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Thread: Hello, I wonder if someone here could clear something up for me...

  1. #1 Hello, I wonder if someone here could clear something up for me... 
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    I am having a discussion with my friend about 'intelligent' extra terrestrial life, and wonder if this forum might be able to help us with an answer. My friend and i both think it is out there, although until we actually find evidence that advanced life forms have actually evolved somewhere else other than earth, well, i was saying we cant know for sure at this stage, and theorising that maybe we are the most intelligent creation so far, and bizarrely the universe might have taken this long to produce a being that has a mind as complex as a human.
    The whole debate between my friend and I seems to be circulating around the word 'guaranteed'. Personally I believe intelligent life could, and is probably out there somewhere, which seems to be a reasonable assumption to make, given the size of the universe etc, but is there evidence enough right now for it to be considered a guarantee?

    Many thanks.


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    Moderator Moderator Markus Hanke's Avatar
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    No there isn't. We can at the moment only operate on probabilities, until such time that empirical evidence for the existence of extraterrestrial life is found.


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    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    The difficulty is that we are attempting to estimate a probability using a sample size of one. This makes any conclusion, no matter how educated, nothing better than a guess.

    We don not know exactly how life originated, though there are many promising hypotheses and mcuh research is being done on the subject. Therefore, we do not kow if the requirements for the origin and subsequent sustaining of life are very broad, and therefore life is commonplace, or very narrow, and therefore life ie rare, perhaps even unique to the Earth.

    Even if life itself is commonplace we do not know if intelligence to a level that can develop a technological civilisation is common. We do not understand why it took over 3.5 billion years for human level intelligence to develop here. Was it inveitable, eventually, or are we the product of a bizarre sequence of individually unlikely events?
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