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What if we ARE utterly alone in the galaxy?

 
 
Lustig Andrei
 
  2  
Reply Sun 2 Nov, 2014 04:45 pm
@OmSigDAVID,
Keep it up, Dave. You're turning into a real troll. But why should that come as any surprise?
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  0  
Reply Sun 2 Nov, 2014 04:46 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
Lustig Andrei wrote:

I'm saying that it's of no importance. It's a non-issue. Setanta challenged you, even if obliquely, and OmSig egged it on. Now it's just getting out of hand like the schoolyard fight that neither kid is going to win ... or lose. Drop it. It's not worth the effort and it's just an interruption of an otherwise serious discussion.


I disagree, Andy.

Any "serious discussion" HAS to include the fact that the initial assertion IS nothing more than a blind guess. It is far from a non-issue.

This entire "issue" can be summed up in one sentence: We do not know what is going on "out there"; we do not know if there are others or if there are no others; we do not know how advanced we are compared with any other civilizations that might exist.

Issue over.

We simply do not know...all we can do is speculate...or, as this guy Cox did...make a blind guess and propose it as a truth revealed from on high.
Lustig Andrei
 
  2  
Reply Sun 2 Nov, 2014 04:47 pm
@Frank Apisa,
All I know is I'm outta here. This is no longer a thread to discuss Cox's claims.
Frank Apisa
 
  0  
Reply Sun 2 Nov, 2014 04:53 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
Lustig Andrei wrote:

All I know is I'm outta here. This is no longer a thread to discuss Cox's claims.


I don't know about you, Andy...but I AM discussing Cox's claims.

I think his claims are nothing but guesses...pure blind guesses.

Nothing wrong with guesses...even blind guesses...but when they are presented the way Cox did...someone has got to call them for what they actually are.

That is what I am doing.

I have no idea why you or anyone else has so much trouble with that.

Coming to grips with the fact that so many statements we here every day are of this same kind...no real substances, just guesses...is essential to finally dealing with these kinds of things reasonably.
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Nov, 2014 05:36 pm
@Frank Apisa,
This is for you.
farmerman
 
  3  
Reply Sun 2 Nov, 2014 05:56 pm
@izzythepush,
That's pussy music Izzy. Even of you disagree with Frank, at least have the decency to give him the real music of that
title


izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Nov, 2014 06:07 pm
@farmerman,
They won the Eurovision. How could they be anything else?
Frank Apisa
 
  0  
Reply Sun 2 Nov, 2014 06:23 pm
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:

That's pussy music Izzy. Even of you disagree with Frank, at least have the decency to give him the real music of that
title
[youtube] :http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WtRxKRS0r8g[/youtube]




Actually, this version is one of my favorite pieces of music. I think it is Esther Satterfield in it.
Frank Apisa
 
  0  
Reply Sun 2 Nov, 2014 06:30 pm
@Frank Apisa,
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=weS9GwUtwz8

This is the version with Chuck Mangione and Esther Satterfield.

SUPER.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Nov, 2014 04:45 am
@izzythepush,
Hehehehehehehehe . . . a lot of Americans won't get that.
izzythepush
 
  0  
Reply Mon 3 Nov, 2014 04:48 am
@Setanta,
And that's something you should be grateful for.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Nov, 2014 04:49 am
@rosborne979,
rosborne979 wrote:

Setanta wrote:
Quote:
However, amid widespread media coverage after the broadcast, including on Stuff, along the lines of "we are alone in the universe", Cox tweeted: FOR LAST TIME: I think life is common in universe. We MAY be only civ. in Milky Way. There WILL be other civilisations in univ.

Yes, it's important to note that cosmologists know the difference between the Universe and a Galaxy (even if the media and general public don't) Wink


Oh yeah . . . this thread is proof positive that a lot of people don't get the distinction. Also tat they didn't get the distinction between a technological civilization and merely the presence of life.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Nov, 2014 05:15 am
@rosborne979,
rosborne979 wrote:
If I understand correctly, I think his claim is based on his understanding about the probability of single cellular organisms evolving into multi-cellular organisms. But I don't have access to the data he may have used to calculate that.

However, that particular evolutionary step would seem to be critical in the evolution of technological intelligence (at least if we keep our view of "life" to the narrow band of water based organics which we are familiar with), so if for some reason the probabilities of that happening are small enough, then the stability period for planets or moons may be too short to allow for it in a single Galaxy.


I would also point out that he referred to the meteor event which wiped out the dinosaurs, so i think he was not solely referring to the step from single-cell life forms to multi-cell life forms. Either he did not express himself well, or, as i think is more likely, the journalists were left far behind right at the starting gate, and most of what they're reporting is considerably less than coherent.

Your point about the stability of planets or their satellites is well-taken. I think it is far less likely that stable planets/satellites would form and endure in the galactic center. We see gamma ray bursts all over the sky. Where stars are more densely clustered, the probability of potentially disastrous events is far greater. You could have a planet with multi-cellular life or even sentient, self-aware life forms reaching or already possessing technology which gets hit by the shock wave of a star going nova, which strips off the atmosphere. They'd have just about enough warning to bend over and kiss their respective asses goodbye. The gravitational tidal forces in the center of the galaxy could be such that planets do not easily form, or don't last long if they do.

Of course, we are in the galactic boondocks where such dangers are of a much lower probability. It could be that it is only on the periphery of galaxies that the rise of multi-cellular life and in particular, sentient, self-aware species is of a high order of probability. The so-called cinderella zone is, in my opinion, much over-stated. You probably need liquid water for higher complexity organisms, and for technology, you probably need sufficient oxygen for fire. So you also need dry land. (There are likely not many occasions for starting fires on water worlds. If you've got an ocean world, you could have a sentient, self-aware species such as dolphins or whales--if that is a realistic description of those creatures on our planet--and you're not going to be coming up with much in the way of durable technology.) You probably need the equivalent of fingers and thumbs.

One of the issues which that silly Fermi paradox never considers is social organization. Even if you have a sentient, self-aware species, a crucial question is going to be how well the work together, and whether or not they would ruvive the rise of technology.

I would be very much interested to know the deatils of his reasoning.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Nov, 2014 09:25 am
@Setanta,
Living things in the Milky Way have not yet invented the Milky Way candy bar. However that would be a blind guess on my part because I don't know whether the cacao tree had evolved on any other planets
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Mon 3 Nov, 2014 09:34 am
@farmerman,
Weriously. What would stop plants from developing a sentience of a sort? They don't have nerve ganglia because they don't need em. They already communicate by chemical and physical "tropisms". imagine a huuuge niche that opens up and plant, many already are motile , either by actual moving or growing quickly (like kudzu or cucerbit plants).
0 Replies
 
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Nov, 2014 10:26 am
@farmerman,
Quote:
...whether the cacao tree had evolved on any other planets
Indeed, forgive if I reiterate Farm, but supposing as I do that there are quadrillions of other inhibitable planets, they must vary considerably in resource depending on size and distance from respective sun

So I thank my apodictical existential She for placing me on what must surely be one of the very best. Imagine living on one without chocolate, or the coffee bean for heaven sake

Heaven of course being the here and now
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Nov, 2014 10:50 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:
I would also point out that he referred to the meteor event which wiped out the dinosaurs, so i think he was not solely referring to the step from single-cell life forms to multi-cell life forms.

Absolutely right, he also mentioned the dino-killing asteroid event. But I had heard that one before and I have a number of reasons for not being as impressed with that particular argument (I think I've listed a few of them in past threads).

It was the multi-cellular conversion argument which I found most unusual and compelling, and that's why I focused on it.

It seems to me that if multi-cellularity is blocked, then it's pretty much impossible to evolve a technologically advanced species. I don't see any way it could happen unless we widen the definition of "life" to include completely un-demonstrated possibilities like "energy beings" or "crystal life" or something like that. I'm not saying those are impossible, but I'm not prepared to widen the speculation that far in my mind yet.

On the other hand, now that I think about it, there might be a possibility that single-celled creatures could develop a complex internal structure of organelles and sub-structures such that their diversity might gain the status and variety of a multi-cellular organism, but I don't have any clue how to calculate that.

The finite argument which he implied (but didn't include data for) was that multi-cellularity itself was so improbable in an organic environment, that it exceeded the know stability of even a vast (galactic scale) potential for environments. The number of potential environments is also highly variable at present, but I tend to give it a high value because I think organic/water environments are pretty common (averaging at least one per star system).

I also think he was making a colorful and attention grabbing statement because he was on a TV show and because he probably benefits from the exposure (he doesn't seem to be afraid of the attention).

Just as with A2K, saying something benign never gets much attention and doesn't start much discussion.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Nov, 2014 12:29 pm
@dalehileman,
I blame all this continental drift going on for the development of many things as big seeded plants (which serve as food resources). STuff like coconuts, cacao, are , as far as paleobotanists say, island derived and go back to a time when the mid latitudes included a whole bunch of skimming land masses trying to smash into each other and archipelagos trying to emerge from the deeps as collisions of these landmasses occurred .
The times before that (of earlier evidenced continental collisions)
all the plants were either gymnosperms or one celled or colonial cyanobacters

My point is that so many SPECIAL conditions have hd to occur for even our present status of planetary life.


0 Replies
 
mark noble
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Nov, 2014 04:39 pm
@OmSigDAVID,
As we have 'claimed' and drained, everything we ever 'touched', I suppose?
We are the 'ultimate' parasite, after all.
And we indoctrinise our offspring with a lapsed morality to justify and nullify our very nature.

I know of NO lifeform that is able to resist overindulging when resources are abundant - Nor of any that would not fail as a society (empire) by the same accord.



0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Nov, 2014 04:55 pm
@rosborne979,
I'd have to agree about making a statement as a well-known television presenter. I've seen several videos of his efforts as a presenter of science as a popular, rather than a specialist subject. You can got to youtube and search for Brian Cox and come up with a lot of interesting stuff. I first heard of him in that role a few years ago.
0 Replies
 
 

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