Life Should be Common in the Universe, physicists say

Discussion in 'Astronomy, Exobiology, & Cosmology' started by Nightshift, Mar 10, 2014.

  1. Nightshift Banned Banned

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    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2002AsBio...2..293L




    ''We show that the rapid appearance of life on earth does imply, statistically, that life should be common in the universe. This is dependent on the assumption that the early Earth-like conditions are relatively common elsewhere, and on the assumption that none of the conditions that were only present early-on in Earth's history (heavy asteroid bombardment, for example) were required for biogenesis.''


    Though this was an interesting paper. Statistically-speaking, we should be surrounded by other civilizations.
     
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  3. Arne Saknussemm trying to figure it all out Valued Senior Member

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    Define 'surrounded by'. Consider the vast distances between planets, to say nothing of the vastness between stars, and then galaxies. I will leave it to others to speak of other well known equations about how rare civilizations would be, even if life were fairly abundant. Instead I remind you of that C.S. Lewis saw the space between stars as God's quarantine. To paraphrase: One only has to look how technologically superior cultures have treated more primitive cultures on Earth. It is a history of exploitation and annihilation. Why think we would treat extraterrestrials any better? What if the extraterrestrials are our technological superiors? Why imagine they would do anything but exploit us? Lewis reckond we'd finally get what we deserve.
     
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  5. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    I whole heartedly agree....But taking into account time and distance, contact between civilisations, would still be relatively rare.

    It most certainly does not validate the claims of UFO's of Alien origin, contacting, probing or otherwise interacting with private individuals away from bright lights and prying eyes.
    No convincing extraordinay evidence to support such claims exist.
     
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  7. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    I'm inclined to believe that once we reach the stage of inter-stellar/galactic explorers, we will have well and truly outgrown such undesirable qualities....The same would go for any Intelligent life elsewhere that were to discover us here.
    If they [or us] reach that stage of development/technology, I don't believe we would really want for much, so greed and possession and coveting other planets would not be of desired concern.
     
  8. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

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    I don't know, the current state of the modern internet in relationship to the number of thieves, trolls and tyrants (The three T's), we might not ever attest to such an "enlightened" state.

    I have to admit I'm slated slightly more towards Fermi's Paradox than Drakes Equation.
     
  9. Arne Saknussemm trying to figure it all out Valued Senior Member

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    Sounds like you've been watching too much Star Trek, buddy. I tend to think the mineral-ravenous Psychlos of Hubbards Battlefield Earth or the rapacious invaders portrayed in Spielberg's Independence Day are more likely. A truly enlightened advanced civilization may hopefully do as our modern anthropologists nowadays do when they find a jungle tribe that has seemingly had no contact with the larger world. The social scientists observe them from afar rather than corrupting them with head colds they can never shake off and third-hand clothing that they don't really need.

    Then again, maybe you are right, and we are the advanced civilization that is outgrowing undesirable qualities.
     
  10. cornel Registered Senior Member

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    It seems like the universe and the physicists disagree.
    Let's beat the universe with a stick 'till it learns to obey talking monkeys !!!!
     
  11. Arne Saknussemm trying to figure it all out Valued Senior Member

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    LOL! You have stumbled on to a universal comeback to 95% of the half-baked theories put forth in these forums. You should make this line your avatar.
     
  12. Pious Registered Senior Member

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    What about possible life in the rest of the ~95% of the universe (dark energy and dark matter)?
     
  13. wellwisher Banned Banned

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    Life elsewhere in the universe is based on faith, instead of the scientific method. I am not saying life elsewhere in the universe is not logical and very reasonable. Rather, faith is defined as the belief in things not seen, while the scientific method is based on experimental evidence that is reproducible. According to the current circumstances, faith is a better description.

    The most important ingredient of life is water, which is the second most abundant molecule in the universe, behind only hydrogen or H2. In terms of atoms, the top four are hydrogen, helium, oxygen and carbon, in that order. Three of the most abundant atoms within life; O,C,H, are in the top four. Because hydrogen and oxygen are numbers 1 and 3, this is why water or H2O is so common. Nitrogen is also important to life and is in the top seven.

    The fundamental process for forming life is connected to mixing water and oil, which you can get from the top four atoms. Water and oil do not mix into solutions, but will phase separate into two layers. This creates a problem with respect to energy and entropy. The phase separation lowers energy, but also lowers entropy. Since the entropy of the universe has to increase, while energy has to continue to lower, chemical changes will need to appear that will allow the water and oil foundation to mix better. This occurs, in part, via a merger of organics with water via hydrogen bonding. This allows for lowering of energy and an increase of entropy. Although this may occur via trial and error, it always had a goal connected to the second law. If you look at anything in the cell, including membrane organics there are concessions to the water via added polar groups.

    An interesting tidbit, is the DNA is one of the most hydrated molecules in the cell (contains the most fixed water), with the most common version of the DNA in life, beta-DNA, the most hydrated version of the DNA. The needed merger between water and organics, to optimize energy and entropy, or hydrogen bonding and bound water via hydrogen bonding, reaches a milestone within DNA. The DNA is a pinnacle goal, with respect to the needs of energy and entropy.

     
  14. Nightshift Banned Banned

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    Why? There could be dozens of methods of trying to contact other civilizations, we are are still a class 0 -civilization, we are using primitive technology to speak to advanced civilizations?

    The Fermi-Paradox is based upon faulty premises.
     
  15. Nightshift Banned Banned

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    Not true. We are attempting to apply the scientific method, to our postulations. Faith, it's such a strong word... science doesn't work on faith. Instead, we need hard data... thankfully, we have tonnes of data, confirming there are well over 500 planets now detected with earthlike properties.
     
  16. Nightshift Banned Banned

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    I estimate anything up to a thousand civilizations in a single galaxy alone, and only a small handful of them will reach type 1 civilization, and a smaller handful of all the civilizations in the universe will have managed to reach type 3. Those who have reached type 3 are most likely the oldest on the cosmic real estate. Clearly, we are relatively young, the new kids on the block.
     
  17. Sorcerer Put a Spell on you Registered Senior Member

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    Here's an interesting question. When could the first civilisation have emerged in the universe? Things would have to have settled down and the first bout of supernovae would have happened, and the next generation of stars would have emerged before there was enough stuff. Would one generation provide enough density of higher elements or would several be needed? In other words, at what age of the universe would there be planets on which life could start and civilisations develop?

    Taking the only example we know, it took 4.5 by, or a third the age of the universe, to get where we are now. So are we looking at a small window or a large one?
     
  18. Nightshift Banned Banned

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    The first galaxies started appearing around 400 million years after the big bang, perhaps they were forming before this... We need a little room so that the universe isn't too violent. Given an appropriate time scale, a fully developed alien civlization only needs to be a million years older than us... there is at least 10 billion years real estate to be safe.
     
  19. Nightshift Banned Banned

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    These questions are far from resolved. If aliens haven't visited us yet (13 billion years into BB) then something is wrong. Though no doubt, if it was just a matter of us being tucked away that no one found us, be sure if they are out there, they will find us eventually. Stephen Hawking is warning of exactly the same thing recently.
     
  20. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

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    Seriously!?! And you don't think Drakes Equation "fudged" the numbers?

    Simply there are no Aliens, no Alien Cultures, no Fly Saucers (that aren't man made). Procrastinating on the subject doesn't get much done.
     
  21. Nightshift Banned Banned

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    Of course Drakes equation has to smudge numbers for different results, I don't get your point?

    If life is common in the universe, only a handful of civilizations will have the ability in a single galaxy alone to communicate. They would have to be a type 1 civilization, we are not even a type 1 yet. Which means the paradox is based on faulty premises, meaning it assumes that they will be using the same technology. Alas, being alien, there is no indication they would use the same methods of communication. Damn if it is a type 3 civilization, they could be using entire stars as communication platforms! And people wonder, as they use their primitive SETI dishes to look for life, they never get any messages.
     
  22. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    Sometimes faith is required in science.

    Anybody who has been seriously engaged in scientific work of any kind realizes that over the entrance to the gates of the temple of science are written the words: 'Ye must have faith.'
    Max Planck:
     
  23. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    Planck was wrong. And a believer (of sorts). Scientists can be right about the science and woefully misguided on philosophical issues.

    All that is reasonable to believe is that life is common in the universe. Civilizations aren't common even on Earth. Of the 3.5 billion years life has been here, civilizations have only been here for 10-20K years. Intelligent life slightly longer. Civilization may not even be a sustainable model of living. There is nothing to indicate that intelligence is a likely adaptation. So statistically speaking, we should not be surrounded by civilizations.
     

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