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Thread: Do you believe aliens have visited earth?171 days old

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    I believe there is life elsewhere in the universe, and through sheer statistical likelihood some if it must be intelligent (even though intelligent life took four billion years to develop on Earth and it was by no means an inevitable outcome). At the same time, I believe that we are alone in the universe for all intents and purposes as the distances involved are almost unimaginable. People consistently underestimate just how vast our galaxy is.

    The 'ancient aliens' hypothesis in particular crosses the line from fanciful into vaguely insulting, in the way it downplays the accomplishments of ancient civilizations, especially the Mesoamerican and Egyptian ones.
    Last edited by Bittereinder; 2018-04-11 at 20:45.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bittereinder View Post
    The 'ancient aliens' hypothesis in particular crosses the line from fanciful into vaguely insulting, in the way it downplays the accomplishments of ancient civilizations, especially the Mesoamerican and Egyptian ones.
    ^This. Its unfortunate that "I believe in UFO/Aliens" is conflated with the "ancient aliens built all our ancient shit" argument.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bittereinder View Post
    I believe there is life elsewhere in the universe, and through sheer statistical likelihood some if it must be intelligent (even though intelligent life took four billion years to develop on Earth and it was by no means an inevitable outcome). At the same time, I believe that we are alone in the universe for all intents and purposes as the distances involved are almost unimaginable. People consistently underestimate just how vast our galaxy is.

    The 'ancient aliens' hypothesis in particular crosses the line from fanciful into vaguely insulting, in the way it downplays the accomplishments of ancient civilizations, especially the Mesoamerican and Egyptian ones.
    Excellent post.

    Yes, the universe is ridiculously huge. It's difficult to grasp how huge the universe is, given that it expands at, or faster than, the speed of light. And by doing so, the stars and galaxies in the universe are drifting apart all the time, so eventually, what we're going to have is a mostly very dark and cold universe.

    But the fact that the universe is so huge and has that many galaxies, stars and planets, is in no way a guarantee that there must be intelligent life out there, or life for that matter. The requirements for life are many; we're not talking 2-3 different atoms here, and you're talking about highly intelligent life on this planet not being an inevitable outcome? Never mind intelligent life; life itself on this planet, wasn't an inevitable outcome, and it has not happened again since; all life as we know it, comes from the original abiogenesis process that resulted in the first self-replicating molecule. If life was an easy process, we'd have many different species that have evolved from different abiogenesis processes.

    Anyway, it's basically impossible for intelligent aliens to find us. It's one thing if life was common, and we had like, 1,000 different high tech civilizations in our galaxy alone, but I dare say we're alone in our entire galaxy (and that also if we include bacteria in the equation), and we're possibly alone in the rest of the universe too.
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    Quote Originally Posted by EliasAlucard View Post
    Excellent post.

    Yes, the universe is ridiculously huge. It's difficult to grasp how huge the universe is, given that it expands at, or faster than, the speed of light. And by doing so, the stars and galaxies in the universe are drifting apart all the time, so eventually, what we're going to have is a mostly very dark and cold universe.

    But the fact that the universe is so huge and has that many galaxies, stars and planets, is in no way a guarantee that there must be intelligent life out there, or life for that matter. The requirements for life are many; we're not talking 2-3 different atoms here, and you're talking about highly intelligent life on this planet not being an inevitable outcome? Never mind intelligent life; life itself on this planet, wasn't an inevitable outcome, and it has not happened again since; all life as we know it, comes from the original abiogenesis process that resulted in the first self-replicating molecule. If life was an easy process, we'd have many different species that have evolved from different abiogenesis processes.

    Anyway, it's basically impossible for intelligent aliens to find us. It's one thing if life was common, and we had like, 1,000 different high tech civilizations in our galaxy alone, but I dare say we're alone in our entire galaxy (and that also if we include bacteria in the equation), and we're possibly alone in the rest of the universe too.
    I am not so sure about the rarity of life itself. It's true that all organisms on this planet are biologically related, but on the other hand, life arose very quickly after Earth itself formed. As far as we know, this was during what we would consider to be extreme circumstances. It could simply be that new types of life haven't been able to form or subsist simply because all unicellular niches are so thoroughly occupied, and have been almost since the beginning.
    The problem here is that we have only one object in our statistical sample, and it is impossible to infer a more general theory from that. Even a biologist/chemist can't make a definitive statement about this issue, let alone a random guy on an Internet forum, but for my part I am willing to concede the possibility of life being somewhat common in the universe. I see nothing that would either affirm or disprove this in a conclusive fashion.

    I think we do agree about the prevalence of intelligent life. It's an extremely unlikely step that itself can only occur after an entire series of unlikely steps. Basic life may have arisen fairly quickly on Earth, but eukaryotes took around two billion years to develop. After that, it was another ~1.5 billion years before animals lacking cell walls evolved.
    Even after that, there is no guarantee that intelligent life will eventually emerge. The first thing to consider is that complexity leads to vulnerability to environmental changes, especially if combined with specialization. Mass extinction events since the start of the Phanerozoic era have disproportionately affected large, complex organisms. To an extent, you start with a clean sheet every so often.
    The second major factor is that intelligence is a huge opportunity cost in terms of energy. Even though there are obvious benefits to human levels of intelligence (which a large part of our daily caloric intake is devoted to), evolution is generally a gradual process. In many cases, a minor increase in intelligence is not worth the cost. In fact, there are many examples of species decreasing in intelligence and/or complexity over time.

    To sum up, it is possible that life is at least semi-common on a galactic scale, but this by no means implies complex, let alone intelligent life. I'd estimate the chance of the latter existing in our sector of the galaxy to be virtually zero. Even if it did, it would have to be advanced to the point of almost violating the laws of physics in order to contact us in any meaningful fashion.
    None of this means we should not search, if only because it captivates the public imagination in a way that can be harnessed to increase progress in other, more realistic domains of astronomy.

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    There is a high likeability that Mars started off similarly as Earth, and that life was developing congenially to life on Earth due to is losing its gravitation field and thus atmosphere. The evolution of life got 'nipped in the bud' there, so to speak. Perhaps even in our own solar system alone life wasn't that unique (though we lack proof that Mars once had life, it remains possible). So I doubt life elsewhere is as improbably as people believe it to be.
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    Excellent post, Bitty. It's good to see there's still some intelligence here

    Quote Originally Posted by Bittereinder View Post
    I am not so sure about the rarity of life itself. It's true that all organisms on this planet are biologically related, but on the other hand, life arose very quickly after Earth itself formed. As far as we know, this was during what we would consider to be extreme circumstances. It could simply be that new types of life haven't been able to form or subsist simply because all unicellular niches are so thoroughly occupied, and have been almost since the beginning.
    The problem here is that we have only one object in our statistical sample, and it is impossible to infer a more general theory from that. Even a biologist/chemist can't make a definitive statement about this issue, let alone a random guy on an Internet forum, but for my part I am willing to concede the possibility of life being somewhat common in the universe. I see nothing that would either affirm or disprove this in a conclusive fashion.
    If bacterial life was relatively common in the universe, we'd find more examples of intelligent life also. There are many reasons why bacterial life should be very uncommon. A good example would be supernovas; when stars explode into a supernova, it basically wipes out all life within 30 light years radius or so. So that means, even if life kickstarts on various planets, most of that life will be wiped out eventually. We've just been lucky enough to not have any neighboring stars explode within the past 4 billion years, but one day, we just might be wiped out too by a supernova.

    And there are ways to detect life on planets within our galaxy (in other galaxies it'll obviously be more difficult, and the further out the galaxies are, the less useful it is to try to infer the possibility of life, because light might be there on planets that are like, 5 billion light years away from us). A good, solid example would be if there's both oxygen and methane on a planet's atmosphere; that's a strong indication of life, because methane and oxygen destroy each other, so if a planet has an atmosphere containing both, it basically means its oxygen and methane come from a life source. But so far, no planet has been detected in our galaxy that has both oxygen and methane, aside from our own that is.

    That said, the fact that we haven't detected any planet with an atmosphere containing both oxygen and methane, makes aliens visiting us, extremely unlikely. Of course not all lifeforms must exhale oxygen, depending on what kind of liquid solvent they've adapted to and which is most common on their planet (although, water is quite common and it's a very useful solvent too), but the point is, if bacterial life was relatively common, we'd obviously see some planets with such an atmosphere.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bittereinder View Post
    I think we do agree about the prevalence of intelligent life.
    Yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bittereinder View Post
    It's an extremely unlikely step that itself can only occur after an entire series of unlikely steps.
    It's not just the many steps that are unlikely, but more than anything, intelligence needs the right genotypes, and since evolution has no direction, in no way is it guaranteed that a highly intelligent species will emerge. It's one thing if life was fixed in a certain direction, to evolve high intelligence, but it's not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bittereinder View Post
    Basic life may have arisen fairly quickly on Earth, but eukaryotes took around two billion years to develop. After that, it was another ~1.5 billion years before animals lacking cell walls evolved.
    Even after that, there is no guarantee that intelligent life will eventually emerge. The first thing to consider is that complexity leads to vulnerability to environmental changes, especially if combined with specialization. Mass extinction events since the start of the Phanerozoic era have disproportionately affected large, complex organisms. To an extent, you start with a clean sheet every so often.
    The second major factor is that intelligence is a huge opportunity cost in terms of energy. Even though there are obvious benefits to human levels of intelligence (which a large part of our daily caloric intake is devoted to), evolution is generally a gradual process. In many cases, a minor increase in intelligence is not worth the cost. In fact, there are many examples of species decreasing in intelligence and/or complexity over time.
    Yes, and again, that's because evolution has no direction. Some even go so far as to argue that intelligence isn't beneficial to life, and that intelligence is destructive, which it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bittereinder View Post
    To sum up, it is possible that life is at least semi-common on a galactic scale, but this by no means implies complex, let alone intelligent life. I'd estimate the chance of the latter existing in our sector of the galaxy to be virtually zero. Even if it did, it would have to be advanced to the point of almost violating the laws of physics in order to contact us in any meaningful fashion.
    None of this means we should not search, if only because it captivates the public imagination in a way that can be harnessed to increase progress in other, more realistic domains of astronomy.
    Agreed. Even if they lived on one of the planets of our nearest stars, it would be one hell of a mission to get here. 4 light years is a yuuuuge distance.

    To summarize: anyone who says we've been visited by aliens, really hasn't done much reading on astronomy, astrophysics, biology and evolution. The more you learn about the universe and life, the more convinced you become that it's just damn unlikely we've ever been visited by aliens.
    Last edited by EliasAlucard; 2018-04-17 at 22:52. Reason: typo
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    Well, it's a good point. Life may have existed somewhere in the universe, it may not exist right now. It may exist again in the future somewhere in the universe. In fact it may have come and gone many times, even intelligent life, even civilizations, even space faring. That does not mean that there's any life comparable to earth's life right now, or that our existence overlap with the existence of intelligent life anywhere in the universe, or that it will. Or if it did, by chance, we will likely never know, ever. If the universe is 14 billion years old, just think of the short time relative to this truly intelligent life has existed on earth. Practically only humans have become truly aware of the world as it is, and how long have we been around? We can't even manage earth properly now, despite all our technology, so in astronomical context we're not much more than bacteria anyway, we even behave the same by creating lifeless areas called "cities" ever spreading across the globe, in a slow but exponential manner.
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    Yes. There is evidence of unidentified objects in the sky, and not all are explained.

    The military has observed unknown objects on video, and they maneuver in ways that a bird or human-made aircraft wouldn't.

    Just go to YouTube and search military UFO. It will bring up real news of what I mentioned.

    If you don't believe in aliens, then you sort of don't believe in yourself. You live on a planet in space. Stars have planets around them, or most do anyway I read. And if there is a God, he can make life happen anywhere he wants, or lack thereof.

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    Wellcome, mr. Non Sequitur
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    For anyone with any interest on the subject of UFOs I can suggest John Keel's Operation Trojan Horse.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operat...n_Horse_(book)

    'Keel, who died in 2009, was an ufologist. According to The Daily Telegraph, "In his much-acclaimed second book, UFOs: Operation Trojan Horse, Keel suggested that many aspects of modern UFO reports, including humanoid encounters, often paralleled ancient folklore and religious visions, and directly linked UFOs with elemental phenomena."

    The book presents Keel's theory that UFOs are a phenomenon produced by "ultraterrestrials", beings who are able to manipulate matter and our senses, and who in the past manifested themselves as fairies, demons, and so on.'

    I've seen some weird shit 'up there' a couple of times in my life and I I don't buy into the idea that UFOs are simply ETs out for a joyride. I recently was out for a early evening walk roundabout where I live, near an airport and it's heavily wooded, and I saw two or three collections of what looked like strings of multicolored Christmas lights floating slowly above the treetops. So I stood and watched for a good ten minutes, utterly mystified. There was a flock of geese nearby since the area is a bit marshy and these things went nuts, honking and squawking and flapping their wings till they eventually all gtfo and flew off- at which point I did too. A little bit later I felt the strangest sense of disorientation and whatnot, like I forgot how to use my legs and all I wanted to do was keel over and crawl up into a ball. Really dreadful feeling, which did pass, but at the time.. Holy shit. Idk what the things I saw were (definitely not drones nor airplanes nor helicopters- the things were utterly silent as they flitted above the trees).

    I believe there's something out there, to use the X-Files catchphrase, but what it is I have no bloody idea.
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