I’ve been thinking lately about whether or not it is possible to formulate a scale of universal cognitive capabilities, such that any intelligent system — whether naturally occurring or synthetic — can be classified according to its cognitive capacity. Such a system would provide us with a normalized scientific basis by which to quantify and compare the relative cognitive capabilities of artificially intelligent systems, various species of intelligent life on Earth, and perhaps even intelligent lifeforms encountered on other planets.… Read More “A Universal Classification of Intelligence”
This just in. Lieutenant Walter Haut was the public relations officer at the Roswell Air Force base in 1947 when aliens or a weather balloon allegedly crash landed on a nearby ranch.
Lieutenant Walter Haut was the public relations officer at the base
in 1947, and was the man who issued the original and subsequent press
releases after the crash on the orders of the base commander, Colonel
… Read More “Roswell Officer's Deathbed Confession: UFO's Are Real”
Japanese scientists have developed a technique that can encode 100-bit messages into the DNA of common bacteria. The bacteria replicate and pass the message down from generation to generation for at least thousands of years. Because there are millions or more copies of the message it can survive gradual degradation or mutuations (so they claim).… Read More “Scientists Encode Message into Bacterial DNA”
Ok, here’s a very unusual news item:
During his time as head of the Ministry of Defence UFO project, Nick
Pope was persuaded into believing that other lifeforms may visit Earth
and, more specifically, Britain.
His concern is that "highly credible" sightings are simply dismissed.
… Read More “British Ministry of Defense Chief Resigns; Cites Concerns About UFO's”
This is so sad. Elephants are increasingly being wiped out due to encroachment by nearby human populations, and also by inept human attempts to help them — and of course by poaching. As their species is increasingly backed into a dead-end corner, and as older elephants are separated from their herds, younger elephants are developing psychological disorders and are becoming violent.… Read More “A World Without Elephants”
This is an interesting article about recent evidence of deep thinking by dolphins:
At the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Mississippi, Kelly the
dolphin has built up quite a reputation. All the dolphins at the
institute are trained to hold onto any litter that falls into their
pools until they see a trainer, when they can trade the litter for
… Read More “Dolphins are Smarter Than We Think”
I got an email from a guy named Soumya today. It had a funny qoute on the end:
Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in
the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us.… Read More “Funny Quote”
New research into the mathematical properties of whale songs reveals that they have a complex language:
The songs of the humpback whale are among the most complex in the
animal kingdom. Researchers have now mathematically confirmed that
whales have their own syntax that uses sound units to build phrases
that can be combined to form songs that last for hours.
… Read More “Study Discovers Whale Song Syntax”
Here’s a happy story about true love. An Israeli millionaire tourist recently married a captive dolphin in a formal wedding ceremony. There’s something fishy about this wedding though — I mean did the dolphin really love her for HER, or did he just want her for her money?… Read More “Obsessed Tourist Marries Dolphin”
Alex is a very smart parrot indeed. To the surprise of researchers, he understands the concept of zero, something which human children don’t grasp until they are 2 or 3 years old. Read more about Alex here.
Although it has always seemed obvious to me that animals have emotions and complex personalities, it’s taken the scientific community a long time to reach that conclusion. This article describes new findings in the field of animal behavior which indicate that not only do animals have emotions, but they also have a level of ethics, fair-play and morality that was previously thought to be impossible.
Here is an interesting article, written by a chess grandmaster, on how to trade information with alien civilizations, assuming they are ever contacted. The article proposes that at interstellar distances, the only realistic form of trade would be a trade in information — such as technology and scientific knowledge.… Read More “How to Talk to Aliens”
This is funny — a new site called www.talktoaliens.com now offers intergalactic long-distance telephone service. Simply dial their toll number and record your message. They will then beam it towards a region of high-density stars on a common frequency in the hopes of reaching any intelligent extraterrestrial civilizations that be may listening.… Read More “Now You Can Place Phone Calls to Aliens”
Frank Drake, the originator of the present-day radio-telescope-driven search for extraterrestrial intelligence — has written an editorial suggesting that his famous Drake Equation may need an update. In short, he believes his equation should be changed because there may be a lot more intelligent life out there than has been previously suggested.
Here is an interesting true story about how a group of humans were saved from a shark attack by a group of dolphins.
In August of 2003, I posted an article that suggested the SETI folks ought to look at our own DNA to see if there happens to be a hidden message from aliens in there waiting to be discovered. Putting a message in human DNA, particularly in the junk DNA regions, is guaranteed (a) not to degrade significantly over long periods of time and (b) to be found by humans when we reached a suitable level of technological development, and (d) to go with each of us wherever we went on earth and beyond.… Read More “Messages in DNA: You Saw it Here First”
The Mexican Air Force has released information about a recent UFO encounter. It is unclear as to why this information was released to the public but it appears to be the real thing. The story was confirmed by the Mexican military, and was reported by Reuters and CNN among other reputable sources and was aired on Mexican TV.… Read More “Historic Event: Mexican Air Force Releases UFO Images…”
Here is a fascinating article about a parrot with a 950 word vocabulary, a sense of humor, and telepathy!
CNN posted an article today about the potential risk of nanotechnology on the human brain. Basically some research shows that nano-scale particles such as industrial waste, or even components of nanotechnologies, can migrate through the human circulatory system and eventually lodge in the brain.… Read More “Using Nanoparticles to Augment Human Brains…?”
This article discusses new experiments that seem to indicate that certain animals can think about their own cognition — what is called “metacognition.” For example, if given a memory task, some animals such as bottlenose dolphins, are capable of indicating that they are “not sure” — in other words that they “don’t know” the answer.… Read More “New Research Shows Animals Can Think About Thought”