swestrup: (Default)
Its seems that a recent study has shown that the vast majority of terrestrial minerals are the result of biological processes. This has a huge consequence for the kinds of minerals that would be common on other life-bearing planets, that used different biochemical processes. It also means that planets that have never harboured life would be expected to have a very different mineralogical make up than ours.
swestrup: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] _sps_ sent me a pointer to this article on how hummingbirds fly. While interesting in its own right, the part that made it worth alerting me to, was the last paragraph:

"The one big caveat is that an engineer can start from scratch - biological evolution doesn't ever start anew. It's encumbered with the trappings of one's ancestry." -- Dr. Douglas Warrick, of Oregon State University.

It is surprising how few folks, even in the Biological sciences seem to understand how basic a principal that is to understanding and analyzing life on this world, or on another. Its actually very refreshing to find someone who has that clue.
swestrup: (Default)
So, a while ago[livejournal.com profile] _sps_ and I came up with some notes for
designing Aliens that didn't borrow heavily from convergent evolution
(no bird-men, fish-men, lizard-men, bumpyhead-men). The notes are
really just a first draft of a checklist but I'm thinking of turning
them into the outline for a book and perhaps trying to interest Hero
Games in publishing said book. It won't make me much money, but it
might be fun to do.

Anyway, I thought I would post the current notes here in case anyone
had any comments on them...
Here They Be )

January 2017



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