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Old 11-10-2014, 11:23 AM   #41
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"I agree with the OP assertion that science has got ahead of itself in the area of indirect observations implying with high probability or certainty the existence of remote planets. I would feel a lot better if we have actually optically imaged a few planets and that data matches or correlates to what we would expect through indirection observation. "

Here's direct image of 3 exoplanets; just points of light but nevertheless interesting:
First 'bona fide' direct images of exoplanets - physicsworld.com
A few more ...somewhat more recent than that article

List of directly imaged planets

So really we haven't got ahead of ourselves, there are a LOT of planets and therefore a lot of opportunity for life and intelligent life. I think we will find evidence of extraterrestrial life (maybe on Mars maybe elsewhere) but intelligence will be much tougher. We have only been communicating by radio for a little more than a century. If in say another century we find a better way our radio signals will stop. Those signals also get weaker and weaker with distance so they become harder to detect out of the background noise. So IMO unless you can physically go to the planets to check them out (ie some kind of warp drive that doesn't exist) it will be almost impossible to detect an intelligence unless they are very close <50 light years maybe closer.

I personally think it is arrogant to believe that we are the only ones but I also think it is a very hard thing to find/detect given the vastness of space. Also if the intelligence communicates in a manner than we never considered (say flashes of light ie cuttlefish) we will never detect them
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Old 11-10-2014, 11:38 AM   #42
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SETI should be stopped just in case .... ;-)
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Old 11-10-2014, 11:53 AM   #43
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Of course there are other lifeforms out there. The math says it would be more likely to win powerball three times in a row than be alone in the universe.

(edit: I did sort of make up that statistic, but it is estimated there are at least 100 billion galaxies in our universe, some containing over a trillion stars. When you start working with figures of 100 billion trillion, even long odds become pretty good.)

The math also says it is likely we are too far away to ever contact another world species, certainly to establish 2-way conversation over any realistic timeframe.

Of course I also believe that in one of the infinite universes that has been or will be, I was alive when we did establish contact with an alien species. Perhaps this particular universe and time is that one.
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Old 11-10-2014, 03:22 PM   #44
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If you have doubts you must have never seen this:

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Old 11-10-2014, 03:25 PM   #45
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One only needs to watch Ancient Aliens program on history channel. Every ancient mystery or feat is connected to aliens and/or their technology. Apparently, earth is a magnet for benevolent aliens. Tongue firmly in cheek.
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Old 11-10-2014, 06:29 PM   #46
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Seems an appropriate opportunity to post this "Pale Blue Dot":
Attached Images
File Type: jpg pale_blue_dot.jpg (201.2 KB, 15 views)
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Old 11-10-2014, 06:33 PM   #47
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And, more directly related to the OP, here is some reading about the Drake Equation, which tries to estimate the probability that we might eventually contact an intelligent life form.

Drake equation
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Old 11-10-2014, 07:27 PM   #48
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It is difficult for us to understand that the distances between starts and Galaxies are so vast and beyond normal human experience that even in the imaginary realms of Star Trek faster than light travel it would take 75 years to travel back from the other end of our Galaxy - about 75,000 light years. So even at "Warp 9.9" they make only about 1,000 light years per year i.e. it takes one day to travel 2.75 light years. At that rate, it takes 2,538 years to travel to our nearest neighbor galaxy - Andromeda.

My personal belief is that the universe is teeming with life and that there are many many intelligent beings throughout our galaxy and universe. I also believe that the speed of light is an absolute physical limit (unlike say the speed of sound) so that we will effectively remain isolated forever. The physical resources required for interstellar travel at sub light speeds are just so massive that no planetary society would dedicate a majority of its output to such an endeavor just for the fun of it.

Worm holes are fun to think and read about but there is absolutely no physical real evidence for such.
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Old 11-10-2014, 07:45 PM   #49
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I love this subject matter, and I suspect this thread will have its own long lifespan.
As to intelligent life developing elsewhere (forgetting for now any ability to detect them): The universe, and our own solar system, is one heckuva dangerous place. Planetary collisions, large meteors and comets [think: the one that killed the dinosaurs], coronal mass ejections, etc etc all make things quite difficult for complex life forms to develop. Many exoplanetary systems are not conducive to advanced life, at least in part due to Jupiter-like planets in orbits that disturb the orbits of the other planets. Our solar system is relatively stable, which allowed Earth to survive and thus provide the time needed to let humans evolve. And then, throw in our Moon, which stabilizes Earth's rotation. All in all, many "lucky" events needed for intelligent civilizations.
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Old 11-10-2014, 08:00 PM   #50
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To quote the late Michael Crichton, "Life finds a way."
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Old 11-10-2014, 08:05 PM   #51
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Even if we determined that there was some form of life elsewhere in the universe or in the distance past. So what? What meaning would that have?
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Old 11-10-2014, 08:10 PM   #52
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It would explain some of my former co-w*rkers.

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Old 11-10-2014, 08:58 PM   #53
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Even if we determined that there was some form of life elsewhere in the universe or in the distance past. So what? What meaning would that have?
Begs the question what does anything really mean?
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Old 11-10-2014, 09:13 PM   #54
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One only needs to watch Ancient Aliens program on history channel. Every ancient mystery or feat is connected to aliens and/or their technology. Apparently, earth is a magnet for benevolent aliens.
And yet they never call me to just hang out and such.........?
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Old 11-10-2014, 10:18 PM   #55
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Even if we determined that there was some form of life elsewhere in the universe or in the distance past. So what? What meaning would that have?
It would mean we are not alone...
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Old 11-11-2014, 01:22 AM   #56
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I love this subject matter, and I suspect this thread will have its own long lifespan...
All in all, many "lucky" events needed for intelligent civilizations.
Oh, please. "Lucky?" Give me a break. It was LBYM, working long hours, rebalancing, delayed gratification, index funding, not having children and never getting divorced.
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Old 11-11-2014, 02:21 AM   #57
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Even if we determined that there was some form of life elsewhere in the universe or in the distance past. So what? What meaning would that have?
Some people have a curiosity to explore.It is not a crime.We could learn so much from advanced beings that it could open up new countless possibilities and opportunities for us.I always am amazed at those who say we have no business out in space.To those who say that here's a question:Where do they think we are?
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Old 11-11-2014, 08:32 AM   #58
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To quote the late Michael Crichton, "Life finds a way."
As evidenced by the weeds in my yard...
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Old 11-11-2014, 05:39 PM   #59
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I tend to believe that the universe is full of life.
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Old 11-11-2014, 06:10 PM   #60
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We could learn so much from advanced beings that it could open up new countless possibilities and opportunities for us.
Maybe even a great recipe for Human Nuggets.
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