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kc135topboom
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Extraterrestrials Exist-Stephen Hawking

Sun Apr 25, 2010 7:42 pm

Stephen Hawking says Alien ETs do exists and we humans should avoid 'talking' to them. He thinks most Alien ETs will be minor spiecies, like microbes and simple animals. But he also thinks there could be some intellegent life out there and these we should avoid as it could be dangerous to us, and could plunder Earth for resourses.

For those who follow Star Trek, I guess he is talking about the Romulians and/or the Borg.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/science/space/article7107207.ece

But, Dr. Hawking could very well be mathmaticly correct in his assumption seeing we don't really know how big the universe is and there are at least 100 Billion galaxies, each containing millions of stars (suns) and some could very well have Earth like planets, or planets that are in what is considered the 'habitable zone'.
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Extraterrestrials Exist-Stephen Hawking

Sun Apr 25, 2010 7:49 pm

Here's a trippier one.

If the universe is infinite in extent, then there must necessarily be an infinite number of exact copies of you in the Universe, even though most of these exact copies would be beyond the visible universe.

It's a mathematical certainty and one of the bizarre effects of dealing with "infinity," which is more than merely an absurdly large number.
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dc9northwest
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RE: Extraterrestrials Exist-Stephen Hawking

Sun Apr 25, 2010 7:49 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Thread starter):
But he also thinks there could be some intellegent life out there and these we should avoid as it could be dangerous to us, and could plunder Earth for resourses

We have no proof of any intelligent species in the Universe.

That said, it's likely that there is some life out there. We might not even recognize it if we see it. Anyway, I disagree with the premise that any intelligent life would be a threat to us. I doubt that any species so advanced to travel through the universe would exist if they would be a pillaging species. It just seems much less likely... They would have had many more possibilities to be destroyed (by themselves or by others).
 
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RE: Extraterrestrials Exist-Stephen Hawking

Sun Apr 25, 2010 8:02 pm

I really do hope there's intelligent life somewhere out there in the universe. Because if the Human Race here on earth is the high-point of life in the universe, then that would be very sad. Surely there MUST be something better!
 
mbmbos
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RE: Extraterrestrials Exist-Stephen Hawking

Sun Apr 25, 2010 8:02 pm

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 2):
We have no proof of any intelligent species in the Universe.

...including our own world.

 
Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 2):
I doubt that any species so advanced to travel through the universe would exist if they would be a pillaging species.

Why not? It seems pretty clear cut within our own animal kingdom that the creatures with the means, be it big brains or strength, dominate other species any time they possibly can.
 
flanker
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RE: Extraterrestrials Exist-Stephen Hawking

Sun Apr 25, 2010 8:28 pm

For anyone to think that there is no intelligent life or any life for that matter is absolutely absurd.

Hundreds of billions of galaxies that we can see at this point with hundreds of billions of stars each. And no life? I don't think so.

So far we are 1 for 1. The odds look good!

I personally believe there is a lot of life and some are already here. And who is to say we are not descendants of other species. Anything is possible.

Anyway, one thing is certain, no way in hell we are the only intelligent life out there. I didn't need Hawking to tell me that.
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RE: Extraterrestrials Exist-Stephen Hawking

Sun Apr 25, 2010 8:34 pm

One thing I've never understood is that why does any sort of life form have to have the same life sustaining requirments our planet does? Seems to me that thats just an assumption on our part. For all we know, our environment could prove to be lethal to other forms of life.
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flanker
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RE: Extraterrestrials Exist-Stephen Hawking

Sun Apr 25, 2010 8:40 pm

Quoting ACDC8 (Reply 6):
One thing I've never understood is that why does any sort of life form have to have the same life sustaining requirments our planet does? Seems to me that thats just an assumption on our part. For all we know, our environment could prove to be lethal to other forms of life.

There are numerous self sustained ecosystems on the planet earth that do not meet any of the criteria for life. So your point is very valid.
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UAL747
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RE: Extraterrestrials Exist-Stephen Hawking

Sun Apr 25, 2010 8:58 pm

Quoting ACDC8 (Reply 6):
One thing I've never understood is that why does any sort of life form have to have the same life sustaining requirments our planet does? Seems to me that thats just an assumption on our part. For all we know, our environment could prove to be lethal to other forms of life.

I think for life to exist in the form we understand it, our basic human/animal requirements met by the Earth would need to be met by these aliens.

In my opinion, I believe there is life beyond our own planet. It's too mathematically probable. I hadn't thought about Doc's infinity comment, but it makes total sense.

I also believe that life may exist in forms that we cannot understand using our 5 senses. Who's to say that Seeing, Hearing, Touching, Smelling, and Tasting are the only way to understand life? There may be aliens sitting next to you right now.

Who knows?
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RE: Extraterrestrials Exist-Stephen Hawking

Sun Apr 25, 2010 8:58 pm

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 2):
We have no proof of any intelligent species in the Universe.

That doesn't mean they don't exist. There has to be other intelligent life in the Universe. I agree with Hawking here..it may not turn out well for our species if we do make contact.
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GrahamHill
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RE: Extraterrestrials Exist-Stephen Hawking

Sun Apr 25, 2010 9:04 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Thread starter):
each containing millions of stars (suns)

Millions? You mean hundreds of billions of stars!

That's why I would be very disappointed if there wouldn't be at least one planet (out of the potential billions in the universe) with a bit of life, would it be in a bacterial form.
"A learned fool is more foolish than an ignorant one" - Moliere
 
Rara
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RE: Extraterrestrials Exist-Stephen Hawking

Sun Apr 25, 2010 9:09 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 1):

If the universe is infinite in extent, then there must necessarily be an infinite number of exact copies of you in the Universe, even though most of these exact copies would be beyond the visible universe.

Correct   but fortunately, the universe isn't infinite, at least not the universe we see and live in.

Otherwise, an alien version of you would have just made a phonecall to his mother professing his undying love for her.  
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RE: Extraterrestrials Exist-Stephen Hawking

Sun Apr 25, 2010 9:28 pm

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 2):
We have no proof of any intelligent species in the Universe.

And yet billions of people on Earth believe in something equally "proofless", God/Allah/Joseph Smith/Venu/Et Al...
 
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RE: Extraterrestrials Exist-Stephen Hawking

Sun Apr 25, 2010 9:44 pm

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 2):
I doubt that any species so advanced to travel through the universe would exist if they would be a pillaging species. It just seems much less likely... They would have had many more possibilities to be destroyed (by themselves or by others).

In fairness, look at how humans have expanded their empires for thousands of years.
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seb146
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RE: Extraterrestrials Exist-Stephen Hawking

Sun Apr 25, 2010 10:17 pm

Quoting ACDC8 (Reply 6):
One thing I've never understood is that why does any sort of life form have to have the same life sustaining requirments our planet does? Seems to me that thats just an assumption on our part. For all we know, our environment could prove to be lethal to other forms of life.

I have wondered the same thing for years. Scientists assume they are looking for carbon based life forms. But, with (as far as we know) infinite space and more stars and probably planets that we have not even seen, how do scientists not know there are other life forms based on anything else from iron to hydrogen to chemicals or metals we can not even comprehend? It staggers the imagination.

I like the passage from Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy about the population of the entire universe. It goes something like "the population of the universe: zero. There is an infinite amount of space but only a finite number of inhabited planets. Any number divided into infinity is so close to zero as makes no odds. So, any creatures you meet are the products of a deranged imagination."
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NoWorries
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RE: Extraterrestrials Exist-Stephen Hawking

Sun Apr 25, 2010 10:27 pm

Quoting Rara (Reply 11):
Correct but fortunately, the universe isn't infinite, at least not the universe we see and live in.

I think the visible universe is something like 30 billion light years accross (15 in all directions from us). The estimate varies, but some put the size of the entire universe at something around 300 billion light years.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 1):
If the universe is infinite in extent, then there must necessarily be an infinite number of exact copies of you in the Universe, even though most of these exact copies would be beyond the visible universe.

I don't think that is neccessarily true -- there are an infinite number of real numbers without duplicates.
 
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RE: Extraterrestrials Exist-Stephen Hawking

Sun Apr 25, 2010 10:29 pm

Quoting MBMBOS (Reply 4):
...including our own world.

Aye, that was the meaning.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 1):
If the universe is infinite

However, it seems that it is not infinite... Maybe there are infinite parallel universes though. Too bad we'll probably never find this out, and so the practical implications of such a multitude of worlds are... well, small.

Quoting seb146 (Reply 14):
how do scientists not know there are other life forms based on anything else from iron to hydrogen to chemicals or metals we can not even comprehend?

It has to do with chemistry. Yes, there could be nitrogen-based life forms, but since carbon is the simplest element that forms the most bonds, and hence the most complex molecules, it's most likely other life forms are carbon-based. Thus, it IS an assumption that other life would be carbon-based, but other bases would make life less complex, from a chemical point of view. Of course, that's all hand-waving, really.
 
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RE: Extraterrestrials Exist-Stephen Hawking

Sun Apr 25, 2010 11:20 pm

I agree with all the points brought up by everybody.

However, I for one, am not convinced that the universe is really infinite. It may seem on our scale, but (yet again) it has been mathematically demonstrated that there's an end to it and not only that, but there's parallel universes as well. By nature, the Big Bang theory implies it is indeed not infinite. Of course, we need to know if that theory is indeed correct, hence why I'm anxious to see what discoveries the LHC will make   

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 1):
Here's a trippier one.

To expand on the trippyness, if time travel were to were to ever be feasible, you'd basically be jumping around parallel universes. That solves the time travel paradox that says you couldn't possibly exist if you went back in time and killed your father/mother/grandparents etc.

Few things are trippier than quantum theory/string theory   
 
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RE: Extraterrestrials Exist-Stephen Hawking

Sun Apr 25, 2010 11:39 pm

In my own mind, I very much believe that there is life elsewhere in the universe. I don't necessarily believe we will find it; nor do I believe that we'd even necessarily be able to recognize/identify it if we did find it.

Quoting seb146 (Reply 14):
I like the passage from Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy about the population of the entire universe. It goes something like "the population of the universe: zero. There is an infinite amount of space but only a finite number of inhabited planets. Any number divided into infinity is so close to zero as makes no odds. So, any creatures you meet are the products of a deranged imagination."
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series has a lot of very funny observations about the universe. They're slapstick-funny on the surface, but a lot of them are somewhat thought-provoking as well.

Course, this one is just funny:

The story so far:
In the beginning the Universe was created.
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RE: Extraterrestrials Exist-Stephen Hawking

Sun Apr 25, 2010 11:40 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 1):
then there must necessarily be an infinite number of exact copies of you in the Universe, even though most of these exact copies would be beyond the visible universe.

This must explain why I keep losing socks.
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RE: Extraterrestrials Exist-Stephen Hawking

Mon Apr 26, 2010 12:01 am

Quoting flanker (Reply 5):

I personally believe there is a lot of life and some are already here. And who is to say we are not descendants of other species. Anything is possible.

Uh oh - are you promoting the ancient astronauts theory? Getting a little X-Files there, no? I'm sure there's a rational explanation for all the ancient civilizations that made paintings of their gods in funny costumes descending from the sky.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_astronauts
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flanker
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RE: Extraterrestrials Exist-Stephen Hawking

Mon Apr 26, 2010 1:24 am

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 20):
are you promoting the ancient astronauts theory?

I am saying that its just as possible as anything else. There is nothing absurd about it and it makes quite a bit of sense.

It does not contradict with my faith or my belief in God.

Not to get off topic, the History Channel had a great program out based on Von Danikens "Chariot of the Gods".

I watched it last year and it was really interesting whatever your views are.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPfGhgFbCqo
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kiwiinoz
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RE: Extraterrestrials Exist-Stephen Hawking

Mon Apr 26, 2010 1:52 am

Quoting JBirdAV8r (Reply 13):

In fairness, look at how humans have expanded their empires for thousands of years.

I agree with you. I have no doubt that if we discovered another planet with desirable resources, and a defenceless population, we would take it from them without barely a second thought!
 
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RE: Extraterrestrials Exist-Stephen Hawking

Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:50 am

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 20):
Uh oh - are you promoting the ancient astronauts theory? Getting a little X-Files there, no?

That's not necessarily what he's referring to. Panspermia is another popular theory - the idea that the initial "seeds" of life on Earth were brought by a comet or other projectile from another planet.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panspermia
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Dreadnought
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RE: Extraterrestrials Exist-Stephen Hawking

Mon Apr 26, 2010 4:11 am

Quoting photopilot (Reply 3):
I really do hope there's intelligent life somewhere out there in the universe.

Me too, 'cause there certainly ain't none here...
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flanker
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RE: Extraterrestrials Exist-Stephen Hawking

Mon Apr 26, 2010 4:16 am

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 24):
Me too, 'cause there certainly ain't none here...

LOL....!! Great post man!!
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SmithAir747
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RE: Extraterrestrials Exist-Stephen Hawking

Mon Apr 26, 2010 4:22 am

Why look out there?

We are already here among you humans...so watch your backs!  

SmithAir747
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Klaus
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RE: Extraterrestrials Exist-Stephen Hawking

Mon Apr 26, 2010 5:04 am

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Thread starter):
For those who follow Star Trek, I guess he is talking about the Romulians and/or the Borg.

Or, more likely, Ferengi (greedy, wealth-obsessed merchants and businessmen).   

Evolution selects for survival in competition for resources.

The tricky bit, however, is that cooperation can be a good strategy for that, too.

One issue which is so painful for science fiction wirters that most of them completely ignore it is contamination: Any alien setting foot (or whatever appendage) on earth would immediately unleash a fierce battle between his/her/its accompanying microorganism ecosystem and ours – with the outcome being anything but certain. This would most probably make an invasion of life-carrying worlds highly impracical for them (or for us). See War of the Worlds for illustration.

It would probably be much more attractive to choose a sterile planet and to terraform it to one's preferences.

All that apart from the questionable economics of spending vast resources for a potentially risky invasion of a probably defended homeworld of an intelligent species – including the interstellar voyage to even get there – in relation to the meager raw materials which would probably be synthesized from material harvested in the species' home system at much lower cost and risk.

If you can build an interstellar attack fleet, you should at the very least be able to create a basic matter synthesizer as well.
 
slider
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RE: Extraterrestrials Exist-Stephen Hawking

Mon Apr 26, 2010 5:30 am

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 2):
We have no proof of any intelligent species in the Universe

Exactly right. Hawking going out on a limb is hardly "science."

His entire position is like guessing at the lottery. Certainly, he has a chance of being right, but whyis a man of his stature being held to some position of credibility above those who've said or positied the same idea years ago? I smell horsepoop.
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Extraterrestrials Exist-Stephen Hawking

Mon Apr 26, 2010 6:13 am

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 24):
Me too, 'cause there certainly ain't none here...

Of course there isn't. You're in the middle of a Tea Party rally!   
-Doc Lightning-

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Francoflier
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RE: Extraterrestrials Exist-Stephen Hawking

Mon Apr 26, 2010 8:49 am

Quoting Slider (Reply 28):
Exactly right. Hawking going out on a limb is hardly "science."

Yup, truth is, no one knows yet, and chances are no one will know in our lifetime.

I watched an interesting interview on BBC the other day on the subject. A scientist told about the extreme improbability of the appearance of life on earth. The odds of that primordial soup of amino acids actually somehow producing the first very primitive biological molecules are so mind numbingly low that even if the same conditions were found on several billion other life compatible planets, the probability of it happening again are still less than 1...

And that's just talking about life in the basic sense, not intelligent life. And then there is the size and timescale issue. Planets are so far away and the universe so old that the chances of two intelligent civilization making direct contact are so ridiculously low it's almost a waste of time even thinking about it.

That said, little is known on the exact circumstances of the apparition of life on Earth, so it is rather pointless to speculate on how it would happen on other places. And interestingly enough, if the apparition of life is so unprobable, it leaves room for speculation on the possibility that it might have been 'helped' here on Earth, as a gift from a life seeding space travelling civilization, for instance... How cool would that be?

But yeah, unfortunately, S Hawkins saying there is life out there is as relevant as me saying the same. But we can keep hoping. When's the next mission to Europe?
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Klaus
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RE: Extraterrestrials Exist-Stephen Hawking

Mon Apr 26, 2010 10:34 am

Quoting Slider (Reply 28):
Hawking going out on a limb is hardly "science."

His entire position is like guessing at the lottery. Certainly, he has a chance of being right, but whyis a man of his stature being held to some position of credibility above those who've said or positied the same idea years ago? I smell horsepoop.

Hawking has been working in cosmology for years, among other fields. So he's not quite just an average joe in these matters. And, of course, he has built up a certain public stature through his various popular explanations of esoteric fields in physics and cosmology.

So it's no wonder that he receives above-average attention here.

And he's obviously right: There is a risk attached to blindly babbling in our transmissions to the universe, even if it may be a smaller one. But given that there is barely a plausible benefit from it either, we might well be cautious there.

Quoting francoflier (Reply 30):
I watched an interesting interview on BBC the other day on the subject. A scientist told about the extreme improbability of the appearance of life on earth. The odds of that primordial soup of amino acids actually somehow producing the first very primitive biological molecules are so mind numbingly low that even if the same conditions were found on several billion other life compatible planets, the probability of it happening again are still less than 1...

Such calculations are often misleading as far as they're making the assumption that a given end result was to be achieved by purely random combinations from an equally given starting point – but that is obviously not how things work with self-replicating patterns evolving into more complex forms or into life, eventually.
 
NoWorries
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RE: Extraterrestrials Exist-Stephen Hawking

Mon Apr 26, 2010 12:40 pm

In a sense it doesn't matter whether or not we are actively broadcasting with contact in mind. We've been pumping radio waves of one form or another into space for close to 100 years now. If "they" are nearby, "they" can certainly find us. If they are looking from afar, they'll use the same techniques that we do (on a more advanced level) to identify stars with likely life-supporting planets -- all without our "help." So, either there's no one nearby, or we're too far out of the way for a day trip, or there's nothing here worth the bother, or there's a prime directive, or ...

Personally, I think the distribution of "intelligent" life is sufficiently sparse that it's rather unlikely there'll ever be contact due to the distances involved.
 
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RE: Extraterrestrials Exist-Stephen Hawking

Mon Apr 26, 2010 12:53 pm

Quoting NoWorries (Reply 32):
In a sense it doesn't matter whether or not we are actively broadcasting with contact in mind. We've been pumping radio waves of one form or another into space for close to 100 years now. If "they" are nearby, "they" can certainly find us.

As far as I've heard about more recent research that is not quite as certain as one might think.

On very, very long distances our radio signals are "smeared out" by dispersion effects which turn even most of the clearest broadcasts into little more than indecipherable noise which is hard to distinguish from the massive radiation background of stellar or bigger natural sources.

And even if we're emitting more robust signals: All of them travel "just" at light speed – our first emissions are just covering a puny sphere of a bit more than 100 light years by now. There aren't that many stars this close to earth, and even fewer which could even theoretically have inhabitable planets or moons....
 
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Aaron747
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RE: Extraterrestrials Exist-Stephen Hawking

Mon Apr 26, 2010 12:55 pm

Quoting NoWorries (Reply 32):
Personally, I think the distribution of "intelligent" life is sufficiently sparse that it's rather unlikely there'll ever be contact due to the distances involved.

I think we haven't a clue what's out there and can't say one way or another. There may be intelligences out there with far better understanding of the universe than our own - the only question is whether or not they would be interested in us if that's really the case. Not that any of this matters - our lifespans are too short to know anything with certainty - we can't get our own history as a species straight as of yet.
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Airport
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RE: Extraterrestrials Exist-Stephen Hawking

Mon Apr 26, 2010 12:57 pm

Quoting francoflier (Reply 30):
and chances are no one will know in our lifetime.

This I very much disagree with. I think our knowledge of science is growing exponentially. It's almost unfathomable to think of all the new things we've discovered about our solar system just within the last 10 years, just think of what we'll discover in the next 50! It's remarkable the new things we're learning everyday.

Quoting francoflier (Reply 30):
I watched an interesting interview on BBC the other day on the subject. A scientist told about the extreme improbability of the appearance of life on earth. The odds of that primordial soup of amino acids actually somehow producing the first very primitive biological molecules are so mind numbingly low that even if the same conditions were found on several billion other life compatible planets, the probability of it happening again are still less than 1...

Don't take that as anything more than a theory. I think I saw exactly what you're talking about, and the thing that kind of annoys me about such interviews is that they portray the image that all scientists collectively believe that and have proven that. Not true at all. That's simply one viewpoint which, by the way, less and less scientists are believing. We don't know what the given "odds" are for life because we are constantly discovering new forms of life in such extreme and harsh conditions

In fact, a lot of scientists would argue that conditions are ripe on other planets and moons just within our own solar system. From what we know of Titan and Europa, moons of Saturn and Jupiter respectively, the conditions could very well be there for life to develop. It would probably be nothing more than microbes and extremely simple organisms, but if we could prove it, it turns that theory on its head.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 31):
Such calculations are often misleading as far as they're making the assumption that a given end result was to be achieved by purely random combinations from an equally given starting point – but that is obviously not how things work with self-replicating patterns evolving into more complex forms or into life, eventually.

Exactly.   

Cheers!
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NoWorries
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RE: Extraterrestrials Exist-Stephen Hawking

Mon Apr 26, 2010 1:07 pm

Quoting Klaus (Reply 33):
And even if we're emitting more robust signals: All of them travel "just" at light speed – our first emissions are just covering a puny sphere of a bit more than 100 light years by now. There aren't that many stars this close to earth, and even fewer which could even theoretically have inhabitable planets or moons....

Yep -- that's why I qualified my remark with "nearby" -- they'll have to be close to pick up any radio signals -- intenttional or incidental. It's much more likely we'll be "found," if at all, by someone using techniques similar to ours that identify systems most likely to conatin particular types of planets.
 
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Francoflier
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RE: Extraterrestrials Exist-Stephen Hawking

Mon Apr 26, 2010 1:10 pm

Quoting Klaus (Reply 31):
Such calculations are often misleading as far as they're making the assumption that a given end result was to be achieved by purely random combinations from an equally given starting point – but that is obviously not how things work with self-replicating patterns evolving into more complex forms or into life, eventually.

True. As I said, little is known on the actual circumstances of the appearance of life on Earth, so I didn't agree with this scientist speculating on these odds.

I really hope for a manned mission to Mars and a more detailed study of the inside of Europe in my lifetime. If any of these show signs of life, it would shatter the theory that life is an amazingly rare and unprobable event.
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Airport
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RE: Extraterrestrials Exist-Stephen Hawking

Mon Apr 26, 2010 1:16 pm

Quoting francoflier (Reply 37):
I really hope for a manned mission to Mars and a more detailed study of the inside of Europe in my lifetime. If any of these show signs of life, it would shatter the theory that life is an amazingly rare and unprobable event.

  

I just wish the United States was far more interested in space exploration than it is. Apart from the fact that there is so much to discover, so much technology to advance, and that many of our greatest inventions were direct results from the space program, there's something to be said for all the mystery that lays out there, and the raw imagination it can inspire.

One of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite shows, The West Wing:

Sam Seaborn: There are a lot of hungry people in the world, Mal, and none of them are hungry 'cause we went to the moon. None of them are colder and certainly none of them are dumber 'cause we went to the moon.

Mallory O'Brian: And we went to the moon. Do we really have to go to Mars?

Sam Seaborn: Yes.

Mallory O'Brian: Why?

Sam Seaborn: Because it's next. Because we came out of the cave, and we looked over the hill and we saw fire; and we crossed the ocean and we pioneered the west, and we took to the sky. The history of man is hung on a timeline of exploration and this is what's next.

Cheers!
Anthony/Airport
 
MadameConcorde
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RE: Extraterrestrials Exist-Stephen Hawking

Mon Apr 26, 2010 4:07 pm

The Aliens who may have visited us have a technology far more advanced than ours.

The closest star is Alpha Centauri, 4.37 light years from earth. At 186,000 + miles per second, it would take 4 and a half years to get there. Our space shuttle travels at a max speed of 17,000 miles per hour. Light travels some 673,000,000 miles per hour. Based on that comparison, traveling top speed in the space shuttle would take some 173,000 years to reach Alpha Centauri, which is the closest star to Earth, and not necessarily inhabited.

Interstellar travel just seems to be moot unless you can conquer the speed of light.
There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
 
NoWorries
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RE: Extraterrestrials Exist-Stephen Hawking

Mon Apr 26, 2010 5:04 pm

Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 39):
The Aliens who may have visited us have a technology far more advanced than ours.
Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 39):
Interstellar travel just seems to be moot unless you can conquer the speed of light.

Yes, currently, we certainly understand the physics of how to do this -- but the technology is well beyond us.

Whether or not there are any aliens in the "neighborhood" that can and have done this is the subject of much speculation. I suspect that I'm very much in the minority, but I doubt the whole alien visitation thing.
 
GDB
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RE: Extraterrestrials Exist-Stephen Hawking

Mon Apr 26, 2010 6:51 pm

Several science writers have been publishing works musing on the total lack of any proof of ET's.

Consider, the Earth is in the right orbit, of a stable star, with a large moon to limit instabilities in it's axis, the Solar System has gas giants, notably the massive Jupiter, further out that act as gravitational goalkeepers for comets and suchlike, meaning Earth has had far fewer hits from them as otherwise might be expected, (one got through 65 million years ago though).
The Solar System is not near anything nasty like Quasars, Neutron Stars, Black Holes or indeed other starts whose movement could seriously disrupt the Solar System.
Any one of the above not being in place, intelligent life on Earth does not get the chance to develop.
Nice and safe-ish, in the suburbs of the galaxy.

And what have we found so far, with the 15 year exponential discoveries of other planets around stars?
Nearly all, for now at least, look nothing like our system, look nothing like a place for intelligent life to arise.
Gas giants,or just giant planets in general, most notably seem to hug the star at distances far closer mostly than even our Mercury to the Sun. Not going to deflect any nasties there are they?
You can sense how some may be upset that the long awaited detection of other solar systems has barely, if at all, yet found one suitable for life, it was not expected to be this way.
The nature of nearly all extra solar systems has not lived up to expectations, early days yet, I agree, but the trend is not encouraging.

It is said that all vastness of the universe counters this, maybe.
I say, if we are so rare, intelligent life is spread so thinly, we might as well be alone.
The distances, for picking up signals-either way-are too great, never mind the laws of physics breaking speeds needed to explore.

We know here, that the stimulus for spaceflight, coincided with the technology to potentially destroy our advanced industrial society.
I'm sure others will say, 'well that's just us, others maybe more enlightened'.
Why?
The development of the Human Race has, even before politics and the written word, had a dark, dangerous edge.
You cannot think on one hand that an alien race could development similar technology, signals as well as perhaps spaceflight, by that means alone being so very like us, with the negative bits somehow excluded.

Life, primitive life, is likely very common, might even be in the oceans of some outer planet's moons right in our system, even deep under Mars.
It is a big leap to go from that to thinking that advanced Aliens are common and one day, directly or by signals, we'll meet.
As Fermi said. 'where are they?'
 
MadameConcorde
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RE: Extraterrestrials Exist-Stephen Hawking

Mon Apr 26, 2010 6:51 pm

Nothing conceivable by humans can approach traveling at the speed of light. There are probably billions of planets/stars with intelligent life on them, but we could never possibly get to where they are, and vise versa. And the stars that we see from earth are actually what they looked like millions of years ago, due to the time it takes for that light to reach earth. The time-space continuum cannot be overcome.
There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
 
Klaus
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RE: Extraterrestrials Exist-Stephen Hawking

Mon Apr 26, 2010 8:24 pm

Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 42):
Nothing conceivable by humans can approach traveling at the speed of light.

We can judge that at the earliest when everything conceivable by humans will actually have been conceived, but we're still very far removed from that...   

We dont even really know how mass and gravity really work and interact with the other forces of the universe. We don't even have a clear picture of what exactly we don't yet know. FTL space travel may be a piece of cake once you know which buttons to push and how to push them.
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: Extraterrestrials Exist-Stephen Hawking

Mon Apr 26, 2010 8:42 pm

Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 39):
The closest star is Alpha Centauri, 4.37 light years from earth. At 186,000 + miles per second, it would take 4 and a half years to get there. Our space shuttle travels at a max speed of 17,000 miles per hour. Light travels some 673,000,000 miles per hour. Based on that comparison, traveling top speed in the space shuttle would take some 173,000 years to reach Alpha Centauri, which is the closest star to Earth, and not necessarily inhabited.
Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 42):
Nothing conceivable by humans can approach traveling at the speed of light.
Quoting Klaus (Reply 43):
We can judge that at the earliest when everything conceivable by humans will actually have been conceived, but we're still very far removed from that...

Humans invented lasers, that travel at the speed of light. Some scientists believe that space/time can 'warp' as in Star Trek, and 'worm holes' may actually exsit and can be controlled.

Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 42):
There are probably billions of planets/stars with intelligent life on them, but we could never possibly get to where they are, and vise versa

Dr. Hawking seems to think they can reach us, or why would he warn us not to talk to them?
 
EA772LR
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RE: Extraterrestrials Exist-Stephen Hawking

Mon Apr 26, 2010 8:44 pm

Quoting flanker (Reply 5):
For anyone to think that there is no intelligent life or any life for that matter is absolutely absurd.

Hundreds of billions of galaxies that we can see at this point with hundreds of billions of stars each. And no life? I don't think so.

Yep   . The conditions which have led to life as we know it on Earth are more rare than common for sure, but with the vastness of the 'known' universe, there's most certainly highly intelligent 'Earth' like beings. And with the latest and greatest talk of infinite universes, there are infinite possibilities of life.
Pandora
We often judge others by their actions, but ourselves by our intentions.
 
Birdwatching
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RE: Extraterrestrials Exist-Stephen Hawking

Mon Apr 26, 2010 8:49 pm

Quoting seb146 (Reply 14):
I like the passage from Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy about the population of the entire universe. It goes something like "the population of the universe: zero. There is an infinite amount of space but only a finite number of inhabited planets. Any number divided into infinity is so close to zero as makes no odds. So, any creatures you meet are the products of a deranged imagination."

I never understood that bit of The Hitchhiker's Guide. Back when I read that part I thought it was an error in the book of some sort.

There is an infinite amount of space, yes. But why a finite number of inhabited planets? Even if only a tiny fraction of planets is inhabited, the amount of them is still infinite, right?

Soren   
All the things you probably hate about travelling are warm reminders that I'm home
 
NoWorries
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RE: Extraterrestrials Exist-Stephen Hawking

Mon Apr 26, 2010 9:09 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 44):
Dr. Hawking seems to think they can reach us, or why would he warn us not to talk to them?

Certainly. Faster than light travel is very possible by the physics that we know today -- it does require lots of energy and the ability to survive/dodge impacts with bits of space dust. The only prohibition imposed by relativity is that no relative velocity can exceed that of light. An accelerating frame of reference experiences time dilation -- a slowing of it's own relative clock -- and thus someone in that frame of reference can experience proper velocity grater than light. The "down" side is that people left behind continue to experience time at the normal rate. Thus if a ship full of explorers left for some star system 20 light years away but could exprience sufficient acceleration boh ways to slow their clocks, they might sense only a few years of passing time -- the people left behind will experience 40 years -- no way around that.
 
EA772LR
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RE: Extraterrestrials Exist-Stephen Hawking

Mon Apr 26, 2010 9:16 pm

Quoting NoWorries (Reply 47):
Thus if a ship full of explorers left for some star system 20 light years away but could exprience sufficient acceleration boh ways to slow their clocks, they might sense only a few years of passing time -- the people left behind will experience 40 years -- no way around that.

I love physics! I think the only way to travel any meaningful distance in space is to create 'black holes' or rips in the space/time fabric. How? I don't know. Imagine creating a coordinates, much like they did in the movie Stargate, where you could rip a whole in one area of space, and coordinate the opening or 'white hole' on the other side?
We often judge others by their actions, but ourselves by our intentions.
 
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ER757
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RE: Extraterrestrials Exist-Stephen Hawking

Mon Apr 26, 2010 9:30 pm

Here's another "what if." What if we are the most advanced species in the universe? Unlikely to be sure but not impossible. If that is the case, then even if there is other intelligent life out there (my guess is that there almost certainly is), we'd be extremely unlikely to come across each other.
There is some basis for the idea that there is a limit to technological advances - there could be some end point beyond which no more progress takes place. Not likely we'll ever see that end point, but still, something to ponder.
Then there is the theory that a civilization eventually destroys itself no matter how advanced. That could preclude any aliens from ever getting past that point and reaching the neighboring stars.
Anyhow, it's all just speculation and is sure lots of fun to discuss. Carry on.......

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