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there clearly is
That there would only be life on earth just seems massively illogical.
it's a near-certainty that there is. intelligent life, too.
but it'll probably remain a near-certainty for a while. I doubt we'll ever prove that there's intelligent life out there, even though logically, there has to be.
or I forgot to write it.
and we'll find evidence of basic life in our solar system.
how is it *logically* necessary that there be life on other planets?
I know that if you crunch the numbers/probabilities, it's supposedly highly improbable that there isn't life somewhere else in the universe, but highly improbable does not equal illogical.
how many star systems in each galaxy.
that biological life has been found in arsenic-rich lakes, suggesting life doesn't have to be carbon-based. under ice, in a number of supposedly inhospitable places.
to suggest that life is a one-off occurence doesn't make sense.
also consider the nature of evolution. intelligence evolved because it's an incredibly useful trait for a species to have. we don't know if other intelligent species would have wiped themselves out at some stage, but at the least, it's highly likely there are/were species like us. maybe not all that different; bipedal, opposable thumbs, similar brains, similar cultures...
you're probably nitpicking at my use of illogical rather than, IDK, improbable, right?
Nits are for picking.
they almost certainly have wanky, interminable logical discourse on other planets too.
That research was about replacing phosphorous with arsenic, supposedly in biomolecules which are still very much of carbon.
There was also a big shitstorm over how the results of that research were MASSIVELY oversold.
Some further reading: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2010/dec/02/nasa-life-form-bacteria-arsenic
Or a briefer but less thorough account: http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2010-12/nasas-arsenic-loving-bacteria-doesnt-love-arsenic-after-all-critics-say
But even if the research was totally 100% legit and stuff, it still wouldn't have anything to do with non-carbon based lifeforms. You get the odd rumbling about how silicon could replace carbon for the same reason as that phosphorus/arsenic switcheroo (both replacement elements are one below the "natural" element in the periodic table) but they're mostly not very well thought out.
it's still a near certainty though, even within the narrower scope of carbon-based lifeforms.
Pre-biotic and astrochemistry/biology is pretty fascinating stuff, but the more and more research gets done, the more it looks like for anything to approach any definition of "life" which is at all recognisable to use, it's probably going to be carbon-based and it's probably going to require water (the latter is perhaps less of a certainty).
I used to think that this was just scientific conservatism at work and people, like, refusing to think out of the box, man, but there's actually some pretty solid reasoning behind it when you dig down.
It's something else I'd love to be wrong about, though, due to the number of possibilities it would open up. Or to just have something completely left field crop up that forces us to redefine "life" (not that it isn't already a wooly enough definition).
That overlaps with anything detectable to us. Not within my lifetime, anyway.
I would love to be wrong about that last part, though.
but think about what it would mean, philosophically for a lot of people. crazy !
The creationists will just go 'oh yeah he put life on other planets at the same time as ours cheers'
Although I doubt it would actually change very many peoples' philosophies anyway, particularly if they're not of a rational basis to begin with.
But that's a whole other kettle of extraterrestrial fauna and probably best avoided.
It'd be a rather queer and strange universe that with odds so obviously stacked in it's favour that life would only appear in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the galaxy around a small, unregarded yellow sun, on an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet, tbh.
Like when they found microbes a mile beneath a US crater recently. Probably not though but maybe but probably not that might maybe happen.
I hope they do architectural digs and find evidence of ancient civilisations.
that would be the coolest thing.
missed out on the Spock one though
obvious answer: matt_was_taken
obvious answer number 2: me cos i'm beautiful
(except in reverse, or something).
But I really, really doubt they've visited us.
I read a batshit theory once that there's this Star Trek-like Federation Of Planets and UFOs are sort of representatives from that checking to see if Earth is advanced enough to join. It's so insane, I almost hope it's true.
How can you say that an event is probable when there is only one documented example of said event taking place? You can't generate a probability from one occurrence surely?
look at what % of the planets we've documented have atmospheres/anything like a habitable environment, carry out experiments on whether life can form in certain conditions in these kind of atmospheres, dunno, something.
I'd like to think that alien life exists too, and it's hard not to think that given the huge amount of potential life-bearing planets that are thought to exist. But you can't put labels of probability on it - we've no way of knowing given that we don't know how frequent an occurrence abiogenesis is.
I dunno, I don't know much about this stuff. I guess my only real point was that analysing real-life occurences isn't the only way to work out probability.
That would be insane.
something about wavelength of light and stars near planets being many times more bright than any light reflected from the planet. radio signals is where its at
by the time you would send a response they would never get it. or if they did it might be in many hundreds of generations and the inhabitants have long forgotton their ancestors sent any signals into space and they arent looking for it
but I'm not sure if our civilization will ever find out.
This kinda thing really interests me because it's easy to forget how insignificant we really are. Sometimes when I'm feeling a bit down I'll just look to the stars, and it helps put my problems in perspective with the rest of the universe. Also like looking at stars because they're very pretty.
I just find it hard to believe that we're the only intelligent life in such a mindbogglingly huge universe, something we can't comprehend with the technology we currently have.
p.s. i'm loving the space pop culture references people are dropping into this thread.
'Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.'
in all existence. our tiny blue dot is more significant than the vastness of lifeless space surrounding. same goes for every instance of life out there. our relative smallness in space/time only heightens our significance.
Sagan seems like a lovely chap, but fuck that talk of insignificance. sentient beings being the only arbiters of significance.
If the universe is somewhere between motherfucking big and infinite, there's only so many ways you can arrange particles before they repeat themselves. So far enough away, there's going to be atoms arranged in just the way to make life. Whether life needs something more is another problem,
and everything's just energy right guys.
Intelligent life...that's another question all together.
Brian Cox is pretty cool.
intelligent, advanced life,at some point in the past - most certainly, like you say, chances are there has to have been
intelligent, advanced life, right now - maybe
The think I keep thinking about with this is the lifespan of an advanced civilisation. There gets to a point when a civilisation experiences such rapid growth that the challenge is to continue to exist with destroying itself or it's planet. I think we are beginning that era now.
If you think about the history of the human race, we are really only thousands of years old in terms of being an advanced civilisation. And the progress and change in just the last couple of hundred years is staggering. In the next couple of hundred years we're going to have to tackle worldwide climate change, disease, financial disasters, rapid population increase as well as numerous wars with increasingly devastating weapons no doubt. If we make it through to the next millennium in good condition we'll have done well.
So, when you think about the actual lifespan of an advanced civilisation you can see why they think it might only be several thousand years. And that, taken with the age of the universe, is miniscule. So the chances of there being someone else out there capable of communicating to us, let alone visiting our planet, are probably quite slim. You can see why experiments like SETI are having a hard time hearing anything out there.
life will be within this galaxy (in our technological civilisations period) due to the huge timescales, you have to bear in mind how long have we been able to detect/transmit radiowaves and how long human technological civilisation will last