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Is there intelligent alien life out there?

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posted on Mar, 14 2007 @ 04:45 PM
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Argos,
The only reference I have for what Alien Life would be like is Humanity.
If I was to try and imagine what a highly technologically advanced species would be like, I can only use the examples available to me.

I wasn't trying to be off topic. I was trying to offer a reason why contact with Aliens seems so elusive.




posted on Mar, 14 2007 @ 05:44 PM
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Originally posted by emjoi
Argos,
The only reference I have for what Alien Life would be like is Humanity.
If I was to try and imagine what a highly technologically advanced species would be like, I can only use the examples available to me.

I wasn't trying to be off topic. I was trying to offer a reason why contact with Aliens seems so elusive.


Well i personally think there are other reasons why aliens seem so elusive! And whether they're elusive or not depends on your own personal experiences if you catch my drift.

And im sorry to say it but this thread isn't about why aliens might seem elusive, its a discussion about the probabilities of there being intelligent life in our universe and where it might be fruitful.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thanks for the links toreishi, so its totally viable that there could be a variety of other places that life could evolve other than the so called safe zone. Interesting!!!



posted on Mar, 15 2007 @ 12:36 AM
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Intelligence is a property of mind that encompasses many related mental abilities, such as the capacities to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend ideas and language, and learn. Although intelligence is sometimes viewed quite broadly, psychologists typically regard the trait as distinct from creativity, personality, character, or wisdom.


Source

if we are to properly carry out a search for ET intelligence i believe we should first create a criteria for the definition of intellect in the extraterrestrial context.

how are we to define intellect?

a hypothetical alien race with interstellar travel capability at FTL velocities wouldn't need to announce their presence to us planetbound beings. for them to zip around an observed planet's atmosphere in discs and cylinders and orbs just for the sake of what amounts to their version of scientific curiousity doesn't really make a lot of sense when they can observe and learn quite alot about us from afar. abductions or collecting specimens for future study i can understand but flagrant flybys with disco lights flashing?
c'mon!

look, i dont wanna sound like a skeptic. i've seen and i believe there are unknown and - so far - unexplained objects in our skies. just wondering what if there were really intelligent aliens; and what if by their measure of intelligence, we're just a li'l bit above the dumbest of the lot. think about it.



posted on Mar, 15 2007 @ 07:52 AM
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how are we to define intellect?


Excellent question.

For me, I would say visibile evidence that the beings have modified their environment to suit them and have an apparent society.

For example, if we were an alien being, descending through the Earth's atmosphere for the first time, we'd see crops growing in squares, obvious artificial structures, roads, etc. As we only have ourselves as a comparison metric, I'd wager we'd see similar signs of other such intelligent beings, on their planet.



posted on Mar, 15 2007 @ 03:12 PM
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Fascinating discussion – thank you for adding your insights and giving me and others different perspectives to ponder.

Like some of you here, I’ve done extensive research on this topic of extraterrestrial life, and while I personally believe in it, I admit we have no (public) empirical evidence of their existence. Nevertheless, I believe some of the logic presented can be used to validate a few of the OP’s premise.

I agree that some of Drake/Sagan assumptions for variables in their equation are perhaps a bit optimistic, superfluous even. In circumspect, there are alternative ways to think and logically, mathematically, reach a similar conclusion.

I implore everyone here (esp. the OP) to pick up a copy of the following book and read it. You’ll find yourself amazed and quoting from it often. This is a great addition to any library for those interested in this subject. The author does not rely on Drake’s equation, yet clearly lays out in lay terms an unambiguous, irrefutable case for it to be impossible that our planet alone harbors life in the universe.

Almost no math and no equations will distract you from the treatise and it is an enjoyable, captivating quick reading. You’ll have no trouble finishing the paperback in a few sessions. The basis for the author’s study is heavily grounded in mathematics, however, particularly the probability laws, such as the:
*Union of collection of independent events
*Sequential probability paradigm
*Information inspection paradox
*Panspermia hypothesis
*Increasing entropy in thermodynamics
*Chaotic probability distributions in deterministic and random systems

For those unfamiliar with these terms, don’t let them intimidate you – the book is very easy to grasp…

Probability 1, by Amir D. Aczel, Harcourt, Inc., ISBN: 0-15-601080-1 (pbk.)

This is a fun, entertaining read and may even alter your thinking a bit. There are a bunch of used copies available at Amazon - only a dollar or two. See – now there’s no excuse to read it!

You can get it here, right now: Probab ility 1

Probability 1 should be a part of every library. I’ve shared it with many skeptics and believers alike. The result is always similar: “Wow – I had no idea it was so obvious…”

Intriguing Thread, Thanks - and keep looking up!


edit- fixed link...

[edit on 3/15/2007 by Outrageo]



posted on Mar, 16 2007 @ 09:03 PM
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Originally posted by Gazrok


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....


My thought was as you add terms to the Drake Equation (which is not a real equation, but a way of summarizing), the odds get longer and longer. Though we originally thought the terms were pretty inclusive, as we learn more about the stability of Earth, the instability of the Moon-Earth-Oceanic current and the prevalence or absence of minerals in the crust, we realize just how difficult the build up of a civilization can be.

You might have a planet that is perfectly matched with regard to mineral concentrations and ambient temperature and intelligent beings, but it has too little water for the inhabitants to spare the quantities needed to do important manufacturing processes and creation of fuels, or have a space program. Or there may be some atmospheric condition that allows them flight in the lower atmosphere but not beyond their ozone layer.

There are a thousand and one conditions that have to be met and we only recently realized how important it is to have large quantities of water to maintain the biosphere. A 'Dune-like' planet could support intelligent life, but the Fremen were not spacefaring until the Harkonnens visited in their Heighliners. So they'd have been trapped forever on that would without means to travel off planet. Note how hard even science fiction writers have to work to construct a fantasy involving off planet travel and interaction between species. You essentially have to have a rather large suspension of disbelief when indulging in such speculation.

I'm not even convinced that we have the 'Right Stuff' on Earth to become an extra-solar traveler. Any one of a number of reasons could spell failure.


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.....


Haha, though 'terraforming' is an interesting concept, it's still science fiction and may never be realized on a practical scale. In addition you've just pointed out another factor to be included. Large quantities of resources, goods and services and finance may just break the budget on our planet. I fear we are rapidly approaching the limit of the complexity that we can support in our social and financial systems. A collapse of that (forget bombs and guns) would spell a more certain end to the push into space. We are not even sure of our own meager abilities to sustain our endeavors.

Don't want to be pessimistic, but the 'Right Stuff' may be part of the way that the 'Universe' effectively quarantines the various 'species' from potentially dangerous interactions, especially between microfauna!


'Habitable worlds' and life on other worlds may be pretty certain. I'm basically discussing intelligent, sentient beings that are capable of getting off their own planet, and surviving the perils of hard vacuum, intense cold and radiation, and vast distances. These distances are -so- vast that even with maps and diagrams it's not possible to really understand the distances between our own group and the next local cluster. We're talking several powers of ten here.


Thanks for the interesting discussion.

Best,


[edit on 16-3-2007 by Badge01]



posted on Mar, 17 2007 @ 06:05 AM
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Originally posted by Gazrok


how are we to define intellect?


Excellent question.

For me, I would say visibile evidence that the beings have modified their environment to suit them and have an apparent society.

For example, if we were an alien being, descending through the Earth's atmosphere for the first time, we'd see crops growing in squares, obvious artificial structures, roads, etc. As we only have ourselves as a comparison metric, I'd wager we'd see similar signs of other such intelligent beings, on their planet.


Then we'd land and discover, to our dismay that it was a hive with a decentralized intelligence and none of the individuals capable of sentient thought. Not to be Antsy about it, mind you.



[edit on 17-3-2007 by Badge01]



posted on Mar, 17 2007 @ 10:18 AM
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Something no one seams to be thinking of here our solersystem is at this point and time in the glatic boondocks take a hundred light year circle and count the starts in it the number in only in the thousands giving use at this time vast distences to your nearest naber .
The thing is the galaxe rotates and the soler system goes through sections that are more densly poplated in stars .
so sometime within the next 125 million years earths solersystem will temparly be part of a glatic cluster .
Now what this means at that time in earths history first ther is no night as the number of stars in a 100 light year corcle is now numbered in the millions and the light so much that there can be no darkness .
second our nearest naber is now less then half a light year away .
voyger would there in another 20 years or so at most and even with our low teck we could easly build ships to get there .
the point is in these zones high teck is no longer required above light speed isent eather eaven a under powered cemical ship could reasionably make a jump between stars .
ps to note life here on earth will still be quite possible as wile the is more light the accutal amount of energy recived is only fractions higher .
How about thinking dino days of earth . You see this even has alreday happened more then once in earths history .
Ps again as aloways look for your self and you can find the science easly.
to anyone else the earth is flat and here be monsters.



posted on Mar, 17 2007 @ 10:22 AM
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More importantly is there intelligent life here?


The dolphins might oppose including us in any list and object if they were excluded.

["So long and thanks for all the fish!"]



posted on Mar, 18 2007 @ 12:56 AM
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It's almost like asking if any fish swim in the sea! To a logical/sensible person the answer to both questions is beyond obvious!

And please don't bother asking me for evidence because I will put you on ignore and label you as a respected foe


[edit on 18-3-2007 by SocialistAgenda]



posted on Mar, 19 2007 @ 08:50 PM
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Originally posted by xcalbiersword
... second our nearest naber is now less then half a light year away .
voyger would there in another 20 years or so at most and even with our low teck we could easly build ships to get there . voyger would there in another 20 years or so at most and even with our low teck we could easly build ships to get there .




Alpha Centauri is the closest star system outside our own solar system, being 4.39 light-years distant (about 25.8 trillion miles or 277,600 AU).


Wikipedia



Alpha Centauri
The third brightest star in the sky, apparent magnitude −0.3, and the brightest in the southern constellation Centaurus. It is the closest star to the Sun at a distance of 1.35 parsecs (2.59 × 1013 mi or 4.16 × 1013 km), and its light takes more than 4 years to reach the Earth.


Answers.com




New Horizons attained an escape velocity of about 35,800 mph (57,600 km/h) as it departed Earth orbit. This speed is so fast that the probe reached the distance of the Moon in only nine hours (compared to three days for the Apollo missions) and will reach Jupiter in just 13 months.


Aerospaceweb New Horizons

Aerospaceweb Fastest Manmade Object

i personally don't think even the fastest spacecraft we have so far will be able to get to Alpha Centauri in 20 years or so, as was asserted by xcalbiersword. the new horizons probe is currently on track to travel to pluto (~40AU) and is expected to arrive in pluto's vicinity within 9.5 years (averaging 4.2AU per year!). and with alpha centauri's distance from us being 277,600 AU... well u guys can do the math better than i can.

1 Astronomical Unit (AU) = 149,598,000 kilometers

i also happened to find this interesting tidbit that's somewhat related to the topic.



Due to their proximity to Sol, the stars of this system have been objects of intense interest among astronomers. Stars A and B have been selected as two of the top 100 target stars for NASA's Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) to directly image small rocky planets in Earth-type habitable orbits .

... In addition, all three stars are among the "Tier 1" target stars for NASA's optical Space Interferometry Mission (SIM) to detect a planet as small as three Earth-masses within two AUs of its host star (and so some summary system information and images on Stars A, B, and C are available from the SIM Teams). Astronomers are also hoping to use the ESA's Darwin group of infrared interferometers to analyze the atmospheres of rocky planets found in the "habitable zone" (HZ) around all three stars for evidence of Earth-type life.


SolStation Alpha Centauri 3



Computer models of planetary formation suggest that terrestrial planets would be able to form close to both Alpha Centauri A and B, but that gas giant planets similar to our Jupiter and Saturn would not be able to form because of the binary stars' gravitational effects.[1] Given the similarities in star type, age and stability of the orbits it has been suggested that this stellar system may hold one of the best possibilities for extraterrestrial life.


Wikipedia

[edit on 19-3-2007 by toreishi]



posted on Apr, 25 2007 @ 05:01 PM
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Cant believe it started this thread a month or two ago thinking we'd be waiting years for an earth like planet to show up and now we've found one around the sun of one our closest stars. To go back to what i've been saying in this thread before, the odds that there is intelligent life out there has gone up ten fold - i bloody knew it, this is exciting news indeed!

www.space.com...

In 12 years we've managed to find 230 extra solar planets proving that stars with planets is a common theme in our universe not just a freak occurence in our own solar system as some would have you believe. If there's lots of stars with lots of planets then the odds dictate that there must 99.9% guarantee there are plenty of planets out there capable of sustaining life. - We are not alone we never were!



posted on Apr, 26 2007 @ 12:59 AM
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Originally posted by Argos
I personally find it harder to believe there isn't other intelligent life in our universe... what do you guys think?


As I've said before, you can talk all you want about how many stars there are in the galaxy, or how many Earth-like planets are possible in the Universe, and so on. But it just doesn't matter. Because we don't know what it takes for life to form. We only know what makes it easier for life (as we know it) to keep living.

It's completely possible that a planet can exist that is identical to Earth in practically every way we know -- size, distance from the Sun, water, atmosphere, etc. -- but life might just never happen on it.

Why would it? Why would you think that if you just throw all the right chemicals together on a planet like ours, they will suddenly become alive and eventually become intelligent in some way we might recognize as similar to our own?

What makes you think that? Has some scientist done it in a test tube somewhere? All I know is that if you mix up a bunch of chemicals and blast them with fake lightning, you might get a few stinky amino acids. Nobody I heard of every got those stinky compounds to (ping!) suddenly cooperate to form any kind of little motivated critter, even something as simple as a virus, which barely even qualifies as "life." Why not? Nobody knows. Nobody knows how things go from being chemicals to being alive. Nobody knows the odds, the probabilities.

I mean, hey, as of today, we have found exactly zero proof of any kind of life anywhere here but on Earth. Zero. Sure, space is big. But time is also long. If intelligent life has popped up somewhere else, say a billion years ago, they've had a long, long time to get around and make themselves obvious. But what do we have? Nuthin.

Of course, that could all change tomorrow. But it didn't change today. So there's no reason to think it will change tomorrow.

It's a sad thing to contemplate, I suppose. That humanity is the only intelligent life in the universe.

But look, we can barely get along with each other on this planet. About the best we can do is peacefully ignore each other, and maybe do a little trade. We don't trust each other -- in many ways precisely because of our intelligence -- and we're at each other's throats quite a lot.

Maybe before we get all wistful about alien intelligences, we ought to try learning about and appreciating some of the other intelligences on this planet first. Just an idea.



[edit on 26-4-2007 by SuicideVirus]



posted on Apr, 26 2007 @ 01:54 AM
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I don't get why aliens have to be "beings". Maybe aliens from other solar systems or galaxies are beyond our imagination. I'm almost certain there are many different forms of intelligent life and civilizations scattered all over the universe. Maybe the aliens that supposedly have visited our planet can't be seen by the human eye because they're something our eye is not adapted for. Or maybe they can't get out of their crafts because oxygen doesn't necessarily have to be something they depend on, infact it might be the total opposite.

To us humans Earth is considered a planet suitable for life, but that doesn't mean that life can't exist on other planets that aren't suitable for us humans or any of the animals on our planet. Aliens may be adapted to whatever they exist in. What I mean by that is that maybe their planets don't have air, maybe they have pure gas, or something unknown to mankind.



posted on Apr, 26 2007 @ 02:27 AM
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Hey,

I'm just a guy that every so often looks in on and takes an interest in UFOs Aliens etc.. I have a degree in a boring business related subject and enjoy outdoor sports, going to the pub with friends and so on and so on.....

I have had one UFO experience in my life when i was about 14 coming back from the pub with a couple of friends. That is really what got me interested in the subject.

Over the last few years i have come to the conclusion (that perhaps many have come to before) that humanity is just not ready to absorb and cope with the truth of UFOs Aliens and their excistence... To me its blindly obvious that they excist. There is just too much evidence to deny it!

The problem as we all know is that the World relies heavily on Religion and would never be able to cope with the truth. I think the people in the know realise this and in a way are protecting these people, imagain the truth were t come out! the World would turn into complete carnage and mahem!

Is this really what we want?? how would people who rely on religion cope? what would they tell there kids who have the bible engrained on there brains?? these are just a few Qs i ask myself! and however much i wish aliens would land and tell us how the Earth was really created i just dont think we are ready......

Think how far we really have to go before we are ready!

should we really be rushing all of this! ??



posted on Apr, 26 2007 @ 05:35 AM
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Originally posted by SuicideVirus

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


As I've said before, you can talk all you want about how many stars there are in the galaxy, or how many Earth-like planets are possible in the Universe, and so on. But it just doesn't matter. Because we don't know what it takes for life to form. We only know what makes it easier for life (as we know it) to keep living.

It's completely possible that a planet can exist that is identical to Earth in practically every way we know -- size, distance from the Sun, water, atmosphere, etc. -- but life might just never happen on it.

Why would it? Why would you think that if you just throw all the right chemicals together on a planet like ours, they will suddenly become alive and eventually become intelligent in some way we might recognize as similar to our own?

What makes you think that? Has some scientist done it in a test tube somewhere? All I know is that if you mix up a bunch of chemicals and blast them with fake lightning, you might get a few stinky amino acids. Nobody I heard of every got those stinky compounds to (ping!) suddenly cooperate to form any kind of little motivated critter, even something as simple as a virus, which barely even qualifies as "life." Why not? Nobody knows. Nobody knows how things go from being chemicals to being alive. Nobody knows the odds, the probabilities.

I mean, hey, as of today, we have found exactly zero proof of any kind of life anywhere here but on Earth. Zero. Sure, space is big. But time is also long. If intelligent life has popped up somewhere else, say a billion years ago, they've had a long, long time to get around and make themselves obvious. But what do we have? Nuthin.

Of course, that could all change tomorrow. But it didn't change today. So there's no reason to think it will change tomorrow.

It's a sad thing to contemplate, I suppose. That humanity is the only intelligent life in the universe.

But look, we can barely get along with each other on this planet. About the best we can do is peacefully ignore each other, and maybe do a little trade. We don't trust each other -- in many ways precisely because of our intelligence -- and we're at each other's throats quite a lot.

Maybe before we get all wistful about alien intelligences, we ought to try learning about and appreciating some of the other intelligences on this planet first. Just an idea.



[edit on 26-4-2007 by SuicideVirus]


SuicideVirus you can find life even in the most hostile of regions on this planet, like at the bottom of an ocean on the side of volcanoe vents, the general consensus is if there's water somewhere then you never know life could be there. Like on the moon of titan some people think life could evolve under the icy waters, pretty much like on the volcanoe vents here.

Much of this is speculative of course but thats no reason to say scientifically its unlikely, when actually its more than possible its just gonna take us a while to find out lol.

You also say if aliens where around they would of made themselves found or known about - were on ATS do you know the motto DENY IGNORANCE?

We might not no how chemicals turn into life but it happened here on a planet like this, so we do definately know that planets like ours could support life, if there's lots of them, as recent research has just proved, in terms of odds anyway, then there's a good chance they do support life, just casue we dont know how life started here doesn't mean we should assume that because we dont know how it started here it cant happen any where else then what kinda logic is that?

I respect your opinion but i definately dont agree.



posted on Apr, 26 2007 @ 03:09 PM
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Originally posted by Argos
SuicideVirus you can find life even in the most hostile of regions on this planet, like at the bottom of an ocean on the side of volcanoe vents, the general consensus is if there's water somewhere then you never know life could be there. Like on the moon of titan some people think life could evolve under the icy waters, pretty much like on the volcanoe vents here.

Much of this is speculative of course but thats no reason to say scientifically its unlikely, when actually its more than possible its just gonna take us a while to find out lol.

You also say if aliens where around they would of made themselves found or known about - were on ATS do you know the motto DENY IGNORANCE?

We might not no how chemicals turn into life but it happened here on a planet like this, so we do definately know that planets like ours could support life, if there's lots of them, as recent research has just proved, in terms of odds anyway, then there's a good chance they do support life, just casue we dont know how life started here doesn't mean we should assume that because we dont know how it started here it cant happen any where else then what kinda logic is that?

I respect your opinion but i definately dont agree.


Hey, that's what makes horse races. But your statement that "in terms of odds anyway, then there's a good chance they do support life," is completely unfounded. Just because we find life in odd places on this planet doesn't increase the chances of life being found in similar strange places on other planets, simply because we know Earth already has life on it. Like I said, another planet can have wonderful salty seas and volcanoes and an atmosphere with exactly the same percentage of gasses in it, and be completely dead. It would be a lot easier for us to live there, but a similar arrangement of chemicals is no guarantee of life.

Oh, and I never said that just because we don't know how life started here doesn't mean it couldn't happen somewhere else. It might. But what if the odds against such a thing are just too high? Like flipping a coin and having it land on heads 10^5000 times in a row. That there just wouldn't be enough time in the Universe yet for it to happen more than once?

It's possible. So far, we have no proof of anybody else winning the luck coin flip.

(P.S. - Actually, there's a way around this argument, but it unfortunately relies on making some fuzzy assumptions about cause and effect, the illusion of "time," and the action and function of consciousness. See if you can figure it out!)


[edit on 26-4-2007 by SuicideVirus]



posted on Apr, 26 2007 @ 06:40 PM
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@SuicideVirus

I agree in priciple with what your argument means, how can i know right, but you say that we dont know how life evolves, and put that into meaning, that its unlikely it would evolve because we don't know how it would! Or thats at least how i interpreted it.

I believe if there are lots of potential earthlike planets in our universe then the chances for there being other intelligent species out there is significantly higher. And i understand i am making the assumption that other earthlike planets would have the same ingredients as our earth to produce life but your also making the assumption that other earthlike planets wouldn't how can we know right.

But in principle if there are lots of other earthlike planets then the odds do improve, and thats my overall point.

(Good debating thx!)



posted on Apr, 26 2007 @ 06:40 PM
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@SuicideVirus

I agree in priciple with what your argument means, how can i know right, but you say that we dont know how life evolves, and put that into meaning, that its unlikely it would evolve because we don't know how it would! Or thats at least how i interpreted it.

I believe if there are lots of potential earthlike planets in our universe then the chances for there being other intelligent species out there is significantly higher. And i understand i am making the assumption that other earthlike planets would have the same ingredients as our earth to produce life but your also making the assumption that other earthlike planets wouldn't how can we know right.

But in principle if there are lots of other earthlike planets then the odds do improve, and thats my overall point.

(Good debating thx!)



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