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Thoughts on alien life

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Red Lantern
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« on: December 26, 2015, 09:11:51 pm »

You have to think about accidents of evolution and timelines. Many random planetary events must occur in the proper sequence for intelligent life to evolve. If it wasn't for some random asteroid to hit Earth 65 million years ago, if it wasn't for beneficial environmental and geological change in the right place at the right time...

All these random occurrences happen on some other planet in the galaxy may happen, but when? All this would have to happen concurrent with human life on Earth. ET could evolve a million years in the past, or a million years in the future. What are the odds, given the randomness of the evolution of intelligent life, for ET to exist somewhere in the galaxy at this present moment?

I also think the laws of physics prohibit the possibility of some faster than light or instantaneous technology that enables timely travel between the stars. We may not be alone, but ET may be few and far between, with no reasonable chance of communicating with each other or voyaging to each other home planets.
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Red Lantern
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« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2015, 09:14:35 pm »

On the other hand, if the life could have evolved millions of years in the past then who's to say that they woudlnt be thousands of years ahead of us in technology and overall intelligence. Surely you don't think that if the human race makes it a thousand years from today that we will still believe everything we consider true now to still be valid. Surely some things we hold true will be disproven.
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Jannah Warring
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« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2015, 09:30:42 pm »

Of course, there is the possibility of yet un-thought-of technology enabling ET to travel vast distances, but the question remains, where are they, why haven't we noticed them and why haven't they visited us?
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Jannah Warring
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« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2015, 09:31:27 pm »

Then there's the Rare Earth Hypothesis:
Quote
the Rare Earth Hypothesis argues that the origin of life and the evolution of biological complexity such as sexually reproducing, multicellular organisms on Earth (and, subsequently, human intelligence) required an improbable combination of astrophysical and geological events and circumstances. The hypothesis argues that complex extraterrestrial life is a very improbable phenomenon and likely to be extremely rare.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rare_Earth_hypothesis

Then there's The Great Filter, that coincides with the Fermi Paradox, that states that in the possible evolution of intelligent life the likelihood is that something will go wrong along the way, either preventing intelligent life to evolve, or that some catastrophe will occur after intelligent life has evolved, self-created, probably.

Then again, maybe the galaxy is full of Von Neumann self-replicating probes or Bracewell probes. It may be more efficient to send robots into space to seek out intelligent life on other planets. Then there are Berserkers, malfunctioning self-replicating robots, as there will always be errors in replication.

As you infer, ET may be just around the corner, who knows?
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Backhaus
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« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2015, 09:34:47 pm »

No doubt if we achieve FTL within a thousand years we will be leaving evidence of our travels.
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Paranomali
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« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2015, 09:36:33 pm »

I suspect that a great many different combinations of accidents of evolution, and random planetary events can lead to intelligent life, in various ways, at various times.
It seems likely that there are many elder races in our galaxy, but also that a continuum of development exists, with species both less and more intellectually, technically, and spiritually advanced than ourselves. Those nearest our level of development might find us of the greatest interest.
Travel, and communications throughout the galaxy in short periods of time may be possible, once a certain level of technical prowess is achieved. We've had science for such a short time on this planet, we're not really in a position to say that our current ideas about physical or technical limits will hold in the future. We already see some hints that they may not. Before the invention of the spectroscope, it was believed that we would never know the composition and nature of the stars. Now we do.
Supposing a widely populated  galaxy, and the possibility of intercommunication on this scale, we're entitled to ask-- 'so, where is everybody'? It may be that we've been left largely alone at our stage of development, and watched to see what we can do.

Now that we begin to penetrate space with our machines, and even send a few sailing out among the stars, we may warrant  more attention. A more advanced civilization in space may understand how we are likely to develop from this point onward.  They may see us meeting them face to face, in the not too distant future, especially if they think in term of longer spans of time than we usually do
They may deem it high time to begin preparing us for our meeting with them. I'm sure we could stand a few lessons in how to be good and responsible galactic citizens!
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Paranomali
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« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2015, 09:37:09 pm »

The gap between technology in the human race just in the past century is amazing. We went from the first plane in 1903 to visiting the moon only 60 some years later. Only time will tell how far we can go.
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Paranomali
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« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2015, 09:37:36 pm »

 To put some numbers to the pace of our technological progress-- from the Wright Brothers flight to the Moon landing, 66 years, total energy available for use went up by five times. Over the next 46 years, to now, it has gone up to 11 times that base figure.
Even the problem of interstellar travel in practical lengths of time is already being worked on. Dr. Harold White, at NASA, received a small grant to experiment with creating a 'space warp'. He reports an apparent shortening of the space inside his device. A second lab seems to confirm his results. Conclusive results await further, better experiments, but he could just be onto something.
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