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Is there intelligent alien life out there?

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posted on Mar, 12 2007 @ 12:56 PM
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I can't see how there couldn't be. I mean just doing the math on the subject shows thre is a high probability of alien life out there, thats without taking into account millions of sightings and supposed abductions and suspicious gov. behaviour around the matter etc.



How many stars are there in the Milky Way ? About 100 billion (= 1011).


Thats a 100 billion suns that could be solar systems, with planets! We know other planets and solar systems exist, as we've seen them.



Are there planets around other stars ? At least 80 had been found by January 2002.


So in our galaxy alone there could possibly be millions of planets, capable of sustaining intelligent life. Thinking on this scale and with time in mind there could be civilisations out there that are, thousands maybe even millions of years old!

And thats just in our galaxy, there could be another 100 million more galaxies out there, increasing the odds of intelligent life, other than us being out there again!



How many galaxies are there in the visible universe ? Over 2 million have been counted, but there could be about 100 000 million.


Extract Source-
www.hartrao.ac.za...

I personally find it harder to believe there isn't other intelligent life in our universe... what do you guys think?




posted on Mar, 12 2007 @ 01:26 PM
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You beat me to it! I've been researching this probability argument for a couple of weeks now, and I was Going to do a thread about it, but I thought the "Why the scientific community totally ignores UFO/Aliens" thread was enough for now.

Either way, I agree full heartedly. Here's one of my posts from the above stated thread, hopefully it'll spark some conversation.

------

Here we have a very real phenomenon affecting very much random people all over the globe. As probably already pointed out, we have presidents, high government officials, professional pilots and more people claiming this to be a real phenomenon, yet no one seems to care.

Ï recently started thinking about probabilities, and how we hide behind the so called "fact" that the probabilities of alien visitation is so low that it's impossible Not to ridicule those who claim to have seen ET crafts.

What I found was that there's is very little meaning behind such a statement.

Scientists are really hypocrites when it comes to the probability statement. You see, we have set rules to what applies to probability, yet scientists set an abnormally if not extremely high burden of evidence when it comes to proof. This ensues that all claims, no matter how reasonable, no matter how much (video and photographic) proof it can be backed up with, are gone to waste, just because.. well, we're too stubborn to even Try and realize what's going on.

They say "Extraordinary claims requires extraordinary evidence", but what's to say that these are extraordinary claims in the first place? Unlike the age old "god vs. science" debate, this is actually applicable to reality! Hear me out.

What we know today is a result of a few hundred years of scientific research, right? With todays technology we can travel at an astounding 10% of light speed. We'd have a helluva problem slowing down, but we can still do it! This next question is a very serious one to ponder in this argument, and that is; What is to say that no form of life or other, anywhere in the universe, hasn't created technology superior to ours, and can because of it overcome the great distances of space?

If mankind tries to answer this question I think it's a fair statement that we'd be blindly fumbling in the dark, trying to find a light switch that isn't there. We can try and come up with an answer/find the light switch, but as we're basing that answer on information that is only available to us, we can only conclude that we simply cannot come up with one.

Sorry about the metaphor, but what I'm stating, with utmost certainty, is that we simply can not make an even remotely qualified guess as to what's probable or not. Therefore, when we say that alien visitation isn't probable, we're plainly and simply Wrong, because there's just no way of knowing.

------

And here's a quote from a person I've grown to respect for his logical deduction abilities, namely Brian Zeiler, a veteran on the UFO subject.


...Or is it really just the case that the a priori probability assumed by scientists of alien radio detection is higher than that assumed for atmospheric detection? Is this a priori probability differential between radio versus atmospheric detection logically defensible? Or do we lack sufficient information to make anything but a wild guess, a guess contaminated by incentive, dogma, and mere habit? Why do so many scientists, including Tipler and Fermi, argue that interstellar travel would be feasible for advanced civilizations whose productivity growth has created such vast wealth that journeys are less expensive than they would be for us humans?

Do we know what alien energy resource stocks are? Even right now, we have the technology to mount a journey at 10% of the speed of light and arrive at the nearest star in 40 years. How "extraordinary" is it to consider that, several billion years ago, one culture might have mounted a gradual expedition that took them to our solar system and many others? We sure don't know whether this is "extraordinary" or the natural outcome of technological advancement, but many scientists wish to believe, simply due to heavily entrenched ideologies with absolutely no basis in logic nor fact, that such interstellar expansions are far less likely than the human interception of alien radio signals.

Taken from the essay "The Logical Trickery of the UFO Skeptic". Read the whole thing at: www.ufoevidence.org...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
replaced quote with 'ex' tags



[edit on 14/3/07 by masqua]



posted on Mar, 12 2007 @ 01:39 PM
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Even some of the most hardcore skeptics and scientists would agree that there is extraterrestrial intelligent life....

Where they differ is in their opinion of how feasible it is that they've been able to traverse the stars and get here....

Honestly though, considering we've gone from riding horses to going into space in less than a century, you'd think they'd be a bit more flexible in such beliefs, especially considering the likelihood not only of extraterrestrial intelligence, but the likelihood that said intelligences might have been around a lot longer, and thus increased their technology at a similar exponential rate.....and be capable of what we deem to be impossible.

Do you think Alexander Graham Bell would believe it if you told him that we'd all be walking around with portable phones? I doubt it....



posted on Mar, 12 2007 @ 03:33 PM
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That's one of the points I'm trying to prove. We don't know what the future holds in terms of technological and scientific advances, so why do we assume that we do by saying that "Yes, we do believe in there's probably alien life out there, they're just not here"?

It's hypocritical to think that we're the pinnacle of achievement in this universe.



posted on Mar, 12 2007 @ 03:44 PM
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Originally posted by Drexon
That's one of the points I'm trying to prove. We don't know what the future holds in terms of technological and scientific advances, so why do we assume that we do by saying that "Yes, we do believe in there's probably alien life out there, they're just not here"?

It's hypocritical to think that we're the pinnacle of achievement in this universe.


I agree 100%

Their logic is: there is no tangible proof that extra-solar life has entered our atmosphere from beyond our gravitational field.
I think there is proof, but its kept hidden from the masses.

I think humanity is in a way too 'proud' to admit some other lifeforms are more technologically advanced. I remember when Robert Lazar came forward in the 80's and said he worked at Area 51 (S-4), I didn't think too much of him and he was dismissed as a crackpot and hoaxer - and perhaps he was... BUT - what really makes me question things is when the technology he spoke of is becoming theoretically possible in terms of applied science.
Yeah, there might not be an element 115 - but anti-gravity is a hot topic amongst the scientific community - and a near fact.
I am sure everyone on this board is aware of the Hutchinson Effect - NASA and the DOD are VERY interested in it...

but still - we persist we are the only life in the universe, and IF some kind of contact were to take place - even on live TV - you would still have people claiming it wasn't happening LOL



posted on Mar, 12 2007 @ 04:13 PM
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kroms> I suggest you read the essay I linked to. It's really educational, and teaches you how to deal with subjects such as these without referencing to UFO related stuff. I really think that by not referring and simply sticking to facts, statistics, logic and probability, you can drive your point further.



posted on Mar, 13 2007 @ 11:40 PM
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Thanks for your comments guys.

It just seems crazy to me that if you say UFO people think your nuts, some people just cant think for themselves, even after you've explained the evidence and odds sometimes lol!

Just look at the statistics and they'll tell you there is an extremely high chance of other intelligent life being out there.

And as for them travelling here its definately possible, i mean we mere humans are coming up with theories on how to travel at great speeds even now. Colliding matter and anti-matter, wormholes, interdimensional travel, smashing particles together etc (as i said... theories at the moment though!)

Its highly likely there are lots of other intelligent races out there that are older than us, maybe by thousands of years tecnologically. Im sure most of them have cracked light speed ;-)



posted on Mar, 14 2007 @ 02:55 AM
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I think there's a BIG difference between believing certain UFOs are best identified as being piloted or operated by an extraterrestrial intelligence (you guys got an example of one?) and believeing it's highly probable that there's intelligent life elsewhere in the universe. I don't know any skeptics off-hand who argue we are it, as a statement of fact.



Also using the Drake Equation or something similar to argue 'there's likely many EBE civs out there' has issues re: accuracy [see: Criticisms as a brief example ].


The evidence for EBEs having earthly contact and/or visitation is sketchy and circumstantial at best. That's why UFOlogy doesn't get much love from the mainstream imho. I posted this link back in '05 in an 'origns of the greys' thread around here: An Exploration of the Relationship Between Science Fiction Film and the UFO Mythology It's fairly long, and a very interesting theory. But if you're interested in understanding how some critics view the topic of alien visitations it's worth the time, imo.

Most of us would be absolutely thrilled to find out it's true... but I've not seen anything that would lead me to make that jump/reach that conclusion. A UFO is just that... un-identified.

All that being said/linked, I'd have to agree with Sagan when he wrote, "So if it's just us... seems like an awful waste of space." Roswell, Dulce, X-Files, etc and the John Lears of the world aside.

Regards,
-Rren



posted on Mar, 14 2007 @ 07:26 AM
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Originally posted by Gazrok
Even some of the most hardcore skeptics and scientists would agree that there is extraterrestrial intelligent life....

Where they differ is in their opinion of how feasible it is that they've been able to traverse the stars and get here....

Honestly though, considering we've gone from riding horses to going into space in less than a century, you'd think they'd be a bit more flexible in such beliefs, especially considering the likelihood not only of extraterrestrial intelligence, but the likelihood that said intelligences might have been around a lot longer, and thus increased their technology at a similar exponential rate.....and be capable of what we deem to be impossible.

Do you think Alexander Graham Bell would believe it if you told him that we'd all be walking around with portable phones? I doubt it....


One of the biggest impediments to space travel is the extremely narrow window between planet size and natural resources.

Too small a planet and the chances of natural resources sufficient to construct vehicles is greatly diminished.

Too large a planet and the gravity well is too deep.

The other corollary implicit in this is that the natural resources have to be near the surface of the crust, otherwise mining is going to be impossible.

How do minerals get near the crust? Planetary collisions. The Earth was hit by a Mars-sized planet at least once in its distant history.

This brings up an additional constraint. Too frequent catastrophic events, and the civilization does not have time to reach a pinnacle. Too few, or no events and the planet does not evolve.

There are a lot of additional terms like this that need to be added to the 'Drake Equation', such that the kind of planet needed is going to be extremely rare.

Now, granted, this is an Earth-centric, anthropomorphic view.

There might be gigantic flying whales that can go into space like Farscape depicts.

But these kinds of 'solutions' are pretty far out there and this makes it almost impossible for we humans to be able to have any idea.


Not only is the universe stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine.
Sir Arthur Eddington
English astronomer (1882 - 1944)


My impression is that it might be so rare a situation that there may be one civilization per galaxy -capable- of spacefaring.

However, bear in mind that though -we- have a planet that seems to be ideal in terms of gravity and resources and a few other things, we have not achieved spaceflight. We have merely achieved Near Earth Orbit (NEO), and not reliably (shuttle disasters)(*). (Making one series of flights to a moon does not demonstrate any reliable technological capability, in this regard).

Even if we were having routine flights from Earth to Mars and tourists, it still does not equate with escaping the Solar System.

I think what would be fun, is to try and prove the opposite - that no civilization can ever escape their local milieu.

That doesn't mean we change our beliefs. It's merely an intellectual exercise.

Talking about cellphones as an example of scale is not intellectually challenging. It's sidestepping the question, in my opinion. No disrespect intended.


Best,
-B
PS this post does not mean that I'm a skeptic or a believer. Many believers turn into skeptics and vice versa.

(*) to transport nuclear materials, or use nuclear engines the method has to be so reliable that there is no chance of catastrophy, since the environmental sequelae of a disaster would be preventative.

[edit on 14-3-2007 by Badge01]



posted on Mar, 14 2007 @ 07:50 AM
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Argos,

Interesting and might I say I share your facination with the probability of ET life. I'm linking you to the "Drake Equation".

Dr. Drake's probability eqaution in my opinion should be helpful for all of us with the desire to understand the sheer size of our Galaxy let alone the universe itself.

The link allows you to set your own parameters for probabilities if you'd like. I've used this tool with hardened skeptics. I allow them to enter the numbers they feel are accurate or plausible in their own minds. When the calculation spits out the probabilities they usually join ATS within minutes!!

Good luck and here's the link.

www.activemind.com...

Becker



posted on Mar, 14 2007 @ 12:52 PM
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Thats interesting, had never heard of the Drake equation before. Is actually quite fun.

I do understand the criticisms though, probabilities that cant be tested aren't science. To come up with an equation that cant be tested, means there's no way to know if the equation is true or false? At the same time though, not being able to test the equation doesn't make it false!

What i find interesting about this whole debate, is that it was all sparked by the finding of planets orbiting other stars. We only have the means to detect large jupiter sized planets and we've already found 50 or more. Its common sense to assume once we can detect smaller objects we will find many, many more planets. I mean there are many more smaller fragments out there than objects the size of Jupiter right?

Here's an interesting article that highlights these points:
www.space.com...

With a 100 billion stars in our galaxy there must be plenty the right size and the right distance from the sun to sustain life. A NASA research team thats looking for other earths has come up with a top list of stars that could support life. And thats just with a limited view on our galaxy, with the tecnology we have at present!


"These are places I'd want to live if God were to put our planet around another star,"

www.msnbc.msn.com...


Its also funny how this projects funding has been slashed??????

Im sorry i just cant see how there isnt other intelligent life out there. In that aray of 100 billion stars, if only a 1000 of them had planets the right size and distance from the sun to sustain life.

And only half of those planets had intelligent life.

And only half of those were old enough and tecnologically advanced enough to travel at lightspeed.

That would still be alot of civilisations that might wanna come say hello. Especially with us having nuclear capabilities!!! And some limited space travelling experience.



posted on Mar, 14 2007 @ 01:23 PM
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Here's another article about a group of british astronomers who say there could be earthlike planets in upto half of the solar systems out there!!


"The analysis shows that about half of the known exoplanetary systems could have an 'Earth' which is currently orbiting in at least part of the habitable zone, and which has been in this zone for at least one billion years," the Royal Astronomical Society said in a press release.
www.spacedaily.com...



posted on Mar, 14 2007 @ 01:26 PM
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Its common sense to assume once we can detect smaller objects we will find many, many more planets. I mean there are many more smaller fragments out there than objects the size of Jupiter right?




This idea looks promising:


discovermagazine.com...

Can We Find Another Earth?
NASA is betting that we can, and a team of Princeton astronomers has a clever design for a telescope that could do it within 20 years

[...]
While astronomers have been mired in plans for an exotic array of space-based telescopes, a small, creative team of scientists and engineers based at Princeton University has come out of intellectual left field with a new idea that could cut years from NASA's schedule and cost far less than anyone had believed possible. The key is a revolutionary kind of telescope, invented by Princeton astrophysicist David Spergel, a theorist who didn't know much at all about telescopes until he taught himself optics from a textbook two summers ago. "This is a completely new idea," says Michael Littman, an eminent Princeton optical engineer, "and yet once you see it, you realize how simple and elegant it is. I'm kicking myself that I didn't think of it first."

Simplicity and elegance were the last things astronomers could hope for as they began planning the Finder back in 1996, only six months after planets of any kind were found outside our solar system. The first few planets discovered were huge alien gas balls, much bigger than Saturn or Jupiter, and clearly unfriendly to life. But where there are huge gas planets, astronomers reasoned, there may also be other Earths.

[...]
The best way to find small planets, everyone agreed, was to move away from conventional telescopes and build an interferometer, a series of telescopes that has tremendous power by taking advantage of a principle of optics. For example, if several telescopes are positioned 10 miles apart and the images gathered by each are digitized and fed together at the same time, the final image would have the resolution of a telescope with a single mirror measuring 10 miles across. The largest telescope mirror on Earth is 33 feet across. About a year ago NASA funded the conversion of the twin Keck telescopes—the world's largest—into an interferometer with an image area about 300 feet across that will ultimately be able to find planets as small as Jupiter.

[...]
An infinite set of mirrors was out of the question, of course, and even three or four pairs of scopes would be too complicated and too expensive. But the multiple mirrors gave Spergel an idea: If you trace the overall shape described by that idealized, infinite series of mirrors, it looks something like a cat's eye—a bulge in the center that tapers off at points on the right and left. So instead of building a lot of individual mirrors that approximate this shape, why not, he wondered, just make a single mirror with that shape? Even better: Why go to the trouble of making an oddly shaped mirror? You could achieve precisely the same effect simply by putting a mask over the opening of an ordinary telescope, making an opening shaped like a cat's eye.


The Terrestrial Planet Finder Mission looks promising too.


These are attempts to image an earth-sized planet not just infer it's there (based on 'star wobble')

Regards



posted on Mar, 14 2007 @ 02:29 PM
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perhaps it would do well to take into consideration the possibility that an earth-like member of another planetary system need not be located in the same habitable zone as Earth (i.e. specific distance from the system's dominant star), an earth-like environment is also possible among the natural satellites of the system's gas giants (jovian planets) provided they are far enough away from the sun.

just wondering, is it possible to have planets in a binary star system? two sunsets anyone?



posted on Mar, 14 2007 @ 02:34 PM
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I think in time we'll accept that life is a cosmological constant. Its inevitable.


What I can't figure out is what kinda difference it makes.



posted on Mar, 14 2007 @ 02:54 PM
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Now, granted, this is an Earth-centric, anthropomorphic view.


And that's the problem.

Of the vastness of the Universe that we know about, we can only observe a grain of sand on the beach in comparison. Therefore, the odds of such collisions, gravity levels, etc. being right for life (even just as we know it) are currently incalculable with our current knowledge...but with the billions and billions of candidates out there (homage to Sagan there), surely, the odds are not exactly slim....

Also, we're discovering that our previously held notions of the scarcity of life in space may become extinct.... With the idea of water on Mars being almost a science fact, and the idea of water under Europa's ice being highly likely, we may find that even our own solar system has far more life than we ever suspected, further opening the door for the widening of the parameters of "habitable" worlds.

And don't forget terraforming. With our current tech (and a large, large budget) we could live on Mars and the Moon. That's 3 worlds just in our solar system! Suddenly, that "rare" occurance of a habitable planet isn't seeming so rare anymore.....



posted on Mar, 14 2007 @ 03:07 PM
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The reason I am a bit of a skeptic about the classic view of UFOs is that it seems such a "small" view of ET life. Sort-Of-Human creatures flying around in spaceships.

Think of where you imagine Humanity to be in 10,000 or 100,000 years time.
Do you really think it'll be some sort of George Jetson future?

My theory is that eventually Humanity will escape it's Meat Bodies. Go Software/Pure Energy/Pure Spirit/Whatever. We will reach a stage where flying around in metal spaceships seems irrelevant.

Which is why we don't see evidence of Alien Civilisations.... they are out there, but they are in a form that we can't observe.



posted on Mar, 14 2007 @ 03:17 PM
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Originally posted by toreishi
perhaps it would do well to take into consideration the possibility that an earth-like member of another planetary system need not be located in the same habitable zone as Earth (i.e. specific distance from the system's dominant star), an earth-like environment is also possible among the natural satellites of the system's gas giants (jovian planets) provided they are far enough away from the sun.

just wondering, is it possible to have planets in a binary star system? two sunsets anyone?


I'm very interested in this got any links? I always thought it was a bit odd that there's only a small habitable zone in solar system. As Gazrok points out about Mars and Europa there's many ways life can evolve. Who knows there could be creatures like dolphins in the seas of europa. Would that class as an itelligent alien being? I guess so, just not technologically advanced!



posted on Mar, 14 2007 @ 03:28 PM
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Originally posted by emjoi
The reason I am a bit of a skeptic about the classic view of UFOs is that it seems such a "small" view of ET life. Sort-Of-Human creatures flying around in spaceships.

Think of where you imagine Humanity to be in 10,000 or 100,000 years time.
Do you really think it'll be some sort of George Jetson future?

My theory is that eventually Humanity will escape it's Meat Bodies. Go Software/Pure Energy/Pure Spirit/Whatever. We will reach a stage where flying around in metal spaceships seems irrelevant.

Which is why we don't see evidence of Alien Civilisations.... they are out there, but they are in a form that we can't observe.


This thread isn't about possible human evolution??? And even if we take into account what you say there could still be a large enough gap in time between natural form and ascension. (Like the ancients in SG1 right??)

Back on topic anyway i take from your comment though that you do believe there could be other intelligent life out there based on what we as humans know at the moment? Even if they do ascend instead of travelling around in spaceships?

Because thats what i believe, were not privy to any evidence yet but i think anyone who looks at the odds, and the information we have on stars and planets we've already observed (believed to be around 200 now) the only likely conclusion one can conclude is that there must be other forms of intelligent life out there.



posted on Mar, 14 2007 @ 03:52 PM
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Originally posted by Argos

I'm very interested in this got any links? I always thought it was a bit odd that there's only a small habitable zone in solar system. As Gazrok points out about Mars and Europa there's many ways life can evolve. Who knows there could be creatures like dolphins in the seas of europa. Would that class as an itelligent alien being? I guess so, just not technologically advanced!


Fictional Image



Optimistic astronomers say it is inevitable that, with improvements in observational techniques and accumulating years of data monitoring stellar wobbles (aliens would have to watch our sun for 12 years to see it wobble because of Jupiters tug), Jupiter-like planets in circular long-period orbits will eventually be found. And then astronomers will surmise that terrestrial planets are protectively nested inside the giants orbit.


Source



"It's interesting to ask whether a solar system like ours is a requirement for technological life."

... such planets might have moons that are habitable. "If these Jupiters are in stable orbits, which they seem to be, then although the planet might not be suitable for life, any moons that might orbit around them might be," says Bally, who adds that this is "pure speculation."


Source

here are a couple of links from space.com, i just entered "earthlike moons" in the search box on their front page


[edit on 14-3-2007 by toreishi]



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