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Where Are They All?

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posted on Jun, 19 2006 @ 04:18 AM
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I'm sure many of you are familiar with the Drake Equation (and if not check this Drake Equation). Basically it is a mathematical equation which estimates the number of alien civilisations in our galaxy.

The Fermi Paradox is a challenge to this.


The size and age of the universe suggest that many technologically advanced extraterrestrial civilizations ought to exist. However, this belief seems logically inconsistent with the lack of observational evidence to support it. Either the initial assumption is incorrect and technologically advanced intelligent life is much rarer than believed, current observations are incomplete and human beings have not detected other civilizations yet, or search methodologies are flawed and incorrect indicators are being sought.


Now, I have just finished reading the Ultimate Galactus storyline from Ultimate Marvel (known as Gah'Lak'Tus in there) and these points are both mentioned.
However, another suggestion is added to the Fermi Paradox, the possibility that we aren't tripping over alien civilisations because they have been/are being destroyed.

Considering Drake's Equation, which is sound, we should literally be bumping into alien life. But what if these species, that we should be (relatively) next door to, are being destroyed by spaceborn plagues, a fleet of even stronger jealous aliens, a threat from outside the galaxy........ or even a being that drains the life out of their planet (hey its a big galaxy
)

What is the possibility that some other life form or extragalactic entity has been wiping out other civilisations in the billions of years it took us to reach space travel. It would explain why we can't find those little green men, and possibly why the alien encounters we do have are trying to unite our planet. Maybe they are telling us that whatever it is, is on it's way here.




posted on Jun, 19 2006 @ 04:22 AM
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what about the rare earth thingummi?

en.wikipedia.org...

[edit on 19-6-2006 by gamgamil]



posted on Jun, 19 2006 @ 04:25 AM
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Originally posted by JackofBlades

What is the possibility that some other life form or extragalactic entity has been wiping out other civilisations in the billions of years it took us to reach space travel.


As long as your writing FICTION , then you know that is a certainty ( " wiping out other civilisations" ) because no-one cares unless they are paying to see a thriller, and of course that comes with certain expectations you know.



posted on Jun, 19 2006 @ 02:32 PM
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One postulate that I have seen thrown about is that the most succesful interstellar species would be one that destroyed all other species by instinct, simply because this would maximize its resources and dispersal. But one could make the same argument for xenosymbiosis. (Other than the latter takes time.)

So I don't know the answer, other than to say that the equation you describe is a back-of-the-envelope model based on a simnple hypothesis. Its also one that we aren't really in a position to test yet.

The SETI people assume, in a most strange manner, that science and perception are some fixed small set, and that EI would apply and generate large-scale electromagnetic phenomenon. This, in my opinion, is a weaker assumption than the back of the envelope calculation.

Imagine if Columbus had continued to sit on that dock in Italy, and thought to himself, "If I don't see any windsails, then there aren't any foriegn people's out there. Because all advanced peoples sail and apply sailboats."

THe fact is, the Inca and the Aztec thrived without the wheel or the sailboat.

ANd that is just an anthropomorphic example. DOn't even get me started on this trekkie assumption of bisymmewtric, pedal creatures with 'eyes' and 'noses' and what not.

So I would say it will be some time before that back of the enveolpe model can be tested. We will have to go places and look.

I am very jealous of the people's who will get (have gotten) the chance.



posted on Jun, 19 2006 @ 02:40 PM
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The fastest methods of sencoring and communications we have are only capable of traveling at the speed of light.

These methods being radio waves for communications, radio waves as radar and light reception and transmision.

Our own galaxy is about 100000 lightyears across.
We can't see the other side of the galaxy, because there is a bright gascloud surrounding the center of our galaxy which in itself is a supermassive black hole, which halts both radio and light waves dead ini their tracks and alters the path of radio and light passing anywhere near it.

So, almost half of our galaxy is unreachable and unexplorable (at the moment) for us because we can't recieve anything from there.

And for the other part it would take up to 50000 years for us to recieve signals in the radio or light spectrum from parts of our galaxy.

Next to that, finding a specific focussed signal thats addressed to us from within our galaxy in the night sky is 100x harder then finding a needle in an ocean sized haystack.

There are many reasons why we haven't detected other life out there and there are even more reasons why, if they are here studying us, that they would want to avoid making broadscale contact. We are just to young.



posted on Jun, 19 2006 @ 03:12 PM
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The problem with trying to determine the potential for intelligent life in the Universe is that we don't know all of the variables. We know how harsh the Universe is, in general. It's loaded with all kinds of deadly radiation or deadly cold. It's constantly pushing toward entropy and decay, rather than organization through life.

The assumption in the Fermi Paradox that the Universe has had plenty of TIME to create millions of intelligent civilizations is a very big assumption, since we don't have a clue as to know, on average, how long it takes for life to form. Life on Earth could be the most astronomical fluke ever. A chance combination of molecules to form DNA might take an average of 100 billion years, and we were just lucky to have formed in the first 10 billion or so. Beginners luck!

And the Drake Equation only gives you a large number of civilizations if you put in numbers that will give you that number. It has a lot of variables, and it only takes one of those variables to be zero (or 1) and suddenly we're the only life anywhere, ever.

At this point, we're the only life we know of. We're it. And even the limitations of our sensing technologies, we've already done some pretty hard looking. After all, imagine a billion-year old technological civilization. Why they'd be able to literally spell out their name with stars if they wanted to. Our space would be flooded with all kinds of radio and light communication. We'd have some evidence, but we don't. So until we find somebody, there's no reason to think that there's anybody out there for us to find. It's just us, and one of these days the Sun will flare up and kill all the life off here, and that will be the end of it. Maybe it'll pop back up in another 100 billion years.



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