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Thread: Prospect of life in deep space as Nasa probe finds hundreds of new planets

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    Re: Prospect of life in deep space as Nasa probe finds hundreds of new planets

    Quote Originally Posted by Orion View Post
    I acknowledged that it's more of an educated guess, but I base it upon the diverse range of life we have here on earth, living in even the most extreme conditions. At the turn of the 20th century, our question was, "Where can life exist?" The definition kept expanding, and now the question has become, "Where does life not exist?" I mean, there are even bacteria deep in the earth that never see the light of day. They just feed on thermal energy and its byproducts.

    I find it highly unlikely that we would be the only life in the universe.
    But all that life developed from one instance of abiogenesis, and you have no evidence that it is possible for that to occur more than once. So speculating about it isn't really an educated guess at all, it's just a guess.

    Quote Originally Posted by Orion View Post
    We have no reference for abiogenesis, but we can always assume the very basic fact: life happened somehow. Just because we don't know the origin doesn't mean that life is such a shot in the dark. If God created us, abiogenesis and evolution, or a meteor slamming into earth, or aliens with their weird science projects, or random cosmic rays, etc... the fact remains that life came about somehow, and however that happened, it can surely happen elsewhere. Even if we are a freak occurrence, the universe is incomprehensibly huge and there is surely somewhere where the same set of conditions are bound to unfold.
    "Life happened somehow" does not entail that "it can surely happen elsewhere." That's a big leap, and you just haven't got the facts to back it up. Maybe you're right, maybe you're wrong, but when you start talking about probabilities it's not really coming from any facts, it's just sheer imagination.

    Maybe life can't happen elsewhere. Perhaps the odds against it are even more vast than the stars in the universe. Maybe there is something intrinsic to abiogenesis that it can only happen once, at all. Maybe it is as common as dirt. Nobody can say, because we haven't got any facts indicating one way or the other. Speculation in the absence of facts is just bad science.
    Last edited by Guy Incognito; 07-26-10 at 01:55 AM.

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    Re: Prospect of life in deep space as Nasa probe finds hundreds of new planets

    I wonder how much it would cost to send just a single probe to get a detailed look at one of these planets. Probably some number that makes the national debt look like pennies, especially if we wanted the results within our grandchildren's lifetimes.

    Anyone smarter/nerdier than me willing to speculate?

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    Re: Prospect of life in deep space as Nasa probe finds hundreds of new planets

    Quote Originally Posted by Befuddled_Stoner View Post
    I wonder how much it would cost to send just a single probe to get a detailed look at one of these planets. Probably some number that makes the national debt look like pennies, especially if we wanted the results within our grandchildren's lifetimes.

    Anyone smarter/nerdier than me willing to speculate?
    I don't think there is any current propulsion system that would reach the closest star in that time span.
    Don't think it's currently possible.
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    Re: Prospect of life in deep space as Nasa probe finds hundreds of new planets

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla View Post
    I don't think there is any current propulsion system that would reach the closest star in that time span.
    Don't think it's currently possible.
    sure there is, just use the large hadrion collider to launch something into space at 99% of the speed of light, and then watch it go, and hope nothing gets in the way.
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    Re: Prospect of life in deep space as Nasa probe finds hundreds of new planets

    Use the LHC to launch what into space at 99% the speed of light? An electron? You could also shine a laser pointer at Epsilon Eridani, but I don't know what kind of information you'd be hoping to get back from that.

    And, interestingly, there are ways to get to other stars (relatively) quickly. For example:

    Project Longshot - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    So, we could send a probe to Alpha Proxima or Alpha Centauri and start gathering information, and that information would be back within our grandchildren's lifetime. A problem, I think, is that the more promising exoplanets are much further than Centauri or Proxima.

    And, Orion, you mentioned societies living on Earth who have learned to control their "animal" natures (drive toward greed, violence, etc.), but that Americans just don't know about them:

    There are places in the world where people are living the ways that Goshin claim is not possible, but he lives in America so he cannot see those realities.
    This intrigues me. What societies would these be? Or have I misunderstood you?

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    Last edited by Black_Sheep; 07-26-10 at 02:06 PM.

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    Re: Prospect of life in deep space as Nasa probe finds hundreds of new planets

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Incognito View Post
    But all that life developed from one instance of abiogenesis, and you have no evidence that it is possible for that to occur more than once. So speculating about it isn't really an educated guess at all, it's just a guess.



    "Life happened somehow" does not entail that "it can surely happen elsewhere." That's a big leap, and you just haven't got the facts to back it up. Maybe you're right, maybe you're wrong, but when you start talking about probabilities it's not really coming from any facts, it's just sheer imagination.

    Maybe life can't happen elsewhere. Perhaps the odds against it are even more vast than the stars in the universe. Maybe there is something intrinsic to abiogenesis that it can only happen once, at all. Maybe it is as common as dirt. Nobody can say, because we haven't got any facts indicating one way or the other. Speculation in the absence of facts is just bad science.
    The odds against our conditions being unique are astronomical. *rimshot* Rough estimates put the number of stars in the universe between 10^22 and 10^24. Simple law of probability tells us there is very likely to be other life out there, or at least there was life out there at some point in the universe's history. (ended by the death of their star) What could possibly make abiogenesis "only able to happen once?" What, the moment the first proteins formed they sent out some sort of magical disruption signal to the entire rest of the universe that ends the same process elsewhere? Yes, we don't know that there's other life out there, but there's an ever-growing body of information telling us that there very probably is.
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    We’ll say what? Something like “nothing happened” ... Yeah, we might say something like that.

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    Re: Prospect of life in deep space as Nasa probe finds hundreds of new planets

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Incognito View Post
    Ok, now apply the logic of the bolded sentence and apply it to this one: "There is probably, definitely, other life out there." Where are you getting that assumption from, where is your evidence?

    You say that we have no real reference for sapience, but we also have no real reference for abiogenesis, that is a more pressing problem. Before we worry about how smart all those aliens we're presupposing might be, we have to worry about whether or not it is even possible that they exist.
    There's currently no evidence, but I can't think of a single solitary cosmologist, astrophysicist, theoretical physicist, particle physicist, astronomer that thinks that life doesn't exist somewhere else. Humans have only explored a tiny, and I mean TINY portion of our own solar system. I think it is ludicrous that people think life isn't out there somewhere. Now, in terms of intelligent life on the level of our intelligence, you might have some standing, but no life at all? Astronomically illogical.


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    Re: Prospect of life in deep space as Nasa probe finds hundreds of new planets

    Quote Originally Posted by Orion View Post
    What? How is that showing hatred?

    There are places in the world where people are living the ways that Goshin claim is not possible, but he lives in America so he cannot see those realities. It's not hateful to point out the obvious.



    It's not that we cannot, it's that we don't want to. It's much easier to give in to those baser instincts than examine them for what they are: our animal natures. Clearly we have some level of control, as we are still sitting here typing to one another and our countries haven't blown each other up. Why is it such a stretch of the imagination to picture us working together for the betterment of all?



    This kind of hubris is exactly why a good conversation of the kinds of things I'm talking about is not possible. Too many people think they know everything, so their minds are not open. They think they're in control but they're not. This is the plague of the human race. It is very easy to dismiss that which makes us uncomfortable, or that which presents a reality that we would sooner be in denial about.



    It is the sign of a poor debater when they turn the debate into a discussion about the opponent, instead of the ideas they present. Indoctrination implies that I was coerced with propaganda to hold the views that I do. Nothing is further from the truth, and since you don't know me, I suggest you avoid such audacious assumptions.



    My statements are predictable to you because you have probably heard such notions coming from the mouths of truly hysterical people who truly are indoctrinated, and you are assuming I am just like them. This isn't your fault. It is the mind trap of categorical thinking to draw comparisons between two unrelated things based on superficial observations.



    I'm not a kid.



    I don't agree. Humans have done many good things and I have been alive to see some of them.



    I agree that I am benefiting from living standards that I would not have seen if I was even born 100 years ago, but the benefits are just a facade. Unlike most people, I have traveled the world and seen the real costs of what it means to live the way we do. We are 5% of the world in this living standard, and we consume all the resources to do it. In the western world we have enjoyed luxuries and lassitude lifestyles that would be the envy of even the richest rulers of empires 500 years ago. But what is the net progress that has been made here? If the fossil fuels ever stop running, none of it will mean anything. Our society will collapse in weeks. It is all propped up on hot air, however magnificent it may seem. It is this delusion that is pervasive in our culture, that we are somehow the apex. Things are always changing. We are changing. Nothing is static. Everything we do has an impact. It is preposterous to suggest that our actions have no consequences, whether they be good or bad.



    I agree, but that will not look anything like the current paradigm. The industrial era has been but a millesecond of human history, and it has held the greatest costs to us as a species. We cannot sustain it without major advancements and overhauls. We need to change the very way we think, and that is not something that ever happens overnight. I think at this point, progress would be returning to local, sustainable economy, but with the knowledge of nature, technology, and medicine that we have achieved through the destructive eras that preceded.



    I disagree. Advances are meaningless if people behave the same, otherwise we are not using those advances to further understand our own nature or place in the universe. Advances without spiritual questions pertaining to the material essence of what and who we are as a people are completely meaningless and only bring momentary gratification. We live in an era of momentary impulse. Our landfills attest to that. Stuff bought and stuff tossed for new stuff. We are practically swimming in disease because of our own polluted filth, and the root of that problem has never, ever been a lack of technology to solve it. The problems are intrinsically within us... the nature of our desires, our refusal to look inward, and our incessant child-like need to look to the outside world as a means to rearrange our internal issues. Our entire era... this entire paradigm of thinking... is rooted in THAT, and nothing else.



    I don't think it's so cut and dry. Scientists make discoveries, even deadly ones, while absolving themselves of responsibility for how the discoveries are used, since they are only "seeking knowledge". Politicians of this era are increasingly corrupt because we live in degenerate times; but even though our historical focus has apparently been human violence as a legacy, there are plenty of civilizations in the past that had tempered, wise leaders who knew how to hold balance. They were destroyed by other societies who lacked this knowledge of sacred balance, but that doesn't mean they were failures. On the contrary, it proves that humans are capable of overcoming their animal half.

    Hmm...

    Orion, I don't think there is enough bandwidth on DP to address all of the myriad ways in which you and I view the world from diametrically opposite mindsets.

    I will say this: yes, I live in America. That doesn't mean I've never been elsewhere and seen how others live in other countries. Shouldn't assume, old chap.


    Now, I'm intrested in these societies you posit, where anger, fear and greed are kept tightly leashed, where people live in harmony and balance with nature, and "do it right". Could you name a few of them and describe their mode of living?

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    Re: Prospect of life in deep space as Nasa probe finds hundreds of new planets

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    Now, I'm intrested in these societies you posit, where anger, fear and greed are kept tightly leashed, where people live in harmony and balance with nature, and "do it right". Could you name a few of them and describe their mode of living?


    These people live as you describe.
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    Re: Prospect of life in deep space as Nasa probe finds hundreds of new planets

    As long as everyone is aware that space belongs to the U.S. It's already our moon.

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