View Poll Results: How many intelligent civilizations are there in the Milky Way?

Voters
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  • 1 (us)

    50 21.83%
  • 10

    44 19.21%
  • 100

    32 13.97%
  • 1,000

    36 15.72%
  • 10,000 or more

    67 29.26%
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Thread: How many intelligent civilizations in the Milky Way?

  1. #1
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    How many intelligent civilizations in the Milky Way?

    This is a poll in companion to the Rare Earth thread. Feel free to comment along with your vote.
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

  2. #2
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    How many intelligent civilizations in the Milky Way?

    1 (us)
    10
    100
    1,000
    10,000 or more
    What about other countries. \/

  3. #3
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    Wot? no zero??

    PS: link

  4. #4
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    I goofed. Meant to click 1,000 and hit 100 instead. #-o

    As for as my 1,000 I actually think it's probably higher but 10,000+ was too high IMO. My reasoning? The fact that I think there are other intelligent civilizations out there coupled with the enormous amount of stars in our galaxy. A couple thousand is really not that much when you think about it and goes with my (unsupported) opinion that intelligent ET life is not all that prevalent, especially in our neck of the woods.

  5. #5
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    I voted 10k+, if you define both intellegence and civilization very broadly.

    Edit to add: I would consider several other species on Earth to have an intellegent civilization, in my broad definitions.

  6. #6
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    Well...we only have proof of 1 (us).
    I think we can speculate, but without proof, I'd say we're the only ones!

    It would be great to live in a "Star Trek" or "Star Wars" type of galaxy, but for some reason I don't think that is very likely.

    Technologically speaking, we are very, very young, so who knows what/who we will find in maybe a few thousand years or so as our technology advances to a level where we can really search the galaxy and beyond.

    I think any alien civilizations are so few and far between that I doubt if they would ever overlap in the time that they could communicate with eachother. Maybe someday we'll find the remnents of an ancient (millions of years ancient) technological society.

  7. #7
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    I voted for 100, by which I mean 100 or more, but probably less than 1000. Just a hunch, really.

    As I understand it, we have discovered very few planets outside our solar system. This doesn't mean that they don't exist so much as they are far more difficult to detect than are stars. Am I correct?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Archer17
    I goofed. Meant to click 1,000 and hit 100 instead. #-o
    OMG! I'm more conservative than you, Archer! I chose only 100 but I actually think it's probably more likely to be 200 to 400 but not as many as 1,000. Then again...any guess could be correct about this subject.

  9. #9
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    I get the feel our Milky produced 100 - and I think some are already gone, due to extinctions

    SETI will take a long time to find them

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by XNBLVR1
    ...It would be great to live in a "Star Trek" or "Star Wars" type of galaxy, but for some reason I don't think that is very likely...
    I agree that it seems unlikely that we live in a galaxy full of human beings in robes with light sabers and samurai mannerisms or sporting red or gold cloth uniforms and beaming up and down from starships to and from Earthlike planets - (where everyone speaks English.) Not to mention all the robots. :wink:

    However I do feel, without proof, and based on the diversity of life on our tiny earth, that life-forms with their own intelligence (not our intelligence,) likely exist in the galaxy.

    We have a tendency to define intelligence too narrowly, based not only on ourselves and the way we think, but unconsciously on our present day culture, including our concepts of abstract thought, logic and the cultural aspects of science; as well as philosophy, ethics and religion. Western culture, which permeates our civilization, and our abilities with technology, color our underlying assumptions when speculating about alien civilizations. (Civilizations being our concept, not theirs.)

  11. #11
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    Ok, perhaps I'm a spoil-sport... but I'd have preferred to see an option for "we don't know"... consider my vote cast as such.

  12. #12
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    In compliance with my traditional stance on this subject, I vote for 10. Life and intelligence must come in unexpected forms.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manchurian Taikonaut
    I get the feel our Milky produced 100 - and I think some are already gone, due to extinctions

    SETI will take a long time to find them
    Just right. My thoughts too.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolverine
    Ok, perhaps I'm a spoil-sport... but I'd have preferred to see an option for "we don't know"... consider my vote cast as such.
    Or the option, "1...ourselfs...we don't know of any others."
    The facts, gentlemen, and nothing but the facts, for careful eyes are narrowly watching. Isaac Asimov

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by R.A.F.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wolverine
    Ok, perhaps I'm a spoil-sport... but I'd have preferred to see an option for "we don't know"... consider my vote cast as such.
    Or the option, "1...ourselfs...we don't know of any others."
    ...but that option is up there --- 1(us)

  16. #16
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    I picked 100, implying hundreds. Something like a fraction of a percent of the stars should have some life, and of that fraction, a fraction might be what we would deem as "intelligent."
    Now down to the business of defining intelligence. :-?

    (I also agree with the fact that "1 sample" is far too little to draw any conclusive numbers, but just for fun, I'd like it to be hundreds... and have one of those hundreds meet us, be nice, and share some sweet sweet tech with us! )

  17. #17
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    Why would they, though? What can we offer them?

  18. #18
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    Apple Pie, Iced Tea, The Bahamas, Carnavl Cruise, Disney Land! :wink:

  19. #19
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    Cultural things, sure. But those simply wouldn't be a match to the technological knowledge that they'd want to trade.

  20. #20
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    The last several posts assume they are just like us. Practically identical in fact. It seems more likely that an intelligent alien group would be very different. Their behavior may not relate to lifeforms on our planet. We still might still be able to communicate however.

    First we will have to discover some Earthlike planets. Or intercept a SETI signal that indicates an artificial source. Then we can take it from there.

    BTW - I voted 100. No reason, just felt right.

  21. #21
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    You're right, of course. It's hard to get away from thinking of extraterrestrial life as similar to us. Look at your own post: you say we need to find Earth-like planets to find life. Not necessarily. :wink:

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Supreme Canuck
    You're right, of course. It's hard to get away from thinking of extraterrestrial life as similar to us. Look at your own post: you say we need to find Earth-like planets to find life. Not necessarily. :wink:
    You're right too. I'm thinking "Earthlike" as a place to start. I think its sound to approach the question of extraterrestrial life from the basis of biology as we understand it. Even with earth biology and evolution we have some pretty bizarre lifeforms on earth. (So maybe we should take baby steps toward alien biology based on earth, before we go off calling solar plasma "living".) :wink:
    But, even if they exist as recognizable, though very alien living biological entities, their psychology may not relate to ours. For example, they might be non-conscious, or in fact, they may not "think" at all as we understand thinking. (Fun to "think" about.) :-?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by TravisM
    Now down to the business of defining intelligence. :-?
    Now there is a though one.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by N C More
    Quote Originally Posted by Archer17
    I goofed. Meant to click 1,000 and hit 100 instead. #-o
    OMG! I'm more conservative than you, Archer! I chose only 100 but I actually think it's probably more likely to be 200 to 400 but not as many as 1,000. Then again...any guess could be correct about this subject.
    I actually thought that when one factors in the amount of stars in the Milky Way my 2500 or so was conservative, but I see that's not the case! If this poll was confined to "humanoid"-type aliens my "guess" would've been lower. I was actually tempted to do the "Wolverine punt" :P .. but what fun is that? :wink:

  25. #25
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    Do you mean existing at any one time? if so, my guess would be somewhere between 50-100

    If you mean the total overall, I would say 1000+

    Archer17 and NC Moore, did you guys answer to "existing at any one time" or the overall?

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Supreme Canuck
    Why would they, though? What can we offer them?
    Just like in the past, a country would want to interact with another...share info, share culture, share entertainment, alot of reasons.

    And I am surprised so many people actually think its just us in the galaxy.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Platinum Rhymer
    ...And I am surprised so many people actually think its just us in the galaxy.
    I'm surprized as well, considering that there are somewhere between 200 and 400 billion stars in the Milky Way! If we're all alone then we really are rare...seems a bit unlikley to me.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Platinum Rhymer
    Quote Originally Posted by The Supreme Canuck
    Why would they, though? What can we offer them?
    Just like in the past, a country would want to interact with another...share info, share culture, share entertainment, alot of reasons.
    Sure, but I mean actual trade. We'd have nothing that we could barter for, say, an interstellar drive.

  29. #29
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    So far it looks like the results of this poll are statistically indistinguishable from a random selection of one of 5 choices. This makes sense, because we don't have a clue about the true answer. Maybe if a few hundred more votes are in, the results of this poll will be more significant. 8)

  30. #30
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    Give it time...I have a feeling "100" will come out on top.

    But was everyone's answer to the question was that it was how many civilizations existing at the same time or overall?

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