• flannel jesus
    736
    If you guys don't know already, Mexico just released some footage showing alien bodies. Not as a joke, apparently it's being taken seriously.

    I put this in the Epistemology subforum because I feel that the most interesting questions about this release of information are epistemic questions. Questions like, should this footage elicit a change in beliefs at all? Do we have good reason to trust that these are real aliens? Do we have good reason to trust that the people who are taking this as strong evidence that it's all real are being rational and analyzing the evidence properly?

    What do you guys think of the Mexican aliens?
  • Vera Mont
    2.9k
    Questions like, should this footage elicit a change in beliefs at all?flannel jesus

    Not for me. Probably for many others, perhaps it should, but won't. The ones who reject the idea of alien life, will brush it aside as a hoax. The ones who are interested in science will ask questions - just as they always have. The ones who believed UFO sightings will say "I told you so!"

    Do we have good reason to trust that these are real aliens?flannel jesus

    Not at the moment. I don't know anything about the information source. Sounds legit, but it seems UNAM only vouched for the age, not the composition of the bodies.

    What do you guys think of the Mexican aliens?flannel jesus

    I think ET never went home, after all. Married a Condor lady?
    No, that's silly.
    I'm wondering about the 30% genetic difference. If they didn't evolve on earth, where did they get all the humanoid genes? If they did, why are there only two bodies? If they had the technology for cadmium implants in 1020AD, and the ability to give multiple birth, why didn't they thrive?
    It all sounds quite improbable, which makes me suspicious.
  • flannel jesus
    736
    I agree with all your points. The genetic stuff is a complete red flag. Why should alien life have 70% genetic similarity to life on earth? Seems implausible.

    It has more red flags than anything. It's most likely a joke, in my opinion. I'm certainly laughing.

    But I do think it's interesting that someone in the Mexican government is taking it as seriously as they are. It's funny, and puzzling. Are they stupid? It's it motivated stupidity, perhaps?
  • Vera Mont
    2.9k
    It's most likely a joke, in my opinion.flannel jesus

    A rather elaborate one, by appearances. They must have some objective to go to the trouble.

    Are they stupid?flannel jesus

    I don't think so. But there are motives that can make intelligent people behave stupidly. Strong desire to believe in the implausible is one of them (see organized religion, political rallies, war, etc). To be noticed? Drum up interest in exobiology, a hitherto undervalued branch of science? To attract UFO tourism?
  • frank
    14.5k


    I wouldn't see it unless it's in the NYT or something. But did you see this? The JW telescope may have detected a molecule on an exoplanet that is only made by living things on earth. It still needs further confirming, but that would be incredible!
  • T Clark
    13k


    Good, thorough post.
  • 0 thru 9
    1.5k
    What do you guys think of the Mexican aliens?flannel jesus

    If the USA wants to keep out absolutely all aliens, a much taller wall is going to be needed. Maybe a dome too. :sparkle:
  • Vera Mont
    2.9k
    The JW telescope may have detected a molecule on an exoplanet that is only made by living things on earth.frank

    Exciting for some scientists and a lot of fans.
  • frank
    14.5k
    Exciting for some scientists and a lot of fans.Vera Mont

    I think it would be huge philosophically. This same exoplanet has methane and CO2, so it might have an ocean. Wow!!
  • Vera Mont
    2.9k
    I think it would be huge philosophicallyfrank

    Maybe, sorta, academically.
  • Philosophim
    2k
    A quick google search. Journalist and UFO researcher Jaime Maussan is the one who's claimed that a third of the DNA is "unknown". Lets see the history of our researcher eh?

    In 2015, Maussan claimed that a mummy discovered in Peru Near Nazca Lines, was that of an alien. However, as per a fact check by Snopes.com, the claim was found to be false. According to their report, the mummified corpse was of a human child. Due to these reasons, Maussan is considered to be a hoax promoter.
    https://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/two-non-human-alien-corpses-unveiled-in-mexico-congress-who-is-ufologist-jaime-maussan-101694597362929.html

    Basically, this is another fraud. Someone who's already been caught lying so blatantly once should not be trusted. I await the test results that will conclude this is another hoax.
  • flannel jesus
    736
    Absolutely. I just have no idea why the government is choosing to give this person an audience.
  • Count Timothy von Icarus
    1.8k
    There was an even more alien looking six inch tall mummy with a conical head that was dug up in Chile a few years back. It turned out to be the remains of a human with a severe birth defect upon testing though.
  • Vera Mont
    2.9k
    That won't deter the true believers. "Deep state conspiracy to silence our spokesman strikes again!"

    Wonder why all the aliens died in South America... Mayhap, that's where Maussan gets permission to explore?
  • hypericin
    1.4k
    I'm wondering about the 30% genetic difference. If they didn't evolve on earth, where did they get all the humanoid genes?Vera Mont

    A 30% genetic difference is HUGE. No mammal is so genetically remote from humans. This number is closer to the difference between humans and reptiles.

    It is not inconceivable that both DNA itself, and its content, could evolve independently this closely, if in fact they represent globally maximal solutions to the problems they solve.

    More likely though it is shaped croc meat.

    I put this in the Epistemology subforum because I feel that the most interesting questions about this release of information are epistemic questions. Questions like, should this footage elicit a change in beliefs at all? Do we have good reason to trust that these are real aliens?flannel jesus

    Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and the evidence we have now is hardly that. We need imaging of the "alien's" insides, for starters. If it turned out the genetic similarity is 70% to EVERYTHING, that would be something.
  • flannel jesus
    736
    It is not inconceivable that both DNA itself, and its content, could evolve independently this closely, if in fact they represent globally maximal solutions to the problems they solve.hypericin

    It's only not inconceivable by a technicality. It's more than astronomically unlikely.
  • hypericin
    1.4k
    It's only not inconceivable by a technicality. It's more than astronomically unlikely.flannel jesus

    I don't think it is. Our genetic code isn't a product of mere chance, more like a directed stochastic process. It might be that the basic cellular machinery common to all multicellular life is the best or even only possible solution to large scale lifeforms. (I sure would like to see the similarity of its mitochondrial DNA. )

    In order to estimate the probability we'd have to come up with possible alternatives that work as well, and estimate the difficulty of the evolutionary steps to arrive at those.
  • frank
    14.5k


    I think hypericin might be right. The more you look the outcomes of convergent evolution, the more it seems likely that an alien might actually be something we would recognize.

    Principle-of-Adaptive-Convergence-or-Convergent-Evolution-Represented-by-Fish-Reptile.png

    here
  • Vera Mont
    2.9k
    A 30% genetic difference is HUGE. No mammal is so genetically remote from humans. This number is closer to the difference between humans and reptiles.

    It is not inconceivable that both DNA itself, and its content, could evolve independently this closely, if in fact they represent globally maximal solutions to the problems they solve.
    hypericin

    Why would they need to solve the exact same problems on a completely different planet? What are the odds of all suns and planets capable of supporting intelligent life having the same gravity, air, vegetation, light, climate and topography as Earth? On Star Trek, about 95%. But in reality?

    It's not inconceivable that long-ago reptilian, amphibian or even possibly avian ancestor evolved elsewhere and became capable of space travel many thousands of year ago. But that 1. the reptiles would be just like the reptiles here, 2. that the reptiles were required to adapt to major changes in their environment and 3. that they would have evolved into the general configuration of a bipedal human is a longer stretch.
    After all, the most successful species on Earth stopped changing as soon as they achieved a form and lifestyle they could sustain for millions of years. Why did ants and octopi never become bipedal mammals?
  • flannel jesus
    736
    do you think the genes for these fins are similar?

    Do you think the genes for wings in bats is similar to those for birds, is similar to those for flying insects?

    They're not.

    You are completely right that there are probably certain, let's say, local optimums in terms of physiology, and it's not inconceivable that some of those traits would occur even across planets. The idea that the genes would end up looking exactly the same, however, is off base. That's not how it happens on our planet, it's really not likely to happen across the universe.
  • flannel jesus
    736
    there's a lot of different genetic ways to get to similar physiological solutions. There's really no good reason for the DNA of two completely independently developed lineages of life to look that similar.
  • frank
    14.5k


    I see what you're saying. But could DNA be like the fins at a lower level? In other words, certain environments give rise to DNA?
  • flannel jesus
    736
    I'm sorry, I don't think I understand your question.
  • hypericin
    1.4k
    there's a lot of different genetic ways to get to similar physiological solutions. There's really no good reason for the DNA of two completely independently developed lineages of life to look that similar.flannel jesus

    But what is similar between us and bananas (60% similarity) is not physiology but basic cellular machinery and communication. Are there a lot of genetic ways to get that?
  • flannel jesus
    736
    I think what's interesting is, even if there weren't a lot of genetic ways to get that, the specific order of the genes isn't necessarily set in stone. So, you might have a certain set of genes for this trait and another set for that trait and so on, but if all these traits were developed independently in an entirely different lineage, you wouldn't get them in the same order.

    And that's a big if already, because it's not a guarantee that there is only one genetic path to these features.

    In addition, what's interesting about the genes of life on earth is that a lot of it is junk. A lot of it doesn't do anything. It's vestigial. If we share 70% of DNA with this alien, that means we share a hell of a lot of vestigal DNA - that's actually a pretty big problem. See, vestigal DNA sort of disappears at random - some bits remain, doing nothing, for millions of years, and other bits disappear in a few generations after they stop contributing. So even if we were to charitably grant that (a) life should have evolved similarly in the other planet, (b) it was likely to evolve with the same genes, and (c) those genes would appear in the same order in Aliens DNA (and again, all those things are definitely far from a given), you would still be massively surprised to find a huge overlap of vestigal DNA.

    I just don't think the picture adds up.

    But hey, maybe the story is more like Prometheus (the alien prequel), and these dudes are our generic ancestors. Or, more likely, these aren't aliens at all.
  • Banno
    22.9k
    Hey, folks, DNA evolved on Earth. What would be extraordinary is if ET had any DNA.

    The story is a crock. If you can't see that your critical skills are inadequate.
  • frank
    14.5k
    I'm sorry, I don't think I understand your question.flannel jesus

    We know that water makes fins. Could there be environments that make DNA?
  • flannel jesus
    736
    oh, you're just saying there are conditions that make the formation of DNA, or the building blocks of dna, more likely. Sure, that's undoubtedly the case.
  • Joshs
    5.1k

    So an alien species was capable of travelling a million light years but they weren’t clever enough to leave us with anything but a corpse?
  • flannel jesus
    736
    I think I've made it clear that I think it's very very unlikely, astronomically unlikely, to be extra terrestrial.
  • Vera Mont
    2.9k
    But at least we've made a liar of the thread title.
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