S12PPL
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Are We Alone In The Universe?

Tue Nov 30, 2004 9:58 am

Here's a question I'm sure has been discussed in the past, but not to recent past I'm pretty sure. What do you all think about wether we're alone in the universe? Are we? Is it possible we are the only plannet in the universe with intellegent life on it?

The way I see it, is we can't be alone. If Earth is the only plannet in the universe with intellegent life on it, it would probably be a statistical miracle. I think there is a plannet somewhere with life on it, it will just be many millions of years before we're able to invent the technology to take us there. I think it would be re-asuring to know we're not alone in the universe. Imagine how we could better eachother through the sharing of knowlage... Un-fortunately, I feel that as a plannet, we aren't developed enough emotionally to "deal" with another species of life. I think there are too many people that just wouldn't trust "aliens" enough to co-exist with them yet. Anyway...Your thoughts??
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Matt D
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RE: Are We Alone In The Universe?

Tue Nov 30, 2004 10:07 am

From a purely mathematical standpoint, it's difficult to believe that we are the only ones in the Universe, given how many stars and galaxies are known to exist.

On the other hand, if there is an intelligent civilization out there that has reached the level of technology to where they can travel several, dozens, hundreds, or thousands of light years across space that they would pick-of all places-rural Alabama to make their appearance. It just doesn't add up.

Until I see a flying saucer with my own eyes or reports of one landing on the White House lawn on CNN, I still have to beleive that we are alone. All these UFO/Abduction stories-most of which come from places where Firewater and Moonshine consumption is far above the National Average-IMO, are just too far fetched to be taken seriously.
 
theCoz
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RE: Are We Alone In The Universe?

Tue Nov 30, 2004 10:09 am

IMO I think you're along the right track. Statistically, it is very realistic to believe in intelligent life on other planets. At the same time, I believe our judgement may also be clouded by what we WANT to believe.

Too bad that it could take thousands of years to find out for sure if there is intelligent life elsewhere.

Then again, we're too busy shooting at each other to seek out, pillage, and destroy another civilization, elsewhere. We're barely on the verge of true globalization here on earth.

I know if I were an alien, I'd avoid earth at all cost.  Laugh out loud
 
SESGDL
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RE: Are We Alone In The Universe?

Tue Nov 30, 2004 10:13 am

I don't think we're alone in the universe. I'll elaborate later on when I have more time.

Jeremy
 
MHTMDW
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RE: Are We Alone In The Universe?

Tue Nov 30, 2004 10:20 am

If time and space infinite, which I believe they are, we can't be alone. Of course if both time and space are infinte, somewhere several hundred trillion quadrillion monkeys may be stitting at word processors hitting the keys, and one of them may come up with the collected works of Wm. Shakespeare several hundred trillion quradrillion years from now.
 
Matt D
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RE: Are We Alone In The Universe?

Tue Nov 30, 2004 10:26 am

If time and space ARE infinite

This is a question that absolutely fascinates me.

Big Bang versus Creationism issues aside, I've always wondered the same thing. I've heard theories (from devout atheists no less) that the Universe is estimated to be something like 100 trillion light years in size, or something like that.

I find myself asking well if that's the case, then what is the "barrier"-if you will...and what's on the other side of it?
 
Klaus
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RE: Are We Alone In The Universe?

Tue Nov 30, 2004 10:40 am

The idea is that there is no barrier - space itself is expanding. There is no "outside". At least that´s one way of looking at it.
 
Springbok747
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RE: Are We Alone In The Universe?

Tue Nov 30, 2004 10:57 am

No, we can never be alone in this Universe.

The Universe is huge, and the Earth is such a tiny, little speck. How can we expect life to have evolved only on Earth? This picture shows how insignificant we are in this Universe:



Here's the explanation along with the photo:

One of the most famous images ever taken from space could be considered a lousy photograph even by the least skilled amateur who wrestles with today's unthinkably complicated cameras.

That is, if it weren't a picture of our planet. From more than 4 billion miles away.

Reflections of sunlight inside Voyager's camera created the gold-colored beams that frame the planet, which is so faint it is barely visible. A mere pixel of information on one of the world's early digital images.


One of Carl Sagan's famous quote was:

"The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors, so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light."

-- Carl Sagan
From "Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space," Random House, 1994


So, no, we aren't alone in the Universe. There is life somewhere out there, we just haven't found it yet.
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Matt D
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RE: Are We Alone In The Universe?

Tue Nov 30, 2004 11:05 am

I think TheCoz is probably, as of this point in the conversation, the most on target. A lot of it is purely speculative and open to conjecture based on what you WANT to believe. It's very easy to argue that we aren't alone based on the sheer number of stars there are.

But there really isn't any proof to which we can draw any definite conclusions from.

It's also easy to argue in the existance of God and all His works: How could the Universe and all its wonders simply happen by chance if it weren't controlled by some Higher Power?

Again, there is evidence...but no real proof.

I guess it all boils down to what you WANT to believe.

But until we get some air tight, indisputable proof one way or another, this matter will be forever debated.
 
Rj111
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RE: Are We Alone In The Universe?

Tue Nov 30, 2004 11:17 am

Closer to home, scientists think Europa and to a lesser extent Callisto - two large moons orbiting Jupiter - could possibly have underground oceans, potentially supporting (very) primitive life.

 
Matt D
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RE: Are We Alone In The Universe?

Tue Nov 30, 2004 11:20 am

scientists think Europa and to a lesser extent Callisto - two large moons orbiting Jupiter - could possibly have underground oceans, potentially supporting (very) primitive life.

This was a major sub-plot of "2010", the novel by Arthur C. Clarke.

Makes for very interesting and thought provoking reading.
 
Corpsnerd09
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RE: Are We Alone In The Universe?

Tue Nov 30, 2004 11:49 am

If there is life out there, and statistically there must be, what do you think it would be like?

Do you really think they'd be enlightened beings who see us as nothing more than savages, or do you think they'll be as violent and petty as humans are?

Do you think they'd have developed as many lanaguages and cultures as we have, or just one giant planetary culture as most of hollywood suggests.

Do you think they look sort of like us, or they're some sort of horrible unimaginable creature who communicates telepathically?

What do you think these visitors would be like???

Also, do you think that in our lifetime (that is, before 2100) we'll get to hear the first primitive signals of alien life that have travelled through space over hundreds of light years. I mean, eventually, one day, the insignificant little planet full of skeptical aliens who also wonder if they're alone will tune into Hitler announcing the beginning of the 1937 olympic games. If that's so, wouldn't it make sense that those intelligent aliens who visit the farmlands of rural Alabama and their radio signals would've reached us by now?

Wherever they are, they could be in the same position as us, still experimenting with technologies and at least 134 light years away!

Or too primitive to reply... like cavemen.

What do you think?
 
desertjets
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RE: Are We Alone In The Universe?

Tue Nov 30, 2004 11:50 am

Given some of the extreme and bizarre places that lifeforms exist on Earth, sub-oceanic volcanic vents as an example, it is not hard to believe that simple lifeforms exist/existed elsewhere within our solar system.

Now as for intelligent life, or any advanced multicelluar lifeform, that is a bit of a crapshoot. When we look at the arrangement of our solar system and our planet and moon, there are many things that seemingly happened by chance that made Earth stable enough to support life over an extended period of time.

But given the size of our own galaxy the odds of their being a right sized planet with an oxygen and nitrogen atmosphere, having relatively small level of precession on its axis, at a distance from a stable medium aged/medium sized star, with perhaps a moon or two of the right size and orbital distance to shield it from impactors and not create extreme tidal forces are not great... but certainly a possibility given that there are "billions and billions of stars and galaxies out there."
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
 
theCoz
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RE: Are We Alone In The Universe?

Tue Nov 30, 2004 12:19 pm

RJ111: Closer to home, scientists think Europa and to a lesser extent Callisto - two large moons orbiting Jupiter - could possibly have underground oceans, potentially supporting (very) primitive life.


I'd beleive it to be true. The moon IO, I think it is, has what is beleived to be water below the surface which is at 70 degrees at some points. Well within the limits for 'life' to begin. I say 'life' because it may be nothing more than simple proteins, or organic molecules that exist. But it may be a start.
 
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yyz717
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RE: Are We Alone In The Universe?

Tue Nov 30, 2004 12:28 pm

As much as I am in favour of science and exploration, I think we're better off not knowing.

We define life as we see it on earth. There could be planets out there with VASTLY different life forms and toxins/bacteria that could be lethal to all life on earth. I'm happy in our isolation.

Moreover, any intelligent life out there could be 100 feet tall, or 2 inches tall. They could be violent or benign. Let's not assume they are 6 feet tall like us and have similar facial features.

Let's not find out.

Although statistically, I agree -- they are out there somewhere.
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S12PPL
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RE: Are We Alone In The Universe?

Tue Nov 30, 2004 3:03 pm

Wow, very interesting theories, guys! Thanks!

I do think that there HAS to be another life form on another plannet somewhere in our universe. We can't be so unique that we're the only ones anywhere. Now, to branch off of my original post...:

What about space travel? Is it possible for us to travel the stars as they do in the Star Trek shows? Could we possibly obtain light speed sustained over lightyears? They talk of matter/anti matter reactions to help propel they're ships to light speeds. Could we possibly find a resource that could propel us at two, three, four times the speed of light, etc.?? Is it theoretically possible?

Thanks!
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Springbok747
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RE: Are We Alone In The Universe?

Tue Nov 30, 2004 3:48 pm

What about space travel? Is it possible for us to travel the stars as they do in the Star Trek shows? Could we possibly obtain light speed sustained over lightyears? They talk of matter/anti matter reactions to help propel they're ships to light speeds. Could we possibly find a resource that could propel us at two, three, four times the speed of light, etc.?? Is it theoretically possible?

Wow, that's a lot of questions S12PPL!

I found this link to space.com, its a very interesting site:

http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/antimatter_sun_030929.html

Maybe we could also find something that could propel ships faster than light..who knows?!

http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/generalscience/faster_than_c_000719.html

http://www.space.com/businesstechnology/technology/quantum_teleportation_001012.html

http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/generalscience/anti_hydrogen_020918.html

In fact, I think we may be ready for interplanetary travel right now (to Mars), there was a program on the Discovery channel which claimed that we are more prepared to go to Mars now than what the Apollo missions were to the Moon.

Cheers!
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RayChuang
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RE: Are We Alone In The Universe?

Tue Nov 30, 2004 4:01 pm

Funny you should be asking this question because the latest issue of National Geographic has an article about looking for planets orbiting other stars closest to our Solar System. We are very close to getting the technology to look for these planets down to Earth size; if we find such a planet and find out it has an atmosphere laced with oxygen or ozone, that will mean that life as we know it could be very common throughout the universe.  Big thumbs up
 
JGPH1A
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RE: Are We Alone In The Universe?

Tue Nov 30, 2004 5:40 pm

I find it harder to believe that of all the squajillions of planets in the universe, life would have figured out how to exist on only one of them. If you look how persistent and creative life has been just on this planet, able to exist in wild extremes of hot and cold, light and dark, in every nook and cranny this planet has to offer, it would be silly not to at least allow for the possibility that the same process has happened elsewhere. Whether there are any life forms with our particular type of intelligence or locomotion or approximate physical form, well who knows - anything is possible in an infinite universe.

Speaking of which, I have no trouble imagining that the universe is actually infinite - that it just goes on and on and on forever and ever. The notion that somehow it is curved, and that if you keep on going you end up back where you started, makes no sense to me. Same with this farcical restriction that nothing can travel faster than light. It seems such an arbitrary limit. I have serious issues with General Relativity (I don't understand it, but I have serious issues with it  Smile - I tried reading Stephen Hawking's book The Universe in a Nutshell, and he's banging on about time being relative - RUBBISH !! Time doesn't exist, so how can it be relative. That's just silly.

Yes, thanks - just leave the Nobel Prize by the door on your way out Big grin
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VirginFlyer
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RE: Are We Alone In The Universe?

Tue Nov 30, 2004 5:52 pm

To quote a movie (written by the aforementioned Carl Sagan):

If it is just us, it seems like an awful waste of space...

V/F
"So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth." - Bahá'u'lláh
 
levent
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RE: Are We Alone In The Universe?

Tue Nov 30, 2004 6:12 pm

I am 200% sure that we are not alone in the universe, and find it more probable that every solar system similar to ours has one planet with life on it. The only thing that worries me is how we will react if we ever get in touch with another life form.
 
S12PPL
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RE: Are We Alone In The Universe?

Wed Dec 01, 2004 2:57 am

From Reply 20:

Yes, I too, am scared how we'd react. Think about what the religious nuts would do...*sigh*. Could you imagine the impossible place 'Ol Georgie Dubya would be put in?? hehehe. "I just promissed the American people space travel...But the religious fanatics like myself are dead against it...whatever will I do??!!" Sorry. I don't want this to turn into a political thread...God knows we don't need another one of those...So back on topic we go. Smile

Breaking the light barier is only a matter of time, no pun intended from our previous posts on this topic Big grin If history has proven anything at all, it's that the impossible is reachable. Nobody thought we could soar with the birds, but thanks to two brothers, we have this forum to talk about our common interests. Humans have created so many gadgets that were once thought impossible. We now have mini-computers that can fit in the palm of your hand, where in the 1950's, no one thought we could fit one in a room. The simple feat of creating the computer is amazing to think about. Now we have super computers that can do so much more. As a civilization we've come a long way, and it's only inevidable that we'll reach the light barrier eventually. It most certainly won't be in any of our lifetimes, but it'll be done. It's the simple fact that we get to debate about it here that makes it tolerable to think it won't happen in our lifetimes. It's fun to hear the different theories about it, because there are so many of them. However, just as man once dreamed of soaring through the clouds, we'll eventually be able to dart through the cosmos at light speeds. It just may take a few hundred, or thousand years...
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Guest

RE: Are We Alone In The Universe?

Wed Dec 01, 2004 3:35 am

There is life elsewhere...most definitely. A strange, rocklike mass that houses alien life forms...very humanoid in their appearance. Their language, customs
and behaviour are VERY foreign to man, incongruent to anything we can possibly begin to imagine. Rumour has it man has in fact already visited this strange world, and has come back to report on it, to tell tall, wild tales of the
strange inhabitants contained therein.

This world has a name.



Newfoundland.

 
tristarenvy
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RE: Are We Alone In The Universe?

Wed Dec 01, 2004 3:37 am

A friend of mine had an argument once with a hard core religious type, who said, "There is no life on other planets, because it doesn't say SO in the Bible!"

His response was..."Where in the Bible does it say that Dan Rather comes on at 6:30? It doesn't, BUT he DOES!"

If you don't stand for SOMETHING, you'll fall for ANYTHING.
 
Jaspike
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RE: Are We Alone In The Universe?

Wed Dec 01, 2004 3:47 am

I find it funny how people in general think of 'other life' as 'aliens' that resemble humans/animals.

It only has to be a few cells on a rock somewhere, it's still life, and I'd be amazed if the only living cells in existence are on this tiny planet of ours..

Tom
 
theCoz
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RE: Are We Alone In The Universe?

Wed Dec 01, 2004 3:53 am

IMO, I'd say the problem with space travel is how long it would take to accelerate, and decelerate to such an incredible speed.
 
b757300
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RE: Are We Alone In The Universe?

Wed Dec 01, 2004 3:55 am

The Bible doesn't say there is life elsewhere nor does it say there isn't. Personally I have no idea if life exists on other worlds and to me it really isn't an issue. If it doesn't exist then oh well, we're alone in the universe. If it does exist, then God put it there like he put us on this planet.
"There is no victory at bargain basement prices."
 
Rj111
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RE: Are We Alone In The Universe?

Wed Dec 01, 2004 4:51 am

The moon IO, I think it is, has what is beleived to be water below the surface which is at 70 degrees at some points.

I doubt it would be Io. Io is one of the most hostile places known, It has lakes of lava and has the biggest volcanoes in the solar system. And being the closest large moon to Jupiter, its constantly being squessed by the huge gravitational forces.
 
JAL
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RE: Are We Alone In The Universe?

Wed Dec 01, 2004 11:06 pm

There are probably other living beings in other planets, space is huge after all.
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GDB
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RE: Are We Alone In The Universe?

Thu Dec 02, 2004 9:29 pm

Breaking the light barrier is a different order of magnitude to the other scientific breakthroughs mentioned, not to say it's impossible, but consider the forces you'd have to create/unleash to do it.
Then consider how dangerous nuclear technology, the weaponised form, has been to us.

It's right to try, but the idea we can find out through picking up transmissions from aliens seems very unlikely, needing very compatible technology and a lot of luck, the universe is noisy enough with natural sources.

I think that simple life is common, advanced life less so, advanced life into spaceflight much less so, and so far about that they'll likely never meet.
Being in or near a dense cluster of stars is not a place where advanced life is likely to rise, too many novas etc going off for a start.

Safer where we are, out in the galalctic suburbs, not totally, but so far long enough for us to rise, but we are too far apart from stars that could support Earth life planets.
 
planespotterx
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RE: Are We Alone In The Universe?

Fri Dec 03, 2004 1:55 am

IMO I have a few views on this.

1 Either the "aliens" we see are ourselves, say in a few hundred years time we launch a spacestation or mission into space to discover the outer universe (with humans onboard), and over millions/billions of years the humans on the spaceship are slowly "destroyed" by radiation and illness.
If the single universe is correct, then they should come back where they started, and at the speed there going, many hundreds of years before they left Earth (if this makes sense,) which is now.

I also imagine living on a planet near sirius or Betelgeuse (although theres no known planets that support life on these 2 stars, but if there were) to be looking back at our sun and wondering if anything lives around THAT star.

I think there is intelligent life out there, but there in the same "boat" we are, and are just too afraid or technically or socially challenged to explore space or the universe.
If it takes humans millions of years to go into space, im afraid we'd have waited too long.
Its not the fall that kills u, its the sudden stop at the end..
 
iakobos
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RE: Are We Alone In The Universe?

Fri Dec 03, 2004 3:09 am

Just a sidenote:

The light barrier has been broken multiple times since July 2000, where it was first experimented at the NEC research lab and immediately thereafter in Florence, Italy.
As of Q3 2000, "speeds" of up to 300 x light speed have been demosntrated and verified.

...just to put some received ideas in perspective...

If anyone is interested, I recommend looking for the full Belgian Air Force report consecutive to the multiple sightings (including my own) and multiple radar confirmations on the night of March 30-31, 1989.
 
pilotaydin
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RE: Are We Alone In The Universe?

Fri Dec 03, 2004 3:30 am

some thoughts i have had...

1. What if we are the MOST intelligent form of life in the universe...that would suck because we are killing each other..... scary huh?

2. What if there is life on other planets, but it isnt intelligent life, because WE on earth are the statistical occurence of life itself.

3. What if there was intelligent life, that they had access to elements and resources on their planet that would allow them to advance in technology, much more than we ever can

4. What if Earth is the only place there is developed life....can u imagine if things were so detailed that NO planet in the entire universe would be in a proper position for water and light and O2 etc to be a form of life... imagine if earth was 1 km more in its radius, how things would change, how different plants would die/survive better than others...wow

5. What if there are forms of life that we can not detect with our 5 senses, or even within the limitations of our senses, for example...dogs can detect the frequency range of earthquakes with their hearing, most humans dont have this capability.... can u imagine if there were 50 senses and some life forms existed within the ones we couldnt detect...

this stuff blows my mind...and then when i look at the moon i realize how far away we are from the closest thing to us, and to think the entire universe was created from a small dot sized super densed light sucking mass that violently exploded...


HELL just the things unseen to man thousands of meters underwater is amazing...we should all be explorers.net!
The only time there is too much fuel onboard, is when you're on fire!
 
tbar220
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RE: Are We Alone In The Universe?

Fri Dec 03, 2004 3:39 am

I doubt it would be Io. Io is one of the most hostile places known, It has lakes of lava and has the biggest volcanoes in the solar system.

Interestingly enough, scientists theorize that Earth was similar to this environment as a young planet. It was probably these volcanic eruptions and volcanic activity that released enough oxygen and water vapor into the Earth's atmosphere which eventually caused the formation of the oceans. Of course, this was a process that took millions and millions of years.
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GDB
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RE: Are We Alone In The Universe?

Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:07 am

Isn't it odd that UFO sightings have mostly proliferated since the age of aviation and rockets?
Odder still that most of these deluded souls who have claimed to have met Aliens, have met creatures bearing an uncanny resemblance to the ones in the film 'Close Encounters Of The Third Kind'.

It's mass delusion, if the limited media of radio broadcast could cause 1000's in the USA of the late 1930's to think that an Orson Wells production of the book 'War Of The Worlds' was really a real event.
Otherwise sane people swore that they had seen the tripod robots laying waste to their locality.

Maybe contact will happen, but I reckon if it does, the film '2001' might be the closest to how it might be, meeting a civilization millions of years more advanced than ours, who had developed way beyond the limitations of vunerable physical bodies that wear out, but which is inexplicable to carbon based bipeds like us.
Beyond our understanding to be sure.

Or maybe 'Fade Out' by Patrick Tilley, published in the mid 70's and updated 10 years later, where the machines of what seem to be an Alien life form are impervious to our attempts to investigate them, and remain so.

 
Part103
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RE: Are We Alone In The Universe?

Fri Dec 03, 2004 11:25 am

At one time we thought the earth was all there was. Later the universe contained everything there was. Now scientists are speculating that there are multiple universes and possibly even an infinite number of universes. What does this prove? Nothing really except that the odds of us being alone continue to get smaller all the time. We may never know for sure even in the next 1000 generations, but I have faith in the odds that we are not alone.
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Are We Alone In The Universe?

Fri Dec 03, 2004 12:43 pm

I believe that We are Def no Alone.There are probably other 'Earths' in the Universe,Its just that they are too far away and maybe one day Space travel time would reduce & enable contact.
regds
MEL
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A346Dude
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RE: Are We Alone In The Universe?

Fri Dec 03, 2004 12:54 pm

I would not be surprised if there are other forms of intelligent life in the universe. However, I am not yet convinced that it does exist.
You know the gear is up and locked when it takes full throttle to taxi to the terminal.

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