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Thread: Could scientists be wrong about future space travel?

  1. #1 Could scientists be wrong about future space travel? 
    Forum Freshman Lightingbird's Avatar
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    THe other day, I'm watching the show "The universe" on the history channel. Its about discovering or meeting alien life forms. A good episode. They stated that its very likely that we might meet machines like robots of some sort from a alien civilation that is long gone if anything else due to the extreme distances from our worlds.

    So then I started thinking...

    Thinking back to the time of columbus and how so many people believed the world to be flat. Actually thinking they would fall off the world if they went too far in traveling. Isn't it fair to say that who knows what kind of technology will surface regarding space travel in the next 500 years?


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  3. #2 Re: Could scientists be wrong about future space travel? 
    Forum Ph.D. GhostofMaxwell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lightingbird

    Thinking back to the time of columbus and how so many people believed the world to be flat. Actually thinking they would fall off the world if they went too far in traveling. Isn't it fair to say that who knows what kind of technology will surface regarding space travel in the next 500 years?
    No its not really fair to say that, as the world being flat wasnt confirmed through experimental science, and repeatedly found to be true by every physicist that tested it.


    Thats not to say that one day we could indeed get from A to B faster than light. Who knows!!


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  4. #3  
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    Ghost of Maxwell!!!

    We haven't confirmed that it's impossible by anything approaching a true scientific approach because it's impossible to use the scientific method to prove a negative.

    For all we know, there are higher laws of physics that would allow us to trump the ones we currently understand and move at ftl speeds. However...... if those laws exist, we aren't anywhere near finding them. Nobody even has so much as a hunch right now as to where we might look.

    If it ever happens, it will be as much as shock as when Fermi split an atom. (or was it one of the others, I forget sometimes) .
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    Forum Ph.D. GhostofMaxwell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Ghost of Maxwell!!!

    We haven't confirmed that it's impossible by anything approaching a true scientific approach because it's impossible to use the scientific method to prove a negative.

    .
    Duh! I didnt say we confirmed anything is impossible.

    I merely implied that relativity(that has been repeatably confirmed, and in 80 years has never been found lacking, by people who know what they are talking about) is in no way comparable to flids thinking the world is flat.
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  6. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by GhostofMaxwell
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Ghost of Maxwell!!!

    We haven't confirmed that it's impossible by anything approaching a true scientific approach because it's impossible to use the scientific method to prove a negative.

    .
    Duh! I didnt say we confirmed anything is impossible.

    I merely implied that relativity(that has been repeatably confirmed, and in 80 years has never been found lacking, by people who know what they are talking about) is in no way comparable to flids thinking the world is flat.
    Agreed.

    Non sequitor rationale drives scientists batty. If a majority of people once thought the world was flat but were wrong doesn't add to the possibility that Santa Claus exists. If folks once thought the world was flat adds nothing to the possible existence of faster than light travel. Non sequitors add nothing to science.

    There's an estimated 10 to the 21st power of stars (Hubble project estimate). If one in a billion stars has intelligent life with technology then thats

    1,000,000,000,000

    As has been so often asked 'where are they.' The physical properties of the universe are just that 'universal' and applies not just for our species but every other ET out there. Unfortunately Relativity so far is holding up as a big bummer.
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  7. #6  
    Forum Ph.D. GhostofMaxwell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jellyologist

    There's an estimated 10 to the 21st power of stars (Hubble project estimate). If one in a billion stars has intelligent life with technology then thats

    1,000,000,000,000

    As has been so often asked 'where are they.' The physical properties of the universe are just that 'universal' and applies not just for our species but every other ET out there. Unfortunately Relativity so far is holding up as a big bummer.
    Yeah, we know so little though. Virtually every one of those 10^21 stars could harbour life (of some sort)......... all the way down to 0 of them. Personally I think, anyone who seriously thinks 0 is the number is deluded as a Christian, but thats just my opinion. I cant conceive of a uniform universe that has anything that could occur only once in 10^21.
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  8. #7  
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    The flat earth thing is a little tired, but still...... I don't think our ancestors could have conceived of a bomb the size of a carriage that can level an entire city either.

    I think there's more to physics than we've found out so far, and if there are very many civilizations out there, no doubt one of them has probably gotten way further than our level of technological progress.

    We've probably had visitors showing up here since time immemorial. They're just pretty careful about it, because they don't feel they have anything to gain by disturbing a wild life preserve.

    It's just like when we humans photograph or film tigers in the wild. We prefer the tiger doesn't know we're there so it will act natural.
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  9. #8  
    Forum Ph.D. GhostofMaxwell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    The flat earth thing is a little tired, but still...... I don't think our ancestors could have conceived of a bomb the size of a carriage that can level an entire city either.
    ,
    What???
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    I think there's more to physics than we've found out so far
    Of course there is, there's so much to discover! But that doesn't mean relativity can be violated(if anything our only real hope is to get round it). People without science thinking the world was flat, is irrelevant to that.

    Although it may not be the whole picture(like Newtonian mechanics), Relativity is about as solid as you can get in Physics.

    and if there are very many civilizations out there, no doubt one of them has probably gotten way further than our level of technological progress.
    We've probably had visitors showing up here since time immemorial. They're just pretty careful about it, because they don't feel they have anything to gain by disturbing a wild life preserve.
    No we probably haven't, for the reasons Jelly said , and many more.
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  10. #9  
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    All we know is that a particle accelerator can't use an external force to accelerate a particle past the speed of light. We also know that an objects concept of time slows to a crawl as it approaches the speed of light. (or that time is relative to motion)

    We don't know if a method might exist wherein a third alteration is made to an objects time perception that counters the one made by its velocity. Maybe there's a third variable involved in all these measurements that's always been set to 1 (or some other constant) because that's its natural state, or because of the scale of the experament or etc..

    You know....... a better way of saying this instead of :
    Thinking back to the time of columbus and how so many people believed the world to be flat. Actually thinking they would fall off the world if they went too far in traveling. Isn't it fair to say that who knows what kind of technology will surface regarding space travel in the next 500 years?
    ....is to say that once we thought space time was flat. Because we had only ever observed velocities that fell within a certain range, we didn't know that time itself would be altered by moving outside that range.

    I'm just saying there could be another dimension of curving that we haven't seen because we've never pushed that part of the experament to an extreme.
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