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Thread: Why still there is no Alien contact ?

  1. #301
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    I find it quite sad to imagine us all alone in such a vast universe full of so much wonder. Even if we are not alone (which is my belief) then it could turn out that the distances are so vast that communication becomes impossible to achieve, leaving us in isolation anyway. This would also be a sad thing.

  2. #302
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extracelestial View Post
    The net effect is that this life form would be "invisible" to us for the current state of our technology and an answer to Fermi's paradox.
    No, the net effect is that this life form is "invisible" to us and irrelevant to Fermi's paradox.

    Fermi's paradox is not about the existence or non-existence of "invisible" life. It's about the existence or non-existence of "visible" life.

    Whether or not dark matter life exists is as relevant to the question as whether or not there is life in a galaxy many billions of light years away from us. Sure, life in galaxies billions of light years away from us should exist and should even vastly outnumber the amount of life in just the Milky Way galaxy.

    But so what? Life in those galaxies is outside our light cone and vice versa. They are invisible to us and we are invisible to them. As such, whether or not they exist is irrelevant to the question of whether or not there is visible life in our galaxy which could and perhaps should have colonized our solar system (and thus be obvious to us).

    Now, more plausible solutions to the Fermi paradox are more straightforward. Plain old baryonic aliens could be plentiful in the Milky Way galaxy and we still have no particular reason to have noticed them by now. We haven't even looked at the nearest star systems with sufficient detail to see Earth sized objects in them, much less see any ETIs on them or elsewhere.

    But let's suppose we do develop sensors powerful enough to see baryonic aliens in the Milky Way galaxy, and we still find none. We see plenty of Earth-like planets out there but for some reason none of them have life on them (even though we expect them to be on at least some of them). This would be a paradox. And your speculation that maybe there's plentiful dark matter life would be irrelevant to the paradox. So what if there might be dark matter life? It wouldn't answer the question of why there isn't life on all these Earth-like planets.

  3. #303
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmocrazy View Post
    Even if we are not alone (which is my belief) then it could turn out that the distances are so vast that communication becomes impossible to achieve, leaving us in isolation anyway.
    I find this possibility implausible. The technical challenges of interstellar communication and travel seem perfectly surmountable.

    But I rather hope that life in the universe is less widespread than I expect. Because if life is as widespread as I expect, then all of the nearby "juicy" star systems have already been colonized--and frankly I'd rather like it if we got a crack at interstellar colonization of those star systems. I'm not asking for sims to take over the galaxy, I just want us to have a shot at colonizing a nice little corner by ourselves.

  4. #304
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    I'm sure there will always be some land to give over, and if life is as common as you expect it, maybe they can give us advice on how to settle a small moon somewhere or something, and still make it viable for life.

  5. #305
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    Yes, but there's something somehow more satisfying about achieving something by our own hands rather than having it given to us.

  6. #306
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    Quote Originally Posted by IsaacKuo View Post
    I find this possibility implausible. The technical challenges of interstellar communication and travel seem perfectly surmountable.

    But I rather hope that life in the universe is less widespread than I expect.
    i'm curious: do you think it exists in Europa or Titan?
    what if there was a closed ecosystem experiment gradually shifting from earth's conditions to Martian conditions, proving that life could exist and flourish there in the open terrain yet beg the question why it doesn't?

    see, the way i think of it, i consider GNR technologies to be taking us down a route which pushes us head to head with the fermi paradox. as we go out into space we are going to push earth's extremeophiles to further extremes, we are going to not only imagine but create forms that can live in more extreme conditions, and we are going to collect increasingly more data on bodies which match such conditions...

    the moment we find life it all changes, but until then, and the more places we find that don't have life and the more life forms we form that could inhabit them, the tension of the fermi paradox is going to grow and grow. life will seem increasingly more probable, and the longer we don't find it the question of where is it is going to be a much greater.

  7. #307
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    Quote Originally Posted by IsaacKuo View Post
    ...The technical challenges of interstellar communication and travel seem perfectly surmountable.
    The challenge of surpassing the light speed limit is a "perfectly surmountable" technical challenge?!

    This from the person who could not be convince over the course of a long exchange in another thread that the technical challenges of fusion power could be met. A couple quotes with links:

    "...it's not at all clear that practical fusion power technology is even possible."

    "...fusion power, which runs up against a lot of hard inescapable physics constraints."

    Are you really saying that you consider FTL communication a lesser technical challenge than fusion power?

    At this point, there seems no real reason to think that light speed is not a true and actual physical limit to communication in this universe. How you can call it "perfectly surmountable" is beyond me.

  8. #308
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    Quote Originally Posted by centsworth_II View Post
    The challenge of surpassing the light speed limit is a "perfectly surmountable" technical challenge?!
    Who said anything about FTL?
    Are you really saying that you consider FTL communication a lesser technical challenge than fusion power?
    No. If you reread the post carefully, you should see no reference to FTL communication.
    At this point, there seems no real reason to think that light speed is not a true and actual physical limit to communication in this universe. How you can call it "perfectly surmountable" is beyond me.
    I agree that light speed is a true and actual physical limit. But not distance, which is what's in question. We know light can travel billions of light years, and we already have hardware suitable for beaming communications signals thousands of light years.

    The problems related to interstellar communication relate to pointing that hardware where/when either someone may be listening and/or speaking. I see no show stoppers indicating these problems are insurmountable.

    That's just with radio communication--we also have at least one alternative communications technique, which is physical probes containing recorded messages.

  9. #309
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    Hi Isaac; Would you believe imperfectly surmountable? It seems to me that there are at least 100 possible show stoppers for humans to travel to Centarrii or beyond. You really think ET can find adequit solutions to all 100 plus many more that just make the trip costly, unsafe, and low probabibility of any survivers reaching the destination alive and sane? Neil

  10. #310
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    Quote Originally Posted by traceur View Post
    i'm curious: do you think it exists in Europa or Titan?
    I do not know one way or another. I'd bet on Europa before Titan, though, especially if we're talking complex life.

    However, the sort of relatively primitive life which may exist elsewhere in our solar system is not an obstacle to my "manifest destiny" dreams of posthuman interstellar colonization of some of the nearby desirable star systems. As long as our fellow Solar System inhabitants haven't gone interstellar yet, I regard them as fellow adventurers in the challenge of interstellar expansion. And my dreams of space colonization don't involve infesting planets and moons--rather, I like the idea of artificial space habitats. These would be built using resources from lifeless small bodies.
    what if there was a closed ecosystem experiment gradually shifting from earth's conditions to Martian conditions, proving that life could exist and flourish there in the open terrain yet beg the question why it doesn't?
    We might end up with a situation where we wonder what really killed off Martian life. Beyond that, we're getting into endless possibilities for wild speculation.
    the moment we find life it all changes, but until then, and the more places we find that don't have life and the more life forms we form that could inhabit them, the tension of the fermi paradox is going to grow and grow. life will seem increasingly more probable, and the longer we don't find it the question of where is it is going to be a much greater.
    You're assuming a growing mystery due to future discoveries which we have no reason to expect.

    Basically, there is no "tension" so far. Based on everything we know so far about chemistry and biology, liquid water is pretty much a solid requirement for (non-artificial) life. So far, every place with liquid water we've looked has at least some life, so there's no mystery so far.

    We believe there's was once liquid water on Mars, even if there may not be any liquid water in Mars now. Therefore, we have been looking for evidence of past life on Mars--but our search is very preliminary so far...so no mystery.

    We believe there's liquid water underground on various moons, which is a reason why we're interested in exploring them. But this search hasn't even started at all. So no mystery.

    We expect that not every world with liquid water will harbor life--liquid water alone is not enough, even here on Earth. So even if we don't see life in the first few worlds with liquid water, there won't be a mystery.

    As we explore more worlds with liquid water, maybe we will find more and more that Earth is alone in harboring life. Maybe. Maybe not.

  11. #311
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    Quote Originally Posted by neilzero View Post
    Hi Isaac; Would you believe imperfectly surmountable? It seems to me that there are at least 100 possible show stoppers for humans to travel to Centarrii or beyond.
    Really? 100? Start listing them.

    I consider myself a pretty creative person, and I could probably come up with half a dozen potential show stoppers off the top of my head (which I have already discarded as surmountable in my years of thinking about interstellar travel)...but a hundred?

  12. #312
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    Quote Originally Posted by IsaacKuo View Post
    Who said anything about FTL?

    ....I agree that light speed is a true and actual physical limit. But not distance, which is what's in question.....we already have hardware suitable for beaming communications signals thousands of light years.
    True.

    But the original point by cosmocrazy was: "Even if we are not alone ...it could turn out that the distances are so vast that communication becomes impossible to achieve, leaving us in isolation anyway."

    This remains true if two way communications takes hundreds or thousands of years. On a human timescale we would still feel isolated even while knowing we were not alone.

  13. #313
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    Quote Originally Posted by centsworth_II View Post
    True.

    But the original point by cosmocrazy was: "Even if we are not alone ...it could turn out that the distances are so vast that communication becomes impossible to achieve, leaving us in isolation anyway."

    This remains true if two way communications takes hundreds or thousands of years. On a human timescale we would still feel isolated even while knowing we were not alone.
    This was my point and thank you for clarifying it.

    Sending and receiving a signal is one thing, but to achieve any useful communication over such vast distances may be impossible. Unless either FTL is achieved or we make contact with alien life within a relatively small light yr radius from our planet.

  14. #314
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    Quote Originally Posted by IsaacKuo View Post
    You're assuming a growing mystery due to future discoveries which we have no reason to expect.
    i'm stating a recursive IF sentence. in itself it doesn't assume anything on whether we'll discover life, but rather simply that if we'll continue to explore the limits of biology and successfully push them, and if we'll continue to explore bodies in space and not find life on them, as our capacity for diversifying life & collecting data over places will have an increasing match rate, examples of places where life could exist but doesn't, and the fermi paradox's tension will grow (& repeat command).

    this tension can be described as the accumulation of specific higher-probability cases to the fermi paradox. if right now it can be summed up as "why haven't they contacted us" which builds up on a huge set of assumptions reducing the probability, added examples would be in both the case of not finding life in Europa (adding under energy source-diversity assumptions) or in forming life for which solid water is sufficient (added under evolutionary assumptions). either way, the question of "why isn't there life on Europa" or "why isn't there life on mars" are added. the number of specific fermi cases grow.

    and yes, its entirely possible that there will be zero recursions, zero matches, and that every place that can support life will have life.

  15. #315
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    Quote Originally Posted by brianok View Post
    Why assume intelligence would be a normal occurance?
    For me, more telling is the simple question: Why assume LIFE would be a normal occurrence? The fact that our planet has the 'right conditions' for life, and that life will spring up wherever similar conditions exist, is *extremely* arguable, imo.

    After all, can anyone show me where *we* have managed to create any life from emulating primordial conditions? Or where we have spotted new life spring from nothing (ok, except sea monkeys..)?

    Is that failure from lack of trying, lack of looking? I don't think so.

    When you add up the facts that we can't create life, and that we have absolutely zero evidence that it exists elsewhere or can spring from a suitable chemical soup, then surely it isn't all that unreasonable to believe that the chance of life developing is astonishingly, vanishingly small, and that the further chance of it developing beyond microbia is infinitesimally tinier, and that the chance of it developing technology involving space travel and/or communications, pretty much just vanished altogether...

    <devil's advocate> So I am firmly of the opinion that we are most likely completely unique, or so close to it that the chances of anyone else being within 'coo-ee' range are not even worth considering.
    </da>

    I'll be delighted to be proven wrong, and I don't find the thought depressing, just fascinating..

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    Quote Originally Posted by chrlzs View Post
    For me, more telling is the simple question: Why assume LIFE would be a normal occurrence? The fact that our planet has the 'right conditions' for life, and that life will spring up wherever similar conditions exist, is *extremely* arguable, imo.

    After all, can anyone show me where *we* have managed to create any life from emulating primordial conditions? Or where we have spotted new life spring from nothing (ok, except sea monkeys..)?

    Is that failure from lack of trying, lack of looking? I don't think so.

    When you add up the facts that we can't create life, and that we have absolutely zero evidence that it exists elsewhere or can spring from a suitable chemical soup, then surely it isn't all that unreasonable to believe that the chance of life developing is astonishingly, vanishingly small, and that the further chance of it developing beyond microbia is infinitesimally tinier, and that the chance of it developing technology involving space travel and/or communications, pretty much just vanished altogether...

    <devil's advocate> So I am firmly of the opinion that we are most likely completely unique, or so close to it that the chances of anyone else being within 'coo-ee' range are not even worth considering.
    </da>

    I'll be delighted to be proven wrong, and I don't find the thought depressing, just fascinating..
    And so, I ask yet again, what do you think makes this planet unique that it gave rise to life unlike anywhere else (by your outlook) in the entire vast universe? There are trillions upon trillions of stars...many (most?) with planets. What makes this one unique out of all that? And how can you possibly know when we have only barely begun looking at all?

  17. #317
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmocrazy View Post
    Sending and receiving a signal is one thing, but to achieve any useful communication over such vast distances may be impossible. Unless either FTL is achieved or we make contact with alien life within a relatively small light yr radius from our planet.
    Whether it's useful, or provides a feeling of isolation, are matters of opinion.

    I think it would be fascinating to be part of an amazing interstellar or even intergalactic conversation. Just because the response loop times are vast from a human perspective (currently--who knows with mind uploads and/or cryogenic hibernation), that wouldn't stop us from shouting out and both asking questions and replying to them. Even if we were just eavesdropping on ongoing alien babbling, just listening in on what the aliens feel like transmitting to us (a so-far non-speaker) would be interesting.

    Imagine, for instance, that aliens from Triangulum decide the most awesome thing they have to offer to the universe is their equivalent of "American Idol", and they blare it out to everyone in the nearby galaxies. That would be pretty amazing to study even if the entertainment value was less than zero. And some of us Milky Way galaxy residents might answer back with our own equivalents, or whatever we think is important, or simply a message to please ask them to "stop it" (this message might be conveyed in the form of deadly X-ray "death star" lasers). Who knows? It might even form part of the intra-galactic conversation as fellow Milky Way galaxy residents complain about those horrid Triangulum transmissions in their communications with each other.

    In my opinion, this would be a great deal more interesting than being truly isolated with no communication, thus this sort of interstellar communication would be "useful" and would ameliorate a sense of "loneliness".

  18. #318
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrlzs View Post
    For me, more telling is the simple question: Why assume LIFE would be a normal occurrence? The fact that our planet has the 'right conditions' for life, and that life will spring up wherever similar conditions exist, is *extremely* arguable, imo.

    After all, can anyone show me where *we* have managed to create any life from emulating primordial conditions? Or where we have spotted new life spring from nothing (ok, except sea monkeys..)?

    Is that failure from lack of trying, lack of looking? I don't think so.
    yep, it could come down to that:
    we have recreated the formation of chemical compounds suitable for life.
    we know how life can evolve from its starting point.
    its the middle link in the middle we don't know... yet.

    and its conditions could be extremely rare: for example its possible that our life happened here because of contradicting conditions between Theia (Luna) & earth, that substances from one hit the other but do not happen naturally on the same environment and when they happen on any similar cases throughout the galaxy they have an extremely low survival rate in regard to the necessary impact itself.

    such an hypothesis would seem very improbable on it's face, but not if the improbability of life happens to be a requirement.

    this doesn't make it a miracle, it just means that in a 1 in a billion chance it happened to be us, and as ridicules as that result may seem, it would just so happen to seem just as ridicules if it happened anywhere else where life has developed a sense of humor to grasp how ridicules it is.

  19. #319
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    Quote Originally Posted by IsaacKuo View Post
    Whether it's useful, or provides a feeling of isolation, are matters of opinion.

    I think it would be fascinating to be part of an amazing interstellar or even intergalactic conversation. Just because the response loop times are vast from a human perspective (currently--who knows with mind uploads and/or cryogenic hibernation), that wouldn't stop us from shouting out and both asking questions and replying to them. Even if we were just eavesdropping on ongoing alien babbling, just listening in on what the aliens feel like transmitting to us (a so-far non-speaker) would be interesting.

    Imagine, for instance, that aliens from Triangulum decide the most awesome thing they have to offer to the universe is their equivalent of "American Idol", and they blare it out to everyone in the nearby galaxies. That would be pretty amazing to study even if the entertainment value was less than zero. And some of us Milky Way galaxy residents might answer back with our own equivalents, or whatever we think is important, or simply a message to please ask them to "stop it" (this message might be conveyed in the form of deadly X-ray "death star" lasers). Who knows? It might even form part of the intra-galactic conversation as fellow Milky Way galaxy residents complain about those horrid Triangulum transmissions in their communications with each other.

    In my opinion, this would be a great deal more interesting than being truly isolated with no communication, thus this sort of interstellar communication would be "useful" and would ameliorate a sense of "loneliness".
    I partly agree with you and my personal desire is this to be true. But I have to accept what appears to be physical reality. At present that reality is that 2 way communication over the distances we are talking about becomes almost impossible, due to the light speed limit and our human mortality.

  20. #320
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrlzs View Post
    For me, more telling is the simple question: Why assume LIFE would be a normal occurrence? The fact that our planet has the 'right conditions' for life, and that life will spring up wherever similar conditions exist, is *extremely* arguable, imo.

    After all, can anyone show me where *we* have managed to create any life from emulating primordial conditions? Or where we have spotted new life spring from nothing (ok, except sea monkeys..)?

    Is that failure from lack of trying, lack of looking? I don't think so.

    When you add up the facts that we can't create life, and that we have absolutely zero evidence that it exists elsewhere or can spring from a suitable chemical soup, then surely it isn't all that unreasonable to believe that the chance of life developing is astonishingly, vanishingly small, and that the further chance of it developing beyond microbial is infinitesimally tinier, and that the chance of it developing technology involving space travel and/or communications, pretty much just vanished altogether...

    <devil's advocate> So I am firmly of the opinion that we are most likely completely unique, or so close to it that the chances of anyone else being within 'coo-ee' range are not even worth considering.
    </da>

    I'll be delighted to be proven wrong, and I don't find the thought depressing, just fascinating..
    Its a possibility but I don't buy it. Have we lost sight of just how vast this observable universe is and possibly how much larger it might actually be? Folks we are talking about trillions upon trillions of stars. Which means the possibility and likelihood of trillions upon trillions of solar systems harbouring planets! To say that there could be odds of us being unique seems a pointless suggestion in my view. Yes we could be the first technological life, since someone has to be just that, but to imagine life here on Earth being the only life?? no chance.
    I still stand by my opinion that we have not made contact due to the fact we ain't been sending and looking for signals long enough. For me it just boils down to time.

  21. #321
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmocrazy View Post
    I partly agree with you and my personal desire is this to be true. But I have to accept what appears to be physical reality. At present that reality is that 2 way communication over the distances we are talking about becomes almost impossible, due to the light speed limit and our human mortality.
    Nothing I stated is impossible. It assumes the light speed limit and makes no assumptions about human mortality.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daffy View Post
    And so, I ask yet again, what do you think makes this planet unique that it gave rise to life unlike anywhere else (by your outlook) in the entire vast universe? There are trillions upon trillions of stars...many (most?) with planets. What makes this one unique out of all that? And how can you possibly know when we have only barely begun looking at all?
    Of course I don't know.. But why do you think that our experiments to create life ourselves, or even to witness it generating spontaneously, have amounted to nothing? Where/how is that 'probability' factored into the equations?

    It just seems to me that there is a rather interesting optimism that we willl find life springing up on various planets out there, yet we haven't been able to emulate that one vital step here on earth - where everything is supposedly perfect for life to spontaneously generate - and everything we have investigated so far, be it planets, moons, asteroids, meteors has turned up.. lifeless. A few tantalising hints, but.. in reality, nothing.

    Sure, we've only just started looking, but I do think the fact that we have not yet been able to create new life here, is a rather important point... What do you think was different about the primordial conditions in which life arose, that we are unable to emulate? If we are emulating it accurately, then why have we failed?

    And of course either there is life out there, or there is isn't. So that obviously means there is a 50% chance I'm right.

    In case my clues aren't obvious enough, I'm sorta posting this stuff tongue in cheek, but then again, I do find it puzzling that here we are, clever little beings that we think we are, yet can we create even the simplest microbe?

    Nup.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chrlzs View Post
    Sure, we've only just started looking, but I do think the fact that we have not yet been able to create new life here, is a rather important point... What do you think was different about the primordial conditions in which life arose, that we are unable to emulate? If we are emulating it accurately, then why have we failed?
    I'm no microbiologist, but I would suggest that our failures are due to the fact that we are still amateurs at this business. Consider that Crick and Watson only discovered the very structure of DNA in 1953. Thus the "DNA Age" is only a few years older than the "Space Age." It's easy to imagine warp drive spaceships and artificially created lifeforms, but the practical realization of such imagination might be a tad more difficult.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IsaacKuo View Post
    Nothing I stated is impossible. It assumes the light speed limit and makes no assumptions about human mortality.
    No, its not impossible and I'm not totally disagreeing with you on this but,

    Say we receive a signal thats from the other side of the galaxy, lets say 80,000 light years distant. How would you propose to set up a useful 2 way communication link? Yes we could try to decipher the information and maybe if in doing so we study and learn from them, but this information is ancient. Then lets say they have only learned the capability to send signal within the last 10,000 years. Even if they are 10,000 years ahead of us we will not receive the signal for another 70,000 years. My point being that the implication of the light speed limit has profound consequences on 2 way interstellar communication. Our nearest star Alfa Centuri would require a 8.5 year turn around.
    I would suspect that if we receive an ancient signal but they still have not yet made contact with us in the meantime, then that this means that their technology as far as advanced as it maybe compared to ours then they still have not successfully achieved FTL communication.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chrlzs View Post
    Of course I don't know.. But why do you think that our experiments to create life ourselves, or even to witness it generating spontaneously, have amounted to nothing? Where/how is that 'probability' factored into the equations?
    I suspect there is something very fundamental about life that we haven't figured out yet. Which says absolutely nothing about how common life is in the universe.

    It just seems to me that there is a rather interesting optimism that we willl find life springing up on various planets out there, yet we haven't been able to emulate that one vital step here on earth - where everything is supposedly perfect for life to spontaneously generate - and everything we have investigated so far, be it planets, moons, asteroids, meteors has turned up.. lifeless. A few tantalising hints, but.. in reality, nothing.
    Creating something and observing it are two entirely different things. I can't build a pyramid, but I wouldn't conclude that they don't exist because of it.

    Sure, we've only just started looking, but I do think the fact that we have not yet been able to create new life here, is a rather important point... What do you think was different about the primordial conditions in which life arose, that we are unable to emulate? If we are emulating it accurately, then why have we failed?
    It's a meaningless point. We can't create stars, either, but there they are.


    And of course either there is life out there, or there is isn't. So that obviously means there is a 50% chance I'm right.

    In case my clues aren't obvious enough, I'm sorta posting this stuff tongue in cheek, but then again, I do find it puzzling that here we are, clever little beings that we think we are, yet can we create even the simplest microbe?

    Nup.
    The hydrogen atom is pretty simple. Do they not exist either? 'cause nobody here can create one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chrlzs View Post
    ...I do find it puzzling that here we are, clever little beings that we think we are, yet can we create even the simplest microbe? Nup.
    We are not yet clever enough to figure out how, over millions and billions of years, nature evolved the complexity of life we see today.

    Luckily, the prospects of extraterrestrial life are not dependent on our cleverness, but on nature's. Since nature has proved itself clever enough to accomplish this feat once, I see no reason to doubt it's ability to accomplish it elsewhere.

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    Quote Originally Posted by centsworth_II View Post
    We are not yet clever enough to figure out how, over millions and billions of years, nature evolved the complexity of life we see today.

    Luckily, the prospects of extraterrestrial life are not dependent on our cleverness, but on nature's. Since nature has proved itself clever enough to accomplish this feat once, I see no reason to doubt it's ability to accomplish it elsewhere.
    I agree and see no reason why it would not be a natural occurrence as part of the evolution of the universe

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    Quote Originally Posted by IsaacKuo View Post
    ..... Even if we were just eavesdropping on ongoing alien babbling... this sort of interstellar communication would be "useful" and would ameliorate a sense of "loneliness".
    True. Right here on earth, we can feel a powerful connection with past civilizations with no hope of ever communicating with them. It helps that they are human, but I see no reason why we cannot feel a similar connection to other life forms because of our mutual aliveness.

    So I agree that just as we feel connection to our own predecessor civilizations through archaeological findings, we can feel a connection to ET civilizations through xenological findings, once there is some actual data* to work with.

    *With bits of pottery and scraps of papyrus being replaced by fragments of electromagnetic signals.

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    Quote Originally Posted by centsworth_II View Post
    True. Right here on earth, we can feel a powerful connection with past civilizations with no hope of ever communicating with them. It helps that they are human, but I see no reason why we cannot feel a similar connection to other life forms because of our mutual aliveness.

    So I agree that just as we feel connection to our own predecessor civilizations through archaeological findings, we can feel a connection to ET civilizations through xenological findings, once there is some actual data* to work with.

    *With bits of pottery and scraps of papyrus being replaced by fragments of electromagnetic signals.
    This for me would be the most probable step in finding evidence of "intelligent e.t life".

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmocrazy View Post
    I agree and see no reason why it would not be a natural occurrence as part of the evolution of the universe
    Agreed. But there is also no evidence whatsoever to help us to identify what the probability of life is, given a set of criteria that we are merely guessing at.

    The statement that there are myriads of stars/planets and therefore the chance is high, is not really valid - we can in no way quantify that chance, as we only have direct evidence of one single situation where it took place.

    It's a bit like saying that there will, in fact, be a copy of the entire works of Shakespeare out there created by that team of monkeys, given that the universe is infinite... But is anyone expecting to see that?

    Like I said, I'm just being a devil's advocate. But I would reiterate that we have simply have no idea how likely life is to begin elsewhere. To quote from Wiki (shudder), emphasis mine:

    Geological evidence from the Earth suggests that [the probability of life beginning on any given suitable planet] may be very high; life on Earth appears to have begun around the same time as favorable conditions arose, suggesting that abiogenesis may be relatively common once conditions are right. However, this evidence only looks at the Earth (a single model planet), and contains anthropic bias, as the planet of study was not chosen randomly, but by the living organisms that already inhabit it (ourselves). Also countering this argument is that there is no evidence for abiogenesis occurring more than once on the Earth—that is, all terrestrial life stems from a common origin. If abiogenesis were more common it would be speculated to have occurred more than once on the Earth. In addition, from a classical hypothesis testing standpoint, there are zero degrees of freedom, permitting no valid estimates to be made.


    ..just sayin'..

    I'd like a little more scientific rigour applied!

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