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

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

  1. Mushroom

    Mushroom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Messages:
    12,551
    Likes Received:
    2,453
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Or they may be equal to us, or even past us by tens of thousands of years.

    However, the distances of space are so vast, it does not matter because we will likely never know of each other before we or they are wiped out.

    If the sun was to blow up right now, we would not even know about it for over eight minutes. If Proxima Centari (the main star in the Alpha Centari system) was to blow up, we would not know for over 4 years and 3 months.

    It would take so many absolutely perfect conditions for life to advance to that kind of level that I bet it is exceedingly rare. And actually something that is recognized in one of the most well known science fiction franchises.

    In Star Trek, they are aware of an even more ancient race of beings who essentially "kidnapped" humans from Earth, and seeded them on distant planets. Which is why so many of them were largely the descendants of other groups of humans, like the Indians in "The Paradise Syndrome". And later novels would expand upon that, where it was assumed a now vanished race of aliens had spread humans throughout much of the Milky Way, for purposes of their own which were still a mystery. As labor? Pets? To ensure they survived if their home planet was destroyed? Never explained, but even in all of Star Trek actual "races" of intelligent beings is rather rare. Most are variants of another grouping. Like Vulcans and Romulans.
     
  2. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2013
    Messages:
    59,851
    Likes Received:
    16,448
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Yes, the distances involved are pretty much unimaginable and can severely limit communication.

    With the universe expanding at an accelerating rate, we can only possibly see the portion that is retreating at less than the speed of light - the observable universe.

    Any being living in the portion of the universe that is retreating at faster than light speed is gone to us forever.
     
  3. Josh77

    Josh77 Well-Known Member Past Donor

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2014
    Messages:
    10,327
    Likes Received:
    7,015
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Eh, I bet there are concepts in reality that we know nothing about at all at this point that make going massive distances across the galaxy as easy as walking across the street. I'll bet we have NEVER been alone on this planet. We are only to primitive to realize it.
     
    DentalFloss likes this.
  4. Vitaliy

    Vitaliy Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2013
    Messages:
    657
    Likes Received:
    122
    Trophy Points:
    43
    I think so too. It is probably possible to travel faster than the speed of light, it's just that modern science has not yet reached this thought, as medieval science could not imagine that it was possible to go up into space.

    And I also believe that the universe is not infinitely expanding. Of course, it is expanding, but this does not mean that all the galaxies will eventually fly apart and there will be only one void. I believe that vacuum is a kind of matter. And when the vacuum expands, voids form in it, which are the matter visible to us. That is, the more space expands, the more matter is formed in a vacuum.
     
  5. DentalFloss

    DentalFloss Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2013
    Messages:
    11,445
    Likes Received:
    3,263
    Trophy Points:
    113
    There are literally billions of galaxies out there containing multiple trillions of planets in our universe, and that's just the ones we can see. We have no idea what lies beyond the "visible universe", and unless we can eventually figure out FTL travel, which I believe is an inevitability, it just may take decades, centuries, or even millennia from now to figure it out. The idea that we are the only life in the universe is ridonkulous. In fact, I'd say there's better than even odds we'll find life of some kind in our own Solar System, perhaps under the ice shell on Europa and several other moons are possible as well.

    Personally, I think wherever life can exist, it either does, has, or will. Just like those shrimp who think a volcanic vent at the bottom of the ocean, we can't necessarily conclude that those circumstances do exist, it may or may not even compatible with our needs as homo sapiens sapiens. I even think it's possible, though we'll in all probability never know, that like the heat and pressure loving shrimp, there may be life the kind of which we can't even imagine existing on or in the sun. However, should that actually be true, I don't think we'll find them anytime soon, if ever. I sure hope so, else humanity will cease to exist when the sun melts or engulfs the planet some 4 or so billion years from now. That is such a long period of time, as we understand it, that we don't even have the mental capacity to imagine it, but they said the same thing about the Speed of Sound some 90 years or so ago. Maybe 80. Our parents and grandparents probably grew up believing that to be as true as we now say about FTL.

    Until someone figures it out.
     
  6. DentalFloss

    DentalFloss Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2013
    Messages:
    11,445
    Likes Received:
    3,263
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Actually, the chances of life evolving to the point of sentience is 100%, as here we are. The only real question, currently completely unanswerable (unless those videos released by the Pentagon are ETs, a distinnct possibility) is has it happened more than once. Given that even if the odds are 1 in 1 trillion, there's so many planets out there that there would be thousands, if not tens or hundreds of thousand or more.
     
  7. fmw

    fmw Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2009
    Messages:
    38,274
    Likes Received:
    14,753
    Trophy Points:
    113
    More importantly they are a long, long, long way away if they exist.
     
    Mushroom likes this.
  8. Mushroom

    Mushroom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Messages:
    12,551
    Likes Received:
    2,453
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Exactly.

    Humans have only been sentient for maybe a million years. On a planet over 4.5 billion years old. We have only really had technology that reaches beyond out own atmosphere for less than a century and a half.

    And ultimately, it does not matter if sentient life exists elsewhere in the universe. It is so vast, that it could evolve from pond scum, and survive until their sun dies and we still have not even seen the light yet from their sun going hot. And looking at the images from the JWST, we are quite literally in many of those cases seeing light from stars that do not even exist anymore. That reside in galaxies that no longer exist. Light that is older than our own solar system is.
     
  9. Lil Mike

    Lil Mike Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Messages:
    51,604
    Likes Received:
    22,913
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I think life must be a lot harder to gin up or we would have figured out how to do it in a lab decades ago. So it must be a rare thing requiring conditions that we've yet to establish. So that's why I think the odds are that the universe is near empty of life is a lot better than it being teeming with life.
     
  10. Mushroom

    Mushroom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Messages:
    12,551
    Likes Received:
    2,453
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Labs are small and experiments take place over short amounts of time. Much different conditions than over an entire planet over millions of years.

    I am actually one of those that believes life is common, but almost never much beyond the evolutionary level of pond scum. As we have seen on our own planet, there are just so many ways that the "reset button" can be hit and make everything have to start all over again. Or an event happen that wipes out everything before it evolved to be anything other than pond scum before all life becomes impossible.
     
  11. wgabrie

    wgabrie Well-Known Member Donor

    Joined:
    May 31, 2011
    Messages:
    13,883
    Likes Received:
    3,079
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    The problem isn't getting life to form in the lab. The problem has been getting the lab free of microbes as they spread all over the place and fast! They have to prove any life they create wasn't already there.
     
    Mushroom likes this.
  12. 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
    9c1903b98d93a6063a3f07215738fe93--the-honeymooners-first-tv.jpg
    animated-smileys-party-002.gif.pagespeed.ce.NgOsvD2uSA.gif I hope Man-in-the-Moon comes soon to save us from ourselves ... hugs.gif
     
  13. politicalcenter

    politicalcenter Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2011
    Messages:
    11,112
    Likes Received:
    6,795
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    As Ming said in Flash Gordon. "If we knew what was out there we would hide." A definite possibility.
     
  14. Mushroom

    Mushroom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Messages:
    12,551
    Likes Received:
    2,453
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    And over what period of time? Even continuing an experiment like that for a year would mean nothing. Even a century would mean nothing.

    And we do not even know where life first evolved. Deep in the sea around volcanic vents, or close to the surface? In the open ocean, or along the shorelines? Or even underground in caves?

    Unless you have a lab the size of a planet and a million or years or so to run it, there can in reality never be any kind of "experiment" to replicate the process.

    And as you stated, how to keep something like that free of contamination?
     
  15. perotista

    perotista Well-Known Member Past Donor

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2014
    Messages:
    16,974
    Likes Received:
    5,723
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Science Fiction is science fiction. But I do remember what I expected after we landed on the moon back in 1969. I fully expected a moon base around 10-15 years after the landing and to be on Mars 5-10 after that. This is where reality meets science fiction, as what I expected never happened. We’re no closer to a moon base than we were back in 1969 or man setting foot on Mars. Expectations not met.

    I enjoyed those old SCI-FI movies made in the 1950’s and 60’s. I still do today. Reality there were not. I have a feeling that mankind will be chained to this earth for a long time to come.
     
  16. Lil Mike

    Lil Mike Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Messages:
    51,604
    Likes Received:
    22,913
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Well until we know how to actually make life, I'm not sure we have any basis in proclaiming that life is common throughout the universe. There is literally no basis to believe that other than hope. Of course hope is fine, but I want a bit more than that.
     
  17. Lil Mike

    Lil Mike Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Messages:
    51,604
    Likes Received:
    22,913
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Well I'm sure they'll keep at it.
     
  18. Mushroom

    Mushroom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Messages:
    12,551
    Likes Received:
    2,453
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    I base that on the fact that the first evidence of life on the planet is around 3.5 gya. Only about 1 billion years after the planet was formed and around 300 million years after the oceans formed. In geological terms, that is amazingly fast.
     
  19. Lil Mike

    Lil Mike Well-Known Member

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

    Well until we go to visit it, they come to visit us, or we make it ourselves I'm inclined to think it's rare, if it exists anywhere at all.
     

Share This Page