U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Science and Technology > Space
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 01-24-2012, 04:06 PM
 
5,203 posts, read 8,205,785 times
Reputation: 3188

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bacci Balls View Post
I don't fully agree with Stephen Hawkings point about an alien specie coming here just to rape our planet of resources. Likely with the technology they have, they can maufacture what they need synthetically. With our 100 year old technology, we are on the path to this ourselves with the 3D printer. In another 100 years, who knows what this invention will be capable of.
As I previously pointed out, Hawking didn't make an all-inclusive statement about aliens coming to rape the planet of our resources. He was indicating that we don't know anything about aliens. We don't know if their intentions would be friendly or hostile (as seen from our point of view).

We live in a very big galaxy, and the universe itself being mind-numbingly larger. While we can assume there probably are other life forms out there, we have no idea what they are or what they do. We've never discovered a shred of conclusive evidence that any aliens have ever visited the Earth. Such suggestions by necessity are nothing more than pure speculation.

I think we can just as easily speculate that our solar system might be out in the boonies with the majority of populations located perhaps on the opposite side of the galaxy. That could be one reason why we've heard nothing, setting aside that we haven't been listening that long, and it's possible we aren't searching in the right way. If we're potentially isolated, it's possible other life forms may have no idea that we even exist.

Part of the problem is that our signals haven't traveled out very far from the Earth. Apart from that, we don't know for sure if those signals are strong enough at greater distances. Those signals would still be out there, but could be drowned out by all the noise sources generated in the galaxy.

In terms of our knowledge about life forms, the only real model we have is based on what we know about life on Earth. That's not to say there couldn't be some kind of silicon-based life forms, but it might be very hard to determine it as life as we know it. Even if life is based on carbon, the evolution of life in some distant solar system might be very different than life on Earth.

That said, who's to say exactly how other life forms have evolved? For all we know (and we don't), some alien life forms may have evolved in a way that enabled what we might think of as rather non-intelligent, but still managed to develop ways of travelling through the cosmos.

Imagine this scenario. Let's say most space faring aliens are highly intelligent and rather peaceful. We still can't rule out that there could be some aliens who are not peaceful as we think of it, and they might not necessarily be intelligent as we think of it. They could have migrated due to overpopulation to find new habitats, resources and food sources. They may simply be seeking signals from other habitated planets and zero in towards it. Ahh, there's some kind of activity coming from that obscure solar system over there. I wonder if it's edible?

The thing is that we simply don't know what's out there. What we do know is that the universe is very inhospitable with tiny spots (planets) that potentially can support life. We also have to take into consideration that most likely for life to develop and evolve in the first place, requires certain conditions (which may vary from location to location). Then there may be certain conditions which could be pure accident, that can help shape that life into highly advanced intelligence.

In the past, it was thought that a key of intelligent life was the use of tools. Today, it's realized that a lot of animals use tools. What defines intelligence is a bit more sketchy. Back to our aliens, it might be possible that some amorphus blob could find some way to travel through space without requiring intelligence as we perceive it. I know, that's quite a reach, but we can't completely dismiss it as at least possible simply because there are still too many unknowns in the universe.

Another possibility is that some aliens could be very advanced machines that are able to self-replicate. Such machines might well seek out resources without any regard to life on Earth.

The point is that Hawking's suggestion is that it might not be wise to advertise our presence and to keep 'listening' for what may be signs of life in other solar systems because we have absolutely no idea if they would be friendly or not. It's that caution of the unknown and dangers that has brought us from the stone age into the present time. If we can determine that some form of alien life is indeed peaceful then a threat to our survival willl have been reduced. We will continue to explore space, but we will do it step by step in order to eliminate risks, and ensure safety for our survival. So was Hawking wrong? Not necessarily, especially when you look a little deeper into the basis of his thought about being cautious. He wasn't being unreasonably paranoid. He was just pointing out that since there are many unknowns, we should proceed with a certain degree of caution until we can better understand our surroundings in the galaxy. Remember, we're still very much at the beginning stage in our exploration of space.

That's my take on it.

Last edited by NightBazaar; 01-24-2012 at 05:08 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 01-24-2012, 04:45 PM
 
Location: Missouri, USA
4,678 posts, read 3,107,325 times
Reputation: 2186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jermaine88 View Post
If we found Signals in space, (If SETI found something) or maybe if one of our Rovers, or Satellites, came across Intelligent Alien Life on another Planet, Moon, or whatever else. This Proof was undeniable, it wasn't a false alarm,

Would you care?
I would be thrilled, though nervous, because it could be extremely dangerous. Stephen Hawking believes spacefaring life might potentially behave like locusts, using up all the resources in an area then moving on.

Quote:
Would you want the government to spend more money spent to investigate?
Personally yes, though I wouldn't push things. It would be other people's lives which would be at risk as well. I'd probably want it to be investigated, but encourage remaining hidden from it for as long as possible if it is spacefaring. (if it's not spacefaring, we could very well do more damage to it than it could to us, by us meeting it on its home planet, so that might not be a good idea either).

I doubt most people would remain secretive. Astronomers everywhere would jump on the opportunity to meet with extraterrestrial life, as most people probably would, regardless of the risks.

Quote:
Would you want to try to communicate?
Certainly, if it found us first, or seemed close to finding us. I do agree with Stephen Hawking that it might not be wise to advertise Earth's location to beings who haven't found it yet.

Quote:
Would it somehow change the way you lived?
probably not

Quote:
Would it somehow change the way you look at the world or universe?
It would hopefully result in more people attempting to see themselves through the eyes of aliens, and provide new viewpoints depending on how our peoples compare.

Quote:
Just wondering.
I would also like to note that the eye-opening which could result from finding aliens could be reproduced to some extant by meeting people from vastly differing cultures. Too often they are treated with hostility and misunderstanding. Hopefully aliens would not treat us similarly.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-24-2012, 04:49 PM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
18,073 posts, read 20,160,760 times
Reputation: 14027
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jermaine88 View Post
If we found Signals in space, (If SETI found something) or maybe if one of our Rovers, or Satellites, came across Intelligent Alien Life on another Planet, Moon, or whatever else. This Proof was undeniable, it wasn't a false alarm,

Would you care?
Would you want the government to spend more money spent to investigate?
Would you want to try to communicate?
Would it somehow change the way you lived?
Would it somehow change the way you look at the world or universe?

Just wondering.
It depends. If these were radio signals detected from a planet hundreds of light years away in space, I don't see how that would change much for us now.

That would simply tell us there were intelligent life forms that knew about radio technology on some planet hundreds of years ago. Then what?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-24-2012, 09:16 PM
 
Location: Westwood, MA
3,608 posts, read 4,774,914 times
Reputation: 4663
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bacci Balls View Post
A Prime Directive type of reasoning is really the only explanation of why we have had zero contact. If/when they find evidence of life having existed on Mars, Europa, Enceleadus - then one has to assume the process of life is a natural phenomenon occuring throughout the universe - even in the harshest conditions (outside of what we now call the habitable zone from a star). If I am correct then, out of the billion or so solar systems in our own galaxy alone, one with a million year+ head start has likely had some evolved form of life visit our planet. It may have occured back when dinosaurs roamed or may even be occuring now but, it is more than likely something extra-terrestrial has stepped foot on our planet at one point.

I don't fully agree with Stephen Hawkings point about an alien specie coming here just to rape our planet of resources. Likely with the technology they have, they can maufacture what they need synthetically. With our 100 year old technology, we are on the path to this ourselves with the 3D printer. In another 100 years, who knows what this invention will be capable of.
An alternative is that the density of habitable planets is too low to make contact possible. There's no inherent reason why it has to even be possible to travel the incredible distances needed to find other sentient life. I think we've been ruined by science fiction to think that faster-than-light travel is inevitable.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-25-2012, 09:37 AM
 
Location: Brooklyn, New York
3,921 posts, read 3,983,013 times
Reputation: 3799
Quote:
Originally Posted by jayrandom View Post
An alternative is that the density of habitable planets is too low to make contact possible. There's no inherent reason why it has to even be possible to travel the incredible distances needed to find other sentient life. I think we've been ruined by science fiction to think that faster-than-light travel is inevitable.
Another reason could be that intelligent life is rare, but still "fairly" common. However, the technological path a society takes will inevitably result in some kind of self-extinction event. Think of it like this: before you can make nuclear reactors to use as energy source to colonize a moon you have to build nuclear weapons first. Of course, this is a primitive 20th century example. In terms of advanced alien life I am thinking of technology advances such that anyone can make a supervirus in their garage and eventually someone makes a virus that causes an extinction event. Or, in order to make faster than lightspeed engine, first you have to run experiments, which would inadvertantly result in a gamma ray burst that decimates all life on a host planet.

So you can conclude that if a society pursues science and technology, they will hit a dead end at a certain point in a technological path that triggers an extinction event without fail. Therefore, all of the aliens who are still alive are either dumb plants/single cell organisms or "primitive" societies like ours who are just beginning technological development. All of the "smart" aliens went extinct due to "cosmic" evolutionary natural selection.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-25-2012, 12:29 PM
 
131 posts, read 262,306 times
Reputation: 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by jayrandom View Post
I think we've been ruined by science fiction to think that faster-than-light travel is inevitable.
Faster than light travel is inevitable - that's not a science fiction-ism. Just 120+ years ago, many scientists believed that "heavier than air flying machines" could not exist. Recently, an experiment was done on quantum entanglement which demonstrated that some operation was performed at something like 17 times faster than the speed of light. Aside from quantum computing, this phenomena will likely show the way of how to break through the accepted speed limit of light (aside from the recently reported speed of some neutrinos doing this outside of the quantum state).
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-25-2012, 08:55 PM
 
32,531 posts, read 31,231,752 times
Reputation: 32379
Yes. I would want to know.

Though come to think of it the guy across the street is spacey enough.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-26-2012, 05:18 AM
 
Location: Sol System
1,494 posts, read 2,910,798 times
Reputation: 1026
The discovery wouldn't surprise me , I will admit that it would renew my infinitesimal hopes for humanity as a whole. It would be wise to proceed with caution , but whatever transpires , we must not forget the meaning of the word 'alien'. With that being said , all of our points of view , theories of technological development of species , everything , would have to be 'brought back home' , so to speak , because it is all Earth centric , and is based upon a maximum of 6000 years of postulation by humans of Earth , save for current laws of physics.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-26-2012, 08:58 AM
 
Location: Maryland not Murlin
8,193 posts, read 22,569,818 times
Reputation: 6168
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jermaine88 View Post
If we found Signals in space, (If SETI found something) or maybe if one of our Rovers, or Satellites, came across Intelligent Alien Life on another Planet, Moon, or whatever else. This Proof was undeniable, it wasn't a false alarm,

Would you care?
Would you want the government to spend more money spent to investigate?
Would you want to try to communicate?
Would it somehow change the way you lived?
Would it somehow change the way you look at the world or universe?

Just wondering.
I would find it very fascinating, sure. But would I care? It depends on what kind of life. And where. Even if microbial life was found within our Solar System, I might wonder how that would, could, or did affect life on Earth. Would that change my daily routine? No.

As for signals, I think it would be cool, but a part of me would be skeptical as to whether they really were signals from an alien life form.

Would I want to Fed. Gov. to spend more money to investigate? For something like SETI, no. There are enough private interests for that. For something found on the Moon or Mars or another near-by locale, yes. But, there would be tons of private interests for that, too.

Would I want to try to communicate? Depends on what was found. But honestly, sending signals across the Universe seems redundant as the message may not get there for many, many, many years, and to be frank; humans spend too much time humanizing things. Even if this life form was intelligent, perhaps as much or more than ours, why do we believe they will understand what is going on? Let alone being able to understand the message in the first place. It's like the golden record that shipped with the Voyager. Why do we assume an alien race is going to know how to play the darn thing or even understand what the "Earth sounds"?

Other than that, it wouldn't change much for me.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-26-2012, 09:06 AM
 
Location: Maryland not Murlin
8,193 posts, read 22,569,818 times
Reputation: 6168
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bacci Balls View Post
Faster than light travel is inevitable - that's not a science fiction-ism. Just 120+ years ago, many scientists believed that "heavier than air flying machines" could not exist. Recently, an experiment was done on quantum entanglement which demonstrated that some operation was performed at something like 17 times faster than the speed of light. Aside from quantum computing, this phenomena will likely show the way of how to break through the accepted speed limit of light (aside from the recently reported speed of some neutrinos doing this outside of the quantum state).
The mechanics of such an operation may be understood within 100 years or so (at least mathematically) but it still may be thousands of years before such a device can be produced to make such travel physically possible.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Science and Technology > Space
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:00 PM.

© 2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top