Are we alone?

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Are we alone in the Universe?

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No
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Twyrch
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Are we alone?

Postby Twyrch » 15 Oct 2006, 02:10

Do you think that we are alone in the Universe?

There are many theories on how we came to be on earth... Some of the more popular being Creation or Evolution, but even those have their own splinter groups such as Theistic Evolution, which says we were created and then evolved. Another theory is aliens seeded our primordial soup with DNA while the earth was still forming.

I'm not trying to say that one belief is better than another. Personally, I believe we were created by a supreme being and the human race has experienced minor evolutions over the course of time.

The point of this thread, however, is to find out your views of life on other worlds. Do you believe that we are alone in the universe or is it merely a matter of time before we discover other beings such as ourselves?

I have been called a heretic for my beliefs within the church (like that's anything new for me) but I have always wondered about how much the Bible actually leaves our concerning our creation story.

Genesis 1:26 says: Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, [a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground."

Well... what if Moses left off a crucial phrase? "THIS TIME let us make man in our image"

I don't believe we are alone in the universe, and I don't believe we are the first creation in the universe either, but I'd like to get your thoughts on this as well.
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Postby Ailim » 15 Oct 2006, 09:21

I don't believe we are alone for the simple reason that I don't believe we have the knowledge of the wider universe to be able to make any assumption.

Logically, if we exist on our world, then by the same process might other worlds be inhabited out there.  Maybe not by beings we can recognise - but by a form of life in varying stages of evolution.
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Postby Lailoken » 15 Oct 2006, 14:14

I don't believe that we are alone in the universe at all.  There are billions of stars in our galaxy alone, not to mention the amount of stars in the millions of galaxies around us.  I just think its too egotistical of us to think that we are the only 'intelligent' life in the universe.

Well, I suppose saying its too egostical of us may be a little harsh.  I'm sure there are some people out there that believe we are alone because there is no evidence of other inhabited planets, and they are the type of people that rely on proof.

For me, I want to believe that we are not alone because if we were, it seems a little sad and lonely for us.
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Postby Sequoiarealm » 15 Oct 2006, 14:46

Id have to say just the math and probability suggest we wouldn't be alone. I voted that we are not alone. I must however concede that the 'science' of the study of such things is the only one we have that is completely factless. While I believe it's not only possible but probable, I'm faced with the reality that there is not a single stitch of evidence. The faith in such things therefore, to my mind, is very much like that held by most modern church-goers, which ironically many extraterrestrial believers malign.

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Re: Are we alone?

Postby Lily » 15 Oct 2006, 20:11

Do you think that we are alone in the Universe?
Another theory is aliens seeded our primordial soup with DNA while the earth was still forming.
No need for aliens there.

A variety of the organic molecules present in organisms can form sponaneously, which has been demonstrated.
The theory of chemical evolution assumes that RNA formed first from carbon, nitrogen et al, with the help of flashes of lightning or heat (from volcanic activity?) as demonstrated by the Miller experiments. Simple replicating modules are thought to have formed in the vicinity of clays (which act as catalysts) and soonish (say within a few hundred million years) simple cells developed...

Since this is just as likely to happen on any other Earth-like (class M in Star Trek lingo) planet, and these days numerous extarsolar planets are being discovered, why should we be alone.... .
The faith in such things therefore, to my mind, is very much like that held by most modern church-goers, which ironically many extraterrestrial believers malign.
Well.... hey. the probability there is an all-powerful, perfect entity that created life out of nothing is way smaller than what is described above. This is not a belief, this is supported by evidence. We know organic molecules can form spontaneously, and we know there are other planets out there, and we can calculate how many earth-like planets there are out there...

we don't know there is a deity at all.

I malign, however, on technical grounds, the notion that any aliens ever made it to our planet to visit.
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Postby Sequoiarealm » 16 Oct 2006, 01:23

Evidence? Let's just examine these molecules from the aliens shall we?Still no facts...only coulds and woulds and maybes. Sounds all very technically possible but the facts remain that there aren't any. Ever read "Human Destiny" by chance? Its all about probability and amount of time.



Edited for attitude...apologies
Last edited by Sequoiarealm on 16 Oct 2006, 03:07, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Twyrch » 16 Oct 2006, 02:51

Before Christopher Columbus gave "proof" that the world wasn't flat, sailors feared they would sail off the edge of the earth and disappear forever.

Before Galileo Galilei disproved Aristotle and Ptolemy's ancient beliefs that the Earth was center of the universe, the Roman Inquisition threatened him with prison or death if he continued to spread his "lies".

Since 1930, Pluto was determined to be a major planet, but as of August 24, 2006, it has been reclassified as a Dwarf Planet.

In 2005, the International Astronomical Union added Eris as yet another dwarf planet to the list of planet's around our own Sun, which lies further out than even Pluto.

Also, in August of 2006, a celestial object which has been thought to be an asteroid for the last 150 years, now appears to be a planet named Ceres which lies between Mars and Jupiter.

From the beginning of time, arrogant human presumption has driven us to believe that which is the easiest or most convenient answers to believe. We have punished and ridiculed those who happen to believe otherwise, for whatever reason.

No, we don't have any proof that aliens exist or that they have ever visited our planet, but isn't denying the possibility just another example of that arrogant human presumption which has plagued mankind since the dawn of time?
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Postby Sequoiarealm » 16 Oct 2006, 03:10

Id totally agree that denying the possibility is just another example of arrogant human presumption. Hopefully I made clear that I do believe it possible even probable. I was just pointing out how 'Science' doesn't always apply the same standards when their personal pet beliefs are in question.  That's all.

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Postby Kernos » 16 Oct 2006, 14:58

Before Christopher Columbus gave "proof" that the world wasn't flat, sailors feared they would sail off the edge of the earth and disappear forever.
I would be curious when this myth replaced the ancient Greco-Roman knowledge that the Earth was a globe and by whom.
...I was just pointing out how 'Science' doesn't always apply the same standards when their personal pet beliefs are in question.  That's all.
'Science' doesn't have beliefs; individual scientists have beliefs which can interfere with their objectivity. This is why one of the fundamental scientific concepts is reproducibility. This is one of the processes that  make the scientific method self-correcting.

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Postby Twyrch » 16 Oct 2006, 17:12

Before Christopher Columbus gave "proof" that the world wasn't flat, sailors feared they would sail off the edge of the earth and disappear forever.
I would be curious when this myth replaced the ancient Greco-Roman knowledge that the Earth was a globe and by whom.
Following Washington Irving's myth-filled 1828 biography of Columbus, it became common supposed knowledge that Columbus had difficulty obtaining support for his plan because Europeans believed that the earth was flat. [1]

In fact, few people at the time of Columbus’s voyage, and virtually no sailors or navigators, believed this. Most agreed the earth is a sphere. Columbus put forth arguments that were based on the circumference of the sphere. Most scholars accepted Ptolemy's claim that the terrestrial landmass (for Europeans of the time, comprising Eurasia and Africa) occupied 180 degrees of the terrestrial sphere, leaving 180 degrees of water. Indeed, knowledge of the Earth's spherical nature was not limited to scientists. Dante's Divine Comedy is based on a spherical Earth.

[1] Boller, Paul F (1996). Not So!:Popular Myths about America from Columbus to Clinton. ISBN 0-19-510972-4.
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Postby Jingle » 16 Oct 2006, 17:28

I can't vote on this one.  While I don't disclude the possibility of other beings on this plane of existence, I don't have enough evidence to convince me that there are.  I don't have enough evidence to say that there aren't, either.  So I can't say yes or no.

On the other hand, if by "the Universe" you include the "Otherworld" and not just this physically apparent and phenomenologically evident universe, then my answer is "no", we are not alone.  I believe in fairies (etc.), and they believe in me.



Edited for grammar.
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Postby Lily » 16 Oct 2006, 17:50

No, we don't have any proof that aliens exist or that they have ever visited our planet, but isn't denying the possibility just another example of that arrogant human presumption which has plagued mankind since the dawn of time?
Just denying the possibility that they have visited. On technical grounds. I have posted this earlier but will gladly offer it again:
From http://www.skepdic.com:

Quote:
It is probable that there is life elsewhere in the universe and that some of that life is intelligent. There is a high mathematical probability that among the trillions of stars in the billions of galaxies there are millions of planets in age and proximity to a star analogous to our Sun. The chances seem very good that on some of those planets life has evolved. It is even highly probable that natural selection governs that evolution (Dawkins). However, it is not inevitable that the results of that evolution would yield intelligence, much less intelligence equal or superior to ours. It is possible that we are unique (Pinker, 150 ff.).

We should not forget, however, that the closest star (besides our Sun) is so far away from Earth that travel between the two would take more than a human lifetime. The fact that it takes our Sun about 200 million years to revolve once around the Milky Way gives one a glimpse of the perspective we have to take of interstellar travel. We are 500 light-seconds from the sun. The next nearest star to earth's sun (Alpha Centauri) is about 4 light-years away. That might sound close, but it is actually something like 24 trillion miles away. Even traveling at one million miles an hour, it would take more than 2,500 years to get there. To get there in twenty-five years would require traveling at more than 100 million miles an hour for the entire trip.* Our fastest spacecraft, Voyager, travels at about 40,000 miles an hour and would take 70,000 years to get to Alpha Centauri.



Despite the probability of  life on other planets and the possibility that some of that life may be very intelligent, any signal from any planet in the universe broadcast in any direction is unlikely to be in the path of another inhabited planet. It would be folly to explore space for intelligent life without knowing exactly where to go. Yet, waiting for a signal might require a wait longer than any life on any planet might last. Finally, if we do get a signal, the waves carrying that signal left hundreds or thousands of years earlier and by the time we tracked its source down, the sending planet may no longer be habitable or even exist.

Thus, while it is probable that there is intelligent life in the universe, traveling between solar systems in search of that life poses some serious obstacles. Such travelers would be gone for a very long time. We would need to keep people alive for hundreds or thousands of  years. We would need equipment that can last for hundreds or thousands of years and be repaired or replaced in the depths of space. These are not impossible conditions, but they seem to be significant enough barriers to make interstellar and intergalactic space travel highly improbable.
....and the idea that they came here 4.5 billion years ago to seed a bit of DNA into our primal soup hardly makes sense, instead it defers the question of origin to another place. No solution....
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Postby Twyrch » 16 Oct 2006, 18:22

Lily, thank you for that insight. I suppose if someone where to measure space travel in the manner you suggest, then yes, it would take too long for anyone to contact us.

However, how can we say we are the most intelligent species in the universe? (Again, that arrogant human presumption creeping into the arguement.) If life has evolved in different ways and in different forms on other planets, how can we say that if we can't think of a way to do it, that no one in the universe can figure it out?

One option I would offer is that of a Wormhole. No, I'm not talking about Star Trek Fan Fiction here... I am talking about current scientific theory.

In physics, a wormhole is a hypothetical topological feature of spacetime that is essentially a "shortcut" through space and time. A wormhole has at least two mouths which are connected to a single throat. If the wormhole is traversable, matter can 'travel' from one mouth to the other by passing through the throat.

The term wormhole was introduced by the American theoretical physicist John Wheeler in 1957:
This analysis forces one to consider situations..where there is a net flux of lines of force through what topologists would call a handle of the multiply-connected space and what physicists might perhaps be excused for more vividly terming a ‘wormhole’.

—John Wheeler in Annals of Physics
The name "wormhole" comes from an analogy used to explain the phenomenon. If a worm is travelling over the skin of an apple, then the worm could take a shortcut to the opposite side of the apple's skin by burrowing through its center, rather than travelling the entire distance around, just as a wormhole traveller could take a shortcut to the opposite side of the universe through a hole in higher-dimensional space.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wormhole

Whether or not we've been visited by other aliens is beside the point, though. Personally, I don't believe in the whole "DNA Seeding" theory any more than I believe the movie Stargate is based on fact.

I'm just saying that if we aren't alone in the universe, we can't reasonably say that we are the smartest creatures in the universe either. Just because we can't travel faster than light, or create stable wormholes, or survive in space without the need for specialized equipment, doesn't mean some other race hasn't evolved to a point where they can.  :wink:
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Postby Lily » 16 Oct 2006, 19:12

However, how can we say we are the most intelligent species in the universe? (Again, that arrogant human presumption creeping into the arguement.)
off-hand I would say 50:50 that we are. But even if we aren't, the likelyhood that we have had visitors is very low.
In physics, a wormhole is a hypothetical topological feature of spacetime that is essentially a "shortcut" through space and time. A wormhole has at least two mouths which are connected to a single throat. If the wormhole is traversable, matter can 'travel' from one mouth to the other by passing through the throat.
Can you or anyone on this board explain what are the conditions in such a wormhole, and whether a high-tech spaceship&its inhabitants could survive them?
I'm just saying that if we aren't alone in the universe, we can't reasonably say that we are the smartest creatures in the universe either.
never said a word to that extent
Just because we can't travel faster than light, or create stable wormholes, or survive in space without the need for specialized equipment, doesn't mean some other race hasn't evolved to a point where they can.
no. not faster than light, and what do you mean by no specialized equipment? what would be their point in coming here? at a time when the planet is, empty?

and let's not get started about aliens visiting now, shall we.
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Postby Twyrch » 16 Oct 2006, 19:42

Lily,

Thank you for your observations and insights. I'm not going to argue with you about this.  I started this thread to get people's opinions, since no one has any facts either way.

Your opinion is your opinion. I'm not going to disect everything you say and offer counter-arguments. That's not condusive to a harmonious discussion.

I was looking for different points of view, and you have certainly provided me with a different point of view to consider.

Thank you.
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Postby Lily » 16 Oct 2006, 20:45

Hey, at least we agree about not being alone out there, eh?
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Postby Sequoiarealm » 17 Oct 2006, 01:31


...I was just pointing out how 'Science' doesn't always apply the same standards when their personal pet beliefs are in question.  That's all.
'Science' doesn't have beliefs; individual scientists have beliefs which can interfere with their objectivity. This is why one of the fundamental scientific concepts is reproducibility. This is one of the processes that  make the scientific method self-correcting.

:zen:
Kernos,

   Well horned one you are correct. I didn't express the idea properly and should have probably chosen something like "some scientists". I stand corrected (but not deterred  :wink: )

Twyrch,

   Not only do I like your name, I also like your idea of harmonious discussion. I too am in agreement with you that we are not alone  (probably   :devil: )

Peace be upon you,
Sequoia

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Postby Twyrch » 17 Oct 2006, 02:47

Twyrch,

   Not only do I like your name, I also like your idea of harmonious discussion. I too am in agreement with you that we are not alone  (probably   :devil: )

Peace be upon you,
Sequoia
Blessings be to you as well, Sequoia. I'd glad we agree that we are not alone in the universe. Probably...  :grin:
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Postby Twyrch » 18 Oct 2006, 17:52

For those of you interested, this is an article from Popular Mechanics discussing this very issue...

http://www.popularmechanics.com/science ... 22836.html
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Postby Druantia » 19 Nov 2006, 11:20

Man wandered around the planet for centuries, living off the land, eating berries, fruits, nuts etc.  Do you think that perhaps life from another planet landed here and helped man along?    Druantia
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