Thu 28 Nov, 2002 08:10 am
What do you think about the possibility of extra-terrestrial lifeforms in the universe?
I could not make a definitive statement, but I am certainly not ruling it out. We are just beginning to grasp the mysteries of the universe. There may be life forms that are totally different than those on earth.
My own guess is that there are other forms of life in the universe but I don't think that we are even capable of comprehending all of the possibilities of what they may be like.
They may be out there but they may not even be carbon based and may not posess "intelligence" the way we associate with the word but they could very well be intelligent in their own sense.
UFOs? Nah, I don't believe in that stuff...
I believe that human arrogance is what causes many people to discount the theory of ET's.
there are too many other galaxies out there,and just looking at it mathamatically says that we aren't alone in the universe.
Personally,I think aliens are watching us and laughing at us.
ARRRGGHH! The poll got screwed up!
Monger, What other question did you have in mind? When I went over the list, I thought something was missing, but couldn't put my finger on it. c.i.
BTW, there's another debate going on in this forum about "reality." That subject should be part of this discussion, because some of you have already implied that humans do not have the ability "grasp the mysteries of the universe," and leaves a big black hole in human's ability to seek and/or find other living creatures. c.i.
I don't believe we will ever contact alien life.
Craven, Don't you think any form of life is possible outside our planet? It doesn't necessarily need to be "intelligent" from a mental ability standpoint. c.i.
Also, just because we can't contact it, does not mean that isn't there!
I think there is a possibility of alien life, it might be a bacteria or it might be cognizant. I think the possibility of a form of alien life is great but do not think it would be anything like what mankind's anthropomorphism has painted it as (we like our gods and our aliens to be like us, we are sooo vain).
I am certain we will never have physical contact with alien life (due to severe logistical problems) and I don't think we will have any other meaningful contact (radio, signals) either.
I have nothing to say on this topic which can avoid discussion of my former in-laws.
Alien life may exist.
In our lifetimes, the reality of these aliens will remain a source of discussion.
Direct answer to the question:
Of course it is Possible!
Is it probable?
Not enough facts to go on.
But like most -- I would be very, very surprised if Earth is the only planet in this huge universe with life.
But here is something that ought to be considered.
The exact set of circumstances that lead to life -- the accidents that must happen and the materials that must be available for the accidents to happen -- may be very, very rare.
We may eventually explore the nearest 60 stars to our own -- and not find so much as a lichen.
Then again, we may find that life is abundant - and that our system of planets is unusually devoid of life.
About time for this agnostic to trot out his favorite tune:
I really don't know; I suspect nobody else does either; and I estimate that there is not enough information available right now to make a reasonable guess.
Monger, I'll fix the poll for you. If anyone voted before, you'll need to resubmit your vote.
The universe is a very large place. There are still things in the oceans that we don't know about. Even if we overcome the problems of time (that is, in the unlikely event that we don't go extinct before the earth becomes incapable of supporting life), the problem of distance alone is likely to prevent any sort of contact.
The poll's all fixed (the old one had to be deleted)!
As for your question, I think -
* there are other intelligences out there. Most of the other life out there are bacteria and the like, but a few are intelligent. Now, we consider dogs, dolphins and chimps to be somewhat intelligent. I'm not saying we're the smartest ones out there, but the chances of hitting our intelligence/sophistication level are low and get lower as you keep raising the bar (did that make any sense)? I think, if we find anything, it'll be unicellular for the most part, but there will be some places with life forms of some sophistication but not self-awareness on the scale that we have. And I agree with Craven in the sense that this won't happen in our lifetimes.
* space is incredibly vast and hard to get from place to place. Unless somehow a way can be devised to cheat Einstein and exceed the speed of light, space travel beyond our solar system will be mainly an expensive, impractical pipe dream. It won't be like Star Trek, wherein we travel all over the place at a fast clip. Nope, it'll take weeks and months and years to go from planet to planet - and that's just in our own solar system
*are other beings trying to communicate with us? I voted for that choice but it's hard to say. There may be other intelligences out there, but they may be shy, or untrusting, or unwelcoming. It's likely that communications will be vastly different, and probably nothing we will be able to recognize. If you were to meet an alien, how would you know which parts heard (if any)? Which parts speak (if any)? Which parts breath? Which parts defecate? Get these wrong, and human-alien relations don't exactly get off on the right foot, eh?
All of that being said, what if we find nothing or nearly nothing? Are we, perhaps, obligated to populate the galaxy? The Science Channel had something on this about 2 months ago, wherein humans adapted themselves to various topographies/climates/radiation levels, etc. We genetically manipulated our descendants so that some would tolerate bitter cold, and others would be able to hang out in high radiation areas, and others would be able to handle heavy gravity. The results were hard to pinpoint as 'human', and perhaps they weren't. Will we, maybe, become the "Johnny Appleseeds" of the galaxy, sowing DNA instead of Golden Delicious and Macooms? It boggles the mind.
I think life on other planets is possible. A few years ago, scientists found living organisms living close to the ocean bottom where vulcanic material is seaping into the ocean floor. We're talking about a "very hot" environment where these organisms are living. I think the possibilities are enormous when we think about earth's life span of 150 million years versus the the total universe. c.i.