Are we alone?

Discussion in 'The Barber Shop' started by Rusty Blade, May 16, 2018.

    I mean are we alone in the universe? Do you believe there are other forms of life elsewhere in the universe? As the Mars project and other efforts to search for signs of life on other planets continues, I can't help but wonder, have people lost their sense of proportion? There are billions of stars in our galaxy the Milky Way and our galaxy is among millions of galaxies in the visible universe and many if not all of these gazillion billions of stars have planets. How could anyone realistically believe we are the only planet with life on it? What say you? Are we the only life in this vast universe?
  1. I agree with you. Based on the size of the universe and the number of planets, there has to be some form of not only life but intelligent life. I don't have the slightest idea if it looks like us or Yoda, but something has to be out there. I doubt anything is too close to us, and that's a good thing. I believe it was Steve Hawking who said if any other beings are capable of traveling here, we don't want them to. I agree with that.
  2. ajkel64

    ajkel64 Ambassador

    I don't think that we are alone, the universe is so large that I think that there must be something or someone out there somewhere. What or who they are we may never know but it certainly is fun speculating.
  3. There’s definitely life out there.
  4. Ask Buzz Aldrin. We are definitely not alone.
  5. Fermi's Paradox comes to mind. But I don't think it's a certainty that there is life elsewhere in the universe. There's an assumption that life is kind of like Sea Monkeys™ - just add water. But the problem is that science does not know how life can form from inanimate objects. There's speculation, and experiments that yield what's thought to be building blocks of life, but part of the problem is that these building blocks are used by existing life rather than being components for life from scratch. There are various problems that have to be solved. Self-replicating chemicals are one; a self-replicating barrier to seal the chemicals in from the outside environment is another, and on and on with each component of the simplest, viable, form of life.

    If all this is random, each is influenced by chance. You have the odds of self-replicating chemicals times the odds of a self replicating membrane times the odds of every single component involved in the simplest organism. Right of the bat, we don't have a handle on the odds because we don't know what initial conditions are required. Deep sea smoker? Along a slightly radioactive shoreline (completely serious - no images of big single cell critters going "Amoeba smash!")? In an ice pack? We don't know. And because we don't know the initial steps or what exactly has to be done, we can't calculate the odds of life coming about and not going extinct almost immediately.

    Instead, there's hand-waving. Life formed here, it goes, so why not elsewhere? The same physical laws here are elsewhere, and there's life here, so why not life under similar conditions? The reasoning goes that Earth isn't a special case.

    Except ... what if it is? What if the odds of life forming from base chemicals are so high that it's a rare event? What if that life managing not to quickly go extinct is even higher? If we look at Earth's natural history, it seems that there were several bottlenecks, including a possible gamma ray burst. What if Earth not only won in the Casino of Life, but broke the bank?

    All of a sudden, the idea that we might be alone isn't so far-fetched. There are likely billions of planets, moons, and what have you that could support life, but what if the odds against life are so high as to make that practically meaningless?

    Now, I don't know that we are alone, but I don't take it as a given that we aren't.
  6. Mick

    Mick Contributor

    There are lifeforms everywhere. That last glass of water you drank had millions of them in it.

    There are fewer lifeforms with opposable thumbs (ones that can make tools and post on facebook)

    There are even fewer whom we could contact and communicate with.

    Is there another Elvis out there somewhere? Unlikely.

  7. Do I think we're alone? No.

    Do I think scientists from earth have all the answers to the possible recipes that allow life to live on different planets? No.

    Sometimes I think as humans we are arrogant about what we think we know. Just because we mostly understand the building blocks of life on this planet, with this atmosphere, we assume it has to be the same everywhere. The universe is mind bogglingly huge so I wouldn't be surprised if there is life on planets that would be hostile to what we know as life.
    There are so many anomalies in space that don't conform to our understanding of physics, so who's to say we really understand the building blocks of life?
  8. I think and believe that we are indeed alone. We are so alone that it is mind blowing! And we are so alone that we should all be hiding in caves and trembling in abject fear of venturing out into the open. But of course we don't do that because we have in essence "come to grips with it all". We intuitively know that there just is no way there is anything or anybody else out there and even if there were what would we be when we met?

    I contend we would be hated enemies that are intent on destroying one another as quickly as possible. But we really need not worry about such things. Because the mathematical probability of there being sentient life out there like us requires the universe to be MUCH older than we now believe it to be.

    Think about it, in order for us to be mathematically possible requires a universe of about 14 billion years old. It also means an additional 14 billion for each additional sentient life form. And thus science kind of confirms that we are indeed alone.

    I once heard a theoretical scientist explain it in this manner.

    Imagine placing all ingredients for a simple strawberry milkshake into a bag; you will have a glass, the spoon, the ice cream, the milk, the cherry to go on top and the whipped cream. And now you close the bag and shake the ingredients and then pour it out. What are the chances of getting the ice cream into the glass?
    It is very small, not impossible but very small. Then add the complication of having the milk added as well, you then have reduced the possibility by the order of millions of times. Then add the third and fourth ingredients and by the time you have a finished proper milkshake the possibility is so infinitesimally small as to be almost equal to infinity.

    And thus you can see, getting one thing, a simple milkshake by chance requires such an infinitely vast time-span as to be absurdly impossible. And the existence of life as we know it is VASTLY more complex than the milkshake.

    It makes one wonder how it could even be true at all in one instance, let alone be true in more than one instance.
  9. Great thread and interesting input so far...
  10. Mick

    Mick Contributor

    If you shake the bag 100 trillion times what are the odds of not only getting multiple strawberry shakes but another several hundred vanilla ones as a bonus :)
  11. Esox

    Esox Ambassador


    I really hope we arent alone in all that space. What a boring place it would be.

    I very much doubt we are alone and I suspect there will be proof of that within the next 10 years or so. Maybe less.
  12. It is so infinitesimally small as to be infinitely impossible. It would be like winning the Mega millions lottery 100 times in a row by playing exactly the same numbers every time.
    It is in human terms "Impossible".
    But as Jeff Goldberg liked to say incorrectly in Jurassic Park, "Life always finds a way". But it doesn't and it can't because for it to exist is so improbable that it boggles the mind. And leads many to truly wonder and want a design or force or blue printer if you will for it to have started.
    Because going on chance alone leaves one with no hope really in the end.
  13. Of course, in the case of milkshakes, they do not ever form on their own and require *someone* to make them.

    And once made, they create issues of their own...

  14. Mick

    Mick Contributor

    I picked 100 trillion as an arbitrary number when in actuality it is ad infinitum, so impossible not to happen at least once :)
  15. Esox

    Esox Ambassador

    Life does indeed find a way.

    I didn’t have fish in my pond before but they are there now. How did they get there? – Pond & Lake Q & A

    Something seeds ponds like above.

    How did life come to be on Earth? Something also seeds planets. Comets and asteroid impacts carrying certain elements.

    NEO Basics

    If it happened here, its reasonable to expect it has elsewhere considering there are such a great number of planets out there.
  16. Yes but the problem is your equation leaves out time itself. For time is the constriction and limit upon your possibility. you don't have infinity in which to work you only have about 14 billion years. And thus the possible becomes millions of orders of magnitude less possible. :a29:

    Time is the KILLER of dreams and fantasies!
  17. In relation to this story, the common aphorism "no two snowflakes are alike" is pure bunkum,as there has never been a conclusive study on the matter. On any given snowstorm, how many snowflakes are there? and who has compared them all? And then factor in all of the snowstorms there are on a given winter, or in all of the winters ever, and I think You may very well find at least two snowflakes that are identical.

    I'm accepting grant money to conduct this study. Please send money.
  18. Highspeedlane

    Highspeedlane Contributor

    I'm a firm believer we're not alone. Do we really want to know what's out there? Depends on the last alien invasion movie you watched...

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