Whee are the aliens?

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by Warped9, Aug 25, 2013.

  1. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The difference between Darwinian selection and life appearing by chance is probability:
    It is very probable that a molecule that can self-replicate better will replicate more - Darwinian selection.
    It is not probable that just the right environment will come to help along a not-yet-self-replicating molecule.

    If the outcomes prior to one point in the chain are not relevant, then the chain effectively starts there; if you need certain non-common compounds in the 'warm pond', though, it doesn't start there.

    And yes, there could be more than one road to life (for example, you mentioned a variant of 101 steps where the molecule goes wrong and then an environment comes that redresses it).
    But the number of roads to life is limited - that is pretty certain after the failures of artificial abiogenesis.

    Yes, but of this immense number of possibilities, the overwhelming majority are gibbeish. Nature didn't eliminate those; we did.
    Nature advanced blindly; we don't.

    100! gives such a small chance not because of the number of possible reactions at each point, but because the 100 environments must be independent from each other (environment 1 must not create environment 2, etc) and they must come in a specific order and no other.

    I took these environments as independent of each other.
    That's why I took the number of environments as small as 100; if environment A creates B creates C, for example, I took them all as a single environment 1 in the 100 chain (due to the high probability of B, C).

    Let's say that there are 1.000.000 roads to life (and shame on our biologists for not discovering even one) - this increases the chance of life emerging, but not enough.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2013
  2. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    And now, unsupported dictums on your part.
    You may want to come up with something less confused than your previous post to support it.
     
  3. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    So in a lab we haven't been able to re-create a self-replicating molecule. Could that mean our hypothesis is in error. Science does not stand still.
     
  4. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Actually, no, that's not what you posited in the first place. What you posited was:

    For the purposes of illustration, by way of a simple example, you said sequence of "reactions", not sequence of "environments".

    It was your evident assertion, that the probability of such a sequence of reactions occurring is approximately 1/100!, that I disproved. The factorial function is not the way to enumerate all of the possibilities in the case you first described, as I showed.

    But, OK, so now you want to shift the goalposts. You're not trying to find the probability of a sequence of reactions occurring. Rather, you're trying to find the probability that "environments" all occur in a sequence that is itself compatible with supporting some sequence of reactions. You've postulated some properties of these "environments". Crucially, you said, quite correctly:

    Quite correct, they should, in order for the final product in question to be produced.

    But for 1/100! to be the correct approximate probability of the environments occurring in the correct sequence, it is necessary—among other things—to assume that at each step all but one of the environments should be destructive to the molecules produced so far, with the environment left over leading to the next step.

    But how do you know this must be the case?

    Frankly, you don't. It's just an assumption, and it's a very specific one. Evidently, its only reason for existing is to ensure a ridiculously astronomical probability of the final product in question occurring.

    Further questions suggest themselves.

    Why can't a single environment be conducive to multiple steps in the process?

    Why can't the products of some or all of the steps exist in multiple environments?

    There are plenty of reasonable assumptions that drastically improve the odds of random reactions producing key chemicals.

    Even with all of these sorts of questions aside, there still remains the even more basic question, posed already and addressed by you with only another handwave:

    Why is only one order of reactions acceptable?

    Further questions suggest themselves here as well.

    Why is it that only one sequence of reactions produces a viable final product?

    Couldn't there be a variety of final products from different reaction sequences, all different, yet all viable?
     
  5. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    E.T. stayed home.

    Because interstellar travel is either impossible or infeasible on any timescale that would be justifiable in the resource allocation systems of any sentient life form, and interplanetary travel, while far more doable, isn't likely to be noticed across interstellar distances.

    Simply put: we could easily be surrounded by intelligent life forms both far ahead and far behind us technologically, but we would never know it unless one of them developed the means to physically visit our system. Apart from the fact that they have no specific reason to visit us (just one system among thousands in the neighborhood) they also probably lack either the motive or the means to do so.
     
  6. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    You should read my other statements before coming up with the 'shift the goalposts' card.

    I establish there that I'm talking about a 'warm pond/whatever' that must be subjected to 100 independent environments in order to give birth to a self-replicating molecule.
    More about it below.

    1.I took the 100 environments as independent of each other.
    That's why I took the number of environments as small as 100; if environment A creates B creates C, for example, I took them all as a single environment 1 in the 100 chain (due to the high probability of B, C).


    2. Now, these 100 environments should follow one after another:
    - without one or more destructive environments appearing between each 2 environments, destroying the future self-replicating molecule.
    These destructive environments can be not only from the 100 chain, but from any of the thousands of environments primordial Earth could generate.

    Now, it's possible for environment 30 (for example) to occur without consequence between environments 1 and 2 - but it's improbable: if environment 30 can affect the chemicals in the warm pond from step 29, it's highly probable that it can affect the chemicals from step 1.
    But - very well. In order to completely remove this possibility, I will VERY GENEROUSLY reduce the already very small number of steps (100) I posited for the creation of a self-replicating molecule to 70. This 70 steps are highly reactive AKA they can affect all the relevant chemicals from the 'warm pond' that are the precursors of the self-replicating molecule.

    The possibility of life emerging becomes !70:
    1.1978571670×10^100.

    Total number of atoms in the observable universe:
    10ˆ80. Of them, only a small fraction is amenable to creating life (let's say a VERY GENEROUS 10^25).


    3.The 70 environments must follow a strict order in order to give birth to life (a self replicating molecule requires precision work).
    As our attempts at abiogenesis clearly demonstrate, the road to life is both very specific and complex (we couldn't find it so far, despite thorough searching) - NOT all roads lead to Rome.

    But, let's - implausibly - assume that there are 1.000.000 different roads to life - different environments/'warm ponds' that can lead to life (and shame on our biologists for not discovering even one) - this increases the chance of life emerging, but not nearly enough.

    The probability of life emerging twice in the observable universe remains practically 0.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2013
  7. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    Sigh...and this is why, if extra terrestrials do exist, they will continue to be covered up. You'd think that with over 50 years of indoctrination by film and other media, that we would be closer to being psychologically prepared. I guess the Brookings Report was right. I know some of you will likely say that "It's Alabama - what do you expect?"

    Well, yeah, but still... :(
     
  8. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I live in that state I'm sorry to say. But in addition to SLS, we are doing work on Stratolauncher (Dynetics) and may get us an A-320 airbus plant if things hold.
     
  9. Metryq

    Metryq Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    This is yet another case in a long list starting with the 1938 WAR OF THE WORLDS radio broadcast. Other radio troupes have performed the script—even updated versions—yet contemporary audiences are still sent into a tailspin over invading aliens. One performance resulted in an Ecuador radio station being burned to the ground. Most of these broadcasts result in thousands of panicked phone calls to local police, at least.

    (A 1994 LA Theaterworks live broadcast featured several STAR TREK actors, and was directed by John de Lancie.)

    That many people are so credulous—even when one of these radio dramas is interrupted every 15 minutes with a station ID—is proof that freedom cannot be "given" to a people. They must be bright enough to think for themselves.

    The "indoctrination" is the problem; again, people must be able to think for themselves. We've had far too much Hollywood indoctrination.
     
  10. FPAlpha

    FPAlpha Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Come on.. what do you expect? Please count the numbers of benevolent aliens in movies like E.T., Starrman etc. vs violent aliens like in Independence Day, Alien, Predator etc.

    Just look at the total lack of sane reaction and opinion about foreign cultures some have never actually met or done any research about which are actually human and then multiply that with an alien race you absolutely know nothing about AND the fact that their technology is vastly superior (invariably fusing the fact together that their weapon technology is also far superior and they just haven't decided yet which home to destroy first ).

    As has been said in Men in Black (rightfully so): "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it."
     
  11. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    You're confusing some paranoid minorities with the vast majority of "people".
    You may google, for example, "elite panic" and how thoroughly debunked the "Tytler calumny" is.

    That dictum from Men in Black is anything but accurate. It is fashionably cynical, though. Pernicious, too.
     
  12. Metryq

    Metryq Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Not necessarily. There are many people who behave in a sane and rational way individually, yet become total idiots in a mob. (That is what K meant.) Probably every parent has asked their child, "What came over you? You did this just because everyone else was doing it?" Many of those parents are not entirely mature, either.
     
  13. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Not really.
    Feel free to prove your dictum, though. Not come with straw-men, such as your above comparison (equating a child with the population of a country? Really?).
    Hint - the people who fell for the "War of the worlds" show - then and now - comprised/comprise no more than a tiny minority.

    As for my evidence - "google, for example, "elite panic" and how thoroughly debunked the "Tytler calumny" is." For starters.
     
  14. Deckerd

    Deckerd Fleet Arse Premium Member

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    I don't know about your previous arguments being simplistic but this one certainly is. Technology is not humanity's strength and never was. For the sake of argument, an alien passing this planet would a) find it endlessly fascinating and b) unbelievably dangerous because of the clever and inventive indigenous alpha species.

    Also, something advanced enough to make it here and look at Earth is highly unlikely to be interested in blowing all life to oblivion just for kicks. Just because science fiction necessarily makes alien visitors adversaries doesn't make it any more sensible in a real life scenario.