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CosmosUp | August 14, 2022

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What Traits would have an Alien Race?

By | On + -

If you believe what Hollywood tells us about alien life forms you’ll probably assume they’d be giant, slimy and really, really anti-human. As scientists don’t make a lot of movies, and movie producers aren’t typically awesome at science, this isn’t a very accurate portrayal of the interstellar life that’s at all likely to ever reach Earth.

Don’t get me wrong, it probably still won’t go well for us, but the faces of the creatures that would change our world forever will look very different to how we’ve imagined them. To set the record straight, great minds like Stephen Hawking and his contemporaries have given their opinions on what traits an alien race would have to possess in order to make it across the galaxy and pay a visit to the human homeworld. 



What separates humans from other species on the planet in terms of evolution comes down to a simple principle: aggression. For any species to thrive within a given habitat it has to confront adversity and overcome it. These struggles drive evolutionary adaptation.

The dominant life form on a planet (which aliens would almost certainly have to be) must have been able to master their environment. A paper published by the University of Missouri suggests this means they would be aggressive—they would populate and conquer their surroundings in order to progress. If they are more intelligent than we are, they will likely see us as a resource, the way we view farm animals and their habitats.

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  1. Brad Arnold

    The only thing I’ll add is that they probably will be governed by general rules of behavior. One might be to preserve uniqueness in the universe. In other words, the universe has ubiquitous resources, whereas uniqueness is by definition special. Why destroy uniqueness to slightly more efficiently harvest resources?

  2. Brad Arnold

    On a different note: I’ve been intrigued by the concept of exponential production. Land a 3D printer, and equipment to produce toner from an exoplanet, then print more 3D printers and equipment to grow production exponentially. Same for the Singularity – build a thinking machine that builds a better thinking machine and so forth. What is the great filter preventing aliens from doing the same and spreading throughout the universe rapidly?

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