The Universe Isn't Living Up to Our Science Fiction Expectations

Discussion in 'Science' started by Space_Time, Nov 26, 2023.

  1. Space_Time

    Space_Time Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2015
    Messages:
    12,479
    Likes Received:
    1,972
    Trophy Points:
    113
    It really isn't.
     
  2. modernpaladin

    modernpaladin Well-Known Member Past Donor

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2017
    Messages:
    27,928
    Likes Received:
    21,240
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Give it time. I think its more that we arent advancing technologically as fast as we'd like. Theres still a lot out there that we just cant detect yet.
     
  3. Lil Mike

    Lil Mike Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Messages:
    51,604
    Likes Received:
    22,913
    Trophy Points:
    113
    The gist of the article isn't about alien invasion TV shows, it's that we're likely alone.

    upload_2023-11-26_9-8-41.png

    That's my opinion as well. It seems very unlikely that there are any aliens out there, and if there are, we'll never know.
     
    roorooroo, ryobi, fmw and 1 other person like this.
  4. truth and justice

    truth and justice Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2011
    Messages:
    25,860
    Likes Received:
    8,831
    Trophy Points:
    113
    It's human nature to believe that we cannot be alone. Primitive life probably exists but intelligent life capable of travelling across galaxies highly unlikely. My reasons: if life exists elsewhere with intelligence similar or greater than our own then they would have sent robotic missions across the universe. More advanced life would have been sending these craft for millennia. Given the infinite number of stars and planets out there, there would be an infinite number of exploratory craft being launched from the infinite number of intelligent aliens. We would have evidence of some visiting us. Why would any bother using cloaking devices? We don't . We actually advertise ourselves. No evidence exists so my conclusion is that there are no alien life significantly different in intelligence to ours
     
  5. wgabrie

    wgabrie Well-Known Member Donor

    Joined:
    May 31, 2011
    Messages:
    13,883
    Likes Received:
    3,079
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Why do you want to live in a world universe where we have sci-fi problems? Count your blessings that you aren't having a bad day every day for the rest of your life.
     
  6. DEFinning

    DEFinning Well-Known Member Donor

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2020
    Messages:
    15,971
    Likes Received:
    7,607
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    LOL-- Your snip from the article, refutes your own description of it. Namely, it does not say that we are probably alone, but contends we are "functionally alone," because of the vast distances between stars and galaxies. This is not a new argument, nor is it a particularly good one-- as it depends on our own current technology. However, there is no reason to believe that life, developing on other planets, could not have had a headstart of many millions of years, before life on Earth. The most highly advanced life, on a planet like that, could be technologically thousands of years, or more, ahead of us. We cannot even guess at what our science is going to look like, that far in the future. Therefore, it is foolish to look at what would prove an insurmountable hurdle to us, now, as a limiting principle to all highly advanced life, throughout the universe.

    Rather, the logic of that argument would be that any extraterrestrial life that does come to our own planet, or celestial neighborhood, would certainly dwarf the human race, in technological development.
     
  7. James California

    James California Well-Known Member Past Donor

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2019
    Messages:
    11,335
    Likes Received:
    11,470
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    ~ Too much Co2 and not enough government mandates. This too can be fixed ... 1584414801.3623-smiley.gif
     
  8. Mushroom

    Mushroom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Messages:
    12,551
    Likes Received:
    2,453
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    And it gets even more unlikely, when one considers the extreme circumstances that allow live to evolve as far as it has on our planet. Then combine that with the frequency that almost all life is wiped out in a hard reset.

    Our planet has a lot of advantages, not only because of our size and location in the "Goldilocks Zone". We also have a huge oversized core, thanks to an early collision that also produced our protecting Moon. That is why our planet still has a magnetosphere long after the cores of Mars and Venus have gone cold. In fact, our core is so large that most estimates are clear that it will still be functioning when the planet is consumed by the sun.

    And we have had enough times after the multiple extinction events to evolve to where we are now. Five major ones in just over half a billion years alone. So exactly how often has a civilization been able to evolve to the point we are at now, only to then be eliminated by an extinction event? Or never reach that far when one happens?

    Plus, I bet we are on one of the first to have even had the potential to evolve this far, as only the latest Population II or Population I stars would even have all the ingredients to create anything but the most basic life in the first place. I bet there is life elsewhere, just as there was once life on Mars and possibly even Venus. But it simply never evolved much beyond pond scum before it was extinguished. On Venus by massive vulcanism, on Mars when their core cooled and the protective radiation belt vanished.
     
    Lil Mike likes this.
  9. Mushroom

    Mushroom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Messages:
    12,551
    Likes Received:
    2,453
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    And as an amateur geologist, I would love to still be alive when we can actually put a human on Mars and answer a hell of a lot of questions that have been raised in the last century. Especially a geologist who can study the strata and see how it might replicate that of our own planet.

    A great many aspects of geology and how life has affected it have only become really known in the last few decades. Like how life itself created the first known mass extinction events, and left their record in geology. And I am not even talking about things like "fossil fuels" and fossils themselves, but in the very rocks. The thick later of banded iron that once covered most of the planet was caused by life. As was the Cryogenian Period which saw the planet covered almost entirely by a miles thick layer of ice. Yep, life caused that.

    Just the presence of life left a record in the rocks, and I would love to see if the same things can be discovered on Mars. And that literally is the only planet we can visit that can show that kind of evidence, we can never find it on Venus. Not because we can not go there, but the entire planet was resurfaced by a massive vulcanism event about 500 mya. So that kind of evidence is as unreachable today as the Cretaceous period west of the Rocky Mountains. Oh, there surely are a lot of fossils from the period and before. Probably huge fossil beds in places like Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and others going way back to the Carboniferous. But they are forever out of reach, buried under a mile thick or more of basalt that has been laid on top of them in the last dozen million years or so.

    So we might find such evidence as banded iron formations on Mars. But even if Venus was to magically clear and assume a 1 bar atmosphere that humans could exist on, we could never find such on that planet because all of the rocks dating to our own Cambrian period and before are covered globally by a thick volcanic layer. And the same layer that essentially "killed" the planet and wiped out any life that might have ever existed there.

    Now granted, any theories of extraterrestrial life are always going to be slanted by our own views, based only on what we know of our own planet. But that is also not true, as we have some pretty damned good data on our two closest neighbors as well. And simply running the numbers, life even evolving to the point of sentience is extremely unlikely. As the universe is a very hostile place, and events that completely reset all life on a planet are very common. As well as ones that completely wipe out all life other than the extremophiles below the surface.

    Because there is a lot of potential evidence that there is still life on Mars and Venus. But once again, nothing beyond "pond scum", clinging to life in pockets deep underground that protects them from the surface conditions. Once again a concept that is only a couple of decades old, as we keep finding extremophiles on our own planet that ultimately date back hundreds of millions of years or more. Only surviving in such places because they had been cut off and kept locked in conditions that have not existed on our planet for hundreds of millions of years, but they have managed to hold onto in their hidden paradises.

    At least, "paradise" if you are an extremophile that lives in an environment high in what is to us toxic gasses and highly acidic. Or under pressure that would crush a surface dweller today and full of toxic chemicals. So deep in the ocean that light never reached it, so everything thrives on a soup of chemicals spewed from volcanic vents.
     
  10. Jack Hays

    Jack Hays Well-Known Member Donor

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2020
    Messages:
    28,025
    Likes Received:
    17,720
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    The Drake Equation suggests it is highly likely we are not alone in the Universe. But that does not mean it will be a routine thing to encounter other life. The Universe is not only vast in size, but deep in time, so even with lots of life there may be plenty of time and space for solitary existence.
     
    fmw and Mushroom like this.
  11. Mushroom

    Mushroom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Messages:
    12,551
    Likes Received:
    2,453
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    And this is a very real consideration also.

    Imagine there is another species at roughly our same point of technology now, but they are in the Perseus Arm instead of the Orion Spur like we are. That means they are over 13,000 light years away. For them to have sent a signal we could receive today, they would have had to have sent it at about the time we were domesticating goats, and before we invented pottery. And if they were on the other side of the Milky Way, they would have had to have sent the signal at roughly during the last Interglacial. Not the one we are not even entering yet, the one before that which lasted for around 15 ky, when we first started to put holes in shells and wear them as jewelry.

    Side note, for anybody that thinks we are really in an interglacial, they are wrong. The time between Glacial Peaks is roughly 70-90,000 years, and the peak of our last Ice Age was under 30,000 years ago. So even to be normal, we have at least a couple dozen thousand years before things cool again (and that would still make it the shortest interglacial on record). Where at the peak there will be no Arctic Ice Cap at all. But that is the kind of time frame we are talking about for life in other parts of just our own Galaxy to contact us. And I know that is beyond the grasp of most people, as once you describe things even 10 kya they tend to get cross-eyed.

    But imagine it is life in another galaxy? Like say the closest main galaxy to us, Andromeda. Well, then they would have to have sent the signal even at our closest points of travel even before Homo Habilis evolved. Which is before we even started to sculpt stones to make better tools but were using just the rocks we found completely unmodified to bang on nuts and bones to get what was inside.

    Myself, I bet that life is actually very common in the universe. But for most of the history of our universe it never evolved beyond pond scum. And that is actually true for our own planet as well.

    We know there was life over 3.7 gya, that is simply when we find the first fossil records of it. And that is less than a billion years after our solar system first formed. And it took almost two billion years and several mass extinctions to evolve from little more than pond scum until life evolved to only slightly more complex pond scum that was composed of more than a single cell. Even what we call "complex life" like sponges and corals only evolved around 580 mya. That is over 3.2 gy after the first life we can prove existed.

    And I bet 99.999% of life in the universe does not even evolve to the equivalent of a sponge, let alone a cockroach. And it then dies when a massive collision wipes out their planet, their core cools and their planet becomes a cold dead rock, or anything else from radiation from a "nearby" supernova or some other event wipes it all out. Or even events like an asteroid collision or vulcanology wipes out so much of the life that it is an effective restart. Or maybe it even kills itself.

    After all, the first mass extinction we know about killed over 99% of the original life forms on the planet. And it happened so deep in our own past that it is not even recorded as an extinction event, and it was an extinction event caused by life itself.

    When talking all of that into consideration, odds are that we will not really evolve a lot more than we have now before we are wiped out. Because in the history of complex life on our planet, that has happened roughly every 100 million years. And we are statistically over 66% through that time now before the next one hits. And no, most have nothing to do with asteroids so NASA can't help us. The biggest killer has been our own planet. Either plate tectonics making huge areas of the surface unlivable, or volcanology wiping almost everything out. And no matter how "evolved" we may think we will become in the future, those are two things we will never solve.
     
    Lil Mike likes this.
  12. An Taibhse

    An Taibhse Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
    Messages:
    7,271
    Likes Received:
    4,849
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Human imagination is an amazing thing. Aliens? Hell, we created thousands of Gods…. No space ship required.
     
  13. Lil Mike

    Lil Mike Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Messages:
    51,604
    Likes Received:
    22,913
    Trophy Points:
    113
    "Aliens" are our new gods.
     
    James California likes this.
  14. An Taibhse

    An Taibhse Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
    Messages:
    7,271
    Likes Received:
    4,849
    Trophy Points:
    113
    New gods or old gods?
     
  15. Lil Mike

    Lil Mike Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Messages:
    51,604
    Likes Received:
    22,913
    Trophy Points:
    113

    New ones definitely. Modern man needs his gods just as ancient man did. He's just now drawing them from our current myths and worldview.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2023
    James California likes this.
  16. An Taibhse

    An Taibhse Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
    Messages:
    7,271
    Likes Received:
    4,849
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Expectations are Derived from what is known to what is unknown. If expectations, Predictions, fail, the the foundations, assumptions, for making predictions must be examined in the face of observation. If anything, over the last one hundred years, we have found the observed reality of universe is stranger than our imaginations, However, piece by piece…
     
    ryobi likes this.
  17. Vitaliy

    Vitaliy Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2013
    Messages:
    657
    Likes Received:
    122
    Trophy Points:
    43
    There is a theory that our human civilization is very early. That's why we don't observe aliens. They are still in the stage of primitive beings.
     
  18. Vitaliy

    Vitaliy Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2013
    Messages:
    657
    Likes Received:
    122
    Trophy Points:
    43
    In any case, we are human beings, we must dream about each other. Our planet is currently our only home in the galaxy. We must unite so that our family can survive.

    It scares me to think that maybe dinosaurs also reached the same level of knowledge as humans now, but then they destroyed each other. And now we think that they were destroyed by some kind of asteroid.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2023
  19. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2013
    Messages:
    59,851
    Likes Received:
    16,448
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Amen.

    Our expectations, predictions, etc. must be constantly examined by comparison to observation. It's the universe that is real, not our imagined solutions.
     
  20. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2013
    Messages:
    59,851
    Likes Received:
    16,448
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I hope not. The existence of aliens is one of numerous questions, with some being much more important.
     
  21. Lil Mike

    Lil Mike Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Messages:
    51,604
    Likes Received:
    22,913
    Trophy Points:
    113
    It doesn't matter whether the aliens exist or not. I meant they are our new gods because we look at phenomena that we can't explain and try to put some sort of supernatural explanation for it. An earlier age would have called them angels, or divine messengers or something based on their religious worldview. Post enlightenment, we have a mechanistic worldview, so we make up "aliens" to explain the things we can't understand. Same psychological mechanism.
     
  22. An Taibhse

    An Taibhse Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
    Messages:
    7,271
    Likes Received:
    4,849
    Trophy Points:
    113
    For me, I never talk in absolutes, nor, for me it’s a matter of levels of confidence elevated by experimentation, observation and successful prediction. But, my starting point is usually skepticism.
     
  23. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2013
    Messages:
    59,851
    Likes Received:
    16,448
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Yes, skepticism is certainly important. I would point out that it isn't a process of exploration.

    We still have to decide if we like scientific method or some other method of comparison of ideas to the real world, or we choose to read the Bible to learn how our universe works, or we take some other approach.
     
  24. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2013
    Messages:
    59,851
    Likes Received:
    16,448
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I get it!

    Like humans since our ancient forebears, we demand to have an answer, even if we have no real clue. So, we make stuff up - whole pantheons of beings of various descriptions.
     
    Lil Mike likes this.
  25. Lil Mike

    Lil Mike Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Messages:
    51,604
    Likes Received:
    22,913
    Trophy Points:
    113

    Exactly. We need answers, even if the real answers are beyond our knowledge or abilities.
     
    WillReadmore likes this.

Share This Page