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  1. #1
    Senior Member Lamplight's Avatar
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    The universe is big

    Well, big may be a slight understatement...

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...sg/spaceb2.jpg

    So what might the odds be of some sort of life existing on other planets? Any ideas?

  2. #2
    Administrator CbadRider's Avatar
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    I'm sure there is life on other planets out there. It would be silly not to think so.

    As soon as we develop warp drive we'll meet them. Until then it's up to them to find us first.
    Quote Originally Posted by toddles View Post
    So Tom only hires people that are nutty? Is part of the requirement to be a moderator on this site is that you have to be nuts??
    Forum Guidelines *click here*

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    Pwnerer Wordbiker's Avatar
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    There may be life on other planets, but I bet they'll hide once they know we're coming.
    Quote Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
    Ski, bike and wish I was gay.

  4. #4
    Strong with the Fred Big_e's Avatar
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    We got some crazy looking creatures working up were I work at so I'd be very surprised if there weren't different lifeforms on other planets.
    Ernest
    I love pho long time.

  5. #5
    shaken, not stirred. gnome's Avatar
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    We are very small.

    Of course, given the size of the universe there will be life out there somewhere. What type of life, I can't even begin to guess. The chances of us finding that life and recognising it as life are virtually nil.
    Get a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live. ~Mark Twain, "Taming the Bicycle"
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    don't try this at home. rm -rf's Avatar
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    The Hubble Deep Field is a region of the northern celestial hemisphere about one 30-millionth the area of the sky that contains at least 1,500 faint galaxies.

    The region was imaged by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope in 1995 and is equivalent in apparent size to a shirt button held 75 feet (22.86 meters) away. The region is so small that only a few foreground stars from the Milky Way are visible in the image. If the Hubble Deep Field is typical of the rest of space, then it can be extrapolated that there are hundreds of billions of galaxies, each containing billions of stars within the visible universe alone.

    See the full size image here. 3069 × 3005 pixels

    A portion of the whole image:


  7. #7
    Ogr8nwmypstmksnosnse pgoat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CbadRider View Post
    I'm sure there is life on other planets out there. It would be silly not to think so.

    As soon as we develop warp drive we'll meet them. Until then it's up to them to find us first.
    let's just hope it's not the Borg
    Quote Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
    People whose sig line does not include a jsharr quote annoy me.

  8. #8
    I ain't no newbie redirekib's Avatar
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    Too bad there isn't enough matter to hold it all together. Like pcad trying to hang onto the Nyack ride.
    Last edited by redirekib; 05-25-09 at 04:51 AM.
    "Never send a monkey to do a man's job." ~ Captain Leo Davidson ~

  9. #9
    Senior Member Lamplight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gnome View Post
    The chances of us finding that life and recognising it as life are virtually nil.
    Unfortunately you're probably right. Even if we could travel at the speed of light, the Milky Way alone is about 100,000 light years in diameter. We'd have to be able to travel many times the speed of light just to explore our own galaxy (at least bodily), and it is estimated that there are hundreds of billions of gallaxies besides ours. It's almost impossible to fully grasp that.

  10. #10
    Domestic Domestique UnsafeAlpine's Avatar
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    The chances of life existing outside of us is pretty good. The chances that we'll run into it someday is incredibly tiny. The chances that the life is sentient is even smaller.

    I would love for us to really encounter a race that we could communicate with, that we could discuss the universe with, talk about life and gain incredible amounts of knowledge...

  11. #11
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    Our explorations of Mars still has not discounted the possibility of algae being there. next explorer might take a stab at it.
    Pray for the Dead and Fight like Hell for the Living






    ^ Since January 1, 2012

  12. #12
    King of the Plukers Spreggy's Avatar
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    I'm looking forward to seeing new images after the recent upgrades.
    “Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It's a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”
    ― Muhammad Ali

  13. #13
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    I so want a president to say, 'This is bogus, we need warp drive'.

    Oh, well.
    We are as gods, we might as well get good at it.
    Stewart Brand

  14. #14
    Senior Member Michigander's Avatar
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    Believing our little planet contains the only intelligent life would be stupid beyond words. The problem is interacting with other intelligent life is almost impossible.

    Consider all the variables. When a species gets so smart that it can develop space crafts way beyond what the 1st world governments admit to having, they will also develop the means to obliterate the entire planet with nukes or similar devices. Will they be mature enough not to? How long will their life spans be, and how long will the trip take? Will they want to leave behind everyone they know just to come visit us? Will they be anywhere near close enough to earth for the trip to be feasible?

    It took us so many thousands of years to get to where we are now. Now that we on earth have this technology, short sighted greed, apathy, and viciousness on the largest scales possible is very common among humans, and it's hard to say where we'll be in 200 years. If that is a natural way for intelligent creatures to conduct themselves, it may be very rare for intelligent life from different planets to interact together, because societies of intelligent creatures may just destroy themselves very shortly after getting truly advanced.
    Bring back the Sig Test!


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  15. #15
    Senior Member Lamplight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michigander View Post
    Consider all the variables. When a species gets so smart that it can develop space crafts way beyond what the 1st world governments admit to having, they will also develop the means to obliterate the entire planet with nukes or similar devices. Will they be mature enough not to? How long will their life spans be, and how long will the trip take? Will they want to leave behind everyone they know just to come visit us? Will they be anywhere near close enough to earth for the trip to be feasible?
    Also, such advanced lifeforms could explore the universe for eons and still never stumble upon us, unless they had developed a way to detect all life in the universe. And even then, would they bother studying us? Would we appear so incredibly primitive in comparison that they would seek out other, more advanced lifeforms first? On the other hand, we're fascinated at the prospect of algae on Mars, so maybe there's hope.

  16. #16
    Domestic Domestique UnsafeAlpine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lamplight View Post
    Also, such advanced lifeforms could explore the universe for eons and still never stumble upon us, unless they had developed a way to detect all life in the universe. And even then, would they bother studying us? Would we appear so incredibly primitive in comparison that they would seek out other, more advanced lifeforms first? On the other hand, we're fascinated at the prospect of algae on Mars, so maybe there's hope.
    I can't remember who said it, but the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it hasn't tried to contact us yet.

  17. #17
    don't try this at home. rm -rf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lamplight View Post
    Also, such advanced lifeforms could explore the universe for eons and still never stumble upon us, unless they had developed a way to detect all life in the universe. And even then, would they bother studying us? Would we appear so incredibly primitive in comparison that they would seek out other, more advanced lifeforms first? On the other hand, we're fascinated at the prospect of algae on Mars, so maybe there's hope.

    from the short story They're made out of Meat

    "They're made out of meat."

    "Meat?"

    "Meat. They're made out of meat."

    "Meat?"

    "There's no doubt about it. We picked several from different parts of the planet, took them aboard our recon vessels, probed them all the way through. They're completely meat."

    "That's impossible. What about the radio signals? The messages to the stars."

    "They use the radio waves to talk, but the signals don't come from them. The signals come from machines."

    "So who made the machines? That's who we want to contact."

    ...

  18. #18
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    The probability of intelligent extraterrestrial life was formulated by astronomer Frank Drake in 1960.

    The Drake equation states that;



    where:
    N is the number of civilizations in our galaxy with which communication might be possible;
    and
    R* is the average rate of star formation per year in our galaxy
    fp is the fraction of those stars that have planets
    ne is the average number of planets that can potentially support life per star that has planets
    fℓ is the fraction of the above that actually go on to develop life at some point
    fi is the fraction of the above that actually go on to develop intelligent life
    fc is the fraction of civilizations that develop a technology that releases detectable signs of their existence into space
    L is the length of time such civilizations release detectable signals into space."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drake_equation

    "Considerable disagreement on the values of most of these parameters exists, but the values used by Drake and his colleagues in 1961 were:
    R* = 10/year (10 stars formed per year, on the average over the life of the galaxy)
    fp = 0.5 (half of all stars formed will have planets)
    ne = 2 (stars with planets will have 2 planets capable of supporting life)
    fl = 1 (100% of these planets will develop life)
    fi = 0.01 (1% of which will be intelligent life)
    fc = 0.01 (1% of which will be able to communicate)
    L = 10,000 years (which will last 10,000 years)
    Drake's values give N = 10 × 0.5 × 2 × 1 × 0.01 × 0.01 × 10,000 = 10."

    Drake's conclusion is that there is a probability of ten civilizations in our galaxy with which we might communicate. Since a number of these factors involve unknown or estimated quantities, Drake's estimated value of N may be off by many orders of magnitude, high or low.

  19. #19
    Footballus vita est iamlucky13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michigander View Post
    Believing our little planet contains the only intelligent life would be stupid beyond words. The problem is interacting with other intelligent life is almost impossible.
    It's no more stupid than believing with certainty that there are other intelligent life forms out there (or perhaps even other life in general). The problem is we have no information that allows us to make a truly educated guess. Sure the universe is huge, but at the limits of what we can see, which are not quite trivial, there's no one else out there. So we're left trying to rectify a nearly limitless universe with one that appears to be nearly empty (except for us).

    I'm surprised no else has posted the Drake equation yet*. It's fundamentally very simple. It says merely that the number of intelligent civilizations we can expect to discover (via whatever means, including just radio contact) depends on just seven variables, such as the rate of star formation, the percentage of stars with planets, the percentage of planets with any life at all, the length of time a civilization exists, etc.

    I've seen uncountably many people take the Drake equation and say "let's suppose...." Some are conservative and say even if all these variables are only x (x being some arbitrarily small number), then the Drake equation proves (because again, it's fundamentally simple) that there would be at least F(x) civilizations in the universe.

    But such supposition is baseless because of the seven variables in the Drake equation, we only have a decent estimate on one of them (rate of star formation). We are starting to develop an estimate on a second (proportion of stars with planets). Of the remaining 5, we can only say with certainty that 1 of them is non-zero, because we exist, but it obviously needs to be at least 2 for us to discover anyone else.

    The Drake equation is a nice mathematical expression of philosophical musings, but we have basically no clue what the value of five of it's variables are. If any of them are zero, we'll never find other intelligent life.


    * EDIT - Apparently great minds don't just think alike, but they do so at the same time.
    "The internet is a place where absolutely nothing happens. You need to take advantage of that." ~ Strong Bad

  20. #20
    AEO
    AEO is offline
    Senior Member AEO's Avatar
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    if there are other life forms out there, I sure hope they come visit us soon. who knows how much longer we're going to be around for.
    Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
    http://sanfrancisco.ibtimes.com/arti...ger-photos.htm

  21. #21
    Footballus vita est iamlucky13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rm -rf View Post
    from the short story They're made out of Meat
    Classic! It's scifi stories like this that make me miss the 50's...notwithstanding the fact that I was born in the 80's.
    "The internet is a place where absolutely nothing happens. You need to take advantage of that." ~ Strong Bad

  22. #22
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    Pshaw...

    It is a mere 1000 sq ft wide. That just happens to be the 1000 sq ft I am occupying at any given moment. Y'all are figments of my imagination.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by AEO View Post
    if there are other life forms out there, I sure hope they come visit us soon. who knows how much longer we're going to be around for.
    We're going to be around for a while. As a species we are reasonably adaptable. However, the real questions are: How small a population of us in sustainable? And, how are the other inhabitants of the planet going to react if ever larger portions of the population become refugees? If the wet areas get wetter, with additional flooding to the great river plains of food production, and if the dryer areas experience increasing draught. How will the remaining temperate locations and populations respond to 100 of millions of dislocated people for whom they can not provide sufficient food?
    Birth Certificate, Passport, Marriage License Driver's License and Residency Permit all say I'm a Fred. I guess there's no denying it.

  24. #24
    Senior Member phantyk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UnsafeAlpine View Post
    I can't remember who said it, but the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it hasn't tried to contact us yet.
    I know calvin and hobbes said that in one strip. I love that comic...

    Edit: Found the comic!
    Last edited by phantyk; 05-24-09 at 08:31 PM.

  25. #25
    Pwnerer Wordbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michigander View Post
    Believing our little planet contains intelligent life would be stupid beyond words.
    Accurized that for ya.
    Quote Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
    Ski, bike and wish I was gay.

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