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Thread: Are we alone?

  1. #1 Are we alone? 
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    There are two clashing parties in the world right now... those that believe that humans are the only creatures in the universe, showing the characteristics of intelligent design, and those who believe humans are just one of millions of living organisms within the universe. Of course there are always those who lie somewhere in the middle and with extremes (like believing we are the aliens come from a far off galaxy to inhabit the Earth); and there is nothing wrong with that.

    This brings me to my question: what is the significance of being alone in the universe, should this be true? What does it mean to be just one of millions of species existing in space, if that be the case? How would an answer to the question, "Are we alone," affect the human psyche?

    In my personal opinion, mathematically it is very, very, very unlikely, that we are alone. It even seems to go against all aspects of common sense, as well. This is my idea; what's yours?


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  3. #2  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    you left out a number of other options:

    we are alone in the universe, but not the product of intelligent design
    we are not the only life, but the only intelligent life
    there is other intelligent life out there but we'll never be able to prove it
    there is other intelligent life out there but we wouldn't recognise it as such

    and that's just 4 alternatives to your dichotomy


    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  4. #3  
    The Doctor Quantime's Avatar
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    Yeah but it bottles down to other life out there or not doesn't it? But yes I agree tih you. There is moer to the matter than most media and word of mouth sayings will have you believe. And having seen this planet, theres no wonder why E.T wanted to go home :P.

    I actually saw or read something a while back, on the probability of intelligent life in the universe, (this isn't exact but its the best I can remember):

    It starts with being very pessimistic in seeing life beyond our planet, by saying that only one in every one hundred planets has a planet like Earth, livable, breathable etc.

    This sort of pessimism goes onwards and the conclusion is that roughly every galaxy has a maximum of 1000 intelligent species in it. That apparently, the result was very pessimistc. Which means there could be over 1,000,000 Billion species in the universe AT LEAST.

    I will have a look on the Internet for this because my memory of it is very vauge.
    "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe". - Carl Sagan
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  5. #4 To 425 Chaotic Requisition 
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    Sarcastically speaking this is clearly a very low number!

    From my knowledge (but don't quote me exactly on this), there are on average about 100,000,000 stars in every galaxy (of course some have more and some have less) and there are an estimated 100,000,000 galaxies in the universe! That gives us about 10,000,000,000,000,000 quintillion places (assuming every star has at least 1 planet orbiting it) to find some form of life; intelligent or not!!!!

    The problem with conventional thinking is that we have been looking for life with characteristics that are in equivalence to humanity. Ultimately, we assume that for life to exist it must breathe what humans breathe, it must exist within a very fine line of temperature ranges, and etc. We forget that life can flourish in many places humans cannot (the bottom of the ocean, within hot springs/geysers, in the darkness of caves, and etc.).

    I think we need to allow any planet the chance to be probed for life, seeing as life is so diverse and always surprising us with new and unexpected characteristics.
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  6. #5  
    Forum Ph.D.
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    I have no real evidence for my views!
    I think life is widespread but it is likely to be a fairly primitive form of life.
    It is possible we could be the only advanced, technological civilisation, in the Galaxy (Milky Way), altho' I find that difficult to accept.
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdbaw01
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    Besides distance at human (terrestrial) scale, there are other frames to consider. For example our matter may be "universes"... which are made of universes and so forth. Likewise all our known galaxies may sum up to just a tiny component of somebody's dust mote. So we could find ET by looking "up" or "down".

    What would be the significance? It would mean that life is an an integral part of physics (we may understand better), and shed new light on Free Will (the conclusions may be underwhelming).

    As for human-scale ET neighbours, I feel they're no more significant than terrestrial species. All life by definition must eat, excrete, and reproduce; so if we make space our new stomping ground then inevitably we must try to eat and excrete ET too. Reproduce at their expense. Maybe if they have good space ships we can exploit them as pack animals. Same old story.
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  8. #7 Re: Are we alone? 
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdbaw01
    In my personal opinion, mathematically it is very, very, very unlikely, that we are alone. It even seems to go against all aspects of common sense, as well. This is my idea; what's yours?
    I think that the size of the universe makes it a certainty that life exists elsewhere in the universe. But the size of the universe and its Minkowsky structure also means that it is highly unlikely that we shall ever encounter life elsewhere in the universe and so as far as life elsewhere in the universe is concerned, we ARE alone. These hypothetical neighbors are so far out of our reach that they might as well be in a different universe.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
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