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Aliens Exist, but Cannot Travel to Earth: A Loss for the Believer's Community?

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posted on Mar, 12 2009 @ 07:00 PM
reply to post by kidflash2008

Classic quotes

They were sure it couldn't be done

"No possible combination of known substances, known forms of machinery, and known forms of force, can be united in a practical machine by which man shall fly long distances through the air..."
Simon Newcomb (1835-1909), astronomer,
head of the U.S. Naval Observatory

"Men might as well project a voyage to the Moon as attempt to employ steam navigation against the stormy North Atlantic Ocean".
Dr. Dionysus Lardner (1793-1859)
Professor of Natural Philosophy and Astronomy

"There is no hope for the fanciful idea of reaching the Moon because of insurmountable barriers to escaping the Earth's gravity".
Dr. Forest Ray Moulton, University of
Chicago astronomer, 1932.

"Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible".
Lord Kelvin (1824-1907)
British mathematician and physicist

"To place a man in a multi-stage rocket and project him into the controlling gravitational field of the moon where the passengers can make scientific observations, perhaps land alive, and then return to earth--all that constitutes a wild dream worthy of Jules Verne. I am bold enough to say that such a man-made voyage will never occur regardless of all future advances".
Lee DeForest,
American radio pioneer, 1926.

"Rail travel at high speed is not possible because passengers, unable to breathe, would die of asphyxia".
Dr. Dionysus Lardner (1793-1859)
Professor of Natural Philosophy and Astronomy

"What can be more palpably absurd than the prospect held out of locomotives travelling twice as fast as stagecoaches?"
The Quarterly Review, England (March 1825)

"We have reached the limits of what is possible with computers".
John Von Neumann, 1949

"Well informed people know it is impossible to transmit the voice over wires and that were it possible to do so, the thing would be of no practical value".
Editorial in the Boston Post, 1865

Nuclear power:

"There is no likelihood man can ever tap the power of the atom. The glib supposition of utilizing atomic energy when our coal has run out is a completely unscientific Utopian dream, a childish bug-a-boo. Nature has introduced a few fool-proof devices into the great majority of elements that constitute the bulk of the world, and they have no energy to give up in the process of disintegration."
Robert A. Millikan (1863-1953)
speech to the Chemists' Club (New York)

"Any one who expects a source of power from the transformation of these atoms is talking moonshine..."
Ernest Rutherford (1933)

"There is not the slightest indication that [nuclear energy] will ever be obtainable. It would mean that the atom would have to be shattered at will."
Albert Einstein, 1932.

[edit on 02/10/08 by karl 12]

posted on Mar, 12 2009 @ 07:26 PM
The question is not if aliens visit us or not but how do they get here?

They must travel at speeds much greater than light and if we assume they are eons more advanced than us then probably it wouldn't be much of an issue for them.

And seperating the believers from the skeptics does not make much sense because no one understands everything about the universe and we are all searching for the truth.

posted on Mar, 12 2009 @ 08:35 PM

Originally posted by EarthCitizen07
They must travel at speeds much greater than light

Not necessarily. Personally I don't believe in FTL travel, light speed seems to be a very real limitation, as special relativity was validated experimentally many times. However there are possible workarounds. It has been theorized that parallel universes could provide shortcuts, much shorter distances between analogous points A and point B in our universe. There are also speculations by physicists about the proper way to build a warp drive...

What is known beyond any doubt is that within the special relativity framework (without FTL) relativistic speeds can be reached and then time compression kicks in. Even at a comfortable one-g acceleration, it only takes 10 years for the pilot and passengers to get to Sirius, 9 light years away from Earth. Or is it 8 light years? Not sure. Here are some calculations for other destinations in or beyond our Galaxy:

posted on Mar, 12 2009 @ 08:54 PM
And the speed of light through sodium, at close to absolute zero, is less than 40 miles per hour...

There is a certain anthropological arrogance about the whole idea that we could even understand, as yet, the concepts that might lie behind interstellar travel.

You might as well ask Pliny the Elder to explain the concept and intricacies of fusion. All that time we didn't even have the slightest clue about fusion, the sun was merrily getting on with it, despite our ignorance...

posted on Mar, 12 2009 @ 08:57 PM

Originally posted by EarthCitizen07
The question is not if aliens visit us or not but how do they get here?

They must travel at speeds much greater than light and if we assume they are eons more advanced than us then probably it wouldn't be much of an issue for them.

An alien species would not have to travel at FTL speeds to be capable of visiting Earth.

Also the argument made by some sceptics that FTL travel is impossible and the distance between stars is so massive that therefore an Alien species could not visit us is a big ol' straw man

If interstellar travel is possible, and I think that for a significantly advanced species it would be, then at sub-light speeds it would only take from 5 million to 50 million years to colonise our entire galaxy.

5 million to 50 million years might sound like a lot to us but this is a blink of an eye on a geological scale, let alone a cosmological one.

Since there are many stars, significantly older than the sun, where intelligent life might have evolved, we can then argue that a species could have evolved 5 to 50 millions years before humanity.

From there it is reasonable to argue that a species that evolved 5 to 50 millions years before us could have colonised our galaxy even with sub-light speed travel.

So, an alien species would not need wormhole or FTL technology to be able to visit us.

They could be much much closer, say artificial habitats within our solar system or, as some have argued, already here, on Earth, with us.

posted on Mar, 12 2009 @ 11:13 PM
I really don't know where to start on this subject. I have been studying science, math, and history my whole life. I have learned quite a bit and I have some very strong opinions that some would say are on the fringe. I would say that they are on the bleeding edge and someday will be the leading edge of science and history.

Anyway on the topic of alien life forms. I am always amazed at the arrogance and ignorance of many PhDs in biology, physics, astronomy, etc. when the topic of alien intelligence comes up. These folks are all welcome to their opinions but they should not present them as factual and they should offer a disclaimer that they are voicing opinion.

An alien lifeform that is only slightly different from us could be far more intelligent than us. I was thinking about this the other day and one of the questions that I had was the following: "Is there a limit to intelligence?" The reason that I was thinking about this was that we like to think of ourselves as the most evolved and most intelligent species on our planet. We think this because it is our intelligence that has made us the dominant species here.

What would it be like if we met an alien race who had twice the brain mass that we have? At first you would think that they would be twice as intelligent, but you would be wrong. Twice the size, would mean 8 times the neurons, and that would mean that they would be at least 8 times as intelligent, and actually it would probably be much more than that. This is because each neuron has more than a single connection. The more connections, the more information paths, the more intelligent.

So, let's just say that the aliens with the bigger brains are 10 times more intelligent. That means that their "average IQ" would be about 1000 on our scale. So, that is 5 times more intelligent that the most intelligent humans ever. Think about that for a moment. Einstein, Newton, Socrates, would all be morons to the aliens. You and I would not even qualify as severely retarded to them.

So, our moron scientists are saying that these super smart aliens couldn't handle space travel? How would they know? We would not even be able to comprehend their most basic science or math.

Now what I am speculating about here is an alien race that is similar to ours. Nothing really radically different just a bigger brain. That is a very small evolutionary difference. I am sure that a bigger brain is very well within the realm of possibilities.

What about an alien who is very different? What would that be like? We really can't say. We have no idea, but here is some speculation. They may have a much longer life span. What would it be like if the aliens could live a thousand years? This is not outside the realm of possibilities. We have trees on our planet that have lived over 3 thousand years. We have some reptiles that live over 200 years. So a thousand year lifespan is certainly possible. What would they do with all that time? Would a space voyage of centuries be something that they would be willing to undertake? Very possibly.

What if the aliens had a lower metabolism? What if they had a strong tolerance to boredom? Or, what if they had a different perception of time? What if they could put themselves into a hybernation state for centuries? What if they were not a DNA based lifeform?

I think that you get the idea. We cannot say with any certainty what such a lifeform could do. What is more important, we cannot say what such a lifeform would do. Since they are alien, they would not think like us.

The reason that I mentioned all of this is that our race has not really entered the space age yet. We have dipped our toes into the water but we have not dived in yet. When we have reached out beyond Low Earth Orbit, and have established colonies on the Moon and Mars, and have children who are not native to Earth. Then a new age will begin. Then Astro Sapiens will have arrived. Then, and only then, will we be able to comprehend the conquest of space. Then we will have some idea about the feasability of interstellar travel.

You get the idea. We are in no position to say what the human race is capable of with regard to space travel. How can we know what an alien race would be capable of?

posted on Mar, 13 2009 @ 01:35 AM

Originally posted by DaMod

What about say a solar system without an asteroid belt? How about one that has a much much longer cycle of global extinction? What about a species that for one reason or another was never forced into extinction? There is no way of telling what is out there where they are what conditions they are under and even if the planet has ever undergone any sort of E.L.E. at all. There are too many variables to make any kind of assumption especially if your opinion is restricted to our own solar system (which it undoubtedly is). Not every system planet and life is the same. Who is to say the most complex creature on another world is not the fittest? Or an intelligent species cannot take measures to prevent their extinction (both of them and their way of life). You cannot compare it to earth because earth is just one planet and one set of ecosystems in one kind of solar system orbiting one kind of star. We have no way of knowing what conditions are where when in this massive galaxy inside this massive universe. Besides we are a fairly young species. What if a species had say a million years longer to develop tech, what would they be capable of?

Well first it took 5 plus billon years for the earth to create us..that is 1/2 of the usable time of the life of our universe, so we are rather rare. Also if it wasn't for an asteroid we would not be here.

Also you didn’t speak about whether intelligence is a good or bad mutation. As it is right now it leads to over population and 99% of the planet would be in deep trouble if we lost just a few basic needs that our intelligence has artificially created, electricity is one of them.

Maybe some dinosaurs would have developed into an intelligent creature, but would they ever have the ability to build such as we do?

When you start to add so many stipulations that are required for a space fairing race it becomes a rather rare event if ever, and this when spread across the universe makes for a very lonely place with the distances that we are talking about.

The bottom line is we can say that there is proof that life is throughout the universe, but we cannot say that intelligence is a good thing or whether a species can evolve to the point that space travel over incredible distances would ever be possible for any flesh type creatures.

[edit on 13-3-2009 by Xtrozero]

posted on Mar, 13 2009 @ 01:45 AM

Originally posted by Horza

Since there are many stars, significantly older than the sun, where intelligent life might have evolved, we can then argue that a species could have evolved 5 to 50 millions years before humanity.

From there it is reasonable to argue that a species that evolved 5 to 50 millions years before us could have colonised our galaxy even with sub-light speed travel.

So, an alien species would not need wormhole or FTL technology to be able to visit us.

They could be much much closer, say artificial habitats within our solar system or, as some have argued, already here, on Earth, with us.

This and god are about the only two theories that would provide the means to have aliens around us. It would also require ark like ships or hollow moon size rocks that would be traveling as a unique species for millions of years. These would continue to evolve into something totally different than what they started as.

I put this in the same category as god in the likelyhood this is how we got here. One thing though, even if there might have been genetic manipulation we are of/from earth, and so it is more of a fact that we evolved here from lower life creatures.

[edit on 13-3-2009 by Xtrozero]

posted on Mar, 13 2009 @ 01:52 AM
reply to post by lunarminer

I agree with you to a point, but as I said who is to say intelligence is a good evolution trait? Also, the most intelligent creature in the universe is likely not to have the physical ability to build as we do.

As I said in another post, what makes us better than dolphins, our intelligence or our thumbs.

posted on Mar, 13 2009 @ 03:18 AM
reply to post by Elepheagle

know what dooood..

our current knowledge of the universe point to statistics that would say that alien life would have a better chance of developing HERE rather than anywhere else.. so there you go .. aliens don't have to travel.. they're already here..


posted on Mar, 13 2009 @ 04:54 AM
In reference to the mistaken amateur astronomer and Venus,

This is not very interesting really, and it only proves that anyone can be mistaken. We know we make mistakes. The best of us.

Even in thinking this story was relevant to the question of the existence of extraterrestrial life is an error in judgment.

I've read stories of people whom thought they where seeing a star or a bright planet, and it turns out to be a UFO and they go through a visitation or an abduction. What would that say? Stars and planets don't exist?

Non Sequiter,


[edit on 3/13/2009 by ZeroGhost]

posted on Mar, 13 2009 @ 07:04 AM
I'll accept that the 'distances are too great' and the 'odds are bad' when someone can successfully answer these questions without resorting to illogical or self referential garbage:

What is time?

What is number and what does this mean with respect to a continuum?

What is a 'force' and how does it work?

Do fields exhibit the property of the 'conservation of volume'?

What is light and why does it behave the way it does?

What are the consequences of bells theorem?

Why does the Rosenthal effect exist and how does it influence our understanding of ourselves and expectation of physics?

What is a 'Dimension' and how does it relate to us?

What is Space-time made of and how much does it weigh?

If space time is a continuum why does it have to have 'locality'?

How can electromagnetic waves work with no electrons?

How does gravity work?

How can there be universal constants which are 'constant' only with respect to unknown variables?

What is consciousness or 'mind'?

What is distance if the universe is infinite?

How can information be lost?

Why did nothing blow up to produce a big bang?

That is all.

posted on Mar, 13 2009 @ 07:44 AM

Originally posted by WitnessFromAfar
Statement two is false, we do know a lot about the chances for life existing outside of Earth. Most educated on the subject agree that the chances are pretty darned good, yourself included if I'm not mistaken...

Once again, no.

We only have one example of life arising anywhere in the galaxy. Therefore, we have no idea, whatsoever, of the chances of it arising elsewhere. None.

If we know the chances, then what are those chances?

posted on Mar, 13 2009 @ 07:52 AM

Originally posted by EarthCitizen07
They must travel at speeds much greater than light...

No, they don't. There are a variety of ways for a hypothetical alien civilization to achieve interstellar-travel without breaking the laws of physics as-we-know-it.

posted on Mar, 13 2009 @ 08:07 AM

Originally posted by franspeakfree

citing the Drake equation, that the probability of intelligent life existing elsewhere is extremely high

I believe this equation has fundamental relevance in the believers' community', to say otherwise is just portraying sheer ignorance.
Of course it has relevance to believers. What is sheer ignorance though, IMHO, is the use of the Drakes as PROOF that there is intellegent life existing and that it must be visiting us. I also find it ignorant that Drakes equation is for life existing is posted constantly without also referencing the Fermi Paradox which argues against it.

To believe that we are the only life forms in this giant jigsaw puzzle is just plain crazy.
Based on the evidence I would call it logical.

To say that there aren't any intelligent life forms more advanced than us, therefore cannot possibly obtain the technology to travel outside their own earth is just ludicrous and an old fashioned way of thinking.
To say that there are not "any intelligent life forms more advanced...." is not just said for the sake of it. People say that because we have not been shown that this is true by an actual advanced race travelling vast distances to visist us, over distances we humans find impossible to travel.
This may be old fashioned to you, to draw conclusions or beliefs from facts, but this is the way most people and science generally work in our reality. Where as science fiction on the other hand may conclude that this method is outdated.

Thankfully people are now starting to wake up and realise that humans aren't all what we are cracked up to be.
I agree, but we can easily come to that conclusion by observing ourselves alone without having a fantasy comparison with possible intelligent life forms that Drake equates as being a possibility.

posted on Mar, 13 2009 @ 08:21 AM
Why do scientists and others still believe that UFO's and Aliens cannot reach the Earth?
When will they ever stop thinkng that Aliens are at the same technological stage as us Humans?
Or that Aliens are even the same as us?

posted on Mar, 13 2009 @ 08:31 AM
reply to post by WitnessFromAfar

lol no the rare earth debate is still alive and well. You need to do more reading on the subject.

as for kepler every experiment starts with a prediction. But to make a prediction in this field you need to make assumptions. Kepler team make a couple of big ones that may turn out to be completely wrong.

My whole point in nbrining up kepler was to illustrate we dont yet have the data to say if earth like planets are rare or comnmon. Kepler will tell us if our solar system is an oddball or not. Nobody on earth knows the answer.

To be clear when they say rare earth they mean planets with complex life (plants & animals) not just size & orbit. Even the rare earthers concede microbial life is probably common.

[edit on 13-3-2009 by yeti101]

posted on Mar, 13 2009 @ 09:43 AM

Originally posted by DataWraith
Why do scientists and others still believe that UFO's and Aliens cannot reach the Earth?
When will they ever stop thinkng that Aliens are at the same technological stage as us Humans?
Or that Aliens are even the same as us?

I think it's because they cannot figure out the right formula that would allow interstellar travel, coupled with the fact that we've had no visible visitations ourselves (and I say that tongue in cheek).

posted on Mar, 13 2009 @ 09:46 AM
reply to post by Xtrozero

Well, I agree with you as well to a point. Superior intelligence is only one possible difference for an alien life form. It is a big one however since our only prospect for meeting an ET right now is if they are able to come to us. I think that it is almost a certainty that any alien lifeform able to get here is going to be much more intelligent than us.

I also agree that aquatic creatures, no matter how intelligent, are unlikely to be able to accomplish space travel. For one thing the energy required to lift a space vehicle into space is huge when the atmosphere is a gas, it would be many times higher with a liquid environment. I could be wrong about that though, others have thought that human space travel was impossible and lived to witness their mistake.

Something that I did not mention in my previous post that might be cause for concern. I once read an article that stated that only predators develop intelligence. Predatory species have to stalk their prey and may need to outsmart it. Non-predators need to be fast, nimble, and quiet, so they do not develop their brains. I don't know if it is actually true but when you look at a list of the most intelligent animals on the planet, almost all of them are predatory.

So, it may be that the development of intelligence is a part of the natural selection process and so it may not be rare at all.

posted on Mar, 13 2009 @ 10:33 AM
On the issue of the Drake equations and the Fermi Paradox.

The Drake equations are often quoted by both sides of this argument. One side says that the base numbers are so large that the existance of other lifeforms is a certainty, no matter how small the probabilities for each of the terms.

The truth is that we have no idea what the probabilities are for most of the terms. We won't be able to determine many of the terms until we achieve interstellar space travel.

There are a few terms that we can determine to some degree. For instance the total number of stars in our Galaxy and the number of Galaxies that we have discovered so far. So, we may be able to determine how many stars exist in the Universe and their relative ages.

Another one that we are starting to get an idea about is the probability of planets. The formation of planets is now thought to be quite common.

Then there are a couple of terms that really don't belong in the Drake equation. For instance the probability of sunlike stars and earthlike planets. This supposes that intelligent lifeforms can only develop on earthlike planets. I think that this is probably a false assumption.

Also, we have not determined what we mean by "earthlike" planet. Would Mars and Venus be considered "earthlike"? What about Mercury? I would say that they are, others might argue that point.

So, as far of the numbers go, the terms that we are able to speculate on, show that there is a good probability for stars of the correct size, age, and composition. There is also a good probability that a star develops planets.

We don't know what the probability of earthlike planets are, but what we know right now is that the composition of a planet is determined by its distance from its star, with the denser elements closer in, and the less dense material forming gaseous planets farther out. Pluto seems to be an abnormality.

So the probability of other intelligent life in the Universe looks pretty good based on the terms that we know something about.

We don't know what the probability of a planet developing life is. We may gain some insight into this issue once we know whether or not Mars, Europa, and Titan have life. If they do, then we may need to rewrite the Drake equation and change the term to the probability of a solar system to develop life.

On the question of the Fermi Paradox, which asks the question, "If life in the Universe is common, then why haven't they contacted us?" I paraphrased it here but the meaning is clear. The absence of evidence of alien life implies that alien life does not exist. I don't want to criticize Fermi too much for this paradox. Fermi was brilliant but he was a product of his time. His idea of an alien race was probably along the lines of "War of the Worlds".

How would an alien race make contact with us? We don't know. That all depends upon that race and how different they are from us. Of course there are many millions of people who believe that we have been contacted already. Some of them are quite credible.

I think that it is interesting that the SETI crowd quotes the Fermi Paradox so often that they should hang a banner up in their office with the statement printed on it. I find it humorous that a group of scientists who believes in alien intelligence enough to dedicate their careers to the search for it, would then deny that aliens can travel here.

Anyway, SETI and Fermi both assume that the method of contact that the aliens would choose would be in the form of radio communications. Why would we assume that an alien race would need radio?

What if the aliens are telepaths? In this case they would never develop language and would have no need of radio. Maybe their SETI scientists are all sitting in a room trying to receive telepathic messages from us? Their assumption being that any intelligent race would be telepathic. Who knows?

As a race, we have had radio for about 100 years and we are already moving away from it. We are switching our terrestrial communications to fiber optics at an alarming rate. In another century radio and television receivers will be quaint old antiques like an old Victrola or a buggy whip. So, if the radio age is short for us, why would we assume that an alien race would choose to communicate in this way?

Also, radio is a poor method to communicate across interstellar space. The power required to send a simple signal using an analog radio signal is huge. At the receiving end the signal strength will be very low and would probably be lost in the radio noise from our sun.

I think that it is far more likely that an alien race would try to send a signal that would be more suited to interstellar distances. I think that a modulated laser signal in a wavelength that is not output by their star is a much better option. However, nobody on this planet is looking for a signal like this. Maybe SETI should rethink the problem?

Also, what if a an alien civilization has the capability to modulate the output from a star? This would probably be a low bandwidth method but would be far superior to most other methods to send a signal across the Galaxy. Maybe we need to look at the outputs from neighboring stars and look for an embedded signal?

To sum this up, I think that the Fermi paradox is a false premise based on false assumptions that resulted from asking the wrong question.

The question to me is not whether alien intelligence exists, the question is how would they choose to communicate?

[edit on 13-3-2009 by lunarminer]

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