Flesh and Blood or Silicon and Electrons?
© Eugen Semitjovs Minnesfond & www.scifiheaven.com
To speculate about the appearance of possible aliens is as difficult as it is appealing to imagination. It is enough to observe the multitude of radically different solutions that nature has provided here on Earth. In the diversity of different environments that most likely exist on the exoplanets out there perhaps the degrees of freedom are even more. On the other hand, the answers may be more connected to mankind's own future than initially meets the eye.
There are philosophers working on understanding mankind's future that are convinced that we humans rather soon, within this century, will develop into super intelligences with a very different intellectual capacity than is currently normal. Among them are Ray Kurzweil and Nick Bostrom. The emphasise the incredible potential of some modern developments, such as nano technology, artificial intelligence and genetic engineering.
A super intelligence may perhaps develop through a further development of the ongoing computer revolution. Or perhaps in combination with doing very precise simulations of the inner workings of the human brain. The large European science project "The Human Brain Project" may be one step along this way.
Anyway, the technological environment of mankind is developing at lightning speed. Perhaps i is soon time for man itself? If mankind in its future development transcends into a new and different phase, it will be very challenging to predict motives and interests of such a culture. This development may have progressed much further among more advanced civilisations and could perhaps be part of an explanation for the Fermi paradox.
Aliens by Children
Until about the 1960s the idea of violent and evil aliens were common among the general public. In 1938 Orson Welles scared many with his dramatised radio theatre version of "The War of the Worlds", where Martians invade Earth. In the fifties many bad science fiction movies emphasised this view. However, in the 1960s, space exploration of Venus and Mars excluded the existence of any nearby monsters. Also, the movie "ET" in the 1980s gave a much more benign impression of aliens. Today the general public has a more balanced view, evident also in children's attitude towards aliens. The above series of drawings were made by children and testify to an imaginative and more curious and friendly approach.