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ZetaTalk: Ugly Aliens
Note: written on May 15, 1996

One's interpretation of beauty is influenced by what one is familiar with, and is also directed by the life form's built-in self defense instincts. Humans instinctively avoid food that is rotten, and are attracted to food that smells fresh. Men see beauty in women who have full hips, slender waists, and ample bosoms - all traits that indicate the ability and readiness to bear young. Both sexes find a diseased partner unattractive - a safe guard against spreading infections or perpetuating genetic diseases. In some primitive parts of the world tattoos or pictorial scarification is considered strikingly attractive, but in other cultures where clothing of all kinds is abundant, such use of the skin as an outer garment would be shunned.

Thus, when contactees report visits from life forms that startle or even horrify them, this is not an indication of malevolent intent. A life form that looked like a slime covered horned toad or an amphibious octopus is not a life form humans would instinctively cuddle up to. Humans, due to their evolutionary roots, are inclined to think about dinner or avoidance when encountering such creatures, not about communion. The global shift in thinking that humans make when realizing that they are not alone as an intelligent species includes contemplating what this means. It does not mean sitting around a table chatting with other very human-looking aliens, an image the media has portrayed. Humans should bear in mind, when making these adjustments, that their appearance may be just as disgusting to their visitors.

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