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The New Copernican Revolution - Life on Earth May Not Be Special After All

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posted on Feb, 27 2014 @ 12:42 PM
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Photo of the young star system HR 4796, currently forming planets, taken with the Gemini Planet Imager in Chile. New research suggest many eyes may have seen a similar view of our solar system 4.3 billion years ago.

This article goes into what has become the prevailing, accepted notion among science that life in the universe is likely common and life on Earth is likely late compared to life out there.

Freeman Dyson (the man who came up with the concept of a Dyson Sphere) is quoted extensively:

What if We’ve Completely Misunderstood Our Place in the Universe?


The habitable epoch might have been a lonely, strange time to be alive. But if Loeb is right—and other physicists, such as Princeton’s Freeman Dyson, believe he is—then life may be a lot less rare than we ever imagined. “It’s almost like a Copernican Revolution in our thinking about life,” Loeb said. “Once we believed Earth was the center of the universe. Then Copernicus and others said, hey, it’s actually the Earth that’s moving around the Sun.” Suddenly, Earth wasn’t so special; we weren’t at the center of all things. Loeb is suggesting that maybe life on Earth isn’t so special, either.

“For a long time, we’ve had this preconception that life is here on Earth, but the universe is dead,” Loeb said. “But maybe we should be thinking of this as a living universe. We may be relative latecomers to the game.” If life becomes an important ingredient in the development of the cosmos, it unseats humans as the all-important observers of our universe. It suggests that many other eyes watched the skies before our sun was even lit.

For Loeb, the habitable epoch is part of a fuller understanding of our universe as a place where life might well be common. The problem is that even if life were common, it would be very hard to detect on other planets. “Suppose there’s a nuclear war elsewhere in our galaxy,” Loeb suggested. “How do you detect that with telescopes? The energy released is so small we wouldn’t even be able to see it if it happened on the nearest star.” Currently astronomers are trying to design instruments that would be able to find life on other worlds, perhaps by looking for telltale signs of molecular oxygen, which is almost always created by life forms.

But in the meantime, Loeb has one piece of advice for cosmologists. “Until proven wrong, we should assume we are not special.”



We're most likely the babies of the Galaxy.... not the elders.
edit on 27-2-2014 by JadeStar because: (no reason given)




posted on Feb, 27 2014 @ 12:52 PM
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reply to post by JadeStar
 


With no proof of ANY other life, this is kinda hard to believe.

Show me evidence we are the "babies" of the universe so to speak....I will be sitting here waiting.



posted on Feb, 27 2014 @ 01:03 PM
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reply to post by JadeStar
 


I've never considered humanity to be unique. The view that so many in our species seems to hold of themselves is based on bias really. Humanity tends to see itself as being superior to animals simply because we do not understand them on this planet. Apply those same attitudes across the universe and of course, the tendency will be that we are alone and the universe is just one gigantic waste of space created for what? Our discovery and entertainment? Hardly. Nature abhors a vacuum and the natural world doesn't stop at our earth's atmosphere. Philosophically, our planet being the sole source of life in the universe with us being the pinnacle of intelligence does not hold water.



posted on Feb, 27 2014 @ 01:11 PM
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reply to post by Chrisfishenstein
 

I'ts not a religion so all you have to do is look around on this planet where you find life in every nook and cranny.
Further read the latest news of planets being discovered around almost EVERY STAR and being a natural occurrence
1+1 = 2 simple logic.

Or what's your 'theory''? why is it so hard to believe?

edit on 27-2-2014 by Bangorak because: (no reason given)

edit on 27-2-2014 by Bangorak because: (no reason given)


www.abovetopsecret.com...
edit on 27-2-2014 by Bangorak because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 27 2014 @ 01:24 PM
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Chrisfishenstein
reply to post by JadeStar
 

With no proof of ANY other life, this is kinda hard to believe.


What is hard to believe?

That a single grain of sand on a giant beach, among many beaches..might actually not be really "unique" at all, but that according to logic and common sense there are billions of other grains of sand which are pretty much the same in appearance? (Which, again, means that the idea that the ONE grain "is really, really unique" is just plain wrong...MUST be wrong since it defies any logic and goes against what we observe)

The ideas that we're babies makes sense seeing that according to recent findings we can "look back" into a very early universe, not long after the BB...and we DO already see fully formed galaxies etc. which are BILLIONS of years older than ours.



posted on Feb, 27 2014 @ 01:29 PM
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NoRulesAllowed

Chrisfishenstein
reply to post by JadeStar
 

With no proof of ANY other life, this is kinda hard to believe.


What is hard to believe?

That a single grain of sand on a giant beach, among many beaches..might actually not be really "unique" at all, but that according to logic and common sense there are billions of other grains of sand which are pretty much the same in appearance? (Which, again, means that the idea that the ONE grain "is really, really unique" is just plain wrong...MUST be wrong since it defies any logic and goes against what we observe)

The ideas that we're babies makes sense seeing that according to recent findings we can "look back" into a very early universe, not long after the BB...and we DO already see fully formed galaxies etc. which are BILLIONS of years older than ours.


I think it's one of the many people who can't

A : grasp the age of the universe compared to our
B : grasp the size of the universe and the limit of C
C: doesn't know the Drake equation
en.wikipedia.org...
or D : is religious/creationist
edit on 27-2-2014 by Bangorak because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 27 2014 @ 01:34 PM
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JadeStar

We're most likely the babies of the Galaxy.... not the elders.


From a forward-looking post/transhuman perspective, I see humanity as it is and has been more closely resembling a "larval" form.
We're like greedy, hungry, overly self-involved caterpillars.

Eventually, once we ("we" includes our AI children post-singularity as well as developments in post-biological evolution, perhaps even partnerships with any equiv-tech level civilizations encountered) achieve permanent sustainable residency on an interstellar scale, we could qualify for the "nymph" stage.
We flit, we fly we molt and grow, molt and grow, ever exploring.

As an "adult" civilization, we would find and 'mate' with other "adult" civilizations through assimilation, absorption, exchange, and other mechanisms. Our 'offspring' from such unions could very well equate to new paradigms beyond the former expressions of all the singular civilizations contributing materials for 'offspring' development.

It's fun stuff to consider in looking at humanity, all of humanity in all of its variety, as a star-spanning singular organism similar an amoeba.




edit on 2/27/2014 by AliceBleachWhite because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 27 2014 @ 01:47 PM
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>>
But maybe we should be thinking of this as a living universe. We may be relative latecomers to the game.” If life becomes an important ingredient in the development of the cosmos, it unseats humans as the all-important observers of our universe. It suggests that many other eyes watched the skies before our sun was even lit.
>>

I can't help but think that this scientist, Loeb, is somewhat late to the party....to come up with this "astonishing" finding...now.

Maybe it's the time now where in the wake of habitable planets discovered basically EACH WEEK..even the the most fundamental and religious scientists (which certainly may exist!) cannot deny reality any longer.

For anyone else, the above is really not news whatsoever.

This is ironically similar to the other thread where I wanted to comment where an astronomer (!!) had an epiphany while running at night realizing that stars are indeed solar systems and not "pinpoints of lights". (Which pretty much shocked me to see how an astronomer might have done his work for decades, sitting over formulas etc...and it took him..what...an epiphany to realize a thing which should be a profound truth...)

So..yes Mr Harvard Scientist, the earth is NOT the center of the universe. Congratulations and applause....



posted on Feb, 27 2014 @ 01:52 PM
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the most fundamental and religious scientists (which certainly may exist!) cannot deny reality any longer.

I can't wait to laugh at the ways they and the reli's will adapt their stories to include the new findings.
Shifting goalposts again , no doubt.



posted on Feb, 27 2014 @ 02:00 PM
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I think earth is kind of special myself. It's where we live, our home. I'm not worried about the life on other planets, one look at all the stars in the sky tells you there is life somewhere else. I did not need a scientist to tell me that there is life out there. But those other places are not my home.

These planets are not within our reach to visit, we should make sure we do not destroy the ability of this planet to provide for us.



posted on Feb, 27 2014 @ 02:22 PM
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It is nice to see that, finally, we are in a point of time where more and more reputable figures are openly considering these types of possibilities.

for many of us here on ATS this is not a new concept, to be sure. However, with this kind of thinking emerging into the mainstream thought processes, hopefully this will open the community to more philosophically rational ideas about our place in the universe; and, indeed, on our planet itself.

At the end of the day does any of us really want to be the be-all and the end-all of existence in our universe?

I for one do not, and agree that, as the article says;

“Until proven wrong, we should assume we are not special.”



posted on Feb, 27 2014 @ 02:40 PM
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Chrisfishenstein
reply to post by JadeStar
 


With no proof of ANY other life, this is kinda hard to believe.

Show me evidence we are the "babies" of the universe so to speak....I will be sitting here waiting.


To assert otherwise puts you squarely against mathematics and probability.

It's pretty simple.

Everything we've learned about the Universe since Copernicus has made us less unique.

All the stuff down here on Earth is in abundance out in the Cosmos. There are no special ingredients we haven't observed. Amino acids, the building blocks of life itself have been detected and are fairly common in molecular gas clouds. The same types of clouds that formed the stellar nursery which our Solar System (and the one around HR 4799 pictured in the OP above) coalesced out of.

Down to the rough math...

The universe is around 14 billion years old.

Our Earth and solar system around 4.5 billion years old.

For about 8-12 billion years there have been trillions of places for life to develop and evolve.

(click the images below for more detailed information)

Kepler has found that 22% of stars like our Sun have a potentially habitable Earthlike planet orbiting them.




And 48% of cooler M-stars have potentially habitable Earths as well. The nearest of these is likely within 10 light years of the Earth.




With that in mind we can say the following.


Currently there are about about 40 BILLION Earthlike habitable worlds in our Milky Way galaxy....



And about 5 TRILLION Earthlike habitable worlds in the observable universe by most estimates...




And here is the key thing. The MAJORITY of the stars and planets are OLDER than the Earth by on average 3.4 billion years.

So as the character Ellie said in the Carl Sagan book and film "Contact": "If it's just us it's an awful waste of space."

I'd add that it's also an awful waste of time.

Beyond that, the evidence that there is other life is likely to be found within the next 30 years and its really a 3-way race between people looking for microbial and other life in our solar system (Mars, Europa, Enceladus, Titan) and the people devising ways to detect "biolmarkers" in extrasolar planet atmospheres (Sara Seager, et. al) and of course the SETI people who are looking for signs of technology out there in various ways (Detection of large scale astro-engineering or waste heat on a planet through Infrared astronomy surveys, devising ways to detect artificial light on the night side of an exoplanet in anticipation of the New Worlds Explorer space telescope, searches for laser or radio signs, etc).

If i were betting, I'd bet on the 2nd group being the first to find life on a planet around one of the nearby stars:



So, yeah, if you're alive in 2040 we'll have the evidence.

For now, basic math and statistical probability are showing us we're likely not alone.

There is a saying in Astronomy: "If you find one, there are at least a billion."

It's only recently did we realize that applies to us too!




Perhaps as soon as 2020 as new instruments and telescopes come on line. Most scientists no longer feel its a matter of if, but a matter of when.
edit on 27-2-2014 by JadeStar because: (no reason given)

edit on 27-2-2014 by JadeStar because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 27 2014 @ 02:45 PM
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NoRulesAllowed

Chrisfishenstein
reply to post by JadeStar
 

With no proof of ANY other life, this is kinda hard to believe.


What is hard to believe?

That a single grain of sand on a giant beach, among many beaches..might actually not be really "unique" at all, but that according to logic and common sense there are billions of other grains of sand which are pretty much the same in appearance? (Which, again, means that the idea that the ONE grain "is really, really unique" is just plain wrong...MUST be wrong since it defies any logic and goes against what we observe)

The ideas that we're babies makes sense seeing that according to recent findings we can "look back" into a very early universe, not long after the BB...and we DO already see fully formed galaxies etc. which are BILLIONS of years older than ours.



Nothing about life in the universe is "hard to believe"....I do believe we aren't alone...

This story is getting specific about us being late to the party....Show me some evidence and maybe I will follow along....We have zero evidence of any life outside of Earth, so consider me a skeptic if you want....I do WANT to believe we aren't alone there is just nothing to support this belief



posted on Feb, 27 2014 @ 02:48 PM
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reply to post by JadeStar
 



For now, basic math and statistical probability are showing us we're likely not alone.


Again, a bunch of probabilities.....Yeah it is more than likely probable that we aren't alone....Show me proof and I will consider the topic at hand that we are the babies of the universe, so to speak in terms of life...

You do have a bunch of numbers and overwhelming number of possible planets with life, although nothing to support the theory that we are not alone.



posted on Feb, 27 2014 @ 02:49 PM
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reply to post by AliceBleachWhite
 


Speak for your self.. I don't consider myself
a squishy crawling thing.

We are Rigel4 and we are not afraid.



posted on Feb, 27 2014 @ 02:50 PM
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Chrisfishenstein

NoRulesAllowed

Chrisfishenstein
reply to post by JadeStar
 

With no proof of ANY other life, this is kinda hard to believe.


What is hard to believe?

That a single grain of sand on a giant beach, among many beaches..might actually not be really "unique" at all, but that according to logic and common sense there are billions of other grains of sand which are pretty much the same in appearance? (Which, again, means that the idea that the ONE grain "is really, really unique" is just plain wrong...MUST be wrong since it defies any logic and goes against what we observe)

The ideas that we're babies makes sense seeing that according to recent findings we can "look back" into a very early universe, not long after the BB...and we DO already see fully formed galaxies etc. which are BILLIONS of years older than ours.



Nothing about life in the universe is "hard to believe"....I do believe we aren't alone...

This story is getting specific about us being late to the party....Show me some evidence and maybe I will follow along....We have zero evidence of any life outside of Earth, so consider me a skeptic if you want....I do WANT to believe we aren't alone there is just nothing to support this belief


Look at the post above yours and get out a calculator. Our solar system in on the young side. Like just allowed to drive side.



posted on Feb, 27 2014 @ 02:51 PM
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Bangorak

NoRulesAllowed

Chrisfishenstein
reply to post by JadeStar
 

With no proof of ANY other life, this is kinda hard to believe.


What is hard to believe?

That a single grain of sand on a giant beach, among many beaches..might actually not be really "unique" at all, but that according to logic and common sense there are billions of other grains of sand which are pretty much the same in appearance? (Which, again, means that the idea that the ONE grain "is really, really unique" is just plain wrong...MUST be wrong since it defies any logic and goes against what we observe)

The ideas that we're babies makes sense seeing that according to recent findings we can "look back" into a very early universe, not long after the BB...and we DO already see fully formed galaxies etc. which are BILLIONS of years older than ours.


I think it's one of the many people who can't

A : grasp the age of the universe compared to our
B : grasp the size of the universe and the limit of C
C: doesn't know the Drake equation
en.wikipedia.org...
or D : is religious/creationist
edit on 27-2-2014 by Bangorak because: (no reason given)


OR

E. There is NO PROOF!

Again, I want to believe and the probability is there, but there is nothing in terms of proof! IF there is an overwhelming number of planets that can support life, we should have no problem finding it, right?

Show it to me.....I want my belief to be proven true also, but the wording in this story is far from truth...We are the elders until something is actually proven!



posted on Feb, 27 2014 @ 02:51 PM
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JadeStar

Chrisfishenstein

NoRulesAllowed

Chrisfishenstein
reply to post by JadeStar
 

With no proof of ANY other life, this is kinda hard to believe.


What is hard to believe?

That a single grain of sand on a giant beach, among many beaches..might actually not be really "unique" at all, but that according to logic and common sense there are billions of other grains of sand which are pretty much the same in appearance? (Which, again, means that the idea that the ONE grain "is really, really unique" is just plain wrong...MUST be wrong since it defies any logic and goes against what we observe)

The ideas that we're babies makes sense seeing that according to recent findings we can "look back" into a very early universe, not long after the BB...and we DO already see fully formed galaxies etc. which are BILLIONS of years older than ours.



Nothing about life in the universe is "hard to believe"....I do believe we aren't alone...

This story is getting specific about us being late to the party....Show me some evidence and maybe I will follow along....We have zero evidence of any life outside of Earth, so consider me a skeptic if you want....I do WANT to believe we aren't alone there is just nothing to support this belief


Look at the post above yours and get out a calculator. Our solar system in on the young side. Like just allowed to drive side.


Doesn't have anything to do with life....Just because our solar sytem is young has nothing to add to this conversation....



posted on Feb, 27 2014 @ 02:52 PM
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“Until proven wrong, we should assume we are not special.”



The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.

Well that's an interesting stance for a scientist. I wonder how he would speculate that could be proven wrong?


As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.

edit on 2/27/2014 by yeahright because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 27 2014 @ 02:59 PM
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Chrisfishenstein
reply to post by JadeStar
 



For now, basic math and statistical probability are showing us we're likely not alone.


Again, a bunch of probabilities.....Yeah it is more than likely probable that we aren't alone....Show me proof and I will consider the topic at hand that we are the babies of the universe, so to speak in terms of life...

You do have a bunch of numbers and overwhelming number of possible planets with life, although nothing to support the theory that we are not alone.


I assume you did not know that
we've made DNA in a lab.... It's not so hard to see that if we can make it given the TINY infinitesimal time we've existed in the universe that it has formed countless times across countless worlds?

If the history of the Universe were a calendar this is where we fit in..... Look way down in the lower right corner:

Humanity arrives December 31 - in the last seconds around 11:59pm.




Meanwhile around April or so, the first life probably emerged out there, all the ingredients would have had long enough to form planets and at least simple microbes.

edit on 27-2-2014 by JadeStar because: (no reason given)



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