The researcher suggests that humanity is trapped in a narrow mind-set regarding the form and capabilities of alien lifeforms, claiming that we could already have missed our first contact as a result.
Silvano Colombano, a NASA scientist for Intelligent Systems Division, has urged the scientific community to broaden their views of potential alien lifeforms in a paper originally shown during a Decoding Alien Intelligence workshop in March 2018. He claimed that with the current narrow-minded view of aliens, we could easily miss signs of their presence, if we haven’t already.
“I simply want to point out the fact that the intelligence we might find and that might choose to find us — if it hasn’t already — might not be at all be produced by carbon based organisms like us”, he wrote.
Not only does Colombano believe that certain alien lifeforms have reached a level of technology where interstellar flights are possible, he also wrote that their lifespans and forms could have gone beyond our imagination.
“Our typical life-spans would no longer be a limitation… and the size of the ‘explorer’ might be that of an extremely tiny super-intelligent entity”, he wrote.
The NASA researcher also urged scientists to work on “speculative physics” — theories, based on reality, but “with some willingness to stretch possibilities” in terms of space, time and energy.