On August 3, Morgan Freeman will show the world what aliens may look like.
The series, which wraps its second season on Wednesday, poses questions about the unknown--such as whether there is life after death or if we can live forever--and builds off of recent scientific discoveries to attempt to answer these questions.
The August 3rd episode, which asks whether alien life exists in the universe, uses biological chemistry to postulate the physical appearance of extra terrestrials. Based on clues found in the DNA of earth-dwelling organisms, as well as a variety of other factors, researchers interviewed for the episode discuss whether aliens could look similar to humans.
Science fiction writers have always had their little green men. But these humanoid aliens were based soundly on Earth-based life, not any extra-terrestrial evidence. Today, we’ve discovered hundreds of planets around other stars. As we learn what some of these alternative Earths might look like, science and imagination have allowed us to use real science to imagine the biology of their inhabitants. Will they have two eyes? Two legs? What color will their skin be? Which species on Earth can give us clues about likely biology of aliens? And what can we learn from how life on Earth developed to help us understand what ET really looks like?
What have others said about this topic?
World renowned physicist Stephen Hawking is almost certain that life beyond Earth exists. After all, as he points out in his Discovery Channel series called "Stephen Hawking's Universe," the universe has 100 billion galaxies, each containing hundreds of millions of stars. "To my mathematical brain, the numbers alone make thinking about aliens perfectly rational,” he said. “The real challenge is to work out what aliens might actually be like."
Seth Shostak, a senior astronomer at the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence institute, told the Discovery Channel that aliens may not resemble humans as closely as they do in movies. “If you go down to the local zoo, and check out the critters there, THEY don't look like us,” he explained. “So I don't think aliens would, either. But my personal opinion is that if we find a signal...it will be coming from a society that's more advanced than ours. They may have already invented thinking machines."
The season finale of "Through The Wormhole With Morgan Freeman" airs on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. (ET/PT) on the Science Channel. Check out a preview of the episode (below), and visit the Science Channel's website for more videos.