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Thread: Evotheory and life in the space

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olli S View Post
    This has nothing to do with the religions, but from the science it follows that it is probable (probable, not a fact) that there is life in the space, even higher life than the human life.
    I think it is probable that there is other life in space (just my belief) but I have no idea where you come up with the idea that it would be "higher" than human life (whatever that means). Are we "higher" life than lions? I have no idea; it depends on what you mean by higher.
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    Olli S is not claiming that ET life will be "higher" than human life, he / she is saying that it is possible that an ET life-form that is "higher" than humans could exist. I think it is likely that by "higher" Olli S means things like technologically and or culturally more advanced. These are pretty common concepts that have been discussed, explored and studied in fields ranging from science to science fiction for decades at least.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olli S View Post
    I don't understand what you mean.
    Olli, the first is the beginning of 2001, A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke. In the book, we're visited by an alien civilization. Rather than just sit & watch us develop, they plant an obelisk in the moon. When we've gotten to the point where we can get to the moon and find the obelisk, that's the signal that we're ready to be contacted. The obelisk signals them by emitting a frequency when exposed to sunlight.

    The second is a reference from Battlestar Gallactica (the remake).
    Last edited by msollot; 2017-Mar-02 at 04:26 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson View Post
    Except that evidence is building that we humans are less different from Earth's other species than some of us have liked to think.

    A few centuries ago, it was easy for Descartes to argue that humans are fundamentally different from other animals, in that we have minds and can talk, whereas they don't and can't.

    Not so easy to argue that way today, when you look for instance at what the bonobo Kanzi has been able to do in terms of using and responding to symbols, and making and using tools.

    Should we think of intelligence in binary terms, as something a species either has or doesn't have? Or should we think of it as a continuum, where different species have different levels of intelligence?


    Whether humans are "the only known technological beings" depends on your definition of technology. For instance, if wooden spears qualify as technology, then wild chimpanzees are technological beings. On the other hand, if technology means things like petrol-driven cars, then historically most human cultures have not been technological.
    It goes without saying that other creatures on Earth are not that much less different, after all we have evolved from the same biological chemistry. If you want to define exactly what "technology" covers then that's fine but for my argument its about living things that can create non biological machines with the ability to go beyond the Earths surface, as an example - artificial intelligence.




    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson View Post
    Looking at intelligence as a continuum, increasing intelligence is an evolutionary strategy that works, though certainly not the only evolutionary strategy that works. For instance, wolves and dogs seem to be a lot more intelligent than jellyfish, and jellyfish seem to be distinctly smarter than algae. No doubt the wolf's evolutionary path has been very complicated, and has a low probability of being duplicated exactly on another planet.

    But does that mean nothing comparable to a wolf, in terms of its intelligence, is likely to have evolved anywhere else in the galaxy?
    No one is saying its not possible. But if you take for example Earth's own history of the evolution of life, "technological intelligence" has only recently emerged and existed for a very short period of time so far.

    Again I'm thinking in terms of the big picture, the journey life has taken and the conditions that made it possible are quite complex. For example would life have evolved if the earth was cooler, hotter, larger, closer to the sun, not protected by the bigger planets, had a different chemistry make up,... there are endless conditions that have to be just right for life (as we know it so far) to exist then evolve. Hence the "Goldilocks" term often used.

    This isn't to say that life cannot exist and evolve in different conditions and using different biochemistry, heck I hope it can! At least then the likely hood of life existing elsewhere increases dramatically. But unfortunately we have absolutely no evidence of any life existing anywhere else but here on Earth. This doesn't mean it does not exist, maybe we just haven't discovered it yet. But it could also mean that life is rare, because maybe most of the criteria required for life to form is required? So maybe even more rare is technological living creatures, because maybe the criteria for those to evolve is even more crucial?

  5. #35
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    He's making a reference to Arthur C. Clark's "2001 A Space Odyssey"
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olli S View Post
    This line of discussion is not good to continue in a science forum.
    On the contrary, this is the exact place for it. A necessary part of presenting or discussing scientific evidence, is knowing just what constitutes evidence in the scientific sense.

    I only point that law science is also a science and the testimonies can be evaluated in a scientific way.
    What is "law science"? I have never heard the term before.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmocrazy View Post
    Again I'm thinking in terms of the big picture, the journey life has taken and the conditions that made it possible are quite complex. For example would life have evolved if the earth was cooler, hotter,
    If Earth were somewhat hotter, life here may well have evolved in greater diversity. Compare the abundance and variety of visible plants and animals in the warmth of the Amazon rain forest, compared to those in the cool of Antarctica.

    larger, closer to the sun, not protected by the bigger planets,
    It's debatable whether planets like Jupiter protect Earth from asteroids and comets, or send more asteroids and comets in our general direction. From the Wikipedia page Rare Earth hypothesis: "A study by Horner and Jones (2008) using computer simulation found that while the total effect on all orbital bodies within the Solar System is unclear, Jupiter has caused more impacts on Earth than it has prevented.[79] Lexell's Comet, a 1770 near miss that passed closer to Earth than any other comet in recorded history, was known to be caused by the gravitational influence of Jupiter."

    had a different chemistry make up,... there are endless conditions that have to be just right for life (as we know it so far) to exist then evolve.
    Endless? Considering the number of stars in the galaxy, and what we now know about the proportion of the stars with planets, the list of preconditions would indeed need to approach "endless" to prevent life of comparable complexity from evolving some else in the galaxy.

    Hence the "Goldilocks" term often used.

    This isn't to say that life cannot exist and evolve in different conditions and using different biochemistry, heck I hope it can! At least then the likely hood of life existing elsewhere increases dramatically. But unfortunately we have absolutely no evidence of any life existing anywhere else but here on Earth.
    Considering planets which are Earth-like in the sense of having liquid water on the surface, we have one example where beings like us have evolved, and zero examples where they haven't.

    This doesn't mean it does not exist, maybe we just haven't discovered it yet.
    Exactly. Regarding life as such, including microbial life, we haven't even had a thorough look for it in our own solar system.

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    Olli, keep in mind that we have zero evidence of life in space, and zero evidence of any intellient lifr elsewhere. Your assertions are meaningless.

    This is a science forum. Best to stick to the facts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Mendenhall View Post
    Olli, keep in mind that we have zero evidence of life in space,
    Which of the following describes how you think about "Earth" and "space"

    1. Earth is one place; and space (including other planets) is somewhere else? or
    2. Earth is a location in space, just as other planets are?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson View Post
    Which of the following describes how you think about "Earth" and "space"

    1. Earth is one place; and space (including other planets) is somewhere else? or
    2. Earth is a location in space, just as other planets are?
    Careful. It could be a trap.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    I think it is probable that there is other life in space (just my belief) but I have no idea where you come up with the idea that it would be "higher" than human life (whatever that means). Are we "higher" life than lions? I have no idea; it depends on what you mean by higher.
    The next stage is the Technological Singularity, where AI takes over.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technological_singularity

    In theory this will happen to every technological intelligence. So the "higher" forms of "life" in the universe are not actually life, at least in the biological sense.

    As to the OP, somewhere there is some huge mistake in the estimate. Somehow, evolution of a technological intelligence is exceedingly unlikely.

    Either that, or billion-year old AI superintelligences have very different drivers for their behaviours, and they've no interest in us whatsoever. After all, we are just too dumb and primitive to know what their properties would be.

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Mendenhall View Post
    Olli, keep in mind that we have zero evidence of life in space, and zero evidence of any intellient lifr elsewhere. Your assertions are meaningless.

    This is a science forum. Best to stick to the facts.
    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson View Post
    Which of the following describes how you think about "Earth" and "space"

    1. Earth is one place; and space (including other planets) is somewhere else? or
    2. Earth is a location in space, just as other planets are?
    Quote Originally Posted by 01101001 View Post
    Careful. It could be a trap.

    Eye state: rolling.
    Of course it's a "trap". If we think of space (including other planets) as everywhere except Earth, that's a survival from the cosmology of Aristotle and Ptolemy. On the other hand, if we think of Earth (like other planets) as being a location in space, then it makes little sense to say "we have zero evidence of life in space".

    Life seems to appeared on Earth soon after the formation of this planet, and today is found everywhere on Earth's surface. Is Earth radically exceptional in this respect? Or has something comparable happened on other worlds which are comparable to Earth in relevant ways (e.g. presence of liquid which can act as a solvent for complex systems of chemical reactions)? While we don't know the answer to these questions, is it not a reasonable working assumption that comparable biospheres emerge on otherwise comparable places in space?
    Last edited by Colin Robinson; 2017-Mar-03 at 09:15 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson View Post
    If Earth were somewhat hotter, life here may well have evolved in greater diversity. Compare the abundance and variety of visible plants and animals in the warmth of the Amazon rain forest, compared to those in the cool of Antarctica.
    A few degrees maybe yeah, but you know full well I'm talking about temperatures that would normally destroy life as we know it.



    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson View Post
    It's debatable whether planets like Jupiter protect Earth from asteroids and comets, or send more asteroids and comets in our general direction. From the Wikipedia page Rare Earth hypothesis: "A study by Horner and Jones (2008) using computer simulation found that while the total effect on all orbital bodies within the Solar System is unclear, Jupiter has caused more impacts on Earth than it has prevented.[79] Lexell's Comet, a 1770 near miss that passed closer to Earth than any other comet in recorded history, was known to be caused by the gravitational influence of Jupiter."
    Well again this is a debate not a fact. We don't know either way how Jupiter's and the other larger planets effected the evolution of life. It was just one example of many possibilities that might.

    This argument can also swing both ways. One could argue that without the meteor that killed off the dinosaurs we may not have evolved at all. Maybe too few impacts and life would just continue to evolve down a single path. Maybe too many and life never gets the chance to evolve at all. You see its quite pointless to argue over the details of which we have no definitive facts about.

    As I said its just one example of maybe many criteria that might effect the evolution of life.


    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson View Post
    Endless? Considering the number of stars in the galaxy, and what we now know about the proportion of the stars with planets, the list of preconditions would indeed need to approach "endless" to prevent life of comparable complexity from evolving some else in the galaxy.
    I used the term "endless" loosely, meaning that the more you think about the evolution of our solar system, it appears that there are an abundant number of criteria required for intelligent life to form that seems quite critical. I never claimed it has to be this way, just that we have only one example, us,.



    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson View Post
    Considering planets which are Earth-like in the sense of having liquid water on the surface, we have one example where beings like us have evolved, and zero examples where they haven't.
    Exactly, and as you mentioned liquid water, we know we would not be here (at least in this form) if it wasn't readily available in the first place.

    Whether this is a common crucial criteria for life to form in the universe is as yet unknown.



    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson View Post
    Exactly. Regarding life as such, including microbial life, we haven't even had a thorough look for it in our own solar system.
    If we find other life on E.T worlds then we can make a better judgement on what criteria is required. On the other hand there maybe abundant life in the universe which is nothing like anything here on Earth.
    Either way we have only one example of life and we have a pretty good idea on what is required for that life to evolve.
    Last edited by cosmocrazy; 2017-Mar-03 at 10:50 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Mendenhall View Post
    Olli, keep in mind that we have zero evidence of life in space, and zero evidence of any intellient lifr elsewhere. Your assertions are meaningless.

    This is a science forum. Best to stick to the facts.
    So, the theory of evolution or the broader science is not working in other planets of the universe? Science is only working on the earth in your mind. This proof here is scientific but only probable, not necessary. From theories follows things. You have right that there is no other evidence yet in the natural sciences. And they are not the only sciences. Logic is also a science.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    On the contrary, this is the exact place for it. A necessary part of presenting or discussing scientific evidence, is knowing just what constitutes evidence in the scientific sense.

    What is "law science"? I have never heard the term before.
    Religion is not allowed. There was a warning of the moderator. This matter can not be handled in the way you are suggesting.

    The legal science, the juridics or what it is in english. I mean the science of investigating the testimonies, the persons and what they have seen. It is not only a natural science, it is social science and psychology. There is an eternal dispute in those circles of these things. The ultimate sceptics never approve any testimonies of Ufo's and things like that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olli S View Post
    You are right, exactly it is so that the science and the theory of the evolution make it probable that there is life, even higher than the human life, in the space, because life is probable, and evolution, even cultural evolution goes further inevitably sometimes, somewhere. So many places and times.
    You don't know how probable life is. It may be unique to Earth. It may exist on every planet in the universe. Or it may exist on 1 in a billion planets. We (currently) have no way of knowing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmocrazy View Post
    Exactly, and as you mentioned liquid water, we know we would not be here (at least in this form) if it wasn't readily available in the first place.
    True. However, water is a stable compound of two of the commonest atoms in the universe, hydrogen and oxygen. And even in this solar system, water molecules have been identified in a number of places, not always liquid of course, but there seems to be good evidence of transient flows of liquid water on Mars today, as well as liquid oceans there a few billion years ago, Venus has some liquid water in its clouds, geysers on Enceladus show that there is subsurface liquid water there...

    Given what we now know about the proportion of stars with planets, how likely is it that Earth is the only one in the galaxy with stable seas of liquid water on its surface?

    Whether this is a common crucial criteria for life to form in the universe is as yet unknown.
    If we consider life in functional terms, as a chemical system which can grow and reproduce, and if we look at known principles of chemistry and thermodynamics, then different chemistries of life e.g. in the hydrocarbon liquid surface lakes of Titan is a distinct possibility.

    Either way we have only one example of life and we have a pretty good idea on what is required for that life to evolve.
    We have a pretty good idea of basic requirements, such as bodies of liquid, energy sources, and organic compounds... What other requirements do we have a pretty good idea of?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    You don't know how probable life is. It may be unique to Earth.
    Given what we now know about the number of planets in the universe, there is only one way life could be unique to Earth. That is if the beginning of life, known as abiogenesis, requires an event of vanishingly low probability. An event that could be thought of as the mother of all flukes. Some scientists (e.g. Jacques Monod) have seriously suggested that this may be true. BUT recent work on the thermodynamics and the chemistry involved in the origin of life (e.g. by John Sutherland) seems to show, not in detail but in broad outline, how life could emerge from a gradual process whose probability is not vanishingly low.

    If we have to choose between explaining life's origin via a highly improbable event, or via a not-so-improbable process, isn't it reasonable to say that the highly-improbable-event explanation is, well, highly improbable?

    It may exist on every planet in the universe.
    Including ones like Mercury, with almost no atmosphere?

    Or it may exist on 1 in a billion planets.
    Considering that there are about 400 billion stars in this galaxy, at least half of which seem to have planets... Estimated one to two trillion galaxies in the universe, based on recent data from Hubble... If life does exist on one in a billion planets, then the total number of worlds with life would be in the order of hundreds of trillions.
    Last edited by Colin Robinson; 2017-Mar-04 at 01:16 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olli S View Post
    Religion is not allowed. There was a warning of the moderator. This matter can not be handled in the way you are suggesting.

    The legal science, the juridics or what it is in english. I mean the science of investigating the testimonies, the persons and what they have seen. It is not only a natural science, it is social science and psychology. There is an eternal dispute in those circles of these things. The ultimate sceptics never approve any testimonies of Ufo's and things like that.
    I made no mention of religion.

    I am skeptical of UFOs being aliens because there never seems to be any hard evidence to back up the stories. I guess I am what you would consider an "ultimate skeptic", then.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson View Post
    If Earth were somewhat hotter, life here may well have evolved in greater diversity. Compare the abundance and variety of visible plants and animals in the warmth of the Amazon rain forest, compared to those in the cool of Antarctica.
    AFAIK it's moisture, not heat, that makes jungles so full of life. Hot deserts can be comparatively barren, while temperate rain forests can show an abundance of life. There is more rainfall at the equator, hence why land life there is more common and varied. A hot Earth might well be drier, thus have less life than our own Earth.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    AFAIK it's moisture, not heat, that makes jungles so full of life. Hot deserts can be comparatively barren, while temperate rain forests can show an abundance of life.
    Life on Earth needs liquid water for metabolism, so of course regions with comparatively little precipitation are going to be populated more sparsely by living things.

    There is more rainfall at the equator, hence why land life there is more common and varied.
    One of the factors is that over much of Earth's surface, winter precipitation is in the form of snow instead of rain...

    A hot Earth might well be drier, thus have less life than our own Earth.
    A hot dry Earth might have less life, but a hot moist Earth would likely have more... Provided of course the biota had a chance to adapt I'm not talking about the relatively fast global warming Earth is getting right now.

    What I'm questioning is the concept that Earth today is ideal for life. It may look that way, compared to other worlds of this solar system. But other stars could well have planets and/or moons which are more life-friendly than Earth. Superhabitable is a term which has been put forward for places like that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olli S View Post
    So, the theory of evolution or the broader science is not working in other planets of the universe? Science is only working on the earth in your mind. This proof here is scientific but only probable, not necessary. From theories follows things. You have right that there is no other evidence yet in the natural sciences. And they are not the only sciences. Logic is also a science.
    Evolution theory is a scientific theory. Its predictive usefulness in science is bound by the contexts from which it was derived. Those contexts are currently limited to Earth's geoscience and Earth's biological organisation, throughout time.

    Scientific theories are also developed via adherence to a very well-defined thinking process (by humans). Thinking outside of that process is not scientific thinking. (Logic for example, has its basis in philosophical thinking .. which differs from scientific thinking. Philosophical logic is thus not Science).

    Scientific theories are always provisional and are subject to change upon the production of objective evidence (via the scientific process). There is no objective empirical evidence for Evolution theory's applicability from beyond the Earth context. Predictions made from theory, until tested, do not meet the criteria for objective evidence independently from the application of philosophical logic, (which is not part the formalised process defining science). Any predictions made from Evolution theory about life beyond Earth, have not yet produced unequivocal objective evidence. Evolution theory thus cannot be said as being universally applicable (ie: beyond the terrestrially evidenced contexts).

    Evolution theory cannot be said as 'not working in other planets of the universe' .. this is presently unknown, (because this has not yet been objectively tested).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson View Post
    What I'm questioning is the concept that Earth today is ideal for life. It may look that way, compared to other worlds of this solar system. But other stars could well have planets and/or moons which are more life-friendly than Earth. Superhabitable is a term which has been put forward for places like that.
    This is a fair question,

    It is clear that life as we know it flourishes in certain environmental conditions. Maybe Earth is not the perfect place for life to flourish, but it ain't bad! We have millions of species of life forms most of which reside in the oceans.

    Its pretty clear that if planets are found to have environmental conditions much similar to Earth then the chance of life emerging on them is extremely likely.

    But how that life would then evolve is not so straight forward. Many more factors have to be considered, which may play a vital part in the evolutionary path.
    The path from simple single cell life to form and then for that to evolve into intelligent life seems to be quite a complex one. Here on Earth we have evidence of this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    You don't know how probable life is. It may be unique to Earth. It may exist on every planet in the universe. Or it may exist on 1 in a billion planets. We (currently) have no way of knowing.
    We don't know how probable, that is true. Bit it is very probable that it is over 0, perhaps almost 1.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    I made no mention of religion.

    I am skeptical of UFOs being aliens because there never seems to be any hard evidence to back up the stories. I guess I am what you would consider an "ultimate skeptic", then.
    You didn't make, but to make my point fully is impossible without considering some aspects of the religions. So I can not make it here in a science forum.

    I too think that most UFOs and contacts with persons in them are not contacts with the aliens. Here also the explanation goes over science sometimes. But some of them have genuine testimonies of genuine vitnesses. This is a matter of hard study and evidence, that never seems to be good with the skeptics. With the same logic nobody can ever be shown to commit crimes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olli S View Post
    You didn't make, but to make my point fully is impossible without considering some aspects of the religions. So I can not make it here in a science forum.

    I too think that most UFOs and contacts with persons in them are not contacts with the aliens. Here also the explanation goes over science sometimes. But some of them have genuine testimonies of genuine vitnesses. This is a matter of hard study and evidence, that never seems to be good with the skeptics. With the same logic nobody can ever be shown to commit crimes.
    Scientific standards of evidence are very different from legal ones, at least in this country.

    And no, "the plural of anecdote is not data"... That is, in science, non-repeatable unrecorded observations cannot be counted as evidence. It has nothing to do with personal skepticism and everything to do with reliability and testability.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olli S View Post
    We don't know how probable, that is true.
    If you agree with that then ...

    Bit it is very probable that it is over 0, perhaps almost 1.
    You cannot say that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Scientific standards of evidence are very different from legal ones, at least in this country.

    And no, "the plural of anecdote is not data"... That is, in science, non-repeatable unrecorded observations cannot be counted as evidence. It has nothing to do with personal skepticism and everything to do with reliability and testability.
    Of cause they can be scientific standards, it is exactly the same with astronomy, we know very little of the life in the space, in juridical science we have sociology and psychology with technical evidence, very scientific standards, better ones as in inventing life in the other galaxies.

    But it follows that there are many things that are true but science can not say more that: We don't know. This is the case with the life in space. And in archeology this is very clear, we can not deduce from the few remains the whole reality of the ancient cultures. We know that there has even been lost cultures, but we know very little of them. Everybody says that there is many such not- known things. This is about the same with the life in space. Probabilities can be evaluated as people are making here.
    Last edited by Olli S; 2017-Mar-04 at 10:11 PM. Reason: one letter, word

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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    If you agree with that then ...

    You cannot say that.
    From the fact that we don't know how probable does not follow that the probability is zero. It is something between 0 and 1. From the things I have stated it follows it is probable, not zero. In the future day when we have the evidence it is at once 1.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olli S View Post
    From the fact that we don't know how probable does not follow that the probability is zero.
    No one said it does. But the fact we don't know means you cannot say that "it is probable". All you can say is "we don't know".

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