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spurius

Life in our galaxy

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....or....technology could be the next evolutionary step......self replicating machines.....much tougher than biological organisms and ideal for extended space travel.

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Paul M .

Right. We mustn't forget that this is just a rock that has existed long enough for us to evolve this far. It comes with no guarantee.

cheers

gaj

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Reproduction and diversity are the driving forces of Nature. I wonder whether the next step in the Grand scheme of things is the expansion of the human race by colonizing other planets. From an ape like animal, homo sapien developed to become technologically advanced enough to explore the Solar System around him and then perhaps advanced enough to inhabit those Worlds in the future. It could be Nature's way of ensuring life will flourish no matter what conditions exist elsewhere. 

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If we inhabit other worlds eventually, we will evolve differently from those left on Earth

if conditions are different. Into a new species even, that cannot mate with each other. 

Then we can go to war with each other on a planetary scale.

 An evolved Al-Qaeda will be there too, I bet. :grin: 

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Just a few other thoughts.

To speculate what form an alien might take is futile. Look at life on earth. Weird or what. You just couldn't make this stuff up. The real question is - what do we do when we do meet it. ( If we survive that long ).

The  DNA that we know of shows a distinct obsession with replicating. And that is only its own DNA - not anyone else's. So it is most likely that anything that came here would be here to occupy rather than share.

Our record of finding new lands and mixing with the natives has not been a good one. I'm thinking America and Australia here. Hardly a partnership. Why would they treat us any differently. If they came to us the chances are they would be superior to us.

That would be bad news.

Self replicating robots. Hmm. How would that work? Technically it could be done when the technology arrives but what would their programmed objective be? Machines are currently designed to do our tasks. If we were not here what would they need to do?

Would invention stop? Nobody has quite worked out how we get the 'light bulb' moment let alone design it into a machine. Take the E= Mc^2 equation. Einstein came out with that by pure thought. What?!?!?!  It's not like Ohm's law where a guy takes some

measurements and says 'you know what. There seems to be a relationship between voltage and current.' No. Just mad brain power.

Have to stop there - I have plans to hatch.

cheers

gaj

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I think it takes more of an imagination to convince yourself that there is NOT life out there. The universe is just too damn big for there not to be other life forms. 

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I wonder if nature and evolution is using our species to produce the next life form based on silicon not initialy as self replicating life but tiny quantum processors with self awareness.

Alan

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....or....technology could be the next evolutionary step......self replicating machines.....much tougher than biological organisms and ideal for extended space travel.

I know this idea keeps showing up and it certainly has it merits.

But for some crazy reason it sounds alarm bells in my head and in my heart. I can't explain my dislike of the idea. Like artificial intelligence, it frightens me!

And, and....would a self replicating machine with artificial intelligence qualify as a true life-form?

That's one can if worms that needs the lid keeping on very securely! 

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If we inhabit other worlds eventually, we will evolve differently from those left on Earth

if conditions are different. Into a new species even, that cannot mate with each other. 

Then we can go to war with each other on a planetary scale.

 An evolved Al-Qaeda will be there too, I bet. :grin:

This raises the question of whether the Selfish Gene concept almost requires that intelligence and technology will result in the evolution of destructive and warring species ??

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And another thing!

We hear that comets may contain some of 'the building blocks of life' ( sigh ! ) and there is a theory that life may have come from outside the solar system in this way. ( Panspermia )

This raises questions

 - did it arise on it's own over billions of years

 - is it the remains of some previous life form now deceased

 - was it a deliberate attempt to seed life elsewhere by a life form facing extinction

On the subject of a silicon based life form, I read that there are good chemistry reasons why that could not happen. I think it was the book "The disappearing spoon" by Sam Kean  -  about the periodic table.

Keep thinking!

cheers

gaj

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The scary thing about Silicon based life is that it doesnt need to self replicate we build the machines that build it, we end up with a life form that is on a totaly different scale a single entity that inhabits the whole planet.

Alan

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Not just one planet, the Dune series of books explores this well. Humanity does get enslaved by the machines though :s

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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A super intelligent race invent a way to simulate universes. The simulation includes every (virtual) particle of matter or quantum of energy, so that it even simulates the thoughts of intelligent creatures within the virtual universe. The race gets wiped out by an asteroid impact, but not before they've created many trillion virtual-verses.

Since their simulations out-number the "real" thing, any conscious being is more likely to exist in a simulated rather than real universe.

Hence, if such a thing is possible, we are more likely to be in a simulated universe. And we can say nothing about the likelihood of other life-forms elsewhere in our simulated universe, since it was crafted by intelligent designers whose benevolence is questionable and whose motivation is unknown.

Is such a thing possible? A recurring argument in this thread is, "the universe is so big, pretty much anything is possible".

Hence I argue that we are not only alone, we do not even exist. :smiley:

(The basic idea, on which I've elaborated, is known as Bostrom's simulation argument).

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It's an interesting question whether a virtual being exists or not. I would say virtual existence is equivalent to real existence because virtual reality can only be created by real entities.

Edited by Ouroboros

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I think we all live in a somewhat virtual universe matter itself consists of mostly nothing and in the quantum world the universe is infinitely small we view it as real and thats what matters to us.

Alan

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I wonder if nature and evolution is using our species to produce the next life form based on silicon not initialy as self replicating life but tiny quantum processors with self awareness.

Alan

There is an implication, here, of intention on nature's part. I don't believe that nature has such intentions, i think it deals only in consequences. You also need to believe in the close resemblance between living intelligence and computers. I'm very dubious.

Olly

Edited by ollypenrice

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There is an implication, here, of intention on nature's part. I don't believe that nature has such intentions, i think it deals only in consequences. You also need to believe in the close resemblance between living intelligence and computers. I'm very dubious.

Olly

 

I wasnt trying to imply that nature has an intention more the fact that we technology and natural selection are now part of a bigger loop that we are oblivious too. Natural selection works on anything not just living organisms.

Alan

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Hmm. The Matrix has a lot to answer for!

My work with simulators has been concerned with modelling the behaviour of a system so that you can predict what might happen over a range of conditions.

One of the main problems is verifying that the model behaves the same way as the real entity under all conditions. Imagine how difficult that would be for a human. How would you go about modelling emotions?

Then modelling down to each particle etc would just be impossible - never mind unnecessary. Why would you do that other than to make a good story. Simulations are usually simplifications of reality.

Then the concept of any software running without crashing for more than a few days is just too ridiculous to imagine. I joke! Lol

Then a simulation is run for the benefit of the operator. The machine experiences nothing and would no nothing of what it is doing other than executing code.

You would have to have output devices, which although could be humanoid they would not necessarily be aware.

I just can't imagine why you would put so much energy into a project like that.

It's the sort of thing that has been in many si fi stories and its a nice idea providing you don't think about it too much.  . . . . like The Matrix

Just my thoughts. Don't let me put you off.

cheers

gaj

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So far as interacting with intelligent alien life is concerned I think it's a vanishingly small probability.

If it exists it's not just a case of where but also when.

Our paths have to cross in time and space!

..so you have tried getting an NHS appointment too!

P

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Anyway ... reading a few more posts in the thread I have some answers:

* is there life in our galaxy? - mmm... well if there isn't who posted all these threads? Could it be that SGL is just a delusion in the mind of a brain which arose as a quantum fluctuation in empty space (together with cloulds);

* is there life in our solar system? . mmm... see answer to previous question....

* aha! is there "intelligent life other than on the earth or in NEO" (OK assume that there is "intelligent life"  here - don't take the "f" and get "lie" - or get into a long debate about whether a virus is any more "alive" than an enzyme). Well the answer is either:

 - yes (that is something of a relief), or

 - no (we, yes us, H Sap, are solely the "responsoble adults"  for a whole lot of Universe with a big obesity problem  - oh sorry, I meant inflation)

P

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I think we all live in a somewhat virtual universe matter itself consists of mostly nothing and in the quantum world the universe is infinitely small we view it as real and thats what matters to us.Alan

Arguably too our perception of the universe is second hand since our brains reconstruct a sort of virtual copy of the universe in our heads. ..... a bit like Plato's allegory of the cave.

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