One of the staples of science fiction is the proposition that if we discover alien life in the universe, its intelligence and way of thinking will be very foreign to humanity and perhaps even incompatible or mutually inscrutable. I see no reason why this would be the case.

Human intelligence is very adaptive -- it adjusts to accommodate the reality of the universe around it. This property may be tautological in that "intelligence" that cannot comprehend or exist within the physical bounds of our universe can't really be considered "intelligence" at all. With that understanding, and assuming that our universe and its physics are homogeneous, it's hard for me to imagine that an alien intelligence would be very different from our own.

I've got no doubt that alien cultures, religions, motivations, and biology might be quite different from our equivalents, but I see no reason for them to think in fundamentally different ways. Unless their technology or physiology violate our current understanding of the laws of physics (being then "magic") they will be bound by the same general economic and moral constraints that we are. Their mathematics and science will mesh neatly with ours (even if they use a different notation) and their history and literature will fascinate us.

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