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Our WE ALONE IN THE UNIVERSE


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I am currently taking a class online, in Astronomy, it is  on  confronting the Big Question???. Our we alone in the universe?

  it has a lot to do with asking the Question,  what is Life?, and  What Does it mean to be Alive?

I  have often thought, about those Questions, but am not sure,  how to  answer that Question.

   there our many, many  Questions, that we don't have the answers to , the mystery of life, is just what it is a mystery.

we Don't know,  that is Why  this Question is so Big, I just started the class,as of today and it is very   interesting, thus far,I have learned 

about  the  Gas Giant Plants in our  cosmos , and next will be Gas Giants Vs Liquid Giant plants.

    its a good Question when you think about it, and as those who love and study Astronomy, that is the big Question, that we should  be asking our selves, as we look 

up into our Cosmos, the Two Big Questions Being what is the definition of Life, and  what does it mean to be alive??????

🥸  

 

    

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  • 3 weeks later...

Given how huge the universe is, the probability of life existing only on 1 planet is very small. We have just recently (in cosmic time) started to analize atmospheres of exoplanets, and the technology will only continue to improve. We just have to wait and see what we find in our own galaxy. I have no doubt that we will find other Earths out there, is just a matter of time and technology. The more important question is, will we be able to go there?

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Perhaps the distances needed to travel to discover other lifeforms are too great. It may take many generations of people to travel such huge distances. 

I think it's going to take thousands of years, to get to the stage ware we able to travel so far. Even if we can discover new ways of propulsion and technology.  

Not sure humans will be around long enough to find out.

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Given the age of the Universe and the age of modern humans the question is complicated by time/space. Right now there may well be an intelligent species out there but their distance is such that we/they will be extinct before we get chance to acknowledge each other.

The idea of time = distance used to bother me deeply. But the reality if we are beyond the event horizon of our nearest neighbor then we are effectively alone in the Universe. Coexistence is not a simple idea!

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14 hours ago, Paul M said:

Given the age of the Universe and the age of modern humans the question is complicated by time/space. Right now there may well be an intelligent species out there but their distance is such that we/they will be extinct before we get chance to acknowledge each other.

The idea of time = distance used to bother me deeply. But the reality if we are beyond the event horizon of our nearest neighbor then we are effectively alone in the Universe. Coexistence is not a simple idea!

A sobering thought indeed, i tend to look at humanities progress ... think back to what we know of the egyptian and roman era's where civilisation seemed to be accelerating and then how "backward " humanity was in the early middle ages through to the industrial revolution , where acceleration took hold again . But humanity is still just a "blink" in time compared to the known universe . I think we are held back by what we know and what we are told to believe ... physics are the law because thats all we know  and we cannot comprehend anything else because we do not know how to , although humans have always had a tendancy to try to run before they can walk ( metaphorically ) it may take thousands of years before we are capable of travelling fast enough to reach other areas of our known universe . If only things were as simple as Star Wars and Star Trek, mind you , in both those films there were issues with other beings . Warp factor one , Mr Scott . 

BTW , i am one of those who really do belive that life exists throughout the universe . Its a fascinating subject , made all the more frustrating and exciting by the fact that we strive to find evidence . 

 

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3 hours ago, Stu1smartcookie said:

i am one of those who really do belive that life exists throughout the universe

I'm more glass half empty on the subject.

My view is that there may have been life elsewhere and there may be life elsewhere in future but our time lines might never overlap. Even if they do overlap my position as stated earlier will prevent us from ever connecting.

And if we did make contact ( good name for a film..) they would probably decide we are too much trouble and move along quickly!

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Agree with you , Paul that our time lines might not ever overlap but even the new telescope that is meant to be the be all and end all of technological achievement will one day seem like a primitive construction and there just maybe a chance that as humanity gets more Sophisticated ( before it destroys itself ) we may have contact with another life form , whether it be from our doing or not ! We have the brain power to invent anything as long as we are not constrained by  what we believe to be impossible. There’s Klingons on the starboard bow anyone ? 

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My take is that given the vast number of galaxies in the Universe, the vast number of stars in each galaxy, and the recent evidence that many of these stars are orbited by planets, it is very likely that life exists elsewhere, indeed it could be commonplace. At the same time, I think that so called intelligent life is likely to be very short-lived, given our experience on this planet, and that is why we haven't found any evidence for it nearby in the short time humans have been (will be) around.

This may be a good thing because if we were ever visited by extra-terrestrial intelligence, they would probably conclude that humans are a parasitic infestation of the Earth and seek to cull us. Just as we react to overpopulation of animals and plants.

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Space travel to other stars becomes much more sensible when you are an artificial life form which is what I think we will be our future. Turning off for the journey and booting up when you’ve arrived makes more sense to me than trying to travel as a carbon based life form. Give it another 50 years and I think we’ll be there.

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At this time all that anyone can say is: We have no evidence of advanced live elsewhere.

Often stated is there are lot of stars and so planets so there must be. However consider if there are 12 requirements for live to flourish and each requirement has a 10% chance of existing then there needs to be 10**12 planets. Assuming one suitable planet per star that is 10*12 stars and the milky way has "only" 10**11 stars.

I recall one well presented talk where the presenter listed something like 22 "things" that had to be right. And the presenter wasn't out to be for or against life, just what they had identified as likely criteria.

Have to also remember that 1 million years is a very short time, and if the next life were 1 million years behind us. Then no chance of them having a radio or anything. Homo sapian didn't exist 1 million years back. The previous does sort of assume that we were the first to climb out of the slime and develop technology, but someone has to be the first out of the slime. Why not us. 😄

 

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On 22/09/2022 at 22:55, Spile said:

Space travel to other stars becomes much more sensible when you are an artificial life form which is what I think we will be our future. Turning off for the journey and booting up when you’ve arrived makes more sense to me than trying to travel as a carbon based life form. Give it another 50 years and I think we’ll be there.

Who is 'we?'  Are you proposing that there will be no significant difference between us and an artificial life form? In using the term 'we' as you do I have to conclude that you do think artificial life forms and ourselves will be at least highly equivalent. If so, could you elaborate on this?  

Olly

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On 22/09/2022 at 17:42, PeterC65 said:

My take is that given the vast number of galaxies in the Universe, the vast number of stars in each galaxy, and the recent evidence that many of these stars are orbited by planets, it is very likely that life exists elsewhere, indeed it could be commonplace. At the same time, I think that so called intelligent life is likely to be very short-lived, given our experience on this planet, and that is why we haven't found any evidence for it nearby in the short time humans have been (will be) around.

This may be a good thing because if we were ever visited by extra-terrestrial intelligence, they would probably conclude that humans are a parasitic infestation of the Earth and seek to cull us. Just as we react to overpopulation of animals and plants.

Funny how people assume aliens may be hostile based on historic actions of earthlings, if they evolved past our technology and survived, surely they are more likely ultra-woke Star Trek Discovery types

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5 hours ago, billhinge said:

Funny how people assume aliens may be hostile based on historic actions of earthlings, if they evolved past our technology and survived, surely they are more likely ultra-woke Star Trek Discovery types

"Yeah but", what if they are not! I mean we are on a run of disappointingly bad things at the moment, Covid, War in Ukraine, Cost of Living Crisis, Climate Change. Maladjusted aliens would just top it off.

Jim

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5 hours ago, billhinge said:

Funny how people assume aliens may be hostile based on historic actions of earthlings, if they evolved past our technology and survived, surely they are more likely ultra-woke Star Trek Discovery types

Have often wondered why would any alien civilization travel across space when probes etc could give them most of the scientific information required for exploration, it can only be for colonization and/or resource gathering so they would see us as food 😱

Alan

Edited by Alien 13
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6 hours ago, billhinge said:

Funny how people assume aliens may be hostile based on historic actions of earthlings, if they evolved past our technology and survived, surely they are more likely ultra-woke Star Trek Discovery types

I'm thinking that our alien visitors may be to us as we are to the life that we cull, things like insects, plants, even wild boar (here in the Forest of Dean). I think the difference between humans and aliens is likely to be at least as much as the difference between us and the life we cull.

Culling overpopulated life that is damaging all other life on a planet is just a rational thing to do, and I'm assuming that any alien visitors will be rational. They may of course apply the 'do not interfere doctrine', or it may be that overpopulation was part of their own history and so have some sympathy for it, or better still, a practical fix.

Since this post started, I've been contemplating the likely nature of any technologically evolved life. My thinking is that anything we might call life is likely to evolve, and that means it will randomly mutate and be driven by competition. If that's the case then random mutation is likely to lead to a range of thinking, including what we refer to as psychopaths, and competition is likely to lead to conflict. Again, if that's the case then as a life form develops more powerful technology (and more powerful weapons) it is just a question of whether it works out how to control the psychopaths amongst its population before they can use weapons powerful enough to accidently deal with the overpopulation problem.

Or perhaps my mind has been wondering too much about current world events as well ...

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Hello, who ever they are, they must be much more intelligent in order to travel inter-stellar!
They must see us as primitive without any interest to them!

Although it begs the question: will it ever  be possible to achieve inter-stellar travel?

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3 minutes ago, VNA said:

Hello, who ever they are, they must be much more intelligent in order to travel inter-stellar!
They must see us as primitive without any interest to them!

Although it begs the question: will it ever  be possible to achieve inter-stellar travel?

That's a good question. Whatever the answer it will be as difficult for them as it will be for us, the laws of physics are very inclusive.

Jim

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18 hours ago, ollypenrice said:

Who is 'we?'  Are you proposing that there will be no significant difference between us and an artificial life form? In using the term 'we' as you do I have to conclude that you do think artificial life forms and ourselves will be at least highly equivalent. If so, could you elaborate on this?  

Olly

Given that our children are not “us” then my definition of “we” assumes that the next step in our evolution is artificial. I would hope that these “beings” carry our history and ethics.

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On 02/09/2022 at 20:42, goddasgirl2021 said:

  its a good Question when you think about it, and as those who love and study Astronomy, that is the big Question, that we should  be asking our selves, as we look 

up into our Cosmos, the Two Big Questions Being what is the definition of Life, and  what does it mean to be alive??????

It's great that you are studying astronomy, good luck with your journey. I have a "mini-mission" in life to increase people's awareness of the universe around us and 'show' them what's up there through a telescope. Might just give people a new perspective on life and trigger them to start asking some searching questions. 

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1 hour ago, Spile said:

Given that our children are not “us” then my definition of “we” assumes that the next step in our evolution is artificial. I would hope that these “beings” carry our history and ethics.

I'm not so sure about our ethics...

Olly

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1 hour ago, ollypenrice said:

I'm not so sure about our ethics...

Olly

I am not sure I should have reacted with a "Ha Ha" emoji , I agree with you but on reflection it is not really something to laugh at, maybe should have been a sad emoji.

Steve

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1 hour ago, teoria_del_big_bang said:

I am not sure I should have reacted with a "Ha Ha" emoji , I agree with you but on reflection it is not really something to laugh at, maybe should have been a sad emoji.

Steve

In considering possible alien life I always reflect upon the Earth's being home to predation.  Predation is not nice and goes squarely against most of our professed ethics about killing and inflicting suffering - but it is natural here. I can imagine an alien talking to me, though, and saying 'You eat what??? It would certainly be a shame to introduce predation where none existed before and there is no reason to assume that it will be universal.

Olly

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