Intelligent Life On Other Planets - Makes Sense To Me

Discussion in 'Science & History' started by Viggenstien, Feb 5, 2010.

  1. Viggenstien

    Viggenstien Registered Member

    This could also be placed in the philosophy section but I figured this would be a more sensible spot. ANYWAYS...

    I just went through some of my old movies and found Contact and it made me think... it would be an awful waste of space if there were no other planets with intelligent life. Not even intelligent life but life in general.

    The Universe is huge. Bigger than anyone could ever imagine. And yet, it seems as if we are alone in it. Sure, there may be a God. There may be a Heaven too. So I guess that calms that fear a little...for some people. There are those that believe in science. They believe there is no God, there is no heaven. What about when these people feel alone? Do they turn to the idea that there is another planet, somewhere, with people on it (or little green men, whatever tickles your fancy)?

    There are scientific aspects that make me think there must be life on other planets. At least the way I have interpreted the information...of course I always seem to throw personal opinion into things when it really should just be based on facts.

    There are signs on planets in our very own solar system that say there might have been some sort of life there at one point. Signs that water was once there, maybe even plants. Maybe more than just that. It could be that our timing in the grand scheme of things was just bad, and we may never know. I think it's something worth pursuing in the world of scientific theory.

    It's a mixed thought really. Did God just create us? Did the Universe create other life besides us? Are we alone? Is the universe a waste of space? What do you think about it?

  2. Sim

    Sim Registered Member

    You raise many interesting questions. I don't believe in God, and I think when at the end of my life, I can say "it has been fun to be around", then my life had a meaning. Also, I go with Woody Allen, who said "I rather be on earth than in heaven, because earth is the only place where you get a decent steak."

    As for life on other planets -- I think it's very probable we are not alone, but that life exists on other planets as well. There are just so many other planets, hundreds of billions, and it would be most unlikely that earth really is the only planet where life exists.

    Whether we will ever be able to get contact with that life, visit it or being visited by them, or even know about it -- that's a different matter. At least according to Einsteinian physics, we can't be faster than light, and even the closest star is, what was it, 20 lightyears away? All other stars and planets are even further away. That makes it unlikely we'll ever meet alien life, unless Einsteinian physics turn out to be flawed. Even if we caught a radio signal from another planet, chances are it had been sent millions of years ago and life has already died out there.

    But then, at some point in history, people in Europe had no reason to believe we would ever be able to travel to China, that earth is flat -- so you never know.

    But for the time being, I don't expect us to contact alien life, even if it's likely that it exists somewhere.
  3. Raos

    Raos Registered Member

    What if no other life exists...yet...but humans are going to be the seed that spreads to other areas of the universe? We are getting better and better at travelling further and further. He are visiting other planets, if not personally then at least with things that we have created. Who is to say that we are not going to be the cause of life outside of earth to exist? We send a probe to Mars. We try our best to keep it contamination free, but you have to think that somewhere along the line a stray bacteria or virus or piece of dna makes it to outer space and with the right conditions actually starts to reproduce. But it also starts to mutate because the environment it is now in is different from where it came so it must adapt to live. Fast forward a billion years and that little virus has turned into a new life form on planet zq45rb9.

    For the record, I believe in G-d, but I also believe in science and I find is highly unlikely that we are the only planet with life, but as highly unlikely as it may be, I do still believe we could possibly be alone. Yes, it would be a waste of space by our standards, if we were alone, but who is measuring that aside from us?
    Well his physics is not flawed, but that is not the whole story. While we can not go faster than light what we can (theoretically) do is manipulate space/time so that we do not have to go faster than light to travel great distances in little time.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2010
  4. Viggenstien

    Viggenstien Registered Member

    I'm really liking the depth to these responses. You guys are bringing up points that I didn't even think of. I like what Raos said, that we will start life on other planets and in other places around the Universe. It's a really interesting theory.
  5. Major

    Major 4 legs good 2 legs bad V.I.P.

    There are hundreds of billions of stars in our galaxy. There's over a hundred billion known galaxies in the universe. That means there's likely well over one sextillion (10^21, or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) stars in the universe. Now consider the likelihood of one or some of those stars being a solar system similar to ours, circled by planets, and those planets circled by moons. It is a mathematical improbability, if not impossibility, that we are the only intelligent life in this universe, not to mention Earth being the only place with life at all. Chances are, there are billions of planets just like this one, some maybe with lifeforms nearly identical to ones on Earth. Who knows, there could even be another you out there.
  6. icegoat63

    icegoat63 Son of Liberty V.I.P. Lifetime

    I do know that there are other "Earths" out there within the Habitable Zone of their respective Solar system...

    Gliese 581 D for instance is the most recent and most "earth-like" to be discovered yet.

    I've looked deeply into whats been released about this planet and I think it does just concrete what Echoes said about basically being Naive to think that we are alone in the Universe. Its mathematically improbable to not have life out there at some stage of its evolution.

    A neat little note that I thought just goes to show how dorky we humans are was this "hello from earth" thing that we did;

    I dont personally expect any type of response, but wouldn't it be hilarious if we did get some sort of response back?
  7. Bananas

    Bananas Endangered Species

    Its a near certainty that life exists beyond this planet. However I think the chances are slim and for that life to be complex in slimmer, and that complex life to be highly developed extremely unlikely

    There are so many factors that have allowed life to form on this planet, the perfect sized, sun, the perfect distance, the perfect moon, the perfect chemistry, the perfect physics, the perfect size, the perfect chain of events, the perfect timing.

    I feel the chances for all of the above are so remote, even in a universe of billions. I think life is on a knife edge, teetering on a lot of improbabilities.
  8. ExpectantlyIronic

    ExpectantlyIronic e̳̳̺͕ͬ̓̑̂ͮͦͣ͒͒h̙ͦ̔͂?̅̂ ̾͗̑

    Such things only need to be duplicated precisely in order to get precisely the same result, but there's a range of things that would constitute intelligent life, and I suspect a range of factors that would facilitate its arising. We also have to be careful not to think that just because intelligent life would not have arisen on Earth if one factor were different when everything else is kept the same, that life would not have arisen if that factor were different and other factors were also different. It has recently been worked out that many of the things that people thought had to be just so for life to develop in our universe, could have been different just so long as other things were different as well (as I read in a recent copy of Scientific American). Furthermore, that things are as they are with the Earth somewhat owes to their tendency to be such, and we should not find it surprising that there is a good deal of hydrogen in our solar system, for example.

    We can easily look at things and see how they aided in life arising on Earth, as it happened, but I don't think we should mistake that for their being necessary. For example, while our moon likely benefited the evolution of life on Earth, I'm not aware of anything that would suggest it could not have arisen with a different moon, or that we could not design a theoretical moon that would have made it even easier for life to evolve on this planet.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2010
  9. Bananas

    Bananas Endangered Species

    However we can also be very aware of how a small difference can produce significantly different results.

    If we go on what are the commonly accepted theories the moon has provided us with a lot of help on our journey from whatever primordial soup started all life to what we are today. We only have to look at other planets (Mars, Venus) to see the difference. From the initial collision theory to the casting of tides have provided a near perfect playground for life. I find it difficult to comprehend how anything different could result in the same or similar circumstances.
  10. ExpectantlyIronic

    ExpectantlyIronic e̳̳̺͕ͬ̓̑̂ͮͦͣ͒͒h̙ͦ̔͂?̅̂ ̾͗̑

    In certain cases, but they say there's more than one way to skin a cat.

    The capacity to produce tidal forces isn't unique to our moon, and there are several theories concerning how the moon formed. As for Mars and Venus, there's nothing that rules out either of them having had life at one point, or even their still having life on them (yes, even Venus could have life in its clouds).

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