I'm not saying it isn't possible, that there could be an alien species superficially resembling humans somewhere among the stars. What I'm saying is the concept of humanoid space aliens is far too overplayed in popular culture, and why that is so is what annoys me.
Browsing the internet once I found an interesting article, another one of those "Top 10" lists. The article concerned top 10 things in the media that western culture generally accepted to suspend disbelief for. On the list was "humanoid space aliens." I only shook my head. Not me!
The Yautja from the Predator franchise, the Na'vi from Avatar, virtually every sapient creature in Star Wars, the creatures from Battle: Los Angeles, the insectoid-humanoid creatures from District 9 and to a degree even the creatures from Cowboys & Aliens... The list goes on. Fresh on the list is a movie I just rented from Amazon.com, Battleship. Sorry to spoil the movie for everyone who hasn't seen it yet, but the space aliens are humanoids. Being the senseless sci-fi action CGI-fest the trailers couldn't help but reveal Battleship to be, I didn't expect much story-wise and could enjoy the movie for what it was... With the exception of the humanoid space aliens, which prevented me from giving the movie a higher rating than I did.
Why am I peeved by humanoid space aliens? Let's pause here and give them an acronym so that I don't need to spell it out every time the term comes up in this rant. Why am I peeved by HSA's? The reasons are simple and blunt:
A) It gets old quick, when every new sci-fi space movie features humanoid aliens the predictability goes up. Predictability is not good friends with originality. Somebody shoot me now, I'm starting to sound like a film critic.
B) As aforementioned, I'm not saying that HSA's couldn't exist. The simple fact is that humans have a preconception that, to be sapient a creature must look and act like us. That's naive. We cannot fathom what strange entities could exist among the stars. To function enslaved to the ideology that the human form equals sapience is extremely limiting on our imagination and has a negative affect on popular culture (as explained in reason A).
I'm a biology and paleontology enthusiast. I am also an astrobiology enthusiast. And being the rogue creationist that I am, I tend to think outside of the box. I don't think, "Okay, for alien life to exist the only possible candidates are Goldilocks planets that can sustain life very much similar to our own here on Earth." I think, "Life on Earth adheres to certain natural laws to exist. Is it possible that extraterrestrial life could exist on other planets and require different sets of natural laws to survive?" Why must space aliens look like us and live on planets like ours? Why can't there be giant electromagnetic life forms that feed on friction and regurgitate electromagnetic pulses? Why can't there be iron-based life forms composed of special atomic particles that enable them to shapeshift at will into virtually anything? When you open your mind and free it from any limitations, literally anything becomes possible. But no, we're stuck with things like Twi'leks and the Na'vi (more appropriately referred to as blue furries) because mainstream human imagination in modern popular culture is plagued by nonsensical preconceptions regarding extraterrestrial life.
I want to do something about this issue.