The Political Fray - Political Forum
Go Back   Political Fray > The Political Fray > Philosophy

Philosophy Philosophy discussion about everything from politics to daily living to ethics and morals


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old June 25th, 2012, 08:19 PM   #1
Vice President
 
David's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2009
From: Opa Locka
Posts: 5,659

An interesting point.

As most everyone has accepted, we're not alone in the universe. It's so vast that not only is life certain but I'm probably making this post on this computer in some far corner of the universe (a Stage 1 parallel universe). This has lead the question of 'Are we alone?' to be replaced by 'Why have we not been contacted?'. I recently heard an interesting point on that subject:

Why have we not been contacted? Imagine you're walking down a country road and come across an anthill. Do you bend down and talk to them? Do you say 'I come in peace. I bring you technology, medicine and nuclear power. Take me to your leader!'? No, you probably step on a few of them for the fun of it and keep walking.
David is offline  
Old June 25th, 2012, 08:30 PM   #2
myp
Founding Father
 
myp's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2009
From: US
Posts: 5,841

I don't buy that theory, although it is possible.

By the way, the question you are asking is known as the Fermi paradox. There has been a good amount of work, theories, etc. dealing with it. Some really interesting stuff.
myp is offline  
Old June 25th, 2012, 10:36 PM   #3
Senator
 
Cerise's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2012
From: England
Posts: 536

Quote:
Originally Posted by David View Post
As most everyone has accepted, we're not alone in the universe. It's so vast that not only is life certain but I'm probably making this post on this computer in some far corner of the universe (a Stage 1 parallel universe). This has lead the question of 'Are we alone?' to be replaced by 'Why have we not been contacted?'. I recently heard an interesting point on that subject:

Why have we not been contacted? Imagine you're walking down a country road and come across an anthill. Do you bend down and talk to them? Do you say 'I come in peace. I bring you technology, medicine and nuclear power. Take me to your leader!'? No, you probably step on a few of them for the fun of it and keep walking.
Perhaps we will be contacted when we reach a level worth contacting?
Cerise is offline  
Old June 25th, 2012, 10:46 PM   #4
Vice President
 
David's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2009
From: Opa Locka
Posts: 5,659

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cerise View Post
Perhaps we will be contacted when we reach a level worth contacting?
That is the jist of it. We're irrelevant, why would anyone bother talking to us unless they wanted to kill something or study us scientifically? Until we can get out of this star system we'll stay isolated.
David is offline  
Old June 26th, 2012, 08:28 AM   #5
myp
Founding Father
 
myp's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2009
From: US
Posts: 5,841

Quote:
Originally Posted by David View Post
That is the jist of it. We're irrelevant, why would anyone bother talking to us unless they wanted to kill something or study us scientifically? Until we can get out of this star system we'll stay isolated.
What are you basing the claim that we are irrelevant? Everything is relative. Furthermore, anyone that wanted to explore space or had the curiosity to do so would want to find the ant hill vs. being the ant who finds the human- it is one of the reasons why Stephen Hawking advocates that we should try not to contact aliens.
myp is offline  
Old June 26th, 2012, 08:30 AM   #6
Representative
 
zoldos's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2012
From: on Earth
Posts: 236

Quote:
Originally Posted by David View Post
That is the jist of it. We're irrelevant, why would anyone bother talking to us unless they wanted to kill something or study us scientifically? Until we can get out of this star system we'll stay isolated.
I tend to agree. I definitely don't buy all these alien abduction stories. The Universe is vast, and why would "aliens" just happen to be close enough to be visiting us? Of course, they might have space folding or wormhole technology.
zoldos is offline  
Old June 26th, 2012, 10:08 AM   #7
Vice President
 
David's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2009
From: Opa Locka
Posts: 5,659

Quote:
Originally Posted by zoldos View Post
I tend to agree. I definitely don't buy all these alien abduction stories. The Universe is vast, and why would "aliens" just happen to be close enough to be visiting us? Of course, they might have space folding or wormhole technology.
Indeed. Be nice if we had FTL, we could solve all our problems by simply letting ethnic groups, ideologies and religions have their own planets.
David is offline  
Old June 26th, 2012, 02:44 PM   #8
MPR
Intern
 
Joined: Mar 2012
From: Michigan
Posts: 44

Why is the assumption always that other life forms would be more advanced than humans?

It is also a very earth-centric view of the universe to ask why we haven’t been contacted. With 200 billion or so stars in our galaxy and 200 billion or so galaxies in the universe, with the Milky Way being about 100,000 light years across and the next closest galaxy being 100,000 light years away and just our local group covering about 5,000,000 light years (or about 29,392,499,100,000,000,000 miles) with the next closest galaxy another 5,000,000 light years outside that, and humans only having a history of a few hundred thousand years it is not hard to imagine why we have never been contacted…
MPR is offline  
Old June 26th, 2012, 03:03 PM   #9
Representative
 
zoldos's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2012
From: on Earth
Posts: 236

Quote:
Originally Posted by David View Post
Indeed. Be nice if we had FTL, we could solve all our problems by simply letting ethnic groups, ideologies and religions have their own planets.
That sounds a tad extreme!
zoldos is offline  
Old June 26th, 2012, 03:13 PM   #10
Representative
 
zoldos's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2012
From: on Earth
Posts: 236

Quote:
Originally Posted by MPR View Post
Why is the assumption always that other life forms would be more advanced than humans?

It is also a very earth-centric view of the universe to ask why we haven’t been contacted. With 200 billion or so stars in our galaxy and 200 billion or so galaxies in the universe, with the Milky Way being about 100,000 light years across and the next closest galaxy being 100,000 light years away and just our local group covering about 5,000,000 light years (or about 29,392,499,100,000,000,000 miles) with the next closest galaxy another 5,000,000 light years outside that, and humans only having a history of a few hundred thousand years it is not hard to imagine why we have never been contacted…
Oh I agree completely. I've often wondered that other "life" might be so different that if we encounter it, we might not even know it was alive.
zoldos is offline  
Old June 26th, 2012, 04:44 PM   #11
myp
Founding Father
 
myp's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2009
From: US
Posts: 5,841

Quote:
Originally Posted by MPR View Post
Why is the assumption always that other life forms would be more advanced than humans?
Given that the Earth is 4.54 billion years old (and life around 3 billion if I remember correctly) and the universe is over 13 billion years old, we are relatively young. I don't remember the exact numbers, but I would assume that the sun is a lot younger than many other stars, suggesting that if life were to have evolved in any of those systems, it may well be older than life on Earth and certainly human life. That leaves more time for progress (could literally be billions of years) suggesting they'd be more advanced.

Statistically though there is likely older and younger life than us. I am guessing there is more older life than younger though. Of course I could be completely wrong.
myp is offline  
Old June 27th, 2012, 01:14 AM   #12
MPR
Intern
 
Joined: Mar 2012
From: Michigan
Posts: 44

The universe is definitely older than the Earth. Other stars are much older than our sun. However, there is a cyclical nature to the universe that precludes a direct link to age of the universe and possible age of other life forms. Our world is about half way through its life cycle, in another 5 billion years the Earth will cease to exist as our sun dies. Stars much older than the Earth have already gone through this cycle, dying and feeding the development of new stars.

The chemical makeup and set of circumstances to form life, and planets which could sustain and nurture life are relatively rare throughout the stars. Older stars have a low content of heavy elements meaning that it is not likely that they have life sustaining planetary systems. Most planetary systems form around newer, metal rich stars like the sun. Therefore, life is most likely “recent” and could not have evolved in the earlier days of the universe. However, the sun is a middle-aged population I star, so there certainly could be stars with planets that have been sustaining life for longer than the Earth.

However, as life cycles on Earth have shown, evolution is unpredictable. Dinosaurs ruled this planet for hundreds of millions of years during which time mammals did little evolving. It was only after the extinction of dinosaurs that mammals were able to dominate and eventually evolve into humans. How can we know what the future holds…will intellect and technology continue to advance, will humans even survive, will we become extinct as other forms of life dominate the planet? Just the same, other life sustaining planets must have cycles and evolution and meteors and star death, and many other circumstances which limit the development of intelligent species. So, even if there are planets which have sustained life longer than Earth, there is no guarantee that the life forms are more advanced…just older.
MPR is offline  
Old June 27th, 2012, 06:00 AM   #13
myp
Founding Father
 
myp's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2009
From: US
Posts: 5,841

Of course there is no guarantee, it was mere speculation on my part. As for the star life cycle, it could be that an intelligent life form could escape such an end before it happened through space travel. Hawking has suggested there might be nomadic alien species out there. We don't know for sure but given the scope of the universe, it may well be possible.
myp is offline  
Old June 27th, 2012, 01:13 PM   #14
MPR
Intern
 
Joined: Mar 2012
From: Michigan
Posts: 44

Yeah, anything is possible. My point wasn’t to say that there aren’t more advanced beings out there, only to question why most people seem to assume that it is a definite. Based on when stars formed with heavier elements and such, it is entirely possible that another life form has been evolving for a billion or two years more than we have. But, based on the relative rareness of life-giving circumstances and the variability and “luck” involved in evolution it is entirely possible that older life forms never advanced to the same state as humans.

However, the universe is 93 billion light years across, so statistically it would be likely that a more advanced race developed somewhere in the universe by taking advantage of the extra billion or two years of evolution. However, it is just as likely that those beings would be more than a billion light years away from us so signs of their civilization would not yet have reached the Earth.
MPR is offline  
Old June 28th, 2012, 03:52 PM   #15
Representative
 
RoccoR's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2010
From: Reynoldsburg, OH
Posts: 211

David, et al,

Will, there are a numbers of reasons:

Quote:
Originally Posted by David View Post
As most everyone has accepted, we're not alone in the universe. It's so vast that not only is life certain but I'm probably making this post on this computer in some far corner of the universe (a Stage 1 parallel universe). This has lead the question of 'Are we alone?' to be replaced by 'Why have we not been contacted?'. I recently heard an interesting point on that subject:

Why have we not been contacted? Imagine you're walking down a country road and come across an anthill. Do you bend down and talk to them? Do you say 'I come in peace. I bring you technology, medicine and nuclear power. Take me to your leader!'? No, you probably step on a few of them for the fun of it and keep walking.
(COMMENT)

One big reason could be a Mass Extinction Event (MEE) on both sides. On the Earth side, an MEE has a 60% of happening about every 60-to-70 million years. We are about due for another, any time now.


We don't actually know how often an MEE would occur on Planet X; but if Planet X is anything like Earth, it may well suffer an MEE on a regular basis.

Relative to Earth, intelligent life may not be able to develop and survive long enough to escape an MEE and discover intelligent life elsewhere. By the same token, an extraterrestrial world may not have developed to the point it could discover Earth.

Most Respectfully,
R
RoccoR is offline  
Old June 28th, 2012, 08:10 PM   #16
Vice President
 
David's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2009
From: Opa Locka
Posts: 5,659

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoccoR View Post
David, et al,

Will, there are a numbers of reasons:


(COMMENT)

One big reason could be a Mass Extinction Event (MEE) on both sides. On the Earth side, an MEE has a 60% of happening about every 60-to-70 million years. We are about due for another, any time now.


We don't actually know how often an MEE would occur on Planet X; but if Planet X is anything like Earth, it may well suffer an MEE on a regular basis.

Relative to Earth, intelligent life may not be able to develop and survive long enough to escape an MEE and discover intelligent life elsewhere. By the same token, an extraterrestrial world may not have developed to the point it could discover Earth.

Most Respectfully,
R
As to the bolded, we're currently experiencing the Holocene mass extinction. It's just not obvious because we're not it's victims and it's not an overnight thing (only the KT event happened quickly).

As to your point, I agree. I was just throwing the OP to see what people thought.
David is offline  
Old June 29th, 2012, 12:07 PM   #17
Representative
 
zoldos's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2012
From: on Earth
Posts: 236

Quote:
Originally Posted by David View Post
As to the bolded, we're currently experiencing the Holocene mass extinction. It's just not obvious because we're not it's victims and it's not an overnight thing (only the KT event happened quickly).

As to your point, I agree. I was just throwing the OP to see what people thought.
What is a Holocene extinction?
zoldos is offline  
Old June 29th, 2012, 02:33 PM   #18
Vice President
 
David's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2009
From: Opa Locka
Posts: 5,659

Quote:
Originally Posted by zoldos View Post
What is a Holocene extinction?
The mass extinction event we're experiencing right now.
David is offline  
Old June 30th, 2012, 06:53 AM   #19
Representative
 
zoldos's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2012
From: on Earth
Posts: 236

Thanks for the link! I view it as just part of nature, just like when humans become extinct.
zoldos is offline  
Old June 30th, 2012, 01:40 PM   #20
Vice President
 
David's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2009
From: Opa Locka
Posts: 5,659

Quote:
Originally Posted by zoldos View Post
Thanks for the link! I view it as just part of nature, just like when humans become extinct.
140K extinctions a year isn't normal.
David is offline  
Reply

  Political Fray > The Political Fray > Philosophy

Tags
interesting , point



Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Ok I'm not normally into conspiracy theories but this looks very interesting JohnMcJeferson Conspiracy Theories 1 January 4th, 2013 01:01 AM
See anything interesting at the polling place? myp Government and Politics 28 November 30th, 2012 09:12 PM
Whats the point of religion? David McHenry Religion 38 May 27th, 2010 12:08 PM
Tibetans protesting the 17 Point Agreement of 1951. irahat Current Events 0 May 23rd, 2010 10:14 AM


Facebook Twitter RSS Feed



Copyright © 2009-2013 Political Fray. All rights reserved.