Do Intelligent Dinosaurs Really Rule Alien Worlds?
“Asteroids have us in our sight. The dinosaurs didn’t have a space program, so they’re not here to talk about this problem. We are, and we have the power to do something about it.” — Neil DeGrasse Tyson on asteroids, dinosaurs and his new book “Space Chronicles” during an NPR interview.
It sounds like the ultimate science fiction storyline: what if the dinosaurs weren’t wiped-out by an asteroid impact 65 million years ago? Perhaps they’d still be alive today, in an advanced evolutionary state, developing their space program and their own asteroid impact mitigation strategies. Sadly for us, this would have probably meant that mammals wouldn’t have gotten a foothold and the fledgling human race would have become glorified dino-chum.
In new research published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, the rather outlandish prospect of alien — not terrestrial — dinosaur life is explored by Ronald Breslow. And these dino-aliens (“Dinolians”?) didn’t have the misfortune of being smacked by an asteroid and/or get snuffed out by a volcanic eruption.
But before we get too carried away with thoughts of pirate Velociraptors piloting space shuttles, attacking interplanetary supply ships (too late!), there is actually some scientific reasoning behind this work — even though the “alien dinosaur” conclusion is a bit “iffy.”