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14 October 2008, JellyBean @ 1:15 pm

Australian astrobiologist, a senior fellow of the Planetary Science Institute in Canberra and a researcher at the Australian National University, Charley Lineweaver has said that if there is other life out in the vastness of space, it will be unlikely that it would show any intelligence as we know it. In fact he doubts that life beyond earth will be anything similiar to human kind at all.

“I think that tree outside my window is more closely related to me than anything we will find in outer space. Things do not converge to being like a human being,” he said.

He bases his logic on a study of evolution here on earth. Out of all the species that have evolved, it is only humans who have exhibited intelligence. He surmises that if humans did not exist on earth, other animals would not be any more intelligent than they are now.

As a result of this thinking, he says that any alien life out there has probably not developed to anywhere near our unique level.

Some people disagree with his assertions.


Aren’t we evidence of a tendency to evolve a human-like intelligence? Intelligence lends it’s wielder the capability to abstract from the physical, as humans do, so I expect another intelligence to be capable of the same ‘human-like’ behaviour.

Stuff.co.nz: Smart aliens? Unlikely, says scientist

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