Ancient Aliens

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by BillJ, Jun 19, 2012.

  1. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Life has existed on this planet for billions of years. Most of it, BTW, is still bacteria. Within the last century, give or take a couple of decades, a single species which has existed for almost no time at all has managed to construct automobiles, iPods and atom bombs and in the process push the planet closer and closer to a point where it cannot support the civilization which makes iPods sellable - and we've had the chance to do that only because the creatures who were successful here for hundreds of millions of years got in the way of an asteroid.

    Huh.

    It's entirely possible - plausible, in fact - that the Universe is teeming with life and that almost none of it has learned the use of fire.
     
  2. RAMA

    RAMA Admiral Admiral

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    Civilizations don't need FTL, they can exchange speed for time however....spacecraft traveling at half the speed of light or .9c can go a long way if the civilization is I thousands or millions of years older than ours....however, they can do better...Von Neuman machines...self replicating and scattered throughout the galaxy can do the job in on a shorter time. They could spreads themselves with copies made from stored DNA or beam themselves as information in lasers. Question is can we even detect von neuman machines?
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2012
  3. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    We likely don't detect this stuff because to the best of anyone's knowledge it exists only as fiction.
     
  4. Alidar Jarok

    Alidar Jarok Everything in moderation but moderation Moderator

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    They did about 100-150 years ago. It was probably an inspiration for the Mormon religion believing that a lost tribe of Israel is in North America.

    Sure, if you give them a crash course in macroeconomics and diversify their economy so it wasn't so dependent of slavery and conquest. However, those are actually big "ifs." The Romans literally didn't have the slightest understanding of inflation. And this was quite a problem because their economy initially consisted of conquering someone and bringing the spoils back home. When they didn't have spoils, they debased the coinage. Neither one was good. They also had massive unemployment because there was little room for economic growth and agriculture was done on massive plantations. Just like the Confederacy was backwards in 1860, Rome would be a third world country. Finally, there was an agricultural revolution during the so-called Dark Ages (500-900) that allowed fewer farmers to produce more food and to farm in northern Europe. Both these things would have prevented Rome from competing economically.

    That being said, the resources, ingenuity, and industriousness of the Roman Empire was astounding. I'm not knocking what I view as the most impressive western empire in history. It just had lots of flaws too and was truly a product of its own time not way ahead of its time.
     
  5. RAMA

    RAMA Admiral Admiral

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    How unimaginative and droll...it wouldn't be fiction if we detected it...Von Neuman machines would be inexpensive and efficient, therefore a higher likelihood they may exist--if one is to suggest thousands of life bearing planets and a corresponding number of machine developing civilizations--but may also be hard to detect. They also don't break the known laws of physics.

    RAMA
     
  6. RAMA

    RAMA Admiral Admiral

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    It's somewhat insulting to suggest that we had help in developing our technology from outside sources, I for one think human beings are completely capable of that on our own...we're pretty remarkable in many ways.

    I don't think the smartest man in the world really thought this through, resources should be plentiful for a scavenger species, I don't see why'd they'd seek out intelligent life.

    RAMA
     
  7. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    No, direct and observant. Just because this board is devoted to a space opera doesn't mean we have to play "let's pretend just because" on every subject all the time.

    Uh...yeah.

    There are enough weasel words there to start a jack-in-the-box factory.
     
  8. RAMA

    RAMA Admiral Admiral

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    One extrapolation follows the other, the Starseed Project is real, Von Neuman machines are almost possible now in 2012. It doens't make sense to send out people when you can start off exploration with machines. We are finding evidence of a huge number of planets and many that could possibly support life, it doesn't take a more than avg bright teenager to follow such extrapolations to the likely conclusions because they are grounded in real science...you of course, don't really care about that..only in being mundane.

    RAMA
     
  9. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell Comfortably Numb Premium Member

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    There are some very bad assumptions here.

    First, you are making some quite bold assumptions about life in general:

    1. That it exists outside Earth. This is likely, given the vastness of space and recent signs that rocky planets may be quite common. I think there is enough evidence to speculate that simple life forms may have arisen on other planets.
    2. That such life sticks around long enough to evolve into more complex life.
    3. That such complex life evolves down a path similar to ours, in which it gains intelligence and develops a curiosity about its surroundings.
    4. That such life forms structures akin to human civilization, allowing mass cooperation and rapid technological advancement.
    5. That such life ever develops any interest in traveling to space, or is even physically capable of surviving it.
    6. That such life specifically sets about building things that can go into space, with all the technologies required to enable that.

    You're making the very flawed, Trekkian assumption that complex alien life forms would think and behave anything like us, that they would have the same interests, goals, and resources. Maybe they're supremely intelligent--much more than us--but have no ability to manipulate tools because they didn't evolve suitable appendages. They're not going anywhere.

    As for Von Neumann probes being cheap... well, how come we haven't sent any out, then? I'd just like to point out that we have no physical machinery today that's capable of self-replication. The very concept is still quite fanciful. I think it may be possible someday--possibly in the next couple decades--but even then, it's still a far cry from making probes that can do it for thousands or millions of generations.

    Von Neumann machines are not "almost possible now." Where do you get this nonsense?

    Here's a question for you: if intelligent life roughly fitting the parameters, capabilities, resources, and interests of human beings was at all common in the universe, how come we've never seen any evidence of it? Likewise with FTL travel. If it's possible to travel faster-than-light and it requires a level of technology that we can conceive (meaning alien civilizations capable of it should be ubiquitous), we should be getting visitors all the time, or at least detecting some really odd (inexplicable) characteristics in space where there's any FTL going on.

    Based on the current evidence, it's quite conceivable that we are the most "advanced" life in the entire universe. Maybe the universe is chock full of life, but none of it has ever become more complex than fungi, except for on Earth.

    Even if there are intelligent alien civilizations, that's no guarantee any of them are contemporary with us, either.

    If having a space empire was practical and there existed alien life willing and able to establish one, we'd be living under it right now. Given that we aren't, why not accept the prospect that maybe, just maybe, those civilizations don't exist, or the means to create and run such an empire are either impossible or so difficult to achieve as to be effectively impossible?

    It's not "unimaginative" or "mundane" to say this, either. It is acknowledging that just because we can imagine something to happen, that doesn't mean it actually can or will happen. Being able to separate fantasy from reality is something most children learn before the age of 10. Throwing away that distinction as an adult doesn't make one more enlightened. If anything, it makes them delusional.
     
  10. Maab of the Ten Tribes

    Maab of the Ten Tribes Captain Captain

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  11. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The fantasy consists of one arguable assumption balancing upon the previous, yes. So?

    Of course. One of us after all has made a scrap of a living, from time to time, based upon the use of imagination to conjure just this kind of thing up - the other cuts and pastes bits of foolishness from evangelical websites in support of an argument based upon wishful thinking and technological naivete.

    Hardly a fair match.

    I'm not mundane - I'm awake.
     
  12. Lonemagpie

    Lonemagpie Writer Admiral

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    One (of many!) problems I have with the show is that, even as a total skeptic on the issue, I can think of loads of examples of historical stuff that would be *more* convincing than the stories they come out with!

    That and the main guy's Centauri hair... Londo Mollari's barber has a lot to answer for...
     
  13. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Horse-drawn carriages are inexpensive and efficient. That doesn't mean you're likely to find one in the middle of the Sahara.
     
  14. RAMA

    RAMA Admiral Admiral

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    ..and yet the progress continues, is scientific and technological and demonstrable. You're still behind the times.

    Call it likely extrapolation, not fantasy.

    RAMA
     
  15. RAMA

    RAMA Admiral Admiral

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    A non-sequitur? Horse drawn carriages have nothing to do with space travel, or the context that the cheap, easy to make spacecraft have in the conversation.
     
  16. RAMA

    RAMA Admiral Admiral

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    "Almost" means within decades in exponential technologies for true Von Neuman machines...there are even patents that exist now for some self-replicating technology...while they would not technically be "replicators", using fabrication technologies at the forefront of advancements right now, small spacecraft could potentially build other spacecraft in the near future in the asteroid belt, bringing raw materials at first, then eventually they might be able to cconstruct new copies themselves from asteroid raw material...

    Regardless, the original point in my first post still stands....there are ways that could be effective to spread civilization through space without exotic technologies, they are both easier and more likely, and nothing that couldn't exist given a little time.
     
  17. RAMA

    RAMA Admiral Admiral

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    Exchanging time and the sheer volume of space instead of a creator, natural evolution in this universe and on this planet has created millions of species over time, the sheer likelihood that a galaxy with over 200-400 billion stars stars in it, 200,000 light years across, with over 2,000 known planets, and one with a 100% chance of life already, and a possbility that organisms might live on another one in this solar system (perhaps the moon Titan, that would be 2 planets out of 8 in ONE solar system), it is probably very likely that another species exists somewhere. This aforementioned exchange is very forgiving, the billions of years it takes for evolution could exist in a number of combinations over a life cycle of stars that have existed and still exist.

    In terms of what we know right up to this second, there is of course no other life in the universe, and that isn't in dispute here, but hypothetically, it seems logical that ones that operate within the laws we do know now, or even for a decade or two in our future could figure out how to make some moderately intelligent replicators to spread themselves over the galaxy much easier than breaking the known laws of physics.

    There are of course many theories as to why we don't see any of these species...the Fermi Paradox being one of them...http://www.faughnan.com/setifail.html

    These are speculations of course, but taking into account the scientific position that there could be 300 million Earthlike planets out there, it is STILL possible that space is really big, and the lack of exotic drives just makes it take a long time to get anywhere. Still, given the universal/geological timeframe, there should seem to be evidence, so it is also possible these aliens are attracted to the rich source of energy in the OTHER direction of our solar system, and they flock to the galactic core. My current most likely scenerio is that the Singularity occurs in each civilization that survives their adolescence and self destruction, perhaps 80% destroy themselves, 20% do not...20% of 30 million possible life bearing planets is still 6 million survivors. It is possible that such evolution causes introspection on a monumental level as the AI explores it's possibilities, they may decide to be completely insular for a very long period, and then exploration "seeding the galaxy" may start after a time.
     
  18. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Just because alien civilizations can visit us doesn't mean they would ever want to. What is there about Earth that would be worth visiting? Any alien culture which could get here would, almost certainly, consider Earth too primitive to bother with.
     
  19. nightwind1

    nightwind1 Commodore Commodore

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    His hair?

    What's wrong with his hair?

    You got a problem with his hair?

    [​IMG]
     
  20. PurpleBuddha

    PurpleBuddha Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    If I did not know better, I would assume you were one of those people completely clueless about how big the universe really is. Hell, just on our tiny planet how long did Native Americans go before they saw any evidence of other people from other continents? Some time. When we multiply that scale by a nearly unfathomable number and couple that with the fact that we have only taken one or two figurative steps into space, the answer to your question is rather obvious.