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Is Anyone Out There?

 
 
Reply Mon 18 Dec, 2006 10:02 am
I'm a little bit bored at work today, so I will attempt to start a thread on a subject I find interesting. Do you believe that there are other planets in the cosmos with intelligent life, or do you think that we are all there is? If you do believe that there is intelligent life elsewhere, how do you think we stack up against the others? Does this alien life include species that are much smarter than we are, or are we at the top of the pyramid?

I personally believe that there is other intelligent life in the cosmos, and that some of it is much more intelligent than we are, and that some of it is much more technologically advanced than we are, which is not necessarily the same thing. I could say more, but I would rather just sit back and hear other peoples' opinions.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 0 • Views: 10,133 • Replies: 271
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Bi-Polar Bear
 
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Reply Mon 18 Dec, 2006 10:09 am
based on the information available I speculate that there are children scattered on other planets throughout the galaxy that all share certain characteristics of Captain James T Kirk....
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Setanta
 
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Reply Mon 18 Dec, 2006 10:29 am
I think there is a high probability that intelligent life has arisen elsewhere in the universe, even if, sadly, intelligent life has not arise on earth.

However, i think it is very unlikely that this planet has been or is ever likely to be visited by a space-faring species. Perhaps that might happen, but i think that physics mitigates against it.
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Chai
 
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Reply Mon 18 Dec, 2006 10:37 am
I think there has to be intelligent life out there, but of what intelligence?

I wouldn't be surprised if there were beings of our intelligence, or much higher. However, I'd be equally unsurprised at a myriad of less intelligent creatures.

I can easily picture a world where the most intelligent creature is on the same level as an armadillo, which is really dumb, or even worse. There may be a world out there where the smarted being is an Irish Setter.
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Francis
 
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Reply Mon 18 Dec, 2006 10:38 am
Setanta wrote:
However, i think it is very unlikely that this planet has been or is ever likely to be visited by a space-faring species.


Specially if they are an intelligent species..
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Bi-Polar Bear
 
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Reply Mon 18 Dec, 2006 10:40 am
Francis wrote:
Setanta wrote:
However, i think it is very unlikely that this planet has been or is ever likely to be visited by a space-faring species.


Specially if they are an intelligent species..


they always seem to land in a trailer park.... go figure....
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Francis
 
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Reply Mon 18 Dec, 2006 11:07 am
You mean that only trailer parks' people witness their landing?
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Setanta
 
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Reply Mon 18 Dec, 2006 11:12 am
http://www.drbukk.com/gmhom/images/ufo.jpg
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rosborne979
 
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Reply Mon 18 Dec, 2006 05:27 pm
Re: Is Anyone Out There?
Brandon9000 wrote:
Do you believe that there are other planets in the cosmos with intelligent life, or do you think that we are all there is?


Yes, I think there are other intelligent beings in the Universe besides what is here on Earth. But I'm still bothered by the Fermi Paradox. I have not yet heard a solid answer to The Great Silence.

Recently I read a book by Charles Stross called _Accelerando_ with an interesting suggestion for resolving the paradox. It had to do with the idea of an information (data) singularity which made expansion, or communication outside of the local neighborhood (solar system) relatively unattractive.

http://ec2.images-amazon.com/images/P/0441014151.01._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-dp-500-arrow,TopRight,45,-64_OU01_AA240_SH20_SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpg

Vernor Vinge has also explored information singularities. I've read a few of Vinge's books before, and I'm adding a couple more to my list Smile
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NickFun
 
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Reply Mon 18 Dec, 2006 05:56 pm
I believe the universe is teeming with life. There are 200 billion stars in our galaxy. There are 200 billion known galaxies. And we are the only ones? That makes me laugh!
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NickFun
 
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Reply Mon 18 Dec, 2006 06:02 pm
The great silence does not bother me. I can't get a radio station 25 miles out never mind 25,000 light years. And it's possible that many of the unknown light in varying wavelengths astronomers are seeing all the time are forms of alien communication.
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rosborne979
 
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Reply Mon 18 Dec, 2006 06:03 pm
NickFun wrote:
I believe the universe is teeming with life. There are 200 billion stars in our galaxy. There are 200 billion known galaxies. And we are the only ones? That makes me laugh!


I agree. But then why The Great Silence?
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rosborne979
 
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Reply Mon 18 Dec, 2006 06:04 pm
NickFun wrote:
The great silence does not bother me. I can't get a radio station 25 miles out never mind 25,000 light years. And it's possible that many of the unknown light in varying wavelengths astronomers are seeing all the time are forms of alien communication.


You read my mind and answered before I posted Smile

Maybe that's why we have silence, everyone else is telepathic.
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Dec, 2006 06:12 pm
If one were a "primitive" living in an obscure mountain valley in Papua, as yet unvisited by western man, one might experience a "great silence." It's not as though one expects them to capture and interpret microwave-based communications. It is entirely possible that there are communications which we do not hear.

At the same time, i revert to the unescapable isolating factor of interstellar and intergalactic distances. Just as it is unlikely that anyone has or would be inclined to make the massive energy expenditure necessary to visit us, even were our presence known, why would a species send out a message when they might have to wait centuries or even millennia for a response?
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spendius
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Dec, 2006 06:34 pm
In the hope that there's a floozie out there somewhere who has that bit of extra OOOmph! that we all crave for.

Don't forget infinite time. It isn't simply spatial distance. If you get into an empty railway carriage it doesn't mean there is nobody out there. An in the nude X Factor with ping pong balls and pool table pockets might have been beamed through 600 million years ago and we hadn't worked out how to get it yet. On the other hand they had pooped it by the time we had.

Millennia are blinks in time.
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rosborne979
 
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Reply Mon 18 Dec, 2006 06:38 pm
Setanta wrote:
If one were a "primitive" living in an obscure mountain valley in Papua, as yet unvisited by western man, one might experience a "great silence." It's not as though one expects them to capture and interpret microwave-based communications. It is entirely possible that there are communications which we do not hear.

At the same time, i revert to the unescapable isolating factor of interstellar and intergalactic distances. Just as it is unlikely that anyone has or would be inclined to make the massive energy expenditure necessary to visit us, even were our presence known, why would a species send out a message when they might have to wait centuries or even millennia for a response?


I will try to find a link to a site which describes why these scenarios are not satisfying solutions to the paradox.

When Fermi spoke of a 'Great Silence' he wasn't just talking about EM communication, he also meant, 'why aren't they here already'. And he was right. When you compare the distances involved to the TIME the Universe has been here, the distance are small. For example, at only a fraction of the speed of light, our entire galaxy could be crossed in a million years, and the galaxies are probably at least 10 billion years old. So with regular old inertial propulsion, they could have colonized 10000 times over by now. And that's assuming just one space faring race in all the galaxy.

Our own culture is probably less than 100 years away from developing self replicating machines. Machines which will replicate and spread for millions of years.

Biological life doesn't have to spread through the stars itself, but even a single biology which develops technology (like ours) will have (and probably had) the capacity to swarm through an entire galaxy many times over.

They should be here already.

I'll try to find a link, or I'll try to fill in the blanks from one of my books if I can find it.
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spendius
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Dec, 2006 06:51 pm
ros wrote-

Quote:
Our own culture is probably less than 100 years away from developing self replicating machines. Machines which will replicate and spread for millions of years.


Bullshit. I just knew you were one of those types ros. I've met dozens of them. Discoveryitis. Take eight pints of John Smith's extra smooth and get Jennifer to come outside for 7 minutes. Works everytime.
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Dec, 2006 06:51 pm
rosborne979 wrote:
When Fermi spoke of a 'Great Silence' he wasn't just talking about EM communication, he also meant, 'why aren't they here already'. And he was right. When you compare the distances involved to the TIME the Universe has been here, the distance are small. For example, at only a fraction of the speed of light, our entire galaxy could be crossed in a million years, and the galaxies are probably at least 10 billion years old. So with regular old inertial propulsion, they could have colonized 10000 times over by now. And that's assuming just one space faring race in all the galaxy.


This is, dare i say it?--naive to an extraordinary degree. Why would anyone have come here? Ours is a small planet of a small star in the galactic boondocks. Why would anyone have come here? What purpose would it have served to have randomly sent out sufficient interstellar or intergalactic vessels to have stumbled across this planet? The required energy expenditures to have covered all the possible star systems in which intelligent life could have arisen would be ruinous. The distances combined with the number of possibly life-supporting star systems make the effort prohibitive. That smacks to me of a childish conceit. How many people of our six billion are sufficiently interested in such an exercise that they are willing to sacrifice the energy surpluses of the entire planet for thousands of years to come on a crap-shoot attempt to find intelligent life elsewhere? Why should we assume that any other intelligent society is going to be any more inclined to make such sacrifices just on the off chance of coming across intelligent life? In particular, what is so special about Sol and its planets that anyone would have come nosing around here?
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spendius
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Dec, 2006 06:53 pm
They say there's gold in them thar hills.
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djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Dec, 2006 06:58 pm
Setanta wrote:
rosborne979 wrote:
When Fermi spoke of a 'Great Silence' he wasn't just talking about EM communication, he also meant, 'why aren't they here already'. And he was right. When you compare the distances involved to the TIME the Universe has been here, the distance are small. For example, at only a fraction of the speed of light, our entire galaxy could be crossed in a million years, and the galaxies are probably at least 10 billion years old. So with regular old inertial propulsion, they could have colonized 10000 times over by now. And that's assuming just one space faring race in all the galaxy.


This is, dare i say it?--naive to an extraordinary degree. Why would anyone have come here? Ours is a small planet of a small star in the galactic boondocks. Why would anyone have come here? What purpose would it have served to have randomly sent out sufficient interstellar or intergalactic vessels to have stumbled across this planet? The required energy expenditures to have covered all the possible star systems in which intelligent life could have arisen would be ruinous. The distances combined with the number of possibly life-supporting star systems make the effort prohibitive. That smacks to me of a childish conceit. How many people of our six billion are sufficiently interested in such an exercise that they are willing to sacrifice the energy surpluses of the entire planet for thousands of years to come on a crap-shoot attempt to find intelligent life elsewhere? Why should we assume that any other intelligent society is going to be any more inclined to make such sacrifices just on the off chance of coming across intelligent life? In particular, what is so special about Sol and its planets that anyone would have come nosing around here?



agreed set, we turn our telescopes to the sky and we say, we have found a planet that meets the basic requirements for supporting life

but life as we know it, not life as it may be

a civilization on the lightyears away may not see us as a planet that supports life from their point of view
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