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(Discovery)   "Hollywood-invented aliens are, quite frankly, an abysmal failure of imagination; they are simply a projection of how our little minds think that creatures from the stars would look like and behave toward us"   (news.discovery.com) divider line 130
    More: Obvious, Hollywood, failure of imagination, Jill Tarter, hr giger, Men in Black, animals  
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3242 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 04 Jun 2012 at 2:56 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-06-04 01:12:23 PM  
Pretty much. We as a species find it difficult to grasp how alien life could look. This is partly because we have no frame of reference to what non-terrestrial life can/would look like, but also because if Hollywood doesn't make something the audience can relate to, the aliens will be largely relegated to horror movies, since something THAT alien falls squarely into the "other" mentality we as a species has, and thus makes it an enemy.
 
2012-06-04 01:15:34 PM  
Of course they are. How the hell else would they be?
 
2012-06-04 01:23:41 PM  
farm4.static.flickr.com

/apex of imagination
 
2012-06-04 01:25:25 PM  
You mean every other species in the galaxy isn't just a human with a paper plate glued to his forehead?
 
2012-06-04 01:28:18 PM  

Mr. Coffee Nerves: You mean every other species in the galaxy isn't just a human with a paper plate glued to his forehead?


Some don't even get that.

zillowzollo.files.wordpress.com
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2012-06-04 01:38:48 PM  
As opposed to this guy who gets probed by aliens from Uranus all the time.
 
2012-06-04 01:40:07 PM  
Whine more.
 
2012-06-04 01:43:51 PM  

Modguy: if Hollywood doesn't make something the audience can relate to, the aliens will be largely relegated to horror movies, since something THAT alien falls squarely into the "other" mentality we as a species has, and thus makes it an enemy.


This is pretty much it.

While the science fiction wanking is going on about biology, they're missing the fact that (budgets aside) the look, shape and attitude of aliens in movies, comics, books, etc is a *story device* that is a means to an end.
 
2012-06-04 01:49:22 PM  
Star Trek has some really bad depictions of aliens, but it was largely constrained by budget (and subsequently, by series canon). That said, Star Trek had some good depictions of weird alien physiologies for example: The Alien Probe from Star Trek IV (yes, yes, we know, it's a Rendezvous with Rama rip-off), V'Ger, Tin Man, the Horta, the Medusans, the Tholians, and the alien transmutating jellyfish from Encounter at Farpoint.
 
2012-06-04 01:55:54 PM  
Moties, Puppeteers and Kzin are that hard to relate to?
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2012-06-04 02:02:29 PM  

simplicimus: Moties, Puppeteers and Kzin are that hard to relate to?


Apes, ostriches and lion people? No not hard to relate to at all.
 
2012-06-04 02:11:50 PM  
Humans and chimps are only separated by a 4% DNA gap and most of that is junk DNA. We're very similar in functional makeup.. So with that said imagine something that has a 50% or even much higher separation gap. Would they even notice us? Would they even identify us as either being intelligent enough for them to care or interesting enough for them to take a look? What are the odds of something intelligent enough to care evolving in our neighborhood of stars at the exact same time that humans have? Forty thousand years is a gnats fart in comparison to the amount of time the galaxy has been floating around space.

So if "they" exist during our timeline we may not even recognize "them." They might not use houses or cars or even spaceships.. They might not have hands or eyes or ears. Based on the age of their planet they may not have fossil fuels or heavy metals easily attainable and so their technology would be unrecognizable. So many different possibilities exist like silicon or phosphorous based life forms and who knows what they would look like.

So yeah.. it's a hell of a lot easier to just slap a horn on a guy and call it a Klingon..
 
2012-06-04 02:34:15 PM  

RexTalionis: Nomad, Tin Man, the Horta, the Medusans, the Tholians, and the alien transmutating jellyfish from Encounter at Farpoint.


The Crystalline Entity from TNG and the fake vomit creatures from Operation: Annihilate too
 
2012-06-04 02:44:02 PM  
Good God,what is it with these grim scientists today?
 
2012-06-04 02:49:13 PM  

unlikely: RexTalionis: Nomad, Tin Man, the Horta, the Medusans, the Tholians, and the alien transmutating jellyfish from Encounter at Farpoint.

The Crystalline Entity from TNG and the fake vomit creatures from Operation: Annihilate too


Don't forget the Excalbians - Rock monsters who can resurrect Abraham Lincoln.
 
2012-06-04 02:58:37 PM  
Not everything can be Skyline quality.
 
2012-06-04 03:00:53 PM  
I stoppped believing in stories of spacemen the day that i realized that the chances of them being humanoid are nill.

We decended from Trilobites, and stuff.. The chances of developing 2 eyes, 2 arms, 2 legs, ... this was a chance chain of events billions of years in the making, dictated by our atmosphere and composition of our planet.
 
2012-06-04 03:01:06 PM  
2.bp.blogspot.com
Nightmare after nightmare after nightmare.
 
2012-06-04 03:01:26 PM  
Or just devices to tell a story about human beings.
 
2012-06-04 03:04:40 PM  
4.bp.blogspot.com

We take off into the cosmos, ready for anything - - solitude, hardship, exhaustion, death. We're proud of outselves. But when you think about it, our enthusiasm's a sham. We don't want other worlds; we want mirrors.
 
2012-06-04 03:05:11 PM  

vpb: simplicimus: Moties, Puppeteers and Kzin are that hard to relate to?

Apes, ostriches and lion people? No not hard to relate to at all.


Moties are asymetric hermaphrodites that come in a wide variety of body styles. Not comparable to apes.

Puppeteers are dual headed tripod creatures. Only vaguely ostrich like.

Kzin are cats. Fair enough.
 
2012-06-04 03:05:39 PM  

xynix: So if "they" exist during our timeline we may not even recognize "them." They might not use houses or cars or even spaceships.. They might not have hands or eyes or ears. Based on the age of their planet they may not have fossil fuels or heavy metals easily attainable and so their technology would be unrecognizable. So many different possibilities exist like silicon or phosphorous based life forms and who knows what they would look like.


There was actually a good, if somewhat silly, pseudo-documentary on this subject a few years back, about a mission to a fictional planet and its balls-to-the-wall bizarre lifeforms, along with the science behind it all. It's worth a watch if you're into theoretical biology.
 
2012-06-04 03:06:32 PM  

Nina_Hartley's_Ass: Or just devices to tell a story about human beings.


THIS.
 
2012-06-04 03:10:08 PM  

xynix: Humans and chimps are only separated by a 4% DNA gap and most of that is junk DNA. We're very similar in functional makeup.. So with that said imagine something that has a 50% or even much higher separation gap. Would they even notice us? Would they even identify us as either being intelligent enough for them to care or interesting enough for them to take a look? What are the odds of something intelligent enough to care evolving in our neighborhood of stars at the exact same time that humans have? Forty thousand years is a gnats fart in comparison to the amount of time the galaxy has been floating around space.

So if "they" exist during our timeline we may not even recognize "them." They might not use houses or cars or even spaceships.. They might not have hands or eyes or ears. Based on the age of their planet they may not have fossil fuels or heavy metals easily attainable and so their technology would be unrecognizable. So many different possibilities exist like silicon or phosphorous based life forms and who knows what they would look like.

So yeah.. it's a hell of a lot easier to just slap a horn on a guy and call it a Klingon..


Whoa, whoa, whoa, slow down... No cars?! Then how would they get to the mall??
 
2012-06-04 03:10:33 PM  
Man, I'm glad Subby whipped out the 'Obvious' Tab for this one. That was probably the most unnecessary article of the week.
 
2012-06-04 03:11:43 PM  

T.rex: The chances of developing 2 eyes, 2 arms, 2 legs, ... this was a chance chain of events billions of years in the making, dictated by our atmosphere and composition of our planet.


Read once bilateral symmetry is more a function of locomotion(advantageous) and gravity(necessary?). Continue the progression with speed and manual dexterity. and humanoid starts to seem inevitable. Before you dismiss it give it some thought.

Wish I could remember...
 
2012-06-04 03:14:19 PM  

RexTalionis: Don't forget the Excalbians - Rock monsters who can resurrect Abraham Lincoln.


img.trekmovie.com

Space Lincoln frowns upon your shenanigans
 
2012-06-04 03:25:55 PM  
upload.wikimedia.org

Silicon based, biatches
 
2012-06-04 03:26:36 PM  
"science" writer has no concept of fiction.

Circular thought is circular.
 
2012-06-04 03:27:51 PM  
farm3.staticflickr.com

This book presents a better concept of how aliens would seem to us (and us to them).
 
2012-06-04 03:28:45 PM  
If we ever encountered aliens, they would most likely be arachnid or insectoid in appearance. And if such aliens ever decided to make an appearance here on Earth, there would be no other reason to show up than to exterminate us for our resources.

Seriously, what could we possibly offer a species that is so far more advanced that they could just take it?
 
2012-06-04 03:30:03 PM  

Modguy: Pretty much. We as a species find it difficult to grasp how alien life could look. This is partly because we have no frame of reference to what non-terrestrial life can/would look like, but also because if Hollywood doesn't make something the audience can relate to, the aliens will be largely relegated to horror movies, since something THAT alien falls squarely into the "other" mentality we as a species has, and thus makes it an enemy.


Came in to say this. When doing horror sci-fi, like Event Horizon or Doctor Who's "Blink", there's no problem making them incomprehensible or definitively Other. If you want to make an alien race identifiable and empathetic, however, you almost have to leave similarities. It's biologically hardwired into our brains to identify with similarities and shun/fear differences, especially differences we're unfamiliar with. An alien race modeled on spiders would make a great horror enemy, but there'd be no chance of sitting down to have a civilized conversation with them from an audience's perspective. Hell, that's still with something relatively familiar and recognizable. A truly "alien" alien race would only ever be the stuff of literal nightmares, owing to our lack of real-world reference points.
 
2012-06-04 03:32:42 PM  
The Cthulhu Mythos beg to differ.

Also, Star Trek's system of first contact is plausible. Planets are intentionally ignored and avoided until they reach a certain level of technological progress. There could be all kinds of transmissions and travel going on around us, that is intentionally hidden from less sophisticated civilizations.
 
2012-06-04 03:36:10 PM  
It's hard to get humans to invest emotional significance to a puff of vapor, a silicon-based life form, or anything that is not three dimensional. The best movie aliens will have some sort of earthly reference, from the big, child-like eyes of a sympathetic alien like ET, to the slimy, metallic, bug-like creature with shark-like teeth of the frightening Aliens' alien. Hollywood should be doing it this way because it helps tell stories.
 
2012-06-04 03:40:50 PM  
I wonder how long it will take for humans to be sexually attracted to whatever alien comes our way. Might not be immediate, but you know it will happen.

I also wonder what would happen once we asked "have you heard of Jesus Christ" and they say no. Would religious fundies just claim that their species just hasn't seen the light yet? I feel like aliens are the only hope to remove religion from our world. Then again, if they say yes, I'd probably have to start praying......
 
2012-06-04 03:47:30 PM  
If anyone can come up with a reason why life on an Earthlike planet would not evolve in substantially similar ways to the way it did here, please speak up.

My bet is that when we find aliens, they are symmetric, bi-pedal, and have opposed thumbs.
 
2012-06-04 03:47:40 PM  

homarjr: I wonder how long it will take for humans to be sexually attracted to whatever alien comes our way. Might not be immediate, but you know it will happen.

I also wonder what would happen once we asked "have you heard of Jesus Christ" and they say no. Would religious fundies just claim that their species just hasn't seen the light yet? I feel like aliens are the only hope to remove religion from our world. Then again, if they say yes, I'd probably have to start praying......


It may go the same way it goes every time people unfamiliar with Jesus are approached by believers.
 
2012-06-04 03:50:14 PM  

Gunny Highway: homarjr: I wonder how long it will take for humans to be sexually attracted to whatever alien comes our way. Might not be immediate, but you know it will happen.

I also wonder what would happen once we asked "have you heard of Jesus Christ" and they say no. Would religious fundies just claim that their species just hasn't seen the light yet? I feel like aliens are the only hope to remove religion from our world. Then again, if they say yes, I'd probably have to start praying......

It may go the same way it goes every time people unfamiliar with Jesus are approached by believers.


mattstone.blogs.com
 
2012-06-04 03:52:08 PM  

Rent Party: If anyone can come up with a reason why life on an Earthlike planet would not evolve in substantially similar ways to the way it did here, please speak up.

My bet is that when we find aliens, they are symmetric, bi-pedal, and have opposed thumbs.


images1.wikia.nocookie.net
 
2012-06-04 03:53:46 PM  
What, no love for Vegetons?

quark.name

Or Transmutes?

chud.com
 
2012-06-04 03:54:07 PM  

homarjr: I also wonder what would happen once we asked "have you heard of Jesus Christ" and they say no. Would religious fundies just claim that their species just hasn't seen the light yet? I feel like aliens are the only hope to remove religion from our world. Then again, if they say yes, I'd probably have to start praying...


southparkstudios-intl.mtvnimages.com
 
2012-06-04 03:55:17 PM  
They are here, but we have no way to detect alien life forms.
 
2012-06-04 03:57:08 PM  

homarjr: I wonder how long it will take for humans to be sexually attracted to whatever alien comes our way. Might not be immediate, but you know it will happen.

I also wonder what would happen once we asked "have you heard of Jesus Christ" and they say no. Would religious fundies just claim that their species just hasn't seen the light yet? I feel like aliens are the only hope to remove religion from our world. Then again, if they say yes, I'd probably have to start praying......


Most aliens are probably not going to be that alien. It's not like somebody is handing out trophies for being weird. Most aliens are probably going to be like some of the more stable furries (nicest bunch of people standing in line outside of a mental ward).

You don't think religious fundies haven't drawn up plans yet to convert alien pagans? I'd love to see a movie when peaceful aliens have to defend their planet from Baptists.
 
2012-06-04 03:57:54 PM  
I was watching one of those science shows about what alien biology might look like, and what an alien invader might look like. Odds are, bipedal with two arms and one head. In short, humaniod. Reason being that more than four limbs would require more brain power to be devoted to moving those limbs and less avaliable to thought. So in that respect, Star Trek isn't really that far off. Where Star Trek gets things wrong is for starters, all the alien races, with rare exception, do well in Earth like environments. A Martian, had martian life not been wiped out billions of years ago when the molten core solidified and stopped producing the mageticsphere that protected the planet from the solar winds which wiped out most of Mars' atmosphere, would not do well on Earth. Even if the Martian atmosphere was mostly Earth like, the higher gravity and higher temperatures would be an issue. The only race that I know of that appeared regularly that had issue with human temperatures were the Cardassians.

Another thing that humans and alien races would have in common would be that both would have evolved from meat eaters. It is not physically possible for an animal that was food stock for another race to become the dominant race on a planet, or, Deer will never inherit Earth, and neither will the Deer equivalent on another planet. Now, does this mean that humans and an alien race can eat the same food and survive? No. I forget which animal it is, but there is an animal in the Alaska and Canada that humans and kill and eat, and it will fill our stomachs. But, since it's dietary staple is not something that humans consume, it's meat carries zero nutritional value and eating the meat of this animal will still cause you to starve to death. Provided you were only eating the meat of this animal and nothing else. That bit in Star Trek where Worf enjoys prune juice, if prunes aren't native to the Klingon homeworld, then that prune juice is doing him no favors. Worse yet, we learn that Worf was raised on Earth, enjoying human food. That could be bad if the same food that was found on Earth was also native to the Klingon homeworld. If not, then odds are, Worf would have died shortly after arriving on Earth.
 
2012-06-04 03:58:28 PM  
"Hollywood-invented aliens are, quite frankly, an abysmal failure of imagination; they are simply a projection of how our little minds think that creatures from the stars would look like and behave toward us"

As opposed to what? How an emu would think aliens looked and behaved? Going and finding out what actual intelligent aliens look like so you can have an accurate depiction of them in a movie?

/Hate it when writers overestimate their own intelligence
//Also, why is it always assumed that alien life would be just flat out better than humans, instead of maybe primitive and locked in endless war?
 
2012-06-04 04:01:07 PM  

Rent Party: If anyone can come up with a reason why life on an Earthlike planet would not evolve in substantially similar ways to the way it did here, please speak up.

My bet is that when we find aliens, they are symmetric, bi-pedal, and have opposed thumbs.


Only if some other, superior race spread out beings with similar DNA throughout the galaxy, with a complicated code inside that would one day lead us all to unite. . .


www.seriessub.com
 
2012-06-04 04:01:18 PM  
1.bp.blogspot.com
 
2012-06-04 04:04:31 PM  
"Galaxy of Terror" did a pretty good job.
 
2012-06-04 04:06:02 PM  

Rent Party: If anyone can come up with a reason why life on an Earthlike planet would not evolve in substantially similar ways to the way it did here, please speak up.

My bet is that when we find aliens, they are symmetric, bi-pedal, and have opposed thumbs.


bingo. people are presently too stupid to realize we are a created manufacturing machine. dr ding-a-lings trying to figure out how the brain works and what not.

i think many are too quick & willing to drink the kool-aid in the text books. i'll admit i get a major kick out of 'Ancient Aliens' because i like to think of what could be, not what someone claims to be.

inside i feel past civilizations had technology that towered over our own present gadgets. i hope mankind unearths more past secrets, shares them & learns from them before we blow ourselves to kingdom come.
 
2012-06-04 04:06:39 PM  
Have these people never seen the Cantina scene from Star Wars?

/My friend here don't like you
//I don't like you either
 
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