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"Super Earths"


Dan85
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Read what Schrodinger and his cat was about, it did not concern the state of a cat it concerned the probabity of a decaying partical hitting a detector. The state of the cat really had nothing to do with it other then to make the story interrsting and different. His other great words were "I wish I had never invented that damn cat!"

For 221B Obs, supply the indisputable proof and evidence for (1) other life, and (2) previous visitation. If you cannot prove the first then we are by definition the most intelligent as we define intelligence that is known - I suppose technically advanced may be a better option rather then intelligent as that can have more then one meaning.

No-one has claimed we are at the centre so why the "NOT" statement?

Intelligence on earth, well the human race is still alive and going even with the recent weaponary at our disposal. I suppose that that takes some intelligence to know when not to start pressing buttons. Look at European history and the many wars over the previous thousand years, when was the last one you were conscripted for ? Maybes (against many ideas) we are getting more intelligent.

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Read what Schrodinger and his cat was about, it did not concern the state of a cat it concerned the probabity of a decaying partical hitting a detector. The state of the cat really had nothing to do with it other then to make the story interrsting and different. His other great words were "I wish I had never invented that damn cat!"

For 221B Obs, supply the indisputable proof and evidence for (1) other life, and (2) previous visitation. If you cannot prove the first then we are by definition the most intelligent as we define intelligence that is known - I suppose technically advanced may be a better option rather then intelligent as that can have more then one meaning.

No-one has claimed we are at the centre so why the "NOT" statement?

Intelligence on earth, well the human race is still alive and going even with the recent weaponary at our disposal. I suppose that that takes some intelligence to know when not to start pressing buttons. Look at European history and the many wars over the previous thousand years, when was the last one you were conscripted for ? Maybes (against many ideas) we are getting more intelligent.

While I would agree that the developed, secular-democratic world is becoming more intelligent/rational/peaceful... there are still fanatical rogue states out there, who given the chance, will bring about our destruction. I point to Iran as an example, who's rulers have repeatedly called for the annihilation of Israel... such events would escalate very quickly, and could easily spark a war of unimaginable proportions. Deterrence and rationality are useless in the face of fanaticism... Despite the fact Iran has elected an apparently more moderate leader, the real power still lies with the Ayatollahs, how they will act is not certain.

The reason why the Cold War never turned hot, ultimately boils down to the fact that neither side were fanatical enough to push the button... while the USSR was the more extreme, it's leaders were rational enough to hold fire, even during the most tense episodes.

So I'd guess 85% of the world are smart enough not to nuke each other... the remaining 15% I'm not so sure about. We're getting there, but we're by no means out of the woods... The "Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists" currently has the Doomsday Clock at 23:55... it was moved all the way back to 23:43 in 1991, but gradually it has crept back up, and once again we're sitting on the edge...

Don't have nightmares now...

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There might well be intelligent life elsewhere in the universe, but I don't believe that there will ever be a physical exchange between us.

The distances are mind-bogglingly vast and beyond whatever technology we develop to travel in space... assuming we don't want to spend millenia floating around up there.

No reason though why we can't have a very, very , very slow conversation over many generations using electromagnetic waves.

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There might well be intelligent life elsewhere in the universe, but I don't believe that there will ever be a physical exchange between us.

The distances are mind-bogglingly vast and beyond whatever technology we develop to travel in space... assuming we don't want to spend millenia floating around up there.

No reason though why we can't have a very, very , very slow conversation over many generations using electromagnetic waves.

I'm inclined to agree, but there is no reason to assume that a civilization hasn't mastered a means of traveling vast distances quickly, without violating the laws of physics. The SETI institute is something I'm very interested. However, I'm less enthusiastic about Active SETI who are broadcasting our location to the cosmos... I'm with Stephen Hawking on that one, if only to err on the side of caution...

Part of the trouble may be simply that we as a species aren't prepared for the cultural shock of alien contact. It would have massive implications for everyone... whether you are religious or not, it's bound to change your perspective dramatically. Even a peaceful, altruistic extraterrestrial civilization would carry with it the the fear that there were many more out there, and in all likelihood, not all of them peaceful.

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Any intelligent Alien life form within a 'reasonable' (but still humungous) distance would have been detected by now.....therefore any current civilisations are completely beyond travel range, assuming we have grasped the laws of Physics to a reasonable extent.... which seems likely.

Secondly.... where are the aliens? If they could nip around the cosmos at will, we would be enslaved by now!

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Any intelligent Alien life form within a 'reasonable' (but still humungous) distance would have been detected by now.....therefore any current civilisations are completely beyond travel range, assuming we have grasped the laws of Physics to a reasonable extent.... which seems likely.

Secondly.... where are the aliens? If they could nip around the cosmos at will, we would be enslaved by now!

Not necessarily... it could simply be the case that extraterrestrials are simply oblivious to our existence. We have only been broadcasting for the last hundred years or so... so we can only be detected by radio out to a little more than 100 light-years. A long way, but nothing compared to the scale of the universe...

The "Wow!" signal always intrigues me... it's origin is still unknown, and the alien hypothesis is still on the table. The fact it has never been heard again leads many to discount it, but in my opinion this isn't a reason to... after all we only broadcast the "Arecibo Message" once... and only once for the "Message From Earth" broadcast.

So the idea that a civilization would be broadcasting in our direction on the same frequency constantly seems a bit silly to me... the simple example being that if you were to call out in the woods, you'd call once, then stop and listen for a reply.

The kind of transmitter required to broadcast a strong signal constantly across such distances would use a lot of power, and would probably be unsustainable...

But, I really do think it's very unwise to broadcast our location to anyone out there who's listening... we just don't know what could be out there.

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We should have heard more than the Wow signal by now if there were a significant number of long lived civilisations in the galaxy, so either there are none within any reasonable distance or they decline after a relatively short time and probably do not develop faster than light travel...... which might take some doing and be beyond most civilisations before they self destruct.

At any given time, there may only be a handful of intelligent lifeforms in the galaxy.... which probably have not invented interstellar travel or communication technology.

I think that if we do come across an alien, it will be a robotic / electronic intelligence, able to endure spacetravel more easily than biological life (apart from viruses).

The only way we will know for sure is if they land on Earth and fill in the details.

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A reason why we haven't yet found anyone else could be because they don't want to be found, especially as they would be wiser than us, they may well know what is really out there.

Another reason could be that we are doing it all wrong, we have only really just learnt about electromagnetic radiation, and only recently worked out a few basic ways on how to use it for our own communication needs. We are in no position at all to be dictating that electromagnetic radiation is the one and only method for remote communications, we know so little really, and we have still have not yet learnt how to stop trying to tell ourselves and the rest of the universe what is and what is not possible.

Whatever rules we are currently deciding the rest of the universe is going to have to conform too, has no bearing what so ever on what really is the case out there. We are looking at it all from a very very narrow point of view, and from a very very inexperienced point of view at that.

Edited by Cath
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I think we're the only intelligent civilization in the entire universe and quite possibly the only life that exists in the universe in any form is only found on Earth.

Statistics are great and all, but in this case it's a lot of guessing. We've found some stars with planets, but we don't have the capability of finding truly Earth-like planets orbiting these stars. So our only real experience is with our own solar system. Eight planets. One is habitable. Extrapolation of that very limited data set to assume it's anywhere close to that across the universe is a guessing game.

As much as I'm fascinated by science and astronomy in particular, the idea of extraterrestrial life is based on a whole bunch of faith in the educated guesses of folks who are, in the end, guessing.

Statistics say you're not going to win the lottery, but someone usually does. Statistically there should be life on other planets. So far we don't have any proof.

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Perhaps a little simplistic but in many ways the Star Trek Universe may have it right. What if we had interstellar travel technology (say warp drive) we may determine a set of ethics to not interfere with other cultures that haven't got to that stage of development yet. Who's to say that this isn't the case at the moment, i.e. there are aliens they are just ignoring us...

There is also another option, 200 bn stars, that's about 200bn potentially different development rates in a 13.2 bn year old galaxy and seeing as modern human civilisation has only been around for about 4000 years and the origin of life is perhaps 3bn yrs old... Maybe they've come and gone or maybe they're still in an early stage of evolution... Or maybe they've evolved to the same stage as us and are looking out and asking the same question...

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Just so. The chances of any advanced civilisations existing at the same time and within detectable distances of each other are vanishingly small.

Perhaps there are a handful or none in any given galaxy at any point in time. The nearest may be 50,000 light years away...or even in Andromeda perhaps at 2 million light years.

We probably know enough physics now to be able to rule out developing faster than light travel for objects made of normal matter (us).

On the bright side.. there are unlikely to be aggressive aliens out there either. Who wants to come across The Borg?!

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I'm paraphrasing now and i can't remember the source but if there is intelligent life in the universe and they are more advanced than us they may just ignore us as we would igonre ants.. possibly Michio Kaku :huh:

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I'm paraphrasing now and i can't remember the source but if there is intelligent life in the universe and they are more advanced than us they may just ignore us as we would igonre ants.. possibly Michio Kaku :huh:

That's a possible explanation for the "eerie silence"... that we're simply not interesting enough. Or, maybe we are the most advanced life in this galaxy... the only ones to have achieved spaceflight. It's possible other civilizations out there haven't yet reached the point where they can even contemplate the possibility of aliens, let alone communicate with us...

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It would be difficult and hardly worthwhile for other civilisations to deliberately not send signals our way and somehow keep us in the dark, even if they knew we existed.

How could we harm them even if we detect them?

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