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What kind of biosphere would superpowered aliens have evolved in?

07 Jul 2022 08:10 #74969 by Thefirstone
Exactly what I said.  Frankly, on Earth Kryptonian or Asgardian level power would be evolutionary overkill.  The Sector General books mention a species that need their equivalent of adrenaline like humans need oxygen, meaning they need to be attacked every five minutes or so to live.  That alone speaks volumes about how brutal their home planet is.  So what kind of ecosystem would produce effectively living gods from a human perspective?  And if only the females of the species are like that, why?  And what cultural impact would living on a planet where that isn’t the evolutionary equivalent of excessive force have?

I mean obviously this is assuming by default that the species evolved naturally.

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07 Jul 2022 09:27 #74971 by Woodclaw

Exactly what I said.  Frankly, on Earth Kryptonian or Asgardian level power would be evolutionary overkill.  The Sector General books mention a species that need their equivalent of adrenaline like humans need oxygen, meaning they need to be attacked every five minutes or so to live.  That alone speaks volumes about how brutal their home planet is.  So what kind of ecosystem would produce effectively living gods from a human perspective?  And if only the females of the species are like that, why?  And what cultural impact would living on a planet where that isn’t the evolutionary equivalent of excessive force have?

I mean obviously this is assuming by default that the species evolved naturally.
Given that evolution is often the result of random fluctuations, the real question is "what kind of ecosystem would survive the presence of a superpowered being?". Of course, the degree of intelligence and enviromental awareness of said superbeing is part of the problem. In Earth's past there were a number of superpredators, who went extinct due to their insane level of efficiency and voracity. A superbeing of sufficient intelligence and awareness might be able to restrain themselves and not damage the environment too much.

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07 Jul 2022 16:41 #74977 by shadar
My challenge with this idea is that while the stated natural selection could theoretically produce a superpowered predator (or invulnerable prey) under some extreme environmental conditions, those creatures are not going to look anything like human, least of all an attractive (by our standards) female of any kind. Predators like in the Alien(s) movies make more sense in this scenario, acid saliva and too many teeth, aren't exactly sexy to this audience.

The closest I can conceptually get (even in a speculative SciFi or comic book science way) to an origin like that is that a creature that evolved under those conditions can somehow pass on a portion of their genetic structure and behavior (think Sil in the Species movies) to s human, or has the science to engineer their abilities into humans. An even bigger stretch would say they are shapechangers. Those concepts could conceptually hold together enough to "plausibly" explain why the resulting super predator might come to Earth looking like this.

 

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07 Jul 2022 17:48 #74981 by YAGS
Of course, this all assumes they evolved to have those powers in their natural environment. There are two other possibilities.

1. Kryptonians. They evolved like humans, and are human-like in power level in their home environment. It's just a fluke of nature that they're affected by our yellow sun in a way that turns them into super-beings. Other settings could have similar flukes of nature, in which aliens aren't superpowered at home, but are when they come to visit Earth.

2. Science. Who says the superpowers evolved naturally? Maybe they engineered a way to make certain members (or all members) of their species superior for protection from their enemies, or to be the aggressors in conquering other races, or maybe just to explore space more safely.
 
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07 Jul 2022 18:25 - 07 Jul 2022 18:26 #74982 by shadar

Of course, this all assumes they evolved to have those powers in their natural environment. There are two other possibilities.

1. Kryptonians. They evolved like humans, and are human-like in power level in their home environment. It's just a fluke of nature that they're affected by our yellow sun in a way that turns them into super-beings. Other settings could have similar flukes of nature, in which aliens aren't superpowered at home, but are when they come to visit Earth.

2. Science. Who says the superpowers evolved naturally? Maybe they engineered a way to make certain members (or all members) of their species superior for protection from their enemies, or to be the aggressors in conquering other races, or maybe just to explore space more safely.


 
The OP's premise was that they evolved naturally, which makes ending up with a superpowered human-like being almost infinitely more difficult than in some other shape. Even on our planet, with a much smaller range of environmental conditions, we have only one species that truly looks and thinks like Homo Sapiens, with the apes and extinct Homo species being a fair bit different. And were humans are VERY good at spotting fakes, thus the uncanny valley. 

But once you relax the "evolved naturally" constraint, then lots of quasi-science possibilities become available. 

Even with Kryptonians, it would be essentially impossible for Krypts and Humans to have evolved in parallel and end up being so similar in appearance and thinking, behavior, etc.  The only quasi-science answers to that is that Krypts and Humans share a very close ancestor, or that genetic engineering (of either or both species) was involved. 

I always like to assume that some hyper-scientific aliens abducted humans and tweaked them for their own benefit (as living tools), and for reasons of their own, wanted them to still look like idealized humans. Perhaps because humans were immensely adaptable compared to the other species in the galaxy. Or that being able to live among ordinary humans was a useful skill. But one thing about humans... we rarely follow a plan for long. These advanced god-like aliens might have one plan, but "life finds a way" might be the Sapiens theme song, and their creations now have different agendas than their creators intended.

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Last edit: 07 Jul 2022 18:26 by shadar.

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