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Generally speaking, evolution is highly theoretical science.

Well researched science, with heavy backings in genetics and observable science, partially corroborated by the geological and fossil record, and astronomical observations about the universe. Caveats being that most planets within the Goldilocks zone tend to be large and generally unsuitable to life either due to composition (gas giants, usually unfavorable) or too large (high gravity makes certain things difficult), or orbit an unfavorable host (red dwarf, generally cold, or a giant star, volatile and young, or a binary pair, potentially unfavorable gravitational effects). Grain of salt being obviously that our detection tech at the moment is very limited, so the results are obviously biased towards the larger planets, or brigter/dimmer stellar hosts, etc. so obviously suitable planets could be present in much, much greater numbers than they currently appear. Final caveat being, we can really only detect planets inside our own galaxy, so clearly more planets must exist in other galaxies (of which there are many), some of which must be suitable hosts.

Can't argue necessarily against the existence of life elsewhere in the universe. Doesn't really make a difference one way or another unless somehow the aliens can travel FTL, and decide they want to contact us.

Ultimately it can't be proven, because the process takes to long, and there are no intermediate forms to observe that would otherwise end all* [most] arguments. FWIW, you can't necessarily prove that Electricity is a real phenomenon either, but you can, at the very least, observe electricity, and you can't observe evolution (actively).

FWIW, full disclosure, I'm a young Earth creationist. Laugh all you want, but if I'm wrong, you can especially laugh when I'm dead. I won't mind. Promise.

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..

...

If I'm right? Well, I still won't laugh, cause I'll still be dead.

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10 hours ago, Fantozzi said:

You say it even yourself. You use the world 'circumstances'. If scientist want to create life they don't follow the biblic path as your argument does. They try to determine what the circumstances are and to reproduce this: 'the causal chain - the chain of "if and then"' for creating life.

My argument does no such thing. My argument is not about the how because I don't know how life started. My argument is really simple statistics. It doesn't matter how statistically improbable it is for life to occur when you literally get an infinite amounts of shots at it. This is where the size of the universe comes in play, because the bigger the universe, the more stars there are, the more planets there are, the more shots youre getting at creating life. Since the size of the universe is pretty big, and there are good reasons to believe that besides this universe, there are literally infinitely more universes, then life becomes an inevitability. Indeed, anything you can think of becomes an inevitability. Its simple statistics. 

10 hours ago, Fantozzi said:

With this argument, everything that appears in a big amount should have an evolutionary better change to reach a higher, more complex level. But bacteria remain bacteria and grain of sands remain grain of sands. And me, i have to suppose, this is equal, no matter how much there are. So chance or circumstances aren't entropic the same way as materia is - I would suppose. Or as someone sang: some guys have all the luck.

Well duh, this is fact. Yeah, the more bacteria you have, the more chances you have that some will evolve to a higher form of organism. That doesn't mean they will all evolve and that there won't be any bacteria left. Its like a pyramid, the more you have at the base, the bigger and higher you can build your pyramid. Also, sand isn't an organism, its just lifeless matter, it doesn't evolve, no matter how much you have of it. 

10 hours ago, Fantozzi said:

Saying, with universe it is different, there, the sheer amount of materia rises changes for the circumstances of biologic processes - in my opinion, this isn't a logical argument. This is a simple belief.  

There is somethin missing. An evidence that with the higher amount of materia also the conditions are getting better. This had to be explained before, in my opinion. First you had to put evidence in the fact, that the universe is life friendly, than you could say, the bigger it is, the more chances for life it will carry.

But if you say the university is hostile to life - how can you argue, it sheere greatness makes life probable?

Ive never stated that the universe is hostile to life. I said its indifferent to life. The universe doesn't care if there is life or not. 

But yes, size again does matter. Put it this way, if the entire universe consisted of just one solar system, and the chances of life evolving are one in 1 billion, the chances aren't that great for life to occur in that one solar system, statistically speaking at least. If you got a universe consisting of 1 billion solar systems, statistically that means that at least 1 of those solar systems had all the right things come together to form life on one of its planets. But we are not dealing with a universe of merely 3 billion stars. The Milky Way Galaxy alone has over 100 billion stars and the odds of life occurring are probably far bigger than 1 in one billion. 

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It is estimated that all galaxies have between 0.3 Billion and 60 Billion habitable planets, with life developing on 1% to 13% of habitable planets. The absolutely most optimistic estimate using data unknown to Drake (because we have made great scientific progress since his time) is 72,800 communicating civilizations in the galaxy, a far cry from the 18.75 billion guestimated by Drake. However, the vast majority of estimations fall between 0 (believing Earth to be a fluke, likely alone in this supercluster) and 10 (understanding that FTL technology would be needed to ever encounter any extra-terrestrial civilizations). Whether we are truly alone in the universe doesn't matter because it is astronomically unlikely for civilizations from different stars to ever meet. There are 100 Billion stars in this galaxy and fewer than 73 thousand communicating civilizations. Sure, other galaxies are likely to harbor intelligent life but intergalactic travel is most likely impossible.

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10 hours ago, APSMS said:

Grain of salt being obviously that our detection tech at the moment is very limited, so the results are obviously biased towards the larger planets, or brigter/dimmer stellar hosts, etc. so obviously suitable planets could be present in much, much greater numbers than they currently appear.

With such a big space we are talking about, another fact had to be taken into account.  Extra terrestrian life had to share the same time frame with us. It's about 70 years we are listening to space. 70 years compared to ~10 Billion ... that's a joke. Nothing else. Sorry. Maybe there was a species searching for us the same way, we do - but those poor guys destroyed their planet 100.000 years before we began to do that with ours.

Or you could turn this argument the other way als light needes much time to passes this distances - maybe one day we'll discover life that was there.

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11 hours ago, LexusInfernus said:

But yes, size again does matter. Put it this way, if the entire universe consisted of just one solar system, and the chances of life evolving are one in 1 billion, the chances aren't that great for life to occur in that one solar system, statistically speaking at least. If you got a universe consisting of 1 billion solar systems, statistically that means that at least 1 of those solar systems had all the right things come together to form life on one of its planets. But we are not dealing with a universe of merely 3 billion stars. The Milky Way Galaxy alone has over 100 billion stars and the odds of life occurring are probably far bigger than 1 in one billion. 

Part of the problem with this argument is that it lacks the objectivity that proves that bacteria do, indeed, evolve to higher forms given enough of them. But I will give you that for the sake of argument. (I'm still waiting for the modern bacteria that evolves into something more than a bacterium, however. Bacteria change all the time, so why don't we observe any evolving to other forms that are arguably not bacteria? But I digress--I think there is a separate thread for that topic?)

Another part of the problem is that we cannot even properly theoretically prove the existence of other universes. Since the universe is generally defined to be everything that ever is, was, and will be of both matter, energy, and space-time, multiverse theory is relegated to pure conjecture, and thus unfit for an argument. There are better ones out there that you could use, and I cringe every time I read that even though I'm familiar with the concept and find it generally intriguing.

But I doubt the chance of life is 1 in 1 billion. I suspect it is far lower than that, at which point it becomes a question of whether infinity is greater than zero, because I suspect the proper analysis of the chance of life in extrasolar planets approaches this, and the chance of cognizant life is even lower. But, space is big. So infinity may beat out zero in this case. But you can't prove it by a conceptual argument, especially one that posits the presence of multiverse reality, since you are basing one statistical long shot (a generally sound one, by the way) on a completely unproven and generally irrelevant theory, and it undermines your point. By introducing multiverse theory, literally anything could be possible, including having one universe where one being essentially commands power over everything else in that universe, since multiverses do not need to possess similar physical laws, topologies, or even functions. In an essentially infinite number of universes, who could say what is not possible, including an infinite number of universes where life literally cannot exists because the laws of the universe prevent animation?

When you deal with infinite theoretical constructs, you open the door to a can of worms that can be used both ways. Infinity is more than large enough to accommodate both views, but both may not necessarily be correct, and it's not easy to determine which is which. I'd suggest sticking to the calculus analogy, mostly because it prevents your argument from getting perversely twisted around to say something opposite your point.

I do find it funny that the "Religion" thread is overrun with Deists, Atheists, and Agnostics (and liberal Catholics, etc). Are we still discussing religion, when we discuss the death of God, and why he must be dead? I know Atheists deny that they are the religion of anti-God (all forms), but why then, do they discuss the subject so much? At least all the atheists at my school never bring it up, because as far as they're concerned, God is a non-issue and not worthy of thought. But most atheists seem dedicated to the task of convincing others that God is false, which sounds a lot like preaching to me. Especially when you don't actually need to be an atheist to accept modern science (which would also imply that modern science is a pseudo-religion as well; a slippery slope if there ever was one).

@Fantozzi Given the distances in space, I suspect that's the best we could hope for. I don't necessarily oppose the idea of alien life, but I don't have any reason to think it exists either. I'm Christian, which somewhat colors my view, but who am I to limit what God does with His time? I'm more concerned about what's happening here on Earth concerning the things I believe He's told us (yes, us--you don't have to believe in the Bible to be able to read it) and how I need to respond to events in my own life. So generally speaking, whether life exists elsewhere in space is of little concern primarily because it's mostly irrelevant to what we do here on Earth, and how we interact with each other on a daily basis.

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2 hours ago, APSMS said:

I do find it funny that the "Religion" thread is overrun with Deists, Atheists, and Agnostics (and liberal Catholics, etc). Are we still discussing religion, when we discuss the death of God, and why he must be dead?

Funny perhaps, but it isn't bad. It show, they're missing something to talk about. The are believers too. They believe in multiverses, as people who can give a mathematical proof for that theory are rare, and most of us can't follow their pathways. So most people refer on popular science magazines or that fascinating colourfull 3D-animations they saw in TV. And when they talk about multiverses they just bring those 3D-animations into words. So there is really no differences, as christians try to bring their colourfull stories into words.

The subject is different - the way knowledge took is the same. This way is 'via myths'. As those 3D-animations in TV are nothing else than the story of an angelic manifestation. 

 

2 hours ago, APSMS said:

But I doubt the chance of life is 1 in 1 billion. I suspect it is far lower than that, at which point it becomes a question of whether infinity is greater than zero, because I suspect the proper analysis of the chance of life in extrasolar planets approaches this, and the chance of cognizant life is even lower.

Again and again. To be able to discuss about this, I first had to know of what those 'chances' consist. @LexusInfernus says this is a fact, it is obvious, chances increase with amout, but he denies to explain, why it is.

Lets regard a poker game. To get a full house - does the chances for this raise the more cards are in the game?

I hear this argument from scientists. But those astrophysics don't earn money like we. They mostly are payed by the public hand. So they shure will care that they are the darlings of public.

But still I don't know any proof of this 'obvious fact'. And I get the imrpession this is just a saying by believers. 'God is a fact' - you would talk this way, if you don't know the answers.

Well me, I don't have them. But I can see when logic is bent to achieve the desired conclusion.

Maybe, one thinks of planets biological? That they can have sex with each others? Shure they higher the population of something living is, the chances of reproduction are better. But materia hasn't got some kind of 'sexual organ'. 

If you have two chemical elements that don't react with each others - the amount of them putting together don't raise any chances. So it's all about 'action', about things to happen, to create live. It's the amount of chances that has to increase. Materia doesn't count at all. If you have the right elements, you don't need much of them to make the world explode. So to calculate the possibility of extra terrestian life you would have to calculate on causality, not on the sheer amount of materia. Shure, materia creates 'action', as it carries a force - gravity. But you would have to make your estimations on the basis of the needed 'actions' and not on the amount of the materia that might cause some action. So you would have to calculate on the needed chemical reaction f.e. - how often do they happen in space. This would be serious. But  to say ... well there are many planets - this is a naive argument. 

It reminds me of a discovery by a female scientist 20 years ago. It was known that the male brain was about 50 g heavier than the female brain. So this was an argument that males must be more intelligent. This female scientist counted the amount of brain cells per micron and found, that theiy are more dense in a womans brains. So what men really have is 50g more water, nothing else. Now - would you say to have 50g more water is a good argument, for men being more intelligent than woman?

Why this argument in most cases on earth turns out as beeing facile, can be the holy grail to estimate about lifeforms in outher space? Even in economics - as the sheer amount of capital investment doesn't make a bad investment turning into a good one.

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4 hours ago, APSMS said:

Another part of the problem is that we cannot even properly theoretically prove the existence of other universes. Since the universe is generally defined to be everything that ever is, was, and will be of both matter, energy, and space-time, multiverse theory is relegated to pure conjecture, and thus unfit for an argument. There are better ones out there that you could use, and I cringe every time I read that even though I'm familiar with the concept and find it generally intriguing.

Not exactly. It is all pretty theoretical and high concept, sure, and its unlikely that we could actually ever 'visit' the other universes or interact with them in a meaningful way, but quantum physics is getting around to proving it. Its basically also what CERN does and what part of the excitement surrounding the Higgs particle was about. To prove super symmetry or the multiverse theory. 

Regardless of whether there are other universes, the only difference it makes is drop the chance from infinite to a countable number, even if that number remains mind boggling large. 

4 hours ago, APSMS said:

By introducing multiverse theory, literally anything could be possible, including having one universe where one being essentially commands power over everything else in that universe, since multiverses do not need to possess similar physical laws, topologies, or even functions. In an essentially infinite number of universes, who could say what is not possible, including an infinite number of universes where life literally cannot exists because the laws of the universe prevent animation?

Sure, which is part of why I like the multiverse theory. But I do accept your point that it is unconfirmed at this point. 

4 hours ago, APSMS said:

I do find it funny that the "Religion" thread is overrun with Deists, Atheists, and Agnostics (and liberal Catholics, etc). Are we still discussing religion, when we discuss the death of God, and why he must be dead? I know Atheists deny that they are the religion of anti-God (all forms), but why then, do they discuss the subject so much? At least all the atheists at my school never bring it up, because as far as they're concerned, God is a non-issue and not worthy of thought. But most atheists seem dedicated to the task of convincing others that God is false, which sounds a lot like preaching to me. Especially when you don't actually need to be an atheist to accept modern science (which would also imply that modern science is a pseudo-religion as well; a slippery slope if there ever was one).

While a lot of Atheists will vehemently deny this, there are essentially two kinds of them. One is the group that says that because they haven't seen convincing evidence that God exists, they do not think it worth bothering believing in said God. By all accounts a fair position to take, why bother with something when its existence is unconfirmed and uncertain at best. Then there is the second group, the one you will find the most on the internet arguing in circles and generally being annoying little idiots, and this is the group that regards Dawkins as the smartest man alive. They believe that the lack of evidence for God is the same as evidence for his non existence. They are, by all accounts, religious. They simply believe in the confirmed absence of God (even though they got no evidence or logical grounds for doing so). 

2 hours ago, Fantozzi said:

Again and again. To be able to discuss about this, I first had to know of what those 'chances' consist. @LexusInfernus says this is a fact, it is obvious, chances increase with amout, but he denies to explain, why it is.

Okay fine. First, you need a star that is not to hot or to cold. Next you need planets, inhabiting the so called Goldilocks zone. Then you need that planet to have sufficient mass and a solid surface. The planet needs to have a magnetic field protecting the place from harmful levels of radiation, which means plate tectonics. The planet needs to have an atmosphere. The planet needs to have sufficient water. The planet needs a moon in stable orbit. The atmosphere and the water need to consist of just the right amount of elements. And then there needs to be the magic touch, the thing that causes actual life to occur and which sets the whole evolutionary process in motion. Now, unless you believe that the magic touch was a unique moment done by some kind of God or whatever, that only occurred on our Earth, its probable to assume that the magic touch is simply another natural occurrence. Something that happens when you mix all the right ingredients together under the right circumstances. 

Well then, the size of the universe matters. The more stars there are, the bigger the chances of having more stars that are just right for life. The more star systems there are, the more chances for planets to develop and the more planets that develop, the bigger the chance that more than one of them is located and made up in such a way that it can support life. Basically, the more places there are where life could occur, the bigger the chance that some of those places also had the final process happen there which started life. 

Two things to keep in mind here. First is that our own solar system contains 3 planets where life could have occurred. Venus and Mars are both near misses. Mars because it was unable to retain its atmosphere and Venus because the surface is to volatile. Otherwise both those places had good chances of being suited for life. 

Second, what I just described only accounts for Earth like life. But by all accounts, life is possible in a much wider range of circumstances, just look at the stuff that lives near volcanic vents deep beneath the Oceans surface. If life doesn't even need the sun, its possible to find it on a place that is much further from the sun. 

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1 hour ago, LexusInfernus said:

Okay fine. First, you need a star that is not to hot or to cold. Next you need planets, inhabiting the so called Goldilocks zone. Then you need that planet to have sufficient mass and a solid surface. The planet needs to have a magnetic field protecting the place from harmful levels of radiation, which means plate tectonics. The planet needs to have an atmosphere. The planet needs to have sufficient water. The planet needs a moon in stable orbit. The atmosphere and the water need to consist of just the right amount of elements. And then there needs to be the magic touch, the thing that causes actual life to occur and which sets the whole evolutionary process in motion. Now, unless you believe that the magic touch was a unique moment done by some kind of God or whatever, that only occurred on our Earth, its probable to assume that the magic touch is simply another natural occurrence. Something that happens when you mix all the right ingredients together under the right circumstances. 

Thank you.

Now my question would be - is this a must, in the sense, if this conditions are fullfilled, life must occur, or is this a maybe, in the sense life may occur, if this conditions are complied.

If the second is to apply my next question would be - how often this 'maybe' may be.

And then - when you have a statistical measure, how often it happens on planets where it could happen - well then you could do a calculation with the possible amount of habitable planets in the universe and then, second, how many remain amongst them, statistically, where life may have occured.

But just setting the possible habitable planets equal with 'must be life', in my opinion this is a step to fast.

 

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48 minutes ago, Fantozzi said:

But just setting the possible habitable planets equal with 'must be life', in my opinion this is a step to fast.

I've never done that. I just said that the bigger the universe, aka the more planets there are, the bigger the chance becomes that some of those planets meet these requirements and the bigger the chance that life has sprung up on some of them. 

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42 minutes ago, LexusInfernus said:

I've never done that

And I even didn't make thoughts to accuse you, sorry if the words came out wrong. I just need to make my mind up, maybe even putting a little pressure on you, to understand better. But regarding my knowledge about the universe to attacking other peoples thoughts - well, this is like a blind man hitting someone with his white cane.

 

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I would point out that Venus lacks a magnetic field (almost entirely, to the point that you can observe the stream of atmosphere being carried off by the solar wind), and Mars has a much stronger one, but it's still weaker than Mercury's.

Earth hit the jackpot with all those things, especially if you consider how big Earth's moon is in relation to it's host planet, which, at least for our solar system, is unusually large (no, Pluto doesn't count, even if I still feel like calling it a planet, because Charon behaves more like a binary planet than a moon).

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On 7/29/2016 at 2:19 AM, APSMS said:

FWIW, full disclosure, I'm a young Earth creationist. Laugh all you want, but if I'm wrong, you can especially laugh when I'm dead. I won't mind. Promise.

Just for S &G: http://www.theonion.com/article/sumerians-look-on-in-confusion-as-god-creates-worl-2879

As for atheists discussing religion, it makes sense, considering that religion is all around them in society, most people are religious, and many people want the law of the land to reflect religious dogma. In many ways, atheists must be concerned with religion. That doesn't mean they need to spend so much time trying to convince others that their beliefs are true, but one can discuss it without doing so. Just because you believe there is no actual God, doesn't mean you can't discuss it. Atheists can recognize that God is very real as a concept, and that of course can be discussed. Also, some people simply enjoy discussing the possibility (or not) of God's existence. Agnostics especially may find arguments on both sides interesting and worth considering. I also think some comparisons between atheism and religion are valid. You have a belief, maybe it came to you after reflection and research, that belief has improved your life, you want to share it with others so that they can "see the light" as you do. That can apply to theists and atheists alike. 

One could turn the question around on theists too: if you're so confident in your beliefs, why do you spend so much time attacking atheist beliefs and trying to convince people that evolution is false? Why apologetics? Surely if your beliefs are 100% correct, no amount of "science" will ever disprove them (I also do not believe religion and science are incompatible, despite what people on both sides sometimes say, but this is for the sake of example). I'm just saying that people discussing "the other side"'s beliefs (even in relation to their own) are not necessarily guilty of any hypocrisy or doubt. 

And FWIW, I'm a "universalist" or whatever you want to call it. I believe in God and believe that all religions are an attempt at accessing God, that there is no "one true religion", that they all have some spiritual truth to them. 

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I would say I'm not particularly religious,but not atheist either. I do believe there is an afterlife but I don't think there is significant proof what the actual afterlife is.I wold say I'm agnostic,but not really sure totally what that fully be (I have a general idea).

So let's just say I'm agnostic. But if somone could clear that up that'd be nice.

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