And that's why I struggle with the idea of aliens as depicted.
What I mean is, think of all the species that inhabit this planet. We may share a % of genetic material and characteristics, but I can assure you that there are no crawdads, pelicans, possums, or tiger moths in my lineage. Why therefore, would a visiting species from another planet be humanoid?
It would seems to indicate a lack of creativity (or lateral thinking) on the part of the person who claims to have seen or been abducted by aliens and the conclusion I have reached is that while I am 100% certain we can't be alone in this universe, I don't believe the greys exist as depicted.
Perhaps aliens are here now, but they are in a form that we can't see or even understand. Perhaps they are in a dimension we haven't unlocked.
Panspermia is a wonderful theory but all it does is move the goal line. If you compare DNA among species, it is possible to derive a "tree of life" in which you can find a little change in one spot of your DNA that is the difference between you and Cromagnon Man. And another spot that leads back to some other ancestor. But if you then go back to the single-celled critters and come forward based on a different change, you can find every animal and every plant that exists now - or for those extinct entities for which we have usable DNA samples - by following simple linear changes. We don't always understand the DNA blueprints - but we are currently learning of their consistency of correlation.
If you want to talk about the appearance of aliens, you first have to decide the appearance of some creature smart enough to build a workable spaceship but then dumb enough to abduct a backwoods redneck, as though there is something to be learned from anyone whose DNA suggests that the family tree had a couple of crossed branches.
Yes Doc, once again I agree with your viewpoint. I wasn't being serious in my comment. My view is that another lifeform from another planet is unlikely to have a DNA structure, but something different. I mean what are the chances of it being the same? Or even if it was the same, it would somehow differ from the DNA found on earth.
However, if it was the same, I would hypothesis that either a) our DNA came from an inbound asteroid, or b) there is a grand designer, who has unified how lifeforms are made. Of course, it could also be just that DNA is a likely outcome given the elements in the universe, but I feel the first two are more likely.
Incidentally, now that we are advancing on gene technology, they are starting to create synthetic genes and unique forms of DNA. Hmmm, I feel a new post coming on!
At the moment, because it is all we have to study, DNA-based life (and its RNA-based cousins) seems the only viable solution. So far we have not come upon anything we would call "living" that isn't based on some form of the nucleic acids. I think that until we meet such an entity, we will have trouble imagining any other kind of life. But heck, we have such a wild diversity of shapes and sizes based on DNA that who's to say we haven't already seen the shape of aliens? We have snakes with no external limbs, starfish with five-fold symmetry, arachnids with eight arms, insects with a carapace and claws, and these pesky humans.
But Jon, I wasn't actually against panspermia. My comments may have come across stronger than I intended. Don't apologize for bringing it up. If it is true, then it actually increases the odds that if we DO ever meet other intelligent races, we will have more in common than we would have ever imagined. In a way that is comforting. In a way that is very frightening. A race that can bring forth Gandhi, Mother Teresa, and Martin Luther King, but can also bring forth Temujin (Genghis Khan), Hitler, and Torquemada (of the Spanish Inquisition)? There is no telling where WE are going and thus no telling where any other race could go.