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E.C. McMullen Jr.
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JOSEPH CROSS, BRIANA EVIGAN,
What I'm getting at is the idea that a creature like this could have naturally evolved the ability to make use of alien biochemistry is out of the question.
I'm not saying these monsters are impossible I'm saying they can only be artificial. They were created by a culture with a very advanced understanding of extraterrestrial biology and genetic engineering.
But since we have no contrary evidence, DNA may be the only solution to the chemistry problem of self-replicating molecules that create life as we know it. Having only one planet in our solar system that has the only type of life form we can recognize, has its drawbacks.
Before the alien creature is shown respirating in our atmosphere (aboard the Nostromo) and requiring plenty of water, we see it has done damage to another xenomorph.
H. R. Giger's "Pilot" has a head, neck, and endoskeleton, so it's a vertebrate creature. From its four limbs of two matching arms, a pelvic center, and two matching legs, to its bipedal upright chest structure and multiple ribs joined at the center of the cage, to its two matching enclosed orbital eye sockets and lower mandible, the dead alien pilot is a remarkably familar bilaterally symmetrical humanoid being.
Moreover, screenwriter Dan O'Bannon, who also supplied the science dialog, has Ash speak of the facehugger's complex cell structure, so the alien is not a Prokaryote. The facehugger is a bilaterally symmetrical vertebrate creature as well, as is the alien baby, as is the full grown alien. To our current knowledge, only 22 amino acids can exist in a Eukaryote creature. Since the aliens were capable of feeding off of the dead pilot as well as us, the suggestion in this movie is that, while life may be prevalent in the universe, DNA is a common solution for multicellular, complex, oxygen breathing humanoid life forms.
In our galaxy anyway.
DNA would not be unusual for life forms that come from yellow-dwarf main-sequence stars like our own. The same common elements in our star, Sol, are the same common elements found on earth, and so us.
That is also not unusual because our type of sun is a common type. The accretion disk material that creates our sun generally creates the planets in its orbit, excepting large bodies that may become trapped into orbit around our sun (like, possibly, Pluto).
But even such bodies would be immersed in that accredtion disc, eventually being covered in an ablative or crust, not unlike the earth's crust, and so only forming life made from that crust.
So given enough solar systems (as many as 100 billion in our galaxy alone. 19 nearby Sol type suns with solar systems - and counting - just within our tiny neighborhood of the galactic arm); With enough planets; Within the right distance; Orbiting a star like ours; Will have reducing gases like nitrogen, methane, ammonia, and also carbon dioxide. A chemical mix courtesy of the Sol type star.
Does a Sol type sun (G-type main-sequence star - G2V) have to produce carbon-based amino acid life forms?
We aren't sure. All research points in that direction so... Maybe.
In 1953 at the University of Chicago, Stanley L. Miller and Harold C. Urey, using heat and electricity to represent volcanic activity and storms, and the primordial gases of methane, ammonia, hydrogen, and water, showed what would happen to such gases on a young planet.
Yet their experiment is not the only solution to creating amino acids.
Leslie E. Orgel, while at CalTech, took what could be considered the opposite approach and tried freezing various primordial compounds and elements, to imitate earth during an ice age. When he froze hydrogen cyanide and ammonia in H2O, it made adenine, one of the four bases of our DNA (Adenine, Thymine, Guanine, Cytosine - ATGC). The spiral strands of DNA could have been formed by either tropical environment, freezing environments, or a combination of the two (imagine amino acid-laced primordial ice bergs drifting into tropical climes.). The point is, in an earth-type environment, which is created by a Sol type, G2V star, DNA may be the only possible choice.
If that's the case, and there is no evidence to prove or disprove it, the alien is a natural being.
These Science Moments copyright 1999 - 2019, by E.C.McMullen Jr.
Some people think I'm more important than you (I don't, but they do. You know how they are) and this is their (HA!) evidence.
Matt Jarbo's interview with Feo Amante at The Zurvivalist.
Researcher David Waldron, references my review of UNDERWORLD in the Spring 2005, Journal of Religion and Popular Culture entry, Role-Playing Games and the Christian Right: Community Formation in Response to a Moral Panic (downloadable pdf).
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