60% of Americans believe life exists on other planets

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If our world is average' date=' then all these factors cancel out. For any group of stars [i']the same age as our sun [/i] that have advanced life the odds are 50/50 whether they are ahead of us or behind us.

This part makes sense to me.

My argument is simply that since there are more Population I stars older than our sun than there are Population I stars younger than Sol, the odds move in favour of the ET being more advanced. On average[/i'].

This is were I disagree with you. You are assuming that just because a star system formed earlier, it offers no evidence that a planet formed earlier or life evolved earlier.

Even if conditions on another planet were exactly the same as our planet earth and it formed at the same time, does not mean that life would evolve in the same way or at the same time.

It is for this reason that I must reject the argument that older star systems have more intelligent form of life, for this logic doesn't really work in application.

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Ah, I see where you are coming from.

I didn't mean that older systems must have more advanced life, I was referring to the topic statistically. My argument really only holds true for large numbers of planets with life.

Along the lines of "If there are 1 million systems older than ours with life, then 600,000 would be more advanced than us and 400,000 wouldn't. If there are 1 million planets younger than ours with life, then 400,000 would be more advanced and 600,000 wouldn't."

Some stars would develop planets and life early, some later. If we had enough data, we would be able to conclude that on average a star would develop planets after "x" years and life "y" years after that. This life would develop at an average rate of "z".

Knowing this, we would conclude that older stars are more likely to have more advanced life than ours. Since there are more stars older than ours than younger than ours, it follows that ET is more likely to be more advanced.

Please note, I'm not saying they must be more advanced, just that it is more likely, statistically speaking that they are more advanced. That there are probably more "more advanced" races than "less advanced" ones.

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Please note' date=' I'm not saying they must be more advanced, just that it is more likely, statistically speaking that they are more advanced. That there are probably more "more advanced" races than "less advanced" ones.[/quote']

Yeah, I know what you're saying, and that's why I don't put too much stock in statistics or averages. It's done too much in biology espeeically, in my opinion, it may look like nice numbers but it doesn't represent what's happening in real life.

It reminds me of a biologist joke.... "If you have a biologist's upper body in a freezer and the lower body in the oven, he'd say he was at room temperature."

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Correction... That should read "...when it comes to producing life as we know it."

It's possible for some sort of hydrogen/helium life form to evolve' date=' that could obtain energy from the chemical reactions from the sun. Our definition of life is sketchy at best, this may be the reason why we haven't found life yet. Hey, who's to say alien life form would even exist in 3-demensions, like us?[/quote']

I shall be the first to concede that humanity's ignorance may actually be larger than the Universe, but I have a problem with your suggestion.

I pondered including the phrase 'life as we know it', but then rejected it. Partly this was because visions of Spock kept coming into my mind [it's life Jim, but not as we know it.], but largely because I couldn't envisage how we could produce any life form using hydrogen and helium. Helium is pretty well non-reactive and hydrogen, well, yes it likes to link up with...hydrogen. There just doesn't seem much scope for producing anything that we would call life - and I would argue that if we don't call it life it isn't life. Hugely antropocentric? You bet, but as the only known game in town I claim we have the right to right the rules.

[i'm hoping someone with more chem/physics savvy than me will now produce a nice concept for hydrogen/helium based lifeforms and make me eat my words.]

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There just doesn't seem much scope for producing anything that we would call life - and I would argue that if we don't call it life it isn't life. Hugely antropocentric? You bet, but as the only known game in town I claim we have the right to right the rules.

Well, seeing how our own definition of life isn't very complete or agreed upon, I would agree that our definition of life shouldn't be used to determine whether or not other things are life or not. We can't even classify a virus, how could know what isn't life on another planet.

[i'm hoping someone with more chem/physics savvy than me will now produce a nice concept for hydrogen/helium based lifeforms and make me eat my words.]

not being this person, I couldn't tell you. But I was just throwing that out to suggest other forms of life are possible, not that this situation actually exists.

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Yourdad, I'm familiar with the Drake Equation but what actual relevence does it have? How many even approximate values can you ascribe? As we do not have the necessary data to complete the equation, any answer derived from it is guesswork and nothing more.

Ecoli, I suppose I think about this topic statistically because I don't think our world is special. While there are many steps needed to turn the primordial soup into life, each of those steps only needs to happen once. Given the state of the early Earth, the billions of chemical reactions going on for millions of years, is it any surprise that just by chance the steps happened?

If it can happen here, it can happen elsewhere too. To deny this is to deny the simple probability of a random event happening. Or to believe that Earth is somehow "special".

We now know that planets seem relatively common, just because we are not advanced enough to find the Earth sized ones doesn't mean they aren't there. Does a world need to be Earth sized to have life? Probably not. We can see on our own world the incredible diversity of life supporting habitats. We've found complex life forms in the abyssal deeps living around the "Black Smokers" a place where you really wouldn't expect life to be, not complex forms anyway.

We've extracted amino acids from meteorites, so it would seem that these basic building blocks are spread around at least our own System. Is there any reason to assume that they are only found in the Sol System?

Given the millions of galaxies, each with hundreds of millions of stars and billions of years to play with them, is it reasonable to assume that life won't appear if given a chance? Once it does appear, the record of our own world shows that it is highly adaptive and extremely hard to kill off.

It may be that for every advanced life form bearing world there are a million that never made it past bacteria, but given the size of the Universe that total figure for that "one in a million" is still staggering.

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My point is, JohnB, that statistics mean litterally nothing. Just because planets are earth-like doesn't mean that they evolved the same way. Statistics simply do not represent reality. I agree that life would exists elsewhere, the probability is in favor of it, but I don't trust statistics that indicate how life would form, the unit of heredity, or even that reproduction exists at all. We are so blinded by our preception of life, that I wouldn't find it unlikely that we won't even recognize life if we found it.

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life could be extremely diverse... I dont see why it needs carbon' date=' oxygen, liquid water, or any of the other things "needed" for life. Imagine a planet full of heavy metal elements... you could have metal beings, or you could have crystal beings trapping photons for energy... life could be made of anything, and get energy in anyway...

and chances are there is every type of life we could think up, when you think of the hugeness of the universe[/quote']

According to the Biblical record, there is indeed a diversity of life, we earth humans being a lower form than the angels, archangles, seraphims, et al. There are, according to the prophet John in Revelation chapter 4, exotic beasts and other creatures in God's throne room. There are both good and evil creatures, the evil being angels of the devil being likely what is referred to as demons. God himself is deemed the highest being, the creator and manager of the universe using his multipresent Holy Spirit and various echelons of angels to effect his purposes. It likely only mentions beings pertaining to his purposes relative to earth. There may be other beings of various sorts which the Bible does not mention.

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It's not unreasonable to think there might be life on other planets. There are billions of planets, and some of them can support life; they've been there for a long time. Surely it could have happened somewhere?

I kind of hope so - might be lonely otherwise.

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i don't see what these figures are trying to prove.

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It's not unreasonable to think there might be life on other planets. There are billions of planets' date=' and some of them can support life; they've been there for a long time. Surely it could have happened somewhere?

I kind of hope so - might be lonely otherwise.[/quote']

I mentioned in another post that life on other planets is a certainty, but what about life intellegent enough to create transmitters to send messages into space and recievers to listen.

On earth, out of the millions of species, only one can do that.....only one.

So how many planets do you imagine may have trees, water, land animals, but never evolved to be "humanoid".

Bettina

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there is a difference between inteligence and being able to send a signal into space.

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Bettina: So how many planets do you imagine may have trees, water, land animals, but never evolved to be "humanoid".

What do you mean exactly by humanoid?

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Ecoli, I don't really understand what you mean, although I agree we probably wouldn't recognise them as life unless we saw them coming out of their ship, if they have one.

I mentioned in another post that life on other planets is a certainty, but what about life intellegent enough to create transmitters to send messages into space and recievers to listen.

Bettina, I can only reply with the words of J. Robert Oppenheimer: " Our science has concentrated on asking certain questions at the expense of others, although this is so woven into the fabric of our knowledge that we are generally unaware of it. In another world, the basic questions may have been asked differently."

Why would they have to have radio? It could be that we are the only primitive enough to still be using such basic technology. Or they may never have invented it, but found something else entirely.

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Ecoli, I don't really understand what you mean, although I agree we probably wouldn't recognise them as life unless we saw them coming out of their ship, if they have one.

The best way I can reply is by pointing out the Michael Creighton book, "The Sphere." The alien in that book manifested itself as different earthly animals, but had no true physical presense (IIRC). It was more like a concioussness then a physical beings, and did not understand death.

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• 2 weeks later...

Even Nobel prize winner Francis Crick believes that.

You can have a look at his book "Life itself" about the "directed panspermia" hypothesis, according to which life was sent to the Earth in a spacecraft by some advanced extraterrestrial civilization.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0671255622/qid=1119854365/sr=1-3/ref=sr_1_3/103-8476539-5838209?v=glance&s=books

Hope this helps

Dr_666

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70% of Americans believe that these life forms would be similar to humans

god thats depressing

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Not necessarily.

It is very likely carbon molecules are a requirement for life, with silicon having an outside shot as being an alternative. To have a complex living molecule, you must have atoms capable of forming bonds with other atoms. Carbon and silicon are the only two atoms capable of forming long chains, with carbon far more capable than silicon.

Liquid water plays a major role in the development of life. First of all, water is made of oxygen and hydrogen, two relatively abundant elements in the universe. The unusual properties of water, such that its solid state is less dense than its liquid state, also its high specific heat, allows lakes/oceans to have a relatively narrow temperature range, because the more complicated the molecule is, the more "fragile" it can be.

Crystal beings are pure sci-fi invention. Every molecule in a crystal is oriented exactly the same way. Even though it can kinda self-replicate by nucleation, little information can be stored in this structure.

Photons are for the most part non-interacting with other photons.

life could be extremely diverse... I dont see why it needs carbon' date=' oxygen, liquid water, or any of the other things "needed" for life. Imagine a planet full of heavy metal elements... you could have metal beings, or you could have crystal beings trapping photons for energy... life could be made of anything, and get energy in anyway...

and chances are there is every type of life we could think up, when you think of the hugeness of the universe[/quote']

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