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SlashingUK

Alien Life

Do you believe in the existence of alien life?  

105 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you believe that:

    • No alien life forms exist
      11
    • Alien life may or may not exist
      22
    • There is probably basic alien life
      37
    • Some extra-terrestrial intelligence is out there
      37
    • The universe is teeming with advanced intelligences
      26
    • Advanced intelligent life forms have visited Earth in the past
      13
    • Advanced intelligent life forms visit Earth frequently
      11
  2. 2. How strongly do you believe your answer to the first question?

    • Hardly at all
      4
    • I have some doubts
      15
    • I am really not sure either way
      16
    • I think it's pretty likely
      47
    • I am completely certain
      39


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The fact that you personally challenged an argument doesn't make it wrong. Size doesn't prove anything. But it certainly makes it more likely. If you increase the number of chances something has to occur, the probability of it occurring inherently increases. It sounds like you're assuming that since it is possible that we are alone, all other variables that affect the probability of life (such as size of the universe) are not important. Either if that's not what you mean, you don't knowwhat the probability of life occurring is, so you can't make an accurate estimate as to how important the universe's size might be to that probability, in other words, you could only legitimately tell me that size doesn't matter if you could give an exact number (objectively verifiable and known to be correct) as to how probable life is. You haven't done that, so I assume you can't give me an exact number that is objectively verifiable, therefore you're dismissing of the size argument is illogical. I point you to the Drake equation, where even conservative numbers lead to at least one civilization (and that's only in our own galaxy).

Thank you for your well-reasoned, considered response.

 

What is a "conservative" estimate of fl - the probability that, under all the right conditions, life will arise? Pretty much my whole debating stance centres around this one variable of the Drake equation. For all we know, it could take the creation of a billion, billion universes before even one develops life.

 

Drake himself speculated that fl=1. All planets that could conceive life, would conceive life. This is also untested and cannot be refuted either at the present time, or until we've explored every habitable planet in the (known) universe.

 

If we find even one example of another life form somewhere in the known universe, I will then believe that the universe is teeming with life which can arise spontaneously and easily.

 

I certainly see where you're coming from, and at the present time I think it really comes to us guessing what that variable actually is. I'm not entirely sure that it's 1, but I'm inclined to think it's high (though I don't know per se). You seem to be more inclined to think it's extremely low, which is completely fine, as we don't have any way to calculate it (other than 1 planet that can support life does, Earth - which you've already said, could just be a fluke). So, you're right, there's really no way to determine it without a large number of planets to explore, and as such we really can't know. But, for all we know, Drake could be right, and every planet that can develop life, will. It all really comes down to "we need a larger sample size!!!!111!1shift!one!!1" I guess we'll just have to wait and see if we find anything.

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I certainly see where you're coming from, and at the present time I think it really comes to us guessing what that variable actually is. I'm not entirely sure that it's 1, but I'm inclined to think it's high (though I don't know per se). You seem to be more inclined to think it's extremely low, which is completely fine, as we don't have any way to calculate it (other than 1 planet that can support life does, Earth - which you've already said, could just be a fluke). So, you're right, there's really no way to determine it without a large number of planets to explore, and as such we really can't know. But, for all we know, Drake could be right, and every planet that can develop life, will. It all really comes down to "we need a larger sample size!!!!111!1shift!one!!1" I guess we'll just have to wait and see if we find anything.

Ok, I'm slowly getting you there then.

 

So, do you accept that multiplying an unknown number by a known number, no matter how large, doesn't give you anything? i.e. We don't know what proportion of planets are habitable, but we do have an inkling of the size of the universe.

 

If you accept that, then I'll take you to my next (il?)logical step.

 

We actually have a good understanding of how much life is out there. It's a narrow and parochial view that life requires Earth-like conditions. We've explored 7 (8?) other planets to some limited extent, and found no signs of life. There's no sign of life on the minor planets, or on the Sun. In gas clouds, or distant worlds we've detected remotely. There are no signs of alien radio signals and no one's responded to our transmissions. There are no validated alien visitations to Earth. I put it to you that life is very, very rare. That if life could arise relatively easily, we would find the universe positively teeming with life, detectable all over the place, and that civilizations would arise frequently and be in communication with us or looking for us all the time, which appears not to be the case.

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Think About it this was, there are probably 100 billion galaxys in the univers, and might be more then one universe, do you know the probabilty that we ARE the only ones?

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I certainly see where you're coming from, and at the present time I think it really comes to us guessing what that variable actually is. I'm not entirely sure that it's 1, but I'm inclined to think it's high (though I don't know per se). You seem to be more inclined to think it's extremely low, which is completely fine, as we don't have any way to calculate it (other than 1 planet that can support life does, Earth - which you've already said, could just be a fluke). So, you're right, there's really no way to determine it without a large number of planets to explore, and as such we really can't know. But, for all we know, Drake could be right, and every planet that can develop life, will. It all really comes down to "we need a larger sample size!!!!111!1shift!one!!1" I guess we'll just have to wait and see if we find anything.

Ok, I'm slowly getting you there then.

 

So, do you accept that multiplying an unknown number by a known number, no matter how large, doesn't give you anything? i.e. We don't know what proportion of planets are habitable, but we do have an inkling of the size of the universe.

 

If you accept that, then I'll take you to my next (il?)logical step.

 

We actually have a good understanding of how much life is out there. It's a narrow and parochial view that life requires Earth-like conditions. We've explored 7 (8?) other planets to some limited extent, and found no signs of life. There's no sign of life on the minor planets, or on the Sun. In gas clouds, or distant worlds we've detected remotely. There are no signs of alien radio signals and no one's responded to our transmissions. There are no validated alien visitations to Earth. I put it to you that life is very, very rare. That if life could arise relatively easily, we would find the universe positively teeming with life, detectable all over the place, and that civilizations would arise frequently and be in communication with us or looking for us all the time, which appears not to be the case.

 

However, you can't use the fact that our limited efforts have so far been useless as evidence (i.e. absence of evidence is not evidence of absence). There are a couple reasons for this. First, we're still constantly finding new life on our own planet all the time, so we're still not exactly experts at finding it. Second, most of our attempts at finding alien life are very passive (radio telescopes, for example). If there are other civilizations of a similar technological level as us in existence right now, using similar passive means of searching for us (because there's no reason to assume they'd be more active in their search than we are in ours), then for us to detect them right now, they'd have to be within about 100 light-years of us, just for us to pick up any loose radio transmissions. About half that distance for them to have detected one of our transmissions, and then transmitted a response, which we can detect. If these civilizations are considerably more advanced than we are, it could very easily be that they are using a method of communication in their searches that we simply can't detect (perhaps they overlooked the possibility that others would be unable to detect it, or perhaps they're only interested in civilizations as advanced as they are). If these civilizations are less advanced than us, they probably can't detect or retransmit radio signals to us. Thirdly, it could just be that we're out in the boonies, galactically speaking. Alaska, for example, has a population density of about 1 per square mile. That spacing and localized rarity in no way indicates that human life is rare elsewhere on the planet. In fact, as we are all very well aware, it's quite the opposite, and in some places the population density is outrageously high. Our planet orbits an unimportant star in the outer arm of an average galaxy. That's not necessarily the best place for life to develop. Life could be more prevalent near the galaxy's core. Also, the increased electromagnetic luminosity near the core of the galaxy could mask any radio transmissions from civilizations in that section of the galaxy.

 

:P Ok, I'm done for now.

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However, you can't use the fact that our limited efforts have so far been useless as evidence (i.e. absence of evidence is not evidence of absence).

Well argued.

 

Once we've explored the whole galaxy, and still found no evidence of any other life, your argument would still stand true. Once we've explored half the universe, it still stands. Even when we've explored most, you could still argue that the last bit could harbour life, or even the future could see examples of the spontaneous arising of life.

 

Fundamentally, we both see the probability as (presently) unknowable, and we're both speculating that one of the unknown variables is "likely" to have a value at one extreme (my case) or any value other than that extreme (your case).

 

We may never know, but I hope that, with the progress of science, evidence one way or the other comes along within my (our) lifetime(s).

 

Thank you for your excellent contribution to this debate.

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However, you can't use the fact that our limited efforts have so far been useless as evidence (i.e. absence of evidence is not evidence of absence).

Well argued.

 

Once we've explored the whole galaxy, and still found no evidence of any other life, your argument would still stand true. Once we've explored half the universe, it still stands. Even when we've explored most, you could still argue that the last bit could harbour life, or even the future could see examples of the spontaneous arising of life.

 

Fundamentally, we both see the probability as (presently) unknowable, and we're both speculating that one of the unknown variables is "likely" to have a value at one extreme (my case) or any value other than that extreme (your case).

 

We may never know, but I hope that, with the progress of science, evidence one way or the other comes along within my (our) lifetime(s).

 

Thank you for your excellent contribution to this debate.

 

I like to think that if we had explored most of the universe, I would realize that the last bit harboring life would be extremely unlikely, but there are always some people who take that position. Anyway, I hope that evidence comes along too. It was a fun debate, and I'm glad it didn't degenerate into name-calling and ridicule, like so many others do.

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Yeah, well, just to ruin the trend, I'm going to call you a name :

 

Excellent debater

 

:aware:

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The reason aliens have not come in contact with humans is because everything humans visit just becomes another way of screwing up the land we would probably discover a mineral and we wuld like remove that minreal completely and they would all die soz they no like us.

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I think it's possible they exist. :P

Edited by A Clever Name

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Why is there a debate? The universe is infinite, there has to be intelligent life elsewhere....

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The universe is infinite, there has to be intelligent life elsewhere....

There is no evidence which suggests the universe is infinite.

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The universe is infinite, there has to be intelligent life elsewhere....

There is no evidence which suggests the universe is infinite.

Well....

 

It's big!

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i belive that there is life up there they said they sent cameras up there. but i do believ there is some species up there

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The universe is infinite, there has to be intelligent life elsewhere....

There is no evidence which suggests the universe is infinite.

Well....

 

It's big!

If the universe was infinite in size, I would agree that every possible life form would exist, no matter how improbable.

 

Even if the universe is infinite in extent, we can only ever experience (according to special relativity) that part which we can reach by travelling at the speed of light. So, in a very practical sense, the universe is finite, and, if the big bang theory is correct, roughly 14 billion light years across, albeit expanding by 1 light year every year.

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Of course there is life on other planets. Do you believe that only Earth has life on it out of billions of planets, moons, and other solar systems?

Edited by Desireful

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There's got to be at least some life out there if not a lot. I mean just look at Mars, it's close to us, it used to contain water which means it could have had life on it. If our Milky Way can show some traits like this there's bound to be places out there that may be fit for life.

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Okay guys lets get real here. Humans need water and eathlike temperatures to survive, along with all other life on Earth. There is no telling what other aliens out there need to live.

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Okay guys lets get real here. Humans need water and eathlike temperatures to survive, along with all other life on Earth. There is no telling what other aliens out there need to live.

 

yep

 

some aliens might need errr cake or rocks or rock cakes! to survive, or maybe some other "non-earth", unknown substance.

 

If thier isnt life out there now, then thier must have been once, we can't be alone,

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"We can't be alone"

Oh yes we could be, its a disturbing thaught that we are alone in the Universe, isn't it? But the sad truth is that anything is possible.

 

Doesn't life here on Earth seem a tad too perfect, I mean common, what are the chances of a planet getting lucky enough to harbor life? For intance, the Constants are so "fine tuned" any changes could devistate life everywhere. Also, how do you explain Earths perfect position in the solar system? (The "goldy locks zone", as it is called) And the very fact that humans are here today is extraudinarily special, evolution has changed humans a lot since Earth was formed.

 

Ok back to the topic. I think that if Earth happened, than you can't say anything is impossible, nor can you say that it will happen.

 

That was my :s :blush:

Edited by Big Tree

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Doesn't life here on Earth seem a tad too perfect, I mean common, what are the chances of a planet getting lucky enough to harbor life? For intance, the Constants are so "fine tuned" any changes could devistate life everywhere. Also, how do you explain Earths perfect position in the solar system? (The "goldy locks zone", as it is called) And the very fact that humans are here today is extraudinarily special, evolution has changed humans a lot since Earth was formed.

 

Ok back to the topic. I think that if Earth happened, than you can't say anything is impossible, nor can you say that it will happen.

 

We don't know what the chances of a planet harboring life are, that's pretty much what SlashingUK and I debated about a couple pages ago. As for physical constants, one could say that the only reason it appears that way is because we're here to experience it, and there could have been billions of universes before ours where the constants weren't so perfect. As for Earth's perfect position, well, of all of the planets in all the systems in all the galaxies in the universe, there have to be several (in universal terms, that translates to millions, at least) that fall into that zone, not to mention the location of that zone changes depending on the size and strength of each star. Also, the existence of humans isn't extraordinary really, an intelligent primate is as likely in the grand scheme of things as any other type of intelligent life. Intelligent life was bound to evolve eventually. If we were some kind of reptilian or insectoid creature, we could still say that it's extraordinary that we developed as we did. I don't think it's extraordinary at all.

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But we were some kind of reptilian, amphibian creature in a past life... :blush:

 

(:s I am having a bad typo day...again...)

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I beleive there is other intelligent life out there just none that will be discovered/proven existing in near future (10'000- 80'000 years, even then it is unlikely) when speaking of this you have to take into consideration sheer size of the universe... and evidence of stars going out, either forming black holes or clouds of active live/matter/energy/whatever you wish to call it, from there the "stuff" can group together or just float till it becomes hot and forms a nw star. if it groups together it will either make another smaller star or a rock, which could develop into a planet with thriving life... happened to our solar systm, why not anywhere else?

 

 

 

 

i do believe there is extraterestrial life out there. And no one can change my mind about it. For example how do you explain the frozen water veins on the Martin surface?Or explain stonhenge, human technolegy was not advanced to place stones like that at that time. i am 100% sure there are documented cases that were covered up by the govenment.

 

there has been research conducted on stonehenge and it is deduced that a pulley system was used to uild, trenches were dug around the rocks to keep them stable, just because the technology wasnt as advanced doesnt mean they werent smart, some of the smartest humans ever could be prehistoric. as for government, that is a story based on paranoia imo

 

 

I'd say it's pretty likely that basic life exists elsewhere. As for complex & intelligent life, well, that's far less likely. The evolution of the human race has really been just a bunch of statistical flukes and pure luck - the chances of similar processes happening on other planets to create intelligent life is very, very small (Not totally out of the question, but very , very small nonetheless)

 

 

no, it is LIKELY that other intelligent life exists, evolution is nature of all living things (from the evidence provided this is proven), we atarted as atoms, which evolved into matter and bacteria, the bacteria grew as is the nature of living things, those things adapted to suit a better lifestyle and over millions of yaers all these things left the sea (i forgot to mention this started as sea life) and grew into basic land creatures, this continued with seperate things growing in deffeent ways till they were different species with the same base, this again continued untill apes evolved to suit a better lifestyle into humans wh are evolving as i type this, but the prosess of evolution happend in slight changed oveer millions of years...

 

 

 

id reply to more but i cbf to real this whole topic

 

 

 

 

 

 

who said teenagers couldnt be smart? :mellow:

 

edit: sentance jumped a bit there

Edited by The Cheese

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