On Sun, 13 Jun 2010 02:09:19 +0200, Lars Finsen wrote:

> Den 11. jun. 2010 kl. 18.43 skreiv Jörg Rhiemeier:
> > I see no reason to assume that religion is something not to expect
> > from alien intelligences.
> They could have religions, but I see no reason to expect them to. How  
> aliens may think or react depends on how they are made up and how  
> they work. If they had no contact with us there is no reason why they  
> should copy us in any way. Humans have certain peculiarities in  
> common that define us and influence our behaviour. [...]

Sure.  They will lie outside the range of human cultures in some
respects, each species in their own ways.  So far, we can say
*nothing* about their religions (or non-religions).

> [...]
> > There is not much evidence for religious
> > beliefs in non-human life on Earth - but those lifeforms aren't
> > sapient (or if they are, they are in a way incomprehensible to us).
> I think we underestimate the sapience of our fellow Earthlings,  
> because we don't understand them, yet. None of them are materially  
> comparable to us, of course, and that is vital for us who put such  
> emphasis on material things. I don't think they are spiritually  
> comparable either, but I think that once we get to understand the  
> wisdom of the dolphin, the octopus or the ant better, not to mention  
> the cat, they will have some surprises for us in hand.

Right; we don't understand them well enough to evaluate their
intelligence.  For every expert who says that dolphins are on a
par with humans, you will find one who opines that they are no
better than chimps.  Certainly, they are *different*.  Human
intelligence is technological; it is mainly about making things.
What we can definitely say about dolphin intelligence is that
it is non-technological.  But that makes it hard to compare with
human beings.  And some social insects, while being not very
intelligent on the individual level, are capable of doing quite
impressive engineering feats on the hive level.  Again, their
intelligence is so different from human intelligence (and so
poorly understood) that we don't know how to compare them with

.. brought to you by the Weeping Elf