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JLCwrites
04-20-2010, 07:04 PM
I recently watched an interesting segment on Sunday Morning (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/04/18/sunday/main6408050.shtml?tag=contentBody;featuredPost-PE) about our continued efforts to find life on other planets. It discusses the use of ARRAY radio telescopes and the Kepler mission as ways of obtaining evidence of life, or visuals of planets that could possibly support life. However it doesn't discuss the effects time has on any evidence gathered. I can only assume the images we receive from the Kepler mission and (Even slower than light) sounds received by the radio telescope left that planet several thousand or million years ago. (Is that correct?) So, even if we did see or hear something, wouldn't it be possible for that 'thing' to no longer exist in our current time?

Just curious..

Leukman
04-20-2010, 07:08 PM
You're leaving out the possibility of 'sub-space' communications/noise and worm-hole travel that could produce something for the array to pick up with less time distortion.

Not to mention warp capabilities.

Or Tribbles (http://www.trekp.com/posters/gw057-tribbles.jpg).

JLCwrites
04-20-2010, 07:44 PM
From what I understand, Tribbles have a flavor very similar to monkey meat. ;)


*Grabs some cashews*



(Prepares for mod to teleport this into the main SF/F section)

Leukman
04-20-2010, 07:51 PM
You know someone who's actually eaten both Tribbles and Monkey? :Wha:

Needless to say, I'm impressed.

And curious.

Was any kind of gravy involved?

Cause most anything is edible with a good gravy.

Just sayin'.

:D

Lhun
04-21-2010, 03:32 AM
I recently watched an interesting segment on Sunday Morning (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/04/18/sunday/main6408050.shtml?tag=contentBody;featuredPost-PE) about our continued efforts to find life on other planets. It discusses the use of ARRAY radio telescopes and the Kepler mission as ways of obtaining evidence of life, or visuals of planets that could possibly support life. However it doesn't discuss the effects time has on any evidence gathered. I can only assume the images we receive from the Kepler mission and (Even slower than light) sounds received by the radio telescope left that planet several thousand or million years ago. (Is that correct?) So, even if we did see or hear something, wouldn't it be possible for that 'thing' to no longer exist in our current time?Pretty much correct on all counts, except that radio signals don't take any longer than light. Radio waves are just a different frequency than visible light.

JLCwrites
04-21-2010, 08:24 AM
Pretty much correct on all counts, except that radio signals don't take any longer than light. Radio waves are just a different frequency than visible light.

That's what I thought. Thanks for verifying. I'm surprised it wasn't mentioned. A species could change a lot in a million years. Oh, and thanks for the radio info.

small axe
04-22-2010, 01:34 AM
Experts here can possibly correct me, but I'm thinking they're not talking about radio communications from a million light years away (?) ... One of the great tropes of SF was the idea that civilizations could listen in on each others' TV shows across a thousand lightyears; recently though a TV show (LIFE AFTER MAN, I think?) stated that our TV signals become confused gibberish even before they reach the nearest star!

It may reveal that it was once artificially arranged signals, but the content cannot be put back into intelligible programming or I LOVE LUCY.

You've got a valid point about things changing while the message reaches us. I recall a great classic SF story where two scientists, cut off and alone in Antarctica during some future on-going Cuban Missile Crisis, discover and discipher an alien broadcast ... which begins by showing the Universe the glory of this alien civilization ... but ends as a plea for someone to help them, after they've obliterated themselves in nuclear holocaust. (And the vibe of the story is, the two Antarctic scientists are wondering if there will be a human civilization for THEM to return to)

But the NASA devices hope to show us planets where Life is possible, or reveal tell-tale signs where Life has altered the environment for us to detect it ... and within a few dozen lightyears.

Though, as you say ... we send a signal tonight and we could all be dead by tomorrow.

Somewhere there's a reality TV show following an al-Qaeda sleeper cell around as they build their doomsday bomb.

"The TV ratings were thru the roof ... and then we died."

JLCwrites
04-22-2010, 03:18 AM
Experts here can possibly correct me, but I'm thinking they're not talking about radio communications from a million light years away (?) ... One of the great tropes of SF was the idea that civilizations could listen in on each others' TV shows across a thousand lightyears; recently though a TV show (LIFE AFTER MAN, I think?) stated that our TV signals become confused gibberish even before they reach the nearest star!

It may reveal that it was once artificially arranged signals, but the content cannot be put back into intelligible programming or I LOVE LUCY.

You've got a valid point about things changing while the message reaches us. I recall a great classic SF story where two scientists, cut off and alone in Antarctica during some future on-going Cuban Missile Crisis, discover and discipher an alien broadcast ... which begins by showing the Universe the glory of this alien civilization ... but ends as a plea for someone to help them, after they've obliterated themselves in nuclear holocaust. (And the vibe of the story is, the two Antarctic scientists are wondering if there will be a human civilization for THEM to return to)

But the NASA devices hope to show us planets where Life is possible, or reveal tell-tale signs where Life has altered the environment for us to detect it ... and within a few dozen lightyears.

Though, as you say ... we send a signal tonight and we could all be dead by tomorrow.

Somewhere there's a reality TV show following an al-Qaeda sleeper cell around as they build their doomsday bomb.

"The TV ratings were thru the roof ... and then we died."

Can you imagine the ratings for a show like that? Of course, they wouldn't last long.

You bring up some great points, and I am not aware of how far out they are sending the signals. Its true that they are looking for planets that have the potential for life. I suppose, if anything, it may help to keep us from feeling too alone.

Thanks for your input!

blacbird
04-23-2010, 02:14 AM
That's what I thought. Thanks for verifying. I'm surprised it wasn't mentioned. A species could change a lot in a million years. Oh, and thanks for the radio info.

We're not going to detect signals from a million light-years away. That would be far outside our own galaxy, which is only 100,000 or so light-years in diameter. Signals from stars within a few hundred light-years of us would be pretty interesting, even if not contemporaneous. That distance encompasses a large number of stars.

caw

Mark_Young
04-23-2010, 11:26 AM
I support scientific exploration.

But not a search for life on other planets. I'm with the group of people who believe the only thing we'll find, if anything at all, is going to be very, very small or "basic", like microscopic or nothing at all. Even when you start getting creative, like making the term "life" relative, say for a computer-robot type of beings or non-carbon based life forms, I just don't believe it.


So yeah, if the aliens come, I'd be the first guy to die in the horror movie because I was one of the doubters.

TMA-1
04-23-2010, 12:21 PM
Search for life is both valid and important, in my opinion. That multicellular life would be here and nowhere else is highly unlikely. We have just begun investigating the worlds in our own solar system that might harbour life, worlds such as Mars, Europa, Enceladus and others. Then there's the rest of the galaxy.

Mark_Young
04-23-2010, 01:40 PM
Search for life is both valid and important, in my opinion. That multicellular life would be here and nowhere else is highly unlikely.

You're joking, right?

If the rotation of the earth were 2 degrees closer to the sun, it would be too hot to support life and everything would burn up. 2 degrees away, and the earth would be too much of a frozen wasteland to support life.


A single-celled organism has more moving parts, gears, rotors, chemical reactions, information processing, generally a more complex set of blueprints than the most advanced space shuttle ever developed.

The chances of finding a multicellular life form in space is the same chance as finding an entire functioning space port complete with at least dozens upon dozens of space shuttles moving materials around and overly complex factories equaling an entire industry in space. Your whole genetic code has more information in it than the Internet.


If you take the largest, fastest producing factory in the world, multiplied it one hundred fold to contain one hundred different industries working together, the blueprints that make up that system would fall far, very far short to the blueprints of a finger-sized group of algae.


Life is an absolute miracle that we can hardly begin to understand even with modern science. I promise you, unless the Designer of those blueprints bothered to make something else alive in this universe, we're not finding anything. But because life on earth is actually here and now, I wouldn't be completely surprised if there were something else out there.


But that doesn't stop me from writing sci-fi or playing games with aliens in it.

Lhun
04-23-2010, 10:35 PM
If the rotation of the earth were 2 degrees closer to the sun, it would be too hot to support life and everything would burn up. 2 degrees away, and the earth would be too much of a frozen wasteland to support life.That's a claim that's been around for a while, usually made by intelligent design proponents, or other people who don't understand the anthropic principle.
And it's complete hogwash. You could alter the distance to the sun by at least 30% in either direction, and still have liquid water on earth. And that doesn't even take into account yet that different atmospheric composition can alter the temperature. (Besides, "the rotation being 2 degrees closer" doesn't make any sense at all)

The chances of finding a multicellular life form in space is the same chance as finding an entire functioning space port complete with at least dozens upon dozens of space shuttles moving materials around and overly complex factories equaling an entire industry in space. Your whole genetic code has more information in it than the Internet.Another often repeated falsehood. While genes would be an exotic method to store information (using a rather unintuitive base 4 system instead of base 2), the human genome contains roughly 3 billion base pairs, which is the equivalent of a bit more than 700 MB. Yes, all the information in your genetic code fits rather snugly on a single overburned CD.
None of which matters for whether or not one can find other life out there. As life is a self-evolving system, once the conditions necessary to start that system are met, the rest just happens. While we have some idea what those starting conditions are, we do not have a very precise idea of that yet. But we do enough to be able to say that the starting conditions for (carbon based) life aren't extremely complicated. Rare, yes, but not so rare compared to the sheer number of stars available.

Mark_Young
04-23-2010, 10:55 PM
That's a claim that's been around for a while, usually made by intelligent design proponents, or other people who don't understand the anthropic principle.
And it's complete hogwash. You could alter the distance to the sun by at least 30% in either direction, and still have liquid water on earth. And that doesn't even take into account yet that different atmospheric composition can alter the temperature. (Besides, "the rotation being 2 degrees closer" doesn't make any sense at all)
Another often repeated falsehood. While genes would be an exotic method to store information (using a rather unintuitive base 4 system instead of base 2), the human genome contains roughly 3 billion base pairs, which is the equivalent of a bit more than 700 MB. Yes, all the information in your genetic code fits rather snugly on a single overburned CD.
None of which matters for whether or not one can find other life out there. As life is a self-evolving system, once the conditions necessary to start that system are met, the rest just happens. While we have some idea what those starting conditions are, we do not have a very precise idea of that yet. But we do enough to be able to say that the starting conditions for (carbon based) life aren't extremely complicated. Rare, yes, but not so rare compared to the sheer number of stars available.


You haven't studied studied astronomy, biology, nor genetics.

If genetics are really that simple, then why does it take geneticists decades to find a flaw in the genes for genetic-related diseases, and even longer to come up with solutions?

Evolution is based upon a theory and is nothing but a theory. It's not even science. Science is observation and the application of that observation. Not philosophy. Evolution has neither been tested, produced in a lab, observed, nor has it ever been recorded. You can't determine how old the earth is unless you had someone record that. There is no proof.

It's the theory that smaller organisms are simple and very basic. And as they adapted to their surroundings, they randomly became more complex. Even Darwin who make-believed the theory said that if microorganisms were found to be complex his whole theory would be shattered. And he's right.


Let's step it up a notch. Your brain and your nervous system. Find me a computer that compares to your brain and reacts as complex as your nervous system. You can't.



What are the odds of a bow and arrow, one of the simplest weapons and tools used for thousands of years, to be created out of a junkyard and a tornado? Answer that question. What are the odds?

It sounds ridiculous to you because Mankind is the highest life form in existence and man likes that. It's pride. He can look at the bow and arrow and say, "Look at what I have created! Look at what I have designed!"


But it when it comes to something man does not understand and something that man cannot reproduce, he refuses to believe that there is any other higher being. He likes thinking that he's on top, regardless of proof. If biology is as simple as it is, why can't we reproduce it from scratch? Scientists are yet to make even algae. If they did, it would be all over the news. They can't because algae is way too complex.

Geneticists are still learning. If genes were so easy to understand, then why do we have a field of science apart from biology to study it, with people still not able to understand it? Their field is as deep and mysterious as the astronomer's. No, you can't fit your genetic code into a CD. It hasn't been done before and never will be done.


When an engineer studies biology, he is amazed at how similar and more complex a single-celled organism is to all the mechanical figures he's studied. When a computer programmer studies genetics, he too is amazed at the programming infinitely more puzzling than anything he ever worked on.




Instinct is programming. The nerves in your body are sensors, and the nervous system they are attached to are cords to a machine. Your brain is a super computer that has no mechanical equal. Now you look at the computer in front of you and tell me that nobody designed it. Nobody planned out it's blueprints, and nobody layered the screen and nobody put the mother board together and nobody thought about a heat sync or coolant fan to keep it from overheating. Ridiculous right?


Yet you can look at the blueprints of your own body, which is over a hundred times more complex than that computer you're using, and tell me that nobody designed it, either.


I'm not using the Bible or religion here. I'm using your own game at this: reason and science to prove there is a Creator. And if you don't like it then you don't like reason and science. Evolution is as much a fantasy belief system as any other religion because there is no proof.

small axe
04-24-2010, 02:13 AM
As life is a self-evolving system, once the conditions necessary to start that system are met, the rest just happens.

Well ... are you suggesting that the origin of Life is as certain to occur as any other chemical reaction or physical reaction, or ... okay, let's not overstate the case or it becomes dogma and faith.

LIFE isn't a Law of Nature, right? Gravity attracts. Hydrogen atoms in the proper circumstances will and do fuse and release energy.

"The proper chemical circumstances to form Life ..." (my phrase, not yours) might exist on a world for billions of years and still not produce Life, right?

Or are you saying Life beginning under such circumstances is INEVITABLE.

Yes, there are billions upon billions of stars, and worlds around stars, and some worlds are hell for Life and others sit there like patient Life-forming edens ... but LIFE may not be like flipping a coin, heads is Life and tails isn't ... and eventually heads comes up.

If all we're talking about is ODDS (of all the possible worlds, some must have Life) ... Life forming may be as amazingly rare as flipping a coin, and the coin lands on its edge and stays there. :D

Faith is faith. Faith in statistics and chemistry are tricky bets, imo.

We know of only one world where life exists or ever existed.
All else is HOPE, and Hope stated as Fact is ... FAITH or sumthin' equally less sciencey.

Definitely let's all LOOK to the stars and hope to find LIFE.

But y'know ... if all we're doing is LOOKING ... the alien life we find may prove random, mindless chemistry starts Life ... but it can just as easily prove GOD creates Life. ;)

If we don't know what we'll find ... We don't know what we'll FIND!

(I don't mean to debate God in a Science Fact thread, beyond suggesting that we really cannot be ruling out the origins of ALIEN LIFE. I'm trying to keep EVERYTHING in the realm of science and SETI.

We scientifically shouldn't be blindfolding our search for alien Life out the starting gate by demanding that ALIEN Life conform to our earthly expectations of life, whether chemical or spiritual/non-physical. What if there ARE "energy creatures" living on alien worlds? Spirit creatures --whatever those are -- if they're THERE then our Science would have to just expand its definitions and expectations ... which Science wouldn't worry about doing -- though some materialist folks MIGHT.

But oh please yes, let's LOOK!

Lhun
04-24-2010, 10:36 AM
You haven't studied studied astronomy, biology, nor genetics.And you would be able to know this about me how?
If genetics are really that simple, then why does it take geneticists decades to find a flaw in the genes for genetic-related diseases, and even longer to come up with solutions?It appears you don't quite grasp the perspective here. Not everything created by humans is "so simple". Just because the data in the human genome is minuscule compared to that on the internet doesn't mean it's simple. How about i send you that CD full of data, only that i put a few thousand books on it and you try to find typos.

Evolution is based upon a theory and is nothing but a theory.Hogwash. I'm sorry to say, but this demonstration that you don't even understand the very basic meaning of the word theory does not encourage trust in anything else you might say.

It's not even science. Science is observation and the application of that observation. Not philosophy. Evolution has neither been tested, produced in a lab, observed, nor has it ever been recorded.Your ignorance of the evidence is not lack of evidence. If you are actually interested in reading up on it i suggest the following link as a start: http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/index.html This is not the thread for an argument however. If you want to talk about it, i suggest opening a new one. You might want to ask a moderator whether it fits into science fact or religious discussion though.

You can't determine how old the earth is unless you had someone record that. There is no proof.Now, i'm sorry to say but this is pure bullshit. Ad nauseam repeats by creationists don't actually help. The Theory of Evolution has nothing to do with the age of the earth. That would be geology. The theory of evolution describes the change in the allele frequency in a population of imperfect replicators over time. Nothing else.

It's the theory that smaller organisms are simple and very basic. And as they adapted to their surroundings, they randomly became more complex.That would be the great chain of being. A model for classifying life which was ultimately started by the ancient greeks and actually replaced by modern taxonomy. While the ToE has helped taxonomy, genetics were vastly more useful.
Even Darwin who make-believed the theory said that if microorganisms were found to be complex his whole theory would be shattered. And he's right.Really? Care to point out where Darwin said that? I suggest reading up on what any scientific theory actually states, before trying to criticise it.

Let's step it up a notch. Your brain and your nervous system. Find me a computer that compares to your brain and reacts as complex as your nervous system. You can't.If you can give me a quantifiable definition of "complex" we can talk about that. Of course, you'll also have to explain why a higher complexity score in your metric is significant. But i'm guessing that whatever your metric will be, it'll be easy to find examples of higher complexity than the human brain.

What are the odds of a bow and arrow, one of the simplest weapons and tools used for thousands of years, to be created out of a junkyard and a tornado? Answer that question. What are the odds?42.
You keep using those words. I do not think they mean what you think they mean.

It sounds ridiculous to you because Mankind is the highest life form in existence and man likes that. It's pride. He can look at the bow and arrow and say, "Look at what I have created! Look at what I have designed!"That, again, would be the great chain of being, positing humanity at the top. The logical conclusion of Modern Evolutionary Synthesis (which is the actual name for the current Theory of Evolution. Darwin has been outdate for quite a while) is that every currently living lifeform is equally high evolved since all stem from a single ancestor. Humans would only be the most evolved if you define "most evolved" in terms of intelligence, or technological capability, or many other possible, yet nonsensical statistics.
But it when it comes to something man does not understand and something that man cannot reproduce, he refuses to believe that there is any other higher being. He likes thinking that he's on top, regardless of proof. If biology is as simple as it is, why can't we reproduce it from scratch? Scientists are yet to make even algae. If they did, it would be all over the news. They can't because algae is way too complex.Oh my, where to start. Let's begin with the notion that algae are simple because they're small and green. That's again the great chain of being. In other words: outdated and wrong.
Replicating the origin of life is something that has been tried a few times, and experiments have shown that it is basically possible. There is however no reason to actually try and go all the way, besides basic curiosity. So there's not a lot of money going into that, and very few people trying to do it.

Geneticists are still learning. If genes were so easy to understand, then why do we have a field of science apart from biology to study it, with people still not able to understand it? Their field is as deep and mysterious as the astronomer's. No, you can't fit your genetic code into a CD. It hasn't been done before and never will be done.The human genome has about 3 billion base pairs. Because of the nature of DNA, every base pair are effectively 2 bits, since there are 4 possible bases. A 700MB CD can contain about 6 billion bits so a 800MB CD is more than big enough to contain a copy of complete human genome. I'm quite willing to bet it has been done before, if only because the people who work in biology labs are exactly the kind of geeks that would copy a human genome and CD just to be able to pin it on the wall, or possibly frame it.

When an engineer studies biology, he is amazed at how similar and more complex a single-celled organism is to all the mechanical figures he's studied. When a computer programmer studies genetics, he too is amazed at the programming infinitely more puzzling than anything he ever worked on.Engineers aren't scientists. Just like any other profession, engineers see what they're trained to see. An engineer sees design everywhere he looks, a priest sees the hand of god everywhere he looks and a psychiatrists sees disorders everywhere he looks. Programmers looking at any genome don't see puzzling programming, they see a horrible mess of buggy code, that just barely works.
Instinct is programming. The nerves in your body are sensors, and the nervous system they are attached to are cords to a machine. Your brain is a super computer that has no mechanical equal. Now you look at the computer in front of you and tell me that nobody designed it. Nobody planned out it's blueprints, and nobody layered the screen and nobody put the mother board together and nobody thought about a heat sync or coolant fan to keep it from overheating. Ridiculous right?I'm afraid this whole argument rest on the idea that the human brain is more complex than a computer and therefore needs to be designed. Which is something you just assert without proof or even reasoning. Which means your whole argument unfortunately fails. Start again, by first proving that the human brain is a supercomputer that has no mechanical equal, and that designed computers being worse proves that the human brain was also designed. If anything, your argument would convince of the opposite. If no designed system is as good as the human brain, why would i assume it is designed as well?
Yet you can look at the blueprints of your own body, which is over a hundred times more complex than that computer you're using, and tell me that nobody designed it, either.Wow, over a hundred times more complex? Pray tell, how did you come with that number? Just pulled it out of ... something, or do you actually have some metric to assign a number to complexity? I'd just love to hear about that.

I'm not using the Bible or religion here. I'm using your own game at this: reason and science to prove there is a Creator. And if you don't like it then you don't like reason and science. Evolution is as much a fantasy belief system as any other religion because there is no proof.You're right for once, you are using reason and science. Or at least you're trying to. It is to bad you're using faulty reasoning and bad science. Even science and reason, especially science and reason follows the "Garbage in, Garbage out" principle. But you're going in the right direction, i suggest you correct the facts you got wrong, avoid the fallacies, and try again. You'll get much better results if you use correct reasoning and actual facts, instead of logical fallacies and baseless claims. Though i again suggest a new thread for that.
And please don't try the Gish Gallop gain. It doesn't work in a written medium and just looks silly.

Lhun
04-24-2010, 10:37 AM
Well ... are you suggesting that the origin of Life is as certain to occur as any other chemical reaction or physical reaction, or ... okay, let's not overstate the case or it becomes dogma and faith.What exactly are you asking? Whether the starting conditions for life are certain? Obviously not, life is not everywhere.
Whether life is certain when the starting conditions are met? Yes, that's exactly what i meant.
Whether there is something more about life, besides the right starting conditions? No, there isn't. While life isn't exactly "just another chemical reaction", vitalism has been shown to be wrong long ago.

LIFE isn't a Law of Nature, right? Gravity attracts. Hydrogen atoms in the proper circumstances will and do fuse and release energy.A law of nature is a more or less simple relationship which can be mathematically described, and predicted. Such a thing life is not.

"The proper chemical circumstances to form Life ..." (my phrase, not yours) might exist on a world for billions of years and still not produce Life, right?Extremely unlikely. If the starting conditions are right, it's going to happen sooner or later. Probably sooner. There's nothing special that is required to happen, in the beginning it's just a few chemical reactions, and it gets gradually more complex. There is no huge disconnect in the process.

Or are you saying Life beginning under such circumstances is INEVITABLE.Inevitable is just a matter of statistic. What chance would you call inevitable? 99%? 99.9%? Given an infinite amount of time, it is inevitable. Given less, it is less likely.

If all we're talking about is ODDS (of all the possible worlds, some must have Life) ... Life forming may be as amazingly rare as flipping a coin, and the coin lands on its edge and stays there. :DNo, it doesn't work like that. The rarest occurrence in the whole "process" is for a planet to develop the right starting conditions. From there on, it's quite straightforward.

Faith is faith. Faith in statistics and chemistry are tricky bets, imo.No, faith is not faith, and chemistry and statistics involve no faith at all. But if you want to argue about that you better start a different thread in the proper forum, i'm quite sure this one would get closed.

We know of only one world where life exists or ever existed.
All else is HOPE, and Hope stated as Fact is ... FAITH or sumthin' equally less sciencey.Look up the anthropic principle. When you understand it, you'll now why this is a fallacy.

small axe
04-24-2010, 11:32 AM
Whether life is certain when the starting conditions are met? Yes, that's exactly what i meant.


That's what I feared. :) Right there, we have a fundamental disagreement over what you can claim is 'certain' or not.

Because when you say:


Extremely unlikely. If the starting conditions are right, it's going to happen sooner or later. Probably sooner. There's nothing special that is required to happen, in the beginning it's just a few chemical reactions, and it gets gradually more complex. There is no huge disconnect in the process.


You can only be basing that claim on ONE CASE (our own planet's).

Once isn't a pattern,
once doesn't lend itself to scientific prediction,
once hasn't proven itself by scientific "repeatability" ...

ONCE shows Life is possible ... but doesn't show it's not a one time freak accident. :)

Heck, comrade, it doesn't even show Life isn't a Divine miracle. (even if planet Earth's Life doesn't have a clear Divine Creator's signature written upon it ... you cannot claim alien life doesn't!)

And that is a statement of SCIENCE I just made (what you can demonstrate here or not), not of Religion; so there's no reason to "take it elsewhere" imo.

I think you're claiming something too close to: If it happened once, it has to happen every time.

I disagree.

When I write:
'If all we're talking about is ODDS (of all the possible worlds, some must have Life) ... Life forming may be as amazingly rare as flipping a coin, and the coin lands on its edge and stays there. :D '

and you reply:

No, it doesn't work like that. The rarest occurrence in the whole "process" is for a planet to develop the right starting conditions. From there on, it's quite straightforward.


You cannot be basing those claims on anything very sound, because you certainly cannot tell us that you know how life 'works' on alien worlds.

You don't know any examples of alien life, and you don't know any examples of alien worlds where alien life exists. Do you?

You write:


When you understand it, you'll now why this is a fallacy.

But I think you're the one who's over-reached here in your statements.

Neither of us knows the answer to alien life.

But I've been more careful (imo) not to back myself into a corner by NOT presuming to know what neither of us can know.

Lhun
04-24-2010, 12:48 PM
That's what I feared. :) Right there, we have a fundamental disagreement over what you can claim is 'certain' or not.
Because when you say:
You can only be basing that claim on ONE CASE (our own planet's).

Once isn't a pattern,
once doesn't lend itself to scientific prediction,
once hasn't proven itself by scientific "repeatability" ...
ONCE shows Life is possible ... but doesn't show it's not a one time freak accident. :)You would be right if we wouldn't understand anything at all about the world and all our knowledge would consist of individual inductive arguments. Suffice it to say that is not the case. Pretending it to be the case is something that quite many people do when trying to critique science, it is however intellectually dishonest. This is not to say there is intentional deception in play, it is mostly unintentional dishonesty because they don't see they're applying special pleading.
Anyway, our understanding of the process that leads to life is based on our understanding of a great many parts of nature, just as, for example, our understanding of gravity. The same as noone would claim that our knowledge of gravity is based on only a single example, and that gravity might work different in different star systems, noone can honestly claim that our knowledge of chemistry and physics are not universal. Everyone assumes constancy all the time, you included, whenever you leave a building through the ground floor, because you assume that leaving from a window would result in an unpleasant fall. Singling out a specific example of the application of our knowledge about physics and chemistry, because it is ideologically uncomfortable, and demanding a higher standard of proof than anywhere else, is dishonest, even if done unconsciously.
The laws that govern chemistry are well known, and how life functions is well known. Here on earth, Virii actually provide a very good example of something that sits right at the border between an inert molecule and actual life. There are no large gaps in our knowledge about the formation of life that require filling with miracles. Science doesn't require eyewitnesses, in fact, eye witnesses are generally rejected by science because they're unreliable.
[qote]Heck, comrade, it doesn't even show Life isn't a Divine miracle. (even if planet Earth's Life doesn't have a clear Divine Creator's signature written upon it ... you cannot claim alien life doesn't!)[/quote]So what? You cannot disprove that there's a small teapot orbiting Neptun. Proving a negative is impossible by definition, and claims like these two, that rely on nobody being able to disprove them as their only evidence are meaningless, and more importantly, stupid. I can make up any number you want. You can't prove there's no pig that can fly, so you can't claim that pigs can't! Statements like these, that are impossible to falsify are either tautological (thus useless) or baseless (thus stupid).

I think you're claiming something too close to: If it happened once, it has to happen every time.No, that would also be inductive reasoning alone. I'm claiming that the principles behind the thing are universal, as we have good reason to believe and no reason not to believe, and thus it's going to happen again. I could be mistaken in that either the principles are not universal, which seem extremely unlikely, see assumption of constancy above, or i could mistaken in that we do not actually understand the principle behind the rise of life. I think we do however, and if you disagree on that point you'll have to point out exactly where our theory of abiogenesis is wrong in your opinion. Trying to attack metaphysical naturalism or constancy or traditional logic is self defeating anyway. Unless you're a post-modernist in which case there's no point in me talking to you. Which is not meant as a nasty comment, there's really just nothing to talk about in that case. Although post-modernism doesn't allow for any of this criticism in the first place.

When I write:
'If all we're talking about is ODDS (of all the possible worlds, some must have Life) ... Life forming may be as amazingly rare as flipping a coin, and the coin lands on its edge and stays there. :D '

and you reply:


You cannot be basing those claims on anything very sound, because you certainly cannot tell us that you know how life 'works' on alien worlds.Actually, you just bolstered the argument that life is out there. Because if life on alien worlds can work differently from the way it works here, that means that there's more than one way for life to work, which makes it even more likely to happen.

You don't know any examples of alien life, and you don't know any examples of alien worlds where alien life exists. Do you?The above aside, you're again thinking that modern science works like renaissance naturalism. The world isn't a magical place where you don't know anything about what lies around the next corner, because you haven't been there yet, and it might be totally different from the place you are now. Or at least so far, we have no reason whatsoever to think it might be, and many reason to think it's not.
Physics in alien worlds will work like physics in our world. Everything derives from physics. And the rest is, as they say, history.
But I've been more careful (imo) not to back myself into a corner by NOT presuming to know what neither of us can know.Personally, i prefer not to engage in magical thinking, because throughout history, it has always been wrong. (To put it with Tim Minchin: Throughout history, every mystery, turned out to be: not magic)
While we do not know whether there is alien life, we do know that it's possible, and we do know that it is extremely likely.
The much more interesting question is how likely exactly technological civilizations are, because that answers whether it is common, uncommon, a freak accident, or the rule that two technological civilizations are within each others light cone.

Mac H.
04-24-2010, 02:00 PM
You haven't studied studied astronomy, biology, nor genetics.

If genetics are really that simple, then why does it take geneticists decades to find a flaw in the genes for genetic-related diseases, and even longer to come up with solutions?Mark Young -

Please stop before you embarrass yourself any further.

It's OK that you don't understand science. It's OK that you don't understand genetics. But you have to be willing to learn.

For example, people have given you facts that you can look up yourself to see if what they claim is true.

For example, you were told the fact:

That the human genome contains roughly 3 billion base pairs, which would fit onto an overburned CD
That is very testable. That is the basis of science - testing a theory.

In this case you could just open an encyclopedia or ask a geneticist.

But instead, you are adamant that it can't be true because otherwise 'it would be too simple' !

Seriously - look up the facts. Look up the facts on SCIENCE websites rather than religious websites. (Since we are dealing with science here)

It is true. To be pedantic, it was about 3.3 Gigapairs which came out to 786 MBytes. (Since MB = 1024*1024, not 1000*1000)

An overburned CD can store up to 840 MBytes if you are really, really, really stubborn about it (and don't care that it isn't compatible with many players and you've overwritten the checksums!!).

Here's the entire DNA of a person as a printout:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/1/18/Wellcome_genome_bookcase.png/250px-Wellcome_genome_bookcase.png
OK - I'll fess up one disclaimer - that bookshelf is from a project back in 2001 and there was a bit they didn't include (about 8%). (I suspect they didn't want to dump the books and printout more - it's the raw data that matters anyway!)

However, it isn't science fiction. It is real.


Even Darwin who make-believed the theory said that if microorganisms were found to be complex his whole theory would be shattered
Dude - where are you getting this nonsense from ?

First the bit about 'if the earth was 2 degrees closer to the sun' (which doesn't even make sense) then this bit of fiction ?

Wherever you are getting your 'facts' that you are quoting - ignore them in future.

You are doing yourself no favours by believing it. Remember, science isn't about believing what someone said (be it Darwin or CreationistWebsite.com) - it is about TESTING what people say.

So we TEST Darwin's theories by breeding animals and watching how they evolve. And the theory works.

Read science more and you'll understand it better.

If you believe that we haven't observed evolution in action in a lab - then your science isn't current.

If you believe that we haven't observed DNA being created in a lab from simpler molecules - your science isn't current.

If you believe that Darwin honestly made the quote given to him above - then you are ignorant of basic science history.

That is a harsh reality.

I'm sorry.

The good news is that you can improve. Step one is reading up on science from scientific websites.

I'd suggest: http://scienceblogs.com

It is run by scientists. It is *for* scientists (so you won't understand some of it - or even if you are a scientist you won't understand much of what isn't in your field!) but you'll get an appreciation on what the state of science really is.

But they have GREAT articles.

Look at this one, for example, on someone studying evolution in the lab:

http://scienceblogs.com/loom/2008/06/02/a_new_step_in_evolution.php

Yep - we watched evolution happen. C'mon - that's pretty darn cool.

People might sneer at real science because the Hollywood version would have species that are bigger but, sadly, most species won't have 35,000 generations you can study in only a decade or two. This is *REAL* science.

Good luck !

Mac
(BTW - If you want to understand how impressive designs can be done without an intelligent creator, I suggest the book 'The Blind Watchmaker'.

Or play around with genetic algorithms for a while. Despite what scientists say - this kind of thing is **NOT** obvious.

At first glance it really does look like that is a 'watchmaker' when we look at the clever designs around us. When you play around with genetic algorithms for a while you start appreciating how those intelligent designs can occur without a designer.

It really is impressive and eye-opening.

Of course, it doesn't mean that there *ISN'T* a watchmaker somewhere - just that by observation we can see how life is possible without one.)

ChaosTitan
04-24-2010, 04:48 PM
Locking pending Mod review.

ETA: Opening thread so the discussion can continue, with a reminder to play nice and RESPECT YOUR FELLOW WRITER.

TMA-1
04-24-2010, 10:23 PM
You're joking, right?
No, not really. I do suspect that multicellular life might be rare, but it seems incredibly unlikely that this is the only planet with such life. I am sure that if life can arise, it will.


If the rotation of the earth were 2 degrees closer to the sun, it would be too hot to support life and everything would burn up. 2 degrees away, and the earth would be too much of a frozen wasteland to support life.
What does that mean? Are you talking about the Earth's axis and how it tilts? Or that the Earth is 2 degrees closer?


A single-celled organism has more moving parts, gears, rotors, chemical reactions, information processing, generally a more complex set of blueprints than the most advanced space shuttle ever developed.
How do we compare a single cell with a space shuttle? What "gears" and "rotors" do they have?


The chances of finding a multicellular life form in space is the same chance as finding an entire functioning space port complete with at least dozens upon dozens of space shuttles moving materials around and overly complex factories equaling an entire industry in space.
How do you know this? What are the chances of finding an entire spaceport anywhere in space? Surely we are not the only ones who have the ability to travel in space.


Your whole genetic code has more information in it than the Internet.
I'm not sure about how much space all those base-pairs would take, but I'm guessing a few hundred MB or so. The Internet has more information...


Life is an absolute miracle that we can hardly begin to understand even with modern science. I promise you, unless the Designer of those blueprints bothered to make something else alive in this universe, we're not finding anything. But because life on earth is actually here and now, I wouldn't be completely surprised if there were something else out there.
Designer? Oh, we're talking about the entirely unsupported claim that some superintelligence (more complex than life, btw) created life. Why is such a claim necessary?

Why is life not the result of the chemical properties of the elements? And how do you know that chemistry alone is not enough and that the great designer had to take control over all the molecules to make it happen?

small axe
04-27-2010, 02:28 AM
Why is life not the result of the chemical properties of the elements?

We don't know that's possible or impossible, and most folks (religious and secular) understand that is one possible scenario.

But Science hasn't shown that's the case ... and it's Science's own rules that warn us not to jump to easy assumptions or conclusions.

Occam's Razor may ask us to accept the simplest solution ... it may work most often to explain most things.

LIFE and SENTIENCE are the least simple things, perhaps.

The origin of all the Universe(s) of matter and energy (and spirit?) may be too complex to be simple.

Who KNOWS? But SCIENCE strives to KNOW ... not assume. Not accept by faith or presumption.

Those who "hold out" against simple materialist assumption ... may rightfully do so in the respect and defense of Scientific clarity.

The origin of the Universe,
the origin of Life,
the ultimate nature of Awareness ...
are unknown and unresolved.

And if they stay that way forever ... Science still doesn't justify jumping to an unsupported conclusion. (Folks claim "The evidence points towards that conclusion" ??? The Buddha smiles wisely and tells us that the finger pointing at the Moon is not the Moon)



And how do you know that chemistry alone is not enough and that the great designer had to take control over all the molecules to make it happen?

We don't.
But neither do you.

And if you're respecting Science ... YOU'D be the one who is bound by the stricter intellectual criteria to not make statements you cannot then demonstrate are true. :)

Admitting "We don't know, we may never know" ... that's the brave road you'd walk.

There are Intellectual, Rational obligations ... and Moral, Ethical obligations.

We needn't discuss the second here ... to fully challenge, examine, and debate the first here!

We can we wise and recognize the gap ... without needing to fill it with something else of our own choosing.

At least that's my view of it.

(The other guy can be wrong, and it still doesn't make his opponent correct. Both can be mistaken and in different ways)

Pthom
04-27-2010, 02:46 AM
Isn't it somewhat arrogant to say that life depends on (1) water, (2) carbon, (3) DNA?

Any combination of these would be rather familiar to us. Truly alien life may not involve any of them.

It seems to me that the chances of finding water-dependent, carbon-based life elsewhere (that's life as we know it) are spectacularly slim. But the chances of finding life of any kind probably excellent. Let's hope we recognize it as such when we do.

Lhun
04-27-2010, 06:48 AM
We don't know that's possible or impossible, and most folks (religious and secular) understand that is one possible scenario.No, we do know that it is possible. We can see that on earth. It might also be possible for life to start other ways, but we do know that this way is possible.

Occam's Razor may ask us to accept the simplest solution ... it may work most often to explain most things.

LIFE and SENTIENCE are the least simple things, perhaps.That's not what Occam's Razor is about. Occam's Razor states that you should remove unnecessary explanatory entities. A miracle in the creation of life is such an unnecessary entity.

Those who "hold out" against simple materialist assumption ... may rightfully do so in the respect and defense of Scientific clarity.
Yes, that's quite often claimed, and usually not the real reason. Scientific clarity point quite clearly to life working fine without miracles. Even if we do not completely understand it yet, we understand gravity even less, and there is no reason to believe in mysterious life energy, life-starting miracles or gods creating life any more than there is reason to believe in gravity fairies making sure that australians don't drop off the earth. To believe that lack of complete knowledge is in some way a support for any other belief about the subject is probably the most common fallacy there is.

And if they stay that way forever ... Science still doesn't justify jumping to an unsupported conclusion. (Folks claim "The evidence points towards that conclusion" ??? The Buddha smiles wisely and tells us that the finger pointing at the Moon is not the Moon)The Buddha was no scientist. Nor had he ever heard of the even the scientific method.

We don't.
But neither do you.Absolute knowledge is no possible and not necessary. By your standards, we don't "know" that the sun will rise tomorrow either. Because there is a lot about gravity, and thus planetary motion, that we don't understand. That doesn't mean the belief that the sun will rise in the north tomorrow is anything but unfounded silliness.

And if you're respecting Science ... YOU'D be the one who is bound by the stricter intellectual criteria to not make statements you cannot then demonstrate are true. :)Attempting to claim that magical beliefs are actually the rational scientific stance is a time-honoured tradition. Didn't ever work though.

blacbird
04-27-2010, 07:00 AM
Evolution is based upon a theory and is nothing but a theory. It's not even science.

Complete nonsense.

Carry on.

caw

TMA-1
04-27-2010, 12:16 PM
We don't.
But neither do you.
But we do know that life does exist. To say that life could not form unless we invoke some magic is ridiculous, especially since we do not see evidence of anything like that anywhere. We only have what we know, and we do know that life exists, we have zero reason to add mystical stuff to make it work.

TMA-1
04-27-2010, 12:29 PM
Complete nonsense.

Carry on.

caw
Indeed. I can not describe how sick and tired I am of that old "argument". Of course the theory of evolution is a theory. That's a good thing, because theories are formulated to explain and describe and make sense of observed facts and evidence. People seem to think that a theory is just something you think up and pull from thin air, like a hunch or something. That's not true. If it was, it wouldn't be science, and science wouldn't work, and we wouldn't sit here using our computers communicating over a global network.

Maybe general relativity is "just a theory"? Germ theory of disease is "just a theory" too. Maybe it's really demons causing diseases? We have to keep an open mind and say "we don't know!" Plate tectonics, "just a theory". Maybe earth quakes are really god's punishment for universal healthcare? We don't know!

small axe
04-27-2010, 03:32 PM
Originally Posted by small axe http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=4898264#post4898264)
We don't know that's possible or impossible, and most folks (religious and secular) understand that is one possible scenario.



No, we do know that it is possible. We can see that on earth. It might also be possible for life to start other ways, but we do know that this way is possible.

Your claim is obviously untrue and incorrect.

Here's why:

You most certainly do not 'know' ... because you most certainly do not 'see' ... a single occurance of Life originating on Earth.

*************************************


small axe wrote: Occam's Razor may ask us to accept the simplest solution ... it may work most often to explain most things.

LIFE and SENTIENCE are the least simple things, perhaps.


Lhun wrote: That's not what Occam's Razor is about. Occam's Razor states that you should remove unnecessary explanatory entities. A miracle in the creation of life is such an unnecessary entity.

Since you have not seen the origin of Life, and cannot reproduce it scientifically ... You cannot know what is 'an unnecessary entity'

That you presume to TELL US things you CANNOT KNOW ... throws doubt onto your scientifically credibility.

****************************************


Lhun writes: Yes, that's quite often claimed, and usually not the real reason. Scientific clarity point quite clearly to life working fine without miracles.

Life 'working' versus Life originating from non-Life ... are two separate things completely though.

That you confuse them may possibly confuse you in this issue.

I am not claiming 'miracles' ... I am suggesting to you what Science cannot rule out yet: an unknown and unexpected (by YOU) origin to ALIEN LIFE FORMS on ALIEN WORLDS.

You seem to argue like you already KNOW all about alien life.

Almost everyone here will easily realize that you can know NOTHING about unknown alien life ... and so your arguments are empty.

***********************************


Lhun writes: Even if we do not completely understand it yet, we understand gravity even less, and there is no reason to believe in mysterious life energy, life-starting miracles or gods creating life any more than there is reason to believe in gravity fairies making sure that australians don't drop off the earth. To believe that lack of complete knowledge is in some way a support for any other belief about the subject is probably the most common fallacy there is.

Um ... But you are using ignorance of ONE THING (gravity) to defend ignorance of ANOTHER thing (the origin of alien Life)

Ignorance is ignorance.



Lhun wrote: Attempting to claim that magical beliefs are actually the rational scientific stance is a time-honoured tradition. Didn't ever work though.

I'm not 'claiming' anything about 'magical beliefs' ...

I'm pointing out the limits of what Science can demonstrate or know here ... (and your seeming errors claiming things as fact that Science cannot yet support)

small axe
04-27-2010, 03:57 PM
Originally Posted by small axe http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=4898264#post4898264)
We don't.
But neither do you.



But we do know that life does exist. .

I understand that, but 'we do know that life does exist' would be equally true whether Life was CREATED ... or AROSE FROM DEAD CHEMISTRY.

So we are discussing the ORIGIN of Life.

To complicate issues, we are discussing the origin of ALIEN Life.

So some here must be careful to claim even LESS 'KNOWING' about unknown alien life's origins ... when they already 'know' nothing certain about the origin of even our OWN life!


To say that life could not form unless we invoke some magic is ridiculous ...

I'm certainly not invoking 'magic' ... I'm saying 'Creation' hasn't yet been ruled out.


... especially since we do not see evidence of anything like that anywhere.

I agree: We DO NOT SEE EVIDENCE of the origin of life ... on ALIEN WORLDS.

So I'm pointing out how little anyone HERE can say about RULING OUT the possible origins of Alien Life on Alien Worlds. :)


We only have what we know,

I agree. I fear some are making claims here that they mistakenly present as 'Science' ... about things they DO NOT KNOW (about alien Life)


and we do know that life exists,

Not alien life.


we have zero reason to add mystical stuff to make it work

Well ... until someone can DEMONSTRATE the origin or existence of ALIEN LIFE ... no one can reasonably know enough to be here ruling out alien possibilities.

It's a mere intellectual crutch to label things 'mystical stuff' so they can be prejudicially discounted here.

But we're discussing ALIEN LIFE -- and we know NOTHING of its biological forms or functions and so can rule NOTHING OUT.

I'm arguing that our minds be kept open to unimaginable alien possibilities.

Others seem imo to be pre-judging unknowns and ruling things out from ignorance.

And doing THAT is not good Science.

What others label 'mystical' or 'magical' HERE may have very valid ALIEN explanations, based on alien biology or environments or evolutions.

:)

JimmyB27
04-27-2010, 04:40 PM
I recently watched an interesting segment on Sunday Morning (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/04/18/sunday/main6408050.shtml?tag=contentBody;featuredPost-PE) about our continued efforts to find life on other planets. It discusses the use of ARRAY radio telescopes and the Kepler mission as ways of obtaining evidence of life, or visuals of planets that could possibly support life. However it doesn't discuss the effects time has on any evidence gathered. I can only assume the images we receive from the Kepler mission and (Even slower than light) sounds received by the radio telescope left that planet several thousand or million years ago. (Is that correct?) So, even if we did see or hear something, wouldn't it be possible for that 'thing' to no longer exist in our current time?

Just curious..
Definitely possible. If it really is millions of years, then I'd go so far as to say 'probable'.

The chances of finding a multicellular life form in space is the same chance as finding an entire functioning space port complete with at least dozens upon dozens of space shuttles moving materials around and overly complex factories equaling an entire industry in space. Your whole genetic code has more information in it than the Internet.
I'm glad you mentioned chance, because that allows me to use one of my favourite quotes from the HHGTTG -
"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly hugely mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space."
You see, 'low chance' is not the same as 'impossible'. If there is (say), a one in a billion chance of life developing on a planet. That's pretty unlikely. But a rough estimate here (http://www.universetoday.com/guide-to-space/galaxies/planets-in-the-galaxy/) says there might be about 4.6 billion planets in the galaxy. Given that, you'd expect to find three or maybe four other planets with life on them.


Evolution is based upon a theory and is nothing but a theory. It's not even science.
Um...science is pretty much all about theory. A couple of simple definitions for you: 'Hypothesis' = "This is what I think is the case." 'Theory' = "This is what all the available evidence, both observational and experimental, points towards."
At no point will a (good) scientist say anything like "this is 100% definitely, unequivocally the truth." Not least because of the redundancy. ;)


We scientifically shouldn't be blindfolding our search for alien Life out the starting gate by demanding that ALIEN Life conform to our earthly expectations of life, whether chemical or spiritual/non-physical. What if there ARE "energy creatures" living on alien worlds? Spirit creatures --whatever those are -- if they're THERE then our Science would have to just expand its definitions and expectations ... which Science wouldn't worry about doing -- though some materialist folks MIGHT.

But oh please yes, let's LOOK!
I do agree with this, it's why I don't believe in the supernatural. Sure, there might be ghosts, angels and so on, but if there are, they are part of the natural.
However, it does present something of a difficulty when discussing alien life.
If we agree that life may not be as we're expecting it, we might not even recognise it when it's staring us in the face. And if we did recognise it, we might have so little in common with it, that we can't even begin to communicate with or understand it.

By the way, what's with all the apparently RANDOM capitals?

TMA-1
04-27-2010, 06:17 PM
A theory can't account for things undetected, unobserved and unseen. Therefore the idea of an ultimate creator of this universe, or life locally here on Earth, or life in general, is unscientific. However, if you define this deity-like entity, then we can test it with science. Unless we're really talking about the invisible dragon in the garage.

And the idea that some chemical reactions can never ever take place unless someone alters the laws of the universe is plain crazy. There's no way around that. Otherwise chemistry would be a lot harder than it already is, if the possibility of certain reactions is left to the whims of a deity-like entity. Indeed, all sciences would be impossible.

benbradley
04-27-2010, 07:07 PM
God is only a theory.

JimmyB27
04-27-2010, 11:09 PM
God is only a theory.
No, god is a hypothesis. See my earlier definitions.

small axe
04-28-2010, 02:08 AM
A theory can't account for things undetected, unobserved and unseen.

But Science is probably a good tool and process and discipline with which to TRY to detect, observe, or see.

It may NOT be the only tool, however.
Science probably doesn't encompass all human experience. (... though some may try to pigeon-hole everything in life into what they determine is "science")

If something is THERE, and science or technology cannot get a handle on it to study it ... it's still there. We may have simply wisely found one of the limits to what science can be applied to. (I suggest we SHOULD apply Science to everything ... but I also recognize sometimes it's the wrong tool to insist upon using)


Therefore the idea of an ultimate creator of this universe, or life locally here on Earth, or life in general, is unscientific.

No. If the Creator is THERE, then you'd be admitting that Science cannot be applied to Reality.

Even I do not have such a low opinion of Science as that (in fact, I have a very HIGH opinion of Science)

I say Science is a wonderful tool, but not the only tool, and that there are aspects of reality that Science probably can never know.

Some pretend that REALITY ENDS where Science ends, and that's non-scientific. Recognizing its limits is what keeps Science expanding to EXPLORE the limits.


However, if you define this deity-like entity, then we can test it with science. Unless we're really talking about the invisible dragon in the garage.

Well, firstly, no. :)

We don't need to 'define' a thing before we 'test' it.

Science can simply say "Let's LOOK to see what undefined or unimagined things may be there."

Alien life will possibly CHANGE our definitions (of life) ... we're not demanding it MEET our definitions (of life)!


And the idea that some chemical reactions can never ever take place unless someone alters the laws of the universe is plain crazy.

It's not crazy ... but I never even suggested that. (I realize I'm not the only one here though)

Scientists often speak about how different Universes could function according to different laws of nature. How the forces of nature could change to make Universes that work according to other Sciences' rules.

You call it 'crazy' ... Don't waste your time looking.
I call it 'as yet unknown' ... Let's look.
I wonder who's jumping to unsubstantiated conclusions here?


There's no way around that. Otherwise chemistry would be a lot harder than it already is, if the possibility of certain reactions is left to the whims of a deity-like entity.

Not 'whims' ...

Created or not ... we understand that our Universe runs according to some predictable "rules" and Science is very useful in understanding it.

The difference between some here may be (and I won't fall into the fool's trap of pretending to speak for another here) that I realize that the Unknown can still EXIST ... and so I don't try to argue against or rule out that which lies beyond our Known.

If someone has NO HOPE of scientifically 'disproving God' ... they reduce themselves and their scientifically credibility by claiming they can.

The same can be said about anyone pretending to know the nature of unknown ALIEN LIFE.

We don't know. Let's find out.

We don't know if when we discover ALIEN LIFE, they won't have a clear and definite CREATOR'S thumbprint on them, either (assuming we don't too, which we don't need to argue here) :)

You couldn't intelligently argue that we might NOT find an alien world full of AI's ... built and abandoned by an Unknown third party of aliens with "god-like" levels of Science and Technology ... could you?

Arthur C. Clarke's "Advanced Science may resemble magic to us" idea, etc ???

So how can you say it's NOT God's handywork?
Except ... by your mere FAITH that they're not God? :)

"Faith" ?!
You're arguing your FAITH?!
In a Science Fact thread?! :D

I don't wanna argue witchu.
I just don't care to remain silent, while mistaken assumptions are passed off as Science.

I'm not accusing you of that ... But my comments imo suggest that, yes.


Indeed, all sciences would be impossible.

They're not 'impossible' if you let them explore their fullest potentials ... and their limits. imo

'Free Your Mind ... the rest will follow.'

Lhun
04-28-2010, 10:32 AM
Your claim is obviously untrue and incorrect.

Here's why:

You most certainly do not 'know' ... because you most certainly do not 'see' ... a single occurance of Life originating on Earth.You ignorance of the evidence does not constitute lack of evidence.

Since you have not seen the origin of Life, and cannot reproduce it scientifically ... You cannot know what is 'an unnecessary entity'You still do not understand what Occam's Razor is. And possibly not even what unnecessary means.
Unnecessary is an explanatory entity that is superfluous, i.e. if an explanation works just as well with, as without said entity. Since biology works just as well without your god, as it does with, your god is unnecessary, and thus, by Occam's Razor, removed from biology. It would become necessary only if we find something that cannot be explained without it. If you want another example, gravity fairies, while not disproven by science, are ignored because of Occam's Razor, since we do not need gravity fairies to formulate a theory of gravity.

Life 'working' versus Life originating from non-Life ... are two separate things completely though.That's like saying a car working without a little demon moving it is completely different from a car being built without the help of demons. If can work without demons, it's possible to build one without demons as well.

I am not claiming 'miracles' ... I am suggesting to you what Science cannot rule out yet: an unknown and unexpected (by YOU) origin to ALIEN LIFE FORMS on ALIEN WORLDS.So what? Noone states that science rules that out. Science can't rule out a little pink teapot in the orbit of mars either.

Um ... But you are using ignorance of ONE THING (gravity) to defend ignorance of ANOTHER thing (the origin of alien Life)

Ignorance is ignorance.Actually i was giving you an example of another area where we lack complete knowledge, and yet can know something. A concept which you don't seem to grasp. I recommend reading "the relativity of wrong", it illustrates nicely why ignorance is not ignorance. As i mentioned before, this postmodernist idea that not knowing everything about a subject means we don't know anything about it is hogwash.(Being wrong is just the same as being ignorant, unless it's intentionally, which would be less about being wrong and more about lying)

I'm not 'claiming' anything about 'magical beliefs' ...Yes you are. Maybe you're trying to be intentionally misleading, maybe you don't realize it yourself, but claiming that because we cannot rule something out, we should consider it the same as something else we can't rule out is making a positive claim. You claim that the idea of a god starting life is equally reasonable according to our current knowledge as the idea that life is the result of the laws of the universe. On the grounds that we can't disprove your god's involvement. And well, that's hogwash. I gave the examples many times, there is an unlimited number of things we cannot rule out. Teapots in orbit around Mars, invisible Pink Unicorns and Flying Spaghetti monsters among the more famous ones. None of these things are taken seriously, and unless you claim they should be taken seriously, it is dishonest to demand that other unfounded claims, such as a god being involved in the beginning of life should be taken seriously.
We do not believe in things, or take things seriously, or consider things likely, probably or even possible in the usual sense of the word just because they are impossible to disprove. If you want the idea taken seriously that some god might have started life, you must take equally seriously the idea that one Halloween in the past, the great pumpkin rose from his superdimensional pumpkin patch, was lonely, and thus decided to seed the universe with life.
Both are supported by equal amounts of evidence, and both are completely unnecessary.

DoomBunny
04-28-2010, 03:15 PM
You most certainly do not 'know' ... because you most certainly do not 'see' ... a single occurance of Life originating on Earth.


I can't see the gravity fairies desperately clutching at my chair any more than I can see the natural forces keeping me from flying into space. Empirical evidence points toward the latter.



Since you have not seen the origin of Life, and cannot reproduce it scientifically ... You cannot know what is 'an unnecessary entity'


It's been pointed out more than once that we have, indeed, replicated the origin of life in lab conditions.



Almost everyone here will easily realize that you can know NOTHING about unknown alien life ...


Sez who? First of all, it's pretty rude to try and speak for 'almost everyone here'. Second, we can theorise about unknown alien life using logic and extrapolation. In other words, science. What we know here almost certainly applies in similar conditions elsewhere. Aliens, however whacky, would have to exist under the same physical laws that we do.



and so your arguments are empty.


Your two statements don't logically follow.

GeorgeK
04-28-2010, 09:45 PM
Since this thread is already wandering around a bit I'll put this out there. Tribbles are best served either in soup or barbecued since they have a cartilaginous skeleton. All that chondroitin lends a pleasing mouthfeel after a good long slow cooking. Alternately, you can convert them into pressed meat blocks because yes, they will blend.

Pthom
04-28-2010, 11:50 PM
I'm gonna ask the participants here to cut the personal accusations and stick to the topic, or y'know what?

Yep, I'll close this thread as fast as a paramecium can divide.

Lhun
04-29-2010, 01:47 AM
Yep, I'll close this thread as fast as a paramecium can divide.Dude you're behind the times by three years. The unicellular organism of the year 2010 is Euglena.
(Yes, there actually is a scientific society which elects a unicellular organism of the year. I have no idea how. Maybe a bikini contest.)

Pthom
04-29-2010, 02:53 AM
But I've SEEN paramecia, and haven't a clue as to what a Euglena looks like, or how fast it divides.

And I dunno about the euglena (euglenae?) but paramecia look awful in clothing. Even bikinis.

Now if we're talkin' amoebae...mmmMMmmm.

benbradley
04-29-2010, 05:20 AM
I recommend reading "the relativity of wrong", it illustrates nicely why ignorance is not ignorance.

http://chem.tufts.edu/AnswersInScience/RelativityofWrong.htm

I'm not saying anything, lest a Mod see a reproducing paramecium.

Mac H.
04-29-2010, 07:05 AM
Earlier there was a discussion about looking for genetic causes in whole DNA analysis.

This result has just been released to the press:

multiple-sclerosis-twinmystery (http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/04/multiple-sclerosis-twinmystery/?intcid=inform_relatedContent)

To quote:


The research cost $1.5 million, and the scientists took 18 months to sequence 2.8 billion DNA units in each twin, and determine whether they came from the mother or father. Most genomic comparisons look for differences in a just handful of suspect genes, and even whole-genome approaches donít differentiate between parental contributions.
It's pretty impressive. And the end result - there isn't an obvious genetic link that could be seen !

It only took 18 months and well over a million dollars to figure that out. We are only in the early days of who DNA sequencing.

It's also getting done for non-medical reasons as well.

From the earlier 'scienceblogs.com' I recommended:

http://scienceblogs.com/geneticfuture/2010/04/recreational_genome_sequencing.php

A whole family were sequenced for about $200k.

(If they found DNA from the postman, there's going to be a lot of explaining..)

Mac

small axe
04-30-2010, 01:11 AM
And well, that's hogwash. I gave the examples many times, there is an unlimited number of things we cannot rule out. Teapots in orbit around Mars, invisible Pink Unicorns and Flying Spaghetti monsters among the more famous ones. None of these things are taken seriously, and unless you claim they should be taken seriously, it is dishonest to demand that other unfounded claims, such as a god being involved in the beginning of life should be taken seriously.


Really?
That's the response?

The 'invisible pink unicorn' retreat? :)

Someone sincerely points out that person "B" is making claims that "Science" cannot support (about ALIEN LIFE, which obviously "B" can know nothing about to make intelligent claims about) ... claims that anyone using Science's evidence and fact and logic should realize you cannot make (and intelligently realize you should not make) ...

And "B's" reasoned rebuttal drags in invisible pink unicorns as strawmen to argue against my challenges?

Intelligent Science knows what it knows (and can support its claims with intelligent evidence) ...
Intelligent Science also knows what it DOESN'T KNOW and therefore CANNOT CLAIM as fact.

Intellectually myopic folks often try to push what they call "science" beyond that, and others who cannot tell the difference ... can agree.
(Hoping for a happy and friendly ending, I'll say I hope that applies to no one HERE)

Hope.

Yes: You 'gave the examples many times' ... Enough times to fear that's all I'll get if we continue.
I didn't offer 'invisible teapots' in the debate ... and I am only bored hearing about them from anyone else.

We're only discussing Person B's (supposedly) intelligent science-based right to declare that UNSEEN teapots cannot or do not exist.
:)

A stupid claim is still a stupid claim, whoever makes it, and Science won't come to defend it, no matter how shrilly or oftenly it's called (doglike) to do so.

My words and position stand.

If yours needed a strawman argument (which I quoted here) ... unicorns? Teapots? ... to rebut them ...

I leave it to the intelligence of the reader to decide which to embrace.

'And if you're tired of the same old story ... baby, turn some pages.' :)

Pthom
04-30-2010, 01:18 AM
Let's refrain from personal assualts here, folks. It is possible to have opposing views without slamming those who disagree with you.

Play nice or we will shut the thread down.

small axe
04-30-2010, 01:33 AM
Cool.
Certainly I don't mean anything as a personal or a personality assault.
I've always suggested that we can all wrestle enthusiastically over disagreements with intellectual position ... and not people.

Quoting a "they said X" is targeting the position, not the person who said it, hopefully. And definitely hopefully and more wisely.

Equally cool, I'm done with it for now.

NewKidOldKid
04-30-2010, 01:35 AM
Definitely possible. If it really is millions of years, then I'd go so far as to say 'probable'.

I'm glad you mentioned chance, because that allows me to use one of my favourite quotes from the HHGTTG -
"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly hugely mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space."
You see, 'low chance' is not the same as 'impossible'. If there is (say), a one in a billion chance of life developing on a planet. That's pretty unlikely. But a rough estimate here (http://www.universetoday.com/guide-to-space/galaxies/planets-in-the-galaxy/) says there might be about 4.6 billion planets in the galaxy. Given that, you'd expect to find three or maybe four other planets with life on them.

This has always been my thinking. Even if you don't know anything about science and the origin of species, you have to agree that the universe is big. Really, really big. Are you going to tell me that you really believe life has only happened in one place? Granted, there might be a number of different forms out there, from planets containing simple basic organisms to planets with intelligent life forms. But the idea that in a place so big only one planet got the right combination of chemicals to allow life to exist is a little baffling (to say the least).

Mark_Young
04-30-2010, 02:02 AM
Let's refrain from personal assualts here, folks. It is possible to have opposing views without slamming those who disagree with you.

Play nice or we will shut the thread down.


It can't be helped. After all, it questions Mankind's dominance. And clearly, Man cannot and does not want to fathom the the thought of not being dominant. I said that earlier and haven't replied since. But I didn't say anything about religion except that I didn't mention it, just science.

Nobody's really interested in proving anything by quoting real references (or any references). Just want to speculate against the existence of something greater than Man (or at least, something Man cannot overcome).




The main question of the thread is that, even if we did make contact with other life, that by the time such contact is confirmed, the time it takes for the message to be sent out could be too long. By then, such life might not exist any more for any number of reasons.

Pthom
04-30-2010, 02:33 AM
It can be helped, Mark, and I insist on it. It is possible to disagree and yet retain respect for those in opposition to your point of view. That is the prime tenet of this entire group of forums known as Absolute Write Water Cooler, not just this one.

It helps to state that your position is just that, and not absolute fact. And it is helpful to state that you disagree with another's position, and yet refrain from announcing it to be false.

If you cannot do this, then I suggest you discover another place to take your comments.

FOTSGreg
04-30-2010, 05:20 AM
The human genome has about 3 billion base pairs. Because of the nature of DNA, every base pair are effectively 2 bits, since there are 4 possible bases. A 700MB CD can contain about 6 billion bits so a 800MB CD is more than big enough to contain a copy of complete human genome. I'm quite willing to bet it has been done before, if only because the people who work in biology labs are exactly the kind of geeks that would copy a human genome and CD just to be able to pin it on the wall, or possibly frame it.

Um, uh, yup - it has been done. More than once. There's other CDs with other complete genomes on it as well. I've seen it. I used to have access to the Joint Genome Institute in Walnut Creek, CA (spent many, many, long hours there and had a lot of time to snoop around).

Now, as Lhun says, each of those base pairs can be recombined into several different combinations. In addition, the protein-folding that the base pair combinations code for is an additional complication and those things can fold something like 20 different ways depending on how they;re coded (ie the same protein can be made at least 16 different ways and can then be folded something like 16^20 different ways which means that every single one of those 3 billion base pairs might possibly code for an individual protein).

Decoding stuff like that takes a LOT of time and computer power (I've stood in a room with 40 $500k machines all running full time decoding DNA and protein sequences and it was only one of half a dozen similar labs in a the same building). You simply don't just decode the strand and say "Ah! I now know everything I need to know to cure Alzheimers!" or anything else.

It just doesn't work that way.

You have to identify the proteins being coded for after identifying the base pairs for the proteins you're looking for after figuring out that you're looking for a set of proteins (or worse, badly folded or modified proteins) after figuring out that you're looking for a set of proteins coded for by a set of base pairs coding for a particular protein which might have been folded the wrong way, etc., etc., etc.

You want to know why decoding the human genome took 10 years? Because the computer power wasn't there in 1980 or '85 or '90 when it started. You want to know why it takes years to decipher a DNA sequence today when we have the computer power to render it in a few days to a few weeks? Because just having the base pair sequence doesn't really tell us all that much. We have learned that we have to look deeper.

Wheels within wheels.

Every time we look at something we find it is intrinsically much more complex than we initially thought it was.

Wheels within wheels.

Life is complex, but even the bacteria around us and on us has had 6 billion years of opportunity to become more complex than it was when it started out.

JimmyB27
04-30-2010, 12:23 PM
Intelligent Science knows what it knows (and can support its claims with intelligent evidence) ...
Intelligent Science also knows what it DOESN'T KNOW and therefore CANNOT CLAIM as fact.
Science is not so black and white. It's not about what's 100% true, and 100% false. If you want to be really pedantic about it, we can't say anything with 100% certainty. We could all be living in the Matrix, for all we know.

Pthom
04-30-2010, 10:07 PM
.... We could all be living in the Matrix, for all we know.



...

We aren't?

Lhun
05-01-2010, 04:13 PM
The 'invisible pink unicorn' retreat? :)It's not a "retreat" it is the basis of what we consider real, or not. It is just one of an infinite number of example of things that cannot be disproven and yet are disbelieved by virtually everyone. I'm afraid that understanding how, and why disproving something is not only unnecessary but impossible is one of the very basics of understanding how, and why science works.

Someone sincerely points out that person "B" is making claims that "Science" cannot support (about ALIEN LIFE, which obviously "B" can know nothing about to make intelligent claims about) ... claims that anyone using Science's evidence and fact and logic should realize you cannot make (and intelligently realize you should not make) ...I read all this cannot [and cannot), without reading much substance. Arguments from ignorance fail, always.
My words and position stand.

If yours needed a strawman argument (which I quoted here) ... unicorns? Teapots? ... to rebut them ...I'm afraid that while your words stand, your arguments leave a lot to be desired. Rather like a one-legged table. Since you seem so fond of requiring proof of negatives, i think it only fair that you proof that we do not know and can not know which you claim we don't.
Maybe it'll help in understanding the significance of the teapot example. It's not totally arbitrary of course, it is kind of traditional for debates like these, since Russel first used it in 1952.


It can't be helped. After all, it questions Mankind's dominance. And clearly, Man cannot and does not want to fathom the the thought of not being dominant.This is funny. Seriously, i'm laughing. Because this, again is the great chain of being, or possibly special creation or humans as the only beings with souls. According to the ToE, humans are no more or less evolved than, for example, an armadillo. Or any other currently living creature. It is so funny because this argument gets used by people defending the very ideologies that posit humans as special, who then claim that the ToE would posit such a thing. Especially funny since it gets used so often nowadays, while much of the initial resistance Darwin faced was exactly because the ToE states that humans are not special. Aka "My Granpa was no damn ape".

small axe
05-03-2010, 02:25 AM
Originally Posted by small axe http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=4908892#post4908892)
The 'invisible pink unicorn' retreat? :)



It's not a "retreat" it is the basis of what we consider real, or not. It is just one of an infinite number of example of things that cannot be disproven and yet are disbelieved by virtually everyone. I'm afraid that understanding how, and why disproving something is not only unnecessary but impossible is one of the very basics of understanding how, and why science works.

It's not an issue of you having to 'disprove' something ;)

It's an issue of the 'bad' science of claiming facts you cannot scientifically support. Period.

And you cannot support any claims which try to rule out possible forms unknown alien life will take, or how it will have originated or evolved. Period.

Science cannot support your argument (the reader can see your previous comments, above and throughout) based on your mere faith assumptions.

Next, you seem to accept that things that cannot be 'disproven' should still be 'disbelieved' ???

To that I say: You have shifted the issue from 'proof' to 'BELIEF' ... and you have done so in a SCIENCE FACT thread.

And that's not science.


small axe wrote:
Someone sincerely points out that person "B" is making claims that "Science" cannot support (about ALIEN LIFE, which obviously "B" can know nothing about to make intelligent claims about) ... claims that anyone using Science's evidence and fact and logic should realize you cannot make (and intelligently realize you should not make) ...



I read all this cannot [and cannot), without reading much substance. Arguments from ignorance fail, always.


huh?



I'm afraid that while your words stand, your arguments leave a lot to be desired. Rather like a one-legged table. Since you seem so fond of requiring proof of negatives, i think it only fair that you proof that we do not know and can not know which you claim we don't.


No need to call the other guy's things 'a one legged table' etc ... unless you hope to win a debate based on poetic images ('O argument of straw / Golden bales be a fortress wall / Prettiest you ever saw / O argument of man of straw') ;)

I don't 'require' proof of negatives ... YOU seem to need to prove a negative to be able to support your claims.

Since you cannot prove a negative,
you cannot support your claims,
and THAT is why your claims should probably not be intelligently made here.

When I have to point that out to anyone ... We are shown the invalidity of the other's claims to be representing valid Science. imo.



Maybe it'll help in understanding the significance of the teapot example. It's not totally arbitrary of course, it is kind of traditional for debates like these, since Russel first used it in 1952.

Ah ... your 'traditions' ...

So you're merely parroting something you've heard since 1952? I dare say it was a silly position to take then, and probably worse to parrot now. :)

I hoped we could think the new thoughts and think them for ourselves ... not merely parrot debates from 1952.

Seriously, sir, and respectfully: I'm not arguing any extreme position here. I'm simply pointing out to the reader that you cannot (because NO ONE can) claim to know the forms or origins of "unknown, undiscovered ALIEN LIFE" -- and pretend to be representing a 'Scientific' position.

SCIENCE would demand you seek out, investigate, observe, experiment, etc etc data ... not simply rule out or debate against unknown (but not unknowable) possibilities.

veinglory
05-03-2010, 02:30 AM
Is there any chance of getting this back on topic?

FOTSGreg
05-03-2010, 02:34 AM
Um, I doubt it (holding up hand)...

:)

Pthom
05-03-2010, 02:38 AM
Is there any chance of getting this back on topic?

Sure. I just say something like: "You guys who delight in dissing one another's opinion, stop it!" They know who they are.

Then, if they don't stop, I threaten to close the thread.

Then, if they still don't stop, I do, actually, close the thread and it dribbles off into the back pages of oblivion.

Also, it helps if those who would like the thread to stay visible and on topic, post something. You know... something actually on topic.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

So, you guys . . .

small axe
05-03-2010, 02:48 AM
Is there any chance of getting this back on topic?

It turned into the taste of Tribbles, like, about the third comment though. :)

If the topic was, Could alien signals reflect a civilization that had long since changed ... We seemed to agree they could.

A related interesting question might be ... Could the UNIVERSE itself have evolved and changed, in ways unlike OUR area of Universe, since its early history (which we can see) or in areas we can NEVER see (since light and information can never reach us) ???


"At this point we don't have enough information to see what it is, or to constrain it. We can only say with certainty that somewhere very far away the world is very different than what we see locally. Whether it's 'another universe' or a different fabric of space-time we don't know
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_flow


Imagine (if you care) an area of our Universe where an alien civilization is NOT limited by how space-time works in our own local area. Where their "laws of nature" or "physics" evolved away from ours from the Universe's earliest moments.

Could they exist in ours to come here?

Might there be a sort of Universe where their laws of physics are more easily "translated" (or violated) than ours?

Where "inflation energy" might still work as a basic principle, and power their starships (or Universe-ships) to come here?

We wouldn't suspect how strange they could be ... until they arrived.

AnkleSneeze
05-04-2010, 05:16 PM
Cool topic,

As a radio engineer I agree that if we could encounter those conventional (non-warp, non-subspace) radio signals they would be very out dated. In fact Alpha-Centauri has been receiving our re-runs of 'Laverne and Shirley' for quite some time. (Since we haven't begun receiving re-runs of 'Zenoplod and Xandorg' yet we might well assume they haven't developed a sophisticated society yet, or they have really strict copyright laws .)

If I send a radio signal from dwarf-planet Pluto to earth (at 4.02 light hours -Perihelion) to tell you that I choked on a Plutonian pear. By the time you called me back 8+ hours later I would not be alive to answer.
Ok back to topic, sorry I tend to drift.

If you could receive the alien signals, then we our faced with deciphering the modulation out of the clutter and noise. Radio waves are dissipated from a single point into a 3D universe.

"In free space, all electromagnetic waves (radio, light, X-rays, etc) obey the inverse-square law which states that the power density of an electromagnetic wave is proportional to the inverse of the square of the distance from the source.
The power density per surface unit is proportional to the product of the electric and magnetic field strengths. Thus, doubling the propagation path distance from the transmitter reduces each of their received field strengths over a free-space path by one-half."

Thus signal strength decreases very quickly. I would suggest it would be like finding a molecule of a drop of red dye in the ocean 1,000,000 years after after it had dissipated.

Thus I can't believe conventional radio signals would have much of a chance against a background of electromagnetic radiation, but hope springs eternal that the aliens on the other end have overcome those obstacles.


On other thread topics...
If Tribbles are tasty could we solve world hunger with them? Or have they advanced beyond tasting like chicken? Maybe we should look into making sure humans aren't tasty in case we might be seen as the chickens?

Project idea for NASA:
What if we could send advanced detection equipment through a wormhole to encounter the light from earth in the past, and look at it?

Albedo
05-04-2010, 05:46 PM
Plus, aliens use SECAM, while the rest of us broadcast in PAL or NTSC.

JLCwrites
05-20-2010, 02:34 AM
Cool topic,

As a radio engineer I agree that if we could encounter those conventional (non-warp, non-subspace) radio signals they would be very out dated. In fact Alpha-Centauri has been receiving our re-runs of 'Laverne and Shirley' for quite some time. (Since we haven't begun receiving re-runs of 'Zenoplod and Xandorg' yet we might well assume they haven't developed a sophisticated society yet, or they have really strict copyright laws .)

If I send a radio signal from dwarf-planet Pluto to earth (at 4.02 light hours -Perihelion) to tell you that I choked on a Plutonian pear. By the time you called me back 8+ hours later I would not be alive to answer.
Ok back to topic, sorry I tend to drift.

If you could receive the alien signals, then we our faced with deciphering the modulation out of the clutter and noise. Radio waves are dissipated from a single point into a 3D universe.

"In free space, all electromagnetic waves (radio, light, X-rays, etc) obey the inverse-square law which states that the power density of an electromagnetic wave is proportional to the inverse of the square of the distance from the source.
The power density per surface unit is proportional to the product of the electric and magnetic field strengths. Thus, doubling the propagation path distance from the transmitter reduces each of their received field strengths over a free-space path by one-half."

Thus signal strength decreases very quickly. I would suggest it would be like finding a molecule of a drop of red dye in the ocean 1,000,000 years after after it had dissipated.

Thus I can't believe conventional radio signals would have much of a chance against a background of electromagnetic radiation, but hope springs eternal that the aliens on the other end have overcome those obstacles.


On other thread topics...
If Tribbles are tasty could we solve world hunger with them? Or have they advanced beyond tasting like chicken? Maybe we should look into making sure humans aren't tasty in case we might be seen as the chickens?

Project idea for NASA:
What if we could send advanced detection equipment through a wormhole to encounter the light from earth in the past, and look at it?


Thank you! On ALL accounts! :)

Zoombie
05-22-2010, 01:27 PM
Project idea for NASA:
What if we could send advanced detection equipment through a wormhole to encounter the light from earth in the past, and look at it?

Imma stealing that idea!