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Is there anyone out there?!

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#1 pagenotfound

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Posted 02 May 2008 - 12:26 PM

This forum thread is for the debate on weather there is extraterrestial life in the universe. It is for intellectual discussion only. Matters of religion will be discussed in a civil and polite manner, and I trust those that post here will keep things in a respectful tone. That being said, here's some ground rules:

1) Your beliefs are your own. Please respect those of your fellow ST members as you would want to have yours respected in a similar manner.
2) Stay on topic.
3) No insults. No flaming. Let's keep the tone and choice of words civil and respectful.
4) Please cite sources for any claims that aren't your own. Don't plagiarize or quote someone offhand. If you get your information from a source, provide a link (or reference.)

The topic under discussion is the fundamental arguments for and/or against ET life and its potential impact the fields of science and religion, and their effect on us and our beliefs. Discuss.
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#2 belfastuniguy

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Posted 02 May 2008 - 12:35 PM

Of course we're not alone in the entire universe of billions of star systems.

I think its unbelievable naive and narrow minded to think we are the only living species in the ENTIRE universe.

I have no idea what types of life exist though I'm pretty confident there are planets in various stages of development from our form of stone age to planets hundreds of years if not thousands of years more advanced in terms of technology. I'm pretty confident exploring has begun by some planets and given time and further development we will do so also if we are not visited first.

Mankind has always been curious of the unknown and that is what drives new research and developments. We will in time explore new worlds and I hope if we ever do have visitors they are well received.

#3 Micah

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Posted 02 May 2008 - 01:33 PM

I believe there are other civilizations there. However, I believe that there are only around 10 intelligent species in each galaxy. You should really check out centauri-dreams.org in my sig because they're constantly discussing this issue. After reading thousands of articles about feats that species must undertake and what obstacles there are in the galaxy, I believe there are only around 10 intelligent civilizations in this galaxy alone based on Fermi and others.

As for life in general, I think there is life throughout the galaxy. If life is found on Mars, it will raise one of the largest questions of the 21st century. If life is on Mars, why didn't it evolve and become intelligent life like our world did?
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#4 Jazzmaster

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Posted 02 May 2008 - 01:37 PM

I've always thought that life existed well away from our own, just not that there is the type of hostile beings portrayed in movies who plot to kill us.  If we're so primitive with such a messed up planet, why would such a more advanced civilization want us destroyed and our planet for their own?

Makes me think of the book we're reading in my English Class right now...Ender's Game sure is one helluva read when you get into it.

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#5 super_monkey

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Posted 02 May 2008 - 01:38 PM

theres life on Mars, and I am it

#6 Micah

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Posted 02 May 2008 - 01:44 PM

Here's an excellent article on Centauri-Dreams about the topic you (the author of this thread) are discussing.
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#7 Nardo69

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Posted 02 May 2008 - 02:12 PM

Oh, I am sure this. Not the way they were so often thought of - no flying saucers with green men, but more or less primitive organisms, based on carbon like or maybe completely different, maybe they are so slow / fast that we can see them.

Maybe there are even civilizations out there, and maybe they look out for other civilisations, too, but we weren't able to recognize them - either because we don't understand them or because they were too early - electromagnetic waves have been discovered (in my university btw) around 100 years ago, what if a exploring satellite like voyager passed us during the French revolution or while the pyramids were built?
The chance of meeting other civilization are so incredible small that unless the vogons come to blow zz plural alpha for making space for a hyperstellar highway we won't recognize them ...

#8 coolotter88

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Posted 02 May 2008 - 03:17 PM

I think we should destroy, and ender's game is great book, use it as an example for any SAT writing prompt.

#9 patriots_1228

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Posted 02 May 2008 - 04:25 PM

Well, obviously. How else would Xenu have implanted the alien souls in us?

#10 Bumdark

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Posted 02 May 2008 - 04:41 PM

I also find it narrow-minded, even maybe a bit hyprocritical, that to think that in the Universe, the billions of galaxies, the millions of billions of solar systems and the trillions of planets out there, Earth could be the only one to support life. It's not quite hard to believe that there might just be life elsewhere. After all, they HAVE (seen it on Discovery Channel two years roughly ago) found what many consider to be vestiges of ancient primitive bacterial life on Mars... If it's true and they were truly alive, then it just confirms life is eternal and omnipresent throughout the Universe.

I also think that whatever life there is, will be so unlike anything our imaginations can create that it's hard to fathom what they would be like. Maybe they wouldn't even be cell-based... who knows?
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#11 panthersimcity4

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Posted 02 May 2008 - 04:55 PM

I see no reason why there wouldn't be any life on another planet.

However, I think if there is any life out there, it's probably just bacteria or small organisms.

#12 fukuda

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Posted 02 May 2008 - 05:18 PM

Why not?

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#13 Explodingsims

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Posted 02 May 2008 - 05:23 PM

Well, Given that the universe is infinate, it seems next to impossible that life WOULDN'T be out there. Of course, most people believe that this would be super intelligent, UFO driving humanoids. But, most likely, any life out there would probbably be plant life, or basic organisms. Although, it is probbable that an intelligent life form might be out there. Of course these life forms don't seem to have anything better to go than tease the primitve humans...
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#14 Meg

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Posted 02 May 2008 - 05:34 PM

Of course there is life out there.  How else could we be the hybrid descendants of the neanderthals and the visiting aliens?

There will always be those who mean to do us harm. To stop them, we risk awakening the same evil within ourselves. Our first instinct is to seek revenge when those we love are take from us. But that's not who we are.

- Roberto Orci or Alex Kurtzman or maybe Damon Lindelof. I’m not sure which one.


#15 fukuda

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Posted 02 May 2008 - 05:46 PM

Originally posted by: Explodingsims hat this would be super intelligent, UFO driving humanoids.


Certainly not humanoids, the odds of a different evolution giving birth to a humanoid are ridiculously low.... They are only the reflection of our own anthropocentrism

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#16 Explodingsims

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Posted 02 May 2008 - 05:53 PM

Hmmm....Good Point. Well, there is a slight percentage that they could be humanoid in shape. Anywho, the point I was trying to make was that most people assume that alien races would be humanoid and intelligent.
But, as everyone else has stated, most life will most likely be plant or single cell organisms.

#17 TRNSTN

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Posted 02 May 2008 - 05:54 PM

No one's disagreeing that there isn't life out there. It looks like a lot of ST is very sci-fi geared (well scientifically geared),....
and I agree!

That question about ETs wanting to attack or kill us. This may sound sad but the chances of intelligent life like ours evolving on another planet in the universe is quite probable. That also raises the possibility of that alien race being like ours, and perhaps things took a turn for the worse and they've simply nuked themselves to oblivion. That kinda sucks, if your neighbor burned their house down while you were sleeping, but you never got to meet him.

I don't think it's a matter of if there is life out there. It's a matterof WHEN we will make contact (or they) and HOW we will react and interact with them. Hoepfully by then with our wonderful and diverse insight into ET life/interaction/galaxy-wide federations/Imperial Empires/galactic warfare/multiculturalism/you get the point by pop culture we'll know how to deal with them. I have a feeling it's going to turn into something like Star Trek. What do you guys think? what would be the most plausible depiction of ET interaction in anything from pop culture?

#18 Frankie_Grove

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Posted 02 May 2008 - 05:54 PM

It is really a matter of relativity. A lot of Evolutionist believe that Earth is a 'fluke', accident, freak of nature. I believe there is probably other life out there somewhere, but chances are distances are far and wide between such cultures, probably to a point where we'd never bump into each other.

Question is, if we ever do bump into 'aliens' wonder if they'll be of the 'Independence Day' variety, the 'Signs' type, or even 'War of the Worlds' kind.....Like an episode of the X-Files once stated, we send un-manned missions all the times for first time exploration, so who's to say alien races wouldn't do the same?

#19 Easy Bakes

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Posted 02 May 2008 - 07:43 PM

Of course there is , the numbers dont lie.
As for inteligent space traveling life forms, chances are slimer for there being significant numbers of them.
Chances for basic life in othere systems will rise signicantly if it is proven there if some
simple life on Mars or mabey one of  Jupiters larger moons.

As for them looking like us? Bipedial bilateral life forms?
Who to say that our form isnt the best form for rising through the evololutionary tree?



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#20 Duke87

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Posted 02 May 2008 - 08:55 PM

Okay, um.... well, we've never discovered evidence of any currently existing extraterrestrial life, although there is speculation that Mars may have hosted life at some point in the distant past (as in, a billion or two years ago).

Still, the answer to that question is, officially "we don't know". Because really, we don't. We can't say for certain that there isn't since we haven't searched every star in the universe ...and we could never do that anyway even if we had the means of transportation since there's too many. There are estimated to be about 1021 (that's 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) stars in the universe. Even if we could fully explore a billion of them every year, it would take a trillion years to get to them all. And, well, forget about mankind not being around that long, the universe as we know it might not be around that long (the currently accepted theory predicts a big tear after which not even atoms can stay together in about 50 billion years or so). In other words, it will never be possible to definitively say "no". It would only take one discovery to be able to definitively say "yes", but that hasn't happened yet. And, well, you would think that with that many stars odds are a few more of them must have some sort of life on a planet orbiting them, but you never know. We could be special.
The other logistical problem is the distances involved, though. Nothing can travel faster than the speed of light, and as a result discovering life in another star system would be a tall order since the closest star is over 4 light years away- meaning any signal we send would take over 4 years to get there, and while a spaceship could in theory get there almost as fast, the technology for such things simply does not exist at this point in time, nor will it likely exist at any point in the forseeable future since the amount of energy required to make something of significant size go that far that fast is of a magnitude which we have only so far seen from an atomic bomb. Oh, and one of those still wouldn't be enough. It would take many of them. There was a study being done a few decades ago about the possibility of a spaceship which propelled itself by periodically discharging a nuke out the back and then detonating it, riding the explosion forward. Never got past any drawing boards for simple practicality reasons: you can't be launching ships with nuclear explosions (anyone nearby that launch would be in trouble), and the radiation would build up from successive launches and make the area uninhabitable- not to mention that protecting anyone inside the ship from the radiation would be problematic as well.
And, at the end of all that, most stars are several orders of magnitude further away. That star in the Andomeda galaxy (which, by the way, is our closest neighboring galaxy) that may have life on a planet orbiting it? If we send them a clear message now we can expect to hear back from them in, oh, about five million years. Yeah, that's not going to work.

On a final note, though, I will say this: there was a time not that long ago when the question "Are there any planets orbiting any stars other than our sun out there?" was not definitively answered. In fact, I remember having an astronomy textbook in middle school which, when talking about the lifespans of stars said that "in at least one case" extra material may collect in clumps outside the star and form planets (although by the time I was reading that textbook that info was out of date). Well, now we know that not only is it in "at least one case", it's actually apparently quite common. The first confirmed and accepted discovery of an extrasolar planet happened in 1995 - within the lifetime of everyone here - and we've been discovering more every year since then. The current tally is 287.
Point being, just because we don't know now doesn't mean we never will.

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#21 wir3d

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Posted 02 May 2008 - 09:11 PM

Well I would say that are not any other life forms at there because I am a Christian and in the bible it says " God created man in the image of himself." So therefore if he created man in His self image he would not create any other type fo life forms that are different from the way He Himself looks. You are free to disaggree with this. It my thoughts not yours.

#22 MrCinatit

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Posted 02 May 2008 - 09:13 PM

I've got a feeling we'll find life on other worlds to be a bit more abundant than what we first thought.
At one time, Mars was ripe for life. Under its ice sheets, Europa's waters are thought to be warmed by volcanic vents - again, ripe for life.
As we explore more, we will most likely find life in areas we do not expect - we will find that, even though Earth-based life would not make it, other lifeforms are not so picky (at least in their environments). Who is to say something could not survive in the clouds of Jupiter or Saturn?
Intelligent life form will at first be a bit more difficult to find - but as we find life, perhaps we will reach the point where we find we have to change our viewpoints of "intelligent." Just because a life form is unable to create massive cities does not make it unintelligent = there are some who argue dolphins are more intelligent than humans, and I have yet to see a dolphin city. The problem will then be communicating with them.


Originally posted by: wir3d Well I would say that are not any other life forms at there because I am a Christian and in the bible it says " God created man in the image of himself." So therefore if he created man in His self image he would not create any other type fo life forms that are different from the way He Himself looks. You are free to disaggree with this. It my thoughts not yours.


Then there are not even any other lifeforms besides man on Earth?


#23 teddyrised

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Posted 03 May 2008 - 02:23 AM

A quote by Doctor Arroyway (Jodie Foster) in the film Contact:

I'll tell you one thing about the universe, though. The universe is a pretty big place. It's bigger than anything anyone has ever dreamed of before. So if it's just us... seems like an awful waste of space. Right?


Right. The universe is very big - it's reckoned by scientists and astrologers alike that the number of stars in the universe is more than the number of grains of sand we have on earth. And for every single second the universe is expanding (since the Big Bang, if you believe in it) and evolving. It wouldn't make any sense if Earth is the ONLY planet out of the trillions of planets out there (in billions of solar systems) that has some form of life.

But when it comes to INTELLIGENT life, it's a different thing. Human might be created because of a random, unpredictable event in the past, which caused us to gain intelligence and dominate over other living animals. It must have been something that made it possible for us to think, to create, to wander and to dream. It's not part of evolution - evolution helped to refine our knowledge and our organic, physical aspects of life.

There is most probably life in the universe, but intelligent life might be a little bit rare. Even if intelligent life (or lives) do exist, we will most probably be unable to reach out and communicate with them by current technological standards. Remember that we always believed that our television signals and radio transmissions are acting like an ever-expanding sphere, extending away from Earth and into the unknown? But scientists revealed in the recent Discovery Channel documentary, Life After People (has anybody watched it?), that our signals and transmission will lose energy and eventually fade into pure noise after one light year - and the nearest star is about THREE light years away - three times the distance.

And even if we manage to refine our technology someday that our signals and transmissions will propagate with almost 100% efficiency through space, the intelligent life on the other end of the universe might not be using the same technology, the same radio channels, the same equipments - the probability of two life forms using the same technology is just too slim to be considered.

Extraterrestrial life does exist, but it's infeasible for us to establish a connection with them. We can only detect, but not communicate - the distance is way too great. Even if life exist in the nearest start system (three light years away), it will take 6 years for us to get a reply. Considering that life can exist only at a very significantly huge distance, say, 50 light years, communicating will be an extremely ardous task - waiting a reply will take a century. What if a natural disaster or intelligence-caused calamity happens to wipes out the entire colony of life? That'll break the communication as well.

Sorry for the long wordy post I'm just sharing what I think.


#24 cameron1991

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Posted 03 May 2008 - 02:38 AM

Has anyone ever seen the ending of "Men in Black"? The part where the giant aliens are playing marbles with the universes? How will we ever know if that could really happen?
It seems highly improbable, but you never know, it could happen!
I believe there is life out there somewhere, but the vast size of the universe makes it next to impossible to find other life.
I doubt we will ever be contacted by aliens visiting Earth, because of the fact that its impossible to travel faster then the speed of light, and why would someone travel millions of light years just to find a race of humanoids on a small planet? Although time could mean nothing to an alien that might be able to live thousands of "Earth" years....
I think theres life out there, but the chances of finding it are very, very, very slim.

#25 patriots_1228

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Posted 03 May 2008 - 04:00 AM

Originally posted by: MrCinatit


Originally posted by: wir3d Well I would say that are not any other life forms at there because I am a Christian and in the bible it says " God created man in the image of himself." So therefore if he created man in His self image he would not create any other type fo life forms that are different from the way He Himself looks. You are free to disaggree with this. It my thoughts not yours.


Then there are not even any other lifeforms besides man on Earth?
 

exactly what I was going to say. I guess Dogs, cats, monkeys, tigers, etc. aren't alive, just lumps of matter with magic juice sprinkled on them.

#26 Meg

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Posted 03 May 2008 - 05:55 AM

Originally posted by: wir3d
 Well I would say that are not any other life forms at there because I am a Christian and in the bible it says " God created man in the image of himself." So therefore if he created man in His self image he would not create any other type fo life forms that are different from the way He Himself looks. You are free to disaggree with this. It my thoughts not yours.


Let's assume, for the moment, that the biblical creation story is what actually happened.  A debatable point since we have 32 pages of debate on the subject but let's assume, for the sake of discussion, that is true.

Who's to say that God didn't do the same thing (or a somewhat different version) on a different planet?

I'm not trying to debate the creation story here.  We already have a thread for that. 

My point is, whether you believe in creationism, evolution, or whatever who's to say that this is the only planet where it happened?

There will always be those who mean to do us harm. To stop them, we risk awakening the same evil within ourselves. Our first instinct is to seek revenge when those we love are take from us. But that's not who we are.

- Roberto Orci or Alex Kurtzman or maybe Damon Lindelof. I’m not sure which one.


#27 Godzillaman

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Posted 03 May 2008 - 06:30 AM

I believe in life in other galaxies, but I believe they won't be doing this anytime soon...


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#28 teddyrised

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Posted 03 May 2008 - 07:35 AM

Personally I think that creationism and intelligent design are two aspects that are, and will be, in constant conflict with evolution theory. Just bear in mind that although evolution is just a scientific theory, there is no evidence so far that can disprove this theory. Although we are still far from proving this theory to be a fact (it'll take millions of years), there is current evidence pointing towards it - like how insects exposed to mutagens and insecticides evolve, in terms of the entire brood/colony, into insecticide resistance; as well as how humans have domesticated dogs from wolves; and another powerful evidence is the human effect on evolution - complete homozygosity of wheat plant, which is never seen before in the past. It's nature's and mankind's forces that's resulting in evolution, as proposed by scientists.

Don't get me wrong - I still respect the views of other religions. I'm just stating the facts.

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@skigeek: Well said!
My point is, whether you believe in creationism, evolution, or whatever who's to say that this is the only planet where it happened?


@Godzillaman: ROFLMAO the photo you've attached gave me a good laugh, really.

#29 Danlikebooks

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Posted 03 May 2008 - 07:37 AM

Here's another question:  Like in Ender's game, if intelligent life was found (or found us), would we even be able to communicate with them?  Misinterpretation of language has caused so many problems on earth; just think of what it could cause with another alien species...

Or what if alien species found us?

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#30 teddyrised

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Posted 03 May 2008 - 07:42 AM

@Danlikebooks: Quoting from my previous post (and summarised a little)...

1. Our signals couldn't reach even the nearest star:
We always believed that our television signals and radio transmissions are acting like an ever-expanding sphere, extending away from Earth and into the unknown. But scientists revealed in the recent Discovery Channel documentary, Life After People (has anybody watched it?), that our signals and transmission will lose energy and eventually fade into pure noise after one light year - and the nearest star is about THREE light years away - three times the distance.

2. The probability of two colonies of intelligent life using the same technology for communication approximates to zero:
And even if we manage to refine our technology someday that our signals and transmissions will propagate with almost 100% efficiency through space, the intelligent life on the other end of the universe might not be using the same technology, the same radio channels, the same equipments - the probability of two life forms using the same technology is just too slim to be considered.

3. The distance is too daunting - nearest possible life is three lightyears away. For better chances, more than 50 light years:
Extraterrestrial life does exist, but it's infeasible for us to establish a connection with them. We can only detect, but not communicate - the distance is way too great. Even if life exist in the nearest start system (three light years away), it will take 6 years for us to get a reply. Considering that life can exist only at a very significantly huge distance, say, 50 light years, communicating will be an extremely ardous task - waiting a reply will take a century. What if a natural disaster or intelligence-caused calamity happens to wipes out the entire colony of life? That'll break the communication as well.



I hope this helps!