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‘Proof’ That Humans are Extra-Terrestrial

There’s a new book out by an ecologist that claims that humans were placed here on earth by aliens, perhaps using earth as a penal colony. But he has proof! Hard evidence! What evidence? Oh, you’re gonna love this. We get sunburned. And bad backs. And alien origin is the only explanation.

A U.S. ecologist has claimed that humans are not from Earth but were put on the planet by aliens tens of thousands of years ago.

Dr Ellis Silver points to a number of physiological features to make his case for why humans did not evolve alongside other life on Earth, in his new book…

In his book, HUMANS ARE NOT FROM EARTH: A SCIENTIFIC EVALUATION OF THE EVIDENCE, the ecologist writes the human race has defects that mark it of being ‘not of this world’.

‘Mankind is supposedly the most highly developed species on the planet, yet is surprisingly unsuited and ill-equipped for Earth’s environment: harmed by sunlight, a strong dislike for naturally occurring foods, ridiculously high rates of chronic disease, and more,’ he told Yahoo.

Dr Ellis says that humans might suffer from bad backs because they evolved on a world with lower gravity.

He also believes humans are not designed to be as exposed to the sun as they are on Earth, as they cannot sunbathe for more than a week or two – unlike a lizard – and cannot be exposed to the sun every day without problems.

Dr Ellis also claims humans are always ill and this might be because our body clocks have evolved to expects a 25 hour day, as proven by sleep researchers.

Well there ya go. But what about all those fossils that show the gradual evolution of humans from primate ancestors? He has that explained too:

He suggests that Neanderthals such as homo erectus were crossbred with another species, perhaps from Alpha Centauri, which is the closest star system to our solar system, some 4.37 light years away from the sun.

Except that Neanderthals were not Homo erectus. Nice try though.

Dr Ellis said many people feel that they don’t belong and feel at home on Earth.

‘This suggests (to me at least) that mankind may have evolved on a different planet, and we may have been brought here as a highly developed species.’

‘One reason for this … is that the Earth might be a prison planet, since we seem to be a naturally violent species and we’re here until we learn to behave ourselves,’ he said.

Yes, of course. And I don’t feel at home here in Belding, which proves that I must come from Indonesia. Logic!

Comments

  1. Trebuchet says

    Yet more proof that well-educated people (presumably, I didn’t find his CV in a quick search) are capable of believing in the most ridiculous nonsense.

  2. doublereed says

    Erm… what about other species? Like are monkeys aliens too? They have worse backs than we do. They can’t even stand up straight!

    What about Lobsters? Ferrets? Crocodiles? Is Godzilla an Alien? What about Mothra?

    Really, this just raises more questions.

  3. Dunc says

    Mankind is supposedly the most highly developed species on the planet

    Stop right there! Gimme your “ecologist” card. [shred shred shred]

  4. Trebuchet says

    Oh, and here’s the Amazon page for the book. The “customers also bought this” selections are hilarious. One of the reviews points out that the writer is unable to find any references to “Dr. Ellis Silver” other than associated with the book.

  5. says

    What did you expect from the Daily Mail? And why the fuck are you bothering with the Daily Mail anyway? Did we run out of more relevant craziness in the mainstream media when I was asleep?

  6. says

    The idea of uplift — that aliens modified an indigenous Terran species and set humans on the road towards intelligence — is at least a possibility which cannot be dismissed by available evidence. But to say that humans are aliens? Nope: our genetic link to all other life on the planet is far too evident.

  7. otrame says

    The heirs of Heinlein should sue his ass. I read a tongue-in-cheek essay by RAH making the same claims that I believe was written in the 1950s.

    As for the bad backs, as someone whose lower spine and left sacroiliac joint are held together with surgical steel, I feel the problem is that we were “intelligently designed” and the designer in question wasn’t very bright.

  8. Abby Normal says

    But to say that humans are aliens? Nope: our genetic link to all other life on the planet is far too evident.

    All mammals were transplanted from our home planet with us as part of the terraforming project. They first tried splicing the alien DNA with the native species in the test area we now call Austrailia. But the results were deemed unsuitable. So the entire mammalian class was imported. Neanderthals were created to test the environment before sending real people. They were the crash test dummies of the prison planet project.

  9. magistramarla says

    I agree with Richard @ #1 – I don’t feel at all at home in Texas.
    Therefore, I must be an alien, at least to Texas.
    I finally found the place where I feel the most comfortable, and that is the coast of California.
    I was born in the Midwest, but I always felt like an outsider there.
    What sort of alien does that make me?

  10. iplon says

    It’s a reverse watchmaker!

    “Humans are more advanced species on earth, but they aren’t perfectly evolved for their habitat. Therefore, aliens must have brought humans here from somewhere else.”

    Just as self-defeating as the watchmaker argument, too. Because, as it’s been pointed out here, this implies that every other species must also have been brought here too. Therefore we aren’t actually special.

    Also, I cringe every time someone marks us out as categorically special. It reminds me of “natural” vs “unnatural”. While it might be useful for some specific purposes, it’s a human heuristic, not a fundamental property of matter or objects.

  11. says

    The idea of uplift — that aliens modified an indigenous Terran species and set humans on the road towards intelligence — is at least a possibility which cannot be dismissed by available evidence.

    “Available evidence” being…what?

  12. Rip Steakface says

    Oh god, I’m just dying thinking about PZ tearing in this load of crap. It would be hilarious.

  13. Synfandel says

    I’m pale, pasty, and prone to sunburn, because my ancestors evolved in northern Europe where there wasn’t much sunlight and we needed the vitamin D. Sub-Saharan Africans are not pale, pasty, or nearly as prone to sunburn, but I’m pretty sure they’re human.

    I have a bad back because my distant ancestors were quadrupeds, I walk upright, and I sit at a computer all day then try to lift heavy objects.

  14. Reginald Selkirk says

    Mankind is supposedly the most highly developed species on the planet,…

    Does not understand the theory he is attmpting to criticise.

  15. Chiroptera says

    He also believes humans are not designed to be as exposed to the sun as they are on Earth, as they cannot sunbathe for more than a week or two – unlike a lizard – and cannot be exposed to the sun every day without problems.

    Holy crap! He really needs to get out of his white suburb more!

  16. John Hinkle says

    Mankind is supposedly the most highly developed species on the planet, yet is surprisingly unsuited and ill-equipped for Earth’s environment…

    This is true. I’m ill-equipped, especially when Chicago gets clobbered with snow. If only my alien ancestors had dropped off a snow blower when they kicked my ass out of the spaceship…

  17. says

    @Raging Bee #14 – “Available evidence” being our close genetic relationship to all other tested organisms on the planet. I am probably misremembering, but I recall that we have a 98% genetic similarity to chimpanzees, around 90% with most other mammals, and even a 50% genetic similarity to a banana. There is simply no way that humans are exobiots.

    The idea behind uplift, though, is that an alien race genetically modified existing stock to favor the development of certain characteristics that eventually led to H. sapiens, in the same way that humans turned teosinte into corn or wolves into chihuahuas. It is science fiction, sure, but it is at least plausible science fiction, at least when compared to this “humans are aliens” nonsense.

  18. iknklast says

    This guy makes me ashamed to be an ecologist. We have to work hard enough as it is to convince our colleagues that we do real science; then someone like this comes along, gets press, and bingo. Back at square one. What about that ecologist…(fill in stupid idea here). How can you answer that, heh? Easy. Every field has its share of people who abuse the field.

  19. Chiroptera says

    By the way, since people mention science fiction, this “idea” reminds me of Niven’s Pak from Protector.

  20. eric says

    @16 – I think you hit the nail on the head. This is more racist, bigoted, Van Dankien-like bullflop. Whites aren’t adapted to long exposures in strong sunlight, ergo, humans are aliens…because, y’know, he doesn’t really count anyone else as humans.

    There is a reasonable correlation between skin color and latitude (of genetic history). It isn’t lock-step, but its pretty good. This is pretty clear evidence that skin color variation is a normal, mutation-and-natural-selection derived adaptation.

  21. says

    I tend to roll my eyes when this winds up in science fiction. I can suspend disbelief when a show has aliens messing with our evolution or inserting dormant super power genes or stuff like that. Saying we’re aliens or half-alien is too much.

    Annoying case of the reverse: Space travel game series I recently learned about called X. In one of the games, a large group of humans in some distant collection of star systems get cut off from the rest of humanity, and apparently after a few centuries start thinking Earth is a myth, and treat believers like cultists. Leaves me to wonder where they think humans came from. They wouldn’t resemble the native life, and even if they terraformed a new Earth with modern species, wouldn’t the lack of fossils tip them off that they didn’t evolve locally?

  22. A Masked Avenger says

    By the way, since people mention science fiction, this “idea” reminds me of Niven’s Pak from Protector.

    Someone–I think it was Dawkins–cited a different science fiction story as illustrating the idea that we might in fact be sexually mature juveniles, like the axolotl. In that story, which I haven’t read, a man discovers the means of triggering metamorphosis, and lives an incredibly long time as a result, with one catch: he metamorphoses into something resembling a gorilla.

    I recounted this to a sci-fi buff, who pointed me to Niven. The first novel particularly was really excellent, but it turns neoteny on its head: pak protectors are sterile. So in his world, our species consists of sexually mature but non-sentient juveniles, who metamorphose into a sterile but sentient (and practically immortal) “worker” phase.

    Sorry for the detour. I must admit, though, that while I’ve enjoyed several of Niven’s books, I was made profoundly uncomfortable by his seeming predilection for making females non-sentient in alien races–by evolution, in the case of the puppeteers, and by eugenics, in the case of the Kzinti.

  23. says

    Oh, yeah, this whole thing stinks of the Disneyfication of nature, attributing problems to having us unnaturally relocated instead of recognizing that natural evolution is fraught with compromises and kludges.

  24. A Masked Avenger says

    … instead of recognizing that natural evolution is fraught with compromises and kludges.

    I think the problem runs much deeper in this case. It’s clear that “Doctor” Ellis Silver has no comprehension of evolution whatsoever. A dead giveaway is his statement, “Mankind is supposedly the most highly developed species on the planet…” That suggests ignorance level “Answers in Genesis.” The most elementary grasp of the subject includes the realization that all modern species are equally “evolved,” the “primitive” modern species included.

    Back trouble is a direct result of evolving from quadrupeds. Ironically, we’re incompletely evolved for upright walking (hence the back trouble), but we’re no longer well suited to walking on all fours either. It sucks to be us, basically.

    But while we might someday evolve into better bipeds, who walk without back pain, it’s a safe bet that sunburn and skin cancer are never going away. Aside from the tradeoff between vitamin D production and sunburn resistance, there’s the simple fact that the sun is fecking powerful. He might as well complain that, “Mankind is supposedly so highly evolved, yet terrestrial acids will still damage our skin, and subzero temperatures will still give us frostbite, and fire will still burn us. Oh, and we’re still susceptible to drowning.”

  25. naturalcynic says

    I’m astounded [well at least astounded that Ellis could write such ethnocentric and probably racist tripe] and not have pe9ople immediately notice that he is only concerned about light-skinned people in his silly conjectures about skin cancer. Well, I haven’t read the book, only the Mail article, so the racist idiot may only be Sarah Griffiths, the Mail reporter.
    It appears to be a monumental misunderstanding of human biology and the evolutionary trade-offs that have advantaged humans.

  26. raven says

    If we are products of uplift, then those aliens aren’t very competent. I could design a better intelligent species myself.

    Can we get a do over on this?

  27. Sandy Small says

    Well, obviously. This was spelled out very clearly in the very first scene of the 1991 documentary, “The Borrower”.

  28. caseloweraz says

    The late Chad Oliver (1928-1993) chaired the Anthropology Department at UT Austin. He wrote a number of SF novels and one shorter work I’ve always been fond of: Transfusion. Its counterfactual premise is just what Mr. Ellis claims. In the story, time travel has been invented. Anthropologists use it and find that before a certain time (25,000 years BCE, IIRC), nothing similar to modern humans appears anywhere on Earth.

    It is a vexing mystery which they solve by going back again and again. Eventually they stumble upon the event which explains it. You can probably guess the general nature of that event, but I won’t be a spoiler because the story deserves to be read. If you’re in a hurry, Wikipedia has a synopsis.

    I should add that the story dates from 1959, before genomes could easily be compared.

  29. says

    Ellis may well be right that we aren’t particularly well optimized for life on Earth… Unless you consider versatility an optimization. Even without recourse to our advanced technology, we can traverse a vast array of terrain, get nutrition from plant and animal sources, and can survive a vast subset of the Earths varied climate and weather systems. And that’s without our technology.

    We are optimized for life on Earth. All of the Earth. This may have come at a cost to our ability to handle specific aspects of Earth’s environment, but few species, especially of our size, can so comfortably live on such a large portion of our planet.

  30. says

    Ellis Silver is not his real name. I emailed the publisher and they told me, “Ellis Silver is the author’s pen name – deliberately chosen by us because it is untraceable online. We are not able to reveal the author’s real name, or anything that would allow him to be identified, in case he is accused of blasphemy by extremists for writing his book.”

    They told me that his doctorate was in Limnology & Marine Science from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and that he “is the co-director of a private marine research station near Galveston, owned jointly with his uncle. It is not open to the public.”

    I still haven’t been able to find him by googling. Oh yeah, and I emailed the Daily Mail, but haven’t got a bite.

  31. says

    Thank you for the courtesy of including the title for the book. I heard the basic story on the news and have spent 20 minutes trying to find the book title, this is the first article that included it.

    I happen to agree with Dr. Ellis basic premise. I don’t know if I agree with the specifics, but I will certainly read the book.

    BTW I also would like to thank you for the relatively benign treatment of ideas that I am sure are not to the taste of all or most here. I am not used to skeptics being respectful of others – I have been insulted, meaninglessly because I laugh at those insulting me – for not being a skeptic myself, which I am not – and for holding actual advanced degrees in technology at the same time. I find that a sad behavior for “free-thinkers” – because what it really means is “be a free thinker, think just like us” I am glad to see that it is not the universal outlook of your community.

    Have a lovely day, and again, thank you.

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