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Author Topic: Extraterrestrial Life (Intelligent life forms)  (Read 4985 times)

Lloyd Ihenacho

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Extraterrestrial Life (Intelligent life forms)
« on: 15/07/2011 10:46:11 »
i've always been interested in finding out what proportion of the population believe in the existence of intelligent life forms. Obviously the replies on this forum will not suffice in giving me an accurate prediction as to how many people actually believe in ET life (intelligent life), however I am interested in finding out what people think.


 

Offline graham.d

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Extraterrestrial Life (Intelligent life forms)
« Reply #1 on: 15/07/2011 11:30:58 »
Intelligent Life Forms: Judging by what we see on earth, there aren't any :-)

So are there any Extra Terrestrial Life forms? Are there any that are intelligent? I don't like the word "belief" being applied to this as it has connotations of acceptance of a viewpoint not necessarily based on reason. My view is that it there is, as yet, no convincing evidence for life, let alone intelligent life, that is extra-terrestrial. However I think it inconceivable that the earth is unique in the universe and, given the age of the universe, there will not only be life out there but it is likely that some of that life will be up to many millions of years ahead of us in terms of evolution and technological development. If there are any visits made to earth, or monitoring of the earth, by such advanced beings, it is extremely unlikely that we would ever detect them unless they wished to be noticed (or just did not care).
 

Offline grizelda

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« Reply #2 on: 15/07/2011 11:32:34 »
Well, If they've got shoulders they probably evolved from an entity that swung through the trees, so they'll be looking to plant continents full of banana trees. I always wanted to be a tallyman.  
 

Offline CliffordK

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« Reply #3 on: 15/07/2011 21:36:06 »
I looked for Web Polls using the Google Search: "poll does extraterrestrial life exist"

About 75% to 90% answered "YES".

However, web polls certainly are not scientific, and might only snag those people truly interested in the subject, and not get a good cross section of the population.

There are a few related questions.

  • Does Life exist out there...  somewhere...   any type of life from bacteria to elephants?
  • Has there ever been any type of life out there in the past?
  • Did life on Earth come from elsewhere, or develop from Proteins, DNA, and Hydrocarbons that came from life elsewhere?
  • Does that life possess equal or greater intelligence to Homo Sapiens?
  • Have they visited Earth, or are they likely to visit earth in...  say...  the next million years?

The answer to the first question on whether there is at least some kind of life...  somewhere... other than on Earth is decidedly YES.  The Universe is just too big that even if the possibility of life developing around a given star was very small, there are enough stars in the Universe that at least one other would have to have developed life.

The second about past life would follow from the first.  However, if life existed, then was snuffed out by a supernova or some other cataclysm, then it is actually only a narrow range of perhaps 3rd generation stars with adequate metalicity that that would have been possible on.

There is a lot of evidence that life on Earth likely evolved from single cellular organisms.  However, at this point we have little evidence whether or not either the cells, or the hydrocarbons evolved as part of life elsewhere.  Exploration of our nearby planets might help answer some of those questions as long as care is taken not to contaminate the samples with Earth bacteria and cells.

Is there "Intelligent" life elsewhere?  It may be a small fraction of the actual life, with micro-organisms being much more common.  For example, despite Jupiter being bigger than Earth, it is likely more conducive to the evolution of microbial life than intelligent life.  But, again the numbers would indicate that somewhere there must be another species with similar capabilities as humans.

The last question is whether we have actually had alien visits.  And, alas, this is where most of the controversy exists.  I don't believe there is any possibility for life to to (intentionally) travel from Andromeda to the Milky Way, although I suppose if we ever found an antimatter star or galaxy, even at great distance, we might choose to attempt to send a mining and exploration expedition.  However, in all practicality, this limits us to space ships and probes originating within the Milky Way which is a small fraction of the total number of stars.  Still it is a big galaxy.  As we can only dream of getting to the nearest star.  I find it doubtful that any aliens could get here.  And, if they did come, they wouldn't just be dancing around the atmosphere, but rather would select a planet to build a permanent colony.

I would anticipate that if humans ever make the leap to interstellar travel (likely to the stars within 20 lightyears), that if we encounter a system like our own solar system, that our first stop would be to colonize either Mars or Venus.  Then attempt to do a shared communication prior to actual planetary incursions.  I find it unlikely that we would be able to eat alien food, and there would be a very high risk of toxic interactions between life forms.

I suppose one final question as to how humans will spread to other stars.  Will we send computer proxies, and perhaps plants and microbes to the stars before we send humans?

Anyway, I am very doubtful that we have had any 20th or 21st century alien visits to Earth.
 

Offline Airthumbs

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« Reply #4 on: 16/07/2011 00:47:44 »
I would be interested to note how people define intelligent life?  Would a mouse be intelligent for example.  Or how about this chimpanzee
(43sec clip, and a must see)!

The Drake equation is a good one if you are interested in the probability of other civilisations http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drake_equation

I personally feel that intelligent life must exist out there and that anyone who thinks that it does not is sadly missing the knowledge to make an informed decision based on what we know of the Universe.  If you were to ask the same question of a tribe in the Amazon, having no external contact with the modern world, I would be interested to note what they say.  As far as they are concerned the planes that fly over once a year to check up on them are probably gods!  If you raised a question as per your post to them they would probably just stare at you for a while vacantly and then either laugh at you or eat you..  ;D
« Last Edit: 16/07/2011 02:07:27 by Airthumbs »
 

Offline CliffordK

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« Reply #5 on: 16/07/2011 02:34:45 »
If you were to ask the same question of a tribe in the Amazon, having no external contact with the modern world, I would be interested to note what they say.  As far as they are concerned the planes that fly over once a year to check up on them are probably gods! 

Have you watched the South African film, "The Gods Must Be Crazy"?

Perhaps rather than discussing "intelligence", one should discuss "technologically advanced society".  But, still you might ask whether the Neanderthals were actually technologically advanced.  Obviously they hadn't invented cell phones yet, but they did have many simple tools.  And, in a sense, whether or not they truly were our forefathers, humanity was on a roll at that time.

As far as intelligence, we still have troubles determining the IQ of the average whale.
 

Offline Geezer

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« Reply #6 on: 16/07/2011 04:15:39 »

Intelligent Life Forms: Judging by what we see on earth, there aren't any :-)


Oi! Mouch, I resemble that remark.
 

Offline Airthumbs

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« Reply #7 on: 16/07/2011 17:19:04 »
If you were to ask the same question of a tribe in the Amazon, having no external contact with the modern world, I would be interested to note what they say.  As far as they are concerned the planes that fly over once a year to check up on them are probably gods! 

Have you watched the South African film, "The Gods Must Be Crazy"?

Perhaps rather than discussing "intelligence", one should discuss "technologically advanced society".  But, still you might ask whether the Neanderthals were actually technologically advanced.  Obviously they hadn't invented cell phones yet, but they did have many simple tools.  And, in a sense, whether or not they truly were our forefathers, humanity was on a roll at that time.

As far as intelligence, we still have troubles determining the IQ of the average whale.

Very good film, made me laugh but it also highlights just how far we really have gone mad!
 

Offline Don_1

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Extraterrestrial Life (Intelligent life forms)
« Reply #8 on: 19/07/2011 09:58:55 »
Intelligent Life Forms: Judging by what we see on earth, there aren't any :-)
 

Eh!!! Iz e incinerating insinubating incinitating inncinutraiting  Wot duz e meen???
 

Offline Don_1

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« Reply #9 on: 19/07/2011 10:18:47 »
Assuming you mean an intelligence comparable to ours, I think the mathematics would suggest it is unlikely that we are alone.

As for ever being able to communicate with them, I think the mathematics suggests it highly unlikely. And as to a meeting in the cafe on intergalactic highway 109, forget it.
 

Offline imatfaal

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« Reply #10 on: 19/07/2011 11:00:54 »
Yeah - that cafe was closed by environmental health inspectors months ago!
 

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Extraterrestrial Life (Intelligent life forms)
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