Aliens and the significance of the number '1'.

mills

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#1
What is the percentage chance that organic life exists anywhere in the universe other than earth?

Discounting any life that originated on earth - whether it's microbes that were blown to Mars by an asteroid, or human
descendants who time-traveled, I'd say the chance is pretty close to zero.

It seems like just about everyone agrees with Jodie Foster's character in Contact - that the universe is so big, and
contains such a huge number of potentially life-originating planets, that it's pretty much a given that what happened
here must have also happened somewhere else. And I get it. It's a matter of respect for numbers that we'll never be able
to comprehend. Or rather, it's a respect for the fact that we'll never be able to comprehend them.

But do people not recognize the difference between the numbers 1 and 2? Or more accurately, the difference between 1 and
any other number besides zero.

The number zero was invented - or rather recognized as a mathematical concept - a relatively short time ago. Its
recognition revolutionized mathematics, science, and civilization. The difference between 0 and any other number is the
biggest difference between two numbers that there is. In existential terms, it's the difference between existence and
non-existence. The second biggest difference has to be the difference between 1 and any other number.

The universe is only 18 billion years old. The earth is 4.5 billion years old. And it took 3 billion years of life to
come up with a cerebral cortex. 3 billion. That's 16.7% of the time the universe has existed. That's a huge chunk. If it
only took 0.1% of the time the universe existed to evolve a cerebral cortex somewhere in the universe (in this case,
here) - ie if the universe was 3 trillion years old - I'd be more inclined to think there might be something else out
there.

Needless to say, if we found proof of a second occurrence of life originating, I'd be all too happy to infer along with
everyone else that there have got to be thousands more instances.

Isn't it much more likely - albeit less dramatic - that we're simply the first? And might even end up being the only ones?
 

mills

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#2
I know this forum tries to be news-oriented so mods feel free to move this shooter-ish nonsense to bizarro :)
 
Aug 11, 2005
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#3
[video=youtube;pUlw3ACdN5s]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUlw3ACdN5s[/video]
 

JoeyDVDZ

That's MR. MOJO, Motherfucker!
Aug 20, 2004
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#4
Oh shit, Mills has been drinking whatever Shooter usually drinks before X=Y=God=Love/eternity speeches....
 

whiskeyguy

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#5
You're assuming that life has to be the same as it is on earth, and also assuming that life = intelligent life.

First, different environments on those individual planets could speed up or slow down the evolution of life. Our planet may not be the most ideal planet for life to form. Hell, our environment could be one of the worst, which is why it took so long to evolve. The Ice Age 10,000 years ago greatly slowed down the evolution of intelligent life... if another planet didn't experience something along those lines, life could potentially have evolved faster.

Also time is relative, so theoretically other areas of the universe could have had much more time available to them (relatively) to evolve. If another planet is moving much faster through space in its orbital pattern, time for that planet moves slower relative to ours, which gives life on that planet more time.

Statistically, I feel it's obnoxiously more likely that life in some form exists somewhere else in the universe, as opposed to us being alone.
 
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#6
You're assuming that life has to be the same as it is on earth, and also assuming that life = intelligent life.

First, different environments on those individual planets could speed up or slow down the evolution of life. Our planet may not be the most ideal planet for life to form. Hell, our environment could be one of the worst, which is why it took so long to evolve. The Ice Age 10,000 years ago greatly slowed down the evolution of intelligent life... if another planet didn't experience something along those lines, life could potentially have evolved faster.

Also time is relative, so theoretically other areas of the universe could have had much more time available to them (relatively) to evolve. If another planet is moving much faster through space in its orbital pattern, time for that planet moves slower relative to ours, which gives life on that planet more time.

Statistically, I feel it's obnoxiously more likely that life in some form exists somewhere else in the universe, as opposed to us being alone.
But I heard aliens already came here and banged a bunch of apes and created the human race and they still walk among us
 

mills

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#7
The problem with life other than the type that exists on earth - a shorthand for which I used was organic life - is that it brings into question how life is defined. I'm a fan of the notion that there are thousands of different ways to define it without carbon molecules. So on that I think we agree.

And I also thought of the difference between intelligent and unintelligent life, which is why I used the word aliens (implying life with the capability to get here) in the title. And I acknowledge the fact that any life, no matter how unintelligent, would bridge the gap between the number 1 and the number 2.

There are plenty of ways to break it all down. But I think it's more statistically obnoxious to assume there are 2+ rather than 1, than to assume there is 1 and only 1.
 

mills

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#9
Either way wg, thanks for taking my post seriously.
 

whiskeyguy

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#11
The problem with life other than the type that exists on earth - a shorthand for which I used was organic life - is that it brings into question how life is defined. I'm a fan of the notion that there are thousands of different ways to define it without carbon molecules. So on that I think we agree.

And I also thought of the difference between intelligent and unintelligent life, which is why I used the word aliens (implying life with the capability to get here) in the title. And I acknowledge the fact that any life, no matter how unintelligent, would bridge the gap between the number 1 and the number 2.

There are plenty of ways to break it all down. But I think it's more statistically obnoxious to assume there are 2+ rather than 1, than to assume there is 1 and only 1.
Well alien life capable of getting here is an entirely new argument. Based on current technology (and even our understanding of physics) it's impossible for us to travel to the vast majority of the universe, or even see most of it, so alien life capable of visiting us would have to be highly advanced. They would have to first find us, which in itself is a massive feat, then they would have to develop a way to travel across massive distances faster than the speed of light, unless they exist in one of the neighboring galaxies. Otherwise, even if they did locate us the chance of them getting to us before we went extinct would be pretty slim.

I agree the definition of life is a tough argument. Just based on my own opinions, I would probably say something that requires elements in its environment to survive and also reproduces, but that may include some things on earth that we don't consider life (I'm not really sure about this type of discussion).

I think that without faster-than-light travel, we'll never know for certain that life exists elsewhere, unless it's completely by accident.
 

Your_Moms_Box

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#13
Mills is getting thoughtful about life now that he is dying from all of the crazy colored shit in his snot.
 

mills

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#15
I agree the definition of life is a tough argument. Just based on my own opinions, I would probably say something that requires elements in its environment to survive and also reproduces, but that may include some things on earth that we don't consider life (I'm not really sure about this type of discussion).
Viruses. That's the debate you're thinking of. Viruses consist of DNA and a protein shell and not much else. Most biologists seem to disqualify viruses as life, which has always pissed me off.
 

whiskeyguy

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#17
Viruses. That's the debate you're thinking of. Viruses consist of DNA and a protein shell and not much else. Most biologists seem to disqualify viruses as life, which has always pissed me off.
Maybe the definition has to include the ability to live separate (but still dependent) of other organisms.
 

mills

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#18
I forget what their bullet point list of qualifications is, but it's shitty. Deoxyribonucleic acid + reproduction + the obvious need to replicate as fast and efficiently as possible, what else do they want? Cytoplasm? Go fuck yourselves.
 

MayrMeninoCrash

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#19
Maybe aliens developed at the same rate as us but didn't have religion holding them back from scientific discoveries




Seriously, just thinking from a logical and statistical point of view, even if 0.00000001% of planets supported life, and only 0.00000001% of those actually developed lifeforms, that would mean there are still thousands to millions of planets with life on them out there.
 
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#21
Maybe aliens developed at the same rate as us but didn't have religion holding them back from scientific discoveries




Seriously, just thinking from a logical and statistical point of view, even if 0.00000001% of planets supported life, and only 0.00000001% of those actually developed lifeforms, that would mean there are still thousands to millions of planets with life on them out there.
What about the stupidity that made Obama president? But I bet you think everything is fine
 

JimsInfectedEye

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#22
God created everything 2000 years ago. When will you sinners realize this, repent, and ask God for forgiveness for your "evolution" theories?
 

whiskeyguy

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#23
Maybe aliens developed at the same rate as us but didn't have religion holding them back from scientific discoveries
Or maybe they are more dedicated to God and thus he lets them borrow his hyper-drive space car when they want to visit other galaxies.

Ehhh?
 

Mags

LDAR, bitch.
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#24
God created everything 2000 years ago. When will you sinners realize this, repent, and ask God for forgiveness for your "evolution" theories?
5000 years ago. You forgot about the Jew Testament.
 

Creasy Bear

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#25
God created everything 2000 years ago. When will you sinners realize this, repent, and ask God for forgiveness for your "evolution" theories?
2000 years? That's the stupidest thing that has ever been said in the entire 6000 year existence of the Earth.