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Is proof of alien life a risk to society ?


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#166    Frank Merton

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 05:49 AM

View PostJacques Terreur, on 06 February 2013 - 07:59 PM, said:

compared to the vastness of space, the part we have observed yet (including the voyager travel) is so tiny, we just don't know what's out there and what's not. And not only this, but lately, the possible existence of multiple universes is not a topic left to fringe scientists alone anymore. In my opinion, there IS life out there, other civilisations or just microbes. Wether we find it or not is a whole different story though...
No matter how far we go it will remain tiny.


#167    psyche101

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 06:04 AM

View PostFrank Merton, on 07 February 2013 - 05:49 AM, said:

No matter how far we go it will remain tiny.

Well said Frank!!! Exactly!! It is a notable distance indeed, but in a Universe that is ever expanding with a 13.5 billion years head start on us, we have our work cut out here.

Still, leaving the solar system, and heading out into Interstellar space I feel is a notable achievement. We will soon have a first hand account of Interstellar Space. As such, scowl was right to say "We've done it". Much more to go, but we have taken that first, and I feel, very important step.

Some private company should send out a spaceship with webcams on it. I'd pay to log in when it approaches a planet or any celestial body for a birds eye view. Long term investment, but I reckon it might pay off done right.

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#168    ChrLzs

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 07:11 AM

View Postscowl, on 07 February 2013 - 04:49 AM, said:

But here's what we do know: life required a series of extremely unlikely occurrences to happen here on Earth. It continues to require conditions that very favorable to continue. The odds of that happening to another planet could be an extremely large number, larger than the mere 100-400 billion stars we have in our galaxy. Astrophysicists regularly deal with these kinds of probabilities.


Indeed.  And I would add something..
- we know, quite well, the chemicals and compounds involved in living organisms - not just the makeup of the chemicals/compounds, but the likely amounts..
- we know, reasonably well, the conditions that Earth went through at the time when life appears to have sprung into being - in terms of temperature and pressure..
- but despite our best efforts to date, we have not managed to create life or even anything very close to it - the best being some complex amino acids - and that is far short of a living cell...

Now given that the only things we aren't pretty sure about are the amount & types of radiation (and perhaps throw in lightning..), and also whether large time scales/varying conditions are somehow needed..  So why can't we create life, if it is supposedly so common/ inevitable?

Plus, as far as we can tell, life began only at one particular time in Earth's history, and (arguably) in just one location - hence the evolutionary tree where pretty much everything can be traced back to a single organism.  As the unquestionable source of Wiki states :D:

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The similarities between all present-day organisms indicate the presence of a common ancestor from which all known species have diverged through the process of evolution.

So in all of earth's history it appears that just ONE little 'thing' capable of reproducing itself ever sprang into being - and luckily, before it got killed, managed to reproduce itself and started to spread..

Again, this seems to point to the likely conclusion that life doesn't just spring up inevitably, and may be incredibly rare.  And as stated, astronomers and astrophysicists have no problem with incredible rarity or seemingly impossibly long odds - I can point to several things in the detectable visible universe that appear to be one-offs..

Now, *despite* all of that, it would delight me greatly if we find life on Mars, but I'll bet it won't be intelligent...  And I'd be even more delighted if we do get visited/contacted by the real thing in my lifetime - but I'm not holding my breath.

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#169    Frank Merton

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 07:23 AM

We need to be careful using deductive logic to answer scientific questions, such as how common life may be in the universe.  The ancients deduced that heavier objects fall faster than lighter ones and that "up" and "down" are intrinsic aspects of nature.

The problem is that the results depend on a long chain of deductions and assumptions, and if any of them are wrong, the entire chain of reasoning fails.


#170    Frank Merton

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 07:26 AM

Duplicate

Edited by Frank Merton, 07 February 2013 - 07:34 AM.


#171    scowl

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 04:47 PM

View PostFrank Merton, on 07 February 2013 - 07:23 AM, said:

We need to be careful using deductive logic to answer scientific questions, such as how common life may be in the universe.  The ancients deduced that heavier objects fall faster than lighter ones and that "up" and "down" are intrinsic aspects of nature.

Actually they presumed it because none of them had bothered to test such an obvious fact. Just like how people presume the universe must be crawling with life because their backyard is full of weeds.


#172    scowl

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 04:56 PM

View PostJacques Terreur, on 07 February 2013 - 05:46 AM, said:

Seriously, there are things that i really, really want, but that's not one of them. In the last years, we found places here on earth of which nobody thought life could be possible before.

You're misinterpreting what that means. It doesn't mean that life can spontaneously appear in extreme conditions. It means that existing life can evolve and adapt to extreme conditions given enough time. And the most extreme conditions we've found life here on Earth are positively pleasant conditions compared to absolutely anywhere on every other planet in our solar system which would destroy that hardy life in a fraction of a second.

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In MY opinion, it just makes more sense for life to be spread everywhere than to be limited to this planet.

We have no evidence that life can "spread" through outer space nor any reason to believe it can. The universe is not your backyard.


#173    Jacques Terreur

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 06:03 AM

View Postscowl, on 07 February 2013 - 04:56 PM, said:

You're misinterpreting what that means. It doesn't mean that life can spontaneously appear in extreme conditions. It means that existing life can evolve and adapt to extreme conditions given enough time. And the most extreme conditions we've found life here on Earth are positively pleasant conditions compared to absolutely anywhere on every other planet in our solar system which would destroy that hardy life in a fraction of a second.



We have no evidence that life can "spread" through outer space nor any reason to believe it can. The universe is not your backyard.
But my backyard is in the universe! That's exactly why i can't imagine earth being the only planet that ever produced life! We can by no means wrap our heads around how ginormous the dimensions out there are. Other solar systems, other galaxies, other galaxy clusters, super clusters......it just won't stop! Ahh, but I guess we can go on like that forever, you seeing us all alone out there, me imagining life spread throughout the vastness of space. Since neither of us has proof for his standpoint, it doesn't really make sense.

...you really like that backyard metaphor, do you?


#174    scowl

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 11:02 PM

View PostJacques Terreur, on 08 February 2013 - 06:03 AM, said:

But my backyard is in the universe!

I'll just assume this was a joke...

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That's exactly why i can't imagine earth being the only planet that ever produced life! We can by no means wrap our heads around how ginormous the dimensions out there are. Other solar systems, other galaxies, other galaxy clusters, super clusters......it just won't stop! Ahh, but I guess we can go on like that forever, you seeing us all alone out there, me imagining life spread throughout the vastness of space. Since neither of us has proof for his standpoint, it doesn't really make sense.

The biggest problem is that we just have no idea what the "odds" of life developing are. They may be so extremely poor that it's more likely that there would be no life anywhere in the universe, but through luck our Earth became the only planet in the universe to beat these terrible odds. There's no natural reason for globs of molecules to reproduce themselves so why expect it to happen?

Here's another way to look at terrible odds. Earth has a moon. If Earth has a moon, will it someday have a second moon? If you say "no, that's ridiculous" then why not? After all, the existence of our moon proves it's possible and we don't know the odds of our planet somehow managing to capture another another body. Sure it's unlikely but who can say what will happen in the next few millions of years in this gigantic amazing universe? Now I'm convinced that someday our sky will feature a second moon. I can't imagine it not happening.

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...you really like that backyard metaphor, do you?

Ugh, you should see my backyard right now.]


#175    Jacques Terreur

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 07:43 AM

...'course that backyard-universe thing was at least meant to be a joke! ;) And regarding your moon-example: i say it's TOTALLY possible! Given enough time. (Or having not just one, but multiple universes out there, for example. But that is a whole different story.....)


#176    Frank Merton

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 08:00 AM

The question is not whether or not they are out there, but how far away they are.


#177    nopeda

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 11:03 PM

View PostChrlzs, on 06 February 2013 - 09:08 PM, said:

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nopeda, on 06 February 2013 - 03:26 PM, said:
..That means something MUST make adjustments to the velocity of light. That much is not in question
I'm sorry, but that is completely wrong.  You really, *really*, need to find a good book or website for beginners on relativity.  Nothing 'makes adjustments' to light speed - it is constant in a vacuum, slightly slower in other media.  This is quite well understood and proven, and the concept is used in so many applications (even day-to-day ones like GPS) and in so many mathematical constructs (ones that you clearly accept by other content you have posted), that you can't make such a claim.
I can, did and do. Something would HAVE TO adjust the velocity of light in order for all light from all objects to reach this planet at the same velocity RELATIVE TO THIS PLANET. If it didn't, the velocity between Earth and the emitter would influence the velocity of the light as it influences the frequency. You could say something influences the frequency but not the velocity accept that wouldn't account for the velocities between Earth and emitters, while something influencing the velocity could and quite likely does.


#178    nopeda

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 11:04 PM

View PostSeeker79, on 07 February 2013 - 05:42 AM, said:

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nopeda, on 06 February 2013 - 03:26 PM, said:
There are significant velocities between Earth and many objects that it receives light from. Some of those objects are moving toward the Earth at significant velocities, and some away from it. Yet the light from all of those objects is found to impact this planet and the few other places humans have been able to test at the same velocity relative to this planet. That means something MUST make adjustments to the velocity of light. That much is not in question, and in fact that is the starting line. If you can't get that far, then you can't get to the starting line. If you can, then maybe you can at some point comprehend that if light moves much faster than we think outside of the adjustment area, that could explain how even light from objects moving away from us still arrives at the same velocity relative to Earth, so it is still slowed down instead of speeded up as it seems it might need to be, when it enters the adjustment area.
Ehhh? Don't think so. there are no Adjustments. Some difference in media. The conductivity of space dosnt change. Why? well... No one knows, but it probably has something to with the rules governing infomation transfer between virtual particles on the planck level. Just a guess though.
Something has to make the velocity between Earth and other objects emitting light "vanish" since those velocities DO exist. Accepting that fact is the starting line.


#179    nopeda

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 11:09 PM

View Postpsyche101, on 06 February 2013 - 10:50 PM, said:

You might thikn I think small, but I think you have a tendency to overreach. Just like this stupid dig, totally unnecessary, however, why do you think attaining FTL is so easy? I agree that even hydrogen molecules at such speeds would be considered a dangerous object, but so is creating a warp field. If you do that too close to a planet, you will obliterate the planet you have come to visit. If we have to come out of warped space far enough away to be safe, we still have a decent journey to the destination.
It sounds to me like you got that last part from Star Trek. FTL is always relative to something. So far no one else I've encountered in this forum seems to appreciate the significance of that particular fact, so how could they move on to consider other details about it? Everyone always just takes it for granted that it's relative to this particular planet as if it were the foundation of the universe and not in motion, even though we're moving at a million miles per hour relative to some things.


#180    nopeda

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 11:11 PM

View Postpsyche101, on 06 February 2013 - 10:37 PM, said:

Some bad blood here, we both know that, no need to carry on. I am trying to meet you halfway and understand your concept. Your description of light being slowed according to varying mediums is certainly an idea I think is worthy of discussion. Perhaps we should stick to that.
. . .
I agree that distance is a pittance compared to space as a whole, but we have left the solar system. It might be a small step, but in any perspective, the first steps are significant.
We know light it slowed by different mediums, but some of us don't feel that space itself is one. I don't believe it "exists" at all. Whether it does or not it's fairly well believe that light's speed remains constant unless something alters it. That means if an object is moving toward the Earth at 2K miles per second, and it emits light moving at 186K miles per second relative TO THE EMITTER, the the light should arrive at this planet at 188K mps relative to Earth because of the combined velocities. Something that lets us know combined velocities ARE significant is the shift in frequency. The question which is the starting line is: Why not also the velocity? Few people can get to the starting line though from my experience. Most somehow can't appreciate the significance of the question, though I don't see how anyone could miss it.





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