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wuthton

Do you ever wonder if someone is looking back?

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Just a couple of thoughts.

I'm pretty sure because of the vast numbers, that there is intelligent life out there somewhere. It's kind of irrelevant, since it is extremely unlikely that we will ever communicate with them. Better just learn to like the others on this planet.

Though it would be fantastic to receive a message from another life form, just what would it be that they told us? Would they try to teach us their history? Their culture? Their science? It would after all be a one way conversation. Can you imagine how that would go.

"Yes. Yes. You dance around with bird feathers stuck in your ears - but what about nuclear physics?" Bob Newhart and Nutty Walt spring to mind.

Finally, our current understanding of electronics has served us well for some time, but it is still relatively new. Perhaps electromagnetic waves are not the only means of communication. Perhaps we have yet to discover new phenomenon possibly involving gravity. Some of what we know has come about more by luck than investigation. Perhaps we are looking on the wrong media - at present.

cheers

gaj

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Finally, our current understanding of electronics has served us well for some time, but it is still relatively new. Perhaps electromagnetic waves are not the only means of communication. Perhaps we have yet to discover new phenomenon possibly involving gravity. Some of what we know has come about more by luck than investigation. Perhaps we are looking on the wrong media - at present.

I have a sneaky suspicion that gravity, the 'Higgs Field', dark matter and dark energy are all related, and at some point we may eventually be able to use it/them as a medium for all sorts of interactions.  Communications over vast distances may be one of them?

Who knows, one day we may look back on our current use of electromagnetic waves in a similar way that we now view our earlier use of flag semaphore, or smoke signals?  

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I think there were just too many accidental co-incidents that led to our development.  To imagine the same level of sheer luck happening wholesale across the universe is stretching it a bit in my mind.  I'm with Ward on this one.  I HOPE I'm wrong...  but the logical nature in me just keeps adding up the odds of all the accidental events that made us possible...  and some of the chances are, forgive the pun, astronomical.

I'd LOVE to be convinced otherwise though.

Can't see it any other way than it's a racing certainty personally.  What makes us so special?  There is an infinite number of suns like ours with planets, and no doubt all the elements that brought life to earth (assuming life everywhere needs the same ingredients of course, which is a very big assumption).  Cannot conceive there isn't life in abundance out there - impossible to me.  I hope there is - they might bring presents! :laugh:   

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Or worse.... they see us the advanced society. How scary is that thought?!?

Can't see it any other way than it's a racing certainty personally. What makes us so special? There is an infinite number of suns like ours with planets, and no doubt all the elements that brought life to earth (assuming life everywhere needs the same ingredients of course, which is a very big assumption). Cannot conceive there isn't life in abundance out there - impossible to me. I hope there is - they might bring presents! :laugh:

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Who knows, one day we may look back on our current use of electromagnetic waves in a similar way that we now view our earlier use of flag semaphore, or smoke signals?

That's a thought provoking statement, probably true too.

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That's a thought provoking statement, probably true too.

I have a sneaky suspicion that gravity, the 'Higgs Field', dark matter and dark energy are all related, and at some point we may eventually be able to use it/them as a medium for all sorts of interactions.  Communications over vast distances may be one of them?

Who knows, one day we may look back on our current use of electromagnetic waves in a similar way that we now view our earlier use of flag semaphore, or smoke signals?  

Whatever waves we chose, they will still only travel at the speed of light. 

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If you consider the large number of species on earth that can look out at the night sky then I feel certain that there are eyes looking back.

Alan

...or perhaps there are pairs of CCD sensors looking back!! :laugh:

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Whatever waves we chose, they will still only travel at the speed of light. 

Possibly, but I was referring to what we don't yet know, what we have yet to discover, rather than what we think we know now.

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Maybe the whole universe as we know it is in a large goldfish bowl sat on some ET's Shelf.

I think there is life out there somewhere!

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For those who believe in an afterlife,    (not that I do, BTW),     it might well follow that any other creatures out there

will also enjoy a similar afterlife.

So in spite of the speed of light limitation, you may meet them after all in your spirit world. :smiley:

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We all must follow the laws set forth by the universe we live in... Laws like light speed. However, things are pointing to the existence of many other universes who probably have different laws. It's accepted as fact that during initial inflation the universe expanded outward at beyond the speed of light. That's telling.

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We all must follow the laws set forth by the universe we live in... Laws like light speed. However, things are pointing to the existence of many other universes who probably have different laws. It's accepted as fact that during initial inflation the universe expanded outward at beyond the speed of light. That's telling.

The speed of light cannot be exceeded when a photon is traveling in a vacuum nothing stops it going faster in emptyness.

Alan

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But during initial inflation, it did. Apparently, it seems, outside the universe this law isn't quite so firm. Also there's very recent evidence that our firm law concerning the speed of light being constant might not be true.

http://m.livescience.com/29111-speed-of-light-not-constant.html

I agree my previous statement was ment to say that when a photon is travelling ouside of normal space time i.e. what we call a vacuum and through something similar to the nothingness or quantum soup of the early universe then it can travel faster.

Alan

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Space may have expanded faster than the speed of light during inflation (though there is some doubt about the validity of inflation), but space isn't particles or waves.

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Life elsewhere is probably not a bad bet. The odds for intelligent life are much worse because:

  1. There is no reason to believe intelligence is some kind of trump card in evolution. Brute force has a better record so far on Earth (in terms of longevity) and microbes have done even better.
  2. Intelligence (at least the sort that leads to technology) has a built-in self-destruct mechanism. Hom. sap. has expanded and multiplied over a relatively short time, but only at the expense of causing massive damage along the way. Unless there is some really intelligent decision-making in the near future, it’ll be microbes cleaning up our mess until the Sun expands.

What a downer! Enjoy the stars while you can; we are really lucky to be living now.

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You find an organisms purpose in what it does. Humans create things built literally on the bodies of those before us in the form of oil. We then build networks. This seems our purpose. When we're gone what will these networks be used for? What's the next big evolutionary phase? Intelligence is a requirement in the building of large networks... what's this is the precursor to is anyone's guess.

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I don't think anything that has led us to where we are now is in any way accidental, lucky or coincidental. 

Then surely to think otherwise implies that our development is planned and intentional, which it's plainly not.  :)

If a massive asteroid hadn't hit what is now Mexico around 60 million years ago, then we'd almost certainly not have developed as we are today.   That was sheer chance, and pretty long odds too.  A similar even could make us extinct just as fast at any time.  Sheer luck.

Can't see it any other way than it's a racing certainty personally.  What makes us so special?  There is an infinite number of suns like ours with planets, and no doubt all the elements that brought life to earth (assuming life everywhere needs the same ingredients of course, which is a very big assumption).  Cannot conceive there isn't life in abundance out there - impossible to me.  I hope there is - they might bring presents! :laugh:   

I'm not saying there's no life.  I am, like many others, convinced of that because of what you say - the sheer numbers of star systems just in our galaxy alone.  I'm talking about advanced, intelligent civilisations capable of contacting us:  Of that I'm not convinced.  It takes time for a species to develop even as far as we have, and I think we've just been dealt some very lucky hands with regards to environmental conditions and predation that would otherwise have kept us struggling for survival along with every other species instead of developing to the extent to which controlling our environment became possible. 

I'm not suggesting we're "special" in the way you think I am...  as in different, or blessed in some way.   I do think we're very rare though.

Others have said things like "Maybe they don't use radio waves" etc.   Well..  maybe not.  Who can say.  Considering we accept that physics is universal, then it's pretty likely that another intelligent civilisation would have stumbled across understanding the electro-magnetic spectrum also.  Even if they have surpassed that and harnessed some other long distance communication technology using something else....  I dunno...   modulated neutrino transmissions..  (shrug)...  then there's still a strong argument that if you wanted to communicate to others, you'd pick the simplest, oldest, and what is most likely to be the most widespread methods.

Any way....   we're now at the point where we can think about analysing the atmospheres of exo planets, and that may shed some light on things. 

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We have discovered several planets similar to ours within a few thousand light years. It is not unlikely there there is life on a few of these planets but the chances of multicellular life is very low, intelligent life is all but zero. If there are several planets like ours within a few thousand light years then there must be many trillions within the visible universe.

I like to think that out there, a few million light years away there is some other fool out in the cold and the dark looking at the Milky Way though a telescope and were here looking straight back. A romantic thought but not unlikely when you consider the numbers involved.

Edited by wuthton

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It's 3am on a freezing December morning, your fingers have turned white and your feet have frozen to the spot, but the view of Orion is stunning.

Suddenly there is a buzzing in your pocket, you fumble to retrieve your mobile. On the screen it displays Caller Unknown.

You answer it, thinking it might be important.

The distant and rather echoey voice at the other end begins to massacre the English language in an accent that seems to have been learned from a dodgy TV sitcom, whilst enquiring if you would be interested in taking part in a Home Insulation Survey.

Is any more proof required? ;)

Edited by RichM63
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