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Old 09-11-2019, 03:57 PM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
4,265 posts, read 4,275,652 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike555 View Post
You might be thinking of Arthur C. Clarke who is credited with having said, ''Two possibilities exist: Either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.''

https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Arthur_C._Clarke

I don't know though why it should be terrifying either way.
It would be disappointing if human beings were the only intelligent life out there. We're the best the the universe can do? A bunch of tribal, arrogant, warlike, and xenophobic creatures?

It would be frightening if there are civilizations out there that are centuries or millennia more technologically advanced than us. Even more frightening if they showed up one day.
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Old 09-13-2019, 06:41 AM
 
Location: Here
1,471 posts, read 358,645 times
Reputation: 5442
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peregrine View Post
How any sane person can't fathom life as advanced as ours or even more advanced in this universe is beyond me.
I can fathom it. That's entirely different from affirmatively believe it's out there - which I do not, for lack of evidence. This is, it should be noted (because many won't, in their haste to be upset about it) that this is not to say that I affirmatively disbelieve that there is such life out there - which I do not, because it's not possible to know that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rstevens62 View Post
However if we are really the ONLY civilization that exists in all of the universe...that is VERY frightening.
I would say 'disappointing', not 'frightening'.

Anyway, this is a more useful discussion to have about our own galaxy. If advanced life (say, to our level of intelligence or beyond) is sufficiently rare that it occurs at a rate of less than one per large galaxy (as our galaxy is) then we are probably effectively alone, giving the realities of intergalactic communication and travel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgardener View Post
I'd say it's more likely impossible that there isn't intelligent life out there somewhere.
Agreed, but only because it's nonsensical to say it's impossible. There's not enough data to determine whether or not it is likely or unlikely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheArchitect View Post
An impossibility. There is nothing in the universe post Big Bang that has happened only once.
The only question is how many.
That's nonsensical. There is/was a multiple system somewhere with more stars than any other system has ever had. There is/was a largest galaxy, larger than any other galaxy. And somewhere, there's a civilization that has achieved more technology than any other. Maybe that's us. Maybe it's not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
The idea that because there are many stars there must be many with planets holding intelligent life is a flawed use of probability.
Yes.

It's like claiming "I can't be holding the only winning lottery ticket because I heard that there were ten billion tickets sold!". The problem is that such a claim is based on incomplete information. In that example, the odds of a given ticket being a winning ticket is unknown. Let's say the draw is six random integers; then there's likely several thousand winners, and it is a virtual certainty that there is more than one. Let's say the draw is twelve random integers; then it's extremely likely that that one ticket is the only winning ticket (and that only about one draw in one hundred would feature a winner).

In the case intelligent life - or even life, period - we really have no idea of the odds, except to say that they're non-zero per body (Earth proves that) and that they're less than one per body (the Moon proves that). We can be confident on many other negative data points (Mercury, many other moons of the solar system, etc.) but it is impossible to extrapolate from a single positive data point. And right now, that's all we have.

There might be other intelligent life out there. There might not be. Our increasing inability to detect it speaks to it's rarity, and the increasing logical contortions deployed to ignore the lack of affirmative evidence speaks to nothing but the emotional aspect of those who want there to be 'something' out there that they belief in the absence of evidence.

Quote:
Originally Posted by g500 View Post
Harry, I agree with your post, but wanted to address the quote. It is logical to assume that another scenario with the outcome of intelligent life could be duplicated in the vastness of our universe - i.e. winning lottery ticket.
I absolutely agree that there could be. The problem arises where people take 'could' and declare that, given the numbers, that it 'must' be. They claim 'math!' while ignoring the fact that we don't actually have the ability to do the math because one of the variables (how likely is intelligent life to arise on a given body) almost completely unknown to us.
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Old 09-17-2019, 12:00 AM
 
12,188 posts, read 3,216,621 times
Reputation: 8122
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicago South Sider View Post
It would be disappointing if human beings were the only intelligent life out there. We're the best the the universe can do? A bunch of tribal, arrogant, warlike, and xenophobic creatures?

It would be frightening if there are civilizations out there that are centuries or millennia more technologically advanced than us. Even more frightening if they showed up one day.
I think they would either enslave us or consume us as food, either is certainly frightening, especially since there is little we could do about it, the militaries of the world would be ridiculously ineffective against them.
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Old 09-17-2019, 09:25 AM
 
5,203 posts, read 8,204,697 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rstevens62 View Post
I think they would either enslave us or consume us as food, either is certainly frightening, especially since there is little we could do about it, the militaries of the world would be ridiculously ineffective against them.
You been watching that Twilight Zone episode? Patty desperately yells out to Michael Chambers as he starts walking up the ramp of the alien Kanamit spacecraft, "Mr. Chambers, don't get on that ship! The rest of the book To Serve Man, it's... it's a cookbook!"

I doubt aliens would be drooling over the idea of feasting on roast humans. If it's meaty food they're looking for, they'd more likely be eyeing the more abundant supply of animals like chicken, cattle, hogs, wildebeest, or fish. On the other hand, if the aliens are microbes, then they might kill and "consume" humans by infection (aka The Thing), not much different than Earthly microbes.

Regarding enslavement as a motive, what advantage would that have for invading aliens? Most likely their technology would be far superior for various tasks. Human slaves would be too inefficient and slow.
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Old 09-17-2019, 10:14 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
18,514 posts, read 55,435,808 times
Reputation: 32216
Quote:
Originally Posted by NightBazaar View Post
You been watching that Twilight Zone episode? Patty desperately yells out to Michael Chambers as he starts walking up the ramp of the alien Kanamit spacecraft, "Mr. Chambers, don't get on that ship! The rest of the book To Serve Man, it's... it's a cookbook!"

I doubt aliens would be drooling over the idea of feasting on roast humans. If it's meaty food they're looking for, they'd more likely be eyeing the more abundant supply of animals like chicken, cattle, hogs, wildebeest, or fish. On the other hand, if the aliens are microbes, then they might kill and "consume" humans by infection (aka The Thing), not much different than Earthly microbes.

Regarding enslavement as a motive, what advantage would that have for invading aliens? Most likely their technology would be far superior for various tasks. Human slaves would be too inefficient and slow.
Bring a towel and hope you get lucky.
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Old 09-17-2019, 10:33 AM
 
5,203 posts, read 8,204,697 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
Bring a towel and hope you get lucky.
You never know when an alien might bring out the "probe".
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Old 09-18-2019, 04:51 PM
 
Location: Seattle
2,257 posts, read 483,431 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rstevens62 View Post
I think they would either enslave us or consume us as food, either is certainly frightening, especially since there is little we could do about it, the militaries of the world would be ridiculously ineffective against them.
Any species more advanced than us will likely have sophisticated robotics and all the food they require. Humans probably aren't even compatible with their digestive chemistry, and we would make poor, mistake-prone slaves. What they may be looking for instead is knowledge they do not possess. Things like unique mathematics, unusual biochemical structures, novel technology, or cultural elements. All of that can be communicated digitally. They don't need to come here in person for that; just send advanced probes and offer to trade knowledge.
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Old 09-18-2019, 04:54 PM
 
Location: Seattle
2,257 posts, read 483,431 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NightBazaar View Post
You never know when an alien might bring out the "probe".
Well you know that anal probes would give them direct access to our gut bacteria, and allow them to engineer a lethal biota to wipe us out. Just sayin...
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Old 09-19-2019, 04:59 AM
 
2,938 posts, read 1,118,090 times
Reputation: 1976
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2x3x29x41 View Post
.

I would say 'disappointing', not 'frightening'.

Anyway, this is a more useful discussion to have about our own galaxy. If advanced life (say, to our level of intelligence or beyond) is sufficiently rare that it occurs at a rate of less than one per large galaxy (as our galaxy is) then we are probably effectively alone, giving the realities of intergalactic communication and travel.
I think the situation might be even more dire than that. The nearest known star system is 4 light years away. With current tech it's projected to take 15000 years to reach.
Even if we send probes there, like the ones Stephen Hawking suggested traveling at 0.2c it still amounts to 20 years for a miniscule probe.

Let's say we are able to get humans to the Alpha Centaurus system, how are they expected to keep in touch with the Earth? It would take 4 years to relay that information.
Now imagine they go to a system that's hundreds or thousands of light years away. They would effectively cease to be part of human civilization since they can no longer communicate with the rest of the species. By the time any message comes through, things will have changed dramatically back on Earth that the nation or group that sent them originally may be defunct.

What I'm trying to get across is that even a singular Galaxy is too big to effectively manage. It appears that unless there are multiple civilizations in a singular star system, any species is effectively alone.



Quote:
Agreed, but only because it's nonsensical to say it's impossible. There's not enough data to determine whether or not it is likely or unlikely.


In the case intelligent life - or even life, period - we really have no idea of the odds, except to say that they're non-zero per body (Earth proves that) and that they're less than one per body (the Moon proves that). We can be confident on many other negative data points (Mercury, many other moons of the solar system, etc.) but it is impossible to extrapolate from a single positive data point. And right now, that's all we have.

There might be other intelligent life out there. There might not be. Our increasing inability to detect it speaks to it's rarity, and the increasing logical contortions deployed to ignore the lack of affirmative evidence speaks to nothing but the emotional aspect of those who want there to be 'something' out there that they belief in the absence of evidence.



I absolutely agree that there could be. The problem arises where people take 'could' and declare that, given the numbers, that it 'must' be. They claim 'math!' while ignoring the fact that we don't actually have the ability to do the math because one of the variables (how likely is intelligent life to arise on a given body) almost completely unknown to us.
We will never be able to actually claim that we are alone since we cannot probe the whole universe, our sample size will always be limited. Even if we never find anything, the possibility that life is out there will always remain. I find that beautiful in some ways as it leaves the door open.

If we find conclusive evidence of extraterrestrial life then we solved one of the big mysteries for good, if not, then we keep trying.
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Old 09-19-2019, 11:18 AM
 
5,203 posts, read 8,204,697 times
Reputation: 3188
Quote:
Originally Posted by rjshae View Post
Well you know that anal probes would give them direct access to our gut bacteria, and allow them to engineer a lethal biota to wipe us out. Just sayin...
Good point. It's a good idea to be wiped out after a probing. Wonder if they wipe with Charmin?
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