Is full disclosure imminent?

Gingerbeard

Active Member
Interesting thread and great reading others views on this subject

Something I ponder, is the possibility of intelligent life having evolved previously and not so far away, on the red planet! It would be ironic with the Universe being so immense that the we discover it right on our doorstep. Perhaps an early incarnation of humans or maybe just Neanderthals, it’s quite conceivable given It had all the right elements for life and is located in the Goldilocks zone. That really would throw the cat among the pigeons :)

I‘m hopeful the James Webb Telescope or one of the Large (or mega large) Array Telescopes discover something that leaves no doubt, but whether this knowledge or evidence would be released is another matter...
 

Tempest

Distinguished Member

Interesting speculations from various experts on this:

 

Tempest

Distinguished Member
No, they don't
It really depends if you are talking about:


Archaea are microorganisms that define the limits of life on Earth. They were originally discovered and described in extreme environments, such as hydrothermal vents and terrestrial hot springs. They were also found in a diverse range of highly saline, acidic, and anaerobic environments.



Or, on the other hand:



The Klingon Empire makes use of several classes of starships. As the Klingons are portrayed as a warrior culture, driven by the pursuit of honor and glory, the Empire is shown to use warships almost exclusively and even their support ships, such as troop transports and colony ships, are armed for battle
 

DPinBucks

Distinguished Member
@DPinBucks
Don't forget one ESSENTIAL aspect: Drake Equation is based on "might/IF/maybe"!
And yes, this equation being in it's entirety an "probabilistic argument", is indeed a "speculation".
Therefore, clear and observable facts are what we should take into account, rather than guiding us by this equation! (which eq. I admit it, it is nice, and I like it a lot, as most of us that know it, because let us feel like we're not alone in this BIG UNIVERSE)
Sorry, I thought it was clear from my post that Drake is probabilistic. ("Our best estimate from Drake ..."). Not evenly across its factors, of course. The first three (R*, fp and ne) are becoming fairly dependable, but the rest, as you say, are highly speculative. Our estimate of the probability of life developing (Drake's fl) is now thought to be quite high, close to 1, although as it only seems to have happened once on Earth, even that is open to question.

But none of them are wild guesses. The consensus may vary a lot, and will change over time, but they are serious attempts based on what we have observed and can infer.

You talk about 'facts'. Science does not deal in facts. It deals in probabilities based on observations. Drake is good science: it gives us a framework we can work on, is open to separate research and confirmation in every one of its factors, and is subject to review and change as time goes on. It may be abandoned one day, but personally I can only see that happening if and when we pin down all its components.
 

EarthRod

Distinguished Member
You talk about 'facts'. Science does not deal in facts. It deals in probabilities based on observations. Drake is good science: it gives us a framework we can work on, is open to separate research and confirmation in every one of its factors, and is subject to review and change as time goes on. It may be abandoned one day, but personally I can only see that happening if and when we pin down all its components.
For example: science changes with the coronavirus pandemic, updates are continuous and strategy changes happen all the time.

Learning continues...
 

dw89

Active Member
So this also happened to me back in the 90s. It seems soo long ago I can’t remember the full facts but was the same or sounds the same as what you are explaining above. We also pulled up and watched this light show.. very ufo in movement and speed.. Didn’t last that long.. but amazed all of us in the car that evening.
I did look into this more at some point and basically read up somewhere it was lights from a nearby sports ground or stadium etc...


So light show etc or ufo... we’ll never know....

either way if I had to believe in that or god....I think aliens are more likely to come down and visit us than Morgan Freeman dressed in a white suit.
PMSL (not at you but at the explanation)...there's not a chance in hell I'd buy that one. Lights shone into the sky show a diffuse pattern with bleed into the surrounding atmosphere (even powerful ones like, say, light atop the Luxor in Vegas). These were pin-sharp (like bright stars) and, as said, never before or since. Otherwise law of averages would assume I'd have seen something similar in 40 years. Does feel like a helluva long time ago though so I certainly agree on that! Yet, still like yesterday in others.

No, they don't
Well, that's my belief and, short of autocracy, I'm happy to have it:)
 

DPinBucks

Distinguished Member
Well, that's my belief and, short of autocracy, I'm happy to have it:)
It's possible you misunderstood me.

Mathematically, aliens don't have to be out there. Maths isn't a belief system.

That being said, it's quite reasonable to believe that alien civilizations exist; personally I don't.

The best that maths can do here is to use something like Drake to assess the probabilities, and it has come up with a number which indicates there may be many thousands in our Galaxy. But these are probabilities; not certainties. The only certainty is that we exist: a sample of one.

What is a much nearer 'certainty' is that we have not been visited by alien spacecraft, and that UFOs are not of alien origin. Unless these aliens use different laws of physics to the ones we're used to (and that's simply a cop-out 'explanation'), then it is vanishingly unlikely that anyone would have found us and thought we were worth the trouble of a visit.

It could be so, of course; we can imagine it, and, once again, its mathematical probability is not zero. But being imaginable, or even remotely possible, does not mean that as an explanation it's just as reasonable as any other.
 

caldirun

Member
Actually, I think Carl Sagan has told us all, so many years ago, HOW the life itself come up (check the link below for an excerpt). But don't confuse "life" with "inteligent life", which, in my view not even the smartest dog is not, neddless to say a goldfish (there's a distinction between inteligence and instincts, or responses to training).
Carl Sagan Cosmos - The Stuff of Life
I think you have not read the title of your Carl Sagan video, the stuff of life is not life, MU experiment just produces the same molecules as have been detected in star forming clouds. No one has moved any further towards producing life since this great experiment and no one can explain how it may be done, but done it can be or we would not be having this interesting discussion. my money is on the gas clouds producing the first life forms as the whole gamut of temperature/pressure/gravity and radiation will be there at sometime (Goldilocks was here), the initial star burst could disperse these to seed the life on planets when they cool enough not to destroy life.
 

pRot3us

Distinguished Member
 

DPinBucks

Distinguished Member
I think you have not read the title of your Carl Sagan video, the stuff of life is not life, MU experiment just produces the same molecules as have been detected in star forming clouds. No one has moved any further towards producing life since this great experiment and no one can explain how it may be done, but done it can be or we would not be having this interesting discussion. my money is on the gas clouds producing the first life forms as the whole gamut of temperature/pressure/gravity and radiation will be there at sometime (Goldilocks was here), the initial star burst could disperse these to seed the life on planets when they cool enough not to destroy life.
I'm not saying I think you're wrong; it could have happened that way. But what I don't understand is why you think it did. As I have already said, the conditions for life developing in the gas clouds, if they ever existed at all, would not have lasted long enough to allow it to adapt into 'seeds'; nor would natural selection processes favour such a development. For a start, where would the liquid water be?

But that's not what I'm getting at: what is wrong, in your view, with the Earth-origin idea which makes you prefer gas clouds?
 

Tempest

Distinguished Member
Do we feel reptiles giving way to mammals is a natural process that would be repeated as it's just how life would evolve anywhere, or that Reptiles are the natural life, and it was simply a fluke that mammals got the chance to evolve without being eaten!
 

DPinBucks

Distinguished Member
That's really good stuff, and is very close to my own thinking.

It's too easy to imagine that because we're here with our current levels of knowledge and technology, that it was easy and that it must have happened countless times elsewhere.

Natural selection is almost limitless in what it can do, given the opportunity. But it is based on selecting from very rare random events, and it does require long-term environmental stability.

And even if other civilizations exist, the chances of detecting them depend upon their having developed roughly along the same lines as us; use of radio, major environmental impact, etc. Even such tools as mathematics and science are not necessarily inevitable with an intelligent species. Homo sapiens has existed without these tools for a lot longer than we have had them. Perhaps they're accidental, too.

I know many people don't agree with this, and it's purely personal anyway, but it does seem to me that the chances of there being anyone out there are far smaller than might seem obvious. I don't mean life in general; I am sure DNA is quite common. But I really do think that our kind of science-based culture might very well be unique in the Galaxy, if not the Universe.

As an afterthought, we seem to be hitting a paradox. Firstly, refining ideas through Drake, especially the realization that there are billions of Earths in the Galaxy, have come up with possibly millions of civilizations which might be out there. But on the other hand, increasingly refined SETI techniques are still finding nothing.
 

DPinBucks

Distinguished Member
Do we feel reptiles giving way to mammals is a natural process that would be repeated as it's just how life would evolve anywhere, or that Reptiles are the natural life, and it was simply a fluke that mammals got the chance to evolve without being eaten!
Why pick on reptiles? On a (very) rough line of 'ascent', reptiles came from amphibians came from fish came from .... Anyway, dinosaurs were much more dominant than reptiles, though mammals evolved from reptiles in parallel. It doesn't matter, though. The main boost to mammals was the KT extinction impact 66 million years ago, and that was pure chance. So, yes, it was a fluke.

The best candidate for 'natural life' is single-celled life forms. They existed for 2.5 - 3 billion years before multi-cellular organisms arose 1 - 1.5 billion years ago. It is that development which triggered everything else. Given that it took so long from life first emerging, it seems quite possible that it was a very unlikely event indeed. At the very least, it required a huge expanse of time of relative environmental stability. Thanks, Moon.

Everything else was contingent on that. As we only have a sample of one to go on, we can look at it from two extremes: it was bound to happen sooner or later; or it was so unlikely that it may never have happened anywhere else in the Universe. I'd guess that it's happened elsewhere, but not very often.

But given multi-cellular land animals, which is what you're addressing, I would say that a line of development from water-breathing to air-breathing would require steps like amphibians, etc, although it is a very large stretch to imagine a parallel set of outcomes. In any case, the dominant land-based life form on Earth is insects.
 

Tempest

Distinguished Member
The thing that I feel is telling is the millions of years animals inhabited the planet, and not once did anything evolve what we'd regard as high intelligence.
They had a ton of time. Way way WAY longer than we've had to get from a Shrew? to Einstein.

Being just intelligent enough to survive and be successful is all that's needed.
Very special fluke/random? conditions are going to be needed for being clever is the only way to breed/survive/continue your race.

Saying the above, dolphins seem to be a weird one.
 

rustybin

Distinguished Member
There's an almost infinite number of variables which has led us to where we are today including a great deal of good fortune.

So we're playing a numbers game. And it's a big, big place out there.
 

Tempest

Distinguished Member
There's an almost infinite number of variables which has led us to where we are today including a great deal of good fortune.

So we're playing a numbers game. And it's a big, big place out there.
Douglas Adams:
“Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to space.”
 

captainarchive

Distinguished Member
Here's something to think about.

If an alien race could travel faster than the speed of light, LIGHT still travels at the speed of light. So if we look at a star 1000 light years away, we are looking at light that left that star 1000 years ago.

We haven't detected any signs of intelligent life upto 200 light years away. If aliens live on a planet just outside that 200 light years and they looked our way they would see earth as it was two hundred years ago; no electic lights, no radio, nothing of interest. So why would they bother coming here?
 

Tempest

Distinguished Member
^ Well a bit like booking a holiday in spain, and right now it's just an empty plot, but by the time you eventually get there, time has passed and hopefully the hotel will be finished.
 

Sonic67

Banned
Something I ponder, is the possibility of intelligent life having evolved previously and not so far away, on the red planet!
The red planet, a planet populated entirely by robots.
 

Sonic67

Banned
Here's something to think about.

If an alien race could travel faster than the speed of light, LIGHT still travels at the speed of light. So if we look at a star 1000 light years away, we are looking at light that left that star 1000 years ago.

We haven't detected any signs of intelligent life upto 200 light years away. If aliens live on a planet just outside that 200 light years and they looked our way they would see earth as it was two hundred years ago; no electic lights, no radio, nothing of interest. So why would they bother coming here?
And why bother coming here at all. If you can do the impossible like travel at the speed of light or faster, they must be so intelligent it would be like going to the US just to look at a wasps nest.
 

Gingerbeard

Active Member
if as speculated, there are as many as 2 trillion + galaxies in the universe and we say intelligent life has arisen in every other galaxy, or every 3rd, 4th etc. that would still be an awful lot of life. The tragedy is we may never know. If it turned out that we were to be the only intelligent life, this would make us very special indeed

There are a number of scientists that think our intelligence could have evolved through eating mushrooms, chemicals such as psilocybin, DMT etc. As these would have been far more abundant and probably formed part of early mans diet
 

Tempest

Distinguished Member
And why bother coming here at all. If you can do the impossible like travel at the speed of light or faster, they must be so intelligent it would be like going to the US just to look at a wasps nest.
Of your could spend hours/days travelling around the planet to go look at a frog we already know about ;)

 

DPinBucks

Distinguished Member
Here's something to think about.

If an alien race could travel faster than the speed of light, LIGHT still travels at the speed of light. So if we look at a star 1000 light years away, we are looking at light that left that star 1000 years ago.

We haven't detected any signs of intelligent life upto 200 light years away. If aliens live on a planet just outside that 200 light years and they looked our way they would see earth as it was two hundred years ago; no electic lights, no radio, nothing of interest. So why would they bother coming here?
Good questions, but think it through.

For argument's sake, let's assume the alien species is like us, looking at other stars for signs of life.

A planet which has developed life in parallel with the way Earth has would be identifiable as life-bearing from quite a long way away, because free oxygen in an atmosphere could only come from ongoing photosynthesis. We are close to being able to detect it in exoplanets up a few thousand light years. Needless to say, nothing has been found so far.

But if our aliens had FTL capability, then depending on its maximum warp factor, just like us they'd probably go to other stars simply because they could, for pure exploration. That way, they might well stumble upon us without previously knowing we're here. It's like early human explorers setting off into the unknown, with the major difference that the aliens know where they're going and how long it would take, though still without knowing what they'd find when they get there.

Free oxygen is the only technique we know of for detecting life in other star systems, and even that would not find those which didn't invent photosynthesis.

Civilizations like ours could only be detected by structured radio emissions. The trouble with that is the signals soon get swamped by background noise, and we could only detect ourselves at about a lightyear or less, so not even from the nearest star. Even in theory, with ideally sensitive equipment, we couldn't improve that by more than a lightyear or so. Also, despite our use of radio increasing hugely, its efficiency is improving such that the strength of our radio 'signature' is diminishing all the time. We only need a few watts of power these days to send a signal around the world. A few decades ago it was kilowatts. So we've probably already passed our peak of radio 'leakage'.

A directed radio signal, like that part of the Arecibo SETI project, is different. That's a narrow beam with the power to blast through the noise and reach across the Galaxy. But because it's narrow, looking for a signal from another star means either scanning the cosmos in a pattern search hoping for a coincidental hit (look up the 'WOW!' signal); or examining every star one at a time.
 

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