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Thread: Evotheory and life in the space

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    Evotheory and life in the space

    The best testimony of the life in the other planets of the space is of cause the theory of evolution. If in the earth life has developed until human beings in 5 billion years, and universe is 13.8 billion years old, there probably is other life forms in other places too. At least 9 billion years ago already human- level life. And about 5 million years there has been cultures to develop further from where we are now. What kind of beings they might be? This makes probable even god- like beings. This makes the existence of the gods probable, which is more than we have in philosophy and theology, where there is no proof for gods existence. All proofs have been shot down.

    This is of cause only a probabilistic proof, can it be shot down? Has it been discussed here?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olli S View Post
    The best testimony of the life in the other planets of the space is of cause the theory of evolution. If in the earth life has developed until human beings in 5 billion years, and universe is 13.8 billion years old, there probably is other life forms in other places too. At least 9 billion years ago already human- level life. And about 5 million years there has been cultures to develop further from where we are now. What kind of beings they might be? This makes probable even god- like beings. This makes the existence of the gods probable, which is more than we have in philosophy and theology, where there is no proof for gods existence. All proofs have been shot down.

    This is of cause only a probabilistic proof, can it be shot down? Has it been discussed here?
    Similar arguments have been discussed... I think the main counter-argument is what's called Fermi's paradox. This counter-argument is basically

    1. Humans today are developing technology to expand into space.
    2. If other worlds have inhabitants more technologically advanced that humans, those inhabitants presumably already have the technology to expand into space.
    3. Yet there is no substantial evidence that they've ever come here. Why haven't they?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson View Post
    3. Yet there is no substantial evidence that they've ever come here. Why haven't they?
    Sadly, the hard limit of the speed of light would seem to be a good reason why nothing has ever shown up here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kwalish Kid View Post
    Sadly, the hard limit of the speed of light would seem to be a good reason why nothing has ever shown up here.
    The speed of light may well be a hard limit. BUT considering that the diameter of the Milky Way galaxy is about 100 thousand light years, a civilisation spreading thru the galaxy at just one tenth of the speed of light would get from one side to the other in about one million years. And one million years is a very short time compared to the age of the universe, which as mentioned in the OP is about 13.8 billion years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson View Post
    The speed of light may well be a hard limit. BUT considering that the diameter of the Milky Way galaxy is about 100 thousand light years, a civilisation spreading thru the galaxy at just one tenth of the speed of light would get from one side to the other in about one million years. And one million years is a very short time compared to the age of the universe, which as mentioned in the OP is about 13.8 billion years.
    But most of that time, conditions may not have been suitable for life.

    We also don't know how often life begins, and how often life becomes intelligence capable of interstellar travel. After all, Earth life did fine before we came along, and could have gone on without us just fine too.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson View Post
    The speed of light may well be a hard limit. BUT considering that the diameter of the Milky Way galaxy is about 100 thousand light years, a civilisation spreading thru the galaxy at just one tenth of the speed of light would get from one side to the other in about one million years. And one million years is a very short time compared to the age of the universe, which as mentioned in the OP is about 13.8 billion years.
    "Just" 0.1c is quite a high speed to continuously colonize the galaxy at. If they were a few orders of magnitude slower, colonizing the galaxy would take billions of years. With lower speeds having tremendous advantages in energy costs and achievable payloads, a non-zero rate of colonization failures and interruptions, and new colonies not having an urgent need to go to the expense of sending out additional colonies when they have their own to secure and possibly defend, it's really not hard to see how the galaxy could contain multiple forms of intelligent life and still not have been taken over by one of them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    But most of that time, conditions may not have been suitable for life.

    We also don't know how often life begins, and how often life becomes intelligence capable of interstellar travel. After all, Earth life did fine before we came along, and could have gone on without us just fine too.
    In fact, Earth life did quite well for quite a long time before multicellular life showed up.
    And then it took quite a long time for a handful of species to find a niche where a major increase in intelligence gave a strong evolutionary advantage, and managed to successfully exploit that niche.
    And then it was only very recently that the idea of building large scale civilizations caught on with the sole surviving species of that group. Living in scattered small tribes worked well for them, and there was no rush for them to develop something else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cjameshuff View Post
    "Just" 0.1c is quite a high speed to continuously colonize the galaxy at. If they were a few orders of magnitude slower, colonizing the galaxy would take billions of years.
    With lower speeds having tremendous advantages in energy costs and achievable payloads, a non-zero rate of colonization failures and interruptions, and new colonies not having an urgent need to go to the expense of sending out additional colonies when they have their own to secure and possibly defend, it's really not hard to see how the galaxy could contain multiple forms of intelligent life and still not have been taken over by one of them.
    Yes, I'm inclined the think that the correct solution to the Fermi-Hart "paradox" may be along those lines. The galaxy may well contain multiple forms of intelligent life, who nonetheless have to act within constraints imposed by the laws of nature, on what they can do and how fast they can do it. The speed of light being only one of those constraints.

    If so, that means that they're less "god-like" than the OP suggests.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cjameshuff View Post
    In fact, Earth life did quite well for quite a long time before multicellular life showed up.
    And then it took quite a long time for a handful of species to find a niche where a major increase in intelligence gave a strong evolutionary advantage, and managed to successfully exploit that niche.
    And then it was only very recently that the idea of building large scale civilizations caught on with the sole surviving species of that group. Living in scattered small tribes worked well for them, and there was no rush for them to develop something else.
    And in each case, it was just a particular quirk of nature that led them to go beyond that particular step. There is no direction to evolution, no guaranteed steps or stages.

    Even humans developing civilizations was largely dependent on finding and exploiting useful, easily domesticated animals and plants. Areas without such resources remained relatively primitive in technology. To this day there are successful hunter/gatherer tribes in existence.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    And in each case, it was just a particular quirk of nature that led them to go beyond that particular step. There is no direction to evolution, no guaranteed steps or stages.
    It's true that evolution doesn't have a single overall direction. It's not like climbing a ladder. It's more like a bush sending out branches in different directions. Not every species becomes more complex or more intelligent — some become more compact, or more efficient as parasites. Nonetheless, what we've seen on Earth is a gradual increase in the range of complexities, and in the range of intelligence levels. Is Earth unique in this respect? Or is more likely that evolution on otherwise comparable worlds will have comparable results?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olli S View Post
    This makes probable even god- like beings. This makes the existence of the gods probable, which is more than we have in philosophy and theology, where there is no proof for gods existence. All proofs have been shot down.
    I would say it depends on what you mean by god-like. We may have quite advanced intelligence, but we are no closer to being god-like than other animals, except for our technology (which is not evolution). We require nutrition and oxygen just like other species, and succumb to disease, injury and aging just like all the others.

    If you mean that they will be godlike through technology, it might be so but we really don't know how far we can push technology. There are physical limits that may be impossible to overcome.

    To some extent it depends on what you mean by godlike. If it means being able to violate the conservation of energy, for example, then I very much doubt it.
    As above, so below

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    I often wonder what would be the odds of intelligent life emerging in the universe. If we take our own Earth, obviously the only example we have to work with, assuming life would develop using similar bio-chemistry its quite staggering how many factors were required for us to even exist.

    If you list all those factors, just a few examples:-

    1, size and age of the sun
    2, position of the Earth in the solar system
    3, distance of the Earth from the sun
    4, number of large planets in proximity to the Earth
    5, composition of the Earth
    6, available liquid water
    7, the evolution of the Earths atmosphere
    8, ...

    As you can see I haven't even scratched the surface of what is required for us to exist the way we do. If you really take the time to list all the factors then I think its astonishing that we are here at all. Even if you make the list and allow a multitude of tolerances for every point, the fact that intelligent life (as we know it) evolved as it has I think is amazing.

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    Large Moon to stabilize axial tilt, oxygen producing photosynthetic life, warm blooded animals, limbs free for tool use, etc.
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    This discussion goes finely to many directions. We have all thought many of these possibilities. But some of you forget some hard facts.

    First, there is our mankind.

    And: If somewhere the cultures are not developing higher, somewhere they anyway do go. The development of the manipulation of the genes, the speed of traveling, all technology and science and human and over- human development and intelligence, all develop sometimes to a higher level. And don't forget, in billions years. And there is plenty of places even if not everywhere. Everything is higher than now, somewhere. Some of those problems are not problems in the future, and are not problems now for advanced civilizations.

    So, only important thing is Fermi's 3. point. I think they have no interest show themselves to us, for many possible reasons. And the statement that they are not here can be wrong. There is some evidence of them in the Ufo- contacts. And there are the religions. They have interest contact us only via the religions. Or they are in contact with some of us but secretly.

    One humorous point here is that religious people who are against the evolution theory, should thank the theory! From the fact of the evolution we have a proof of gods, not vice versa.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olli S View Post
    The best testimony of the life in the other planets of the space is of cause the theory of evolution. If in the earth life has developed until human beings in 5 billion years, and universe is 13.8 billion years old, there probably is other life forms in other places too.
    Well, let's be clear. The theory of evolution only describes what happens once life has formed. It is silent on the development of life from non-life.

    So, it says nothing at all about the probability of life being out there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveC426913 View Post
    Well, let's be clear. The theory of evolution only describes what happens once life has formed. It is silent on the development of life from non-life.
    In Darwin's original form, that's true. However, the concept of evolution has since been extended. See the paper Towards an evolutionary theory of the origin of life by Robert Pascal, Addy Pross and John D. Sutherland. They argue that the principles of thermodynamics enable life to develop from non-life via a process of chemical evolution, in which autocatalysts compete for reactants.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson View Post
    In Darwin's original form, that's true. However, the concept of evolution has since been extended. See the paper Towards an evolutionary theory of the origin of life by Robert Pascal, Addy Pross and John D. Sutherland. They argue that the principles of thermodynamics enable life to develop from non-life via a process of chemical evolution, in which autocatalysts compete for reactants.
    Good to know.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olli S View Post

    One humorous point here is that religious people who are against the evolution theory, should thank the theory! From the fact of the evolution we have a proof of gods, not vice versa.
    That's nonsense. We have no such proof. You might imagine that religious people are worshiping actual beings and not things that they make up, but there is absolutely no proof that that is true.
    As above, so below

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olli S View Post
    There is some evidence of them in the Ufo- contacts. And there are the religions. They have interest contact us only via the religions. Or they are in contact with some of us but secretly.
    Nope, there really isn't evidence in any of those things. Better look up the way the word evidence is used in science. It means, something that can be tested and repeatedly, reliably observed. IE, not unsupported anecdotes, or blurry snapshots of unidentifiable lights in the sky. UFOs are, first and foremost, Unidentified.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Large Moon to stabilize axial tilt, oxygen producing photosynthetic life, warm blooded animals, limbs free for tool use, etc.
    Yes indeed, the list goes on!

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    Right, but you are talking about the chances of us - humans and extant animals - being here.
    There is nothing to say that life won't have taken a different path if a number of those parameters were different. (Obviously, some are critical, but many may not be)

    The chances of pulling the word 'CASSIOPEIA' out of a bowl of alphabet soup has a lot of conditions on it (picking no less than 10 letters, picking no more than 10 letters, picking 'C', picking 'A'), but that doesn't mean the chances of pulling a name are so small. Picking 'AL' or 'BO' or 'DEE' or any of thousands of other names still succeeds in 'picking a name'.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Robinson View Post
    3. Yet there is no substantial evidence that they've ever come here. Why haven't they?
    Maybe they buried an obelisk on the moon. Perhaps the dimensions of the obelisk can be reduced to 1X2X3, and when exposed to sunlight, will emit a signal that our civilization has advanced enough for contact by this extra-terrestrial civilization.

    Maybe this has all happened before, and will happen again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveC426913 View Post
    Right, but you are talking about the chances of us - humans and extant animals - being here.
    There is nothing to say that life won't have taken a different path if a number of those parameters were different. (Obviously, some are critical, but many may not be)

    The chances of pulling the word 'CASSIOPEIA' out of a bowl of alphabet soup has a lot of conditions on it (picking no less than 10 letters, picking no more than 10 letters, picking 'C', picking 'A'), but that doesn't mean the chances of pulling a name are so small. Picking 'AL' or 'BO' or 'DEE' or any of thousands of other names still succeeds in 'picking a name'.

    But, can AL or BO or DEE manage to invent interstellar travel, or are they too far from our known thinking, tool using letters to accomplish what we ourselves have not even done yet? Can alternate paths lead to the right place to meet the criteria of this thread? Is there more than one end to the paths? Does the "soup" even have the letters L or B or D?
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveC426913 View Post
    Right, but you are talking about the chances of us - humans and extant animals - being here.
    There is nothing to say that life won't have taken a different path if a number of those parameters were different. (Obviously, some are critical, but many may not be)
    Yes true, but "human" is all we have to go on at the moment. We evolved from a certain set of parameters most of which would have to be adhered to or at least closely followed to reproduce intelligent beings as we know them. I'm not saying its not possible, it would be silly to assume such, that different forms of intelligent life could/couldn't evolve. But my point is, the evolution of humans (the only known technological beings) was very complicated and lots of criteria over a long period of time had to be met to get there.

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveC426913 View Post
    The chances of pulling the word 'CASSIOPEIA' out of a bowl of alphabet soup has a lot of conditions on it (picking no less than 10 letters, picking no more than 10 letters, picking 'C', picking 'A'), but that doesn't mean the chances of pulling a name are so small. Picking 'AL' or 'BO' or 'DEE' or any of thousands of other names still succeeds in 'picking a name'.
    Again true, but using your analogy, I would liken intelligent life to the name "CASSIOPEIA" and simple forms of life to the more common, more likely, names of "AL" or "BO".
    Last edited by cosmocrazy; 2017-Feb-28 at 05:35 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmocrazy View Post
    Yes true, but "human" is all we have to go on at the moment.
    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?

    We evolved from a certain set of parameters most of which would have to be adhered to or at least closely followed to reproduce intelligent beings as we know them. I'm not saying its not possible, it would be silly to assume such, that different forms of intelligent life could/couldn't evolve. But my point is, the evolution of humans (the only known technological beings)
    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.

    was very complicated and lots of criteria over a long period of time had to be met to get there.
    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?
    Last edited by Colin Robinson; 2017-Feb-28 at 11:51 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveC426913 View Post
    Well, let's be clear. The theory of evolution only describes what happens once life has formed. It is silent on the development of life from non-life.

    So, it says nothing at all about the probability of life being out there.
    That is good answer. If the theory says nothing of the forming of life here, it does not say nothing of the forming of life elsewhere. But life is here, and there is some natural reason for that. Or we must think that there is not natural reasons for everything as science presupposes. So it is not from the theory of evolution we think this, it is because of the presupposions of science itself or the naturalistic science. So, we must think like this even if it does not follow from the evolution theory.

    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    That's nonsense. We have no such proof. You might imagine that religious people are worshiping actual beings and not things that they make up, but there is absolutely no proof that that is true.
    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Nope, there really isn't evidence in any of those things. Better look up the way the word evidence is used in science. It means, something that can be tested and repeatedly, reliably observed. IE, not unsupported anecdotes, or blurry snapshots of unidentifiable lights in the sky. UFOs are, first and foremost, Unidentified.
    This line of discussion is not good to continue in a science forum. I only point that law science is also a science and the testimonies can be evaluated in a scientific way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by msollot View Post
    Maybe they buried an obelisk on the moon. Perhaps the dimensions of the obelisk can be reduced to 1X2X3, and when exposed to sunlight, will emit a signal that our civilization has advanced enough for contact by this extra-terrestrial civilization.

    Maybe this has all happened before, and will happen again.
    I don't understand what you mean.

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