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(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  
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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»



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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.
 
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