
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005


Message 123 of 178 (670992)
08-21-2012 1:12 PM
Reply to: Message 122 by New Cat's Eye
08-21-2012 1:00 PM


Re: bilateral symmetry
See, I just don't thing we find some really wacky alien that lacked any symmetry and was just totally bizarre in that regard (at least, talking about something on par with the Animal clade). I'd expect symmetry.

Don't you think this is because of the bias you have from the world you live on and the life you see around you? I would expect symmetry also because that is how we know and expect life to be, but would not be surprised if there was life that did not exhibit bilateral symmetry.

Sure, but what kind of enviroment could exist that would favor assymetry and still push towards something like Animals?

That is my point. We do not know what we don't know. Until we actually have contact with alien life, we have no idea what the circumstances are of its evolution. We can imagine lots of scenarios and there are a lot of scenarios we would not imagine, because there maybe some things out there outside our ability to currently imagine.

Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts

"God did it" is not an argument. It is an excuse for intellectual laziness.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 122 by New Cat's Eye, posted 08-21-2012 1:00 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 126 by New Cat's Eye, posted 08-21-2012 1:22 PM Theodoric has responded

  
Theodoric
Member (Idle past 102 days)
Posts: 7051
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005


Message 131 of 178 (671011)
08-21-2012 3:20 PM
Reply to: Message 126 by New Cat's Eye
08-21-2012 1:22 PM


Re: bilateral symmetry
I don't doubt that there will be other types of symmetry, and even species that are assymetrical, but I thinks its likely that the kinds of species that are interesting for this kind of discussion, i.e. Animal-like ones, will exhibit specifically bilateral symmetry.

There is a fair amount of life that is not bilateral symmetrical.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symmetry_in_biology
Radial symmetry animals include starfish, jelly fish andsea anemones.

Flatfish and gastropods would be the most common assymetrical organisms. I guess I could imagine more life forms, even intelligent, that resemble snails and slugs. So we have right here environments that would help produce a non bilaterally symmetrical animal.

Can you envision where we may find life that is non animal or plantlike? Maybe a combo or something completely different?


Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts

"God did it" is not an argument. It is an excuse for intellectual laziness.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 126 by New Cat's Eye, posted 08-21-2012 1:22 PM New Cat's Eye has not yet responded

  
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