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"The Wow! Signal: The Best Sign of Alien Intelligence?"

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  • 7 Good Reasons Why There Might Be Life on Other Planets

    http://io9.com/5969106/7-good-reason...-other-planets
    Whiskey for my men, and beer for my horses.
    TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
    Bock's First Law of History: The Past shapes the Present, which forms the Future. *

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    • The Fermi Paradox is not a paradox, it's just conceit, the idea that we are so darned interesting that aliens would have to come here.

      Points against it.

      1. Distance. Not likely another intelligence-bearing planet would be in commuting distance, no reason to think there's two in this galaxy at any one time.

      2. Interest. Why come here? Grins? Such a massive effort just to say "hi"? They might not be interested in other being, or afraid of them or unaware of them.

      3. Time. In 14 billion years, there could have been many civilizations out there, perhaps even some that figured out FTL drives. But they would have to be alive NOW for us to find out about them. For over a billion years a visit to this planet would have shown nothing but single-celled life. Then more millions of years with complex life that wasn't intelligent.
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      • Originally posted by OpanaPointer View Post
        The Fermi Paradox is not a paradox, it's just conceit, the idea that we are so darned interesting that aliens would have to come here.

        Points against it.

        1. Distance. Not likely another intelligence-bearing planet would be in commuting distance, no reason to think there's two in this galaxy at any one time.
        Distance is the big one. This galaxy could be home to billions of civilizations, none of which ever noticing any of the others.

        Originally posted by OpanaPointer
        2. Interest. Why come here? Grins? Such a massive effort just to say "hi"? They might not be interested in other being, or afraid of them or unaware of them.
        And, if they have visited, why did they limit their contact a few people they happened to run into out in the woods? If they were that interested in us, maybe they might have popped into the White House. Of course, Elvis did visit Nixon once…

        Originally posted by OpanaPointer
        3. Time. In 14 billion years, there could have been many civilizations out there, perhaps even some that figured out FTL drives. But they would have to be alive NOW for us to find out about them. For over a billion years a visit to this planet would have shown nothing but single-celled life. Then more millions of years with complex life that wasn't intelligent.
        It took a long time for the stars to manufacture the heavier elements; so I think life is probably a fairly recent product. Even then, "recent" could be hundreds of millions of years. Not many civilizations on Earth made it to their 1,000th birthdays.
        Watts Up With That? | The world's most viewed site on global warming and climate change.

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        • 'Habitable' planet discovered circling Tau Ceti star

          World is one of five thought to be circling star just 12 light years away, say scientists
          http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/20...vered-tau-ceti


          Tau Ceti's planets nearest around single, Sun-like star

          http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-20770103
          Whiskey for my men, and beer for my horses.
          TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
          Bock's First Law of History: The Past shapes the Present, which forms the Future. *

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          • Originally posted by Pirate-Drakk View Post
            To think the Earth is the only place in the universe with intelligent life is simply regurgitating the "Geocentric Hypothesis".
            OK it extremely unlikely that we are the only ones in the Universe

            But if Science is based on evidence alone

            Then its just us...!
            http://www.irelandinhistory.blogspot.ie/

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            • Originally posted by Wolfe Tone View Post
              OK it extremely unlikely that we are the only ones in the Universe

              But if Science is based on evidence alone

              Then its just us...!
              What "evidence"? The entirety of the Cosmos is outside of our ability to even examine closely, let alone visit. Furthermore, our solar system is far out at the end of one spiral arm of our galaxy, and next to an immense Rift.

              We couldn't be more isolated if we tried, and we couldn't be more ignorant of what might be out there.


              To quote from Contact: "If we're all there is, what a terrible waste of space."
              Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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              • Originally posted by Wolfe Tone View Post
                OK it extremely unlikely that we are the only ones in the Universe

                But if Science is based on evidence alone

                Then its just us...!
                Science is based on evidence but it also uses extrapolation and interpolation between those data points. Likewise, science is all about reproducibility.

                The physical conditions that exist on Earth can not be very uncommon in the universe. Therefore, one would expect to see the same phenomenon everywhere these conditions do exist.

                You wouldn't expect to heat a pan of water on a camp fire and have it freeze. That is not how the universe works. The expectation is that if you heat a pan of water on a fire and see it boil, you will get the SAME result every time you recreate those same conditions.

                This fact that creating the same physical conditions will create the same result has been demonstrated over and over in experiment after experiment. So why would those expectations of reproducibility become one of a unique event, when we exist in a universe of similarity and predictability?

                That would defy simple logic.
                Battles are dangerous affairs... Wang Hsi

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                • Actually, if you know anything abut atmospheric pressure, you know that water doesn't simply "boil"; in fact, it will boil at absolute zero... in a vacuum.

                  However, I agree completely with the main thrust of oyur argument, although "Earthlike" can cover a multitude of situations not necessarily conducive to life as we know it. Just take a look as what is "Earthlike" on our own world:

                  Massive, inhospitable deserts or sub-zero, constant frozen lansdscape.

                  Plenty of water or no water at all.

                  Impossibly high mountains or below-sea-level desert.

                  Dense, tropical rain forests or vast areas without any trees.

                  Land...or vast oceans of salt water.

                  No wind at all to places where the wind never stops.

                  No rain at all to places where it rains daily.

                  If you are an alien, who would you predict what kind of life might be found on Earth?


                  Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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                  • Originally posted by OpanaPointer View Post
                    So why then have humans only been around for a hundred thousand years or so? ~14.3 billion years, minimum, and 100,000 years. Less than 10,000 years of recorded history.

                    Why?
                    If the basic premise of Abiogensis is correct then we here had to wait for conditions to be correct for the first self-replicating molecules to form. Biological polymers form from monomers, both processes which are functions of chemistry and biochemistry.

                    Originally posted by OpanaPointer View Post
                    If the basic building blocks of life were delivered by comet, etc., then the possibility of life would begin as soon as things cooled down enough to allow liquid water.
                    Except that Hydrolysis is the enemy of large RNA molecules, making them inherently fragile. According to the RNA World Hypothesis, which has been called "the worst theory of the early evolution of life (except for all the others)", the formation of RNA predates the formation of DNA. From another post of mine in a previous thread:

                    Originally posted by Martok View Post
                    These processes of how the first life formed which would lead to the first functioning cell generally fall under the umbrella of Abiogensis, as defined in the OP as “the hypothetical generation of life from non-living matter.” The RNA world hypothesis proposes a world filled with life based on RNA, which predates the current world of life based on DNA. (6) In order for this to be accurate, and for the conditions above to be met, the RNA in question would have to be self-replicating.
                    Without self-replication the beginning is the end.

                    Recall that genes, in order for them to do what they do, require enzymes. And that enzymes, in order for them to do what they do, require genes. This is often referred to as the “chicken or the egg” question. Even given that RNA has the ability to act as both genes and enzymes, and this fact is often touted as a way around this question, the problems with the RNA first scenario are not small.

                    Originally posted by OpanaPointer View Post
                    The "primordial soup" would have been primed and ready to start perking. This, if correct, implies that any planet that formed as Earth did would be harboring life while the conditions allowed. That's very encouraging to think about.
                    The extreme conditions which existed during the formational stages of the primitive earth would, or at least could, have lead to chemical degradation of RNA quite quickly. As stated Hydrolytic process can be detrimental to large RNA molecules. Storing large amounts of information in RNA therefore becomes problematic. In addition, “nucleotide isomeric impurity” blocks replication of RNA, compounded by the fact that the nucleotides necessary for RNA formation would have to be come from somewhere. Currently, I know of no plausible method for where this supply would come from.

                    Originally posted by OpanaPointer View Post
                    So how does that square with the Biblical creation story?
                    Other than a desire to argue with a crestionist, I don't see how this is relevant.

                    Originally posted by OpanaPointer View Post
                    YECs are fun.
                    I doubt you will find any here. If you want to argue with YECs, go over to Christian Forums dot com.
                    QamuIs Heg qaq law' lorvIs yInqaq puS

                    (Better to die on your feet than live on your knees)

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                    • Christian forums are quick to ban anyone who doesn't agree with them. You've seen the demands here that people who don't believe "shut up and sit quietly at the back of the bus"? It's far worse on site where people claim to be Christians.
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                      • We exist; therefore we either formed under ideal conditions or adapted to form under existing conditions at the time.

                        Our world is full of extreme life forms that have arisen to take advantage of non-life-sustaining events such as deepsea volcanic vents; therefore, "life" is far more flexible than we give it credit for.

                        Everything else is just academic tap dancing and the sound of one hand clapping.
                        Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
                          We exist; therefore we either formed under ideal conditions or adapted to form under existing conditions at the time.

                          Our world is full of extreme life forms that have arisen to take advantage of non-life-sustaining events such as deepsea volcanic vents; therefore, "life" is far more flexible than we give it credit for.

                          Everything else is just academic tap dancing and the sound of one hand clapping.
                          I like the idea that the black smokers would be the last thing to freeze or boil dry, depending on the cataclysm. That means they are the last bastions of life on Earth, and maybe the first generators as well.
                          Hyperwar: World War II on the World Wide Web
                          Hyperwar, Whats New
                          World War II Resources
                          The best place in the world to "work".

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                          • Originally posted by OpanaPointer View Post
                            Christian forums are quick to ban anyone who doesn't agree with them.
                            They are quick to ban anyone who doesn't follow the rules, and their rules are a bit draconian.

                            Originally posted by OpanaPointer View Post
                            You've seen the demands here that people who don't believe "shut up and sit quietly at the back of the bus"?
                            No, I haven't. In all my years of membership here I have seen no such attitude displayed toward those who profess no belief in God. This website isn't Dawkins dot net, or CARM, or TNZ where the atheist activist lurk just hoping someone will come in and argue creationist theory. The tolerance levels here for varied points of view are traditionally higher.

                            But to stay on point with the thread, I agree with much of what has been said concerning the probability we will ever make contact with another intelligent species from out there somewhere. However I have to believe other intelligent life exist in the Universe and even in our own galaxy. To phrase it simply the universe makes no sense without the existence of other intelligent life in it.

                            Originally posted by OpanaPointer View Post
                            It's far worse on site where people claim to be Christians.
                            We can debate this in the Barracks, if you wish.
                            Last edited by Martok; 28 Dec 12, 11:52.
                            QamuIs Heg qaq law' lorvIs yInqaq puS

                            (Better to die on your feet than live on your knees)

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                            • Originally posted by Martok View Post
                              They are quick to ban anyone who doesn't follow the rules, and their rules are a bit draconian.
                              I got banned for asking "What proof do you have of any god or gods." Five times.

                              No, I haven't. In all my years of membership here I have seen no such attitude displayed toward those who profess no belief in God.
                              Really?
                              Hyperwar: World War II on the World Wide Web
                              Hyperwar, Whats New
                              World War II Resources
                              The best place in the world to "work".

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                              • Originally posted by OpanaPointer View Post
                                I like the idea that the black smokers would be the last thing to freeze or boil dry, depending on the cataclysm. That means they are the last bastions of life on Earth, and maybe the first generators as well.
                                Quite possibly, but that "life" doesn't match our own at all, which means that "ideal conditions for like" is a complete scientific oxymoron.
                                Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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