Twyrch wrote: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.
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.
Twyrch wrote: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.
Sequoiarealm wrote:...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.
kernos wrote:Twyrch wrote: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.
Twyrch wrote: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?
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.
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
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.Twyrch wrote:However, how can we say we are the most intelligent species in the universe? (Again, that arrogant human presumption creeping into the arguement.)
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.
never said a word to that extentI'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.
kernos wrote:Sequoiarealm wrote:...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.
Sequoiarealm wrote: 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 )
Peace be upon you,
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