Stop picturing little green men in your mind whenever you talk about aliens because, according to Simon Conway Morris, a leading evolutionary biologist from the University of Cambridge, if aliens exist or we ever encountered them, they would look a lot like humans.
Making reference to human evolution, professor Simon Conway Morris said that any extra-terrestrial lifeforms will have evolved very much like we us because to support life, an Earth-like planet would be necessary in the first place.
In his new book, The Runes of Evolution, Simon also establishes the theory of convergent evolution which says different species will independently evolve similar characteristics as they are living in a similar environment and so face the same environmental factors, with the comparison of the camera eye of an octopus which works in much the same way as human eyes. So, Morris thinks Alien Evolution and Human Evolution would be along same lines.
In a statement at The Independent, Morris said, “The book is really trying to persuade the world that evolutionary convergence is completely ubiquitous. Wherever you look you see it.”
“The theme is to try and drive the reader, gently of course, into the possibility that the things which we regard as most important, ie cognitive sophistication, large brains, intelligence, tool making, are also convergent. Therefore, in principle, other Earth-like planets should very much end up with the same sort of arrangement.”
Simon believes animal and plant life on other planets able to support life might have followed the similar evolutionary pattern too. He said, “Certainly it’s not the case that every Earth-like planet will have life let alone humanoids. But if you want a sophisticated plant it will look awfully like a flower. If you want a fly there’s only a few ways you can do that. If you want to swim, like a shark, there’s only a few ways you can do that. If you want to invent warm-bloodedness, like birds and mammals, there’s only a few ways to do that.”
“The whole business of extra-terrestrial life, Kepler [the most Earth-like planet ever discovered], the search for extra solar planets, and of course the various missions to Mars. This is all going along at such a pace at the moment we can be reasonably sure [any current ideas] might be open to revision in a few years.”
His book, The Runes of Evolution, also deals with Enrico Fermi’s famous paradox : Why, if aliens do exist, have they not made contact?”
Simon says Fermin didn’t know what the number of Earth-like planet is absolutely gigantic now when he raised that famous question about aliens, however his paradox seems to be coming rather sharply into focus.
“The problem is exceedingly acute, says Simon, we shouldn’t be alone but, famous last words, all the evidence suggests we are.”
“Maybe [aliens] are hiding, the Arthur C Clarke idea, or as Stephen Baxter mischievously suggested we live in a virtual world. I don’t honestly know. My suspicion is we have only begun to scratch at the surface of reality, for want of a better word.”
There are plenty of theories that claim the possibilities of what alien lifeforms might look like and how they might be living, but if Simon is on the right track then there is possibility that aliens could be living among us already.