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Old 11-13-2014, 12:23 AM   #141
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There are a lot of common types of structures out in the universe in the billion-year timeframe that are reasonably stable following the laws of physics (both those we kind of know and those we don't). For example galaxies, stars, quasars, planets, asteroids, and comets are all types of mass agglomerations that commonly form and behave in common ways because of gravity, etc. Most evolve somewhat through time as their energy budgets change, but they are each a recognizable class of thing. I see life as just another of these stable structures...effectively self-replicating chemistry in a particular P-T-X (+ other parameters) space. Pretty much inevitable given that P-T-X-OtherParameter state, given that non-replicating chemistry comes and goes while self-replicating chemistry comes and stays. So how common is that life-as-we-know-it P-T-X-etc state? Probably not so common in percentage terms, but given the number of stars in the universe, probably pretty abundant in absolute numbers. As others have mentioned, while 3 billion years of earth history has shown that life is a stable condition, it is not yet clear whether adding intelligence increases or decreases that stability. So I have to agree with those who believe that life is abundant out there, but am not so sure whether there is much intelligence. If intelligence proves stable, there should be a lot of intelligent life. If it proves a self-destructive characteristic, then there may only be occasional brilliant flashes of it as the universe evolves.
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Old 11-13-2014, 06:32 AM   #142
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One would ordinarily expect the number of UFO sightings/photos to increase roughly on pace with the increasing number of cameras around, but that has not occurred...

But do aliens "twerk"?


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Old 11-13-2014, 06:54 AM   #143
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Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence - Carl Sagan
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I was going to say exactly that and attribute it to Richard Dawkins. Glad you made the statement first.
Actually, I used to subscribe to The Skeptical Inquirer and suspect I first saw it from another founder of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal named Marcello Truzzi whose quote was "An extraordinary claim requires extraordinary proof." But most people, including me, associate it with Sagan. Dawkins might very well have said something similar or frequently quoted Sagan or Truzzi.
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Old 11-13-2014, 06:59 AM   #144
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The reason we haven't seen signs of alien presence on earth is because of the Prime Directive (here). They're here, probably all around us, just hidden so they don't interfere with our primitive society.

That, and they probably find the term "alien" offensive and are waiting for us to use a friendlier way to describe them.
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Old 11-13-2014, 07:06 AM   #145
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Edward Teller was the first one to de-cloak.

"It was Leo Szilard, a man with an impish sense of humor, who supplied the perfect reply to the Fermi Paradox: - "They are among us," - he said, - "but they call themselves Hungarians. " "

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Old 11-13-2014, 07:06 AM   #146
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...Since I am not 100% sure I consider that it might be true.Whether you are open to all possibilities or not is of no concern to me.I have no proof therefore I am open minded.You seem to disagree with that....
You seem much more open to the idea of intelligent aliens visiting earth than to the idea we can detect planets around other stars.

Yet we have far more direct, repeatable evidence for these planets than for intelligent life visiting earth.
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Old 11-13-2014, 07:34 AM   #147
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You seem much more open to the idea of intelligent aliens visiting earth than to the idea we can detect planets around other stars.

Yet we have far more direct, repeatable evidence for these planets than for intelligent life visiting earth.
I believe our government probraly has the evidence of extraterestrial intelligence visiting Earth.Planets around other Star systems using our technology and trying to detect them requires very,very sensitive technology.It is inevitable that there are other Planets around Stars.There are just too many chances for it not to happen.However,considering that our Sun makes up 99.86% of the entire mass of our own Solar System I think one can begin to see that it is very,very difficult to get past a Stars light and look for a Planet that is certainly thousands of times smaller than its parent Sun and probraly millions of times smaller if what we know about are own Solar system is typical throughout most Solar Systems.It is impossible for me to determine which Planets they think they have found around other Stars is accurate data and which is not.Thus I have my doubts,not that such Planets exist but that what they think are Planets are actually that and the data surrounding it is accurate.I would require a better system of detection by directly observing such Planets that would verify what we think we know and actual factual data by direct observation and see if the two agree.
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Old 11-13-2014, 07:47 AM   #148
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I believe our government probraly has the evidence of extraterestrial intelligence visiting Earth.Planets around other Star systems using our technology and trying to detect them requires very,very sensitive technology.It is inevitable that there are other Planets around Stars.There are just too many chances for it not to happen.However,considering that our Sun makes up 99.86% of the entire mass of our own Solar System I think one can begin to see that it is very,very difficult to get past a Stars light and look for a Planet that is certainly thousands of times smaller than its parent Sun and probraly millions of times smaller if what we know about are own Solar system is typical throughout most Solar Systems.It is impossible for me to determine which Planets they think they have found around other Stars is accurate data and which is not.Thus I have my doubts,not that such Planets exist but that what they think are Planets are actually that and the data surrounding it is accurate.I would require a better system of detection by directly observing such Planets that would verify what we think we know and actual factual data by direct observation and see if the two agree.
The masses and orbits of planets can be derived from radial velocity measurements. If you want to observe a planet close to a star you have to use a coronagraph, to date several jupiter class exo-planets have been directly observed by the new class of 8m telescopes.
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Old 11-13-2014, 07:58 AM   #149
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The masses and orbits of planets can be derived from radial velocity measurements. If you want to observe a planet close to a star you have to use a coronagraph, to date several jupiter class exo-planets have been directly observed by the new class of 8m telescopes.
I think what would be neat is if we can find a Earth size Planet around a nearby Star in the habitable zone.That would be very exciting.At first I thought of a Jupiter size Planet ,but then realized that is too gaseous to harbor life as we know it.Of course who knows under what conditions life could exist.
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Old 11-13-2014, 09:03 AM   #150
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I think what would be neat is if we can find a Earth size Planet around a nearby Star in the habitable zone.That would be very exciting.At first I thought of a Jupiter size Planet ,but then realized that is too gaseous to harbor life as we know it.Of course who knows under what conditions life could exist.
It'll be a while before we can directly observe Earth sized planets, but new IR space telescopes will push the limits.
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Old 11-13-2014, 09:24 AM   #151
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The masses and orbits of planets can be derived from radial velocity measurements. If you want to observe a planet close to a star you have to use a coronagraph, to date several jupiter class exo-planets have been directly observed by the new class of 8m telescopes.
Can you explain what a coronagraph is and how it works?Not only for the benefit of myself but for those who are interested also.By IR telescopes meaning Infra Red?
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Old 11-13-2014, 09:33 AM   #152
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I believe our government probraly has the evidence of extraterestrial intelligence visiting Earth.
Such thinking has always amused and confused me. I'm surprised that people will so willingly believe that their government is capable of such vast conspiracies and coverups, yet that same government couldn't get Bradley Manning or Edward Snowden to keep their mouths shut, or keep the indiscretions of some hard-partying Secret Service agents off the front page, or keep Monica Lewinski quiet, or coverup Anthony Weiner, or Eliot Spitzer, or keep a hundred other embarrassments under wraps. Yet you'll believe that that same government has evidence of alien life visiting Earth, and (for some bizarre reason), doesn't want us to know about it? That they displayed unprecedented multi-level/multi-agency governmental cooperation? And has been successful at keeping such a secret for decades? With no one talking? No jilted contractors, no loose-lipped scientists seeking fame and notoriety, no incompetent fools accidentally leaving some evidence exposed, nobody with a guilty conscience, no deathbed confessions ... nothing.

I'm inspired by your desire to remain fooled.

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It is impossible for me to determine which Planets they think they have found around other Stars is accurate data and which is not.
So you conclude they must be lying? While you may lack the intelligence and education to double-check their findings, surely someone else out here must be able to sift through their data and either confirm it or expose it as bunk, don't you think? What possible purpose would they have for launching such telescopes into space in the first place, and then completely faking all of their results?

Isn't it instead far more likely that these simple scientists are simply doing what they've always dreamed of doing, and exploring the cosmos? Just because you can't understand the (admittedly advanced) physics they're using to make these discoveries doesn't mean it's not possible.
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Old 11-13-2014, 09:45 AM   #153
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Can you explain what a coronagraph is and how it works?Not only for the benefit of myself but for those who are interested also.By IR telescopes meaning Infra Red?
A coronagraph is one or a number of opaque disks that get mounted in a telescope to block the bright central light from an object. Maybe you've seen those images of the halo (corona) around the Sun with the Sun itself blocked by a black disc...those are corongraphic images.

Yep IR is Infra-Red.
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Old 11-13-2014, 09:49 AM   #154
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I don't know. Seems we're unable to determine what intelligent life is IMHO. We've observed whales and dolphins for all of man's existence. Now we're just starting to realize they may have real intelligence. How many years did that take? Heck maybe out of this world life has contacted them, maybe the aliens realize what real intelligence is. Mankind is too absorbed in their perception of what intelligence is to recognize it when it's right in front of them.

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Old 11-13-2014, 09:51 AM   #155
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Such thinking has always amused and confused me. I'm surprised that people will so willingly believe that their government is capable of such vast conspiracies and coverups, yet that same government couldn't get Bradley Manning or Edward Snowden to keep their mouths shut, or keep the indiscretions of some hard-partying Secret Service agents off the front page, or keep Monica Lewinski quiet, or coverup Anthony Weiner, or Eliot Spitzer, or keep a hundred other embarrassments under wraps. Yet you'll believe that that same government has evidence of alien life visiting Earth, and (for some bizarre reason), doesn't want us to know about it? That they displayed unprecedented multi-level/multi-agency governmental cooperation? And has been successful at keeping such a secret for decades? With no one talking? No jilted contractors, no loose-lipped scientists seeking fame and notoriety, no incompetent fools accidentally leaving some evidence exposed ... nothing.

I'm inspired by your desire to remain fooled.



So you conclude they must be lying? While you may lack the intelligence and education to double-check their findings, surely someone else out here must be able to sift through their data and either confirm it or expose it as bunk, don't you think? What possible purpose would they have for launching such telescopes into space in the first place, and then completely faking all of their results?

Isn't it instead far more likely that these simple scientists are simply doing what they've always dreamed of doing, and exploring the cosmos? Just because you can't understand the (admittedly advanced) physics they're using to make these discoveries doesn't mean it's not possible.
Bizarre reason?Please.Look,all goverments of the World want to be the ones who have the technology that others don't.They do not want to share.They want to study,develop and try and build on whatever information they have.No one trusts anyone else.We all want proof.Where it probraly lies in the same place that doesn't want it released.There are people who have come forward and claimed alien beings are real.Bob Lizar and Boyd Bushman are two I can think of right away.I don't feel our government has done a great job at concealing the truth.A decent job maybe,but great,not a chance.You seem to assume we have Space telescopes that can identify and photograph Planets around other Stars with great ease and accuracy.They cannot.For one thing all the projects that we have done in Space with Cameras were not designed to do that.It is coming.Do not look down on me for what I believe.You cannot prove what I believe is not true just as I cannot prove it is true.
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Old 11-13-2014, 09:52 AM   #156
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Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence - Carl Sagan
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Old 11-13-2014, 10:00 AM   #157
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Old 11-13-2014, 10:01 AM   #158
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Such thinking has always amused and confused me. I'm surprised that people will so willingly believe that their government is capable of such vast conspiracies and coverups, yet that same government couldn't get Bradley Manning or Edward Snowden to keep their mouths shut, or keep the indiscretions of some hard-partying Secret Service agents off the front page, or keep Monica Lewinski quiet, or coverup Anthony Weiner, or Eliot Spitzer, or keep a hundred other embarrassments under wraps. Yet you'll believe that that same government has evidence of alien life visiting Earth, and (for some bizarre reason), doesn't want us to know about it? That they displayed unprecedented multi-level/multi-agency governmental cooperation? And has been successful at keeping such a secret for decades? With no one talking? No jilted contractors, no loose-lipped scientists seeking fame and notoriety, no incompetent fools accidentally leaving some evidence exposed, nobody with a guilty conscience, no deathbed confessions ... nothing.

I'm inspired by your desire to remain fooled.



So you conclude they must be lying? While you may lack the intelligence and education to double-check their findings, surely someone else out here must be able to sift through their data and either confirm it or expose it as bunk, don't you think? What possible purpose would they have for launching such telescopes into space in the first place, and then completely faking all of their results?

Isn't it instead far more likely that these simple scientists are simply doing what they've always dreamed of doing, and exploring the cosmos? Just because you can't understand the (admittedly advanced) physics they're using to make these discoveries doesn't mean it's not possible.
No I do not conclude they are lying.Not at all.I just wonder about the accuracy of the information they claim at such great Cosmic distances.I never once said that any Planet detection is not possible.Not once.
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Old 11-13-2014, 01:31 PM   #159
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Thank you everyone for an interesting discussion.
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