Tuesday, August 28, 2007

My my, what a big head you have

The fragile aliens of contemporary mythology owe much to Lamarck and his influence, through Wells, on pulp science fiction. As a race, they are ancient, feeble, and slipping inexorably into collective senility. Their power derives solely from their technology. They are already half dead, and like Wells's over-evolved Martians who inject themselves with our blood, they can only survive by preying upon younger, more vital species.

Rather than serving as Lamarckian caricatures, could the diminutive, often feeble-seeming Grays be suffering a genetic illness hastened by a shortage of genes? Or perhaps they're so casually reliant on their technology that they're effectively "postbiological," eager to jettison physical brawn in favor of better, faster brains.


Anonymous said...

I think in 20-40 years, better mastery of the human genome will result in physically superior specimens, not weaker, fatter, or more atrophied ones.

Researchers have already developed Myostatin anti-body clones that endow the user with heavy musculature and extra-strength despite a complete lack of weight training. Myostatin limits muscle tissue, and without it you get big muscles astoundingly fast. (Suffice it to say that bodybuilders are dying to get their hands on this stuff in the black market.)

Anti-aging scientists are also working on activating the genes that are expressed when people follow calorie-restricted diets. In addition to extending life-span, calorie restriction causes all sorts of beneficial changes to happen regarding insulin resistance, bodyfat levels, tissue oxidation etc.

With sufficiently advanced genetic therapies you can naturally augment Human Growth Hormone, IGF, MGF, Myostatin, Leptin, insulin regulation, testosterone/estrogen, SIRT1 and a myriad other anti-oxidant/anti-aging systems in the body etc.

So I'm guessing that eventually we will master the human body so well that people will be able to stay lean, muscular, and healthy almost effortlessly their entire lives. They will have powerful, robust immune systems that destroy free radicals at the first sign of exposure. Rather than have our hormones dwindle to tiny levels in old age, youthful levels of hormones like HGH and testosterone will be maintained throughout life without expensive daily/weekly injections.

Throw in organ re-growth, artificial organs etc. into the mix and ideally you have a future where people in advanced nations will have access to optimum health and fitness for very little effort. Now whether or not the medical and governmental establishments will allow such things is another matter – there are a myriad of social and financial issues to deal with. Big pharma and medicine loves people to be dependant on all their drugs, and where big pharma’s money goes, politicians follow. The savings to healthcare costs could be monumental though.

Further down the line, in 500 years or whatever, and assuming we aren’t back in the stone age due to a meteor or a natural “dark ages”, our technology should be so advanced that we can either grow, or build, any sort of bodies we want, and cycle through them at will.

Anonymous said...

What I found interesting about this post is that it inspired the thought or realization of sorts that "the greys", considering the supposed size of their heads, have necks so relatively and disproportionately thin and lacking in musculature, at least according to alleged abduction reports, that I don't see how they could properly support and articulate their heads in our gravity.

Hmmmm...perhaps the "greys", an archetypal alien form for the past 30 years (or so), are "merely" mythic in body form. Of course, they also may not actually _be_ as perceived in appearance.

Either that, or they're after our myostatin anti-body tech and HGF hormones. The heck with our DNA, they may just be tired of big primates kicking intergalactic sand in their faces...eh!

Bad joke. Apologies to all.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I never bought into the idea that ETs are abducting people, let alone using us for DNA extraction to "help" them with their own genetic problems.

Earthly DNA is, I would be willing to bet, specific to Earth-based organisms only. Every facet of life's genetic coding is an interwoven tapestry of the unique history of this planet. The idea that advanced alien organisms could benefit from a bit earthly DNA makes no sense to me. Who's to say they would even have DNA structured in the same way as Earth's?

Besides, the very idea that their genetic line is petering out or something like that, so they decided to travel across the galaxy to augment it with alien DNA (us) is pure Star Trek. Hybrid babies, "star children" - it all makes me laugh.

Any ET's would, in my opinion, be interested in our DNA solely for discovery and understanding of foreign (to them) genetic structures. We might find Europian life forms fascinating, but that’s a long way using it in our own bodies (Ewwwww!)

Now if the ET’s are actually Crypto-Terrestrials, then all bets are off, since they may have actual genetic links with humans in the first place.

And I agree with Pencil Neck that the whole image of the frail bodied, large brained "childlike" greys are most likely a common mythic archetype. Why would their brains need to be large? Because they are super smart, don't ya know! I guess on an instinctual level big head = big smarts. Heck even Jack Kirby knew to draw smart people with big brains (The Leader)

And why are they so frail? They have uber-tech, why not uber-bodies? We go back to Wells, and the implication, or assumption, that ascension of intellect and technology must inexorably lead to physical diminishment. The idea of a massive, robust and muscular yet utra-intelligent being doesn’t jive with people's simplistic boolean ideas about brains vs brawn. You can only pick one, don’t ya know.

Along with that is the implied notion that aliens would place no aesthetic or inherent values in being strong and resilient, which is ironic because even after millions of years of evolution, our own DNA tells us to seek out robust, symmetrical mates with low bodyfat and favorable muscle to fat ratios because that’s a sign of a youthful healthy body. Sure having millions in the bank helps, but we all know being thin, young, and good-looking is a huge bonus on this planet. But again that all goes back to our human preconceptions – since they are so “advanced”, they must have evolved past the point where physical stature or prowess is useful in reproduction. Or so we’d like to think.

Anonymous said...

I agree that the our view of these entities may be a myth, or that the childlike qualities may be deliberate so as not to put us into total shock when the occasional contact does occur. I can imagine the affect what one of our Rovers would have on another world with its humms and buzzes and whirring noises, along with arms,drills, hammers, and blow torches going around looking for samples. If we could manipulate organic matter (and that seems to be the direction we are headed) as they can, then we could by having sample of their rna/dna, create a new type of "rover" that remotely resembles the life form of that planet, with all the built in codes to avoid capture, take samples, and even remodify themselves to adapt. The mutual goal would appear to me just the acquistion of resources for the original Programmers,ie, control of the resources, if possible, and ideally modify the most able dominant life form to continue the task of acquisition for the home base , rather than a "spiritual" or "platonic" agenda some quarters seem to enjoy pushing. Much the same same way Rna viruses inject itself into host cells, and the in turn produce more virii. Perhaps this need is endemic to all life and drives it its technology so that you really would not need in the end superhumans, except to wage war or clean up the lab so to speak of other humans that may contaminate or hinder the process of transformation.

To a species that is long lived , they have the luxury of waiting things out as opposed to a quick conquest while their other Rovers identify other worlds, and like loyal hunting dogs stay put near a cornered quarry, and bark continually until the Hunter and master arrives.


Anonymous said...

Not only a myth but a meme.
the meme started by various intel cadres in an effort to cover all the nefarious top secrets being conducted.
Convincing humans of the presence of "aliens" is the biggest mind control project since MK-ULTRA.
The project worked, now when someone mentions UFO the word alien closely follows.
Lazar was phony, Mack and Hopkins carnival players in a field of dimwit abductee victim personalities.