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Are We Alone?
Old 11-09-2014, 05:48 PM   #1
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Are We Alone?

For eons Man has looked up at the sky and wondered what is out there.Today is not much different.Sure we know alot more than we did even a hundred years ago,but the question still remains unanswered.Are we alone?Is there life on Zeti Reticuli where the supposed Greys come from?I am sure I don't know.As far as I know we cannot find planets orbiting around even the nearest stars.The distances involved are just too vast.Atleast for us.There could be intelligent beings that are one Million years more advanced than we are.Maybe more than that.That is a scary thought.What does everyone else think?
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Old 11-09-2014, 05:57 PM   #2
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So many great quotes on the topic.

"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us."

Calvin of 'Calvin & Hobbes'
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Old 11-09-2014, 06:05 PM   #3
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Would you go visit an island if it only contained slugs as the highest life form, considering there are many many more islands to visit ?
Perhaps that is what other intelligent beings think as well !
...........fellow slug
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Old 11-09-2014, 06:06 PM   #4
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We can detect planets around other stars now, even ones as small as our own.

My opinion is that there is other intelligent life in the universe. I'm not looking forward to "contact" though--seems like it would introduce too many changes in the way we think of ourselves here, and in so many other things. At least now we know it is up to us (as a species) to preserve what we have on this blue orb--no appeals to another civilization for help, or worries about the "help" they might provide.

Did the American Indians wonder if they were alone on the planet, or if other civilizations were here? When they found out--how did it work out for them?

I'm quite happy "alone".
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Old 11-09-2014, 06:07 PM   #5
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Often wonder about it myself..............I think I will watch Mars Attacks on DVD tonight.
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Old 11-09-2014, 06:10 PM   #6
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I think the same thing...if there are other intelligent life forms, we must all take great care in contact--it is not unlikely that both life forms making contact will end up mostly decimated from a disease foreign to them. Measles and smallpox played a huge role in the harm done to indigenous populations in the Americas.

Additionally, we need to mature beyond guns and wars to settle our disputes, as does any civilization we may encounter.

I believe we are not alone, but fortunately, we are far far away from other life forms.
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Old 11-09-2014, 06:27 PM   #7
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The math says that there are other life forms out there but I really don't care.
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Old 11-09-2014, 06:30 PM   #8
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I say that definitely there are other life forms.

Especially, taking into account that we are only aware of about 5% of what's out there.

Just because we can't observe the 95% doesn't mean that 95% is teaming with life. But I like the odds
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Old 11-09-2014, 06:30 PM   #9
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There are enough alien life forms on Earth, and more all the time. Why do we need to go looking across the universe for more?
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Old 11-09-2014, 06:48 PM   #10
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We can detect planets around other stars now, even ones as small as our own.

My opinion is that there is other intelligent life in the universe. I'm not looking forward to "contact" though--seems like it would introduce too many changes in the way we think of ourselves here, and in so many other things. At least now we know it is up to us (as a species) to preserve what we have on this blue orb--no appeals to another civilization for help, or worries about the "help" they might provide.

Did the American Indians wonder if they were alone on the planet, or if other civilizations were here? When they found out--how did it work out for them?

I'm quite happy "alone".
We can't observe a Planet orbiting another Star.We can detect possibly a planet,but not observe.We can't see anything except the Star itself.We can't get past the Star's light.Only by indirect methods can we detect planets around other Stars.
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Old 11-09-2014, 06:51 PM   #11
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I've always felt there is a lot of other life out there. Possibly more advanced/intelligent than "us" but still to far out to make contact or smart enough not to contact us.
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Old 11-09-2014, 07:01 PM   #12
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We can't observe a Planet orbiting another Star.
In your OP you said "As far as I know we cannot find planets orbiting around even the nearest stars.The distances involved are just too vast." Okay, so I'm just saying that we can find planets, and we have. Over 800 have been found, some smaller than our own moon

Observing the reflected light from the planet would be interesting and useful, someday we'll be able to do it. But right now, at least in our part of the galaxy, we can tell if planets are there, how big they are, and how close they are to their stars. That, plus the size of the star, can tell us plenty about the temperature of the planet, if it is likely to have an atmosphere, etc. As we gather more information of this type, we'll be able to build a much better estimate of the number of planets out there, and how many are likely capable of supporting life That's pretty exciting.

Anyway, I don't feel alone. Lots more beings to meet right here on terra firma. And, I have more in common with them, so it's easier to start a conversation.
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Old 11-09-2014, 07:05 PM   #13
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In your OP you said "As far as I know we cannot find planets orbiting around even the nearest stars.The distances involved are just too vast." Okay, so the news is that we can find planets, and we have. Over 800 have been found, some smaller than our own moon
Observing the reflected light from the planet would be interesting and useful, someday we'll be able to do it. But right now, at least in our part of the galaxy, we can tell if planets are there, how big they are, and how close they are to their stars. That, plus the size of the star, can tell us plenty about the temperature of the planet, if it is likely to have an atmosphere, etc. As we gather more information of this type, we'll be able to build a much better estimate of the number of planets out there, and how many are likely capable of supporting life That's pretty exciting.
Detecting Planets by indirect methods IMO leaves alot of room for doubt and speculation.I am not saying the information is not correct,however if we could observe the Planet that would remove all doubt.So with all due respect I still have doubts .
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Old 11-09-2014, 07:16 PM   #14
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With billions of galaxies each containing billions of stars (each of which could potentially have planets orbiting them), there might be other intelligent life out there, but it might be really really far away. Not all the planets out there would be conducive to our variety of earth-like life, but there's apparently types of life that could theoretically exist in many different environments than our own.

In fact, the atmosphere of earth a few billion years ago wasn't oxygen rich like today's. Humans couldn't live back then in that atmosphere. But other life did. So even if we spot a planet with an atmosphere rich in CO2, nitrogen, ammonia, or some other gas, it doesn't preclude some form of life existing on that planet.

Some have theorized that the building blocks of life on earth (self-replicating chemicals) could have originated from another planet or solar system, possibly carried here by a comet and/or in debris blown off by a supernova.

Edit to add: if anyone is interested in the scientific origins of life on Earth and the evolutionary history to get us to today, check out The Emergence of Life on Coursera. Great series of lectures on the topic. Free.
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Old 11-09-2014, 07:22 PM   #15
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Even with trillions and trillions of planets out there, the probability of intelligent life would be infinitesimally small, such that it might exist on only one planet among all of them at any given moment in time. Since one such planet exists now, there is probably not another one at this moment in time.

I think we have to assume that chemistry is what it is and physics is what it is. When one does that, then one realizes how special life is and how very very special intelligent life is.
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Old 11-09-2014, 07:28 PM   #16
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Detecting Planets by indirect methods IMO leaves alot of room for doubt and speculation.I am not saying the information is not correct,however if we could observe the Planet that would remove all doubt.So with all due respect I still have doubts .
I doubt that an astrophysicist has any trouble not 'seeing' a planet at visible wavelengths when they can confirm its presence by its gravitational or dimming effects on its parent star.
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Old 11-09-2014, 07:28 PM   #17
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"I think I will watch Mars Attacks on DVD tonight."



Funny stuff there, that will temper your enthusiasm for being immediately neighborly, eh?
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Old 11-09-2014, 07:35 PM   #18
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.......... Since one such planet exists now, there is probably not another one at this moment in time.............
Reminds me of the guy who would carry a bomb onto the plane with him to reduce the odds of anyone else doing it.
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Old 11-09-2014, 07:38 PM   #19
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I doubt that an astrophysicist has any trouble not 'seeing' a planet at visible wavelengths when they can confirm its presence by its gravitational or dimming effects on its parent star.
Maybe so.But they would not be able to do much beyond detection.There was an idea I read some years ago where they were going to put a Space Camera out beyond the orbit of Jupiter or Saturn in an effort to be able to observe Planets around Stars.I have never heard anymore about it. I guess the money is just not there for it.They seem to have money for everything else.
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Old 11-09-2014, 07:54 PM   #20
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I've always had an avid interest in astronomy. I am not a chemist or physicist, but based on my lay understanding of those sciences, it is "definite" that other life forms exist elsewhere.
Advanced, intelligent life? That's a whole different ballgame. The sheer number of stars/planets/galaxies means even the most infinitesimal odds can still result in any number of planets with intelligent life. But nevertheless they're slim possibilities. And finding/detecting intelligent life elsewhere is probably impossible. But I'd be thrilled if we just confirmed any life forms on Enceladus or Europa, our best chances right here in our solar system.
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