80%

Standard memberRBHILL
Science 28 Nov '11 17:04
  1. Standard memberRBHILL
    Acts 13:48
    California
    Joined
    21 May '03
    Moves
    223260
    28 Nov '11 17:04
    80% of the Universe has been looked at so far, so chances are the other 20% has no life.
  2. SubscriberProper Knob
    Cornovii
    North of the Tamar
    Joined
    02 Feb '07
    Moves
    51560
    28 Nov '11 18:16
    Originally posted by RBHILL
    80% of the Universe has been looked at so far, so chances are the other 20% has no life.
    Says who?
  3. Joined
    08 Oct '06
    Moves
    24000
    28 Nov '11 18:41
    They see me trollin', they hatin'...
  4. Germany
    Joined
    27 Oct '08
    Moves
    3085
    28 Nov '11 19:07
    Originally posted by RBHILL
    80% of the Universe has been looked at so far, so chances are the other 20% has no life.
    Umm, nope. We cannot possibly see most of the universe, let alone determine whether or not there is any life there.
  5. Cape Town
    Joined
    14 Apr '05
    Moves
    52945
    28 Nov '11 20:03
    Originally posted by RBHILL
    80% of the Universe has been looked at so far, so chances are the other 20% has no life.
    We haven't even ruled out life on the various planets and moons in our own solar system. As for planets and moons around other stars, we have not yet imaged a single one clearly enough to even rule out a thriving civilization.
  6. Subscriberjoe shmo
    Strange Egg
    podunk, PA
    Joined
    10 Dec '06
    Moves
    7733
    28 Nov '11 23:50
    Originally posted by RBHILL
    80% of the Universe has been looked at so far, so chances are the other 20% has no life.
    What are you afraid of?
  7. Standard memberWoodPush
    Pusher of wood
    Los Gatos, CA
    Joined
    03 Mar '11
    Moves
    5710
    29 Nov '11 20:492 edits
    Originally posted by joe shmo
    What are you afraid of?
    Why do you think fear is involved? Are you afraid of being alone in the universe?

    Granted, the O.P.'s question is phrased in an awkward manner. Perhaps he's trying to pose Fermi's paradox.

    I must say, it does seem a little odd to me that if intelligent alien life exists, we haven't detected it yet. I think it's important that people keep in mind that the theory that intelligent life exists is only a theory -- and one without a shred of evidence.

    Nothing wrong with a little healthy skepticism, is there?
  8. Joined
    31 May '06
    Moves
    1795
    29 Nov '11 21:572 edits
    Originally posted by WoodPush
    Why do you think fear is involved? Are you afraid of being alone in the universe?

    Granted, the O.P.'s question is phrased in an awkward manner. Perhaps he's trying to pose Fermi's paradox.

    I must say, it does seem a little odd to me that if intelligent alien life exists, we haven't detected it yet.
    I think it's important that people keep in mind t ...[text shortened]... thout a shred of evidence.

    Nothing wrong with a little healthy skepticism, is there?
    There is an important distinction to be drawn between life in the universe, and in our galaxy.

    The chances of us being the only intelligent life in the universe are effectively zero.
    The universe is just so vast, and the number of possible places for life to form and evolve so
    huge, that its effectively certain that alien life exists elsewhere.


    However our galaxy, while still vast, is immensely smaller than the universe as a whole and while
    still unlikely, it's conceivable we are the only currently present intelligent life in the galaxy.


    However we haven't searched 80% of our galaxy (or our own solar system even), let alone the
    universe.

    If the OP wants to discuss Fermi's paradox, or if you or anyone else does, then say so.
    I for one would be more than happy to discuss it.

    There is no need to post a cryptic, half formed, controversial statement to start an interesting debate.

    EDIT: Also some might be taking the OP's known opinions and theology into account when responding.
  9. Joined
    08 Oct '06
    Moves
    24000
    29 Nov '11 22:15
    Originally posted by googlefudge
    EDIT: Also some might be taking the OP's known opinions and theology into account when responding.
    Bazinga!
  10. Joined
    31 May '06
    Moves
    1795
    29 Nov '11 22:24
    Originally posted by amolv06
    Bazinga!
    Thinks of trying to catch Sheldon in the ball pit.....


    Happiness.....
  11. Standard memberwolfgang59
    invigorated
    Dunedin
    Joined
    09 Jun '07
    Moves
    45641
    30 Nov '11 00:57
    Originally posted by WoodPush
    Why do you think fear is involved? Are you afraid of being alone in the universe?

    Granted, the O.P.'s question is phrased in an awkward manner. Perhaps he's trying to pose Fermi's paradox.

    I must say, it does seem a little odd to me that if intelligent alien life exists, we haven't detected it yet. I think it's important that people keep in mind tha ...[text shortened]... thout a shred of evidence.

    Nothing wrong with a little healthy skepticism, is there?
    Given the vast distances, the limit of light speed and the length of time it takes for intelligent life to develop I would think it VERY ODD if intelligent alien life were detected!
  12. Joined
    31 May '06
    Moves
    1795
    30 Nov '11 01:36
    Originally posted by wolfgang59
    Given the vast distances, the limit of light speed and the length of time it takes for intelligent life to develop I would think it VERY ODD if intelligent alien life were detected!
    Hmmm, less relevant perhaps than the length of time for intelligent life to develop is how long it lasts.

    Solar systems like ours are thought to have formed billions of years before ours and so if they took a
    similar length of time to develop intelligent life (and it's entirely possible that it could take less time,
    we have no reference as to how long we took vs the average) then that life could potentially have
    had billions of years to colonise the galaxy, which is plenty to colonise the entire thing even with sub
    light speed travel times.

    Given that aliens don't appear to be here it's probably safe to assume that intelligent life has a lifespan
    of detectability. The question is how long that lifespan is.
  13. Cape Town
    Joined
    14 Apr '05
    Moves
    52945
    30 Nov '11 05:24
    Originally posted by WoodPush
    I must say, it does seem a little odd to me that if intelligent alien life exists, we haven't detected it yet.
    I assume, you mean intelligent alien life that has got to the technological stage of transmitting radio waves? Remember that man has been as intelligent as he is now for about 50,000 years, and only in the last 200 years or so has he been transmitting anything that would be detectable.
    But even our civilizations current transmissions are not that easy to detect.

    Can anyone here give an estimate of what percentage of our galaxy we have searched for basic terrestrial radio signals?
    My first guess would be that we haven't yet ruled out the nearest star.
  14. Joined
    31 May '06
    Moves
    1795
    30 Nov '11 12:26
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    I assume, you mean intelligent alien life that has got to the technological stage of transmitting radio waves?
    Remember that man has been as intelligent as he is now for about 50,000 years, and only in the last 200 years
    or so has he been transmitting anything that would be detectable.
    But even our civilizations current transmissions are not that eas ...[text shortened]... trial radio
    signals?
    My first guess would be that we haven't yet ruled out the nearest star.
    Well the place to go to find that out would be SETI.

    I don't know over what kind of range they could detect the alien equivalent of tv signals,
    but I am pretty sure they have ruled out our nearest neighbours.

    However they are mainly looking for signals actually intended to be detected by us, and
    for most of their history they have been technologically limited to searching a narrow frequency
    band and thus have had to guess what frequency the aliens would pick to broadcast on
    and hope.

    Now they are gaining the ability to scan more frequencies and can broaden their search,
    but even if aliens were broadcasting to the galaxy in an attempt to make contact it's not certain
    that they would do it via radio waves.

    If it is possible to transmit (or travel) information at FTL speeds then they would almost certainly
    be using that. Even if that's not possible, they may prefer the higher data rates of different frequencies.
    And it's entirely possible that they don't broadcast the the galaxy at all for fear of relativity bombs.

    Assuming the OP wasn't completely pulling figures out of his posterior, it's possible that 80% of the sky
    has been searched for signals, but only with limited sensitivity, on a limited frequency range, and thus
    far from conclusive.
  15. Joined
    18 Jan '07
    Moves
    6873
    01 Dec '11 12:07
    Originally posted by googlefudge
    The chances of us being the only intelligent life in the universe are effectively zero.
    The universe is just so vast, and the number of possible places for life to form and evolve so huge, that its effectively certain that alien life exists elsewhere.
    I would dispute this. Exactly because the universe is so vast, and we've seen so little of it, and only a single planet up close - and that planet seems to be exceptional - that the chance of us being alone in the universe are neither zero, nor one, nor anything in between, but completely unknowable.

    We have no serious way of estimating the odds of life existing elsewhere in the universe. No experiment we have done on Earth has a real meaning for the rest of the universe, if only because Earth is unique in one fundamental way: we already know it has life on it. No formula we can devise has any meaning until we go out there and gather some real data.
    All we've done to date is have a peek at some tiny portion of close-by stars through squinted eyes. The results are highly interesting, but as far as a prediction worth printing is concerned, they're like saying all oceans are always near freezing after dipping your toes in off Newfoundland.
    The Drake "equation" is particularly ridiculous. It purports - if not originally, then certainly as it is currently used by "cosmobiologists", the most laughable and Readers Digest-like of cryptobiologists - to give a scientific estimate of the number of civilisations out there, but only at the first two factors can we currently have reasonable guesses - and those are constantly changing as science progresses! The rest of the factors, well, they range from nothing better than semi-scientific speculation to complete wild-arsed thumb-in-wind work.

    We might as well say that the chances of intelligent life outside Earth are zero - we have never seen any other civilisation except for ourselves - as one - we have only ever seen one planet up close, and that is teeming with the buggers. But if we don't want to prove that there is preciously little intelligence on Earth as well, what we ought to say is that, frankly, we haven't the foggiest.

    Richard
Back to Top