Are we alone in the Universe?

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Are we alone in the Universe?

Post by GoldenRule » Wed Jul 15, 2009 4:50 pm

Hope this hasn't already been discussed

Logically I don't believe there is a god, and logically I dont believe we are alone in the Universe.

If the right atmosphere, chemicals, gases, heat, etc all came together as and when they did to create our planet, then surely something similar happened or is happening somewhere out there.

What do you think?
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Re: Are we alone in the Universe?

Post by bockedy » Wed Jul 15, 2009 5:25 pm

I'd be very surprised if there weren't other intelligent beings in the universe ... it's a big, old place after all. Current estimates to the Drake equation estimate 2.31 civilisations with which we could potentially communicate in our galaxy. We're 1, so I guess that means 1.31 other ...

I happen to think though that there is something uniquely special about our own planetary configuration which is even more rare - a large, close moon that stabilises our planet's rotation and seasons being the main one. Another point is that it is relatively lucky that a self-aware civilisation has evolved within the life-span of the planet. Although the sun will continue shining for a few more billion years, there are estimates that life as we know it will become increasingly unsustainable on Earth after 500M years in the future. So, my own guess is that we are potentially alone in the Milky Way, but not in the whole Universe. Unfortunately that means that, given current known technology, it will probably remain impossible to meet any aliens.

However I would be surprised if life at a bacterial level was not much more widespread in the cosmos. Bacteria have been known to survive the extremes of space as far as I've heard. So even if life did not start on Earth, it could have arrived here.
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Re: Are we alone in the Universe?

Post by Lord Supposer » Wed Jul 15, 2009 6:17 pm

I'm of the opinion that life does exist elsewhere in the universe but due to the scale of the gaff the chances of two intelligent cultures coming into contact with each other would be highly unlikely.
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Re: Are we alone in the Universe?

Post by mim » Fri Mar 26, 2010 9:31 pm

Your Question is are we alone in this universe.
Who knows, but my thinking on it is it took a long long time for us ie humans to evolve and so much of what we are today is chance. I can't see other solar systems with humans exactly like us alive on them. Unless you go down the road of String theory. Never before has so little mattered so much. So my feeling is I realy don't know if we are alone or not. I believe we can't even be sure what exists space around us.

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Re: Are we alone in the Universe?

Post by Dev » Sat Mar 27, 2010 12:39 am

GoldenRule wrote:Hope this hasn't already been discussed
Not recently.


I think enough time has passed (six months) for a new thread on this but I'll leave it up to the discretion of the two mods. I would recommend a read through the old thread as there was some interesting discussion on this. I recall having the same opinion as yourself that there was simply no reason to suggest that aliens existed until noz pointed out that there was one piece of evidence to suggest additional life in the universe - us and the rest of the animal kingdom.

We understand now that life probably began from a few amino acids accidentally crashing together but once evolution began in the primordial soup the rest naturally followed and the world was transformed.

This is why scientists look for planets with similar conditions to earth as we suspect life if it is to be found will most likely be there. Either way there is seems to be something special about either being alone or not alone. The limits as far as humans will ever travel will be maybe just be in the Milky Way. So if life exists beyond our galaxy it's possible we may never know.

There is the probabilities argument to alien life existing. There are simply so many planets like ours or ones that could support alternate forms of life and so much time i.e. life could have existed millions of years ago and died out. It can seem to some that there must be intelligent life or at least life out there. Of course we don't know but we don't claim to either. We just suspect that there might be. I remember AC Grayling on one of the intelligence squared debates explaining the etymology of the word rationality. Basically it means the "ratio" of evidence to support the theory i.e. if we found life on Mars and the moon we could almost certainly say life is frequent throughout the universe but if we explored many planets and found no life at all we could say that maybe life is very rare in the universe.

In short if someone claims to believe in intelligent alien life they are in an infinitely better position than any theist.
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