If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(The Atlantic)   US government official says he "absolutely" believes there is life on other planets   (theatlantic.com) divider line 298
    More: Interesting, NASA, Mars Rover Spirit, Charles Elachi, planets  
•       •       •

12523 clicks; posted to Main » on 02 Nov 2012 at 2:17 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



298 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

Archived thread
 
2012-11-02 10:45:43 AM
Statistically, it's ridiculous to argue otherwise. However, it should be noted that we've never even been able to communicate effectively with the domestic house cat, among the other creatures our planet has to offer. Let's hope they're more like dogs if we ever meet any.
 
2012-11-02 11:02:21 AM

keiverarrow: Statistically, it's ridiculous to argue otherwise. However, it should be noted that we've never even been able to communicate effectively with the domestic house cat, among the other creatures our planet has to offer. Let's hope they're more like dogs if we ever meet any.


done in one.

the universe is almost infinitely big and 14 billion years old. to think we're the only planet to develop intelligence is just incredibly improbable. however, this vastness also means that it's incredibly improbable that we'll ever contact another intelligent species.
 
2012-11-02 11:11:23 AM

FlashHarry: the universe is almost infinitely big and 14 billion years old. to think we're the only planet to develop intelligence is just incredibly improbable. however, this vastness also means that it's incredibly improbable that we'll ever contact another intelligent species.


The likelihood of any other intelligent species being too far away to contact, the possibility of them not being advanced enough to have the ability to receive any sort of radio communication, let alone of the interplanetary variety, and of having no way of interpreting each other's communications anyway makes me sad.
 
2012-11-02 11:14:15 AM

keiverarrow: we've never even been able to communicate effectively with the domestic house cat


I think we have, but the cats can't be bothered to respond. One day, however, Fluffy is going to wake me up, look me in the eye and say "Look Steve, you gotta get your shiat together man. Seriously dude, the f*ck?" When I tell her my name's not "Steve", she'll turn around and take a dump on my bed.
 
2012-11-02 11:26:47 AM
Is there life on other planets? I'm pretty certain of that. It would be nearly impossible for that to not be the case.

Is there intelligent life on other planets? I have no idea. Maybe. If intelligence turns out to be a good thing for a species to have, it might evolve multiple times independently. But right now, we have a very small sample size (primates, and possibly cetaceans), and there's no guarantee that our intelligence won't end up killing us.

I'd bet everything I own that there are living things on other planets. I would not bet on intelligent organisms. It would be pretty neat though.
 
2012-11-02 11:29:25 AM
imgs.xkcd.com
 
2012-11-02 12:54:07 PM

exick: FlashHarry: the universe is almost infinitely big and 14 billion years old. to think we're the only planet to develop intelligence is just incredibly improbable. however, this vastness also means that it's incredibly improbable that we'll ever contact another intelligent species.

The likelihood of any other intelligent species being too far away to contact, the possibility of them not being advanced enough to have the ability to receive any sort of radio communication, let alone of the interplanetary variety, and of having no way of interpreting each other's communications anyway makes me sad.


Wait a minute...are you suggesting Star Trek was total fiction???
 
2012-11-02 01:02:10 PM
memeimages.com
 
2012-11-02 01:06:05 PM

FlashHarry: keiverarrow: Statistically, it's ridiculous to argue otherwise. However, it should be noted that we've never even been able to communicate effectively with the domestic house cat, among the other creatures our planet has to offer. Let's hope they're more like dogs if we ever meet any.

done in one.

the universe is almost infinitely big and 14 billion years old. to think we're the only planet to develop intelligence is just incredibly improbable. however, this vastness also means that it's incredibly improbable that we'll ever contact another intelligent species.


I think that faith - whether in God or the existence of extraterrestrial life - is an expression of our own existential angst that is derived from the core question of our mortality: Are we, in the end, alone?

Haha.. nah.. I'm just trollin'
 
2012-11-02 01:13:08 PM

keiverarrow: Statistically, it's ridiculous to argue otherwise. However, it should be noted that we've never even been able to communicate effectively with the domestic house cat, among the other creatures our planet has to offer. Let's hope they're more like dogs if we ever meet any.


And we're done.
 
2012-11-02 01:28:04 PM
Any good conspiracy theorist knows the government always lies. So this just proves UFOs don't exist.
 
2012-11-02 01:36:27 PM
I tend to believe the Rare Earth hypothesis that while simple, unicellular life is probably fairly common, highly complex life is likely to be quite rare.
 
2012-11-02 01:51:04 PM
/ Unavailable for comment
img266.imageshack.us 

/ Obscure?
 
2012-11-02 02:21:54 PM
I find it mind blowing to look at the Hubble eXtreme Deep Field and think that one tiny patch of sky has 5,500 galaxies in it. To think that we are it is hubris
 
2012-11-02 02:21:59 PM

exick: FlashHarry: the universe is almost infinitely big and 14 billion years old. to think we're the only planet to develop intelligence is just incredibly improbable. however, this vastness also means that it's incredibly improbable that we'll ever contact another intelligent species.

The likelihood of any other intelligent species being too far away to contact, the possibility of them not being advanced enough to have the ability to receive any sort of radio communication, let alone of the interplanetary variety, and of having no way of interpreting each other's communications anyway makes me sad.


Also, they could be religious fanatics who have shunned science, and only gaze upwards in fear to interpret signs of their impending doom.

But then I guess we really couldn't call them "intelligent", could we?
 
2012-11-02 02:22:30 PM
Move the quotation marks one word to the right and then change that word to knows; only then does it become interesting.
 
2012-11-02 02:22:56 PM

Elzar: / Unavailable for comment
[img266.imageshack.us image 271x320] 

/ Obscure?

apparent, clear, explicit, obvious, perceptible, understood
 
2012-11-02 02:22:58 PM

FloydA: I'd bet everything I own that there are living things on other planets. I would not bet on intelligent organisms. It would be pretty neat though.


This. You know how I know life is pretty likely to exist on other planets? Look at how soon life began after the formation of Earth.
 
2012-11-02 02:23:41 PM
Life on other planets = yes, almost 100% definitely

Intelligent life on other planets = that's a toughie, I'll go 25% chance

/not a scientist
 
2012-11-02 02:23:46 PM
YOU CAN'T PROVE THAT THERE ISN'T.jpg
 
2012-11-02 02:24:16 PM
I would be absolutely shocked if there was no life outside of Earth just in our solar system. Heck, I'd give even odds that we'll eventually find life on Mars, although it'll be microscopic.

We've found life inside of freakin' volcanos and the bottom of the ocean. It may be difficult to realize it's alive, but it'll be out there.

Now, sentient life that can build things more complex than nests...that's a more difficult question.
 
2012-11-02 02:24:38 PM
I think that extraterrestrial life is there -- and that at least some of it is intelligent.

In fact, I think that some of the random static we get from the skies might be communication that's too cryptic or something for us to be able to even recognize as communication.

Furthermore I think . . . well, I think I'll have another drink.

/don't get me started on the *apparent* randomness of the universe
 
2012-11-02 02:25:16 PM

Sybarite: I tend to believe the Rare Earth hypothesis that while simple, unicellular life is probably fairly common, highly complex life is likely to be quite rare.


I think when most people hear "intelligent life" they immediately assume one is talking of an organism that is as complex as a human being which is extremely unlikely. I agree with you, bacteria and other such small creatures are probably fairly common in the universe but I doubt very much that we will ever come into contact with anything that is an complex as we are. It will be a big, big day for science if we are ever able to bring interstellar cultures back to earth for study.

/note: complex does NOT mean "the same as"
 
2012-11-02 02:26:20 PM
unless that life has big ol' green space titties and needs a solid earth-dicking, I don't really care.
 
2012-11-02 02:26:49 PM

keiverarrow: However, it should be noted that we've never even been able to communicate effectively with the domestic house cat.


And yet so many people have been enslaved by them.
 
2012-11-02 02:28:34 PM
Ronald Regan?
 
2012-11-02 02:30:28 PM

reklamfox: I doubt very much that we will ever come into contact with anything that is an complex as we are


I tend to think that if we ever come into contact with another "intelligent" life form, it will be far more complex than we are.
 
2012-11-02 02:31:16 PM
From the same gods that created us. Exept the green hot alien babes.
 
2012-11-02 02:32:11 PM
keiverarrow [TotalFark]
2012-11-02 10:45:43 AM

Statistically, it's ridiculous to argue otherwise. However, it should be noted that we've never even been able to communicate effectively with the domestic house cat, among the other creatures our planet has to offer. Let's hope they're more like dogs if we ever meet any.


Or cats have never been able to find intelligent humans to communicate effectively with.
 
2012-11-02 02:32:53 PM
I have no doubt there is life on other planets and that those forms of life have some form of intelligence my only question is to the nature of that intelligence. I wonder if the intelligence of life on other planets would develop a technological intelligence to perform tasks other than food gathering and reproducing. If they have developed technological abilities it is likely that they are far more advanced than us given how relatively young we are in our galaxy let alone other galaxies.
 
2012-11-02 02:32:59 PM
A lot more kids would read up on space if we had the occasional war with Martians.
 
2012-11-02 02:33:00 PM
I imagine a conversation with alien intelligence going something like this...

"Morning sir, or madam, or neuter," the thing said. "This your planet, is it?"
"Well, er. I suppose so," Newt said.
"Had it long, have we sir?"
"Not personally. I mean, as a species, about half a million years. I think."
The alien exchanged glances with its colleague.
"Been letting the old acid rain build up, haven't we sir," it said. "Been letting ourselves go a bit with the old hydrocarbons, perhaps?"
"I'm sorry?"
"Well, I'm sorry to have to tell you, sir, but your polar ice caps are below regulation size for a planet of this category, sir."
"Oh, dear," said Newt.
"We'll overlook it on this occasion, sir."
The smaller alien walked past the car. "CO2 level up nought point five percent," it rasped, giving him a meaningful look. "You do know you could find yourself charged with being a dominant species while under the influence of impulse-driven consumerism, don't you?"


― Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett (Good Omens)
 
2012-11-02 02:33:27 PM
Okay. That means that our whole solar system could be, like one tiny atom in the fingernail of some other giant being. This is too much! That means one tiny atom in my fingernail could be--
 
2012-11-02 02:33:46 PM

cwolf20: Or cats have never been able to find intelligent humans to communicate effectively with.


Flawed:

animal.discovery.com
 
2012-11-02 02:34:19 PM

Harv72b: I tend to think that if we ever come into contact with another "intelligent" life form, it will be far more complex than we are.


I'm of the opinion that if we do ever meet extraterrestrial intelligence, it'll be just as retarded as we are.
 
2012-11-02 02:34:39 PM
Intelligent life? It probably exists. See: WOW Signal

Cheron: I find it mind blowing to look at the Hubble eXtreme Deep Field and think that one tiny patch of sky has 5,500 galaxies in it. To think that we are it is hubris


I thought there was 100,000 galaxies in that image?

There are something like a trillion galaxies in the observable universe, and around 250 billion stars per galaxies. To think we are alone is just idiotic.
 
2012-11-02 02:36:17 PM
I cannot deny the possibility. But for there to be any nonzero number of sentient species in the universe, one of those species must the first, and I cannot deny the possibility that we are the first. It's a somewhat more optimistic outlook than the typical "alone in the universe" rhetoric, anyway.
 
2012-11-02 02:36:39 PM
I have no doubt there is life out there. Hell, there's probably a few bacteria that hitchhiked on the probes we've sent to the moon, mars etc. We'll see if anything takes root 50 million years from now.

But if any life out there is sentient, it won't be made out of meat.
 
2012-11-02 02:36:39 PM

Cheron: I find it mind blowing to look at the Hubble eXtreme Deep Field and think that one tiny patch of sky has 5,500 galaxies in it. To think that we are it is hubris


What's so great about us anyway?
 
2012-11-02 02:36:42 PM

exick: The likelihood of any other intelligent species being too far away to contact, the possibility of them not being advanced enough to have the ability to receive any sort of radio communication, let alone of the interplanetary variety, and of having no way of interpreting each other's communications anyway makes me sad.


Conveniently, they're also more or less completely unquantifiable, since we only have access to a couple planets in our general state (solid, within a distance band from our star amenable to our type of life). So the likelihood of human-compatible civilization on earthlike planets could be 1, and we just don't know yet.

If you're going to make up and assign arbitrary numbers to the probability of something no one knows anything whatsoever about, at least be optimistic about it: if you're being happy for no reason at least you're happy, if you're being depressed for no reason I'm not sure I see your motivation.

//Earthlike planets being one of the more common bodies found around a star according to modern astronomy.
 
2012-11-02 02:36:45 PM
When there are trillions of planets, anything not prohibited is mandatory. Since life appeared on Earth, it must not be prohibited.
 
2012-11-02 02:37:17 PM
come to a definite conclusion about something for which there is no evidence?>

sounds like a matter of faith to me.
 
2012-11-02 02:38:04 PM

Cythraul: [imgs.xkcd.com image 413x336]


Nice. It sums up my feelings about life on other planets. It could be something so inconcievable that we have yet to imagine what it would be. I smh at pictures of aliens who walk erect and have similar facial features as humans.
 
2012-11-02 02:38:09 PM
There's probably life. So exotic, foreign and frightening we'd never understand it. I doubt there's anything remotely like us anywhere else in the entire universe though. My best guess is there's lots of lower order...things...but zero if anything remotely like us. Our journey has been so unique, what're the odds of anything going through the same process to get where we are.
 
2012-11-02 02:38:20 PM
4.bp.blogspot.com
 
2012-11-02 02:38:24 PM

Counter_Intelligent: I'm of the opinion that if we do ever meet extraterrestrial intelligence, it'll be just as retarded as we are.


Then you'd also be of the opinion that we'll never meet any.
 
2012-11-02 02:38:27 PM
I think it would be a little sad to think that in this vast universe all the life that has ever existed or ever will exist is on this one planet.
 
2012-11-02 02:38:36 PM
Why is a government employee saying (s)he believes in anything, NEWS?

Other beliefs held by government employees:

We can close the Patent office since everything possible has been invented

Bush caused the Katrina storm

Todd Akin do I really need to post his "beliefs"?


We've believed there was a reasonable chance there was life on the moon . Remember this?...
i.telegraph.co.uk
 
2012-11-02 02:38:41 PM

busy chillin': Life on other planets = yes, almost 100% definitely

Intelligent life on other planets = that's a toughie, I'll go 25% chance

/not a scientist


Math says otherwise.

There are an infinte number of starsystems based upon observations.

Also based on observations, a finite number has intelligent life.

Finite divided by infinity is zero.

I think we can agree there is no intelligent life in the universe.

/better damn not be obscure
 
2012-11-02 02:38:44 PM

Counter_Intelligent: I'm of the opinion that if we do ever meet extraterrestrial intelligence, it'll be just as retarded as we are.


Or even moreso.

www.eskimo.com
 
2012-11-02 02:38:59 PM

keiverarrow: Statistically, it's ridiculous to argue otherwise. However, it should be noted that we've never even been able to communicate effectively with the domestic house cat, among the other creatures our planet has to offer. Let's hope they're more like dogs if we ever meet any.


Dolphins. Why? Dolphins are the frat boys of the sea, but smarter than average actual human frat boys.
 
2012-11-02 02:39:42 PM

indarwinsshadow: Our journey has been so unique, what're the odds of anything going through the same process to get where we are.


Astronomical.
 
2012-11-02 02:40:22 PM

Harv72b: reklamfox: I doubt very much that we will ever come into contact with anything that is an complex as we are

I tend to think that if we ever come into contact with another "intelligent" life form, it will be far more complex than we are.


I tend to think that the first "intelligent" life form we come into contact with will probably be a clone of one of our evolutionary predecessors: H. habilis, perhaps. The technology is so close at this point that sooner or later, legally or otherwise, somebody's going to make one. Probably sooner, and probably otherwise.

This is not to say that we'll never encounter aliens in the future; we might. But I think before that happens, we'll already have at least some experience dealing with another sentient species than our own.
 
2012-11-02 02:40:37 PM
Yes... because when i want an unbiased opinion about extra-terrestrial beings, i ask the guy who's job depends on the perceived need for space travel.

If i had a trillion grains of multi-colored sand, and tossed them up in the air, and measured how they landed, that doesn't mean that i could ever exactly replicate that ever again, even if i tried an infinite number of times. I don't care how big the universe is... That doesn't mean, the impossible will suddenly turn possible.
 
2012-11-02 02:40:38 PM

keiverarrow: However, it should be noted that we've never even been able to communicate effectively with the domestic house cat


Darmok and Jalad at the Litterbox.
 
2012-11-02 02:40:39 PM
Big deal...Mormons and Scientologists believe there's life on other planets too. Start seriously funding NASA, to the detriment of the Pentagon's budget, and I will start giving a fark what you believe.

keiverarrow:
Statistically, it's ridiculous to argue otherwise. However, it should be noted that we've never even been able to communicate effectively with the domestic house cat, among the other creatures our planet has to offer. Let's hope they're more like dogs if we ever meet any.

*EXTRATERRESTRIALS ARRIVE*
"Take us to your planetary representative"
*UN Secretary General greets them*
*ALIENS SNIFF HIS/HER GROIN*
 
2012-11-02 02:40:55 PM

keiverarrow: Statistically, it's ridiculous to argue otherwise. However, it should be noted that we've never even been able to communicate effectively with the domestic house cat, among the other creatures our planet has to offer. Let's hope they're more like dogs if we ever meet any.


Well, if he celestial equivalent of that variety of a close encounter is anything like my neighbor's pit bulls I'll take pass, thank you very much.
 
2012-11-02 02:41:18 PM
I have no life and I feel so alone.

Anyone want to be anal probed?
 
2012-11-02 02:41:21 PM
Wake me up when we find an abundance of intelligent life in the US government.
 
2012-11-02 02:41:33 PM

dababler: Dolphins. Why? Dolphins are the frat boys of the sea, but smarter than average actual human frat boys.


I've always considered dolphins the golden retrievers of the sea, much smarter than frat boys.
 
2012-11-02 02:42:11 PM

Ambitwistor: Counter_Intelligent: I'm of the opinion that if we do ever meet extraterrestrial intelligence, it'll be just as retarded as we are.

Or even moreso.


We are smart
 
2012-11-02 02:42:32 PM
"Two possibilities exist: Either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying" - Arthur C. Clarke

/geeking out on XCom for the last couple of weeks - first thing that popped in my head.
 
2012-11-02 02:42:37 PM

Lucky LaRue: FlashHarry: keiverarrow: Statistically, it's ridiculous to argue otherwise. However, it should be noted that we've never even been able to communicate effectively with the domestic house cat, among the other creatures our planet has to offer. Let's hope they're more like dogs if we ever meet any.

done in one.

the universe is almost infinitely big and 14 billion years old. to think we're the only planet to develop intelligence is just incredibly improbable. however, this vastness also means that it's incredibly improbable that we'll ever contact another intelligent species.

I think that faith - whether in God or the existence of extraterrestrial life - is an expression of our own existential angst that is derived from the core question of our mortality: Are we, in the end, alone?



Not "we", rather "I".

There is only one thing, so the answer is yes.
 
2012-11-02 02:42:54 PM

Millennium: I tend to think that the first "intelligent" life form we come into contact with will probably be a clone of one of our evolutionary predecessors: H. habilis, perhaps. The technology is so close at this point that sooner or later, legally or otherwise, somebody's going to make one. Probably sooner, and probably otherwise.


Interesting point which I've never really thought of as being equivalent. Or of course the possibility of genetically engineered modern species...hell, I suppose you could argue that we already have in the form of some of the other primates.
 
2012-11-02 02:43:20 PM

FlashHarry: keiverarrow: Statistically, it's ridiculous to argue otherwise. However, it should be noted that we've never even been able to communicate effectively with the domestic house cat, among the other creatures our planet has to offer. Let's hope they're more like dogs if we ever meet any.

done in one.

the universe is almost infinitely big and 14 billion years old. to think we're the only planet to develop intelligence is just incredibly improbable. however, this vastness also means that it's incredibly improbable that we'll ever contact another intelligent species.


Start the Improbability Drive we need to be to FTL pronto.
 
2012-11-02 02:43:34 PM
I wonder exactly what is necessary for "life" to form outside of our solar system. Is the presence of water on a solid planetoid orbiting a red dwarf all that is needed? Or is there much more at play here than people consider?

I read a book a while back that had a list of all that was necessary for life on Earth to exist, but cannot remember as it was years ago.
 
2012-11-02 02:43:48 PM

Snapper Carr: "Two possibilities exist: Either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying" - Arthur C. Clarke


So it's a 50-50 chance, right?
 
2012-11-02 02:43:54 PM
There's always work at the U.S. Post Office. To quote famous quipster, David Letterman, "I don't know what that means". I assume that I am joking, but knowing me as I do, that doesn't mean I am not in earnest about something, some how.

Taking fun as simply fun
And earnestness in earnest
Shows how thou none
Of the two discernest.
(discerneth?)

Piet Hein, Danish poet

Both discernest and discerneth are archaic but discerneth seems to be be more common by far.

"O Lord, thou hast searched me and known me! Thou knowest when I sit down and when I rise up; thou discernest my thoughts from afar. Thou searchest out my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways" (Ps 138:1-3).
 
2012-11-02 02:44:03 PM

HailRobonia: keiverarrow: However, it should be noted that we've never even been able to communicate effectively with the domestic house cat

Darmok and Jalad at the Litterbox.


Fluffy, red dot, eyes red.
 
2012-11-02 02:44:15 PM

T.rex: If i had a trillion grains of multi-colored sand, and tossed them up in the air, and measured how they landed, that doesn't mean that i could ever exactly replicate that ever again, even if i tried an infinite number of times


Actually, if you did it an infinite amount of times then you would not only exactly replicate it, you would exactly replicate it an infinite amount of times.

/This is the crap I think about at night when I should be sleeping.
 
2012-11-02 02:44:25 PM

exick: FlashHarry: the universe is almost infinitely big and 14 billion years old. to think we're the only planet to develop intelligence is just incredibly improbable. however, this vastness also means that it's incredibly improbable that we'll ever contact another intelligent species.

The likelihood of any other intelligent species being too far away to contact, the possibility of them not being advanced enough to have the ability to receive any sort of radio communication, let alone of the interplanetary variety, and of having no way of interpreting each other's communications anyway makes me sad.


So much this. I think its pretty obvious that somewhere out there, there are multiple planets that hit the temperature, resource, and genetic lottery necessary to sustain intelligent life. We just will never find or communicate with them.
 
2012-11-02 02:45:21 PM
Of course there is life on other planets, in other galaxies, solar systems, etc. It is ridiculous to think that we are so special that we are the ONLY living thing in all the universe(s). It may not be carbon based like us, but then again, it might be.

It's just silly to think we're isolated like that.
 
2012-11-02 02:45:38 PM
Our concept of "life" as carbon based replicators is extremely limited.
There is much we do not understand, young Skywalker.
 
2012-11-02 02:46:07 PM
img266.imageshack.us
 
2012-11-02 02:47:20 PM
i.telegraph.co.uk
President Nixon enjoys a very special episode of Hee-Haw on the Official Presidential TV

They never told him that the Moon Landing was faked in a studeo, for fear of what else he would fake if he knew Hollywood had the know-how.
 
2012-11-02 02:47:36 PM

Harv72b: darwin


1.bp.blogspot.com


What do you call a flying monkey?

A hot air baboon.
 
2012-11-02 02:48:19 PM
The lack of contact from intelligent beings suggests that 300,000 km/sec is a harsh mistress, that there are no shortcuts around the speed of light.
 
2012-11-02 02:48:22 PM

keiverarrow: Statistically, it's ridiculous to argue otherwise. However, it should be noted that we've never even been able to communicate effectively with the domestic house cat, among the other creatures our planet has to offer. Let's hope they're more like dogs if we ever meet any.


Came to say this.

Glad to see it's been covered.
 
2012-11-02 02:48:24 PM

Sybarite: I tend to believe the Rare Earth hypothesis that while simple, unicellular life is probably fairly common, highly complex life is likely to be quite rare.


But given the sheer number of habitable worlds in the entire universe, "quite rare" could produce hundreds if not thousands of examples of worlds with complex (if not intelligent) lifeforms.

I remember watching a movie at the local planetarium (because that's what they are now, massive domed movie theaters) narrated by harrison ford talking about life on this planet and potentially on other planets and one concept really stuck out for me. Looking back (from our limited perception) it seems that as soon as life was possible on Earth, it was there.
 
2012-11-02 02:48:33 PM
i.ytimg.com
 
2012-11-02 02:49:18 PM
I imagine intelligent life has occurred several times in the universe and possibly within the Milky Way we simply haven't been contacted because the technology to distance ratio isn't right, the species has killed itself off, or they are simply ignoring us as we aren't really that interesting and have nothing to offer them.
 
2012-11-02 02:49:50 PM

Harv72b: cwolf20: Or cats have never been able to find intelligent humans to communicate effectively with.

Flawed:

[animal.discovery.com image 284x212]


One of my favorite shows. Even after being owned by cats for over 40 years (not the same ones all that time) I still learn things.
 
2012-11-02 02:51:35 PM

FlashHarry: keiverarrow: Statistically, it's ridiculous to argue otherwise. However, it should be noted that we've never even been able to communicate effectively with the domestic house cat, among the other creatures our planet has to offer. Let's hope they're more like dogs if we ever meet any.

done in one.

the universe is almost infinitely big and 14 billion years old. to think we're the only planet to develop intelligence is just incredibly improbable. however, this vastness also means that it's incredibly improbable that we'll ever contact another intelligent species.


You mean there is intelligent life here? Heresy!
 
2012-11-02 02:52:03 PM

Harv72b: T.rex: If i had a trillion grains of multi-colored sand, and tossed them up in the air, and measured how they landed, that doesn't mean that i could ever exactly replicate that ever again, even if i tried an infinite number of times

Actually, if you did it an infinite amount of times then you would not only exactly replicate it, you would exactly replicate it an infinite amount of times.

/This is the crap I think about at night when I should be sleeping.


Bah! You beat me to it. Someone is wrong on the internet!

Now, on the other hand, if you had an infinite number of grains of sand...
 
2012-11-02 02:52:17 PM
I always harken back to the Mork and Mindy episode where Mork shrinks down so small that he ends up on a piece of dust that is a planet. I like to think we are not much more than dust flying around some warehouse somewhere. That our perception of billions of years is not much longer than a lunch break.
 
2012-11-02 02:53:10 PM
I'd say given the size of the galaxy, we can't be the only planet to develope intelligent life.

However, given the size of the galaxy, slow communication means, and that civilizations have a rather limited life span, I'd venture to say that odds are, we'd never meet each other or even say "Hi". Odds are we'd send out a probe that will find the remains of a once vast alien empire, and another will find us long after we've died out.
 
2012-11-02 02:53:22 PM

Incontinent_dog_and_monkey_rodeo: The lack of contact from intelligent beings suggests that 300,000 km/sec is a harsh mistress, that there are no shortcuts around the speed of light.


If an advanced civilization could travel faster than light, would they want to visit us barbarians?
 
2012-11-02 02:53:38 PM
YO!

1.bp.blogspot.com
 
2012-11-02 02:54:13 PM

OnlyM3: Why is a government employee saying (s)he believes in anything, NEWS?

Other beliefs held by government employees:

We can close the Patent office since everything possible has been invented

Bush caused the Katrina storm

Todd Akin do I really need to post his "beliefs"?


We've believed there was a reasonable chance there was life on the moon . Remember this?...
[i.telegraph.co.uk image 460x288]


It wasn't just fear of moon bugs, but also fear of how earth bugs in an irradiated environment might change, or how the astronauts immune systems may have been weakened by the situation.

Fifty years prior to this we were still figuring out how aircraft flew.
Going to the farking moon? That shiat was all new to everyone.

It paid to be cautious.
 
2012-11-02 02:54:20 PM
www.eskimo.com
Gary Shandling and Bob Newhart are no longer allowed out without their human make-up
 
2012-11-02 02:54:38 PM
The issue of space isn't the only issue, in terms of intelligent life. The other issue would be time, in that we would have to be travelling through an area where another species was, at a time when it be willing/able/etc to contact us. Given that our planet has already sustained some extremely complex life that was entirely wiped out, and given how fast technology matures and mutates, the odds of any space-faring species being in approximately the same phase of science, let alone life, is almost nil. If we run into anything, it will either be a (relative) god, or it will be a (relative) primitive. The latter is of course preferable to the former, since we have no reason to assume that merely becoming space-faring would remove competitiveness from a highly evolved life form.

That's not even getting into energy density issues, aka where in hells did the life form get enough exotic matter to casually hang out and chat with us, given the (of course) astronomical distances involved.

As a side note, to the folks up-thread that posited that unicellular life would be most common (I assume as a highest-evolved life form), again remember that our planet has had several hard resets resulting in mass extinctions, and after every hard reset, extremely complex life evolves. There is no reason to assume that any one planet would have to have the same set of disasters, and, if life is relatively common, we would be relative late-comers to an extremely long game.
 
2012-11-02 02:56:48 PM
The dumbest argument for not believing in aliens was a girl who said "The bible doesn't mention aliens so they aren't real." I responded with "Penguins."
 
2012-11-02 02:58:04 PM
Wait, wait.

You're telling me that a Director at NASA is delivering a message consistent with the justification for NASA's very existence and continued funding?!? Someone, please catch me before I faint from shock.
 
2012-11-02 02:58:05 PM

The Jami Turman Fan Club: I would be absolutely shocked if there was no life outside of Earth just in our solar system. Heck, I'd give even odds that we'll eventually find life on Mars, although it'll be microscopic.

We've found life inside of freakin' volcanos and the bottom of the ocean. It may be difficult to realize it's alive, but it'll be out there.

Now, sentient life that can build things more complex than nests...that's a more difficult question.


Personally, I think we are the Krogan analog to the universe, but less organs.
 
2012-11-02 02:58:31 PM
I think there is intelligent life on other planets. I don't think it's coming here to turn cows inside out and give people anal probes.

I think there will be some similaries at the molecular level because of the distribution of elements. Hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen are by far the most common elements (with helium which doesn't count) and they tend to make the same standard compunds, water, carbon dioxide, ammonia, methane. You could imagine a yttrium-based life form but there's not enough yttrium to make that likely. Once you get into complex structures anything goes although they will have the same needs to move, reproduce, take in nutrients, observe their environment and act on it.
 
2012-11-02 02:58:32 PM

FloydA: Is there life on other planets? I'm pretty certain of that. It would be nearly impossible for that to not be the case.

Is there intelligent life on other planets? I have no idea. Maybe. If intelligence turns out to be a good thing for a species to have, it might evolve multiple times independently. But right now, we have a very small sample size (primates, and possibly cetaceans), and there's no guarantee that our intelligence won't end up killing us.

I'd bet everything I own that there are living things on other planets. I would not bet on intelligent organisms. It would be pretty neat though.


Parrots, crows and crow-like birds, and (some) dogs are actually pretty smart too. Maybe pigs. Also, degus. Oh yes, those little rodents have been taught how to use a tool. The more we learn about other species' capabilities, the more we have to restrict the qualities we identify as strictly human.
 
2012-11-02 02:59:23 PM

Great Janitor: The dumbest argument for not believing in aliens was a girl who said "The bible doesn't mention aliens so they aren't real." I responded with "Penguins."


Sorry, bud, penguins don't mention aliens either.
 
2012-11-02 03:01:25 PM

Great Janitor: The dumbest argument for not believing in aliens was a girl who said "The bible doesn't mention aliens so they aren't real." I responded with "Penguins."


That is going to be my rebuttal for every argument from now on.
 
2012-11-02 03:01:38 PM
Having a large, close moon to create tides may be one of the things that tilts a planet in favor of intelligent life. Our moon is one of the few things that makes the earth pretty unique among planets, not sure how often a planet of the right size in the "sweet spot" captures a smaller partner early in its life cycle.
 
2012-11-02 03:01:50 PM

Elzar: / Unavailable for comment
[img266.imageshack.us image 271x320] 

/ Obscure?


Only if you live on Mars.
 
2012-11-02 03:02:32 PM
So it's a 50-50 chance, right?

If I stand in against a major league pitcher, there are only two possible outcomes: I will hit the ball or I won't. Definitely not 50-50.
 
2012-11-02 03:02:39 PM

Great Janitor: The dumbest argument for not believing in aliens was a girl who said "The bible doesn't mention aliens so they aren't real." I responded with "Penguins."


Her reaction?

You could have pointed out god admitted there are other gods, and why couldnt they be aliens?

/Worship no other gods for I am a jealous god..
 
2012-11-02 03:02:50 PM
The one factor that is consistently undermentioned in the topic of extraterrestrial life is elemental diversity. Everyone talks about water and the temperate Goldilocks zone. Personally, I think elemental diversity is even more important. I'd sooner bet on life arising on some planet with oceans made of liquid ammonia if there are sufficient amounts of carbon, oxygen, silicon, germanium, nitrogen, calcium, etc., then a temperate, water-soaked chunk of iron. In order to have complexity, you need to have a rich library of potential chemical reactions to form infinite permutations of compounds with.
 
2012-11-02 03:03:39 PM
My only hope is that they evolved on a really tiny planet with a higher gravity so when they get here they can't move and we can smoosh 'em with our shoes as they pointlessly fire tiny little laser beams at us.

muahahahahahaha
 
2012-11-02 03:03:43 PM

BigNumber12: You're telling me that a Director at NASA is delivering a message consistent with the justification for NASA's very existence and continued funding?!? Someone, please catch me before I faint from shock.


Come now. No need for conspiracy theories. Simpler explanation is that "space cadet" types like to work for NASA.
 
2012-11-02 03:03:46 PM
If nothing is truly impossible, just highly improbable, but time is infinite, then wouldn't everything possible have already happened infinite times before?
 
2012-11-02 03:03:53 PM

Incontinent_dog_and_monkey_rodeo: The lack of contact from intelligent beings suggests that 300,000 km/sec is a harsh mistress, that there are no shortcuts around the speed of light.



Maybe we're an uncontacted tribe, and they're just respecting our (rather retarded) rate of development.

i187.photobucket.com
 
2012-11-02 03:04:34 PM
I would find it depressing to think there's no life out there that's at least as intelligent as a clerk at the DMV.
 
2012-11-02 03:04:40 PM
Not only do we have to find another highly intelligent species... we have to find them at an almost impossibly coincidental TIME.

We think of the past few thousand years as "world history" but of course it's really just a tiny, tiny, almost insignificant blip in our Earth's timeline (although increasingly the most technologically amazing of course).

Will humans keep evolving, eventually leave Earth (millions of years from now) or will we kill ourselves off via pollution, war, disease and greed?

Remember the end game is preserving our ever-evolving species. The Sun will eventually die, the Earth's natural resources will eventually run out. Can we live in space? Can we pull-off a pilgrimage to another, younger planet eventually. How much can our species accomplish, how intelligent can we become?


Whew - glad this isn't my problem... back to the interwebs. "Ah.. is that a puppy? It's too small to be a puppy...."
 
2012-11-02 03:05:03 PM

Incontinent_dog_and_monkey_rodeo: Having a large, close moon to create tides may be one of the things that tilts a planet in favor of intelligent life. Our moon is one of the few things that makes the earth pretty unique among planets, not sure how often a planet of the right size in the "sweet spot" captures a smaller partner early in its life cycle.


We didnt capture the moon. Earth gave birth to it via a falcon punch.

Google luna impact origin
 
2012-11-02 03:05:05 PM

Ambitwistor: [www.eskimo.com image 360x270]


You make things go?
 
2012-11-02 03:05:44 PM

Magnanimous_J: If nothing is truly impossible, just highly improbable, but time is infinite, then wouldn't everything possible have already happened infinite times before?


mindlessones.com
 
2012-11-02 03:05:49 PM

Magnanimous_J: If nothing is truly impossible, just highly improbable, but time is infinite, then wouldn't everything possible have already happened infinite times before?


Don't you farking tlak like that when I've been drinking.
 
2012-11-02 03:06:50 PM

keiverarrow: Statistically, it's ridiculous to argue otherwise. However, it should be noted that we've never even been able to communicate effectively with the domestic house cat, among the other creatures our planet has to offer. Let's hope they're more like dogs if we ever meet any.


Bacteria is far more likely.

But I agree with you 100%. To suggest we're the only planet that supports life would be an argument so stupid that only a creationist or someone with severe brain damage could make it.
 
2012-11-02 03:07:04 PM

Sybarite: I tend to believe the Rare Earth hypothesis that while simple, unicellular life is probably fairly common, highly complex life is likely to be quite rare.


Really? It seems to me that the astronomically improbable event is the random falling together of the first self-replicating molecule. Once you have that, if there are sufficient survival gradients, evolution becomes a runaway train. Going from single cell to colony to an organism like a hydra will always represent an advantage in a solely unicellular environment.
 
2012-11-02 03:07:29 PM

Yanks_RSJ: YO!

[1.bp.blogspot.com image 400x301]


Yay, a Gordon Shumway reference!
 
2012-11-02 03:08:12 PM

Counter_Intelligent: Harv72b: I tend to think that if we ever come into contact with another "intelligent" life form, it will be far more complex than we are.

I'm of the opinion that if we do ever meet extraterrestrial intelligence, it'll be just as retarded as we are.


lol... We'll give nukes to the Krogans and get ourselves killed.
 
2012-11-02 03:09:32 PM

Purdue_Pete:

Whew - glad this isn't my problem... back to the interwebs. "Ah.. is that a puppy? It's too small to be a puppy...."


At 2:09pm CST, I lawled out loud at my desk.
 
2012-11-02 03:10:18 PM

Incontinent_dog_and_monkey_rodeo: The lack of contact from intelligent beings suggests that 300,000 km/sec is a harsh mistress, that there are no shortcuts around the speed of light.


Or it's just really hard. We're the only creature we know of to figure out how to break the sound barrier.
 
2012-11-02 03:10:36 PM
Or I want them to have evolved on a crazy huge planet with a ridiculous amount of resources so when they dock their ship on our planet it destroys a continent and when they step out thousands get crushed as we pointlessly fire bullets at them.
 
2012-11-02 03:10:41 PM
The question is how you define "life". We've already observed pockets of gas in deep space that behave like amoebas. We've seen self-replicating bits of information occur organically on computer networks.

If we extend this definition, then as, as Stephen Hawking said, we should be looking not for the most Earth-like conditions, but for the highest densities of information we can find. Examine the surface of the Sun, not the oceans of Europa, and you're more likely to find the "viruses" in the source code of the universe.
 
2012-11-02 03:11:19 PM
Why are they presenting this as some sort of shocking statement? I would be shocked if he had said otherwise.
 
2012-11-02 03:11:21 PM

DORMAMU: Great Janitor: The dumbest argument for not believing in aliens was a girl who said "The bible doesn't mention aliens so they aren't real." I responded with "Penguins."

Her reaction?

You could have pointed out god admitted there are other gods, and why couldnt they be aliens?

/Worship no other gods for I am a jealous god..


She was just stunned when I said that, she asked me to clarify, so I pointed out that there are penguins, but they are not mentioned in the bible. Then the look on her face became that of confusion before telling me to go to church and that she'd pray for my soul.

Now I was a teenager when this happened, so I didn't have my now instantly ready supply of facts to attack fundie logic.
 
2012-11-02 03:11:37 PM

honk: In fact, I think that some of the random static we get from the skies might be communication that's too cryptic or something for us to be able to even recognize as communication.


Too cryptic, or just plain too low-powered.

If there were a civilization doing exactly what we are in terms of radio-wave-transmission, at this moment, at the nearest stars? In theory, there are transmissions we could hear. We could hear the handful of "active SETI" type transmissions. We'd catch some high-power radar blips. And, if we tied together a half-dozen radio telescopes and listened intensely for a while (for noise analysis, etc), we might be able to decode a few high-power shortwave transmissions.

The fact is, though, we're not listening that closely to *anything* out there. We have scattershot short listening projects of stars even further away (whose possible transmissions are even more infinitesimally-powered). There really could be an early-21st-century-human-level civilization within 15 light years of us. Several even. And we just wouldn't know with our current level of attentiveness.
 
2012-11-02 03:13:21 PM
I guess what I am saying is picturing them in my imagination being six feet tall is super boring to me.

but if one does show up and he/she/it is 6 tall that would be exciting.


Want to me my dealer?
 
2012-11-02 03:13:38 PM

busy chillin': Magnanimous_J: If nothing is truly impossible, just highly improbable, but time is infinite, then wouldn't everything possible have already happened infinite times before?

[mindlessones.com image 850x283]


Time isn't infinite, since outside of our universal "bubble", there isn't any. Probably. Maybe. Prior to the Big Bang, or Really Fast Expansion, there was no way for time to exist, since there were no relative bodies of mass and there was no motion.

However, the little ball of everything existed, and it might have had some form of time. I'm a fair chunk out of date on the theory of that though.
 
2012-11-02 03:14:06 PM

exick: The likelihood of any other intelligent species being too far away to contact, the possibility of them not being advanced enough to have the ability to receive any sort of radio communication,


Considering the distance our radio signals have travelled in our galaxy is the equivalent of having take one step on a walking trip from New York to LA, I'd say it almost doesn't matter if they are advanced enough or not.
 
2012-11-02 03:14:49 PM
Fail. Highly probable != absolutely
 
2012-11-02 03:16:44 PM
25.media.tumblr.com
How much of my DNA do you need, and how soon do you need it?
 
2012-11-02 03:16:50 PM

FlashHarry: keiverarrow: Statistically, it's ridiculous to argue otherwise. However, it should be noted that we've never even been able to communicate effectively with the domestic house cat, among the other creatures our planet has to offer. Let's hope they're more like dogs if we ever meet any.

done in one.

the universe is almost infinitely big and 14 billion years old. to think we're the only planet to develop intelligence is just incredibly improbable. however, this vastness also means that it's incredibly improbable that we'll ever contact another intelligent species.


We in our lifetime or species meeting one another over the course of their collective lifetimes? I don't expect to ever see an alien. But I expect that people will be living on other planets within a few hundred years, and expanding from there. Once you break out of the pull of being stuck in a single solar system, the sky is pretty much the limit on stuff meeting other stuff. It is just a matter of time.

/we MAY manage to get ourselves replaced by robots before we meet alien life, depending on how well we pull of genetically modifying humanity to be awesome. That is a race I'd hope we wouldn't lose: mutant humans are cooler than robots.
 
2012-11-02 03:18:32 PM

Magnanimous_J: If nothing is truly impossible, just highly improbable, but time is infinite, then wouldn't everything possible have already happened infinite times before?


Yes, that would be true given those assumptions.

But we have no reason to believe that time is infinite.
 
2012-11-02 03:18:46 PM
Lawman, beating up the wrong guy?
 
2012-11-02 03:19:07 PM
Lucky LaRue:
I think that faith - whether in God or the existence of extraterrestrial life - is an expression of our own existential angst that is derived from the core question of our mortality: Are we, in the end, alone?

That was freakin awesome. 

+ a bazillion
 
2012-11-02 03:19:10 PM
It would be impossible to compose a list of all of the impossible things that humans have claimed to be impossible, that weren't.
 
2012-11-02 03:19:33 PM

busy chillin': Life on other planets = yes, almost 100% definitely

Intelligent life on other planets = that's a toughie, I'll go 25% chance

/not a scientist


Enjoy
 
2012-11-02 03:20:42 PM

WayneKerr: It would be impossible to compose a list of all of the impossible things that humans have claimed to be impossible, that weren't.


crawling on your knees to Saturn is impossible.


/waits 12,000,000,000,000 years
//dangit!
 
2012-11-02 03:20:58 PM

Smackledorfer:
/we MAY manage to get ourselves replaced by robots before we meet alien life, depending on how well we pull of genetically modifying humanity to be awesome. That is a race I'd hope we wouldn't lose: mutant humans are cooler than robots.


I like the idea of conjoined AI/Post Human hybrids. It seems to allow better flexibility in terms of the limits of organic structures (speed of information access and transmission, general fragility) and inorganic structures (inability to be creative, lack of drive to replicate).

Of course, they wouldn't be human any more, but then, that's inevitable anyways, eventually.
 
2012-11-02 03:21:21 PM

FloydA: Is there life on other planets? I'm pretty certain of that. It would be nearly impossible for that to not be the case.

Is there intelligent life on other planets? I have no idea. Maybe. If intelligence turns out to be a good thing for a species to have, it might evolve multiple times independently. But right now, we have a very small sample size (primates, and possibly cetaceans), and there's no guarantee that our intelligence won't end up killing us.

I'd bet everything I own that there are living things on other planets. I would not bet on intelligent organisms. It would be pretty neat though.


Actually, if you look at the sheer size of the universe, no matter how improbable you make the evolution of intelligent life on Earth, it's still a virtual statistical certainty that there is or has been other intelligent life out there somewhere. There are an estimated 80 billion galaxies in the visible universe. That's roughly 5 times more galaxies in existence than there have been years since the universe came into existence. Each of those galaxies contains several hundred billion stars. I don't care how low the odds of evolving intelligent life are, any meaningful non-zero odds means intelligent life has to be out there somewhere.

That said, it's entirely possible that said intelligent life is in another galaxy, or even in another galaxy cluster - not to mention that it might well have lived and died billions of years ago. The enormous distance in time and space renders any contact with that intelligent life essentially impossible barring a stroke of luck of literally cosmic proportions.

The issue isn't the existence of intelligent life. It's whether it will ever amount to anything more than a statistical conjecture.
 
2012-11-02 03:21:25 PM
encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com
encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com



GO HOMEZ EARTH YOU ARE DRUNK!!
 
2012-11-02 03:22:40 PM
gotta have faith I guess
 
2012-11-02 03:23:09 PM

Ambivalence: Sybarite: I tend to believe the Rare Earth hypothesis that while simple, unicellular life is probably fairly common, highly complex life is likely to be quite rare.

But given the sheer number of habitable worlds in the entire universe, "quite rare" could produce hundreds if not thousands of examples of worlds with complex (if not intelligent) lifeforms.



Sure, but that's over an unimaginably huge galaxy. Plus species have a limited shelf life. I doubt we'll make the million year average for mammals, but even if we do that's a ludicrously small blip in galactic history. The odds of another intelligent species being extant with us within any sort of reasonable communication distance appears vanishingly small.
 
2012-11-02 03:24:02 PM
Just have to bring this up -
When someone says the universe is 14 Billion years old, they seem to be assuming that our 'big bang' was the starting point of the entire universe.

I have to think there is more stuff out there, we just haven't found it yet.
 
2012-11-02 03:24:29 PM
It would be simpler to invent time travel than it would be to invent deep-space travel
 
2012-11-02 03:24:34 PM

hairywoogit: Time isn't infinite, since outside of our universal "bubble", there isn't any. Probably. Maybe. Prior to the Big Bang, or Really Fast Expansion, there was no way for time to exist, since there were no relative bodies of mass and there was no motion.


This assumes that our universe is all that exists or ever has existed, and that the Big Bang/Really Fast Expansion/Creation was the beginning of everything, ever.
 
2012-11-02 03:25:46 PM

Great Janitor: DORMAMU: Great Janitor: The dumbest argument for not believing in aliens was a girl who said "The bible doesn't mention aliens so they aren't real." I responded with "Penguins."

Her reaction?

You could have pointed out god admitted there are other gods, and why couldnt they be aliens?

/Worship no other gods for I am a jealous god..

She was just stunned when I said that, she asked me to clarify, so I pointed out that there are penguins, but they are not mentioned in the bible. Then the look on her face became that of confusion before telling me to go to church and that she'd pray for my soul.

Now I was a teenager when this happened, so I didn't have my now instantly ready supply of facts to attack fundie logic.


I have used "other gods" before. They stated it was a mistake. I the pointed out the bible was the word of god, and if that bit was a mistake, the word of god was a mistake. Therefore god is fallible, like man.

One uber preach nut told me to go to hell...

My philosophy proph loved that argument and was a strict catholic.

/csb
 
2012-11-02 03:26:05 PM

Smackledorfer: But I expect that people will be living on other planets within a few hundred years, and expanding from there. Once you break out of the pull of being stuck in a single solar system.


Other planets/moons/planetsimals/Sun-orbiting-stations within our solar system? Sure, though I'd put it more in the 1000-year range.

Getting out of our solar system? Voyager I is 1/20th of 1% of the closest distance to the nearest anything at all. There's orders-of-magnitude, then there's orders-of-magnitude...
 
2012-11-02 03:26:46 PM

austin_millbarge: busy chillin': Life on other planets = yes, almost 100% definitely

Intelligent life on other planets = that's a toughie, I'll go 25% chance

/not a scientist

Enjoy


whoa...

I still hope they can't see the color orange from some evolution mistake that got replicated a million times

/I have no idea what I am talking about
//just fun to think about the madness of it all
 
2012-11-02 03:27:37 PM

machoprogrammer: Intelligent life? It probably exists. See: WOW Signal

Cheron: I find it mind blowing to look at the Hubble eXtreme Deep Field and think that one tiny patch of sky has 5,500 galaxies in it. To think that we are it is hubris

I thought there was 100,000 galaxies in that image?

There are something like a trillion galaxies in the observable universe, and around 250 billion stars per galaxies. To think we are alone is just idiotic.


There are but a small handful of galaxies with a dearth of life in a universe that is a house of mirrors. All those galaxies you think you see are reflections from the past, present and future of the loneliest of existences.

We are truly alone.



/Really, really hope not.
 
2012-11-02 03:28:11 PM

Magnanimous_J: If nothing is truly impossible, just highly improbable, but time is infinite, then wouldn't everything possible have already happened infinite times before?


There's where you went wrong with that one.
 
2012-11-02 03:28:36 PM

DORMAMU: I have used "other gods" before. They stated it was a mistake. I the pointed out the bible was the word of god, and if that bit was a mistake, the word of god was a mistake. Therefore god is fallible, like man.


I'm completely the opposite of religious, but even I could point that my telling someone not to worship the Loch Ness Monster does not mean that it exists, nor that I believe it does.
 
2012-11-02 03:28:57 PM

BigNumber12: Wait, wait.

You're telling me that a Director at NASA is delivering a message consistent with the justification for NASA's very existence and continued funding?!? Someone, please catch me before I faint from shock.


i235.photobucket.com

/thanks for the idiotic comment that allowed me to use this image again
 
2012-11-02 03:29:03 PM

DORMAMU: Great Janitor: The dumbest argument for not believing in aliens was a girl who said "The bible doesn't mention aliens so they aren't real." I responded with "Penguins."

Her reaction?

You could have pointed out god admitted there are other gods, and why couldnt they be aliens?

/Worship no other gods for I am a jealous god..


DING DING DING

We have a winnar!
 
2012-11-02 03:29:31 PM

Lawnchair: Smackledorfer: But I expect that people will be living on other planets within a few hundred years, and expanding from there. Once you break out of the pull of being stuck in a single solar system.

Other planets/moons/planetsimals/Sun-orbiting-stations within our solar system? Sure, though I'd put it more in the 1000-year range.

Getting out of our solar system? Voyager I is 1/20th of 1% of the closest distance to the nearest anything at all. There's orders-of-magnitude, then there's orders-of-magnitude...


I think that Atari was really hot when Voyager was launched.
 
2012-11-02 03:29:51 PM

Hyppy: Magnanimous_J: If nothing is truly impossible, just highly improbable, but time is infinite, then wouldn't everything possible have already happened infinite times before?

There's where you went wrong with that one.


How can time NOT exist forever?
 
2012-11-02 03:31:52 PM
Time is a huge component of this in finding intelligent life.

We don't know how long a typical intelligent civilization can exist. Any number of catastrophes could snuff-out a civilization - volcanoes, meteors, disease, war, climate... So if intelligent life generally only exists for 100k years - having to exist at the same time as another really pushes the numbers down. The number gets even tighter if advanced civilizations are the desired measurement - they may only exist for hundreds or thousands of years on average. So between the vastness of both space and time - the odds of encountering intelligent life are pretty small. Doesn't mean they aren't out there - we will never know.
 
2012-11-02 03:34:12 PM

keiverarrow: Statistically, it's ridiculous to argue otherwise. However, it should be noted that we've never even been able to communicate effectively with the domestic house cat, among the other creatures our planet has to offer. Let's hope they're more like dogs if we ever meet any.


My cat communicates quite well. Purring, Meowing when he wants out, different meow when food is empty. He comes when I talk in a normal voice, runs when Im mad at him.
 
2012-11-02 03:36:17 PM

Harv72b: DORMAMU: I have used "other gods" before. They stated it was a mistake. I the pointed out the bible was the word of god, and if that bit was a mistake, the word of god was a mistake. Therefore god is fallible, like man.

I'm completely the opposite of religious, but even I could point that my telling someone not to worship the Loch Ness Monster does not mean that it exists, nor that I believe it does.


It was more to see how they handle a unique criticism.

Some have actually taken it in stride and we had interesting talks.

Think of it as a derp filter.

/personally I see religion as a theology baded philosophical intrepretation of unique observations. Meant to be used as rough directions, not a blye print.
//journey an discovery are important, not the destination
 
2012-11-02 03:38:37 PM

StoPPeRmobile: Cheron: I find it mind blowing to look at the Hubble eXtreme Deep Field and think that one tiny patch of sky has 5,500 galaxies in it. To think that we are it is hubris

What's so great about us anyway?


Indoor plumbing?
 
2012-11-02 03:40:23 PM
FTFA: He also believes a trip to Jupiter's moon Europa is possible in the next decade. Europa contains an ocean larger than the Earth's under its icy surface. Perhaps there, beneath the ice, NASA could find the smoking gun of life beyond Earth.

Hold up there, Sparky- I thought we weren't supposed to go to Europa.
 
2012-11-02 03:42:19 PM
www.american-buddha.com
 
2012-11-02 03:43:16 PM

DORMAMU: It was more to see how they handle a unique criticism.


Ahhh...okay.

My personal favorite on those lines was the two separate (and contradictory) stories of Creation in Genesis.
 
2012-11-02 03:45:21 PM

StoPPeRmobile: What's so great about us anyway?


Nothing. I mean, we're made out of meat, for cryin' out loud. Nobody's interested.
 
2012-11-02 03:45:49 PM

Harv72b: hairywoogit: Time isn't infinite, since outside of our universal "bubble", there isn't any. Probably. Maybe. Prior to the Big Bang, or Really Fast Expansion, there was no way for time to exist, since there were no relative bodies of mass and there was no motion.

This assumes that our universe is all that exists or ever has existed, and that the Big Bang/Really Fast Expansion/Creation was the beginning of everything, ever.


Of course, our universe is only our perception of the local bubble, much like other bubbles that exist outside of ours would be the universe to their inhabitants. Each section of the oververse expands and contracts, exploding once it reaches critical mass to repeat the cycle anew.
 
2012-11-02 03:47:29 PM

No Such Agency: *EXTRATERRESTRIALS ARRIVE*
"Take us to your planetary representative"
*UN Secretary General greets them*
*ALIENS SNIFF HIS/HER GROIN*


loveartandfear.files.wordpress.com
 
2012-11-02 03:47:37 PM
Any cartoonists out there?

I imagine one that depicts a gentleman holding a bible in one hand while looking through a telescope that wraps-around over him and terminates in his ass.

Caption it with whatever you want and send me the profit minus costs.
 
2012-11-02 03:48:45 PM

austin_millbarge: BigNumber12: Wait, wait.

You're telling me that a Director at NASA is delivering a message consistent with the justification for NASA's very existence and continued funding?!? Someone, please catch me before I faint from shock.

[i235.photobucket.com image 442x216]

/thanks for the idiotic comment that allowed me to use this image again



Sooo, my chuckling that the article was based on the obvious answer to a stupid question qualifies as "derp" to you? Clearly Fark is well below your intellectual capacity - why are you even here? Doesn't Mensa have a web forum?

Or did someone just shiat on you in real life, and you're here to transfer your revenge to people you can get away with mouthing off to - complete strangers on the internet?
 
2012-11-02 03:49:53 PM

Harv72b:
This assumes that our universe is all that exists or ever has existed, and that the Big Bang/Really Fast Expansion/Creation was the beginning of everything, ever.



I used to term "probably" to indicate high probability of being accurate within information I have. There are competing theories regarding multiple universes, single universes, cosmic landscapes, all of which have some greater or lesser degree of probability. Currently, with all of the information I have readily available, I have concluded that treating other "bubbles" as even being existent is pointless, since even if they did exist, we couldn't get there from here, at least according to all of the theories I have read.

I avoid the term "Creation" specifically, due to lack of viable proof, as it indicates external agency in the birth of the universe.
 
2012-11-02 03:49:59 PM
and god too.. thats a real thing
 
2012-11-02 03:52:29 PM

titwrench: Great Janitor: The dumbest argument for not believing in aliens was a girl who said "The bible doesn't mention aliens so they aren't real." I responded with "Penguins."

That is going to be my rebuttal for every argument from now on.


What do you expect from flightless birds who live in The Land without Bears? 

I still find it remarkable that an entire continent is named after the fact that there aren't any bears there. i mean, we don't call North America NoGiraffestan.
 
2012-11-02 03:54:19 PM
A NASA scientist is espousing belief? I thought NASA only hired scientists... it looks like they let a faith-based individual through their interview process.

/"In God We Trust, All Others Bring Data"
 
2012-11-02 03:54:52 PM

Lawnchair: honk: In fact, I think that some of the random static we get from the skies might be communication that's too cryptic or something for us to be able to even recognize as communication.

Too cryptic, or just plain too low-powered.

If there were a civilization doing exactly what we are in terms of radio-wave-transmission, at this moment, at the nearest stars? In theory, there are transmissions we could hear. We could hear the handful of "active SETI" type transmissions. We'd catch some high-power radar blips. And, if we tied together a half-dozen radio telescopes and listened intensely for a while (for noise analysis, etc), we might be able to decode a few high-power shortwave transmissions.

The fact is, though, we're not listening that closely to *anything* out there. We have scattershot short listening projects of stars even further away (whose possible transmissions are even more infinitesimally-powered). There really could be an early-21st-century-human-level civilization within 15 light years of us. Several even. And we just wouldn't know with our current level of attentiveness.


Heck, the WOW signal may have been from aliens. It is the best explanation there is for it.

KiltedBastich: FloydA: Is there life on other planets? I'm pretty certain of that. It would be nearly impossible for that to not be the case.

Is there intelligent life on other planets? I have no idea. Maybe. If intelligence turns out to be a good thing for a species to have, it might evolve multiple times independently. But right now, we have a very small sample size (primates, and possibly cetaceans), and there's no guarantee that our intelligence won't end up killing us.

I'd bet everything I own that there are living things on other planets. I would not bet on intelligent organisms. It would be pretty neat though.

Actually, if you look at the sheer size of the universe, no matter how improbable you make the evolution of intelligent life on Earth, it's still a virtual statistical certainty that there is or has been other intelligent life out there somewhere. There are an estimated 80 billion galaxies in the visible universe. That's roughly 5 times more galaxies in existence than there have been years since the universe came into existence. Each of those galaxies contains several hundred billion stars. I don't care how low the odds of evolving intelligent life are, any meaningful non-zero odds means intelligent life has to be out there somewhere.

That said, it's entirely possible that said intelligent life is in another galaxy, or even in another galaxy cluster - not to mention that it might well have lived and died billions of years ago. The enormous distance in time and space renders any contact with that intelligent life essentially impossible barring a stroke of luck of literally cosmic proportions.

The issue isn't the existence of intelligent life. It's whether it will ever amount to anything more than a statistical conjecture.


I think 80 billion is actually a very low ball estimate. Most estimates put it at 250
 
2012-11-02 03:55:11 PM

4of11: But we have no reason to believe that time is infinite.


"Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so."
 
2012-11-02 03:55:52 PM

hairywoogit: I used to term "probably" to indicate high probability of being accurate within information I have. There are competing theories regarding multiple universes, single universes, cosmic landscapes, all of which have some greater or lesser degree of probability. Currently, with all of the information I have readily available, I have concluded that treating other "bubbles" as even being existent is pointless, since even if they did exist, we couldn't get there from here, at least according to all of the theories I have read.


Point being that "time", as it relates to whatever we conceptualize as "the" universe, begins and ends with it in much the same way that "time", as it relates to me, began on August 11th, 1972 and will end whenever I cease to exist. Neither of these definitions necessarily apply to whatever time (or "everything") actually is.
 
2012-11-02 03:56:02 PM

austin_millbarge: Considering the distance our radio signals have travelled in our galaxy is the equivalent of having take one step on a walking trip from New York to LA, I'd say it almost doesn't matter if they are advanced enough or not.


Sure, but to a New Yorker, that's a long way.
 
2012-11-02 03:57:52 PM
FTFA: He also believes a trip to Jupiter's moon Europa is possible in the next decade. Europa contains an ocean larger than the Earth's under its icy surface. Perhaps there, beneath the ice, NASA could find the smoking gun of life beyond Earth.

Lady Beryl Ersatz-Wendigo: Hold up there, Sparky- I thought we weren't supposed to go to Europa.


content.forum.canucks.com
 
2012-11-02 03:58:31 PM
Yes, the ETs have been here. They are bending the rules by coming, so they stay in stealth-mode. They say that we're far from joining the federation until we can stop killing each other. Folks always say that the ETs communicate telepathically. Two ships have been captured one on the west coast the other at Wright-Patterson. We think they are a kind of portable worm-hole.

i1177.photobucket.com
 
2012-11-02 03:58:35 PM

DORMAMU: I have used "other gods" before. They stated it was a mistake. I the pointed out the bible was the word of god, and if that bit was a mistake, the word of god was a mistake. Therefore god is fallible, like man.

One uber preach nut told me to go to hell...

My philosophy proph loved that argument and was a strict catholic.


Catholics don't believe the Bible is the direct word of God. Hell, in Catholicism, the entirety of the Old Testament is basically just a handy attached appendix so you can cross-reference what the hell Jesus was talking about.
 
2012-11-02 03:58:45 PM

Big Man On Campus: A NASA scientist is espousing belief? I thought NASA only hired scientists... it looks like they let a faith-based individual through their interview process.


Are you suggesting that it requires "faith" to understand statistics?
 
2012-11-02 03:59:36 PM

machoprogrammer: I think 80 billion is actually a very low ball estimate. Most estimates put it at 250


That should be most estimates put it at 250 billion to over a trillion. It just astounding.
 
2012-11-02 04:00:15 PM

gbv23: Yes, the ETs have been here. They are bending the rules by coming, so they stay in stealth-mode. They say that we're far from joining the federation until we can stop killing each other. Folks always say that the ETs communicate telepathically. Two ships have been captured one on the west coast the other at Wright-Patterson. We think they are a kind of portable worm-hole.

[i1177.photobucket.com image 244x338]


Hrm, an alien technology so advanced, even their hallucinogens are better than ours...
 
2012-11-02 04:00:45 PM

keiverarrow: Statistically, it's ridiculous to argue otherwise. However, it should be noted that we've never even been able to communicate effectively with the domestic house cat, among the other creatures our planet has to offer. Let's hope they're more like dogs if we ever meet any.


I think about it the other way. They consider us like cats and don't bother with our simple existence.
 
2012-11-02 04:01:21 PM
Without a doubt there has to be at least SOME form of life out there. Now, as to whether it has evolved at a similar pace to us and have achieved technologies comparable and/or superior to ours is an entirely different argument.
 
2012-11-02 04:01:58 PM

ciberido: titwrench: Great Janitor: The dumbest argument for not believing in aliens was a girl who said "The bible doesn't mention aliens so they aren't real." I responded with "Penguins."

That is going to be my rebuttal for every argument from now on.

What do you expect from flightless birds who live in The Land without Bears? 

I still find it remarkable that an entire continent is named after the fact that there aren't any bears there. i mean, we don't call North America NoGiraffestan.


Fark you. Penguins.

/just trying it out
 
2012-11-02 04:02:17 PM

Leeds: Big Man On Campus: A NASA scientist is espousing belief? I thought NASA only hired scientists... it looks like they let a faith-based individual through their interview process.

Are you suggesting that it requires "faith" to understand statistics?


I'm suggesting that saying you "believe" something to be true (as that NASA employee did) means you do not have conclusive data on it, and hence shouldn't be misusing your position as a scientist to influence others on where the truth resides on the matter.
 
2012-11-02 04:02:35 PM
Well, with 300 billion stars in our galaxy alone, and the sun being a average star, there must be at least 100 billion stars that approximate our sun.

If 1% of those contain solar systems, that's still 1 billion solar systems, and if there is a 1 in 1 million chance that there is an earth among those systems, that's still 1000 possible earth like planets in our galaxy.

Multiply by (a estimated max) 500 billion galaxies and get 500 trillion earths. Even if I'm off by a factor of billions..hey - I'm going with highly likely. Even though I'm not in any way qualified to do this. But the math doesn't lie.
 
2012-11-02 04:03:11 PM

thisisyourbrainonFark: StoPPeRmobile: Cheron: I find it mind blowing to look at the Hubble eXtreme Deep Field and think that one tiny patch of sky has 5,500 galaxies in it. To think that we are it is hubris

What's so great about us anyway?

Indoor plumbing?


Indoor plumbing is pretty sweet. Also, for all we know, Earth is the universe's sole source of bacon.
 
2012-11-02 04:05:10 PM

ciberido: 4of11: But we have no reason to believe that time is infinite.

"Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so."


25.media.tumblr.com
 
2012-11-02 04:08:05 PM

Big Man On Campus: I'm suggesting that saying you "believe" something to be true (as that NASA employee did) means you do not have conclusive data on it, and hence shouldn't be misusing your position as a scientist to influence others on where the truth resides on the matter.


At least, that's your belief on the matter.
 
2012-11-02 04:09:49 PM

FlashHarry: keiverarrow: Statistically, it's ridiculous to argue otherwise. However, it should be noted that we've never even been able to communicate effectively with the domestic house cat, among the other creatures our planet has to offer. Let's hope they're more like dogs if we ever meet any.

done in one.

the universe is almost infinitely big and 14 billion years old. to think we're the only planet to develop intelligence is just incredibly improbable. however, this vastness also means that it's incredibly improbable that we'll ever contact another intelligent species.


I came in to say exactly this. It's very statistically improbable that we're the ONLY planet to have any life form, given how infinitely massive the universe is and the untold thousands upon thousands of galaxies yet to be discovered.
 
2012-11-02 04:10:19 PM

Magnanimous_J: How can time NOT exist forever?


As far as our understanding of physics is concerned, Time started with the Big Bang. We have absolutely no evidence with which to form any real theory about what "before" the Big Bang even means. So Time is not infinite going into the past, to the best of our knowledge, which means your supposition that everything has happened infinitely many times is unsupported.

As for Time ending in the future, we don't really know, with any real certainty, what happens to the Universe in the far future. Could be a Big Crunch, which would logically end Time as we know it, in symmetry with the Big Bang. Current evidence points away from that, though, since the expansion of the Universe appears to be accelerating. Along those lines, there could be some kind of Big Rip, where the Universe rips itself apart, and our known physics stops working, thus ending Time as we know it.

But what really seems most likely, to me, is the Universe just keeps on expanding, and eventually all matter degrades into photons. Even though anything is "possible" with quantum theory (e.g., matter could spontaneously reappear), the probability of any given event could still decrease over time, approaching zero. Take a probability approaching zero with time, over infinite time, and you do not get a certainty of it happening at all, let alone infinite times.
 
2012-11-02 04:10:51 PM

titwrench: ciberido: titwrench: Great Janitor: The dumbest argument for not believing in aliens was a girl who said "The bible doesn't mention aliens so they aren't real." I responded with "Penguins."

That is going to be my rebuttal for every argument from now on.

What do you expect from flightless birds who live in The Land without Bears? 

I still find it remarkable that an entire continent is named after the fact that there aren't any bears there. i mean, we don't call North America NoGiraffestan.

Fark you. Penguins.

/just trying it out


I need to bookmark this thread. That way, months from now, my wife will be reading comments on like a politics tab thread and ask "When did 'Derp' get replaced by 'Fark you: Penguins'." and I can say "It's my fault." and when she doesn't believe me she can read this thread.
 
2012-11-02 04:11:48 PM

tnpir: Wait a minute...are you suggesting Star Trek was total fiction???


I hate that I know this, but Star Trek universe had a progenitor race that seeded a bunch of different planets. That's why every species they encountered looked more or less the same.
 
2012-11-02 04:12:14 PM
Life on other planets makes sense, I mean, the god's had to be doing something with herself out there in the universe for the last god-knows-how-many-billions-of-years, no?
 
2012-11-02 04:13:28 PM

Harv72b: Big Man On Campus: I'm suggesting that saying you "believe" something to be true (as that NASA employee did) means you do not have conclusive data on it, and hence shouldn't be misusing your position as a scientist to influence others on where the truth resides on the matter.

At least, that's your belief on the matter.


Well it's fine to want to follow someone because you like their beliefs and find them intelligent, that's fine, just call it what it is....

RELIGION.
 
2012-11-02 04:15:46 PM

4of11: Take a probability approaching zero with time, over infinite time, and you do not get a certainty of it happening at all, let alone infinite times.


You still do, unless and until that probability actually reaches zero. And even then you'd have to ignore the probability that it would climb back above zero again once that happened.
 
2012-11-02 04:17:58 PM
Aliens killed off the dinosaurs. We're next.
 
2012-11-02 04:18:03 PM

Big Man On Campus: Well it's fine to want to follow someone because you like their beliefs and find them intelligent, that's fine, just call it what it is....

RELIGION.


You do understand the difference between a statistical probability and a fairy tail, yes?

And you have heard the word "hypothesis" before?
 
2012-11-02 04:18:07 PM
I'm pretty sure our Earth is the planetary equivalent of pre-contact Hawaii. I also think that when we eventually get discovered it will work out about as well for us as it did for pre-contact Hawaiians.
 
2012-11-02 04:18:29 PM

Great Janitor: titwrench: ciberido: titwrench: Great Janitor: The dumbest argument for not believing in aliens was a girl who said "The bible doesn't mention aliens so they aren't real." I responded with "Penguins."

That is going to be my rebuttal for every argument from now on.

What do you expect from flightless birds who live in The Land without Bears? 

I still find it remarkable that an entire continent is named after the fact that there aren't any bears there. i mean, we don't call North America NoGiraffestan.

Fark you. Penguins.

/just trying it out

I need to bookmark this thread. That way, months from now, my wife will be reading comments on like a politics tab thread and ask "When did 'Derp' get replaced by 'Fark you: Penguins'." and I can say "It's my fault." and when she doesn't believe me she can read this thread.


It might take a while to catch on. I think half of Fark has me on ignore.
 
2012-11-02 04:19:09 PM

Harv72b: You do understand the difference between a statistical probability and a fairy tail, yes?


Shut up, fairies have tails and nobody can convince me otherwise.
 
2012-11-02 04:19:38 PM

Big Man On Campus: Harv72b: Big Man On Campus: I'm suggesting that saying you "believe" something to be true (as that NASA employee did) means you do not have conclusive data on it, and hence shouldn't be misusing your position as a scientist to influence others on where the truth resides on the matter.

At least, that's your belief on the matter.

Well it's fine to want to follow someone because you like their beliefs and find them intelligent, that's fine, just call it what it is....

RELIGION.


"Hope" and "Change" 2008.
 
2012-11-02 04:20:39 PM

Harv72b: Harv72b: You do understand the difference between a statistical probability and a fairy tail, yes?

Shut up, fairies have tails and nobody can convince me otherwise.


You taking medication for that?
 
2012-11-02 04:20:49 PM
Of course. Didn't you see They Live?

They're living, farking and owning among us.
 
2012-11-02 04:20:54 PM
ciberido:

Well that was obligatory :)
 
2012-11-02 04:21:45 PM

Harv72b: Harv72b: You do understand the difference between a statistical probability and a fairy tail, yes?

Shut up, fairies have tails and nobody can convince me otherwise.


It's Ferry tale!!!! Jesus!!!! You know like boat stories.
 
2012-11-02 04:23:53 PM

muck4doo: You taking medication for that?


The meds spoil all the fun.
 
2012-11-02 04:24:50 PM

muck4doo: Aliens killed off the dinosaurs. We're next.


but what if I don't want to kill the dinosaurs.
 
2012-11-02 04:24:57 PM
keiverarrow Statistically, it's ridiculous to argue otherwise. However, it should be noted that we've never even been able to communicate effectively with the domestic house cat, among the other creatures our planet has to offer. Let's hope they're more like dogs if we ever meet any.

House cats? How about tigers?

Never did finish the Ringworld Series, wonder what happened to the 800 lb. Kzin, `Speaker to Animals'?
 
2012-11-02 04:29:21 PM

T.rex: Yes... because when i want an unbiased opinion about extra-terrestrial beings, i ask the guy who's job depends on the perceived need for space travel.

If i had a trillion grains of multi-colored sand, and tossed them up in the air, and measured how they landed, that doesn't mean that i could ever exactly replicate that ever again, even if i tried an infinite number of times. I don't care how big the universe is... That doesn't mean, the impossible will suddenly turn possible.


In fact, that's just what "infinite" does mean.

And we haven't even brought up multiverses yet.. If your mind needs some blowing, here you go: 
Link
 
2012-11-02 04:34:44 PM

Incontinent_dog_and_monkey_rodeo: The lack of contact from intelligent beings suggests that 300,000 km/sec is a harsh mistress, that there are no shortcuts around the speed of light.


You don't understand the scale of the Universe. That's like being dropped in the ocean at a random location, and saying "there must not be any ships".

The odds of another intellligence outside the solar system showing up randomly is nonexistent. If they come here, they were looking for us, regardless of any speed limitations.
 
2012-11-02 04:36:12 PM

Harv72b: You still do, unless and until that probability actually reaches zero. And even then you'd have to ignore the probability that it would climb back above zero again once that happened.


Suppose you have a function for expectation of how many times an event occurs within some time interval t: E(t). For simplicity, say each t represents a span of a second within the lifetime of the universe. For highly unlikely events, E(t) would be extremely close to zero.

Then, for the lifetime of the universe, assuming infinite time going forward, you'd have an infinite sum of each E(t), one term for every second, giving you a total expectation of how many times that event occurs over the lifetime of the Universe. If E(t) approaches zero, even if it never reaches zero, it most certainly could result in a total expectation that is non-infinite; in fact the sum can be arbitrarily small. Look up infinite sums if you don't believe me.

This could also be done with integrals, but that's more complicated.
 
2012-11-02 04:36:52 PM

The Jami Turman Fan Club: If they come here, they were looking for us, regardless of any speed limitations.


I wouldn't be surprised if the lease is up, frankly, and they were here to evict.
 
2012-11-02 04:41:36 PM

Magnanimous_J: If nothing is truly impossible, just highly improbable, but time is infinite, then wouldn't everything possible have already happened infinite times before?


Yes. Why do you keep asking?
 
2012-11-02 04:43:43 PM

OnlyM3: We've believed there was a reasonable chance there was life on the moon . Remember this?...


I think the big concern was that the germs they brought with them might have mutated due to cosmic ray exposure and become something dangerous.
As I understand it was a bit of a shock when Apollo 12 brought back one of the unmanned probes, and it was thought that some bacteria had persevered through the radiation, vacuum, and temperature extremes. This may have been debunked later, i.e., the probe was re-contaminated on the trip back or something.
 
2012-11-02 04:44:35 PM

Evil High Priest: Magnanimous_J: If nothing is truly impossible, just highly improbable, but time is infinite, then wouldn't everything possible have already happened infinite times before?

Yes. Why do you keep asking?


I'm guessing "because none of it's in the Byebull."
 
2012-11-02 04:44:41 PM

The Banana Thug: I came in to say exactly this. It's very statistically improbable that we're the ONLY planet to have any life form, given how infinitely massive the universe is and the untold thousands upon thousandsbillions upon billions of galaxies yet to be discovered.


Fixed
 
2012-11-02 04:52:45 PM

Sybarite: I tend to believe the Rare Earth hypothesis that while simple, unicellular life is probably fairly common, highly complex life is likely to be quite rare.


I think that it is very likely that "intelligent" life always self-destructs because they eventually find power/technology before they are wise enough to wield it.

Furthermore, evolution is essentially competitive meaning that the "winners" will usually be the most greedy and most into domination, and that evolutionary baggage will generally lead them to eventually create some sort of ultimate weapon with which they destroy themselves. And the rare peaceful creatures would eventually make a mistake (e.g. release a biological agent accidentally, create an environmental disaster, end up in some religious fatalistic demise, getting addicted to virtual reality or some super drug, etc.)

There are just so many ways where advances in technology can screw you up, eventually technology will be sufficiently powerful that it creates existential threats.
 
2012-11-02 04:54:02 PM

machoprogrammer: Intelligent life? It probably exists. See: WOW Signal

Cheron: I find it mind blowing to look at the Hubble eXtreme Deep Field and think that one tiny patch of sky has 5,500 galaxies in it. To think that we are it is hubris

I thought there was 100,000 galaxies in that image?

There are something like a trillion galaxies in the observable universe, and around 250 billion stars per galaxies. To think we are alone is just idiotic.


Nope, it's a small patch of sky (slightly larger to our eye than Copernicus), and "only" 5,500 are visible in the shot.
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hubble/science/xdf.html
 
2012-11-02 04:59:14 PM
WayneKerr: I think that Atari was really hot when Voyager was launched.


The Atari 2600 was released in October 1977. Voyager 2 was launched in August, and Voyager 1 was launched in September of that year.
 
2012-11-02 05:01:44 PM
You know what if they would just come out and say what they know this globalization thing they are pulling would go a lot more smoothly.

Starship troopers anyone?
 
2012-11-02 05:05:45 PM
Really? NASA JPL Director, very much interested in getting funding and keeping the public interested in space, makes a claim such as this? Really?
 
2012-11-02 05:06:19 PM

Harv72b: T.rex: If i had a trillion grains of multi-colored sand, and tossed them up in the air, and measured how they landed, that doesn't mean that i could ever exactly replicate that ever again, even if i tried an infinite number of times

Actually, if you did it an infinite amount of times then you would not only exactly replicate it, you would exactly replicate it an infinite amount of times.

/This is the crap I think about at night when I should be sleeping.


If you agree that there are infinite possibilities of things, then by the same token, you will have to acknowledge that there are an INFINITE number of things that will happen only once in the history of the universe. .... Life for instance.
 
2012-11-02 05:07:13 PM
There is also a good chance that none of you exist at all, and the "universe" I'm experiencing is just some very elaborate computer simulation. Prove me wrong.
 
2012-11-02 05:11:37 PM

Evil High Priest: There is also a good chance that none of you exist at all, and the "universe" I'm experiencing is just some very elaborate computer simulation. Prove me wrong.


An indirect proof would take the combined resources of all the Internets. Are you mad, man?
 
2012-11-02 05:12:10 PM
There are those who believe...that life here began out there, far across the Universe...with tribes of humans...who may have been the forefathers of the Egyptians...or the Toltecs...or the Mayans...

/Sorry, It has been running through my head since I started reading this thread.
//Why should I be the only one to suffer.
 
2012-11-02 05:13:51 PM

trappedspirit: Really? NASA JPL Director, very much interested in getting funding and keeping the public interested in space, makes a claim such as this? Really?


Sigh. See my comment above.
 
2012-11-02 05:14:51 PM

T.rex: If you agree that there are infinite possibilities of things, then by the same token, you will have to acknowledge that there are an INFINITE number of things that will happen only once in the history of the universe. .... Life for instance.


That's not how infinity works.
 
2012-11-02 05:15:57 PM

whidbey: Evil High Priest: There is also a good chance that none of you exist at all, and the "universe" I'm experiencing is just some very elaborate computer simulation. Prove me wrong.

An indirect proof would take the combined resources of all the Internets. Are you mad, man?


He's not mad but, he is going mad so there is a discount.
 
2012-11-02 05:16:44 PM

xmasbaby: I'm pretty sure our Earth is the planetary equivalent of pre-contact Hawaii. I also think that when we eventually get discovered it will work out about as well for us as it did for pre-contact Hawaiians.


Does that mean my descendants are going to be even fatter (!) and have a love for whatever the space version of Spam is?
 
2012-11-02 05:20:15 PM

IrateShadow: Does that mean my descendants are going to be even fatter (!) and have a love for whatever the space version of Spam is?


The space version of Spam is Spam, and Spam is proof that we've been contacted before.

/Or do you think it's a coincidence that Hormel so closely resembles "wormhole"?
 
2012-11-02 05:23:21 PM

Evil Mackerel: whidbey: Evil High Priest: There is also a good chance that none of you exist at all, and the "universe" I'm experiencing is just some very elaborate computer simulation. Prove me wrong.

An indirect proof would take the combined resources of all the Internets. Are you mad, man?

He's not mad but, he is going mad so there is a discount.


I mad, bro?
 
2012-11-02 05:25:07 PM

Harv72b: T.rex: If you agree that there are infinite possibilities of things, then by the same token, you will have to acknowledge that there are an INFINITE number of things that will happen only once in the history of the universe. .... Life for instance.

That's not how infinity works.


Why? break it down... infinite... infinite possibilities. There are infinite things that will happen once, infinite things that will happen twice, three times up to infinity times.... Why wouldn't there be? If you're not putting a cap on any scenario, then the scenario of something happening a single time is just as valid as it happening an infinity times.
 
2012-11-02 05:26:44 PM

Evil High Priest: Evil Mackerel: whidbey: Evil High Priest: There is also a good chance that none of you exist at all, and the "universe" I'm experiencing is just some very elaborate computer simulation. Prove me wrong.

An indirect proof would take the combined resources of all the Internets. Are you mad, man?

He's not mad but, he is going mad so there is a discount.

I mad, bro?


monkeytosstv.com
 
2012-11-02 05:34:30 PM

Evil High Priest: There is also a good chance that none of you exist at all, and the "universe" I'm experiencing is just some very elaborate computer simulation. Prove me wrong.


You've watched The Matrix too many times.
 
2012-11-02 05:34:41 PM

Harv72b: T.rex: If you agree that there are infinite possibilities of things, then by the same token, you will have to acknowledge that there are an INFINITE number of things that will happen only once in the history of the universe. .... Life for instance.

That's not how infinity works.


An infinite series can have a finite sum: consider Zeno's old favorite (1/2 + 1/4 + 1/8 + 1/16 + 1/32...) as an example.

That said, for there to be "events that will happen only once" presupposes determinism: not the soundest of assumptions. That's why, when discussing the possibility that there are no other sentient species at this time, I prefer to refer to us as the "first" sentient species rather than the "only" sentient species.

Of course, if one prefers a more pessimistic viewpoint, you could swipe a page from Towing Jehovah and propose the possibility that all other sentient species might once have existed but are now extinct. This has the added bonus of trolling both sides of the debate.
 
2012-11-02 05:35:24 PM

Harv72b:
Point being that "time", as it relates to whatever we conceptualize as "the" universe, begins and ends with it in much the same way that "time", as it relates to me, began on August 11th, 1972 and will end whenever I cease to exist. Neither of these definitions necessarily apply to whatever time (or "everything") actually is.


I think you are referring to the Newtonian idea that absolute time and space are independent. The issue with what you are saying is that your corporeal experience of time does not create time, it exists in a larger universe and is therefor a very imprecise metaphor. Time exists within our bubble as matter and energy exist, and is dependent on relative motion and mass. Lacking relative motion and mass (outside the bubble, if you will), there is no time. Again, with the disclaimer that there may be a lot more research or information that I am missing.
 
2012-11-02 05:35:53 PM

BigNumber12: austin_millbarge: BigNumber12: Wait, wait.

You're telling me that a Director at NASA is delivering a message consistent with the justification for NASA's very existence and continued funding?!? Someone, please catch me before I faint from shock.

[i235.photobucket.com image 442x216]

/thanks for the idiotic comment that allowed me to use this image again


Sooo, my chuckling that the article was based on the obvious answer to a stupid question qualifies as "derp" to you? Clearly Fark is well below your intellectual capacity - why are you even here? Doesn't Mensa have a web forum?

Or did someone just shiat on you in real life, and you're here to transfer your revenge to people you can get away with mouthing off to - complete strangers on the internet?


Obvious answer? Hardly. Canned answer based on ignorance? yes,
And way to sprinkle in some ad hominem attacks to your doubling down on your derp.
 
2012-11-02 05:37:41 PM

screwzloos: Harv72b: T.rex: If i had a trillion grains of multi-colored sand, and tossed them up in the air, and measured how they landed, that doesn't mean that i could ever exactly replicate that ever again, even if i tried an infinite number of times

Actually, if you did it an infinite amount of times then you would not only exactly replicate it, you would exactly replicate it an infinite amount of times.

/This is the crap I think about at night when I should be sleeping.

Bah! You beat me to it. Someone is wrong on the internet!

Now, on the other hand, if you had an infinite number of grains of sand...


...the entire universe would be filled with sand?
 
2012-11-02 05:37:56 PM

trappedspirit: Really? NASA JPL Director, very much interested in getting funding and keeping the public interested in space, makes a claim such as this? Really?


You and BigNumber12 ought to get together and wipe the drool off each others mouths.
 
2012-11-02 05:40:41 PM

Evil High Priest:

And we haven't even brought up multiverses yet.. If your mind needs some blowing, here you go: 
Link


Wait til I'm drinking before you start the theoretical mental masturbation portion of the discussion.

/I posted this in another universe
 
2012-11-02 05:43:11 PM
(Shrug) Life is the null hypothesis at this point. The burden of proof would lie with someone who claims there isn't life elsewhere. What else is new?
 
2012-11-02 05:43:53 PM

BigNumber12: Incontinent_dog_and_monkey_rodeo: The lack of contact from intelligent beings suggests that 300,000 km/sec is a harsh mistress, that there are no shortcuts around the speed of light.


Maybe we're an uncontacted tribe, and they're just respecting our (rather retarded) rate of development.

[i187.photobucket.com image 390x273]



THIS.

Let us not rule out that our planet was seeded prior to the development of human civilization as we know it. Also consider that a "Prime Directive" prohibits other sentient life forms from contacting us directly, as this action would artificially influence the natural progression of humanity.
 
2012-11-02 05:43:58 PM

T.rex: Why? break it down... infinite... infinite possibilities. There are infinite things that will happen once, infinite things that will happen twice, three times up to infinity times.... Why wouldn't there be? If you're not putting a cap on any scenario, then the scenario of something happening a single time is just as valid as it happening an infinity times.


First, let me apologize for being contrite above.

Any time you bring an infinite number of trials into the argument, there can be no finite results. Literally, every single possible outcome will occur an infinite number of times. In the case of the trillion grains of sand argument which you presented earlier, this would mean that they would fall in every possible distribution an infinite number of times; they could not fall in the exact same manner once for an infinite number of times, because "once" is finite. Either you tried your experiment a finite amount of times, or you achieved the same result infinitely.

Understand that I'm not arguing that it's impossible that this is, in fact, the only body of matter in this universe which harbors life. The probability of that is extremely small, but is not absolute zero at this (or any) particular instant in our timeline. My point was that your sand statement was flawed if you allow for an infinite number of tries. And regardless of whether or not Earth harbored 100% of all life in the universe when I typed that sentence, that does not mean that it does now, nor that it did before I typed that sentence; in fact, given an infinite timeline with an infinite number of possibilities, we both blinked out of existence an infinite number of times since I started typing this thought, and we both remain existent an infinite number of times as well.

That's the glory and wonder of infinity, and what makes it so difficult to grasp. Of course, if we are indeed part of infinite universe/multiverse/whatever and/or on an infinite timeline, then there's also an infinite possibility that I'm grasping the concept entirely incorrectly. And correctly.
 
2012-11-02 05:44:49 PM

Ambivalence: Looking back (from our limited perception) it seems that as soon as life was possible on Earth, it was there.


I think that could be called one of the hallmark properties of life as a construct. Life is extremely (to abuse the word) virulent from a chemical and morphological perspective. It moves at the pace of generations, which seems slow to an individual human but is wildfire-fast on a geological scale. How long after the first cells divided was every body of water on the planet teeming with cells? How long after plants could take root were they rooted on every land mass of reasonable age?

Life seems to be a pattern that spreads like fire, filling every niche of the gravity well that houses it.* If we ever solve the puzzle of interstellar travel, I wouldn't be surprised if we discovered that other planetoids have their own patterns already.

* Data on what life can do in terms of exiting its gravity well or traversing to another one is... Thus far inconclusive. ;)
 
2012-11-02 05:57:06 PM

OnlyM3: Why is a government employee saying (s)he believes in anything, NEWS?

Other beliefs held by government employees:

We can close the Patent office since everything possible has been invented

Bush caused the Katrina storm

Todd Akin do I really need to post his "beliefs"?


We've believed there was a reasonable chance there was life on the moon . Remember this?...
[i.telegraph.co.uk image 460x288]


I didn't know they had high def TV back then. shiat looks good.
 
2012-11-02 06:02:52 PM
Time to post this again:

THEY'RE MADE OUT OF MEAT

"They're made out of meat."

"Meat?"

"Meat. They're made out of meat."

"Meat?"

"There's no doubt about it. We picked up several from different parts of the planet, took them aboard our recon vessels, and probed them all the way through. They're completely meat."

"That's impossible. What about the radio signals? The messages to the stars?"

"They use the radio waves to talk, but the signals don't come from them. The signals come from machines."

"So who made the machines? That's who we want to contact."

"They made the machines. That's what I'm trying to tell you. Meat made the machines."

"That's ridiculous. How can meat make a machine? You're asking me to believe in sentient meat."

"I'm not asking you, I'm telling you. These creatures are the only sentient race in that sector and they're made out of meat."

"Maybe they're like the orfolei. You know, a carbon-based intelligence that goes through a meat stage."

"Nope. They're born meat and they die meat. We studied them for several of their life spans, which didn't take long. Do you have any idea what's the life span of meat?"

"Spare me. Okay, maybe they're only part meat. You know, like the weddilei. A meat head with an electron plasma brain inside."

"Nope. We thought of that, since they do have meat heads, like the weddilei. But I told you, we probed them. They're meat all the way through."

"No brain?"

"Oh, there's a brain all right. It's just that the brain is made out of meat! That's what I've been trying to tell you."

"So ... what does the thinking?"

"You're not understanding, are you? You're refusing to deal with what I'm telling you. The brain does the thinking. The meat."

"Thinking meat! You're asking me to believe in thinking meat!"

"Yes, thinking meat! Conscious meat! Loving meat. Dreaming meat. The meat is the whole deal! Are you beginning to get the picture or do I have to start all over?"

"Omigod. You're serious then. They're made out of meat."

"Thank you. Finally. Yes. They are indeed made out of meat. And they've been trying to get in touch with us for almost a hundred of their years."

"Omigod. So what does this meat have in mind?"

"First it wants to talk to us. Then I imagine it wants to explore the Universe, contact other sentiences, swap ideas and information. The usual."

"We're supposed to talk to meat."

"That's the idea. That's the message they're sending out by radio. 'Hello. Anyone out there. Anybody home.' That sort of thing."

"They actually do talk, then. They use words, ideas, concepts?"
"Oh, yes. Except they do it with meat."

"I thought you just told me they used radio."

"They do, but what do you think is on the radio? Meat sounds. You know how when you slap or flap meat, it makes a noise? They talk by flapping their meat at each other. They can even sing by squirting air through their meat."

"Omigod. Singing meat. This is altogether too much. So what do you advise?"

"Officially or unofficially?"

"Both."

"Officially, we are required to contact, welcome and log in any and all sentient races or multibeings in this quadrant of the Universe, without prejudice, fear or favor. Unofficially, I advise that we erase the records and forget the whole thing."

"I was hoping you would say that."

"It seems harsh, but there is a limit. Do we really want to make contact with meat?"

"I agree one hundred percent. What's there to say? 'Hello, meat. How's it going?' But will this work? How many planets are we dealing with here?"

"Just one. They can travel to other planets in special meat containers, but they can't live on them. And being meat, they can only travel through C space. Which limits them to the speed of light and makes the possibility of their ever making contact pretty slim. Infinitesimal, in fact."

"So we just pretend there's no one home in the Universe."

"That's it."

"Cruel. But you said it yourself, who wants to meet meat? And the ones who have been aboard our vessels, the ones you probed? You're sure they won't remember?"

"They'll be considered crackpots if they do. We went into their heads and smoothed out their meat so that we're just a dream to them."

"A dream to meat! How strangely appropriate, that we should be meat's dream."

"And we marked the entire sector unoccupied."

"Good. Agreed, officially and unofficially. Case closed. Any others? Anyone interesting on that side of the galaxy?"

"Yes, a rather shy but sweet hydrogen core cluster intelligence in a class nine star in G445 zone. Was in contact two galactic rotations ago, wants to be friendly again."

"They always come around."
 
2012-11-02 06:03:35 PM

Millennium: An infinite series can have a finite sum: consider Zeno's old favorite (1/2 + 1/4 + 1/8 + 1/16 + 1/32...) as an example.


But the statement which started this whole tangent supposed an infinite number of trials for a specific experiment, which would obviously result in every possible outcome occurring an infinite number of times.

hairywoogit: I think you are referring to the Newtonian idea that absolute time and space are independent. The issue with what you are saying is that your corporeal experience of time does not create time, it exists in a larger universe and is therefor a very imprecise metaphor. Time exists within our bubble as matter and energy exist, and is dependent on relative motion and mass. Lacking relative motion and mass (outside the bubble, if you will), there is no time. Again, with the disclaimer that there may be a lot more research or information that I am missing.


There is undoubtedly a tremendous amount of research and information that I'm missing; every point I'm arguing on this subject was "discovered" independently through my own insomniac musings. What I'm trying to say is that if you go outside whatever the whole of existence is, then "time" as we know it does not exist & never existed in the first place...but that presumes that there is an "outside" to go to.

The relatively simple concept of there being a beginning or end to everything is one that I cannot wrap my brain around; this requires everything to have sprung out of nothing, literally, and defies both logic and every law of physics of which I'm aware (again, not nearly all of them). The far more complex concept of an infinite universe is much easier to comprehend, even if not in terms of the details of this infinity. Then again, even if you assume a finite universe that does not necessarily preclude an infinite timeline within it; if you go with a vastly oversimplified equation of X+Y=Z, where X is the total amount of "stuff" in the universe and Y is the total amount of potential "stuff", then you can have a finite Z while still having an infinite number of distributions between X and Y, with each possible distribution occurring an infinite number of times. This would also (again, from an amateur logic-based argument, quite possibly not from an educated mathematical one) actually make it not only possible but certain that "everything" (X) sprang from "nothing" (Y), and that this will occur an infinite number of times.

If you (or anyone else who is more well-read than I on the subject) can point me toward some (free) reading to better educate myself on all of this, I'd greatly appreciate it. And by the way, I'm only scratching the surface of the crazy theories which have rolled through my brain so far. :)
 
2012-11-02 06:04:02 PM
 
2012-11-02 06:14:41 PM

Harv72b: .but that presumes that there is an "outside" to go to.


The 'multiverses' theory I mentioned earlier takes this into account. Infinite "bubbles" of universes. And there is no saying that our universal truths about gravity, mass, etc., are at all the same in the bubble next door.
 
2012-11-02 06:17:29 PM

Anenu: or they are simply ignoring us as we aren't really that interesting and have nothing to offer them.


Consider, that to any life form intelligent enough to communicate with us, we are the Jersey Shore of the universe. They might watch us for a few minutes and have a good laugh, but they certainly don't want to hang out with us. :-\
 
2012-11-02 06:19:23 PM

T.rex: If i had a trillion grains of multi-colored sand, and tossed them up in the air, and measured how they landed, that doesn't mean that i could ever exactly replicate that ever again, even if i tried an infinite number of times.


If you tried an infinite number of times, you would. The fact that it's possible for the sand to come down in that pattern, and given an infinite number of tries makes it inevitable. Not only would you replicate the pattern, unless there was some sort of "If we have matched it we stop", then you would continue with the experiment. And in that case, you would replicate the pattern an infinite number of times.

The number of planets in the universe, while massive, isn't actually infinite, so it doesn't really have a direct correlation to the "life on other planets" argument.

Personally, I think it's highly likely there are other planets with at least some form of life, based primarily on the math, but it's a belief, not a known fact. We have reasonable knowledge of very few planets, and of those, we know of life on one. Out of the billions of planets out there, most of which we will never even send a robot to, it seems likely that some have life.
 
2012-11-02 06:22:52 PM
I'm with Stephen Hawking. It's OK to LISTEN for intelligent life elsewhere in the universe, but we should not be broadcasting our own presence any more than we can help it. If there are intelligent beings who have figured out the time warp/wormhole thing, and can travel between stars practically, they are literally going to eat us when they get here. Or hunt us for sport. Even if they intend benevolence, we'll still wind up as serfs, at best.
 
2012-11-02 06:26:39 PM

Nightsweat: Lawman, beating up the wrong guy?


Oh man, look at those cavemen go
 
2012-11-02 06:34:47 PM

JuggleGeek: Out of the billions of planets out there, most of which we will never even send a robot to, it seems likely that some have life.


I have a hard time thinking life is some kind of fluke relegated only to earth. I think it's inevitable that there is life on other planets, and probably intelligent life.

However, look how distinctly different species that have been isolated in one tiny region, for even a fairly short time, can turn out compared to their closest relatives in other regions. Or just how drastically life can differ from one part of the earth to another.
Given that observation regarding only one planet, beings on other planets are probably going to be DRASTICALLY different than us, to the point where even if they are as intelligent or more than us, we probably cannot communicate, and may not even recognize each other as sentient. Even given a planet with the same climate and layout as the earth, life easily could have evolved in a different manner. Just one event, can cause a completely different type of organism to become dominant. 
We can't even effectively communicate with the other sentient life on earth, and we have a huge ego. Our species is unlikely to be able to communicate with life from other planets, and many people wouldn't even be willing to recognize them as sentient beings.
 
2012-11-02 06:37:02 PM

exick: FlashHarry: the universe is almost infinitely big and 14 billion years old. to think we're the only planet to develop intelligence is just incredibly improbable. however, this vastness also means that it's incredibly improbable that we'll ever contact another intelligent species.

The likelihood of any other intelligent species being too far away to contact, the possibility of them not being advanced enough to have the ability to receive any sort of radio communication, let alone of the interplanetary variety, and of having no way of interpreting each other's communications anyway makes me sad.


We're probably using the wrong forms of communication. If someone tried to communicate with us using, say, X-Ray transmissions, what the hell are the odds we'd hear it?
 
2012-11-02 06:41:38 PM
To the people who are talking about finding planets that humans can survive on. I think that there are only a handful. Not because I think that there's a dearth of rocky planets with water but because of all of the other tiny things that also have to be just right for us to survive. Humans are fragile beings. Just a small list of other things that have to be "Just right" includes:

An atmosphere with just the right mix of the right gasses. Carbon dioxide and oxygen or methane and oxygen or really anything other than nitrogen and oxygen as a base is out of the question.

An iron core to generate a magnetic field strong enough to deflect cosmic radiation. Sunburns would be the least of our problems.

Just the right type and percentages of minerals in the crust and soil. Too much or too little of, lets use potassium as an example, will kill us.

If we find such a place then there's also a good chance that life there has already developed to some degree. Anyone remember the stories about smallpox and the Indians with no immunity to it? Yeah, now we're talking about just about every microbe, virus and bacteria on an alien planet to deal with instead of just one that nearly decimated an entire continents population.

These are just some of the big picture things to think about. There's going to be smaller things to deal with that can be just as deadly.

We ain't leaving this rock anytime soon (and by soon I mean eons and eons from now) if ever.
 
2012-11-02 06:43:34 PM

exick: The likelihood of any other intelligent species being too far away to contact, the possibility of them not being advanced enough to have the ability to receive any sort of radio communication, let alone of the interplanetary variety, and of having no way of interpreting each other's communications anyway makes me sad.


I can't remember the creator of the formula, but basically:
Odds of a solar system having planets (high)
Odds of a planet being within the proper zone(low)
Odds of a planet within the zone being of the proper composition(low)
Odds of life developing on that planet (???)
Odds of intelligent life developing
Odds of the intelligent life developing a technological civilization
Odds that the civilization won't wipe itself out

If I remember right, the SETI scans would only detect a duplicate Earth's transmissions from 6 ly. It increases to 50 ly if you assume that they're tight beaming a transmission with the power of ALL radio transmissions directly at us.

If you take common assumptions for the first 3 and asusme the last 4 are nearly 100%, that still puts the average alien civilizations at something like 500 ly apart.

On a slightly different point, I figure that the odds of intelligent life developing to be really low(on any given planet that develops life) - consider how long dinosaurs were the dominant lifeform, and how stupid they were. I think that it took a rather lucky series of events to get multicellular life, much less intelligent. I mean, consider our moon. It's the largest in the solar system and while we aren't the smallest planet, we're still below the average for planet size.

Basically, some really low probability events happened to the Earth during it's early formation, quite probably setting up the conditions for life and subsequently intelligent life to evolve.

Now, the odds are higher than that, I'm sure there's multiple paths. But I still see the odds as incredibly rare, at least on a per solar system basis. However, even if the odds end up being about the same as winning 3 lotteries in a row, there's plenty of stars out there that should harbor intelligent tool using life. It's just that the average distance between them will be so far as to make communication unlikely. At least until we've developed to the point that there are more humans in space than on earth.
 
2012-11-02 06:45:14 PM
 
2012-11-02 06:50:12 PM
Look I'm gonna break it to you. According to old series Dr. Who, the Fendahl's skull fell to Earth. It influenced evolution so that Terran life would elicit food, aka the life force of humans. Which would be available for later devouring once earth humans developed their technology enough to stupidly awaken the skull.

So we are simultaneously copies of humanoids found throughout the galaxy* and intelligently-designed snacks.

i154.photobucket.com
What a woman possessed by the Fendahl might look like

*or it was just easier for 70's-80's era BBC to videotape interplanetary adventures involving very human-looking characters and this plot gave them a good excuse. 
 
2012-11-02 06:50:22 PM

Radioactive Ass: Yeah, now we're talking about just about every microbe, virus and bacteria on an alien planet to deal with instead of just one that nearly decimated an entire continents population.


How likely is it that those microbes would also be able to survive in us though? With the Indians we're talking about illnesses being spread between two of the same species. As I mentioned above, even an earth-like planet probably isn't going to have the same life as here, and even on earth many bacteria, parasites, and viruses are not able to pass between other species and humans, or at least need the correct intermediate host.
So I wonder what the chance of those organisms on a completely different planet being able to survive on us is, or how quickly they'd even be able to evolve to do so given they'd have much more adequate native hosts. 

I'm not trying to hypothesize in either direction, since we have no basis to even guess. Just something to be curious about.
 
2012-11-02 06:51:13 PM

austin_millbarge: Obvious answer? Hardly. Canned answer based on ignorance? yes,


A director at NASA is ignorant? Either you're an arrogant ass, or you need to re-read my post.


austin_millbarge: You and BigNumber12 ought to get together and wipe the drool off each others mouths.


I'm really starting to wonder. What exactly do you think my position is on this issue, that you're fixating on me and foaming at the mouth in rage?
 
2012-11-02 06:52:30 PM
*ahem*
 
2012-11-02 06:53:46 PM

Firethorn: I figure that the odds of intelligent life developing to be really low


Agreed. This is why you probably don't actually exist, but are just another subroutine in the computer simulation that I call "life".

The odds of intelligent life developing anywhere are much lower than the chance that those same intelligent creatures eventually discover a way to create a very "real" simulation. If I'm inside the simulation, how do I tell it's not real?

It's more likely than not that this is all just some weird experiment or game.
 
2012-11-02 06:57:55 PM

Harv72b:
The relatively simple concept of there being a beginning or end to everything is one that I cannot wrap my brain around


Quanta seem to be able to pull that trick, but nothing bigger that I am aware of. I am not arguing that spacetime popped into existence ex nihilo. Only that time as our math plays with it is a consequence of the existence of mass and motion. If you could get outside somehow, what you would be doing is making a reference point where there wasn't one before, and it would still stay a consequence of mass and motion, only it would now including a factor external to the bubble. Except there isn't really an outside, even in multiple universe theory. There isn't anything.

Hey, who knows, if we CAN get outside the membrane, maybe its a method of getting FTL rolling, by in essence, getting outside the rules. Though that brings with it a whole 'nother set of potential issues, until we invent a Gellar field.
 
2012-11-02 06:58:16 PM
of course there is life on other planets.

-we're here...so there must be someone "out there".

plus...as a side note...i've seen one of their probes.

i do not know if it was an unmanned drone...or manned.

but it was real...and it happened.
 
2012-11-02 07:00:05 PM

Evil High Priest: And there is no saying that our universal truths about gravity, mass, etc., are at all the same in the bubble next door.


I've always presumed that they aren't. Nor, for that matter, that these universal truths have remained constant throughout the existence of our own.
 
2012-11-02 07:09:54 PM

Bauer: of course there is life on other planets.

-we're here...so there must be someone "out there".

plus...as a side note...i've seen one of their probes.

i do not know if it was an unmanned drone...or manned.

but it was real...and it happened.


Please describe the probe, sir.
 
2012-11-02 07:10:14 PM

hairywoogit: Hey, who knows, if we CAN get outside the membrane, maybe its a method of getting FTL rolling, by in essence, getting outside the rules. Though that brings with it a whole 'nother set of potential issues, until we invent a Gellar field.


Isn't this just the "hyperspace" mentioned in so many movies/novels?

And don't get me started on the speed of light. ;)

hairywoogit: Quanta seem to be able to pull that trick


Unless, of course, there's even smaller stuff out of which quanta are made.
 
2012-11-02 07:11:25 PM

Harv72b: Nor, for that matter, that these universal truths have remained constant throughout the existence of our own.


That idea is even spookier than the rest.
 
2012-11-02 07:12:53 PM

keiverarrow: Statistically, it's ridiculous to argue otherwise. However, it should be noted that we've never even been able to communicate effectively with the domestic house cat, among the other creatures our planet has to offer. Let's hope they're more like dogs if we ever meet any.


That only proves that cats are, in fact, an incredibly sophisticated form of alien life. They've got us opening doors for them, feeding them, cleaning up their poops, catering to their every whim....and believing we can't understand them. All without saying a word!
 
2012-11-02 07:18:10 PM

Gyrfalcon: keiverarrow: Statistically, it's ridiculous to argue otherwise. However, it should be noted that we've never even been able to communicate effectively with the domestic house cat, among the other creatures our planet has to offer. Let's hope they're more like dogs if we ever meet any.

That only proves that cats are, in fact, an incredibly sophisticated form of alien life. They've got us opening doors for them, feeding them, cleaning up their poops, catering to their every whim....and believing we can't understand them. All without saying a word!


Yeah, which species is domesticated has been a long running debate. The cats seem to have it pretty good.
 
2012-11-02 07:19:01 PM
The whole dang universe is only 14 billion years old... Earth's been around for a big chunk of that time. We have a few more years to go to reach infinite possibility status.
 
2012-11-02 07:20:15 PM

T.rex: The whole dang universe is only 14 billion years old... Earth's been around for a big chunk of that time. We have a few more years to go to reach infinite possibility status.


An infinite number of years, as it were. ;)
 
2012-11-02 07:21:35 PM

Evil High Priest: Harv72b: Nor, for that matter, that these universal truths have remained constant throughout the existence of our own.

That idea is even spookier than the rest.


Not really.

We are the speck on the speck of the eleventy-billionth speck of a spectacle on the speck on the speck the eleventy-minus one-billionth, you get the idea, speck of dust in the vastness of the universe, and this is our dialogue?

High-larious

*)
 
2012-11-02 07:25:38 PM

Ihaveanevilparrot: How likely is it that those microbes would also be able to survive in us though? With the Indians we're talking about illnesses being spread between two of the same species. As I mentioned above, even an earth-like planet probably isn't going to have the same life as here, and even on earth many bacteria, parasites, and viruses are not able to pass between other species and humans, or at least need the correct intermediate host.
So I wonder what the chance of those organisms on a completely different planet being able to survive on us is, or how quickly they'd even be able to evolve to do so given they'd have much more adequate native hosts.

I'm not trying to hypothesize in either direction, since we have no basis to even guess. Just something to be curious about.


If (and that's a big if) the planets macro conditions (atmosphere, chemical composition and so on) were able to sustain human life that would mean that the chemistry (and their ratios) that we are composed of should be the same as (or very close to) any indigenous life forms. Life as we understand it is predatory in its nature. Everything eventually eats everything else in one way or another, in fact its mandatory in our ecosystem or our planet would end up a toxic sludge as dead life forms built up. Based on that I think that it's very likely that there would be at least some microbes on a planet capable of sustaining us that our bodies would be defenseless against.

Of course that could go the other way around too. We could accidentally bring the microbe(s) that decimates an entire planet rendering it almost lifeless as far as indigenous life forms go. A Genesis bug if you will. Who knows?
 
2012-11-02 07:39:00 PM

ciberido: titwrench: Great Janitor: The dumbest argument for not believing in aliens was a girl who said "The bible doesn't mention aliens so they aren't real." I responded with "Penguins."

That is going to be my rebuttal for every argument from now on.

What do you expect from flightless birds who live in The Land without Bears? 

I still find it remarkable that an entire continent is named after the fact that there aren't any bears there. i mean, we don't call North America NoGiraffestan.


I would support nameing it such though ....
 
2012-11-02 07:54:08 PM
www.ingenesist.com


It could be entirely empty.

What I find to be more interesting to discuss is the effects perceptions on this and similar topics have to our species and environment. How does a man/society act that thinks he is alone, or those that are certain they are not. How does a man/society think when they feel there very existence is some form of manifest destiny, or that regardless of whether or not we are alone, if we will ultimately have to live with the consequences of our decisions and priorities. Are we to not worry because we'll escape to another planet... or a benevolent being will lift us up at our 11th hour....

Important to point out that all of this, everything is the product of the human mind. How we perceive things. Assumptions we make. (and you know what they say about assumptions :)

I do not believe we are alone in this universe. In so far as any truly scientific person can "believe" anything. But the fact is we have no data except our own existence to base our assumptions on. And seeing as how we can prove evolution but not the method of life's creation itself, our existence is shaky ground to base assumptions on period.

We have trouble with beginnings and ends, we do pretty good on identifying observable processes though. It's the same when we discuss the universe as a whole, we seem to know what it is, what it's doing (roughly), however our theories on the alpha and omega are more statements about our inability to understand things beyond us than it is sound scientific theory. Our equations at some point devolve into philosophy.

I believe life is probably everywhere in this universe, but all things being equal it could be just as likely we (and possibly everything else) were placed here by something we are completely unable to imagine or conceptualize.

And it is also possible that we might be the only intelligent life (by our own standards). Given the loose odds people throw around regarding the likelihood of intelligent life again we have no data to point either way. I find it surprising people do not point to the very fact no truly intelligent life seems to have developed during the existence of the dinosaurs as a counterpoint. Sure, it was a more hostile environment but we are talking about an absolutely massive window of time for intelligence to present itself. (maybe it did, we just don't know it)

So, maybe we are alone? Probably not. But should we at the least entertain that possibility, it would be wise for our species to act as if we are alone.
For if we act on that premise and make our preservation and that of our habitat our primary goal instead of short term immediately realized (selfish) ends... well if we are later proven wrong this could be a pleasant surprise.

But to assume we aren't and that the life on this planet isn't beyond rare, that it might not be entirely unique, we could be pissing away intelligent life's one chance at existence.

Not because we dared to hope otherwise, but how those theories and assumptions will eventually play out in the priorities we have in pursuing technology and the priorities we have regarding stewardship of our planet.
 
2012-11-02 08:02:34 PM

Bauer: of course there is life on other planets.

-we're here...so there must be someone "out there".

plus...as a side note...i've seen one of their probes.

i do not know if it was an unmanned drone...or manned.

but it was real...and it happened.


So have I...and that's EXACTLY what I thought when I saw it: This looks like a probe from another planet.
 
2012-11-02 08:44:52 PM

ciberido: titwrench: Great Janitor: The dumbest argument for not believing in aliens was a girl who said "The bible doesn't mention aliens so they aren't real." I responded with "Penguins."

That is going to be my rebuttal for every argument from now on.

What do you expect from flightless birds who live in The Land without Bears? 

I still find it remarkable that an entire continent is named after the fact that there aren't any bears there. i mean, we don't call North America NoGiraffestan.



Well... YOU don't, at least. But all the REAL Nogiraffistani do.
 
2012-11-02 08:59:19 PM

FloydA: ciberido: titwrench: Great Janitor: The dumbest argument for not believing in aliens was a girl who said "The bible doesn't mention aliens so they aren't real." I responded with "Penguins."

That is going to be my rebuttal for every argument from now on.

What do you expect from flightless birds who live in The Land without Bears? 

I still find it remarkable that an entire continent is named after the fact that there aren't any bears there. i mean, we don't call North America NoGiraffestan.


Well... YOU don't, at least. But all the REAL Nogiraffistani do.

Real

persons don't need to qualify themselves much b/c they exist really in their worlds, interacting and making their presence known in a cognizant way, or not.

The cognizant ones, self-described mind you, cogitate at will, otherwise uninfluenced by the influencers, and make policy with mind.

Mind out.

*)
 
2012-11-03 12:22:09 AM

Sybarite: I tend to believe the Rare Earth hypothesis that while simple, unicellular life is probably fairly common, highly complex life is likely to be quite rare.


Depending on what variables you plug in to the Drake Equation, you can get anything from one to hundreds of communicating species in the Milky Way. Unfortunately in order for another civilization to be close enough for us to actually communicate with them at our level of technology there would have to be thousands or tens of thousands. The galaxy is farking huge and the inverse square law is a biatch.

Rare Earth only looks at one of the 7 variables in the Drake Equation. Personally, I don't think there's any evidence to support it. The opposite theory (Copernican Principle) argues that the Earth is an unexceptional planet around an unexceptional star in an unexceptional galaxy. Everything we've learned about exoplanets in the last 5-10 years lends credence to this theory and undermines Rare Earth.
 
2012-11-03 12:23:56 AM

MurphyMurphy: Important to point out that all of this, everything is the product of the human mind. How we perceive things. Assumptions we make. (and you know what they say about assumptions :)


Now you're just talking to air. We have to assume we exist. Je pense donc je suis. If we take away that assumption, then everything is meaningless.
 
2012-11-03 12:27:07 AM
Hmm, I guess this thread is probably dead by now but I wanted to stop by and throw out something I didn't see mentioned here.

Harv72b: Shut up, fairies have tails and nobody can convince me otherwise.


First of all it's a well known fact that faeries wear boots.

Secondly, I find the concept of a Von Neumann Probe, in regards to intelligent life, an interesting concept. For those unfamiliar with the idea and who don't feel like reading wikipedia, it's just a probe sent out into space to explore and replicate itself when or if it finds suitable materials to do so. Possibly transmitting information back to the originators of the probe.

The potential implications and various permutations of these probes are all great fun to think about in my opinion. At what point would you consider these self-replicating probes a life-form of their own? Could they aid intelligent civilizations spread far across the universe in locating one another, and if so how could we apply this to our own search for ET? What level of technology would it take to make a successful self-replicating exploratory probe, and what are some likely forms of communication it could use to transmit information to its originators? What sort of timeline would it take for it to spread through the galaxy? To neighboring galaxies, etc? Would it be wise to give it information to pass along to other sapient beings, or have it stay and observe planets with complex life and wait for intelligence to come about?

Remember that after you send the first probe out you can afford for any subsequent offspring to wait around forever and only "activate" if certain conditions are met, no matter how exceedingly slim the chances of such an occurrence are. With that in mind, we really do need to thoroughly check out the Lagrangian points in our solar system, there's the potential for some really awesome, or horrible, shiat to be lurking there.

How...romantic...it would be to find one of these probes and discover that its originators had long since disappeared!
 
2012-11-03 01:11:09 AM
cache.g4tv.com
 
2012-11-03 01:22:59 AM

Harv72b: Counter_Intelligent: I'm of the opinion that if we do ever meet extraterrestrial intelligence, it'll be just as retarded as we are.

Then you'd also be of the opinion that we'll never meet any.


Touchy!
 
2012-11-03 01:46:27 AM
Stop the presses!
 
2012-11-03 02:35:56 AM

T.rex: Yes... because when i want an unbiased opinion about extra-terrestrial beings, i ask the guy who's job depends on the perceived need for space travel.

If i had a trillion grains of multi-colored sand, and tossed them up in the air, and measured how they landed, that doesn't mean that i could ever exactly replicate that ever again, even if i tried an infinite number of times. I don't care how big the universe is... That doesn't mean, the impossible will suddenly turn possible.


That's a terrible analogy because basic physics and chemistry creates precursors to life and automatically assembles these molecules into configurations that are amenable to the creation of life. For example, if chemical processes create a phospholipid molecule, those molecules spontaneously arrange themselves into a cell membrane like bilayer in water due to having hydrophobic tails and hydrophilic heads. Based on what we know, it seems like it is actually unlikely life would not arise with the correct mix of basic elements and physical conditions because physics and chemistry favor it so heavily.
 
2012-11-03 02:44:52 AM
That said, you do have to wonder how early a technological civilization could arise in the universe. It takes at least a couple generations of stars to build up enough heavier elements to create tools and technology, and you also have to have millions of years of prior biological life to create fossil fuels to help you bridge the gap between pre-industrial living and an advanced civilization with fusion and renwlewable energies. If you have life originating too early in the history of the universe, they could remain stuck at a pre-industrial level of technology without the resources necessary to create an interstellar civilization.
 
2012-11-03 02:51:22 AM

saintstryfe: MurphyMurphy: Important to point out that all of this, everything is the product of the human mind. How we perceive things. Assumptions we make. (and you know what they say about assumptions :)

Now you're just talking to air. We have to assume we exist. Je pense donc je suis. If we take away that assumption, then everything is meaningless.


Well no, that's why in the next sentence I said:

"But the fact is we have no data except our own existence to base our assumptions on."

We could discuss whether or not we actually exist, or if reality is real, but you are correct that is (usually) a fruitless discussion.

I'm suggesting that given we do exist that this somehow is valid to base so many other commonly accepted theories and assumptions on regarding life (intelligent or otherwise) elsewhere is simply not scientifically sound.

This is why we search so hard for that first glimmer of evidence that it's possible. Because until then all we can do is hypothesize. Believe, or don't believe. All matters of faith.

Without data to the affirmative from beyond our little blue ball, there can not be any serious theory regarding extraterrestrial life.
 
2012-11-03 02:57:51 AM

Mad_Radhu: Based on what we know, it seems like it is actually unlikely life would not arise with the correct mix of basic elements and physical conditions because physics and chemistry favor it so heavily.


And yet we've never been able to successfully recreate it though we have all the presumed ingredients required.

Likely presumes you have statistics, mathematics on which to base your statement. We know as little about the beginnings of life as we do about the beginnings of the universe.

We see ripples in the pond and study them for a theory about what made them, but nothing we can prove.
 
2012-11-03 02:59:56 AM
The assumption of water being a prerequisite for life has always amused me.

upload.wikimedia.org
 
2012-11-03 08:10:07 AM

indarwinsshadow: There's probably life. So exotic, foreign and frightening we'd never understand it. I doubt there's anything remotely like us anywhere else in the entire universe though. My best guess is there's lots of lower order...things...but zero if anything remotely like us. Our journey has been so unique, what're the odds of anything going through the same process to get where we are.


I may be wrong but I think space biologists have theorized that humanoid forms would be a highly probable model for intelligent life forms. The details would be quite disparate but the basic bi-pedal, human form is considered a basic archetype.

I don't think the question should be does intelligent life exist outside Earth but "what is intelligence"? Having the ability to abstract reality beyond basic existence might not be the optimal choice. The Universe may have had numerous species that took our same route and eventually ditched it in favor of less "intelligence": finding it to be the more intelligent choice.
 
2012-11-03 08:16:25 AM

Tom_Slick: dababler: Dolphins. Why? Dolphins are the frat boys of the sea, but smarter than average actual human frat boys.

I've always considered dolphins the golden retrievers of the sea, much smarter than frat boys.


Dolphins probably think they evolved from humans but have you ever noticed how much their squeaks and whistles sound like laughing. They are laughing at us. Dolphins can teleport and have ESP.
 
2012-11-03 11:28:29 AM

Eddie Ate Dynamite: Secondly, I find the concept of a Von Neumann Probe, in regards to intelligent life, an interesting concept. For those unfamiliar with the idea and who don't feel like reading wikipedia, it's just a probe sent out into space to explore and replicate itself when or if it finds suitable materials to do so. Possibly transmitting information back to the originators of the probe.


That's actually one of the arguments I've seen used to "prove" that there isn't any other advanced intelligence in this universe, or even that there has never been. Since this makes so much sense in concept for any suitably advanced civilization to do, then it would stand to reason that had any other species reached that level of technology during the 14 billion years since the big bang happened, the universe would be overrun by these machines. Although I suppose it would then take billions of years for the probes to replicate themselves to that point.

It does make far more sense that whenever (or if) we do make "contact" with another intelligent life form it will be through some sort of machine, either ours or theirs, vs. some a true face to face meeting. In fact, barring the advent of faster-than-light travel one could argue that true homo sapiens will never talk directly to any life form originating from another planet.
 
2012-11-03 12:56:24 PM

BigNumber12: Incontinent_dog_and_monkey_rodeo: The lack of contact from intelligent beings suggests that 300,000 km/sec is a harsh mistress, that there are no shortcuts around the speed of light.


Maybe we're an uncontacted tribe, and they're just respecting our (rather retarded) rate of development.

[i187.photobucket.com image 390x273]


That's another good possibility, if you were an all powerful race you would have no incentive to let us know you existed. The mere knowledge may corrupt us or throw us into scientific stagnation. Alien psychologists may have already determined that early contact before a species has advanced a certain way on their own is harmful to interstellar social development. I could see contacted planets getting an inferiority complex pretty easily. Also, once contacted most native technology immediately becomes corrupted by advanced alien technology. Maybe early contact shuts down promising new scientific discoveries because the contacted species abandons their own tech research.
 
2012-11-03 01:41:57 PM

MurphyMurphy: Mad_Radhu: Based on what we know, it seems like it is actually unlikely life would not arise with the correct mix of basic elements and physical conditions because physics and chemistry favor it so heavily.

And yet we've never been able to successfully recreate it though we have all the presumed ingredients required.

Likely presumes you have statistics, mathematics on which to base your statement. We know as little about the beginnings of life as we do about the beginnings of the universe.

We see ripples in the pond and study them for a theory about what made them, but nothing we can prove.



Sixty years ago, we weren't really sure what DNA looked like or how it worked. Give us a little time, and we'll get this whole origin of life question worked out pretty well. All the evidence supports life being pretty easy to start, such as how quickly you see evidence of life after the formation and cooling of the Earth, the fact that you can create basic amino acids with lightning sparks in a collection of inorganic gases similar to what the early Earth would have had based on what we know of planetary formation, and just basic physics regarding how molecules arrange themselves. At this point there is so much evidence that it is fairly easy to get life going the burden of proof is on skeptics like you. We don't have a good hold on what the exact probabilities are going to be, but the general consensus from most biologists seems to be that there is nothing we have learned so far to suggest that life ISN'T a common occurrence in the right conditions.
 
2012-11-03 02:02:10 PM
way south

>>> OnlyM3: Why is a government employee saying (s)he believes in anything, NEWS?
>>> Other beliefs held by government employees:
>>> We can close the Patent office since everything possible has been invented
>>> Bush caused the Katrina storm
>>> Todd Akin do I really need to post his "beliefs"?
>>> We've believed there was a reasonable chance there was life on the moon . Remember this?...

It wasn't just fear of moon bugs, but also fear of how earth bugs in an irradiated environment might change, or how the astronauts immune systems may have been weakened by the situation.

Fifty years prior to this we were still figuring out how aircraft flew.
Going to the farking moon? That shiat was all new to everyone.

It paid to be cautious.

True. I wasn't saying it wasn't smart/wise to be cautious. My point was
a) What some govt. employee "believes" isn't news worthy
b) That real scientist have believed life off earth is possible, even likely for decades. It will be no earth-shattering shock if we ever find scientific evidence of it.
 
2012-11-04 05:53:14 AM

NephilimNexus: The assumption of water being a prerequisite for life has always amused me.

[upload.wikimedia.org image 260x195]


Which is why I prefer to say 'in the proper temperature range and composition for life to form'. For example, the Horta would fail the last question in the Drake equation - developing a technological civilization capable of radio(and/or space travel).
 
Displayed 298 of 298 comments

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


This thread is archived, and closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »






Report