Do you believe in extraterrestrial life?

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Do you believe in extraterrestrial life?
Yes 84%  84%  [ 27 ]
No 16%  16%  [ 5 ]
Total votes : 32

DW
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24 Aug 2010, 1:58 am

A recent poll has found that 60% of Americans believe in extraterrestrial life.
1 in 4 believe that UFOs have visited earth.
I don't know how many Canadians believe in UFOs, although apparently 3.3 million claim they have seen UFOs.
I don't have numbers regarding the UK, although I would believe their numbers are high, due to the fact that the UK has been a UFO hotspot in these recent years.

I personally believe in extraterrestrial life, due to the fact that it is scientifically explainable via evolution on other planets. This topic was covered in my biology class.

I wanted to ask this question to other Aspies as we Aspies tend to be more realistic/logical.

I appreciate your feedback!



auntblabby
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24 Aug 2010, 2:18 am

it's a pretty big multiverse, and if we were the only ones, it would be mightly lonely as well as a terrible waste of space.



Autumnsteps
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24 Aug 2010, 2:34 am

Definitely, to me it seems hard to believe that there wouldn't be something else out there somewhere



Molecular_Biologist
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24 Aug 2010, 3:11 am

Consider this:

Some physicists believe that the universe is in fact infinite in size.

If this is true not only does extraterrestrial intelligence exist, on some planet a very long way away life evolved in exactly the same pattern as it did on earth.

There is another exact copy of you elsewhere in the universe (an infinite number of copies in an infinitely sized universe).

Also, there would be an infinite number of variations of "you". There is some version of you that won the lottery last week, a version of you that died in a car accident last week, and a version of you that developed as an NT.



DW
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24 Aug 2010, 3:25 am

Like I said, extraterrestrial activity is scientifically explainable by means of evolution. These 'ETs' could in theory evolve from simple molecules that make up the specific planet they live on.

This can be contrasted to something like ghosts. I don't believe in ghosts because ghosts don't have a central nervous system, meaning they could not organize thoughts and take part in the activities people claim they take part in, such as scaring people or lifting chairs. Some body of air does not have the capacity to create thoughts or to spook people.

Thanks for your comments!



sarek
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24 Aug 2010, 6:42 am

Give current understanding the odds are overwhelmingly in favour or extraterrestrial life. Of course, there could be powerful mechanisms at play we are not aware off yet.

What bothers me is Fermi's paradox. If they are out there, why are they not here/cant we hear them?


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roboticalien
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24 Aug 2010, 6:43 am

Philip Schneider
Sgt. Clifford Stone
Bob Lazar
Dan Burisch
Steven Greer
Billy Meier
David Icke
Darryl Anka
David Wilcock
George Green
Steven E. Jones
Alex Collier
Sheldan Nidle



ruveyn
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24 Aug 2010, 11:18 am

With the Cosmos consisting of over a hundred billion galaxies (that we know of) and each galaxy consisting of hundreds of billions of stars I find it quite implausible that we here on a backwater planet in the suburbs of a non-outstanding galaxy should be the only place where life exists.

If we are the only live place in the Cosmos then a lot of space is going to waste.

ruveyn



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24 Aug 2010, 11:49 am

Not only is it a horrible waste of space...it is horribly egocentric to believe that out of this entire ever expanding universe, earth is the only planet with life. I dont understand how some bible zealots believe that God only made the universe for us and we are the only ones who live in it. And you tell them about UFO sightings etc..."no that was just a demon" Some of them also believe that the devil placed dinosaur bones in the ground to make people believe in evolution...urrg!

I hope on the other earth...people are smarter and more humane.


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24 Aug 2010, 12:12 pm

Of course there's extraterrestrial life! The Universe is brimming with life. Mostly microbial and other lower life forms, of course.

Conditions have to be just right for the higher life to evolve. A stable middle-aged star. An Earth size planet, just the right distance from the star. One moon to shield against asteroid impacts and to stabilize the rotational axis. A gas giant to sweep up the asteroids.

Personally I'm dying to find out if there are dinosaurs living anywhere nearby! :)

The odds of a life form capable of creating civilizations, those are even more rare.

Microbes: billions; animals and plants: millions; civilizations: thousands.

That's just my estimate. So why haven't they visited yet? There are three explanations.

First is that the speed of light well and truly is the fastest way to travel. Bending of space wormholes etc... isn't practically possible for a spaceship. So the distances are so so vast, and the space filled with so many stars to visit, that a spacefaring civilization mere 1,000 light years away would have an extremely slim chance of stumbling upon us.

Second, the fate of most technological civilizations is to annihilate themselves, either through war or accident or climate change. So they fly into space for a few centuries and then cause their own extinction, never having met anyone else out there. A depressing possibility.

Thirdly, there could very well be a Prime Directive like on Star Trek. More advanced civilizations are staying away from us in order not to influence our development. NASA for example irradiates and bakes every probe they send to other planets to avoid contaminating another world with life from the Earth. If we, as primitive as we are, are concerned with that, other more advances species would be careful as well.

Oh this:

roboticalien wrote:
Philip Schneider
Sgt. Clifford Stone
Bob Lazar
Dan Burisch
Steven Greer
Billy Meier
David Icke
Darryl Anka
David Wilcock
George Green
Steven E. Jones
Alex Collier
Sheldan Nidle

Every one of those people is either cerifiably insane, or a scammer out to sell more books and charge for more radio show appearances. Or maybe they are just stupid and gullible?



jojobean
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24 Aug 2010, 12:58 pm

who are those ppl on the list???


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Dilbert
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24 Aug 2010, 1:36 pm

UFO crackpots, doomsday prophets, and conspiracy theorists. You might have seen some of them on Discovery or History Channel. The crap they spout is beyond idiotic.



LiendaBalla
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24 Aug 2010, 1:55 pm

I can't vote. :D I can't say I know with certainty that they visited, and I can't disproove their existance either. My sister and I have seen a UFO, just no terrestrials.



ruveyn
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24 Aug 2010, 3:10 pm

Molecular_Biologist wrote:
Consider this:


There is another exact copy of you elsewhere in the universe (an infinite number of copies in an infinitely sized universe).



That does not logically follow from the infinitude of the Cosmos.

ruveyn



soulecho
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24 Aug 2010, 3:12 pm

Approaching the question from a purely scientific viewpoint, as a biology major:

You only need two things (in general) for life-- An energy gradient and the "stuff" that it's made out of.

By energy gradient I mean an area where energy ranges from high to low. A good example of a gradient would be the range of temperatures in a room w/ a radiator-- The air in the room is hot when you're closest to the radiator, and cools down as you move away from it. Another, more appropriate example of an energy gradient would be the density of photons as you travel away from the sun (high density near the sun, very low density out near the orbit of Pluto).

And by stuff I mean the matter that life forms out of-- in our case, carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen, etc. Although there is no hard rule that life has to use the same chemistry that we do.

Even without invoking the "infinite universes" concept, our visible universe has trillions of galaxies, each with hundreds of billions of stars. On earth, we've managed to find life everywhere we've looked so far (ranging from 5 miles deep in the earths crust, to microscopic water droplets in the upper atmosphere).

If you combine all these facts together, it pretty much guarantees that life in *some* form exists elsewhere in the universe.

I'm not saying it has to be sentient life, of course, but life is life.



DW
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25 Aug 2010, 1:34 am

Yes, I would like to approach this issue from a purely scientific standpoint.

I find it hilarious that some people dismiss sightings as demons, visitors from heaven, or the funniest one I heard so far is "Xenu has defecated".

I agree with the energy gradient part, energy flows from high to low and that is a requirement for life. And I also agree with the requirement of structural macromolecules. Although like you said, these macromolecules don't have to be made out of the common elements (C, H, O, N). For all we know, saccharides (sugar rings) could have their carbon groups replaced with another element that tends to form rings.

Once again, thanks everyone for commenting.

And by the way, sorry for not putting an "I don't know" option into the poll.