Extraterrestrial Life: Your views?

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by CarbonKnight, Aug 1, 2002.

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  1. CarbonKnight Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Apr 19, 2002
    star 4
    I'm a believer. I used to be a big believer, but right now I'm skeptical that alien life has ever visited this planet. Not to mention the fact that the so called Greys are very human like, and more likely originated from earth somehow. I'm not sure if Grey's do exist or not, but I can't really explain why there are so many seperate cases involving them and (usually) only them.

  2. StarFire Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2001
    star 4
    // raises hand

    I'm a believer!

    // adjusts foil hat
  3. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    The universe is a big place. Our galaxy alone contains 100 billion stars(Some estimates say as much as 400 billion).

    There are aprox 100 billion galaxies in the observable universe.
    Thats alot of stars and stuff.

    Stars in the same class as ours make up about 10% of them. In our galaxy that makes for 10 billion other possibilities.

    SOme scientists suspect the galaxy may have a "Belt of Life" starting from 20,000 lightyears from the center and going out to 40,000ly. The speculation is that stars too close are a little to heavy with elements and those too far out are too light with elements.
    Whatever, our star is 28,000 ly out, so if we look to ourselves as an example then we might pick yellow stars at the same distance.
    Lets say 10% again(I think its more actually) and we get down to 1 billion possibilities.

    Something like half the stars out ther are double or triple systems, since we are single we can go down to 500 million.

    So how many stars have planets? LOTS. Current estmates say more than half. Down to 250 million.

    The remaing figures I am not sure of are:How many have been around long enough to get life started? How many have a planet that is just the right distance from the star for liquid water?

    Most who study these things seem to concur that life is probably everywhere we look. The problem is has any of it become intelligent tool makers who may be able to leave their homeworld or listen in on the galactic gossip?
    I'll stop there for now.

    EDIT: This is not to say life cannot get going in other conditions, just using ourselves as examples.
  4. Ramius Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 8, 2002
    star 3
    I definatly believe there could be intelligent life elsewhere. The problem is, are any around right now? Our civilization has been around about 7,000 years or so. That's just a few seconds geologicaly and astronomicaly. There could have been dozens or hundreds of intelligent, space farring races a million years ago, but all could have died out by now.

    I find it funny how most of the races in Star Trek are at approximatly the same tech level, except for maybe the borg. I think Babylon 5 did it better, having some races fairly equal, while a few others had been around thousands and millions of years.

    Given the number of planets in our galaxy alone, I would say odds of an intelligent species existing right now are good.
  5. CmdrMitthrawnuruodo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 1, 2000
    star 6
    I am an alien...well half-alien. My alien bloodline comes from the Telsa Iie or as you call it the second star in Orion's Belt.

    Looks at the human with the tinfoil hat and laughs

    Silly human.

    Anyway...I think Contact says it best "It sure would be alot of wasted space if we're the only ones"

    Or something like that.

    Star Trek is one kriffed up fantasy. Aliens that resemble humans and the only variation are skin coloration, webbed digits, bone ridges etc? Kriff, Star Wars has a wider varity in alien appearances!


    The Greys aren't the aliens. They are the drones or droids of the actual Aliens. The Aliens are actually....drum roll please...

    Drum roll, drum roll, drum roll....

    US!

    Ja! We are the aliens! And I've got the proof!

    Pulls up old old article

    Says right here about our evolution. We have a missing link that connects Homo sapiens to either Cro magnum man or Neaderthal man. Can't remember which.

    The human race is a combination of the natives and the aliens.

    Why the aliens would interbreed with natives? I have tons of theories on that.

    1) Earth is an alien penal colony.
    2) The aliens were colonists and a freak accident forced them to interact with the natives to survive resulting in a new species. (read the story of Atlantis by Plato)
    3) The Adam and Eve story is true, but twisted. (No offense intended)

    and many more
  6. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    The esteamed physicist Freeman Dyson recently made a bet that the first discovery of life off the Earth would be by our detection of a space fairing civilization rather than microbes here in our own solar system.

    It could be by direct laser or radio contact, seeing astronomical sized engineering efforts by an ancient civilization, that sort of thing.

    If FTL communication and travel are possible then we may be a nursery world who will not be contacted until we have something to offer; this is called the Zoo Hypothosis.

    If FTL is not possible, truly advanced cultures might not make contact just because of the energy requirements involved.
    If you have been around for millions of years and have access to billions of times the information we have, why bother?

    If an advanced culture (non FTL) has the usage of their entire solar system they could make a ring of telescopes with the planar diameter equal to the orbit of Jupiter. With this device you could resolve details down to about a foot or so for every light year of distance.

    Any civilization with a set up anywhere near this size would already know we are here. One problem; if they are 1,000 ly away, they would be seeing us as we were 1,000 years ago. Not much to offer.

    However, if you can build a scope this big you could easily send out small, super inteligent probes to any planet that you think could support life in order to keep an eye on things. Possible UFOs? Maybe.
  7. Red-Seven Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 21, 1999
    star 5
    I just want to know if they still have sex, or if they have evolved past that animalistic stage.
  8. Ramius Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 8, 2002
    star 3
    Star Trek is one kriffed up fantasy. Aliens that resemble humans and the only variation are skin coloration, webbed digits, bone ridges etc

    Hehe, I always thought that was funny. That and how they all breathe the same atmosphere. They actually did explain this in a TNG episode though. An ancient race that looked like humans traveled throughout the galaxy, but they were the only intelligent species. So they sprinkeled their DNA all over thousands of worlds so the galaxy of the future could be one big happy family.
  9. Ramius Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 8, 2002
    star 3
    I just want to know if they still have sex, or if they have evolved past that animalistic stage

    :D [face_laugh] 8-} [face_laugh] :D
  10. Terr_Mys Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2002
    star 6
    Another theory I've heard is that there is another planet in the universe which formed several million years just before Earth. This theory states that the planet followed the same evolutionary process that Earth witnessed, except the dinosaurs never went extinct, and continued evolving. And what did they evolve into? Aliens.

    I'm not sure of the man who thought that one up...but eh, it's interesting. :)
  11. MadMardigan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2001
    star 4
    Intelligent extraterrestial life will never make contact with us until we have developed warp capabilities. :D

    Seriously, though, the evidence for contact already to have happened is very shoddy. Consisting of blurry pictures that take alot of interpretation and eyewitness testimony from ex hippies tripping in the desert. Not very good.

    However it is a mathematical certainty that somewhere in this huge universe there is life besides us. It may not be Vulcan, but just a microbe, but still life nonetheless.
  12. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    The odds of anyone from the stars looking like us are..well..astronomical.

    But not impossible.

    Billions of years ago a series of supernova cleared out our little corner of the cosmos.
    Each subsequent explosion sending out more and more material untill enough clumped together to form our solar system and others.

    We are all star stuff, and much of the nearby systems will have a similar make up. It is not out of the question that the same organic materials could be spread out through the stars.

    The problem is that each environment will be differant and those bits of organic material will have to adapt to that world and the differances would be great.
  13. DARTHPIGFEET Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2001
    star 4
    It's a mathmatical impossibility that we are the only ones out there. Plus if we are the only ones then that is pretty sad if you ask me. Humans the only ones, there must be something better.
  14. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    We could be the "Elder Race". You never know. But we will find out one day.

    Astronomers are looking forward to the next couple of decades because of the telescopes that are on the drawing boards.

    At some point we will be able to analize the atmosphere of another world. We will certainly be able to take a look for Earth sized worlds and maybe even resolve continents on those worlds.

    Just a matter of time really.
  15. CmdrMitthrawnuruodo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 1, 2000
    star 6
    Any civilization with a set up anywhere near this size would already know we are here. One problem; if they are 1,000 ly away, they would be seeing us as we were 1,000 years ago. Not much to offer.

    Well if the civilization that has telescopes must realize that and therefore will take in the possibility that we might have something to offer.

    Though that 1 LY away = 1 YR in the past is quite confusing.


    I have a question.

    I have seen images of galaxies far far away taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. They are some pretty good and sharp images. I've also seen some sharp images of nebulas within our own galaxy.

    How come we don't have any images of extra-planetary bodies? I mean, if Hubble can take pictures of galaxies far far away and make images very sharp and pretty looking, shouldn't it be able to take images of known star systems with planets?

    I smell a conspiracy!
  16. Commander Dan Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 2, 1999
    star 1
    I am positively convinced that life exists elsewhere in the known universe, and very likely in our own galaxy.

    I am not convinced that we are or have been ?visited? on any kind of regular basis.
  17. stecm Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 3, 2002
    star 4
    When one considers that there are 100 billion stars in our galaxy alone, I figure the odds of there being no extraterrestrial life are astronomical (pun unintended). That said, I find it unlikely that we've really been contacted by ETs due to the vastness of space...
  18. Jedi_Daniel Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 16, 2002
    star 6
    In regards to CmdrMitthrawnuruodo


    I have seen images of galaxies far far away taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. They are some pretty good and sharp images. I've also seen some sharp images of nebulas within our own galaxy.

    How come we don't have any images of extra-planetary bodies? I mean, if Hubble can take pictures of galaxies far far away and make images very sharp and pretty looking, shouldn't it be able to take images of known star systems with planets?



    I remember hearing somewhere, that we cannot see other planets with telescopes as advanced as the hubble because of the glare of the stars the planets orbit. That is why we can only tell if a planet is orbiting a Star by the stars wobble from a planets gravity.

    Scientific truth, or government conspiracy! Careful what you say, THEY could be watching us!
  19. WormieSaber Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 22, 2000
    star 5
    There probably is extra terrestrial life on other worlds in different galaxies. It would be pretty self-centered of us to think otherwise. However, I don't think there are humans on any other planet. Just a hunch. ;)
  20. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    If Jupiter was out by itself without a star nearby, you could see it from a distance of about 300 light years.
    The reson that we cannot see the planets is in fact because of the parent star outshining the planets by factors of up to a billion or so.
    There is a special type of telescope on the way that will be able o cancel out the glare of the star and we will be able to take a look at the planets circling it.

    About the 1ly=1 year in the past.

    Light travels at 186,000 miles per second. Fast but finite. The Moon is on average 235,000 miles away, you are seeing it as it was just over a second ago.
    The Sun is 93 million miles away, you are seeing it as it was about 8 minutes and 20 seconds ago. It takes 40 times this long for light to get to Pluto and 270,000 times this long to get to the nearest star 4.3 ly)
  21. Darth_SnowDog Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 4
    Check out this article from the NASA/JPL Website on 55-Cancri, a binary system similar to the Solar system, approximately 41 light years from earth.

    Unfortunately, even with the fastest propulsion systems we have, NASA's Ion Pulse Thrust, capable of nearly 70,000mph sustained velocity, the trip to 55-Cancri would take about 404,000 years.

    Granted, there's every possibility that intelligent life has yet to develop there, that it never developed, or perhaps that it developed long ago and has been absent for millions of years. The span of the age of the universe is almost unfathomable... to assume we humans will be around to find life that's capable of reaching us, or we capable of reaching them, before our own extinction is... well, rather naive.
  22. Chris2 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 4
    Religion, in a sense, is sort of a belief in extraterrestial beings. I mean, extraterrestials, after all, are beings 'not of this earth' Gods and lesser divine beings(Angels & demons, for example) would certainly fit into this paradigm.

    It has been speculated that gods and other divine beings are in fact extraterrestial beings, in fact. Some of the descriptions in ancient texts sound a lot like today's UFO sightings.
  23. Darth_SnowDog Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 4
    UFO sightings also sound a lot like religious sightings... most of both turn out to be hoaxes/illusions.

    UFOs are, most often, not aliens.

    Area 51, rumored to be the site of UFO cover-ups, is actually near Nellis AFB's Tonopah Test Range, in Nevada, where numerous top secret military experimental aircraft have been tested for at least 50 years. The Aurora, once thought to be a UFO, was actually the F-117A Nighthawk stealth fighter... first used during the Persian Gulf conflict, but was test flown as early as 1971 at the Tonopah Test Range area.

    So when the Air Force is covering up UFOs... of which they apparently gain no benefit from denying their existence... that's a very strong sign the Air Force is actually trying to take your focus off the fact that these sightings, when not complete illusions, are actually of military maneuvers testing out experimental aircraft... The public knowledge of these aircraft's existence is perceived by the US as a threat to national security.

    So, if UFOs were aliens, there would be no obvious point in denying their existence... but there is a most certainly obvious benefit in denying their existence if it means steering people away from investigating what turn out to be experimental top secret aircraft.
  24. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    Civilizations that are somewhere near our tech level or a little more advanced may see it as worthwhile to try a communication.

    When Dan Goldin still ran NASA he made a comment in an interview that if/when we build a telescope that can resolve a world circling a star and we detect signs of life by analyzing the atmosphere(detecting nitrogen, oxygen, methane and such) then it would not be out of the question that propulsion sciences will get a boost and we would attempt to send a probe to that system in the coming decades.

    We would certainly send a radio beacon in that direction, and may even attempt a laser transmission.

    The reason I say an advanced culture might not bother is this:
    If you have the ability to take apart and rearrange your solar system, if you have the output of your home star at your disposal(Approx 10^26 watts), if you have knowledge spanning hundreds of thousands of years (you could say 10^50 bytes of info compared to Earth's 10^16 to 10^17), if all the above is true you are a power in the galaxy. You can do virtually anything and your culture can be immortal(both individually and your civilization as a whole).

    Our own history is rampant with examples of more powerfull and experianced cultures coming into contact with "lesser" ones. Those lesser cultures get swallowed in a number of ways be it destruction or just losing their own identity to the "superiors".

    You can call it a "Prime Directive" or some other lofty ideal, but it makes some sense that an ideal of Non-Interfearance could be the rule. This would be put in place so a developing civilization can grow into not only their own identity, but also grow to the point where they themselves relize it is best to not tamper with another developing culture.

    Also the exchange of info:If the information that we can handle is (analogy) a gallon of water, a super civilization could be an oil tanker of water. How much can we take from them? How much can we offer?

    Besides all that of course, a truly super civilization could drop in some help from time to time. In 2001 A Space Odyssey the aliens give ancient hominids a little boost to their brains and check up on them later(millions of years later). In 2001 the aliens had long ago left behind their bodies and placed their conciousness into beams of light. (neat!).

    Also, even though a direct exchange of information FROM a super culture would be sort of pointless, a super smart probe from them might not be. I said above the Earth's info is in the 10^16 bytes range, the Library of Congress is around 10^15 bytes(This is called a "petabyte"). With holographic storage it is possible to put this info in a very small device. An evesdropping super probe could be waiting and judging to see when we are "ready" or "worthy" to recieve information that could advance our own knowledge by many orders of magnitude. All the while the probe sends updates about us to the home star.

    Hope you found that interesting! :)
  25. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    This is the Drake Equation:

    R* x Fp x Ne x Fl x Fi x Fc x L = N

    R* is the variable representing the formation rate of the number of suitable sun-like stars. As little as 5 or as much as 1,000 are created each year in our galaxy, 5% of which are like our sun.

    Fp is the percentage of sun-like stars that have planets. We have detected over a hundred Jupiter sized planets so we can say planet formation is common.

    Ne is the number of habitable planets per system. We lack the tech to find them but our own system has one, it is still debateable if Mars was Earth-ish in its early history.

    Fl is the percentage of habitable planets where life develops. We are proof here, if Mars or Europa has current or fossilized life, then life elsewhere becomes more probable.

    Fi is the percentage of life bearing worlds where intelligence develops. Since we are pondering the question we only have ourselves so far.

    Fc is the percentage of the intelligence supporting planets that develope the technology to communicate. We have been leaking radio for half a century now, others may choose to be quiet or have other means to communicate (like laser or something exotic).

    L is the duration that a communicating society lives. Survival is the point to this one, nuclear death, impact, supernova and others can cut a lifetime short.

    N is the number of civilizations after you plug in numbers above and multiply them out. Some scientists come up with very low numbers, some come up with millions. Some disregard this entirely.


    There is a good article on Optical SETI in the latest issue of Astronomy.
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