Do you think that alien life exists?
Personally, I do not think that alien life exists on other planets.
In the autumn of 1961 Frank Drake, who had made the very first SETI observations in Project OZMA, hosted a three-day conference at Green Bank, West Virginia, USA, to discuss the likelihood that other civilisations in our galaxy might be trying to make contact with us.
Drake had realised that what, on the face of it, seemed an impossible task, could be broken down into a number of parts, each of which could be looked at separately. The individual parts could then be combined to enable an estimate to be made. He thus set out the agenda of the conference in the form of an equation, now famously known as the Drake Equation. The concept is based on the assumption that other lifeforms require similar conditions to those here on Earth.
Each part of the equation comprised either a number or a factor and during the conference the team of scientists discussed each term in detail and made their best estimate of its value. The individual terms were then placed within the Drake equation to evaluate the number, N, of civilisations with whom we might communicate:
How accurate is the current estimate of N?
The problem is that while some of the factors involved in the evaluation of Rcc are reasonably well known, we can only make educated guesses for others. Neither do we have any real idea of the typical value for L (More on L), so our final estimate for N is not expected to be accurate.
In fact it has been said that the Drake Equation is a way of encapsulating a lot of ignorance in a small space! Evaluations of N in the early days of SETI were probably on the optimistic side with values of up to 1,000,000 considered possible.
Some now say that intelligent civilisations will arise only rarely and thus that we might be the only one existing in our Galaxy at the present time. The true answer will no doubt lie somewhere in between and the SETI projects could perhaps be regarded as an experimental way of finding the answer of how often advanced civilisations arise.
I will be using a planet that already has life (EARTH), as the bases of what is needed for life to survive and show how impossible it is for life to start on its own (Minusing the religious aspects as this is not a religious debate, but a scientific one).
So, as you can see there is intelligent life else where in the universe, if not in our galaxy.
The integers that are plugged into this equation are often subject to wide interpretation and can differ significantly from scientist to scientist. Even the slightest change can result in vastly different answers. Part of the problem is that our understanding of cosmology and astrobiology is rapidly changing and there is often very little consensus among specialists as to what the variables might be.
Consequently, the Drake formula relies on ‘stabs in the dark.’ This makes it highly imprecise and unscientific. The margin of error is far beyond what should be considered acceptable or meaningful.
Another major problem of the Drake Equation is that it does not account for two rather important variables: cosmological developmental phases and time
1 in 10 to the power of 33,113 is the same as winning 4700 state
lotteries in a row with only one ticket for each!
1 in 10 to the power of 112,827 is the same as winning 16,119 state lotteries in a row with only one winning ticket.
Well I believe God started life on earth, hence there is no other life forms out there.
As I have stated I do not wish this to be involved in this issue, after all this is a science debate not a religious debate. But if you want to make it that, thats fine with me.
1) How did you come to the conclusion that life can exist on other planets?
2) If you believe life is on other planets what makes you think they are intelligent?
Until now, the search for intelligent life has been somewhat hampered by inadequate technology—too few stars surveyed at too low a sensitivity by Earth and space-based telescopes.
"It's a matter of statistics, really," said Barnett. "Depending on who you talk to, the universe is 12 to 15 billion years old. Humans have only been around for 40,000 years. We really are the new kids on the block. It would just be too tough a pill to swallow to believe that nothing else has evolved in all that time and space."
The only stumbling block to the idea is that arsenic-based DNA tends to break down quickly. "You don't want to build your DNA out of a compound with a half-life in the order of a couple of minutes," points out Steve Benner of the Foundation For Applied Molecular Evolution in Gainesville, Florida.
However, he points out that it could be a good thing in extreme cold, where chemical reactions move very slowly.
However, silicon is less abundant in the universe and its structures are much less stable and much more reactive than carbon's, particularly in the presence of oxygen where it produces a solid
If water existed (on mars), it would have been locked up as ice. As a result, the formation and evolution of life forms would have been exceedingly difficult.
It would just be too tough a pill to swallow to believe that nothing else has evolved in all that time and space." Barnett Said
1) If this life is intelligent and if they came to earth, how would they survive that long trip?
Green, yellow or even red-dominant plants may live on extra-solar planets, according to scientists whose two scientific papers appear in the March issue of the journal Astrobiology. The scientists studied light absorbed and reflected by organisms on Earth, and determined that if astronomers were to look at the light given off by planets circling distant stars, they might predict that some planets have mostly non-green plants.
Your question itself contains the answer. We are now talking about alien life forms more intelligent than us, and hence they would be capable of communicating with us and their technology would be far more advanced than our primitive one we are using now.
And they will surely have technology that is capable of traveling near the speed of light and also modifying space-time continuum to travel large distance in the time span of days. (Think anti-gravity devices, magnetic propulsion systems)
And, as I mentioned earlier life will adapt to the environment, and if some primitive life forms like plants which serve as the base for higher intelligent life, can exist in different colours and have different photosynthetic mechanism compared to that of earth.
The above image is the Hubble’s ultra deep field image looking back in time to nearly 10 billion light years away, and the region of sky in the image is smaller than a grain of sand held in the sky at arms length.
The problem with parallax is that even the nearest stars are so far away that the jump made as the Earth changes its position by 300 million kilometers is very small; the nearest star will only move less than one arc second. But the parallax method was only able to determine distances of stars that were no more than 50 light years away from the Earth.
You probably notices accept for parallax, every technique is dependent on the others. Tully-Fisher is based on the Cepheids, the Cepheids on Main Sequence fitting, and Main Sequence fitting on parallax. If parallax gives results that are off by say 20%, none of the other techniques will be more than 20% accurate either.
So back in the beginning of our history when we didn’t have as much oxygen on the planet, plant pigments would have been much more towards the blue.
Swiss astronomer Michel Mayor of the Geneva Observatory reported that he and his team had discovered 45 previously unknown planets orbiting a handful of nearby stars. There's good reason for all the excitement.
Mayor himself was the one who spotted that first exotic world, and in the years since, he and other investigators have counted about 270 more, but land in the cosmic exurbs is decidedly inhospitable.
Even Mayor's newest, smallest planets are unlikely to be pastoral places. All of them lie so close to their suns that they complete one orbit in 50 days or less — compared to the lazy, 365-day journey Earth makes — meaning that any water or incipient life on their surfaces would simply sizzle away.
1) How do you KNOW that life is intelligent on other planets?
And surely they will not have time travel capabilities.
Your asuming that life can start by itself, which has never been proven, never been observed and has been seen. Only speculated about.
10 billion light years? Thats only a distance, not a time
"Because light takes time to get here from there, the farther away 'there' is the further in the past light left there and so we see all objects at some time in the past," explains Floyd Stecker of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
We see the relatively close moon as it was 1.2 seconds ago and the more distant sun as it was about 8 minutes ago. These measurements—1.2 light-seconds and 8 light-minutes—can be thought to describe both time and distance.
The distance to more remote objects such as other stars is so great it is measured in light-years—the distance light will travel in a year, or about 6 trillion miles (10 trillion kilometers).. Even the nearest star system, Proxima Centauri, lies more than four light-years away, so it appears to us on Earth as it was just over four years ago when the light began its journey.
Scientific interpretation of the monks’ statements makes it evident that the Extra Terrestrial powers are watching us every step of the way. They will intervene in 2012 and save the world from self-destruction.
The answer is simple logic; we humans are evolving as intelligent species, then is there any law that other species elsewhere in the universe should not be intelligent?
I never assumed anything. I just said primitive life will evolve to more complex life forms and those life forms will adapt to the environment around it. All that is required to start life is the correct conditions like we have on earth. The rest automatically occurs.
Light year is defined as the distance traveled by light in one year. And this directly corresponds to how long the light has traveled to reach us.
"Two years ago we slowed it down to 38 miles an hour; now we've been able to park it then bring it back up to full speed." Lene Hau isn't talking about a used motorbike, but about light
Less than five years ago, the speed of light was considered one of the universe's great constants.
Light energy raises the atoms to higher energy levels in ways that depend on the frequency and intensity of the light. The laser illuminating the cloud at right angles to the incoming beam acts like a parking brake, stopping the beam inside the cloud when it is shut off. When it is turned on again, the brake is released, the atoms transfer their energy back to the light, and it leaves the end of the cloud at full speed and intensity.
Hau's team stopped light for one-thousandth of a second. Atomically speaking, "this is an amazingly long time," Hau notes. "But we think it can be stopped for much longer."
And since the ultra deep field image looks at galaxies nearly ten billion light years away, we are looking at galaxies as they were nearly 10 billion light years ago. And your probability will reveal that out of the billions of stars in each galaxy at least one would have evolved into intelligent species.
And this cannot be denied as Tibetan monks are known for their spiritual power.
Judgement - peacejet vs TheMythLives Contact
opening : 1 -1
1st : -2 1
2nd : 2.5 -1
3rd : 1 -1.5
closing : 1.5 -1
Peacejet did a better job in the opening than TheMythLives. TheMythLives answered the SQ's ok, but then just ended his statement without breaking any new new ground or beginning his arguments. It seems to me TheMythLives wasn't sure of what he wanted to say at this point.
TheMythLives came back nicely with a solid win in round 1, but I saw the first hints of some ambivalence about whether he would take the relious view or the scientific one. This factor played out significantly in the remainer of the debate.
Rounds 2, 3 and the conclusion all go to Peacejet.
I thought both fighters had some difficulty staying 'on message' and wound up chasing each other 'into the weeds' on more than one occasion. It seemed to me that TheMythLives missed some solid opportunities to win more rounds and even the overall contest if he had decided to go with the religious argument, since Peacejet 'opened the door' for him to do so on more than one occasion.
Both fighters showed real spirit and committment to their positions and fought the 'good fight.' It was a pleasure to see the contest play out.
This time the winner is Peacejet, by a comfortable margin.
Judgment for: TheMythLives
At times the spectacle of competition is a bloody one. The worst of those times is when the side we believe in is subjected to the bloodying. But it's hard to deny and feel too defeated when the other guy just played a better game. Such was the case in this debate with peacejet faltering out of the gate, opening his contention with the ill-considered Drake Theory. Most damning to my mind though wasn't TheMythLives quoted refutation of the theory as "imprecise and unscientific", nor his excellent probability wizardry, but rather within the quote by peacejet where it characterized the Drake Theory as "encapsulating a lot of ignorance in a small space". It simply isn't good form to poke holes in one's own argument.
From here peacejet fared little better, choosing to attack his opponent's religious beliefs by citing, in his own words, the "age old creationism vs evolution issue". Being "age old" should have been the first clue as to why this was a poor tactic. And so from here peacejet's arguments degenerated into the realm of wild speculation on the intelligence of alien life, manipulation of the time/space continuum, the veracity of eyewitnesses and, most amusingly, Tibetan monks. All topics most of us here at ATS thoroughly enjoy, but not the stuff of concrete arguments based in reality as we currently know it.
His single best point, to me, about non-carbon based life was easily shown by TheMythLives to be at least highly improbable. Demonstrating that in future debates, peacejet would be better served by more thorough research. On this particular issue I've read several articles which could have gone a long way in weakening TheMythLives defenses of probability. Whether or not it would have won the debate though is much like the question of alien contact and largely still a mystery.
peacejet vs TheMythLives: Contact!
The topic for this debate is: "ManKind, In One Way Or Another, Will Make Contact With An Intelligent Alien Species Within The Next Twenty-Five Years."
This is a favorite topic of mine. I personally wish the word limit was 100,000 words per post.
Since we can’t know whether or not alien life even exists, intelligent or otherwise, proving we will or won’t make contact within 25 years was a real challenge for both debaters
As far as I was concerned, the debate could only be won by opening doors or shutting them completely. I was waiting to see which debater would open a door that I couldn’t close, or shut one for good.
Peacejet’s opening statement is charming, and it’s obvious that it’s a subject that interests him personally. I appreciate that he states his position and then immediately explains his understanding of the word contact, making it clear how it will be used in his argument.
TheMythLives opens with a statement that is succinct to the point of bluntness, which is something I can appreciate. In fact, it can be a very useful way to argue.
He doesn’t waste anytime in letting us know his position when he responds to Peacejet’s questions. He establishes immediately what he’s up against and how he’ll prove his position.
I appreciate his attempt to keep religion out of the debate, stating that this was to be a scientific debate. I understand why he made that choice. I think it was an unfortunate decision - not just for TML, but for the audience as well. The subject title never established that religion was out and it hobbled his own argument (somewhat) from the get go, as we see later on.
First Rebuttal - peacejet
PJ immediately introduces us to SETI and the Drake equation. This emphasizes that, more than just wondering, the scientific community has devoted actual time and energy to exploring the possibility of life existing out there in the universe - and not just here on Earth.
He admits that there are some problems with the equation, but the equation is still useful enough to suggest the difference between probable and improbable.
Peacejet has used the credibility and genuine interest of science to establish that the possibility of intelligent life is more than just his own personal belief.
It’s a strong position at this point, but I have to fault him for closing with: “So, as you can see there is intelligent life else where in the universe, if not in our galaxy.”
There’s no way he can back that up - at best he can only make us aware of the possibility.
First Rebuttal - TheMythLives
TheMythLives doesn’t hedge - and at this point makes it clear that he doesn’t believe life can begin on it’s own - and that God is responsible. He’s committed to this position now. However, this doesn’t prevent him from making good use of both math and science.
He makes clear that Drake’s equation is not proof - and that it may even be unworkable - and that PJ can’t claim to have proven his point based on this. I have to agree with him here.
He continues, using math and biology to demonstrate probability, just as PJ had done, but in another direction, leading away from the idea that it’s possible for life to begin on it’s own by demonstrating just how complex a set of circumstances are necessary for this to happen.
His questions for Peacjet are also good questions, calling attention the fact that his conclusions are also in the realm of belief and based on possibility, not proof.
At the end of this section, I have to say, neither debater has managed to sway me one way or another. Both debaters have me thinking hard about which version of probability is the most probable.
Second Rebuttal - Peacejet
PJ pounces on TML’s conflicting earlier statements - and he’s right to do so. My only objection is that his tone changes here, unnecessarily. He collects himself, incorporating the religious view, using it against his opponent.
He goes on to answer TML’s questions:
“How did you come to the conclusion that life can exist on other planets?”
PJ’s reply surprises me: “I will base it on the reported visitations of aliens documented over the years by reliable sources all over the internet, and those who had a chance to see the intelligent beings will justify this.”
He’s made good use of math and science up to this point - calling into question TML’s religious views being entered into the debate, yet leans on something just as questionable. He relies on witness accounts, but offers nothing but the fact that he knows of these accounts and doesn’t explain how he can actually conclude that life exists on other planets based on this knowledge.
He follows with two articles. I thought the National Geographic article was useful to PJ only in it’s explanation of numbers and probability - the rest didn’t help his argument for the most part.
The second article, however, I thought was fascinating - and offered a new perspective - forcing me to consider that life might exist in forms we don’t recognize right under our very noses, so, why not beyond earth as well?
This helps PJs argument by introducing not only more possibilities, but at the same time, just that
much more information TML has to be able to argue against and disprove.
Second Rebuttal - TheMythLives
TheMythLives answers PJ’s questions - first by admitting he has no answer to: Why do you think God created life only here on earth? Why not elsewhere in the universe, were we destined to be like this?
I wish he had countered by moving directly into his argument dismissing the possibility of life originating from elements other than what we know for certain. Although he can’t prove it’s not possible, it would have contributed to his existing position that life is unique to Earth - he could have gone on to explain that it demonstrates to him not so much the why, but the likelihood that God created life only here on our planet. Instead - while being honest, he more or less quit that battle.
He continues by stating that life forming from materials other than carbon is just theory.
While this is a subject I know nothing about, he does make me realize how complex and specific are the circumstances necessary to the existence and survival of life.
Using theory to open up possibilities can work if you acknowledge that it is just theory. The problem I see with criticizing the use of theory here is that TML has to work harder to dismiss it. The explanation of why certain other elements absolutely wouldn’t work was good, but it only made me consider how much we don’t know contrasted against what we believe we do know now. For me, this part raised more questions than it answered, so I wasn’t convinced it was as impossible as TheMythLives would have liked.
Also, this section confused me because I wasn’t clear which quotes belonged to which links or resources. One link led to a forum discussion.
His next question for PJ is one that always interests me: “If this life is intelligent and if they came to earth, how would they survive that long trip?”
Here I would say Peacejet is ahead, if only because he introduced a new idea that put TheMythLives in the position of having to explain it away, which he couldn’t do as far as I was concerned. Also, the way TML presented his references was confusing.
Third Rebuttal - peacejet
Peacejet replies to TML's question with: “Your question itself contains the answer. We are now talking about alien life forms more intelligent than us...”
This doesn’t prove anything. However, if we accept, even just for the sake of argument, that they’ve arrived, and that they’re intelligent, their ability to travel here automatically suggests that they’re more intelligent than we are.
It’s more difficult, now that TML has asked the question, for him to argue that space travel, or time traveling for that matter, is not possible. Now it becomes about the comparison. We humans are just not smart enough to understand what’s involved in traveling the vast distances or work out how to survive the amount of time required. At least when compared to the hypothetical space traveling aliens.
Peacejet follows with:
“...Consider your saying from the earlier rebuttal that the probability of life being on other planet is low (but not impossible) as greatly mentioned with the example of electrons...”
TML did give an interesting example of just how slim the odds are that life could start on it’s own, but couldn’t rule out the possibility completely.
Peacejet continues by mentioning discoveries made by the existing Hubble telescope, possible earth-like planets, a new telescope in the works with the ability to potentially make even more astonishing discoveries. More importantly, he shows us how much thought, time, manpower and money is going towards answering the question “are we alone?”
This means absolutely nothing as far as proof goes, but if intelligent life does exist, contacting it within the next 25 years is probably more likely if we do look than if we don’t.
Third Rebuttal - TheMythLives
TheMythLives questions Peacejets explanations of how the aliens might travel, factoring in the speed of light, the space-time continuum, anti-gravity devices. But his questions are more of a dismissal of the ideas than an attempt to explain them away.
Farther along TML continues: “As far as the plants go, I have no idea about plants. I hate that type of study...”
It would have made his argument appear much stronger if he had skipped the subjects he didn’t feel confident in instead of calling attention to them.
He also provided several links to sources connected to the subject of extraterrestrial plant life, but what I read there seemed to help Peacjet more than it did TML, so I think he needed to explain the point he was trying to make a little better in this area, and then make it connect to his sources.
He asks Peacejet, in his final question: How do you KNOW that life is intelligent on other planets?
It’s a good question, since Peacejet can’t possibly know, but also a risky question since he can’t know for certain one way or another himself.
Peacjet handled this part better than TheMythLives I feel. At this point, neither debater has been able to convince anyone that this is something that’s actually going to happen, or can’t possibly happen. However, Peacejet has opened up the possibility better then TheMythLives has shut it down.
Closing - peacejet
Peacejets closes with a prophecy connected to the Tibetan Monks: “The above link will show you how conspiracy theorists and members like us will make contact. And this cannot be denied as Tibetan monks are known for their spiritual power.”
This works against him directly if he really wants to call attention to TheMythLives belief in God and use it against him. It hurts his credibility - not because of what he believes, but because he sees it as being more credible than what TML believes.
Closing - TheMythLives
In TheMythLives final statement he again accuses Peacejet of just making assumptions - but then he states that “Intelligent life is nowhere else, but on Earth.”
In this closing statement, I thought it was amusing that TheMythLives used the results of an experiment conducted at Harvard to show that the speed of light can’t be used to measure distance in space because it can be manipulated.
Surely this opens up many, many possibilities. If the speed of light can be manipulated, what else might be possible?
This flings the door wide open as far as I’m concerned, but unfortunately for TheMythLives, it’s Peacejet’s door.
He ends his portion of the debate with: “As you have read, I have provided proof of why Contact will not and cannot occur. It just cannot happen, assumptions and speculation is all we have, no real proof or hard evidence that anything of that nature can/could exist. My calculations have proven and my other sources and knowledge have shown the impossibility.”
I feel that he has shown us why it might be unlikely, but not at all that it’s impossible.
This really is an interesting subject, and as I mentioned earlier - a personal favorite.
I can appreciate how difficult it would be to argue either position since they both involve science as well as personal belief. I thought it was very interesting that both of you incorporated religious and/or spiritual beliefs into your argument, even if they came from completely different angles. I wasn’t expecting that.
Both of you did a good job of making me realize how unknowable much of our universe really is.
As I mentioned at the start, for me it wouldn’t be about proof. TheMythLives didn’t fully convince me contact was impossible, while I feel that Peacejet made contact appear possible - so this win goes to Peacejet.