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Thread: Aliens

  1. #1 Aliens 
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    Is there life elsewhere? What is it like? How common is it? Is there intelligent life?
    I think life could be in our own solar system. On Mars, there used to be liquid water and still could be some occasionally. On the moon Europa, there is liquid water beneath a shell of ice. It is stretched by Jupiter, which causes friction.
    Life is simply something which replicates (I think). For example, a DNA-like molecule which randomly breaks could replicate. It would have 2 types of pieces. Each one sticks to the other type. When a piece breaks off, it would attach to a few other atoms or molecules, which interact and combine to create another piece.
    Molecules evolve, in a way. If they can attach to their components, their components will combine and duplicate the original molecule. Water does this. I don’t know if water could evolve further, but maybe other molecules could. (Water sticks to other things than water.)


    "It is the ability to make predictions about the future that is the crux of intelligence."
    -Jeff Hawkins.
    For example, you can predict that 3+5=8. You can predict what sequence of muscle commands you should generate during a conversation, or whether an object is a desk or a chair. The brain is very complicated, but that is essentially how intelligence works. Instinct, emotions, and behavior are somewhat seperate.
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    Is there life elsewhere?
    The Drake equation is a mathematical equation used to estimate the number of detectable extraterrestrial civilizations in the Milky Way galaxy. It is used in the field of the Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence (SETI). The equation was devised in 1961 by Frank Drake while at the National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center.

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...7jk5JhOn-sMZAA


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    We really don't know if self replicating molecules pop on occasionally here on Earth. We cannot see them and without very extensive testing, wouldn't detect them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    We really don't know if self replicating molecules pop on occasionally here on Earth. We cannot see them and without very extensive testing, wouldn't detect them.
    If life evolved from a single original self-replicating molecule, I guess they would be very rare or life would be common on other planets, out of trillions of atoms combining randomly. Life's origin was probably more than a few atoms combined, because so many atoms combining semi-randomly would create a huge variety.
    "It is the ability to make predictions about the future that is the crux of intelligence."
    -Jeff Hawkins.
    For example, you can predict that 3+5=8. You can predict what sequence of muscle commands you should generate during a conversation, or whether an object is a desk or a chair. The brain is very complicated, but that is essentially how intelligence works. Instinct, emotions, and behavior are somewhat seperate.
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    I agree with the OP in that the first place to look is definitely our own backyard. If we find fossilized traces of life on Mars ( and perhaps on as-per-yet largely unexplored Venus ), and maybe even microbial life on places such as Europa, Enceladus or the atmospheres of the gas giants, then chances are it will have evolved in similar environments in other solar systems as well.
    My personal opinion on the matter is that primitive life is probably quite common, but intelligent life ( in whatever form ) might be exceedingly rare and far between.
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Hanke View Post
    I agree with the OP in that the first place to look is definitely our own backyard. If we find fossilized traces of life on Mars ( and perhaps on as-per-yet largely unexplored Venus ), and maybe even microbial life on places such as Europa, Enceladus or the atmospheres of the gas giants, then chances are it will have evolved in similar environments in other solar systems as well.
    My personal opinion on the matter is that primitive life is probably quite common, but intelligent life ( in whatever form ) might be exceedingly rare and far between.
    The more evolved a species is, the shorter its existence I think. Bacteria have existed for billions of years, but the existence of humans will be less than a million years. Perhaps more complex life evolves often, but soon dies out due to environmental change.
    To progress to space travel, civilizations need to be near-perfect. The species would need to be benevolent. Although predators are more generally more intelligent, I think they would be too aggressive to not destroy their own planet. I think space-faring species would be peaceful herbivores, unless they were intelligent enough to get to space quickly.
    Luck would play a big role, too.
    In my opinion, intelligent life is probably extremely rare except in certain areas. If a nebula had a space-faring species, it would be easy to (realatively) quickly colonize many solar systems.
    "It is the ability to make predictions about the future that is the crux of intelligence."
    -Jeff Hawkins.
    For example, you can predict that 3+5=8. You can predict what sequence of muscle commands you should generate during a conversation, or whether an object is a desk or a chair. The brain is very complicated, but that is essentially how intelligence works. Instinct, emotions, and behavior are somewhat seperate.
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    It is possible that there is 'alien' life on earth. Ribosomes lie at the heart of all molecules that form life as we know it, but there is a 'Shadow Biospher' hypothesis.


    That hypothesis, by Carol Cleland and others, claims that the original circumstances on earth leading to the creation of ribosomes may also have led to the creation of other variations of living molecules that we wouldn't recognise as life but which are nevertheless alive although not containing ribosomes.


    The hypothesis is that there would have been natural variations in life forms. The form we are familiar with and recognise, and forms we are unfamiliar with and would not recognise.
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    Ribosomes weren't necessarily the first life. They simply convert DNA into proteins, which eventually replicate the organism. I think RNA is more likely to be the first life, because it can simply attach to other nucleotides and then break in half to reproduce. It doesn't even require any mechanisms to break, because the environment could theoretically break it. The biggest problem with this theory (which I doubt I explained correctly at all) is that it requires nucleotides to reproduce.
    As for forms of life we aren't familiar with, in the OP I was sort of saying that water is life. It reproduces by attracting oxygen and hydrogen, which then combine to create water (although I don't know much about physics, so I could be wrong.)
    "It is the ability to make predictions about the future that is the crux of intelligence."
    -Jeff Hawkins.
    For example, you can predict that 3+5=8. You can predict what sequence of muscle commands you should generate during a conversation, or whether an object is a desk or a chair. The brain is very complicated, but that is essentially how intelligence works. Instinct, emotions, and behavior are somewhat seperate.
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by NNet View Post
    Ribosomes weren't necessarily the first life. They simply convert DNA into proteins, which eventually replicate the organism. I think RNA is more likely to be the first life, because it can simply attach to other nucleotides and then break in half to reproduce. It doesn't even require any mechanisms to break, because the environment could theoretically break it. The biggest problem with this theory (which I doubt I explained correctly at all) is that it requires nucleotides to reproduce.
    As for forms of life we aren't familiar with, in the OP I was sort of saying that water is life. It reproduces by attracting oxygen and hydrogen, which then combine to create water (although I don't know much about physics, so I could be wrong.)
    Proteins are required for DNA replication & vise versa . Only God knows how he created living organisms.
    Top Ten Most Cited Chemist in the World Knows That Evolution Doesn't Work - James Tour, Phd. - YouTube
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    Packaged another thread up for the pseudo-science sub-forum....
    "MODERATOR NOTE : We don't entertain trolls here, not even in the trash can. Banned." -Markus Hanke
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Hanke View Post
    If we find fossilized traces of life on Mars ( and perhaps on as-per-yet largely unexplored Venus ), and maybe even microbial life on places such as Europa, Enceladus or the atmospheres of the gas giants, then chances are it will have evolved in similar environments in other solar systems as well.
    Not necessarily.

    It has been calculated that the 'dinosaur killer' asteroid impact would have thrown debris into space, some of which would leave the Earth entirely. Some bacteria, like Bacillus species, form extremely tough and durable spores. These spores, if in the middle of a lump of rock, can survive years in the vacuum and radiation of space. Who knows how many lumps of rock have carried Earth bacteria to other places in our solar system.

    if we find life on Mars, we may be surprised to find it is actually Earth bacteria.

    To Some.

    Please don't turn this thread into a crackpot essay on anti-evolution garbage.
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  13. #12  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Some View Post
    Proteins are required for DNA replication & vise versa . Only God knows how he created living organisms.
    Top Ten Most Cited Chemist in the World Knows That Evolution Doesn't Work - James Tour, Phd. - YouTube
    Why did you even join a science forum? Was it just to post garbage in an attempt to get your limp-wristed anti-science point across? The best you have managed to muster thus far is to post attacks against current theories without providing anything intelligent as a substitution. Contribute in a meaningful way or go away.
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    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
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  14. #13  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Some View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by NNet View Post
    Ribosomes weren't necessarily the first life. They simply convert DNA into proteins, which eventually replicate the organism. I think RNA is more likely to be the first life, because it can simply attach to other nucleotides and then break in half to reproduce. It doesn't even require any mechanisms to break, because the environment could theoretically break it. The biggest problem with this theory (which I doubt I explained correctly at all) is that it requires nucleotides to reproduce.
    As for forms of life we aren't familiar with, in the OP I was sort of saying that water is life. It reproduces by attracting oxygen and hydrogen, which then combine to create water (although I don't know much about physics, so I could be wrong.)
    Proteins are required for DNA replication & vise versa . Only God knows how he created living organisms.
    Top Ten Most Cited Chemist in the World Knows That Evolution Doesn't Work - James Tour, Phd. - YouTube
    Please don't involve God here. For the purpose of this thread, please assume God created life by creating the correct conditions for it to develop.
    In the video, he only said he didn't understand evolution. He also implied he was religious, making him prejudice. He gave no evidence to counteract the evidence for evolution. Just because we don't know excactly how things evolve, and we don't have a complete tree of evolution, we have a huge amount of evidence for evolution.
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    "It is the ability to make predictions about the future that is the crux of intelligence."
    -Jeff Hawkins.
    For example, you can predict that 3+5=8. You can predict what sequence of muscle commands you should generate during a conversation, or whether an object is a desk or a chair. The brain is very complicated, but that is essentially how intelligence works. Instinct, emotions, and behavior are somewhat seperate.
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    To progress to space travel, civilizations need to be near-perfect
    I disagree. We progressed to space-travel of sorts in the 1950s and 1960s, but obviously we are far from perfect.
    In any case, I think it is a mistake to equate intelligence with space travel. Thinking that all intelligent races will want to venture into space is an unsupported assumption based on human motivations and motives. Perhaps other races, though highly intelligent, have no desire/motivation/need to attempt any such thing. We simply do not know how aliens would behave or what their motivations might be; to me it is perfectly possible for a race to be highly intelligent, yet bound to their home world.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Hanke View Post
    To progress to space travel, civilizations need to be near-perfect
    I disagree. We progressed to space-travel of sorts in the 1950s and 1960s, but obviously we are far from perfect.
    In any case, I think it is a mistake to equate intelligence with space travel. Thinking that all intelligent races will want to venture into space is an unsupported assumption based on human motivations and motives. Perhaps other races, though highly intelligent, have no desire/motivation/need to attempt any such thing. We simply do not know how aliens would behave or what their motivations might be; to me it is perfectly possible for a race to be highly intelligent, yet bound to their home world.
    And dumb life can get into space.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Hanke View Post
    to me it is perfectly possible for a race to be highly intelligent, yet bound to their home world.
    I'm sure that is possible but if there are other advanced, technological, civilisations I believe most would want to "venture into space" to explore the rest of the Universe.
    Anyway, isn't it more likely that these civilisations would be more like ourselves in the sense that some beings, within the civilisations, would not be interested in space travel and regard it as a waste of resources whilst many others would see exploration as making economic sense as well as having intrinsic value in its own right?
    Last edited by Halliday; April 1st, 2013 at 12:24 PM.
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    Mathematical odds are in favor of life of many different kinds......but facing the same problems we do in space travel, and or communication.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Hanke View Post
    To progress to space travel, civilizations need to be near-perfect
    I disagree. We progressed to space-travel of sorts in the 1950s and 1960s, but obviously we are far from perfect.
    In any case, I think it is a mistake to equate intelligence with space travel. Thinking that all intelligent races will want to venture into space is an unsupported assumption based on human motivations and motives. Perhaps other races, though highly intelligent, have no desire/motivation/need to attempt any such thing. We simply do not know how aliens would behave or what their motivations might be; to me it is perfectly possible for a race to be highly intelligent, yet bound to their home world.
    By progressing to space travel, I meant colonizing many other worlds and surviving on them, eventually creating cities. There are many challenges here. First, it takes many resources to travel light years to other stars. I think that would require a highly united planet, which is perfect enough for people to turn their attention to space travel. Second, a civilization must survive long enough to achieve space travel. I'm sure our own civilization will destroy itself before we are able to travel to other worlds. You could imagine humans suddenly realizing that our world is too polluted, but developing the necessary technology to survive on Mars would take a long time. We wouldn't start developing it until we really needed it, because people are too short-sighted and would focus instead on getting rid of pollution and trash (never going to happen, btw). Very few would ruin their lives for people alive two centuries later, and certainly not everyone.
    "It is the ability to make predictions about the future that is the crux of intelligence."
    -Jeff Hawkins.
    For example, you can predict that 3+5=8. You can predict what sequence of muscle commands you should generate during a conversation, or whether an object is a desk or a chair. The brain is very complicated, but that is essentially how intelligence works. Instinct, emotions, and behavior are somewhat seperate.
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  20. #19  
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    The problem for any intelligent species is going to be similar to ours: They're the product of evolution, which is a very very slow moving process. However, their technology and abilities are changing as a result of intellectual progress, which moves probably about a billion times faster than evolution. (No need to wait for generation after generation after generation of organisms to die out. Ideas emerge, compete, and die via refutation, and thousands of "generations" of ideas may be born and die in the lifetime of a single organism. )

    So they're going to have instincts left over from the "evolving stage". The overwhelming desire to reproduce is likely to be one of them (because that desire is essential to successful evolution.) The desire to supersede their peers will likely be there too (again, essential to evolution.)

    Space offers the promise of granting relief to a burgeoning population without requiring bloodshed (Which if they've discovered nukes, is no longer a viable option.)
    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halliday View Post
    I'm sure that is possible but if there are other advanced, technological, civilisations I believe most would want to "venture into space" to explore the rest of the Universe.
    Anyway, isn't it more likely that these civilisations would be more like ourselves in the sense that some beings, within the civilisations, would not be interested in space travel and regard it as a waste of resources whilst many others would see exploration as making economic sense as well as having intrinsic value in its own right?
    Yes, indeed, anything is possible. That is my whole point. When speculating about extraterrestrial intelligences we must try and not make the mistake of tacitly assuming that they are just "little green men". Of course it is a possibility that psychologically they are not far from ourselves, but we must also consider that this might not be the case, and that they might operate from an entirely different set of motives, motivations and beliefs. Only because it seems logical and "normal" to us to be wanting to venture into space, that does not automatically mean that the situation is the same for other intelligent races. I am not trying to exclude anything, au contraire, I am trying to be open to all possibilities instead. Extraterrestrials are, well, alien. They are not "little green humans", but a distinct life from with a distinct evolution and a distinct psyche.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Space offers the promise of granting relief to a burgeoning population without requiring bloodshed
    I agree, but again you are thinking in human terms here.
    Consider for example a race of intelligent aquatic mammals of some sort living under the ice in the oceans of the moon Europa. I completely agree that there will come a point where population pressure becomes a problem, particularly so since Europa is a fairly small world. But how likely is it that they become a space-faring species at this point in the evolution ? Consider the challenges involved - firstly, they would have to find a way to get through the ice shell from underneath. Then they would need to protect themselves from Jupiter's radiation belt. They would then have to construct a space-craft, which is not easy considering that the necessary raw materials are either not present at all on Europa, or to be found at the bottom of the ocean, which is in this case at a depth of several dozen or even hundreds of miles. Even if they get the raw materials, they, as being aquatic mammals, might lack the physical means of processing those materials ( i.e. they would be lacking arms and hands, or the necessary energy sources needed for the processing ). And then, even if they manage to construct a spacecraft, such a craft would need to not only carry themselves, but also an environment necessary to sustain our aquatic mammals, which means a salty water environment at a certain pressure and temperature, and perhaps quite a lot of it as well if movement through water is needed ( think gills ). This creates the need for huge amounts of energy to escape Europa's and Jupiter's gravity wells. And so on.
    You can see where this is going. Leaving aside scientific curiosity for now, for such a hypothetical race of beings space-travel is simply not a viable option to deal with population pressure; it is far more likely that they would either embark on a program of population control ( birth control, cannibalism etc ), or colonize the next best place, being the moon's surface. I am not saying that they would never develop space-travel at all, I am simply pointing out that it is not the obvious thing for them to do because it would be very difficult for them. And I haven't even mentioned other reasons, e.g. religious beliefs etc. Having said all that, our beings might have developed intellectually instead; they might not be space-faring, but they could well be the galaxy's most brilliant mathematicians. Who knows ?
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    300 billion stars in our galaxy...only 1 of which has confirmation of life.

    We’ve not begun sending spaceships to explore these other star systems, but we have unintentionally been transmitting our radio wave footprints towards other stars for the past 80 years now. These noises have only reached around 3000 stars, or so I read. Every decade that goes by and we leave a wider radio wave footprint on the galaxy. In 75,000 years from now, I think we should have covered the entire milky way with this footprint?

    It would be odd to think that there could actually be an advanced alien civilisation in one of those 3000 systems that is currently excited by the discovery of their ‘first contact’ signal coming from our star.

    But why haven’t we picked up the same radio wave noise footprint from ET that started transmitting 100,000 years ago (That’s s relatively short period in time compared to the age of the galaxy)? If the universe is teeming with intelligent life, then you’d expect to be picking up their radio footprint by now...
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    Quote Originally Posted by pineapples View Post
    300 billion stars in our galaxy...only 1 of which has confirmation of life.

    We’ve not begun sending spaceships to explore these other star systems, but we have unintentionally been transmitting our radio wave footprints towards other stars for the past 80 years now. These noises have only reached around 3000 stars, or so I read. Every decade that goes by and we leave a wider radio wave footprint on the galaxy. In 75,000 years from now, I think we should have covered the entire milky way with this footprint?

    It would be odd to think that there could actually be an advanced alien civilisation in one of those 3000 systems that is currently excited by the discovery of their ‘first contact’ signal coming from our star.

    But why haven’t we picked up the same radio wave noise footprint from ET that started transmitting 100,000 years ago (That’s s relatively short period in time compared to the age of the galaxy)? If the universe is teeming with intelligent life, then you’d expect to be picking up their radio footprint by now...
    They might not be using radio waves. If that's all we're checking for, I'm not so pessimistic. If they used radio waves for 200 years and then replaced them with something else, perhaps we should check for other things. Also, how far could radio waves travel before looking like background radiation? Every planet has an atmosphere, and dust/asteroids in the solar system, and we have the same.
    "It is the ability to make predictions about the future that is the crux of intelligence."
    -Jeff Hawkins.
    For example, you can predict that 3+5=8. You can predict what sequence of muscle commands you should generate during a conversation, or whether an object is a desk or a chair. The brain is very complicated, but that is essentially how intelligence works. Instinct, emotions, and behavior are somewhat seperate.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Hanke View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Space offers the promise of granting relief to a burgeoning population without requiring bloodshed
    I agree, but again you are thinking in human terms here.
    Consider for example a race of intelligent aquatic mammals of some sort living under the ice in the oceans of the moon Europa. I completely agree that there will come a point where population pressure becomes a problem, particularly so since Europa is a fairly small world.
    Many of the possibly habitable planets in our solar system are moons around gas giants. That means over population, and many nearby places to explore. It also means they would quickly discover that their own planet isn't special, which would make them more curious about other planets. Their planet would be easy to unite, as well.
    I guess life is a lot less likely to evolve on a moon than a planet, simply because of size. Less molecules for life to evolve from, less resources, less varied environments, and a smaller gene pool (?). However, there are many more moons than planets. If they did use radio waves, maybe the mother planet's magnetism would interfere, or small objects orbiting.
    Our planet is the only one we know to be inhabited, so it's a good example for other life. I don't disagree with you, but I think a species advanced enough for interstellar travel would do that, after centuries of wondering about other planets and filling up their own solar system with cities.
    "It is the ability to make predictions about the future that is the crux of intelligence."
    -Jeff Hawkins.
    For example, you can predict that 3+5=8. You can predict what sequence of muscle commands you should generate during a conversation, or whether an object is a desk or a chair. The brain is very complicated, but that is essentially how intelligence works. Instinct, emotions, and behavior are somewhat seperate.
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    Well lets look at life on earth, hundreds of millions of species existed since life arose, only one has the iinteligence to talk about it, so i think that is highly unlikely that there is intelligent life anywhere near us. But even if there is, it would have to evolve in order to use that intelligence, i mean whales can be as smart as they want, they will never build a radio telescope .
    "There is grandeur in this view of life,from so simple beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.”
    Charles Darwin
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    Quote Originally Posted by laza View Post
    Well lets look at life on earth, hundreds of millions of species existed since life arose, only one has the iinteligence to talk about it, so i think that is highly unlikely that there is intelligent life anywhere near us. But even if there is, it would have to evolve in order to use that intelligence, i mean whales can be as smart as they want, they will never build a radio telescope .
    Fruit flies are intelligent. They have something like a really small and primative cortex. I guess the definition of intelligent on this thread is intelligent enough to create space ships.
    An intelligent species would probably have evolved hands to use tools, so the capability isn't the issue. It's the will to. Even if they aren't very intelligent, on the time scale of evolution it would happen very quickly. For example, humans have only been around a few hundred thousand years, and we have only had the will to travel into space maybe 600 years. If there is intelligence on a Europa, it either coincidentally evolved around the same time we did, or it should have already travelled to space. That's especially true with such a small world, because they would spend less time fighting for power.
    Methinks most intelligence destroys itself. More intelligence means developing weapons more quickly than knowing how to use them w/out self-destructing, so intelligent species don't have a real advantage.
    What about artificial intelligence? If you give it a whole lot of intelligence but not selfous instincts, wouldn't they inhabit much of the galaxy? Add to their instincts the rule of not interfering with other species, and a race could populate an entire galaxy while at the same giving other species a chance to survive, and actually dominate the galaxy. (Motive=wanting to populate the galaxy, with whatever. More different species, the better. There must be some genious alien somewhere who wants star trek to be real.)
    I guess there are 2 possibilites: highly structured galactic race, or no interstellar or intelligent tech capable races (or very very few compared to billions of stars).
    "It is the ability to make predictions about the future that is the crux of intelligence."
    -Jeff Hawkins.
    For example, you can predict that 3+5=8. You can predict what sequence of muscle commands you should generate during a conversation, or whether an object is a desk or a chair. The brain is very complicated, but that is essentially how intelligence works. Instinct, emotions, and behavior are somewhat seperate.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pineapples View Post
    300 billion stars in our galaxy...only 1 of which has confirmation of life.

    We’ve not begun sending spaceships to explore these other star systems, but we have unintentionally been transmitting our radio wave footprints towards other stars for the past 80 years now. These noises have only reached around 3000 stars, or so I read. Every decade that goes by and we leave a wider radio wave footprint on the galaxy. In 75,000 years from now, I think we should have covered the entire milky way with this footprint?

    It would be odd to think that there could actually be an advanced alien civilisation in one of those 3000 systems that is currently excited by the discovery of their ‘first contact’ signal coming from our star.

    But why haven’t we picked up the same radio wave noise footprint from ET that started transmitting 100,000 years ago (That’s s relatively short period in time compared to the age of the galaxy)? If the universe is teeming with intelligent life, then you’d expect to be picking up their radio footprint by now...
    Maybe they are smart enough not to advertize their existence. Our radio foot print maybe the equivalent of a bell attached to a collar on a young and tender lamb wandering in a forest full of wolves , bears and wild cats. The reason we are not detexting any other radio foot prints could be that leaking radio waves all over is not a survival trait. Civilizations that noisily anounce their presence soon stop broadcasting after the preadtors reach them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sealeaf View Post
    Maybe they are smart enough not to advertize their existence. Our radio foot print maybe the equivalent of a bell attached to a collar on a young and tender lamb wandering in a forest full of wolves , bears and wild cats. The reason we are not detexting any other radio foot prints could be that leaking radio waves all over is not a survival trait. Civilizations that noisily anounce their presence soon stop broadcasting after the preadtors reach them.
    It is highly unlikely our radio broadcasts get very far. Interference and degradation would result in our radio footprint being vanishingly small and extremely hard to notice- even if you were looking for it -from outside of the solar system.
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    I'm not saying the Drake equation is rubbish
    You could say that about many equations that are being theorized couldn't you?
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    I agree that there can be life elsewhere in the galaxy; its like playing craps: With one roll, its pretty hard to get a 6, but when you have millions upon millions of them (representing planets), you would get millions of sixes (planets containing life) However, this does not mean that there is intelligent life. Just because there is the sufficient environment on a planet that makes it possible to harvest life doesn't mean the life will evolve psychologically and be able to communicate with such a unique complex species as ourselves.
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    Would it really still be accurate and applicable considering that it was made over 50 years ago? Also, his equation was off when it was 1st created because the data he based his theory on was millions of years outdated (as by the time the light and other readings are received on Earth, millions of years would have passed and the data would have changed at its source).
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheNewEinstein View Post
    unique complex species as ourselves.
    Supposition.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheNewEinstein View Post
    Would it really still be accurate and applicable considering that it was made over 50 years ago? Also, his equation was off when it was 1st created because the data he based his theory on was millions of years outdated (as by the time the light and other readings are received on Earth, millions of years would have passed and the data would have changed at its source).
    Er, the main objection against the Drake Equation is that there is no data.
    If there's no data then it's rather hard for it to be "out of date".
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    Then why refer to it if there is no solid data to support it. This makes the equation more of an opinion and not very reliable.
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    The Drake Equation is kind of a back of the envelope estimate. It cannot be taken too seriously as there are way too many unknown variables.
    I think it's an extremely far fetched idea to think we are alone in the Universe. We've encountered no evidence that we are not alone, but the odds that we are alone are extremely low. But the distances between and the timescales involved are so vast that even if the universe is teeming with life, we are close to being alone since it is so far away.
    Perhaps one day, we will know.
    And even then, even when we do know, the differences between us and them may be so vast that we still cannot or choose not to communicate.

    We are most likely not alone. But we may as well be.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheNewEinstein View Post
    Then why refer to it if there is no solid data to support it.
    1) Because it's all we've got.
    2) It gives some idea of what to look for.

    This makes the equation more of an opinion and not very reliable.
    Er yes.
    Maybe if you'd bothered checking the background before opining you'd have known that it's a probabilistic argument and intended as a way to stimulate scientific dialogue.
    It's well known that the importance of the Drake equation is not in the solving, but rather in the contemplation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    The Drake Equation is kind of a back of the envelope estimate. It cannot be taken too seriously as there are way too many unknown variables.
    I think it's an extremely far fetched idea to think we are alone in the Universe. We've encountered no evidence that we are not alone, but the odds that we are alone are extremely low. But the distances between and the timescales involved are so vast that even if the universe is teeming with life, we are close to being alone since it is so far away.
    Perhaps one day, we will know.
    And even then, even when we do know, the differences between us and them may be so vast that we still cannot or choose not to communicate.

    We are most likely not alone. But we may as well be.
    That's how I see it too. I'm not very confident that FTL spaceships are possible so our contact (if ever) will probably be limited to horribly slow light speed comms. I am always reminded of Carl Sagan's quote: “The universe is a pretty big place. If it's just us, seems like an awful waste of space.”
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    I admit that I am optimistic that someday, we may develop Warp style travel. There's a thread on here somewhere which points to a former astronaut and current NASA employee that claims to have made great strides in developing a theoretical working Alcubierre drive. It sounded mostly like hokum and milking of NASA funds... But again, I said optimistic, not full on believer.
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    I think two realistic ways for the near future to improve the equation, maybe, would be if we were to:
    1. find life had started on Mars separately from the life that began on Earth.
    That would be significant because that would mean life is not a once off in the universe and supports the idea that life is common. However, it would be less significant to the equation if we did find life on Mars but we discovered it’s related to life on Earth due to panspermia.
    2. to discover life had kick started on Earth more times than once. If we managed to discover more than one evolutionary tree had occurred in the past then that too would give hope to life elsewhere in the universe.
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    Aliens!? Yes, those suckers cross the southern border all the time and take the menial minimum wage jobs from us Americans.
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    Quote Originally Posted by shlunka View Post
    Aliens!? Yes, those suckers cross the southern border all the time and take the menial minimum wage jobs from us Americans.
    Panspermia, not transpermia.
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    Quote Originally Posted by shlunka View Post
    Packaged another thread up for the pseudo-science sub-forum....
    How is this pseudoscience?
    It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    I admit that I am optimistic that someday, we may develop Warp style travel. There's a thread on here somewhere which points to a former astronaut and current NASA employee that claims to have made great strides in developing a theoretical working Alcubierre drive. It sounded mostly like hokum and milking of NASA funds... But again, I said optimistic, not full on believer.
    I would be sceptical of any concept which requires the manipulation of space-time geometry; it just isn't practical.
    However, we are still missing a crucial bit of information - the model of quantum gravity. Perhaps there are other ways of "cheating" nature which, in the absence of said model, just aren't conceivable to us yet.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Hanke View Post
    I would be skeptical of any concept which requires the manipulation of space-time geometry; it just isn't practical.
    However, we are still missing a crucial bit of information - the model of quantum gravity. Perhaps there are other ways of "cheating" nature which, in the absence of said model, just aren't conceivable to us yet.
    One can be both skeptical and optimistic, together. Carl Sagan was very skeptical about aliens but also optimistic about the prospect.

    I know that many cranks like to point out what people in the past thought or what discoveries have yet to be made. But that idea is not a crank idea, it's just used as an excuse by cranks. The reality may well be that, as you point out yourself, future discoveries will add viability to something that looked daunting today.

    Twenty years ago, I'm quite certain that people were very skeptical about the idea of 80 gigabytes of data storage fitting in a chip the size of a house fly.
    A nobel prize winning discovery, however, made that a reality.

    Optimism is more than just wanting to believe. It is a motive to keep looking.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Hanke View Post
    I would be skeptical of any concept which requires the manipulation of space-time geometry; it just isn't practical.
    However, we are still missing a crucial bit of information - the model of quantum gravity. Perhaps there are other ways of "cheating" nature which, in the absence of said model, just aren't conceivable to us yet.
    One can be both skeptical and optimistic, together. Carl Sagan was very skeptical about aliens but also optimistic about the prospect.

    I know that many cranks like to point out what people in the past thought or what discoveries have yet to be made. But that idea is not a crank idea, it's just used as an excuse by cranks. The reality may well be that, as you point out yourself, future discoveries will add viability to something that looked daunting today.

    Twenty years ago, I'm quite certain that people were very skeptical about the idea of 80 gigabytes of data storage fitting in a chip the size of a house fly.
    A nobel prize winning discovery, however, made that a reality.

    Optimism is more than just wanting to believe. It is a motive to keep looking.
    I agree. The first computer I ever owned was a Commodore C16, with all of 16KB of RAM, and a magnetic tape drive. We thought were never going to be able to fill it up !!!!
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    The frequency of life appearing in the universe: can it best be expressed as 1/( infinity)? or as 1 /1? We only know of one planet, orbiting one star, that has any life on it at all. But the number of planets we have carefully explored is also only one. The problem is one of insufficient data.
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