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Exploring the Probability of Alien Visitation

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posted on Oct, 12 2009 @ 11:44 PM
One opinion that gets expressed pretty consistently around here is the idea that the laws of probability give the chance of life existing outside of Earth a pretty high percentage. This is true, but I've seen so many people giving the probability of life "existing" the same credence as life actually visiting Earth. I've been rummaging around the net for a while, and I've found a few sources which should help illuminate the probability of extraterrestrial life both finding and travelling to Earth.

Like humans, alien civilisations could shorten the time to find extra-terrestrials by picking up television and radio broadcasts that might leak from colonised planets. "Even then, unless they can develop an exotic form of transport that gets them across the galaxy in two weeks it's still going to take millions of years to find us," said Mr Bjork. "There are so many stars in the galaxy that probably life could exist elsewhere, but will we ever get in contact with them? Not in our lifetime," he added.

Guardian - So much space, so little time: Why aliens haven't found us yet.

"Complex life is separated from the simplest life forms by several very unlikely steps and therefore will be much less common. Intelligence is one step further, so it is much less common still," said Professor Watson. According to his model, if the process of evolution of life on Earth were to start from scratch again, the probability of the last steps ever occurring is less than 10 percent, which translates into a probability of 0.01 percent of intelligent life evolving over a period of four billion years.

The Probability of Intelligent Life

At around 0:50 in the video below, you see the Milky Way (just one of likely billions of galaxies in the universe).

The Universe - How Big are You?

Can you point to Earth? Aliens can't either.

So, what we have here is even with the probability of intelligent life as small as it is (as stated above, 0.01% in 4 billion years on any given planet in the same state as Earth, not even accounting for the inane probability that their 0.01% coincides our own), the likelihood that extraterrestrials simultaneously exist, have attained intelligence, have found us, and are able to physically transport themselves (or probes) to us within the timeframe of our own existance, is vanishingly small.

Now, for those of you who are typing right now that even with the insanely massive numbers involved, it's still possible; You're right. It is possible, in a probability sense. Consider this as an analogy: Winning the Power Ball grand prize is a 1:195,249,054.00 chance. It's possible to win the Power Ball once a week, every week, for an entire year, is it not?

Yes, probability doesn't favor you winning Power Ball once a week, every week, for 52 weeks. However, the same argument for the possibility of co-existing intelligent alien life is being given. Remember that just because it's possible doesn't mean it's actually happening.


posted on Oct, 13 2009 @ 12:13 AM
reply to post by EsSeeEye

What we have with ETs is a romantic notion that we can't be alone in the universe therefore there must be others and they're visiting earth. That's a cosmic ego!

The truth of the matter is that all we have are non-human objects seen from all points on earth. We don't know what these objects are but we refer to them as UFOs/flying saucers. We don't know from where they originate but no one has ever claimed to have seen one any farther than the moon.

We don't know what these objects are and we think that they are some kind of craft. If they are craft, that implies that they have a pilot. If it's a craft and it has a pilot that pilot cannot be human so it must be alien to us. Nothing about this alien life being from another planet or universe. There is no evidence these craft are coming from anywhere else.

What we have, then, is strictly an earth-bound mystery.

posted on Oct, 13 2009 @ 12:18 AM
reply to post by EsSeeEye

""There are so many stars in the galaxy that probably life could exist elsewhere, but will we ever get in contact with them? Not in our lifetime," he added. ""

How can he be so sure of that? Who knows what kind of technology other civilizations have at their disposal. I mean, of course he could be right but it seems a bit ignorant to me to just dismiss the probability of encountering intelligent alien life, only because WE don't have the technology to travel to outer space

posted on Oct, 13 2009 @ 12:24 AM
reply to post by Skeptical Ed

Sorry, I have to disagree - if you think we don't have other life forms, as yet undiscovered, that is the cosmic ego, actually.

To think that puny humans, with all their faults, all their warfaring, all their killing and all their inhumanity are the only creations - that is what I call ego - we are simply not that important in the scheme of things.

posted on Oct, 13 2009 @ 12:31 AM
Ed, I see you around here alot dismissing this possibility and attacking people who believe this.

That's your prerogative to not believe, and I guess to shoot people down. Fine - whatever.


There are too many damn people saying they've been visited, seeing UFO's (yes, I read your post, but I see it differently), "Divinity" and fantastic stories in the bible, not to mention "Chariots of fire in the sky". Also, our technology jump (or jumps). AND, what about the ancient astronaut drawings on stone tables from 10,000 BC as well as UFO's in pictures? And how about the x-government workers coming out of the closets? Did you see "I Know What I Saw"? Are they all lying? Are all of the abductees literally destroying their reputations and talking about their experiences when it's all just BS????

Dude, come on. Just come on. I feel you about how you need to SEE it or touch it, but this case is obviously a case in itself. It's very sensitive for many reasons! If the truth came out, religions would crumble for the most part, and there could be mass hysteria. Look at it from the Government's point of view. Also, if it did indeed came out, it would make the Government(s) look even more untrustworthy.

I'm sure whatever iron-clad proof is out there gets taken away ASAP anyway.

Logic assumes that we are not alone. This is pure logic. We are NOT the only game in town. I don't need proof for that. You want proof? I can't give it to you. But just really think about it with an open mind!

They said the Earth was flat and anyone who though otherwise was insane. Same about the Earth being the center of the Universe. Look what happened to Gallileo!!! This is all history repeating itself!

[edit on 10/13/2009 by impaired]

posted on Oct, 13 2009 @ 12:38 AM
I just made a reply in 'of course exterestrials exist' about my visit by three aliens, please read, perhaps it could help. That was about 8 years ago and before that wasn't leaning in either direction concerning whether or not they exist. They do and it seems all they want is to help us. I think we need to believe in this possiblity like people do their God, not that they are God, just to have the blind faith associated with it. We need to believe and not be afraid or scared or make jokes, they are real, we are not alone.

posted on Oct, 13 2009 @ 12:47 AM
reply to post by impaired

The goal in this thread is to explore the statistical improbability of alien visitation. Unfortunately the immediate and manufactured response is always one based entirely on faith. The hard truth is that right now, we have no available proof that we are being visited by any intelligent extraterrestrials that may exist either in our universe, other universes, the future, or anything else.

Again, I'll state that I don't doubt the probability of life outside Earth. What I'm disputing is the numerical possibility that there is intelligent life outside Earth that is existant, space-faring, technologically capable of finding Earth, and actually doing it.

Keep in mind the sheer immensity of improbability when you put all of these factors together (which is why I gave the multiple lottery win analogy). I wasn't able to find any hard numbers (save for the Drake Equation, but that is very open to bias), so if anyone can help in that regard, I'd love to see them.

I'm very open to evidence. At this point I don't believe we're being visited by extraterrestrials because of the simple improbability. In the same way I don't believe that someone will ever win the lottery every single week for an entire year, even though it is theoretically possible.

reply to post by ganbuzz

Funny how you mentioned faith right as I made my own point about it. Faith doesn't work, because faith is only useful for emotional response, not for finding truth or evidence. I think your plea for people to treat aliens as they treat religion only solidifies my own position that much more.

I feel the same way about God that I feel about other unproven phenomenon, like alien visitation. Evidence is what's needed for me to believe, not faith.

[edit on 13-10-2009 by EsSeeEye]

posted on Oct, 13 2009 @ 12:51 AM
who knows maybe one day.Then it will finally put a end to the issue

posted on Oct, 13 2009 @ 12:57 AM
reply to post by EsSeeEye

Sorry about that.

So you think it's possible that life is out there, but just not visiting us. I guess that's better than not believing that ET's exist at all.

I would be where you're at, but like I said: too much proof otherwise (at least in my eyes), and I believe I covered it in my previous post. What if that stuff is indeed proof, but it's just not being acknowledged???

posted on Oct, 13 2009 @ 12:58 AM
free documentaries

probability of every single case shown in this thread not being a ufo?

we dont know how big the universe is, there is no way to accurately calculate the probability of intelligent ET life. for all we know the universe is infinite, which would therefore give an infinite probability. correct?

would you consider ET's beings from another dimension? or universe?

posted on Oct, 13 2009 @ 01:20 AM
Hey EySeeEye,

I knew I should have never thrown the word God in there, lol.

What I meant to say about faith is that the other day I lost my keys, the wife says look in the backyard, I said I did not have them in the backyard they are in the house, come help me look. Who knows where I put them but me. Finally she found them in the house, I KNEW they were in the house.

That doesn't really make sense does it, lol? Just forget about the God reference.

If you read my story about my encounter with aliens you'll see that because my girlfriend couldn't handle the possibility of a ghost, there was no way she could have dealt with 3 aliens walking into our home and having a chit chat. But because I could and was not a person scared easily and am pretty open minded person, they came to me alone.

So I think you need faith of a kind. You'll never find what you are looking for without it or believe it when you see it or be too scared to stick around when they want to 'chit chat'

People talk of this suppose conference soon where the truth will come out about aliens and press conference and stuff. It would be a disaster, half the people would go crazy like my girlfriend would have. Too many people would be afraid. They will never let it happen.

Anyway, its late, lost the thought.

posted on Oct, 13 2009 @ 11:27 AM
It's not only possible, the alien beings are here:

Alien Home Invasion Update: 'Stargate' Appears

As stated in October 2008, I was hoping more evidence was forthcoming. These newly released images were captured on a high speed camera (30 frames per second) placed in the witness' bedroom. The transporter would develop in front of the television. In avoid damage to the equipment (the aliens are not akin to be photographed) the witness used a solar filter with a mirrored back and captured the transporter image from the reflection. At least two 'beings' are depicted coming through and hovering in front of the 'stargate' for several seconds. These images were selected from a large cache of photo captures. The witness states that there are 4 different 'stargate' type transporters, each vary in speed and size. The larger version develops into a wall-sized portal which the witness and his spouse were forced through on different occasions. Please read the background to this ongoing alien home invasion. There are going to be many questions and naysayers, but I hope I can answer your inquiries with satisfaction as time goes forward. I will post additional evidence as soon as it examined and confirmed for publication.

posted on Oct, 13 2009 @ 11:41 AM

Originally posted by EsSeeEye
What I'm disputing is the numerical possibility that there is intelligent life outside Earth that is existant, space-faring, technologically capable of finding Earth, and actually doing it.

According to reliable insiders, the US government has cataloged no less that 57 specific, named ET races that have visited Earth in recent times. 57! Of course the gov't has kept this information hidden -- soon this information will come out.

You can find this information of you go to and type in " 57 ET races " in the search box that is right up at the top of the site and find the numerous references to Sgt Clifford Stone's comments on this matter.

Trust me, we on Earth HAVE BEEN visited by ETs over and over and over then and now. There are ETs inside the Earth, at the bottom of our oceans, in our nearby space -- everywhere, really. They are here. Now.

posted on Oct, 13 2009 @ 11:44 AM

Originally posted by EsSeeEye
I feel the same way about God that I feel about other unproven phenomenon, like alien visitation.

If we're talking strictly in terms of numbers and probabilities then the probability of extra-terrestrial life visiting Earth is infinitely higher than the probability of God's existence.

We have proof that planets can sustain life in the Universe. Our planet is a known example. We have proof that intelligent life can exist in the Universe. The human race is a known example. What proof is there to suggest supernatural entities exist, such as one necessary to fulfill the role of what people ascribe to God? None. Heck, there's not even evidence to suggest that God exists.

Of course there are those that will argue that their own interpretations of natural phenomena, coincidences or even random patterns is 'evidence' of God's existence, but this is nonetheless an interpretation, and one that requires faith.

So when it comes to "unproven phenomena" and when talking about probabilities, we should put things into perspective. Just because they remain unproven doesn't mean they are equally improbable.

posted on Oct, 13 2009 @ 11:56 AM
Without any shadow of a doubt we have been visited by other races, I hope you will come to term with it some time in the near future

posted on Oct, 13 2009 @ 12:53 PM
reply to post by EsSeeEye

I think it is highly likely aliens know we are here because the ancient past indicated to extraterrestrial astronomers that we (or another sentient species) was going to eventually evolve here on this earth at some point in the future.

I see it this way and in a way that was not covered by your OP. At our stage in technological development we have already discovered 373 planets outside our system and even now we are developing means at an exponential rate to fine tune this search to enable more detailed facts to come up about atmospheric compositions and geological compositions on those planets.

If an ancient extraterrestrial civilisation had seen our earth through even loosely related telescopic means and with a technology vastly more advanced than what we have today, they would have seen the very same things that make our earth so hospitable, from the gasses in the atmosphere. I would go a step further and think they could also detect biomass levels.

Simple cells started to increase on earth perhaps three and a half billion years ago and simple animals were around say six hundred million years ago. This means the earth was already standing out as a possible candidate for life to evolve into something much more and all that was needed for this fact to be detected from the outside was the vast passage of time. On this basis I think it fair to assume that Optical or planetary spectrometric technology pointed in our direction even accidentally would have picked up the data of life.

So I stick my neck out and say that on the basis of time, distance and speed of light, extraterrestrial civilisations would have known the earth was a potential candidate for life within a few hundred thousand years of life developing here.

It stands to reason that if we had discovered a planet out there in the depths of space that showed the same characteristics of an early earth we would be now focusing our attentions in it for the long term. We would be wondering that in the many thousands of years it took for light to reach us from that word how much that world had changed. If we had the means to get there we would certainly go.

(of course not much will change in a few thousand years but you see my point?).

So this probability leads me to believe that the earth has been visited and is still being visited and not only that but we have been well known as a habited planet out there probably since well before the time of the dinosaurs.

I base all of the above on the supposition that an extraterrestrial civilisation would have been using detection technology of a comparative resemblance to our own. Add several thousand years of advancement to that technology and extraterrestrials probably knew we were evolving before we actually did start to evolve.

My opinion is that many extraterrestrial races are here, they have interacted with us on every level you can think of but most importantly, a genetic level. Time was always going to be to the advantage of an extraterrestrial.

They had all the time to set up their infrastructure to support whatever goals they deemed fit for the life on this world and sadly I do not think all the visitors are here to be our friend even if they say otherwise.

I suspect that our future in the evolutionary sense was subverted and hijacked for unknown (not necessarily cynical or nefarious) reasons, and negative reasons or not I am left feeling rather upset by that possibility.

[edit on 13-10-2009 by SmokeJaguar67]

posted on Oct, 13 2009 @ 01:28 PM
I see little of substance in the opening post. IMO the argument fails on at least two grounds.

First, the presumption that they cannot get there from here is seriously flawed. Not everyone makes this assumption and it seems engineers and practical scientists are not so reluctant. In fact, in general it seems only the SETI folk have the default assumption that aliens would do nothing more than sit on their behinds and just send radio signals (or listen).

In the scientific literature there is something known as the Fermi paradox which - summarized - says that advanced extraterrestrials with propulsion as we know it (nothing fancy like warp drive or wormholes) could colonize the habitable galaxy and we should be seeing them all over the place. Since we don't see them, aliens don't exist!

Obviously, one might argue that the multitude of UFO evidence is a solution to the paradox presented.

The argument that distances are vast is IMO a very poor argument. Not just because of the (flawed) presumptions it makes but also because you can easily construct a case showing that the opposite should be true; alien visitation is to be expected, if we don't see any visitors than perhaps aliens do not exist.

Secondly, the argument is imo scienifically unsound as it presumes to put theoretical arguments above actual observational evidence. In other words, preconceived notions and ideas are drawn upon to dictate what is real and what is not. I suggest we should not let someone's private metaphysics dictate reality as that would not be scientifically sound.

posted on Oct, 13 2009 @ 01:44 PM
Mathmatics and probability here is required.

Consider our culture as a general template on civilization. Humans have been around (conservatively) for about 100k years. The last 10-12k years have been civilized life and technology building.

Within this timeframe, there has been plagues, ice ages, natural disasters on epic scales, etc etc...
There has also been fierce religions that have killed anyone making change and advancing science...yet progress has been made

In the last 250 years, we entered a golden age, where lifespan increased significantly and religious persecution became less and less in the more civilized areas of the world...

Science advances when given even the smallest chance and within the last 100 years, we have went from a near agrarian society to a space faring technology and science based civilization.

Our space program has existed (offically) for about 50 years now, and already we have built stations above our planet, and planning on building structures on the moon and our nearest planet in our lifetime (well, those under 60 anyhow)...

What will be accomplished in 2000 years from now?

What about 3 billion years from now...will we at that point be throughout the galaxy? throughout several galaxys?

now consider this...all it would take is for 1 civilization "out there" long ago attaining what we are attaining right now and after a significant amount of time...say a few million years of this cultures technological growth, they would literally be a galactic empire.

No life out there...all we have is proof of life on planets so long as a atmosphere exists...take the one example under our nose...our own planet.

posted on Oct, 13 2009 @ 02:42 PM

Originally posted by EsSeeEye

I think you raise some pertinent points, I agree with many of them and I think we need more people focusing on the realistic and scientific aspects of UFO discussion.

Nothing you present or propose here is, however, reason to not look at the alleged existent evidence. And that unfortunately is what so many people, which I like to call denialists, do and seemingly suggest.

I hope that you being a scientific person and a self-proclaimed skeptic, would reiterate this notion and continue to look at the evidence and evaluate it based on its own merits.

posted on Oct, 13 2009 @ 03:51 PM
reply to post by SaturnFX

I think, given the number of planets out there, there probably is life. I think estimating intelligent life it is quite difficult if only because working out the chances of us is quite difficult because of things like mass extinction events (which seem as much about luck):

There's a reasonable PBS kids questionnaire, using quotes from mainstream science, that explores the issues well:

Steven Hawking's position is that intelligent life may not be inevitable:

I don't know, I've read a little about it but not enough to form a strong opinion. I'm pretty sure that if we were wiped out overnight the most successful life on earth would still be bacteria. And they're really stupid

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