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Response to the common skeptic's argument that interstellar travel is inherently unfeasible.

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posted on Sep, 7 2012 @ 07:37 PM
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Originally posted by thedoctorswife
Same here, i tend to think, why are our laws of physics considered definitive?


Who says they are considered definitive?

The answer is no one says that.

Yes, we do have a good degree of confidence in our understanding of how the universe works. If something that better explains our universe, something that can stand up to the rigors of scientific testing, we will discard the old beliefs and adopt the new.

However, nothing of the sort has come along (yet). Until the day another understanding can be shown to be superior, as of right now, our understanding of the universe is the superior model.




posted on Sep, 7 2012 @ 07:46 PM
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Judging by the entire history of the world, everything that all these "scientists" think they know right now is completely wrong. Everything in the past that was thought to be known has turned out to be wrong. Thinking that everyone was always wrong in the past, but NOW we know EVERYTHING is just ridiculous.

So I'd say the speed of light will turn out to be nonsense. Of course.

I'd also be willing to say that the calculations of the distance to the stars will also turn out to be wrong. They may be much closer than we think they are.



posted on Sep, 7 2012 @ 07:50 PM
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IF, we had the ability to travel great distances in space, would we stop at the moon first? maybe Venus or one of Saturns moons? No, we would travel to find something. A man with a metal detector on a beach does not stop at every grain of sand, he waits till his equipment finds something he is looking for. Before this what did he have to do to find anything?

A man in the wilderness one day gets a telephone line or cable or a satellite connection and suddenly he is able to be connected on a vast scale. What did he have to do before this to connect with anyone or thing.

I am a believer but I require believable evidence in the absense of proof. I use my own common sense to judge what I see to decide if its evidence or proof.

My common sense tells me that our own technology will scale way beyond the grain of sand, the man in the woods and the far reaches of space some day with or without help from other beings and even though we may never see all there is to see, we will pass stars like grains of sand on the beach before our civilization passes.

I find this all to be common sense. We destroy distance and speed barriers all the time. Someone saying "you can't do that" is part what pushes alot of our finest minds to achieve new scales of technology. Thats all it takes to do it, scaling what we learn.



posted on Sep, 7 2012 @ 08:35 PM
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Originally posted by WingedBull

Originally posted by OpenEars123
What gets me is that people will say it is impossible going by 'our' laws of physics.


There is no such thing as "our's" or "their's" when it comes to science. It is universal. What we find to be true others will find to be true as well.


Originally posted by OpenEars123
What makes our physics so perfect and final?


Who said our understanding of physics is perfect and final?

Please, do not say "scientists." Give us a direct quote.

I'll save you the trouble. You will not find a single, credible source saying our understanding is perfect and final. Only what we understand to be true, to the best of our knowledge. And the best of our knowledge is constantly being refined, constantly improving.

Not one scientist, despite the straw-man claims of the UFO believers, says our understand is perfect and final.


Originally posted by OpenEars123
We are an under evolved race, therefore our laws of physics are under evolved...


How would you know? Do you have evidence to support a revision of our understanding of physics?


You're nit picking..
Fair enough I didn't word my post very well, and I didn't write much either. But I thought it was quite obvious with regards to the point I was trying to make.
My brother is a doctor in physics btw.



posted on Sep, 7 2012 @ 08:36 PM
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I’ll make some points that I hope will be relevant to the topic.

Human scientific knowledge of zero point, virtual particles, and gravitons is in its infancy. It could be that the reason for the speed limit imposed by special relativity is that photons that are too weak for us to detect but ubiquitous cause penetrating wind resistance on accelerating mass, and that scientists clever enough and with access to sufficient support technology might be able to figure out how to not merely dissipate such photons but also profitably convert them to fuel in the process (a very tall order indeed, but pretty much what it would take to emulate the observed capabilities of the so-called flying saucers and travel to the stars for real). Such a propulsion system, by the way, would theoretically allow 100-g acceleration from a standing start and equally impressive stops while the pilot sipped coffee, feeling no sense of motion. In fact, flight paths that look strange, even impossible, to us could be common with such a system.

The philosopher Lennon once wrote, “Nothing you can do that can’t be done,” which can be extrapolated to mean that if humans can develop a particular technology, it’s likely that members of at least one other sentient species older than ours has already done so.

And let’s not forget that there are 50 sunlike stars including our own within 51 light-years of Earth, most of which are at least a billion years older than ours, which means there is quite probably at least one other M-class planet within 51 light-years, and there could easily be several. And if one sentient species started interstellar travel millions of years ago, it’s likely they settled some habitable planets, thereby increasing the population density of Sector 001. Two sunlike stars often mentioned in ufology are only three light-weeks apart, giving any sentient species on a planet or Earth-sized moon orbiting either of them an unfair advantage over us in achieving any dreams of reaching for the stars. Even Voyager 1 and 2 could have done that.



posted on Sep, 7 2012 @ 09:44 PM
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think some are forgetting about time dialation at, or, near relativistic speeds. if we could reach half, 2/3's or higher the speed of light the person in the ship would age much slower then on earth. if we could get near the speed of light it may only take a few hours or days to go to stars nearest us by the ship's clock. humans could travel very far in a normal human life time. remember a comercial by time life books. they had something about 2 babies, you put on on a ship the other on earth. the ship would fly around the earth near the speed of light for an hour the baby in the ship was still a baby but the one on earth was now an old man.

so by that account we could do alot of traveling. its just all the people we knew on earth would be dead.

even without the time dialation if we could reach say a 1/4 of the speed of light would could travel to the nearby stars in our lifetimes maybe even a couple of times.

just think tho, traveling near light speed they would't really need to haul much food.


[btw if your an english teacher don't read this]



posted on Sep, 7 2012 @ 10:34 PM
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I don't think that interstellar travel is impossible, but I do think it is inherently difficult. I think it should be considered difficult from technological, logistical and fiscal standpoints. The technological challenge (propulsion, life support, etc.) may ultimately be the least difficult. The most significant logistical issues are in regard to consumables (food, water, atmosphere, and fuel). Finally, there is the issue of money. Let's face it, there is no reason that extraterrestrials shouldn't have the same budget problems we do. No bucks, no Buck Rogers.

(Sure, I hear a lot of people arguing that there is also no reason for ET finances to be anything like what we have on Earth. True, but we are just speculating in any case.)

I think the larger issue is that the presumed ET civilization that has overcome all obstacles to develop a practical method for interstellar travel still has to have a reason to come here - to Earth. Why would they come to this galactic backwater? It would have to be one of our nearest neighbors because anyone else would not only not know we were here, but would probably have someplace more interesting to visit. And don't expect visitors from another galaxy. I think the size of the intergalactic void makes such travel virtually impossible.



posted on Sep, 7 2012 @ 10:37 PM
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Originally posted by ishum
think some are forgetting about time dialation at, or, near relativistic speeds. if we could reach half, 2/3's or higher the speed of light the person in the ship would age much slower then on earth. if we could get near the speed of light it may only take a few hours or days to go to stars nearest us by the ship's clock. humans could travel very far in a normal human life time. remember a comercial by time life books. they had something about 2 babies, you put on on a ship the other on earth. the ship would fly around the earth near the speed of light for an hour the baby in the ship was still a baby but the one on earth was now an old man.

so by that account we could do alot of traveling. its just all the people we knew on earth would be dead.

even without the time dialation if we could reach say a 1/4 of the speed of light would could travel to the nearby stars in our lifetimes maybe even a couple of times.

just think tho, traveling near light speed they would't really need to haul much food.

[btw if your an english teacher don't read this]


All that is fine for everyone that subscribes to relativistic travel in normal Space-Time.

Most who seem convinced that alien visitation is occurring here on Earth (on a daily basis some will claim), are usually adherents to 'spookier' more theoretical, and even outright science fiction solutions for the problem of efficient space travel.

Some of these solutions are; interdimensional travel, time travel, wormhole travel, warp drive, sub space, hyper-space, teleportation, to name several, and even in some cases, several of these combined into one.

No insult intended to anyone, but, it would seem, for many, jumping to a conclusion first, and then framing a 'theory' around the unproven conclusion is the standard rule as opposed to the more traditional methodologies worked out and used in all that actual real science stuff.

Example: "I don't know what it is, so, it must be aliens, and this is why it HAS TO BE aliens; ..."

That's fine if that works for anyone. It would, however, be nice to find some conclusive indications through following a proper logical path toward resolution, wherever that may lead.



posted on Sep, 7 2012 @ 10:53 PM
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We Already Achieve Interstallar Travel.....


See...this is the problem with Humans on Earth...we think we are so important, that we are so unique, we forget the big picture.....

We are living on an Organism called The Earth.

Even standing still, we are spinning at approx 1000mph.

Our Earth is in orbit around our Star (the Sun), travelling about 67,000 mph.

Our Solar system is travelling approx 500,000 miles per hour, as it travels in our Milky Way...and takes varying estimates of 225-250 Million Earth Years to do an orbit of the Milky Way....
And our Milky way is travelling through the Universe..........

So you see, we already are on our spaceship, and are in a different area of space EVERY SECOND!!!

Kind of gives you a Different perspective, when you Really think about it......does it not?.

And Yes, of course there are other intelligent life forms out there somewhere....our cosmic brothers and sisters.



posted on Sep, 7 2012 @ 11:21 PM
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Originally posted by Shadowhawk

I think the larger issue is that the presumed ET civilization that has overcome all obstacles to develop a practical method for interstellar travel still has to have a reason to come here - to Earth. Why would they come to this galactic backwater? It would have to be one of our nearest neighbors because anyone else would not only not know we were here, but would probably have someplace more interesting to visit. And don't expect visitors from another galaxy. I think the size of the intergalactic void makes such travel virtually impossible.



click to enlarge

Extent of human radio broadcasts
Humans have been broadcasting radio waves into deep space for about a hundred years now, since the days of Marconi. That, of course, means there is an ever-expanding bubble announcing Humanity's presence to anyone listening in the Milky Way. This bubble is astronomically large (literally), and currently spans approximately 200 light years. But how big is this, really, compared to the size of the Galaxy in which we live (which is, itself, just one of countless billions of galaxies in the observable universe)? To answer that question, Adam Grossman put together this diagram. It's not the black square; it's the little blue dot at the center of that zoomed-in square.

www.planetary.org...



posted on Sep, 7 2012 @ 11:24 PM
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reply to post by Druscilla
 


i was mostly pointing out we wouldn't need to be long lived if we could just get to the right speed by more conventionally accepted means.


i do think your mostly right. but i do think much of that or variations of that will eventually be possible. nice to dream at any rate.



ty for replying.



posted on Sep, 7 2012 @ 11:45 PM
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Originally posted by Druscilla
The problem I have relates not to the life span of any potential visitor, but the sheer vast enormous magnitude of the universe and the time scales involved.

For instance, if you could count one star each second in the Milky Way, it would take you over 10,000 years to count all the stars in just our galaxy.
Spread that out over Hundreds of BILLIONS of Galaxies, and it would take several orders of magnitude longer than the age of the universe itself to explore even a small portion of the total universe, even if you could visit/count one star a second.

By the time you explored even 1% of the universe at that rapid pace of 1 star per second, so much time will have gone by that places you've already explored and found lifeless may have already developed into advanced technological civilizations.

The universe amazingly vast.
It would not be surprising were there entire galaxies exactly like [insert favorite science fiction movie series here], but due the vast enormous scale of the universe, finding such places in all of the entirety of the universe is exceedingly improbable regardless any science fiction technology you may wish to dream up to facilitate such a search.

Earth is not some galactic civilization which would be far easier to find.
Earth is not even a speck of a fraction of a speck lost in an ocean of spots that are swarming with specks.

The universe may very well be absolutely teeming with life, but, due the scale, probabilities for any one technologically advanced civilization finding another during the periods of time that either civilization is active, are likely diminishingly small.



Not only is there Space and Time to deal with, but, also Time-Scales.


edit on 7-9-2012 by Druscilla because: (no reason given)


you`re right of course, which would mean that if we ever do have proof of contact there is a very high probability that they found us because they knew we were here, how would they know we were here unless they had something to do with us being here,or putting us here?



posted on Sep, 8 2012 @ 12:19 AM
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reply to post by Tardacus
 


i have an idea. it'll be a bit out there for some but........

some "researchers" claim that et's been here before, ok. but how did they find us?
well some of those "researcher" think there was a high tec civilization on this earth at one time and that they had a solarsystem wide(or systemS) war. what if theyre visiting us now because the previous hightec civilization was actually traveling to other systems. maybe had trade routes and even treaties. then the war broke out destroying it or setting back the the civilization back to the stone age. maybe it was such a terrible war that other systems were set back too.some may have recovered faster or wasn't involved and visiting to see how life here is managing.

maybe atlantis, maybe further back. heck maybe even dinos. we know realy know very little about them and they were around for 100s of milions of years.

so short form theyre here cuz they knew we were here from previous indiginous cantact.
just a thought of had.

didnt mention specific "researchers" to avoid derailing from accusations that theyre hoaxers and frauds.


[again english teachers need not read.]



posted on Sep, 8 2012 @ 01:11 AM
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reply to post by WingedBull
 


Originally posted by WingedBull

Originally posted by OpenEars123
What makes our physics so perfect and final?


Who said our understanding of physics is perfect and final?
You did.
Right here↓


Originally posted by WingedBull

Originally posted by OpenEars123
What gets me is that people will say it is impossible going by 'our' laws of physics.

[color=FFCBC9]There is no such thing as "our's" or "their's" when it comes to science. It is universal. What we find to be true others will find to be true as well.

That seems to be a rather egotistically naive way of thinking. How could you possibly be so certain of that?

Have you conducted scientific experiments elsewhere within this vast Universe, which have proven that the Laws of Physics which we believe to be true, do in fact remain true throughout the entire Universe?

The term 'Universal' is an extremely over-exaggerated term.



Originally posted by WingedBull

Originally posted by thedoctorswife
Same here, i tend to think, why are our laws of physics considered definitive?


Who says they are considered definitive?

The answer is no one says that.
You did. Up there↑↑







edit on 9/8/12 by BrokenCircles because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 8 2012 @ 02:05 AM
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Originally posted by Druscilla

Originally posted by ishum
think some are forgetting about time dialation at, or, near relativistic speeds. if we could reach half, 2/3's or higher the speed of light the person in the ship would age much slower then on earth. if we could get near the speed of light it may only take a few hours or days to go to stars nearest us by the ship's clock. humans could travel very far in a normal human life time. remember a comercial by time life books. they had something about 2 babies, you put on on a ship the other on earth. the ship would fly around the earth near the speed of light for an hour the baby in the ship was still a baby but the one on earth was now an old man.

so by that account we could do alot of traveling. its just all the people we knew on earth would be dead.

even without the time dialation if we could reach say a 1/4 of the speed of light would could travel to the nearby stars in our lifetimes maybe even a couple of times.

just think tho, traveling near light speed they would't really need to haul much food.

[btw if your an english teacher don't read this]


All that is fine for everyone that subscribes to relativistic travel in normal Space-Time.

Most who seem convinced that alien visitation is occurring here on Earth (on a daily basis some will claim), are usually adherents to 'spookier' more theoretical, and even outright science fiction solutions for the problem of efficient space travel.

Some of these solutions are; interdimensional travel, time travel, wormhole travel, warp drive, sub space, hyper-space, teleportation, to name several, and even in some cases, several of these combined into one.

No insult intended to anyone, but, it would seem, for many, jumping to a conclusion first, and then framing a 'theory' around the unproven conclusion is the standard rule as opposed to the more traditional methodologies worked out and used in all that actual real science stuff.

Example: "I don't know what it is, so, it must be aliens, and this is why it HAS TO BE aliens; ..."

That's fine if that works for anyone. It would, however, be nice to find some conclusive indications through following a proper logical path toward resolution, wherever that may lead.


That won't happen because their arguments fall apart. In order to live in this world of belief of aliens beings visiting us, they have to assume many hurdles have already taken place. Hurdles completely unproven at this point. Yet, for many, there's this automatic "logical" connection of an object in the sky making strange movements, to it being alien, as you said.

It is a backwards approach.



posted on Sep, 8 2012 @ 03:40 AM
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Although I agree that there are many cases in which people jump to the conclusion of ET craft without proper justification (lights in the sky, unidentified objects, such as whatever those white things in the sky were that people saw in New York earlier this year), there is a logical path between some of the more credible sightings and witnesses to the idea of Extraterrestrial technology as an explanation.

If we take some of the more detailed sightings of pilots, military personnel, etc., we often have descriptions of objects with characteristics that we can define to some extent. We have objects look artificial and behave in ways that we associate with intelligent control, synchronizing their speed and course with pilots, while also demonstrating apparent technological ability beyond what we could reasonably expect our own governments to have. Given that, if at least some of these reports are accurate in the descriptions of the observed objects and their behavior, it's reasonable to conclude that they are a) artificial, and b) probably not constructed by us. Since we know that intelligent beings create such objects, it's not too far of a stretch to suggest that such objects were constructed by beings that originate on another planet.

This is obviously not the only explanation, but I'd say it's a reasonable explanation of the available information. These things could also be just some bizarre natural thing we haven't observed, they could originate from societies on Earth that we're not aware of, or we could just have a bunch of people hallucinating or trying to make themselves look like lunatics for no apparent reason. In any case, I don't think you can really lump the ET explanation in with other "I don't know what this is, so it must be magic" explanations so easily, despite that there are certainly cases where people jump to a conclusion without really giving other potential explanations proper consideration.

Also, I suppose that, fundamentally, I just don't really find the idea of ET to be that unbelievable in the first place. I do assume that there are civilizations that have gotten over the hurdles we see in space travel, even if based on nothing else than the progress humans have made in a relatively short time. In less than 100 years we went from being unable to even fly to being able to go to the moon. If there are civilizations that are thousands, millions, or maybe even billions of years older than ours, I'd expect them to have made trivial many of the things we find to be impossible barriers long ago.

I realize that at a certain point, I'm just speculating about possibilities. It could be that the speed of light, etc. are actually unsolvable problems, but given the amount of times humans have achieved the seemingly impossible by thinking about things a bit differently or gaining more knowledge, I'm not really able to accept that we can definitively identify any barriers right now. Granted, we not only know much more about the universe than we did before, but also why were were wrong about certain things before. However, I still think it's premature to assume we know enough to figure out what is and isn't possible, and I think it's unreasonable to deny certain explanations based on what seems out of reach.



posted on Sep, 8 2012 @ 03:45 AM
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reply to post by Nanocyte
 
Although I've read similar elsewhere, it's nice to see a new slant on the argument here on ATS.


A few members seem to have missed your point altogether and are busily arguing against the possibility of contact. Essentially, you're suggesting the possibility that if an ETI had much longer lives then distance would be a different perception to them than us. Travelling for 'years' when you might live for centuries or more wouldn't be quite as dramatic as it would for humans. It's reasonable.

I'd add that mortality could even be a form of anthropomorphism and potentially irrelevant to the possibility of contact. Replicating technologies containing not AI but actual analogues of biological intelligences from other parts of the galaxy is a conceivable premise based on theoretical advances in already developing technologies.

Deeper into your premise is something else that's crucially important in this type of discussion. It's context. For example, some like to argue against your idea based on the certainties of current science and overlook the degree to which 'Science' has changed in mere decades. They forget how often some in science have been emphatically wrong and overestimate how much we know about the universe.

So yeah, 'space is big' and it takes light a few hours just to hit Pluto from here...so big doesn't do it justice. At the same time, Science is engaged in investigating *what* that space is made of and how it all works and it seems premature for folk to take the high road over what is and isn't possible or probable. I share Drake's view of his 'seventh possibility' whereby, on current knowledge, it's too uneconomical and inefficient for interstellar travel to be an attractive means of colonisation for advanced civilisations. But he does write *possibility* which allows for open speculation and suspended judgements.

Interstellar travel might be a birthright of successful (non-suicidal) life-forms and represents nothing more than cell-division and expanding eco-systems - life perpetuating itself.



posted on Sep, 8 2012 @ 09:17 AM
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Originally posted by BrokenCircles You did.
Right here


Not in the least.

If our understanding of the universe is correct, then others will find it to be correct as well. The laws that govern the universe are, well...universal. That is not to say our understanding is perfect and cannot change, as explained in my posts, despite your rather clumsy attempt to twist what I wrote. If what we understand to be true is in fact, the science of another culture (if they are correct) will show any different.

For example, we understand that in a vacuum, light travels at 299,792,458 m/s. If this is correct, the scientists of an alien race will find it to be no different.


Originally posted by BrokenCircles
That seems to be a rather egotistically naive way of thinking.


Perhaps to a person with a poor understanding of how science works. Nothing is based on someone's simple say-so but must stand up to rigorous, repeatable testing.


Originally posted by BrokenCircles
How could you possibly be so certain of that?


The aforementioned rigorous, repeatable testing has shown this to be the case. That is not to say this cannot change but as of right now, based on our understanding, we have nothing to show otherwise.


Originally posted by BrokenCircles
Have you conducted scientific experiments elsewhere within this vast Universe, which have proven that the Laws of Physics which we believe to be true, do in fact remain true throughout the entire Universe?


From the testing we have done, we understand certain things to be true. There is no reason to suspect, based on strong enough evidence, these things are not true, that they do not hold up in other parts of the universe as well.

Question is, do you have evidence showing that the constants of our universe are not in fact constants? If so, there are plenty of scientists waiting to talk to you. And a Nobel prize may be in your future...



Originally posted by BrokenCircles You did. Up there


Not a single time did I say that more understanding was perfect and definitive.



posted on Sep, 8 2012 @ 09:21 AM
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Originally posted by OpenEars123
My brother is a doctor in physics btw.


Good for him.

My brother is an accountant. My other brother is a welder.

Guess how relevant that is to any conversation I have about accounting or welding...



posted on Sep, 8 2012 @ 09:25 AM
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Originally posted by Nanocyte
If we take some of the more detailed sightings of pilots, military personnel, etc., we often have descriptions of objects with characteristics that we can define to some extent. We have objects look artificial and behave in ways that we associate with intelligent control, synchronizing their speed and course with pilots, while also demonstrating apparent technological ability beyond what we could reasonably expect our own governments to have...


The problem is, appeal to authority aside, how do those particular anecdotes, however accurately related translate to "aliens"?



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