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Heroes Community > Other Side of the Monitor > Thread: Why we are alone in the galaxy
Thread: Why we are alone in the galaxy This thread is 3 pages long: 1 2 3 · «PREV / NEXT»
JollyJoker
JollyJoker


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Undefeatable Hero
posted December 06, 2017 08:38 PM

artu said:
What you link is passed through chemical reproduction, what you talk about would require a collective memory though, that's completely different. I mean what would stop some traits reoccuring if the conditions that resulted in them reoccur? As I said, they wont reoccur on an identical level but not because they had already been ruled out. If similar life conditions to 80 million years ago reoccur, similar traits can reoccur.
artu, Newton wasn't wrong, but he simply didn't describe the whole picture. In other words, just because you can describe a limited environment correctly, that doesn't mean, the description is true for an UNlimited environment. There is no experimental proof for your claim (as is none for mine), and as opposed to you I don't claim anything, I just said, I for myself think something like that MIGHT be possible, and I don't see any proof that would count it out.

Be that as it may - considering the abundance of organic life on this planet, I'd say that every possible ecosphere will spawn life. We have discovered life under high pressure (deep sea) and high temperatures (volcanoes), so I guess we will find LIFE most everywhere we look. INTELLIGENT life, that is, life that can at least send signals or something, is different and would depend.

However, if you consider half of our galaxy  (I think it would be difficult to send electromagnetic signals through the galactic centre without corrupting them completelydue to the radiation chaos there), the TIME SPAN involved is pretty short. We are taling about  a few ten thousands of years, which isn't much, while we as a detecting species are active listening only for a couple dozen years. Everything in a radius of 10.000 lightyears would have to be on a "fitting" evolutionary curve, which is the unlikely thing.

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tSar-Ivor
tSar-Ivor


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Thunderlord of Nighon
posted December 06, 2017 08:41 PM

Salamandre said:
yes life has been found in acid, in deep waters, in ice, in lava, in all you like. On earth.

No track of life outside our earth, from what we know until now, and we had some good collect of minerals.


We can't find it if we don't know what we're looking for, nor the parameters for its habitation.
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Salamandre
Salamandre


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posted December 06, 2017 08:47 PM

heh, thats the ultimate argument for a poetry discussion, we don't know what is life, so it can be anything.

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tSar-Ivor
tSar-Ivor


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posted December 06, 2017 09:25 PM
Edited by tSar-Ivor at 21:28, 06 Dec 2017.

Wrong, cardinal rule is everything can be measured, life can't be "anything", with our limited understanding we do need theories to patch the significant gaps. You're essentially assuming that I said 'just because something is possible does not necessarily make it so', putting it across in a very condescending manner when you offered nothing of substance as of yet, just your gloom.

I appreciate the point though, but it hardly applies unless you misunderstood something, though I don't necessarily point out what is an opinion/statement of fact, or a solid fact in my posts, I leave it to people to distinguish themselves if their intelligence level enables them to.
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artu
artu


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My BS sensor is tingling again
posted December 06, 2017 11:13 PM
Edited by artu at 05:55, 07 Dec 2017.

JJ said:
and as opposed to you I don't claim anything

You are the Joker after all, arent you. You DO claim something, you don't claim it with certainty but you claim it nevertheless, it is in my first -very specified- qoute from you:
JJ said:
I tend to think that evolution has a "memory" - you won't see a re-evolvement of a failed/extinct life form, for example; evolution goes for survival, and evolution might have "learned" a lesson from global disasters destroying many life forms, as safe as they may have looked.

Now, the statistical improbability is a simple enough explanation by itself to understand WHY the same species never evolve twice, among zillions of directions evolution can take and with so many parameters factoring in, coming with the same exact species twice is near impossible. So why wolud you assume a memory in a natural phenomenon, how can it even have a memory when it does not have a conscience, a purposeful direction or even a selfness? You must realize that your argument is not much different than suggesting the weather has a memory because the same hurricane never happen twice or that tectonic movements are "learning" to break the continents. Bacteria is still the most common, most resistant and most populated life form on Earth, and with a few cosmic disasters, they may be the only living thing left alive in the not so distant future, what can be the lesson in that? And what has all of this has to do with the probability of intelligent life on Earth being unavoidable? Unavoidable is a very strong claim but even if we take that, intelligence is quite a broad concept, it doesnt require any specific specie to evolve twice to surface out, so I see no relevance.
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Blizzardboy
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posted December 07, 2017 02:30 AM
Edited by Blizzardboy at 07:14, 07 Dec 2017.

@tsar

No, life doesn't live anywhere. All life is based on either DNA or RNA, and chemically, it is impossible for these bonds to stay intact after a certain temperature. There are potentially a trillion different species in Earth (most of them microscopic) and there are zero that live in magma despite several billion years to pull it off. That question comes down to the laws of chemistry rather than biology.

There is also zero life where there isn't (or wasn't at some point) water. Extremely simple microbial life can be found in stasis almost anywhere but it never evolves much beyond that point. All extremophiles hit an evolutionary ceiling where they never go past a simple life form in their present environment. I.e. there is no such thing as lizards, birds, or monkeys that swim around in boiling ponds. They don't exist, and there have been billions of years for such a life form to occur if it was going to occur. Once you get beyond a single cell you start to encounter obstacles that are based on physical and chemical laws which no amount of time is ever going to fix.

Just the difference in complexity between a krill or a bug and a microbe is unbelievable, and then you have to go from that to a proto human.


So starting at the very, very, very low bar of microbial life, discovering it might be hopeful in places where there is water, but after that point the conditions for sustainable life become drastically more picky. Like if it is going to be anywhere else, it would be Europa.

And that is still a giant if since abiogenesis hasn't been cracked. We just know that anywhere there is life, there is or was water, and there aren't exceptions anywhere on Earth, and Earth makes for a pretty big petri dish in terms of sample size.
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Blizzardboy
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posted December 07, 2017 06:21 AM
Edited by Blizzardboy at 06:55, 07 Dec 2017.

@jj

I don't know if you are coming up with this on your own or misinterpreting something you read, but it is hogwash. Evolutionary mechanisms have no memory. Under the right conditions, something similar to dinosaurs would emerge, but all of that is dependent on countless different environmental factors in order for the appropriate genes to proliferate. None of those mutations are going to account for a hypothetical cataclysmic event.
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JollyJoker
JollyJoker


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posted December 07, 2017 09:27 AM

@ artu, blizzardboy

You don't KNOW that it is like you say, and it's completely presumptuous to say these things with the air of factuality. We don't know much for fact, and we can't actually explain a lot.

Take for example the term "life". All life is based on "cells" - but there isn't THE cell on which life is based. Instead, it's much more complex. We have two very different kind of cells, procaryotic and eukaryotic, the latter having a core, the former not. To complicate things further, there are two very different types of organisms based on the former, and 4 based on the latter. The eukaryotic cells of protists, plants, animals and fungi are structurally very different from each other.
So "evolution" isn't the simple, quite linear thing it may look like. There are obvious "jumps" and "differentiations". The procaryotic cell and the resulting bacteria and archaea is one thing - but it would seem something decided, that this wasn't quite enough, resulting in the - evolution or emergence - of a more complex cell, forming protists, fungi, plants and then animals, organisations of cells with ever higher complexity.
I don't find that very logical in and of itself - I mean, I don't see the "evolution". There is some kind of an evolution alright, but it doesn't make much sense. It's a somewhat counter-entropic - and counter-intuitive - process, in my opinion.
Intelligence fits into the process, though.

Now, the starting thing here is, someone explaining how improbable intelligent life is. *I* on the other hand find LIFE ITSELF already highly improbable - I mean, why would something like a cell come into existence, and keep in mind they came into existence quite soon after our solar system had formed; cells are supposed to be at least 3.5 billion years old on Earth?
On the other hand, there is such an ABUNDANCE and DIVERSITY of suns and planets in the universe and of life everywhere on this planet, visible and invisible for the eye, that you can only conclude that something in the general physical and chemical conditions in this universe MUST UNAVOIDABLY lead to the building of solar systems (suns orbited by planets), must unavoidably lead to the forming of giant ecospheres (planets), which in turn must unavoidably lead to the development of life, which in turn must unavoidably lead to the development of ever more complex structured life which in turn must unavoidably lead to INTELLIGENT (that is, self-conscious) life.

To phrase it differently, the same laws that are responsible for the existance of this giant, vast universe are also resposible for the existance of the multitude of life we know. Phrased more differently - intelligent life is AS improbably as the existance of such a vast universe. We just don't know how likely the improbable is/was.

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artu
artu


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My BS sensor is tingling again
posted December 07, 2017 09:48 AM

JJ, you are shifting the subject, I dont think we have enough data to estimate the probability of intelligent alien life. The universe is too big and maybe there are life forms not even based on carbon out there. (The probability of them visiting us is another matter though, considering the vastness of the distances and time.) None of this has anything to do with evolution having a memory though. You make such an assumption when absolutely nothing demonstrates or indicates it and you dont even have a reasonable cosmological basis for how such a thing would be possible. I mean, you reply as if you present some regular hypothesis like "maybe there is iron in Uranus" etc. but evolution having a collective memory is a pretty wild and unfounded claim, it is not something you can simply throw around and then sit back with a "who knows after all" card.
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Blizzardboy
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posted December 07, 2017 10:15 AM
Edited by Blizzardboy at 10:26, 07 Dec 2017.

Ok JJ. Publish an article on how genes store information on a single cataclysmic event from over 60 million years ago and then ensure that mutations that occur over a span of millions of years won't allow a species like the dinosaurs to evolve again because of that event. And then see how it goes.

You have no idea what you're talking about. It doesnt even begin to make sense.
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JollyJoker
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posted December 07, 2017 11:05 AM

Blizzardboy said:

You have no idea what you're talking about.
We all have no idea what we are talking about. We throw around terms and words as if we actually knew what they meant and as if they described the reality of what is, but that is actually not true.
I fail to understand what the fuss is all about. I repeatedly said, I THINK there MIGHT be something like an evolutionary memory. It's nothing I would present as scientific hypothesis, it's more like a notion I entertain as a vague tentative explanation for what is and has going on in terms of the so called evolution of life.
When they started to drill a hole on the Kola peninsula, the aim was to drill it 15 kilometers deep, but they had to stop shortly after reaching 12, because it was way hotter than they thought down there. They also found fossils in the 2.5 billion year old rocks, although this kind of "life" was supposed to have come into existance 1.5 billion years in the past at most.
So what we have about things we actually cannot put under the microscope - and we can't with evolution - is a more or less vague IDEA. How near this idea is to what is the actual truth, the actual fact, is often everyone's guess, but ideas and theories are presented as fact when they are part of the so-called "mainstream".

That doesn't mean, though, that one idea is as good as the next. What I want to say is, that "evolution" isn't a magic word you can point like a wand and abrcadabra, explain everything. It's just a facet of the amount of difficulty we face when we want to discuss things like the probability of intelligent life.
You can determine probability only when you know ALL facts. When you actually don't know how many sides the coin has, it doesn't make sense to assume a billion and proclaim a low probability for tails to appear.

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Maurice
Maurice

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posted December 07, 2017 02:01 PM
Edited by Maurice at 14:03, 07 Dec 2017.

Blizzardboy said:
... how genes store information ...


Actually, the very appearance of the gene, the base pair sequence, is an expression of information storage. Events in the past - including cataclysmic events like the meteor impact that heralded the nuclear winter some 60 million years ago - have shaped how that gene structure looks today.

As such, the events of the past can't be read directly, but rather indirectly. Genes that were constructed differently than those observed apparently didn't survive the cataclysm, or were formed after the event was a thing of the past.

The point is that life, as it evolves, doesn't start off from scratch with every new cell, it builds upon the foundations of everything preceding it and reacts to changes in the current conditions based off of that foundation. Evolution isn't a blueprint of the journey, it's the pen that writes its diary.

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Blizzardboy
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posted December 07, 2017 06:29 PM
Edited by Blizzardboy at 18:33, 07 Dec 2017.

Guys.

You don't need to have a complete step-by-step minutiae understanding of something to know certain things are bogus. The sun isn't made out of freshly squeezed grape juice and "evolution" doesn't remember the dinosaurs  and avoids making them again.

Excluding that we are all in a simulation or something, there is no naturalistic explanation for supporting your idea.
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JollyJoker
JollyJoker


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posted December 07, 2017 10:24 PM

There is also nothing supporting the idea that you exist as opposed to you are just a figment of my imagination. So go figure.

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Minion
Minion


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posted December 07, 2017 11:59 PM

I agree to the hypothesis that intelligent life (as we understand it) is very rare. Yet it does happen, we are the living proof of that. It all boils down to how common life is across the Universe. Even if we assume we indeed are the only civilization in our Milky Way galaxy (as we have observed so far), there are at least one hundred billion galaxies in the observable universe. Something that is extremely rare can still be very abundant. Of course we will never get to meet them if indeed intelligent life is that rare. But people always underestimate the vastness of the Universe when they make the claim that "we are alone".
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artu
artu


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My BS sensor is tingling again
posted December 08, 2017 12:08 AM

JJ, be a grown up and admit your idea was way off, man. We all have ridiculous inspritations.
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Blizzardboy
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posted December 08, 2017 09:01 AM
Edited by Blizzardboy at 09:22, 08 Dec 2017.

@Minion:

Yeah there's a lot of galaxies, and it is possible the big bang was triggered by a 4-D star or some other phenomena and the universe as we know it is much, much bigger. There's far more unknown than there is known. I won't argue with that.

But, comparing what we've learned as of 2017 to just 1990, the factors against life have been stacking. I admit the first video is circumstantial but it still demonstrates the events that led to us. There is so much life on Earth and the next runner up to us isnt anywhere close to being in the same league, cognitively. The events that led to us didn't come about purely through an environment that supports life. There was a set of geological and astronomical events that also fortuitously occurred to catapult mammals and eventually primates forward.

And then in addition to everything else, we see there are cataclysmic events regularly occurring in the galaxy simply from routine gravitational shifts every X million years or so, which is a very high frequency.

So I think it is fair to say that in the past 25 years, optimism has decreased. Both because it is less likely for there to be life, and because if there is life, it could be over a billion years behind us in terms of cognition, even if life started roughly the same time as on Earth.
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JollyJoker
JollyJoker


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posted December 08, 2017 09:46 AM
Edited by JollyJoker at 09:57, 08 Dec 2017.

Just ignore it, if you don't like it. It is not important for this thread.

I stumbled upon this very informative and entertaining paper about Parallel Universes (by Max Tegmark) which is an interesting read, to say the least.

EDIT: click on the link, go to the end of page 6 and start reading at C: Fine-tuning and selection effects.

IN any case, the problem seems to be one brought about by the vastness of it all compared to the smallness of a single life/mind. However - think about this: 5000 years ago - take an Australian aborigine and an American or European. They didn't know about each other, they couldn't speak with each other and there was no way for them to find a way to each other. The "cosmoloigical" view necessary to understand the situation was as beyond them as a means to "make contact". There is no telling what the situation will be 5000 years onwards in the feature from now on.

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Zenofex
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posted December 08, 2017 10:20 AM

Frankly the argument that "it's very unlikely to have the set of events which led to the appearance of intelligent life on Earth elsewhere" reminds me of some isolated protestant village in the wilderness where everybody still thinks that the world ends where that hill over there hits the sky. What does "unlikely" even mean when you have enormous galaxy which you can't even wrap your mind around with probably millions of planets in what we consider inhabitable zones of their respective systems, of which we can directly observe a really tiny fraction and the rest just "deduce"? If this guy expects to meet Jabba the Hutt in his lifetime - sure, that's statistically extremely unlikely, but concluding that "we are alone" from that is a massive bull****.  

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JollyJoker
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posted December 08, 2017 11:46 AM

It should be clear that we cannot expect to stumble on intelligent life at each and every solar system. 4.6 billion years have gone by since our solar system began forming, while Earth is roughly 4 billion years old. That's a mighty long time until the development of what we call intelligent life (what I call self-conscious life).

Which means, if we point to the next solar system which happens to be the Alpha Centauri triple system in 4.2-4.4 LYs distance, it's highly unlikely that the forming of it and its development have been on a comparable course and time frame - which means, if we'd send a radio message in that direction it is NOT likely that we'll get an answer in 9 years from now.

However - it helps bringing that into context. If we look at what is within a radius of (only) 15 LYs around us, it's roundabout 50 suns a couple of which have known planets. If we increase that distance to 50 LYs - still not much of a distance even in just galactic standards - we have nearly a thousand.

It's also interesting to note that those stars are moving to each other as well, the list and the distance changing over thousands of years (but not for us).

Whether there was, is or will be intelligent life on a planet of those systems - who knows? But does it actually matter NOW? Imagine it was. Say, in 45 LYs distance; we would be on a comparable timeline with comparable technology, as unlikely THAT would seem. They'd receive our signal next year, and they would send one back (not having sent their own), so in 2064 we'd get an answer. And then we'd answer that, and their answer to that would arrive in 2155.

See the problem with that? Irrelevant.

Without a way to beat these distances the way we've beaten distances on earth to make them in a reasonable time, it's all academic. However, WITH such a way (to beat either space or time or both) it's all academic as well, because of the sheer amount of space and stars and planets around. There WILL be intelligent life in abundance somewhere, sometime.

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