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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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12522 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 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.
 
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