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Science and Technology "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." - Carl Sagan.

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Old July 6 2012, 01:52 PM   #76
Gov Kodos
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Re: Ancient Aliens

One place we can confirm with life so far. On that planet, only once has a sophisticated nervous system resulted in tool using, environment challenging creation so far as we know. Nothing in that technology shows any signs of being able to handle much less overcome a planet wide near extinction event, which has happened several times before and will likely happen again. My optimistic side wants to imagine vast grand life out there which we can one day be a part of, but my rational side just doesn't buy it.
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Old July 6 2012, 06:17 PM   #77
R. Star
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Re: Ancient Aliens

Let's face it guys. There is no tangible evidence that intelligent life exists outside this planet. I will say that given the sheer number of stars in this galaxy and the sheer number of galaxies in the universe that the odds favor life evolving elsewhere. But there's really no way to prove it one way or the other at this time. Or if it would even be anything like us. Just imagine what an evolutionary advantage we humans have, possessing interposable thumbs for example. To say nothing of how differently intelligent beings evolving under different circumstances would view the world as opposed to us.

This is a rather circular debate to have. If there are aliens out there, then how come only rednecks and scifi fanatics see them? :P
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Old July 6 2012, 06:50 PM   #78
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Re: Ancient Aliens

R. Star wrote: View Post
Let's face it guys. There is no tangible evidence that intelligent life exists outside this planet. ...If there are aliens out there, then how come only rednecks and scifi fanatics see them? :P
Damn straight.
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Old July 6 2012, 06:54 PM   #79
BillJ
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Re: Ancient Aliens

Gov Kodos wrote: View Post
One place we can confirm with life so far. On that planet, only once has a sophisticated nervous system resulted in tool using, environment challenging creation so far as we know. Nothing in that technology shows any signs of being able to handle much less overcome a planet wide near extinction event, which has happened several times before and will likely happen again. My optimistic side wants to imagine vast grand life out there which we can one day be a part of, but my rational side just doesn't buy it.
This.
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Old July 7 2012, 08:03 AM   #80
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Re: Ancient Aliens

The Fermi paradox:
If only one species masters interstellar flight (NOT FTL, but BELOW LIGHTSPEED flight), then this species will easily colonise the entire galaxy within 100 million years. Also - after it spreads to ~10 solar systems, this species is all but indestructible - no catastrophe can extinguish it any longer.

Well, our galaxy is ~13,6 billion years old - but only since ~6 BILLION years there were enough heavy elements for life to be able to form.
In ~6 BILLION years, if ET advocates are to be believed, many, many intelligent species have arisen. But these advocates always have trouble explaining why none of them managed to send the first few interstellar ships - a feat humanity is close to accomplish (a few hundred/thousand years is a mere blink of cosmic time).
EVERY SINGLE ONE of these species - all the factions with different agendas and actions each species was composed of - always conveniently went extinct or 'insert another solution to the Fermi paradox that badly breaks Occam's razor'.

The most likely solution to the Fermi paradox is either that abiogenesis is very hard/rare (which is heavily supported by the staggering complexity of the simplest molecule that can reliably self-replicate) or that technological intelligence is very hard to evolve.
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Old July 7 2012, 08:19 AM   #81
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Re: Ancient Aliens

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
^ But like I said, why would aliens WANT to come to Earth? Any alien species that has the technology to even reach Earth in the first place is probably not going to consider us worth the trip. We would be the equivalent of trailer-park trash to them. So why would they bother?
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Old July 7 2012, 01:02 PM   #82
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Re: Ancient Aliens

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
^ But like I said, why would aliens WANT to come to Earth? Any alien species that has the technology to even reach Earth in the first place is probably not going to consider us worth the trip. We would be the equivalent of trailer-park trash to them. So why would they bother?
I don't think even you believe that. As far as we know Earth is the richest and most diverse life-based resource in the galaxy. Any scientist worth their salt (or whatever equivalent compounds) would realise they'd hit the mother lode.
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Old July 7 2012, 06:14 PM   #83
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Re: Ancient Aliens

Deckerd wrote: View Post
I don't think even you believe that. As far as we know Earth is the richest and most diverse life-based resource in the galaxy. Any scientist worth their salt (or whatever equivalent compounds) would realise they'd hit the mother lode.
If you can travel through space and time, you could probably determine every possible chemical combination. Honestly that's the future of pharmacology, hit a receptor or binding site with random chemicals until something "fits".

Plus you are assuming that scientist are running the show. What if it's drunken frat boys.
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Old July 7 2012, 06:44 PM   #84
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Re: Ancient Aliens

Ymindale

You may think the ants from the nearby anthill unimportant.
But there are a LOT of scientists that find them extremely interesting and studied them extensively. The same can be said about every bit of the natural world.
Plus, it's worth noting that life is the most information rich phenomenon known to man; stars and black holes may have astronomical energies, but informationally, they're simplistic by comparison to a mere rat. Intelligent life and civilization is a further step above that.

And any species capable of interstellar travel must have a significant rational component (including curiosity/discovery, etc); 'drunken frat boys' - or their equivalent - just don't have the level of competency for such feats.

PS - We're already able to determine "every possible chemical combination".
That doesn't do us any good - the combinations are practically unlimited in number and only a vanishingly small number of them actually 'do something'; the rest is useless randomness.
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Old July 7 2012, 07:59 PM   #85
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Re: Ancient Aliens

Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
But, again, I never said there was "nothing" out there, just that whatever may be out there is rare enough that, after decades of scanning the skies, we've found... nothing.
The point you clearly missed is that even if the universe was teeming with SPACEFARING civilizations, we would be extremely unlikely to know about it even after ten centuries of searching the sky with our telescopes. We've only in the last 20 years even confirmed the existence of extrasolar planets, and most of those only by their gravitational effects on their parent star; even at FTL velocities, something as small a a spacecraft would be WELL below our detection threshhold unless it was relatively close to Earth orbit.

In other words, they would have to go out of their way to visit us before we ever knew they were there. That in turn implies they would have to have a REASON to visit us, which -- if they don't know about us -- they would not.

I don't think it's unreasonable to be skeptical of claims that the universe is full of intelligent, spacefaring life forms, especially when you come up against comments suggesting that Von Neumann probes are almost within reach. Given that they are a fairly straightforward idea, the universe should be positively crawling with them if anyone had ever built them.
Except for the fact that Von Neuman devices are impractical for interstellar exploration, that would be true.

I also think it's essentially irrelevant if intelligent, spacefaring life exists but it is much too far away for us to ever encounter or even discover it. It might as well not exist, as a practical matter.
Which is true. If FTL flight is impossible, then EVERY solar system could be inhabited by intelligent spacefaring life and we would probably never know about it.
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Old July 7 2012, 10:04 PM   #86
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Re: Ancient Aliens

How do you move up to a 80 tonnes rock, living on Earth 4000 years ago?
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Old July 7 2012, 10:17 PM   #87
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Re: Ancient Aliens

^lots of people and physics.
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Old July 7 2012, 10:19 PM   #88
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Re: Ancient Aliens

Starbrow wrote: View Post
How do you move up to a 80 tonnes rock, living on Earth 4000 years ago?
Pretty much the same way they did it 400 years ago:

SLAVES.
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Old July 8 2012, 12:22 AM   #89
Alidar Jarok
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Re: Ancient Aliens

Which construction are you referring to? Not all of it was done through slave labor. The Pyramids were not, for example.
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Old July 8 2012, 02:18 AM   #90
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Re: Ancient Aliens

Yminale wrote: View Post
If you can travel through space and time, you could probably determine every possible chemical combination. Honestly that's the future of pharmacology, hit a receptor or binding site with random chemicals until something "fits".
Um, that's literally what most pharma does right now.. it's called high throughput screening. Throw a library of randomly synthesized junk against your target protein, see what sticks.

I've pretty much randomly jumped into this thread, so this is totally out of context. But using terms like "receptors" or "binding sites" makes it sound like you're reasonably well versed in structure based drug design, so it seems odd that you'd think high throughput screening is the "future" of pharmacology, rather than a throw back to inefficient R&D. Rational design of novel synthetically accessible ligands is a far better way to go, not to mention novel protein based drugs are quite promising as well.
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