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Are we alone in the universe?

 
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Dec, 2013 04:52 pm
In fact, van Neumann machines make the most sense for the exploration of our galaxy. It kind of beggars claims about alien visitations.
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Dec, 2013 05:11 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:
In fact, van Neumann machines make the most sense for the exploration of our galaxy. It kind of beggars claims about alien visitations.

I have always thought that Von Neumann (self replicating machines) scenarios would be the most likely form of space exploration. And that does explain why we wouldn't see biological alien visitors. However, it also leaves the question of why we haven't seen the machines yet.
0 Replies
 
Jpsy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Dec, 2013 05:14 pm
@Setanta,
I think all of the alien abduction stories are ridiculous. As rosborne put it, if aliens could visit us, than it would probably be by bending space or going through a wormhole, because I doubt they would be willing to sit in a spacecraft for a million years just to see us. So, if they were that technologically advanced, they would not need to abduct a human. All they would need were a strand of our hair that contained our DNA and they would know everything about us. They certainly wouldn't be wasting their time creating crop circles or mutilating cows like they were some sort of rabid maniacs.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Dec, 2013 05:27 pm
@Jpsy,
So-called crop cirles are my favorite hoax. Two jokers in the 1970s read about a UFO report in Australia, in which the gentleman reporting the UFO said he had found a "saucer nest" impression in some swamp grasses. So, with some very simple tools, they began making crop circles. In about 1990, they revealed their hoax to journalists, and made a crop circle while the journalists filmed it. A prominent "cereologist," i.e., someone who studies crop circles, was brought in, and declared it authentic. Bower and Chorley had used a simple, inexpensive, collapsible painters' scaffold to get into the fields without leaving tracks.

I saw a television program about this, and some new age types at Stonehenge for the solstice were asked about crop circles, and they just jumped all over it. Then the television crew showed them video of Bower and Chorley making a crop circle. Most of the hippies quicly drifted away, others said, basically, yeah maybe, but that doesn't a count for all of them.

Since that time, "cereologists" have frantically hunted up "historical" references to crop circles. If people want to believe such a thing, nothing will dissuade them, not even the evidence of the people who have perpetrated the hoax. I feel sorry for the unoffending farmers.
Jpsy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Dec, 2013 01:31 am
@Setanta,
From the link you posted
"A self-replicating machine is a construct that is capable of autonomously manufacturing a copy of itself using raw materials taken from its environment, thus exhibiting self-replication in a way analogous to that found in nature."

"...to distinguish macroscale replicating systems from the microscopic nanorobots or "assemblers" that nanotechnology may make possible..."

I agree with you. Certainly a technologically advanced civilization that has existed for a million or more years would explore the universe by a method like this, or possibly someway even more creative and complex than our 21st century minds are capable of comprehending. This idea that they would visit us in a tin flying saucer probably originated in some 1920s science fiction novel. To think that a civilization, possibly a million times more intelligent than us, would go to some remote, rural farm, and make designs in wheat fields is laughable. It's analogous to the fact that an omnipotent God could manifest herself in front of every person on the planet simultaneously, but instead makes her presence known by appearing in the burnt remains of some moron's grill cheese sandwich.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Dec, 2013 02:51 am
Mmmmmmm . . . grilled cheese sammich . . .
Jpsy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Dec, 2013 03:56 am
@Setanta,
Quote:
Mmmmmmm . . . grilled cheese sammich . . .


Well don't eat the sandwich! You could make a lot of money selling it on ebay or to the Creationism museum. Hell, even Gunga would probably give you a pretty penny for it.
I can just see the grill cheese sandwich on display behind thick glass at the creationism museum. Armed guards keeping it safe from thieves or vandals.
I wonder if the Islamic world has their equivalent. Does the Prophet Mohammad make special appearances on Islamic cuisines or on glass windows? Do eight armed elephant gods appear on grill cheese sandwiches in India?
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Jan, 2014 11:27 am
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/22/water-stardust-life-universal-interplanetary-dust_n_4637628.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000009
Are we alone in the universe? A new look at stardust suggests just the opposite, indicating that life may be universal.

Researchers at Lawrence Livermore Lab in California used electron microscopy to examine interplanetary dust collected from Earth's outer atmosphere. They found that the tiny particles contained pockets of water -- presumably created by interactions between the dust with the so-called "solar wind."

Why is that significant? As John Bradley, director of the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics at the lab and the research leader, told The Huffington Post, "The two key ingredients for life on Earth are water and organic material. These particles arrived at the top of the atmosphere with both of the key ingredients for life."

And that, the scientists wrote in a paper about their research, suggests that as long as conditions are right, the particular type of water production is a "ubiquitous process throughout the solar system."

Since water is one of the main ingredients for life, the finding suggests that life may have arisen at different times and places throughout the universe.

"The implications are potentially huge," Hope Ishii, of the University of Hawaii in Honolulu and one of the researchers, told New Scientist. "It is a particularly thrilling possibility that this influx of dust on the surfaces of solar system bodies has acted as a continuous rainfall of little reaction vessels containing both the water and organics needed for the eventual origin of life."

The research was published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Jan. 21.
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Jan, 2014 11:22 am
http://www.techtimes.com/articles/2884/20140123/is-water-vaopr-spouting-dwarf-planet-ceres-hiding-alien-lifeform.htm
Is the water vapor-spouting dwarf planet Ceres hiding alien lifeforms?
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Jan, 2014 12:40 pm
@edgarblythe,
edgarblythe wrote:
Is the water vapor-spouting dwarf planet Ceres hiding alien lifeforms?

I hope so. Please god, let there be something interesting for the news channels to report on for a change.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Jan, 2014 12:46 pm
The Dawn probe from NASA and the JPL has already visited Vesta, and is now en route to Ceres. It will arrive in a little over a year, so we will have more information of some kind, if not about that water vapor.

The Wikipedia article on the Dawn mission.
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jespah
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Jan, 2014 01:17 pm
@rosborne979,
The discovery of an alien microbe, conclusively proven to not be terrestrial in origin, will change our world. Just one. It can even be unicellular.

In our solar system, to have two places with life would point pretty convincingly toward the notion that life is common in our galaxy, if not the universe.
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Jan, 2014 02:06 pm
@jespah,
jespah wrote:
The discovery of an alien microbe, conclusively proven to not be terrestrial in origin, will change our world. Just one. It can even be unicellular.

I agree. I just wish they would hurry up and find something already. As they say, I'm not getting any younger over here Wink

Of course, once they find something I'm going to be dying to know just exactly what it's made of and how it works. And until they do that I'm not even sure they can say they found "life". It's going to be very hard if not impossible to prove the presence of life from any remote observation or even from on-board testing (like on Curiosity Rover) unless the on-board tests are geared for exactly that type of analysis (which currently, they are not).

The only "shortcut" to the challenge of "proving life" is to find a fossil of something on Mars. And while I keep hoping for a shocker like that, I don't really expect it.

I suppose it's possible that they could deduce a high probability of life based on environmental conditions or event observations. But even that is going to be a hollow success until they can get some actual information on what that life might be like. Because in the end, we don't want to just know that other life exists, but we want to understand it and know what it's like. That's the only thing that is really going to be satisfying.
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secondusername
 
  0  
Reply Mon 27 Jan, 2014 01:21 am
@Jpsy,
Quote:
Are we alone in the universe?


I honestly don't know.
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Jan, 2014 11:24 am
If this thread doesn't have a soundtrack yet, it's gettin' one now:

Germlat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Jan, 2014 12:20 pm
@Setanta,
My father would probably agree with you.
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secondusername
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jan, 2014 10:30 am
@Setanta,
I see.
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Artimas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Sep, 2014 03:46 am
Saying we're alone in the universe, is like saying we're the center, absolutely preposterous. Billions of planets, billions of stars, we are not the only ones.
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Sep, 2014 04:27 am
@Artimas,
Still, it would be nice to see even the smallest sign of other intelligence out there somewhere. So far, only silence.
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Tue 23 Sep, 2014 04:33 am
I say your jumping the gun . . . time enough to look out into the cosmos when we have clear signs of intelligent life on this planet.
0 Replies
 
 

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