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Thread: Intelligent life out there? - far from certain.

  1. #1 Intelligent life out there? - far from certain. 
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    I like most accept, there is probably life elsewhere in the universe, but how intelligent? -nobody knows. It's possible there are some pretty clever things flying around out there. The first ever intelligent life - wherever it started would for a period of time have been the ONLY intelligent life. This being the case there is as much chance we are the first intelligent life, as anyone else. My particular definition of 'intelligent' refers to a 'tech species' - one that uses mathematics and engineering to gain advantage.

    I am told the Dinosaurs 'ruled' the earth for around 160million years, I summize therefore that in the strategies for a successful dominant species on a planet intelligence is not at the top, just as the dominant male is not the most intelligent. On earth we certainly seem to have been the only 'tech species' ever and since Dino turned toes-up we seem to have had a vast array of species all dominating a particular nook or cranny. Till along came us chaps, there is evidence to suggest that at one point we (man) may have only numbered a few tens or hundreds.

    If it had not been for that meteorite dino would still dominate the earth and we would still be scurrying around (at night grubbing out worms).

    Is there intelligent life out there or, if life evolves the same way everywhere - are we alone with just a few pre-historic national parks out there?

    Personally I have no idea whatever of the dispersion of intelligent life throughout the universe. I suspect it's 1 (just us) or higher. There is plenty to suggest life may be sprinkled around the universe there is NOTHING to suggest there is intelligent life anywhere else. since on earth only 1 out of the 3 million or so species that have ever lived shows it.


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  3. #2  
    Forum Isotope Zelos's Avatar
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    life wont evovle like it has on earth. animal life as we know it had its most basic concepts layed out very early. Allmost all life is divided to head and body. Where the head usualy have the sight, smell, hear, and brain. manets is the only exceptions what i can think of right now.

    So depending on the intial settings of life on a planet the rest will be depended on it.

    Like on one planet something simular to moluscs rules as higher lifeform. another we have animnal life we cant imagen.


    I am zelos. Destroyer of planets, exterminator of life, conquerer of worlds. I have come to rule this uiniverse. And there is nothing u pathetic biengs can do to stop me

    On the eighth day Zelos said: 'Let there be darkness,' and the light was never again seen.

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  4. #3  
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    Do you think there could be planets out there with flora but no forna? if so there'd be no flowers, just a race for the sky no juicy fruits, just seeds to be blown away by the winds, 1 species could become dominant and stay that way. People are always on about Aliens ET etc, surely there is more chance of finding "forest planets".
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    you mean fauna dont you?

    once again its about a setting tha were set a long time ago by life. Our life divided into 2 kind, not moving autotrpha, also known as planets, ans moving hetrotropha, also known as animals(im tlaking multicellular life). And then we have mushroms wich is between those kinds. on one planet life could be autroph and moving etc. its a setting that is set early and often kept.

    those crackpots saying they have seen aliens are crackpots. by painting and explaining species bieng humanoid they are automaticly proving themselves wrong.
    I am zelos. Destroyer of planets, exterminator of life, conquerer of worlds. I have come to rule this uiniverse. And there is nothing u pathetic biengs can do to stop me

    On the eighth day Zelos said: 'Let there be darkness,' and the light was never again seen.

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  6. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelos
    you mean fauna dont you?

    once again its about a setting tha were set a long time ago by life. Our life divided into 2 kind, not moving autotrpha, also known as planets, ans moving hetrotropha, also known as animals(im tlaking multicellular life). And then we have mushroms wich is between those kinds. on one planet life could be autroph and moving etc. its a setting that is set early and often kept.

    those crackpots saying they have seen aliens are crackpots. by painting and explaining species bieng humanoid they are automaticly proving themselves wrong.
    Zelos, Do you know how many spelling errors there are in your own work?
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  7. #6  
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    well, let me translate all shortings/new words then
    crackpot=maniac, insane person

    autotrpha=can make their own food, photosynthensis, or chemosynthensis

    hetrotropha=cant make own food. we

    multicellular life=life with more than 1 cell

    any other word i cant see why you wouldnt understand those
    I am zelos. Destroyer of planets, exterminator of life, conquerer of worlds. I have come to rule this uiniverse. And there is nothing u pathetic biengs can do to stop me

    On the eighth day Zelos said: 'Let there be darkness,' and the light was never again seen.

    The king of posting
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    Zelos, I have appealed to you publicly and by pm to improve the quality of your spelling. As a native English speaker I frequently find your posts difficult to follow. I always find them a chore to follow.

    Frankly, it has got so bad that the only reason I now read them is out of a sense of moral obligation as a moderator. You often make very good points. Attention to and interest in these points is greatly reduced by the discourteous way you write.

    However, it really has reached an unacceptable level when you have the umitigated arrogance to implicitly criticise another poster for a single spelling error.

    Shape up please.

    Thank you.

    Ophiolite.
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  9. #8 Re: Intelligent life out there? - far from certain. 
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    Quote Originally Posted by billco
    I am told the Dinosaurs 'ruled' the earth for around 160million years, I summize therefore that in the strategies for a successful dominant species on a planet intelligence is not at the top, just as the dominant male is not the most intelligent. On earth we certainly seem to have been the only 'tech species' ever and since Dino turned toes-up we seem to have had a vast array of species all dominating a particular nook or cranny. Till along came us chaps, there is evidence to suggest that at one point we (man) may have only numbered a few tens or hundreds. .
    I am sympathetic to most of what you are saying throughout your post, but I wanted to interject a few points in relation to this paragraph.

    The concept of 'ruling' the Earth is one more related to the anthropocentric views of the Victorians, or of the present day media. It is true that for an extended period dinosaurs were the most obvious inhabitants of the planet. I question whether we could say that they ruled the planet. In terms of the dominant life form, that was, is and likely always will be bacteria.

    Also, you write this as if the dinosaurs and man wer somehow equivalent. It would be more meaningful to say that dinosaurs and mammals are equivalent. Thus you could describe the Upper Palaeozoic as the time when dinosaurs ruled the planet, you would need to describe the Tertiary as the time when mammals ruled the planet.

    Finally, just to expand your last point. Genetic analysis suggests we were reduced to around 10,000 individuals about 70,000 years ago. This is thought to be a consequence of the climatic disasater that followed the eruption at Lake Toba.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Zelos, I have appealed to you publicly and by pm to improve the quality of your spelling. As a native English speaker I frequently find your posts difficult to follow. I always find them a chore to follow.

    Frankly, it has got so bad that the only reason I now read them is out of a sense of moral obligation as a moderator. You often make very good points. Attention to and interest in these points is greatly reduced by the discourteous way you write.

    However, it really has reached an unacceptable level when you have the umitigated arrogance to implicitly criticise another poster for a single spelling error.

    Shape up please.

    Thank you.

    Ophiolite.
    Ophiolite, i dont mean to be rude but you arent making anything to help. I have asked (spelled?) got no answer. If you find spelll errors say it. you keep quite. by keeping quite you are partly repsonsible. I try my best to spell right but since im not lingustic i have problems. If you dont want to help by pointing out missspellings dont complain since i've asked for help

    but still i find it wierd you have such enourmus problems understanding me. Ive talked to many americans and english people and they have all understood me well on the net. if so many anyhow understands me so well, and even with others who isn't native english, wich should be even harder to understand, the problem in communication can´t be entirely my fault
    I am zelos. Destroyer of planets, exterminator of life, conquerer of worlds. I have come to rule this uiniverse. And there is nothing u pathetic biengs can do to stop me

    On the eighth day Zelos said: 'Let there be darkness,' and the light was never again seen.

    The king of posting
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  11. #10  
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    Point 1: If you are dyslexic, then I apologise (somewhat, but see point three below). However, you have previously declared that you are lazy and can't be bothered to check your work. With an attitude like that don't be offended if I describe you as discourteous.
    Point 2:The majority of your errors do not appear to be spelling errors, but typing errors. I find it difficult to accept you could ever misspell achieve as archive. That has all the hallmarks of a typing mistake.
    Point 3:You probably have Word or an equivalent word processing program, which has a spell checker. Use it. I have advised you to try this before. I think that was when I was provided the explanation that you couldn't be bothered.
    Point 4:You asked me if your posts had improved in quality. You are correct to berate me for not replying to that. Frankly I struggled to find a positive way of saying "No, not really. Throwing in a link, always from wikipedia, is hardly the same thing as offering a well written, well researched, readable post."

    Zelos, as I have said privately, and I think publicly, your enthusiasm is seld evident. Your knowledge is diverse. Your contributions to the forum are very welcome. But all would be so much better if you would take more time to check your posts before posting. If you really want me to point out your typing and other errors on every post I shall be happy to do so for a limited time. Then I shall expect you to take over that responsibility.
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    1: no i'm not dyslexic, i´m lazy in the way i use shortings, or tend to use it DUDE :wink:

    2:
    achieve as archive
    hehe thats one of the words i have never beeen able to remember how it is spelled, so accept it as a miss spelling

    3: okey i will, sadly my word i have on this computer have problem in spelling checking, dont know why it does not work

    4: berate? dont know that word. If you don´t like wikipedia fine. I find it a good source for information. Maybe you are a anti-wiki person what do i know.

    in my school they allways say check throu your work to make sure it is good. When i do it becomes crap. When i do not check i get great grades. But i´ll go throu my posts then. Happy?

    (A little secret: i don´t know why i got such great grade in english as i did, i do not think i deserved it)
    I am zelos. Destroyer of planets, exterminator of life, conquerer of worlds. I have come to rule this uiniverse. And there is nothing u pathetic biengs can do to stop me

    On the eighth day Zelos said: 'Let there be darkness,' and the light was never again seen.

    The king of posting
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  13. #12  
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    Ophiolite,


    Yep, point taken, 'ruled' is technically incorrect, however clearly they (the Reptiles) did not encourage other forms of life to the fore. perhaps I should have written 'dominated almost to the exclusion of all others'.
    My point was not a comparison against mammalia, but suggesting that if ANY of the reptiles had been more intelligent than the others, then this did not develope, clearly they cannot have all had exactly the same intelligence. and since evolution did not exploit whichever was 'the most intelligent' dinosaur, evolution does not appear to favour intelligence.
    If it did then our pet's would see how successful we are and copy us just as there are many examples of copying successful strategies in nature.

    The same may be true for your other points - I was never a master of English - or Biology. Too busy studying the sciences.

    All possible misunderstandings aside, my point is simply that: I see no need for natural selection to choose intelligence over any other strategy for survival/dominance. And as a result of this I see no reason why Intelligent life should exist in the abundance so many people seem to think it should. We could simply be unique, our intelligence could be simply a freak attribute in the animal kingdom.

    Clearly you see a case for this line of thinking being reasonable.
    Now lay out your 'gut feeling'
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  14. #13  
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    I have previously expressed my view on life in the Universe as follows.
    Single celled lifeforms are plausibly common; multicellular life is likely unusual; complex multicellular life is probably rare; and intelligent life may be unique. Our thinking appears to be much the same.

    Here are some related observations, in no particular order:

    It is damnably difficult to extrapolate from a sample size of one. We may have a great range of lifeforms on the planet, and even more diversity if we include the fossil record, but all of these have derived from a common ancestor. How much of the subsequent evolutionary pathways were determined by the character of that original ancestor?

    Certainly there seems little grounds for believing that high levels of intelligence are favoured by nature. If it is, why did it take such a damn long time for it to develop?

    If we take the conventional view and assume that life originates on planets, then this imposes a lot of time restraints. Planets do not tend to form around stars that have a low metal content. (In astronomy speak anything above hydrogen and helium in the periodic table is a metal.) The early stars had zero metal content. It takes a few generations of star formation and destruction before the interstellar medium has enough metal to form planets. Consequently, there won't be too many planets that are many billions of years older than the Earth.

    It took around two to three billion years to evolve from single celled to multicellular organisms. I have seen nothing that demonstrates this progression was inevitable. It took more than a further half billion years for complex, differentiated multicellular organisms to arise and that may have been because of unique environmental conditions (e.g. snowball Earth). Then it was over half a billion years to move from there to technological level intelligence. Chance seems to have played an inordinate role. If intelligence is so valuable, why did it not arise earlier and more often?

    In contrast to the assumption made above I don't think life originates on planets, but in interstellar space within warm Giant Molecular Clouds. These are a much more benign and conducive environment for cooking up proto-life.
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  15. #14  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    In contrast to the assumption made above I don't think life originates on planets, but in interstellar space within warm Giant Molecular Clouds. These are a much more benign and conducive environment for cooking up proto-life.
    Hopefully if such is true, spectroscopy should begin to concur.
    As for life on earth, I did once read a short sci-fi that it all started when a passing alien craft fired it's latrine waste in an effort to escape orbit after running low on fuel. I personally find this as attractive as any other scenario and distinctly more so than some.
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    Quote Originally Posted by billco
    Hopefully if such is true, spectroscopy should begin to concur.
    It does. Numerous pre-biotic molecules organic molecules have been detected by studies at a variety of different wavelengths.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Zelos, I have appealed to you publicly and by pm to improve the quality of your spelling. As a native English speaker I frequently find your posts difficult to follow. I always find them a chore to follow.

    Thank you.

    Ophiolite.
    Ophiolite I have noticed the odd spelling mistake in your posts, we all make them, so would it be possible to put a spell check on the site? I realise that we have them built into our PC, but one just under the message box might work out beneficial to all. Except the lazy. :wink: Sorry if this is in wrong place.
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    i think that we are not alone because this is not the only universe :P
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    Quote Originally Posted by Die Fledermaus
    Ophiolite I have noticed the odd spelling mistake in your posts, we all make them, so would it be possible to put a spell check on the site? I realise that we have them built into our PC, but one just under the message box might work out beneficial to all. Except the lazy. :wink: Sorry if this is in wrong place.
    I never make spelling mistakes.
    I sometimes make conceptual mistakes.
    I often make typing mistakes.

    Your suggestion is a good one, but I don't think it is possible within the system that the forum is based on. I'll check on it though.
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  20. #19  
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    I never make spelling mistakes.
    you have just put yourself in soemthing that might not be so fun. If one find a spelling mistage you will look like a fool. Everybody does misstakes. Even you. I have admited i have been wrong. So you can admit you can make misstakes.
    There is allways some words you have problem spelling. You can see it 100 of times but it still becomes wrong everytime. It's human.
    I am zelos. Destroyer of planets, exterminator of life, conquerer of worlds. I have come to rule this uiniverse. And there is nothing u pathetic biengs can do to stop me

    On the eighth day Zelos said: 'Let there be darkness,' and the light was never again seen.

    The king of posting
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  21. #20  
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    Quote Originally Posted by iLOVEscience
    i think that we are not alone because this is not the only universe :P
    Congratulations, a reply that is along the lines of the thread!

    iLs (If I may be so familiar), you seem to be stating rather than suggesting that this is "not the only universe". I see no evidence of that, I see it as pure fantasy. Wherever you look people seem absolutely determined that we are not alone, even normal rational scientists go over the top on this one. Before we could see Mars close up there were whole civilisations living there, maps of Mars with canals and highways were produced. When this was disproven it was said Mars was inhabited by plants which could uproot and walk around to "find what little nuitrition was available. - So off went a probe. which sent back some pictures not of trees holding out a "welcome to our planet" but of rocks and 'sand' - Back to the drawing board - now we hear life might be 'under the rocks' or under the ground. No sign so far, strikes me some people will not be convinced until they have taken mars apart atom by atom. And why do ordinarily sane scientists go potty at the thought of life out there? They want their name in history, it is (to them) the greatest prize - to me It's a bunch of fools in a gold rush. - IF and WHEN
    Humans and other life-forms ever come into contact I expect it will be a very brief encounter as one vaporises the other through self preservation.

    Just put yourself in their position - ok you find a species of two-legged carbon-units, you then observe them to see if they are friendly or
    otherwise, you conquer their communication methods and begin to put
    together your assessment:

    This form has conquered it's own planet and has total dominance over all the other life-forms there. It has ruthlessly exterminated other home species which were either a threat to its own existence or to its food supply.

    Individual groups within this form have fought visciously to exterminate each other. all signs thus far show this race to destroy what they cannot tolerate. There appear to be no logical rules for 'tolerate'

    These forms have recently discovered 'primitive' space travel techniques nuclear fusion, nuclear fission - they have achieved 'escape from their own heliosphere.

    It is my recomendatin that the planet they occupy be 'catalogued' and then destroyed.
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  22. #21  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelos
    I never make spelling mistakes.
    you have just put yourself in soemthing that might not be so fun. If one find a spelling mistage you will look like a fool. Everybody does misstakes. Even you. I have admited i have been wrong. So you can admit you can make misstakes.
    Zelos, try to recognise dry, self deprecating British humour.
    Still I am quite happy for you to try to find a spelling mistake in any post I make from now on. (Typographical errors do not count.) I shall donate $10 to a charity you nominate for every spelling error you can identify between now and the end of October 2006.
    Good luck.
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  23. #22  
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    Quote Originally Posted by billco
    So off went a probe. which sent back some pictures not of trees holding out a "welcome to our planet" but of rocks and 'sand' - Back to the drawing board - now we hear life might be 'under the rocks' or under the ground. No sign so far, .
    Strictly speaking this is incorrect.

    The two Viking landers each had three experiments designed to detect the presence of life and a chromatograph to analyse any organic molecules. Two of the three experiments on each lander returned results that matched the criteria, set before the mission, that would identify the presence of life.
    The chromatograph failed to register any organic molecules, so a series of elaborate chemical explanations were derived over the following decades to account for the positive results.
    The official position was and remains that life was not present. This, in my view, remains questionable. What is unacceptable, to the point of incompetence, is that no other experiments have been attempted on subsequent missions that would resolve the matter once and for all.
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    I was referencing this part of your comment.

    now we hear life might be 'under the rocks' or under the ground. No sign so far, .

    My point is that there were signs from two experiments on two landers in quite different parts of Mars that returned results that matched what we said we would see if life was present.

    So, there are signs. Debated and ambiguous signs, but signs nonetheless.
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    [ Back to the drawing board - now we hear life might be 'under the rocks' or under the ground. No sign so far, strikes me some people will not be convinced until they have taken mars apart atom by atom.]

    "Back to the drawing board" ie viking inconclusive - let's re-think.
    "now we hear" ie today, after a re-think, 30 years later.

    I'll have to stand by what I said, and hope I have explained it more fully.
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    Sorry, that made absolutely no sense to me whatsoever. I reread it five times, then another twice after starting this reply. Nothing connected or correlated.
    Don't fret it.
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    Ophiolite wrote:
    I never make spelling mistakes.
    I sometimes make conceptual mistakes.
    I often make typing mistakes.


    I must try that, you make a mistake but call it something else.

    Ophiolite wrote

    Zelos, try to recognise dry, self deprecating British humour.

    English humour???? Up yer kilt jock :wink:
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