Imagining Aliens

Chris Boyce. Extraterrestrial Encounter: A Personal Perspective. David and Charles, 1979.
This book makes a refreshing change from the run-of -the-mill accounts of 'life on other worlds' which devote pages and pages to the evolution of life, popular astronomy, and searching the skies with 'uniquely rational' radio telescopes. Boyle makes the valid point that all our assumptions about extra-terrestrial intelligence are hopelessly anthropomorphic. We have no right to assume that hypothetical 'advanced mental life-forms ' have anything whatsoever in common with us. Civilization, science, mathematics, technology, even consciousness itself, are human phenomena, which may be quite inapplicable to 'others '.

Of course, Boyce must in a sense break his own rule in order to make any meaningful statement about 'AMLs' . He tends to discount the extraterrestrial hypothesis for UFOs , although a number of his speculations could provide some nice theories for ET ufologists . But they would be well advised to take seriously his warnings about anthropomorphism before talking about 'craft' 'belonging to' extraterrestrial 'intelligences' 'travelling' to Earth 'using' 'advanced propulsion systems'. Everything in quotes in that sentence is an unwarranted anthropomorphism. Peter Rogerson. Magonia 1, Autumn 1979.

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