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Fermi Paradox... why? by Henrietta Levitt - Thu, 22 May 2014 00:54:34 EST ID:ILYTISHs No.53812 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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Another thread made me start thinking about this. The Fermi Paradox states (thanks, Wikipedia):

>The Sun is a young star. There are billions of stars in the galaxy that are billions of years older;
>Some of these stars probably have Earth-like planets which, if the Earth is typical, may develop intelligent life;
>Presumably, some of these civilizations will develop interstellar travel, a technology Earth is investigating even now, such as that used in the proposed 100 Year Starship;
>At any practical pace of interstellar travel, the galaxy can be completely colonized in a few tens of millions of years.

If that's the case, why haven't we been colonized already, or at least seen evidence of intelligent life somewhere in our galaxy?

My take: either A) Life takes a long time to develop, and somehow, improbably, we're the first planet to develop an intelligent civilization in our galaxy, or at least one of the first. We don't see anyone else because there isn't anyone else to see... yet, or we're all still too far apart.

Or b) Given the size and composition constraints of a planet able to foster and sustain life (as far as we know, "habitable zone," big enough to have an atmosphere, small enough to still be rocky, etc.) and continue long enough for said life to begin to explore the galaxy, the home planet simply runs out of resources before meaningful headway can be made. I think this is more of a slow-death kind of thing where maybe we get to do some exploration within the solar system and maybe a bit beyond for a while, but overpopulation, war, disease, famine, and whatever else causes us to realign our priorities from space exploration to merely sustaining life on our own planet. A civilization that had the foresight to know something like that was happening could theoretically, if they had the goal of galactic expansion from the start, avoid this situation, but the problem is that NO civilization has that kind of 10,000 year plan from the get-go, and they all sputter out right before they could have pulled it off. There's not a textbook on "how to succeed as a species" that gets handed out to a life form when it develops self-awareness, so following the natural progression, they all fail. the ability to extract resources necessary for galactic colonization from anywhere off-planet becomes viable too late in the game to save the species.

tl;dr - We're all gonna die, prolly. Thoughts?
William Lassell - Thu, 22 May 2014 04:47:47 EST ID:HHONuZWs No.53814 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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>If that's the case, why haven't we been colonized already, or at least seen evidence of intelligent life somewhere in our galaxy?
Wh-what about the pyramids?
Viktor Ambartsumian - Thu, 22 May 2014 11:19:37 EST ID:N4DWeKCD No.53816 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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Maybe we already have been colonized or visited and we just dont know it? Either way it's kind of spooky. Seriously guys, where is everybody? pic related
Viktor Ambartsumian - Thu, 22 May 2014 11:27:50 EST ID:N4DWeKCD No.53818 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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nb because double post, but I was just thinking about this further. It's not crazy, but improbable, to think that we are among the first to develop. We are the actual first among thousands of species to develop sentience so why is this any difference. Sure it's not quite proportionate, but it's something to think about. Also, if there is life, who's to say it exists just hasn't developed sentience let alone space travel. ALSO, the fermi paradox only makes mention of galaxy colonization. theres lot of galaxies brah, maybe they just havent found the right mass effect relays yet.
Viktor Ambartsumian - Thu, 22 May 2014 11:29:54 EST ID:N4DWeKCD No.53819 Ignore Report Quick Reply
triple post. why are we even assuming aliens give a fuck about space travel. our cultural and evolutionary constructs give us the desire to master it, but aliens may be content to just watch tv all day.
Henrietta Levitt - Thu, 22 May 2014 17:04:18 EST ID:ILYTISHs No.53821 Ignore Report Quick Reply
>theres lot of galaxies brah

I didn't bring that one up mostly because it's WAY beyond our scope to detect evidence of life outside of even our stellar neighborhood. The only things we detect in other galaxies are supernovae, which I'm pretty sure are actually BAD for life.
Joseph Taylor Jr. - Fri, 23 May 2014 01:39:27 EST ID:kviwdVC/ No.53828 Ignore Report Quick Reply
The local cluster is a few million light years across, but the universe is 14 billion years old, and Andromeda is quite a bit older and larger than The Milky Way.
We wouldn't detect their signals, but given the time span, even if no one near by is currently using EM communication, and no one in the galaxy has ever developed interstellar travel, it's still surprising that no one in any of the near by galaxies ever developed intergalactic travel.
Get your shit together, aliens.
Roger Penrose - Fri, 23 May 2014 02:15:15 EST ID:NJwCYmqM No.53829 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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Maybe they just intentionally avoid us
Thomas Gold - Fri, 23 May 2014 02:29:29 EST ID:IsLoDNNx No.53830 Ignore Report Quick Reply
it's b). we are so egotistical to think of ourselves as intelligent; we are very susceptible to causality and we can't get over our own egos to sustain our societies, they have come and gone for centuries and will continue to do so, only on a more dramatic and effective scale, so the next time our--now global--society crumbles, it will leave a bunch of pollution and damage to the ecosystem that will cause sustainability to be even further away.

even at light speed, the scope of time involved to even interact with these other creatures would be mostly a waste of time. it would be one directional: we could interact with them in their time frame, or in ours, but the vast time-distance between us would make any efforts one-directional.
Jacob Kapteyn - Fri, 23 May 2014 02:37:52 EST ID:Zgay0D3U No.53831 Ignore Report Quick Reply

Into the trash it goes.
Grote Reuber - Fri, 23 May 2014 14:19:29 EST ID:ILYTISHs No.53833 Ignore Report Quick Reply
It would be pretty cool if the aliens living in our galaxy actually followed the Prime Directive as described in Star Trek, and deliberately hid their existence until we developed the technology to find them ourselves. It's a pretty valid explanation, if a bit optimistic.

As we know it, communication would be more of a one-way thing, yeah. We catch some radio transmission or something, and by the time we turn it around and send something back, tens, hundreds, or thousands of years could have passed before they receive a response from us. My hope is that there is somehow some kind of faster-than-light-speed method of communication (travel too, but that's another problem) that we just haven't discovered yet, and therefore we can't detect it either. The galaxy might be awash in these signals, just like Earth is bathed in radio waves, but we just don't know they're there because we don't know how to find them.

>Into the trash it goes.

It's a paradox that tries to solve the problems observed within a hypothesis, which are always based on certain assumptions. "If X, then Y..."
Friedrich von Struve - Fri, 23 May 2014 23:39:52 EST ID:WybzrhCx No.53835 Ignore Report Quick Reply
Or maybe they don't give a shit about us and willfully ignore us.
Robert Wilson - Sat, 24 May 2014 04:02:29 EST ID:VdooM9pB No.53836 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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What happens if there's a water world of insanely intelligent alien dolphins who, no matter how fucking smart they are, still can't leave their planet because of a tsunami amount of "becauses".

I just wanna say that, just like
says, perhaps alien life don't give two shits about colonizing other planets, just take a look at our history and then connect the dots why we think alien must be colonize-crazed, perhaps because we are too.
Projection much?
Friedrich Bessel - Sat, 24 May 2014 16:24:28 EST ID:kviwdVC/ No.53838 Ignore Report Quick Reply
Any creature that can only inhabitant a very small area is always in danger of extinction. No star will lasts forever.
Aquatic life would have some difficulty developing metal and anything to do with volatiles.
If they did work that out, they'd still need EM for astronomy and communication.
Robert Wilson - Sat, 24 May 2014 16:50:56 EST ID:VdooM9pB No.53839 Ignore Report Quick Reply

Ya thats kinda what I'm saying.
Maybe theres a super intelligent species of aquatic aliens, but because they're in water can't leave their planet.
Just because we haven't made contact doesn't mean their isn't life out there trying.
Rudolph Minkowski - Sat, 24 May 2014 19:53:02 EST ID:HDhgw97N No.53840 Ignore Report Quick Reply
> At any practical pace of interstellar travel
Perhaps the absence of alien colonists proves there's no effective way to travel between stars.
John Riccioli - Sun, 25 May 2014 08:31:50 EST ID:EMW3iPxP No.53842 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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>slow-death kind of thing
unrealistic, there is a fuckload of resources and life is very persistent. ever on earth with multiple mass extinction events it did not let go of land, once land was colonized. it takes very little for already adapted organism to propagate. in solar system there is a lot of resources, and some branch of our society will use some of them to propagate to other systems, were they can begin to exploit local resources.

i personally think that either life transcends reality as we perceive it after a while(which is unrealistic since evolution doesn't live habitable zones empty, even on earth. there always would be some reactionary sect within society), or more probably, there is the original ETI- apex universal predator that destroys intelligent life once it catches its attention. or maybe there is a mechanism for automatic sterilization for intelligences of certain level. maybe some info-virus.
Rudolph Minkowski - Sun, 25 May 2014 15:13:18 EST ID:ILYTISHs No.53843 Ignore Report Quick Reply
The slow death I described isn't the slow death of all life; iust intelligent life. Or at least intelligent life's ability to travel meaningful distances from the home planet. I think there's enough crap in the universe working against us that it's not impossible. One good comet impact could send us back to the Dark Ages, or nearly eradicate humans from the planet. One good virus could do the same. When things get sufficiently bad on Earth, I think the first reaction won't be "we should leave and find somewhere else to live," but instead, "we should direct our resources toward making our planet better." If the focus moves inward instead of outward, we're boned if we can't pull it off.
John Riccioli - Sun, 25 May 2014 17:18:37 EST ID:EMW3iPxP No.53845 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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>Or at least intelligent life's ability to travel meaningful distances from the home planet
the only really finite thing in star system is matter. matter isn't going anywhere, it just changes form. and there are fuckloads of it. energy is essentially infinite since by the example of our sun life will have a few billion years of free fusion energy in every system.
Heinrich Olbers - Sun, 25 May 2014 20:35:36 EST ID:yZpPrhjN No.53847 Ignore Report Quick Reply
>or maybe there is a mechanism for automatic sterilization for intelligences
Or maybe natural disaster than periodically wipe out complex lifeforms in a large section of galaxy, regardless of intelligence.
Bernard Burke - Mon, 26 May 2014 04:47:39 EST ID:clO5e2NU No.53848 Ignore Report Quick Reply
dem supernovae doe.
Henry Russell - Mon, 26 May 2014 07:08:43 EST ID:/w0Nhxb6 No.53849 Ignore Report Quick Reply
There's a theory that I'm quite fond of. It's a variation of the Galactic Zoo theory but with a minor twist.

If we assume life is possible elsewhere, then we must also assume civilizations have come and gone long before we ever came on to the scene. With billions of galaxies and billions of stars each, even if only .01% of intelligent civilizations survive adolescence without nuking themselves or otherwise falling to tragedy and extinction, then that still leaves thousands of races that should for all intents and purposes have been able to colonize the stars.

We've already done the math, and even with current rocket technology mankind could theoretically spread across every world in the galaxy in something like 10 million years using colony ships.

So that leaves a massive number of civilizations that should have been able to spread across the stars. Even if FTL travel is impossible. It still should have happened. At least one race should have colonized the Milky Way by now.

But what if one already did? What FTL really is impossible, so an ancient race shot colony ships containing microorganisms, or at least the ingredients for life, out into the cosmos like an interstellar bukkake?
Henry Russell - Mon, 26 May 2014 07:19:14 EST ID:/w0Nhxb6 No.53850 Ignore Report Quick Reply

I just realized I was describing panspermia not galactic zoo. I'm really high. Please forgive me. Though I guess galactic zoo can be mixed in there somewhere if our seeders are watching us.
Johann Encke - Mon, 26 May 2014 10:44:55 EST ID:pXcdc30L No.53851 Ignore Report Quick Reply
thats the simplest explanation, and you know how it is with simplest explanations.
its not practical to either take thousands of years to travel to another star or to experience time dilation when traveling at relativistic speeds and risk not having a home to return to, as thousands of years would have passed there. the events where a civilization puts its effort into colonizing other stars might just be extremely rare, and probes that any scientific race would be expected to send out into their region too small to detect.
Fermi paradox might just mean that faster than light travel is impossible (and it probably does, unless some of those other, less likely but equally impossible to prove speculations are true, which we might never know)
Heinrich Olbers - Mon, 26 May 2014 13:46:47 EST ID:yZpPrhjN No.53853 Ignore Report Quick Reply
>its not practical to either take thousands of years to travel
Only if medical technology cannot extend life expectancy to tens of thousands of years.
George Airy - Mon, 26 May 2014 14:57:43 EST ID:psUbi2cW No.53854 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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Of if cryo-preservation ever comes along.
Alan Guth - Mon, 26 May 2014 16:11:43 EST ID:EMW3iPxP No.53855 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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natural disasters weren't able to wipe even primitive bacteria on earth, and you are talking about spacefaring civilization. anyway supernovas aren't nearly as common to keep the galactic civilizations down. no, it has to be intelligent, on a higher organization than us. nature wouldn't be able to wipe us out, we are smarter than it, we can predict it. however something that is 10+ billion years old could very well view us as we view bacteria that we sterilize with ultraviolet in our own little hospital buildings.

also when considering genocidal ETI scenario remember that in the contact of few first spacefaring civilizations to appear the most aggressive, cunning and vile one will survive and spread.
or maybe it isn't civilization at all, maybe one of the first intelligent beings in the universe constructed rogue ai that kills off biological life ever since. the real problem in that "ancient horror" scenario is, once apex predator asserts universal dominance it is literally impossible for anyone to dislodge it, since it won't be suffering from any extinction events, being sentient pangalactic entity that it is, and its technological development will go on exponentially. the only thing new life can do in this case is hide its existence until it is inevitably noted and erased. it has no hope of ever matching technology of something that is billions of years older.
Johann Encke - Mon, 26 May 2014 17:58:13 EST ID:pXcdc30L No.53856 Ignore Report Quick Reply
still, its more practical to spend this life in other ways than stuck on a ship, unless your star is dying or some other extremely rare circumstances force you to.
cryo-preservation is not that practical either because its basically a one way trip. everyone you know dies and the world changes beyond recognition, possibly ends by the time you return.

for any galactic empire to exist there must be a way of communicating and traveling routinely between its colonies. without faster than light technology, even two neighboring star systems will be limited to years long communication lag and thousand of years commute times, making it impossible to govern or coordinate them, and very unlikely to ever benefit from it more than if the resources required to colonize went into improving the infrastructure of the home system. in the worst case home planet might even suffer from aggression from the radically different culture that would undoubtedly emerge through isolation and different environmental pressures.
they would be so different just after few centuries that its basically a question if you want a new neighboring culture thats capable of launching things in your direction and competing with yours for resources and dominance.
and that might be the factor that makes advanced aliens build recreational facilities in various orbits rather than interstellar ships.
William Lassell - Tue, 27 May 2014 03:55:57 EST ID:ILYTISHs No.53863 Ignore Report Quick Reply
This idea is another one that's pretty viable. Given what we know about relativity, it might just be that interstellar (let alone intergalactic) travel and communication just aren't really viable. Maybe there is no work-around to move beyond the speed of light. Physics is a bitch.

Panspermia is viable, I guess, but my hangup is "why bother?" I guess if you're the only planet you've ever found that harbored life, and you know that Armageddon was nigh, maybe you send a bunch of modules toward other planets around stars that you presume to be habitable and hope that while your species might die off, some form of life could continue elsewhere and eventually evolve sentience. If things are going well for you, why bother to seed other planets with bugs from home (really... that sounds like some shit Hitler and the Nazis would have done). There's no benefit to doing that for millions, or probably billions of years.
Jan Hendrik Oort - Tue, 27 May 2014 04:28:25 EST ID:kviwdVC/ No.53864 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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There are >1400 stars within 50 light-years of us. Here's 133 of them.
We aren't talking thousand year journeys if we can get >.5%c average.
Pierre-Simon Laplace - Tue, 27 May 2014 09:47:35 EST ID:pXcdc30L No.53865 Ignore Report Quick Reply
at 5%c it would take 20 years to cover one light year, so the nearest star would be about 100 years away. thats still too long. even if it was the speed of light (and ignoring time dilation making it into a thousand year journey) 4 years would still be a lot.
it took a month (at low cost of building a ship) to travel to America before airplanes, and it still revolted against the empires that founded it.
I dont see any practical reason to send out colonists, the only one I see is the ideological drive to expand and populate just for the sake of it (or a disaster), which might be a rare ideology among the advanced species.
Allan Sandage - Tue, 27 May 2014 14:55:54 EST ID:EMW3iPxP No.53866 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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>evolted against the empires
>advanced species
Pierre-Simon Laplace - Tue, 27 May 2014 15:22:02 EST ID:pXcdc30L No.53867 Ignore Report Quick Reply
what are you saying here, Alan?
Isaac Newton - Tue, 27 May 2014 15:46:25 EST ID:/w0Nhxb6 No.53868 Ignore Report Quick Reply
I've got it!

The reason why there's no aliens is because the logical progression of biological evolution is into that of a mechanical species. Thus, either a) they have much smaller resource needs what with being machines and thus never leave their planet or b) mind-upload into a giant computer mainframe and live out their existence in an alien Matrix and thus still never leave their planet.
Henry Russell - Wed, 28 May 2014 00:02:48 EST ID:5O93DDXg No.53870 Ignore Report Quick Reply
You know I have an feeling early interplanetary and early interstellar will be on par with crossing the Atlantic to the new world as far as travel time goes. People were able to run empires across that sort of distance (considering travel time of ships) so no reason why we can't do it with comparative travel times to other worlds or stars. FUn time ahead mates.
Irwin Shapiro - Thu, 29 May 2014 01:23:46 EST ID:ILYTISHs No.53876 Ignore Report Quick Reply
Well, except that the trip from Spain-->Bahamas took about a month. So that's how long messages took to go back-and-forth. Twice that long to get a response. The nearest star is 4-ish light years away, so even if we got there somehow, messages between the Earth and our "colony" would take almost 9 years for a message-->reply. Not saying it's impossible, just on a really different scale.
Fritz Zwicky - Fri, 30 May 2014 00:20:31 EST ID:415JX8nG No.53881 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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Why would they populate the galaxy? Resources are limited, large scale habitation of environments is just stupid in terms of resource management. All societies including animals like beavers and ants eventually use up all the nearby resources and eventually have to move with many if not most of the individual members dying in the process.
One of the defining points about humans is we control our environment and we have ways of sustainable agriculture and disregarding climatic shifts, we don't have to move. The earth is in trouble because of greed, no society can be exploring the galaxy for millennia if they are as greedy and for lack of a better term, driven by primitive animalistic urges to horde things. It's just a biological drive from when living was harder, greed is the appendix of the human mind in terms of evolution. It just leads to cycles of feast and famine which become proportionately more destructive the larger and more connected the society is.
James Elliott - Fri, 30 May 2014 15:55:04 EST ID:PbSTSCyI No.53882 Ignore Report Quick Reply
Large scale habitation of environment is completely sensible and feasibly if the civilization has large stockpiles of resources. Asteroid / planet cracking would easily provide these things to a sufficiently advanced society. We can provide water to population centers from comets, and we can get all the metals we need from the previously mentioned bodies.
Joseph von Fraunhofer - Fri, 30 May 2014 20:14:25 EST ID:415JX8nG No.53884 Ignore Report Quick Reply
Those resources have to come from somewhere though. If it turns out that there is no way to travel faster than light, you can't just hop from planet to planet exhausting all the resources for no other argument than "there's a lot of individuals". It will all run out. Unless a civilization has an economy based on effective resource management, they will never survive in the long term.

we have 7 billion people on this planet, and most of them are living in poverty., and even with that we are destroying our environment and using resources faster than they could be replenished. What if all of us were living the same standard of living as Americans do? The earth could nor sustain us. In fact I read that it would take 9 planets Earth to sustain every person at the level of "comfort" that Americans do.
And that is only 7 billion. Imagine 10 billion people on every Earth like planet in our galaxy. according to recent estimates, there are 8.8. billion earth like planets in our galaxy. That's equals 88,000,000,000,000,000,000 people, or 88 quadrillion people. if it takes 9 Earths to support 7 billion people, it takes roughly
113 billion Earths just to live on.

We would need over ten times the amount that exist, yes asteroids and other planet provide resources, but it take resources to get those ones. We haven't even begun to bring asteroids in yet and we need that many resources. Asteroid mining is a desperation, not a necessity.
Fritz Zwicky - Sat, 31 May 2014 11:06:34 EST ID:jH+coBrT No.53890 Ignore Report Quick Reply
I've always thought that, considering the sheer amount of variables, it's hard for us to find the intelligent life that has even left things for us to find. So far it seems like all we've looked for is radio signals, how many radio signals left by intelligent life could there possibly be for us to detect, given all the variables?
Jacob Kapteyn - Sat, 31 May 2014 12:45:38 EST ID:pXcdc30L No.53891 Ignore Report Quick Reply
a civ capable of building interstellar ships surely could recycle the vast resources of their system. the only scenario where its plausible to use up the practically infinite resources of a star system would be unlimited growth, which doesnt happen in nature, as is even corroborated by Fermis paradox itself.
Joseph von Fraunhofer - Sat, 31 May 2014 19:18:56 EST ID:415JX8nG No.53892 Ignore Report Quick Reply
If they are so efficient at recycling why would they need to use a galaxy worth of resources?

Resources around one star are not infinite, in fact the mass of our solar system is 1.0014 solar masses. Yeah we will probably be able to mine gas giants, but it's just a waste of time and energy. Especially if people become immortal, there will have to be strict guidelines on reproduction, other wise populations would explode and that ten thousandth of a solar mass that we have to utilize will get used incredibly quickly, even with good recycling. In fact, I bet populations would expand faster than we could even travel to get more resources, assuming we never go faster than light. Just out of sheer necessity of billions upon billions of people hording their stupid crap.
Stephen Hawking - Sun, 01 Jun 2014 01:03:34 EST ID:5O93DDXg No.53895 Ignore Report Quick Reply
>If that's the case, why haven't we been colonized already

What if we ARE the colony but the empire is so vast we have been lost to bureaucracy for over 5 millenia?
Henry Russell - Sun, 01 Jun 2014 19:04:18 EST ID:11ED96s0 No.53903 Ignore Report Quick Reply
space is huge. the known observable universe could be part of something even immensely larger. what we know and see could be about 1/16th of everything. if the math states it would take us 10 million years to theoretically spread to every galaxy, it would take even longer if the known galaxy is only a small part of what we see.

space is mad huge. and as to why haven't we been visited already , maybe it just hasn't happened yet ? maybe it will in the future. the answer could be as simply as "it just hasn't happen yet." Like, maybe native americans wondered about if there were people across the sea, in the 1300s, and if there was, why haven't the visited yet? because the time had not just happened yet. Same idea. Perhaps in the 2100's .

I think the sheer grandeur of space is enough of a factor as to why no one has found us yet. We might be on a remote island of sorts in space, a place where they wouldn't think to look for us . perhaps in other places of the galaxy, life is more common, and neighborhoods of life exist. only us Earth people are unfortunate to live on a remote part of space devoid of every other kind of life. Life might be something as common as animal species and types.

my final and last resort idea is , it is only just us, created by His Grace, born to live the will of Jesus the Lord and Saviour and give our hearts unto Christ the Son.

but only if ykno all that other shit isn't true
Dawking Hawking - Sun, 01 Jun 2014 19:09:42 EST ID:11ED96s0 No.53904 Ignore Report Quick Reply
Another cool idea I like to entertain , taking a page of panspermia, maybe life on earth was brought on by a meteor or some projectile carrying the organisms necessary for life, and upon hitting the earth it caused the earth to unfold as it has today. Only the projectile in question came from a very far, inconceivable distance. perhaps areas where panjizz occurs are relatively close so to speak, in neighboring galaxies . Maybe our said projectile was somehow frozen with the contents preserved , and traveled very, very far, far from the usual 'panjizz zones' , to the remote reaches of the milky way galaxy and to earth. A little sci fi, yes, but still a fun one.
Pierre-Simon Laplace - Sun, 01 Jun 2014 21:28:42 EST ID:pXcdc30L No.53905 Ignore Report Quick Reply
you seem confused. you should make up your mind if greed will kill us all or make us colonize the universe, or if it will kill us all when we're colonizing the universe by drowning everyone in stuff they hoarded.
you also assume things for which theres no evidence and everything points to the contrary being the case, like immortality and advanced civilizations inability to reach a population equilibrium (you might say humans defy equilibrium by spreading indefinitely, but it just looks like this to us. the fact is that we will reach a population cap whether by regulation or market mechanisms because the resources are not infinite. they are simply so vast that our equilibrium might be in unprecedented numbers thanks to proper tech).
the main point of this thread is that we dont see the evidence of this expansion you seem to think is inevitable.
Christiaan Huygens - Mon, 02 Jun 2014 21:31:19 EST ID:Yw7Tf82Y No.53913 Ignore Report Quick Reply
I find discussions like this interesting, because though you are all raising some interesting and logical thoughts and hypotheses, you all seem to be working under one major assumption: That life on other planets HAS to be the same as life on Earth.

Maybe there is life on other planets. It could exist as something we have no way of detecting. It could exist in another dimension. Maybe it's just too hyper-intelligent to communicate with us.

Think about how you regard an insect. An insect is alive, and it has some form of thought and brain power, albeit tiny and almost non-existent. How do you go about communicating with an insect? You can't, because your intelligence level is far, far too high to even begin being able to get on their level.

It could be the same for us. There could be hyper-intelligent beings that exist (relatively) nearby. They may have discovered FTL travel, immortality, technological singularity and the like. They could be observing us, running experiments on us, manipulating our behaviour, like we do with animals and insects. There's no way they can communicate with us, or for us to notice they exist, because we are like insects to them. How do you converse with a beetle? That's how they will think about us.
Friedrich Bessel - Mon, 02 Jun 2014 22:37:34 EST ID:t8L7BWUj No.53915 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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Maximilian Wolf - Tue, 03 Jun 2014 17:28:59 EST ID:elvt9Y9l No.53923 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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Reminds me of "Ender's Game", where the aliens are an ant-like hivemind species that tried to greet us by killing a few humans, because in their species a single ant isnt sentient - like a cell in our body.

And that analogy is based on an animal on planet earth. It is highly likely that aliens are so "out of this world", that contacting them would be meaningless.
They could have completely different senses, other kinds of lifeforms, etc.
James Elliott - Thu, 05 Jun 2014 14:30:24 EST ID:IsLoDNNx No.53939 Ignore Report Quick Reply
this isn't really accurate imo. regardless of the media, if insects were intelligent enough, we could communicate via chemical exposure, for instance. or through colored lights.

the prime number series is a common place to start demonstrating intelligence. life on other planets likely won't have the intelligence to communicate that.

to me, the real question is--how long can an "intelligent" species last on its home planet? once we get smart enough to receive radio signals, the split atom is not far behind. Have we developed a sustainable arrangement on Earth? Not a chance, not in many many ways.

I already said this at >>53830 tho
Rudolph Minkowski - Thu, 05 Jun 2014 14:42:04 EST ID:ILYTISHs No.53940 Ignore Report Quick Reply
That's exactly why I picked that particular xkcd comic for the pic in the first post. Biologists and astronomers do something that, scientifically and logically, makes sense when they assume that nothing about our situation is special or unique, because that's the simplest explanation. Odds are, if life can develop here, it can develop in lots of places, and it would be at least similar to us. Unfortunately, applying Occam's Razor to this problem kind of leaves out any possibility with which we're not already familiar, and the stuff we're looking for in relation to "life" is really just "life as we know it."

I guess it does make sense that if we don't know how to understand or even detect it, we can't even begin to know how to look for it, so we're searching in the only ways we know how.
Robert Wilson - Thu, 05 Jun 2014 16:57:58 EST ID:N4M8sAfv No.53941 Ignore Report Quick Reply
just wanna let you know you sound insane dude
Jan Hendrik Oort - Mon, 09 Jun 2014 02:22:29 EST ID:FqR8Ph+r No.53985 Ignore Report Quick Reply
yeah. europe gained absolutely nothing by being the first to colonize america.
Kocoayello !jxaL03vL/Q - Mon, 09 Jun 2014 04:19:53 EST ID:FFrIb9VN No.53990 Ignore Report Quick Reply
Naw, read all of that post and it was crystal clear what he was saying, though a bit space opera-y.
Caroline Herschel - Mon, 09 Jun 2014 06:59:44 EST ID:psUbi2cW No.53991 Ignore Report Quick Reply
Not sure if sarcasm or ignorance?
Subramanyan Chandrasekhar - Wed, 11 Jun 2014 10:58:54 EST ID:VFweXWOA No.54002 Ignore Report Quick Reply
It's very obvious sarcasm. What's wrong with you?
Allan Sandage - Thu, 12 Jun 2014 12:44:44 EST ID:ajucX7BK No.54004 Ignore Report Quick Reply
Supernovas are the only reason we exist in the first place. You're made of stars bro.
Chushiro Hayashi - Sun, 15 Jun 2014 23:17:12 EST ID:UMItK1SZ No.54012 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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this shit blew my mind, there are a lot of cool theories. I think all of them involve a huge amount of explanations. My main issue is the assumption that traveling through space is at all trivial. Also if other lifeforms were trying to relay a message proclaiming their existence, even though we do the same, I doubt we'd notice. If we were to receive a message from any matter of device with no basis for interpreting the signal, we'd be unable to decipher it.
Also it's worth considering that each galaxy in which a lifeforms develops is finite, suns will die etc, so that's a harsh requirement time for a species to develop in.\.
Chushiro Hayashi - Sun, 15 Jun 2014 23:18:00 EST ID:UMItK1SZ No.54013 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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forgot the link
Chushiro Hayashi - Sun, 15 Jun 2014 23:19:09 EST ID:UMItK1SZ No.54014 Ignore Report Quick Reply
involve huge amount of assumptions. My main issue is with*
Edwin Hubble - Mon, 23 Jun 2014 23:00:13 EST ID:qjY4VCQP No.54030 Ignore Report Quick Reply
There's absolutely so many variables. What if the nearest alien colony on, say, Neptune.... built this amazing spaceship to come and give us a visit, but as soon as they got out of the orbit, an asteroid smacks the ship and kills everyone. They take it as a sign that doin this is bad and they vow to never travel every again, and hide away.
Thomas Gold - Wed, 25 Jun 2014 00:43:54 EST ID:OXINl/7g No.54032 Ignore Report Quick Reply
OP here.

Well, yeah. But once life already exists somewhere, a nearby supernova is the kiss of death. If Proxima Centauri went critical, I'm pretty sure the radiation would end most, if not all, life on Earth. And that's only if it didn't strip away our atmosphere first.

One of the absolutely reasonable solutions to the Fermi Paradox is that life doesn't want to be found, or isn't interested in finding others. While it doesn't mean we'd never stumble onto these kinds of civilizations, it makes the task of finding them much, much, harder.
Thomas Gold - Wed, 25 Jun 2014 00:57:41 EST ID:OXINl/7g No.54033 Ignore Report Quick Reply
Good link. #11 is a really cool idea, and sorta jives with the idea that we're one of the first intelligent forms of life to exist in our galaxy so far, which is why we haven't found anyone else yet.
Johann Bode - Mon, 30 Jun 2014 08:11:53 EST ID:uf+Csjfg No.54055 Ignore Report Quick Reply
Perhaps the thing that made us start using tools as an extension of our bodies is one of trillions and trillions (and trillions) of possible directions evolution can take. Perhaps we are the first life form to ever go down this particular evolutionary path of tool use. Perhaps the most common type of life is plants, and we're extremely rare even on that level. Or maybe the most common type of life is the hive-mind ant/wasp type model, where they move in an imperceptible (to us) swarm and communicate in ways so different from us that they are undetectable.

I mean, sure the universe has been around a while now, but has it been around long enough relative to the probability of tool-using life forms developing to make it likely that there are other "intelligent" life forms out there? Life as we know it would find it pretty hard to travel the solar system without tools, so intelligence can only really refer to level of tool use and there's no reason to think that's common.
Bruon Rossi - Tue, 01 Jul 2014 02:04:36 EST ID:WG/dK64g No.54058 Ignore Report Quick Reply
Okay, first time ever posting on this site, so sorry if i dont answer your question directly.
Science is patterns of consistency, you need a host star, a planet with water, (assuming its a carbon based life form) and that planetary solar system obviously has to have been calmed down long enough to be able to sustain it's consistency of its orbits, and ellipses of all its planets and moons. Our galaxy is however many years old, so EVERYTHING in our galaxy is I'm assuming the same age or within a very close tolerance of the same age.
So if it took however many years to get to our level of life it would take another planet or colony at least as long if not longer, correct? Just assuming I'm correct.
If it took the other colony that long, they must have only JUST BEGUN to travel in our direction assuming they travel in our direction in the first place seeing as though from one end to the exact opposite point of our galaxy is 60000 light years across.
Maybe we are in the category of a top 5 species that has the ability to travel into space in our galaxy alone. Maybe we just might be neck and neck compared to other societies and they're starting their voyage across the galaxy at the same exact time we are.
Bruon Rossi - Tue, 01 Jul 2014 02:40:44 EST ID:WG/dK64g No.54059 Ignore Report Quick Reply
i like your reference to tool use, I agree but you can also say that tools wouldn't be there if we didn't have thumbs. not saying you're wrong in anyway, just going further down the chain of events.
Anders Angstrom - Tue, 01 Jul 2014 08:52:02 EST ID:rE9L0oZt No.54063 Ignore Report Quick Reply
Metacognition - or the ability to think about thinking - has limited evolutionary uses.

Life fundamentally is just a reaction, a reaction that kept on going. Since by identity that which is more likely to survive is more likely to survive, the reactions that were self-sustaining were more likely to survive than those that weren't.

Complexity is baggage. You don't want to over complicate things - that takes more time and energy, which is more time and energy that could be put into reacting. However, sometimes features of the environment meant those carrying a little extra baggae meant they could adapt and expand, allowing the reaction to continue better.

But under no circumstances are light-year jumps in complexity necessary, at least not outside the context of an evolutionary arms race like what kicked off vision. It's always gone in relative baby-steps, practically invisibly. The same is true of metacognition.

Language followed a similar path - it needed to grasp analogies, symbolic substitutions, verbs, calls for substantivness, grammar or the logical reordering and regenerating of derived objects... all eventually culminating into a modern system.

At a certain point, the metacognitive beast looks back at himself in the context of nature - "who am I? Where did I come from? Why am I here?", feeling discomfort because the steps of altruism necessarily built that discomfort in for unanswered questions of the sort. For a while, he'll be distressed at the lack of obvious purpose, making platitudes based on hearsay and teaching them to his children to keep them happy and healthy. But they'll eventually repeat the process until a grand illusion is blindly constructed.

Grand illusion is under the same pressure of natural selection; whatever is most likely to survive is most likely to survive. So Grand Illusion does what any replicator does and adopts features that facilitate it being passed on. It mixes itself against other grand illusions, fighting over resources (proponents) until it either dies or passes itself on. Practicing a form of altruism, the ideas band together so that those with little merit to get passed down (a false belief) gets entwined in an apparent monolith with an important true belief (such as certain basics of love and law). The result is a system that never cares about truth per se but that cares that the replicators get passed down to the next generation.

And the speed of reproduction and their grammatical nature means that ideas evolve rapidly, going through extraordinary extents to facilitate their reproduction. They galvinize their resources, they built nations, risk themselves as entire altruistic bands of value-systems through war and chaos, and even strengthen their *opponents* through preservation if the tolerance means fascilitating and environment where they share resources.

But ideas spell their own doom. As they adapt to fascilitate the expansion of their resources (and thus their own reproduction and proliferation), they do so by bringing other values down on them. The merit of truth becomes too overpowering, and starts attacking the false but successful beliefs as well as the false and harmful.

Eventually the metacognitive beast learns what they do to him and his fellow resources and grows sick. But then he has to consider those platitudes - what is the meaning of life? the meaning of suffering?

There is none. Like how water runs downhill or like stones are stones, it's simply a law of logic - of all possible universes - that what is more likely to survive survives more likely. He doesn't like that, and falsities then get selective advantage as they necessarily scale back the ecology they've created - metaphorically sending us into a dark age - or risk a unique catastrophy, akin to what happened when life on earth first evolved to become aerobic.

With no purpose, no meaning, the beast suffers, since the same evolutionary processes that built his mind in the first place insured he would suffer to fascilitate his own safety and reproduction, and increased his suffering absofuckinglutely tremendously because frankly natural selection doesn't care about mercy as long something fucks the right hole and carries the seed to term.

The beast then makes an effort towards a sort of grand suicide. It doesn't have to be direct, it doesn't have to be his taking his own life. But he can look at what happens when he has sex and rationally conclude "I don't want to cause suffering by bringing into this world someone who couldn't choose not to be born". Simple abstinence - or at least, fucking the wrong hole - leads to a decline in population. Most likely the dark ages reflex occurs, but alternatively the civilization wipes itself out peacefully, aware and in defiance of natural selection's effect on them and their ideas.

So, simply put, the reason life hasn't contacted us is because it keeps destroying itself before it can.
Kip Thorne - Tue, 01 Jul 2014 09:17:22 EST ID:fzPduAPD No.54064 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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My guess is they built a matrioshka brain and stayed home, OP.
Bruon Rossi - Tue, 01 Jul 2014 13:39:00 EST ID:pV3FfZT0 No.54065 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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Wormholes are good for a nap
Grote Reuber - Tue, 01 Jul 2014 20:04:24 EST ID:WG/dK64g No.54067 Ignore Report Quick Reply
Wayne keeps Jan's whistle clean.
George Hale - Wed, 02 Jul 2014 05:56:35 EST ID:kviwdVC/ No.54068 Ignore Report Quick Reply
That's more depressing than "Some other intelligence always launches a doomsday weapon at any sign of intelligence for fear they'd do the same"
Kocoayello !jxaL03vL/Q - Thu, 03 Jul 2014 01:39:42 EST ID:Qtb6nfX0 No.54069 Ignore Report Quick Reply
Then where's ours? Has it not arrived yet?
Antony Hewish - Thu, 03 Jul 2014 02:31:12 EST ID:rE9L0oZt No.54070 Ignore Report Quick Reply
We might not be loud enough yet. Remember that not only do signals take time to travel (they're just ushering 2010 in over at our nearest neighbor), they also dissipate in strength and quality exponentially.

Like, imagine photons as particles emitted ninety degrees from each other from a sun. As each photon travels one sencond, the distance between them increases by the square root of twice the magnitude of the speed of light (without the time part), because of the pythagorean theorem. Likewise, the total density of the photons is decreased exponentially, since at t = 1 the density would be 2pho/c^2 and at t = 2 the density would be 2pho/(2c)^2 and so on. That's why the sun is less intense from Mars than from Mercury.

On the other end, we're not even good enough yet to figure out what Pluto looks like from earth, let alone decipher a complex messages probably accidentally shot out from planets hundreds of light years away. I think it's a little naïve to think we could.
Thomas Henderson - Wed, 09 Jul 2014 17:38:09 EST ID:OXINl/7g No.54090 Ignore Report Quick Reply
I seem to recall something about how our radio transmissions now are less powerful than they were when we first started broadcasting them. Like we've become more efficient in our power usage, because we don't need to transmit radio waves any further than "the other side of the planet." I might be misremembering, though.

Still, if that's the case, we haven't sent anything NEW out there in decades.
Maximilian Wolf - Wed, 09 Jul 2014 18:44:12 EST ID:eTbcZuk1 No.54091 Ignore Report Quick Reply
Inverse square is not exponential.

And resolution at Pluto has nothing to do with detecting aliens. It's a completely different challenge. We don't have to decode it either, it's simply a matter of sensitivity.

No, there have been more than a few intentional transmission over the years and just because normal broadcasts are not as powerful doesn't keen tin formation isn't getting out.
Christiaan Huygens - Sat, 19 Jul 2014 02:08:23 EST ID:DInl/riF No.54134 Ignore Report Quick Reply
I prefer the explanation that life itself is wide-spread and very common, but intelligent life with the capacity to travel or broadcast in space is exceedingly rare. Think of how many species exist or have existed in the past on planet Earth, and the extremely unique string of events that had to unfold for that to even happen. One minor alteration in the timeline of Earth - let's say the Chicxulub impact event never happened - and we wouldn't be here to be sending any radio signals. If I'm not mistaken, modern humans were also nearly rendered extinct at some point in our history. And I'd hardly say we're out of the woods yet in terms of suddenly not-existing.

And yet the world itself is full of life, positively teeming with it. I expect to see a repeat of this on the galactic level. We WILL find life, but it'll most likely be plants, or bacteria, or some form of divergent evolution of insects of crustaceans. Tube-worms living on thermal vents, or strange and incredible sea creatures. But will we find another tool-using, intelligent, speaking, writing, radio-broadcasting spacefaring species? I'd put the odds of that somewhere in the realm of impossible.

I'm not saying other species like us don't exist - just that the odds of them evolving along the very specific path needed to become that, within the same time period as us, and close enough in the neighorhood to travel or pick up our signals aren't looking good.

For example:

>Humanity is Civilization A
We only very recently gained the ability to broadcast our existence or even leave the atmosphere, and are currently listening for any signals from other species.

>Civilization B is humanoid, intelligent, and lived 300 Light Years away
They never advanced far enough technologically to discover and broadcast radio or other signals and were rendered extinct by an impact event or some other freak act of space weather. They could have had a society as rich and complex as ours was prior to the rise of technology, but simply didn't make it. We will never know that they even existed, even though they were intelligent life we would recognize.

>Civilization C exists on a water world right in our galactic backyard
They're hyper-intelligent hive-minded mollusks who can't even breach the surface of the water, or don't care to for whatever reason. Whatever form of technology and communication they have is so alien to us that they are simply not looking for us. From their point of view, the universe is similarly empty. We wouldn't even have anything to discuss if we met them.

Now let's say those are the ONLY 3 intelligent species that the Milky Way has ever produced. Civilization B would be interesting to learn about, but they're dead so that's nothing. Civilization C is basically a waste of time and we'll never find them either.

I'll wrap this up. My basic point is that while life is no doubt everywhere it can get a foot-hold, it almost never makes it all the way to intelligence. You have to be extremely lucky to even get to the point we're at, and after that you're staring at the immense task of sailing through the void looking for god-knows-what. It's an immense task, and it might actually prove impossible. If the Lightspeed Barrier is absolute, then you can just forget about it entirely.

It's as though we're on a tiny island in the middle of the pacific, sending out messages in a bottle. But there's only one other person on the entire planet that could read it, and they don't even live near the beach. They live in the mountains and think they're alone too.

So intelligent life arises and has some limited success but it's simply too far spread out in time and distance to ever encounter others.

Unfortunately this means the most likely solution to the Fermi Paradox is that intelligent life is very rare, very fragile, and has never once developed far enough to avoid absolute extinction.

Or, y'know, maybe we don't hear anybody because they all know something we don't. Things in nature that advertise their existence loudly tend to get preyed on very quickly. This might already be someone else's yard and we're just now starting to make enough noise to get annoying.
Friedrich Bessel - Sun, 20 Jul 2014 04:28:02 EST ID:ITTKUheZ No.54139 Ignore Report Quick Reply
This has been one of the best threads on /sagan/ in a while. I really enjoy
reading your posts, gents.
George Gamow - Sat, 26 Jul 2014 17:51:30 EST ID:ksAXy5yQ No.54160 Ignore Report Quick Reply
>Now let's say those are the ONLY 3 intelligent species that the Milky Way has ever produced.
Duncan Forgan of the University of Edinburgh did some refinement of the Drake Equation which is now widely considered to be one of the best estimates:

>The first scenario assumes that it is difficult for life to be formed but easy for it to evolve, and suggests there are 361 intelligent civilizations in the galaxy.
>A second scenario assumes that life is easily formed, but it struggles to develop intelligence, and suggests that as many as 31,513 other forms of life are estimated to exist.
>Finally, he examined the possibility that microbial life could be passed from one planet to another during asteroid collisions, which gave a result of 37,964 intelligent civilizations in existence.

>"It is important to realize that the picture we've built up is still incomplete, and even if alien life forms do exist, we may not necessarily be able to make contact with them, and we have no idea what form they would take. Life on other planets may be as varied as life on Earth and we cannot predict what intelligent life on other planets would look like or how they might behave."

361 hivemind mollusk worlds
James Christy - Mon, 28 Jul 2014 14:21:10 EST ID:OXINl/7g No.54171 Ignore Report Quick Reply
I'm good with that estimation. I like the idea that someone has refined the Drake equation to give us a (hopefully) better guess at the amount of life elsewhere. I tend to be in the camp that life is easy to form, but hard to evolve. In the estimated 8.7 million species on Earth, only humans have developed intelligence, and it's not because we kill off intelligent forms of life when we find them (they also estimate that as much as 80% of the species on Earth are still yet to be discovered). We're just the only one to have formed. Extrapolating those 1-in-millions odds on every habitable planet leaves us with few intelligent species, but lots of living stuff.
Edwin Hubble - Tue, 29 Jul 2014 22:37:35 EST ID:DtcUuFjd No.54182 Ignore Report Quick Reply
I really like the idea that life is difficultly formed, but easy to evolve
Whenever I look at biology stories or just think about it deeply, I realize that most life on Earth are scrappy little fuckers, life wants to live. Simple as that
George Herbig - Thu, 31 Jul 2014 19:20:17 EST ID:iqCcmkM5 No.54196 Ignore Report Quick Reply
I do believe that the universe is permeated with life, intelligent and not. Life forms of the likes which of are so vastly different from what could exist on Earth that we could never begin to imagine they exist. Think of Hawkings idea of beings that live inside of stars, yet obviously more complex that.

However, when it comes to advanced intelligence and the manipulation of objects I believe that instead of traveling outwards to the stars, we are instead going to travel inward. Our utilization of nanotechnology may eventually lead to advanced biosynthetic life forms and an ability to bridge the gap between consciousness and our digital world. We will eventually be able to wholly construct living beings that are consciously aware, and as intelligent as the neurological connections we give them.

To me, this would undoubtedly lead to the transcendence of our perception of reality. By the time we would have the technology to reach other advanced civilizations, it would be as interesting to us as a colony of wood lice or ants. We wouldn't even bother with a species like ours today.
The Anon - Fri, 01 Aug 2014 12:04:44 EST ID:/Dlyp0dz No.54201 Ignore Report Quick Reply
I came up with my own theory a while ago.
If we assume that intelligent, metal refining, technology using life elsewere in the galaxy has a thought process with at least some similarity to ours, and as we only have ourselves as a reference that's not a terrible assumption, then any lifeform that has reached a level of technology where interstellar travel is possible is probably living in a virtual world with their brain hooked up to a computer.

Why spend years stuck on a ship that will cost a lot and could blow up and kill you to go to some dustbowl when you can create, live in and destroy entire galaxies at a whim in virtual space?
Kiyotsugu Hirayama - Sat, 02 Aug 2014 01:03:42 EST ID:O0/3EisM No.54202 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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Ain't you heard of the Prime Directive?
Isaac Newton - Sat, 02 Aug 2014 14:34:32 EST ID:kviwdVC/ No.54204 Ignore Report Quick Reply
Would you let some ants squander a resource that could sustain thousands of families?
Fuck the prime directive.
The Anon - Sat, 02 Aug 2014 14:54:53 EST ID:/Dlyp0dz No.54205 Ignore Report Quick Reply
Yes, but in practice who's going to pass up a new supply of food/slaves/customers?
Karl Swarzchild - Sat, 02 Aug 2014 16:47:32 EST ID:ZhOAg7La No.54206 Ignore Report Quick Reply
Yeah, here is the thing about that....

Our biology and chemical processes would almost certainly be incompatible to alien life. In fact, it is very likely that we encounter alien lifeforms that in no way could handle our food, or very likely could even stand to be around us. As in, they could be highly allergic to us and vice versa. Think about the immune system freakout we would have if we encountered alien pollen or whatever. And vice versa.
Johannes Kepler - Sun, 03 Aug 2014 10:22:38 EST ID:a0IqS0Jw No.54208 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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>>Our biology and chemical processes would almost certainly be incompatible to alien life.

How do you know this?


Given these facts about the composition of our own bodies, it seems to me that it would be unreasonable to expect 'alien' life to typically be very far removed from what we've already witnessed here at home. Organs and arrangements (arms coming out of skulls, etc) may differ as naturally selected for, but organically and chemically it would be improbable (but not impossible) to find life that didn't reflect our own hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, nitrogen, 'other' foundation.
>>alien lifeforms that in no way could handle our food, or very likely could even stand to be around us
[insert joke about visiting in-laws here]
Issues like allergens I would classify as nuance. Incompatibility is a long jump away from allergenic. We can take pills for allergies, ffs.
Fred Hoyle - Mon, 04 Aug 2014 18:52:12 EST ID:ZhOAg7La No.54217 Ignore Report Quick Reply
>How do you know this?

Because look at life on earth. We have whole genera of bacteria that eat things that would kill other life forms. Hell, anaerobic organisms tend to die in the presence of too much oxygen. In fact there was a massive extinction event when they basically shat themselves out of being the number one lifeform on the planet and created too much O2 in the atmosphere.

And then there is chirality. Our amino acids are "left handed," and our sugars are "right handed." It is perfectly possible that another form of life could be based on the wrong chirality and thus anything they ate here would pass through them like fucking plastic. It would be inert to them.


>Incompatibility is a long jump away from allergenic. We can take pills for allergies, ffs.

For MILD ones. For all we know, they could produce a phermone type substance that is deadly poison to any human smelling it. Maybe their skin exudes something that makes sarin look like baby formula. Perhaps their version of dander is chock full of something that acts like tetradotoxin to us. Even on earth there are many examples of animals that are immune to certain compounds that could kill or fuck up far larger animals.


My point is, we have no idea. None. It could be a case of total inertness (hope you packed a lunch,) or maybe shaking "hands" ends up giving you the equivalent of a 3 day DMT trip because they happen to secrete something that does that to us. Even on earth we have bizarre creates that don't even use iron in their blood! And that is on the same planet!

Johann Bode - Fri, 22 Aug 2014 17:18:57 EST ID:OXINl/7g No.54331 Ignore Report Quick Reply
>or maybe shaking "hands" ends up giving you the equivalent of a 3 day DMT trip

We can only hope. I think it's more likely that there will be some chemical process that we don't recognize as "life," however. Our best shot is to notice a lifeform's ability to move itself around and communicate to other members of it's species, provided said communication occurs within the confines of our own perception. We might not understand what they're saying or how they say it, but if there are traces of it in the EM spectrum or some kind of logical pattern, we might catch it.
Anders Angstrom - Sun, 24 Aug 2014 12:23:51 EST ID:+ZBpraVh No.54338 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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There are ways of communicating without direct contact like a handshake. Any space-faring civilization would be sophisticated enough to have a set of criteria already in place to determine whether conditions are safe, and may even have developed technology to temporarily nullify (perhaps even sterilize,) any potential threat races from different planets might normally encounter on a first contact mission.

Then again their plans could be nefarious in nature and they intend for us to all die so Earth can be stripped of its resources that are of any value to them.
Charles Bolton - Sun, 24 Aug 2014 15:36:46 EST ID:qjY4VCQP No.54339 Ignore Report Quick Reply
Sometimes I think: "What if an alien special on another planet built a big ass ship to explore the solar system and find us and shit, but as sson as they took off, something bad happened like a collision and the ship exploded and then that planet decided to never attempt to travel the stars cause its a 'bad omen' or something?
John Riccioli - Mon, 25 Aug 2014 01:54:44 EST ID:NSD8r+eF No.54340 Ignore Report Quick Reply
>Earth can be stripped of its resources
There's nothing on Earth that isn't found in massive quantities elsewhere, except, possibly, consciousness.
William de Sitter - Mon, 25 Aug 2014 16:17:08 EST ID:ZhOAg7La No.54342 Ignore Report Quick Reply
>There are ways of communicating without direct contact like a handshake. Any space-faring civilization would be sophisticated enough to have a set of criteria already in place to determine whether conditions are safe, and may even have developed technology to temporarily nullify (perhaps even sterilize,) any potential threat races from different planets might normally encounter on a first contact mission.

Yes, but that is how a 21st century human thinks of it.
Their psychology will most likely be far different. Who knows what they will think.
Kiyotsugu Hirayama - Thu, 28 Aug 2014 17:26:06 EST ID:MOlLfKpN No.54343 Ignore Report Quick Reply
nicely put
Ejnar Hertzprung - Sat, 30 Aug 2014 02:04:05 EST ID:lMSizxAj No.54344 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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its real simple. its a 'do not feed the bears' approach by the galactic community
Arthur Eddington - Tue, 09 Sep 2014 23:02:33 EST ID:OXINl/7g No.54369 Ignore Report Quick Reply
The scientific approach says that we have no reason to assume that we are special. If we really aren't in a unique situation, why would a bunch of aliens single us out to avoid above all other possible life forms?
Antony Hewish - Thu, 11 Sep 2014 02:00:44 EST ID:x0Cy69DX No.54371 Ignore Report Quick Reply
because we are the aliens
the universologist - Fri, 12 Sep 2014 15:09:39 EST ID:PWUfxssy No.54380 Ignore Report Quick Reply
The way i see it, and civilization advanced enough to have achieved interstellar travel would have already been through their immature, warlike phase of evolution, and would understand that any species in a similar sitution simply wouldnt be ready to meet another intelligent species. If they exist close enough to reach us, theyre simply waiting for us to be ready for them. Another way to look at it is that were still essentially invisible in the vastness of the universe. Our radio sphere ( the area that all signals sent from earth would have rwached by now hasnt even made it to the next star. One way or another, our race is going to have some waiting to do before we meet another intellent species. Providing we dont kill ourselves before that happens
William Hartmann - Fri, 12 Sep 2014 20:35:55 EST ID:OXINl/7g No.54384 Ignore Report Quick Reply
I think that if aliens have "made contact" with us, they've done so in a way that prevents us from knowing it. They wouldn't just show up in flying saucers. They'd probably send probes and use long-distance detectors--just like we do when we study other planets. Even though we went to the moon, we sent shloads of recon craft there first.

Their protocol might not come into play.
William Hartmann - Fri, 12 Sep 2014 20:37:18 EST ID:OXINl/7g No.54385 Ignore Report Quick Reply
Also, I started this thread 4 months ago, and it's been basically the best thread anywhere on the internet ever since. Well played, folks.
Henry Draper - Mon, 15 Sep 2014 11:19:15 EST ID:DInl/riF No.54396 Ignore Report Quick Reply
Does the Fermi Paradox account for habitable moons? It seems people often overlook the possibility of life evolving on moons instead of just planets, even though we have one such candidate right next-door (Europa).

All of these systems with "just gas-giants" that we're writing off as uninhabited could definitely have moons with life on them. I think that bumps up the number of potential civilizations quite a bit.
Karl Jansky - Wed, 17 Sep 2014 21:04:15 EST ID:iqCcmkM5 No.54413 Ignore Report Quick Reply
Because OP at that point I'm sure the alien species would have transcended space and time consciously. It would be like finding a field (our galaxy) full of anthills (inhabited planets). They wouldn't even be interested by us. They would have nothing to gain from colonizing earth.
Ejnar Hertzprung - Sat, 20 Sep 2014 21:43:46 EST ID:TxgbykPa No.54423 Ignore Report Quick Reply
I think the biggest reason for that is because we don't have any real reliable way to observe and study those moons. Hell, we're only finding those huge gas giants through transits and wobbles. Using those, it's nigh impossible to find moons.
Hannes Alven - Tue, 23 Sep 2014 02:03:35 EST ID:zPGAzIMg No.54430 Ignore Report Quick Reply
Another problem is that shit like big gas giants have all kinds of radiation around them. Io is pumping out this smoke/ash stuff, and it gets caught in Jupiter's magnetic field, and kind of....fucks everything up. Maybe that kind of stuff happens a lot, even only as big as Jupiter is it's gravity flexes all of it's moons to the point of keeping them molten, it's the only reason Io is so active and the only reason Europa has liquid water.
Bernard Burke - Sat, 04 Oct 2014 05:39:05 EST ID:2uBuMclp No.54472 Ignore Report Quick Reply
the thing that people always ignore is what if we are the first. there has to be a first, a first civilization sentient and able to create technology. what if we are that civilization? its unlikely but possible.
Bernard Burke - Sat, 04 Oct 2014 05:48:17 EST ID:2uBuMclp No.54473 Ignore Report Quick Reply
also think about this the universe is about 14 billion years old. its going to go on for about 80 trillion years old. in human lifespan the universe is not even 7 days old. based off a 100 year lifespan that is.
Otto Struve - Sat, 04 Oct 2014 20:29:18 EST ID:vI+pqGH6 No.54474 Ignore Report Quick Reply

yeah that's what I think. We're the first. 14b years is fuck all really.
Bernard-Ferdinand Lyot - Sun, 05 Oct 2014 19:15:04 EST ID:YHjXylC8 No.54476 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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What might happen in the future is irrelevant. Look at the time scales. We've barely been at it half a century. If a similar planet's late bombardment even took 99% of the time earth took, they'd have been where we are ten million years ago.
Nearly major every technological development has occurred independently given the same prerequisites, sufficient time and population. See Leibniz.
Given the same pressures, unrelated organisms have selected for the same phenotypes.

Maybe there are little bottlenecks like sexual reproduction or the O2 crisis that makes intelligent life arising in 14 billion years less likely than getting struck by a bale of cocaine falling from the sky in Florida over a period of 20 years.
Bernard-Ferdinand Lyot - Sun, 05 Oct 2014 19:18:18 EST ID:YHjXylC8 No.54477 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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Oh, here are the time scales. So it can fit on one chart without logs, the first two thirds are omitted.
Roger Penrose - Sun, 05 Oct 2014 20:41:39 EST ID:CSdYKNqU No.54478 Ignore Report Quick Reply
Makes you realize how fucking shitty our bodies really are. Like think about how happy and advanced/evolved human brain will be in 50,000 years. They won't be worried about depression/anxiety and all the negative emotional bullshit we deal with.
Joseph von Fraunhofer - Mon, 06 Oct 2014 19:07:14 EST ID:HdB5BIHg No.54482 Ignore Report Quick Reply
OP here.

Excellent point about the apparent age of the universe. The main issue is that we don't know exactly when life BEGAN on Earth, so we don't know a) how long it took for intelligent life to arise, or b) how long the Earth existed before life appeared. We know the age of the Earth and the age of the universe, and it might be that it takes about 14 billion years for a planet to form and intelligent life to arise, but it might also take a much shorter time. We might be the first, but I think it's unlikely. Possible, but unlikely.
George Airy - Wed, 08 Oct 2014 20:43:54 EST ID:1rmrngAY No.54490 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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did someone mention bales of cocaine falling from low flying planes?
James van Allen - Sat, 11 Oct 2014 17:40:33 EST ID:YHjXylC8 No.54497 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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The number of stars in the observable universe is ~10^24.
The likelihood of being struck by a bale of cocaine falling from an airplane if you've lived in Florida for the last 20 years is about ~3*10^21.
Antony Hewish - Sun, 12 Oct 2014 13:35:45 EST ID:t1vMK9Uc No.54500 Ignore Report Quick Reply
I think the Florida probability is exaggerated - it's only that probability if one object holds still. Remember from thermodynamics two particles are much less likely to interact if they move chaotically at about the same speed relative to each other than if one holds relatively still.... Then you have to take in the fact that the bale probably is going to be somewhat targeted and probably say not dropped randomly on a church in Pensacola (well, okay, I wouldn't put it past the Hovinds at this point...)
Gerard Kuiper - Sat, 01 Nov 2014 02:14:56 EST ID:OXINl/7g No.54602 Ignore Report Quick Reply
Wait... so just because it's improbable, it can't happen? Well, it clearly did, because we're here.

Church of the Rev reporting in. Full convert.
George Gamow - Mon, 01 Dec 2014 01:09:26 EST ID:OXINl/7g No.54741 Ignore Report Quick Reply
How long does it take for life to develop? Could we actually be the first intelligent life in our galaxy, and if so, might that be a solution to the Paradox?
Fred Whipple - Mon, 01 Dec 2014 04:56:21 EST ID:vZ6GgB8n No.54744 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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"We live in the cosmic boondox."
  • Carl Sagan
Johan Galle - Fri, 05 Dec 2014 23:12:58 EST ID:2uBuMclp No.54763 Ignore Report Quick Reply
well the newest thinking is that life began almost as soon as life could possibly begin. I think there is an estimate of 3.5 billion years ago the first life forms showed up. and the earth was made 4 billion years
paper for reference
Johan Galle - Fri, 05 Dec 2014 23:17:04 EST ID:2uBuMclp No.54764 Ignore Report Quick Reply
first life forms on earth that is.
Johan Galle - Fri, 05 Dec 2014 23:23:20 EST ID:2uBuMclp No.54765 Ignore Report Quick Reply
its probably also not the newest thinking. I said that to sound like epic knowledge was just dropped
Edwin Salpeter - Fri, 05 Dec 2014 23:46:34 EST ID:4HbkLal6 No.54766 Ignore Report Quick Reply
space is so vast that even as we blast photons outward, it remains but a drop on the galactic scale.
Johan Galle - Fri, 05 Dec 2014 23:54:49 EST ID:2uBuMclp No.54767 Ignore Report Quick Reply
the thing is we have already figured out how to go faster then the speed of light. we dont have the technology to do it but the theory is sound.
Johan Galle - Sat, 06 Dec 2014 00:57:19 EST ID:2uBuMclp No.54768 Ignore Report Quick Reply
here is a basic design. to get further papers I would have to go into the research materials and you cant access that unless you have a subscription.
Karl Swarzchild - Sat, 06 Dec 2014 06:39:34 EST ID:ksAXy5yQ No.54769 Ignore Report Quick Reply
The only thing missing is how exactly we expand or contract space.

That's the catch. I'll wager we'll have it figured out in 50 years though.
Grote Reuber - Sun, 07 Dec 2014 15:49:20 EST ID:4HbkLal6 No.54775 Ignore Report Quick Reply
so if a primate species can go from discovery of electromagnetic fields to manipulating space time in 200 years, why isn't the universe full of von neumann probes?
Karl von Weizsacker - Mon, 08 Dec 2014 03:01:58 EST ID:ksAXy5yQ No.54782 Ignore Report Quick Reply
It is, likely.

We just don't see them because we're a wildlife preserve.
George Hale - Tue, 09 Dec 2014 22:18:55 EST ID:4HbkLal6 No.54791 Ignore Report Quick Reply
James Elliott - Wed, 10 Dec 2014 01:44:40 EST ID:Zbe0PVOU No.54793 Ignore Report Quick Reply
He's saying if you found a bunch of rowdy apes, you wouldn't give them buttons that launched nuclear warheads and expect them to play nice, when they've barely even figured out how to use a club.

We would seem like primitive animals to an interstellar species, but at the same time they would recognize the potential in us. They know that just like us, they evolved from single cell lifeforms, although their cells might be completely different. They would observe us from afar and not show themselves to us, because they know that it would blow our minds, They aren't going to just step in and hand us the keys to the universe, because they know in our primitive state we would just misuse it or destroy ourselves.
Caroline Herschel - Wed, 10 Dec 2014 20:44:55 EST ID:4HbkLal6 No.54800 Ignore Report Quick Reply
Life is far too probable to explain the absence of other observed life in the universe. the wager is that other species would form, some of them would follow a prime directive kind of thing but some of them would inevitably not, and maybe a handful would create selfreplicating von neumann probes and saturate the universe. so, where are they all?

does the probability of a species making it past scarcity, etc outweigh the probability of ALL THE SPECIES agreeing not to interfere with humans? THAT is the heart of this discussion, and I think the latter position is not realistic.
Giuseppe Piazzi - Fri, 12 Dec 2014 20:47:50 EST ID:jOF47H5F No.54812 Ignore Report Quick Reply
>does the probability of a species making it past scarcity, etc outweigh the probability of ALL THE SPECIES agreeing not to interfere with humans?

>some of them would follow a prime directive kind of thing but some of them would inevitably not, and maybe a handful would create selfreplicating von neumann probes and saturate the universe. so, where are they all?

They aren't here because we don't live in that universe (yet?). If I flip a coin, it's probable that it could land heads or tails, and there's a small chance that it could be vaporized in mid air by a passing von neumann probe. But once it lands, the probability that it could be in one state and not the other changes.

Now look at life as we know it. There was a chance that the atmosphere could have been 9 degrees warmer, the Earth's axis could have been tilted differently, the moon could have had a different mass, or there could have been no moon, or 5 moons. Maybe life still would have flourished in some unimaginable way, but would it have evolved sentience at the exact same time that we did? Probably not. For that matter, there was a chance that intelligent life could have evolved elsewhere long before us and developed the ability to travel to other systems, where they discovered Earth and destroyed all the primitive lifeforms there. Or they could have become friends with the creatures there. But none of that happened. All of these seemingly impossible odds came together perfectly to give us life as we know it, because here we are to experience the results, and if it were any different we'd be talking about different things or we wouldn't be here at all. It's probable that so far, out of all the lifeforms in the entire infinity of the universe, none have discovered the key to interstellar space travel yet, maybe because of some universal property of life that limits how fast intelligence can evolve. But there's still a chance that other careless lifeforms in the universe could develop the ability to instantly traverse the galaxy or destroy the universe tomorrow, and if I were to guess, I would say the probability of both rises with time.
Hannes Alven - Sun, 14 Dec 2014 03:36:33 EST ID:x6T9VOrZ No.54815 Ignore Report Quick Reply
interstellar travel is impossible

we all die on our shitty little rocks
Edmond Halley - Sun, 14 Dec 2014 05:06:11 EST ID:ksAXy5yQ No.54816 Ignore Report Quick Reply
It's only a few months to Mars.

I wouldn't mind dying on that shitty rock.
Kiyotsugu Hirayama - Sun, 14 Dec 2014 05:11:15 EST ID:H3af7FdZ No.54817 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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>implying Earth isnt one of the finest real estate in the universe
Pierre-Simon Laplace - Sun, 14 Dec 2014 20:54:15 EST ID:5O93DDXg No.54820 Ignore Report Quick Reply
>implying Earth isnt one of the finest real estate that we know of so far.

William Fowler - Mon, 15 Dec 2014 19:15:29 EST ID:bganXL3+ No.54823 Ignore Report Quick Reply
when realtors say 'location location location', that means how close is it to a starbucks
Arthur Eddington - Mon, 15 Dec 2014 19:24:02 EST ID:OXINl/7g No.54824 Ignore Report Quick Reply
Earth is, in fact, quite convenient to several Starbucks.
Pierre-Simon Laplace - Mon, 15 Dec 2014 21:32:45 EST ID:jOF47H5F No.54826 Ignore Report Quick Reply
Exactly. As much as I hate to say it, the first store to open on Mars will probably be Starbucks.
Fred Hoyle - Fri, 19 Dec 2014 08:35:06 EST ID:e9dLICYX No.54846 Ignore Report Quick Reply
No, most likely it will be a DVD rental shop.
Walter Adams - Wed, 24 Dec 2014 19:42:19 EST ID:6nQZulbH No.54860 Ignore Report Quick Reply
in the short term they gained some extra resources, in the long term they gained a competitor that requires constant, expensive diplomatic relations just to not turn from an ally to an enemy.
Bart Bok - Mon, 29 Dec 2014 19:23:07 EST ID:WiTrHxYx No.54868 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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>>Presumably, some of these civilizations will develop interstellar travel

That's the one that gets me about this.

That seems like an extreme assumption to make, given the logistics of interstellar travel.
They might not see any reason for it.
They might have found it too dangerous, or too impractical.
They might well have developed it and simply not reached or colonized sections of the galaxy in a way observable to us, we are kinda out in the boonies so to speak.

I dunno, I'm not an expert so maybe there's something I'm missing but it seems entirely plausible to me that countless advanced civilizations could exist in every galaxy without any ever being aware of the others.
Friedrich Bessel - Tue, 30 Dec 2014 03:44:26 EST ID:ksAXy5yQ No.54869 Ignore Report Quick Reply
Forgot another option:
>Spacefaring extraterrestrial life is abundant in the universe but humans are too dangerous to interact with or it's too dangerous for us to know of them.
Bernard Burke - Sat, 03 Jan 2015 00:21:13 EST ID:8stRPRtT No.54888 Ignore Report Quick Reply
Well, that's why it says "some," and not "all." The idea is that if even one of them did it, the entire galaxy could be colonized in only a few million years, which is a pretty short amount of time in the Galactic sense. The Milky Way is estimated to be around 12 billion years old, so there's been plenty of time for this "few million years" to come about.
Edwin Hubble - Tue, 06 Jan 2015 20:35:44 EST ID:BuxPHHZt No.54898 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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It still assumes a lot of things.
There could be a very real reason that we're not yet aware of why colonizing the entire galaxy just isn't feasible, even for a very advanced race.

I'm not strictly saying this isn't a legitimate question, I'm just trying to answer it.
Fred Hoyle - Tue, 06 Jan 2015 23:05:39 EST ID:2uBuMclp No.54899 Ignore Report Quick Reply
really it is not an extreme assumption. its a very simple one. to guarantee a species survival you eventually have to escape from your solar system. its a natural progression to get to interstellar travel. whether it happened yet or not is up to debate but the need of it is never up for debate. a species needs to spread in order not to go extinct.
Johan Galle - Wed, 07 Jan 2015 16:02:39 EST ID:+SGZQkhU No.54901 Ignore Report Quick Reply
The Fermi Paradox has always been the most fascinating conundrum to me. I spend so much time thinking about it while stoned (and sometimes even while not).

A couple of things:
1) It is completely plausible that the first life on Earth was brought there by asteroids, and had already been developing elsewhere. If this is the case, then the first life may not have been 3.5 billion years ago; it may have been a lot longer than that. Perhaps the process of going from first life to where we are now is not a 3.5 billion year process, but a 13 billion year process?
If so, the idea that we are the only ones, or that we are among the first, is completely within the realm of possibility.

2) We don't know how far we are from actually developing practical interstellar flight. When discussing the fermi paradox, we tend to implicitly assume that we're within a a few millennia (or even a few centuries) of achieving interstellar flight. What if interstellar flight is still several billion years beyond us? What if the process of developing from the first life to interstellar travel is a process that takes 12 billion years, and we're only a third of the way there?
(If so, we're probably fucked).

The hypothesis that I subscribe to is that of the great filter.
Somewhere between the existence of an earth-like planet and the existence of a civilization capable of interstellar colonization, there is a filter. Some crucial step in that process which is so insurmountable that it is rarely or never crossed.
This filter could be anywhere in the process (or in several places).
It's possible the filter lies behind us. Perhaps its the arisal of life. Perhaps it's the development of multicellular life. Perhaps it's the development of a brain, or a nervous system. Perhaps it's the evolution of a nervous system as advanced as ours. Perhaps it's some technological development we've come up with.
But it's just as possible that the filter lies ahead of us. Perhaps every civilization is doomed to self-destruction, either by war or by exhaustion of resources. Perhaps every civilization somehow drives itself to extinction before developing interstellar flight.
Stephen Hawking - Wed, 07 Jan 2015 22:58:10 EST ID:GuOmyicH No.54902 Ignore Report Quick Reply
A rough assumption or option
>in the process of evolution the beings progress into a form of existence that does not necessarily need to inhabit a planet (in a form or way we find them to exist) to progress further and thrive

make what you want of this statement. Obviously this does not make sense to our linear perception of evolution, but neither makes our civilization and society any sense to chimps, yet our DNA is almost identical.
John Riccioli - Fri, 09 Jan 2015 10:49:38 EST ID:YHjXylC8 No.54903 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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>Perhaps its the arisal of life
We don't have any record of the time between earth cooling, and life starting to fuck everything up, so we can infer that, given early-earth-like conditions, life has a very high probability to arise in a short period.
Technology doesn't develop in a vacuum, even most game-changers like calculus, relativity, computer science, early astronomy, were developed independently at different locations or times.
This suggests that, given sufficient population, necessity, prerequisite knowledge, and time (which is on an entirely different scale than the other potential barriers) seemingly sporadic advances in knowledge are only the observed result of a steady process.
Johann Encke - Thu, 15 Jan 2015 01:37:22 EST ID:3dhJAQX4 No.54906 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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perhaps an advanced alien race would seriously limit it's population growth for any number of reasons. mindlessly spreading isn't necessary when you have the technology to easily move entire populations if one location becomes untenable. they could even be immortal or very long lived and consider reproduction mostly superfluous. its fun to think about how different they could be from us.
John Riccioli - Wed, 28 Jan 2015 14:27:13 EST ID:Kh1OXCPL No.54955 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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ender's game style colonization minus ansible communication.
galactic polynesia
John Riccioli - Wed, 28 Jan 2015 14:33:58 EST ID:Kh1OXCPL No.54956 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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to elaborate in ender's game series they traveled so close to lightspeed that lightyears traveled equaled years elapsed. not that shitty, like moving to new world colony
George Herbig - Thu, 29 Jan 2015 19:36:51 EST ID:Ejigd33r No.54961 Ignore Report Quick Reply
By the time our sun dies, what will be left of our species (if we survive) will be as close related to us humanbeings now, as we humanbeins are to the first bacteria. I doubt if any of outr law-logics make sense to them.
Kip Thorne - Fri, 30 Jan 2015 02:42:55 EST ID:2uBuMclp No.54962 Ignore Report Quick Reply
actually we have reached the end of an evolutionary chain. we are the most evolved we will be. natural selection has stopped working on us for a while now. I hate to be the asshole but all the handicapped around us is proof that we no longer obey the rules of evolution. only way that we will evolve further is if we get off this planet and onto another surface that is not as forgiving as our environment.
Friedrich Bessel - Fri, 30 Jan 2015 04:40:33 EST ID:KCC23SOp No.54963 Ignore Report Quick Reply

Or a good old fashioned eugenics program!
Hannes Alven - Fri, 30 Jan 2015 13:29:39 EST ID:6BB3s9Mz No.54964 Ignore Report Quick Reply
thats not how evolution works. are you suggesting theres no more tiny mutations in our genome that we will find attractive and therefore propagate?
just because we dont get eaten by tigers doesnt mean we stopped evolving. its almost certain we will become taller, and our brains will grow larger.
William Herschel - Mon, 02 Feb 2015 02:07:10 EST ID:2Lu1kHHE No.54980 Ignore Report Quick Reply
>all these people thinking the universe is set in stone and not waves of probability.

There is a chance that there are other civilizations, we know this is true because we exist. With this chance, over an infinite amount of time there will be infinite civilizations, but until they are observed they simultaneously exist and do not.

Therefore, the only answer we have until evidence is gathered is maybe and debate is pointless.
Alan Guth - Mon, 02 Feb 2015 02:32:23 EST ID:YHjXylC8 No.54981 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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>until they are observed they simultaneously exist and do not.
Civilizations and cats do not have the mathematical properties of a wave function.
Observed in quantum physics has nothing to do with a person understanding something, it just means that it has interacted with something.
Fourier related.
Arno Penzias - Sun, 08 Feb 2015 09:49:22 EST ID:nOFgTtp0 No.55005 Ignore Report Quick Reply
If a species was advanced enough why would it even want to colonize planets in the way we're assuming it would? Home-planet gravity the major determinants in creature morphology, and unless you found a new habitable planet that had almost exactly the same amount of gravity as your homeworld there could be very serious physiological obstacles to short or long-term survival on that planet. Us humans already have a hard enough time spending a few months up in the ISS (bone decay, decrease in blood volume, pressure on the optic nerve, etc.), and we don't know if a healthy human baby can be conceived, gestated and delivered in a zero-g environment (it probably can't). It would be much more convenient to live in spinning space stations to simulate gravity and to harvest basic resources (water, fuel, etc) from asteroids or from automated planetary mining bases. If intelligent life has gone interstellar it will more likely be found in asteroid belts and planetary ring systems than on a planet's surface.
Jan Hendrik Oort - Sat, 14 Feb 2015 10:46:35 EST ID:g6+cq9SH No.55033 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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John Prophet is compatible with Panspermia.
Jan Hendrik Oort - Sat, 14 Feb 2015 12:44:19 EST ID:g6+cq9SH No.55034 Ignore Report Quick Reply
But if they're happy all the time they won't understand it as being happy. Happiness would be baseline for them. There can be no happiness without sadness.
Friedrich von Struve - Sun, 15 Feb 2015 15:49:19 EST ID:iO+2nzfS No.55038 Ignore Report Quick Reply
I've thought about this a lot and there's a few good explanations I think are quite reasonable.

Brian Cox has postulated that perhaps intelligent life happens all the time, they spread out among the stars, and then their civilization collapses from over-extension. It could be the galaxy is teeming with civilizations, but none of them exist long enough to ever overlap due to the vastness of space and time.

Earth may simply be in the boondocks of the galaxy, and the reason we haven't heard from anybody is because nobody comes to this region. If this is the case then we may as well call dibs on it.

Maybe our technology isn't advanced enough yet to pick up any kind of communications a species capable of interstellar travel uses. To make an analogy we may be randomly calling payphones trying to find an answer while everybody else has moved on to cellphones.

Evolution of intelligence isn't a guarantee. Life may be everywhere but intelligent life may still be rare. Maybe we're the first, or maybe we're one of a handful spread out across the galaxy.

A species capable of interstellar travel may be advanced enough that they don't even need to leave their planet and explore space. They have everything they need at home and don't have any reason to attempt contact with other civilizations.

This last one is one I thought up a few weeks ago that I haven't heard anywhere else, at least as far as I can recall. Perhaps the kinds of planets life commonly evolves on aren't Earth-like, but Mars-like. They're small and quickly become uninhabitable as their cores cool and they lose their atmosphere to space. Maybe most civilizations don't get a chance to advance to the point where they can contact us because their planet dies before they reach that level of technology. So perhaps life isn't particularly rare in the cosmos, it's just rare for it to develop on a planet that maintains habitable conditions long enough for that life to spread into the stars.
Edmond Halley - Wed, 18 Feb 2015 18:57:50 EST ID:8nAUNRw7 No.55050 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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Intelligent life is already here. The y have gone beyond the body form to travel through space.
Perhaps there are parallel Earths in which "life" of "awareness" is individually diverted from Earth to Earth as the previous one dies.
Thomas Gold - Sun, 22 Feb 2015 11:26:24 EST ID:39O8+8uw No.55059 Ignore Report Quick Reply
Your last point is what I considered, a lot of people have thought about it and envisions different variations on this theme. It's a very good one. I mean initially leaving your solar system is a huge effort and you'll travel as little as possible and if absolutely needed but if you can easily flit between stars then you're also going to have other advanced shit and quite probably find the need to move will rapidly drop as you get easier solutions to the problems which drove you. Or maybe you transcend physical bodies if you've got that far it's almost a given? Or maybe a whole combination of these reasons and more you didn't think of applies?

I agree, and you are far from alone.
Georges-Henri Lemaitre - Wed, 25 Feb 2015 22:01:54 EST ID:sky71Ye7 No.55064 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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It took 5 billion years for Earth to develop 2 million extant insect species and only one species capable of space travel. I don't know the calculated number of all species that has ever existed, so divide 1 with a number that's bigger than 2 million.

It's fair to assume human intelligence isn't a statistically probable outcome of evolution.
Ejnar Hertzprung - Thu, 26 Feb 2015 07:43:58 EST ID:YHjXylC8 No.55066 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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>It took 5 billion years for Earth to develop 2 million extant insect species
Whether a species develops space travel isn't random.

Certain aspects of evolution are pretty linear.
All planets cool, all planets with the right conditions develop life, etc.
There are many cases of specialized organs that perform the same function that evolved from entirely different branches.

It took us 2% of the age of the universe to go from groups of single-celled organisms to humans.

Once nervous systems emerged, almost every environment favored having one, and then favored increased complexity(efficiency) or size.
Except certain extremely specialized creatures, koala, ant eaters, etc where the energy cost favors a smaller brain.
Georges-Henri Lemaitre - Thu, 26 Feb 2015 09:50:12 EST ID:sky71Ye7 No.55067 Ignore Report Quick Reply
>almost every environment favored having one, and then favored increased complexity(efficiency) or size.

False. The most successful genera of mammals/animals are herbivorous flock animals and rodents, who specialize on simplicity and numbers. This is a common trend in evolution where the animals are just smart enough, because developing and maintaining very smart brains are costly in energy and time better spent on reproduction and survival. For evolution, better teeth and faster bodies are way better survival strategies than intelligence. This is why every species of comparable intelligence to humans are so few in numbers(a fact that also counted for us up until just a few millenia ago).

There's a threshold where intelligence actually becomes a game-changer, a singularity if you will, where the animal is able to survive in any environment with the help of experience/tools alone. Up until this threshold however, increased intelligence actually yields diminishing returns in terms of survival.

Then there's the fact that intelligence is not enough. The intelligent species needs good manipulative organs to develop increasingly complicated tools and eventually civilization. This is why we're likely to never see a crow or dolphin civilization, for while they are highly intelligent, have proto-culture and are tool users, their body plans simply isn't suited for fine manipulation and have no organs that can easily evolve into hand-analogues. Humans are descendant from tree-dwellers that needed hands to navigate precisely between branches, and we've profited well from this heritage.

tl;dr There's no drive in evolution toward human-level intelligence. In fact there's a lot of resistance. There's also many other things that need to come together for a species to develop space travel, for example tool use, physiology and body plan.
Georges-Henri Lemaitre - Fri, 27 Feb 2015 06:41:27 EST ID:t1vMK9Uc No.55076 Ignore Report Quick Reply

Try this article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R/K_selection_theory

That way of explaining things is crude (whence the controversy at the bottom) but it gets a lot of the job done; like explaining that the earth is a sphere instead of an oblate spheroid.

But this also explains a *lot* about us. Just for example, there are muscles that that after passing beneath our cheekbones anchor themselves to the roofs of our skulls used for biting. In other mammals, they're very big, often requiring bony mohawks to grab onto like this gorilla http://www.boneclones.com/images/bc-036-lg.jpg or this cat http://www.azdrybones.com/images/AsianGoldenCat.jpg (you can also see some of the effects of these muscles in the back of the jaw in how it aligns)

Note with the cat what happened with the eyes - the backs basically had to give out to make way for the eyes, which then put all these pressures all over the place just to be maintained.

And intellegence is one of those things. Unless we're rather active, it's actually our brains that burn most of our calories (and why a whopping 2000 daily is near ideal). There are actually birds out there that undergo massive changes in brainsize under certain conditions: they build up giant brains as they're out flying around storing food and everything, but birds that stay and sit on eggs lose that, preferring the gigantic cost of regrowing it and forgetting everything to maintaining the brain.

I also don't think it's just because we have thumbs. I think it's because of many many more factors. Our ancestors lost their nails as they became tree climbers; they lost their sense of smell when they became fruit finders; they fucked up their feet and their backs when they switched to the plains and still pay for it severely. At that point they already put a lot of care into their kids and into their troops. They invested extremely into K-selection and with K-selection their intelligence. So much so that they were pretty much unable to go back, so they kept pressing at K-selection until they reached an extreme, and because it's really our only strength, we keep pushing at it. We have nothing else to lose.
Fred Whipple - Fri, 27 Feb 2015 09:24:00 EST ID:qk67H25/ No.55077 Ignore Report Quick Reply
I started the thread thinking even distribution of physical matter in the galaxy, they would be evolving at the same rate we are, but thinking about how our galaxy churns clouds and the pockets we evolve in, its possible there is only a limited number of evolving species at any given time.
George Hale - Sat, 28 Feb 2015 11:38:46 EST ID:sky71Ye7 No.55081 Ignore Report Quick Reply

It's hard to say really. For the past few years we've been getting a good sample of Earth-like exo-planets in the goldilock zone(and if we extrapolate with those numbers it turns out planets with possible liquid water seems to be rather common), but we still have no idea how common life is on these planets.

In terms of possible sites with life the number seems to be huge. The size of the galaxy itself makes it so, even if there's only a limited space where life can develop at a certain time.
Jan Hendrik Oort - Mon, 02 Mar 2015 20:30:19 EST ID:415JX8nG No.55086 Ignore Report Quick Reply
Dude we're aliens
Alium Man - Fri, 06 Mar 2015 11:39:00 EST ID:CLP0/vbo No.55105 Ignore Report Quick Reply
You have not considered the possibility that aliens hide from new species until they are advanced enough to detect their presence beyond any reasonable doubt. Most UFOs seem to move like very advanced spaceships, so they could be piloted by aliens or they could be a form of life that lives in space (only theoretically possible and not at all probable).
Viktor Ambartsumian - Fri, 06 Mar 2015 21:19:15 EST ID:iO+2nzfS No.55112 Ignore Report Quick Reply
This. It's possible that aliens have good reasons to mask their ventures into other star systems. It's also possible we've detected ass loads of aliens and just haven't noticed yet because either we're just missing it because we really don't know what exactly we're looking for ("looking for other intelligent life in the universe" is about a vague a statement as "looking for small fish in the ocean") or because we're just overestimating our level of technology and what we're actually capable of and everybody is laughing at the stupid Earthlings who think they can make contact with radio waves.

I mean, really? Radio waves? Why don't you just light your planet on fire and send us smoke signals? Stupid bipedal chimps.
Thomas Gold - Sat, 07 Mar 2015 19:31:15 EST ID:ksAXy5yQ No.55114 Ignore Report Quick Reply
How would a galactic civilization function if they used radio waves to communicate?
Joseph von Fraunhofer - Sat, 14 Mar 2015 14:05:19 EST ID:HdB5BIHg No.55132 Ignore Report Quick Reply
I don't think they would, really. Speed-of-light communication is great on and near Earth, but it's not practical over galactic distances. A galactic civilization would need something even faster to remain cohesive.
Edwin Hubble - Sun, 15 Mar 2015 00:13:27 EST ID:NIcACRj6 No.55133 Ignore Report Quick Reply
It is possible that we are in fact alone in space. Just a cosmic trick alone in a bewilderingly big swirling mass of mater trapped in an even bigger sea of nothingness.
Heinrich Olbers - Sun, 15 Mar 2015 08:20:09 EST ID:FVrU3tol No.55135 Ignore Report Quick Reply
>A galactic civilization would need something even faster to remain cohesive.
How? I mean if the British Empire covered the entire planet despite it taking about a year to send messages to certain places and back, why can't aliens handle latency?
Edmond Halley - Sun, 15 Mar 2015 21:29:47 EST ID:kfQx+w9j No.55136 Ignore Report Quick Reply
This thread is awesome, I am going to smoke and then read this while listening to some awesome Music.
John Wheeler - Mon, 16 Mar 2015 16:37:54 EST ID:sky71Ye7 No.55137 Ignore Report Quick Reply
This. As long as colonies remain dependent on the homeworld, they should be willing to remain under the same banner.
Arno Penzias - Sat, 04 Apr 2015 04:22:36 EST ID:2uBuMclp No.55212 Ignore Report Quick Reply
its the same problem that we had here. colonies dont remain dependent on the homeworld. thats the point of colonies, they produce enough to send back to the homeland to support the homeland.
George Airy - Mon, 06 Apr 2015 02:07:30 EST ID:MQnlg5OS No.55213 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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>mfw this thread is almost a year old
Rudolph Minkowski - Mon, 06 Apr 2015 22:06:20 EST ID:OXINl/7g No.55214 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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OP here. I think it's pretty badass, actually.

I do wonder how much easier it might be to colonize large swaths of the galaxy if your home star is much closer to some other nearby star. The closest one to ours is 3.26 light years away, which means we'd have to come up with some pretty seriously fast method of travel travel make the jump in a reasonable amount of time. How close would another Sun-sized star have to be before its gravity disrupts the solar system? Could a planetary system exist less than a light year from the next-closest one?
George Gamow - Sun, 12 Apr 2015 23:46:23 EST ID:kNRPcpre No.55228 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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>so following the natural progression, they all fail.

Well yeah nothing goes on forever. Althoough when, why, and how probably aren't as predictable as you're speculating but it may be uniform for a certain percentage.

I believe there is intelligent life somwhere out there. I just think it's probably INCREDIBLY rare. We got lucky, or I suppose we could be the first but I have no evidence to base that assumption so I won't bother sounding arrogant.
George Gamow - Sun, 12 Apr 2015 23:52:38 EST ID:kNRPcpre No.55229 Ignore Report Quick Reply
>just take a look at our history and then connect the dots why we think alien must be colonize-crazed, perhaps because we are too.

Any organism relying on raw intelligence and not much else to survive would do the same thing. Need resources? K go take them. Gotta do it or we die.
Pierre-Simon Laplace - Wed, 22 Apr 2015 02:52:18 EST ID:LjaCs03k No.55249 Ignore Report Quick Reply
This reminds me of a blog that says that not a single visible galaxy contains evidence of those theorized galactic level civilizations.
Clyde Tombaugh - Wed, 22 Apr 2015 21:23:04 EST ID:415JX8nG No.55250 Ignore Report Quick Reply
That wasn't a blog, that was a published scientific study.
Kip Thorne - Thu, 23 Apr 2015 06:16:12 EST ID:2RbU6uyH No.55251 Ignore Report Quick Reply

lol nowadays what's the difference?
Edmond Halley - Thu, 23 Apr 2015 14:20:57 EST ID:sky71Ye7 No.55252 Ignore Report Quick Reply
Yea, that's very interesting. It certainly should be possible to do interstellar engineering, but the lack of evidence for it points in two directions:

-Either it's an impossibility for a number of reasons, e.g. life is invariable doomed to die out before it reaches that level or it simply is practically impossible.

-We might just be early to the party.
Walter Adams - Sat, 25 Apr 2015 00:24:27 EST ID:2uBuMclp No.55253 Ignore Report Quick Reply
we dont have the technology to find civilizations like that. civilizations like that also are very unlikely to exist in the millions to billions of years it took the light to reach our eyes. right now some of those galaxies could be populated with a galaxy level civilization. we cant even detect civilizations in our own galaxy and we think we can find them in other universes? dont make me laugh.
Walter Adams - Sat, 25 Apr 2015 00:26:44 EST ID:2uBuMclp No.55254 Ignore Report Quick Reply
galaxies. not universes.
Irwin Shapiro - Sat, 25 Apr 2015 04:08:16 EST ID:KCC23SOp No.55255 Ignore Report Quick Reply
Unless they are using up their waste heat we should be able to detect a tier 3 civilization by detecting an unusually high level of infrared radiation emoting from the host Galaxy.

I suspect however that type 3 civs have probably figured out how to deal with waste heat; the real question is if they bother to do anything about it (it takes more and more resources for less and less returns).
Giuseppe Piazzi - Sat, 25 Apr 2015 13:52:42 EST ID:YHjXylC8 No.55256 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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If energy isn't increasing it or increasing the temperature of something, it's being radiated away.
A dyson sphere would be as bright as its star, just in wavelengths associated with blackbody radiation.
Paul Goldsmith - Sat, 25 Apr 2015 18:13:24 EST ID:sky71Ye7 No.55257 Ignore Report Quick Reply
True invisibility in this universe means by all purposes it doesn't exist in this universe.


Yea, but on a universal scale it would still mean we're early birds.
Isaac Newton - Mon, 27 Apr 2015 22:33:17 EST ID:4px0o/Io No.55259 Ignore Report Quick Reply
Suppose the relativistic quandary can't be solved. Then rework the stats on interstellar travel.

Also I might add, interstellar expansion is not economical on an imperial scale. One would use more energy and time moving from one side of a galaxy to another, far more than any potential savings from a comparative advantage of products or resources that any region may possess over another.

With the ability to fuse any element, you can set up shop pretty much anywhere.

While a seed ship fulfills the biological imperative, it's hard to justify any other type, especially military. Aside from, universal paranoia.

Also, what if aliens are unable to conceptualize fiction? We might get a galaxy quest scenario. They might actually be afraid of us, because in so much fiction we are mankind, destroyer of worlds.

Or they'd see some of the fucked up shit on the internet and think, Humanity's gotta go.
George Airy - Tue, 28 Apr 2015 10:39:05 EST ID:YHjXylC8 No.55261 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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>universal paranoia
That could explain it; any civilization that starts emitting radio signals might eventually be a threat, so as soon as you see it, you start accelerating an Armageddon-size meteor toward the source and send a few backup ships to nuke any survivors.
William Lassell - Mon, 04 May 2015 00:03:44 EST ID:3SVtd7YR No.55274 Ignore Report Quick Reply
this is not funny, ive actually had nigthmares about such thing
Margaret Burbidge - Tue, 05 May 2015 01:14:14 EST ID:YHjXylC8 No.55276 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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Why worry about things you won't affect?
We came from nothing, if we don't make it off this rock in a couple billion years, we'll leave nothing behind.
Nothing gained, nothing lost.
Robert Dicke - Thu, 07 May 2015 14:58:09 EST ID:LjaCs03k No.55281 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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They scanned 100,000 galaxies looking for evidence of galactic level civilizations.



OR the metacognitive beast realizes that THEY are the gods and makers of reality, and through science and technology claim that godhead.
Charles Bolton - Sat, 09 May 2015 13:01:40 EST ID:OXINl/7g No.55289 Ignore Report Quick Reply
If the Speed Of Light really is a hard limit on velocity and faster-than-light travel is truly impossible, any advanced civilization capable of even near-light-speed might never decide it's worth the time and energy to begin populating the galaxy in the first place. Travel to another possibly habitable planet at near-light-speed might take decades, and wouldn't yield any sort of confirmation of success for nearly twice that time.

While it's a cool achievement, there's no tangible return on the investment, even in the reduction of overpopulation. It's not as if building a ship that would hold a significant portion of the planet's population (ie. billions) is feasible, especially in terms of colonization. The complexity of such an undertaking would be staggering.
Vera Rubiin - Sat, 09 May 2015 23:31:48 EST ID:jOF47H5F No.55292 Ignore Report Quick Reply
>Travel to another possibly habitable planet at near-light-speed might take decades

But it would happen in an instant, from the perspective of the travellers. If the question is whether or not to colonize the galaxy, I don't see why the answer would be "no", if the technology exists.
Edwin Hubble - Sun, 10 May 2015 00:26:52 EST ID:KCC23SOp No.55293 Ignore Report Quick Reply
From a wholly anthropocentric point of view I don't see states being all that interested in establishing colonies they can't control or communicate with. However splinter groups wouldn't suffer from a lack of homeward oversight; I could totally see the Mormons saying "Screw you guys, we're going to New Kolob!" and setting off for the stars. Such groups would have a harder time attaining such technology however.
Roger Penrose - Sun, 10 May 2015 02:17:13 EST ID:YHjXylC8 No.55294 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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As time goes on and we move further from earth, human habitats will become increasingly self-contained in terms of outside needs to offset the increasing numbers.
As our capacity to do so increases, we will adapt our physical forms to better fulfill our needs.
As population increases, their needs increase. This increases the necessity of space-based habitats and space mining.
Self-sustaining habitats becomes increasingly necessary and common.
Edwin Hubble - Sun, 10 May 2015 02:28:51 EST ID:KCC23SOp No.55295 Ignore Report Quick Reply
I think we will definitely branch out in our solar system; but it's my personal belief that we will stop at that point and instead of risking interstellar space we will instead turn to cyberspace. I agree that humans are going to change I just think the change is going to make us more and more able to interface with digital realms.
Roger Penrose - Sun, 10 May 2015 03:53:52 EST ID:YHjXylC8 No.55296 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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We sent the voyagers out with just a few gravity assists. If self-sustaining habitats were common, surely some group (the techno-amish maybe) would do the same.

Even if we turn to cyberspace, we can't avoid reality's effects. I don't see humanity jerking off on the internet until the sun consumes us instead of exploring the cosmos.
Anders Angstrom - Mon, 11 May 2015 03:07:54 EST ID:L4TF1qxK No.55303 Ignore Report Quick Reply
The answer to the Fermi Paradox is simple. The technology and discoveries required to become a space-faring civilization also simultaneously remove the need to become one.
Jacob Kapteyn - Mon, 11 May 2015 12:18:56 EST ID:1K+dACgX No.55308 Ignore Report Quick Reply

I'm guessing most advanced species use some sort of quantum action at a distance instead of radio waves. We don't have access to the network.

Also, wouldn't a reasonably paranoid alien species try to hide their tracks? Look at us, broadcasting furry guro porn and starship troopers to anyone who might be listening. Somebody's gonna get the wrong idea.

In space the best defense is to hide!
Roger Penrose - Mon, 11 May 2015 22:51:52 EST ID:OXINl/7g No.55311 Ignore Report Quick Reply
From the traveler's point of view, a 50 light-year trip at light speed would take 50 years. From the perspective of someone back on Earth, that trip would take waaaaaaay longer. At the very least the communication (radio or otherwise) from said vessel's destination would take 50 years to reach Earth, so we're looking at a minimum 100 year wait before we even hear that they arrived.
Isaac Newton - Tue, 12 May 2015 08:19:34 EST ID:wf0/NmNj No.55313 Ignore Report Quick Reply
The question of whether evolution produces tool-using life that can conceive of abstract long-term goals and self-awareness often, rarely or once-ever is still unanswered.
Henrietta Levitt - Wed, 13 May 2015 17:33:32 EST ID:jOF47H5F No.55317 Ignore Report Quick Reply
It's the same deal as any major endeavour that we humans have undertaken. Sometimes it's dangerous to sit idle, and not be the "first" to take that leap. Because if we don't, someone else might, and our failing to do so might come back to haunt us in ways that we didn't foresee.

>From the traveler's point of view, a 50 light-year trip at light speed would take 50 years.

No. From the perspective of someone on Earth, it would take a traveller a little more than 50 years to travel 50 light years away if they're travelling very close to speed of light. But from the perspective of the traveller, it would take far less time than that, because the space they are travelling through becomes compressed in their frame of reference. This is explained by special relativity. It's also the reason why a person doing a round trip to somewhere 50 LY away at near light speed would come back to an Earth that has aged over 100 years, while the traveller has aged comparatively less.

Johannes Kepler - Wed, 13 May 2015 19:37:58 EST ID:p6mddkso No.55318 Ignore Report Quick Reply
The process of humanities first encounter with an alien species in precise order:

  1. Can it be fucked? If no, goto 2.
  2. Can it be eaten? If no, goto 3
  3. Kill them all.
Jacob Kapteyn - Sat, 16 May 2015 13:41:28 EST ID:cYbVlvlF No.55321 Ignore Report Quick Reply
C) Every intelligent life realized that space is empty and not worth of exploration(thus called "space") and instead create some sort of utopia/ascended to a higher plane of existence and left few empty rocks floating in an ocean of nothing behind.
Tycho Brahe - Thu, 21 May 2015 17:22:43 EST ID:eJc7PJV5 No.55336 Ignore Report Quick Reply
It could be a mixture of both of these possibilities OP. It's possible that considering that other sentient lifeforms would have managed to expand into neighboring planets, star systems, galaxies, etc. due to the simple reason that they need to constantly seek more resources for their ever growing enterprise/civilization.

And just as you said, the distance between Humans and the nearest sentient life form colony is probably too far, but we haven't even gone anywhere ouside except to the moon and mars(robots only so far). Also the composition and technologies used by the nearest sentient lifeform may be different from us. How they percieve us may be different (just like the ants).

The thing is, we can sit here and discuss the probabilities and paradoxes untill the expiry of this planet's resources, but then it would be too late. The human enterprise would not have the necessary resources to sustain itself. Thus, the best course of action would be ACKT and to carry on the process of growth by utilizing resources obtained from asteroids, planets, moons, etc. and to keep going on further into the cosmos.

Only then will the answers emerge from the depths of dark matter...
Tycho Brahe - Thu, 21 May 2015 17:26:15 EST ID:eJc7PJV5 No.55337 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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Forgot Pic.
Just some guy - Sun, 07 Jun 2015 17:06:53 EST ID:Vn6ZOT1d No.55390 Ignore Report Quick Reply
I like the idea that there is some sort of aggressive imperialist race out there that all other species are aware of, and thus don't travel outside of or try to make contact with any other race outside of their immediate cosmic environment so as to not attract said race

Thus explaining why we've never gotten anywhere with SETI.

I also like the idea that we're so far behind all other forms of life that the rest of them use us as a controlled study; a preserved national park of sorts that is allowed to be observed and protected, but never interfered with.

Then there's the huge mind fuck of an idea that alien beings could be making attempts to contact us all the time, or that they're around us all the time, and we simply lack the means of knowing it.
Edward Pickering - Tue, 09 Jun 2015 18:49:46 EST ID:gRBEStbH No.55392 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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**A ONE ACT PLAY by Terry Bisson**

[The set is a deep space galactic panorama projected on a screen--the Universe. Two lights moving like fireflies among the stars on the screen represent the the TWO VOICES.]
(As a radio play, there are just the TWO VOICES, with a slight echo added for strangeness.)

Voice One: "They're made out of meat."

Voice Two: "Meat?"

Voice One: "Meat. They're made out of meat."

Voice Two: "Meat?"

Voice One: "There's no doubt about it. We took several aboard our recon vessels from different parts of the planet and probed them all the way through. They're completely meat."

Voice Two: "That's impossible. What about the radio signals? The messages to the stars?"

Voice One: "They use the radio waves to talk, but the signals don't come from them. The signals come from machines."

Voice Two: "So who made the machines? That's who we want to contact."

Voice One: "They made the machines. That's what I'm trying to tell you. Meat made the machines."

Voice Two: "That's ridiculous. How can meat make a machine? You're asking me to believe in sentient meat."

Voice One: "I'm not asking you, I'm telling you. These creatures are the only sentient race in that sector and they're made out of meat."

Voice Two: "Maybe they're like the orfolei. You know, a carbon-based intelligence that goes through a meat stage."

Voice One: "Nope. They're born meat and they die meat. We studied them for several of their life spans, which didn't take long. Do you have any idea what's the life span of meat?"

Voice Two: "Spare me. Okay, maybe they're only part meat. You know, like the weddilei. A meat head with an electron plasma brain inside."

Voice One: "Nope. We thought of that, since they do have meat heads, like the weddilei. But I told you, we probed them all the way through."

Voice Two: "No brain?"

Voice One: "Oh, there's a brain all right. It's just that the brain is made out of meat! That's what I've been trying to tell you."

Voice Two: "So ... what does the thinking?"

Voice One: "You're not getting it, are you? You're refusing to deal with what I'm telling you. The brain does the thinking. The meat."

Voice Two: "Thinking meat! You're asking me to believe in thinking meat!"

Voice One: "Yes, thinking meat! Conscious meat! Loving meat. Dreaming meat. The meat is the whole deal! Are you beginning to get the picture or do I have to start all over?"

Voice Two: "Omigod. You're serious then. They're made out of meat."

Voice One: "Thank you. Finally. Yes. They are indeed made out of meat. And they've been trying to get in touch with us for almost a hundred of their years."

Voice Two: "Omigod. So what does this meat have in mind?"

Voice One: "First it wants to talk to us. Then I imagine it wants to explore the Universe, contact other sentiences, communicate, swap ideas and information. The usual."

Voice Two: "We're supposed to talk to meat?"

Voice One: "That's the idea. That's the message they're sending out by radio. 'Hello. Anyone out there. Anybody home.' That sort of thing."

Voice Two: "They actually do talk, then. They use words, ideas, concepts?"

Voice One: "Oh, yes. Except they do it with meat."

Voice Two: "I thought you just told me they used radio."

Voice One: "They do, but what do you think is on the radio? Meat sounds. You know how when you slap or flap meat, it makes a noise? They talk by flapping their meat at each other. They can even sing by squirting air through their meat."

Voice Two: "Omigod. Singing meat. This is altogether too much. So what do you advise?"

Voice One: "Officially or unofficially?"

Voice Two: "Both."

Voice One: "Officially, we are required to contact, welcome and log in any and all sentient races or multibeings in this quadrant of the Universe, without prejudice, fear or favor. Unofficially, we advise that we erase the records and forget the whole thing."

Voice Two: "I was hoping you would say that."

Voice One: "It seems harsh, but there is a limit. Do we really want to make contact with meat?"

Voice Two: "I agree one hundred percent. What's there to say? 'Hello, meat. How's it going?' But will this work? How many planets are we dealing with here?"

Voice One: "Just one. They can travel to other planets in special meat containers, but they can't live on them. And being meat, they are limited to the speed of light, which makes the possibility of their ever making contact pretty slim. Infinitesimal, in fact."

Voice Two: "So we just pretend there's no one home in the Universe."

Voice One: "That's it."

Voice Two: "Cruel. But you said it yourself, who wants to meet meat? But the ones who have been aboard our vessels, the ones you probed? You're sure they won't remember?"

Voice One: "They'll be considered crackpots if they do. We went into their heads and smoothed out their meat so that we're just a dream to them."

Voice Two: "A dream to meat! How strangely appropriate, that we should be meat's dream."

Voice One: "And we marked the entire sector unoccupied."

Voice Two: "Good. Agreed, officially and unofficially. Case closed. Any others? Anyone interesting on that side of the galaxy?"

Voice One: "Yes, a rather shy but sweet hydrogen core cluster intelligence in a class nine star in G445 zone. Was in contact two galactic rotations ago, wants to be friendly again."

Voice Two: "They always come around."

Voice One: "And why not? Imagine how unbearably, how unutterably cold the Universe would be if one were all alone ..."
Giuseppe Piazzi - Wed, 10 Jun 2015 12:29:29 EST ID:415JX8nG No.55395 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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My theory is that the universe has only relatively recently "cooled" down enough from the big bang to allow for life to evolve complexity, and it may still be too "hot" for anything but the most lucky of biospheres to survive for billions of years.

When I was referring to the temperature, I was not referring to the CMBR directly. I was referring to energetic events within a galaxy as time has gone on.
For billions of years, galaxies existed as quasars, I don't think any planets atmosphere could survive a galactic year for the first few billion years of the universe.
But I think even after those galaxy formations, there were still so many large metal free stars that their supernovas acted as an damper, preventing the development of any spacefaring people.
Remember it took 4 billion years to make people, maybe until say just 2 billion years ago supernovas in our galaxy became rare enough that 4 billion years could go by without a cataclysmic event on the biosphere.

If it has only become possible in the past half billion years (or whatever smallish amount) for intelligent life to emerge inside our galaxy, that could explain why we haven't found anything, we just happen to be one of the first and we don't see intelligent life in other galaxies simply because they are still or only recently stopped having these sterilizing supernovae events.
Fred Whipple - Sat, 13 Jun 2015 16:40:20 EST ID:dY4LpDlS No.55400 Ignore Report Quick Reply
The distances involved are simply too great, and cheap/abundant fossil fuels may be relatively unique as an energy source.

Without cheap fossil fuels we never would have made it this far, and we still aren't spacefaring in any meaningful way.

Even if alien life forms had comparable energy sources, the distance barrier can not be pierced.
Roger Penrose - Mon, 15 Jun 2015 11:26:44 EST ID:sky71Ye7 No.55410 Ignore Report Quick Reply
Yea, I've thought in similar ways. Wood for example, an extremely versatile resource for building, tools and energy, that grows to cover large swathes of land. It's not certain alien life would evolve such a useful and abundant lifeform.
George Gamow - Mon, 15 Jun 2015 14:50:28 EST ID:415JX8nG No.55411 Ignore Report Quick Reply
Cellulose is one of the most common organic creations, bacteria secrete it as well so that means it must be one of the oldest developments in the evolution of life. Granted that's not proof of anything, but I think it does suggest that if a planet has a biochemistry similar to earths, cellulose might be to useful to not evolve.

Again, if a planet has a biochemistry similar to earths, they will have fossil fuels. Octane is just 8 carbon atoms and some hydrogen, I can't see any reason why there wouldn't be fossil fuels, oil is the easy stuff to make compared to everything else. If there is some chemical that destroys oil in large amounts on a planet, it'll probably kill life and neither would develop in the first place.
Friedrich von Struve - Tue, 14 Jul 2015 17:16:56 EST ID:afRXzCdX No.55508 Ignore Report Quick Reply
I hadn't really thought about it before, but a planet lush with plants, only without any real form of "animal" life, would be harder to detect, but would still confirm the existence of life elsewhere in the universe. The distinction we make between planets and animals is somewhat arbitrary when you consider that all life is just self-replicating chemicals. I would think that finding ANY life necessarily proves that life is somewhat common, just like when we found the first exoplanets and realized planets are fucking everywhere.
Johann Bode - Wed, 15 Jul 2015 18:23:18 EST ID:7Ip/yKza No.55515 Ignore Report Quick Reply
>The distances involved are simply too great
Not THAT great. I mean, you need to have some damn good propulsion with insane ISP and lots of power. There are theoretical propulsions with specific impulse of 1,000,000 seconds, and making a fusion reactor doesn't seem too much of a stretch.
This isn't even super-futuristic technologies, this is something we could see in our lifetime.

Granted, the trip would take 2 or 3 human generations, but this doesn't seem too bad? Who knows how old an alien can be?
Irwin Shapiro - Thu, 23 Jul 2015 00:57:30 EST ID:OXINl/7g No.55550 Ignore Report Quick Reply
I don't know why life isn't EVERYWHERE, but based on what (albeit limited) knowledge we have of space travel and the upper limit velocity of light speed, it seems more likely to me that we'd find circumstantial evidence before we just stumble onto a fully-populated planet like Earth. It think we'll find some space junk, or the remnants of a long-dead civilization. Given how long communication takes (again, radio waves are the best we know of), it's just not as feasible to send manned craft and expect some kind of return. Of course, this all changes if we discover some kind of faster-than-light method of communication or travel, like a wormhole or something. But I'd be willing to bet that the first time we open a wormhole to another star system, a piece of space junk will be the first thing we see.
Urbain Le Verrier - Sun, 26 Jul 2015 21:31:47 EST ID:T+avgX/X No.55561 Ignore Report Quick Reply
I think any civilization intelligent enough to traverse galaxies probably would not view us as intelligent. They would probably view us like we view dolphins: Intelligent, but not "human" intelligent. Who knows, maybe the aliens are here and just act like park rangers, keeping us relatively safe but only intervening when it's absolutely necessary.

If they're anything like us though they might have just bathed themselves in nuclear hellfire and faded out of existence in some kind of Fallout reenactment
Henrietta Levitt - Wed, 29 Jul 2015 07:28:06 EST ID:snG/Odlt No.55562 Ignore Report Quick Reply
The distance is too great in the sense that Earth's solar system would be impossible to stumble upon or locate on purpose. While we have pumped radio waves into space, the area they cover when compared to the size of the galaxy is no area at all. The chances of an alien species becoming aware of us or us them is pretty much impossibly unlikely. Also, when you set out to travel vast distances at massive speeds you are abandoning your time period and comfortable world for the harshness of space and will never be able to return. Generation ships would also be unlikely because they would be disappearing essentially.

Plus the desire to leave our environment could be a very rare "mental illness" of humans - evolution usually adapts successful species to their environments, our pathological desire to leave our environments might be once-in-a-trillion-gazillion rare. Same goes for our excessive use of and reliance on tools, which also point towards an evolutionarily-rare lack of ability to adapt fully to the environment (most species with this problem simply go extinct).
Walter Baade - Wed, 29 Jul 2015 18:22:43 EST ID:YHjXylC8 No.55563 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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>While we have pumped radio waves into space, the area they cover when compared to the size of the galaxy is no area at all
There are ~2,000 stars, among 1400 systems within 50 light-years of us.
Here's a map of the 133 brightest.
>The chances of an alien species becoming aware of us or us them is pretty much impossibly unlikely.
Analysis of the spectral signature of our atmosphere at any time since the oxygen crisis would indicate something strange going on.
Any relatively nearby alien-radio astronomers would notice something even stranger.
George Gamow - Thu, 30 Jul 2015 22:12:28 EST ID:sFc2Gs9d No.55570 Ignore Report Quick Reply
I've always considered it more a gap in time than space that explains the silence. Life is chemically complicated, interstellar travel even more so. It would take several generations of stars being born, exploding, collapsing into news stars and exploding again to seed a planet with the materials necessary for life-potentially longer for exotic materials to be created and then found by an industrious society for use in space travel. It is quite possible that we are near the beginning of a time in the universe when intelligent space-faring civilizations could even form.

We also can't assume that our form of intelligence, or our desire to peer into the vast depths of space are inevitable paths for alien evolution to take.

Drake's Equation is a good place to start a discussion, but is deeply flawed in many of its assumptions.
Maximilian Wolf - Fri, 25 Sep 2015 13:29:46 EST ID:OXINl/7g No.55683 Ignore Report Quick Reply
Maybe we're all just so far apart that we'll never really have any meaningful contact. If we're 100 light years from the nearest other civilization, even radio communication takes 200 years for the return message. Why bother?
Edwin Hubble - Fri, 25 Sep 2015 21:48:26 EST ID:HAOLDtI1 No.55684 Ignore Report Quick Reply
It should also be noted that there is no real consensus on how far those signals can travel before they become degraded and indistinguishable from random noise. Most estimates are surprisingly low. Humans have also started to use exponentially more efficient forms of encryption for their signals in the short time that they have been using them, and encrypted signals are by their very nature indistinguishable from random noise. We're also beginning to move away from broadcasting signals in favor of things like fiber optics, which do not leave the planet's surface. One explanation for not detecting signs of alien life is that they too only had a brief period in which their blatantly artificial signals were detectable in a relatively small area of space.

It's possible the reason we haven't interacted with alien life up to this point is because at a certain point of technological development there is no real reason to leave your home planet. After all you will never find a planet equally as suitable for your species as the one you evolved on. Look at how disinterested we have become in manned exploration of space since it's inception. Why should we waste the time, resources, and possibly life in going to another world when we can use ever more powerful orbital telescopes and robotic probes to do it for us? That's not to say I don't think we should, I'm a big supporter of manned space exploration, but not everybody feels that way and it may be the case that alien societies are the same way. Ultimately we won't know why it's so quiet out there until we're actually out there in some capacity.
Chushiro Hayashi - Sun, 27 Sep 2015 09:36:13 EST ID:sky71Ye7 No.55690 Ignore Report Quick Reply
>It's possible the reason we haven't interacted with alien life up to this point is because at a certain point of technological development there is no real reason to leave your home planet.

This is why I believe space-traveling aliens will be AIs. Manned space exploration is very dangerous, costly and cumbersome. AI von Neumann probes however will only ever need light for power and a metal-rich asteroid to reproduce/repair.
Robert Dicke - Sat, 03 Oct 2015 16:16:24 EST ID:cTrnVs8H No.55734 Ignore Report Quick Reply

There comes the issue of using solar energy when you leave a solar system. Energy from the sun is significantly weaker when you reach the edge of our solar system, and in deep space you would be so far from any stars that using light for energy would be unmanageable.
Harlow Shapley - Sat, 03 Oct 2015 17:23:26 EST ID:YHjXylC8 No.55736 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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An issue that can be solved with other power sources.
Qwerty !TJ9qoWuqvA - Thu, 08 Oct 2015 23:59:14 EST ID:g2P6xwWx No.55746 Ignore Report Quick Reply
With the energy market right now (oil's prices and nat gas's everything) I don't think anyone is gonna give a shit about alt energies in this decade now ]: (or :] ?)
Joseph Lockyer - Fri, 09 Oct 2015 17:29:42 EST ID:sky71Ye7 No.55747 Ignore Report Quick Reply
I don't think rouge space AI's could care less about alt energies of planet-bound species.
Arthur Eddington - Sat, 17 Oct 2015 10:44:25 EST ID:1ZGlFMQl No.55760 Ignore Report Quick Reply
I remember myself in the afterlife before coming here thinking, now where should I travel to next, and counted about 8-10 places of interest in this galaxy, and it changes over time so I don't think there's too many places in this galaxy that have the higher intelligent life we are searching for, but travel is not just localized to the galaxy.
Irwin Shapiro - Sun, 25 Oct 2015 15:57:56 EST ID:yn2X3XAN No.55781 Ignore Report Quick Reply
We need an ansible, George.
Vera Rubiin - Sun, 01 Nov 2015 12:58:36 EST ID:pR7ilsU2 No.55785 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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The second someone brings religion into it, I immediately move on to the next post.
Ain't nobody got time for that shit.

Cool word. Thanks bro.

Prime Directive sounds legit.
It's better to have someone learn something on their own, the hard way, instead of just handing them technology. We are pretty immature and selfish compared to other intergalactic civilizations.
Henrietta Levitt - Mon, 02 Nov 2015 22:58:40 EST ID:301QhKfM No.55787 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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>I remember myself in the afterlife before coming here
William Huggins - Wed, 04 Nov 2015 16:16:43 EST ID:tQX5ylFX No.55791 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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George Airy - Fri, 13 Nov 2015 18:59:59 EST ID:FDa+emps No.55819 Ignore Report Quick Reply
Too bad NASA is only looking for Enders and ignoring that the world has thousands of Beans waiting to be rescued from society.
Annie Cannon - Wed, 18 Nov 2015 02:29:03 EST ID:BeB092v4 No.55823 Ignore Report Quick Reply
I have never heard it put better then that. That greed is the appendix of the human mind. There is so much from the birth of our species that holds us back even today.
Irwin Shapiro - Sun, 06 Dec 2015 03:20:22 EST ID:G8PlfLOb No.55843 Ignore Report Quick Reply

I didn't check to see if this was already posted, but it is certainly relevant.

tldr - only 8% of habitable planets have formed in the universe, we are quite literally among the first intelligent life in the universe. So for OP, answer A is correct.
Friedrich Bessel - Sun, 06 Dec 2015 13:38:08 EST ID:YHjXylC8 No.55844 Ignore Report Quick Reply
8% of ~1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars is not a significant reduction.
Whether the number of habitable planets is expected to increase or how old the universe is expected to last is irrelevant to the current state of the universe.
Arthur Eddington - Sun, 06 Dec 2015 16:19:31 EST ID:vB+y87GU No.55849 Ignore Report Quick Reply
Pseudo-Intellectual pleb who follows space shit here:
  1. the earlier universe had far more supernovae and other such events that sterilized many habitable worlds
  2. the earlier universe had fewer of the heavy elements needed for life and for terrestrial planets (also more hydrogen)
  3. intelligent life is pretty much an accident of evolution (forest apes stranded on the plains who managed to not get their skulls crushed by lion jaws)
In other words, we're exceedingly rare in the universe and are one of the first civilizations.
Antony Hewish - Fri, 11 Dec 2015 09:39:54 EST ID:sky71Ye7 No.55876 Ignore Report Quick Reply

We have no idea how often life actually arise though. Doesn't matter if the 8% is a massive number, if the chance for life on habitable planets is close to zero. The chance for intelligent life is even less, and intelligent life making it into the stars even less so. You see the picture here? The fact that we're evidently early in the age of life-bearing worlds drastically reduces the chance for other civilizations proximate to our own.
Antony Hewish - Fri, 11 Dec 2015 09:49:04 EST ID:sky71Ye7 No.55877 Ignore Report Quick Reply

To explain further: If the chance per time-unit of habitable worlds developing life is low(which it arguably is, both Mars and Venus had a chance and failed), then being early on the scene drastically reduces the chance of other comparable worlds in the immediate proximity. It has simply not been enough time and enough planets for life elsewhere to develop at the current stage.
Paul Goldsmith - Fri, 18 Dec 2015 18:21:12 EST ID:415JX8nG No.55886 Ignore Report Quick Reply
We don't have "no idea", we have a decent idea.
There are rules of chemistry, and we can measure plenty of fundamental things about life.

I don't think life is really much different than the geology of our planet, I mean much like a canyon, the history of life on earth has been dictated by natural forces.

Antarctica used to be like any other continent, there is some evidence than mammalian life even began on what would become Antarctica. Could dinosaurs of evolved if Antarctica was located at the south pole like it is today, sucking up over 90% of the earths fresh water? How has the freezing of Antarctica changed the course of evolution for all life on earth?

That's just one example, life is a unique reflection of its unique planet
Nicolaus Copernicus - Sat, 19 Dec 2015 01:13:10 EST ID:nDFvfAFI No.55887 Ignore Report Quick Reply
It's totally possible that intelligent life exists out there, maybe even relatively close by, but their means of communication is entirely imperceptible to us, or that our communication is imperceptible to them.
William Herschel - Sat, 19 Dec 2015 04:51:50 EST ID:sky71Ye7 No.55888 Ignore Report Quick Reply

>We don't have "no idea", we have a decent idea.

We understand biological beings and their requirements well, but we know preciously little about the steps that led up to the formation of life itself. We can't say for sure whether a planet with all the necessary chemical ingredients for life will invariably develop it, or will only have some degree of chance of it.
Vera Rubiin - Sat, 19 Dec 2015 08:53:02 EST ID:YHjXylC8 No.55889 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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There is virtually no gap in the geological record between when earth cooled and life started.
When you have one data point, it's probably not an extreme outlier.
We can safely assume given earth-like conditions, life will probably occur in the range of hundreds of millions of years, and almost certainly within billions.
William Herschel - Sat, 19 Dec 2015 12:38:38 EST ID:sky71Ye7 No.55890 Ignore Report Quick Reply

>When you have one data point, it's probably not an extreme outlier.

No, that's the thing really. You can't make predictions about nature based on one data-point alone, it's a cardinal sin of science.

Maybe life develops as soon as it get the chance if all ingredients are present. Maybe it develops in time, and Earth was an early bloomer. Maybe it almost never occur at all, and Earth is really fucking lucky. We can't with any confidence claim either. The fact that we are here only truly tells us one certain thing; that there is life elsewhere in the universe.

Not to mention the fact that we have no idea how often the right conditions arises. Our current search for Earth-likes is focused on whether a rocky planet orbits in the goldielock zone, but our scientists have no idea whether those have any chance for life to begin with. They might all be dead and pristine water-worlds for all we know.
George Gamow - Sun, 17 Jan 2016 09:19:41 EST ID:8UZk9F9f No.55931 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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I've thought about the possibility of pic related a few times while on acid.

It gave me the heebie-jeebies.
Hannes Alven - Sun, 17 Jan 2016 12:58:49 EST ID:vB+y87GU No.55934 Ignore Report Quick Reply
What a bunch of caveman tier nonsense. I'm pretty positive a space-faring civilization would be smart and forward thinking enough to do a reliable threat assessment and collect intelligence or even establish contact before they went about sending a mass weapon. 4 cancer /pol/ thinks all aliens will be psychopathic hostiles who would destroy us out of fear because its userbase are retarded fascists who get their history from bix nood comics. If you have that mentality, you destroy yourself before you become a space-faring society.
Mike Brown - Sun, 17 Jan 2016 21:12:31 EST ID:SxNLXkr2 No.55938 Ignore Report Quick Reply
I dunno, you look at history and it's just one long succession of more technologically-advanced cultures squashing less technologically-advanced cultures, and sometimes not even intentionally (the most horrifying example being the native americans, 90% of whom were killed by the diseases that spread across the continent long before white people started making inroads).

I can think of very very few episodes in human history where two essentially alien cultures have met and not ended up being hostile to each other.

In the game of evolution, you don't get to the top by being a lettuce-eating trusting creature. You get to the top by being a lying backstabbing asshole ready to take the advantage wherever it presents itself.
Allan Sandage - Mon, 18 Jan 2016 08:50:58 EST ID:YHjXylC8 No.55941 Ignore Report Quick Reply
Alternately, if we could get off this rock and spread out, such weapon would be a wonderful way for a species to ensure its own destruction.
Anyone have that short story about a race observing another race, determining they had to be eliminated to prevent their spread and subsequent destruction of other races, opting to send such a weapon, then watching them grow out of their primitive ways to a higher culture before the inevitable destruction of their world arrives?
they see it coming and a portion escape, vowing vengeance and becoming the very thing the race had feared
Joseph Lockyer - Mon, 18 Jan 2016 11:15:16 EST ID:sky71Ye7 No.55942 Ignore Report Quick Reply

Reminds me of a short-story of a race with reality-editing technology. Every time they detect a growing alien civilization, they delete them and their neighborhood. An apprentice of the guys controlling that tech finds this practice morally reprehensible, and decides to delete his own civilization. He errs and ends up deleting the entire universe instead.

The point here is that any psychotic alien civilization would either self-destruct or be eradicated by someone more capable.


This idea, though scary, seems to be born out of the mind of someone not quite in tune with how the universe works. Why destroy any ascent civilizations when you're hundreds if not thousands of years ahead? If singularity is a real thing, once that threshold is breached it won't be possible to catch up. The only threat such a civilization would have is others more advanced then themselves. Also, don't forget that the universe is practically endless, there will not be any conflict for resources or living-space.
Margaret Burbidge - Tue, 19 Jan 2016 20:11:23 EST ID:p3i30eAn No.55943 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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it's a good one. the writer wrote a sequel about the revenge assault the ending implies but it felt unnecessary and doesn't add anything to the story really.
Johann Bode - Tue, 26 Apr 2016 00:41:05 EST ID:enfMxel7 No.56161 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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OP here. Dude, this thread has been nuts. Like, WAY nuts. Also, keep it going Space Nerds!

That story, while cool, I think only supports the Fermi Paradox being a paradox. If intelligent life is out there and knows we're here, why haven't the eradicated us yet?

This leads into the idea that I wanted to consider from the article below: What if our scientific bias toward assuming we're typical has actually led us astray? Life developed early on Earth, but we have no real evidence to support that early development is typical. Granted, the article seems to discount the (likely) trillion galaxies with (probably) hundreds of billions of stars each,along with countless potentially habitable moons (Europa, Enceladus, etc) all of which serve to suggest that just by probability alone, life must exist elsewhere. And yeah, I know the Fermi Paradox isn't concerned with other galaxies, but it's an interesting point. It raises the idea that the Drake Equation is based on flawed logic.

The article: http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2016/04/beyond-drakes-equation-life-on-other-planets-is-more-optimism-than-science-mondays-most-popular.html
Daniel Kirkwood - Thu, 19 May 2016 10:03:32 EST ID:3t/weoS/ No.56187 Ignore Report Quick Reply

The problem with the Drake Equation is that most of its variables are impossible to nail down with certainty. So it will produce results depending on how optimistic the variables are. For example, right now we have enough data from measurements and exo-planet hunts to calculate the likely number of Earth-likes in the galaxy. As for the calculation of how many Earth-likes developing life, it would barely even be an educated guess because we only have one datapoint to go on, Earth itself.

As for other galaxies, it's practically irrelevant to take that into account. No phenomena in this universe is unique, so of course the phenomena of life and intelligence is bound to arise more than once. That's just a consequence of how reality works. Whether there are green men in Andromeda or not has no bearing on us nor our descendants. It's much more worthwhile to calculate the chance for civilizations to exist in our celestial neighborhood.
James van Allen - Fri, 27 May 2016 03:54:30 EST ID:XTIZp386 No.56191 Ignore Report Quick Reply
lol the thing is with threads like these everyone goes

>well no one knows for sure


like our feeble human discoveries or primitive models for universal occurrences are foolproof... what if our whole understanding of math, physics, etc. is completely wrong? the aliens could be masking themselves with ease with a true or at least superior grasp of physics, technology, and so on
Chushiro Hayashi - Fri, 27 May 2016 06:47:51 EST ID:3t/weoS/ No.56193 Ignore Report Quick Reply

Yea, we *could* be wrong. They *could* be hiding out on the dark side of the moon.

But when all we can do is to make guesses, you make sure those guesses are educated and informed by what we already think we know.

It's all hypothetical fun.
Johan Galle - Wed, 01 Jun 2016 16:04:25 EST ID:DInl/riF No.56202 Ignore Report Quick Reply
I find it reassuring that, even if we are the only/first ones, our job then becomes to plant the seeds of life on any viable planets we find.

Billions of years later, a bipedal mantis-thing looks up at the stars and asks the same questions we're asking now, only he's far more likely to have neighbors (for better or worse).

There's just something thrilling about the chance of being THE first spacefarers in our galaxy. That's a high honor I think.
William Lassell - Thu, 03 Nov 2016 16:29:45 EST ID:OXINl/7g No.56618 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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I think life just takes a certain amount of time to form and we're among the first in our galaxy. Traveling distances between stars is HARD. There's probably a lot of intelligent life in other galaxies, especially older ones.
Mike Brown - Fri, 04 Nov 2016 08:06:09 EST ID:YHjXylC8 No.56632 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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Our galaxy is only about a hundred thousand lightyears wide. The earth is 4.5 billion years old.
William Lassell - Fri, 04 Nov 2016 08:12:54 EST ID:FBGYqnRT No.56633 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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Stephen Hawking - Fri, 04 Nov 2016 09:57:23 EST ID:s8eqU4E9 No.56635 Ignore Report Quick Reply
On the contrary, I think life can form very quickly, only if certain particularities tick together.

Looking at the timeline of our planet, it's prototype formed 4.6 billion years ago. First cells appeared 3.9 billion years ago. That's just 600 million years.

Now, it took another 3.1 billion years for multicellural life to start forming. Meaning certain attributes on our planet started ticking together to make way for this to happen.

220+ million years later, about 580 million years ago complex organisms started forming.

Another 220+ million years and we had large sharks in the ocean and shit was really starting to pop off. Another 100+ million years from that and dinosaurs started roaming around eating eachother. Another 250+ million and here we are sending machines off this planet and thinking about redirecting asteroids.

So you see, the evolution was stuck in a sorry state for a veery long time, not because the single celled organisms had a hard time getting the random mutations needed to transform into more complex organisms, but because the planet couldn't support the growth necessary for these more complex organisms to survive.

My point is, with this many stars and even more planets, I believe that intelligent life in our galaxy has formed billions of years ago. The reason they're not here having to take our shit might be just because these 5-10 thousand years (or more like 1-5k) that we've been making sense of who we are and what are we doing is just such a miniscule amount of time and they might just not give a fuck what we're on about on this planet. Maybe they've categorized us as "in development; do not disturb" in the galactic roundtable. Who the fuck knows
Kip Thorne - Sat, 05 Nov 2016 17:38:39 EST ID:gmm1Ygns No.56637 Ignore Report Quick Reply

>Now, it took another 3.1 billion years for multicellural life to start forming. Meaning certain attributes on our planet started ticking together to make way for this to happen.

I don't know dude. Interestingly, all true multicellular life are eukaryotes(Cells with membrane bound parts called organelles like the mitochondria). Meaning they share a shit-ton of basic cellular function and morphology. While multicellularity has risen multiple times, they all share a common eukaryote ancestor. There's something about that type of cell that is just "perfect" for communal organization into true organisms like us and plants or whatever. It's not a given that something similar would evolve on other worlds.

The mass production of free oxygen did have a part in the rise of multicellular life, but honestly I wouldn't be surprised that there's plenty of life-bearing worlds out there that will forever have just single-celled analogues. Each 'milestone' of life appears to be a threshold, which needs certain conditions in order to come true so to speak. Just like not all worlds develop life, not all life-bearing worlds will give rise to multicellular organisms etc. Evolution doesn't care about multicellularity, it only cares about what works in the moment.
Fred Whipple - Sat, 05 Nov 2016 18:39:23 EST ID:rszf0FN0 No.56638 Ignore Report Quick Reply
But multicellularity confers huge survival advantage. I would be inclined to think that in environments where it could happen, it eventually would happen. The 3.1 billion years of single celled life may have had nothing to do with waiting for an environmental change (except perhaps the concentration of oxygen) and could simply be a view into how long it takes evolution to getting around to developing multicellularity.
Kip Thorne - Sat, 05 Nov 2016 19:53:03 EST ID:gmm1Ygns No.56639 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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>But multicellularity confers huge survival advantage.

Not necessarily true. Evolution only care about what works at the moment, definitely not what's useful in +10 or +100 million years. Say mass photosynthesis never developed on our world to produce free oxygen; in this case life would never have enough energy available in the form of oxygen+sugar to support the organization of differential cells in a body. Like some cells are tasked with energy/nutrient collection, others to keep the body in one piece, other again eventually to develop neural networks which in Earth's case lead to humans.

>The 3.1 billion years of single celled life may have had nothing to do with waiting for an environmental change (except perhaps the concentration of oxygen) and could simply be a view into how long it takes evolution to getting around to developing multicellularity.

Now this could go either way to be honest. And I'm very skeptical when it comes to life. Either the 3.1 billion years is a long time for a world to develop multicellularity, or it is a short time. We currently have no idea, until we find a few more points of data if we'd ever to journey to other stars.

Kinda zen this whole thing. An intelligent lifeform like us can presumably develop, learn and die out without ever knowing the answer to that problem. :(
Caroline Herschel - Mon, 07 Nov 2016 08:21:29 EST ID:OXINl/7g No.56640 Ignore Report Quick Reply
The delay in multicellular organism formation could be because single-celled organisms are really fucking efficient and were very well-suited for the environment of early Earth. Evolution comes out of slight improvements over long periods, but maybe those single-celled creatures were so good at existing in those conditions that they weren't nudged out of their comfort zone?
Anders Angstrom - Mon, 07 Nov 2016 18:41:08 EST ID:rszf0FN0 No.56641 Ignore Report Quick Reply
In a way, they still haven't been nudged out of their comfort zone. Single celled organisms are still by far the most numerous forms of life, with the greatest amount of diversity. To there perspective, multicellular life are just a long lineage freakish mutants that refuse to go away and happen to make good places it live in.
Edmond Halley - Wed, 09 Nov 2016 15:21:43 EST ID:OXINl/7g No.56646 Ignore Report Quick Reply
This is true. Either way, it supports my theory that life is common; complex life less so; intelligent life rare.
John Wheeler - Sun, 25 Dec 2016 13:04:00 EST ID:Gj+pjkQQ No.56736 Ignore Report Quick Reply
OP assumes that life formed here spontaneously. It's possible that the Earth was colonized more like a petri dish rather than armed invaders.
James Elliott - Mon, 26 Dec 2016 22:59:20 EST ID:d7Fd77VL No.56737 Ignore Report Quick Reply
This doesn't resolve the Fermi paradox, it just pushes the buck of explaining the origin of life off to some other hypothetical world.
Karl Jansky - Fri, 06 Jan 2017 16:18:31 EST ID:gmm1Ygns No.56747 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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Yep. This whole Earth-as-a-nature-reserve is ridiculous. With or without panspermia. It just introduces more questions, like why does no star we've examined in the galaxy show any sign of mega-engineering? Why don't we receive radio signals from foregone civilizations? Did the aliens put up a huge blanket across our skies to blind us from the greater galactic society, and if so how?

The simple answer is that there are no contemporary alien civilizations in our stellar neighborhood. And tbh judging from how us humans act I am not surprised in the slightest.
Subramanyan Chandrasekhar - Sun, 08 Jan 2017 12:44:30 EST ID:pOCnfeYf No.56751 Ignore Report Quick Reply
I agree. the average duration between discovering radio signals/transmitting and nuclear destruction has not yet been established.
Edward Pickering - Wed, 18 Jan 2017 17:16:39 EST ID:OXINl/7g No.56760 Ignore Report Quick Reply
I agree. Occam's Razor ("the simplest solution is the most likely") demonstrates that "they aren't there" is the probable conclusion to the question, "why can't we see them?" A single distant civilization hiding itself from observation is much simpler and more likely than all of them making a concerted effort to blind us. It's possible that there are a couple others out there who don't want to be found, but the more populated systems there are, the harder it gets to avoid detection.

Also, nice Lego pic. I had that one (still do, technically, since it's in the Big Bin with all my Legos).
Kiyotsugu Hirayama - Sat, 21 Jan 2017 17:16:52 EST ID:gmm1Ygns No.56761 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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>I had that one (still do, technically, since it's in the Big Bin with all my Legos).

Same, mate.
Robert Wilson - Sat, 18 Mar 2017 19:28:47 EST ID:sOANcpac No.56867 Ignore Report Quick Reply
> Occam's Razor ("the simplest solution is the most likely") demonstrates that "they aren't there" is the probable conclusion to the question, "why can't we see them?"
Well let me say this. In the world of Finance occam's razor would probably be the least useful system of analysis there would be, because the markets are obviously inefficient (an opposing theory to the efficient market hypothesis). In Finance, the less assumptions one makes, the least probability there is for one to be on the right side of the market. Occam's razor might be probable when something measurable and predictable is concerned, but when it involves people and the behavior of masses then, I argue, that it becomes a bit more useless as a theory for predictability.
So my argument is that when it doesn't really apply to something as complex as the Finance industry, why would it apply to even more complex as intergalactical civilizations, their limitations and possible relationships?
Robert Wilson - Sat, 18 Mar 2017 21:16:28 EST ID:7jcVAyVz No.56868 Ignore Report Quick Reply
Occam's Razor is a heuristic for telling you how you should allocate your cognitive resources, how to find likely answers out of a huge possible set. It doesn't actually prove or disprove anything to be true in and of itself, and you can frame arguments in such a way that Occam will always cut them. I mean really, what's a more probable solution, that there are billions of billions of stars and worlds that we can only indirectly guess at even though we can really only see the stuff around one, or that an omnipotent being created everything? Clearly the latter solution is simpler, and Occam would favor it. In fact, that's exactly what Occam invented his razor FOR; as a way to prove the existence of God. So it's actually been on pretty shaky ground as a cognitive tool for a while now...
Subramanyan Chandrasekhar - Wed, 22 Mar 2017 19:34:40 EST ID:unNII3om No.56872 Ignore Report Quick Reply

It works in this case because we don't concern ourselves with the inner workings of an alien civilization, but with the chance whether aliens exists at all.
Henrietta Levitt - Thu, 23 Mar 2017 16:31:41 EST ID:7jcVAyVz No.56873 Ignore Report Quick Reply
No, it still doesn't. Do you have a simple explanation for why Earth is the only planet in the universe that has life? It violates the homogeneity principle as well as everything we understand about star and planetary formation, chemistry and physics, and the way life evolved on this planet.

There would have to be some force that exists that is simpler in explanation than the known laws of physics that could account for why life exists here and only here ....Gawd...? If not, Occam's Razor has no effect.
Bernhard Schmidt - Thu, 23 Mar 2017 17:05:43 EST ID:unNII3om No.56874 Ignore Report Quick Reply

I meant aliens as in the form of actively visiting civilization that's blinding us from greater galactic society.
Henrietta Levitt - Thu, 23 Mar 2017 17:20:23 EST ID:7jcVAyVz No.56875 Ignore Report Quick Reply
So you're saying that Occam's Razor would postulate that there may be aliens, but that certainly there are none with advanced enough technology for interstellar travel? In that case, you must give me a simple explanation for why either a) interstellar travel is impossible or b) despite there having been an opportunity, under the Drake equation, for civilizations to exist that are billions of years older than us, none of them have surpassed us technologically?
Carl Seyfert - Fri, 24 Mar 2017 06:18:08 EST ID:eg/hDksJ No.56883 Ignore Report Quick Reply

No, read through the thread.

I'm concerned with where the evidence leads us; that there are no no proof of advanced interstellar civilizations in our neighborhood. The simple answer is that we indeed are alone in our part of the universe.

The aliens might be hiding, we might be looking in the wrong places, yadda yadda. Those are just fanciful thought experiments as long as there are no supporting proofs. For now, the evidence points to a universe where interstellar civilization is exceedingly rare at best.
Friedrich Bessel - Fri, 24 Mar 2017 15:48:07 EST ID:7jcVAyVz No.56884 Ignore Report Quick Reply
And what I'm saying is that you saying that that's where the evidence points is just as much a fanciful thought experiment, and that your attempt to simplify the argument in order to dismiss it is an argumentum ad absurdum.

You can think you are strictly being logical, or skeptical, or empirical, by making this claim, but in reality you are ignoring just as much empirical evidence to get to your conclusion as you used to support it.

Remember, the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence. That's precisely what you are claiming, that because we have no proof, the thing we are seeking proof for doesn't exist, even though in reality, we do have proof in form of the consistency of our physical laws and how the parameters of the Drake equation are directly related to them.

Remember, you're making a grand claim, and the burden of proof is on you. You're the one claiming to know that the cause of the Fermi paradox is that interstellar civilization is extremely rare, which means we must theorize and postulate some reason why it is so rare. Is some fundamental force of nature different? Is there something about the process of evolution we don't understand? Accepting that as our premise would literally force us into a witch-hunt through our own science to understand where we went wrong. It's a misallocation of resources, since we have just as much evidence that interstellar civilizations don't exist as we have that they do exist, and since we the same amount of evidence concerning the other proposed solutions to the Fermi paradox. As such, it remains a paradox, and ought to remain so until we get some actual new evidence, rather than new absences of evidence.

>>read through the thread
I've been in and out of this thread since the beginning. The thing is fucking 300 posts long, but I guess since you have now decided to put an end to it by just doubling down on unfounded skepticism, I guess it's over huh? Maybe a revisit to OP's pic is in order?
Mike Brown - Fri, 24 Mar 2017 17:47:51 EST ID:unNII3om No.56885 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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>but in reality you are ignoring just as much empirical evidence to get to your conclusion as you used to support it.

What evidence? Trust me, evidence would get me fucking exited.

>Remember, the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence.

Existing evidence point strongly towards one possibility.

Christ sake, we predicted the neutron a 100 years before we detected it on mere mathematical implication. If there was strong evidence towards the stars being inhabited by intelligent beings, we would know. Yet there are no strong proofs, hell even in the age were hobby-astronomers can get more powerful telescopes than what Galileo had.

Do not be so rash to dismiss physical evidence, which is what our observation of star systems in all their spectra are. As long as we're dealing with the unknown we have to form our decisions on informed guesses, and clearly the facts leans towards one answer.

>It's a misallocation of resources, since we have just as much evidence that interstellar civilizations don't exist as we have that they do exist

No, the evidence leans squarely towards the latter. Unless you're talking about advanced entities beyond what can be measured physically, in which case we might as well be talking about gods or magic.

>Remember, you're making a grand claim, and the burden of proof is on you. You're the one claiming to know that the cause of the Fermi paradox is that interstellar civilization is extremely rare, which means we must theorize and postulate some reason why it is so rare.

Pin it on me? You're the one apparently arguing about forces beyond our understanding of things. We might as well argue about spirituality or ghosts at this point.

If supposed neighbors existed so long as to be invisible to our eyes, the burden of proof lies on you. If they've existed so long as to do stellar engineering then clearly we'd see the evidence just by looking at the stars. If they're near our relative level of science, but still space-faring then I'm sure you'd agree it's a cosmic coincidence.

>You're the one claiming to know that the cause of the Fermi paradox is that interstellar civilization is extremely rare, which means we must theorize and postulate some reason why it is so rare. ... Accepting that as our premise would literally force us into a witch-hunt through our own science to understand where we went wrong.

Only one species of the Earth landed on the Moon. If any intelligent species before us reached as far as humans we'd clearly see it in the geological 'archive' in the form of strip-mining fucking mountains, apparently instantly fast and major alterations to the atmospheric equilibrium, thin sheets of synthetic material sandwiched in the strata. We don't. We're the first out of a power of a billion clades of species that has existed.

So judging from how Earth's life developed, together with the fact that evolution does not really favor intelligence unless some real stringent prerequisites are in place, it seems even pre-civilization sentient entities are rare.

Personally I believe the Fermi Paradox is a result of cultural context; we've already been exploring our world and we found humans everywhere. Surely there must be someone like us out in space? Once they used to dream about Martian and Venusian civilizations, but those layman beliefs crumbled to dust when we visited the places. I am in no means arguing against life on other worlds, nor alien civilizations. Who could, seeing that the universe always repeat its phenomenas right?

However I am a firm believer of observable evidence. And as far as we've come, I'm not convinced in the slightest. Not from observations, not from what I know of biology and hell I am a biologist as far as that's worth.

Sorry of the piecemeal and disjointed reply. Getting pretty drunk at this point.
Vera Rubiin - Sat, 25 Mar 2017 02:44:06 EST ID:7jcVAyVz No.56886 Ignore Report Quick Reply
>>we predicted the neutron a 100 years before we detected it on mere mathematical implication
Kinda how like we are predicting aliens exist due to mathematical implications, even though we have been looking for them for less than 100 years?

I think that you kinda just shut down your own argument right there.

>>invisible to our eyes
In what sense would they have to be invisible? We have a very hard time detecting planets around stars, what makes you think we would have any easier time detecting alien life there? Perhaps it is merely detecting alien civilizations that is very hard, which is just as plausible as assuming that alien civilizations existing is very hard.

>> to do stellar engineering then clearly we'd see the evidence just by looking at the stars
Why? How would we be able to tell something they set up artificially from something that is natural if we have no frame of reference? Perhaps some of the anomalous stellar phenomena we detect are that very evidence, how could we possibly tell otherwise?

>> If any intelligent species before us reached as far as humans we'd clearly see it in the geological 'archive' in the form of strip-mining fucking mountains
Why? Why would a civilization that has the technology to travel to another star system have any need for strip-mining at all? Wouldn't it be easier to just grab a few asteroids that are already in orbit and won't be missed? Either they've never been here before, or never left any evidence, or none of their evidence has survived to be found, but the fact that they haven't left ruins for us just to find again can't be taken as evidence they don't exist. That would be like assuming Polynesian people can't exist because none of their rafts have ever washed ashore in England. It's a baseless assumption.

>>[Denying that] the universe always repeats its phenomena
So we're throwing the Copernican principle out the window here, too? All for the sake of dismissing the Fermi paradox? Sure, sensible.
AC !QqL8nX9URE - Sat, 25 Mar 2017 02:53:00 EST ID:iao4ZxNr No.56887 Ignore Report Quick Reply
One big thing to remember is that only homo-sapiens as we know them were able to demonstrate questioning. Neanderthals would kind of settle and scavenge as hunter gatherers in one general are of land. Homo sapiens would build boats to explore the rest of the world. Even animals who use sign language like Koko never ask questions of there own. They may ask formal questions like "how are you" after being asked but never any questions that we may know. she also called an onion "hurt-cry fruit"
Vera Rubiin - Sat, 25 Mar 2017 15:01:30 EST ID:7jcVAyVz No.56888 Ignore Report Quick Reply
To be fair to the poor neanderthals, around the same time they were kicking around Europe we were still mostly confined to Africa. When we killed them off/interbred with them was around the time we started exploring the globe, so it could either be the case that the Neanderthals and Homo-sapiens were keeping each other in check and from spreading, and the world wasn't big enough for the two of us, or more optimistically, that the combination of Neanderthal and Homo-sapiens DNA changed the character of our species and sparked the great migration (although that is dangerously close to a racialist theory if you connect the dots.)
Charles Messier - Sat, 25 Mar 2017 17:11:03 EST ID:unNII3om No.56889 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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>Kinda how like we are predicting aliens exist due to mathematical implications, even though we have been looking for them for less than 100 years?

Again, I am not arguing against alien civilization. Just that there are none in our local patch of the sky.

>In what sense would they have to be invisible?

I made the Occam's Razor argument when it comes to actively visiting civilizations. If they don't cloak their ships and installations somehow we'd see the signs of their activity in our home system. Of course this is only valid if the governments isn't hiding something from us, but I really don't wanna go down the /tinfoil/ road.

>Why? How would we be able to tell something they set up artificially from something that is natural if we have no frame of reference?

Yes, in theory we can. For example, a Dyson sphere enclosing a star would be a beacon of low-wavelength energy. Currently we have no such anomalies in our skies. Unless we count that star with intermittent obscuring that caused some attention a while back, but there are still valid natural explanations for that one.

>Why? Why would a civilization that has the technology to travel to another star system have any need for strip-mining at all?

In this case I was referring to non-human terrestrial civilizations. Not aliens.

By all accounts, we're the first advanced civilization to arise from Earth based life. My argument here is that out of the immense time and insurmountable amount of species that has existed on Earth, only one species achieved an industrial civilization capable of supporting space-flight. So from what we know of life on Earth, we can at least safely predict that life-bearing worlds won't necessarily give rise to a sentient and civilization forming species. It's pure statistics really.

>>[Denying that] the universe always repeats its phenomena
>So we're throwing the Copernican principle out the window here, too? All for the sake of dismissing the Fermi paradox? Sure, sensible.

Did I ever claim that our position is unique? I'm just arguing that space-faring civilization is extremely rare. Neutron stars aren't exactly common either.


Neanderthals are interesting as it seems they didn't lack the intelligence, but rather the necessary design or set-up for expansion. This may actually all chalk down to culture, as anatomically modern humans did indeed try to leave Africa at least once before but failed. Whatever the true potential of Neanderthals was, we will never know.
Vera Rubiin - Sat, 25 Mar 2017 19:44:51 EST ID:7jcVAyVz No.56890 Ignore Report Quick Reply
>> If they don't cloak their ships and installations somehow we'd see the signs of their activity in our home system
Not necessarily. Active SETI is based on the assumption that an alien civilization would put out a similar radio signature to ours. We don't look for ships or installations -- we have no such telescopes with the ability to resolve such fine features at such great distance, when so close to a star -- we look for abnormally large radio signatures. So it could be that radio technology is only employed by civilizations for a very brief window, and all the ETs are using laser or some form of even more exotic communication.

>>For example, a Dyson sphere...[etc]
A Dyson sphere is only one type of hypothetical stellar engineering project. There are numerous kinds of hypothetical types of stars we predict should exist, but have never observed, and by the same token, many types of stars that we observe that our theories don't necessarily require, but none the less exist, and require some explanation.
For a random example, consider the case of Anomalous X-Ray Pulsars. These magnetars have unusually low rotational period and produce extremely intense electromagnetic fields; surely something an alien civilization might have use for? We've only ever observed seven of them, which is such a small number that it's very conceivable they are artificial.

Since these objects are all much older than our history of observation of them, we would have no way of knowing if that's how they occur naturally, or if they have been engineered into that state. Now, I have no reason to believe that they are, either, but I'm just pointing out that because we don't have any other frame of reference, we can't say for sure what stellar phenomena are artificial and what aren't, especially if they are extraneous to the requirements of our basic theories.

>>prior non-human terrestrial civilizations
I would never argue that there has been a prior civilization of other sapient life-forms. We would see evidence in the evolutionary record, if not surviving artifacts.

>> safely predict that life-bearing worlds won't necessarily give rise to a sentient and civilization forming species
Yes, but the very low probability of that occurring is already baked into the Drake equation as one of its primary factors. When you consider the extraordinary number of stars, you're still left with the Fermi paradox, even with the most conservative figures.
Vesto Slipher - Thu, 30 Mar 2017 00:34:25 EST ID:OXINl/7g No.56896 Ignore Report Quick Reply
I'm the one who brought up Occam's Razor (and I also happen to be OP). Another way to apply it would be to say, "we know for certain that life exists because exists on Earth, so the simplest solution is that it probably exists somewhere else, if that somewhere is Earth-like." We just haven't found the exact match yet because we've only just started the search and we're really not very good at it yet.

What I would like to see would be a study that looked at the kinds of things we do on our planet that would be detectable from light-years away, as it relates to potentially habitable planets within (x) distance away. Basically, "who can see us and how, if they're out there and looking?" We've only just begun to scratch the surface of exoplanet atmosphere analysis, but even then we know that if we see certain things, that it points to a very, very high probability of some kind of life (molecular oxygen comes to mind, or maybe certain kinds of smog). If radio waves hit us from the direction of a habitable system, we'd have reason to hone in on it.

How hard is it to detect us, given the same technology we have now? We're still very, VERY naive about how to detect life over great distances, mostly because we haven't found it yet. Chicken-egg scenario.
Giuseppe Piazzi - Thu, 30 Mar 2017 02:20:57 EST ID:7jcVAyVz No.56897 Ignore Report Quick Reply
It's limited, but growing, in terms of what we can learn about distant systems. Pretty much every information we can get will have to come from light (EM radiation) in one way or another, so that's the biggest constraint, but there's still a lot we can do with that.

For example, I don't remember which one but out of the batch of the most recently discovered exoplanets there was one that seemed to be a planetary ocean, and scientists were speculating that we could determine whether or not bio-luminescent lifeforms live in the oceans by looking for flashes of UV light. Pretty mind boggling.
Alan Guth - Fri, 31 Mar 2017 21:03:04 EST ID:OXINl/7g No.56899 Ignore Report Quick Reply
It seems like it would take an awful lot of bioluminescence to produce enough UV light that it would be detectable from that kind of distance. Granted, our only experience is our own planet, but we tend to see that stuff way, way down in the ocean, and not exactly in massive numbers in one place. The surface usually looks pretty barren.

But yeah, that's a really cool idea.
Walter Baade - Fri, 31 Mar 2017 22:11:50 EST ID:7jcVAyVz No.56901 Ignore Report Quick Reply
Turns out it was Proxima B, and the specific idea was that bioluminescening on a major scale would be one possible coping strategy for the extreme radiation there. On top of that, Proxima is literally the closest star, so if we could detect it anywhere, it would be there.
Alan Guth - Sat, 01 Apr 2017 08:42:25 EST ID:OXINl/7g No.56902 Ignore Report Quick Reply
Goddamn, science is fucking cool.
Paul Goldsmith - Fri, 14 Apr 2017 04:10:12 EST ID:0hw+A2Pn No.56913 Ignore Report Quick Reply
I think they are already here and undercover dude. Unless we are the ONLY life, it is the only conclusion with any real logic besides maybe there is no possible way to travel fast enough to get anywhere
Walter Baade - Fri, 14 Apr 2017 16:59:27 EST ID:7jcVAyVz No.56914 Ignore Report Quick Reply
>>besides maybe there is no possible way to travel fast enough to get anywhere
Over the timescales we're talking about, 50% of the speed of light is more than sufficient to colonize the galaxy, and there's no reason to believe such a speed isn't achievable.
Johan Galle - Fri, 09 Jun 2017 21:19:11 EST ID:R3YApPtx No.56948 Ignore Report Quick Reply
The problem is that we, as humans, seem to have a hangup with the cost-benefit of a multi-year (or multi-decade) space journey. If it takes most of/more than a human lifetime to go somewhere, we'll have a sorta-hard time finding volunteers, but a really, really hard time funding it. The payoff is too far away and too abstract for anyone to really throw the necessary money at it. We'd need another, even more forward-thinking, Elon Musk.
Subramanyan Chandrasekhar - Sat, 10 Jun 2017 16:21:52 EST ID:unNII3om No.56951 Ignore Report Quick Reply

Oh we would not have a shortage of volunteers. History shows we got something of a pioneer spirit. Just look at how easy that Dutch Mars colonization/reality show programme got willing people.

I think most of all it chalks down to the reality of our current era: America landed men on the moon during a mission way before its time; yet they did it several times. Now the on-board computer of the Apollo missions was state of the art back then, like the rest of the mission, yet today we have more computing power in our pockets. Not to mention new materials, techniques and logistics which really brings down the cost quite a lot. Our real hang-up is the lack of competition. There's no big red baddie to beat today. Quite a lot of space exploration today are done through cooperation as well.

In other words there's little prestige in it, so we're left to the whims of benefactors like Elon Musk or simply watching developing countries like China and India close the head start of the European powers. This is rather comparable to the age of colonization, where initial colonies would only turn a profit at least a generation down the line; though nations still kept on colonizing because of the whole competitive game between empires.
xToksik_Revolutionx - Sat, 10 Jun 2017 20:58:39 EST ID:2Fu5b/aO No.56953 Ignore Report Quick Reply
Oh God not the Goa'uld!
Pierre-Simon Laplace - Fri, 23 Jun 2017 15:37:48 EST ID:Oy3eGjJE No.56956 Ignore Report Quick Reply
All intelligent aliens are plants, and they can't get here because they're rooted to the ground
William Lassell - Fri, 23 Jun 2017 16:56:00 EST ID:iClpwVzv No.56957 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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Or maybe the standard for intelligent, tool-bearing, spaceship-creating life in the galaxy is a species (or a bunch of species) that come from worlds very different from our own.
Most stars in the galaxy are red dwarfs, but people from a red-dwarf world might not want to move here, the star's all wrong.
Johann Bode - Mon, 06 Nov 2017 16:10:06 EST ID:woSCN4ry No.57078 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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This is one of my favorite threads on the whole site, I just had to say.

So, I watched this movie on netflix last night called "Automata", and it raised a question in my mind, based on what happened in the movie.

Our good buddy Antonio discovers that these robots (that humans use as a labor force) have started to become self-aware and capable of self-modification and self-improvement. On top of that, in the canon of this film, scientists had previously constructed a true, artificial, general intelligence. This intelligence surpassed human capacity for understanding within 8 days of existence, it simply became too advanced to even be able to communicate any portion of its thoughts to a human.

SO, we know, in the framework of this film, that a synthetic intelligence CAN and WILL improve itself exponentially; i.e. it's GUARANTEED to result in a singularity, a continuously self-improving artificial mind. Now, Antonio's reaction to this was basically, "okay, well, good luck... have fun out in the irradiated desert where no humans will bother you!".

But... I just kept thinking; don't we, as inhabitants of this universe, have some sort of responsibility to PREVENT things like that from coming about? We have no idea what they will do once they reach that point, where their intentions and thoughts are so alien to us that we cannot predict their behavior in any meaningful way. They could become "Berserkers", self-replicating machines that try to destroy all organic life. Or, they could be more benign in intention but just as destructive in action.

By letting something like that exist, we're basically rolling the dice for the fate of the whole universe, hoping that if we do create something that outlasts us, that some civilization, somewhere, some time in the distant future, might be able to clean up our mess. If they don't, if there's no one advanced enough to stop this endlessly replicating machine intelligence, that could be the epitaph for all life in the universe... civilizations advancing and growing until this thing swoops into their star system to harvest raw materials to keep replicating itself further. Which is, you know, a fear that is admittedly based in our knowledge of human behavior... but still.

This character's reaction to the machine intelligence just didn't make sense in context, I felt. I mean, other characters who perceived a threat and tried to eliminate it called him a "traitor" to humanity
which... he kinda was. And not just to humanity, but maybe to all other life in the cosmos, as well.

The film sort of pushed this narrative that like... "oh, maybe this is how the human race continues it's legacy, it's creation will persist even when humanity doesn't!". But like... when that legacy has the ability to totally wipe out all life in the galaxy in a few million years of runaway self-replication... that's not a very good legacy, ya know.

I just imagine this ancient alien civilization like patrolling the galaxy, looking for signs of grey goo because it happens like all the time on a cosmic scale:

"Aw shit, that star system over there just turned grey, send a nanite extermination vessel there before it spreads to other systems!"

One thing I really liked about the film was that the robots looked just like the autoreivs in Ergo Proxy! I kept thinking like, "those autoreivs are infected... just destroy them!".

Pic related, a robot from the film. Looks just like Iggy from Ergo Proxy!
Arthur Eddington - Mon, 06 Nov 2017 17:06:32 EST ID:unNII3om No.57079 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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Cool, gotta check out that show some time.

>They could become "Berserkers", self-replicating machines that try to destroy all organic life. Or, they could be more benign in intention but just as destructive in action.

You know, it is likely that this has already happened somewhere and is slowly spreading across the universe. And considering the complete inhospitality of space to biological life, machine civilizations probably have a huge leg-up up there as well.

So personally I'm all for the singularity. Earth needs to represent, instead of being swept away by for example some paper-clip producing Lovecraftian machine autist.
Robert Dicke - Tue, 07 Nov 2017 14:15:18 EST ID:woSCN4ry No.57080 Ignore Report Quick Reply

>You know, it is likely that this has already happened somewhere and is slowly spreading across the universe.

Agreed, it's definitely possible. We could even be looking at the evidence of such a machine or collection of machines right now, we just don't know it yet because we lack the context and knowledge of what such a machine would do.

>So personally I'm all for the singularity. Earth needs to represent, instead of being swept away by for example some paper-clip producing Lovecraftian machine autist.

I don't understand this mentality. Unless you mean that we have some responsibility to build some sort of self-replicating machine that could... combat or minimize the damage caused by another, more threatening and hostile machine intelligence? Like an anti-Berserker Berserker force. That might make sense to some degree, except for the fact that any machine intelligence that is intelligent enough to fight another technological singularity would necessarily be beyond human comprehension and human motivations... so we might create something with good intentions, and end up creating something very similar to the thing we fear and are trying to fight.

It's definitely a difficult topic.
Bruon Rossi - Fri, 10 Nov 2017 17:59:03 EST ID:unNII3om No.57086 Ignore Report Quick Reply

I mean I'd want to see humanity spread everywhere in the universe. I don't want us to end up as the Neanderthals

But what can we do against superior intelligence?
At the very least dude, you'd like some asshole Earth AI to be in control instead of some alien jerkoff AI no?

And what a legacy it would be. Instead of thin plastic sheets squashed between the geological rock formations, we could birth something that make planets into computers.
Margaret Burbidge - Tue, 14 Nov 2017 22:53:26 EST ID:wJ2P1oyO No.57088 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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>Fermi Paradox exists as people think Earth is a globe.
>Fermi paradox is more evidence Earth is flat, and NASA is lying.

  1. Earth is flat.
  2. There ARE no planets out there - all images are CGI.
  3. All planets are points of light.
  4. Youtube "real stars and planets" to see if you do not own a scope.

>Somebody told you Earth is a globe and told you people worked it out. What people? Who worked it out? Dig deep - realize gravity has never been proven.
>Realize no experiments to prove earth is in motion has passed the test.

Just because someone tells you something - doesn't make it true.
Just because everyone believes it - doesn't make it true.

Ever felt or seen Earth spin at 1000mph?


Funny hey - Gravity forced Earth into a pear shape, allegedly, yet you cannot feel a single motion.

The real flat Earth movement is non religious - don't fall for all this bible crap found around the net today.

US government is in damage control mode - attributing flat Earth to the bible.

Flat Earth has nothing to do with the bible.

>The sun is NOT a star.
>The sun is the sun.
>Stars are stars.

There are no landable planets and stars are not what you think they are.

Research flat Earth.

Georges-Henri Lemaitre - Fri, 17 Nov 2017 01:11:58 EST ID:R3YApPtx No.57096 Ignore Report Quick Reply
You're an idiot. The Earth is round, and we have plenty of reasons to assume life exists outside our planet. Just stop.
Tycho Brahe - Fri, 17 Nov 2017 19:39:56 EST ID:unNII3om No.57097 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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Please stay in your designated thread.
Edward Pickering - Thu, 23 Nov 2017 19:44:22 EST ID:+kYrHA6N No.57101 Ignore Report Quick Reply

what if biodiverse planets with unique life structures are the purpose of the universe and humanity's effort to mechanize and automate and digitize the universe is cancerous and bad from a higher/wiser perspective? maybe humanity spreading throughout the universe is a negative?
Caroline Herschel - Fri, 24 Nov 2017 17:19:07 EST ID:unNII3om No.57102 Ignore Report Quick Reply

Well how should we know that?

If it's true, at least we get to be the enemy of the gods, instead of becoming a thin plastic film spread across the geological strata of Earth.
John Riccioli - Sat, 02 Dec 2017 19:29:48 EST ID:NWuHYIye No.57108 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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Yeah, I don't really place any value on the opinions of outside influences like that. The universe could be a big ol' data storage device for some extra-dimensional lifeforms, but that doesn't affect my decision processes in the here and now. We're here, we get to decide what we do with this place, insofar as that is possible.
Henrietta Levitt - Tue, 12 Dec 2017 12:08:47 EST ID:AZMi8krg No.57126 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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Karl Jansky - Sun, 22 Apr 2018 06:10:38 EST ID:AZMi8krg No.57278 Ignore Report Quick Reply
Too much thread to read all of. There are a number of posts saying that neither we nor aliens would have any reason to colonise other places, as the resources aren't really very useful, colonies would be potential rivals and technology means we can just dick about in cyberspace instead.

They're good points but they're not enough. Life likes to go forth and multiply; if it didn't, it wouldn't be life. It's hard wired into us that we'll want to fuck off somewhere else if we can, just because. Even from a more logical point of view, the more habitats we have, the harder it'll be for us to go extinct; either by accident or at the hands of malicious aliens. Someone already said it's hard to imagine humanity just jerking off on the internet until the sun explodes. Our species, or whatever it turns into, can survive the sun's extinction, if we just make sure we're on other planets too. Not just planets; planets are sitting ducks to relativistic weapons. Generation ships in deep space on unpredictable courses would be impossible to eradicate as they'd be impossible to pinpoint. Which is another possible problem with finding aliens, if they've taken that route.
William de Sitter - Sun, 16 Sep 2018 10:27:28 EST ID:tPhrSit2 No.57447 Ignore Report Quick Reply
You just have to make sure the messages are either really simple or cover absolutely everything if they're taking that long
Giovanni Cassini - Sun, 16 Sep 2018 15:13:24 EST ID:fA4CdeQA No.57448 Ignore Report Quick Reply

We will never become a cyberspace species because I will not allow it. I will lead the Realist Liberation Front in which members will forcibly destroy all human/machine interfacing equipment, destroying the vile evil of a false reality. Godlessness will die.
Paul Goldsmith - Sun, 16 Sep 2018 17:40:42 EST ID:457vC2+I No.57449 Ignore Report Quick Reply
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>>they're taking that long
Tachyonic antitelephone, when?
So far the only kind of signal that can propagate FTL we know of is entanglement. Is there some way we could keep two photons entangled during the journey of one of them to a nearby star and use changes in the photon's spin to send data?

The cyborgs and machines will never allow this to happen. They will use a trillionth of their excess processing power to engineer a technical solution rendering your paramilitary powerless in the time it takes one of your dudes to blink after announcing the start of their campaign. They would probably be able to effortlessly sandbox you so that you think you are waging this futile war while harmlessly plugged in.

I mean, have you seen the Matrix my dude? Guys in power armor and with machine guns don't stand a chance against the might of the Machine.

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