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Do You Believe In Extraterrestrial Life?

Discussion in 'Sci-Fi and Fantasy Talk' started by 7HEUSEDB3RTH, Nov 24, 2008.

?
  1. Yes

    31 vote(s)
    91.2%
  2. No

    2 vote(s)
    5.9%
  3. Why the hell are you asking me?

    1 vote(s)
    2.9%
  1. 7HEUSEDB3RTH

    7HEUSEDB3RTH Part Member, Part Machine

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2008
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    I sure as hell do. What is posibally infinate space with countless stars, most with solar systems and planets. If life can exist on such an insignificant planet such as Earth, it can surely exist elsewhere.
     
  2. Tim

    Tim Creative Writer

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2005
    Location:
    England
    Yes, but with the age of the universe and the expected lifecycle of civilisations I'm more thinking that there could be and will be other intelligent lifeforms out there, but will they exist at the same time as our civilisation and will there ever be contact between the two?
     
  3. Kevin

    Kevin Code Monkey Staff Abductee

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    I would like to think that at some point some of them will converge upon each other. Even if it is distant radio signals saying nothing more than "We are here." it will be enough to motivate mankind to continue wondering what is out there.
     
  4. Viktor Kuprin

    Viktor Kuprin Spaced Cadet Writer

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2007
    Location:
    Bloomington, Indiana, USA
    Earth, with its abundant, multiple, and amazing forms of life, insignificant? Don't be so quick to assume such. If exterrestrial life is common, as Enrico Fermi asked, "Where are they?"

    Complex life may, indeed, be extremely rare, though as a science-fiction fan, in my heart I hope not. But then again ... maybe it's safer for us all if this is true. Read some Baen Books is you need to figure out why.

    Consider the Rare Earth hypothesis. We may be misleading ourselves when we look up at the stars and think, "Yeah, sure, got to be zillions of aliens out there." Life, and especially intelligent life, may be extremely rare, if not a miracle, considering the hostile environments out there and what may be required for the actual creation of life.
     
  5. Anthony G Williams

    Anthony G Williams Greybeard Writer

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    Given how ingenious life has been here on Earth in finding a foothold in all sorts of unpromising environments, combined with the sheer size of the universe, I think it is highly probable that life exists elsewhere.

    It did of course take billions of years for evolution to progress from the first monocellular life to complex animals, so they will be far less common.

    It then took hundreds of millions of years for complex animals to produce the kind of intelligence with the potential to develop a civilisation (i.e. homo sapiens); and then, it seems, only by chance.

    Homo sap has been around for c.200,000 years but for the first 190,000 lived like clever animals with no technology beyond lumps of stone: only in the last 10,000 years, with the development of agriculture, did humanity start to form a civilisation.

    Only in the last century did humanity developed the technology for sending messages into space.

    Within a few decades of being able to send messages, humanity came very close to destroying its civilisation in nuclear war.

    Within the next couple of centuries, we may destroy our civilisation through instigating major environmental changes.

    Taking all the above into account, the chances of our being contacted by an alien civilisation seem exceedingly remote. The chances of alien visitors arriving here seem several orders of magnitude more remote.
     
  6. astonwest

    astonwest Writing Fool Writer

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2008
    Location:
    Kansas
    If I didn't believe in other civilizations out there, I wouldn't write about them. ;)
     
  7. recall

    recall Captain

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2008
    Didn't ALH 84001 (from Mars) have fossilized "Bacteria" in/on it?
    Question answered then, there is/was and in our own Solar System.
    Arrogant indeed to think we alone are the only sentient life. We are on the fringe of this galaxy around a black hole about to (in cosmic time) collide with another galaxy around another black hole. One of thousands, perhaps millions/billions of similar/different everything.
    At the same time (ours is kinda short) is the question. Before & after us will be unknown. Whether we can communicate (we can't talk with an ant farm), is no proof they're not there. Other questions are if we can see them and if they see us, too small for us or we're too small for them, and we're not worth their time.
    If you're a one in a million person here on Earth ...
    There are 6,000 just like you.
     
  8. Anthony G Williams

    Anthony G Williams Greybeard Writer

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    Jul 14, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    The claim was made but there was much disagreement, and last I heard it had not been accepted.
     
  9. recall

    recall Captain

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2008
    Much disagreement as to climate change being man made, or man actually being foolish enough to destroy the world with nuclear weapons knowing there would be no survivors (MAD) as well.
    Algae would grow on Mars & with terra-forming and/or pan-spermia, I don't believe ingenious fits any more to Earth's life than it does to mold growing on bread.
    Civilization formed with the first clan. Doling out jobs for protection, food, clothing, shelter, warmth, then advancing to trade with others and there we have today. Civilization.
    Less common? According to us and our micro perspective, from our short lifespan and Mr. Magoo vision of all other possibilities when 90% of our own oceans remain unexplored/unreachable/unknown?
    Chances of some other species capable of traveling so far, so fast, to reach pathetic backward us (for what ... laughs?) is not their fault, it's ours.
    The problem is us and our ego. Thinking we are the pinnacle of creation, and to say we'll never find anyone as advanced as us, or even thinking our evolution was the first and/or only is narcissistic.
     
  10. Anthony G Williams

    Anthony G Williams Greybeard Writer

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    Jul 14, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    If that was aimed at my comments, you have misunderstood my position. In my first response to this I pointed out that the existence of life elsewhere is highly probable (one can't say that it is certain, because there is no incontrovertible evidence of any kind for the existence of life other than on this planet). I also pointed out that, judging by the development of life on this planet (which is all we can do, having no other comparator) the kind of life capable of developing a technological civilisation may not occur very often, and the length of existence of such a civilisation is open to question. Those are observations, not opinions.

    Having said that, my opinion is that, given the scale of the known universe, there probably are, of have been, countless technological civilisations, many of them superior to ours. But for the same reason (the scale of the universe, in time and distance) it is statistically improbable that we will be visited by any of them.
     
  11. recall

    recall Captain

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2008
    Agree

    You are correct about us not knowing much at all, as an ant not knowing much about us.

    and again by mentioning the scale of the (to us) "known" Universe,

    and again about what we know as time compared to how long "Time" has actually been going on.

    and again that the probability of an equal or more advanced species existing/existed many times over,

    and again about the probability of and the communicating with another species is indeed remote.

    Who knows, we may get lucky.

    "Peace"
     
  12. galactus

    galactus Scout

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2005
    Location:
    Antarctica
    I'm not sure if I neccessarily "believe" anything ;) but The Drake Equation suggests its likely.

    In fact, there is a body of evidence for the extrarterrestrial origin of life (as bacteria not crash-landings UFOs.)
     
  13. jefferson01

    jefferson01 Cadet

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2009
    Yes. I know that there is something out there.
     
  14. painkiller64

    painkiller64 Avoid A Void

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    kansas
    Why we are a one sided and closed minded society still, amazes me! We; or i should say, the majority of this world still cannot see outside our own place in space. They see what they want when it comes to this subject. The lot of us still think we are the only intelligent life out there and there is no possible way for another life to be there. "Just because you cant see it, doesnt mean that it doesnt exist". I believe there is another form of life and intelligence out there and we will contact or be contacted by it someday. Maybe not in my lifetime but someday.
     
  15. Anthony G Williams

    Anthony G Williams Greybeard Writer

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    Jul 14, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    I go by evidence, not unsupported belief.

    There is no generally accepted evidence for any form of life beyond this planet.

    That does not mean that there isn't any - in fact, I've said before that I think life is probably very common (although technological civilisations are probably very much rarer, for reasons I've given, and there may be no others anywhere near us at the present time).

    I don't have a closed mind, because I fully accept the possibility of life elsewhere - but believing it exists is a much stronger statement. I'll believe something when I see convincing evidence.

    For something to be believed in without evidence puts it in the same category as religion, or astrology, or divination, and so on. And it's people who believe in something without evidence who are the ones with closed minds - because they won't be shaken from their belief, regardless.

    I recently put a post on my blog summarising a book which examines the question of why we have never found any evidence for alien civilisations: http://sciencefictionfantasy.blogspot.com/2009/05/where-is-everybody-fifty-solutions-to.html
     
  16. galactus

    galactus Scout

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2005
    Location:
    Antarctica
    Some interesting reading on Robin Hanson's idea of "The Great Filter" and why finding life on Mars might not indicate the proliferation of life elsewhere in the cosmos.

    The Great Filter is something that "prevents the rise of intelligent, self-aware, technologically advanced, space-colonizing civilizations. The question is: is The Great Filter behind us or ahead of us...
     
  17. Anthony G Williams

    Anthony G Williams Greybeard Writer

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    Thanks for posting the link. I agree with what the article says - except that I think there is probably a whole series of "Great Filters" in the way of the development and survival of a technological civilisation.
     
  18. KungFuCactus

    KungFuCactus Almost Super-Powered

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    Jun 18, 2009
    Location:
    Tempe, AZ
    I think you'll find that most of your registered users here believe in ET's. That's what Sci-Fi is all about!
     
  19. Anthony G Williams

    Anthony G Williams Greybeard Writer

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    It helps to remember that the "Fi" standards for Fiction.

    I not only enjoy reading stories about aliens, I even write them. But that does not necessarily mean that I believe that they exist - the stories are made up, for entertainment.

    I do worry, though, about the number of people who think that Klingons are real...
     
  20. Birdman

    Birdman Birdman

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2009
    Location:
    MO
    Dear Mr. Williams,
    Please look no further for proof of alien life for I am here. I have traveled 60.3 plexions to reach the planet your civilization calls earth. As a matter of fact intelligent civilizations occur with relitive frequency throughout your milky way galaxy alone not to mention the countless billions of other galaxies. I keep a very giolet, uhm....I mean maticulous ledger recording the multitudes of races I meet on my journeys across the cosmos.
    I am very happy to be able to relieve the curiosity over this topic. Rest at ease...there is life elsewhere for certain!;)
     

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