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# We Could Be The Only Intelligent Life In This Universe!

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posted on Jun, 30 2008 @ 01:51 PM

Originally posted by Acidtastic
I will never believe for even a second that we're all alone. Our tiny insignificant spec of a world is not the only life bearing planet out there. To think so is arrogant at best. If we're the best the universe has on display,then we may aswell switch the light off and all go home. Cos that's rubbish. And I don'tt hink that the universe is rubbish. It's a melting pot of life.

Here is the problem with your above argument, Acidtastic -- it may be that you are diminishing the worth of our planet, of our lives, on a false assumption. (Our planet is undeniably small, but it may be the most significant place in the entire universe, at least with regards to intelligent life)

I'll bring out my original argument again: Assume that there are one trillion galaxies, each with a trillion stars. If the chance of life originating on any star is the same as flipping a coin 100 times and having it land on heads -- there is less than one chance in 1000 of life appearing ANWHERE in the universe**

This is because probabilities multiply -- they don't add up simply.

So it is reasonable to think that there MAY not be any life anywhere else but here.

Of course, in the above example, the chances of life may be much better -- say the probability of flipping a coin only 50 times and coming up heads. That changes things substantially.

So my point is -- we have no way of really determining -- it could go either way. Any strong argument either for or against intelligent life is arrogant in some fashion, because there isn't enough data to draw any conclusion.

#

** EDIT: 1 trillion times 1 trillion = 10^24
2^100 = 1, 267, 650, 600, 228, 229, 401, 496, 703, 205, 376 ~= 10^30

There is one chance in 10^(30 - 24) chance, i.e. one chance in 1 million, by this estimate. Check my math -- I think I am correct here.

The number of stars is in the universe is estimated to be only 10^21 at the link below:

imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov...

So this would mean I estimated 1000 times more stars for my above calculation. In this case, the odds would be more like one chance in 1 billion for life to exist anywhere in the universe, including here! That means we have pretty much distinguished ourselves, and our significance by collectively winning the lottery!

[edit on 30-6-2008 by Buck Division]

posted on Jul, 1 2008 @ 08:33 AM
reply to post by Buck Division

If the chance of life originating on any star is the same as flipping a coin 100 times and having it land on heads -- there is less than one chance in 1000 of life appearing ANWHERE in the universe**

Are you basing your logic off of an assumption you created that life occuring is the same as flipping a coin 100 times? Do you understand the difference between statistical coin flips and reality? Does that take into account atomic properties or the resilience of life we've seen on this planet? I could go on, but you get my point.

posted on Jul, 1 2008 @ 08:54 AM
I think its like this: The ultimate creator of the cosmos is a voracious reader and when he finally gets board with all the speculative writings of the "how ? what? and where? stories", the ultimate creator will let it be know to mankind that other intelligent species are prevalent through-out the multi-verse.

posted on Jul, 1 2008 @ 10:48 AM
reply to post by Ryan Lloyd

WOW, I cannot believe there is someone out there that could actually utter those words such as us being the only intelligent life out there haha. Actually I should be more ashamed than laughing at a comment like that. To think that is the case is sad--Look around at what examples we have as intelligent life-OUR POLITICIANS?? I do agree however that we as race have our share of incredibly intelligent people and that our Technology has advanced greatly but in the same breath I have to waunder what REAL BENIFIT this technology has GIVEN any of us other than those in power that hold the strings of Control-- who tell us how to think and what to think, This individual is a victim of that world of control. To think there is not intelligent life out there other than plants and animals seems to me to be a very simple thinker, but not their fault of course. If our society was based on such limited thought prosesses such as this individual then I highly doubt if we would have made it past the invention of the wheel. THERE IS INTELLIGENT LIFE OUT THERE-- The Mars face, The cydonia region on Mars(built by someone), Certain crop circles, AND SOOOO MUCH MORE EVIDENCE. I am by no means a person who believes everything that is said but I do investigate such matters and come to my own conclusions and beliefs and am not afraid to express them openly regardless of negative feedback. There is certainly some thing more going on behind the scenes that are related to the extra- terrestrial issue that meets the eye. and it is known by many, although this thought must frighten individuals such as yourself, It does not change the fact that something is truly going on, those with open minded abilites will indeed investigate these things more indepth and be atleast mentally prepared in the event of such a discovery and not run in panic and climb under a rock shaking in confusion. What if there was a mass landing that did not consist of plants or animals --THEN WHAT?, or the goverment finally decided to be HONEST with the general public - hahaha, well that type of thinking is way out of the box, But my point is that WE as a society are so wrapped up in surviving that it is difficult for some of us to actually comprehend the idea if the existence of an Alien species that walk on 2 legs, But there are truly MANY of us that BELIEVE this possibility and not just based on the desire to but are willing to put time and effort into this concept with an OPEN MIND without drawing simple conclutions such as only simple plants and animals. We reside in a relativly small Galaxy surrounded by possibly millions of other Galaxies which I am sure consist of more than just plants and animals, For that matter Try to imagine how we may be viewed by a seriousy advanced Species We would appear to them as animals based solely on how we continually kill each other with ALL our so called advanced Technology-- as sad as that is, it is true. There is TRULY to much evidence TO IGNORE unless one choses to for the sake of their own mind set, being afraid to think outside the box because they are so comfortable with that simplicity is fine, but I am just thankful that there are much more advanced thinkers than this individual who I have replied to. In order to succeed in life or to reach some sort of peace within one must be willing to think openly with no preset limitations or it is truly ALL FOR NOTHING....

Maybe Politics would better suite your limited thinking abilities

Think Tank

posted on Jul, 1 2008 @ 11:17 AM

Originally posted by Parabol
reply to post by Buck Division

If the chance of life originating on any star is the same as flipping a coin 100 times and having it land on heads -- there is less than one chance in 1000 of life appearing ANWHERE in the universe

Are you basing your logic off of an assumption you created that life occuring is the same as flipping a coin 100 times? Do you understand the difference between statistical coin flips and reality? Does that take into account atomic properties or the resilience of life we've seen on this planet? I could go on, but you get my point.

You can make a statistical estimate regarding the probabilities of life occurring for any given star system. I'm also saying that it COULD be astronomically improbable that life exists -- requiring astronomical numbers of stars to create even a single instance of life.

I make the ASSUMPTION, to illustrate my point, that there are 100 things that must occur for life to originate, and the probability of each event occurring is 50%. If each of these things is independent of the next, then the probability of all 100 things occurring is one chance in 10 raised to the 31st power (10 followed by 31 zeros.)

Yeah -- there is no basis for this assumption -- there may be 10 things, or 10,000 things. Who knows?

Finally, you mention atomic properties -- physical laws -- perhaps the possibility of atomic properties being as they are is also astronomically improbable? Just to get "out of the starting gate" might be incredibly unlikely.

#

All this argument goes away as soon as we have verifiable proof that life exists elsewhere, of course. It is hard to draw statistical inferences when you have a singular event occurring. If there was even ONE OTHER intelligent life form on this planet, besides humans, it would make a statistical estimate much easier.

My main point: the OP states that we may be the only intelligent life form in th entire universe. I don't think that is a ridiculous proposition at all. In fact, It may actually be the case.

Certainly, nobody in this thread should dismiss the OP. Although this idea may be painful to consider -- it may also be the absolute truth.

posted on Jul, 1 2008 @ 11:58 AM
One more note on what I mean by improbabilities of life occurring.

So far as we can tell, all life requires liquid water in some form. Water is a very special and strange molecule actually (although we have a lot of it here, it is very special) because it dissolves other stuff so well. It is the "universal solvent". I can imagine that life REQUIRES water – just a part of natural law.

Another weird thing about water: it doesn't form a liquid state that well. You need to have a pretty precise temperature and pressure in order to form liquid water.

If our planet was in a slightly more elliptical orbit, or a little closer to the sun, or a little further away, we would have no liquid water. Likewise, if the Earth was a bit bigger or a bit smaller, the air pressure would be wrong to create liquid water.

Another thing that is weird – a planet our size should have a much denser atmosphere (like Venus) but it so happens that our Moon has stripped away the right amount of atmosphere to make water very easy to create – just the right pressure.

Also, our Moon has stabilized our planet's spin, so there is only a small area, around the poles, where we find solid water.

So consider these extraordinary conditions:

#1. We need a planet that is just the right size.
#2. We need a planet that is just the right distance.
#3. We need a planet that has a moon that is just the right size.
#4. We need a planet that has a moon that is just the right distance.
#5. We need a planet that was formed (or had delivered to it) a large amount of water.

If the odds are 1 in 10000 for each of the above to occur (and that is just a guess, of course), then the chances of finding a planet that has all of these five characteristics is ONLY one chance in 10 raised to the 20th power. That is just to get a planet that has liquid water, and doesn't include the chances that life actually forms.

Why don't we feel lucky about that?

[edit on 1-7-2008 by Buck Division]

posted on Jul, 1 2008 @ 12:38 PM

You can make a statistical estimate regarding the probabilities of life occurring for any given star system. I'm also saying that it COULD be astronomically improbable that life exists -- requiring astronomical numbers of stars to create even a single instance of life.

When you say we could make a statistical estimate, do you mean looking at an individual star system and calculating all of the variables, (star size, distance of plants, atomic make up of planets, etc.) to determine?

Also, there could be many other ways life gets started besides our familiar DNA carbon based style. Our scope of observation may be very, very limited, even more so than we think.

I make the ASSUMPTION, to illustrate my point, that there are 100 things that must occur for life to originate, and the probability of each event occurring is 50%. If each of these things is independent of the next, then the probability of all 100 things occurring is one chance in 10 raised to the 31st power (10 followed by 31 zeros.)

I'm not going to, and can't argue with that, if you want to throw out various unrelated numbers and probabilities that have no connection to actual physical reality then, it's just pointless.

Yeah -- there is no basis for this assumption -- there may be 10 things, or 10,000 things. Who knows?

That's what I'm saying...

Finally, you mention atomic properties -- physical laws -- perhaps the possibility of atomic properties being as they are is also astronomically improbable? Just to get "out of the starting gate" might be incredibly unlikely.

The universe is here, we're already out of the starting gate. While there could be variation in physical law in the universe, we've yet to see it large enough to matter. Get it... matter... ok, corny joke... onwards

Atoms, for lack of a better word, enjoy becoming stable. They trade and share electrons to balance their forces. The underlying structure for creating higher levels of organization is already written into the physical law. And a universe with such 'stable' laws may be improbable, but we're here.

[edit on 1-7-2008 by Parabol]

posted on Jul, 2 2008 @ 03:56 AM

Originally posted by Ryan Lloyd
Did anyone actually think that we could be the only intelligent life in this universe.

The difference between intelligence and cleverness puts us into a unique position of being the only intelligent species in the universe.

posted on Jul, 2 2008 @ 09:51 AM

Originally posted by Parabol
Atoms, for lack of a better word, enjoy becoming stable. They trade and share electrons to balance their forces. The underlying structure for creating higher levels of organization is already written into the physical law. And a universe with such 'stable' laws may be improbable, but we're here.

That is a good comment. To expand on your idea, the Universe might "enjoy" having intelligent life. That seems reasonable, and is a good motivation to keep looking.

Intelligent life is obviously possible on other worlds because it is possible here. The laws of nature permit it. (Why is that? Who can tell for sure? That answer is not really important to this thread.)

So I will take your comment as a final thought for this thread, irrespective of any further discussion about probabilities and statistics.

posted on Jul, 2 2008 @ 01:40 PM
I'm glad i have got people talking and have a good response. It seems everyone has their own opinion about everything i have said, so its a never ending circle.

We will find out soon enough, people seem to be finding more and more intruiging photographs of UFO's and such, although they could be hoaxes they look pretty impressive. Maybe the days of wondering are finally turning into days of seeing and believing.

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