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One more peg in the proof of Alien Life?


darkkazier
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Better yet, if there was alien life, then it would stand to reason that there would be more than just one other alien race(after all, if people find it so hard to believe there is only the human race, why would they be content with the thought of only two races?). With that in mind, would not the aliens - assuming of course that they were more advanced than humans - pay more attention to each other, than to this planet? If I were an advanced alien race, I wouldnt come here. Have you seen the obscene stupidity here? I would do everything I could to make sure no humans ever detected my race, simply to avoid contact.

 

People always assume that if there were aliens, they would have some sort of interest in this place. Why? And why would any alien race be intentionally sending any sort of signal to earth in an attempt to make contact of any kind? Its awfully arrogant to think that an alien race would even care.

 

Yet another question is, why is it people automatically assume any alien race would be more advanced? -=sigh=-

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Aronathas, many of your points I agree with, except:

People always assume that if there were aliens, they would have some sort of interest in this place. Why? And why would any alien race be intentionally sending any sort of signal to earth in an attempt to make contact of any kind? Its awfully arrogant to think that an alien race would even care.

 

We have sent probes out sending messages attempting to contact alien races. Why would we care if no other alien races would? Humans aren't known for their compassion.

 

As for

If I were an advanced alien race, I wouldnt come here. Have you seen the obscene stupidity here?
I basically agree with you. However, who are we to say that we're the only race that has nearly obliterated itself and its planet in nuclear war? Hell, for all we know, we're one of the few that HASN'T within 50 years of developing nuclear weapons. That should stand for something as far as our intelligence is concerned.
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Indeed, valid points, but just because humans seem to care about making contact doesnt mean everyone else would. Right along with the automatic assumption that any alien race would be more advanced is the assumption that they would also be more or less friendly and would want to talk. While it is true that people have made efforts to contact another race, that doesnt necessarily hold true for any other race.

 

On the topic of obscene stupidity, heheh, you have a point there. It is possible that the events that have taken place here rank among the more intelligent things that have happened on other worlds in comparison. That doesnt necessarily make the events here any less stupid :) though I must admit, quite a few interesting things have come from this place.

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Consider this;

 

-The precursor molecules for primordial life, ie Ammonia, nitrates, water and organic molecules have been shown to exist in comets and if fact it is most likely that comets originally seeded a fertile primordial earth.

 

-The formation of planets is not a unique scenario. We have observed 100's of jovian exo-planets around other stars and with the increasing resolution of space telescopes the discovery of a multitude of terrestial rocky planets is almost assured.

 

-The laws that govern biology on earth exist in these far flung worlds. The laws of nature do not vary as a function of position.

 

-Our current knowledge of life in the universe is restricted to the tiny subset of that which exists on earth. The variety of environments which life could concievably manifest and evolve are not well understood. The prerequisite of liquid water being required for life to take hold seems rather naive.

 

Is it therefore not possible for life to arise in at least one of these potentially habitibal planets?

 

Thats not to say highly-evloved intelligent life exists, but if life exists in at least one of these alternate locations then it must indeed permiate the universe.

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^agreed

 

isn't it a forgone conclusion by biochemistry that life must exist elsewhere (maybe not intelligent). because in biochemistry a dna molecule can be created just by a series of chemical reactions, so provided that the conditions for these reactions exist on other planets (it would be absurd to think that they don't) then life must exist somewhere else.

 

as for biology wouldn't it be logical to assume that over the course of a planet's lifetime an intelligent (at least as smart as humans) life form would evolve. because really any animal that uses tools could be considered intelligent but wouldn't the continued evolution of a species that uses tools logically lead to intelligence?

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The argument for tens of millions of intelligent life forms in the galaxy gets beat up by the reality that ecosystems are constantly being perturbed by things. There was a time around 60,000 years ago when the human population is thought to have dropped to 2,000 people. In fact Spencer Wells just found that every living human today is descended from one man who lived in Africa around 50,000. Now that is precariously close to extinction. So its hard to say that "certainly" life like us exists elsewhere because even on very suitable planets survival is a roll of the dice. Well unless you think that there may be other forces at work, metaphysical forces, but I am talking material science here.

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was it not Hawkins that suggested that perhaps in the search for alien life we ourselves should actually keep our heads down. Stumbling into a universal natural law driven community can easily place us onto the dinner plate of some alien species. I feel we think of aliens as being friendly a little too much.

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The argument for tens of millions of intelligent life forms in the galaxy gets beat up by the reality that ecosystems are constantly being perturbed by things.

 

Perturbed? Yes. Support for a lack of life elsewhere? Far from it. Life has been nearly completely oblitrated on earth almost every 250 million years since its conception on earth around 4 billion years ago. It is amazingly resiliant and any arguement that tries to isolate the series of events, that lead to our current level of biodiversity, as unique (in the upmost literal sense of the word) , reflects a lack of understanding of emergent laws such as molecular chemistry and biology. Life is an inevidable consequence of a universe dictated by invariant laws. Why should we be so naive and narcissitic to assume that our little corner of the universe is special?

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You seem a little defensive Thales for a Greek who has been dead for over two millenium. My point is that getting bounds for the possible number of intelligent species is not as easy as simply multiplying a bunch of assumptions together. I to think it is likely that intelligent life exists elsewhere and I am convinced it is possible for the same reasons you mention. But I would caution against saying that life is a foregone conclusion (unless you are so tense about creation that you have to attack straw arguments to ease your conscience).

 

In a universe that is filled with random variation nothing is a foregone conclusion, some things are likely but nothing is 100% guaranteed. The idea that the universe is progressing deterministically seems to be shattered by Quantum Mechanics. On the other hand if the universe is deterministic then it must have had a primary cause? What was this cause?

 

Emergent properties? I study complex systems using mathematical models and an emmergent property is simply a possibility inherent in the structure of the system. There are an infinite number of system trajectories that evade various attractors in all but the simplest of systems. So if you are saying that human life was inevitable (which in some way suggests that we are very important in the underlying structure of the universe) I think your argument contradicts itself. If we are accidental then we are not a foregone conclusion and if we are not an accident, who or what set the process in motion? And please lets not say the Big Bang. I believe in the Big Bang. That does not explain where we or anything came from.

 

So you like the idea that there are others out there, and probably like to think that we will someday meet them. If it makes your sense of the universe more complete then good for you.

 

The thing I find interesting about the description of aliens thats common now is that it sort of got started with Roswell. Its shows strong cultural patterns, in fact I'm pretty sure there were movies before Roswell that depicted big eyes and pale skin. If aliens have been visiting regularly over the eons then each culture would likely have its own description and rationality for them. Our description is very thoughful if you think about it, because after having spent all of there lives for many generations on interstellar travel a big head with big eyes and very slender bodies would be one possible trajectory of adaptation. Its kind of spooky really. The little saucers, check into EM effects and you see that with enough power those might just be a form of landing craft. Combine that with their physical form and the mother ship must be stationed somewhere nearby,....perhaps behind the moon! That's why Neil Armstrong has acted so wierd. Did you know he is a senator now and could in position to vote to repeal NAFTA and lead the wordl down a slippery slope of environmental degradation leading to a planet only imhabitable by the aliens. Damn! Where is Charlie Sheen when you need him?

 

 

No Luke, the one man 60K ago was genetically the father of us all, but he was not the only one living, check out Spencer Wells Phd. on the web at National Geographic.

 

I wish you guys would lighten up a little!

 

BTW Thales what data are you using to make your prediction?

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elijah jones I think your reffering to mitochondrial dna, of which there is nly one line of and it came from a woman (only women pass down the mitochondrial dna).

 

Also Elijah jones its not a foregone conclusion of biology that life must exist elsewhere but like I explained before, it is a foregone conclusion of the big bang. If the universe is infinite (which is what all evidence points to) then it must have an infinite number of hubble volumes that are identical to ours. This means tht there are an infinite number of me writing this post out there in the universe. so assuming that earth is the only life bearing planet in our hubble volume, then there still are an infinite number of earths that will bear life.

 

Furthermore, assuming that it would take anouther 10,000 years from our current level of technological knowhow, to the point where we can routinely visit other planets, and the same is true for all other intelligent life forms, then it is likely that any visiting group of extraterrestrials would not want to harm us in anyway, as it would be woefully ineficient to attempt to conquer a planet, especially considering the fact that there is likely anouther planet relatively close by.

 

a large number of alien cultures probably wouldn't want to deal with trying to communicate with a new inteligent culture, because it would take huge amounts of personnel to actually manage contact, with no discernable benefit to the aliens.

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The fact that life exists now, the fact that we as conscious beings, spawned from the cosmos who can debate such questions, dictates that life is inevidable. You cannot argue about alternate histories because the gradual progression of time seperates things into too disparte groups. Things that have happened and things that have not. You don't even need to have an infinte universe to insure the emergence of life. The facts I stated in my first post hold true across the expanse of time and space, that does not mean however that they are deterministic, merely that they are invariant. There is a distinct difference.

 

Generally if an emergent property is a possibilty then it has a finite probabilty of occuring. Given the massive data set of the billions of stars and billions of galaxies it seems rather unrealistic to assume that life has not emerged elsewhere.

 

The big bang does explain where we came from, as its intricacies, which we don't understand, set in place the laws which gave rise to us.

 

I don't remember ever saying that we were an accident. I believe we have evolved into our current state as a function of our environment. Our environment and our biology are controlled by physical laws which, as much as you can argue are based on probabilties, are not unique to our corner of the universe.

 

I think you miss understand the crux of my arguement. I believe life is an inevidable consequence of the universe in which we live. I believe that the probablity of humans or human like beings existing elsewhere is little to none as the unique circumstances that led to our life forms have already been actuated thus the probabilty of the exact same conditions being replicated elsewhere is small. I also believe however that biological lifeforms of varying states of evolution permiate the universe.

 

ps. there is a difference between being defensive and retorting in order to support your point of view. Calling somebodies arguement "being defensive" is rather dismissive and contray to the spirit of debate I believe these forums are trying to nurture.

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First of all Luke noone can prove the universe is infinite (show me the professional reference, Journal Article?). Secondly Thales life cannot be inevitable unless it is one hundred percent certain, but the existence of natural variation shows that nothing is one hundred percent certain or have you missed the last one hundred years of science where they discovered the random basis for the universe.

 

I agree that your analogy seems to make sense. Suppose I have a die and I roll it. I will wager that I will eventually roll 2 million fives in a row. Because the laws of probability say I must eventually roll every finite combination of numbers from the die, it is inevitable that someday I will roll 2 million fives in a row, it may happen in the first two million rows. But the probability of the event is only (1/6)^2,000,000. Its so small that on average you should expect to wait much longer than the universe has currently existed. You cannot tell me that that is inevitable. That life is I agree, but that it is inevitable you cannot prove that. It is probable and it has happened here for sure and likely elsewhere thats the best we can say and its likely the best we will ever be able to say for certain.

 

Oh yeah I almost forgot. If the Big Bang "explains" where we came from where did the Big Bang come from? Saying that science explains things is rather dubious don't you think. Realizing that some mechanism lies behind the one you first observed is not an explanation of the phenomenon its simply a greater knowledge of what is. We hail certain discoveries because they are useful, but some we just idolize for no apparent reason. The Big Bang theory has many groupies but few masters.

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http://sciam.com/search/index.cfm?Q=parallel+universes&SCC=T&OP=EXACT&M0=8&Y0=2005&PD=DR&M1=1&D1=1&Y1=1993&M2=8&D2=31&Y2=2005&SORT=R&RP=20&QT=A&code=pagefooter&selectedNews=y&sa_offers=y&sa_3rdparty=y

 

those sciam articles describe what I'm talking about

 

specifically this one

http://www.sciamdigital.com/browse.cfm?sequencenameCHAR=item2&methodnameCHAR=resource_getitembrowse&interfacenameCHAR=browse.cfm&ISSUEID_CHAR=CA29952C-2B35-221B-6C8F91F472F302EA&ARTICLEID_CHAR=CA31F23A-2B35-221B-6B2E1550FC30AE50&sc=I100322

Is there a copy of you reading this article? A person who is not you but who lives on a planet called Earth, with misty mountains, fertile fields and sprawling cities, in a solar system with eight other planets? The life of this person has been identical to yours in every respect. But perhaps he or she now decides to put down this article without finishing it, while you read on.

 

The idea of such an alter ego seems strange and implausible, but it looks as if we will just have to live with it, because it is supported by astronomical observations. The simplest and most popular cosmological model today predicts that you have a twin in a galaxy about 10 to the 1028 meters from here. This distance is so large that it is beyond astronomical, but that does not make your doppelg228;nger any less real. The estimate is derived from elementary probability and does not even assume speculative modern physics, merely that space is infinite (or at least sufficiently large) in size and almost uniformly filled with matter, as observations indicate. In infinite space, even the most unlikely events must take place somewhere. There are infinitely many other inhabited planets, including not just one but infinitely many that have people with the same appearance, name and memories as you, who play out every possible permutation of your life choices.

 

and

 

this one

http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?articleID=0001572B-C4D4-1E95-8EA5809EC5880000&sc=I100322

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