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Probability of ET Life Arbitrarily Small, Say Astrobiologists

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posted on Aug, 2 2011 @ 08:48 AM
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Originally posted by Drunkenparrot
reply to post by Pimander
 

Whether The Demon Haunted World is Carl Sagan's best or worst is entirely subjective. You failed to link any kind of citation sourcing the quote you posted so its difficult to place a substantial amount of weight that the person writing the critique was qualified to do so and not someone off of facebook who didn't like what Dr. Sagan had to say.

I was not critical of Sagan from a position of ignorance and I am qualified to do so. In fact on many of the topics Sagan comments on, in The Demon Haunted World, I have studied in considerably greater depth than he did.

My two biggest criticism of the book are as follows. Firstly Sagan ignores the best evidence and disingenuously pretends to have successfully debunked entire fields of research. Secondly he jumps on the old chestnut of accepting that if phenomenon has been hoaxed then the phenomenon does not exist. That would mean that of course that manned flight is not real as it has been faked on stage and in movies. His position in the book is simply not scientifically credible and is establishment propaganda as opposed to a serious investigation of the material.

For very different reasons to your own, I completely agree that more researchers should read the book. The baloney detection kit is fascinating although, as I stated above, I recommend it be used on the baloney in the second part of the book cooked up by Sagan.

I would be delighted to cite Sagan and explain why I take this position in more depth but my copy of the book is at my ex-partners and I am not working until September so I intend to spend spend a lot less time in the library. Feel free to remind me to later though as perhaps even a thread where we can debate this properly would be a good idea.

Apologies for coming across as accusing you personally of not doing your own research as that was not my intention. It was more a general tip for readers and I totally respect that you may not agree with me.

P.S. I really need to fetch my books - this is getting irritating.

edit on 2/8/11 by Pimander because: typo

edit on 2/8/11 by Pimander because: typooooooo!!!!




posted on Aug, 2 2011 @ 11:19 AM
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reply to post by Bigwhammy
 


The Drake equation is only as good as its data, its always changing as we learn more. On the one hand the article is true, we are the only life we are aware of thats arisen but thats like a Human living on a Island saying "I've not seen any other Humans, so I must be the only one."



posted on Aug, 2 2011 @ 11:32 AM
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Originally posted by Helmkat
we are the only life we are aware of thats arisen but thats like a Human living on a Island saying "I've not seen any other Humans, so I must be the only one."


No, not quite. It would be like a person waking up alone on an island with no idea how they got there, saying, "Just because I'm on this island, I can't assume there are other people out there alone on other islands."

Which in my mind makes more sense than saying, "Since I'm alone on this island, there must be many other people just like me alone on other islands."



posted on Aug, 2 2011 @ 01:57 PM
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reply to post by Pimander
 


Thank you for the clarification Pimander.

As I'm sure you are well aware, it is sometimes difficult to get a sense of individual viewpoints with only a short paragraph and sometimes easy to misunderstand intent.



posted on Aug, 2 2011 @ 02:12 PM
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The Earth isn't made of some special substance, unique to itself. It's made of the same 'stuff' as everything else out there in the universe.

We've already discovered many planets that may possess a similar atmosphere to our own. And we've only analyzed, metaphorically speaking, one grain of sand on an unimaginably-large beach.

You don't need an equation to tell you the chances of extraterrestrial life are very, very good.



posted on Aug, 2 2011 @ 02:27 PM
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Originally posted by FOXMULDER147
The Earth isn't made of some special substance, unique to itself. It's made of the same 'stuff' as everything else out there in the universe. [...]
You don't need an equation to tell you the chances of extraterrestrial life are very, very good.


Maybe you could tell me the odds of a particular batch of chemicals bouncing around until they just happen to arrange themselves into a living thing, complete with self-awareness and an ability to reproduce itself. How does that happen? How long does it take? How many steps are necessary?



posted on Aug, 2 2011 @ 03:24 PM
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Originally posted by Blue Shift
Maybe you could tell me the odds of a particular batch of chemicals bouncing around until they just happen to arrange themselves into a living thing, complete with self-awareness and an ability to reproduce itself. How does that happen? How long does it take? How many steps are necessary?

Given the correct environment, and left alone for a few billions years, I imagine the "odds" are quite good.



posted on Aug, 2 2011 @ 04:50 PM
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I would tend to agree with the astrobiologists, that the "probability of ET life is arbitrarily small." That's probably why our "rare" planet Earth, that is tucked away in far off spiral arm of our Milky Way galaxy, is a popular stopping point for ET's: [ ie.- food, water and fuel- to name a few ]

You can probably forget about any habitable life, living within a very large radius, of the center of our galaxy; due to deadly cosmic radiation, cosmic collisions, black holes, etc etc.

The part of any major spiral galaxy, that could have the chance for "life," would be in the spiral arms or in close proximity too them.

Cheers,

Erno86



posted on Aug, 2 2011 @ 05:32 PM
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Originally posted by Observer99

Originally posted by DarkSarcasm
With infinite possibility comes infinite probability.


No. There are infinitely many real numbers. Only one of them is 3. If only 3 = life, and 3 sat around pondering the likelihood of other life, and concluded "with infinitely many other numbers, one must have life", he would be wrong.

There are also infinitely many real numbers between 1 and 2. Thus an infinite universe could exist with infinite permutations and no life. Arguing based on infinity is usually fallacy.


Seems to me that you don't quite understand the quantitative representation of infinite possibility. In this sense it is not representative of a number is is representative of the size of the universe. Until we establish what its size is then the representation of this number in the equation referred to by the op then the answer to the equation will continue to be infinite. Arguing infinite size of the universe is the logical and only mathematical way until actual size is established. The equation cannot be fully established or properly represented until every ratio is established which will literally never happen. Currently we can only say that the size of the universe is as far as the light has been able to travel since its beginning. Beyond this, we must expect the infinite possibility of its size.



posted on Aug, 2 2011 @ 05:46 PM
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On the only planet we know of with the correct conditions for life to develop, it has. Earth.

That's 1 out of 1. Not bad.

Until someone shows me a planet with the correct conditions where life hasn't developed, I will continue to assume that it has, does, and always will develop under said conditions.



posted on Aug, 2 2011 @ 06:03 PM
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Originally posted by Blue Shift

Originally posted by Helmkat
we are the only life we are aware of thats arisen but thats like a Human living on a Island saying "I've not seen any other Humans, so I must be the only one."


No, not quite. It would be like a person waking up alone on an island with no idea how they got there, saying, "Just because I'm on this island, I can't assume there are other people out there alone on other islands."

Which in my mind makes more sense than saying, "Since I'm alone on this island, there must be many other people just like me alone on other islands."


If a person grew up in a remote part of the world, never seeing another human, but believing that there were others out there. He would have made a pretty good assumption.



The odds of waking up on an Island with amnesia really isn't comparable to what is being discussed.



posted on Aug, 2 2011 @ 07:00 PM
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Originally posted by FOXMULDER147

Originally posted by Blue Shift
Maybe you could tell me the odds of a particular batch of chemicals bouncing around until they just happen to arrange themselves into a living thing, complete with self-awareness and an ability to reproduce itself. How does that happen? How long does it take? How many steps are necessary?

Given the correct environment, and left alone for a few billions years, I imagine the "odds" are quite good.
Exactly,and nobody created the automobile either.After a few billion years tires and engines eventually screwed themselves together and gasoline eventually had to find its way intoo the gas tank.



posted on Aug, 2 2011 @ 09:15 PM
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Thanks for all the replies... I am sympathetic as I used to think there was probably alien life out in space. Not so much anymore... This post prompted a lot of arguments from incredulity like, "golly, the universe sure is big..." which sort of reminds me of Jodie Foster's character in the film Contact, "what an awful waste of space..." line. On the surface, it seems to have some force. It does seem like a huge waste of space... but that's only because we are very limited finite creatures. To an infinite omnipotent Creator who transcends our space time it's really not so big.

It seems that the odds against it are well... astronomical. Here's is what an Astrophysicist has to say:



On the Reasons To Believe website we document that the probability a randomly selected planet would possess all the characteristics intelligent life requires is less than 10^-304. A recent update that will be published with my next book, Hidden Purposes: Why the Universe Is the Way It Is, puts that probability at 10 ^-1054. In the book I wrote with Fuz Rana, Origins of Life, we describe a calculation performed by biophysicist Harold Morowitz in which he showed that if one were to break all the chemical bonds in an E. coli bacterium, the probability that it would reassemble under ideal natural conditions (in which no foreign elements or chemicals would invade and in which none of the necessary elements or chemicals would leave) would be no greater than 10 ^-100,000,000,000.

www.reasons.org...


With odds against like that the size of the universe doesn't mitigate it much. Life as we know it is indeed a miracle.

edit on 8/2/2011 by Bigwhammy because: ex tags



posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 12:58 AM
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Just because an incorrect equation is finally SAID to be incorrect, doesn't mean the concept behind the theory isn't still plausible.

You won't 'know' until all 7,000,000,000 of you know at the same time. It'll happen one day, just not today. You'll see.

Remember, eyes are for seeing; you can't see a forest when you're inside one, you only see the components of your forest; you can't think of something that does not exist.



posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 01:06 AM
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Originally posted by FOXMULDER147
On the only planet we know of with the correct conditions for life to develop, it has. Earth.

That's 1 out of 1. Not bad.

Until someone shows me a planet with the correct conditions where life hasn't developed, I will continue to assume that it has, does, and always will develop under said conditions.


yeah, most every star has a goldilocks zone.


but we still know squat about anything.

this is a fruitless argument about life in the universe. there is.



posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 01:07 AM
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"Arbitrarily Small"

Haven't we explored an "arbitrarily small" amount of the universe?

Sounds like there is more room for opportunity.



posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 01:11 AM
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]

Originally posted by MathematicalPhysicist

Originally posted by DrunkenparrotThe age of the universe and its vast number of stars suggest that if the Earth is typical, extraterrestrial life should be common.[1] In an informal discussion in 1950, the physicist Enrico Fermi questioned why, if a multitude of advanced extraterrestrial civilizations exists in the Milky Way galaxy, evidence such as spacecraft or probes is not seen. A more detailed examination of the implications of the topic began with a paper by Michael H. Hart in 1975, and it is sometimes referred to as the Fermi–Hart paradox.[2] Other common names for the same phenomenon are Fermi's question ("Where are they?"), the Fermi Problem, the Great Silence,[3][4][5][6][7] and silentium universi[7][8] (Latin for "the silence of the universe"; the misspelling silencium universi is also common).

So, if a civilization does not have probes flying around or ones that cannot be detected by us, they don't exist? We can't even thoroughly observe exoplanets due to our primitive technology and we will never reach the level of technology needed to observe a different galaxy.



That isn't the right way to think about it---you're reversed the conditional probabilities. Not all civilizations will create such probes, but at least one is likely to.

The argument is this:

If a *multitude* of advanced civilizations exist then some of them probably should have created self-replicating probes, and the exponential multiplication of these, combined with the long history of Earth indicates that they should be here.

The flip side of the argument is that they are here, but we don't comprehend fully how they work or act or look like, and they may be a cause of "UFO" reports.

This is unfalsifiable and unverifiable. The verifiable scientific investigations (i.e. radio telescopes) show no evidence of crafted phenomena other than those created by humans.
edit on 4-8-2011 by mbkennel because: (no reason given)

edit on 4-8-2011 by mbkennel because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 01:13 AM
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...wait. they're saying that the drake equation is based too much on assumption and bias, and then make a completely unfounded assumptive statement. alright then.



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