View Poll Results: Will we contact ET's?

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  • Yes

    6 20.00%
  • Highly likely

    5 16.67%
  • Maybe

    6 20.00%
  • Not very likely

    7 23.33%
  • No

    2 6.67%
  • Other

    4 13.33%
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Thread: Will we make contact with an extra-terrestrial life-form before life ends on earth?

  1. Top | #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jokodo View Post
    You can be charged with "conspiring to X" there's not actual victim (yet) as soon as you take explicit steps with the purpose of bringing X about. (And anyway, are you assuming that laws won't change? I find that considerably more unlikely than that life expectancies won't change.)

    But leaving that aside - even if you agree that they won't be going "to the stars for resources", they'll need resources off Earth's to go to the stars, and a few (or a few dozen) families joining their funds isn't going to make the cut. Why would the rest of us let them take those?
    But the supposed victim hasn't yet been conceived. I don't think it would stick.

    As for the resources--in time it will be within the range of groups. 50 years ago going to space was a major effort for governments. Now it's a major effort for individuals.

  2. Top | #52
    Super Moderator Atheos's Avatar
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    Interesting discussion with lots of different considerations. I'm a bit surprised nobody seems to have mentioned the "flower garden universe" theory. I have no idea when or where I first read about it but it seemed pretty sensible to me at the time. The idea is that the early universe consisted of little else besides hydrogen. The first stars created heavier elements in their cores, then after roughly 4-5 billion years began ejecting those heavier elements in supernovas. A second generation of stars ensued, fabricating even heavier elements in their cores, then ejecting them at roughly the 8-9 billion year point in the universe's history. The third generation stellar systems that had access to these even heavier elements (carbon, iron, lead, gold, etc.,) finally had the necessary resources for life to begin emerging.

    The upstart of all that is that the universe may be like a flower garden that has just now reached the blooming season, where life is blossoming all over the place. We could be one of the earliest blossoms ourselves, or there could be other life forms with a billion year head-start on us. Bearing in mind that evolution has no particular agenda to produce "intelligent" life, it could still come to pass that the level of intelligence we have attained is unique in all the universe, but the universe is a big-ass place. It's hard for me to believe that the emergence of intelligent life would only happen once.

    Anyway, I guess even if this theory has legs the logistical issues of dealing with vast interstellar distances, radiation and other challenges may yet prove insurmountable. But I doubt it. 100 years ago no human had ever broken the sound barrier. That's a speck in the potential ocean of our existence.

  3. Top | #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Atheos View Post
    Interesting discussion with lots of different considerations. I'm a bit surprised nobody seems to have mentioned the "flower garden universe" theory. I have no idea when or where I first read about it but it seemed pretty sensible to me at the time. The idea is that the early universe consisted of little else besides hydrogen. The first stars created heavier elements in their cores, then after roughly 4-5 billion years began ejecting those heavier elements in supernovas. A second generation of stars ensued, fabricating even heavier elements in their cores, then ejecting them at roughly the 8-9 billion year point in the universe's history. The third generation stellar systems that had access to these even heavier elements (carbon, iron, lead, gold, etc.,) finally had the necessary resources for life to begin emerging.

    The upstart of all that is that the universe may be like a flower garden that has just now reached the blooming season, where life is blossoming all over the place. We could be one of the earliest blossoms ourselves, or there could be other life forms with a billion year head-start on us. Bearing in mind that evolution has no particular agenda to produce "intelligent" life, it could still come to pass that the level of intelligence we have attained is unique in all the universe, but the universe is a big-ass place. It's hard for me to believe that the emergence of intelligent life would only happen once.

    Anyway, I guess even if this theory has legs the logistical issues of dealing with vast interstellar distances, radiation and other challenges may yet prove insurmountable. But I doubt it. 100 years ago no human had ever broken the sound barrier. That's a speck in the potential ocean of our existence.
    Still, though, if life is common what are the odds of us being basically first??

  4. Top | #54
    Super Moderator Atheos's Avatar
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    I have no idea how you'd even go about attempting to come up with those odds.

  5. Top | #55
    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
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    Take a sample of particles. Estimate seen universe. Consider what is seen is like a particle. Multiply. Go find the largest published googleplex. Consider it a particle. Multiply. Consider ones estimate as a particle. Multiply. This should get you to the second level in Adventure (game). Continue.

  6. Top | #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Atheos View Post
    I have no idea how you'd even go about attempting to come up with those odds.
    There's no particular reason we should be first. Thus the odds of our being first should be 1 in the number of expected civilizations.

  7. Top | #57
    Super Moderator Atheos's Avatar
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    Still, though, if life is common what are the odds of us being basically first??
    I would think that if by "first" you mean "the first planet on which life evolved" the odds would be much greater against than if it meant "the first life form intelligent enough to develop telecommunications and rocketry."

    It took 3.5 billion years for a single life form to develop that level of sophistication on a planet teeming with life, which if anything indicates the staggering odds against it happening at all. Had the killer asteroid not ended the Jurassic period 65 million years ago it is quite possible this planet would have concluded its lifespan without the development of intelligent beings of that capacity.

    Obviously there are environmental conditions that favor the development of intelligence or we wouldn't be here. Considering the odds against one would be tempted to think we'd be alone, but the massive size of the universe guarantees there are likely billions upon billions of potential planets with similar conditions. Unfortunately the same massive size that gives us the chance of other life being out there makes it logistically inconceivable that we'd ever be able to locate such life forms. But once again there is also the consideration that logistical problems that would have been impossible 100 years ago are commonplace today. There is no reason to believe we have reached the limit of what we can accomplish. Telecommunications helps even those odds as well.

  8. Top | #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Atheos View Post
    I would think that if by "first" you mean "the first planet on which life evolved" the odds would be much greater against than if it meant "the first life form intelligent enough to develop telecommunications and rocketry."
    No, I'm using the latter. We have no idea of how many non-intelligent life forms might be out there.

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