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Thread: Alien Life

  1. #1
    Dear friends,

    I was looking at an article "Alien Life" in last month's New Scientist magazine....and I wondered, what are your thoughts on this subject?

    With metta,

    Aloka

  2. #2
    Forums Member justusryans's Avatar
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    I wouldn’t be surprised if there was alien life in either this galaxy or the hundreds of millions of of others scattered out there. That’s a very conservative number.
    It may not be recognized as life by us, it will be completely foreign as to be unrecognizable.
    Don’t expect little green men. Probably not going to happen that way. Anyway we are nowhere near being able to look for intelligent life. Besides what do you do if you find them.
    We may end up being the natives!



    Mike

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    There is life out there but the universe is so vast that the chance of meeting any is vanishingle close to zero. Our galaxy is only middling in size but it still takes light 50,000 years to travel from one end to the other. Not only that but the timescale of the universe is so vast that the chance of being alive at the same time as some alien life forms is again close to zero. What if we picked up signals from, say, a galaxy a million light years away? They would have been sent a million years ago, so we would have to wait another two million years to send a signal and get a response.

    What is possible is to wish them well in a metta meditation. The phrase 'all beings in limitless space' seems to cover it, and I have used this for many years. Each time it gets me reflecting on the nature of life, the universe and everything, so it's a useful concept for me personally even if we could never meet them, or even if they didn't exist.

  4. #4
    Forums Member trusolo's Avatar
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    We humans are incredibly limited by our physiology and it even affects our imagination, not to mention our concepts of space and time based on our perceptions, which are dominated by the limited EM spectrum data collection. It is entirely possible that for a species that is even a few thousand years ahead of us, vast distances or timescales are not an issue at all. But I strongly suspect that this traveling/exploring type alien life form is anthropomorphic imagination- just because we do it doesnt mean others would do it too. In fact I don’t think any advanced species would ever send actual biological living entities for exploration (unless they are so populous that they are essentially expendable in bulk numbers) - it has to be self replicating machines. Theoretically, “warp drive” is possible even now if we had a ton of so called exotic matter (Alcubierre Drive).

    Statistical mechanics and entropic arguments tell us that chances of being alive at the same “time” are not actually zero. A broken cup spontaneously becoming unbroken and pristine is also possible but with vanishingly small probability (or the wait time is several birth-death cycles of the universe). On the one hand, Nature hates exceptions. If something happens in nature, it is very likely to happen again and again so some kind of “life” probably exists right now, a billion yrs in the past and billion years in the future as well. On the other hand, there is merit to Douglass Adams’ infinite probability drive argument as well - if anything has non-zero probability of happening, it may spontaneously happen (and practically, never again).

    I think being Natives to aliens is also wishful thinking - it would probably be like us observing ant colonies. but again it is also possible that some alien life form is not too advanced and too different from us. We humans may very well be a product of someone’s research project!

  5. #5
    Forums Member KathyLauren's Avatar
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    I find it entirely plausible that there may be other life forms out there. The universe is, after all, a very, very big place.

    On the other hand, I find it equally plausible that we are alone in the universe. The conditions that enable life to exist here on Earth are quite uncommon, and the universe is still relatively young.

    I recall on the original Cosmos series, Carl Sagan made an attempt to solve the famous "Drake equation" which supposedly calculates the probability of life existing elsewhere and our coming into contact with it. After taking the best data available and estimating the uncertainties associated with them into account, he concluded that the probability was between 0 and 1.

    Om mani padme hum
    Kathy

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    Nice mathematical joke by him there. Probably. Although I'm not entirely sure about that.

  7. #7
    Forums Member Olderon's Avatar
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    Since space is expanding at a rate on average greater than our ability to travel we will not likely meet any alien life outside our solar system. Eventually, the rate will increase beyond the speed of light . Then we will have literally no shot unless we collide with another gallaxy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olderon View Post
    Since space is expanding at a rate on average greater than our ability to travel we will not likely meet any alien life outside our solar system. Eventually, the rate will increase beyond the speed of light . Then we will have literally no shot unless we collide with another gallaxy.
    That's in 4.5 billion years if the astronomers are correct, with the Andromeda Galaxy. Moving together at 110 km per second it illustrates just how big the universe is to take that long for our near neighbour and our galaxy to meet.

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    Technical Administrator woodscooter's Avatar
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    I think that UFOs and extra-terrestrial visitors are not aliens at all, but are people from our future who have developed time travel and are coming back to take a look their past.

    ...But then, what do I know?

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    Quote Originally Posted by woodscooter View Post
    I think that UFOs and extra-terrestrial visitors are not aliens at all, but are people from our future who have developed time travel and are coming back to take a look their past.

    ...But then, what do I know?
    Actually, that would be quite a relief. I mean knowing that we do have a future!

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