Extraterrestrial Life

moved to lounge from playground :moogle:

Changed topic subject to avoid confusion with the ongoing “Extradimensional Life” topic. :bruno:

ok, so i talked about this in the ld4all chat, but noone even gave it a second thought. I think that we may be the only life in the universe so far… if we werent, wouldnt we have found someone/something else yet. maybe our gift to the world is to spread life. your thoughts?

I like to look up in the night sky and wonder if there is anyone else out there…wonderful feeling. We should let them find us because if we find them then we would invite them here and they would take over (as the movies tell).

i dont think there is any knowing weather there is any other life out there (besides what they found in the dirt on mars) because it could be way too far away. who knows really!

wouldn’t we risk the same chances of invasion if they came uninvited…?

meh, like we would do anything about it except ending up killing ourselves trying to destroy them

here’s my thoughts towards extra terrestrials.

i totally believe that there is life beyond just this world. they are far away most likely, but they are around. i know this for a fact. the only question is whether or not we have made contact with this type of life. that is hard to say, and i wont give my opinion on it.

however, I dont think we should encourage summoning extra terrestrials to our planet. the natural instinct of any living thing would be fear. they would be afraid of us, we would be afraid of them. then it would be war, which would not be good. personally i would think it that we leave other planets alone. also, i do think that aliens would show malice towards us, not peace.

i could go into a lot of detail here, but i’ll leave it at that. i’ve just experienced too much on this front to say more.

I have heard that someone calculated the probability of extraterrestrial life, and it was an enormous figure. I believe there is life beyond our planet, but it is either confined to one planet, sort of like us, or it is impossibly far away.

But my question is for LorDrrr. How can you know they exist “for a fact?” Probability strongly suggests their existence, but there is always that small margin.

And I’ve always wondered this. (Assuming there are multiple forms of intelligent life out there on several planets.) Does every forms of intelligent life believe it’s the first, including the very first? Did they all believe something else was out there? What would it be like to be that very first intelligent race, discovering that they’re truly alone. Could man kind handle that kind of existentialism?

If another race had the intelligence and capablities to even come to our planet, then they must bring peace (What else is there to gain other than knowledge?, Material goods could be found on any planet similar to ours). I’m just afraid that when it happens, we’ll respond with war. I was watching a TV program a few days ago, someone discussing the possiblity of nano technology, the next scene brought up was by some Army operations dude dicsussing how these could be implemented on the battlefied, whereas before, they were discussing on how to cure cancer with it. It seems that our society can’t function without new ways to kill things. If we went to the stars, I would be afraid it would be a more miltiary act other than a scientific/exploration

Yup, competition is part of nature and since we humans have such vast potential for creativity, we can and will always use part of it for the development of weapons, tactics, and anything else to stay on top of the competition. We can’t and won’t live harmoniously as a species, and we sure as hell won’t be able to do so with completely alien lifeforms. Best get ready, survival of the fittest is absolute and those who willfully deny it die early, or become enslaved to someone more competitive.

The only absolute “peace” I can think of is if a completely hive-minded species conquers and controls everything. But even then, nothing is eternal and there will be conflict again someday, when circumstances fall into place.

The Drake Equation is an equation that will estimate the number of communicative/intelligent civilizations in our galaxy. Number varies widely (look at the article), but it really gives an idea of the true possibility of other life.

HERE is a link to download an excel spread sheet on which you can enter in your own estimates for each variable. :smile:

No matter what the number, I like to consider the number of galaxies in the universe. Pictures like this and this give another good idea of just how many galaxies - galaxies just like ours - there are. Billions and billions - we don’t even know. Each one of those points is a galaxy, not a star. In all the galaxies, around all the stars in each galaxy, it seems very likely that there is some sort of like, if not intelligent.

What frustrates me is if other societies are exactly like ours. We build radio telescopes, but send maybe one intentional transmission every 50 years or so.

Oh, and has anyone else read Carl Sagan’s Contact? If he has his facts straight, of all the tv/radio transmissions we’ve sent off into space that are strong enough to reach extraterrestrials, Hitler’s opening speech for the Berlin Olympics would be the first to reach other planets. :bored:

Well that’s great, hahahaha. Good for them to know we’re “civilized”, hehehe.

I think I’ll pull a quote from Contact (I didn’t read it, but I saw the movie :razz: ), “If we are alone, that’s a whole lot of wasted space.”

I suspect that, given the sheer size of the universe and the rather interesting diversity of life we see even on our own infinitesimally tiny ball of dust, that there is plenty of intelligent life out there.

The problems with “contact” are really enormous. Any given species has most likely a lifespan of a few million years at most. Their total “transmission time” might number in the thousands of years (less if they’re smart… see below). Which means you have a bubble of EM transmissions expanding through their galaxy that may very well be utterly drowned out by background noise (remember, the energy of a transmission falls off according to the inverse square law) by the time it reaches any other intelligent species.

Even that blessed event assumes that the contacted species is actually close by, listening to the sky, and that the technological era of that species overlaps in time with the period in which they are receiving messages. Think about it. Human beings have existed for tens of thousands of years, but it’s only in the last 100 or so that we’ve even had the ability to listen. We might only have the ability to listen for another 100 years (before we manage to wipe out our own technological civilization). If an intelligent civilization 5000 light years away started transmitting 20000 years ago and managed an almost unbelievably long period of 5000 years of signals, we still would have completely missed the signal and they could be extinct by now!

Now imagine that you’re a species that grew up in a harsh evolutionary environment wherein, just like as with humans, you were forced to struggle to survive (i.e. any species that hasn’t been very recently genetically engineered into existence by an intelligent species). By the time your civilization can muster up the energy to travel at relativistic speeds, you’re also smart enough to realize that any other species that is out there that is even remotely interesting to talk to (i.e. intelligent) also has made it to the top of its local food chain by dominating the locally available energy resources.

Do you really want to talk to those people, who are just as ruthless as you and have utterly alien cultures and mindsets? We can’t even seem to get along with people from the other side of the planet most of the time! And what if you’ve been sending out your bad reality TV for the last few decades by the time you make this realization. Doesn’t that mean you’ve just sent out a signal into the night saying “we’re here!” What do you think those people on the other end might decide to do about it, if they make the same realization you are? If they don’t have relativistic travel, they can’t do anything. But if they do, you’re a goner. Because a trivially small asteroid traveling at some appreciable fraction of the speed of light (say, 10%c) will sterilize your planet when it hits.

Hope you’ve figured out how to colonize other worlds by then! Pleasant dreams, everyone! :happy:

i definitly thing there is some other life out there. maybe not as smart as we, but there is! it’s absurd not to assume so!

I think there is life out there, but I do not wish for us to meet it, and vice versa, because like LorDrrr said, there would simply be conflict and war, and it would generally cause more problems.

I think that there is life out there and that whe should send out war ships to destroy any planets with living beeings on it j/k

I posted a video somewhere a little while back… there was a scientist who found that the universe contains the base code for life within every single molecule… so when the correct conditions for life are present, there will be life there no matter what. They did some kind of test and found this to be true.

If you take a look at our DNA for example, the full coding of your DNA can be found in each individual cell. So its not really that far-fetched that the universe contains a blue-print for life on a molecular level. With the test they performed, the only conditions they used were extreme heat - no water… and it still produced the basic first signs of life.

It’s quite silly to believe we are the only intelligent life in this universe which seems to be infinite in size… there are at least 100 MILLION stars within this 1 galaxy. There are at least 100 BILLION galaxies out there… if not more… thats 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000… etc… stars many of which would have orbiting planetary bodies (solar systems), thus there would be a good chance for the right conditions to be present. And granted what I said earlier is indeed true, then the universe could be literally teeming with life.

As Turin mentioned, a potential contact with extraterrestial civilization requires a great amount of luck to “catch” a very small span - not only a span of space (neighbourhood of several light years), but also a span of time. We might have missed an enormous amount of chances to contact with other civilization, because they have simply extinct before they “space-time span” overlapped ours.

But if any of them survived long enough, they are probably extremely advanced: upon meeting we could probably easily treat them as gods. Thus we can’t detect them as they are most likely using completely different means of communications. And if they are aware of our existence, it’s quite likely that they aren’t even slightly interested in having contact with such primitive civilization.

I’d be interested in seeing this for myself if you can post it again (or PM me). I minored in ecology and so life science in general interests me quite a bit. In any event, even the assumption that extraterrestrial life has to be DNA-based is a false one; one that might not have even held for all Earth’s history. Do a search for Cairns-Smith and the “inorganic mineral” theory of abiogenesis, for just one (fascinating) example… Richard Dawkins discusses it at length in The Blind Watchmaker.

You’ve got an interesting assumption here as well that I always find interesting. I’ll illustrate it by its inverse: what if it’s actually impossible for civilizations to become much more advanced than we are? Even if you assume something like a “technological singularity” inspired by the invention of free-willed AGI (which probably spells the doom for the inventing species, by the way), who’s to say that all the sci-fi tech we assume is waiting to be discovered is really possible?

FTL appears to be utterly impossible right now – don’t believe what you read in flaky magazines like New Scientist that posit that FTL would be possible “if only [fill in nonsense concept like negative energy].” It may very well be the case that the laws of the universe don’t allow god-like entities to actually exist. For which I would be grateful, actually. Such entities might not even recognize our sentience!

Yes, I was just thinking of that… what if evolution is a universal thing? where all life is at the exact same point and there are no alien species that are more advanced than us. They probably have microwave dishes too trying to pick up our radio waves, but because our radio waves take a certain amount of time to reach their system, its kind of futile both ways. But there is also the idea that once a species reaches a certain point in their evolution, they become more spiritually orientated… moving into a higher dimension, and as a result, either can’t or choose not to interfere with the evolution of other species.

A wormhole is just as stupid as traveling at the speed of light apparently… both require an infinte amount of energy… UNLESS you were to change the mass to zero… or very close to zero… the only way to do that would be to convert the craft and its occupants into light photons, then convert them back to normal once the travel is complete. You also have to think about what would happen if traveling through space at light speed… i.e. small asteroids, space debris, etc. if that were to hit the craft at such a speed it would cause damage. I can’t believe we are still using rockets though… they are basically just large missiles. We have computers, the internet, the telephone, the television, quantum physics… yet we still think that traveling in space is best done using a rocket? come on… they should shut NASA down or at least re-focus their efforts on something more productive and practical.

Turin: that video will be too hard for me to find sorry. It was about ancient technology, atlantean quartz crystals or something. I find it interesting that biologists are now discovering (or so i hear) that the mind/consciousness can alter its own bio-chemistry… if you think you are going to be sick, then you will be. One guy (on C2C) went as far to say if you fully believed you could live young forever, then you could. But I think that may be a bit off-topic.

I agree. Surely theres some living animal, or plant or even bacteria. Would be interesting to see a real life extra-terrestrial (and I don’t mean aliens with big eyes). Wonder what abilities they would have, and how they would differ from other species.