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Thread: How long do you think it will be before other life is found?

  1. #1 How long do you think it will be before other life is found? 
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    And what kind of creatures will they be like? Will they be similar to animals here or will they be entirely different such as the theorized possibility of silicon based life?

    Stephen Hawking : Aliens pt 1
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2oYS9-Ee9U
    Just in case anybody missed it :wink:


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    bear in mind the natural history of the planet we live on. for vast millenia the only life on earth was tiny microbes. then there was an explosion of larger life-forms.

    and personally, looking at the earth i don't think it's too long untill we nuke life off the face of the earth.

    so chances are when we do find life it will be microbial. when will that happen? perhaps we'll find some beneath the surface of mars, one of saturn's frozen moons looks promising as well. or maybe we won't find life untill we venture into other solar systems.

    it's very difficult to guess.


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  4. #3  
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    Its not really possible to know without a crystal ball. Perhaps any day now...or maybe never! :-D
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    To use a loose definition of found, probably within the next decade. Earth like planets will be found soon and when we analyze their atmosphere we may not only detect gases from living things but from pollution caused by a civilization.

    Possibly we have found life already in that no one can think of an explanation other than bacterial for the big gassing off of methane that occurs every Martian summer. Even more amazing, recent readings from Titan are most easily explained if there is some form of methane life there.

    Humanoid is the best form for an Earth like planet, being an upright position to carry a (heavy) brain, two legs makes mobility easy as two arms make doing things easy, like handling tools. Two eyes for 3D vision and two ears for 3D hearing, mouth for eating, nose for smelling, etc.

    Vastly different environments would produce different beings, which has been explored by SF writers for a getting on a century, with beings living on very hot and very cold worlds, very heavy gravity worlds and even in outer space. We do not know the limits of life though complicated life like ours obviously needs a better environment than bacterial life.

    Fred Hoyle had a space cloud, Hal Clement had beings living on a world of hundreds of gravities, John W Campbell had huge tubes living on Pluto, various have had silicon or crystalline beings on very hot worlds, etc.
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  6. #5 New Life? 
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    As a christian based scientist,
    i dont see anything wrong with finding new life out there. Has anyone seen that movie the 4th kind? The things they were saying about the sumerians with the rockets on their Hyroglifics... its hard to imagine extra terrestrials coming here, maybe there are different dimensions and they really arent that far away. there is water on the moon, but no life....the red planet with the heat and dust...and a non oxygen atmosphere, silicone based life? I am going to look into that.


    i just cant imagine aliens. ive never seen one, i dont believe in them


    (yet) : )
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  7. #6 Re: How long do you think it will be before other life is fo 
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobisMe
    And what kind of creatures will they be like? Will they be similar to animals here or will they be entirely different such as the theorized possibility of silicon based life?

    Stephen Hawking : Aliens pt 1
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2oYS9-Ee9U
    Just in case anybody missed it :wink:
    By "other life" I assume you mean life somewhere other than Earth.

    My guess is that discovery of intelligent life on Earth is a pre-requisite. I am still awaiting convincing proof of intelligence here.
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    Lol It's difficult to find a exact definition for Intelligent Life but I'd have to agree with you on the lack of it here, on earth. I mean, what it been 200 thousand years since we evolved into Homo Sapien and we almost already destroyed ourselves. We're still losing to the dinosaurs by 164.8 million years...
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    For all we know we could've already found it. But we all know what governments are like. If there was any trace of intelligent life out there with any chance of being found, it would be covered up. Why? Two reasons:

    1 - The human race is one messed up species. If something doesn't benefit US, we throw a hissyfit, start crying, and shoot it. So what would happen if we discovered other intelligent life that had a planet full of oil? Hell, thats what would happen. So the more responsible countries would try to cover it up, because if people knew they would start making demands for war.
    2 - The people who wouldn't get the guns out and go on an intergalactic rampage would start crying about the end of the world. People do that. People find fear in strange places.

    But still, its inevitable and some day intelligent life will be discovered.

    Now, I'm sorry if I sound really misinformed here, but why does a planet need to be earth-like to hold life? I'm unsure whether or not I believe in evolution myself (Christian, and also some parts that just don't make sense to me) but the whole point of evolution is that a species forms and adapts BASED ON the conditions of its environments. It isn't "If the environment has --- it can live here" its "If the environment has --- it will eat that". [/u]
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    Although it is more true that Life is adapted to Earth (Rather than Earth being 'perfect for life') It's also true that for complex life to develop that life needs certain elements otherwise some of the mechanisms of evolution will fail. Mutation and variation for instance. All life forms on earth use Carbon for this in the form of DNA for reproduction (with a biproduct of mutation and variation - 2 of the essentials of evolution). We also use carbon for complex carbohydrates to store, exchange, and consume energy, which allows life to move, grow, reproduce, with a biproduct of competition for resources (Another essential of evolution).

    Carbon is favoured because it is an element which is very easily able to form complex compound chains and chemical bonds with literally tens, thousands, millions of links of just carbon, or carbon and oxygen and hydrogen. These compounds and bonds can be interchanged via chemical processes to create new compounds for use as different things.

    Most other elements are not so interchangeable or useful for the creation of these complex biological systems. Silicon is raised as an alternitave option not arbitrarily but because it is the only element which approaches the interchangeability reactivity and thus, usefulness for biological systems as Carbon, and make no mistake it is a significantly less useful second to Carbon... and carbon that has access to substances it has solubility with, primarily water. (Carbohydrates is the clue in the previous paragraph)

    With that you can form RNA or DNA, which gives you life capable of reproduction, be it sexual or asexual. All our understanding of life requires a complex chain of compounds which takes the role of DNA in an organism, or else said entity is incapable of physical and chemical processes leading to growth, repair, or multiplication of cells, which is pretty important a feature for any life form from virus, through pre-cell wall reproductive/growing consumers of organic material to actual whole cells and beyond into multicelular life. Where not even talking plants and animals there yet, which need even more complicated features.

    For this reason it wouldn't be likley at all that complex life (And I will even include single celled microbial life 'complicated' here) could evolve and survive on a planet without any carbon or water (Ice is good enough for some simple life). Not to mention even more crazy ideas such as planets without a surface (Gas giants). Planets with low gravity and no atmospheres and so on. Once a Carbon based (Or silicon based) System can be started, and given a few hundred million years to take shape you should get enough variety in the carbohydrate molecules to get something interesting happening, even if it is cell-wall-less DNA strands multiplying in the prescence of carbon and water and getting jumbled up on occasion.
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  11. #10  
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    We haven't get any signal from any alien words, only the ''Wow Signal'' from 1977.

    But the astronomers who graduate with exoplanets have the biggest chance to find life on another planet. But i think we will find life on another planet soon,

    But if a planet can gain life it must have; Water, air and atmosphere.
    And it depends on how hot the star is and how far away the planet and the type of planet it is.
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  12. #11  
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    Hi,

    I personally believe that there is a very high chance of locating life forms very soon. There could be so many Habitable Zones in other Solar Systems and other galaxies.

    Therefore if there are no life forms found in Mars and Europa, it might be a big gap of time until we can travel to another Habitable Zone. Based on current technologies available, it is very though for us but not impossible.

    We are no longer "Fishes in the aquarium" when Yuri Gagarin swims out of it.
    Finding alien life forms isn't an issue, but wheather Intelligence Life Forms (Extra Terrestrial) exist or not is another crucial question...
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    There is almost certainly bacterial life beneath the surface of Mars (which explains the huge clouds of methane released every summer). Titan it was recently said might have methane based life on it which could explain some readings we have received. There could also be life beneath the surface of Europa and Enceladus in liquid water oceans. It is ironic that we may find life in many nearby solar systems before we find life elsewhere in our own solar system.
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  14. #13 Re: How long do you think it will be before other life is fo 
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobisMe
    And what kind of creatures will they be like? Will they be similar to animals here or will they be entirely different such as the theorized possibility of silicon based life?

    Stephen Hawking : Aliens pt 1
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2oYS9-Ee9U
    Just in case anybody missed it :wink:
    http://www.scienceforums.net/topic/3...ing-molecules/

    vertebrates, arthropods, & molluscs correspond to the 3 modes of moving used by worms:wriggling, walking, & sliding.
    This is suficiently basic that I would assume that it would evolve on any planet.

    Arthropod bodies are naturally waterproof so
    they would tend to be the first to colonize land on any planet.
    I think social insects are most likely to develop higher intelligence first.
    The idea that their bodies would be too heavy to grow large is bunk.
    Look at your own ribcage and skull.
    If anything insect bodies would be lighter.

    I suspect that ecosystems derived from extremely high tech terraforming nanobots are not rare.
    They may even be the rule rather than the exception.
    Over time they would eventually evolve into some very impressive highly intelligent half-robot half-animal creatures.
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    You may be jumping the gun with your idea that methane means life on Mars. We simply do not know yet, and there may be purely chemical processes that produce methane. For example : recent findings show Martian 'soil' contains strong oxidising chemicals, which is something that does not happen on Earth. It appears to be related to the higher radiation reaching the planet surface. Perhaps methane comes from a similar process? We simply do not know.

    On the evolution of life off Earth.
    We simply cannot predict the form it takes. We have no way of knowing if higher life forms will be arthropod in nature. Probably not. The humanoid form is unlikely to recur. Land dwelling vertebrates are quadrupedal here on Earth purely because lobe fin fishes, from which they evolved, had four limbs. On another world, descent might be from 6 limbed creatures, or 8. We simply do not know.

    How common is life off Earth?
    Again, we simply do not know. Early indications would imply that intelligent life is rare. After all, SETI has explored an enormous number of stars with no hint of any communicating radio signals.
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    I think it's true to say that all life so far DNA analysed, shows it all had a common ancestor. That means life evolved on Earth once only. Conditions for life here are pretty good but there have been no further takers as far as we know.

    This looks like the only life in the universe is right here.

    If panspermia is true that same comet or whatever may have dumped a bit of the magic stuff elsewhere in space too and it may have survived and evolved somewhere or maybe it's still just dormant.

    The Apollo 12 guys removed a camera and other bits from an earlier unmanned Surveyor lander that they landed near. Back on Earth it was found to have 50+ healthy bacteria inside, streptococcus mitis ,which had survived for 2.5 years on the moon, full radiation exposure and average temp. of 20 deg above abs.zero.
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    it may happen tomorrow or not for a billion year.the likeliness of these things like these can't be predicted.
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    i agree with you john203, these things are hard to predict.

    i'm somewhat of a skeptic when it comes to the idea of the galaxy teaming with intelligent life. i feel it requires an awful lot for intelligent life (as we know it) to get off the ground. just basic things like

    - the type of home star
    - atmosphere composition
    - size
    - large outer planets to deflect space debris
    - a large moon to stabalise the planets spin
    - distance from the galaxy centre (too close means a lot more radiation, and a lot more congestion, and too far out lacks heavier elements)


    this is only a small small fraction of the things required for humans to have evolved.

    so on this basis i believe intelligent life is rare, microbial life may be much more common.

    not to mention we have only occupied a small sliver of time in the age of the galaxy. the odds of us being even close to the same technological age of a hypothetical alien race wouldbe very low.

    so my opinion is that i think it'll be a long time before we find any life on an exoplanet or recieve some sort of signal from ET or maybe never
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  19. #18  
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    once you have life then intelligent life is just a matter of time.
    all you need for life is water and water itself acts to stabilize the planet between freezing and boiling.
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  20. #19  
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    Quote Originally Posted by granpa
    once you have life then intelligent life is just a matter of time.
    all you need for life is water and water itself acts to stabilize the planet between freezing and boiling.
    You don't know that granpa.

    For example : Earth life has come close to universal extinction several times. At the end of the Permian era, 95% died off. In terms of life elsewhere in our galaxy, universal extinction from natural disasters may, for all we know, be the norm.

    Until we have more data, we are just spitting into the wind.
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